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Florida Mayor Says Make Spanish Official; Michelle Obama Helps Fight Obesity with Athletes; Answering Your Questions on Spending Cuts; School Teaches Sex Ed to 5-Year-Olds; Harlem Shake Composer Makes Money Off Clicks; Report: Americans Don't Save Enough

Aired March 1, 2013 - 13:30   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Millions of people in the U.S. speak Spanish. And for most, it's their first language. So is it time to make Spanish an official language in this country along with English? The mayor of one south Florida city says yes. For his town, it's time.

Adrianna Houser is near Miami today where the idea is not going over well.


ADRIANNA HOUSER, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This community is informally known as (SPEAKING SPANISH) because a lot of Venezuelans have settled here. Luigi Boria, recently elected mayor, is also Venezuelan. He says 80 percent of the residents here speak Spanish. So he proposed a resolution on to the city council to make Spanish an official language.

LUIGI BORIA, MAYOR OF DORAL, FLORIDA: When you go around the city, everybody speaking Spanish. That's the main idea, to make the people in Doral comfortable to allow them to speak their own language.

HOUSER: Boria believes it would also be good for business.

BORIA: When we tell the world that we speak Spanish here, I'm sure many people will come here and bring their money and investment.

HOUSER: But the resolution didn't impress members of the city council even though all of them come from Latin America.

BETTINA RODRIGUEZ FIGUEROA, DORAL, FLORIDA COUNCILWOMAN: I believe that Spanish is a language that is already 80 percent of our community. It's spoken in our households, our business, and it's really not necessary to make it the official language. It also might create certain issues with other people from other countries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We speak multiple languages, not only Spanish and English. Our officers would now have to say their Miranda Rights in Spanish, which means officers would need to be able to speak Spanish, as well. It would cause more harm than good.

HOUSER: And many Doral residents we spoke with agreed with the council.

UNIDENTIFIED DORAL RESIDENT: Absolutely not. Because I'm living here, I have to speak in English. I have to learn to read in English. I have to adapt to this country.

UNIDENTIFIED DORAL RESIDENT: I think it should be English because Doral is part of the United States. I don't think it's fair to the rest of the people coming to Doral.

UNIDENTIFIED DORAL RESIDENT: I think we live in the United States, we have to speak English.


WHITFIELD: CNN Espanol's Adrianna Houser is joining us now from Miami.

Adrianna, so the mayor floated this idea for making Spanish an official language. It's been shot down. But is it over?

HOUSER: Not really, Fredricka. Good to be here with you.

Well, after the defeat of his first proposal, the mayor is softening the wording. He will present a revised version that designates Doral as a multicultural city. This seemed to be an idea that the members of the council will probably support. This new proposal will be voted on March 18th. We'll see what happens then.

Meanwhile, Mayor Luigi Boria realizes that the word may have been too aggressive, too much too soon. But the mayor also believes the issue is not going away. He thinks it may resurface if not in Doral in other cities in the U.S. -- Fredricka?

HOUSER: And the mayor himself in your piece said people speak Spanish here. So is it that widely spoken that everyone kind of can relate?

HOUSER: It really is. This is just to give you an idea, it's 13 square miles, 40,000 residents. And all you hear on the streets is Spanish. So it seemed pretty logical to him to make it an additional language. I think he was surprised to find that there was not the support that he expected. You find food from different Latin American countries everywhere, businesses advertise in Spanish. So it's pretty much what you hear out there on the streets. It's something that goes on anyway, but I guess there is no support to make Spanish an official language yet -- Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right, Adrianna Houser, thanks so much.

We've been seeing a lot of the First Lady Michelle Obama lately. She appeared with Big Bird in the new ad pushing kid fitness and nutrition. She showed off her dance moves on late night with Jimmy Fallon. And even made a surprise appearance at the Oscars to announce best picture winner. And with a 70 percent approval rating, Michelle Obama is on a roll.

Now as Rachel Nichols reports, the first lady has teamed up with athletes to fight childhood obesity.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michelle Obama set off flash bulbs once again, this time drawing some of the top athletes and a $50 million donation from Nike.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: My brother, Craig and I, we had countless opportunities to be active every single day. We played freeze tag on the playground before school. I jumped double dutch -- still can actually -- at recess.


MICHELLE OBAMA: Come on, kids.



ARNE DUNCAN, EDUCATION SECRETARY: The biggest thing for me is we have to get our schools across the nation to understand that if we want our children to be really successful academically, it helps them to be physically active.

NICHOLS: According to the CDC, only 4 percent of elementary schools and 2 percent of high schools offer daily physical education classes.

SERENA WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Definitely shocking. Almost upsetting, I would say, because growing up -- and I grew up in L.A., and we had P.E. It was a relief. You could have fun. The numbers are a crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It's a problem these days and kids don't stay active, so everyone comes together, athlete, first lady, she's pretty, she's smart, so doing this event with the first lady definitely is incredible.

NICHOLS (on camera): 49er's quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is known more for his signature move of kissing the tattoos on his biceps than for hobnobbing with politicians, but he might have pulled off the move of the day in the green room when he got the first lady to try Kaepernicking herself, giving a kiss to each of her own biceps.

COLIN KAEPERNICK, NFL QUARTERBACK: Yes, I got her to take a picture with me Kaepernicking. I thought it was fitting since she's kind of the workout warrior, has the guns on her. That might be my highlight for the year right now.


NICHOLS: Reporting for CNN, Rachel Nichols.



WHITFIELD: The president has until midnight tonight to sign off on those forced spending cuts. And people are asking, when will we feel the effects? Answers to your questions, next.


WHITFIELD: In a blue house is the scene of a frantic search. And the than standing over the man hole, just moments ago a camera was descended to se if they can learn more about a sinkhole that simply opened up right in that house, right in the bedroom of the man who was simply swallowed up while he was sleeping. And now the search goes on for him. Of course, we'll keep you posted for the search of the man in that blue house.

President Obama signing an order sometime before the stoke of midnight to trigger those forced spending cuts. We know you have a whole lot of questions about the $85 billion in cuts over the next seven months.

Tom Foreman is standing by to answer some of your questions. You can send them to us by using his Twitter page or by using the #asktomCNN.

So, Tom, good to see you.

A whole lot of folks want to know, A, why the lawmakers take off for a long weekend before this business is done and you're going to get a lot of questions about that, but really they want to how it will impact them directly, as well.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a lot of really tremendous questions, I have to say, from people out there. And considering the role Congress has played in that, here is a pretty hot question we've been getting from several sources. In this case on Twitter from Methel (ph), who asks, does congressional pay get cut? And a similar question, how can the American people be assured that the salaries of Congress are cut 20 percent. I don't think the answers are going to please people because they are, in order, no, and you can't. congressional pay is not part of the sequester because of the 27th Amendment, which says changes in congressional pay, even if approved, can only take place when the next Congress comes in. This was done to keep members of Congress from giving themselves big pay hikes, but it also means no one in Congress can take a cut now, despite some saying they would voluntarily like to do so.

Moving on, Birdman9 has a request. Please give us an example of a cut the sequester will cause in total dollars before cuts and after cuts. We've heard a lot about the potential delays in airports because of cuts to the federal aviation administration. The FAA budget, $15.9 billion, will lose $1 billion, making it $14.9 billion. That is real money. And they are expecting more passengers in the future, although, as a point of reference, $14.9 billion is pretty much the budget the FAA had in 2008 when it actually handled more air travelers. And Sean Magruder asked a question I know a lot of people are interested in. He said on Facebook his town's school superintendent has warned of, quote, "devastating effects on local education from Head Start to high school, taking money from programs that serve low- income students and those with disabilities." Can you tell me if this is true? It is true if you read that statement carefully. Many of the efforts to educate low-income students and those with disabilities are funded with federal dollars. Cut those dollars, and, yes, those programs will suffer. The Department of Education is predicting thousands of layoffs. But does that mean most teachers are in danger as that statement might be heard?

Here is a related question from Noxie (ph), and my favorite of the day so far. High school art teacher -- I'm screwed, right? Not necessarily. Remember, most teachers, most schools get the vast bulk of their funds from state and local governments. If it your school district is struggling to pay its bills, ripples from the sequester won't help, but they also would not, in all likelihood, be the primary reason teachers might lose jobs.

We had more great questions coming through, Fred. We'll keep up with them all day.

WHITFIELD: Understandably, a lot of folks very fired up.

Thanks so much, Tom. Appreciate that.

You have questions? Send your questions to Tom information many. #asktomCNN on Twitter.

HIV is on the rise among teens in Chicago, so schools are going to start teaching sex education to kids at a very young age. How about five years old? You heard me. How this isn't sitting well with all parents.


WHITFIELD: Most schools start teaching kids about the birds and bees, say, fifth grade. But that's changing in the Chicago public school system. The Board of Education is requiring sex education for every grade, starting in kindergarten.

More from Randy Bellissimo from our affiliate WGN.


RANDY BELLISSIMO, REPORTER, WGN (voice-over): Kindergarten and first graders would learn anatomy, healthy relationships and personal safety. Second and third grades would focus on growth and development. Fourth-grade students would study the many aspects of puberty as well as HIV transmission. Fifth graders would learn reproduction, decision making, bullying and contraception.

DR. STEPHANIE WHYTE, CHICAGO SCHOOLS CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER: We think of it as a continuum of information. So with the foundations beginning at kindergarten, we're talking about what we consider family life. So my body, good touch, bad touch, bullying, how do I feel.

BELLISSIMO: The curriculum would also introduce sexual orientation and gender identity. The curriculum change is due, in part, to new national and local standards, like the president's HIV/AIDS strategy and Mayor Emanuel's Healthy Chicago Initiative.

Some families see such education as a family matter.

UNIDENTIFIED CHICAGO RESIDENT; That's something that shouldn't be in the schools. That should be taught at home before you go to school in the event somebody at the school touch you, then you should already know what to do.


WHITFIELD: And that was Randy Bellissimo from our affiliate, WGN.

Parents can choose to keep their kids out of the program there.

The Harlem Shake dance craze is taking over the Internet, and the composer is reaping benefits. How he's making money off these viral videos.



WHITFIELD: The Harlem Shake craze is reaching new heights, of 30,000 feet, to be exact. College students staged this Harlem Shake on board a flight just a couple of weeks ago. And while the dancing looks like a lot of fun, the FAA, they're not so amused. It is actually looking into the incident.

The composer of the Harlem Shake makes money for all those viral video clicks.

Felicia Taylor will explain for us.



FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The University of Georgia swim team grooves to it underwater.


TAYLOR: The students at Colorado College broke every library code in the book with their version.


TAYLOR: The Harlem Shake has even caught fire, among firefighters, and employees at San Antonio SeaWorld.

This is the video that started it all, four guys in crazy outfits busting a move to the Harlem Shake on a YouTube posting last month. Now, Bauer, the song's creator, is poised to hit it big. He gets a piece of the ad revenue every time someone clicks on a Harlem Shake video.

BILL WERDE, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: This could be a meaningful revenue stream. If you figure a couple of dollars per stream, and multiply it by millions, this is real money.

TAYLOR: 100,000 Harlem Shake videos had been viewed 400 million times on YouTube and that's boosting record sales. The Harlem Shake was the top song download on iTunes list last week and one of the top on iTunes Europe.

Bauer isn't the only artist riding the viral video wave.


TAYLOR: South Korean artist, Psy, hit pay dirt last year, with YouTube phenomenon "Gangnam Style," with more than a billion hits.

WERDE: Billboard reported that Psy made upwards of $2 million just from the streams of "Gangnam Style." And that was without selling a single track.


TAYLOR: And YouTube versions of Carlie Ray Jepsen's song "Call Me Maybe" helped boost sells of that song.

Some may have been surprised they were viral participants.


TAYLOR: Corporate America sees a financial opportunity in all of this. Pepsi is now promoting soda with its very own Harlem Shake.


WERDE: These things are great for the music industry. People are having fun with music again. That's the most important thing.

TAYLOR (on camera): So we thought we would leave you with our own version of the Harlem Shake.


TAYLOR: As you can see behind me, even the bulls on Wall Street want in on the action as the viral video craze shakes up the music industry.

Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.




WHITFIELD: A new report shows Americans don't have enough for retirement. Ali Velshi and Christine Romans, authors of the book "Speak Money," tell you what you need to do to save comfortably for retirement.



It is no secret Americans don't save enough. A new study from HSBC finds millions of Americans believe they're going to run out of money in retirement. Americans calculate they'll have enough money for 14 out of a 21-year retirement. That's a short fall of about a third.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, seven years. What are you going to do the last seven years? In retirees live on fixed income assets, considered safer than stocks. Some are saying the bonds aren't as safe as they used to be. When interest rates go up, bond prices go down. If you have a portfolio full of bonds, your assets aren't worth as much. You know what is interesting? People in Asia, they save for retirement, people here, we save for a vacation.


ROMANS: Very short-term thinking here.

VELSHI: So, remember, you do have to figure out how long -- how much money you've got. How long can you go with the money you're saving? And if you don't have must have, if you already know, like the people who responded to this HSBC survey, you're not going to have enough, you got to figure out how to invest in some stocks because you can't make up for lost time without stocks. You can't all be in fixed income or bonds, because there say little bit of inflation. You don't even get enough interest in order to make up for inflation. So you're actually losing money as opposed to growing it.

ROMANS: The whole point is time is your best friend. We're saving for short-term goals like vacation, but we need -- the more time you have, the more of a mix in your portfolio, and the more money you're going to make in the end. Remember to save for your retirement first over saving for your kids' college. That's what a lot of people don't do.

Fidelity says you need to look at it this way, at end of your working career, you need to have saved eight times your financial year salary. If you make $100,000 or more, 12 times that.


VELSHI: Because you're used to spending more than that.

Remember, when you're doing these things, your kids can borrow for college. Everybody wants to pay for their kids' college. your kids can borrow and pay that over their working lives. You can't borrow in retirement. That's an important thing to think about. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much, Ali and Christine.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield. That's it for me. I'll see you throughout the weekend.

Brooke Baldwin takes it from here.