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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
White House Considering Releasing Transcripts of Ukraine Phone Call; Iran's President Hassan Rouhani Travel to UN General Assembly in New York; Iran Releases Seized British-Flagged Tanker; The Tourism Industry Counts The Cost Of Thomas Cook's Collapse; Some 150,000 U.K. Tourists Are Stranded Abroad As Thomas Cook Collapses; World Leaders Gather At The U.N. Climate Action Summit In New York. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 23, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: So it's calm on Wall Street. Let's really hope there's no storm. It is the final hour of trading on Wall
Street and as you can see here, stocks turned positive this morning and they haven't looked back. Here is what's moving the markets right now.
It's the end of an industry icon. Now, the tourism industry counts the cost of Thomas Cook's collapse. Greta Thunberg tells world leaders to
think less about money -- that's right -- and to act more on the environment. And Europe's carmakers sound the alarm over a no-deal Brexit.
Live from the world's financial capital, New York City. It's Monday, the 23rd of September. I'm Paula Newton, in for Richard Quest and this surely
is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Good evening. Tonight, the collapse of a travel industry icon has left hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded, 21,000 jobs are at risk and
businesses that depend on Thomas Cook's tours are afraid for their future at this hour. A mammoth operation is underway to bring stranded British
tourists back home. The Board of Thomas Cook said it had no choice, but to declare bankruptcy after any rescue attempts failed.
Now the U.K.'s Transport Secretary defended the government's decision not to bail out this company.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRANT SHAPPS, BRITISH TRANSPORT SECRETARY: So the government obviously would do anything we could to support, but the reality is, I think the
times have changed and this is a business that was still perhaps operating on a model that was good for, you know, the last century or the 1980s or
something, but not for really the internet age where people are booking their own holidays so much. This left a lot of people stranded and we are
working absolutely around the clock to bring everybody home, even those who are not ATOL protected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now, just to recap how significant this company is, Thomas Cook was one of the world's oldest and best-known travel companies. It was
founded in 1841 by the cabinet maker, Thomas Cook. Soon, it moved beyond the U.K. and even Europe hosting the world's first around-the-world tour in
Now it got into air travel in 1927 and its first flight was from New York to Chicago. By 2019, funding had dried up though and Thomas Cook said it
had no choice, but to enter into liquidation. Now the company CEO says he tried to save the business and of course apologized for what he calls an
absolutely devastating outcome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER FANKHAUSER, CEO, THOMAS COOK GROUP: Finally, I would like to apologize to the many thousands of hoteliers and suppliers, who have stuck
by our business in good times and in bad and to now face difficult financial choices of their own.
It has been my privilege to lead Thomas Cook. It is deeply distressing to me that it has not been possible to save one of the most loved brands in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now Thomas Cook's scale was immense and its collapse will be felt by countries and businesses that depend on its tourists. Now, the
President of the tourism agency in Crete, just in Crete alone has compared the bankruptcy to an earthquake or tsunami.
Thomas Cook was facing a perfect storm of conditions, some of them of its own making. Now the first, a failure to control costs combined with a
slowdown in bookings caused the company's debt to pile up. Second, a series of outside factors that kept would-be travelers at home, you know,
like the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016. And then of course, just the heat wave from last summer in Europe that meant people actually stayed
Finally, a fall in the pound and that made Thomas Cook's expenses which were priced in dollars much more expensive. It also cut into the spending
power of U.K. citizens abroad.
Now, earlier I spoke with Simon Calder, he is Travel Editor of "The Independent." He says Thomas Cook could have done more to protect its
customers and that it was taking their money right up to the wire.
SIMON CALDER, TRAVEL EDITOR, THE INDEPENDENT: It's been absolutely horrible. I know for a fact that until two hours before the closure of
this 178-year-old iconic travel brand, they were still at Thomas Cook selling vacations. I know that because I bought one and maybe the price I
bought it for $200.00 for a week from here in London to Greece staying in a Greek island with accommodation, with transfers, with everything else,
nobody is going to be making any money on that.
And unfortunately Thomas Cook's problem was that it had too much commoditized stuff, and its cost base was too high. And ultimately, it's
not a successful business model.
The scale of the failure, though, and the way it happened was really, really cruel. I was at Manchester Airport in northwest England, at two
o'clock in the morning, when the news came through local time. And people were just arriving. They had flights to Bulgaria, to Greece, and they were
learning that while they were driving to the airport, their dream vacation had turned into a nightmare.
They were going nowhere. They will now have to wait weeks, possibly months to get their money back and prices of every travel product are going up.
NEWTON: Yes, and the vacation goes up in smoke and you make such a good point. A lot of these people really have saved for a long time for what
were, you know, budget vacations that meant a lot to them. We're not talking about people that had a lot of means and are now looking at all of
it going, you know, by the wayside.
Simon, what is the advice you would say, though, in terms of the lesson learned on the industry as a whole, where's this going now? Are models
like Thomas Cook, just we know, way past their best buy date?
CALDER: Well, they had a really strange kind of 20th Century model where they were doing just traditional, what we call package holidays. They
weren't really differentiated. They weren't offering anything special. And their cost base was huge, because they insisted on having lots of
travel agents, over 500 in every town and city in in the U.K., and the cost of that just made them much more expensive than the competition.
They were having to sell at the same prices and that wasn't going to add up. So a terrible day. This was a pioneering organization that absolutely
transformed the travel landscape, revolutionized it, democratized it, but unfortunately, Thomas Cook is no more.
NEWTON: Can't get blunter than that. Now all flights and vacations booked through Thomas Cook have now been, of course, canceled. I want you to look
at the route map. You can see the scale of getting 600,000 people back is incredibly immense.
The destinations with the most stranded tours are Spain, Turkey, Tunisia and Greece. U.K.'s government has launched, yes, it has a name, Operation:
Matterhorn to bring travelers home. The Foreign Office says it is prioritizing passengers with what they say are limited alternative options.
German insurance companies meantime will reportedly get that country's citizens home and some companies like Virgin Atlantic are offering their
services as well.
Now as you can see, Thomas Cook customers are stranded all over the world and Sri Lanka, the chairman of John Keells Holdings told our Richard Quest,
he is not throwing anyone out.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: You have in this space and in your various hotels, several hundred people affected by
Thomas Cook, which went bust this morning. What's going to happen?
KRISHAN BALENDRA, CHAIRMAN, JOHN KEELLS HOLDINGS: It's just happened last night. They stopped trading last night. So we are taking stock of the
situation. Our priority is to look after our guests in our hotel. We understand that the British government will take measures to look after the
British nationals in hotels and fly them back. So it's a little early to make a definitive comment.
But our priority is to look after the guests in our hotels and to make sure that they have the best conveniences.
QUEST: No one is being thrown out.
BALENDRA: No one is being thrown out.
NEWTON: And if totally that wasn't the case right around the world, later in the program will be going to speaking to the group that's in charge of
this giant operation, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority.
We want to turn now though for a quick look at the markets. The Dow has been staging a slow and steady come back throughout the session. Volume is
light though. Investors are reacting to some mixed economic reports. U.S. manufacturing activity picked up slightly in September, while the services
sector lost jobs for the first time in more than three years.
In the meantime, world leaders are gathered at the U.N. to tackle the climate crisis. There was an unexpected visitor and strong words from
teenage activist, Greta Thunberg.
And throwing money at the problem. Donors try to protect rain forests with their checkbooks.
NEWTON: And let's return now to our top story, the collapse of the iconic tour operator, Thomas Cook. Some 150,000 U.K. tourists are stranded
abroad. The task of getting them back falls to the U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority. Deirdre Hutton is the CAA's Chair and she joins me now. How
successful have you been so far? I know Operation: Matterhorn has been on the books at least for several days, if not weeks. What kind of luck are
you having in trying to get these stranded passengers home?
DEIRDRE HUTTON, CHAIR, U.K.'S CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY: Well, can I can I say first of all that actually nobody is stranded. We've got about 150,000
passengers to bring back from around the world, including many in the United States, and we will be bringing them all back over a two-week
They don't need to cut the holiday short, they should -- they should expect to be brought back at the time they would have come back and they should go
to our website, which is thomascook.caa.co.uk. And that will give them all the information they need about when they're being brought home.
NEWTON: And I take your point that they're not, they feel stranded though and that's the issue. What have you done to be able to mitigate any of the
chaotic circumstances? Because you know some people showed up to airports expecting to book a flight and did not.
HUTTON: I think I'm not hearing you terribly clearly. But I think you asked about people turning up at the airport, expecting to fly when they
couldn't. But I'm afraid that there are now no Thomas Cook flights, so nobody should go. Some people haven't had their holiday. And I'm afraid
their holiday is canceled, so they should not go to the airports. There will be no Thomas Cook flights.
NEWTON: Is there any overestimating how difficult this will be? And I take you at your point that everybody will be coming home?
HUTTON: Absolutely, they will? Yes, of course, it's difficult. You know, it's 18 countries, 55 airports, we've built up a very short notice a fleet
of about 40 airplanes. So yes, it's a huge operation. And no doubt there will be a few bumps on the way and we ask people to bear with us. But
everybody will be brought home and they will be brought home at the time they would originally have come anyway.
So if your holiday lasts until Saturday, then you'll be brought home on Saturday. If it lasts until Saturday week, you will come home on Saturday
week. And actually the very first flight of the repatriation was one from JFK in New York and that's -- that landed. That was our first flight.
So far, we have had 12 fights landed today, 15 in the air, and other 38 expected and we will have brought back 15,000 people by the end of today.
NEWTON: And that's a good update. I appreciate that. It's not something the Civil Aviation Authority had expected to be doing really in terms of
your mandate. You are doing it though. How can you make sure that this doesn't happen again? Because in the end, it was still quite a chaotic
HUTTON: This is a very competitive market, as I'm sure you know, and certainly in the U.K., there have been a number of new low cost entrants.
Thomas Cook was pretty heavily saddled with debt. And in many ways it was rather an old fashioned firm. It was operating with brochures in an era of
barcodes. So it's not unexpected. But as I say, it's a vibrant industry.
HUTTON: Every year a few companies go into liquidation, but we're not worried about anybody else, any other big companies going. There is a need
to look at the insolvency review to see how it can be improved though.
NEWTON: And I guess the issue is as well, this is costing Britain somewhere around three quarters of a million dollars to get everyone home.
This is a big price tag. Is there some insurance scheme that needs to be looked at, something closer to the German model on that?
HUTTON: Yes, actually, that's an E.U.-wide model. It is a requirement of the E.U. And in fact, the ATOL -- the passengers who are covered by this
E.U. program will be funded by an insurance scheme. So the majority will be funded by an insurance scheme, the rest will be picked up by government.
The repatriation flights will cost something in the order of 100 million. As I say a portion of that will come back from the insurance fund.
NEWTON: Okay, so we'll leave it there and thanks so much for the update. A lot of good numbers in there, so we understand how this repatriation is
progressing. Appreciate it.
Now to another developing story here. World leaders are gathered at this hour at the U.N. Climate Action Summit here in New York and they got an
unexpected visitor. U.S. President Donald Trump showed up for a few minutes, were told about 15. He was listening to leaders proposed plans to
combat climate change. Mr. Trump, withdrew from the Paris Agreement two years ago, did not choose to speak.
Teenage climate activist, meantime, Greta Thunberg has a very strong message for world leaders. Taking to the podium at the Summit, she
admonished the gathering for failing her generation.
In her impassioned speech, the 16-year-old asked politicians to stop chasing endless economic growth at the environment's expense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA THUNBERG, TEEN CLIMATE ACTIVIST: You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet, I'm one of the lucky ones. People
are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is
the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Quite a condemnation there of the entire economic model. That burning issue of climate change, though in that ticking clock to a hotter
planet is the big focus for "The Economist" magazine in its latest issue.
At the magazine's cover, you can see it right there showing how temperatures have risen going from blue to red since the mid-19th Century.
Zanny Minton Beddoes is the Editor-in-Chief of "The Economist" and joins me now here. I just want to get your reactions to those emotional comments
there. And obviously, the younger generation really taking this on in the last week especially, but obviously, you've seen this happen from that
generation in the last few years.
ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: They do and they were powerful words, and she was emotional. And you know, I applaud the
attention that that young people, in particular, Greta Thunberg are drawing to this, but I think where she goes wrong is saying that this has to demand
the kind of end to the capitalist system, which is sort of in a sense what they're going for.
I think that's wrong, I actually think that the only way we will address climate change effectively, is by harnessing the free market along with
smart regulation. But otherwise, it isn't going to happen. But I think drawing attention to it is very good. But we now need to clearheadedly and
urgently think about the right response. And that's really why we devoted this issue to the subject this week.
And what we did was, we had -- we not only had that very striking graphic on the cover, we had a big must read, frankly, briefing on what the climate
problem is all about. And then every section of our newspaper, we call it a newspaper, it is a magazine, every section of the magazine had a piece
about the impact of climate change.
And what we wanted to do there was show through our reporting that this will affect pretty much every aspect of the world, whether it's the future
of the Panama Canal, the future of the insurance industry, whether it's looking at the Democratic green policies that they have here now, whether
it's looking at what's happening to cities in Southeast Asia, across the globe.
But then I think the answer is really, how do we solve the collective action problem? Because actually, it's bad 10 to 12 countries that are the
world's biggest emitters. Those are the countries that need to get together and figure out how to how to deal with this and we think very
firmly that has to be done by harnessing the free market, not by going against the free market.
NEWTON: The mechanics of the harnessing the free market, though, it sounds like perhaps a simple thing that that asserters won in the last few
decades, but it isn't serving as well on climate. Why not?
BEDDOES: Well, of course it isn't. Well, very simplistic answer is that climate change is an externality that's not priced in right now. So that's
why economists favor carbon taxes. Now, I think carbon taxes are a very important part of the solution. They're not the only solution.
We have to have smart regulation. We have to have more investment, more R&D, more looking into, more money spent on developing the technologies of
the future. So I think there are some sensible answers on the right. There are some sense -- economists have sensible answers that should be
listened to. All of this stuff has to come together.
BEDDOES: But for me, the thing that I'm optimistic about now is that people are really drawing attention to it. But I think there is a risk,
both on the left and the right that people equate this with the end of the free market and I think that would be catastrophic, and nothing would
NEWTON: Okay. But many people will tell you that if anything gets done -- and the United States is a very good example -- if you do not have that
government involvement in terms of making this certainly leading from that point of view, but also making it an imperative for the business community
to be able to do it, where will it --
BEDDOES: But government will lead when there is popular pressure for government to lead.
NEWTON: I am not so --
BEDDOES: Just you now, I have not given up on democracy. One of the striking things in this country is actually the growing percentage of
people who think climate change is a serious threat. It's gone up significantly in the last few years.
NEWTON: And yet, the government response has gone in the opposite direction through their votes.
BEDDOES: Thus far, this administration, thus far. But if you look at what's happening amongst, for example, the Democratic presidential
candidates, climate change is right on the top of their agenda. It's a very, very big part of that.
Now, I'm not -- there are good and bad bits about each of their approaches that even if you look amongst Republicans, if you look amongst young
conservatives, there is a recognition and a focus.
So the U.S. is not in the vanguard in this. I wish the U.S. was more in the vanguard. I wish the U.S. thought about this differently. But I think
the answer -- to think -- if you think that you have to have the end of capitalism to solve climate change, you're going I think down a road that
is not going to lead you anywhere.
What we need to do is to harness the power of the free market along with -- and you're absolutely right -- smart regulation, smart public investments,
government's leading, and then we can address it because it is true that global climate emissions have come in the century where there's been rapid
economic growth. But we can change that.
NEWTON: And I only have time for one more question. But it is an important one, you get developing countries that say to themselves, why are
we -- why do we have to shoulder any of this? And it is countries beyond China and India, but principally those countries saying, why?
BEDDOES: And they have a perfectly good argument because not only are they going to suffer most of the consequences, because this is something -- the
consequences of the climate change will be felt most and most quickly by the poorer people in poorer parts of the world.
So they're right, they are going to suffer consequences, and they didn't cause the problem. So economic justice, climate justice is part of this,
but the main -- for me, the main goal is how can we urgently clearheadedly come together to actually get some action on this and that's a relatively
few number of countries, big emitters in the emerging world, big developed countries, they need to come together to sort this out.
NEWTON: Thank you. The Brazilian Environment Minister is sitting right here in studio, we're going to get to him with some of these problems in
just a minute.
BEDDOES: I look forward to hearing what he has to say.
NEWTON: But first, less than half of the 136 world leaders at the United Nations this week are presenting at the Climate Action Summit today. I
said half, that's because U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked for only those with concrete realistic plans to speak. He doubled down on that
notion saying the time for talk is gone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL: This is not the climate talk summit, we have had enough talk. This is not the climate
negotiating summit because we don't negotiate with nature. This is a Climate Action Summit.
From the beginning -- from the beginning, I said the ticket to entry is not a beautiful speech, but concrete action, and you are here with commitments.
Governments are here to show you are serious about enhancing nationally determined contributions into the Paris Agreement.
Cities and businesses are here showing what leadership looks like, investing in a green future. Financial actors are here to scale up action
and deploy resources in fundamentally new and meaningful ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: And Guterres also says deforestation may be the biggest battle in the fight against climate change, this, as big international donors are set
to unlock an additional $500 million in aid to protect rain forest like the Amazon. That's according to France, which also announced it is
contributing a full $100 million to that package.
Ricardo Salles is the Brazilian Environment Minister. He joins me now. First and foremost, you're accepting this money where I your president said
just a few weeks ago that countries like France should butt out and that this was a sovereign issue.
RICARDO SALLES, BRAZILIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: Of course, we do accept the funds, although actually we have expected those funds since 2005 when
the Kyoto Protocol has given a right to receive for carbon taxes to Brazil, carbon credits, and we're still waiting for those funds.
We still have 250 million tons of carbon at $10.00 per ton, it would be like $2.5 billion in 14 years. So although he has promised that, we still
have some doubts about his going to fulfill this promise.
NEWTON: And before your government came in, Brazil's record on the environment was mixed, but certainly better than what's been going on now.
By your own government statistics, you picked your figure, deforestation has increased in the last year, either 40 percent to 80 percent whichever
figure you want to pick, it is not good. Why? Why is your government allowing that to happen?
SALLES: Well, first we do agree that we have to do more in terms of deforestation.
NEWTON: So what are you doing then? Just like right now, this hour on the ground as the fires burn?
SALLES: There is an unprecedented operation enacted by President Bolsonaro, 150 aircraft and cars; 40,000 military forces are on the ground,
and the fires in the forests are going down. The numbers are going down. So it's already in place.
NEWTON: Good news, what are you doing next year though to make sure that these figures that your own government has released don't get up to that
level? So that deforestation actually decreases, if that's even a policy of your government?
SALLES: No, it is. It is.
NEWTON: Because your President has announced that in fact, he thinks there's too much restriction.
SALLES: Oh, you're correct. But it is our policy. Deforestation going up since 2012. Not now. And the fact is that --
NEWTON: Your own government says that deforestation has gone up from anywhere -- this year with the fires involved, you can argue whether or not
your government is to blame one hundred percent for the fires, but gone up anywhere from 39 percent, I saw him before June, and almost up to 80
percent at the end of the summer.
SALLES: The numbers needs to be confirmed. But anyway, we are fighting against deforestation and the fires. Deforestation going up for seven
years. It didn't begin with President Bolsonaro. So we have in us to realize that what is the problem? What is the main source of the pressure
over the forest? It is the lack of prosperity, lack of sustainable development for those more than 20 million Brazilians who live in that
We are talking about a zone, which is 50 percent of the United States, it is not a small place.
NEWTON: But you cannot place this on the wellbeing of indigenous peoples or other people living in poverty in Brazil. At the end of the day, they
will continue to live in poverty if Brazil's climate goes downhill the way it has been in the last year?
SALLES: They shouldn't continue to live in poverty. They can have opportunity. They can have income jobs and these things. In order to have
that, we reduce the pressure over the forest that this poverty situation gives. We need to provide them some sort of opportunity. And that's why
we need an economic development in order to give them this opportunity.
NEWTON: In terms of that economic development, perhaps being at odds with a world plan. You know, we just had the conversation about where do you
balance that. Have you guys changed your opinion in the last few months about where you balance that when you saw the extraordinary fires burning
and the fact that they were clearly out of control?
SALLES: Well, actually, they're not out of control. We see that Bolivia for instance put out the fire due to the decree that the President has
signed, nobody said anything about it.
Africa is on fire. Alaska in the United States is on fire. The EPA Administrator told me he felt very -- with the smoke that he saw two weeks
ago over there. So fire is a huge problem worldwide, it is not out of control.
NEWTON: And yet we have, whether it's the EPA or your government continuing to actually blow through a lot of environmental protections, not
raise them up and try and fortify them.
SALLES: Quite the opposite. Brazil is the country that is going very well in terms of its commitment of the Paris Agreement, as opposed to some of
Europeans, for instance, who have criticized Brazil, but they already said they're not going to fulfill their commitments in terms of reductions,
emissions, we have the ethanol. We have 45 percent of clean energy, renewable sources. So Brazil is doing very well in terms of the Paris
Agreement and climate compromises that we have.
So this must have to be clear for people that Brazil is not the bad guy on that, it is the good one. We are one -- probably one of the only countries
that is fulfilling all of its commitments as opposed to European countries have criticized us. And they've already said they're not going to do so.
So why Brazil became a villain on that? That's not true.
NEWTON: You've become a villain, obviously, because of some of the things that your President said to other countries who felt like they were trying
to help. Obviously, this is a very touchy subject for your government.
You know, when you're around the table as a Cabinet table, because you're supposed to be the advocate for the environment, you're not supposed to be
the advocate for finance. You're supposed to be the advocate for the environment. So I'm just asking you, what is your voice around the table,
especially when some people, including some in Europe believe that, you know, they could bring up your government on charges of eco side at the
International Criminal Court for what you guys have done on the environment?
SALLES: The problem that -- in order to defend the environment and have resources to provide the necessary steps and assistance to the environment
care, you need to have the economic development. It is something associable. You need to have both. They have to go all together,
otherwise you don't have the resources to take care of both.
So what we're saying that the lack of development, the lack of prosperity is one of the major causes of the disrespect of the environment, not only
in Brazil, but everywhere. So it's a necessary step. We have to combine that and make it harmonized between the economic development, opportunity,
prosperity and then resources in order to take care of the environment. It is a complex equation that we need to go with.
NEWTON: Yes, and the climate is obviously very complex as well. We will continue to see in the next year. We just hope there's improvement. We
will obviously have you back. We appreciate you being here, especially as the topic is in front of the U.N. this week. Thanks very much.
SALLES: Thank you very much.
NEWTON: Thank you. Now, when we return, more on our top story tonight, Thomas Cook's collapses leaving thousands of passengers stranded, and the
airline industry now scrambling.
NEWTON: Hello, I'm Paula Newton and there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. Before that, though, the headlines right here on CNN at this hour.
Sources tell CNN, White House officials are considering releasing a transcript of President Trump's phone call with Ukraine's leader. For his
part, Mr. Trump says perhaps you'll see it, perhaps you won't. He now acknowledges discussing political rival Joe Biden, but denies any
A person familiar with the situation says Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden's son. It still isn't clear if Iran's
president will meet U.S. President Donald Trump at this week's United Nations gathering. Hassan Rouhani flew to New York earlier Monday and is
expected to speak sometime today. Iran state TV says Mr. Rouhani is --Mr. Rouhani is attending the General Assembly to speak out against those U.S.
Iran's government, meantime, says a British-flagged tanker seized more than two months ago is free to leave. It's not clear yet however when the Stena
Impero will re-enter international waters. The tanker was seized two weeks ago after Britain seized another Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar. That
tanker was released last month.
And let's get you back to our top story. The collapse of the iconic tour operator Thomas Cook. Now, the British government has launched a massive
repatriation effort to bring back stranded travelers. The government says they're around one-tenth of the British tourists stuck abroad should be
back by the end of the day. But the ripple effects go well beyond stranded holiday makers. Our Melissa Bell has our report.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the last Thomas Cook plane ever to fly. It landed at Manchester Airport from Orlando just
hours after the world's oldest tour company had gone into liquidation.
PETER FANKHAUSER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, THOMAS COOK: I want to apologize to my 21,000 colleagues who I know will be heartbroken. You all
fought so hard to make Thomas Cook a success.
BELL: With all of its flights grounded overnight, 600,000 tourists found themselves stranded abroad as British authorities prepared to get U.K.
TIM JOHNSON, CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY, UNITED KINGDOM: This is a huge operation, 150,000 people currently abroad. We've charted over 40
aircrafts, and there's aircrafts already in position. And in the next few hours, we'll start bringing -- we'll start bringing passengers home.
BELL: Others who had been scheduled to start their holiday arrived at British airports where they heard the news that their trips and even their
honeymoons had been canceled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're absolutely gutted, we've looked forward to this for a long time, had the wedding in July. So it's been another couple
of months waiting for this. I'm -- yes, absolutely, just totally gutted.
BELL: The company had been in talks with its biggest shareholder, the Chinese firm Fosun over a 900 million pound bailout package. But a request
with the British government for an extra 250 million pound contingency fund was turned down, leaving the British opposition and unions to lay the blame
squarely at the British government's feet.
DIANA HOLLAND, ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY FOR TRANSPORT, UNITE UNION: Today, we have members who have woken up to the story that their company
has collapsed. And they haven't got a job. It is absolutely shocking and an act of economic vandalism that was typically allowed to happen.
BELL (on camera): Excuse me. What have you told staff this morning?
(voice-over): But the government says that providing the money would just have put off the company's collapse, rather than preventing it.
GRANT SHAPPS, TRANSPORT SECRETARY, BRITAIN: So the government obviously would do anything we could to support, but the reality is, I think that
times have changed and this is a business that was still perhaps operating on a model that was good for, you know, the last century or the 1980s or
something. But not for really the internet age where people are booking their own holidays so much.
BELL: Online competition and political uncertainty in some of the company's key destinations have been blamed by Thomas Cook but also Brexit,
for pushing people to delay making their holiday plans.
(on camera): For years, Thomas Cook's advertising urged those looking to get away not to book it, but to Thomas Cook it. This morning, hundreds of
thousands of customers found that they were going to have to rebook it themselves. Melissa Bell, CNN, at Gatwick Airport.
NEWTON: OK, an industry sounding the alarm on a no-deal Brexit warns of a very bumpy road ahead.
NEWTON: European car makers are issuing a stark warning on the dangers of a no-deal Brexit. Now, 23 industry associations have joined together to
warn of what they call catastrophic consequences. They say a no-deal exit from the EU could mean billions of euros in losses and leave millions of
jobs under threat.
Earlier, I spoke with Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. He warned the damage would be inflicted both in
Britain and across the continent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIK JONNAERT, SECRETARY GENERAL, ACEA: The automotive manufacturers are very much integrated across Europe. So, that means, you know, once you all
of a sudden start to create barriers between the U.K. and the rest of Europe by introducing tariffs and imposing all kinds of customs
formalities, this inevitably has a big impact across the entire automotive value chain.
Not only the manufacturers of vehicles, but also those importing, exporting parts and components for vehicles.
NEWTON: Yes, you guys have been preaching this for years now. Why do you believe that no one seems to be listening? Because obviously the odds are
still there, that there could be a no deal.
JONNAERT: Yes, indeed. Well, we keep singing the same song until hopefully somebody is listening to us. Because at the end of the day, it
will have an impact on jobs, and it will have an impact on consumers, who in the future will have to pay more for their vehicles.
So, we keep repeating what we have said before, we need to have clarity and predictability on what will happen. Hopefully we get a deal, that's what
we are aiming for. And if there's no deal, we want to know what the timeline will be.
NEWTON: Right, but tell me something. Some people say it would be better at this point to just move ahead with a no deal, get it over with so that
we can, you know, drag the system down so we can build it back up again. And you know, part of that could be a separate Auto Pact, which has been
done globally before, where the car industry has its own trade deal between Britain and the EU, just as a temporary fix.
JONNAERT: Well, look, what we are of course favoring is that a kind of deal would be concluded. Of course, we should not expect preferential
treatment here because that would not be in line with WTO rules. So, we're going to need to come up with a deal and a solution which is WTO compliant.
That's going to be important. That's also what we're always after.
So -- but again, we need clarity so that manufacturers can plan accordingly. And so far, manufacturers have set up contingency plans, but
all the time, they had to change them because the time-line changed. So, again, either we know there is a deal or there is no deal, but at least we
need to get some certainty in the system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Yes, everybody seems to want to have a point made on whether or not Brexit is actually going to happen or not. And that clock is ticking
on Boris Johnson's deadline to get a deal. CNN's Bianca Nobilo spoke to Mr. Johnson's rival, Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn about his message to the
British people about Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOR PARTY: Bring people together, recognize we have to have a close trading relationship with Europe under all
circumstances rather than -- which is what I suspect Boris Johnson wants, which is to do a sweetheart deal with the United States, and put that
Those are -- it's a way of bringing people together, and that is why I've proposed what I have to my party. I want to recognize that there are
people in Britain who voted to leave and remain, but nevertheless, all suffer the same problems of economic austerity and falling living standards
because of the policies of this government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: OK, and you can see that entire interview, Jeremy Corbyn, and his conversations with CNN's own Bianca Nobilo on "THE BRIEF", our brand new
program, makes its debut at 10:00 p.m. London Time, that's 5:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, you do not want to miss that interview.
Now, in a moment, I'll be speaking to the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade about why the rest of Europe is also running out of patience with the U.K.
In the meantime though, we want to take a quick look at those European markets. Stocks closed lower right across the board. An index of Eurozone
factory sentiment fell to its worst level in seven years this month.
And of course, Germany is still a problem, a reading on German manufacturing was the weakest in more than a decade.
And to a different kind of drop now. You know, when the lights go out, most of us have a look for that fuse box and flip a switch hopefully to
restore power. An American electrician turned-engineer has invented a digital breaker that can be controlled remotely and works apparently much
faster. John Defterios has our report in this week's "GLOBAL ENERGY CHALLENGE".
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): More than a century ago, Thomas Edison received the first patent for the circuit
breaker, which was later improved by Granville Woods. Now Atom Power in North Carolina has radically upgraded the technology for a digital age.
RYAN KENNEDY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ATOM POWER: If there's a problem on this 30-amp circuit breaker, it will trip open, and then to reclose it,
you've got to get a manual to reclose it. It's just like a light switch. Here, this is what's coming next of a circuit breaker that you can remotely
control through software.
And you can actually shed load and manage the energy in your facility all remotely, pre-programmed, and you have a short circuit in the field like
actually at the location, it causes art flash, which means an explosion of electrical plasma.
I saw the state of circuit breaker like this actually opens the circuit about 3,000 times faster than circuit breakers do today. And that speed is
key to ensuring that you can actually stop that arc, stop that short circuit before it actually propagates into the system.
DEFTERIOS: These efficiencies and safety features are key to multiple source energy distribution.
KENNEDY: If you put something like solar on to the same source as, say, your utility, your energy storage or another renewable source, they have to
sync up, which means if they don't, then you're going to have a fire, it's going to blow up. And what a solid state circuit breaker can do is you can
bring any number of renewables or feeds into the same source, the same electrical panel.
DEFTERIOS: At city landmark, the Duke Energy Center, a pilot scheme is under way. Residential and commercial buildings account for 40 percent of
America's energy consumption. The Atom's switch's ability to gather data could help reduce this.
DENIS KOUROUSSIS, CFO, ATOM POWER: There might be applications in mining chemical factories, offshore oil rigs where you know, you want to maximize
safety. And then as it slowly progresses and people are aware that this product is truly functional and is reliable, we'll end up into the
DEFTERIOS: With major investment backing from manufacturer Siemens, ABB and Eaton, plans are moving ahead for mass production. John Defterios,
CNN, North Carolina.
NEWTON: OK, one of the biggest fears for businesses in the EU is what a no-deal Brexit could mean for trade. I'll discuss that with the Dutch
Foreign Trade Minister up next.
NEWTON: OK, well, we all heard earlier that warning from European car manufacturers about a no-deal Brexit. And it all comes after yet another
warning from the Netherlands. The Dutch Foreign Trade Minister has said the EU is losing patience with the U.K. as continued uncertainty is of
course hurting businesses.
Sigrid Kaag joins me now live here in the studio with us. And thanks so much for being with us.
SIGRID KAAG, FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER, NETHERLANDS: Pleasure --
NEWTON: OK, we hear then again a deal is possible, a deal is not possible, you've opened up the discussion, have you to say, look, maybe we do just
fall off the cliff on October 31st and that would at least be something, a starting point.
KAAG: Yes, I suppose it's intended as a big warning, from the Netherlands and the EU member states. We want a deal. We have a withdrawal agreement,
we'd like to see an orderly departure by the U.K., any decision that is not in that nature will hurt businesses, and it does.
And as a minister of trade, I speak to businesses, I speak to investors, and they keep asking me, OK, we're prepared, but prepared for what and
when? And you know, there's a price tag to the indecision, has a price-tag to --
NEWTON: And a price-tag for Europe as well as the U.K.
KAAG: For Europe as well as the U.K. And the Netherlands is a very big trading partner to the U.K. We'll be -- we are affected the most after
Ireland. But we want an orderly departure, the U.K. is an important partner to us in more than economic sense, security, politics, we share
So, we'd like to also see the future and have an orderly withdrawal based on the deal that was on the table or any other proposition maybe the U.K.
may come with. But it's in the framework of the agreement. But at the moment, we're not seeing those proposals. And the clock is ticking.
NEWTON: And let's talk about the nuts and bolts of this. OK, so, I had suggested to the car manufacturers, for instance, there have been Auto
Pacts made around the world. Is there any way -- do you immediately go to a no-deal and go to WTO? Are there any little package deals you can make
around the side to kind of mitigate some of the worst outcomes that could possibly happen from a no-deal Brexit? I mean, I'm looking for anything
here. Give me any common ground --
KAAG: I think --
NEWTON: To negotiate.
KAAG: Any one from any business from any sector will ask -- on both sides, probably, they will think, OK, we don't have sort of a side deal. That's
not what this is all about. This is an unprecedented situation, this is an organized, hopefully, separation of an important member state of the EU.
What it shows as well is the value of membership to our mind. We don't have anyone talking of Nexit anymore in the Netherlands because of the cost
and the pain and the agony and the uncertainties --
NEWTON: Really? It's been a lesson learned.
KAAG: It's been a lesson learned for I think many countries. And we're a staunchly pro-European country, but we had some sort of rumors a few years
ago, some people said, you know, Nexit maybe, we don't hear that anymore.
NEWTON: And traders for centuries, I will add.
KAAG: Yes --
NEWTON: We'll go to your next -- to the issue that I know is near and dear to your heart. You know, I just returned from the Bahamas, I was there a
couple of weeks and saw certainly a lot of the trauma written in the faces. So, we went from, OK, medical aid --
KAAG: Yes --
NEWTON: Food, sanitation, let's get water in there, all the basics. And I looked at some of those kids' faces and you know how traumatized they were.
And I know the UNICEF was already doing some work on the ground for some of these kids. What would you like to see happen? What would like to see the
paradigm at the end of one of these crisis to help people mentally.
KAAG: The paradigm I think is that, basically the basic care package, the way you've seen in the Bahamas and I'm so glad you've sadly had to see
those situations. I have traveled a lot as well and refugee settings or crisis settings, we provide shelter, water, food, and suddenly we sort of
leave off what is equally important, which is mental health, psychosocial support for people to heal, to deal with trauma.
So our push is to have this part of a basic care package to say, survival is important and mental health, they're the same and they're one person,
and we want to help people sort of heal. So that's our big push, we're organizing a big conference.
We want investments, but we also want political commitment that mental health is as important as physical health. You can't separate the two, and
we ignore mental health at our peril, but rather the peril of the people we seek to help.
NEWTON: And talk about some of the impairment that can happen if that mental health is not addressed when it should be, when people are obviously
KAAG: Yes --
KAAG: Well, basically, as you know, and we see that in our own lives too, people can't function, children can't learn, decisions are delayed.
There's a lot of pent-up anger, there's emotions that are not dealt with that actually hamper full development.
Now, I am not a trained psychologist or psychiatrist, so, I have to caveat that. But if you look at broken societies, war-impacted societies, with
the big task of rebuilding and going back to where you come from in a crisis situations, if you're not mentally stable, mentally fit to sort of
deal already with the daunting challenge of getting up in the morning, going to school or finding work, rebuilding your home, if you're not
supported in that way, there is still way societies can start again.
NEWTON: And I have to go, but before we go, I just want to ask you about all the people that I have seen in this kind of perpetual trauma --
KAAG: Yes --
NEWTON: And especially if the faces of families and refugee camps that really bothers me. Is there anything that you see that can help them going
KAAG: This type of assistance is proper and breaking the ceiling also in a cultural setting that it's OK to feel anxiety, to have agony. There's no
cultural label, there's no shame. We're in this together and internationally, we want to support the healing process. That's a very
NEWTON: And I hope we get there, especially even in an era where we have not seen enough funding for a lot of those things going forward --
KAAG: Absolutely --
NEWTON: Thank you so much.
KAAG: Thank you --
NEWTON: So good to meet you in person. And we have just moments left for the trading on Wall Street. I'll have the closing numbers for you when we
NEWTON: We're in the closing minutes of today's trading session. As you can see there, this is absolutely a sideways trade, guys. I don't even
know how to describe it to you. The Dow was essentially flat, volume is light, investors are reacting to those mixed economic reports. U.S.
manufacturing activity did pick up slightly in September.
That's good news, of course, but the services sector lost jobs for the first time in more than three years. You wonder if the jobs were there and
they couldn't find the employees. We're looking there at some green there, especially interesting is American Express and VISA, which again seem to be
in the green but not by much.
Consumer and tech stocks are doing well. Nike, McDonald's, Procter and Gamble are all in the top row. At the end of that, know those health
stocks, United Health is the Dow's biggest loser today, it seems that this stock market seems to be data dependent, as the Fed said that they were
awaiting to see certainly more data to see where the Fed might go in any kind of interest rates.
And also looking for more data, not just out of the U.S. economy but waiting to see how that European growth is. This has been QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS, I'm Paula Newton in New York, stand by right now for "THE LEAD", it starts in just a moment from now.