Thirteen-year-old Anjali didn't just pack her bags and run away to the circus, she signed a 10-year contract with a circus master after fleeing from long hours of domestic servitude in Nepal. Taken to India, she then endured years of appalling and dangerous working conditions for no pay. A British charity helped Anjali finally say goodbye to the circus.
Now that the Supreme Court has invalidated part of Arizona's voter registration law, states should be thinking twice before introducing laws to make it harder to cast a ballot. Monday's decision is indeed a big victory for voters ? but it is also a stark reminder that free, fair and accessible elections in the United States are not as guaranteed as you might think. To fix this, we need to modernize our election system.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech delivered 50 years ago was well received by more than 100,000 Germans hopeful for America's steadfast support as Berlin came to symbolize one of the Cold War's main battlegrounds. As presidential candidate in the summer of 2008, Barack Obama had nearly twice that number of optimistic onlookers at Berlin's Victory Column who eagerly anticipated a new American outlook on questions ranging from climate change to nuclear disarmament.
It would be easy to dismiss Friday's election of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran as little more than a sham -- a rigged election that changes nothing. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei still calls the shots in Tehran.
The Chinese legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, facing the end of his fellowship at New York University, has claimed that NYU is forcing him out due to Chinese pressure. NYU's participation in a complex deal to allow Chen to leave China to study gave the dissident and his family breathing space, and helped the United States and China untangle a thorny diplomatic dilemma after Chen fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing in April 2012. NYU in fact did a great favor not only for Chen but also for both the U.S. and Chinese governments.
Remember that scene at the end of that Facebook Movie ("The Social Network") when Mark Zuckerberg's character sits alone at a computer screen hitting the refresh button over and over again -- stuck in a loop of anxiety and longing?
The White House has announced that on Wednesday, at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama will speak in Berlin at the city's landmark Brandenburg Gate. The president's subject will be the transatlantic alliance and the enduring bonds between the United States and Germany.
Today, the United States is conducting offensive cyberwar actions around the world.
Nothing better sums up Africa's extraordinary mixture of challenges and opportunities than agriculture. On the one hand, Africa is home to one in four of the world's hungry and is the only continent which fails to grow enough food to meet its own needs.
Since President Obama seems to be a reflective soul, he must be reflecting on the irony of his latest predicament: as the man who came into office promising to change everything and who instead seems to have let much of what he promised to fix only get worse.
In the fall of 2011, I was living at home in a suburb of Washington, freelancing as a grip on local productions ranging from news to corporate videos. It had been two years since I began a six-month internship in the Midtown Manhattan production office of "Black Swan," the only feature film I have worked on to date, when I received a call from my old co-worker Eric Glatt.
British Prime Minister David Cameron will make the call at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland for international action to curb the activities of tax havens, which campaigners say cost governments trillions in lost revenues. Journalist Simon Hooper points out what he calls the hypocrisy of the UK's position, itself sitting at the center of the world's most powerful offshore empire.
Testifying before Congress on Wednesday, Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, asserted that his agency's massive acquisition of U.S. phone data and the contents of overseas Internet traffic that is provided by American tech companies has helped prevent "dozens of terrorist events."
The scoreboard was clear.
Fifty years ago, we stood at a moral crossroads as a nation.
"The stupidity is simply staggering," Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, told Roll Call. He was referring to the political miscalculation of anti-abortion forces in the House Judiciary Committee who insisted this week on reviving the culture wars, years behind us, still again, with yet another proposed abortion bill.
Millions of Iranians poured into the streets Saturday to celebrate the victory of presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani. Huge crowds snarled traffic in the capital, Tehran, demanding the release of hundreds of political prisoners arrested during protests over sham elections four years ago. "My dead brother and sister, I got your vote back," people chanted, a reference to more than 100 demonstrators killed by the regime.
"The Lone Ranger" is expected to be one of the biggest movies of the summer; it opens over the long Fourth of July weekend, and the promotional buildup is in high gear.
At the outset of his term, the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, will confront a thicket of national and international challenges.
If I may speak for some of the dads who have spoken to me over time, this year, our kids can skip the ties, golf clubs and fishing poles. What many of us really want for Father's Day is an attitude adjustment for our kids.
What do you think of Edward Snowden? By leaking classified documents to the media and revealing that the National Security Agency has been monitoring our phone and Internet usage, is he a traitor or a hero? Could he simply be a narcissist looking to get famous? Or do you not care about either him or the NSA surveillance programs?
CNN is doing something terrifying and awesome this week: The network is asking you to be my boss. You have the power to vote on the stories I'll do over the next year as part of a new social-justice project called Change the List.
I suppose Republicans are to be congratulated for nominating a Latino Navy SEAL as their Senate candidate in Massachusetts. I recall when GOP lowlifes mocked and lied about the war heroism of John Kerry, and just last year Mitt Romney was saying the DREAM Act was a "handout" and Latinos voted for President Obama because they wanted "gifts."
The Syrian army's latest offensive has thwarted U.S. expectations of a decisive victory by rebels to oust President Bashar Al Assad.
On June 17 and 18, the political world's focus will be on Northern Ireland, where the Group of Eight summit will take place.
Should unauthorized disclosures of classified information be praised or condemned?
If anyone wants to transform the old, lifeless, "white-guys-in suits" caricature of the Republican Party, look no further: Your dream candidate has arrived. Gabriel Gomez is an antidote to the stuffy Republican establishment that only says "No" and scares next-generation voters away.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1964, the year Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Civil Rights Act was passed in the United States, and Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison.
Speaking is profoundly human: More of the human brain is devoted to speech than any other activity. People can have an IQ of 50, or a brain that is only one-third the normal size and have difficulties with many simple tasks, but they can speak.
The irony was not lost on most viewers of the Greek Prime Minister's statements as he replied to the public outcry over the hasty shutdown of ERT, the country's national broadcaster, with the immediate layoff of over 2,600 employees. Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, Antonis Samaras was chastising a system that his own New Democracy party had helped to ingrain in Greek society and political life.
For desperately ill patients with serious, life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections, access to new antibiotics is a matter of life and death.
As former governors, we were honored to serve the people of our respective states. While we represent different political parties, we are united in our belief that government has stopped working for the American people -- and that real reform of the electoral process is needed to get it back on track.
Former President George W. Bush is enjoying another bounce in the post-presidential polls. First, the opening of his presidential library produced a spate of positive coverage about his time in office. Now, Gallup has released a survey showing that for the first time since 2005, more people approve than disapprove of Bush.
When I asked CNN's readers and viewers to pick the five social-justice topics I'll cover for the rest of the year, I never expected so many of you to select the one with the Econ 101 title: "Widest rich-poor gap." I figured most of the country, or the world, would be sick of reading about the recession and bankers and bailouts. As a person with a job, it would be easy for me to say that's a 2008 story. Time to move on.
Sensible immigration reform will strengthen American society and economy. But it must also respect the rights of U.S. citizens and those aspiring to join them.
On North Halsted Street, between Buckingham and Roscoe in Chicago, a monument stands with a plaque in honor of a brilliant thinker who is as responsible for the way we live our lives today as any person who has ever lived.
In 2011, I was on a panel, organized by the security company RSA, with two retired National Security Agency directors, Michael Hayden and Kenneth Minihan. During the course of our debate, I raised concerns, as the only non-American on the panel, that their plans and preferences for having the NSA secure cyberspace for the rest of us were not exactly reassuring. To this, Minihan replied that I should not describe myself as "Canadian" but rather "North American."
Today is the 46th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared unconstitutional any ban on interracial marriage. More than four decades after the historic and aptly named Loving decision, the U.S. Supreme Court is once again poised to rule in a case that could put an end to discriminatory bans prohibiting marriage, this time for gay and lesbian couples.
Does your company have in place what amounts to an "English-only" policy for employees? Yes? No?
When Edward Snowden decided to expose the administration's massive surveillance program, the CIA contractor turned to journalists he knew would be sympathetic.
In 2012, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an defended the highly divisive renovation of Taksim Square in central Istanbul by invoking history. Referring to the plan to build a replica of a monumental 19th century Ottoman army barracks that once stood there, he said: "We are working to bring back history that has been destroyed. ...We will unite Taksim with its history."
In the most comprehensive speech he has delivered on terrorism, President Barack Obama declared last month that the "core of al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan is on a path to defeat."
The Obama administration finally got it right when it decided to stop fighting to put age limits on who can buy morning-after pill Plan B without a prescription.
This past Friday, Iran held the third and last presidential debate before polling day on June 14. Unlike the previous two debates, the question of Iranian foreign policy took center stage. This turned the debate into one of the most animated political clashes aired on Iranian state-run television in years.
The great irony of the government spying controversy is that even America's state-of-the-art spy agency could not keep secret the fact that it might be spying on our secrets.
"Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that cannot bear discussion and publicity." -- Lord Acton
Edward Snowden's leaks of classified intelligence already have him being compared to Daniel Ellsworth of the Pentagon Papers and Bradley Manning of the WikiLeaks fame. Snowden felt compelled to leak valuable documents about the NSA's surveillance programs.
On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman, a Hispanic Neighborhood Watch volunteer at the Retreat at Twin Lakes housing complex in Sanford, Florida, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American 17-year-old.
"Why does it seem that the elections are only being held on Facebook? Why is there no commotion on the streets yet? Where are the people?" This is a question that a journalist based in Tehran posted on his Facebook account eight days before election day.
They used to say there wasn't any law in Texas west of the Pecos. But there was; it just came out of the end of someone's gun. And apparently that still works as a legal construct in our courts.
When I was a kid, I remember a guy named Daniel Ellsberg leaking some classified documents to the New York Times about the Vietnam War called "the Pentagon Papers."
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a number of historic decisions in the coming weeks about how the government deals with race issues.
We journalists tend to think of ourselves as public servants, but we sure don't act like it all the time. The institution has one foot firmly planted in elitism: Editors know what you need to know before you know you need to know it. It would be foolish to think that -- gasp! -- the public could help decide what matters.
My niece Sarah is one of the do-gooders with an entrepreneurial bent who's blurring nonprofit and for-profit activities.
I live my life in the open: I'm easily googleable, emailable, and you can figure out from my Twitter and Instagram accounts what I've been doing. For a while my phone number was posted publicly on my Facebook profile.
Recent revelations about the extent of government phone and Internet surveillance are already shaking up the national debate.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's ability to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations relies on its collections. The museum has been on a 20th anniversary four-city tour to engage the public and gather artifacts that tell survivors' stories in vivid, lasting and personal ways.
"Happy Birthday: You're fired!"
Since it was revealed this week that the National Security Agency is collecting the telephone and Internet data of millions of people, this is the question most people have asked me more than any other: "Why should I care that the government has all this information?"
Riddle: What is less popular than herpes, self-inflicted stupidity at its worst, and a gift to the GOP's tax reform agenda?
Chrysler says it will recall 630,000 newer model Jeeps worldwide to fix a software glitch in its side airbag and seat belt mechanism and transmission fluid leak problems. No accidents or injuries happened because of these defects. But it refuses to recall 2.7 million older Jeep models with a fire hazard that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says caused more than 50 people to burn to death.
Alex Rodriguez will never be remembered as the greatest slugger in baseball, or as the greatest third-baseman, and -- despite the recent headlines -- probably not even as the biggest cheater.
When change comes, it comes all of a sudden, leaving only a remembrance of the past, a previous present, as its memorial.
In contrast to the 2002 farewell summit between President George W. Bush and outgoing Chinese President Jiang Zemin at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, this week's talks between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in California mark the first time in history that a U.S. president will host a series of informal meetings with a new Chinese leader.
When the influential cleric Yusuf al Qaradawi recently called on fellow Sunni Muslims to join the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, he effectively called for the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East to escalate in some countries and start anew in others.
The world is holding its breath for the informal summit between U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California. Will Obama and Xi look into each other's eyes and see each other as a partner to trust? Will they be able to set the tone for the China-U.S. relations for years, if not decades, to come?
The main aim of President Barack Obama's getting-to-know-you meetings with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California is to build a personal relationship between the men who lead the world's two most powerful countries.
I'm finding it hard to get too worked up over the revelation that the National Security Agency has been authorized by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to collect all our call data from Verizon. Hasn't everyone already assumed this? Everything we do in the digital realm -- from surfing the Web to sending an e-mail to conducting a credit card transaction to, yes, making a phone call -- creates a data trail. And if that trail exists, chances are someone is using it -- or will be soon enough.
Rebecca MacKinnon: We're losing control of our digital privacy
Indianapolis is known for Indy 500 car racing and its playoff-worthy Pacers basketball team. But this week, astronomers like me have taken over the town for the 222nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
This week, the U.S. International Trade Commission made a decision that sent shock waves around the world.
The student debt fight is back -- with a vengeance.
Judging by the ferocity with which Gerrie Nel pursued a case of "planned and premeditated" murder against Oscar Pistorius at his bail hearing, it would not be unreasonable to assume the state had a strong case. From the outset, however, the veracity of the state's case appeared to dwindle.
Graduation season is in full swing, bringing with it a lot of discussion about life and opportunity. Inevitably there will be news stories about graduation ceremonies or a new YouTube video sensation focusing on commencement words of wisdom. While inspiring, those stories never give a full portrait of this rite of passage in America.
Newspaper photography and photojournalism make up a craft unlike any other in journalism. A frozen moment can convey human strength or weakness like few other story forms.
In May 2013, authorities in Myanmar's Rakhine state issued a directive placing a two-child limit on Rohingya couples in two predominately Muslim townships in the region -- in blatant disregard of the recommendations of a commission set up to investigate the recent violence between Muslims and Buddhists in western Myanmar.
While President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping enjoy the Californian sunshine this week, a different kind of heat threatens Xi in his troublesome backyard, Tibet.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, for the first time publicly explained that he was motivated by a desire to protect the leadership of the Taliban -- in particular, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the overall leader of the movement.
Baseball is a dirty game, we know that. Grass stains. Rosin bags. Pine tar. Dust. Sweat. Spit. Tobacco drool.
I'm a big fan of Michelle Obama's, but if she's going to be hitting the circuit to raise money for Democrats, she has to be prepared for heckling. Especially heckling from gay rights activists like the one who interrupted her speech Tuesday night.
Susan Rice, who has been named President Barack Obama's third national security adviser, probably should have been his first. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a former assistant secretary of state for Africa during the Clinton administration, was among the first national security figures to join the Obama campaign. She led the national security team during the campaign and the transition. Few others in the administration are as close to the president as she is.
The Achilles heel of America's policy against terrorism is its failure to counter the narratives that inspire individuals to become extremists and terrorists.
It's time mass worker casualties stopped seeming so commonplace.
As most of us are agonizingly aware, Syria's bloody conflict has entered a third year.
Former Wyoming Sen. Al Simpson knows a thing or two about passing landmark immigration reform. My friend and former graduate school professor did it in 1986 with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which he co-authored with former Rep. Romano Mazzoli.
Michael Douglas made news recently by discussing, rather candidly, the possible cause of his throat cancer. Specifically, he told The Guardian that his disease could be caused by oral sex, which could have exposed him to human papillomavirus. Douglas clarified his comments later. But it is inevitable that debate would follow: HPV -- and the vaccine that is meant to prevent infection -- are surprisingly controversial.
It started a few years ago, as I was spiraling down one of Wikipedia's endless information rabbit holes.
My friends have always told me that rock stardom was wasted on me.
Frank Lautenberg grew up in Paterson, New Jersey -- a tough mill town. Served in World War II, where he scampered up improvised rickety poles to string wire to keep the lines of communication open. Went to Columbia on the GI Bill, then made a fortune as co-founder of ADP. He was among the first to see how computers could revolutionize business, and he put the new technology to work processing paychecks.
Now, 45 years later, I still see it.
When I was at CIA or NSA, my public affairs staff would sometimes enlist me to intervene with an editor to stop the publication of what we viewed to be classified information.
In my travels around the world I have noted how attitudes toward women are a pretty accurate weather vane indicating what is happening in the wider politics of a country. In visits to Turkey in the past three years I saw rising anxiety about razor-sharp divisions between the secular and those who want a society where women "breed" for their country and wear the hijab.
I turned 18 years old a week before Election Day in 1982 and was excited to exercise my newly earned right to vote. The first ballot I ever cast was for United States Senate. The race pitted a popular veteran Congresswoman against a political neophyte businessman who was the decided underdog. The underdog won. His name was Frank Lautenberg.
Taksim Square is Istanbul's equivalent to Cairo's Tahrir Square or London's Trafalgar Square and it is now the epicenter of demonstrations triggered by construction plans for a shopping center in one of the city's few remaining green spaces.
I was half asleep when I first read the news, so I was sure I must have misunderstood. The words on the small screen in my hand said, "Rest in Peace, Jim." I sat up and looked at the phone again, trying to make sense of it. I couldn't.
Many Americans were stunned when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last month showing that suicide now kills more Americans than car accidents. But as a primary care doctor, I am not surprised.
By now, all have heard the appalling news that storm researchers Tim Samaras, his son Paul and Carl Young lost their lives while studying the tornadic supercell thunderstorm that struck the Oklahoma City area Friday.