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December 23rd, 2013
05:59 AM ET

American Gets 1-Year Prison Sentence for Parody Video

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates and accused of threatening national security for a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a 10,000 UAE Dirham fine (approximately $2,700).

The young American living in the United Arab Emirates has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.

The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.

The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.

Cassim's family says Shezanne, 29, has been charged with endangering national security, but they've not been told what about the video endangered security.

The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."

Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April.

He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

December 10th, 2013
05:44 AM ET

World Leaders Gather to Remember Mandela

Tens of thousands of people, nearly 100 heads of state, celebrities and street sweepers are all honoring Nelson Mandela.

In what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, world leaders from President Barack Obama to France's Francois Hollande gathered alongside street sweepers, actors and religious figures to pay tribute to the revered statesman who died last Thursday.

See former South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar talk about his history and relationship with Nelson Mandela above.

Despite the rain, the atmosphere inside Johannesburg 's FNB stadium was celebratory, with people dancing, blowing "vuvuzela" plastic horns and singing songs from the anti-apartheid struggle.

Many carried banners honoring "Madiba," Mandela's traditional clan name, or his picture.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told CNN's Christiane Amanpour at the Memorial for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg that the leader had a 'great relationship with the Queen. He was the only person who could call her Elizabeth.'

Some had skipped work and queued for hours to secure a seat so that they could pay their respects.

The four-hour service started an hour late as guests continued to stream into the stadium, where Mandela delivered his first major speech after his release from prison. It began with the national anthem.

Watch the Nelson Mandela memorial from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET Tuesday on CNN.