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Company Specials For Tax Day; Gold Falls To Two-Year Low; FAA Orders Jets Inspected; Carnival Being Asked To Pay Bill; Hunt For Votes On Gun Legislation; Pretend You're A Nazi Assignment; Ways To Beat Spring Allergies

Aired April 15, 2013 - 13:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: I'm out of here. You are not. Carry on working.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Not quite yet. See you tomorrow. Thanks.

HOLMES: See you tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: You've probably flown at some point. We are talking about Boeing 737s. Now, they're being inspected for a problem that could cause pilots to lose control of the plane. And Carnival Cruise Lines has a rough time lately, but it is hoping a royal lifesaver will rescue its reputation. Plus, if you've been outside at all these past couple days, you know how it is. Bad spring allergies right now. Dr. Oz is joining us with some tips on how to beat the yellow haze. This is CNN NEWSROOM, and I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

I want to jump right into the market check here. We're taking a look at the Dow Jones. It hit a record high again last week, but things not going that way today. You see the Dow down 166 points.

I want to bring in Zain Asher from New York. So, first of all, Zain, we saw China reported slower economic growth this morning. And that that triggered potentially this drop in gold prices. What do we think is actually pushing stocks down today?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's all about exports. Essentially, China's economic growth slowed down to 7.7 percent compared to a year ago. And in any other country that would be great, but it's quite a bit lower than analysts had expected. Also, as I mentioned, China has the world's second largest economy. It's likely to negatively impact other countries who export there, including the U.S. China is one of our biggest trading partners so that means lower demand for U.S. goods for likes of Caterpillar, G.E. and other American companies as well.

The slower growth is causing a selloff today in gold. Copper typically falls when demand in China slows down. And since people typically trade a basket of commodities, you're going to see gold fall as well. It's falling to its lowest level in more than two years. And it's also causing stocks to pull away from the records they hit multiple times last week. We're going to be seeing if that changes as the week goes on. We're going to be getting more bank earnings and housing reports along with the survey of regional economic conditions from the fed, Suzanne.

All right. Zain, I know it's tax day. People filing their taxes. I always file for the extension. I -- you know, I always procrastinate just a little bit. But there are an awful lot of goodies out there, right? If people get if they actually do file their taxes, make it a little less painful today.

ASHER: Yes, yeah. Lots of companies use tax day, basically just to sort of get on your side. You've got lots of food offers at places like Cinnabon, you can get two free Cinnabon bights per customer today. Also, half-priced drinks at Starbucks. And Boston market is doing, we love the I.R.S. special. And by the way, I.R.S. technically stands for incredible ribs special. I know, it's hilarious. Basically, you can get two rib meals for $10.40. So, you can get two rib meals for $10.40, 1040 obviously named after the I.R.S. 1040 form. And also, at Office Depot you can print up to 25 black and white pages of your tax return for free. So, lots of companies basically trying to find ways to lure you into their stores. They're hoping that once you're there, you can spend money on other stuff, so -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: There's a common theme, Zain, I noticed, eat and drink. Eat and drink the whole day. Start with your coffee and then a Cinnabon and end the day, you know, with your ribs.

ASHER: Eat, drink and be merry. Yes, exactly.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Zain. Appreciate it as always.

ASHER: No problem.

MALVEAUX: So, as we just heard, the price of gold plummeting today, down $120 to about $1,400 an ounce. $1,400 might seem like a lot, but it's actually the lowest it's been in two years. Miguel Marquez, he met a gold investor who is just betting that drops like these are just temporary.


KEN EDWARDS, BUSINESS OWNER: I'm an optimist because I'm pessimistic, exactly right.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ken Edwards has spent a lifetime investing and building a business based on precious metals.

EDWARDS: This is 1,000-ounce bar.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Don't hurt your back.

EDWARDS: Don't hurt your back.

MARQUEZ: Oh, my goodness.

(voice-over): Today, the luster is off not only silver but Edwards main investment, gold.

MARQUEZ (on camera): We are visiting you on a day when gold has dropped more than $60.

EDWARDS: So far, yes.

MARQUEZ: So far. Not a good day for you.

EDWARDS: Oh, no, it's all good.

MARQUEZ: Why is it all good?

EDWARDS: Because all my products are on sale.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In the world of gold investing --


MARQUEZ: -- always a silver lining. Edwards expects gold prices to recover and rise like never before. He, like many gold investors, expects inflation to increase dramatically in the future because of monetary policy today.

EDWARDS: The monetary easing that the fed is doing, that the Japanese are doing is unprecedented. And, you know, we're heading into waters that are uncharted.

MARQUEZ (on camera): And uncertainty drives gold prices --

EDWARDS: Yes, sure.

MARQUEZ: -- up.

EDWARDS: Up, yes.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): During the rush back in 2011, gold traded at nearly $2,000 an ounce. Today, America's gold reserves have lost 10s of billions of dollars in value as investors find there's more money to be made in housing and the stock market.

EDWARDS: And those are platinum.

MARQUEZ: Ken Edwards in the business since 1977 has seen it all before.

EDWARDS: That feel that you feel is what people fall in love with when they get into gold.


EDWARDS: You know, once they start, they never stop.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): He says he'll keep buying and keep the faith that gold prices will head north eventually. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


MALVEAUX: So, if you fly on a commercial airline, you might want to pay close attention to this next report. The FAA is saying it has ordered the inspection of more than 1,000 Boeing 737 jets. They say there's an equipment problem on the tail of the plane and it could cause pilots to lose control.

I want to bring in Rene Marsh in Washington. So, tell us a little about this. I understand it's pins that are used to connect the tail to the fuselage, and there's something that's wrong with it.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Absolutely, Suzanne. You know, the 737, as you mentioned, it's a very popular plane. And if you're a frequent flier, chances are you have been on one of these planes. So, I want to show you exactly what we're talking about here. So, the FAA, they're focusing on this part of the plane. We're talking about these flat horizontal panels here. That's where these pins are located on more than 1,000 of these planes. And, again, the pins are located right there and the pilots unfortunately could lose control of the plane if these pins fail.

Now, it sounds very scary, but experts tell me that it actually would not cause a crash today. I spoke with one aviation mechanic and others in the industry who say this is a safety problem, yes, but it is not an immediate concern. Now, the FAA says that the issue is with the pins that essentially hold everything together in the tail of the pin -- of the plane. Now, these pins are exposed the weather, so they have to be coated with a material that protects them from corrosion as well as wear. And the FAA, they got involved after reports that the coating was applied incorrectly. So, that's a problem here.

Now, if those pins failed, the pilot could lose control of the plane because, once again, the stability of this tail is so critical in keeping the plane in the air -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: So, are we talking about old models here or are -- these are newer planes? I mean, this is across the board?

MARSH: Well, these are the newer planes. So, they have come into service around 1998 or so that's considered relatively new. And that is why they're saying this is not an issue that would be a problem today or even tomorrow for that matter, because, as we all know, corrosion, it takes a while for that to kick in. But it's something that does need to be addressed -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And do we know is Boeing responding at all with these inspections if they're going to affect airline schedules or how quickly this would start?

MARSH: We did speak with Boeing today. It is not expected to affect scheduling. So, if you have a flight booked, you should not have any issues because of this. And they have until May 20th, that's when this directive actually kicks in. And then once May 20th comes around, there are certain things in place where, depending on how old the plane is, how many miles it's flown, they will need to address this issue -- Suzanne. MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Rene, appreciate it as always.


MALVEAUX: The duchess of Cambridge, she's going to be a godmother, but it's not what you think. She's going to be godmother to a cruise ship. That's right, Carnival Cruise Line has actually asked her to launch their latest ship called The Royal Princess.

I want to bring in John Zarrella to explain this. And I know that Carnival certainly has had problems with these cruise ships, passengers stranded on board, days without power, all kinds of mess with the toilets and those kinds of things. Is this essentially a P.R. Campaign to try to erase some of the bad memories?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, there's no question about it. They've had a rough go the last year or so, Carnival, or two years going back to the Concordia which is part of the Carnival family. And the question, yes, Suzanne. Are -- is it P.R.? Sure it's P.R. But the question is this is a princess cruise ship. Now, how many people out there know that Carnival also owns the Princess Cruise Lines? So, there may not be a direct correlation between good P.R. for Carnival Cruise and, you know, the Princess Cruise Line. So, it's going to be interesting to see how it shakes out. But, yes, no question about it. The stock has been down. My understanding is they're offering real deals on the Carnival brand cruises right now to try and rebuild the brand name because it's been a tough go. But having her attached to this ship certainly will not hurt.

MALVEAUX: And what do we know about the update from Senator Jay Rockefeller? He's asking these -- the Carnival Cruise Line to pay for the rescues to help folks from the Coast Guard after they've been left and they've been stranded. Have they been pitching in money here? And have they been actually been following up on this?

ZARRELLA: Yes. Now, here's how it shakes out. Rockefeller had sent a letter to Carnival's CEO, Micky Arison, right after -- right after the incident and said, listen, I'm concerned about the problems you've been having. And in the body of this letter, he asked if Carnival was planning to reimburse the Coast Guard and the Navy for some $779,000 that it cost them in responding to escort the ship in, to help to make sure there were no issues during this -- during the mishap.

And what he got in response from Carnival was Carnival's policy is to honor maritime tradition that holds that the duty to render assistance at sea to those in need is a universal obligation of the entire maritime community. The cruise industry is no exception. So, they didn't say they were going to go ahead and pick up that tab, and -- but they did add to that, though very briefly, is that one of our ships picked up a bunch of Cuban refugees just this past Friday in the Gulf of Mexico. So, we don't ask to be reimbursed for that from the coast guard, so.

MALVEAUX: All right, they are going to have to sort all of that out. John, I know that you're --

ZARRELLA: Yes, they will.

MALVEAUX: You're going to have more on this. This is at 5:00 Eastern on "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer. So, you'll want to tune into that as well. There's going to be a lot more on that story. Thank you, John.

ZARRELLA: Sure, yes.

MALVEAUX: Here's what else we're working on for this hour. Will they actually have the votes? And we are talking about a proposal by a Republican and a Democrat to expand background checks on gun sales. Even "Saturday Night Live" weighing in on that.

Plus, an essay assignment that has some parents and students outraged. At one school in New York, students were given the task to, quote, "How do I convince my teacher that I think Jews are evil." Unquote.

And it could be the worst allergy season ever but don't despair. Dr. Oz, he's got some tips to beat it. Washing your hair at a certain time of day might actually help.


MALVEAUX: So, if you live in parts of the Midwest, you might be finding it hard to believe it's April 15th. Not because it's tax day but because of this. This is northern Minnesota. This is where a winter storm warning. As you can see, the snow causing hazardous driving conditions. Just check that out. A major wreck caused parts of I-94 to be shut down. That happened just yesterday.

In Washington state, they are still trying to find a man who was carried away in an avalanche over the weekend. Mitch Hungate, he was hiking with friends when the snow came crashing down, carried them 1,200 feet at speeds reaching more than 50 miles an hour. The same day a woman just walking her dog was caught in a slide on another mountain and she died from her injuries.

Comedian Stephen colbert at it again. This time, he's hosting a pair of fundraisers for his sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch. His sister, a Democrat, is running for Congress in South Carolina. First fundraiser is today in D.C. Now, Colbert-Busch, she is running against former Republican Governor Mark Sanford. He is trying to make a comeback after being caught lying about an extramarital affair. Well, recently he made news after appearing publicly with his now-fiancee. South Carolina's special election, that is May 7th.

So, the folks at SNL taking aim at the new gun control plan. Watch this.


BILL HADER, COMEDIAN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: If our bill passes, no individual can purchase a handgun from private dealer without being asked, are you a good person? We have agreed to limit the number of guns you can shoot at once to two.


HADER: Anyone shooting three or more guns at the same time will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, the punishment is we'd give you a fourth gun.

HADER: I don't know how that happened. This might go without saying but none of these restrictions would apply to Florida. We don't know why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: yes. So look, is this bill what we wanted? No. Is it what the NRA wanted? No. But does it at least help in some small way?




MALVEAUX: All right. What they're doing there of course spoofing Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia on a gun law compromise that they have come up with. The Senate is now expected to take up the gun package tomorrow. Want to bring in our chief political analyst Gloria Borger. So, you know, when people --


MALVEAUX: Yes, when SNL starts to weigh-in on all this you know people are talking about it. You can poke fun of it, but also it's very emotional. It's a very emotional issue. You've seen these, you know, massacres, shootings that have taken place at schools and the president weighing in on all of this, what do we make of what we're going to see tomorrow?

BORGER: I think it's going to be so close, Suzanne. It's hard to know. You know you need 60 votes to get anything done in the Senate. And whether they're going to get those 60 votes remains to be seen. You saw those two senators, Democrat and Republican, both pro-gun senators trying to come up with some sort of a compromise. And they've got problems on both sides of the aisle.

You've got about a handful of Democratic senators up in pro-gun states who are very, very nervous about voting for any kind of gun control that could be construed as interfering with the second amendment in any way, shape or form. And on the Republican side you have the same problem, I mean most of the Republicans except for one up for re- election come from states that Mitt Romney won, red states. So they've got a real problem there. It's going to take some cherry picking. And that's why you have this Republican and Democrat trying to do that together, cherry pick some senators who can actually get it done.

MALVEAUX: This seems like the most non-controversial part of this. We've got a poll that's saying nine out of ten Americans say they favor stricter background checks in purchasing guns, but there is this political divide here if you take a look at the new CNN/ORC poll, says 29 percent of Republicans say they favor stricter gun control laws compared to 82 percent of the Democrats. So how key is this political divide here, in what gets done?

BORGER: It's very important. I mean, if you look at this sort of macro politics of it, Suzanne, you see that kind of a number. You understand what's going on between Republicans and Democrats. You see that nine out of ten Americans support something. If you're looking at the Republican party as a brand, you'd say, you know what, voting against some kind of expansion on background checks might be good for the brand since this is a popular thing to do in the country.

But if you saw that poll you just showed, if you're looking to solidify your base or run for re-election in a red state, then it's a very, very difficult issue for you as a Republican. So you've got the larger issue. Ther you go. So you see why senators are having a difficult time. But overall in the country the Republican brand could suffer if Republicans stopped the expansion of background checks.

MALVEAUX: Gloria, point out the gender gap here on the gun issue as well. I imagine that also shapes the debate too.

BORGER: Right. That plays into the question of the Republican brand. As you know, Suzanne, Republicans had a lot of trouble with women voters in this last election. So we asked, do you favor or oppose stricter gun control laws? And you see by two-to-one, women favor gun control. So, again, if you're looking at this as a potential Republican presidential candidate, you might be for the expansion of background checks. But if you live in a red state and you are running for re-election, it's very difficult for you as a Republican senator. So I think that that's why we can't predict where the votes are going to be on this because it's going to be so close.

MALVEAUX: All right. Gloria, we'll be watching closely. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.


MALVEAUX: New member of the Bush family. I want you to take a look at this. These are pictures of the first grandchild of George W. and Laura Bush. She is Margaret Laura born Saturday to Jennie Bush Hager and her husband Henry Hager. She's named after her grandmothers. The family will call her Mila. Congratulations to all of them.

And the flowers are blooming, but the pollen, it is everywhere. Allergy season, people sneezing, fighting off headaches, feeling just miserable. Well, coming up, Dr. Oz has tips on how you can minimize your symptoms up next.


MALVEAUX: Might find yourself sneezing, bleary-eyed, headachey, a lot of people saying this could be the worst allergy season we have ever, ever seen. That's what we're talking about here. Dr. Oz is joining us from New York. And we are going to talk about childhood obesity, but first I want you to talk a little about what the CDC has said more than 50 million Americans now suffering from allergies every year. You've come up with some pretty unique ways to help folks relieve some of those symptoms, right? So many people, half my family, everybody's just coughing and sneezing.

DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST "THE DR. OZ SHOW": Well, we get the world experts in the room they actually agree it's pretty straightforward but very effective techniques. I'll give you the first one. Never forget this one, dress like a movie star. Wide brim hat, big sunglasses, oversize them. The reason is the pollen is getting into your eyes and hair and nooks and crannies, keep the pollen off you by wearing protective gear and a wide brim hat and sunglasses will do just that.

I also love the idea of taking a shower with a shampoo late at night. I know a lot of folks don't do this, but when you're walking around all day long, the pollen sticks to the parts of your body that are stickiest. Your hair is unfortunately the most likely culprit. So when you shampoo your hair, you wash that pollen off otherwise it deposits on the pillow, you put your head on the pillow and your eyes are swollen when you wake up.

And finally, a lot of folks don't realize this, allergy shots are incredibly effective. When I was a kid I used to get shots here and there, once in a while, I never thought they worked. Now with modern technologies 85 percent or so relief from symptoms, sometimes complete relief. Check it out. It's worth making a visit.

MALVEAUX: Oh, yes. My dad's a former retired allergist. I've seen that done before. You and your wife, however, you and Lisa, you've started this program to help fight childhood obesity. And the stats are just unbelievable. We know one in six child in the country is now obese. But you have something very unique in how you want to get to it early. What is your suggestion?

OZ: Well, about ten years ago I was in Washington at a committee meeting trying to figure out how to deal with childhood obesity and I left there very dismayed, because we didn't have a good idea of how to do it. So we came back together with a bunch of friends, and created something called Health Corps. Think of the peace corps, you take these energetic college graduates, you harvest that energy, you teach them about stuff and put them in Batswana to build dams.

We do the same thing. Energetic college kids are recruited, they're taught health, they're put into schools around this country. We're now in 66 schools across the nation. Remarkable impactful. We're touching the lives of probably 40,000 kids. And is the name of the organization. If you're a kid who wants to join, let us know. If you're a parent or in a community that wants to get Health Corps information in your shools, you get a Big Brother/Big Sister mentor in your school system, let us know.

We have a big event coming up on Wednesday. It's always an entertaining event. Harold Hammond, Marlo (ph) Thomas are the honorees. But, we take that money that we raise at these events, and you're welcome to join by the way, Suzanne, if you're free. And we take that money across this country, partner with local communities, governments, you know, school boards and we build these programs that change the lives of kids.

Here's the big story if I say nothing else today you remember this, kids are not the Achilles tendon, they're the future. They always will be. We're not about teaching you food and exercise, we're about teaching you mental resilience. If you're tough enough to take control of what's inside here, your body, you can change the world outside of it.

MALVEAUX: Love that theme. Why is it that obesity is such a serious problem when kids are getting heavy so early in life catching them at a critical age as you do?

OZ: It's a perfect storm for obesity not just for adults but for kids. We've created an environment where it's easy to do the wrong thing. And what we have to do is make it cool to be healthy. Make it cool to understand that you can control your destiny. Make it cool to push back on the man and sometimes they get called, and rebel.

And I want these kids, who are often thought of the lost generation and realize if you can go home and audit your refrigerator and give your mom a hard time, which you're going to do anyway, give her a hard time about why do you have high fructose corn syrup in the fridge or eating the stuff we know that's not good for our waistline nor our brains? And as we begin as a nation to understand that you cannot be wealthy country without being a healthy country, the kids will lead that change. Good news on the front, for the first time this year we're seeing a plateauing in childhood obesity. We're making a dent in this. Our efforts are paying off.

MALVEAUX: I like that idea of actually tapping into the kids and teenagers rebellious streak, right? Use it in a way that's really productive and gives them a sense of control over their lives. Dr. Oz, thank you so much. Hopefully we'll be doing less sneezing during this really tough allergy season.

OZ: Big glasses.

MALVEAUX: Big glasses, hat, whole thing. Love it, Hollywood. Thanks again, Dr. Oz.

There's been an arrest of a former Texas justice of peace for making terrorist threats. The big question, is the arrest of Eric Williams connected to the murders of two Texas prosecutors? Coming up we're going to have the latest in the investigation.