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Tech CEOs Meet with President Obama at the White House; Is Antibacterial Soap Safe?

Aired December 18, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter - what do they all have in common? Their bosses were all at the White House yesterday. President Obama met with the heads of more than a dozen tech industry leaders. Part of the meeting was about the industry possibly helping the government with its I.T. problems, like the highly problematic rollout of the Obamacare website. They also talked about spying. Technology executives recently asked the government to change its spying practices. Details about secret surveillance programs were leaked by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency workers. He`s in Russia now and asking Brazil about asylum there. In the U.S., the programs that Snowden revealed are facing a new challenge.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Six months after Edward Snowden revealed it to the world, a federal judge ruled the NSA program that sweeps up Americans phone call records is likely unconstitutional. The judge wrote, "I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen.

Snowden described it as a vindication of his hacking, saying, "I acted on my belief that the NSA mass surveillance program would not withstand a constitutional challenge. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans` rights.

Snowden remains hold up in Russia, avoiding charges in the U.S. of espionage. But a senior NSA official floated (ph) un unlikely solution on CBS "60 Minutes" to get Snowden back here: give him amnesty. An idea that White House quickly dismissed.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He should be returned to the United States as soon as possible where he will be accorded all due process and protections in our system, so that`s our position and it hasn`t changed.

SCIUTTO: Still, the court`s decision is a body blow for the administration.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is just an absolutely scathing rejection of the NSA program that the government has defended so strongly. And if it`s worth noting that the judge was a George W. Bush- appointee, someone who would work for Republicans in Congress, hardly a screaming liberal.

SCIUTTO: Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D me. I`m a type of microscopic organism. I only have one cell, and I don`t have a nucleus. I`m found almost everywhere on earth, including inside people, plants and animals. I`m mostly harmless, but sometimes I can cause diseases.

I`m bacteria, and I come in different shapes and sizes.

AZUZ: Chance are you`ve seen a product like soap that claims to get rid of bacteria. The antibacterial industry sells more than a billion dollars in products every year. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the companies that make those products might need to make some changes.


SANDRA YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You see them everywhere - these antibacterial soaps with killer claims. But these labels might become a thing of the past. The Food and Drug Administration says antibacterial soaps may actually be harmful. They could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.

The most common ingredient in antibacterial soaps, Triclosan.

MAE WU, ATTORNEY, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: There are some impacts that Triclosan may have on the hormone system, which could effect developing bodies like in children and infants. If it`s not doing any good, then why are we putting this potentially harmful chemical in our homes?

YOUNG: That`s right. The FDA says there is no evidence antibacterial soaps prevent illness any better than plain old soap and water. So, the agency has put this demand on soap manufacturers: prove their antibacterial products are safe and better than regular soap, and if you can`t, scrub off those claims.

Soap manufacturers say they are up to the task.

BRIAN SANSONI, AMERICAN CLEANING INSTITUTE: Manufacturers have presented such data in the past, and with this new proposed rule that`s out, we`ll have another opportunity to present newer research that shows, again, a germ-killing benefit of antibacterial soap. And data that does show that this soaps are safe.


AZUZ: The annual Christmas parade in La Jolla, California - one group tried to get the name Christmas removed from the event. They failed. Here is some of your comments about the story. Tim asks, why should a small group affect the wishes of the majority? Keep it Christmas, La Jolla. Tanner thinks they should have a separate parade for people who don`t celebrate Christmas. Anai thinks they should change the name so that all religions can feel welcomed. Kevin says, if it`s inclusive of other people, that`s sharing the holiday spirit, not fighting over one word in a name. Nicholas says at his school we can`t talk about Christmas. We say the holidays. Why can`t the parade do the same?" Rebecca says, this has nothing to do with the parade, and everything to do with atheists wanting to remove any religion whatsoever from public viewer. And from Emily, Christmas is a big holiday for a lot of people. And if you don`t celebrate it, that`s OK. But that doesn`t mean that nobody else can."

We mentioned Brazil earlier. That country`s also hosting next year`s World Cup soccer tournament. It`s a lot to do to get ready for the month-long event, including building stadiums for the matches in different cities, but work at one site is suspended.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A Brazilian judge ordered a partial halt to construction on the stadium in the jungle city of Manaus. After a worker plunged to his death. Basically, prosecutors say, they want all work involving heights to be halted until the construction company Andrade Gutierrez, can come up with the convincing worker safety report, which means they`ve got engineers on the site, from the prosecutor`s office, from the company determining what needs to be done and how the problems can be resolved. Only then will the work on the roofing continue. This is, after all, the second worker to fall to his death at this very same site, and the fifth worker to die on one of the many construction sites for the 12 World Cup stadiums. This is raising questions about worker safety and whether all of these construction companies should be a little more focused on how to keep their workers safe, and not so focused on the deadlines. Already, the six stadium still in the construction phase, have said they will fail to meet the end of December deadline set by FIFA. Not it looks like at least the Arena Amazonia could be pushed back even further. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paolo.


AZUZ: Wednesday is when we wander worldwide for the "Roll Call." And we are starting in the Arctic Circle, in Canada`s northwest territories we`ll find the land of the midnight sun, Inuvek (ph), and the east three school.

Then it`s over to Europe where we check in with the American school of Milan in Italy. Macao was a special administrative region of China. And it`s home to the international school of Macao, which is the last stop in today`s around the world roll.

We`ve been bringing you career connection segments from professionals all year long. Today, we are talking to a mayor about his involvement in local government.


MAYOR JERE WOOD, ROSWELL, GEORGIA: I became involved in politics to try to influence what my town became as a group. Local government is not a spectator sport. It`s something that you participate in, and it`s something that really with minimal involvement you can have a big impact on your local government. Politics is really just the people skill, and wherever you are in dealing with people, politics is the skill of dealing with people. And so, politics is not something you learn in law school, it`s not something you learn in medical school or in any school. It`s a - it`s politics is what you`ve learned from working with people every day and trying to bring a group together to a joint decision.

It`s very easy to enter into politics on a volunteer basis. You can volunteer in a campaign at whatever age, at whatever level. Politicians are always looking for folks to help in their campaign. It`s a great learning experience. It`s a great way to learn your community.

Whether you are running a city or campaigning, you`ve got to lead people. You`ve got to bring a team together. People`s skills are at the root of it. It`s a good career. It`s not a career that you are going to become a billionaire at, but you`ll be involved in the community, people will appreciate what you are doing, and you`ll enjoy your work.


AZUZ: All right. We`ve been looking to break our pun record, and we found a video to make it work. This is Waffles, the Cat, and he`s waffling over a jump from the snow covered van to that icy roof. Come on now, Waffles, you`ve got this. Here it comes. There it goes. Waffles might want to wipe away the embarrassment after that failed attempt. Thanks to this YouTube video, he won`t slip into obscurity, because even if the cat couldn`t get his footing his video is gaining traction. If Waffles is the first to attempt this, he`s in the vanguard. That kind of cataclysmic catastrophe is snow way to make a name for yourself. Waffles could bat around other ideas. He could try a catapult. You` have to let Waffles iron out the details on that. It`d be an ice edition, and Waffles might be feline ready to leap at another chance to advance his name. That`s a different tale. For now, he`ll pause, catch his breath and ponder his next move and we`ll do the same, trying to think of more but cats(inaudible) my tongue. Have a great day!