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Trump Addresses Supporters in Florida; 300 Escape After Emirates Plane Catches Fire; South African Elections Seen As Test for Government; Prominent Republicans Supporting Hillary Clinton; Tesla Earnings Miss Estimates; Organizers: 80 percent of Olympics Tickets Sold; 17 Russian Rowers Banned From Olympics; Controversy Over $400 Million Payment From U.S. to Iran; Malaysian Protest Planned Over State Accountability. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired August 3, 2016 - 16:00:00   ET


[16:00:00] ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Another end to the trading day there. What you're seeing is really sort of lack of momentum of Wall

Street despite public economic data and rising oil prices as well. We'll have big earnings due out this hour as well. Our Paul La Monica is

standing by at the stock exchange. It is Wednesday, August 3rd. Tonight a firefighter is killed at the world's busiest airport after a jumbo jet

crashes upon landing. We'll be live in Dubai for you.

Also ahead, top Republican donors are just ditching Donald Trump, they are now in fact supporting Hillary Clinton.

And South Africans go to the polls amid calls for economic change. Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

All right, amid the past 24 hours of controversy after controversy, Donald Trump has in fact just started speaking at a rally in Daytona Beach,

Florida. Let's listen in.

[16:05:00] ASHER: All right. Donald Trump speaking there at a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida. Basically, really sort of laying it to Hillary

Clinton. Saying that Clinton should get an award for the founder -- as the founder of ISIS. We haven't heard anything yet in terms of the controversy

surrounding the Trump campaign, especially when it come to him not supporting Paul Ryan as of yet. We'll keep an eye on this rally for you.

In the meantime, some other stories that we were following. It was a deadly accident that could have before far, far worse. One firefighter is

dead after a Boeing 777 skidded off the runway and burst into flames at Dubai's International Airport. Look at these pictures, the smoke,

billowing flames, you can see it there. All 300 people aboard Emirates Flight 521 made it off alive. Some people calling this a real miracle. We

do know 13 people did suffer minor injuries though. Pictures from the scene show the plane lying on its belly, look at this, its belly with the

top of the fuselage, if you look closely, pretty much burned off. Isa Soares has more.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A terrifying moment for passengers flying from South India when their plane, a Boeing 777 300, crashed upon landing

at Dubai's International Airport. Dramatic images show the Emirates plane catching fire, an explosion then ensues and thick smoke billows from the

aircraft. The plane is then seen crumpled on its belly. On board 282 passengers and 18 crew. Amazingly all are safe and accounted for. The

majority of the passengers are from India. Many others also from the U.K. Now the cause of the accident still not known but theories are abound.

CNN's aviation expert believes the incident may have happened after landing, or landing gear didn't work. These are all theories that are

being investigating by Emirates. Isa Soares, CNN.


ASHER: All right. Let's talk more about the accident. CNN's Jon Jensen is at Dubai airport. And he joins us live now. It has been a few hours

since this accident. Have we had any more of a clearer picture on what caused this?

JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. At this point we sure don't. There was a press conference earlier tonight where the chairman of Emirates said

that they have all of the data that they need. But it just could take some time for the 300 or so survivors of this very dramatic wreck at Dubai

International Airport. Moments of real good fortune. But also tonight we learned there was one real moment of tragedy here in the UAE. Officials

here confirming that an Emirate firefighter died while fighting the blaze on the runway. He is already being called a martyr, a national hero. And

we understand that his funeral could take place as soon as tomorrow. Meanwhile, the airport is back up and running. We were there a couple of

hours ago when the first planes started taking off and landing again. But again, Zain, we are still no closer to that answer of why this plane

skidded and burst into flames in the first place.

ASHER: What has been the reaction therefrom passengers?

JENSEN: Well, we have seen some reports of passengers who got off the plane and they were, obviously, very thankful that they made it off safely.

A number of passengers came from India. The flight originated in the western part of India for a two or three-hour flight. And of course the

reports that we've seen. They were all very thankful. Some called it a miracle. We weren't able to actually speak with any passengers ourselves.

We do know that the passengers that did make it off were all safe and accounted for. There were only 13 minor injuries on the plane. Keep in

mind this is a fairly common route from Western India to Dubai. There are a number of Indians and South Asians that live in the UAE. That work in

the UAE, that go back and forth. The conditions at the airport, Zain, I was there a few hours after the incident. It's just a normal hot day in

August. There was a little bit of wind, some sand in the air. But these are conditions that these pilots having done this route so many times are

very accustomed to. So many, many more questions right now than answers as to what happened to this plane, Zain.

ASHER: All right, Jon Jensen, live for us there. Thank you so much.

As Jon was actually just mentioning, flights leaving Dubai International Airport were delayed and incoming flights were diverted. At this hour the

airport is operating with only one runway right now. Arriving flights are being given priority over departing flights. The airport is in fact the

world's busiest for international travelers. And it's the main hub for Emirates. The airline flies more Boeing 777 than any other airline. The

plane is actually considered one of the safest in the world. It has a very, very good safety record. Six Boeing 777 have been written off over

21 years in service. Two of those were MH 370 and MH-17.

[16:10:00] Boeing says it has a team standing by to assist, to help in the investigation. Joining me now, CNN aviation analyst, Mary Schiavo. She

served as the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation. So, Mary, you have investigated many, many aviation disasters, many

aviation accidents. Give us a sense of what sort of thing could cause a plane to crash upon landing?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, we have two pretty good clues already that have come out of the information that's available. One is

that supposedly the air traffic control travel did alert the incoming aircraft and they asked them to check that their gear was down. Now,

whether they do that all the time is routine. That does not happen in most places. You don't get that warning. But there was some communication

about a gear down check. Which could indicate one of two things. They were having a problem with the gear. Now there's lights, there are

warnings in the cockpit if the gear does not come down and lock. So they would have known that if they were having a problem unless there was some

kind of problem with the warning system to tell them it was not down and locked.

And then a weather check tells us we did have a wind shift. Typically, it is called wind shear, but we don't know the magnitude of it yet. But the

wind changed just as the plane was coming in literally from an easterly to a westerly direction. There is a lot of debate whether they had a tail

when or a sudden change in the wind. And so if they experienced wind shear and were trying to do a go around they would take their gear up. But not

until they got a positive rate of climb and full power out of those engines. Because this is a dangerous part of flight. So those are some of

the clues that are coming out at this point with the available information.

ASHER: And I'm wondering if you can actually just pull up some of the images of the aftermath of this crash. If our producers can just pull up

the images. Basically what you see is thick black smoke billowing in the air. You can see this part of the fuselage completely burned off. A

frightening situation, Mary, for any passenger. Just explain to us -- when you look at these images, how on earth is it possible that no one, at least

none of the passengers, was seriously hurt?

SCHIAVO: You know, and this is the second similar situation to this. There was a 777 that crashed in San Francisco about three years ago. Now

there were a number of passengers that were seriously hurt and two people were killed. But the same thing, the plane burned in the similar pattern

but people were able to get off. And again, these planes have to be and have to pass design proof that people can get off of that plane in 90

seconds or less. It is required. It's required of all aircrafts of major aviation nations and has to be tested. So that's a kudo to it.

And here the engine came off. But they're designed to come off in a particular way to do less damage to the aircraft. And here the engine came

off and over the wing. And it would do that if it is still producing thrust. Designed not to hurt the plane more than necessary if the wing

comes off. So kudos to the aircraft for also helping save lives.

ASHER: So, you know, this is obviously, every passenger's absolute worst nightmare, especially for people who fly a lot. When you look at the

images, if you're a passenger and you're involved in a situation like this, a nightmare scenario for everybody, what are you supposed to do and what

are you not supposed to do?

SCHIAVO: You're supposed to get off as fast as possible --

ASHER: And not panic as well.

SCHIAVO: And not panic. But people stopped to get their luggage. They did it in the Asiana crash in San Francisco. They did it here. While they

think it doesn't slow things down, it does. And you know, it's human nature. I don't fault people. They are afraid. They just do what their

naturally do. I have to get my things and go. But it's really important to get to the nearest exit as soon as possible. Don't block it. Get off.

Help others if you must, but get out. And that's what spells the difference between living and dying, because it's the smoke that kills more

people than anything else.

ASHER: That's very good advice. Don't stop and think, oh, I've get your laptop, got to get my backpack, et cetera, et cetera. Just get off. Mary

Schiavo, live for us there. Thank you so much, appreciate that.

SCHIAVO: Thank you.

ASHER: The votes have been cast. Now the counting begins. We'll look at the hotly contested elections in South Africa and what it could mean for

the country's economy. That's next.


ASHER: Vote counting is underway in South Africa. The country cast ballots in regional elections. Many see as a difficult test for the ruling

ANC party and of course President Jacob Zuma. David McKenzie visited several polling stations in Johannesburg and he filed this report. Take a



DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: In the past the ruling ANC would be a guaranteed win in places like this in Alexandria, in

Johannesburg. But in this vote were more than 26 million South Africans could cast their ballots for opposition parties, like the Economic Freedom

Fighters and others are putting the ANC to the test. Because while some people are voting on legacy, others are focusing on services.

You're wearing a Nelson Mandela t-shirt. So why did you vote today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mandela fought for this country. We must stand for that. We must stand for that as a country. We must push for it We must

stand for that. He fought for this country. We must push for it, the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is most pressing and important is life basics, you understand. It is what we are voting for. If you come up with something

that will help me then I'll vote for you. Because what I need, I need some services from you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: we need change, that's why.

MCKENZIE: What change do you need?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any political party that will bring change then we can vote for it then.

MCKENZIE: Many voters see this as a referendum on the ANC and the countries embattled President Jacob Zuma was gone through a series of

corruption scandals. Especially in places like this, in Alexandria, where they are struggling with unemployment and right next door is one of the

richest postal codes in Africa. David McKenzie, CNN Johannesburg, South Africa.


ASHER: And as David McKenzie was just saying, this is the actually toughest challenge to the ANC party in many, many years. They are facing

tough opposition from the Economic Freedom Fighters Party. It is pretty much the new kid on the block, if you will. But it's already attracting

some huge rallies. EFF calls itself a radical leftist anti-capitalist movement. The economy is poor condition. The IMF recently caught its

growth forecasts this year to 0.1 percent. Unemployment is stubbornly high, over 25 percent. The governor of South Africa's Central Bank told

Eleni Giokos, that the economy needs some very serious reforms.


LESETJA KGANYAGO, GOVERNOR, SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK: What we can get away from is that growth in the South African context is actually weak.

And it is not as strong enough to enable us to make a dent on the employment challenges that we are facing.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Governor, it seems like you're in a very tight spot. You've got the repo rate at seven percent.

Inflation has breached the 6 percent mark. You have growth sitting at 0 percent. What tools do you have left to try and ensure that you balance

that price stability and of course the fact that you've got unemployment sitting at 26 percent?

KGANYAGO: The tools are not rocket science. You either have money to the stimulus, or you have fiscal stimulus and you have structural reforms.

Interest rates in South Africa in nominal terms are still at historic lows. So the EFA stimulus that's being provided from the monetary side. They

have been very clear that they do not have the scope to provide a fiscal stimulus. They have started a path of fiscal consolidation to make sure

that we do not have runaway debt. The underline cost of our growth problems in South Africa is lack of structural change.


[16:20:00] ASHER: And our Eleni Giokos joins us live now from Johannesburg. So Eleni, just listening to your interview, one of the

things that the central bank governor talked about was this idea of the importance of structural reforms. But when you have a stagnant economy,

when you have one quarter of the population there in South Africa without jobs, how does the ANC make sure that this time around the electorate does

not turn against them?

GIOKOS: Absolutely. I mean at the end of the day, Zain, you have to ensure that all your economic policies benefit those that are at the bottom

of the spectrum. And at the end of the day when you got poverty levels that are very high and equality, which is so very much a legacy issue. And

of course, the fact that the ANC has been in power since 1994 trying to make headway and perhaps reverse some of the ills of the past. It hasn't

been very easy.

And then when you've got this low economic growth. And of course exacerbates the situation even further. And this is why this is one of the

most contested local elections. And of course, elections since 1994. But to give us a little bit more insight into this, I'm joined now by Azar

Jammine, who is the chief economist at Econometrix, and perhaps able to give us a little bit more insight as to what these elections mean for the

country. And of course what it'll mean for the ruling party if they do disfavor in those key districts like Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Port


AZAR JAMMINE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ECONOMETRIX: Essentially South Africa's economic growth has been in decline for the last five years. It is not

entirely of South Africa's own making. It's got a lot to do with global factors and the decline in interest in emerging markets linked to the

falling commodity prices. But over and above that we've got a situation where the government has put a lot infrastructure into place over the last

20 years. And yet the actual delivery of the services from that infrastructure is leaving much to be desired.

GIOKOS: And they haven't been able to deliver on that in the poorest of areas. Do you think anything is going to change down the line? Because

this is obviously, going to shake them up quite significantly.

JAMMINE: The feeling is that one of the reasons why you have not had delivery is because people in local government have been put into

positions, which are beyond their capability. And often simply because of their connections with certain people at the top. And the way this is

being brought about to try to enrich those connected people and the people at the bottom who depend on the services have been ignored.

GIOKOS: But it's not only on the economic front. We are worried about the scandals that overshadowed President Jacob Zuma just this year. We have

seen so many of those playing out. How is that impacting sentiment on the ground, investor sentiment and of course it's being reflected very much in

the way the currency has been performing as well.

JAMMINE: There is no question that the assertions of corruption and what is known as state capture, that is appointing people to important positions

who can then get tenders and jobs that will enrich their environment has been seen by the poor as alienating them from the government. And

President Zuma, himself in his personal capacity, has been seen to be at the forefront of this. It's one of the reasons why if there is a swing

away from the ruling party it will be seen as a vote against the kind of corruption that is being seen. And investors might take kindly to this.

GIOKOS: Might take kindly to this. I mean how would the investment community respond to the ANC losing very key municipalities? And what

would that mean for Jacob Zuma down the line?

JAMMINE: It is not entirely clear as to what the reaction will be.

GIOKOS: Because that would mean policy uncertainty.

JAMMINE: On the one hand, there could be policy uncertainty. On the other hand, there could be a rise in the perception that Zuma's days are

numbered, and that we are now going to have local governments in place that will act against perceptions of corruption and state capture. The other

important point to make is that markets have been -- and certainly the currency -- has been influenced far more in recent times by risk appetite

for emerging markets than by the shenanigans on the local political scene.

ASHER: Of course, and one of the most volatile currencies in the world the rand, of course. Thank you very much, Azar. That was Azar Jammine. He is

the chief economist at Econometrix. Live in Johannesburg. Back to you, Zain.

ASHER: Are right, Eleni Giokos, thank you so much. I appreciate that.

Now switching now to U.S. politics. We of course heard earlier just a snippet from Donald Trump who is speaking right now at a rally in Florida.

Earlier in his comments, I'm not sure if you remember this, but he did call Hillary Clinton the founder of ISIS. And many prominent Republicans are

actually not supporting Donald Trump.

[16:25:01] Some of them in fact are now switching sides. They are defecting to Hillary Clinton. One of them is in fact Hewlett Packard CEO,

Meg Whitman, who was one of the highest profile GOP members to jump ship, calling Trump reckless and uninformed. The former California candidate for

governor said she will cross party lines and vote for Clinton. In a statement on Facebook Whitman wrote "To vote Republican out of party

loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division." Earlier I spoke with

our CNN political commentator Kayleigh McEnany. I asked her if Trump should be concerned about people like Whitman supporting Clinton.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think so. Because Trump wants to win over voters, the average voters. And we see

billionaires like Warren Buffet, we see high profile businesswomen like Meg Whitman go to Hillary Clinton's side. So this is really an opportunity for

him to say, "Hey, the billionaire class, the millionaire class is with her. I'm with you." But it's going to him making that message and making that

pivot away from some of the controversies we've seen, and to that message of I'm for the American people.

ASHER: Obviously, you and I both know that Donald Trump certainly does have a loyal following. But if you want to win a general election in

November, you have to win over beyond just your loyal supporters. You need independence. You need minorities. You need women. What is Donald Trump

doing to reach over to the other side of the aisle?

MCENANY: You're right. There's no doubt about that he has to expand beyond the 43 percent odd voters he's getting now. And in order to do that

it's going to mean going to mean going to Pennsylvania, Michigan, the rust belt states that Donald Trump really resonates with. Because these are

areas where factories have closed down. These are areas where we've seen manufacturing go abroad. People have lost jobs, have depressed wages.

Donald Trump has an uncanny ability to really speak to the plight of the American voter who is hurting economically, struggling to send their kids

to college, but he has to go and bring that message. And when we get distracted by some of the issues like with Captain Khan, for instance, it

takes away from the opportunity, as you say, to expand that voting base.

ASHER: Why do you think that is a distraction? What he said to Khan.

MCENANY: I think it's a distraction because it took him away from his message. His target for the next 97 days needs to be Hillary Clinton.

ASHER: So you think he did something wrong there?

MCENANY: I do, yes. I think Donald Trump did something wrong there. Yes.

ASHER: Should he apologize?

MCENANY: I think that calling him a hero was enough to move forward. If he wants to apologize he can. I don't think it's pivotal. I think calling

the son a hero and moving on is what he needs to do.

ASHER: Clinton in the latest CNN/ORC poll, Clinton has a 7-point lead over Donald Trump. What do you think Donald Trump specifically is doing wrong

right now?

MCENANY: Right now, I mean he's getting off message. Newt Gingrich said earlier in this campaign, he needs to three issues. He needs to stick to

ISIS. He needs to stick to the economy. He needs to stick to trade. Any time he leaves those messages he's getting into territory that quite

frankly the American voter doesn't care about. They don't care about, you know, disputes with him and -- they do care about the dispute between him

and Mr. Khan. But some of the other disputes like the internal campaign workings they don't care about. And we have a tendency I think in the

media, a tendency and the campaign cycle to get off of what this election is about. And is who can make it better for American families.

ASHER: Kayleigh, you're not the only one that has called Donald Trump and told him to stay on message. Obviously, his children have said the same

thing. Who does Donald Trump listen to?

MCENANY: I think Donald Trump's issue, I think, when he gets off message, his he just speaks from the heart. And sometimes he pontificates about

things and ends up wandering into territory he shouldn't wander into. So for instance, the Khan situation, let's look at that. He has a message

about radical Islam in countries like Saudi Arabia where we see fundamentalist regimes where women do not have rights. They cannot drive.

He has a message about radical Islam and some of the downfalls of that. I think when he was talking about Mrs. Khan, why did she stand there

silently, his mind went to talking about fundamentalist Islam. This was not the context to do that in. That's a separate point. It was not

appropriate with respect to this family. So he was trying to dovetail his broader message with this incident. Not the right way to do it.


ASHER: All right. Coming up next on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Tesla shares zigzags after hours. After the automaker reported accelerating losses.

We'll have that story next.


[16:31:28] ASHER: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up in the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS an unlocked cargo plane flies $400

million cash to Iran. The U.S. Government confirms it made the delivery.

And fly me to the moon. We'll meet the company hoping to lead the first private mission. Before that these are the top news headlines we are

following for you at this hour.

One firefighter has been killed battling a fire aboard a plane at Dubai's international airport. The Boeing 777 skidded off the runway and burst

into flames shortly after landing, all 300 passenger and crew made it off the plane. 13 passengers reported minor injuries.


AHMED BIN SAEED MAKTOUM, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EMIRATES GROUP: We have actuated emergency center here. We are always trying to take care of our

passengers here. We have extended our full operation to the authority and emergency at risk during this time, situation. Our thoughts are with

everyone on board and we request you to respect the privacy of all of our passengers.


ASHER: Donald Trump's running mate has endorsed his Republican colleague Paul Ryan just hours after Trump said he wasn't ready support the House

Speaker's reelection campaign. Mike Pence told Fox News that he strongly supports Paul Ryan who has clashed with Trump over his feud with a fallen

soldier's family. Trump's advisor Ben Carson told CNN he expects the party to eventually unify.


BEN CARSON, FORMER U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He will be obviously on board with Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan is a tremendous guy. I have

great respect for him, great intellect. Donald Trump understands that. Any little differences that they have will be resolved and there will be

unity in the party.


ASHER: The Syrian regime has launched new air strikes on rebels fighting in the eastern part of Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights

said, Aleppo the rebels have been trying to breakthrough government lines to reconnect the territory they hold in the west. Aleppo has seen intense

fighting over the past week or so.

And polls have closed in South Africa after municipal elections that could pose a difficult test for Jacob Zuma. His ruling African National Congress

Party is facing the stiffest electoral challenge in years. More than 61,000 candidates are competing for local government seats.

And the Olympic torch has arrived in Rio de Janeiro it came by boat. It is now making its way around the host city out of Friday's opening ceremony at

the Maracana stadium. At the same time 17 Russian rowers have lost an appeal against their Olympic ban.

Tesla's stock is zigzagging in after-trading hours. It is now up ever so slightly. The automaker reported sales picked up in the second quarter of

the year. But the company posted a bigger loss than analysts had been expecting. Paul La Monica.

How steep were the losses?

PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: They were pretty steep but I think investors have grown accustomed to the fact that Tesla is going to

lose money periodically. The bigger issue with Tesla I think going forward, Zain, is will they be able to meet that very ambitious goal of

500,000 cars delivered by 2018?

[16:35:05] That would put them amongst the auto industry heavyweights up there with Ford, GM, Toyota, Volkswagen. The model 3 car which is coming

out in few years, the more affordable one, can Elon Musk really get that delivered on time? That is the big question right now that investors want

to hear for details.

ASHER: And one thing, I'm not sure if he's going to mention this on the call but one that a lot of people have been discussing in recent days is

this sort of merger with SolarCity. I mean he has to really make a case to investors that this acquisition was the right choice.

LA MONICA: Definitely. They are spending a decent amount of money on SolarCity. The bet being that having a company that sells electric cars

and also alternative energy solutions through solar power does make sense. But there are so many worries about how much money that company is losing.

By the way, his cousins run the company.

ASHER: Oh yes, that minor conflict of interest there.

LA MONICA: A little potential conflict of interest, nepotism, whatever you want to call it, that is something Elon Musk is going to have to address.

ASHER: All right. Switching companies now, we did also get earnings from 21st Century Fox. I think what investors will be really watching is how

much the election has helped news, especially with advertising.

LA MONICA: Yes, I think the election is definitely something that has boosted all TV networks, broadcast and cable, and our company included.

You have to say that with Time Warner reporting decent results, very good results actually this morning. The question with Fox going forward is that

Roger Ailes had been at Fox News for so long and was credited with that network success, can Fox keep it going with Rupert Murdoch now calling the

shots because of the scandal plaguing Roger Ailes and him stepping down.

ASHER: But are investors really worried about that though?

LA MONICA: I don't think investors are as worried because they know Rupert Murdoch is someone they are very familiar with. His James and Lachlan seem

very interested in moving the company past this and focusing on some of the other cable businesses. FX for example. Their investment in Hulu which is

something that Fox is really hoping can drive more people to Fox content online and streaming. I think there is hope that the Ailes controversy

will not overshadow otherwise good results at the company.

ASHER: And what about the movie business in particular?

LA MONICA: The movie business is an area where Fox has been struggling. They haven't had as many hits as Disney for example. But hey, Disney which

reports next week despite their box office success, everyone is worried about ESPN and the cable side with Fox as the flip side. Cable isn't the

problem at all. That's why I think investors are happy about how that stock is doing.

ASHER: Good to see you.

LA MONICA: Thank you.

ASHER: Thank you so much.

One small step for man and one giant leap for a very small company. Moon Express has just been given the green light for the first ever commercial

mission to the moon. It received approval from a host of U.S. government agencies on Wednesday. The firm is competing for Google's Lunar XPRIZE and

hopes to land a probe on the moon's surface. Its CEO tells Rachel Crane that after this mission, Moon Express has even bigger ambitions for the



RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is Moon Express going to be the first private mission to land on the moon?

DAVEN MAHARAI, MOON EXPRESS, VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS: Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be the first company ever to land


CRANE: You guys just made history in getting FAA approval for this launch.

MAHARAI: We became the first company ever to actually get permission to leave earth orbit. There are laws and regulations under the outer space

treaty that the United States has to follow. And the fact that in a short period give us permission to be able to go land on the moon that is quoting

Joe Biden, is a BFD.

CRANE: Yeah, it is a BFD. You're a massive step closer to putting this lander on the moon by December 31st of 2017.

MAHARAI: We already have the rocket. And to really build all the software, really to go and land on the moon by 2017 in some sense now we

are simply running against the clock.

CRANE: This particular mission here, you are going to land roughly a 20- pound lander on the moon. You to move it 500 meters in any direction. You have to transmit HD video and HD images back to the earth. How hard is the

architecture to pull that off?

MAHARAI: This is a micro lander that is going on a small rocket made by Rocket Lab. The beauty of the whole thing is the cost of this mission is

under $10 million. Because the rocket is 3D printed, our lander is 3D printed.

CRANE: Is there any price to pay for the fact that that price is so low? Does it compromise the safety of the mission?

MAHARAI: The same technology making the iPhone antenna is what's making our lander smaller and smaller.

CRANE: What are you guys trying to accomplish with this mission right now? It is just a proof of concept getting this lander the moon? What are you

guys looking to do once you get there?

[16:40:05] MAHARAI: To re-quote John F Kennedy we chose to go to the moon not because it's easy, because it's a good business.

CRANE: I don't think he said a good business. I think he said because it's hard.

MAHARAI: That's re-quoting.

CRANE: Re-quoting, I got it. Just a slight amendment there. Why do you think going to the moon is a good business?

MAHARAI: It is estimated the moon had $16 quadrillion worth of metals on the moon. And any which way you look at it, as someone would say, it's

[BLEEP] load of money.

CRANE: That is so true. But we are still though many steps away from being able to actually mine the moon and bring those minerals back here to


MAHARAI: As a great entrepreneur you always want to be where the puck is going to be, not where the puck is. So what are really doing is looking

ahead to see what are the great things we can do to make life better for people on earth and at the same time to allow our humanity to become a

multi-planetary society so we don't have to a single point of failure like dinosaurs did.

CRANE: Well, do you guys foresee a future where Moon Express is transporting humans to the moon?

MAHARAI: Of course.

CRANE: How far away do you think that is?

MAHARAI: 10 to 15 years.

CRANE: So you guys think you will be the first company to bring humans to the moon, private company?

MAHARAI: We will be the first company to allow honey moon to be possible.

CRANE: I would love to take my honey moon on the moon.


ASHER: All right. The Olympic Games haven't had an opening ceremony yet. But athletes are already competing. We'll bring you the latest on the very

first event of Rio 2016.


ASHER: Brazil police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters in Rio They interrupted the torch relay that's been going through the city.

Meanwhile, organizers of the Olympics say 80 percent of tickets have been sold and also say only a quarter of tickets have gone to people outside of

Brazil. Opening ceremony is a couple of days away.

But the first competition has already kicked off. The hosts are taking on China in women's football. Brazil are leading two-nil. I want to straight

to CNN's World Sports, Don Riddell, so Don we have seen the first action, the first games right before the real start on Friday. What are your first

impressions? Has everything gone smoothly?

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say, really. It's such a major event in such a massive city, Zain. We

know about all of the problems that have been making the headlines for months and months leading up to these games.

I can tell you my first impressions of Rio are that the traffic is very, very difficult to navigate. And that could be a problem throughout the

tournament. So far we only have one event to discuss. The women's football kicked off earlier in the day. Canada beat Australia by two goals

to nil.

[16:45:01] And as you say the hosts, Brazil, I'm sorry, Canada beat Australia by two goals to nil. And the host Brazil looking to make a very

strong start to this tournament as well in a winning position that's just a few minutes to go. It is not the sport here that is making the headlines

as you know, Zain.

ASHER: Right. And I was going to go to my next question, we are hearing about the violent protests around the torch relay. Police are firing tear

gas and rubber bullets, just tell us about the security situation when it comes to that sort of thing.

RIDDELL: Well, the security is extremely visible. When we arrived in the airport there was a very obvious armed military presence. We have driven

past convoys of armed vehicles with gunners mounted on the back of those trucks. So I mean that is very, very apparent that the security has been

stepped up here. What happened earlier today with the torch relay because the torch has been of course making its way around the world and around

Brazil. It finally arrived in Rio, the sort of greater Rio region today. It didn't look particularly good for the Olympics.

There have been many protests. There was another protest today on this occasion. People who were there saying they were protesting against the

mayor and protesting about unpaid teachers in a shambolic health care system. We saw what looked to be military personnel, the National Force

trying to clear the protesters before the torch actually arrived on the street.

We've heard that they used tear gas and fired rubber bullets and there was an absolutely chaotic situation, and then the really bizarre image of this

very, very commercialized parade coming through Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola buses coming through in a scene of absolute chaos. The torch runner coming

through in the middle of it all.

The National Force hasn't confirmed to us their position on what happened but it is not the kind of image that the IOC would like to portray to the

world. And despite the fact that they are claiming it is a good day as you say with these 80% ticket sales meeting their target, clearly not everybody

in Rio is happy about the Olympics being here.

ASHER: Another problem for the IOC is of course the headlines about Russian athletes. We are hearing at the IOC and why there are still

clashing over the handling of Russian doping allegations. What's been said back and forth?

RIDDELL: Well, there's an awful lot of finger pointing about who's responsibility this really is and how we have got into this situation. But

I mean the broader picture is that this is an absolute fiasco. To put it into perspective, Russia is one of the biggest countries in world sport,

one of the biggest and most successful Olympic countries. We are two days away from the start of the games and we don't know which of these Russian

athletes are actually going to be competing.

We know who is not going to be competing. We know today that 17 Russian rowers had their appeal thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sports,

CAS as it is known. Also denied the weight-lifting team's appeal. We know they will not be in. There are still a lot of Russian athletes who are

hoping to be here. But the IOC, the International Olympic Committee organizing this event are going have a final say on each and every one of

these Russian athletes.

They are going to make their position known in a press release at some point in the next couple of days. They have promised they will come before

the opening ceremony. It is an absolutely bizarre situation for these Russian athletes. Some of whom are here, some of whom will be in the air

on their way to Rio when this decision is made and none of them know. There is a very, very clear sense of unease among the athletes who may be

competing about what is going to be like to be in an event with a Russian athlete competing whether they will be doping or not. It is very, very

unsatisfactory for so many people on both sides of the argument, Zain.

ASHER: Especially because the decision is being left up until the last minute only two days to go, Don Riddell live from Rio. Thank you much

appreciate that.

RIDDELL: Thank you so much. Appreciate that.

ASHER: A secret plane load of crash from the U.S. to Iran, four American hostages released why the U.S. says it was not, not a ransom payment.

But first, a highlight from "MAKE, CREATE, INNOVATE."


ASHER: U.S. officials have confirmed cash payment of $400 million to Iran on the same day four American hostages were released. But they insist the

payment was not ransom. The U.S. flew an unmarked cargo plane to Tehran containing the money this past January. Existing sanctions banned U.S.

dollars being used.

The cash included euros and Swiss francs withdrawn from central banks in both Switzerland and the Netherlands. The U.S. government insists it was

just a first step in resolving a long-standing dispute between the two countries.


MARK TONER, SPOKESMAN, U.S. DEPUTY, STATE DEPARTMENT: First of all, this was no ransom. It was a settlement for an outstanding claim in The Hague

Tribunal that had been established, let's be clear, in 1981 to resolve any outstanding claims between the U.S. and Iran. It was simply not linked in

any way, shape or form to the release of those detained Americans.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN, LEAD POLITICAL ANCHOR: Why wasn't Congress informed of the specifics of the arrangement?

TONER: Again, I would take objection to that. Even publicly the President and Secretary of State Kerry were within hours of when this arrangement was

made. The settlement concluded and talking about it publicly. Congress was with informed on the details prior to the settlement.

BLITZER: Because a lot of the members of Congress say they repeatedly asked, of the relevant committees repeatedly asked for these specifics.

They weren't informed and we weren't informed that $400 million in foreign currency in euros and Swiss francs was being flown to Tehran delivered in a

private unmarked plane exactly the same time these American hostages were released. You're saying it was totally coincidental?

TONER: Wait, a couple of points there to make. One is I really can't speak to the mechanics of how the settlement was made, except I would only

underscore to your viewers and to the American people that it's important to acknowledge the reality of Iran's financial connections to the global

financial system at the time this settlement was made. It was not an easy thing do to make this settlement. You know, they were disconnected and

remains somewhat disconnected from the global financial network.


ASHER: A Malaysian democracy group is planning a new round of rallies to protest government corruption. Malaysia's Prime Minister is under growing

pressure to resign over a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal. Here is our Andrew Stevens with more.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN MONEY, ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR (voice-over): At 91 years old the former strong man of Malaysian politics, Mahathir bin Mohamad has a

new fight. His target, the country's Prime Minister, Najib Razak, now engulfed in a scandal involving the country's sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB

that has been simmering for years.

The U.S. Justice Department alleges more than $3.5 billion was stolen from the fund. The fund's advisory board was headed by Najib. U.S. Attorney

General Loretta Lynch described the fund as a personal bank account for corrupt Malaysian officials. And the report alleges a high-ranking

official in the government known as Malaysian Official 1 received hundreds of millions of dollars.

Many Malaysians believed this is a reference to the Prime Minister who has not been charged.


STEVENS (voice-over): Mahathir says the government is trying to silence anyone who speaks out about it in Malaysia including him.

[16:55:05] MAHATHIR: The U.S. government has done a good job by exposing this thing because in the country nobody dares to talk about it. You talk

then the police will call you.

STEVENS (on camera): Has that happened to you?

MAHATHIR: It has happened to me. At the same time, they are harassing my friends, members of my family to the extent that people are afraid to talk

to me.

STEVENS (voice-over): Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, a man with a reputation for cracking down on the opposition says the government

is turning the country into a police state. Protests against the government have been growing. This was the scene last August when an

estimated 500,000 people took to the streets to call for the resignation of Najib over 1MDB.

Since then new security laws have been introduced including the national security council act. It gives the government sweeping new powers of

arrest and detention and allows them to close down protests much more easily.

MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH, CHAIRPERSON, BERSIH: It is closing off the freedoms in Malaysia.

STEVENS: Maria Chin Abdullah heads up to civil liberties group Bersih which organized the protest. The distinctive yellow t-shirts that have

defined the demonstrations are now outlawed. But the loss of civil liberties goes much deeper than that she says.

ABDULLAH: Not only have existing draconian laws we also have new laws that actually curb our freedom of assembly.

STEVENS: Another rally is planned this year but Mahathir says the opposition forces are running out of options.

MAHATHIR: Reporting to the police also is useless and going to parliament is also useless. We are actually powerless to do anything at all to

correct the wrong things that he has done.

STEVENS: Andrew Stevens, CNN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


ASHER: All right, that was QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I am Zain Asher in New York.

I'll see you tomorrow.