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ObamaCare Experts Go Door-to-Door; Calls for Boycott of Barilla; BlackBerry Reports Billion-Dollar Loss; Senate to Vote on Government Funding Bill; Panel to Issue Recommendations on In-Flight Electronics; Muslim Militants Protest Miss World

Aired September 27, 2013 - 12:30   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CO-ANCHOR: ... million American who don't have insurance will get the chance to buy it through the so-called healthcare exchanges.

Now, if they can't afford it, the government will help out with subsidies.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CO-ANCHOR: So, open enrollment lasts through the end of March, but the problem is, so many people, they just -- they don't know about it. They have no idea what to do.

Zain Asher has got that piece of the story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll go up the hill and around, but we'll start at the top of the hill.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An army of ObamaCare experts are going door to door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, good morning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Christopher home?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not selling anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you currently have insurance?

ASHER: Trying to explain ObamaCare to Americans who don't have health insurance.

MAHER HAMOUI, UNINSURED: I know it has something to do with caring about people, you, ObamaCare, so basically, that's all I know.

ASHER: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 43 percent of uninsured Americans still have no idea about the new exchanges.

JOSE MENENDEZ: I have a question. Who created this affordable health care plan that you're speaking of?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was passed by Congress.

MENENDEZ: Oh, Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. The Affordable Care Act, yes.

MENENDEZ: And I'm just wondering, as a citizen of America, how come I did not hear of this?

ASHER: While healthcare reform is a frequent source of contention in Congress, many of the people we spoke to here in North Bergen, New Jersey, were hearing details of ObamaCare for the very first time just this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm definitely going to read into it.

MENENDEZ: Is Obama forcing Americans to get health insurance? It sounds that way.

ASHER: Enroll America, a non-profit group funded mainly by insurance companies, healthcare groups and charities, is working to spread the word, dispatching 130 field workers in 10 states.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can follow up with you.

ASHER: On October 1st, 48 million uninsured Americans will be able to purchase health coverage through federal and state exchanges.

Coverage starts January 1st and they must enroll before March 31st.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They are going to be able to shop just like you shop for an airline ticket or a flat-screen TV and see what's the best price for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is all new to me. I never knew about any of this.

ASHER: Whether you know about it or not, it is still the law of the land.

If you don't sign up in the next six months, you may face a penalty of $95 or one percent of your household income.

Zain Asher, CNN, New York.


MALVEAUX: Well, now they know.

HOLMES: Is it extraordinary?

MALVEAUX: We've been talking about this for a while, but good to get educated --

HOLMES: They're not watching us now.

MALVEAUX: -- not too late. All right, coming up next hour, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, of course, she's made some strong comments about ObamaCare.

She actually has said it's going to kill seniors and children. Does she stand by those remarks or are they simply political?

HOLMES: We're also going to talk about this.

Pasta-maker Barilla is in boiling water after the chairman said he doesn't want gays in their ads.

Well, now his comments have some people boycotting Barilla, surprise, surprise.

That's coming up in AROUND THE WORLD. We'll be right back.


MALVEAUX: Gay rights groups around the world are very angry at the world's biggest pasta maker. They're so angry that they're calling for a boycott of the company because this is a massive, worldwide corporation.

It's called Barilla. And chances are you probably have Barilla pasta in your home.

HOLMES: Yeah. Now, here's what happened. The chairman of the company, whose name is Barilla, went on Italian radio and said same-sex couples will not be allowed in commercials for his company.

He says he prefers to advertise with families he calls traditional.


GUIDO BARILLA, CHAIRMAN, BARILLA PASTA (via translator): I would never do a commercial with them, not for lack of respect for a homosexual family, but because we don't think the like them.

We think ours is a classic family.


MALVEAUX: It didn't take long for the comments to circulate worldwide. It exploded on Twitter. The hash tag "boycottbarilla" started spreading.

Guido Barilla started apologizing, actually.

HOLMES: He did. He apologized three times, in fact, and seemed in many ways to dig the hole deeper each time. He actually said this at one point. I want to quote here.

"With reference to statements I made yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding or if they have hurt the sensibilities of some people.

"In the interview I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family."

MALVEAUX: So we're uncertain what he meant by "the central role of the woman." Buying the pasta? Making pasta?

HOLMES: I make a mean pasta, so yeah, I'm offended now.

MALVEAUX: Well, of course, this is going to affect him, probably pretty big financially if this boycott is the successful.

We'll see how this all kind of turns out.

HOLMES: We'll keep an eye on it, yeah.

BlackBerry having another bad day, that's putting it mildly. This is just days after the company said it was going private. It announced it's losing a lot of money -- a lot of money.

MALVEAUX: And BlackBerry, I have a BlackBerry, by the way, one of the few people that still have one.

HOLMES: You're old school.

MALVEAUX: I have a BlackBerry.

Reported second quarter net loss of almost a billion dollars, a billion dollars.

Alison Kosik joining from us New York, Alison, OK, tell us what's up with the BlackBerry here.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Ah, yes, and the hits, they just keep on coming for BlackBerry.

Just how bad is it? You know it's bad when analysts are actually expecting the company to lose almost a billion dollars.

And lose they did, $965 million to be exact in just three months. Look at its revenue. BlackBerry only made $1.6 billion. That's actually a 45 percent drop from a year ago.

All right, so we know BlackBerry is having big troubles. What's next? The company is going to be laying off 4,500 employees. It's going to make just four smartphones instead of six models.

But on Monday, Canadian insurance company Fairfax Financial put up a bid to take BlackBerry private, just $4.7 billion, though. But that's far from a done deal.

Still this could be one of the last public reports that we get from BlackBerry. They even canceled their conference call with analysts ahead of the report, which is the somewhat rare.

Michael and Suzanne?

HOLMES: A billion dollars, goodness me.

All right, Alison, always a pleasure to see you, though.

MALVEAUX: I'm not just old school. I got both.

HOLMES: I had one for years, but no more, sadly.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, moving on.

HOLMES: All right, every time you get on a plane, you're asked to turn your phone off, aren't you?

Yeah, but questions over whether that's necessary.

MALVEAUX: Well, next, hear what a government panel is considering.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone.

The Senate, voting right now on a House bill that would continue to fund the government. Wouldn't that be nice?

Congress, running out of money and out of time, there's that midnight Monday deadline, and then the government shutdown kicks in.

But after this vote, the House then has to approve any changes, and there is the rub.

Senate Democrats plan to remove the part of the House bill that takes away the funding from ObamaCare, and the House probably won't go for that.

Stay tuned. We're going to have a live report on the details of all of this at the top of the hour.

MALVEAUX: All right, so, Michael, does this happen to you? You get on a plane. You wonder is it really necessary to turn off your cell phone.

Well, on Monday, a government panel is expected to hand over recommendations to the FAA. We may finally know, once and for all, what should we be doing.

Rene Marsh is joining us from Washington.

Renee, I'm going to get on a plane tonight. I'm always on a plane. I'm always flying, and I'm the one back here making those secret calls, thinking this is OK.

What do they say?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, you're one of those people who -


MARSH: -- may not actually turn the phone off. I don't know.

So here's what we just confirmed this morning. The FAA says that they are expecting to get those recommendations on Monday.

And we expect that they will act pretty quickly as far as making a decision after they receive those recommendations because of the huge public interest in this.

Now what's being considered is whether they will allow us to keep our iPads, eReaders, or iPods on at takeoff and landing because, as you just pointed out, Suzanne, when you get on a flight, you're told to turn everything off at landing and takeoff.

So, passengers are really close right now to getting the final word from the FAA whether that rule will change.

MALVEAUX: And, Rene, you actually went to a lab where there were engineers who were testing out all the stuff, right, whether or not the devices interfere with the signals or whatever they would interfere with on the plane?

What did they tell you?

MARSH: Yeah, we went to Boeing's electromagnetic interference lab and we tested this cell phone. We also tested this laptop here. We also had an iPad.

And the cell phone showed that it could interfere with the systems like the plane's smoke alarm. The laptops showed the potential to interfere with the pilot's communications radios. And that iPad that we talked about, that tested safe, actually, when it was in airplane mode.

So the engineers there say that this is the kind of interference that's really an unnecessary distraction for pilots. Take a listen.


KENNY KIRCHOFF, BOEING ENGINEER: It's not necessarily that a phone can bring down an airplane. That's not really the issue.

The issue is interfering with the airplane and causing more work for pilots during critical phases of flight.


MARSH: All right. Once the FAA receives the advisory panel's recommendations on Monday, they'll make the final decision whether they'll loosen the restrictions. But, Suzanne, not every airline has to agree to adopt the loosened restrictions.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Rene (ph), whatever it is, I'll follow the rules. I'll try.

MARSH: All right.

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Rene.

HOLMES: You are a rule follower. Well, check this out, the Miss World final moves to Bali after religious protests against the pageant. How hundreds of police are now protecting the crown.

MALVEAUX: And after four months - after four months of testimony and three days of closing arguments, the jury is now deliberating in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. The latest up next.


MALVEAUX: A California jury resumes deliberations this hour in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. It has taken five months to get to this point. Concert promoter AEG Live wants jurors to find Michael Jackson responsible for his own death.

HOLMES: Jackson's mother and three children say the company was liable in the pop icon's drug overdose because they say AEG executives negligently hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray. A familiar name. That's the man convicted of administering the fatal dose of the sedative Propofol to Jackson back in 2009.

MALVEAUX: Now, the Jackson family wants $1 billion to $2 billion in damages from AEG Live. And then Sunday, on CNN, you can hear Dr. Conrad Murray's side of the fence leading up to Michael Jackson's death. That is this is Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: A new Miss World will be crowned tomorrow on the resort island of Bali. A beautiful place, but security has had to be stepped up and the finals actually moved after Muslim militants launched a violent protest in Indonesia's capital.

MALVEAUX: So Anna Coren, she's got a report about how this is all unfolding. And I have to warn you, there is some pretty strong language in her story.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an event that's been running for more than six decades. But this year the Miss World pageant was met with threats of violence. Indonesia, the world's most populace Muslim nation, was selected to host the three-week event in its capital Jakarta. But angry protests by radical Islamic groups saw the government switch venues at the very last minutes, forcing organizers to relocate to the Hindu resort island of Bali.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This sends a message to the world that we are not strong enough as a country.

COREN: Protesters have denounced the pageant as pornography and a whore contest, insisting it's an offense to all Muslims.

ISMAIL YUSANTA, HIZBUT TAHRIR: We considered it as (INAUDIBLE) which exploits a woman.

COREN: In an attempt to appease religious concerns, the pageant scrapped the swimsuit competition, replacing it with beachwear. But it would appear not all such contests are so vehemently opposed. Just a few weeks ago, Indonesia hosted its third Muslimah contest, crowning Miss Nigeria with the award.

EKA SHANTY, FOUNDER OF WORLD MUSLIMAH: The difference of this event to another pageant, obviously this is not the pageant. This is the international awarding event to appreciate the young and talented Muslim woman.

COREN (on camera): While Indonesia tries to project an image of openness and tolerance, the influence of Islamic hardliners is growing in this country and critics say the government is only fueling the problem, caving in to this small but very vocal minority of ultraconservative Muslims.

COREN (voice-over): This is not the first time the government has given in. Lady Gaga's concert was canceled last year after hardliners threatened violence, while J.Lo was told to cover up during her Indonesian performance.

MARI ELKA PANGESTU, TOURISM & CREATIVE ECONOMY MINISTER: We are a complex country, so we always have to do the - we have to balance concerns domestically with our ability to host international events. But in general, as you know, Indonesia is very open.

COREN: Threats against the pageant are being taken very seriously. The U.S., British and Australian embassies have all issued warnings with the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005 still at the forefront of people's minds. While Bali is already under tight security with the island hosting the Apex Summit early next month, authorities say they're not taking any chances. Seven hundred police will be on duty Saturday when Miss World is crowned.

Anna Coren, CNN, Jakarta, Indonesia.


HOLMES: A beautiful place, though, Bali.



MALVEAUX: Love it. Yes. Hopefully they'll be OK

HOLMES: Yes, hopefully.

All right, coming up in the next hour, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann made some strong comments about Obamacare. Plenty of them, really. She even went as far as to say it will kill seniors and children.

MALVEAUX: So does she still stand by her remarks? Is this all political? We're going to find out on CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.


MALVEAUX: Several stories caught our attention today. The videos as well.

Take a look at this. This is in Antarctica. A pilot flies just feet above a crowd of photographers. Oh, my God. They got the picture, but whoa, way too close.

HOLMES: I think they got a haircut too.

MALVEAUX: This is way -- this is actually - well, it's a stunt. It's called flat hatting.



HOLMES: Yes, don't move. Don't jump.

MALVEAUX: Your hat, squished.

HOLMES: Yes. Let's go to Alberta, Canada, now, and have a look to the right of your screen. Yes, check that thing out. I think that's another one that needs a replay. And there it is. That's a fireball racing through the sky. Two cops actually got this on their dashcam while on duty.


HOLMES: An astronomer confirmed it was caused by a meteor streaking through the sky. They found no impact zone or anything. It just burnt up, didn't leave a mark.

MALVEAUX: Pretty cool. Maybe some martians, I don't know.

All right. In the French Alps, covered in snow, it's a mystery. A climber found a metal box filled with rubies, sapphires, emeralds worth more than a cool $300,000. Not bad. French police say the climber, who wants to remain anonymous, turned this treasure over.


MALVEAUX: Yes, he did. Goodies might have been from one or two plane crashes in the area that happened decades ago. Somebody traveling with jewels, I guess. I don't know.

HOLMES: Well, maybe he'll get to keep them if nobody collects them. Yes.

Some major retail stores, by the way, in Britain are refusing to sell a couple of Halloween costumes. Why are they doing Halloween in Great Britain anyway? I didn't think they did that. Anyway, they're calling these costumes offensive.

MALVEAUX: How so? They are talking about this. The one on the left called the psycho ward. Costume on the right called mental patient.


MALVEAUX: Two huge retail chains in Britain, Tesco and -

HOLMES: Azda, yes.

MALVEAUX: Azda, they've now apologized that, you know, that they named these costumes this way and the portrayal of people with mental illnesses.


MALVEAUX: You can understand that.

HOLMES: Got a point there, exactly.


HOLMES: Now, this is fun. I checked this out earlier today. Warm, fuzzy feeling. Jimmy Fallon, as he does with other songs as well, teamed up with the Muppets and The Roots to perform the "Sesame Street" theme on his show last night. Lovely segment. Check this one out.


SINGING: Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is clean. Can you tell Elmo how to get, how to get to Sesame Street


MALVEAUX: Well, I'm digging the beat, actually. It's got a nice little groove to it.

HOLMES: There's a little rap section that kicks in a little bit, actually.


HOLMES: Yes. No -

MALVEAUX: OK. So you got Elmo, Big Bird, Snuffleupagus. He was always my favorite, actually. All of these guys just hanging out together.

HOLMES: And Jimmy does this on his show too, he gets them all crammed into a real dressing room there at Rockefeller Plaza and he's done it with other songs as well. And, well, they do it all on instruments you would find in a kindergarten, right?


HOLMES: Yes. Yes, it's all like the kazoo and all of that.

MALVEAUX: I just loved it. And it had a - it had a really nice beat to it. (INAUDIBLE) favorite (ph).

HOLMES: Google it. There's plenty of them out there and some of them are really good. MALVEAUX: OK.

HOLMES: We've got to go. They're yelling at us now in our ears.

MALVEAUX: Oh, we've got to go. All right.

HOLMES: All right. OK.

MALVEAUX: That's it for us AROUND THE WORLD. Have a great weekend. Thanks for watching CNN.

HOLMES: Wolf Blitzer is coming up now.