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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Israeli Airstrikes Kill 43 in Gaza with No End in Sight to the Conflict; WarnerMedia Combines with Discovery to Take on Netflix and Disney; Elon Musk Creates a Crypto Crunch With Just One Word. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired May 17, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, there is a lot going on. Hand it over to Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow, also some lions. CNN's coverage continues
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Live from New York. I'm Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE and here is your need to know.
Deadliest day. Israeli airstrikes kill 43 in Gaza with no end in sight to the conflict.
Streaming spinoff. WarnerMedia combines with Discovery to take on Netflix and Disney.
And Bitcoin bashed. Elon Musk creates a crypto crunch with just one word, indeed.
It's Monday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome to the show once again and we begin with the increasingly violent conflict between Israel and Gaza now in its second week.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CHATTERLEY: This was the scene in Gaza earlier Monday. Israel says its airstrikes destroyed several homes that it claims belonged to Hamas
commanders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the airstrikes will continue for quote, "some time."
Palestinian health officials say Sunday was the deadliest day yet with more than 50 people killed. They say the death toll in Gaza has reached 200 in
the past week, including 59 children.
Israel says 10 people have been killed as a result of Hamas rocket fire.
Hadas Gold is in Ashdod on Israel's Mediterranean Coast. Hadas, there were hopes building over the weekend that perhaps we could see some mediation
and perhaps a calming of this conflict. No sign of that this moment, certainly.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can tell you that here in Ashdod, about 15 and a half miles north of the Gaza Strip, it has not been quiet today.
As we speak, actually, I just heard another plane flying overhead. We've been hearing them buzz above us all day long.
We already had one red alert siren here earlier today, a barrage of rockets were fired towards this city, towards Ashkelon, also towards Be'er Sheva
further to the east of us.
It does not seem as though things are calming down at all. The Israeli military has been very active in the last 24 hours hitting what it says are
more than 110 targets overnight, including what it calls the Hamas Metro System, essentially. These are a series of tunnels that they say run
underneath the Gaza Strip. They say this is where Hamas store things, where they hide. This is how they get around the strip.
They've also said that they've targeted a sort of submarine vessel that they found -- that they discovered off the coast. They also say that they
have killed a top commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in charge of the Northern Brigades, so it goes to show you this is just all in the past
few hours how much activity is going on here.
We continue to hear these airplanes. We continue to hear the explosions behind us in Gaza. And we continue to experience rockets being fired from
Gaza into Israel. The Israeli military saying now more than 3,200 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.
The death and the destruction in Gaza is also rising. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, there were 197 dead including 58 children
so far. Now, the Israeli military disputes these numbers because they say Hamas runs the Ministry of Health there, the Israeli military says that
they have killed at least 130 combatants and we don't know how those numbers comport with one another.
In Israel, Israeli officials say 10 people have been killed including one child and a soldier. Now we do know that there are efforts underway at the
diplomatic level. There are conversations going on between U.S. officials and officials here.
We know that the U.S. State Department's top Mideast Envoy is here currently meeting with officials from all sides. We also know that the
Egyptians are currently at work and the Egyptians were key in 2014 for the cessation of hostilities then. But as you noted, the Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu is saying in his speech yesterday to Israelis that this operation will go on until they feel they have met their military
objectives and hit the targets they want to hit.
And I can tell you, again, from just the activity we're hearing here in Ashdod, we do not seem to be heading towards any sort of calm quite yet,
and that this operation could continue and this violence could continue for some time.
CHATTERLEY: Hadas Gold, stay safe, please. Thank you so much.
And stay tuned to CNN for the very latest on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And for now, we will move on.
There's a bonanza of business news to cover this Monday, too, including a heavyweight hookup between AT&T's WarnerMedia unit, the parent company of
CNN, of course and Discovery Communications. It's a battle for streaming supremacy over Disney and Netflix.
We've got all the details on that just ahead, too.
But first, it's a mindful Monday, I think, from investors. The majors are set to add to last week's losses. You can see the red there on the board
amid ongoing inflationary concerns and uneven recoveries.
China today, reporting an almost 18 percent rise in retail sales in April. It's a monster number, but expectations in fact were for a 25 percent rise,
so it's just the latest data point to catch economists off guard.
CHATTERLEY: The Shanghai Composite rising though on hopes that Beijing will now perhaps rethink efforts to lessen economic support. Also, as you
can see there, a weak session in Taiwan as the government there closes schools to fight its largest COVID outbreak so far. We will have that later
in the show for the latest.
Hong Kong and Singapore also delaying the launch of their travel bubble as Singapore cases rise, too, and Australia vowing to keep its border closed
to most international travel until this time next year. Yes, you heard that right, 2022.
France, Germany, Italy, and Spain heading in the opposite direction, easing lockdowns and U.K. scientists urging a more cautious approach to reopenings
due to the spread of the COVID variant first identified in India.
Much more on Europe's reopenings and what's going on in India, too, later on in the show.
But first, breaking news on the "Game of Thrones" battle for streaming superiority, AT&T announcing it will spin off its massive WarnerMedia unit
and merge it with Discovery, the owner of the popular streaming service, Discovery+. The two companies joining forces to better compete with
streaming giants Netflix, NBC Universal, and Disney+. The deal comes less than three years after AT&T bought the WarnerMedia Empire including HBO,
Warner Brother studios, CNN and other assets.
Brian Stelter joins me now to go through all the details on this and it is a streaming spinoff. It means that scale means everything, I think, is the
message in this deal, too. "Game of Thrones" meets trash TV, reality TV and a lot in between. Talk us through this deal.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's because viewers want everything. They want all of the above.
CHATTERLEY: They so do.
STELTER: And that is the business logic here. That's the pitch from David Zaslav, the Discovery CEO who will be taking over this combined company
about a year from now is when the companies expect this to win regulatory approval and actually take effect, nothing very quickly in this media world
as Netflix and Disney keep, you know, continuing with their streaming pushes.
Discovery and WarnerMedia together believe they can better compete with Netflix and Disney. So that's the rationale here. But it's also about cable
scale, linear cable scale, because this brings together these channels, the CNN family of channels with the Animal Planet and TLC and the rest.
So you've got Discovery and Warner trying to fight the current battles in cable and the future battles in streaming at the same time.
CHATTERLEY: So we talk about this deal in terms of content as well. David Zaslav, of course, is going to run this combined venture. He is saying,
look, we're going to spend $20 billion a year in terms of content. That's already what WarnerMedia and what Discovery is spending, but you compare
that to Netflix kind of content spending around $17 billion, you get a sense of what they're achieving here, if we hone in on the streaming
ambitions for what is being created here.
STELTER: Yes, this is really the land of the streaming giants. And now that Discovery and WarnerMedia have paired up, it puts even more pressure
on NBC owned by Comcast.
STELTER: And on ViacomCBS. We may see even more media consolidation as a result of this current wave.
The logic from Wall Street is pretty clear. You have to be a giant in order to have enough money to have enough capital to make enough programming to
keep everybody subscribed and signed up. And not just in the U.S., but critically all around the world.
In speaking with the executives this morning, Julia, the message is clear. This is a global deal. HBO MAX is about to launch internationally.
Discovery has a big footprint all around the world. Zaslav wants to use that footprint to supercharge what Warner is doing.
So he says these brands, these companies fit like a glove. And so far, this is getting a lot of support from the Wall Street community, from analysts.
They've been predicting that AT&T would do something with us, with CNN with WarnerMedia and now, we know that that's something actually is.
CHATTERLEY: And what about for AT&T here? I mean, they've shed billions and billions and billions of dollars' worth of assets here, Brian, there's
a lot of people that will be looking at this going, "This is mind blowing." I mean, the landscape has materially changed in four years. But has it
changed this month much? And what does it mean for AT&T going forward, whether they can now focus on 5G capabilities? Whether they can pay down
some debt -- which is important too, but, whoa, some big decisions here and some big reversals, too.
STELTER: A lot of people will see this as a defeat for AT&T and acknowledgement that bringing together media and entertainment along with
wireless and broadband is not the magic formula.
We've just seen in the past couple of months, Verizon make a similar move by selling off AOL and Yahoo. Now here's AT&T spinning off WarnerMedia,
spinning off HBO into its own company.
The spin from Dallas, however, AT&T headquarters, is that they're going to remain invested in this new company, so shareholders win, and they're going
to have tens of billions of dollars that they can use to pay down AT&T's huge debt burden. It's about getting that debt burden down and focusing on
But I do think, you know, when the history books are written, people will look back and say, "Maybe they are just not meant to be together." Maybe
the logic was not there five years ago, so we're seeing this great unwinding now happening.
CHATTERLEY: The history books will say "Ouch." Brian Stelter, thank you so much for that.
STELTER: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: All right, another Bitcoin blunder. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeting "indeed," in response to a suggestion Tesla could sell its Bitcoin
holding. That one word sent Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies plunging. Musk later clarified, Tesla has not sold Bitcoin.
Paul La Monica is with us. I mean, Paul pass the popcorn, quite frankly, over the weekend. It's okay when you're one of the world's richest men to
effectively play games, I think in the crypto space. For a lot of people though, invest -- and lot of retail investors that have been pulled into
the digital asset space and as Bitcoin investors in particular, I kind of feel sorry for them.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I agree with you, Julia. It is certainly alarming that one individual has so much sway that as you point
out, a cryptic one word tweet sends the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plunging, because you know, people start interpreting:
what did he really mean? Is Tesla getting out of Bitcoin already? And then he had to clarify and say, no, we haven't sold any of our holdings.
I think that at best, what Elon Musk is doing on social media is reckless, and at worst, it's just downright irresponsible and really shady to put it
mildly. I think that investors have to be worried that Elon Musk is so powerful, and it brings up a point that I got a research report this
morning that raised an interesting concern, which is that everyone, including Elon Musk wants cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin to be a viable form
of payment and not just digital gold.
You can't have that when the value fluctuates 20 percent in any given week just because one individual is tweeting something. You can't pay for
something if the value of that currency is going to go down. That's why people still use dollars, euro and yen.
CHATTERLEY: This is a great point. And actually, this is a point that I alluded to on Friday, which is you have to separate the idea that this is a
store of wealth and that means holding on the balance sheet and Elon Musk is arguably saying that he is still doing that versus using it as a mode of
I mean, he did say in the statement that we got on Friday, we're still looking at other cryptocurrencies that use less than one percent of
Bitcoin's energy in transaction. And I think that's what this comes down to. It is -- what on earth happened here? Did Elon Musk misunderstand the
energy intensity -- the relative energy intensity of Bitcoin? Or was this all a big game, particularly when he's talking about using Dogecoins or
people paying with Dogecoins to go to the moon?
Christine Romans is calling him a walking S.E.C. violation on Friday. I just think if you're an institutional investor, and this is the critical
point. We have all been getting involved in this and saying, look, there are huge opportunities in the crypto space. You probably took a few phone
calls from clients over the weekend going, you know, what are you thinking? What are you doing to us?
LA MONICA: Yes, I think you have to figure that there are plenty of individuals trying to get in touch with Elon saying, could you put the
phone down? Maybe not tweeting much because Christine nailed it. That is the perfect way to describe Elon Musk right now. You've got to figure that,
you know, people in Washington at the S.E.C. must be licking their chops yet again, to try and potentially go after him for some of these comments.
And even if we're going to -- let's take it at face value and say that Musk isn't doing anything that is from malintent, if it is still just a function
of he is too impulsive on Twitter, put the freaking phone down, Elon, just stop. I mean, this is very similar to what we had with the past President,
obviously. You can't be tweeting reckless things, it's going to get you in trouble and it already has, Bitcoins investors --
CHATTERLEY: And people involved in the industry want greater regulation. They want this to be seen as a viable asset class. This is the fastest way
of bringing the kind of regulation that you don't want and over regulation, I think when people are getting whipsawed around.
I did see someone suggest that maybe Elon Musk was Satoshi Nakamoto. Of course, the sort of original founder of Bitcoin that wrote the original
white paper and it is like, wouldn't that be the biggest bonkers move of the day if actually he were the original founder? I don't mean that.
LA MONICA: I wouldn't rip anything out of the realm of possibility in 2021.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, Elon Musk does it again. Paul La Monica, thank you so much for that.
All right, to Japan now. Protesters taking to the streets of Tokyo voicing opposition to the Summer Olympics. COVID-19 cases continues to surge across
the country with little more than two months to go until the Olympics as Selina Wang reports from Tokyo.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera); I am walking along an anti- Olympics protest that's underway right out here in Japan. They are chanting for the games to be canceled holding signs saying that these games cannot
go on, asking for the Olympic torch flame to be extinguished.
WANG: I've spoken to many of the protesters here today, and they're frustrated by the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They
don't feel these games could possibly be held safely and securely.
Several of them have lost their jobs amid the pandemic. They say that important resources need to be put towards saving people's lives and for
dealing with more important causes like rebuilding the region devastated by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
One of the protesters here today even told me that it would be inhumane to host the Olympics this summer.
Now, the protesters here today, the way they feel reflects the mounting public frustration here on the ground in Japan. According to local polls,
the majority of people in this country think that games should not be held this summer. In fact, an online petition calling for the games to be
canceled in just nine days received more than 350,000 signatures.
Even a doctors union in Japan said these games have to be canceled, warning they could turn into a super spreader event even without any spectators in
Now, despite all of this mounting public opposition, the anger and frustration that I'm really hearing from people today, the Japanese
government and the International Olympic Committee, the real decision makers here insists that these games will go on as planned safely and
But that doesn't reflect the reality here on the ground. When you have COVID-19 cases surging in Japan, just about one percent of the population
fully vaccinated, not to mention large swaths of this country currently under a state of emergency.
With just 10 weeks to go, day by day, the frustration and the opposition in Japan only grows.
Selena Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
CHATTERLEY: Okay, we're going to take a break here on FIRST MOVE, but still to come, some seeking Brits flock to Portugal as the two countries
reopen their borders. We'll hear from the country's tourism minister on preparing for an unusual summer.
And Bill Gates under scrutiny as Microsoft says it has investigated his involvement with an employee.
That's all coming up. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE.
British holidaymakers flocking to airports this morning as England, Scotland and Wales lift bans on foreign travel. Tourists can now visit 12
green list countries without having to quarantine when they return to the U.K.'s travel industry once more. Anna Stewart joins us now from Gatwick
Airport outside London. Anna, we haven't lost you on a flight somewhere warmer. Talk us through how busy is there? Thank you for hanging around.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Oh, Julia. I was inches from a plane, but no I did not get on it. And up to this point, it was actually illegal to go on
holiday but today, as you said, England, Wales and Scotland, people can get off for a vacation, but the list of countries on the green list which are
the ones where you don't need to quarantine on your return, it is pretty limited and not all those countries on that list are actually accepting
STEWART: Testing is still involved and that is expensive. One passenger told me that testing was actually costing him three times more than the
All that said, this is welcome news for the industry. He is the CEO of EasyJet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHAN LUNDGREN, CEO, EASYJET: I am super excited. You know, it's a -- it's a big day today because the travel ban has actually been lifted today. So
from today, you're allowed to travel, which is a big step.
Now, of course, we would like to see that the green list would be consisting of more destinations and countries, and we believe with the
latest data that is available that that green list can and should be expanded, as we now are seeing is happening across Europe as well. So we're
looking forward to that to happen, so we can, you know, restart traveling in a safe way also at a larger scale.
STEWART: We have been here before. I mean, we had this conversation before last summer, frankly, was a bit chaotic. The U.K. government imposing,
lifting restrictions every week on different destinations. Are we going to see the same thing again this summer?
LUNDGREN: Do you see what's different this time? It's the success of the vaccination program. And here in the U.K., obviously, but also now that is
being rolled out quite efficiently and swiftly now across the rest of the Europe. So that is the big difference.
And the effectiveness of the vaccines that is out there, and also the fact that the manufacturers now are looking at the way how they're going to
treat, you know, the vaccines going forward in terms of dealing with all the variants to come, make us being in a very, very different place that we
have been in before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Some optimism there from the CEO of EasyJet. We're going to get their half-year results later this week.
I don't think it's going to be pretty, Julia, this airline was really only running less than 20 percent capacity of 2019, last quarter. They have cut
thousands of jobs. They have sold and leased back aircraft. Their cash burn has slowed. They're in a better sort of position financially than some, but
travel is not going back to normal anytime soon and I doubt they'll be returning to profit any time soon, either -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's a great day, but it's the beginning of a long road. I think that's the message. Anna Stewart, thank you so much for that.
Now Portugal is one of the 12 countries on Britain's green list for travel. Its borders have been closed since January 30th.
Today, they reopened to visitors from most of Europe and the U.K. provided they have a negative COVID-19 test. Tourism made up 20 percent of the
country's economy in 2018 according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
And joining us now is Rita Marques, she is Portugal's Secretary of State for Tourism. Minister Marques, fantastic to have you on the show, and it
looks beautiful behind you, I have to say.
Just explain how this travel is going to work and what tourists can expect from Portugal?
RITA MARQUES, PORTUGAL'S SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TOURISM: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. This is an important day. In fact, we are
resuming tourism here in Portugal. And the experience, I hope at the end of the day, it would be, I guess that it will be -- it will be great. So
that's our main objective.
Of course, you have to be tested in order to get into the country and you have to comply with all of the rules. So use of the mask, social distance,
everything that we already know, because we do have a great experience about the epidemiological situation, I guess.
But at the end of the day, as I was telling you, we want the tourists to have a great, great experience here in the country.
CHATTERLEY: What is it going to be like for tourists? Because you mentioned mask wearing, you mentioned social distancing. So if a tourist
wants to go into a restaurant, walk on the street, are they still going to have to wear masks? And where might those rules be relaxed?
MARQUES: Well, you know, we are completely open. That means that all restaurants, coffee shops and even casinos, they are completely open. Of
course, we do have some restrictions. But those restrictions, I think they are common everywhere.
So you will have to wear a mask when you are for instance in a restaurant near a beach. If you are near the sea, you don't need to wear a mask. But
if you are in a public -- in a street or avenue, you should wear a mask outside.
The rules are pretty simple. You can visit our website Visit Portugal, we have everything there. And also hotels or restaurants are able to inform
you about what's going on and what you should do in a specific situation.
CHATTERLEY: And I mentioned tourists will have to have a COVID test before they arrive in Portugal. Do they have to have a test once they're in
Portugal, too, or is it purely before entry and then once they arrive, they're fine?
MARQUES: No, they will be fine. So basically when you check in, when you are boarding, in fact when you do the boarding procedure, you have to
present a PCR test, a negative test with 72 hours prior the traveling and then when you go back to the U.K., you have to comply with the British
government rules that means that you have to do a test again. But that depends on the British side -- the British government side.
CHATTERLEY: Of course, but testing capabilities are relatively easy to find in Portugal in order to return home safely.
MARQUES: Not only the availability, so it is -- you have plenty of offer, so no problem with that. But also, the prices are very much competitive
when compared, for instance, with the British ones.
So, of course, my suggestion to all of you that are traveling to Portugal is to contact your hotel. Contact, you know, your tour operator and try to
schedule the test in advance in order to avoid queues at the airport. We don't want that. We want to provide a great experience.
But of course, you have to plan everything, so you have to plan and schedule the tests when you are about to leave the country.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, don't leave anything to chance.
CHATTERLEY: How concerned are you by the variant that was first identified in India? I know, there's certain ripples of concern around Europe as we
see cases pop up. And in that vein, how quickly could you change the rules if you start to see cases rise? Are you maintaining flexibility on that?
And how quickly could those rules change?
How much warning will holidaymakers be given? I guess, that's what I'm asking.
MARQUES: We revise the rules every 15 days, every two weeks. That doesn't mean that we have to change immediately. So of course, we are being updated
about this new strain, this new variant. We have been in contact also with the British government.
Even today, I was talking to our Ambassador, your Ambassador, the British Ambassador here in Lisbon. So we are attentive, taking care of the
situation. And I hope that everything stays under control. And, and if that's not the case, we will immediately react. That's our main priority,
it is to have everything -- you know, everyone has to be safe no matter where you are, either in Portugal, either in the U.K., so we need to react
immediately if that's the case.
CHATTERLEY: That certainly makes -- that certainly is the hope. I was just looking at your numbers, your tourism numbers for 2019, and it was
international tourists from places like America, more than 20 percent jump, 16 percent plus jump from those from China, 15 percent from Brazil. It was
a real international feel for who was visiting. What hopes for relaxing the boundaries for countries like that, or was it slow but steady to begin?
MARQUES: You know, we are giving baby steps. So baby steps, one at a time.
We open up this Monday for Schengen countries plus U.K., and we have been analyzing the epidemiological situation in other countries, including U.S.
and the ones that you mentioned. They are very important to us, of course, but we need to be careful.
We need to prevent -- you know, we need to be completely -- try to avoid risk. That's our main priority. And in that sense, I guess, that in a
couple of weeks, we'll revise again the situation about U.S. and other geographies.
And, again, evaluating a little bit what's happening again with the U.K., so it's a baby step process for sure.
CHATTERLEY: Baby steps and safety first. We get it.
CHATTERLEY: Minister Marques, fantastic to have you on the show.
MARQUES: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Portugal's Secretary of State for Tourism there. Great to have you with us. Thank you.
The market opens next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are up and running on the first trading day of the week, a merger Monday in the media industry,
but a muted Monday, I think for investors overall. That's the picture.
Wall Street coming off a losing week with tech hit the hardest, down over two percent. The NASDAQ now, some five percent down from recent record
highs tech, falling on concern over how sustained inflation might ultimately affect bond yields.
Stock valuations included newly released numbers show U.S. consumer inflation expectations at its highest levels in more than 12 years. Those
things clearly directly tied.
In the meantime, shares of both AT&T and Discovery are higher on news of their multibillion dollar content deal. As we've been reporting, AT&T is
spinning off its massive media conglomerate, WarnerMedia and merging it with Discovery to better compete in the increasingly competitive streaming
space, a better take on the likes of Disney+ and Netflix, among others.
WarnerMedia, of course, is the parent company of CNN. And as you can see there, both stocks higher in the session. The company is announcing that
Discovery CEO David Zaslav will head up the combined company.
Okay, let's get back to our top story today: fighting between the Israel and Palestinian militants is now in its second week. Israel's Air Force
says it carried out early morning airstrikes on Gaza targeting homes of Hamas commanders. Hamas says it has responded by firing dozens of rockets
into Israeli cities.
Let's get more now from CNN's Nic Robertson. He joins us near the Israel- Gaza border. Nic, great to have you with us.
There were hopes over the weekend, I mentioned earlier on the show that perhaps we could come to some agreement over a ceasefire, certainly not the
case once again this morning.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it really doesn't seem to be so. There was that hope over the weekend, the Egyptians were
sort of leading an effort to get Hamas to stop their rocket fire. The United States and Qatar is involved with the Israelis as well to try to
sort of get everyone to stop and have a pause, to at least try to get to a position of agreement on over how to end all of this. That's not happening.
I am right now in an Israeli Defense Force artillery position. This position is now active. The troops have been loading up their artillery
pieces with additional ordinance. Everything you see from this location indicates that this is far from done.
What we've heard from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is he says that he hopes that this is all over soon, but that isn't the case, that it still
has some ways to go, undefined how far to go.
Overnight, Israeli Air Force targeting Hamas tunnel networks. They say 54 aircrafts in the air at the same time, and within a space for 20 minutes
destroying about 15 kilometers of Hamas's tunnel network that they say is vital for Hamas to move fighters around the battlefield without being
detected. So that's one of the targets. Islamic Jihad Commander also targeted and killed believed today as well.
So Israeli Air Force still has targets that it wants to achieve inside Gaza and the artillery here, the ground forces also have been given targets to
go after, and when the artillery was firing intensely a couple of days ago, that also was targeting the tunnel network. So I think that would be the
ROBERTSON: So when you see that and you see that Hamas is continuing to fire its rockets, one of their rockets hitting a residential building in
Ashdod today. Yesterday, one of their rockets hitting a synagogue in Ashkelon just off the coast from here.
The kinetic momentum of this conflict still continues despite that effort at diplomacy. And just a quick note on that effort at diplomacy, Hamas is
saying, this is according to them, we don't have an Israeli version of how these talks are going, but Hamas is saying there are two stumbling blocks
in the talks to bring about a cessation of firing.
CHATTERLEY: And what are those stumbling blocks, Nic? And can you also just explain behind you, what's going on? Because we can see activity
behind you. Can you just explain what you're seeing there?
ROBERTSON: Sure. So at this location, there are a number of what the military call mobile artillery pieces. These are like Howitzers, but on
tanks, and that was one of them firing out just there, so they're firing their artillery rounds into Gaza, if you just wait a few seconds here,
probably we will be able to hear that one impact, so you get a sense of, you know, the range that they're firing over.
And I can say that there are a number of these artillery pieces at this location scattered around this location here. And the ones that I've seen,
the majority of the ones that I've seen, have been taken as we arrived fresh deliveries of artillery shells. And when you see that at an artillery
station, you know that the troops are getting those artillery pieces to fire.
They're kept -- they're held back in storage until they're needed for use. So the impression they're created now is that these pieces are being moved
forward for use and that bang you heard behind me was the artillery being fired. So that's what's happening here.
Those two stumbling blocks that Hamas spoke about, again, we only have their version of events. They say that they have put a condition on a stop
and a ceasefire. But it's not called a ceasefire, a sort of pause in hostilities that Israel would no longer put pressure on the people, the
Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem to leave their houses. That's been a point of contention, and that Israeli Police would
not go into the Al Aqsa Mosque, which again, was for Palestinians was an intense moment that really built towards the violence that we're seeing
There is another condition as well that Hamas says that it won't buy into. Hamas says the Israeli authorities won't buy into their condition. But
Hamas is conditioned that it won't buy into is that it is supposed to go on to a ceasefire for three hours ahead of the Israeli Forces doing that and
they say they won't accept that.
Again, caveat. We have not heard from Israeli officials, their view of these conversations that Hamas say are taking place.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. There's an informed point there, as we await the Israeli response on this, too. Nic, great to have you with us. Thank you so much
for explaining what's happening there.
Nic Robertson there.
All right, coming up on FIRST MOVE, a world renowned chef jumping into help India with tens of millions of meals as his home country is devastated by
the pandemic. That story and more of the work that he is doing, next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE and to India now where a powerful tropical cyclone is hitting with strong winds and heavy rain hampering
efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
India reported around 280,000 new COVID-19 infections today. It's actually the first day in nearly four weeks that we've seen fewer than 300,000
Now, as the pandemic continues to claim more lives, world renowned chef, Vikas Khanna is stepping in to help his country. He has provided 65 million
meals across India. He's also teamed up with an NGO in California, raising more than $1.5 million to help provide supplies like oxygen, and he joins
Vikas, fantastic to have you on the show. I know you and your team have been doing some incredible work over the past year, if not more, but first,
I just want to get your take with what we're seeing in India at this moment. I know you have family there, too.
VIKAS KHANNA, CHEF: My mom is back in Amritsar. That's in northern India and my brother's dead, but most of my family is in India.
CHATTERLEY: And it's an incredibly difficult time, I know. Just talk about what you've been doing to try and help.
KHANNA: So we started this initiative last year, which is called Feed India, in which we supply either cooked or dry rationed food to many
communities around more than a hundred cities, and we did it in partnership with NDRF. That is National Disaster Response Force of India. That's a
And they were the ones who are distributing and doing all the logistics on ground. And then everything was based on partnerships. Everything was based
And now seeing what happened in the second wave was extremely heartbreaking, and we partnered with Vibha and Mr. Kayusha (ph) is the one
who is coordinating this entire operation with us. And we started this fundraising campaign just a few weeks ago, and we raised $1.5 million. This
is for oxygen concentrators for PPE kits and some hospital kits and we also started this.
We also want to start with vaccination centers, and it looks -- it's also very emotional for all of us to see the motherland in this state right now.
It's a total -- it is a total breakdown of like, the whole system right now.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, part of that breakdown in the system challenges even your efforts to help in getting the supplies to people and I know this is
something that you're incredibly sensitive about just making sure that the provisions and the supplies that you're trying to provide actually get to
where they're going. How are you managing that? How are you ensuring that?
KHANNA: So one thing which I have always been very -- because, you know, this was a -- we have partnerships, we have people contributing, so we are
totally answerable to every single cent. And this is why I've become extremely sensitive to all these issues that we have to be extremely
transparent how we track everything down.
So I track down even a single concentrator. Me and Kayura (ph) are up all single night when the deliveries arrive. And you can see this major trucks
arriving in big cities. Now everything gets divided to which hospital or which nursing home gets what.
I think that's very important in fundraising, especially when the country is in dire need that the accountability is of the highest need right now.
That people should be able to see that how we have become so focused in this to get it to the right people who need the help.
Of course, there are many challenges. Sometimes, we get calls of people saying that, you know, in high position -- people -- positions of power
saying that, you know what, you're sitting in New York, we will take care of everything and just give it to us. I did that mistake in Feed India a
few times because -- and then I couldn't find where my food was, which was very difficult for me later.
And here no, we said he give it in the hands of the doctors or the people in the nursing homes who need this equipment.
CHATTERLEY: So it's difficult to trust people in power, you literally have to make sure you track everything and do it yourself. Trust, I think is
critical at this moment, trust and hope.
KHANNA: It is striking, I do trust a lot of people in power, but sometimes, you know -- but you know, in cooking, you check a whole bowl
like a pot of rice, you pick up one grain of rice. That's to your type, you know, but sometimes you are in this position where you have to trust
because we are sitting sort of thousands of miles away.
And my mom told me, she is saying, you know, no one is safe until everyone is safe. And that is why we say that, you know, we need to vaccinate, right
after this, we're going to get into this mode of vaccinations where Vibha will be coordinating this entire campaign with us. And we'll be monitoring
it very closely. Because, you know, it's like almost running a Michelin star kitchen that your operations, your line of work has to be so straight,
that there are few discrepancies.
But you know, when you're so far what you say, trust and faith, sometimes both are shaken. But it does not break. It just makes you stronger, and you
figure out what not to do or what to do next time.
CHATTERLEY: You also partnered, I believe, with Texas Instruments to set up a hospital and you mentioned it and for those that people that don't
recognize you, and I'm sure most of my viewers will, you're also the host of Master Chef India, and you have a cooking show of your own. And actually
you're using that show as well to talk to people about vaccines and try and give them information as well that can help and educate them. This is a
vital part of this story, too.
KHANNA: Some people tell me I've used my position way too much. I'm like, I don't. Cooking is something that brings everyone together. So you get
everyone's attention. It's like getting people to your restaurant.
And it's also interesting that starting from last week, anyone who watches my movie on Amazon, all the proceeds will go to this mission. So for me,
everything is creative partnerships in which we give value to people. Like you know, what you're doing with Texas Instruments is that you're going to
be setting makeshift hospital in Bangalore, for hundred beds. And that is an amazing vision, if we can do that model well, because it's almost like a
template or if we can do that well, it means that we can replicate that model.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, every bed, every life saved is an incredible achievement, Vikas.
I want to end talking about some good news, the reopening of a restaurant in Dubai, very exciting. You've been counting down on social media as well.
I know this is a big moment. Talk us through this, too, because it's exciting. It's a long road.
KHANNA: You know, I was supposed to open a restaurant in New York last year, sorry, you know, restaurants are like my absolutely stages of
representing India. And when a restaurant goes down, you know, it breaks your heart. Absolutely, I feel like, you know, I've let down so many
people. And so many people trusted me. There's an entire chain of people who actually are responsible for running a restaurant successfully from
getting Michelin stars to everything.
But restaurants were affected by this pandemic, it totally crushed most of the people in my industry. But now we see that the restaurants are coming
back and the restaurant is almost full. A few weeks of reservation is full, unlike -- the countdown means a lot to me, that people now say, I said it's
like a baby is getting a rebirth and I feel that it's like me as an immigrant coming to America, we were reborn in so many ways in so many
different stages of metamorphosis in this country.
And I feel my little restaurant, Kinara, is going to go through metamorphosis, and it is good news because it creates jobs, it creates a
line of produce, everybody starts getting paid and it's also value for customers.
CHATTERLEY: I don't think your smile could get wider. We wish you all the luck with that. And thank you for everything that you're doing for India as
well. Our hearts to them.
Vikas Khanna, great to have you with us, sir. Thank you.
Okay, let's move on. Taiwan has been widely praised for how it handled the coronavirus pandemic. But today the island's biggest outbreak is forcing it
to impose new restrictions and adding to concerns, Taiwan has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, as Will Ripley reports.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Taiwan, a troubling situation is getting even worse. Another day of record high daily infection
rates, the highest that this island has seen during the entire pandemic.
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control is blaming this outbreak on adult entertainment venues, many of the cases happening at hostess tea houses.
But not only are those businesses closed, but gyms and any sort of public gatherings of larger than 10. People private gatherings now restricted to
five people or less.
RIPLEY: People are also required to wear masks out in public, and this is coming after just a few days ago, the streets were full of people, many of
them without masks, enjoying a relatively normal quality of life.
Taiwan was one of the first in the world to shut down its borders at the onset of the pandemic. As a result, they all but eliminated local
transmission. People lived for months without the fear of catching COVID- 19.
But that complacency has allowed this virus to spread and spread quickly as people were not following social distancing recommendations. And now, they
The streets of Taipei, which were empty over the weekend continue to be very quiet on Monday, people hoping that by observing these guidelines,
they can get those case numbers down before this cluster of cases becomes an even bigger outbreak.
Taiwan and it's more than 23 million people are highly susceptible to COVID-19 because of the fact that there are very few people who have been
vaccinated. There's a vaccine shortage and almost no herd immunity here.
Will Ripley, CNN, Taiwan.
CHATTERLEY: They certainly handled it incredibly well in the beginning.
Okay, up next, Microsoft says it has investigated founder Bill Gates. We've got the details. Next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Microsoft says it has investigated founder, Bill Gates, over his involvement with an employee. This follows
reports that Gates's 2020 resignation from the Board was triggered by those concerns.
Clare Sebastian joins us now. Clare, what do we know?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia, new revelations coming out in the weeks following this out of the blue divorce. First from
"The Wall Street Journal" reporting that the reason they say according to sources familiar with the matter, CNN hasn't independently confirmed this,
they say the reason he stepped down from the Board in March of 2020 was because the Board was investigating a romantic relationship he had had back
in 2000, so to the best part of 20 years ago with a Microsoft employee.
Now, there is a statement from Microsoft to CNN. They say, they are confirming that investigation, but they are denying that it was in any way
or at least not mentioning that it was in any way linked to his resignation from the Board.
That statement saying Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a
company employee in the year 2000. They say a committee of the Board reviewed the concern aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough
They also say throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern.
Now in that article by "The Wall Street Journal," a spokesperson for Gates denying there was any link between that investigation and his resignation
from the Board saying Bill's decision to transition off the Board was in no way related to this matter.
But in another report, Julia, this is not just one set of reporting here from "The New York Times," talks about a broader sort of culture around
him, a broader reputation for what they call questionable conduct saying that that was you know, in some circles he was seen to be sort of broadly
engaging in questionable conduct in workplace environments.
They have spoken to several women whose names they don't release who say that he made advances which were then refused.
So take all of this, add in the allegations that surfaced last week from "The Wall Street Journal," again, his contacts with Jeffrey Epstein, the
convicted sex offender, was one of the reasons why Melinda Gates eventually filed for divorce and you see sort of the story of this couple cast in a
SEBASTIAN: He is one of the visionaries behind U.S. Big Tech, running this huge public company, and the two of them as the founders and
philanthropists behind this huge $50 billion organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
So, serious sort of issues arising here. I will say no criminal conduct has been alleged, and the couple are still saying that they are working
together on the foundation-- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, so much scrutiny, but such a huge divorce and such a powerful couple.
Clare Sebastian, thank you for that.
Okay, that's it for the show. If you've missed any of our interviews today, they will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. You can search for
In the meantime, stay safe. I'll see you tomorrow.
"Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next.