March 20th, 2012
03:50 PM ET

Slavery's Last Stronghold: CNN Digital Investigates Slavery in Mauritania

CNN creates 'digital magazine' for long-form storytelling

To shine a light on the practice of slavery in the country of Mauritania, CNN Digital has rolled out its first ever 'virtual magazine,' a powerful storytelling format that fuses video, text, photography and interactive components. A part of the network's Freedom Project initiative, CNN's John Sutter and Edythe McNamee traveled to the West African nation where an estimated 10-20% of the population lives in slavery, despite a 1981 outlaw of the practice. The special report, 'Slavery's Last Stronghold,’ will appear across all CNN platforms including, domestic and international television broadcasts, and via CNN’s mobile website and apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Android Tablet.

“This is a stunning, bold story that demanded a visual presentation to match. We sought to create intimacy, forming connections with the subjects and John and Edythe, showcasing the powerful words, video and images into a new, truly multimedia presentation. This is the kind of story that does real good in the world, and we wanted to use all of the tools we have to make it shine," said Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor of CNN Digital.

Spending nearly a year to gain entry into the country and conducting many of their interviews at night and in covert locations, CNN Digital’s reporters went to great lengths to uncover the tragedy of multigenerational servitude inMauritania. Captured through a variety of mediums, CNN Digital’s coverage of Mauritania appears online in the form of a digital magazine, personal video accounts and written stories featuring firsthand accounts from freed slaves and one man’s transformative journey from slave owner to abolitionist. In response to the initiative, CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community, is gathering messages of hope and support to be shared at a school for escaped slaves inNouakchott, Mauritania.

“CNN’s investigation in Mauritania exemplifies the very nature of the CNN Freedom Project, and that is to seek out stories on modern-day slavery and share them with our viewers around the world,” said Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.

To follow Mauritania and the Freedom Project across social media platforms, go to the CNN Freedom Project page on Facebook, follow @CNNFreedom on Twitter, and attend the Google Plus ‘Hangout’ to discuss Mauritania and slavery in the modern world on Thursday, March 22 at 1:30pm.

CNN International will feature this CNN Freedom Project investigation across its programming lineup this week, with additional reports airing the week of March 26. CNNI’s coverage will culminate in a special documentary, ‘Slavery’s Last Stronghold: A CNN Freedom Project Special Report,’ on Thursday, March 29 at 3:30aET. The half-hour program will replay Friday, March 30 at 12:30a; Saturday, March 31 at 2:30a and 11p; Saturday, April 21 at 8:30a; and Sunday, April 22 at 2:30a and 11p (All Times Eastern).

About CNN

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.


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March 20th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Trayvon Martin's Father on AC360

What do the 911 tapes say about the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and a neighborhood watch captain's claim he killed Martin in self-defense. Martin's father speaks with Anderson Cooper.

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper
March 20th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Eva Longoria: Romney is 'on the wrong side of every issue that is important to Latinos'

Actress Eva Longoria tells CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien that her role in the re-election campaign for President Obama will be to focus on women's issues and the Latino community.

When asked if President Obama’s record on immigration will be a problem in the general election, Longoria responds, “The economy is the number one issue that Latinos are concerned about. Immigration will come into play…. And even though that is true, there’ve been a lot of deportations, the president has refocused the resources of Department of Homeland Security to prioritize criminal deportations over Dreamers or families that need to stay united. And he’s proposed a lot of changes to keep families together.”

On Mitt Romney’s speech after winning Puerto Rico, Longoria says that he is “on the wrong side of every issue that is important to Latinos.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week morning from 7-9am ET on CNN.

March 20th, 2012
09:33 AM ET

Soledad O'Brien asks Rep. Chaffetz if his view on Medicare is in line with national polling

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien presses Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on polling that says the majority of Americans do not want Medicare to change. Chaffetz also answers questions on the new GOP budget that will be unveiled today and Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) trailer.

O’Brien asks, “When they polled all Americans across the board, 70 percent said keep Medicare the way it is…. Do you run the risk of going against what the American people want and ergo that translates into losing elections down the road?”

Chaffetz responds, “Well, I think what they're saying is we actually like the program, we want the program, and in order to save the program, we got to reform the program. That's what we're trying to say and not just on Medicare, but also doing some things with block granting to Medicaid for the states to give them some flexibility. We have to address Social Security at some point. I've introduced my own individual plans, not part of this budget, again, in order to save the plan. I think that's ultimately when people digest that, they'll understand that we're trying to be the adults in the room and trying to do the responsible thing in order to save these programs.”

O’Brien adds, “Yes, but you're saying in order to save the program, you're going to have to reform the program. You look back at that poll, what they asked people literally, do you like it the way it is or do you want change? They were given sort of the you could change it and they did not go for the change option.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week morning from 7-9am ET on CNN.

March 20th, 2012
08:41 AM ET

RNC Chairman on Santorum unemployment comment: He's right

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus responds to the controversy over GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's statement that he "doesn't care about the unemployment rate."

Priebus says, “I think that Rick Santorum’s right. This election is about big things. It’s about liberty and freedom. We’ve got the two year anniversary of Obamacare that’s coming. This is another promise that Barack Obama made that prices would go down and access would go up. And In reality, we all know that actually prices are going up. Companies are taking waivers. That Obamacare isn’t what everyone thought it would be. And in fact it’s the opposite. And it isn’t working and it isn’t improving anything.”

He continues by saying that the election is not only going to be about “what the Department of Labor says the unemployment rate is, but it’s going to be about Obamacare, the debt, the deficit. We’ve got a Republican budget coming out today that’s going to be a very serious document on how to get our entitlement programs and our debt under control. These are the issues I think that Americans are concerned with.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week morning from 7-9am ET on CNN.