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Obama's New Plans for College Education; UPS Dropping Worker Spouses' Insurance; Interview with Stephen Rochon; Internet Security Problems, Solutions.

Aired August 22, 2013 - 13:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: San Diego mayor accused of sexually harassing 18 women is prepared to resign tomorrow. This agreement was worked out between Mayor Bob Filner and city officials. He has been under fire to step down since a parade of women came forward accusing him of inappropriate behavior. He has spent two weeks undergoing intensive therapy. Recall campaign against Filner in full swing and fellow Democrats urged him to step down. They say the recall is being orchestrated by his political opponents.

Delaware attorney general, Bo Biden, is headed back home -- good for him -- after undergoing a procedure at M.D. Anderson Medical Center in Houston. Biden, of course, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, was evaluated at this cancer hospital after feeling weak and disoriented during a family vacation. Officials have not said yet what is wrong with him or what this procedure was. After leaving the hospital, Biden tweeted this out. It is a photo and a message. He says, "On our way home. Can't wait to get back. Thank you, Houston." We hope he is well.

President Obama has a bold new plan to make colleges more affordable and more accountable. The president is on the road today and he unveiled his proposal before an enthusiastic crowd. This is the University of Buffalo. The president, he is prepared to create -- this is the country's first federal college ratings system. He says it will help students make smarter choices about higher education.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fact is that we have been spending more money on prisons, less money on college.


OBAMA: And meanwhile, not enough colleges have been working to figure out, how do we control costs? How do we cut back on costs? So all of this sticks it to students, sticks it to families, but also taxpayers end up paying a bigger price. The average student that borrows for college now graduates owing more than $26,000. Some owe a lot more than that. I have heard from a lot of these young people who are frustrated that they have done everything they're supposed to do, good grades in high school, applied to college, did well in school, but now they come out and they have this crushing debt that is crippling their sense of self reliance and their dreams. And it becomes harder to start a family and buy a home if you are servicing $1,000 worth of debt every month.


MALVEAUX: So under the president's plan, colleges would receive federal financial aid based on the new college ratings. The colleges may be rated on measures like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates and a percentage of lower-income students who attend.

And our Chris Cuomo will be talking with President Obama about a wide range of issues, including college costs, as we mentioned before, the economy much, much more. He has an exclusive interview tomorrow right here on CNN.

And UPS dropping its insurance plan for the working spouses of its employees. The company is now blaming President Obama. Hear the explanation up next.


MALVEAUX: UPS says it will drop health coverage for 15,000 worker spouses next year. These are spouses who can get insurance through their own employers rather than using their husband's or wife's plans with UPS. The company, they are blaming Obama-care.

Christine Romans has the details.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 15,000 people -- that's the magic number -- of working spouses that will no longer get health insurance coverage through employees working for UPS. That affects roughly half of the company's workforce.

In this internal memo obtained by "Kaiser Health News," UPS states, "We believe your spouse should be covered by their own employer, just as UPS has a responsibility to offer coverage to you, our employee."

The shipping giant told "Kaiser Health News" the cut is expected to save them $60 million a year, savings it hopes will offset cost increases due to the affordable Care Act.

UPS is blaming several aspects of Obama-care for the cuts, including mandatory coverage of dependents up to age 26 and new government fees.

The memo also says the health care costs usually increase by about 7 percent a year, but that due to Obama-care costs, are expected to climb 11.25 percent in 2014.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS: Gentlemen, thank you for sharing your views.

ROMANS: UPS's announcement, another piece of kindling fueling the debate. CRUZ: They should have health care. And Obama-care is causing are month and more struggling to climb the economic ladder to lose their health care.

OBAMA: My friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number- one priority.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


MALVEAUX: A man who teaches beekeeping to combat poverty and a woman who researches social robotics in comedy clubs and theaters -- pretty cool stuff -- they're on "The Next List."

Here is a preview from Dr. Sanjay Gupta.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week on "The Next List," urban beekeeper, Andrew Cotay.

ANDREW COTAY, URBAN BEEKEEPER: Maybe it begins as a hobby and then it might work up into a small business and then just an obsession and there is no turning back. It is like crack.

GUPTA: And social robotocist, Heather Knight, who brings a human touch to technology.

HEATH KNIGHT, SOCIAL ROBOTOCIST: I have this crazy idea maybe we come to a world where we replace not people by robots but computers by robots. How about making technology more human?


GUPTA: Their stories on "The Next List," this Saturday, 2:30 eastern.



MALVEAUX: The film, "The Butler," looked at a man that spent decades serving presidents in the White House. Next, I will speak with a man who served Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. What that was like for him from inside the executive residence.


MALVEAUX: Two breaking news stories out of California. The first one, you're looking at aerial pictures obviously involving this bus crash here, this tour bus. This is in Erwindale, California, and we're getting some information. This is from Officer Ed Jacobs. He is with the California Highway Patrol. You can see all of the emergency personnel that are there on the scene here. But the way he is describing this, it is a three-axle tour bus that you see on its side and it flipped over. There are injuries, we are told, involving this bus accident. We don't know how many. You can actually see these Life Flight helicopters. They are actually landing there on the freeway to transport victims of this bus accident. Where this is, it is 210 eastbound, three lanes of the 605 are closed. KPAL is reporting now potentially 40 patients involved in the bus flipping over. You can see that they are transporting people through the helicopter there. This is just developing. It is breaking.

We have another story as well that is breaking out of the similar area here. We're talking, again, from Officer Ed Jacobs of the California Highway Patrol. He says there was a pipe bomb, what appeared to be a pipe bomb in the Woodland Hills, California, area. The California transportation crew working on a shoulder, found what they believe to be this pipe bomb. LAPD is responding with the bomb squad there and trying to make sure nobody is hurt. They have actually closed part of that freeway, the shoulder as well, to make sure that everyone is safe in the area. We're told it is the 101 freeway. There is no time yet on when this is going to get reopened. They're still trying to sort things out over there. But we have two developing stories in fairly short order. We'll get more details as we have them.

We're also following this, the film, "The Butler," looking at a man who spent decades serving presidents in the White House. And next, we'll speak with a man that served both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. What it was like from inside the executive resident.


MALVEAUX: "The Butler" giving audience a behind-the-scenes look at the White House. This movie was number one at the box office in its opening weekend, taking in $25 million.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Hey, there he is!

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Heard you were coming. What's your name, brother?

FOREST WHITAKER, ACTOR: Cecil. Cecil Gaines.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Cecil Gaines. I'm Carter Wilson, head butler.

Don't worry about Big Mo behind you. He'll steal your wallet before you even know it.

This brother over here, his name is James Holloway, my second in command.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why don't you shake the man's hand first before you start asking difficult questions?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I just want to know where the man's coming from.

WHITAKER: Looks like the jury's still out on that one, right?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (INAUDIBLE) give you the tour yet?


Are the Dodgers still losing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I might be able to answer that question if Carter would stop running his nasty mouth.



MALVEAUX: All right, one of the many clips from the movie I really enjoyed.

Stephen Rochon, who is a former Coast Guard admiral who was director of the executive residence and chief usher at the White House, also a consultant for the movie.

Welcome, Admiral Rochon.

You and I got to know each other during the Bush administration, George W. Bush, when I covered the White House. And I loved in the last scene of the movie. There was an actor who played you --


-- actually, meeting the butler, Eugene Allen, at the White House. So you met him personally. What struck you about him when you first saw him?


But when I first met Mr. Allen, it was in 2008. And very distinguished gentleman, but very humble. I had already heard about his background. The story had not been written about him yet. And so he came to do his oral history at the White House with three other former maitre d's. And so I was more honored to meet him, I think, than he felt he was honored to meet me, being the first African- American to be a chief usher. But I had heard about him, and just to be in his presence was just amazing to me.

MALVEAUX: And you know, times have changed, because in the movie, Eugene Allen, he was discovered serving at a hotel. You have served in the military for 36 years. You had nine interviews before you actually got the job. How did you end up inside the White House?

ROCHON: I walked through the front gates, but not really. I received a call. I was ready to retire from the Coast Guard with 90 days left in service and the call just came from the White House, asking if I wanted to interview to be chief usher of the White House. And it took a split second, and then I asked, what the heck is a chief usher? It didn't sound very glorifying to me. And so when they told me about the responsibility and taking care of the president of the United States and the first family and all the heads of state and taking care of the most historic house in America, you know, I says, sounds good. I'll give it a try.

MALVEAUX: All right. And I've got to ask you this, because you have the inside scoop here. You were the consultant, one of the consultants for the movie here, in terms of what did they get right, what did they get wrong or fudge a little bit here. Give us a little bit of what is it lake to be inside the White House, very close to the president?

ROCHON: Well, Suzanne, I pinch myself every day I drove through those gates for four years. And I said, you know, this is amazing. This little New Orleans boy now visiting to the White House when I was 10 years old with my mother, at that point, I had no clue that I would actually be running the House. So I think there wasn't a day that I went by that I wasn't in awe of the privilege that I was given by President Bush. And to meet, you know, Mr. Allen and the rest of the butlers, those are the highlights of my time in the House.

MALVEAUX: And I know we've got to wrap it up here, but you bring up a point that's really important. You were close to both President George W. Bush as well as President Barack Obama, and then as somebody inside of the White House, that was your job, that you could not be partisan. You had to be loyal to the presidency and the person who was in that White House at the time.

ROCHON: And it's an excellent point. In the movie, not to give it away, but the person does say to the butler, Cecil Gaines, on his first day in, he says, there's no room for politics in the White House.


ROCHON: And we kept that true in the executive residence.

MALVEAUX: All right.

ROCHON: Because we had to serve one person to the next.

MALVEAUX: Admiral Rochon, good to see you again. Hopefully, we'll have a little bit more time next go around. We've got to take a quick break.

ROCHON: Thanks.


MALVEAUX: Regardless of which websites you visit or which search engines you use or who you're actually going to e-mail, your Internet activity is probably not secure. Tom Foreman reports on the problem and some of the solutions as well.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day, people around the globe send or receive about 180 billion e-mails, according to research from the Roddick Group (ph), and much of it in the United States goes through free e-mail services, like G-mail, Yahoo!, Hotmail. But across the ocean in London, information and privacy activist, Smari McCarthy, says, hold on, some of these free services may be costing us dearly.

SMARI MCCARTHY, INFORMATION AND PRIVACY ACTIVIST: If you're not paying for the product, you're not the customer. You're the product itself.


FOREMAN: What he means is this. For generations, Americans thought of letters as private and many of us still see e-mails as kind of like that.

(on camera): But they're actually much more like postcards, easily read by anyone or any company between you and the person that you're sending this message to. And huge e-mail companies with millions of users do just that.

(voice-over): With powerful computers, they scan every word for clues to help them sell precisely targeted ads. So if, for example, you write "kayak" in several messages, soon you may seen ads for river trips. Mention "cars," and you'll get the latest models burning across your desktops.

Have any doubts? In a recent court action, Google attorneys cited a 1979 Supreme Court decision stating that users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy.

So in terms of mining personal data --

MCCARTHY: These services are big honey pots. So the first thing we need to do is decentralize again.

FOREMAN: McCarthy argues we should all seek out more obscure e-mail providers, which have fewer users and are less attracted to big marketers. Or better yet, use an e-mail program that lives in your computer, bypassing the middle man.

And he says we should all start looking at encryption software that will garble every message so it can only be read by the person to whom it is sent.

It is all very technical and a lot of big e-mail providers insist they do protect their user's privacy.

But McCarthy is part of a group developing something called Mail Pile, which they hope may offer a consumer-friendly free alternative with lots of protection soon.

MCCARTHY: We're fairly certain that over the next month or so, technical people will be able to start using it. And by January, we're hoping to launch a public alpha release.

FOREMAN: In any event, he believes, if we want e-mail security, that is the future we must move toward, no matter where it is.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


MALVEAUX: That does it for me. Don Lemon takes it from here. Have a great afternoon.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You have a great afternoon. Thanks very much, Suzanne.