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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
WikiLeaks Founder Arrested In London; Israeli Spacecraft Fails To Land On The Moon; Bank Chiefs: Cyber is Top Risk to Financial Industry. Aired: 3-4p ET
Aired April 11, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Trade on Wall Street, absolutely a market have two halves, first in the morning and then
just before lunch, the market goes lower. We will explain what happened just before noon.
The market is now off a quarter of a percent and this is what investors have been watching today in the markets, and in tonight's show, Julian
Assange arrested. The WikiLeaks founder forced out of the Ecuadorian Embassy after nearly seven years. Now we'll talk about the extradition on
hacking charges to the U.S. Also a Brexit breather, Theresa May get a six- month extension and business now kicks the can down the road. How serious is that? It's something you don't see every day. A moon landing is
expected within the hour. That's a private Israeli company and all being well, Beresheet, which is the name of the rocket should land somewhere over
Live from London on April the 11th. I'm Richard Quest, I mean business.
Good evening. We begin tonight with events in London seven years after Julian Assange went into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, claimed and
received political asylum. The founder of WikiLeaks, is now facing what he feared most -- extradition to the United States. His lawyers are tonight
vowing to fight.
Look at the dramatic video that shows Assange being dragged from the embassy. Five British Metropolitan Police Officers doing so on Thursday
morning. The British say his arrest was made on behalf of the United States and it was facilitated by the fact the Ecuadorians removed his
asylum. He appeared in court this afternoon and a judge, the Magistrate ordered Assange to be returned to court on May the 2bd for an extradition
hearing. He remains in custody.
The founder of WikiLeaks is facing charges of conspiracy to hack computer systems. They are U.S. charges, and American officials tell CNN they
expect to bring additional charges. Assange's lawyer had this to say after his arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER ROBINSON, LAWYER OF JULIAN ASSANGE: I've just been with Mr. Assange in the police cells. He wants to thank all of his supporters for
their ongoing support, and he said, "I told you so."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So Julian Assange's lawyer says embassy officials formally notified Assange that his asylum would be revoked shortly before the arrest.
Today's events come after seven years and many years of tension between Assange and his haters. Clarissa Ward is outside the embassy. Several
aspects of this -- let's just deal with the decision to revoke his or remove his asylum privilege. The President of Ecuador basically says the
man was going out of his mind and that his behavior was becoming dangerous, and it was time for him to go.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think there are several components to this, Richard. On the one hand, there were many
reports from people who were working inside the embassy that his mental and physical health was not well. He had become discourteous. He was
aggressive. He would play loud music until the early hours of the morning. He would apparently ride around the embassy on a scooter.
One Minister even reporting that he had smeared feces on one of the walls inside the embassy, and so broadly speaking, there was a sense that this
was an untenable situation, and that something had to be done to put a stop to it. Beyond that there was political disagreement, let's say with
Ecuador's rulers feeling that Assange was essentially trying to foment regime change or foment political unrest in their own country.
And so essentially, they had been looking for quite some time as to how they could go about evicting or allowing Mr. Assange to finally be
arrested. And today after seven long years, as you said, Richard, it did happen and what an extraordinary scene it was to see him brought out of the
embassy right behind me, disheveled, bearded, gesticulating, shouting -- a really extraordinary scene that people have been waiting a very long time
to see, Richard.
QUEST: So Clarissa, there are three legal aspects we'll be talking a lot about the U.S. side. The first is the skipping of bail of which of course
he's guilty and will be sentenced.
[15:05:03] QUEST: The second is the U.S. extradition and the third are those Swedish charges which had been dropped, but which now might come
back. Now, obviously the most significant of there are the U.S. charges, and to that extent, do we know when or how the extradition proceedings will
WARD: So, essentially, the judge today said that the U.S. now has 65 days to provide their full accounting of their case against Julian Assange on
this charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, which is basically just a legalese way of saying that he is, you know, that the U.S.
government believes he was trying to help, then named Bradley Manning to hack the passwords of various classified information to then go ahead and
So that will happen now on May 2nd. It was an interesting scene in the courtroom, Richard, because while Assange appear pretty calm and indeed
fairly confident, the judge was not circumspect. He spoke his mind. He described Assange as, quote, "a narcissist who cannot go beyond his own
selfish interest." And while we heard from Assange's lawyers and the co- editor of WikiLeaks afterwards, who are very clearly trying to cast this as an issue of freedom of the press, calling this not about conspiracy to
commit computer intrusion, but conspiracy to commit journalism, certainly appears that Mr. Assange will have an uphill battle on his hands trying to
fight this extradition.
And as you mentioned, if he is extradited to the U.S., it seems more than likely that there will be other charges added on to this one which carries
a maximum sentence of five years, Richard.
QUEST: Clarissa Ward in London, thank you. Michael Zeldin joins me now. He is a former U.S. federal prosecutor and one of our legal analysts. I've
read your views on this, and how this is developing. First of all, on the sheer legal side of it, before we even get to the charges in the U.S., the
U.S. now has to prove what to get the British to agree to extradite?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That he has committed or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed an extraditable offense.
There are agreements between the nations that define what crimes can be extraditable. That's what the presentation of evidence from the U.S. to
the British courts will concern and the court will have determine that this is a crime that Britain is prepared to extradite someone to the United
States for trial, and that'll be determined largely in terms of whether they view this as a criminal act that Britain would bring against its own
QUEST: That's the key to it, isn't it? It's about whether or not the U.K. -- this would have been a chargeable offense in in the U.K., but on the
U.S. side, it's interesting what he's been charged with. This idea of conspiring to access a computer rather than basically treason, espionage or
ZELDIN: That's right. The problem here is that Julian Assange is WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is an organization that disseminates information,
whether you like what they disseminate or not, is beside the point. The United States government didn't like the fact that the "New York Times"
disseminated the Pentagon Papers, but they were still a news organization protected by our First Amendment.
So if WikiLeaks -- and it should be treated as a First Amendment news organization, then the question is, what did Julian Assange do that
violates criminal laws as opposed to just disseminating information that somebody else in violation of law gave to him? And that's at the heart of
the inquiry with respect to it, which is why you hear his lawyers saying, this is an attack on journalism.
QUEST: By going for this particular offense, which was sealed about a few a few months ago, six months ago, by going for this offense, it does -- and
let's say they are successful before the British legal authorities, it doesn't preclude them from charging him with more serious offenses once
ZELDIN: Maybe, I think, Richard, that there is an open question as to whether or not an individual who has been extradited on a particular charge
when arriving in the country that seeks his presence can then charge him with anything additional to that. To me it's an open legal question
whether or not that is possible or whether or not they only are there for the purposes of this one offense and that they have nothing more that they
can add on.
[15:10:09] ZELDIN: There are some exceptions to that. But it's by no means a clear cut case that they could just pile on additional charges once
he hits the United States' shores.
QUEST: Now I recognize of course, you're a U.S. lawyer and the extradition proceedings will be in the English legal system. But let's just play
around with this for a second. The idea first of all, of course, his defense against being sent to the U.S. will be that it is a political act,
and that it is a political reason. It is not a criminal reason. And to some extent, that might be true from the U.S. point of view. Will that
weigh with the Home Secretary who has the final decision?
ZELDIN: Well, it's a good question. Remember, the President -- the candidate Donald Trump throughout the campaign was in encouraging WikiLeaks
-- Julian Assange -- to find Hillary Clinton's e-mails. So in some sense, there's this unfortunate situation for the President now, which is he was
asking WikiLeaks essentially to do the exact same thing that United States Justice Department has charged Julian Assange as a criminal act, so that
impregnates this whole issue with politics, because what they distributed was information of the United States government found embarrassing and that
was the same case in the Pentagon Papers.
So you cannot separate the politics of this from the criminal charges and the British courts are going to have to evaluate how much they think that
should weigh in their decision to send or not send Assange to the United States.
QUEST: Michael Zeldin, thank you, sir. You'll be brushing up, I'm sure your knowledge of the extradition in the U.K. system in the weeks ahead
because I'm certain this will end up going to the Supreme Court in London and the Home Secretary. Good to see you, Michael, thank you.
You heard Julian Assange has been charged with conspiracy to break into computer systems. Glenn Greenwald says the arrest shows the
criminalization of journalism. He is no stranger to using documents -- leaked documents -- in reporting. Glenn is with me after the break.
QUEST: Julian Assange says I told you so. The United States has charged the founder of WikiLeaks with conspiracy to hack a computer. Now Assange's
lawyers say it was WikiLeaks publishing activities that made Assange a target, for example, government, private organizations and companies.
First of all, you had those like Sony, and Julius Baer who watched their secrets be made public on the site. Assange became a household name in
2010, when WikiLeaks published a huge trove of American diplomatic messages and war documents, it was quite extraordinary the level and depth and in
'16, WikiLeaks publishes e-mails allegedly stolen by the Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
The DNC e-mails were of course created a huge scandal during the election. Some say, it was one of the deciding issues. And then in '17, WikiLeaks
publishes thousands of documents allegedly from the CIA purportedly showing how the agency develop software, allowing it to listen into private
conversations picked up by microphones and cell phones and smart TVs.
The U.S. government has called WikiLeaks, a non-state hostile intelligence service. But Donald Trump has nothing but praise for it when he was on the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart, you've got to read it now.
Another one came in today, this WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.
I was just getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks and I wanted to stay there, but I didn't want to keep you waiting.
This just came out WikiLeaks. I love WikiLeaks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now take a listen to his views on WikiLeaks today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The critics of Assange says he has released classified information, sensitive intelligence and this puts America's security at risk. His
supporters say he has helped the public by disclosing information that's been hidden from them.
Peter Tatchell, a human rights activists has called Assange a hero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER TATCHELL, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER (via Skype): WikiLeaks and Julian Assange helped expose U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a
great public service. In my view, he is not a criminal, he is a hero, and heroes like him, people who expose malpractice and wrongdoing, they should
not be hounded by the state, they should be lauded by the state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Glenn Greenwald as a co-founder of "The Interceptor." He reported on the contents of the national security documents leaked by Edward Snowden
and Glenn has defended using leaked documents in the case of journalism. Glenn, good to see you, sir. You join me now, this question of now Julian
Assange is in custody, the U.S. has put forward this very specific charge, which is not so much a First Amendment type of thing, but basically saying
he conspired to illegally access -- to hack basically.
GLENN GREENWALD, CO-FOUNDING EDITOR, THE INTERCEPTOR: I don't actually agree with that characterization. There are parts of the indictment that
are clearly designed to criminalize things journalists routinely do. Part of the accusation is that he encouraged Chelsea Manning to provide him with
more documents than the original batch that she gave him, which is something as a journalist, I've done many times with my sources that
journalists do every day. They say, "Oh, thanks for this document. Maybe you could get me this."
They also say that he helped her to essentially cover her tracks by giving her advice about how to get these information without being detected. The
only thing in the indictment and it's very vague is a suggestion that he tried to help her circumvent a password. It didn't seem to be successful,
but it's unclear whether that was designed to get documents or just simply help her cover her tracks.
But either way, it's clearly a threat to the First Amendment because it criminalizes core journalistic functions.
QUEST: The way in which of course -- it's going to break down into two groups, those who see him as being some sort of a Russian accomplice who is
determined to do political damage, and those like yourself, who see him as a journalist who was promoting the good of information, but ultimately, it
will come down to an English Judge, who will have to decide and then the Home Secretary whether or not to send him to the U.S., won't it?
GREENWALD: Right. Well, first of all, I don't necessarily agree that it depends on whether you like Julian Assange or not. I think he's a hero. I
would hope that all journalists all over the world would be opposed to anything that threatens press freedom even if the person they're targeting
is someone that they dislike or think has done bad things.
[15:20:14] GREENWALD: But yes, the U.K. is one of the very few Western countries that doesn't have a constitutional right of press freedom. I
know from the reporting I did on the Snowden case, when I worked with "The Guardian." They actually sent agents of the state into the newsroom of
"The Guardian" and forced "The Guardian" to destroy its laptops.
So yes, I wouldn't expect British judges or the British government to provide much protection to Assange given that there's not a really strong
culture of press freedom protection in the U.K.
QUEST: So at the end of the day, what would you say to those people who do claim that look, his activities did far more damage than good. That he did
with all the leaks that came out, particularly of course, the diplomatic cables, it was scandalous, yes, but there was limited journalistic benefit.
GREENWALD: Well, if you just look at how the media outlets around the world to have used that archive, it's probably the single most valuable
journalistic archive published in the last 50 years since the Pentagon Papers. To this very day, "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," CNN
uses documents published as part of that archive, including the diplomatic cables walls to shed light for their audience and their readers on what the
most powerful factions in the world are doing, and they've never been identified by the U.S. government, anyone who has been harmed by those
publications, but a lot of media outlets have used them to do some really great reporting. So I think the proof is in the pudding on that question.
QUEST: Glenn, finally, where is the limit? At what point do you say, "Actually, these documents don't disclose anything. They just reflect
policy thinking. We don't need to publish them just because we've managed to download a lot of government documents."
GREENWALD: Yes, I think it's reasonable for journalists to say that we should only publish documents in the public interest and withhold things
that may jeopardize the safety of people or their privacy. But on the other hand, since 9/11, Western governments have built this incredible wall
of secrecy behind which they operate most of what they do is not transparent to the public. And I think it's a very grave threat to
democracy. And I would hope journalists would be the very last people saying we need less transparency. People who expose light on secrecy are
doing the wrong thing.
It's the role of journalists to advocate for transparency and to cheer those you bring it not to lead the way denouncing and condemning those who
QUEST: Glenn Greenwald joining us from New York. Glenn, thank you.
GREENWALD: Good to be with you.
QUEST: Now, some breaking news from out of space. Israel is moments away from becoming only the fourth country in history to make a soft landing on
the moon. And these are live pictures of Beresheet spacecraft. The unmanned mission was launched around seven weeks ago from Cape Canaveral.
If this landing is successful, it will be the first privately funded mission and --
Oren Liebermann is following this, besides being our Jerusalem correspondent. He follows aviation extreme. This is a perfect combination
of your two skills, Oren. What's happening?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, just in the last couple of seconds here, we're both following this live on screen and I have a laptop
in front of me. They say, there's an issue with the main engine. It's not firing at the moment and that gets at how technically difficult -- somebody
even said technically impossible a mission like this was from the beginning.
We're in the final moments of what has been a four million mile journey for the first ever privately-funded spacecraft to the moon. And it should be
landing in the last couple of minutes, a 210-minute landing process as it came from the moon's orbit and the landing on the moon began a short while
ago at 10:08 p.m. local time, 8:08 your time, and it's supposed to wrap up shortly here.
The issue here is they tried to keep this as light as possible, so there are very few redundancies. There's no way to practice landing on the moon
and they've been dealing with a couple of issues here, including a telemetry monitor and they're saying, I heard a short time ago having an
issue with the main engine so this could be it.
QUEST: I just want to listen in, supposed to land at 25 minutes past which is in 35 seconds from now. So I suggest we listen in and watch and then
afterwards, we can see what went right or wrong. Here we go.
[15:25:10] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Speaking in foreign language].
QUEST: The craft was supposed to land about now. We seem to have lost the picture of actually the craft landing. Oren, you can hear obviously what
they're saying in Hebrew. Explain.
LIEBERMANN: They said just a few moments ago, less than a minute ago, they said they've lost communication with the satellite as it approached the
moon and I heard somebody say -- and we'll wait for confirmation here they will -- I do expect them to say it in English, but they say we will not be
the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon. And that had been what they were going for this whole time.
Let's listen one more time, if you don't mind, Richard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Speaking in foreign language].
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a failure in the spacecraft. We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully. We are a seventh country to orbit
the moon and the fourth to reach the moon's surface and it's a tremendous achievement up to now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we didn't make it. But we definitely tried. And I think the achievement of getting to where we got is really tremendous. I
think we can be proud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Speaking in foreign language].
QUEST: Oren, the achievement was really getting there -- oh, Good Lord, is that who think I it is.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: [Speaking in foreign language].
QUEST: Oren, translate, please?
LIEBERMANN: This is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking. He said, we've gotten to the moon I just hope we'll go there again and we'll get
there a little more gently next time, so they're trying to put a positive spin on what must be the toughest moments of this. This launched seven
weeks ago. Everything was going very well until now from a four-million mile journey, first orbiting around the Earth and slingshotting and towards
the moon, capture with the moon's gravitational pull. It orbits around the moon to slow down for landing.
The landing process had begun and it almost concluded when they lost communications with the satellite itself, the main engine wasn't
responding. And at that point, they had to admit with the lost communication, they had not landed softly on the moon.
So although they had become, I believe they said the seven country to reach the surface of the moon, the purpose of the mission was not completed. It
was not a soft landing on the moon. And now they're talking about what an accomplishment it is, regardless.
A privately-funded mission to the moon, put together with a whole lot of hutzpah here and hutzpah was one of the key words here. There were even
some who suggested that that should have been the name of the spacecraft instead of Beresheets. Yes, Richard.
QUEST: As you say, hutzpah is an excellent word and appropriately the Prime Minister who arguably has performed the extraordinary feature of
hutzpah in the election. Bringing all your talents together in one go, Oren Lieberman. Thank you in Jerusalem.
And we'll take a break and when we return, around and around we go. Brexit is pushed back again. What will happen next? Bianca will be with us to
talk about that. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Live from London.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there is a great deal of more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. As you and
I continue tonight, this is CNN, and on this network, the facts always come first.
President Trump says a third summit could happen with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He made the remarks with the South Korean President
Moon Jae-in by his side in the Oval Office. Donald Trump says he wants the current sanctions on Pyongyang to remain in place, but he doesn't want to
The attorney, perhaps best known for representing the porn star in the legal battle with President Trump is in deep legal trouble himself.
Michael Avenatti was indicted today on 36 federal charges, including theft, bank fraud and tax evasion. He says he is not guilty.
The largest democratic event in the world is under way. Millions, hundreds of millions of Indians have kicked off the country's election process on
Thursday. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked to be ahead in exit polls. He's campaigned on security and heightened tensions -- amid
heightened tensions with neighboring Pakistan.
The former Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out for the first time about the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. The former pontiff
blames overly modern teachings in the clergy as well as the sexual revolution of the 1960s. His comments are stirring controversy amongst
We return to the arrest of Julian Assange. While WikiLeaks is notorious for its political stories, it's revolutionized the world of corporate
whistle-blowing and cyber security. It hosted documents from the Sony Picture hack, making them easily searchable for the world to see.
They worked with a former executive at the Swiss Bank, Julius Baer on claims of tax evasion and it published millions of e-mails from the U.S.
intelligence firm Stratfor. WikiLeaks opened up a new front for online activists to take on any company in the world.
For instance, yesterday in Washington, the chief executives of almost every big American bank were united on one thing. Cyber is the biggest danger
facing their industry.
[15:35:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE STIVERS (R-OH): My first question, and I'd like to go down the line and if you could each be brief, for each of you is, what do you think
the biggest risk to our financial system is today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cyber, we already mentioned, is the biggest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree that cyber, as we spoke about earlier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cyber, as we spoke about earlier, and also the fact that our growth is slowing around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with that, cyber first and slowing growth second.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cyber is certainly first. I'd also -- I'd also say slowing growth around the world, but in particular, the difficulties that
lie ahead in the relationship between the U.S. and China.
STIVERS: Great, so let the record reflect that cyber was a consensus item.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Cyber. Andy Greenberg is a senior writer at "Wired", he interviewed Julian Assange in 2010. He also covered the Sony hack, he
joins me now from New York. Good to see you, Andy. And cyber is the threat, but should we make a distinction between, if you like, legitimate
news searching, journalism and, frankly, the Sony hack, which arguably did not give out much by way of journalist values.
ANDY GREENBERG, SENIOR WRITER, WIRED: Well, if we're talking about WikiLeaks, which I think we are, then the kind of innovation of Julian
Assange was to cut this forensic trail between the source and the journalist. That opened up a new world of whistle-blowing that has really
In fact, it's changed the whole kind of idea of leaking information, allowed it to become entirely anonymous, protected by cryptographic tools
that didn't exist a decade or a generation ago. But at the same time, it also means that the journalist not only doesn't know the source, but
can't know the source.
In a way, that means that hackers can feed information to journalists just as easily as a whistleblower, a kind of principled insider, and that has
become a norm in journalism. And now all sorts of reporters do accept information from hackers. We saw this in the 2016 election very clearly.
QUEST: Is it -- but we also have seen in recent years an example of the opposite. Let's think of the Panama Papers where you had a massive dump
of documents from the Panaman -- Panama law firm. But they were curated, they were investigated, and in some cases important information was
redacted. Isn't that the correct way for journalists to use hacked documents?
GREENBERG: Well, I am not a journalistic ethicist, and I wouldn't want to judge who is doing this right and wrong. But I would observe that
WikiLeaks created this technology, but I've always thought that Julian Assange -- and in fact, when I interviewed him in 2010, he told me he
brought a kind of hacker mentality to this act of journalism in the sense that he used technological tools nobody ever had before.
But he was also a recipient of these leaks, who had very radical views about transparency and anti-secrecy that led him to essentially publish
practically everything that he had, starting with the cable gates, the State Department's cables in 2010, he did start to redact heavily to
But now we see dozens of newsrooms around the country and around the U.S. and the world start to adopt the same cryptographic tools that WikiLeaks
used to have this anonymous inbox, but they also have a kind of journalistic curation. They don't simply publish whatever comes en --
QUEST: Right --
GREENBERG: Masse, they build stories out of it like journalists always have.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir, thank you, thank you for waiting as well. Well, we're of course, we're in Israel with the -- thank you, sir, I
GREENBERG: Of course, glad to be here.
QUEST: As we continue, celebrations on the streets of the Sudanese capital. Civilians and military troops are marking an end to 30 years of
dictatorship. We'll hear from the IMF and what it now predicts for Africa's youngest country. It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, and one week and we
are in London.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: The British Prime Minister is defending her decision to accept a Brexit delay until Halloween. It's a six-month extension and it irked the
U.S. skeptic members of Westminster. Bianca is with me. I mean, I'm not surprised --
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, that is the mood in Westminster. Speechless, dumbfounded, we just --
QUEST: Well, what did they expect she was going to do?
NOBILO: Break. Well, that's the thing. It was priced in. Yes, there was anger, but we always knew that anger was coming. MPs said to me they're
just sitting on their hands waiting for it to actually happen. But they knew that she was going to get a longer extension, something between June
and the end of the year, and that's exactly what she got.
QUEST: Donald Tusk said my advice to my British friends is don't waste time.
NOBILO: Because they went on holiday. The house adjourned this evening for recess. But in fairness, MPs are, you know, exasperated, they're
really tired. It's been difficult for them, the climate is very hard even outside Westminster, there's constant protests.
There are people complaining to them on all sides of the debate. They do need a bit of time to take stock, organize themselves and figure out what
they're going to push for next.
QUEST: I was just walking -- was coming into the studio this evening and thinking, over the last four weeks, the extraordinary events. First of
all, you have those high-pressured votes.
QUEST: The ayes to the right, the nos to the left and all of it --
NOBILO: And no majority for any of them.
QUEST: And no, before we even get to that, then we have the indicative vote, when you have her deal, then you have the indicative vote, then you
have this bizarre business of roaring a bill through parliament for some purpose that seems to be obscure. We've never seen anything -- and the
complete breakdown of both party discipline, the whipping system and the party system, people leaving parties.
NOBILO: Yes, and I mean Brexit is not divided along party lines. And we're seeing that play out in Westminster.
QUEST: Is it your feeling after a week or two weeks break, they come back on the 23rd of April, that they will have hardened their views or they will
realize they'll have heard it's time to do a deal?
NOBILO: Recess can have either of those effects on MPs. This is my last analogy of this parliamentary sitting, is the fact that you're going to
have all of the same ingredients. It's as if you're, you know, cooking a recipe. All of the ingredients remain the same, they've just been given a
little bit more time to cook the dish.
Now, the cook is still the same, it's Theresa May, most MPs within the Conservative Party think time is up, it needs to be somebody else because
if none of the essential ingredients are changing, then the leadership just might have to in order to get this moving somehow.
QUEST: It could be combustible. It could burn. It could be undercooked - -
We could push this analogy way beyond its limits.
NOBILO: We could well do, yes, I'm glad that I've got the time now that they're in recess to think of some more.
QUEST: You have a break.
QUEST: Thank you, thank you very much. I'm sure there will be plenty more analogies that we can come to, ruin the dish. In Europe, the markets were
[15:45:00] The oven hadn't been switched on. I can go all night with these. The FTSE closed marginally in the red, the airline stocks were some
of the best performers bruited by the Brexit delay. The pound lost around a third of a percent against the dollar, the European Central Bank also
ended, it will leave interest rates unchanged for the time being.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been forced out in a military coup. He's now under arrest after three decades in power. Sudan's government has
been dissolved, political prisoners are to be released. It follows a popular uprising, that to see people risk their lives -- risk their safety
and lives to protest. The demonstrations were originally sparked by the rising cost of living, but then, of course, they escalated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People have protested peacefully since December 19th, 2018, up to this moment, demanding basic and necessary services. Yet, the
regime continued to mislead, giving false promises and insisting on security solutions and nothing else.
The security council finds it necessary to apologize to the Sudanese people for the killing and violence that took place, to pray for those murdered
and for a speedily recovery of injured civilians and security personnel alike.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Extraordinary developments. We've also seen protests in neighboring Libya and nearby Algeria. Poverty is the major issue in the
Arab world, and some are calling these demonstrations a new kind of Arab Spring. And that's not lost on the delegates at the IMF Spring meeting in
Our Eleni Giokos is there with me now from there. So we have this -- I hesitate to call it uprising and across the continent, obviously Sudan.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes --
QUEST: But the ministers there are aware that it has to be macro prudential policies that will create economic growth and wealth.
GIOKOS: Exactly, Richard, and we know that it's all about the macroeconomic environment, and of course, these are the underlying issues
that of course have resulted in protest action. Remember, Sudan had around 70 percent to 80 percent inflation in 2018.
You're looking at unemployment, you're looking at food shortages, you're looking at money that's not filtering down to, of course, the people in
Sudan, and then, of course, that creates a lot of concern about what the government is doing. Now, here at the IMF, I've caught up with a few
African leaders and they're saying that what Sudan actually needs now is not a military takeover, but a civilian-led government.
And that is what is going to turn Sudan around. And you mentioned of course, potential domino effect or contagion effect into the race of the
region, and it's kind of deja vu, isn't it? In terms of the Arab Spring, Richard, that we saw in 2011. Again, it's all about the economies in this
QUEST: Now, Eleni, I'm pretty sure if you go outside those buildings in Washington, the flowers will be out, the Spring flowers are out --
GIOKOS: Yes --
QUEST: And if they're out, it is the Spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank. What else are they going to be discussing -- what is it -- I mean,
we talked -- we talked to the chief economist about the precarious position, but are they just going to wring their hands --
GIOKOS: Yes --
QUEST: Over this? Oh, and there indeed are the Spring flowers.
GIOKOS: Exactly, well, Madam Lagarde earlier today was saying Spring is amazing because essentially there are so many different seasons in one day.
And she was talking about the delicate moments that the world is in right now. And we have to take that seriously, Richard, because right now, we're
looking at 3.3 percent growth for the year, it's the lowest in ten years that the IMF has predicted.
And I think when you see what is happening not only in Africa, but also the debt-laden countries, you're worried about the trade wars, Brexit has
definitely come up. These are the kind of macro themes that are definitely dominating. But let me tell you, I think that we have to watch very
closely about the risks because if there are any downside risks that do materialize, and we're already seeing them rearing their heads without them
even putting that into the research papers.
I think we've got to worry about, you know, the future, despite the flowers outside.
QUEST: Well, yes, all right, we'll talk more about that hopefully tomorrow with Christine Lagarde; the managing director of --
GIOKOS: Yes --
QUEST: The IMF, good to see you, thank you. As we continue, the "National Enquirer" hits the market. Details about a tantalizing tabloid deal in a
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Can't beat a good read. "National Enquirer", what the billionaires are up to. "Harry confessed to William". When you -- the "National
Enquirer" is up for sale alongside other American media's tabloids, it follows a "Washington Post" report that "AMI's" controlling shareholder has
pressured to part ways with the magazine.
"AMI" has been in legal turmoil lately over Chief Executive David Pecker's dealings with U.S. President and his former lawyer Michael Cohen and it's
worthy of a tabloid itself. Jeff Bezos' claim that the tabloid tried to extort him. Brian Stelter is in New York.
Some poetic justice that the "Washington Post" of course, reports all this in this way. I mean, is it true? Is it up for sale?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The magazines are for sale, both the "Enquirer" and the "Globe". I'm expecting a sale any time --
meaning, any time in the coming days. There is a story out there in the "New York Times" that Ron Burkle; a billionaire Clinton pal is interested
in buying the tabloids.
However, Burkle's company is denying that to us here at CNN. So right now, Richard, we don't know who is going to buy the "Enquirer", but we do know
it's for sale.
QUEST: All right, now, the -- I want to go to the events with Julian Assange.
STELTER: Yes --
QUEST: Today, if I may. We roughly got the pictures, this is a news agency that is related to "RT", "Russia Today". How did they do it?
STELTER: Yes --
QUEST: Was it just good old-fashioned journalism?
STELTER: Yes, they say they just staked out the embassy 24/7. They were the only outlet that decided to leave a camera out there all the time, and
that's how they obtained these pictures. But it does make you wonder, given that "Ruptly" is owned and controlled by Russian state media, and if
they want these images for propaganda sake purposes.
That's the claim, of course, they deny it, they say that's rubbish. But it is notable, they were there -- and look, in the bigger scheme of things,
any story about this, about Assange, about him being extradited to the U.S., you know, we know that Russian propaganda operations do like to
promote these sorts of stories in order to show examples of unrest and dissent in the United States.
Going forward, Richard, this is going to be a really interesting case to see if it's only about computer hacking or if it's also about the
publishing of classified information. Press freedom groups are very worried today about this arrest and about this charge in the United States.
And people are going to be monitoring it very closely to see --
QUEST: But it's --
STELTER: What the Trump administration exactly is up to.
QUEST: But in today's America, Brian Stelter, in today's America, which is arguably to the right, the sort of leaks that Chelsea Manning was involved
with and that WikiLeaks has done is not found -- has not thought of a favor.
STELTER: What do you mean? How so?
QUEST: Well, what I'm saying is that, there will be those in America who will say that Manning was a traitor and that WikiLeaks had no business
putting out that sort of information, and that Assange deserves all he's going to get.
STELTER: You're right, and a lot of Republican senators have already said that in the last two hours, names like Lindsey Graham have already said
they hope that he spends a very long time in prison, but that would suggest that they are buying into the larger issues about WikiLeaks and Assange.
[15:55:00] The alleged crime here is very specific, involving computer hacking. It carries a maximum of five years prison time. However, a lot
of people are looking at this and saying, that charge is a pretext for what other people -- you know, for it -- if you punish WikiLeaks in a much
That is a big concern here. And frankly, WikiLeaks has changed a lot in the past decade. What Assange was doing nine years ago, allegedly
obtaining information from Chelsea Manning and publishing it on the internet, very different then what WikiLeaks engages in now.
The site now is viewed by the United States as a hostile intelligence arm of the Russian government. So it's changed a whole lot in the past decade.
QUEST: Brian, I'll see you next week, I'm back in New York.
STELTER: Great, see you then --
QUEST: Good to see you, sir, thank you. Market, quickly before we leave, as we come to the close, just barely worth talking about. Thin trading
volume and that's sparked an element of volatility. It's the early optimism about trade talks evaporated. And I mean, it looks far more
dramatic than it actually was. Apple in the banking shares lose gains -- early gains.
Tesla is down after reports on its factory. That is the Dow 30. We'll have a profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. This is the picture that is currently being fed by the Israeli Space Agency. The space people having tried to
launch Beresheet. In the beginning, the first word, of course, from the Torah. They failed to put their little satellite on to the earth -- on to
the moon's surface.
The soft-landing did not happen. But you've got to admire the Chutzpah, "A" for trying with a $100 million of private money, "B" for the moment it
failed, saying it was a success and having Bibi Netanyahu there, and, "C" for recognizing, that you know, doing this, including a little Martian
man, doing this is in itself an achievement.
It's a classic case, Beresheet in the beginning. It is better to have tried and failed than never have tried at all. And what I can take from
this is that absolutely, they will be back to do it again. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in London. Whatever
you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable.
From the moon to the markets -- oh, that's very good, oh, they're clapping, the Dow, the day is done.