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Spending Cuts; Sequestration, Searching for Body in Sinkhole; Jodi Arias' Defense: Damage Control; Yahoo!: Work in Office or Quit

Aired March 2, 2013 - 11:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. And it's Saturday March 2nd. Good morning, I'm Brianna Keilar in for Randi Kaye.

The axe falls on $85 billion in widespread federal spending cuts, who will suffer the deepest and when will the bleeding begin?

Desperation in Florida, searchers there are battling time and gravity in their attempt to recover a man swallowed up by a sinkhole. We'll take you live to the scene.

And seeing is believing, students fed up with a crook on campus hone in on their detective skills and you won't believe what they discover.

After weeks of warning, what ifs and threats, Americans now face $85 billion in federal spending cuts. President Obama signed an order last night for what he described as dumb and arbitrary cuts. So what happens now? Our national political correspondent Jim Acosta is live at the White House. What does happen now Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's a very good question Brianna. I think we're all going to find out at the same time. You know the President said at his press conference yesterday that this will not be what he called an apocalypse, but if you look at what the Office of Management and Budget in his own administration is telling the Congress about these cuts, this will be serious. This is the order that the President issued last night initiating these automatic across-the-board budget cuts.

And then if you look at the letter from OMB to Congress, it says -- it says right here, "The cuts required by sequestration will be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments and core government functions." We're talking billions of dollars in cuts over at the Defense Department, cuts near $1 billion for FEMA, for disaster relief. Cuts to Transportation Security for those check-in lines at the airport. Those lines may be getting longer according to the Administration.

And that is why the President in his weekly address to Congress said even though these cuts have been set in motion he would like to work out some kind of deal to perhaps turn back the clock and do away with these cuts.

Here is what he had to say.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These cuts are not smart. They'll hurt our economy and cost us jobs. And Congress can turn them off at any time as soon as both sides are willing to compromise.


ACOSTA: Now, so far the Republicans haven't really responded to that kind of talk very favorably at this point. They believe that the President is really just after more tax increases and they're saying that that's not going to happen at this point.

But Brianna, of course, here in Washington folks are always trying to find some of the lighter moments in these dark and gloomy budget times. And you'll recall yesterday when the President talked about putting a "Jedi Mind Meld" on Congress that he wasn't able to do that, Twitter sort of exploded and said, uh-huh. He's mixing movie references between "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" and mixing the Jedi mind trick with the Vulcan mind meld, if you will.

And so the White House put out a tweet yesterday trying to have fun with this. If we can put it up on-screen where they have a graphic that they put together that says these cuts aren't the solutions that Americans are looking for. So they're trying to have some fun with it. But of course, the reactions to this were swift. They were at warp speed or light speed, depending on if you're a Trekkie or "Star Wars" fan.

KEILAR: And we even saw some sci-fi folks in there, you saw Leonard Nimoy, who said that only a Vulcan mind meld will help this Congress. And Jim can we really disagree with him?

ACOSTA: We really can't. And I love, the very end you see how he ended it with LLAP and I was like what does -- live long --

KEILAR: What does that mean?

ACOSTA: Live long and prosper.

KEILAR: Of course. Of course. Well, live long and prosper. I think we'll be doing that for a while, even if it's not prospering as we get through this debate.


KEILAR: Jim Acosta for us at the White House.

ACOSTA: That's true.

KEILAR: Thank you very much.

ACOSTA: You bet. You got it.

KEILAR: Now the budget axe won't leave anyone unscathed. So when will you begin to see the cuts? Where are you going to see them? Our Tom Foreman is live in Washington to break all of this down. Hi, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Brianna. I want to bring in a little more down to earth at this part. You know we always say that old saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb in terms of weather. In terms of these cuts, it's the other way around it's coming in like a lamb but could go out like a lion.

And this is what happened yesterday. It first came around and the forced budget cuts went into effect, what did you feel? What did you experience anywhere across this country? The truth is, nothing, by and large few people saw little things. But by and large most people didn't see anything.

But that's going to be that way for a little bit of time here because essentially what's happening is the news. The official action that puts all of this in place is happening through these weeks. When you may yet see nothing going on but believe me, a little fire that has started right up here is starting to grow through all this period of time and by the time we get to the end of the month, then you're going to be talking about some real potential impacts here.

For example, as you hit the end, all the notices that have been sent out will kick in. And somewhere around the end of the month that's when you'll start seeing some kind of closures at national parks. You'll start seeing those lines at airports. And I say this guardedly, because it's not entirely clear how much you're going to see.

Maybe at the busiest airports at the busiest times you'll have longer waits maybe at a lot of airports you'll have a lot of waits. We have to see how that shakes out in terms of how the market actually reacts to it as well.

But nonetheless that's why the 26th you'll start seeing some real effects by then. And then look at this now we're in the business of watching the funding for the government expire, and this whole new budget discussion that's going on around this which complicates things even further.

It also opens a door in which some kind of deal could be struck that would get around the sequester without maybe not even directly addressing it.

But nonetheless this is a very, very busy month here in March, Bri, during which it will come in like a lamb and go out like a lion at least a little lion -- Bri.

KEILAR: And we're so used to seeing them come to last-minute solutions. The thing about that potential government shutdown at the end of March, is that even if they do it, it costs money to prep in case they don't come to a deal. So taxpayers take the hit there.

But what are we seeing beyond March. What happens in April and May? Do we see the effects grow?

FOREMAN: Well, yes we do see the effects grow and it all -- and it all depends on what they do here. But one of the biggest affects you're going to see, weirdly enough is actually a political effects. Budget negotiations are then are going to have to go on in this environment. Now, whatever point of view you have politically, that may be good or bad. If you want a lot of pressure on one side or the other, trust me. By April, you'll have a lot of pressure, whichever side you want it to go. Again, so we'll just have to see how it plays out.

But also all of those effects that we we're talking about in the last month those are going to continue through these months and probably grow, because so many of these programs have a lag effect. You put them in and they -- they slowly go away. It's kind of like not buying groceries for your kitchen. You can do it for one week, two weeks, three weeks.

But at some point it starts having a cumulative effect and you start realizing you're out of things. And that will continue not only during that month but as we move into the next month as we get into May, we'll see if other things going on. That's when we'll actually start seeing those smaller unemployment checks for people with long-term unemployment. We may see some of that in April as well. Maybe in some places right away. But by May that should be in full force and we'll see more things like that as the year goes on -- Bri.

KEILAR: And that's certainly something that will create pressure and that's when things do start to cook in Washington. Thanks, Tom.

Near Tampa, Florida, rescuers have resumed their search for the body of a man who was swallowed by a sinkhole, and CNN's John Zarrella is live there in south of Florida.

So John, they actually called off the search last night for Jeff Bush. They began again around 7:00 this morning. Are they any closer to recovering his body?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. They aren't. And you know, quite frankly, it is -- it is an effort now to just try to find out the parameters, the dimensions of this sinkhole to see how wide it goes. They know that it's at least 25, 30 feet deep and continuing to deepen. They know that the initial sinkhole itself is about 30 feet wide, about 30 feet wide. But that around that, it's very sandy and in the -- it is very steep.

And because of that, they believe that it has the potential to continue to expand. So before they even go inside that house and no one's been in that house since Thursday night when the collapse occurred and when the family was pulled out of there, they have been continuing to do ground testing, ground radar systems, that they're using to try and figure out how widespread this sinkhole could become -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Are they concerned about these other homes near the sinkhole? I mean, right now you're across the street and I think you're kind of well across the street.


KEILAR: Is it possible that the sinkhole could even come across the street or into these other properties? ZARRELLA: Well yes it certainly is possible and in fact they're going to -- they moved us back a ways today because they want to bring these ground testing equipment over to this side of the street later to do some testing over here just so that they can you know be sure that they -- they have a handle on exactly how wide the potential could be for it.

But yes, yesterday they evacuated the houses on either side of the blue house behind me where the sinkhole occurred and family members from that, from one of those houses we're seeing coming out carrying their belongings. Presumably being helped there we understand by the Red Cross and by others in the community. So they are concerned about that.

KEILAR: And definitely a tough time for the family as we saw that video right there of Jeff Bush's brother.

John Zarrella for us in Florida, thanks for -- thanks for that report.


KEILAR: The death of a Russian boy adopted by an American couple is being called an accident. Russian foreign officials accused the boy's parents of abusing Max. The 3-year-old's death in his American parent's home in Texas sparked outrage in Russia. But the district attorney in Texas says the medical examiner found the boy died of a torn artery in his stomach and the bruising on the boy was actually self-inflicted.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is said to be fighting for his life this as the opposition leader takes to Twitter accusing the government of lying about his condition. Aside from photos, Chavez has not been seen or heard from since the October elections.

Meantime, his supporters held a mass in the chapel of the Venezuelan military hospital where Chavez is said to be receiving cancer treatment.

Jodi Arias sobbed as she was shown the pictures of her ex-boyfriend's naked and bloody body. We'll show you the pictures that she took just hours before his death.


KEILAR: For days Jodi Arias has been grilled by the prosecution, she sobbed, confessed to lies and spilled the details of graphic sexual acts. Now it's her turn to prove that she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in self-defense.

A warning, some of the pictures in this story are rather graphic. Randi Kaye has the latest.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tears from Jodi Arias; she broke down on the stand as the first photo of Travis Alexander's body was displayed in court. It showed him twisted and crumpled on the shower floor.

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Ma'am, were you crying when you were shooting him?

JODI ARIAS: I don't remember.

MARTINEZ: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?

ARIAS: I don't remember.

MARTINEZ: How about when you cut his throat? Were you crying then?

ARIAS: I don't know.

KAYE: With her face in her hands, the prosecutor dared her to look.

MARTINEZ: Take a look then, and you're the want that did this. Right?


MARTINEZ: And you're the same individual that lied about all of this. Right?


MARTINEZ: So then take a look at it.

KAYE: From the stand, Arias did her best to convince the jury she acted in self-defense. She says Alexander attacked her after she dropped his camera.

ARIAS: He body slammed me.

MARTINEZ: He body slammed you down, right?


MARTINEZ: In a very forceful way. Where did he body slam you down, ma'am?

ARIAS: Right in the same area, on the tile.

KAYE: Even if it was self-defense, how did it lead to this? Nearly 30 stab wounds, his throat cut, and a single gunshot to the head. And prosecutors specifically retrace the steps leading up to that point, starting with the moment she says she shot him.

ARIAS: He just was running at me as I turned around.

KAYE: Arias alleged Alexander had charged her like a linebacker.

MARTINEZ: Show me the linebacker pose.

ARIAS: He got down.

MARTINEZ: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me, show me the linebacker pose. That's what I'm asking for you to do.

ARIAS: OK, he went like that and he turned his head.

KAYE: That's when she says the gun went off.

ARIAS: I think I screamed "stop" when I pointed the gun at him.

MARTINEZ: And then what do you do?

ARIAS: I don't really remember. I just remember -- I don't remember anything at that point, so I would be speculating.

KAYE: Later, the prosecutor displayed several gruesome photos from the crime scene.

MARTINEZ: And according to your versions of events, you would acknowledge that that stabbing was after the shooting, according to you, right?

ARIAS: I don't -- yes, I don't remember.

MARTINEZ: I'm not asking you if you remember, ma'am. I'm asking if you acknowledge that it would be you that did it, correct?


KAYE (on camera): No matter what she said on the stand, the state isn't buying her story, and here's why. Investigators believe Arias killed Alexander in the shower. Inside court, the prosecutors showed a clip of her interview with a detective, an attempt to prove that she lured Alexander to the shower just hours after they had sex.

ARIAS: I asked him if I could do pictures of him in the shower, and he was like, "no". I was like, I just had an idea, a couple of ideas, I saw this thing in a Calvin Klein ad once that looks really good. And so he was -- you're right. He wasn't very comfortable at first. He -- he's standing there and he's all, "I feel gay".

KAYE: Arias snapped naked photos of Alexander, including this one shown in court. Investigators say it's time stamped 5:30 p.m. just two minutes before Arias stabbed him in the heart.

MARTINEZ: So you were the person that was directing him on where to be and how to sit, right?


KAYE: Directing him, perhaps, to his own death.

MARTINEZ: Do you remember that we're talking about Travis Alexander? Let's start with that.

ARIAS: Yes, I remember that.

MARTINEZ: That's why we're here, because you killed him, right?


KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


KEILAR: Was Jodi Arias a domestic abuse victim or cold-blooded killer? From disturbing phone sex recordings to her stunning testimony, the riveting courtroom drama continues to pull back the curtains on the violent murder of Travis Alexander. Watch the "AC 360" special report: "SEX, LIES AND AUDIOTAPE: THE JODI ARIAS TRIAL" tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

Backlash at Yahoo! after the new boss tells workers to show up or quit. How does it impact working moms. We'll talk about that.


KEILAR: "Come in to work or quit". That's the new edict from Yahoo! CEO Marisa Meyer, whose decision to ban telecommuting has sparked outrage in homes of workers around the country.

Here's part of the leaked memo. Quote, "To become the absolute best place to work communication and collaboration will be important so we need to be working side by side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices."

And this discussion is about much more than just telecommunity -- telecommuting, I should say. For one it's the renewed discussion about the role of women in the workplace and whether they can, in fact, have it all.

So joining me now to talk about this, Betty Spence, the president of the National Association for Female Executives; and Jessica Herrin, the CEO and founder of jewelry company Stella and Dot.

Betty, let's start with you. What did you think when you first heard about this memo and do you think that Yahoo! made the right decision here?

BETTY SPENCE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FEMALE EXECUTIVES: When I first heard about the memo I asked, is this a hoax? It just did not seem possible that someone could be going backwards. Most companies today are offering some kind of flexibility for people to work from home and it's working successfully.

But as I thought about it I was realizing that the CEO, Marisa Mayer, has made a choice. She has chosen innovation over people. She's probably going to get her innovation, but at what cost? She's going to lose a lot of people. You just don't have to lose people when you are innovating. You figure out a way to get them in but also to be able to have the time that they need to take care of the things that they have to in their personal lives.

KEILAR: So Jessica, let me ask you this because you began your now multimillion dollar company out of your living room, the idea of using the model of women working from home. So is that just as productive as the face time you might have in the office? Do you think that this is sort of, maybe, wrong that she's pursuing this route?

JESSICA HERRIN, CEO/FOUNDER, STELLA & DOT: Well, I began Stella and Dot as a flexible opportunity for women because I recognized that corporate America and traditional companies have some constraints that just aren't going to be fixed in that environment. So there needed to be an alternative.

Now I recognize that Marisa had to do something bold but that's because there's been a string of CEOs at Yahoo! trying to turn it around and it's not working. So she had A, we've got to turn this ship all hands on deck, but ultimately, I think that she's also going to realize that, of course, you've got to give people flexibility so that they can be happy because happy employees are going to be the best and they can still be innovative. It's just a matter of shades of gray and really working that out as she gets the company back on track.

KEILAR: So you think it will backfire, maybe?

HERRIN: Well, I think that in the short term she's going to weed out a lot of people and she's going to lose some good ones, and she's going to lose some of the people that aren't necessarily committed to being there and maybe that's a time for that to happen. But I can't imagine that long term Yahoo's not going to have flexible time. I mean it's at Google; it's working out for them. It's really a matter of time and place for the company.

SPENCE: It's working out --

KEILAR: And Betty is this something that affects women more than men because they take advantage of this when they have children and are trying to juggle these priorities?

SPENCE: It's going to hit women heavily especially working mothers. Our "Working Mother" magazine, 100 best companies for working mothers, our (inaudible) top companies for executive women list show that successful companies can use flex time and use it well. You have to monitor it. And make sure your managers are trained in how to work with flexible employees.

And that may have slacked off in the last five years.

KEILAR: So Betty --

HERRIN: I think it's a really good point.

KEILAR: Sorry. Go on Jessica.

HERRIN: I believe -- I think it's really up to management to rise to the occasion. Because you can have innovation even when people aren't chained to their desks. It just means that management has to facilitate that by making sure that people do come in sometimes and that may be for brainstorms, and innovation and making sure that people have time to be together to get that good, spontaneous idea, but that doesn't happen at 7:00 a.m. on a Monday morning or 6:00 p.m. when it should be dinner time.


HERRIN: I also do think that this impacts men as well, because if women are ever going to have opportunity, true equal opportunity in the workplace, it means that men need to play an equal parenting role at home. So non-flexible work policies is bad for men and women.


KEILAR: And you mentioned being chained to the desk. Certainly we're all chained to our devices as well, but Betty I think the big question here is, is this just going to be Yahoo! or is this something that may start a trend among other companies? What is your expectation?

SPENCE: Men and women alike want these policies. 78 percent of workers say that they need some kind of flexibility and we're finding that companies like Cisco and Intel and IBM and Texas Instruments all tech companies, all relying on innovation are using flex time really well. People are connected 24/7 now by all sorts of devices.

And so will Marisa turn it around? I wouldn't be surprised if she does, after she's got the company back on its feet. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets the company back on its feet. She's very good.

KEILAR: Betty Spence with the National Association for Female Executives; and Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella and Dot, the jewelry company that many of us know so well. Thank you guys for being with us..

SPENCE: Thank you.

KEILAR: We're into the first day of the those forced spending cuts. And you may not feel the impact yet. But our Ali Velshi is here to tell you when you will and the defense department is bracing for massive cuts, too.


KEILAR: President Obama is calling on Congress to compromise and find a balanced approach to cut the federal deficit, the message today in his radio address hours after he signed an order halting $85 billion in federal funding.

The cuts will affect everything from education to food safety and national parks. Now, there's no shortage of speculation on how the impasse will affect the country. And joining us to separate fact from fiction is our chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi.

So, Ali, what are some of the myths that you're hearing? Because it sounds like there's a lot.


You know, over at CNNMoney we've been gathering a lot of myths through social media and questions people have. And our expert Jeanne Sahadi, who -- if there's anything want to know about sequester, she's got a Ph.D. in it -- you know, has gathered sort of the four biggest ones.

And we want to just hit those: number one, that the world is very different today than it was yesterday; number two, that President Obama is to blame for the sequester; number three, that it is not hard to cut $85 billion out of the budget and number four, that the cuts will hurt really badly or they won't matter at all.

I think the first one is very obvious, Brianna. These are not -- this is not Y2K. This is not even fiscal cliff, where your taxes are different today than they were yesterday. This is going to be gradual. It's going to be over seven months, $85 billion $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Even those people getting laid off are not going to get laid off or furloughed for at least one month.

So you may feel this a lot more in April and you'll start to feel it gradually. But, no, today doesn't feel any different than yesterday, Brianna.

KEILAR: So what about this myth that it's not difficult to cut $85 billion? I mean, yes, right? I could just go line by line and go this, this, that. But it's the politics?

VELSHI: It's a tiny portion of the budget. And it's applied all over the place. Look, even Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, said the other day, my kids could figure how to cut $85 billion. The issue isn't the $85 billion. You could actually cut more out of the budget if you wanted to.

The issue is how sequester was done, how these forced budget cuts were designed to be across the board, and indiscriminate, saving Congress, by the way, from voting on them. But they were supposed to be so distasteful that they would never happen.

What it ended up being is an escape hatch, where these cuts are now happening in Defense, for instance, and across all these agencies and no one has to take blame for them.

So they'll be more damaging than if we had actually, as I like to say, used a scalpel versus a sledgehammer. But they are giving cover to people to say, I didn't do anything. This is -- you know, the president came up with this. Congress agreed to it, and now that's happening.

KEILAR: Ali Velshi, always interesting. Thank you for separating the fact from the fiction for us.

VELSHI: My pleasure.

KEILAR: Now today at 1:00 pm, be sure to join Ali and Christine Romans for a special live edition of "YOUR MONEY," as they break down the impact of these forced spending cuts.

America's military readiness is taking a hit due to the cuts. The Defense Department is having to trim 9 percent of its budget and CNN's Chris Lawrence has more on those cuts and their possible repercussions. CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wars have been planned inside the tank, this secure room in the Pentagon few get to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Secretary, welcome to the tank.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Now it's where military officials are making plans to cut $46 billion from their budget.

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Effective immediately, Air Force flying hours will be cut back.

ASHTON CARTER, DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: If you stop training for a while and you're a combat pilot, then you lose your rating and eventually can't fly at all.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Here's what's already happened. The Pentagon warned its 800,000 civilian workers to expect furloughs and instituted a hiring freeze. It also curtailed building maintenance. The Navy postponed the U.S. Harry Truman's deployment to the Persian Gulf. It delayed overhaul of the U.S.S. Lincoln.

Here's what happens next. The Pentagon will cancel maintenance on 25 ships and nearly 500 aircraft. The Army will cut training time for most soldiers. Down the road it could lead to a delay in deploying troops to Afghanistan.

GEN. RAYMOND ODIERNO, U.S. ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: We'll have to make a decision somewhere along the line to either extend those already there or send people there that are not ready.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): And families have to wait longer for veterans' funerals at Arlington. Furloughs will mean fewer people to schedule services and dig graves.


KEILAR: That was Chris Lawrence reporting.

What if the only job you could find didn't pay your bills? We'll look at why so many Americans are finding themselves out of luck when it comes to finding a job that matches their expectations and their needs.



KEILAR: Lots of college graduates can't find work that matches their level of education. Other skilled employees have lost high-paying jobs and have been forced to find work paying much less.

Tom Foreman shows us how underemployment is making our American journey much harder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day on the busy streets of New York, Kellock Irvin is hunting. When he received his college degree last year, he moved here from the West Coast and thought finding a job in marketing was the next logical step.

KELLOCK IRVIN, UNEMPLOYED GRADUATE: Not necessarily that it would be an easy task, but it wouldn't be something that, almost eight months out of -- since graduating, I am still struggling with.

FOREMAN (voice-over): He's not alone.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our economy is adding jobs, but too many people still can't find full time employment.

FOREMAN (voice-over): When President Obama took office, 134 million Americans were working in non-farm jobs. Today after massive losses and a slow recovery, we're only 1.2 million jobs better off and many pay less than those that were lost.

A recent study by the Center for College Affordability found almost half of college graduates are now in jobs that do not require four- year degrees, things like janitorial services, taxi driving and retail sales.

Professor Richard Vedder at Ohio University helped author that study.

RICHARD VEDDER, OHIO UNIVERSITY: Let's say each one of them were making $20,000 a year more in income, which is quite plausible. We're talking about $400 billion a year in lost wages.

FOREMAN: Numbers like that have made some economic analysts argue that underemployment may be every bit as damaging to the economy as unemployment.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And Kellock Irvin is caught in the middle of it all. For now he's taking freelance jobs as a photographer and part- time work with moving companies but --

IRVIN: That can only support me for so long before I might need to head home.

FOREMAN (voice-over): He might be the next one moving back home -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


KEILAR: The search goes on for the body of a man swallowed by a sinkhole under his home. Just how prevalent are sinkholes? We'll take a closer look at them and where they are most prone to happen, next.


KEILAR: Near Tampa, Florida, rescuers are resuming their search for the body of a man who was swallowed by a sinkhole. Authorities say Jeff Bush was asleep when witnesses heard a deafening sound and then a sinkhole opened up under his bedroom. His brother tried to save him but was unsuccessful. The fire department says the sinkhole is still expanding and could eventually take the house with it.

So is this nightmare has unfolded in Florida, this is raising questions about could it happen again?

And Nick Valencia has been following the story closely for us.

How does this even happen, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Brianna, could you just even imagine being asleep in your bed and then all of a sudden being sucked into the Earth? Well, sinkholes are a naturally occurring event usually. Of course, there's other factors that play into it here.

Let's break this down for you. Usually what happens is this heavy rainwater sits right on top of the sand and clays. But if you take a look at Florida's landscape, Florida's landscape really filled with this porous-type limestone. And you factor in the acidity of rain that allows it to sort of percolate down into the bottom of the soil here and create these cave-like formations here down there.

These sinkhole forms, also formed by drought, and that's really punctuated when the heavy rain comes in, causes that sinkhole to form. Now the most scary thing of this all, Brianna, I think, is the fact that it's completely unpredictable.

You don't know when a sinkhole's going to hit. So for those folks in Florida, thinking, you know, is there a sinkhole in my neighborhood, there very could well be, but they're just so difficult to predict, Brianna.

KEILAR: Well, there very well could be. I mean, this was a freak accident but this is a state that isn't unfamiliar with this phenomenon.

VALENCIA: No. Not at all. In fact, we have got this map here that we pulled from the Florida Department of State. In fact, it's such a commonplace occurrence in the landscape of Florida, I want to bring in the camera. Check this out.

Look at all of these little blue dots, freckled up and down the state of Florida, including the coast. This is the area that was hit Thursday night into Friday. That's the Hillsboro County area. And this place, according to the Florida Department of State, is very susceptible to abruptly forming collapsed sinkholes, and that really dominate this area. And you can tell by these past sinkhole occurrences.

I want to go ahead and bring in that first graphic that we had, though, and I'll show you a picture of one of the biggest sinkholes that happened in Florida. This was in Winter Park, Florida, in 1981; happened out of nowhere, completely unpredictable. You can see that big car right -- caught right in the middle of it. In fact, this sinkhole in particular swallowed portions of businesses, even a swimming pool.

And I can't emphasize it enough, these things are just completely unpredictable. In fact, Jeff Bush was asleep at about 11 o'clock when they heard that loud commotion and all of a sudden he was sucked into the middle of the Earth, just really tragic, Brianna.

KEILAR: Certainly is. Nick Valencia for us, thanks for that.

Now a student in California goes on the hunt for a locker room pickpocket. Hiding in the locker, she waits. And you won't believe who she caught on her cell phone.

But first, when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste of the place is through the local food. CNN iReport has teamed up with "Travel & Leisure" magazine to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local.

Here's CNN's Jim Spellman in Baltimore with a seafood sample.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grandfather started here in 1886, and it was a, primarily, fresh seafood.

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When did the crab cake enter the picture?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I came down and started working here, and I decided to make a gourmet crab cake.

SPELLMAN: Well, would you make us some crab cakes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I sure will. All right.

SPELLMAN: Measurements? Or you just kind of know how to do it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. After you make this many crab cakes, you just know and you go by feel.

SPELLMAN: Great. I'm sold.


SPELLMAN: Phenomenal. It's so substantial but it's light and you just really taste --


SPELLMAN: -- the crab, like how good the crab is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, that's really good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are awesome. I'll have to get another one for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just phenomenal. Every expectation, and it's amazing.

SPELLMAN: Thank you so much for showing us how you make your wonderful crab cakes. We appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're welcome.



KEILAR: The definitive list of 100 places to eat like a local will be revealed next week. Just go to to see iReports from people helping to create a food lover's map of the world.

And stay tuned to see who makes the list.



KEILAR: This is a pretty cool story, where in California, a high school student staged her own sting operation after her classmates' backpacks kept getting robbed.

Curled up inside of a locker, armed with a cell phone camera, she could not believe what she witnessed. The person robbing those bags is a teacher. Casey Wian has the story.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) Except for the cell phone surveillance video it's a story that could have been lifted straight out of a Nancy Drew mystery. This modern-day young detective is named Justine Betti, a sophomore at small-town Linden High School in central California.

JUSTINE BETTI, HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE: I was, like, holding my breath so I wouldn't breathe heavy and she wouldn't hear me. I was shaking so bad, it was scary.

WIAN (voice-over): Call it the case of the locker room pickpocket. Justine, her friend, Marissa, and another girl were goofing around in P.E., hiding around in lockers, first for fun, then to see if they could catch a thief.

MARISSA CODOG, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I've had things stolen from my P.E. class multiple times.

BETTI: We watched to see, like, what was going on in there after everybody left because we didn't know who was taking our things.

WIAN (voice-over): They had suspected a fellow student was taking money and valuables, but they were wrong. It wasn't a student stealing. It was a teacher.

BETTI: The teacher took some jeans out of a gym bag and she took money out of there.

WIAN (voice-over): But the girls need proof so two days later they set up makeshift cell phone surveillance cameras, one with Justine in a locker, Marissa's taped inside a second locker. And waited.

CODOG: And the camera was through a hole in the locker.

WIAN (voice-over): Sure enough, along came the thief. This time the camera captured it all. There is was, a 30-year veteran teacher going through student clothing and backpacks.

BETTI: I just needed to get the evidence, and a video to show other people if they didn't believe it.

WIAN (voice-over): When they took the video to Linden High's principal --

CODOG: We were nervous that we were going to get in trouble but we knew that it was worth it because things like that shouldn't be happening at a school.

WIAN (voice-over): The teacher has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is under way.

BETTI: It's not OK for a teacher that all the students trust and a teacher that was so nice and, like, made you feel comfortable to be stealing things like that.

WIAN: The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department tells CNN it did conduct an investigation into allegations of a teacher stealing money at Linden High School. No arrests have been made. The case has been turned over to the district attorney.

WIAN (voice-over): As for our young heroines, might detective work be in their future?

BETTI: I don't think so. I'm not sure. It's stressful.

WIAN (voice-over): And, no, they didn't get in trouble -- Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.


KEILAR: Fascinating story.


KEILAR: Totally embarrassing for that teacher, isn't it?



KEILAR: Oh, my goodness.

WHITFIELD: What are you thinking? KEILAR: Crazy. Well, "CNN NEWSROOM" starts at the top of the hour. Fredricka Whitfield will be there. We'll be watching. What's going to be happening?

WHITFIELD: OK, a lot. You know last weekend was the big Daytona race and there was a crash.

KEILAR: That's right.

WHITFIELD: And some of the debris went flying into the stands. Well, just days after that, some of the fans actually retained an attorney. We're going to be talking to our legal guys, Richard and Avery, who are always brilliant minds. They'll be along to give us an idea as to whether acquiring an attorney means you are certainly going to sue and on what grounds would they be able to.

And then how about some money-saving tips? There are apps, there's an app for that. There's an app for everything on trying to help you save money. How about a boot camp on getting out of debt and spending?

And then how about receiving alerts from your favorite stores when there's a sale? Something to have on your phone.

And then, hey, Brianna, do you remember your best spring break destination?

KEILAR: I only had one. I went to Spain with a couple girlfriends.

WHITFIELD: Oh, well, that's great. That's impressive.

KEILAR: It was great. We didn't, like, party it up or anything. We were being cultural, you know.

WHITFIELD: That's very good.

KEILAR: It was great.

WHITFIELD: And very impressive.

Well, you know, kids these days, they are spring breaking on a whole new level.

KEILAR: Oh, yes.

WHITFIELD: So we have got some tips from "Travel & Leisure's" Nilou Motamed, who will take us to Puerto Rico for one. And then your stomping grounds, D.C. Why spring breakers want to go to Washington, D.C.

KEILAR: Really?


KEILAR: Oh, that is so -- I would never have guessed. I love D.C.' don't get me wrong.

WHITFIELD: Me, too. That's home for me. I love it, too.

KEILAR: Love it.



(Inaudible) got some great ideas on spring breaking these days.

KEILAR: Well, maybe some ideas you haven't thought of.

WHITFIELD: That's right.


WHITFIELD: Straight ahead, noon Eastern hour.

KEILAR: Fredricka Whitfield, we'll tune in.


KEILAR: All right. See you.

Now around the world Catholics are awaiting their new pope. And American Catholics are hoping he will address the changing face of the church in the U.S.



KEILAR: With the Catholic Church now looking for a new leader, American Catholics have a lot of questions about their church's future. CNN's Deborah Feyerick is covering that story for us.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, just imagine sitting inside the Vatican right now, listening to the conversations and deliberations about the legacy of Benedict XVI and the future of the Catholic Church that will be defined by a new pope.

Well, a number of Catholics, especially in the United States, are hoping that some changes will be made to reflect the reality of the times.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Latin.)


FEYERICK (voice-over): Across the nation, the face of the U.S. Catholic Church is changing fast.

GREG SMITH, PEW RESEARCH CENTER: We've reached the point where about one-third of all Catholics in the United States are Latinos, and among Catholics who are under the age of 40, about half are Latinos. FEYERICK (voice-over): But the face of the church hierarchy hasn't changed much at all. Just over 10 percent of U.S. Catholic bishops and 7 percent of priests are Latino.

BILL MURRAY, CATHOLIC: I think maybe even a South American pope would help. You know, it doesn't have to be a European or an Italian.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Demographic shifts are not the only issue the Vatican faces in the U.S. Church. It's bad news for Catholics when their numbers are growing, yet participation is falling.

SMITH: Most Catholics tell us, for instance, that it would be a good thing if the next pope allows priests to get married. Most Catholics tell us that it would be a good thing if the next pope is from the developing world.

FEYERICK (voice-over): And as the number of priests decline, some question whether women should fill the void. A quarter of all Americans are Catholic, making them the fourth largest Catholic population in the world. But that doesn't mean the church will change to address their concerns.

CURTIS SEIDEL, CATHOLIC PRIEST: When it comes to faith and morals, that the church's teachings are, while they need to be in dialogue with contemporary culture, they need to stand independent of that culture.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Meanwhile, some U.S. Catholics are voting with their feet. Catholic elementary schools lost a quarter of their student population in 10 years. There are fewer baptisms, burials, even fewer Catholic weddings.

SEIDEL: There's a lot of discord in the American Catholic Church, I think.

FEYERICK (voice-over): So as we await the white smoke signaling a new pope and hope for the American faithful, it remains to be seen whether the latest smoke signals will be influenced by the winds of change.


FEYERICK: All eyes on the Vatican, the faithful, the hopeful, and the optimistic. Brianna?

KEILAR: Thanks, Deb. CNN NEWSROOM continues now with Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, Fred.