Return to Transcripts main page
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
India to America: How Could You?; Gay Nightlife in Sochi, Russia; Change Coming to the NSA; Brad Pitt Turns 50; Toronto's Bobblehead
Aired December 18, 2013 - 23:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Welcome to "ICYMI," showcasing CNN's best reporting all day and all the breaking news tonight.
We have a lot to tell you about, beginning with CNN uncovering a secret world at the site of the Sochi Winter Olympics. While world leaders and celebrities are shunning the event to protest Russia's anti-gay stance, we go inside Sochi's thriving gay night life, a side of that city you have never seen.
Also tonight, this terrifying accident at a soccer stadium in India. When this happened. Even though the place is brand-new, just built.
And don't look down because this may be the longest walk anyone has ever taken.
That and a lot more IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. Now let's get started.
Tonight, outrage erupting in India, hundreds of angry protesters gathered outside the American Embassy in New Delhi. Indian officials and its citizens demanding an apology from the United States over the arrest of an Indian diplomat, police have arrested and strip searched and jailed, Devyani Khobragade in New York City last week.
Indian officials called the treatment barbaric. Her alleged crime? Lying on a visa application about exactly how much she paid her housekeeper. This arrest is sparking an ugly backlash against American diplomats in India. And it's raising questions about their safety. One member of India's parliament is even calling for retaliation against the gay partners of U.S. diplomats. Keep in mind this is happening in a country that recently passed strong anti-gay legislation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YASHWANT SINHA, FORMER INDIAN FINANCE MINISTER: No words are strong enough to condemn this action of the U.S. authorities. There are a number of companions of U.S. diplomats posted here in New Delhi, same- sex companions. What the government of India can do immediately is to cancel those visas, arrest all these companions, put them behind bars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: There are tensions here at home as well. The U.S. State Department trying to smooth things over, earlier today Secretary John Kerry called a top official from India to express his regret over this arrest. But the criminal case still stands. CNN's Deborah Feyerick has been following the allegations against the diplomat.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As she left the Indian mission in New York City Wednesday, Devyani Khobragade offered no comment. The deputy console general was charged with making false statements on a visa application she submitted on behalf of her nanny. According to the criminal complaint, the diplomat said the nanny would be paid a minimum wage of $9.75 an hour. Instead the nanny said she was paid just over $3 an hour. That is three times less than New York's minimum wage. However it is about three times more than what the average domestic in India makes.
DANA SUSSMAN, NANNY'S LAWYER: The allegations are that the -- Dr. Khobragade lied to the federal government in order to obtain an A-3 visa to bring her domestic worker here with no intention of paying the required wages for the hours she requested. Our clients who work as domestic workers are living in the home with their employers. If they leave, they not only leave their legal status. They leave their only source of income. They leave the only home that they've known in a foreign country. This is more than a labor dispute.
FEYERICK: The diplomat was arrested near her daughter's Manhattan school and handed over to U.S. Marshals. She was strip searched and put into general population with alleged criminals. She was given no special status since the charges related to her personal life and not her consular functions.
MARTINA VANDENBERG, PRO BONO LEGAL CENTER: Once you hand over someone to the Marshal Service, they are being arrested and there is no door for rich people and no door for poor people. Everyone is arrested and equal before the law in the United States.
FEYERICK: Martina Vandenberg has been tracking alleged diplomatic and consular abuse cases for the last decade.
VANDERBERG: So what's different about this case, the State Department and the Department of Justice stepped up and they actually took these allegations, investigated them thoroughly and decided that they have enough information, enough evidence to indict the case.
FEYERICK: According to the criminal complaint, the 39-year-old agreed to pay nanny $4,500 a month. However, a lawyer for the diplomat said that figure was Dr. Khobraghade's salary, not the nanny's.
DAN ASHACK, KHOBRAGHADE'S LAWYER: She will be completely vindicated.
FEYERICK: Lawyers for both the diplomat and the nanny said attempts to resolve the dispute financially were unsuccessful.
BALDWIN: Watching that obviously there are a lot of legal questions here. So Sunny Hostin, our CNN legal analyst joining me tonight. In case you missed it, thanks for sitting at the table here.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure.
BALDWIN: Let's bring with 3$3.31 an hour. It's outrageous a diplomat would be paying a housekeeper, nanny, whatever you want to call it. But is it legal to privately hire a babysitter and pay so low?
HOSTIN: No, it's not. You have to pay minimum wage. I think what is fascinating about this she also is accused of forging these visa documents and basically saying I am going to pay her $9.75. Then she executes this sort of side agreement that says no I'm only going to actually pay you $3.31. Perhaps in India is an appropriate wage or perhaps even good wage. That is not an appropriate wage here.
And so I think many people are shocked. I mean, many working mothers like myself have nannies. And those are the people that you don't want to abuse. Those are the people that you have to trust and treat well because they're with your most precious people all day long. They're with your children. So think is shocking on many, many levels.
BALDWIN: They and I say India and government taking an issue with how she was treated. They're using the word "barbaric." there are apparently now new questions tonight as to whether or not she was strip searched at all. Is it not standard operating procedure in New York to be arrested and searched?
HOSTIN: Absolutely. There would be trouble if she were treated differently than someone else. Any other person accused of a crime, and that person has to be processed. And there is a process. And I've worked as a federal prosecutor. And so I've worked with the U.S. Marshall's Service, of course. And they do have a system. And no one gets to not participate in that system. So if she was strip searched but that is the procedure that everyone goes through, it's totally fine.
But that isn't the procedure that everyone goes through, then it's not OK. But I can tell you in my experience that is the procedure that is gone through because you have to make sure that this person doesn't have anything that they can use to hurt other prisoners or perhaps even hurt themselves. So it's really a safety measure for everyone involved.
BALDWIN: We wait to see how this gets resolved, perhaps in negotiations. Perhaps she's just sent home. We'll see. Sunny Hostin, thank you very much tonight.
Also this evening this terrible incident at a soccer stadium, this young man performing a ball-handling exhibition before thousands of people. Watch closely here behind him, brand-new facility. This is the city of Bakul, India. This entire tier of the stadium collapses, taking everyone down with it. More than 100 people were injured, at least six of them seriously. So far, no reports of any deaths, local officials are pursuing a criminal investigation. They believe the accident was caused by shoddy workmanship. Turning now to that controversy surrounding the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and that country's policies toward gay people. Today President Obama delivered really it was a snub to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He and the first lady say they will not be traveling to Russia for the Olympics. And as it turns out neither will Vice President Joe Biden. This is the first time in more than a decade that there will not be a president, a vice president or first lady at any of the Olympic ceremonies.
The U.S.-Russian relationship has grown increasingly icy over, among other things, the asylum Putin granted to NSA leaker, Edward Snowden. President Obama is sending a contingent that includes former Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and pointedly a number of gay athletes. Russia's gay propaganda law there has sparked all kind of outrage at home and across much of the world.
And it is pretty clear the president is sending a message to Vladimir Putin. But ironically here, CNN's Phil Black did some digging. And he found out that Sochi is actually considered a gay haven in Russia. And apparently has been for years. Watch this tonight as he takes us inside a world into the heart of Olympic territory that few outsiders have ever seen.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Russia, this is an extraordinary sight. Not the man dressed as a woman pretending to sing, but the mixed crowd of people cheering for him. Beneath the wig, makeup and that spectacular costume is a young man named Erman. He says Sochi has always been more tolerant than other Russian cities and famous for its gay culture.
During the soviet air remarks when being in a gay relationship was illegal and international travel almost impossible, this sunny city by the black sea became the USSR's favorite getaway for gay people, the only place where members of a secret community could really be themselves. The people here know the atmosphere in Sochi is very different to other provincial Russian cities and that makes them luck equipment even more so recently.
Gay people across Russia say there's been a surge of intolerance, discrimination and violence and it started around the time Russia's parliament passed what's become known as the gay propaganda law, making it illegal to tell children gay and straight relationships are equal. No one we spoke to here support a boycott and almost everyone wants the games to be a success for Sochi and Russia. But they still hope visiting athletes won't forget them.
This man says he's like athletes to stand up for the gay community with a colorful protest against the propaganda law.
Valiri is excited. He hoped athletes will support them publicly and come to this club. No doubt Olympians would be welcome here because everyone is. Phil Black, CNN, Sochi.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BALDWIN: And in what seems to be a metaphor for the troubled journey of the winter games, even the Olympic torch is having problems. It's gone out several times. On one occasion officials had to use some sort of portable lighter just to get it going again. They sent it up to space, but without oxygen once again there was no flame and one torch bearer even caught on fire. We will see what happens when the games actually begin. We'll all be watching February 7th.
You have to be pretty smart to get into Harvard, right? Well, 20-year- old sophomore Eldo Kim just might be the exception. The FBI says this young man here is responsible for making fake bomb threats at several Harvard buildings all so he could get out of taking one of his final exams.
Let me take you back to Monday morning. Hundreds of people at Harvard were evacuated. A bomb squad was called in. FBI placed on high alert. After university officials received e-mails with the words "bombs placed around campus in the subject line." As you can guess an extensive search was conducted. No explosives were found. Officials traced him because he used Harvard's wireless internet to send the e- mails.
This young man was in court today. He was charged with making bomb threats and was released on bond. He was ordered to stay away from the Harvard campus. If convicted he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As for the exam that he so badly wanted to get out of, politics of American education. Sprint says he actually had a good grade and I'm quoting the friend, this guy had a stressful semester.
We need to take a quick break, but there is an important story I want to tell you about when we come back. And it makes me wonder what NSA leaker, Snowden is thinking about tonight. Once again he has Washington in an uproar. Love him or hate him, his leaks maybe changing the spy business forever. Don't go away. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT back in a moment.
BALDWIN: Welcome back to ICYMI. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You know, somewhere tonight NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, may be smiling. Whatever your opinion of him, there may be dramatic changes coming triggered by all those documents he leaked. The White House has now released an independent report of the vast scope of NSA surveillance ordered by President Obama.
And it recommends real overhauls to the way the spy agency does business. In case you missed it, CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, has been digging through the 300-plus-page report.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Already battered by stinging headlines day after day over NSA spying, today the panel the president himself ordered recommends the NSA be subject to stronger accountability and transparency. What the panel does not recommend is dismantling the program that sparked the most controversy in the U.S., the gathering of billions of bites of metadata of Americans' phone calls, something sure to upset the president's supporters on the left.
Instead the panel made up of intelligence and legal experts recommends Congress pass legislation requiring phone companies to hold the data rather than being held by the NSA. And that the NSA be limited to gathering foreign intelligence on foreign targets.
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (D), SENATE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN: The message to the NSA is now coming from every branch of government, from every corner of our nation. NSA, you've gone too far.
SCIUTTO: To help restore U.S. credibility abroad, the panel suggests sweeping reforms, including striking agreements with allies such as France and Germany on what spying among friends is acceptable and what is not. The panel says monitoring of foreign leaders by the NSA should require approval directly from the White House.
The report follows a bruising meeting at the White House Tuesday with executives from the country's largest tech companies. Sources tells CNN's Jim Acosta several of those executives said they flew to Washington to voice their concern on government surveillance, hurting their bottom line abroad to the tune of $35 billion in lost business.
Several were frustrated with the White House's focus on the troubled healthcare.gov site. At that meeting sources say the president said one thing he is not considering is a pardon for NSA leaker, Edward Snowden.
SCIUTTO: I spoke to a senior administration official who told me the White House knows it has a trust gap both here at home with the American public, but also overseas and that gap has cost to American businesses, to American credibility. Now, the president's going to look at these recommendations, choose the ones he's going to accept. I'm also told that he is likely to make a speech in January to talk about a new transparency for NSA surveillance. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
BALDWIN: And tonight, finally after that 16-day government shutdown back in October, we have a bipartisan spending bill. The House of Representatives passed the bill easily last week, but there were strong objections in the Senate over cuts to unemployment benefits as well as to support programs for veterans.
Still, the Senate ultimately voted 64-36 to pass it today, funding the government through next year and avoiding another shutdown. Keep in mind the last time a budget bill was passed in a divided Congress, meaning the Senate and the House are controlled by different political parties that was 1986. It is one bill. But still, a bit of progress in gridlocked Washington.
We need to take a quick break here, but something you will want to see when we come back our wall of video here featuring some of the strongest pictures fed into CNN all day, including this. Talk about nerves of steel. Look at this guy here. The longest walk he will take ever. Yikes! Back in a moment.
BALDWIN: And welcome back to ICYMI. I'm Brooke Baldwin. I tell you is it getting hot in here? Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Ladies, gentlemen, let's see who wins the prize for keeping their cool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: My goodness. Who can forget a shirtless Brad Pitt? This is back in 1991, of course, the movie, yes "Thelma and Louise" that young man was a 27-year-old bursting onto the scene. But today he is Angelina Jolie's life partner and he turned 50. The real-life Benjamin button got a special birthday cover from AARP today.
Hopefully we're all hoping he's not quite ready for retirement. We hope he will grace our screens for many, many years to come. In the meantime in case you missed it, happy 50th birthday, Brad Pitt. Here is to the next 50 years.
Now to the video wall, these are the strongest pictures that have come into CNN over the course of the last 24 hours. Let's begin high up in the French Alps with this incredible piece of video. Watch, look at those feet. Two of the most skilled tight rope walkers in the world, you have Frances Julian Milot and Tang Cred Milet. They're walking between two cable cars suspended 200 feet above the ground. The line which is only two inches wide for these two? No problem.
From walking at death-defying heights to well, just walking, this is a sport. It is called synchronized walking. This is a huge hit in Japan. Thousands show up to stadium and universities, wherever they can to see people walk. And these guys are pretty good. They might even give the North Korean military a run for their money.
And now to this tonight, you just have to see this wild tirade by Barry Hinson, the basketball coach at Southern Illinois. He's getting a lot of buzz in case you missed it here, he ripped his players at this post-game news conference after losing to Murray State.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marcus was absolutely awful. That's about as PG rated as he can say it. He was awful. Our guards were awful. Our three starting guards had one assist and seven turnovers. They must think it's a tax credit. It's unbelievable how our starting guards played. And let's talk about our big guys, two for 11. How can you go 2 for 11? My wife -- my wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots because I know my wife will at least shot fake one time. But those guys aren't listening. They're un-coachable right now. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: My wife -- I've had that in my head all day. From that coach to this hilariously unbalanced photo. Look at this. Last night, University of Oregon point guard this is Jonathan Lloyd in really a David versus Goliath situation here against UC Irvine's 7'6" inch center. Look at that. Wow.
We are going to take a quick break. When we come back he is moving and grooving like never before. And now you can own your own piece of crack mayor memorabilia. We will tell you about it right after this break IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.
BALDWIN: So maybe you're having a tough time finding exactly the right Christmas gift for that someone special. Here is a suggestion for you in case you missed this. How about a Mayor Rob Ford Bobblehead? I mean, come on. You knew this was coming. People lined up to buy these the last time they were on sale in Toronto. And now, lucky for you, there is a new batch available for sale for you, the public, Friday afternoon at just 20 bucks a pop.
Meanwhile, just because we can, roll it, the mayor has been celebrating the holidays in his own Rob Ford way. When it comes to Toronto's crack-smoking, insult-slinging and now Boogey-dancing mayor, folks, you just cannot make this stuff up. That does it for me tonight. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you as always for watching. Join me again tomorrow night on IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.