Return to Transcripts main page
Google's New Structure; China Devalues Currency; Iraqi Parliament Passes Reform Package; Amid Protests, Japan Restarts Nuclear Reactor. Aired 8:00a-9:00a ET
Aired August 11, 2015 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:14:19] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: That was our sister network CNN USA on GOP U.S. presidential candidate and frontrunner Donald Trump after
Trump was interviewed live by CNN's Chris Cuomo on New Day. It was a very lively, a very wide ranging discussion on a number of issues, including
women's issues, Megyn Kelly, the Iran nuclear deal, even the surprise Chinese currency devaluation. All was mentioned, all was on the table.
And we'll bring you the highlights straight ahead.
Now there is a big change for one of the world's biggest tech companies. Google is setting up a new holding company called Alphabet.
Now the biggest unit of the company: Google.
Co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin will run the larger company, while this man becomes Google's new CEO, former Android boss Sundar Pichai.
Now let's explain how all of this will work.
Now right now Google is this sprawling entity, it's encompassing everything from search to diverless cars, even research into immortality.
Now this variety is part of what makes Google unique, but it has also lead to investors worrying about the company's focus.
Now this reshuffle changes all that. Google retains core elements like search, Android and Maps, units that play a key roll in selling ads,
its main source of revenue.
But other departments are spinning off into their own sub companies, including divisions like life sciences, which is working on glucose sensing
contact lenses, or the GoogleX lab, which is working on drone delivery system.
Now Page says restructuring allows the company to take more chances and to spend more time on projects like that so-called moonshots that may
take years to pay off, if ever.
But why do they invest so much into projects like this at all? Now, I put that question to executive chairman Eric Schmidt when we spoke two
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC SCHMIDT, GOOGLE EXECUTIVE: Because we can, because we have the economic resources and the leadership, that we can take that so other
companies can't. We fundamentally believe that technology can be a force for good, that investment with very, very sophisticated scientists can
invent new products. And we're willing to fail. We're willing to build products that might not work, or might not work in version one, but we know
if we keep trying then eventually something really interesting is going to come out.
And who doesn't want to be immortal?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Eric Schmidt there.
Now so far the reaction to Google's announcement appears to be positive. Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins me now
live. And Christine, a big question this morning, will investors indeed like the new structure?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far it seems they do. I mean, the stock is up 6 percent. It's been a great year. It's up 25
percent. But what this does, this new structure, it provides some clarity, it provides some adult supervision, if you will, to what has been a
sprawling and growing and farfetched empire. That's how it all boils down there.
The good part of the business that's Android, search, Chrome and YouTube, Calico, that's increasing longevity, Google Ventures, of course,
that's where they're putting money in startups and trying to help fund great new ideas. GoogleX, that's the moonshots, that's everything from
driverless cars to drone delivery to all kinds of stuff. Somebody comes up with a great idea, it goes in GoogleX. Nest, that's the home technology.
Basically Alphabet the umbrella holding company over all of these streamlined different ventures which will have strong CEOs each and all
report to the founders ultimately.
LU STOUT: So, the new structure offers more clarity. What about the new CEO, Sundar Pichai, the new CEO of Google. What does he offer?
ROMANS: He offers -- well, basically he's sort of been doing this job already, but he is the product guy. Right now he's been the product guy.
He's had his hands in a whole bunch of really successful iterations of the Google world, including Chrome. He was -- he made his name as a guy in
charge of Android. Obviously it's arguably Google's most important product. He's someone who -- he presented for the company at its annual
conference recently. So you've seen him as the face already.
There are a lot of really smart people who work at Google. You've got the founders at the very top of the company. And then you've got Ruth
Porath (ph) who is the new chief financial officer. She comes from Wall Street. She's somebody who Wall Street really -- investors really like to
see at that company.
And then all of these other companies
You know, it reminds me a little bit, Kristie Lu, of maybe -- it reminds me of like a Berkshire Hathaway, or a General Electric, you know.
You think of this -- the maturity of this company now. It was sort of all over the place for many years and did very, very well. Now you see the
structure sort of changing. A very big digital information conglomerate.
LU STOUT: And with this new structure, this new information conglomerate, under this umbrella. We've got these new standalone
companies from Nest to Calico, now they are now more independent. And they're carved off. But how much freedom do they have to take major risks?
ROMANS: Well, you know, they say -- the founders say that's sort of the point of the restructuring. They want them to take risks. You heard
Eric Schmidt say -- in your interview, and he's told me this many times as well. We like to fail, because when we fail we find things that work, or
it makes us find new ways to do things.
So, it gives them a standalone opportunity to do more. It gives their CEOs and their -- you know, their engineers more freedom. So that's the
point of this sort of breaking out these different business units and letting them operate on their own.
LU STOUT: All right, Christine Romans reporting for us. Thank you. Take care. We'll talk soon.
Now India's prime minister tweeted his congratulations to Google's new CEO on Tuesday. Sundar Pichai was born in Talmunadu (ph) in India. He
moved to the U.S. to study at Stanford University, the same university where Google's cofounders met.
But his story isn't unique. Last year, Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella as its CEO. And like Pichai, Nadella was born in India and only
moved to the U.S. later in life to study at an American university.
It means two of the biggest names in technology are led by CEOs from Asia.
Now a surprise from China this day: Beijing has brought down the value of the yuan. The central bank says the 2 percent drop is based on a new
way of managing the exchange rate.
Now China is struggling with slower growth as well as volatility in its stock market. And some see the currency cut is a way to prop up
exports and to boost the economy, but China says the change is just part of its reform to give market forces more influences over the yuan. Now that
could help China as it seeks to add the yuan to the basket of world currencies used by the IMF.
Japan is restarting one of its nuclear power plants for the first time in two years despite public opposition. Anna Coren explains the
government's rationale for returning to nuclear energy after living without it for years.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Under what the Japanese is describing as the toughest safety standards in the world.
The country's first nuclear reactor has reopened since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 sparking angry protests.
The Sendai (ph) nuclear reactor in southwestern Japan was restarted by its operator Kepgo (ph) after passing strict new regulations. Well, they
are hoping to open the second reactor on sight by October.
It's more than four years since a devastating earthquake and tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima plant. High radiation levels and
contamination means it's highly unlikely people will ever be able to return to their homes in the area.
All nuclear reactors were taken offline as a result of the disaster, but the government is now hopeful that under the new regulations most of
its 43 nuclear reactors will be reopened over the coming months and years.
But they're facing widespread opposition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Firstly, these new standards that the Abe government have got the nuclear regulatory agency to agree
upon, these standards have just slightly raised the bar with regards to earthquakes and tsunamis. But in fact, it's full of holes.
COREN: Recent polls show that between 50 to 60 percent of the public oppose the restart of nuclear reactors, claiming with the country prone to
earthquakes, it's dangerous and irresponsible to produce nuclear power fearing another disaster.
Japan, however, has limited energy resources. Before the Fukushima crisis, nuclear power accounted for one-third of the country's electricity.
Since all reactors were shut down, the government has had to import more coal, oil and liquefied natural gas, pushing household electricity prices
up by more than 25 percent.
But that's little deterrent to the protesters who say the government has a responsibility to its people to invest in renewable energy and keep
the country safe from another nuclear disaster.
Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
LU STOUT: Now still to come on News Stream, children in China cast away by their parents. We visit an orphanage in Beijing struggling to find
loving homes for abandoned babies.
[08:25:58] LU STOUT: Broadcasting live in Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now in China there are a growing number of children like little Weiwei here who find themselves cast aside by their parents. Experts say around
100,000 have been abandoned in recent years, many because they have (inaudible) handicaps. Will Ripley has more.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the faces of China's most vulnerable, surviving in a system overwhelmed. Abandoned children like the
newborn Beijing police pulled from a public toilet last week, her mother long gone, the little girl likely becoming yet another Chinese orphan.
Zha Zha's (ph) parents abandoned him outside a fertility clinic. He was 3-months-old. Botched surgery for Spina bifida left him paralyzed from
the waist down.
You've lived here all your life, right?
RIPLEY: Long time. Nine years.
The oldest of 23 orphans at Alina's home in Beijing, Zha Zha (ph) is the de facto big brother. No parents here.
RIPLEY: Only staff and volunteers like Canadian missionary Christina Weaver.
CHRISTINA WEAVER, MISSIONARY: They don't deserve this kind of life.
RIPLEY: China's hundreds of foster homes are no longer full of healthy girls, as they were at the height of the one child policy. Today,
nearly all of China's unwanted children have disabilities.
WEAVER: When I look in their eyes I see stories, I see sadness, I see hurt.
RIPLEY: Despite rapid economic growth, welfare experts say the world's second largest economy lacks an adequate social safety net
resulting in hundreds of thousands of orphans.
How big is this problem?
RIPLEY: Associate director of Children's Hope International, Melody Zhang says many parents simply can't afford to care for kids with special
MELODY ZHANG, ASSOC. DIRECTOR, CHILDREN'S HOPE INTERNATIONAL: It's very, very hard to find a family for Zha Zha (ph). We waited for nine
years. He waited nine years.
RIPLEY: A family that promised to adopt him backed out. Many of his friends found homes and moved away.
Now, finally, an American family is filing paperwork to adopt Zha Zha (ph). Dad, mom, three sisters and grandparents. Wow, that's a big family.
The Wilsons from the Kansas City area are trying to raise 36,000 dollars in adoption costs.
"If I have parents," he says, "I can live. I can have a life."
Zha Zha's (ph) new life is still likely months away, an eternity for a young boy whose been waiting nine years for a family.
Suddenly, no more words, only tears, pain felt by far too many children abandoned.
Desperate to find parents, to have homes, to be loved.
Will Ripley, CNN, Beijing.
[08:31:26] LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream and these are your world headlines.
Now Google is getting a major change. The company's founders have formed a new parent company. It's called Alphabet. Google will still be
the biggest business within the Alphabet group. Now other divisions like GoogleX Lab and Calico will become separate sub-companies under the
The Greek finance ministry says the main terms of a third bailout package have been settled and Greece hopes to unlock billions in time for
its next debt payment to the European central bank due next week. But a final deal needs to be passed by lawmakers in Greece and Europe.
Japan has restarted a reactor at its Sendai nuclear power plant. It is the first reactor to be restarted under new safety rules. Now Japan's
nuclear plants were taken offline after a series of meltdowns at Fukushima in 2011 triggered by an earthquake and tsunami.
The Turkish military says it's carried out 17 airstrikes on PKK rebel targets in the southeastern part of the country. Turkish authorities say
fighters from the Kurdish militant group have killed six security personnel since Monday.
Now we shift to Iraq where parliament is backing some major political changes. The prime minister said on Sunday he wants to do away with
numerous high level government positions to save money and to root out corruption. And it looks like lawmakers are behind him.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is following this remarkable development. She joins me now live from Amman, Jordan. And Jomana, the prime minister's
reform package appears to have been approved. Walk us through the measures.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, as many had expected, parliament approved this package of reforms that was put forward
by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Really, this is something that many Iraqis have been waiting for. They have been expecting this. But really
it just goes to underscore the seriousness of the protests that we have seen on the streets of Iraq and that anger that we have seen during these
KARADSHEH: This is the sound of a people who have simply had enough. Iraqis took to the streets in demonstrations calling for change, political
reforms, holding corrupt officials accountable, and demanding the basic services that government after government for more than a decade have
failed to restore.
The protests in Baghdad and other cities were prompted by continuing power cuts as the country faced one of the worst heat waves in its recent
On Sunday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in what appeared to be a response to the streets and a call for serious action by Iraq's most
influential Shia cleric announced a series of bold measures, the most drastic reforms since 2003.
SAJAD JIYAD, IRAQ ANALYST: It might be the first time that we have a (inaudible) to actually change things on the ground rather than just
continuing in the same mold as his predecessors try and pass this by elections will force him on and nothing really changes on the ground.
KARADSHEH: And Abadi's reform package was swiftly approved by his cabinet on Sunday. And on Tuesday, parliament unanimously voted in favor,
approving the reforms.
The measures include eliminating the senior post of three vice presidents and three deputy prime ministers, posts held by top politicians
like Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad al-Alawi.
The positions are allocated based on a sectarian and ethnic quota system created by the United States in 2003. But many Iraqis feel this
system is ineffective and part of the problem.
Other measures also include cutting back on the costly security allowances provided to officials and more corruption investigations.
Despite the public backing of his reforms by Iraq's politicians, it remains unclear how and when these reforms will be implemented.
[08:35:11] JIYAD: I think honestly the protesters are not going to go away, even if they hear the words from the prime minister in other parts
(inaudible) they want to see action on the ground. And that will take some time to play out. It is (inaudible) that will happen in the next week or
two, this will be a several month process. And I think (inaudible) very likely to keep up (inaudible) on the government while this process happens.
KARADSHEH: In a country where political instability and grievances have historically created fertile ground for terrorist groups to thrive,
Iraq's politicians cannot afford to ignore the rising discontent on their streets.
KARADSHEH: And, Kristie, this is really just the beginning of this process, the real challenge for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi lies ahead
in implementing this ambitious plan for reforms. And in the past hour or so we heard from the prime minister in a statement congratulating the Iraqi
people and promising that he is going to stay on this path of reform, he says, even if it costs him his life.
LU STOUT: Quite a promise there.
Now will this reform package, will it be enough to quell the angry protests and to convince the people in Iraq that the government is doing
enough, is doing enough to address corruption?
KARADSHEH: I think key here, Kristie, is they want to see the changes take place on the ground. I think they need to move fast, promises is what
Iraqis have been used to for more than a decade. If you look at what's been going on, people are just fed up with the situation. They want the
You're talking about temperatures in this country right now soaring to more than 50 degrees. No power cuts, meaning no fans, no air conditioning,
and this is just some of the basic services that they have been lacking.
So there is so much anger that they want to see results. They want to see something real happening, something tangible rather than just the
promises. So the key here would be the prime minister and the politicians moving fast. But it is going to be a very difficult process, that is what
Something Iraqis have been really demanding, Kristie, is also they want to see politicians. They want to see officials also held accountable
because they say that there is so much corruption. Iraq is one of the world's most corrupt countries. And they want to see people being held
accountable. Billions of dollars since 2003 have been spent on things like public services, but there is very little to show for it -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Got it. So, approval of this reform plan just the very beginning. Jomana Karadsheh there, thank you.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, astronauts on the International Space Station, they get a bite of leafy greens. We'll
explain the significance next.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump is leading in the polls. He should be happy. So, why doesn't he look it?
Jeanne Moos tries to figure it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is Trumpzilla. Crushing the competition in the shadow of the media shine their lights on him. So why
was the Donald looking like Trump the grump in his first big debate?
Listen to Dan Hill, a man who reads faces. What struck you, if anything, about Mr. Trump?
[08:40:07] DAN HILL, FACIAL CODING EXPERT: Well, first of all, the guy hardly smiles. He may be the unhappiest rich man in America.
MOOS: Reporter: even when he talked about fun...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's fun, it's kidding, we have a good time.
MOOS: He didn't look like he was having a good time. Did he smile at all, Dan? I mean Does he ever smile?
HILL: He only smiles when he's making a sarcastic comment.
TRUMP: Only Rosie O'Donnell.
MOOS: Facial coding expert, Dan Hill expected Trump to show anger, squinting eyes and pressed lips. And in that sense, the unsmiling Donald is
totally on message.
HILL: You can argue that not being content is his whole message.
MOOS: Of course, Trump's defenders like these sisters whose videos have become a hit on the Internet say everyone's picking on him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave Donald Trump alone. Leave Donald Trump, leave him alone. Period. Bye.
MOOS: tell that to cartoonists who can't get enough of his hair and his pursed lips.
HILL: What I really was surprised by, is the guy pouts. He is someone who has that upper chin rising and the corners of the mouth go down
drooping in sadness, he's like a cross between Peter Finch on "Network" saying I'm mad as hell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore.
HILL: And Leslie Gore saying "It's My Party" and I'll cry if I want do.
MOOS: Only in this case, IET's the Republican Party that's trying.
Jeanne Moos-- CNN.
TRUMP: Because our leaders are stupid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not going to take this anymore.
MOOS: New York.
LU STOUT: And finally, a leaf into a new frontier: it is red romaine lettuce grown in space. And on Monday, it was the cuisine du jour for NASA
astronauts on board the International Space Station.
Now dining on produce harvested in micro-gravity was a first for the expedition 44 crew members. The veggie plant growth system was first
tested on Earth where the plants were checked for safety. And to make sure everything is OK with this harvest, half of the crop will be sent back for
Now a NASA goal is to figure out how to create a self-sustainable food source on spacecraft for long-term missions. NASA calls it plant
experiment Veg-01. It incorporates red, blue and green LEDs to grown plants while in orbit.
Now the blue and red wavelengths emit more light than the green, and that's why this first batch of lettuce has a kind of pinkish tint to it.
So, why the green light? Well, those LEDs were added to make the plants look more edible.
And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout, but don't go anywhere, World Sport with Amanda Davies is next.