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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Israel and Hamas Continue Firing Rockets; Yahoo! Exec Sued for Sexual Harassment; NFL Pain Pill Abuse; Searching for Shane Miller
Aired July 14, 2014 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: It's interesting because some of the Palestinian rockets --
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think we're just seeing --
FEYERICK: Let's take a look.
MAGNAY: I'm just pointing the camera down to a blast. You can see that is clearly an Israeli air strike that has just gone down in the distance.
What normally happens is that a rocket is fired, and then a few minutes later, the Israeli Defense Forces have clearly identified where it came from and then they strike, very precise strikes against these concealed rocket launches, Deb.
FEYERICK: And that's also an interesting point that you raise, Diana, which is the Israeli rockets are very targeted, very precise. They can almost pinpoint a home, whereas the rockets being fired by Hamas, although the new ones are, now, aimed, they're not the same guided kind of rockets that are going back and forth.
But when -- you mentioned something about the refugees, a number of the Palestinians, we're told, just stay put by their own people, but many did decide to leave and seek shelter in these refugee camps for lack of a better word.
What are you seeing in terms of the people and what do you know in terms of the evacuation essentially?
MAGNAY: Well, in the area of Beit Lahia, which is the northernmost area of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Defense Forces dropped leaflets telling people to leave. We know that about 17,000 have sought shelter in the shelters provided by the United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians there in the strip itself.
But there are 1.7 million Palestinians living there, and most of them don't really have anywhere to go. And that is why so many of them in the area which was told to be evacuated have stayed put.
And the Israeli Defense Forces put a time limit on that. When they dropped the leaflets. they said you need to get out by 2:00 p.m. yesterday. That's well over 24 hours ago now and they have done nothing.
They haven't struck that area specifically in the heavy way that we were anticipating. And perhaps that is because people stayed put and they are scared of really having the casualty count skyrocket, Deb.
FEYERICK: All right, Diana Magnay there right from the Israel/Gaza border, right in the middle of the conflict, thank you so much.
Be sure to tune in at the top of the hour, 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Wolf Blitzer is going to be anchoring his show live from Jerusalem.
Police in Argentina arrested at least 30 people after a World Cup celebration, not in Germany, but in downtown Buenos Aires yesterday. Even though Argentina lost to Germany zero-one in extra time, it was the first time the team made it to the finals since 1990.
Local media reported dozens of rowdy Argentinean fans smashing windows, ransacking a theater, beating up journalists, and attacking police officers with bottles and rocks. They take their soccer very, very seriously.
The wrecked Costa Concordia is floating again, more than two-and-a- half years since it ran aground off Italy's Giglio Island with more 4,200 passengers aboard. Thirty-two people were killed, and one victim's body still has not been recovered.
Crews will have to tow the ship 160 miles to Genoa so it can be dismantled, a journey that could take that limping vessel about five to six days.
Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart over the deadly crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that left him critically injured. The Walmart truck rear-ended Morgan's limo. He suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, and a broken leg in the crash last month.
He's been released from the rehab center and is now recovering at home, doing physical therapy as an outpatient.
His friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed. Walmart says it's committed to doing the right thing for everyone who was involved.
And it looks like people will try to bring anything, and I mean anything, on board a plane. On its Instagram page, the TSA's social media team putting up pictures of some of the wildest things. Oh, yeah. I didn't realize you couldn't bring that on board.
But in addition to knives and guns, how about a hatchet, a suitcase filled with pot, even deer repellant. In 2013 -- I don't even have to comment on that photo -- the agency says it found more than 1,800 firearms at security checkpoints in the United States.
A Yahoo! tech executive being sued by a former employee for sexual harassment. In a surprise twist, the incident involves two women.
Details on the lawsuit and Yahoo!'s response just ahead.
FEYERICK: Well, a former employer suing a tech executive at Yahoo! For sexual harassment. The surprising thing here is that both parties are women.
The software engineer claims that Yahoo!'s Maria Zhang forced her to perform sexual acts on several occasions against her will.
Not only does Nan Shi, the alleged victim, claims she was wrongly terminated and says Zhang gave her poor performance reviews once she rejected the executive's advances.
Yahoo!'s strongly supporting its senior director of engineering, saying, quote, "There's absolutely no basis or truth to the allegations" and that, quote, "Maria is an exemplary Yahoo! executive and we intend to fight vigorously to clear her name."
With me, CNNMoney correspondent Laurie Segall, CNN legal analysts Paul Callan and Danny Cevallos.
Laurie, I want to start with you. First of all, what's interesting is the alleged victim actually did go to human resources to claim that there was harassment that was going on. What do you know of that?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, this is in the complaint, and I actually spoke to Nan's lawyers as well, and they said she went when this was happening. And she went to Yahoo!, she said there was sexual harassment, and she also, her lawyers told me, asked for a transfer.
Not only, according to the complaint, did they got give her that, but they eliminated her position.
And, a little background on this, they were both at a start-up that was acquired by Yahoo!. And they were in temporary housing, and Maria, this high-powered executive, had asked if she could stay, and she almost requested with Nan that she stay in her home and this is where the alleged harassment started.
FEYERICK: So -- and it appears that h.r. just simply did nothing. They didn't --
SEGALL: According to the lawyers, according to the complaint, they did not do anything and, eventually, her position -- she was terminated. And that's when she immediately filed this lawsuit.
FEYERICK: OK, so, Pau, very interesting here that Yahoo! is so vigorously defending the executive.
Usually people will say, OK, the investigation is continuing, the investigation is ongoing, it's too soon for us to tell.
But here they really came out and defended this woman. How come? Why do you think?
CALLAN: It is unusual on its face, but it suggests to me Yahoo! that has probably done a very thorough internal investigation already and possibly has reached the conclusion that there's no merit to the claim.
Because usually, you're right, corporations tend to stand back and say we're going to let the case run its course, and we don't encourage this kind of behavior in the workplace, so this is an unusual approach by Yahoo!
FEYERICK: And, Danny, interesting, the case is stronger than just a hostile work environment case, correct? How come?
CEVALLOS: Well, there are two kinds. Perhaps no area of the law is more misunderstand by our citizens than sexual harassment law.
There are two main kinds. One is hostile work environment, and the other is what we call quid pro quo. It literally means in Latin "this for that." If you sleep with me in the supply room, then I'll make sure you go places in this business. That's the quid pro quo idea.
FEYERICK: And if you don't, I'll take you down.
CEVALLOS: If not, yeah. If not, then things will not go well for you. You will lose your job.
Now, hostile work environment, a lot of people say, my workplace is hostile. That's not enough. That may be true, but the law is no guarantor of a friendly work environment. It has to be very severe, very pervasive.
But quid pro quo, on the other hand, one act, one offer to an employee, can suffice. However, they're going to have to prove it.
CEVALLOS: And if there isn't that magic e-mail that says, you know, sleep with me or else, then you may have some problems.
FEYERICK: So if this does boil down to really, you know, one person said this and one person said that, how do you actually prove it? How is it not just hearsay?
CALLAN: Here's how these things almost invariably play out. The litigation starts. A very nasty complaint with publicity is filed. And then a quiet settlement is negotiated many months down the road. And it's a sealed settlement so we never know all of the details in the case.
If it actually went to trial, Deb, you would see friends of the alleged victim coming in to testify that she saw inappropriate touchings going on in situations that would support the victim.
And of course the executive who's been charged might have somebody to say, I wasn't even there when she's saying that that happened on that day.
FEYERICK: But, also, there's a great risk to the damage, to the reputation of both the individuals involved, clearly.
And, Laurie, you said something about the fact that she was fired. Has this woman been able to find another job? Did she risk by coming out publicly with this and filing the lawsuit that, in fact, it could hurt her chances of being employed elsewhere?
SEGALL: Her attorneys have said this was really hard for her. She was very emotional about this. And they said she didn't really understand how much attention this could garner.
And they did say something very interesting to me, that maybe if this were another corporation, it wouldn't, but Yahoo! and Silicon Valley, there's such a focus on these tech companies right now.
And what he said was, you know, whether it's -- oftentimes, it's a male-dominated industry, and this is oftentimes why we see the sexual harassment. This is a bit different, but where there's money and where there's power, this kind of thing happens.
And what the attorney said is a lot of times Silicon Valley is about perception, and they will automatically deny, deny, deny, at the beginning of these things.
FEYERICK: One interesting thing, we look at human resources for example. And human resources, through the limited experience I've had, is really designed to protect the company. It's to make sure that the company's rights are protected, sometimes to the exclusion of the individual employee's right.
Do you think that h.r. -- how does this individual go about proving that maybe h.r. didn't do the kind of investigation it should have, or maybe pass judgment before they knew what all the facts were?
Is that a possibility?
CEVALLOS: I'm going to say this --
FEYERICK: Because it's an internal watchdog here.
CEVALLOS: You're absolutely right. I can't tell you how many people have the misguided impression that h.r. is there to help them as an employee.
In my opinion, most h.r.s are designed to circle the wagons when there's a problem. But one thing for sure, there will be a investigation file in h.r. for this case.
And the fact that they've taken the position they have, which is supporting the executive, it tells me that we may see they didn't find a lot of evidence supporting the claim to begin with.
CALLAN: And in fairness to industry, also, we've seen a lot of executives forced out of office by these very kinds of claims.
These weren't taken seriously 20 years ago. They're taken very seriously now. But, you know, you do get back to that issue that you raised, good one, too. What happens to the victim when she tried to get a job some place else?
You know something? It's hard. What do you think people are saying behind closed doors about -- are we going to hire her or are we going to hire somebody, equally qualified, who doesn't sue their employer?
So big risk for the victim, alleged victim.
FEYERICK: Laurie Segall, Paul Callan, Danny Cevallos, thank you so much. We appreciate you being here and keeping us informed on this.
Well, reports of the DEA investigating drug abuse in an unlikely place, the National Football League. We're not talking pot, cocaine or meth here.
They want to know if the NFL illegally gave its players painkillers to mask serious injuries, that story, straight ahead.
FEYERICK: The DEA is investigating the National Football League for illegally giving its players painkillers to hide more serious injuries. That is according to "The New York Daily News." Well, drug enforcement investigators are responding after a group of about 1,300 former players sued the league claiming that team doctors and trainers prescribed them drugs to keep them playing, to keep them on the field. They also claim that staff members did not warn them about the long- term effects. I want you to listen to one of the former players involved in this suit. Jeremy Newberry says that painkiller abuse ran rampant in the locker room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY NEWBERRY, FORMER NFL PLAYER: They're handing out the drugs. They're handing out anti-inflammatories. They're handing out painkillers. They're handing out sleeping pills. They're handing out this stuff all together. And then, you know, a lot of times you're on a team plane and you're washing it down with beer. And, how you feeling today? Well, you know, I'm sore as can be. I just got done, you know, battling. Well, you know, here, what do you need? You know, here's some anti-inflammatories, here's some painkillers, here's some - you know, you need something to help sleeping, here's some sleeping pills. I mean it was all just, you know, they stick them in a manila envelope and hand you, you know -- you go through the locker room and everybody had their envelopes, had their own private stashes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: Well, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan and Danny Cevallos back with me.
And I want to start with you, Danny, on this one. The charges were that these doctors, these trainers, were giving them medication so that the players could continue playing despite their injuries, which is crazy. I read something that one man played with a broken -- effectively a broken leg for the entire season.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, yes. The reason this case is - very simply put, it's an 80-something page complaint, which I encourage everybody to read. You can find it online. And boiled down, this is what it is, is that if the NFL was involved in any way in handing out drugs without a prescription, including schedule two drugs, which your opiates, which you can't get a refill on, that's how serious these drugs are. You have to get a whole new scrip. The federal law very closely monitors how we hand out these drugs. So if there was any sort of culture of handing drugs out in a cereal bowl in the locker room, then they're going to be in violation of innumerable federal laws. And not only that, medical ethics.
CEVALLOS: And I think those are going to be strong indicators of liability in this lawsuit.
FEYERICK: So, question here. Look, you've got doctors. You've got doctors who have access to these medications. Will there have to be evidence that there was a formal prescription written or can't a doctor, for example, if you're my football player, I can say, oh, let me check that out. OK, here's what I'm giving you, without the formal prescription? I mean can't they use their judgment to do that?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, they -- these drugs, as Danny said, they're taken very seriously under federal criminal law. And a doctor has got to do an examination of the patient. He has to write a prescription. And you can't get the drug unless a prescription is written. Now, if you're at the doctor's office, could he hand you a painkiller, yes, at the office he could, but he certainly can't be handing out the drugs to trainers so that they're put in candy bowls and then given out in the middle of football games. That's all utterly illegal. And if they prove that, a doctor's going to go to prison.
FEYERICK: OK. Well, let me talk about my favorite topic, personal responsibly. These football players are making money. They were playing and they knew that if they're out of the game, they're out of play. So where does that come into it? Because if somebody hands me a handful of Vicodin, I'm not going to go, oh, thank God.
CEVALLOS: Well, you know, I think - I think the NFL and these defendants are going to be held to the same standard as patients in general. I think whether they're NFL players, they're not held to any heightened duty of knowledge about medicine. Quite the contrary. They are patients, like any other patients, and they're entitled to the same protections of the law and medical ethics.
CALLAN: Yes, but I -
CEVALLOS: And the AMA has come out and actually issued a statement on that, which is cited in the complaint.
FEYERICK: And, Paul?
CALLAN: I'm going -- I'm going with you on that in terms -- I think Danny's right on the law. However, you get in front of 12 or six ordinary jurors, you know what they're going to say, like this big guy didn't know what he was doing?
FEYERICK: Right, he was 350 pounds.
CALLAN: And I suspect -
FEYERICK: (INAUDIBLE) jammed them down your throat.
CALLAN: You know, when you see these guys, they're playing with a broken rib. You ever have a broken rib? The pain is so intense you can't even move. And they're out on the football field. I mean this has been going on for years and years.
CALLAN: And I think now people are starting to take it seriously.
FEYERICK: And I can understand, look, I mean the league does have some responsibility to the players in terms of making sure that they're protected because they are under their care and you're trying to please your owner, so you're going to do what you have to in order to play. OK.
CALLAN: Watch out, team doctors, though, because if you're prescribing these drugs -
FEYERICK: Oh, that's a -
FEYERICK: It's going to be dangerous.
CALLAN: It's going to fall on them. They're the ones who are going to wind up in prison.
FEYERICK: Whole new world. All right, Danny Cevallos, Paul Callan, thank you so much. Appreciate you joining us today.
And the hunt is on for a triple murder suspect. John Walsh is leading the charge to capture Shane Miller. An update on police efforts to track down the man accused of killing his wife and two little girls, on the other side.
FEYERICK: Well, you probably watched last night and you know that CNN has teamed up with John Walsh to help find fugitives avoiding criminal prosecution in the United States. "The Hunt," which airs Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, and yesterday's premier profiled Shane Miller, a northern California man who's been on the run since May 7, 2013, after allegedly murdering his wife and two daughters. If you have seen this man, you're urged to call 1-866-THE -HUNT. Miller is a 46-year-old white male about 5'11" tall. He weighs 180 pounds. The U.S. Marshal's office warns that he could be armed and dangerous. Joining me to talk about the search for Miller is Todd Fulton, an investigation for the Humboldt County California sheriff's office who was assigned to Miller's case.
And was Miller involved in the legal marijuana industry? Is there a chance that he left the country, fleeing to Mexico, perhaps?
TODD FULTON, INVESTIGATOR, HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Yes, we have information that he was involved in illegal marijuana cultivation, as well as other illicit drugs. And is it possible that he did go to Mexico? Certainly. He could have went to Canada. As mentioned in the show, the rest of the world is actually our search area. So not only are we looking nationally, we're looking internationally as well. So we'll follow up on any tips anywhere.
FEYERICK: Is there any suggestion as to why he is the key suspect in all of this? Was there -- you can't tell me what evidence was found at the crime scene, but was there something suggesting that he was the one who did this?
FULTON: You know, as far as I know, I'm not sure what Shasta County has in regards to that investigation as to why they assume that he is the --
FEYERICK: OK. Well, investigators did find a stockpile of weapons that were owned by Miller. Could he have potentially another stockpile someplace else?
FULTON: Most certainly.
FEYERICK: When you think about this and where -- what he's doing, where he's running to, what strikes you about this case?
FULTON: What strikes me most about this case is the -- the fact that the children are involved and the type of heinous crime that it truly is and that -- the possibility that somebody could be helping him is a hard thing to grasp and to wrap your mind around that there's other people out there with that same like mind. I can't imagine how he would justify what he's done to somebody who's helping him.
FEYERICK: And, you know, it's interesting, you look at a picture like this. Clearly there's got to be some indication that he may change his appearance. He could shave off the beard, for example. He might even be under a different name, correct?
FULTON: Quite possible. I mean, he could change his body style. He could lose weight. He was originally a redhead. But that -- that is all changeable. And, you know, if he has enough money, if he has money at his disposal, you know, money can buy you just about anything.
FEYERICK: All right. Thank you, Todd Fulton.
And, of course, for any of you out there, if you have seen this man, Shane Miller, call 1-866-THE-HUNT. Again, Miller is a 46-year-old white male, 5'11", he weighs 180 pounds. The U.S. Marshal's office warns that he could be armed and dangerous. So if you see him, make a call, don't approach him. And watch the CNN original series "The Hunt" with John Walsh Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.
That will do it for me. Thanks so much for watching. Wolf Blitzer starts now.