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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Dow Surges in Fresh Push for 26,000; Nene Returns as South African Finance Minister; Trump Calls Xi "Unique" After Term Limits Removed; Samsung Shows Off New Flagship Smartphone; Journalist Found Dead After Investigation Tax Fraud. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired February 26, 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] BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: And a strong start to the week for the stock market. The Dow is up around 400 points. It is Monday, the 25th

of February. Tonight, the bulls are back in town. The Dow surging for the second straight session.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. South Africa turns back the clock with a brand-new finance minister.

And no reshuffle required for China. Donald Trump says President Xi is, quote, unique.

I'm Bianna Golodryga, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

And tonight, stocks surge into a new week. The Dow has just closed up nearly 400 points. It's the biggest points gain in two weeks. Tech,

telecom and industrial shares led the way up. The S&P and the Nasdaq each closed 1 percent higher as well. The Dow's strong performance follows on

from Friday's 348- point gain. The Dow has moved by triple digits in each of the last five sessions. Joining me now to dissect it all, the famed

investor, businessman and traveler, Jim Rogers. He's the author of "Street Smarts: Adventures on The Road and In the Markets." Jim, great to see

you. So, what's behind this rally. We've seen not only today but in the past four sessions.

JIM ROGERS, AUTHOR, "STREET SMARTS": Well, Bianna, we had a big collapse as you may remember a few days -- a few weeks ago and now the market is

realizing the world didn't come to an end and we're off and running again. There's a lot of money being printed out there in the world. And it's all

sloshing into markets.

GOLODRYGA: We got a GDP report coming out Wednesday. Jobs report at the end of the week. The president seemed to be alluding to a really positive

number for GDP. Do you think he knows something we don't? Why is he so confident?

ROGERS: I'm sure he's got inside information, Bianna, come on. He doesn't watch -- I don't know if he watches CNN, but CNN doesn't have it. I don't

have it. But he probably has it.

GOLODRYGA: So, but seriously, you know, just a few weeks ago, we had that massive selloff, concerns about inflation. Are you saying that's all

vanished, that there should be no cause for concern now about an overheated economy?

ROGERS: Should always -- there should always be cause for concern, but, Brianna, we had a big move in 1999. And during that gigantic move, there

were five times that the market went down 10 percent. We had big corrections all along the way. And yet the market was going up, you know,

straight up the whole year. So, this is not unusual. This is the way markets work.

GOLODRYGA: Let me turn overseas to an area you're very familiar with and that, of course, is China. I want to get your reaction to the news from

President Xi, basically getting rid of term limits in the country, effectively making him emperor for life if he wants to be. What's your

take on that and what does that mean from an investment standpoint?

ROGERS: Well, historically, that's not been good for any country. But I'm not Chinese. I cannot tell the Chinese what to do. They know what they're

doing better than I do. At least they have for the last 30 or 40 years. We'll have to see. It probably means good news for the markets. It

probably means good news for the economy. Because when you have a strong leader if he knows what he's doing, it can lead to very, very good results.

If it's a bad leader, it hurts.

GOLODRYGA: Well, he, for the most part is relatively popular at home. There had been a lot of concern leading up to today about China being in a

cooling off phase. And that they had been inflating their numbers as been suspect for many years. What is your take on China's economy right now and

are you bullish?

ROGERS: That sounds like the U.S., doesn't it, faking the numbers for many years and Germany and any other country in the world. I don't pay too much

attention to government numbers because I learned that they all fake them. The Chinese economy is getting better. Many sectors of the Chinese economy

are getting better.

[16:05:00] But it's like the rest of the world. Some people are doing better. Some are not. But the Chinese economy overall is certainly doing

better. I mean, I go there a lot. Every time I turn around I can see things are getting better.

GOLODRYGA: Things are definitely continuing to boom in China. Let's talk about, quickly, the U.S./China relationship. We hear the president call

President Xi unique, at the same time throws out trade wars and the threat of tariffs on Chinese goods, specifically the solar panels. How seriously

should investors be taking these -- the president's threats?

ROGERS: Bianna, we should be very worried because trade wars have always led to disasters in the economies and in stock markets. Mr. Trump has

promised a trade war since he was running two years ago. So far, they're relatively minor, but if we have more trade wars, it's all over. It always

has been. Nobody wins trade wars. Let's hope he calms down.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, you hear people inside the president's own economic circles giving him that same warning as well. Jim Rogers, always great to

have you on and getting your insights. Thank you so much for joining us.

In South Africa, it's a case of out with the old and in with the old. Malusi Gigaba is out as the country's finance minister. This cabinet

shakeup announced just in the last hour comes two weeks after Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president. Mr. Ramaphosa's pick for

finance minister is Nhlanhla Nene. He served in that same position for a year and a half until Mr. Zuma fired him in 2015. CNN's Eleni Giokos is

following the developments from Johannesburg. I have been practicing your name for so long and, of course, as soon as we're on live television, I

screw it up. Please forgive me.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: That's OK. You got it right the third time I think. Bianna, look, what we're seeing in South Africa

right now is a political game, so to speak. I mean, Cyril Ramaphosa coming out with a cabinet reshuffle. It was delayed by almost two hours. You

know, everyone is watching his next move. He looked visibly upset when he made the announcement. And it shows that perhaps he's toeing the party

line and perhaps putting the ANC first as opposed to the fate of the country first. But many say that this might be a tactic to ensure that he

doesn't upset the apple cart too much. Important thing is that he changed the finance ministry bringing Nhlanhla Nene back and that perhaps is going

to send the right message to the investor community that has been waiting to hear some positive news coming out of the treasury.

GOLODRYGA: What has the reaction been thus far to the news?

GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, look, the rand is strengthening right now. I think, people had expected Nhlanhla Nene would be back and as you mentioned, fired

by Jacob Zuma. This is the guy that refused to say yes to a lot of those shady deals that Zuma was pushing for a very long time. That's why he was

fired. So, people trust him. They know he's going to come in to try to clean up, to ensure debt to GDP is going to be coming down as opposed to

rising, which we've seen over the past while. That he's going to try and create change within the treasury. Importantly get rid of corruption.

And Pravin Gordhan, the former finance minister as well, also very trusted, coming into state owned enterprises. Remember this is a technocrat. The

state-owned enterprises ministry has been riddled with corruption. South Africa Airways, Eskom, the power utility, and a lot of pressure through the

years. Needing billions of rand worth of bailout money to stay afloat. So, hope think Gordon is also going to kind of clean up that ministry.

Those are the two important things that people had been expecting. But as you said, out with the old and in with the old. A lot of the ministries, a

lot of old names that people don't trust. And hopefully that Cyril Ramaphosa down the line is going to change some of those names. The whole

world is watching right now. But he's stuck between ensuring he doesn't upset the ANC too much, a divided party, but also ensures that he sends the

right message out to the world. And remember, credit ratings are circling right now waiting to see the next move. And at risk of a downgrade if they

don't hear the right messaging.

GOLODRYGA: Cyril Ramaphosa relatively popular figure throughout South Africa. How much time do you think investors and the population there will

give him to make these radical reforms that are desperately needed

GIOKOS: Yes. Well, I mean, he's got a year basically. This is an election year. He came out with the budget last week, of course, that was

delivered by Malusi Gigaba now the minister of home affairs. And interestingly, almost an austere budget, increasing VAT, increasing, you

know, taxes as well. So, he's got a year to prove himself, to try and get South Africa s finances back on track, but at the same time, the electorate

is watching. Looking at the unemployment rate that is sitting at, you know, 27 percent. Looking at the overall scenario in South Africa where

you got very low growth as well. So, the electorate also needs to hear the right things.

[16:10:00] The ANC is at risk of losing power and losing votes if they don't come out with the right policies to ensure that they kind of balance

what the investor community is looking for and of course what the electorate desperately needs as well. So Bianna, it's a difficult task at

this stage.

GOLODRYGA: Made even more difficult with the water crisis in the country's second-largest city, Cape Town. Us. Eleni Giokos, thank you so much for

joining us. Great to have you.

President Trump and President Xi famously enjoyed the, quote, most beautiful piece of cake you've ever seen together at Mar-a-Lago. Now it

seems the two leaders could have many more opportunities to share dessert. China intends to scrap presidential term limits. A move that opens the

door for Xi Jinping to govern indefinitely. President Trump says he has great respect for President Xi despite disagreements on trade and North

Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's talk China. Because China we probably lost $504 billion last year on trade. $504 billion. I

think that President Xi is unique.

China's been good, but they haven't been great. China has really done more probably than they've ever done because of my relationship -- we have a

very good relationship. But President Xi is for China. And I'm for the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLODRYGA: A very good relationship, but China's decision to change its constitution looks like a power grab by Xi who analysts say appears

unwilling to allow the rise of potential political rivals. I'm joined now by Kevin Rudd who forged his own relationship with President Xi as

Australia's Prime Minister. He now serves as president of the Asia Society Policy Institute. Great to have you on, Mr. Prime Minister. So, let me

ask you about the significance of this move. He's already earned himself the monikers of chairman of everything, super president. How significant

is the move by President Xi this weekend?

KEVIN RUDD, PRESIDENT, ASIA SOCIETY POLICY INSTITUTE: This is a big one. Many of us have been predicting it for some time. In fact, Xi Jinping has

long been regarded as China's most powerful leader since Mao. But what happened after Mao, after the Cultural Revolution was that the Chinese

amended the constitution. And so, that you wouldn't have a leader for life. That was done in 1982. So here we are 35 years later, and that

provision has been removed. So, this is a very significant event in Chinese domestic politics, consolidating further Xi Jinping's grasp on

power. He'll with running this show through the 2020s. That's a long time.

GOLODRYGA: And reaction has been tepid thus far. He is relatively popular at home, but the censors were quick to come out to anybody who was arguing

against such a move and criticizing the move. Do you anticipate that we'll continue to see this relatively balanced and stable reaction, or do you

think it could get to a point where it escalates and maybe that's why we're seeing the censors out in full force?

RUDD: Well, the Chinese censors never muck around when there is a meeting of the Central Committee. This is an unusual meeting, too, they don't

normally hold plenary sessions of the central committee at this time of year. But it will be controversial within the ranks of the Chinese

leadership because this breaks a consensus position held over a period of time.

For the rest of us, though, what does it mean? We're going to have a have a very strong Chinese leader leading the country, barring a health event,

through the 2020s when China's economy will surpass United States in absolute size. And where China's blueprint for its own power in the region

and the world will continue to be laid out. So, this is a very significant event. Not just for China domestically, but the sort of China we're now

encountering around the world.

GOLODRYGA: He will be 69 when the second 5-year term ends in 2023, so arguably we could see him as China's leader for a decade, if not longer,

after that. Talk about what his grander scheme and policy is going forward. People talking about the restoring China to greatness. It comes

to the -- bringing America back to greatness from making America great from President Trump. Are they on the same page as far as their countries role

on the world stage right now?

RUDD: They do have a similar script, ultimately, they're probably incompatible. President Trump speaks about making America great again.

There are those who would advocate, for example, what he's done on corporate tax reform, points in that direction for American economic power

in the world. Xi Jinping talks about the restoration, Fu-Sheng.

[16:15:00] All that China's historical greatness as it was until it was a couple hundred years ago before the opium wars, before foreign invasions,

before the Japanese invasion. But his vision is for China to be a great power in the councils of the world. And China's on its way to doing that.

The key question is can these two very large powers accommodate each other's interests in the Asia-Pacific region, which is where their spheres

of influence run up against each other? And it's the question of whether that can be negotiated peacefully or whether it ends in conflict? This is

the open question for the future.

GOLODRYGA: Conflict over the South China Sea, North Korea as well. But you think from a larger global scale, you think about the initiative, one

belt/one road, that he's implementing as we speak. I want to switch gears finally, though, and ask you about something that s become the number-one

issue here in the states and, of course, that's following the devastating shooting attack and incident that we saw at Parkland, Florida. The gun

issue is one that's not new to this -- to the U.S. It's something --

RUDD: I know. I've lived it for three years. You see it come all the time.

GOLODRYGA: Too many times. It's something that Australia has seen once in its life before it changed its laws in 1996. The current Prime Minister

Turnbull was just in Washington with his wife meeting with the President, was asked about gun rules and regulation and said he would rather not give

the President his thoughts on the subject. Was that the right move on the Prime Minister's part?

RUDD: Well, I think Prime Minister Turnbull is trying to handle what's been a problematic political relationship since the President took over.

This is their third encounter. The first two have not been entirely happy. And so, I think Mr. Turnbull is just trying to make every post a winner in

Washington. But the broader systemic point remains. Your gun laws in this country are nuts. That's what all of us who love America think. There's

nowhere in the world you can have a domestic justification for anyone having a semiautomatic weapon. It just doesn't add up. I grew up on a

farm in rural Australia. We had a shotgun to deal with foxes and stuff like that. You don't need something which paramilitaries or militaries

around the world use. And I think the NRA in this country just has far too much power.

GOLODRYGA: Do you get a sense that this time is different? As many are mentioning and noting that this shooting massacre stands out and maybe

could have more of a lasting impact when it comes to regulation.

RUDD: I've lived here now for three years and slightly more than that, I've lived here in New York. And seen one incident come after another.

And I've often got this sense that American suffers from a sense of national learned helplessness. About what can we do about this because the

NRA has the politics of this country it seems in the palm of its hand. What's different is, and what I find personally inspiring is the courage of

the young people. The young people standing up and saying, you well, you in the political process might not have the guts to do something about

this, but it's our lives that are stake and we want to bring about change. I think for the good of humanity in this country, the safety of kids at

schools, someone who now lives here, I think I got a little bit of a stake, therefore, to say what I'm saying. Let's please change these laws. Get

rid of semiautomatics is the first step. That's who my predecessor, a conservative Prime Minister of Australia, had the guts to do back in the

1990s. I think it should happen here.

GOLODRYGA: Well, it's definitely a discussion being brought up in Washington as we speak, and throughout the country. Prime Minister Rudd,

thank you so much for being here, we appreciate it.

RUDD: Good to be with you.

GOLODRYGA: Shares of Geely jumped 6.5 percent in Hong Kong. The Chinese automaker announced a $9 billion investment in Daimler. Geely already owns

pieces of Volvo cars and trucks and London taxi company, Lotus and Proton. Some analysts believe Geely is trying to get access to Daimler's electric

vehicle technology. Joining me now, Thomas Drechsler is the chief editor for autos at "BILD" newspaper. Mr. Dressler, thank you so much for being

with us. How significant is this move by Geely? And I would say equally important, Germany's response?

THOMAS DRECHSLER, AUTO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BILD: Hello. Typical Germany response is to have expectations from that deal, but I think it's a chance

for both. Geely is one of the most dynamic companies in China, and Li Shufu, the son of a rice farmer, now he's a billionaire. They had more

than 100,000 employees and as you say, they save Volvo, they saved autos, they saved the London taxi company, and I think it's a good deal.

GOLODRYGA: It is fascinating, though, when you look at how far this company, a relatively unknown company just 12 years ago, is now the largest

shareholder in Germany's crown jewel. We've seen a bit of protectionist reaction from German officials, however, to this move. Are they right to

be alarmed?

[16:20:00] DRECHSLER: I think, as I say, it's a chance. You have to know, Mercedes-Benz sold almost 600,000 cars last year in China. This is twice

as much as they sold in Germany. It's close to 36 percent. They still have a joint venture with buying -- with another big company in China. And

Volkswagen, for example, sold 3.3 million cars last year in China. So, I think we have to see how they behave at Geely. And what we see may be --

the CEO of London Taxi is a German guy The CEO of Mink, it's their own company, it's a Belgian guy. CEO of Volvo is a German speaking Swedish

guy. The CEO of the new company, they call it Polestar, it's an electric company car and brand, it's a German guy. So, I think they use the

experience of the old economy, new economy to build a new one.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, it is interesting that they said they're doing this to compete with the likes of Google and Apple, not other automakers. Which is

a sign of technology being key to them going forward. We're going to have to leave it there, Thomas Drechsler, thank you so much for calling in.

Well, a call to disarm, but will Congress listen? U.S. Lawmakers are poised to consider stricter gun laws after an ultimatum for President

Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: President Trump is issuing an ultimatum to Congress, act to address America's shooting epidemic or he will. Mr. Trump is set to meet lawmakers

Wednesday to discuss tougher gun laws in the wake of the Parkland massacre. Speaking earlier, he also had some pointed comments for the armed officer

who stayed outside during the attack. President Trump said he would have run in to confront the shooter whether he was armed or not. Jeff Zeleny is

at the White House with more. And Jeff, Sarah Sanders seemed to walk that back a bit and throw a few different words in there, but it seemed pretty

clear what the President meant when he initially said that.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, certainly an awkward interesting moment. The President seeming to brag that, yes, indeed, he

would have run into that school. Of course, it's a bit of a discord in message because he's been talking about arming the schoolteachers. He said

he would have done so even if he was not armed. All this coming on a day when the President is meeting with the nation's governors and hearing some

pushback of some of his proposals.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: And I want to thank --

ZELENY (voice-over): President Trump questioned the valor today of some police officers at the Florida high school shooting. Insisting he would

have stormed in unarmed.

TRUMP: You know, I really believe, you don't know until you're tested, but I really believe I'd run in even if I didn't have a weapon. And I think

most of the people in this room would have done that, too. But the way they performed was really a disgrace.

ZELENY: With multiple investigations under way about how authorities responded to the Valentine's Day shooting that killed 17 people, the

President didn't hesitate weighing in during a meeting with the nation's governors.

TRUMP: They weren't exactly medal of honor winners. All right? The way they performed was, frankly, disgusting.

ZELENY: The President renewing his call to arm schoolteachers who he said love the students and could do a better job protecting them. Visiting the

White House today, Florida governor Rick Scott, a Republican, disagreed.

ZELENY (on camera): Governor, do you believe that arming schoolteachers is not the way to go, why?

[16:25:00] RICK SCOTT, U.S. REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR: I believe you ought to make sure we have law enforcement. I think we -- what I'm going to do in

Florida, is I have a $500 million focus, I'm going to work with my legislature. We are going to make sure there's significant law enforcement

presence at all the schools, so law enforcement is going to protect these schools along with hardening, rather than having the teachers -- I want the

teachers to teach.

ZELENY (voice-over): The President also got an ear full from some governors, including Jay Inslee. A Democrat from Washington state who

spoke out against arming teachers. He also offered this advice to Mr. Trump.

I just suggest we need a little less tweeting here and a little more listening, and let's just take that off the table and move forward.

ZELENY: The President also said he wouldn't be afraid to go against the powerful gun lobby.

TRUMP: So afraid of the NRA, there's nothing to be afraid of. And you know what, if they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a

while. That's OK.

ZELENY: First lady Melania Trump also taking the rare step of weighing in.

MELANIA TRUMP, U.S. FIRST LADY: I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create

change. They're our future and they deserve a voice.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: So, it's clear that the topic of guns clearly on everyone's mind here at the White House, and indeed on Capitol Hill where lawmakers have

just come back to Washington today. But Bianna, it is an open question here, what action will actually get done? And whether President Trump will

confront the NRA as he said to governors today that it's OK to do.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, he said that he dined with NRA officials over the weekend. Jeff, can you give us more insight into what the President said about bump

stocks and are we talking about executive order here or how does he plan on eliminating them?

ZELENY: Well, he did say that he would be taking his own action. He said writing his own plan on bump stocks. Of course, those are the devices that

make, you know, essentially an automatic weapon out of a rifle. That was used in the Las Vegas shooting. The President said he'll take action. So,

that would be some type of an executive order and executive action. The reality is there has been something like this going on behind the scenes at

Department of Justice, just nothing has happened on it. And of course, the White House not focusing on it since that shooting happened in October.

But this Florida shooting, of course, on Valentine's Day shining a light and adding some urgency it seems to the discussion on guns.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. A lot more pressure on the White House and on Congress to do something. Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

ZELENY: Sure.

GOLODRYGA: The fractious relationship between Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, appears to have hit a new low point. The

Mexican President has reportedly canceled a planned trip to Washington after a tense phone call with President Trump last week. CNN's Patrick

Oppmann is in Mexico City with more. Patrick, does this all go back to who will and won't be paying for that wall that the president's demanding to

see go up?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, believe it or not, we are still talking about who the bill comes to for when this wall is finally built,

when construction begins, which it has not so far. Let's just back up, this whole -- the meeting that was scheduled to take place, visit, the

official visit of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that was scheduled for next month was really to try to smooth over this rough patch of

U.S./Mexican relations. Remember, this is such an important relationship between these two countries, and to have a call where basically from what

CNN is told, the U.S. President lost his temper at the Mexican President. Because we're told President Trump just refused to acknowledge or accept

the Mexican position as it's been all along that they will not pay the billions of dollars that this wall is estimated to cost.

And previously, they had talked before, we learned last year, and agreed to disagree as long as it didn't spill over into the media and into the public

sphere. But that's exactly what's happened yet again as these leaders continue to really just clash over who will pay for this signature campaign

promise of President Trump's. And Mexican officials say that this meeting really could have brought a lot of benefits to both countries, that they

would have talked about renegotiating NAFTA. Over cooperating on issues like stopping the flow of drugs and illegal immigration into the United

States, but that is not happening. This meeting apparently is on an indefinite hold as they continue to go back to this issue that has dogged

U.S. and Mexico relations now for more than a year of who will pay for the wall if it is ever built.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, it's interesting because this comes on the heels of the President really bragging about the NAFTA renegotiations going well in

terms of his relationship with Mexico. We have an important Presidential election coming up this summer in Mexico. How significant is it for Pena

Nieto to amend, and make amends with the President over their rift?

[16:30:00] OPPMANN: And that seemed to be what was going on here is if they could -- if Pena Nieto could go to Washington, have a have civil visit

where the wall was not mentioned, we should remind viewers that President Trump when he was candidate Trump came here in the wall was not discussed

here. But as soon as he got back to the United States, he brought up the wall again and said once again that Mexico would pay for it. So, I think

the calculation was if the Mexican President was able to do that, it would no longer be a campaign issue. It is very much a campaign issue here. Now

President Trump is incredibly unpopular. Something like 95 percent of Mexicans have a negative view of his government. So increasingly, it is

going to be a campaign issue here and may help decide who Mexico's next president is.

GOLODRYGA: Interesting to note that Jared Kushner, under his purview to work on improving relationship between the two countries. Can't imagine it

getting any worse than it is right now. Appreciate you joining us, thank you.

Well, John Duncan flew President Trump from state to state during the 2016 election campaign. Now the president is reportedly pushing for him to

oversee all civil aviation in the United States. Administration officials insist that he's perfectly qualified.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GOLODRYGA: Hello, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Coming up in the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Samsung shows off its new Galaxy at the Mobile

World Congress in Barcelona.

And a reporter investigating tax fraud in Slovakia is found shot dead with his fiancee. I'll be joined by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

First these are the top news headlines we're following this hour.

Syrian government forces have agreed to stop their assault on eastern Ghouta on Tuesday morning for five hours. The brief pause will allow

civilians especially the sick and wounded to escape the besieged enclave. The cease-fire came at the urging of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he believes he'd have run in to stop the Florida school shooter even if he didn't have a weapon. Those comments as

Mr. Trump criticized the lack of action by a sheriff's deputy assigned to the school. The U.S. President was addressing a gathering of U.S.

Governors at the White House.

[16:35:00] French President Emmanuel Macron will make the first state visit of Donald Trump's presidency. The White House announced the formal

invitation last hour. Mr. Trump and the first lady will welcome the French President in Washington on April 24th.

Dubai police say Bollywood legend, Sridevi drowned after passing out in her hotel bath tub on Saturday. It was initial reported that the 54-year-old

actress died from a heart attack. Sridevi will be remembered as one of Bollywood's most popular stars with a career spanning five decades.

Rome is experiencing unusually freezing conditions this winter. They're calling the cold snap the beast from the east due to cold winds sweeping

across Europe from Siberia. The Italian capital is covered in snow. The frigid weather is expected to last through the week.

From the cockpit of Trump Force One, to the top job at the FAA, president Trump is reportedly pushing for his longtime personal pilot, John Duncan,

to head the Federal Aviation Administration. That's according to a report from Axios. As head of the FAA, Duncan would oversee civil aviation in the

United States. CNN's Rene Marsh is following the developments from Washington. Rene, what's the reaction been and how unusual is it to

recommend your own personal pilot? I guess not many presidents had their own personal pilot to begin with.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: So, I will tell you this, CNN has been able to confirm with a senior

administration official that John Duncan is, indeed, in the mix. He, as you know, he oversaw the President's campaign air fleet. He's worked with

the President as his private pilot since the late '80s when Trump launched his own airline. He was there. You know that folded. And according to

Axios, an official said that John Duncan is on the list and he's the lead as far as considerations. Because he's managed airline and corporate

flight departments and he's oversaw the Trump presidential campaign air fleet. Which included managing aviation transportation for travel to 203

cities and 43 states over a course of 21 months.

Now it is clear that the President thinks very highly of his longtime pilot. If you remember, when the President met with top airline executives

in February of 2017, he mentioned that Duncan was one of his most trusted sources when it comes to all things regarding the nation's aviation system.

Duncan certainly does have the experience as a pilot, but I have been speaking to people in the industry and there is some skepticism. Mainly

because he's never served in any capacity at the FAA. And as one person put it, the FAA is a complex operation. Being a pilot and running an

agency like the FAA are two different things. As you know, the FAA is responsible for regulation and oversight of all civil aviation. It has a

$16 billion budget and it has thousands and thousands of employees. So, many people in the industry, not necessarily cheering this on. But they're

all taking the wait and see approach. They all tell me they're not really sure where he stands, what his philosophies are simply because, yes, he's

been Trump's private pilot but has not served in any government agency. So, they're really unfamiliar with him.

GOLODRYGA: So, industry reaction is mixed and uncertain. What about that from lawmakers? This is a Senate-approved job, correct?

MARSH: It certainly is. And, you know, this is a name that we have heard. Some say that it's been circulating quite a bit. In talking to people

behind the scenes, the sense that I get and, of course, we won't know until we actually see it happen, is if, by some chance he is named as the

nominee, the belief is that he may not pass confirmation. Simply because this is an agency that is so important when you talk about safety, whether

it's commercial planes, general aviation, and that is something that people take very seriously, both in the industry as well as lawmakers.

So, there is even some skepticism there as to whether he could get through a confirmation. Of course, it's worth pointing out that the reason why

we're talking about all of this is that on January 6th, the former head of the FAA who was appointed by Obama, Michael Huerta down.

[16:40:00] So there's currently someone serving in an acting role and many people thought, his name is Dan Elwell, that he would be the heir apparent

here. But obviously, you're hearing these reports that the President would very much like his private pilot to be in the mix.

GOLODRYGA: As you said, a very important job. So, we will see how much clout the president's nomination, I guess, support, of such a move will be

for lawmakers. Rene Marsh, thank you so much.

MARSH: Sure.

GOLODRYGA: Well, later this week, Richard will be back at one of busiest airports in the United States. Wednesday's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS will be

coming live from the UPS headquarters in Kentucky. Richard will be joined by the chief executive, David Abney. That's at the usual time 9:00 p.m.

in London, 10:00 p.m. in central Europe.

Coming up, a young journalist known for lifting the lid on corporate crimes is found killed. Police say his work may have been the motive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: A Slovak journalist who made a name for himself at a young age by uncovering tax evasion and fraud among Slovak businesses has been found

murdered. 27-year-old Jan Kuciak was shot dead along with his fiancee at their apartment in Slovakia. Local police say it's likely that the murders

were connected to his work. Joining me now is discuss this murder and what it means for the industry as a whole, I'm joined by Robert Mahoney, deputy

executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Robert, thank you so much for being here. I'm sorry we have some teleprompter issues

going on. But how significant of a blow is this murder, if, in fact, it is related to the work that he's been doing to uncover tax fraud?

ROBERT MAHONEY, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: Well, the police have that it's likely that it's related to

his work. So, we'll go on that assumption, in which case it's very significant because he is the second journalist to be murdered in the

European Union within the last five months for working on uncovering corruption. In particular, in relation to the Panama Papers. That big

leak of information a couple of years back. And journalists are still going through those papers and coming up with stories.

GOLODRYGA: You're talking about the murder of Maltese journalist, Daphne Galizia. What has been done? I mean, this has been months ago, her

murder. What has transpired in the last few months, if anything, to make sure that journalists are protected to do the work that they're doing?

MAHONEY: Well, frankly, not enough. There are efforts by the Maltese authorities to come do the bottom of this. But we profoundly believe that

they're not doing enough and that they will -- they need to bring not just those people that may have been involved in her murder, but the people who

ordered her murder to justice. The problem in her murder and in this latest one in Slovakia, is that the journalists are investigating people in

the government who have control over the judicial process and over the investigation. So, it means that there is an interest on the part of some

of those people in power to slow things down or cover it up or only release the truth in part, not in whole.

[16:45:00] GOLODRYGA: It's a trend we've seen in Russia, of course, famously, this is becoming one of the world's most dangerous professions

specifically in Eastern Europe. Aside from the government, and what protections they can put in place, how important is it upon local civilians

to really be outraged by journalists being murdered for apparently just doing their important work?

MAHONEY: It's very important. And mobilizing public opinion to put pressure on governments at all levels, both nationally and internationally,

is just one of the tools that are available to us as journalists. I mean, you are really vulnerable as a journalist because you're uncovering

wrongdoing and corruption by really powerful people. And you can't protect yourself against an assassin. I mean, this person came in and shot these

two-young people in their own apartment. There's very little you can do. We are journalists. We're not militarily trained to protect ourselves.

So, you've got to mobilize public opinion. You have to bring pressure on governments through, like, in this case, the European Union, and other

organizations in Europe, which have some influence. And you have to build a public consensus that murdering journalists is just not acceptable and

that if you do, you will be sought out by prosecutors and brought to court. Unfortunately, that's not happening enough. So, now we have two

journalists murdered in the European Union, and I emphasize that, this is supposed to be a bloc which has the rule of law. Two murdered in five

months. And nothing much has happened yet.

GOLODRYGA: Haven't heard much from the EU, at least in your opinion, they have not done enough. How important is the role of America and America's

leadership to President Trump specifically to speak out about protecting journalists around the world?

MAHONEY: You know, it's crucial. There was a time when you had a murder like this or attack on a journalist, you could go to the U.S. embassy in

that country, and you'd get a sympathetic hearing. They might raise it in their relations with that country. I don't know whether that's the case

anymore. We have a President who denigrates journalists and publicly frequently. So, it's undercutting the work of all of us as journalists to

try to get as many points of pressure on these governments as possible. So, it does not help. I'm hoping that in this case in particular, the

United States will step up and will try to put pressure on the Slovak authorities to do more than just the perfunctory investigation.

GOLODRYGA: What's important is that we're talking about it. Important to have you here to speak for journalists around the world doing very

important and at times dangerous work. John, thank you so much for coming. We appreciate it.

MAHONEY: Thank you for your interest.

QUEST: India is asking six countries for help track down assets related to a massive alleged fraud at a state-run bank. Punjab National Bank is

accusing a few account holders of fraud totaling $1.8 billion. CNN's John Defterios is in New Delhi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Bianna, this banking scandal comes at a critical window for the Modi government. It's eager to

create more jobs before elections need to be called by May 2019. And the government has lofty ambitions to take growth of around 7 percent this year

to 10 percent over the next few years. But a chief policy adviser for the Prime Minister said that India remains too complex and they need to do more

to tackle crony capitalism.

AMITABH KANT, CEO, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR TRANSFORMING INDIA: India must become extremely easy and simple for private sector to create wealth.

Because we made India very complex and a difficult place to do business. And I think what this Prime Minister's focused on is just dismantling, you

know, a lot of rules, regulations, procedures, acts. Huge emphasis on doing away with crony capitalism. So, there's transparency, there's

integrity, and I think all this should lead to higher growth in the years to come.

DEFTERIOS: Now having said that, we've had two major fraud cases, which is rattling society here. And it seems to run against the aspiration of the

Prime Minister, Mr. Modi, to root out corruption.

KANT: So, it's a failure of the internal auditor, the concurrent auditor, statutory auditor. It's definitely a failure of the regulator and it's a

failure of the bank board, itself. But when you have an issue like this, the perceptions matter. And it's important for the government to take very

aggressive action as it has taken to set this perception right that the government is against any kind of fraud.

DEFTERIOS: Now, being one of the architects of the make an India effort here, do you worry it will actually scare off international investment?

KANT: No. We've opened up our economy actually at a point of time when the rest of the world has become protectionist. In the last three years,

foreign direct investment has grown by a record 62 percent. At a point of time where everybody across the world has fallen by 16 percent.

DEFTERIOS: You put some import tariffs on. But I think that was designed to boost the make in India efforts on manufacturing. Partially

protections, but wise in this instance, or not?

[16:50:00] KANT: We are believers in value chain, and in some items, tariff has been put in here, but I think it's been put in in the larger

context of a vast number of protectionist measures that other countries have adopted. The real challenge is to shift a vast segment of our

population from agriculture into large-scale manufacturing. Take manufacturing from 18 percent to 25 percent.

DEFTERIOS: Can you be like China in 1990s where you're growing 9, 10 percent, not 6.5, 7.5 percent?

KANT: It's very much doable and very much doable in the medium scale. We need to push for bigger opening up in sectors like mine, coal, power, and I

think we need to get the construction sector going in a big way because that's a big driver of growth and job creation. So, I see a very doable 10

percent.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS: Amitabh Kant in his leafy garden here in Delhi talking about opening up big sectors to create more jobs with the aspiration of having

the fastest growing economy in the world which would be a great pledge for any sitting prime -- Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: High-class problem you can have for sure, John Defterios, thank you.

Well ahead of My Freedom Day on March 14th, we are asking as many people as possible for their definition of freedom. Queen Sylvia of Norway is a

high- profile advocate for several Swedish and international children's charities. She is her country's longest serving queen and told CNN what

freedom means to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUEEN SILVIA OF SWEDEN: To have your freedom in your heart, you have to know that all your family members, your country, and the children, that

they are happy that you have been doing what you can to give them freedom. And then you may have an inner freedom as well. So that's for me, freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLODRYGA: So, what does freedom mean to you? Share your story using #MyDreedomDay, a student-led day of action against modern day slavery on

March 14th.

After the break, Samsung unveils its newest flagship smartphone. Our very own Samuel Burke takes it for a test drive at the Mobile World Congress in

Barcelona.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GOLODRYGA: Samsung has unveiled its new smartphones at the world's biggest phone show, the Mobile World Congress. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are

designed to rival Apple's new iPhone X. The new phones are sure to face increased scrutiny. After all, the trouble Samsung had with the Galaxy

Note 7 catching fire. Samuel Burke reports from Barcelona.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECH, CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, Samsung didn't take a lot of risks here, but they've managed to improve on their previous models.

The smartphone market globally is actually contracting. In 2017, all these companies together sold less phones than they did in 2016. And Samsung

appears to be conscious of the possibility that the price tag of a lot of these phones may have been one of the reasons. So, the new phones the S9

cost $720. The S9 plus, $840. A lot of money, but less than the nearly $1,000 iPhone X.

[16:55:00] Where Samsung's gotten the most attention for their new phones is the camera with augmented reality. Unlike the iPhone X where you can

turn your face into an animal emoji, the augmented reality on the new S9s allows you to turn your face into a more human-looking emoji. Some people

say my color is a bit off on the emoji that I created.

Now, other innovations that we're seeing here have to do with privacy and security. This new Huawei laptop has a hidden webcam. Can you spot it?

It's called the Huawei Matebook X Pro, it will cost you about $1,850. And you don't see a webcam up here, but Bianna, if you look closely between the

f6 and f7 button is a little camera, you click it, and then it pops up there. I used to make fun of my dad for putting tape across his webcam.

But now it looks like Huawei is trying to capitalize on security-conscious people like my dad.

And the banana phone is back. The Nokia 8110 made famous in the matrix film back in 1996, well a Finnish startup called HMD, has purchased the

rights to bring it back. Although this time it's actually yellow like a banana. It doesn't use android or iOS. You'll have some mainstream apps

like Facebook, Google Maps and Twitter. But what it lacks in apps it makes up for in battery life, 25 days of standby time. Can't do anything on a

smartphone for 25 days and it will cost you just under $100 for this blast from the past. Hello.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GOLODRYGA: You had me at 25 days' battery life. All right. Well that's it for the show. But first, we're going to go over to Europe where stocks

closed slight higher. They were followed on from Friday's rally on Wall Street as well as comments from the president of the ECB. Mario Draghi

said the slack in the economy may be bigger than previously thought. That means it's unlikely that the ECB will quickly draw down its stimulus

program. That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Bianna Golodryga, thanks for watching.

END