December 17th, 2013
10:07 AM ET

Leonardo DiCaprio Fought to Make 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Sex, drugs and Wall Street.

That pretty much sums up Leonardo DiCaprio's new film "The Wolf of Wall Street, "  a true life cautionary tale of trader Jordan Belfort, as told through the eyes of Martin Scorsese.

CNN's Nischelle Turner spoke with DiCaprio about the film he also helped produced.

"You know it's been a six year process to get this film off the ground, but I've been obsessed with it in a lot of ways because I feel like it's an accurate reflection of everything that is wrong with the world we live in today," he says.

"The attitude of this character, Jordan Belfort, is directly attributed to the destruction of our economy to, you know, you can attribute this attitude to this darker side of human nature, to everything that has gone wrong in society really. So I wanted to put this character on screen, I really did."

SEE FULL INTERVIEW ABOVE

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December 17th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

19-Year-Old Attempts to Set World Record in South Pole

At just 19 years old, Parker Liautaud is taking on the South Pole.

Right now, Liautaud is leading the “Willis Resilience Expedition”, trying to set a world record for skiing from the Antarctic Coast to the South Pole. He says the team is set to meet their goal in just under 20 days if they average around 18 miles a day for the next 10 days.

Liautaud has already completed three expeditions to the North Pole since turning 15 years old. But this one is his most challenging quest yet, spanning nearly 400 miles in subzero temperatures, in some of the harshest conditions on earth.

So why do it?

He says the expedition has two main goals.

“The first of which is to contribute to a better understanding of the climate system,” Liautaud says.

“The other is really to change the dialogue of climate change and improve the general public understanding of the science behind it to lead to better foreign policy.”

You can follow Liautaud's progress at WillisResilience.com.

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December 17th, 2013
09:54 AM ET

Report: Chinese Hackers Attacked Crucial Government Election Website

Chinese hackers tapped into the Federal Election Commission's website during the federal government shutdown in October, a report released Tuesday by an investigative news organization says.

The report from the Center for Public Integrity, one of the country's oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations, indicates that hackers crashed the FEC's computer systems, which compiles federal election campaign finance information like contributions to parties and candidates, and how those billions of dollars are spent in each election by candidates, political parties, and independent groups such as political action committees.

The attack came as nearly all of the FEC's employees, except for the presidential-appointed commissioners, were furloughed due to the government shutdown, with not even one staffer being deemed "necessary to the prevention of imminent threats" to federal property. And it came a few months after an independent auditor hired by the government warned that the FEC's computer systems were at "high risk" to infiltration, a charge the commission disputed.

"Hackers from China, in Russia, Syria, you name it are constantly targeting U.S. websites. But what happened here with the Federal Election Commission, which is the independent watchdog sponsored by the government to keep elections fair and free, effectively got hit about as hard as it ever has gotten hit," David Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity said on CNN's "New Day."

"It came as the FEC had absolutely no regular employees actually serving at the agency because of the government shutdown. It was one of the agencies that actually went completely dark during the government shutdown, only had the commissioners themselves manning the doors, manning the systems. They are not IT experts by any stretch of the imagination," Levinthal told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

The CPI says the hacking incident was confirmed by three government officials involved in an ongoing investigation that included the Department of Homeland Security.

"Here you have for days at a time, the FEC's website - which is part and parcel of the agency's mission to provide Americans with the ability to access information about their elections, access information about political campaigns and candidates - and nobody in America could do it during that time. So it was a huge black eye, not only for the agency but for the country's government in general," Levinthal added.

Following the hacking incident, the FEC in November said it had moved certain data servers off-line and replace them with less powerful backup servers, that the agency said would slow the ability for users to navigate the website.

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December 17th, 2013
09:27 AM ET

Harvard Buildings Reopened After Bomb Threat Disrupts Finals

Four Harvard University buildings were evacuated and closed for hours Monday because of a bomb threat, prompting some classes at the Boston-area Ivy League school to reschedule or cancel final exams.

“This campus was covered by canine units, the bomb squad, local state and federal authorities,” reports CNN’s Alexandra Field.

After evacuating three classroom buildings and a dormitory Monday morning, authorities found no suspicious devices and reopened all of them by 3 p.m., Harvard said on its website.

Final exams that were supposed to take place in the affected buildings Monday morning were canceled or postponed because of the report, student newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported, citing university officials.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN late Monday morning that the threat appeared to be a hoax.

The school said its police department received an e-mail, sent around 8:40 a.m., claiming that explosives may have been hidden in the three academic buildings - the Harvard Science Center, Sever Hall and Emerson Hall - and a freshman dormitory, Thayer Hall.

Harvard ordered the evacuations around 9 a.m., alerting students and staff by e-mail, voicemail and text messages.

"Safeguarding our community in this instance unfortunately required the disruption of exams and the evacuation of one of our freshman dormitories," Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said on the school's website. " (Harvard police), in close cooperation with local, state and federal agencies, is continuing to investigate this incident to determine who may be responsible."

All but the science center were declared safe by 2 p.m., according to the school.

“Today, Harvard officials are trying to reassure students of their safety," Field says.

"They put out a statement letting the community know there are no continued or specific threats to the campus."

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