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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Soon: Biden To Speak About Death Of ISIS Leader; Kremlin "Worried" By U.S. Deploying Troops To Eastern Europe; Russia's Putin To Speak To French President Thursday; Putin To Meet Xi Ahead Of Olympics Opening Ceremony; Facebook Sees First Decline In Daily Active Users; Spotify Ends 2021 With 180M Paid Subscribers; Roche Sees Weaker Demand For COVID Drugs, Test; Bank Of England Raises Interest Rates For Second Meeting In A Row; USS Harry S. Truman Running Drills In Adriatic; Tensions Simmer Between Russia And Ukrainian Athletes; Foreign Influencers Help China Bolster Its Image; Automation In Japanese Agriculture; Weak Open For U.S. Stocks After Meta's Weak Results. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired February 03, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to the show.
Within the hour, President Biden expected to give details of an operation in Syria overnight in which U.S. forces killed the leader of ISIS.
(VIDEO PLAYS OPERATION IN SYRIA)
CNN has received the first videos of the operation. And these are the first images showing the aftermath of the mission.
The Pentagon has provided very little detail except to say the operation was successful.
John Harwood joins us now.
John, good to have you with us. What more do we know about this operation ahead of the expected speech by President Biden of course this hour?
Oh, I don't think we have John there. We will go and move on and hopefully get back to him. And I'll wait while we expect a statement from the
president in around 25 minutes. We will take you to that when it happens too. But for now, we'll move on.
Russia responds. The Kremlin said it's, quote, "worried" by news that the U.S. is deploying additional troops to Eastern Europe. Accused the United
States of further stirring tensions in Europe.
Nic Robertson is in Moscow for us.
Nic, of course, we're waiting to hear once again from President Putin today. But ahead of that, interesting what we got from the White House
yesterday. The decision to drop the word imminent when discussing a potential attack from Russia on Ukraine and obviously the Ukrainians too
have welcomed what they're seeing as a de-escalation in some of the emotions and the rhetoric surrounding the issue.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. What the Ukrainians have been calling for and they're calling this a good diplomatic
step. And this certainly sort of in keeping with how they want to set the narrative of what's happening. That there is a buildup beyond their
borders. But they don't send for that it is absolutely imminent.
We heard from their officials today talking about the buildup that they see in Crimea where at the moment, you know where the latest satellite imagery
showed additional tents around some of the Russian military hardware. But you know their view is there is not an imminent strike force that's about
to be launched.
So, this sort of aides the diplomacy around the situation, if I will, but Russia you know pointing at the United States saying that the deployment of
U.S. troops to -- you know to Romania, to Germany, to Poland, these additional U.S. forces that are coming into the region.
Russia saying everyone can see this is - this is close to our border. That this is a concern everyone understands and can see that it would be a
security concern for us. So, Russia's position on this is one that what the United States is doing to support NATO allies as a defensive posture is -
is in Russia's eyes escalating tensions, making the situation in Ukraine more unstable.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, the fact -- Russia will portray this as further aggression. I'm sure that's the message that Vladimir Putin will give to
Emmanuel Macron when they talk later today too. To others, this might be seen as a deterrent to effect if the Russians were indeed intending to do
something in the coming days or weeks.
Nic, on the surface we get rhetoric. What do you think is going on behind the scenes here? Do you think that - that NATO, the United States and the
Europeans believe that perhaps this is having some kind of second-guess effect?
ROBERTSON: You know, it's still to a degree posturing on -- on the Russia side and it's still the United States meeting that posturing with a
deterrent message on their side. But on the diplomatic tract, you have, you know, the Russian president just two days ago saying that he was looking
forward to a face-to-face meeting with President Emmanuel Macron who last night Emmanuel Macron had a late-night phone call with President Biden.
The talk there was essentially about you know coordinating diplomacy and the French president saying that he was reaching out to more European
nations and leaders in Europe at the moment. And he is speaking with the - he has been speaking with the Polish president during today and expected to
speak later today with - with President Putin.
And this will be their third call in less than seven days. So, it seems as if there is a sort of a diplomatic tract opening up here. But it doesn't
seem at the moment that there can really be a meeting of the minds. Because the Russian position is so clear that they haven't got their demands from
But there is you know President Putin is looking at the French president and also the German chancellor who has announced that he'll be visiting
Moscow in a little less than two weeks' time. Looking at both of them to put pressure on Ukraine to get the compromises from Ukraine about that
breakaway separatist region in the east, the Donbass region. So, he's looking at perhaps that diplomatic tract, you know, for -- you know, for
those talks around what happens in the Donbass region, the cease fire there, the Normandy tract, trying to implement the Minsk agreement of 2015.
So, there are a lot of moving pieces in here. But yes, a little more traction potentially on the diplomatic side.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we hope.
Nic Robertson, great to have you with us. Thank you for your insights as always.
OK. Returning to our breaking news story, the death of the leader of ISIS in a U.S military operation. President Biden set to speak later this hour.
John Harwood, I believe he's back with us. And he can now hear me.
John, hopefully I've got you there. What more can you tell us about this operation?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the United States conducted this operation last night. There were civilian deaths, but the
United States believes and is -- President Biden is going to assert that they were the result of action by al-Qurayshi, the target of the raid, that
he exploded a suicide bomb that killed himself and killed members of his family.
But it's by the account of the United States, it was a successful mission that did not result in American casualties. President Biden in his
statement praised the bravery of those special forces who carried it out. And you can expect him this morning to talk about some of the details of
the raid and tout the success of taking the leader of ISIS off the battlefield.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, the United States in the past has used drones to try and kill top al Qaeda operatives in Idlib, for example. The fact that there
were special forces on the ground here, John, I think, points to their perceived importance of who this individual was, and the threat think that
HARWOOD: And also, the difficulty of targeting a raid precisely enough to go after the leader of ISIS without collateral damage to civilians. Now
that occurred anyway, but the United States is going to argue that this is the result of action that al-Qurayshi took, not action of those special
CHATTERLEY: And we'll get more details in the next 20 minutes or so.
John, great to have you with us. Thank you.
And of course, we'll bring you that statement by the president when it happens.
For now, let me bring you up to speed with some of the other stories making headlines around the world.
New Zealand is about to end nearly two years of tough COVID-19 border rules. On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outlined a five-step plan
that would allow fully vaccinated citizens to travel from Australia later this month. By July, certain people from Australia, the UK, the U.S. and
parts of Europe will be allowed into the country.
Sweden says it will scrap most of its COVID restrictions next week as it reports milder infections from the Omicron variant. From Wednesday,
authorities will no longer limit the size of gatherings, require proof of vaccination or enforce curfews at bars and restaurants. It means
Scandinavia will then be mostly free of restrictions after Denmark and Norway announced similar moves earlier this week.
Now still to come here on FIRST MOVE, pharma's pandemic prediction Roche expects demand for COVID tests and treatments to slow. We have an interview
with the CEO.
And Meta meltdown. Facebook's owners (INAUDIBLE) to create virtual world's face a healthy dose of reality.
That's all coming up. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE where we are waiting to hear from President Biden of course in the next 20 minutes or so. We're also waiting
to hear from President Putin at some point this morning too. And then he's heading to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the
Olympics opening ceremony tomorrow.
Putin has released a letter to the Chinese public saying efforts by some countries to politicize sport are quote, "fundamentally wrong and contrary
to the very spirit and principles of the Olympic Charter."
Selina Wang joins us now from Beijing.
Selina, it's going to be a who's who of who attends the opening ceremony, and who doesn't of course. And they're not just talking about leaders like
President Putin. I'm also talking about the Olympic athletes themselves.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Julia, there will be some notable absentees at these games. There are athletes represented from 91 nations
but just 24 foreign dignitaries. And of those 24 dignitaries, that 19 of the places that they're from, well they are considered either not free or
partly free by U.S. think tank house -- Freedom House.
And this is sending a strong message to the world at a time when you have the U.S., and other democratic nations like the UK, Canada and Australia
staging a diplomatic boycott against these games as a statement against allegations in genocide in China's Xinjiang region. Allegations that
Beijing has strongly denied.
So, in the stands of the opening ceremony, you will see Putin, Xi Jinping. You'll see MBS, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, autocratic leaders from
places like Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. And this is a far cry, Julia, from the images we saw from the 2008 Summer Olympics when you had then
President George W. Bush sitting shoulder to shoulder with Chinese officials.
This time, the image to remember will be Putin and Xi. That is symbolic of the closing - closing ties between those two leaders that have grown ever
closer amid this worsening relationship with the west.
So, as you say, they're going to be having these bilateral talks and will only be having a one-on-one lunch, attending that opening ceremony
together. This at a time when Xi Jinping as called Putin a good friend and it will be his first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic started. And
his 38th meeting with Putin since he became leader. Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Some momentous games, so many reasons. Selina Wang, thank you so much for that.
OK. All in a quick look at what we're seeing in terms of stock market action. And Meta's flop Wall Street's kerplop. Take a look at that.
U.S. futures are set for a lower open driven by weak results from Facebook's parent company Meta.
The Nasdaq set to fall near 3 percent after four days of strong gains.
Call it a case of Zuckerberg zapped. Meta set to fall more than 23 percent in early trade. Take a look at that. That's having a knock-on effect on
other FANG favorites including the likes of Amazon which reports results after the closing bell. And Alphabet which closed down more than - oh,
close more than 7 percent higher Wednesday after reporting strong earnings in the session yesterday of course.
Christine Romans joins me now.
Reeling, I think, from these results - reeling or reels is that their hope for the future, the TikTok competitor. I think we can call it a Meta
meltdown there when you see, what, $200 billion, is that right?
CHRISINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah.
CHATTERLEY: Wiped off the value premarket. The stagnation of user growth in their history, Christine.
ROMANS: Yeah. I mean, look, and that I think is - is a real moment to mark. But there are other pieces of this story that sort of add to that. If it
were just that, it would be one thing.
But It's a big miss by Meta. And really, since Facebook became Meta, what, in mid-October. It's really struggled to find its footing or gain some
User growth is stalled or shrinking. That is one headline.
Apple's new privacy options make it harder to target ad campaigns. That's another headline.
Competition from TikTok is so much bigger and just swamps what it's trying to do with Reels. That's another headline.
So, one after the other. You've also got this big, big investment into virtual reality and artificial intelligence. All of these things that could
pay off way out in the future, but it's almost as if Mark Zuckerberg is in the metaverse right now.
And these - these earnings show you that investors are still in the real world and looking at these numbers and seeing the return on an investment
way far off. Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And it's quite fascinating to me as well. And we had a guest in yesterday talking about the overhype in meta and said actually,
short meta versus go long physical things because we still need those.
But it's also about building communities. And I just wonder given, to your point, all the challenges they're facing, the regulatory pressure, the
criticism that they've come under, they're pumping lots of money -- even down to changing the name of the company itself into something that perhaps
community. Trust is important and I'm not sure Facebook has it, despite the fact that we're still talking about a company with 2.9 billion users of
ROMANS: Yeah. And maybe it's the trajectory of that - that community.
ROMANS: The community is there. This big zealot, is it still growing? How is it growing? And how are they profiting from it?
There are these little - these little inklings there that there's a challenge for the first time in a very long time for Facebook. You know it
tried to change the name to Meta to talk about the future, right? And then maybe -- maybe many - many critics thought try to take the taint of the
regulatory - the regulatory scrutiny off of the company.
But since it changed its name, the stock has gone nowhere in sideways. Losing $200 billion in market cap yesterday. Mark Zuckerbeg's personal
wealth taken a hit yesterday as well. So, I'd just say it's a very - a very, very, bad, bad day from Mark Zuckerbeg and Meta yesterday. We'll see
how it - we'll see if it pops a little today or --
CHATTERLEY: And we're seeing the - we're seeing the separation of tech stocks as well.
CHATTERLEY: And to your exact point, I think, we're off to say, oh, they're priced for the future. But I don't think I can say it better than you did.
When the future looks so unclear and the investment in certain things is so unclear. Investors are within their rights to go. We don't get it. We're a
bit of confused too.
Christine Romans, thank you for that.
And this hour, note for Spotify too. Its subscription growth is slowing amid the ongoing Joe Rogan ruckus. The service ended 2021 with 180 million
paid subscriptions, but its stock down nearly 13 percent premarket following weak guidance. Certainly, not music to investors' ears.
CNN's Paul La Monica joins us now on this story. Actually, the most interesting thing for me from the investor call on this was that Joe
Rogan's podcast is the most popular podcast in 90 different counties. I think we mentioned the United States and the UK earlier this week. And it
actually for me ties to the importance of advertising spent for this company. But I think for most people, the big question here is content.
Managing content with creativity.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Exactly. And I think what we have here, Julia, is that CEO Daniel Ek of Spotify, he didn't necessarily go out
on a conference call and explicitly say that, hey, we care more about podcasters than musicians, but he sort of hinted at it. He talked about how
Spotify is much more than a music company. That it really is now something that caters to creators. And it sorts of a loose amorphous term that
obviously includes podcasters like Joe Rogan.
So, I think what we have right now is that Spotify seems to be digging in its heels and it's supporting the likes of Joe Rogan even if it means that
Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and perhaps others are going to take their music away from Spotify and bring it just to Apple Music instead.
CHATTERLEY: And that brings challenges of its own when you have opinion givers and makers publishing material, providing material on your platform.
And the CEO said that. We're trying to balance creative expression with the safety of our users.
It goes to the point there, Paul, when it comes back to the ability to make money in the end. If it was always about music, it was about subscriptions.
And I think what we've ignored about this is the fact that when you have these podcasts that are doing so well around the world, you can actually
get paid advertising. And that's now 15 percent of their revenues. That's something we shouldn't ignore. The problem is investors were more focused I
think here on subscriptions. And on that, the guidance was disappointing.
LA MONICA: Yeah. I think that Wall Street is still hyper focused on those subscriber numbers. And they're like that with all social media companies.
One of the reasons I think why Meta/Facebook is obviously having some struggles as well.
And Spotify much like Meta is in this tough spot, so to speak, that they don't necessarily want to be policing content and their creators, but you
have people that are going to scrutinize everything Joe Rogan has to say. And if more artists take their music off of Spotify, that could hurt
subscriber growth going forward.
Now to be fair, CEO Daniel Ek said during the conference call that it's way too soon to say if their guidance which you know disappointed Wall Street
is a reflection of people being nervous about musicians leaving the platform or any sort of dissatisfaction with Joe Rogan. But this is a story
that's going to continue to unfold. And you know as of right now, looks like Apple Music could be the winner if Spotify continues to lose some
CHATTERLEY: There are parallel - sort of many parallels actually between this story and the Facebook story. And the main one here is, remember
delete Facebook and actually they ended up with more users, not less. I wonder whether people are just trying to workout who Joe Rogan is and
what's the big issue here, actually means more subscribers, not less.
LA MONICA: Spotify is gaining subscribers, that it's just the growth isn't as strong as what Wall Street expected.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. We'll see what the Joe Rogan effect is.
Paul La Monica, thank you for that.
In Europe, shares of Suisse pharma giant Roche lower after its yearly results. The drug maker expects sales growth to slow as demand for COVID
drugs and tests weakens. Bad news for the stock though, great news for humanity. It's essentially a prediction that the pandemic will ease by
April. I asked Roche's CEO how confident we can be that the end is in sight.
SEVERIN SCHWAN, CEO, ROCHE: There is of course a lot of uncertainty to say that upfront. It's very difficult to predict how the virus will evolve. But
our basis (INAUDIBLE) that the pandemic will slowdown in the second quarter of this year and that's our desire indeed. We also predict that COVID sales
will be smaller than they were last year.
Now, having said that, we see a very good growth actually in the high single digits of our underlying business driven by our new medicines and
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And we should talk about that too. I mean, what we've seen in the past year is the results help by sales of your drugs to fight
hemophilia, cancer, neurology therapy drugs as well. And actually, it's on the latter point I wanted to ask. Has the flow of people going and getting
diagnosed for illnesses normalized now because clearly, during the pandemic again, we saw a significant drop-off and it created great concerns over
late-stage diagnostics in cancers in particular?
SCHWAN: By and large it has normalized now. There was really a very negative impact back in 2020. But in the meantime, health care systems,
hospitals have learned to deal with patient flows. So, it has -- it has recovered. It's probably not yet fully back at normal levels, but by and
large it has recovered also in fields like oncology.
CHATTERLEY: You know, when I think of Roche, do you think of your oncology prowess and targeted drug therapy in particular. Even if you weren't a
leader here, what do you think the breakthroughs that we've seen in mRNA technology will mean in the future for cancer treatments, for treatments of
things like HIV and AIDS?
SCHWAN: Actually, we are working on mRNA-based treatments, medicines, also cancer vaccines. It's still early. Cancer is an extremely complex disease.
And it has been a challenge to get cancer under control with vaccines. But we are working on it and hopefully at some point we'll have a breakthrough
in this area as well.
CHATTERLEY: How long are we talking? How many years might it take? And I know that's a difficult one. Sort of finger in the wind. But what are we
talking in terms of time?
SCHWAN: I think it will still take a couple of years. I mean those trials are all in earlier stages. So typically, I would say in three to five years
we should know more.
CHATTERLEY: OK. We will look forward to that time. There are clearly expectations around your pharmaceutical pipeline this year as well. And I
just want to hone-in on one that most definitely caught my attention and what the 40 million suffers of Alzheimer's around the world too.
You received breakthrough therapy designation in the FDA in the fourth quarter of this year which caught my attention. Just give me a sense of
where are you if you can with the trials and the development with this and potential timing. Because I've seen some skeptics. I've also seen optimism.
SCHWAN: Right. Our lead medicine in the Alzheimer's space is a drug called gantenerumab. And we expect the readouts of the pivotal, the large late-
stage trials towards the end of this year. So, by that time, we will know whether we hopefully have a new medicine to help fight this devastating
disease. But for the time being, we still need a bit of patience.
CHATTERLEY: I'm rubbish with patience, but we'll hang on in there.
What do investors need to know for Roche for the coming year? What would you like them to understand at this moment, particularly on a day where
perhaps there is a bit of disappointment?
SCHWAN: I'm most excited about our emerging pipeline. I cannot remember a time when Roche had more late-stage clinical trials reading out than this
year. It's pretty amazing across the board. We have important readouts with new cancer medicines. Also, important readouts in neurology.
Literally, every month we will have an important readout. So, this year is really special in terms of clinical readouts. So, we're very excited about
that and that really provides us with optionality to make a huge impact for patients first and foremost, but of course, also to drive the growth of our
business for years to come.
CHATTERLEY: Now, Roche's CEO is also the vice chairman of their Credit Suisse board of directors. The bank currently grappling with a string of
scandals including the resignation of its chairman over COVID breaches. I asked Schwan about how he simultaneously manages high-profile roles at two
of Switzerland's biggest companies.
SCHWAN: Actually, I was quite busy over the holidays, that is true. But I would say in principle it was very compatible with my role at Roche and
it's also clear that my role at Roche is the priority and I wouldn't make any compromises in fulfilling this task.
CHATTERLEY: You can manage it all is the message?
SCHWAN: You know sometimes there are very special circumstances and then you have to step in, but I'm confident that we are now in more stable
CHATTERLEY: The market opens next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And a reminder that President Biden is due to speak any moment now following news that the leader of ISIS was killed in a U.S. military
operation in Northern Syria last night. We will take you to that speech the moment it begins.
For now, U.S. stocks up and running this Thursday. And as expected, we do have a weaker open across the board. As you can see, we've got a sea of
The Nasdaq down after rotten results from Facebook parent company Meta. Meta feeling like a fallen FANG, I think, at this moment. Shares down more
than, wow, almost 25 percent in early trade after reporting disappointing profits. Users trotting off to TikTok and spending on Meta is soaring.
Other FANG stocks falling in symphony. Many of those firms including Netflix and Amazon are facing rising costs too. Amazon is expected to
report weaker Q4 results later today as supply chain and labor pressures mount.
Now, the European Central Bank keeping key interest unchanged despite record inflation in the eurozone. But the Bank of England raising rates for
the second meeting in a row. It's the BOE's first consecutive one-two punch in 18 years. While at the same time, the UK revealing a $12 billion package
to offset soaring energy bills.
Anna Stewart joins me now.
Anna, great to have you with us.
Let's talk about the UK first. All policymakers taking action to tackle rising prices. The Central Bank raising interest rates, but the government
too, very importantly trying to help households deal with the soaring costs of energy prices.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yeah. It's all about inflation today and the cost of living. And as you say, they're very much marching in lockstep
here. You've got the Bank of England and the government making big announcements on the same day.
Now, no surprises in terms of the actual rate rise there, raising it now to half a percentage point. Given the inflation was 5.4 percent in December.
What was perhaps surprising was that there was actually quite a conflict I think at the MPC, 5-4 came the decision. And actually, that minority wanted
a bigger rate rise. So, it feels a little bit hawkish.
They're winding down their QE program as expected. That was all sign posted so really no surprises there. Of all the numbers I scribbled down from the
Bank of England meeting, here are two that really surprised slash shocked me. Right.
Households will see their post-tax disposable income slumped by 2 percent this year. Ouch. And also, the bank has revised up their inflation
forecast. I think it will be close to 6 percent this month than next and waiting for a 7.25 percent in April. So, double ouch. As you say, a huge
part of that is energy costs of course.
And in the UK actually, consumers have largely been insulated from wholesale prices skyrocketing due to a cap by the energy regulator. Now,
that cap is being raised significantly in March. We're told today that will cost the average household an additional $940 a year.
So, and to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to the rescue with a plan for a rebate to try and kind of split that cost over five years for many
households. Also looking at tax discounts and funds for lower income households as.
There's absolutely no doubt this year will be a struggle for many households, many businesses. And the Bank of England ultimately said
they're looking at cooling economic growth. And they're also saying unemployment could rise from 4 to 5 percent. Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Wow! Anna, give me that second start again, $940 the rise in the average --
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. Wow. I mean, that's a shocking rise for many households. Wow. OK. Well, it's good that they're action to do something. What about
the European Central Bank, different tone there, different challenges?
STEWART: Yeah. No rate rise, there. (INAUDIBLE). No one expected this to happen. Christine Lagarde, the president, has made very clear they're not
going to rush. Not at least if you consider that the ECB had worked so hard pre-pandemic to try and get inflation to 2 percent. Now, what they're
saying today again is that inflation is being largely driven by energy and food price increases. They believe that will stabilize. They see as
inflation medium term getting much closer to their target. So, no news here. They're just standing ready with all the tools at hand to respond
when they need to.
And I do think we have to remember that for the ECB they're looking at 19 nations. And the inflation divergence across them - I mean, yes, overall,
inflation is at 5.1 percent in January. But overall, there's actually quite a big diversion between some of those economies.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And that's the critical point when you're setting policy for 19 different nations, different degrees of COVID, restrictions, impact
on growth as Lagarde has said, you got to be very careful not to take action that ends up worsening the economic outlook despite giant to tackle
Anna, great job. Thank you.
More FIRST MOVE after the break.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back.
Russia has called on the U.S. to stop stirring up tension in Europe. That's after the Biden administration decision to deploy 3,000 troops to the
region. A symbol of U.S. and NATO resolve is already in the Adriatic. The admiral leading the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier won't say what
will happen when drills end on Friday. But its presence in the region is sending a clear message.
As Fred Pleitgen reports.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. and its allies in a united show of force facing aggression from
The USS Harry S. Truman is in Europe refining cooperation with NATO allies to make sure the alliance can operate more coherently, says naval flight
officer Jeannette Lazzaro.
LT. CMDR. JEANNETTE LAZZARO, U.S. NAVY: So, we just got there and agree to a different NATO partners, anybody we are working with and we worked to
kind of smooth the communication processes.
PLEITGEN: As Russia continues to amass troops near the border with Ukraine, the U.S. says it will help further strengthen the NATO alliance. This is
the first time since the cold war that a full carrier strike group has been placed under NATO command. With ships from various NATO countries flanking
(on camera): The U.S. kept the Harry S. Truman in depth longer than planned, as the standoff with Russia intensifies. To reassure America's
allies, the U.S. is fully committed to collective defense.
(voice-over): Russia has pulled together more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, the U.S. believes. And Moscow could order an attack at any time.
While President Biden has said he would not send U.S. forces to Ukraine, the Harry S. Truman can effectively fortify NATO's eastern flank. Despite
Russia's massive naval presence in the Black Sea, the carriers F-18 jets can quickly reach the area close to Ukraine.
The Truman's commander says years of integration with allies are now paying off.
REAR ADMIRAL CURT RENSHAW, U.S. NAVY, CARRIER STRIKE GROUP COMMANDER: We are committed to our alliances, our partnerships. We're able to operate
plug and play anywhere in the world and from adversary point of view, we're agnostic. If we have the strong partnership, then that's stronger than any
individual adversary could ever be.
PLEITGEN: The U.S. says Russia would pay a high price for any further invasion of Ukraine. And the Pentagon has just announced it will deploy
additional U.S. troops to Germany, Poland and to Romania.
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON: The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO's eastern flank.
President Biden has been clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe's security and stability.
PLEITGEN: But the U.S. and its allies say they hope diplomacy will prevail, as one of America's strongest deterrent forces remains on guard.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, in the Adriatic Sea.
CHATTERLEY: Now, given the tensions between Russia, Ukraine and the United States, just spare a thought for the Ukrainian Olympic team are focused on
Selina Wang sat down with the bobsled. They're trying to simply shoutout the noise.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Olympic Games are meant to unify, build bridges between groups and conflict. But as tensions between
Ukraine and Russia mount, not all Olympic athletes can embrace that message.
Ukraine's sports minister said its athletes should stay away from their Russian rivals at the Winter Olympics and that Ukrainian athletes have been
briefed on how to behave in case of provocations.
Lydia Gunko, Ukraine's first bobsledder at the Winter Olympics, is prepared to follow that guidance.
LYDIA GUNKO, UKRAINIAN BOBSLEDDER (through translator): We are clearly not friends with the Russian athletes. We have to train and perform with them.
But because their country wants to violate our integrity, we cannot have easy contact with them.
WANG: Satellite photos and intelligence reports show Russia has amassed about 120,000 troops near the border of Ukraine.
GUNKO: You try to distance yourself from all of those during competitions and training. Of course, in real life, you can't isolate yourself because
many friends and acquaintances have suffered from Russia's actions.
WANG: Gunko has family in Ukraine and Russia.
(on camera): Are your relatives on both sides?
Are they going to be watching and cheer you on?
GUNKO: Of course. We are one family. And we must support each other.
ANATOL LIEVEN, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, QUINCY INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT: Many Russians have relatives in Ukraine and being, you know,
forced to draw apart in this way and, you know, engage in frankly, a rather stupid symbolic behavior.
WANG (voice-over): But embracing a Russian rival has already gotten a Ukrainian athlete in trouble.
At the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year, Ukrainian high jumper, a bronze medalist and junior army sergeant was photographed with the Russian gold
Ukraine's deputy defense minister called the embrace careless behavior and even suggested it was a way for Russian intelligence to infiltrate the
Gunko has been training and self-isolating as much as possible ahead of the games. Held under the strictest COVID countermeasures in the world. Even
her bobsled had to get COVID tested when it arrived in China.
GUNKO: We have to agree to their terms but it's a bit crazy.
WANG: But Gunko says it was all worth it.
GUNKO: It is an honor for me, this is extremely important for our country and for the development of the sport in Ukraine.
WANG: As Gunko makes a way into Beijing, she plans to block out all the distractions. Something she says she applies to bobsledding and life.
Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
CHATTERLEY: Good strategy. And in the meantime, Beijing relying on plenty of positive spin on social media. To help with that it's recruiting so-
called influencers from inside and outside of China.
As David Culver reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in foreign language)
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the side of the Beijing Winter Games that China wants you to see as told by a Russian YouTuber.
He's just one of many foreign influencers granted access to China's Olympic venues ahead of the games. And posting videos that shower praise on the
As the Olympics kickoff, get ready to see a surge in China related post on your social media feeds.
CNN found some of it is even expected to come from inside the U.S., paid for by China.
VIPP JASWAL, CEO, VIPPI MEDIA INC: What we are doing is we are acting in the advisory capacity, of promoting awareness, engagement, a bit of
excitement and support for the Olympics and Team USA.
CULVER: In a U.S. Department of Justice filing from December, Vipp Jaswal's New York based company disclosed that it plans to "develop a marketing
initiative to create awareness of the Olympic and Paralympics event."
The list of clients, China's consulate general in New York, the Chinese government paying $300,000 to target audiences outside of China. And that's
just to Jaswal's company. He will use platforms like Instagram, Twitch, and TikTok, all of which are blocked inside China.
JASWAL: They don't need to audition for anyone's approval. They just need to present their side of the story that is not heard through politicians or
CULVER: Jaswal says the roughly nine or so influencers he's recruiting will not focus on politics but rather the Olympic spirit. They will join a
steady stream of post made by foreigners telling the so-called real China's story. But on these profiles, you'll struggled to find any criticism of
China's human rights record. Instead, it's the positive spin.
(on camera): A lot of these western influencers will come to iconic spots like this one, the Forbidden City, which is beautiful, and they'll show the
best of China. That work in turn gets promoted by state media.
(voice-over): Take down Russian YouTuber for example, he tells CNN he was invited to see the venues, and has not being paid by China, nor told what
to say. But state-run China Radio International picked up his story, then dozens of other state media outlets began reposting the article, amplifying
his praise of China.
It's part of China's wider strategy to promote positive foreign voices. In fact, a report in China's official "Guangming Daily" suggested foreign
influencers who are friendly to China be used to help bolster the official narrative. It also characterized foreign athletes and their coaches as a
rich mine to tap into.
That same strategy extended into controversial topics, like Xinjiang. It's where the U.S. alleges China is committing genocide against its Uyghur
Muslim minorities. Claims that China strongly denies. But scroll through the post of these foreign influencers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no proof of genocide.
CULVER: And you'll see they echoed the official narrative, painting a rosy picture, and denied any wrongdoings. Those videos then shared widely by
Chinese state media and embassies around the world. Promoting China abroad is not without risk.
Jaswal says he's faced personal attacks and death threats for doing business with China.
JASWAL: I'm an American citizen, I'm a patriot, my mindset going in was I was promoting an event that belongs to the world.
CULVER: But the world is fractured, and even during a global sporting event that is supposed to unify, China's social media blitz may do little to sway
(on camera): We did reach out for comment to several of the influencers, those who got back to us maintain that they are not paid by China, which in
some cases may be true, but they have time to see the benefit of their work being amplified to a population of more than 1.4 billion people.
David Culver, CNN, Beijing.
CHATTERLEY: Stay with "FIRST MOVE." More to come.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
All this week we're exploring the ways people, communities, businesses and industries in Japan are innovating and preparing for a world beyond the
Today, CNN Blake Essig looks at how technology is being harnessed to help agriculture.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Considered such a delicacy, they're often sold at auction, from a crate of Mandarin oranges selling for
$9,600 to a bunch of ruby Roman grapes for $11,000.
(on camera): You may have heard of Japan's high quality and rather pricey fruits and vegetables or the coveted domestically and internationally,
there's a problem, there's simply not enough people to grow and harvest them.
(voice-over): Take Nozomi Fukuyama, for example. Following in his parent's footsteps, he's been growing bell peppers here in the town of Shintomi,
Miyazaki prefecture for 25 years.
Throughout the years, help around the farm has increasingly become harder to come by.
NOZOMI FUKUYAMA, FARMER (through translator): We want to hire more people. In my case, most of the workers have quit because they have started their
own businesses or because they're old.
ESSIG: So, he helped a Japanese robotics firm, AGRIST, develop a harvesting robot, this guy. It uses a camera to automatically recognize the peppers
and, using its arms, it snips off the peppers at its stems as it moves along a suspended wire, allowing it to get around obstacles more easily. As
it collects more and more data, artificial intelligence will be able to analyze growth rates and detect potential disease. While still in testing
and development stages, AGRIST hopes to rent it to farmers one day.
YOSHIHIKO TAKAHASHI, CO-FOUNDER, AGRIST (through translator): This robot might only harvest a small amount. But it gives the farmers more time to do
other things and increase their yields and profits.
ESSIG: Yoshihiko Takahashi co-founded AGRIST in 2019. He was in charge of its day-to-day and overall operations until the end of December 2021, when
he left the company. Rather than target older farmers, Takahashi says AGRIST hopes to work with farmers in their 30s and 40s.
TAKAHASHI (through translator): When young farmers want to make their farming sustainable or expand the scale of their farming in order to
protect their local agriculture, they will inevitably need more manpower.
KAZUNUKI OHIZUMI, MIYAGI UNIVERSITY (through translator): Due to the coronavirus, the inability to supply foreign workers has become a major
problem. Farmers, especially small-scale ones, are decreasing. Consumption is also declining. A big concern now is whether it will return to normal.
ESSIG: Beyond the next harvest, AGRIST has big plans in the making, what it calls highly reproducible agriculture.
TAKAHASHI (through translator): Our next goal is to create data-driven agriculture. To achieve this, we would like to develop not just this
harvesting robot but also artificial intelligence and entire facilities, such as greenhouses. All in all, we want to innovate in agriculture and
contribute to the future of humanity.
ESSIG: Innovation in the agricultural space, giving businesses like Fukuyama's a fighting chance.
FUKUYAMA (through translator): I don't know if the solutions are through automation or technology, but I believe that the future of agriculture is
bright in Japan.
CHATTERLEY: And a final scan of what we're seeing in terms of market price action, the Wall Street majors still weaker as you can see in front of you
there. Though we have bounced slightly off session lows.
The tech sector by far the worst performers. You can see down some 2.3 percent following those poor results from Facebook parent company Meta.
That said, actually, every sector in the S&P 500, I'm just taking a look now, is trading lower at this moment.
Meta currently losing a quarter of its value. Look at that, down 25 percent. Today's drop represents the firm's worst one-day performance on
More than $200 billion in market cap wiped out so far. And actually, other social media platforms are now falling in sympathy too, including Snap. As
you can see, they are reporting results later today.
And in anticipation of that, look at that, down almost 20 percent there too. Ouch. Some real nervousness continuing there in and across the tech
For now, as I've been mentioning all throughout the show, President Biden is set to speak imminently from the White House. This follows the U.S.
announcing it has killed the leader of ISIS during a military operation overnight in Syria.
CNN will bring you that speech live the moment it happens. So, stay tuned for that.
And for now, that's it for me and the show. If you've missed any of our interviews today, they'll be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. You can
search for @jchatterleycnn.
In the meantime, stay safe as always. "CONNECT THE WORLD" with Becky Anderson is next. I'll see you tomorrow.