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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Facebook Updates Plan to Fight Election Meddling; Inside Look at Russian Troll Farms and Benefactors; China Warns U.S. Against New Tariffs; Bank Employees in Argentina Go on Strike; "Black Panther" Brings in a Record-Breaking Box Office Weekend. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired February 19, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] (CNN DOMESTIC SIMULCAST)
[16:15:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Now tonight, Facebook is taking new steps to stop election meddling. Good evening, I'm Richard Quest in New
York. Just a few moments later than usual after that exclusive reporting on the Kushner and the Mueller investigation.
And now on the Russia question, after the FBI indicted 13 Russian nationals and said the Russians used social media to sow fear and discord in the
United States. Facebook has updated its plans to prevent it in the future. Unusually, Facebook is going to send postcards via snail mail to anyone who
wants to take out ads mentioning a candidate's name. They say it will verify the advertiser's identity and the location. Facebook's also working
on a tool that will notify users if it's believed they've viewed propaganda. And Facebook has doubled the team that identifies and shuts
down fake accounts. All in all, the social media needs to get this plan in place before the U.S. midterm elections later in this year. Because
election -- during this election, intelligence officials say meddling is going on around the world.
Now, let me show you, take a look at it. How did Russia actually do the meddling in the election that everybody is talking about? Facebook,
itself, of course, isn't accused of any wrongdoing. According to the Mueller indictment, the company's toolbox, the various things that they
have amongst them and available made it that easy. For example, their advanced advertising algorithm, which would, as you can see there, advanced
algorithms, allowed Russian trolls to target specific communities. Follow veterans in U.S. if you know the difference.
It gives you an idea, American.Veteran sponsored an Instagram site. These are the sort of things that they were using. Then the ads got people to
join various groups. For instance, this is a famous one that we've seen, Hillary Clinton is the co-author of Obama's anti-police and anti-
constitutional propaganda. Down with Hillary. Being patriotic was the name of this particular group. And once they were in the group, the trolls
fed them propaganda.
There was more, though. They use stolen Facebook identities. The trolls stole the identities and they appeared because they were real Americans.
And then finally, this is not as touchscreen as it used to be, maybe we need a new one. There we go. Facebook then unwittingly gave the trolls
real time data that made it all the more targeted and more efficient. One last go. It does work eventually.
Matthew Chance is outside the building where it all happened in St. Petersburg. Oh, good grief, Matthew, that looks to be where I come from in
Yorkshire, we describe that as very parky.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is parky out here in St. Petersburg where as you quite rightly mentioned, I
am standing outside that very building that was mentioned in the U.S. indictment from the Justice Department as being basically the place where
those Russian trolls were employed. Where they carried out all those illegal activities, essentially, that you've just itemized there with your
touchscreen television. And, indeed, you know, took part in that alleged conspiracy to sow chaos and discord across the United States. That all
took place in that office behind me.
CHANCE (voice-over): This is the only glimpse we have of a Russian troll factory in action. The undercover video was recorded inside the secretive
internet research agency in St. Petersburg where paid internet provocateurs worked 12-hour shifts, distorting the U.S. political debate.
CNN spoke to a Russian journalist who went undercover there as an internet troll in 2016.
LYUDMILA SAVCHUK, JOURNALIST (through translator): The U.S. elections are the key issue for the Kremlin. Of course, Russia has invested a lot of
effort into them. That's why the troll factories are working. I have no doubt.
CHANCE: And this is the publicity shy Russian oligarch now indicted in the U.S. for bankrolling the troll factory. Yevgeny Prigozhin dubbed by social
media as Putin's chef has lucrative catering contracts with the Kremlin but denies any involvement in election meddling.
[16:20:00] Americans are very impressionable people, he told Russian state media, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I'm
not at all upset that I'm on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see one, he added.
But the possible extent of Prigozhin's alleged involvement in the often- shadowy world of Russian foreign policy is only now starting to emerge. He's already under U.S. sanctions for supporting Russian forces in Ukraine.
And now through a complex web of relationships, he's suspected of links to covert Russian mercenaries deployed in Syria where CNN has reported several
were killed in a recent U.S. airstrike. Prigozhin denies any connection to the group.
Whatever the truth, Putin's chef and his network of secretive companies seem to extend far beyond the kitchen.
CHANCE: Yevgeny Prigozhin a very mysterious figure and very close to the sort of center of power here in Russia. As I say, believed to be the man
who bankrolled this troll factory. There have been other denials as well from Russian officials, Richard, not least from the Russian foreign
minister, Sergei Lavrov. He called all of this blather. But also, from the Kremlin who have reacted today for the first time to indictments saying
they see nothing here that suggests that the kremlin or Russia was officially involved in the meddling scandal.
QUEST: Right. So, let's assume for the purposes of this next question that everything is accurate that we've heard about the indictments. Does
that mean the whole thing is a, you know, just busted and, therefore, that building behind you, because it is now known and they're on -- the
authorities over here are onto them, it serves no purpose. I mean, how -- what are they going to do next?
CHANCE: Look, from the point of view of the authorities, this whole -- the whole reason for creating things like this that it is not official. The
people that work inside that building or whenever the troll army is relocated to are not government employees. They're run by private
businesspeople which provides a high degree of deniability to the Kremlin. That they're saying, look, yes, there may have been Russian officials
involved. But it was we can't account for the criminal enterprises of individual Russian citizens. In terms of what this factory is doing now,
it was supposed to be closed down. We were expecting to see no one. But people have been coming and going out of that door there behind me the
whole of the day. And they've only just actually switched the lights off.
QUEST: Matthew, thank you. Cool comfort for you, we just checked, it's minus 8 degrees Celsius where you are. But I'm looking -- I'm guessing it
feels a great deal colder than that. And you should be probably wearing a hat in that sort of weather. Good to see you. Matthew Chance in Moscow.
Now China is beginning its new year with a warning for the United States, don't impose trade sanctions or else. It follows comments from the U.S.
Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, recommending that Washington put levies on certain goods coming from overseas.
The United States has already targeted solar panels. You will be aware of that, of course, solar panel was one of the first things on the list. And
then there were those washing machines from foreign manufacturers. Experts say steel and aluminum imports could be next. Of course, if the U.S. does
follow through on its threats, China could retaliate with tariffs of its own.
For example, you've got U.S. grain products like sorghum that could be there. And then styrene, which is another problem. And then you've got
soybeans. All appear to be under threat. These could be the first steps to a full-blown trade war.
Now, at the World Economic Forum last month, I spoke to Donald Trump's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn. He explained any tariffs would be
designed to restore fairness to international trade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY COHN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR: Right now, we're not on a fair, level playing field. We're in a playing field where many, many
countries charge tariffs for U.S. products and we don't charge their product a tariff to come into the United States. So, we put our workers at
a disadvantage. We want to level the playing field to put our workers at a competitive -- at a competitive equal level to workers around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Jamie Metzl's with me. Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Good to see you.
JAMIE METZL, SENIOR FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Nice to see you.
QUEST: What do you make of this? The administration's got three choices upon the back of the recommendation from Wilbur Ross. Do nothing, full
sanctions, or tariffs, a variety of other options.
METZL: Well the United States certainly has lost out in its trade relations to China. China has done all sorts of things that aren't great
from an international trade perspective. The United States has been harmed by all kinds of theft of intellectual property rights, unfair trade
practices. But the Trump administration has a choice, if you want to put pressure on China, you need to build an alliance with everybody else. But
that's not what they've done. They're starting a potential trade war with China and a potential trade war with everybody else. The United States is
alone, so even though China has done all kinds of things which are not great, they're not going to be successful in pressuring them.
QUEST: Well, you say that, but it will get their attention.
[16:25:00] METZL: Definitely. Yes.
QUEST: The amount of Chinese steel that's being dumped -- it was noticed in the European Union and the European Union came up with measures, none of
which were terribly effective and now the Chinese and the United States say this. So, we know that stops being dumped.
METZL: For sure it's being dumped and that's why the United States already has penalties on China. That's why China is just the tenth largest
exporter of steel to the United States. So, if we put steel, if we put tariffs on steel, it's going to hurt China somewhat, but it's going to hurt
our allies like Canada, like Mexico, like South Korea, like even Brazil, far more than is going to hurt China. So definitely we need to be tougher
on China. The question is how, and how do we build an alliance in order to do it?
QUEST: When you say it hurts these other countries, why?
METZL: Because they are exporting more steel to the United States then is China.
QUEST: Just to explain, you can't do targeted sanctions that would -- or tariffs that would just hit Chinese steel because that would be against WTO
METZL: You could try, and that's why they're talking about national security as the justification, when you declare national security, you can
do a lot of things. But let's say we just put penalties on Chinese steel, maybe it harms -- interferes with Chinese dumping which we've already done
through the penalties that we have. But it doesn't do anything to help steel production in the United States, which is the stated goal of the
QUEST: OK. But we saw this, again, I mean, you and I are of a certain age that we just about remember, you know, the tariffs that were put on rubber
tires some years ago. And steel has also been done before. And on both occasions in the past, it merely damaged domestic production and ancillary
METZL: Yes, so with tires, for example, so we limited Chinese tires but then the other non-American producers of tires just exported more into the
United States. You look at solar panels, which you mentioned ago. Yes, we can limit the import of solar panels, but what about all the service
QUEST: So, what's the answer? If you believe that it is an unfair -- and solar panels is a good example because in this case, you've got the
question of the panels themselves.
QUEST: But as have all the washing machines, but you have the various ancillary sales, maintenance, repair, and all the other things. What do
METZL: There's a real answer and it's very, very clear. You need to put pressure on China. China is the behemoth in --
METZL: How, Jamie?
METZL: By building an alliance of everybody else. And that's why the Trans-Pacific Partnership was so important. That's why pooh-poohing all of
our alliances and our trade relationships with everybody else eliminates all of our leverage at a time when we need to muster the leverage we have
to pressure China.
QUEST: All right. We'll talk about that. There's a lot more aggressive.
METZL: OK, good.
We really need to get to the to bottom.
QUEST: Good to see you.
METZL: Nice to see you.
QUEST: Happy Presidents Day.
METZL: Thank you. And a nice purple suit.
QUEST: Seems to be obsessed by my purple suit today. It's a nice purple suit. Thank you.
METZL: It is.
QUEST: Right. The governor of Latvia's central bank has rejected allegations that he accepted bribes. Ilmars Rimsevic has now been released
on bail after spending the weekend in custody as part of an anti-corruption probe. He's also a top official at the ECB, obviously that means he's a
member. And add a press conference earlier the head of Latvia's anticorruption bureau explained the extent of the charges he now faces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEKABS STRAUME, HEAD OF LATVIAN CORRUPTION PREVENTION BUREAU (through translator): Latvia's corruption prevention and combatting bureau has
started a criminal procedure on the 15th of February, for taking a bribe of a peculiarly large amount by higher official of Latvia's central bank. The
procedure is about demanding a bribe of no less than 100,000 euros.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Anna Stewart is following the story from London. 100,000 euros sounds a lot. Not actually in bribery terms. Certainly not if you're the
head of the central bank, and your reputation is about to go down the toilet. You're about to be arrested and locked up.
ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: Well, quite, I mean, it's not the sort of story you want to fall onto your lap. He's been released on bail as you
said there. He took the opportunity passing cameras to say he categorically denies any of the allegations. But of course, he's under
huge pressure at this stage to step down, Richard, regardless of it. Because this will be a lengthy criminal investigation. Here's what the
finance minister had to say yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA REIZNIECE-OZOLA, LATVIAN FINANCE MINISTER (through translator): From the point of view of the stability and reputation of the finance sector,
Ilmars Rimsevic should resign from the position as head of the central bank, at least while the investigation continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Latvia is a small country within the Eurozone, the ECB obviously has the primary responsibility for macro potential security and integrity.
I'm guessing that they're ring fencing to prevent any contagion.
STEWART: Well, yes, because there is a separate issue, it doesn't rain, it pours. And in Latvia not only are they dealing with this issue around the
central bank governor but also a separate issue around one of the biggest banks in Latvia, and That Is ABLV. Now this was the bank that last week
the U.S. Treasury accused of money laundering and enabling transactions to North Korea. And its position was seriously weakened today which is when
the ECB stepped in and effectively shuttered the bank -- Richard.
QUEST: All right. As they do all of that -- is there any connection between all of this? Is there a suggestion that Latvia has been lax?
[16:30:00] STEWART: Well, this morning when we had far fewer details it seemed extraordinary that the central bank governor would be detained just
four days after those allegations were made by the U.S. Treasury on the bank. But so far, there seems to be absolutely no links here. But, yes,
I'm sure lots of people want to know how good the supervision is in Latvia. But I would say, what happened today, you've seen it ring fence
beautifully, we've had no market contagion, no bank contagion. Everything is sort of keep calm and carry on.
QUEST: Excellent advice. Thank you. Anna Stewart from London. Thank you for staying late tonight.
As we continue, the summer heat isn't helping people keep their cool in Argentina. A two-day bank strike is hurting the government's plans to show
the world Argentina's once again open for business.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. When a bank strike in Argentina means ordinary citizens
will have trouble taking their pesos out of the accounts and the president may have trouble getting money into the country.
And critics are calling it a defining moment for Hollywood. The "Black Panther" roars at the box office. Have we heard all that before? As we
continue on CNN tonight, on this network, the facts, they always come first here.
CNN has learned that the special counsel's interest in Donald Trump's son- in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, now expanded beyond his contacts with Russia. Multiple sources say it includes Kushner's efforts to secure
money for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition.
The gunman behind the Florida school massacre made a brief appearance in court on Monday, as another two of his victims were laid to rest. A law
enforcement source tells CNN that the 19-year-old murderer obtained ten rifles in the past year or so.
An internal Oxfam report from 2011 says at least 3 workers physically threatened a witness when the charity was investigating claims of sexual
misconduct by staff after the Haiti earthquake. The report also directly contradicts Oxfam's former country director in Haiti saying he admitted at
the time that he hired prostitutes while in Oxfam guest houses.
[16:35:00] Israeli police are investigating after swastikas were drawn on the gates of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv. It happened after the Polish
Prime Minister claimed Saturday that Jews were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Tensions have been high between the two countries since
Poland approved a controversial Holocaust law earlier this month.
Argentina is in the middle of a two-day nationwide bank strike. Union leaders are demanding higher pay to weather the countries stubbornly high
inflation. It's a blow to the President Mauricio Macri who's trying to lure business and preparing for the G20 in Buenos Aires. Patrick Gillespie
is here. The strike is over pay. Inflation is what?
PATRICK GILLESPIE, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: 25 percent last year. The banks have offered these employees a 9 percent raise. So, you can see why
these workers are miffed.
QUEST: All right. They're miffed. But, you know, interest rates are already high.
GILLESPIE: At 27 percent, so it's a very delicate balancing act between trying to cut off inflation by hiking up rates, and by preserving economic
growth. What little there is right thousand in Argentina. It's very nasally recovery right now.
QUEST: OK, but when Macri took office -- correct me if I'm wrong -- but the economy was a basket case.
GILLESPIE: Absolutely. In some ways it's significantly better if he got rid of some export tariffs. He's got rid of some currency controls -- the
current currency controls. He's restored the confidence of Wall Street in Argentina. However, the hole was deep, Richard. And he still getting out
QUEST: OK. So, it's going to take time. I mean, you know, I understand why inflation's high. And I understand bank workers want more money. But
everybody will want more money if inflation is high. But it's going to take time. Is this -- I mean, whether we look at Thatcherism, whether we
look at Reaganomics, whichever it is, if you're going to stare this down it's going to take time.
GILLESPIE: Politically, he has time. Because he has until the 2019 election. However, from an optics point of view, think about this. When I
was there last year for the World Economic Forum, during when several world leaders were there, subway workers and bus workers went on strike. You
couldn't get around the city. The same thing could happen when Donald Trump and other world leaders are in Buenos Aires for the G20 Summit later
this year. And in a month, Richard, all the finance ministers from the G20 will be there. And can you imagine if there's another strike going on?
So, from an optics point of view, it does make it hard for Macri to say we're open for business when everything gets shut down every time world
leaders show up.
QUEST: The economy is performing better under Macri than it has under the previous administrations.
GILLESPIE: No question. No question. Argentina is one of the bright spots in Latin America right now. Think about the whole region, you've got
obviously the basket case of Venezuela, Brazil is getting out of its own recovery. And Macri is trying to sign a major trade agreement between the
European Union and South American trade bloc, Mercosur, so you're seeing a lot of positive signs. He's trying to open up the economy. But he's
meeting a lot of domestic resistance from labor unions and that peso you have is getting worth less and less every day.
QUEST: You very kindly brought me these pesos. Dos pesos. Can I take us for a coffee on this?
GILLESPIE: You cannot. You need ten pesos for that.
QUEST: What's this worth?
GILLESPIE: Ten cents U.S.
QUEST: Your generosity knows no -- serious stuff, please, keep watching. And I think we may be all down at G20.
GILLESPIE: We'll have a cafe there.
QUEST: You'll be paying.
QUEST: Seemed to have left my wallet. Right. Most travelers to India are familiar with Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. In 1903, it was known for
opulence and luxury. The hotel group behind it is hoping to fuel growth by catering to more budget conscious travelers. Budget travelers at the Taj
Mahal, what a night.
[16:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: The weekend here in the United States, for those of us who don't work on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. It's also a busy time for hotels with both
U.S. travelers and Asian guests celebrating the Lunar New Year. Puneet Chhatwal is the new chief executive of the Indian Hotels Company, owners of
the Taj Hotels and India's largest hospitality brand. Good to see you, sir.
PUNEET CHHATWAL, CEO, INDIAN HOTELS COMPANY: Thank you for having me, Richard.
QUEST: You didn't just take over a hotel company. I mean, in the past, we talked about the whole concept of Taj-ness and we talked about the way on
this program that your predecessor was going to grow the business. What's your strategy going to be now?
CHHATWAL: Well, I think what we decided with the top 30 in the company is to come up with a plan for five years. It's not just for the next six
months or a year. And we want to grow our portfolios significantly versus what has been the case in the last two decades. We want to be the best in
class, which we have been, but for some time, we kind of lost track a bit because of other issues confronting the company. So, we want to reinforce
our positioning as the most iconic and profitable hospitality company coming from South Asia.
QUEST: But I can imagine, I could have your competitor sitting oppositely me and they'd say pretty much the same thing in some shape or form.
CHHATWAL: Yes, for sure, everyone would say that. But I don t think anybody in this industry can claim to have the leadership positioning like
we have in running the Palace Hotels. Like being the largest resort operator in India, having hotels like the most iconic Taj Mahal Palace
hotel in Mumbai, we have the most iconic assets I don t think any other company has.
QUEST: Existing assets, but if you're going to expand, that means either building or buying. Buying is expensive. Building is difficult. What are
you going to do?
CHHATWAL: A bit of both. I think that it's one-size-fits all over the world that's what works. It depends on which markets you're in. So, in
the U.S. market, we bought existing assets, or we entered into contracts for existing assets. In Dubai, we ended up building new. In Cape Town we
ended up building new. In India there are many, many markets that we will end up building new because we're present in all the mature markets,
QUEST: And you're going for the franchise, the management model, or you're going to earn the bricks and the mortar? Or a bit of both?
CHHATWAL: Depends which brand we talk about. Taj is managed, will continue to be managed. We don t want to franchise the Taj brand. When it
comes to the lowest end of our brand scape, that is Ginger, which is predominantly economy brand for India, I think we would be open to
QUEST: As we look at the -- it's such a great well known. You have some spectacular properties. How do you expand and not lose what your
predecessor called the Taj-ness?
CHHATWAL: Well, I think Taj-ness if you ask most of the Taj employees, Taj-ness is a way of life. Taj-ness is the soul of our company. So, Taj-
ness is not just the hardware, it's the 360-degree value proposition that comes from all stakeholders including our partners, to our guests --
QUEST: Right. But you don't find Arnie Sorensen's 34 brands in the whole Marriott behemoth slightly overwhelming in terms of competition.
CHHATWAL: Well, I actually see it as an opportunity. I think the world is getting divided into the really large ones, Arnie Sorensen's 34 brands, and
the specialists like ourselves who call themselves Indian Hotels Company, so we stand for hospitality, truly made and packaged in India and that's
the opportunity I see for specialists going forward versus the large distribution powers of 5,000 or 10,000 hotels.
QUEST: Good to have you, sir.
CHHATWAL: Thank you, Richard.
[16:45:00] QUEST: Thank you very much, indeed.
CHHATWAL: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you very much, indeed.
Now, five days on, oh, dear, this rose -- well, it was a valentine's day rose. It's starting to lose its luster. The limited shelf life is part of
what makes roses so expensive. And sought after. Certainly, whiffs a bit after five days in our office. But red, of course, the classic. In this
week's trader, one Ecuadorian rose producer needed to stand out, so would it smell as sweet if it wasn't so red? Well, a colorful solution was at
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): High in the Ecuadorian Andes, there's a rose for every occasion. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Everything from the classic red, to the not so classic red, white, and blue. Once plucked, they're pruned, packaged, and shipped to customers
around the world.
SANTIAGO LUZURIAGA, GENERAL MANAGER, BELLAROSA: The best quality roses are from Ecuador.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Santiago Luzuriaga is the general manager at BellaRosa. A 53-hectare plantation at the foot of a volcano. He oversees all the
cutting and the clipping at the farm which on the average day produces about 90,000 roses.
LUZURIAGA: We have very good conditions here in Ecuador. We are at around 3,000 meters above sea level. We also have the same the humidity the whole
year round. We have volcanic soils. These kinds of conditions we can grow very good roses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: BellaRosa began growing roses in 1996. The U.S. had given incentives to South American countries to build up their floral
sector, so the rural poor would be lured away from drug trafficking. Santiago says 100,000 Ecuadorians now work in the rose industry.
LUZURIAGA: We have 580 people working with us, 50 percent of them are women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tend to an ever-evolving crop, mixing dyes and specialty treatments. Global floral production is valued at more than $50
billion. Ecuador is the third largest exporter in the world behind the Netherlands and Colombia. It sells about a tenth of all cut flowers, and
more roses than any other country. But competition is tough. Its neighbor, Colombia, has much lower operating costs. And African countries
like Kenya and Ethiopia are much closer to European and Russian markets.
Roses are considered luxury items, so are closely tied to the economic fortunes of the customer base. After the collapse of the ruble in 2014,
BellaRosa's Russian exports fell by 30 percent. So, it expanded to China to reach the buyer by smartphone.
LUZURIAGA: They have an application called WeChat. It is a mix between WhatsApp and Facebook. We sell to big customers in China. They sell to
their customers through WeChat. The information that we have is that they sell around 50 percent of what they buy through e-commerce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese can't get enough of these. Roses dyed at the stem that swirl like a kaleidoscope. Or these, with glitter-tipped
petals. Santiago says he sold 500,000 of the specialty flowers in China in 2017. The number he expects to double this year.
[16:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: There's no hiding from the "Black Panther" this weekend. Marvel's newest superhero film raked in $261 million worldwide in its opening three
days. Has an African-American director, and a diverse cast of top-notch actors. Seen as a potential game changer for Hollywood. CNNMoney's Frank
Pallotta is here with me. Why is it a game changer?
FRANK PALLOTTA, CNNMONEY MEDIA REPORTER: It's a game changer but it shouldn't be because this is how it always should have been. We shouldn't
be talking about how this is the biggest opening for an African-American director, because we shouldn't even be thinking in those terms. But it is
and that's important. Put it this way, it made $201 million domestically. That is bigger than 103 million which was the record which was 98 -- 98
million last April. That was the record for African-American directors.
QUEST: To take your argument to a logical conclusion, there are people in Hollywood who will be saying today, well, this shows that African-Americans
can direct movies that will make money.
PALLOTTA: Which is incredibly dumb because they should have known that for decades. In the same way when we had the conversation about "Wonder Woman"
and that opened up everything for female directors and a female lead. And you got to talk about this genre in specifics, which is the superhero
genre. Which like Marvel, itself, brought in nearly $14 billion. And this is their 18th movie and this is the first movie in which is directed by an
QUEST: Is there any evidence, though that it expands from this? Or, let's take the "Wonder Woman" example, does it become the director in that
particular case, a specific example, a specific case, and the same in this case, a specific example, a specific case, is there evidence that others in
that diverse grouping will enjoy the benefits?
PALLOTTA: Let's use "Wonder Woman" for an example since that's the clearest example of this kind of working. Patty Jenkins was the director
of "Wonder Woman." She did not have -- she was not signed up for the sequel, "Wonder Woman 2." "Wonder Woman" goes on to make more than $800
million worldwide. She negotiates and becomes now with her contract reportedly for "Wonder Woman 2," the highest-paid director -- female
director, ever. With that.
QUEST: Right, but she wasn't originally there for it.
PALLOTTA: I understand. But the point I'm trying to make as well, Hollywood likes to replicate success. And there's going to be people in
Hollywood today for better or worse who are going to look at these numbers and go the myth that a black director and black cast cannot carry a box
office internationally, that's gone. The myth that it cannot have a huge opening is gone.
QUEST: Fascinating. I cannot, sometimes I have to pinch myself that we are talking such terms.
PALLOTTA: But this is the world we live in and it's a much better place, to have "Black Panther" as a part of it.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir. Is it a good movie?
PALLOTTA: It's a great movie. It's a fun time. But James Bond, but he wears a catsuit instead of a suit.
QUEST: Thank you. Not a purple suit.
From the big screen to virtual reality, Olympic spectators who want to try out the Olympic games without years of training can now have a chance.
Fans are flocking to virtual reality stations around PyeongChang. Paula Hancocks learns it's tougher than it works.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You've been watching Olympic athletes at the top of their game. The sacrifice, the dedication. You're feeling a
little bit inspired. That's where this comes in. The Olympics part. I can't do it. This is the cross country. And it is hard. It is really
exhausting. But these virtual reality experiences mean you can be one of the Olympic athletes. Although I think I got a fair way to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move it up and down, the screen moves up and down left and right.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): No Olympics is complete without the torch relay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You move your body. The treadmill part will move you left and right when you're actually doing the experience.
HANCOCKS (on camera): OK.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): K.T. says in this VR experience, motion sensor data and video image transmission use the 5g network, a network K.T. plans
to commercialize by next year.
[16:55:00] (on camera): So, this is the skeleton. I was quite tempted to give this one a miss, but the rest of the team decided I should do it,
thank you, David. What this is, is going head first down an icy track at speeds of up to 130 kilometers an hour. Head first with the arms behind
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, now do the straps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. You're good to go.
HANCOCKS: Whoa. So, this is apparently based on a track in Vancouver, Canada. Oh, this is fast. Which is apparently one of the fastest sliding
tracks in the world. Oh, this just goes against every instinct you have. Head first and not putting your hands out to stop yourself. Oh. That was
unbelievable. I mean, I just can't believe people do that. It was quite fun, though.
(voice-over): A 90-meter ski jump designed on the Olympic ski jump here in PyeongChang.
(on camera): I think we can all agree that is the closest I will ever get to competing in the Olympics. It's been fun. Paula Hancocks, CNN
PyeongChang, South Korea.
QUEST: She was really even joying that. Will have a Profitable Moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment, there really is something surreal about the whole Russia meddling in the U.S. elections or the French
elections or the U.K. referendum or U.K. elections. We have heard from St. Petersburg tonight, you saw the building where much of these operations
were led. And you think about all of that going on in the minus 10 degrees environment of St. Petersburg and the effects being felt on the other side
of the world. And then you think, today, of the measures that Facebook announced to try and ensure the authenticity and the integrity of people
who start groups and who buy their adverts. For instance, sending postcards by snail mail that you have to return with your correct address.
All of this is mind-boggling in this day and age, but we cannot afford to be complacent. As the U.S. intelligence agencies have unanimously
concluded, the meddling took place and it's likely to take place again in the 2018 midterms. It will happen not only in the United States, it will
happen elsewhere. And so, in this newfangled age, old-school drudgery remains. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest
in New York. Whatever you're up to in hours ahead I hope it's profitable. See you tomorrow.