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Google CEO Testifies on Capitol Hill; A CNN Young Wonder Helps the Less Fortunate Celebrate Birthdays; A Cake Draws Thousands to A Hungarian Cafe

Aired December 12, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: It`s CNN 10`s full season. There are three shows left to go, including this one. Afterward, we`ll be off the air

until January 3rd when our new season begins. I`m Carl Azuz.

We start today with one of the big questions that faced the technology executive yesterday on Capitol Hill. Is Google biased against politically

conservative users and in favor of politically liberal ones?

That`s something that a number of Republicans, including U.S. President Donald Trump have accused Google of being, and Representative Lamar Smith,

a Republican from Texas, said this kind of bias was, quote, programmed into the company`s culture.

The company CEO, Sundar Pichai, says Google`s operations are nonpartisan.


SUNDAR PICHAI, CEO OF GOOGLE LLC: I lead this company without political bias, and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way.

To do otherwise would be against our core principles and our business interests.


AZUZ: Google isn`t the only technology company that`s been accused of bias. The House Judiciary Committee has had other hearings this year on

the subject, with the CEO of Twitter discussing the issue in September.

Yesterday`s event wasn`t just about bias accusations though. Lawmakers asked Pichai about how much information Google collects from its users,

particularly on its Android operating system, which can be found on many smartphones. The executive responded that Google has ways users can limit

the info they share with the company.

There were also questions about a rumored Google launch in China. That country`s communist government censors the media and human rights advocates

are concerned that China could use a Google type search engine to spy on people.

Pichai said his company had no plans to launch a search product in China, but he also said there`s been a limited internal effort at Google to create

something for China.


REPORTER: When Sergey Brin and Larry Page first met at Stanford in 1995, they argued a lot. Soon, they put their differences aside and became

partners. Brin and Page developed a search engine that used links to rank the importance of these results. This project called BackRub would soon

become Google.

The first version of Google was hosted on Sanford servers. It used so much bandwidth, the servers crashed. Brin and Page left Stanford`s PhD program

to pursue Google fulltime.

Their first office was in Northern California garage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s business or (ph) garage.

REPORTER: In 1998, Google was incorporated and was growing rapidly by 2001. Brin and Page recruited seasoned businessman and engineer Eric

Schmidt to serve as CEO. In 2004, Google went public at $85 a share.

Considered a disappointment at the time, its IPO filing famously included the phrase, don`t be evil. As Google grew, it expanded beyond search, with

big acquisitions like YouTube, Android and Waze. The company also rolled out now iconic products like Gmail, Google Maps and Chrome. In 2015,

Google folded itself into a new parent company called Alphabet. Page and Brin would lead Alphabet and Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Google.

But with Google success came controversy. Privacy advocates have raised questions about how it collects and uses data. Conservatives alleged its

search results are biased. The E.U. has fined the company billions of dollars for antitrust violations and Google has come under fire for issues

like diversity and sexual harassments. Still, it remains one of the world`s most valuable and most recognizable tech companies.


AZUZ: Sonika Menon is a 15-year-old in Chicago, Illinois, who`s making news for her extraordinary birthday parties. It`s not the one that she`s

had that made her a CNN Young Wonder but the ones she`s thrown.

Sonika started a nonprofit organization to help the less fortunate experience a birthday blowout and it`s brought smiles and celebrations to

hundreds of people.


SONIKA MENON, THE BIRTHDAY GIVING PROGRAM: I think at a birthday, it`s important to create memories and it`s important to create something that

you can hold onto and remember for a long time in your life.

The Birthday Giving Program`s mission to provide birthday bags and to celebrate all individuals who are affected by poverty, addiction, abuse,

homelessness and physical and mental challenges.

All right, guys. Let`s start talking about tomorrow`s birthday parties.

Cake-making is a very time consuming process. We think about all the little details going to it, the decorating, like Anya (ph), she is really

into decorating. It`s worth it. It shows that we care about what we do.

I felt like we accomplished a lot so far. It`s just grown and grown, like we started with one organization and now, we`re partnered with over 20


I handle the children and adults division and Rinna takes care of the senior division.

RINNA TALWAR, THE BIRTHDAY GIVING PROGRAM: I think it`s important to celebrate the seniors because I really didn`t want them to be forgotten. A

lot of the seniors living in nursing homes have family out of state or friends that don`t come to visit them very often. I hope that they really

feel special and that they feel remembered.

MENON: We want to inspire other younger individuals to take the initiative and to try making a difference. Some people may feel a little bit hesitant

to try a new idea, but you`ll never know the impact unless you actually try, like this idea started off so small, and we`re surprised it even got

this far.

I got a warm feeling in my heart. It`s a priceless feeling, seeing everyone happy and smiling and giggling, knowing that they feel that way

because of what we do. You`re more of yourself when you`re around other people who make you feel special. Nothing else can ever replace that.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these European countries became a Christian kingdom under Stephen 1 in the year 1000 AD?

Hungary, Romania, Ukraine or Austria?

Hungary is the answer, a nation of central Europe whose current government is a parliamentary republic.



AZUZ: There`s a statute of St. Stephen in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The city`s history predates even him. Encyclopedia Britannica

says it was a Roman town and military camp in the first century. It was lightly populated before that.

A 160-year-old cafe in Budapest offers a unique taste of the city, something that joins its rich past with the present.


REPORTER: Six layers and a storied past. This might just be Budapest`s most famous pastry.

ANNA NISZKACS, MANAGING DIRECTOR CAFE GERBEAUD: So, you are interested in the Dobos cake as I guess.

REPORTER: That`s right. And to learn more, there`s just one place to go, Budapest.

Cafe Gerbeaud lies at the heart of the Hungarian capital and has been in business for 160 years.

NISZKACS: It is real. So, it`s not looks like 100 years old table or chandelier. It is more than 100 years old.

REPORTER: The Dobos cake is not only Anna`s favorite --

NISZKACS: I have to admit, I would be kind of (INAUDIBLE)

REPORTER: -- but one of her restaurant`s specialties.

NISKACS: Dobos cake is the most famous cake in Hungary. The uniqueness of the Dobos cake is crust caramel on the top and the really good quality of


It`s important that it has six layers.

REPORTER: Surely. You can cheat a bit.

NISZKACS: No, it`s six. With the top, it`s six.

REPORTER: OK, OK, so why six?

NISKACS: You can ask Dobos Jozsef why it`s six.

REPORTER: Actually, asking Jozsef Dobos about the mysteries behind this cake might be tough. The famous confectioner first baked it in 1885 for

the Hungarian national exhibition and it was groundbreaking at the time.

NISZKACS: The use of the caramel and the color of the caramel, nobody used it before like this way.

REPORTER: His use of butter cream was also a first. And together, this two innovations meant that the cake stayed fresh for longer, allowing it to

be shipped across the continent.

Dobos carefully guarded his recipe early on, but upon retiring, he shared it with Budapest`s most famous cafes. Today, Cafe Gerbeaud serves around

25,000 slices of Dobos each year. But these days, the cake doesn`t travel as much as it used to.

NISZKACS: We have many emails. Please send a Dobos cake. But we always say, I`m sorry, no, please, visit Hungary again or visit Budapest again and

taste here in the Cafe Gerbeaud.


AZUZ: There are a choco-lot of layers to that story. It`s extractly the kind of thing that butters you up, eggs you on, caramelts your heart, takes

the cake, bakes you want your just desserts. Or simply put, it leaves you Hungary for more, y`all.

I`m Carl Azuz. That`s CNN 10.