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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Afghan Economy Plunged into Cross after Taliban Takeover; China Outraged over U.S. Lawmakers' Visit to Taiwan; Economists Urge U.S. to Release Afghanistan's Frozen Assets; Taliban Remain Internationally Isolated; SparkCharge Creates World's First EV Charging App; Parts of France Ration Water Amid Severe Drought. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired August 15, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: A warm welcome to all our First Movers around the globe. As always, I hope everyone had a great weekend.
There are lots to get to on this show today as always, including Afghanistan after the fall.
One year after the chaotic U.S. pull out and the Taliban has power grab the war is over, but the mystery remains for millions of impoverished citizens.
Clarissa Ward joins us live from Kabul plus the nation's Former Central Bank Governor Ajmal Ahmady joins us to discuss the economic battle ahead.
Also, China's war on COVID forcing emergency economic measures Beijing cutting two key lending rates today to support growth with 1 in 5 young
people now officially unemployed.
No surprise perhaps a cautious tone across Asian markets fresh data from Japan saw growth of 2.2 percent annualized in the second quarter, actually
that was weaker than expected but finally recovering to pre pandemic levels.
And a softer start for stocks across Europe and the United States with Wall Street coming up, it's fourth week of gains that's its best string in fact,
of gains since November. The question is what next? Don't ask the financial giants because they all seem to disagree.
JP Morgan says stocks have room to run. Morgan Stanley believes the bulls have had their fun. And we're sadly in a bear market rally. There's no bull
market tally the fear is investors are under estimating, I think the work that the Fed still needs to do to bring inflation down to target.
Take a look at this too oil prices will also dictate the path of interest rates and therefore stocks too. Crude tumbling by some 5 percent on China
fears just as Saudi Aramco says it can turn up the taps further, if it gets the nod from Riyadh Aramco, the world's most valuable company also enjoying
a huge profit glow, a record haul of more than $48 billion in fact, in the second quarter, wow.
OK, let's get to our top story today. A year after the fall, Afghanistan marking one year since the Taliban took over government amid a chaotic
withdrawal, by U.S. forces. And Clarissa Ward is back in Kabul for that anniversary, less violence, Clarissa, great to have you with us. Less
violence but a devastated economy and devastating uncertainty I think particularly for women and for minorities there. What can you tell us?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Julia. Well, it's a very mixed picture here. We are at a central round about in
Kabul, just behind me over there. That was the compound where the U.S. embassy was housed. But you can see today, this has become a rallying point
for Taliban fighters to celebrate what they have declared as a national holiday, a day of victory, to commemorate the so called liberation, the
deceit of the U.S. occupiers at the hands of the Afghan jihad.
And we have seen a steady stream of Taliban fighters all day, coming through this area, they've been allowing us to film them, which is
something new, because they're quite strict these days with journalists.
But I want to be very clear that not everybody in this city and not everybody in this country are celebrating today, it is a very difficult
time. For so many Afghans this country is isolated, oh, not a single country has yet to recognize the Taliban government.
And it is poor than it has been in quite some time, the U.N. saying that more than half the population are in a state of acute hunger. And that's
not even to start on the issues of human rights, the oppression of minorities, the marginalization of women.
And of course, so pressingly, the issue of girl's education, girls no longer able to go to school after sixth grade is the ages roughly 12 years
old, the Taliban has promised that that ban would be lifted momentarily. So far, it has not been, you could see our presence is attracting a little bit
of attention here. There are obviously not a lot of women in this area. But the Taliban sees this as a day to celebrate, to wave their flags. And
essentially to commemorate a day that for so many was so painful, but for the Taliban was a triumphant victory. Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Clarissa, I think the other thing to understand for people here and we often see it written is the devastating economic collapse the impact
of frozen international reserves, not allowing money, which was the lifeblood of the economy there. What about just ordinary people and the
hardships they've faced over the last year? What have people been saying to you?
WARD: It's horrendous Julia, I mean, you go to the markets here, and there's so much food there but people can't afford the food prices have
soared, the price of flour has doubled the price of cooking oil has more than doubled. The economy is expected to contract according to the IMF by
30 percent, this year. And record numbers of Afghans are going hungry.
We've spoken to so many who say that the primary issue for them is trying to put food on the table, we met with a group of women who walk three hours
every day to the center of Kabul to beg outside a bakery. This is a growing phenomenon now. And then they have to walk three hours back, but they do it
every day. Because simply put, they have no other way to feed their children. There is no work at the moment.
Now the Taliban will tell you that are the fault of the international community in the U.S. for freezing those funds. But the process of trying
to unfreeze those funds has of course been made a lot more complicated by issues such as women's rights, girls education, and also just over two
weeks ago by the killing of the leader of Al Qaeda, right here in downtown Kabul, really throwing a lot of concerns about the Taliban's promise that
this country would never again, be used as a sanctuary for any terrorist groups. So the relationship between the U.S. and the Taliban is in a crisis
And it's unclear how? How either side will be able to normalize that relationship so that we can start to see an improvement in the unfreezing
of those funding, and that desperately needed help getting to the Afghan people. There are a lot of economists and aid workers who say that those
funds should be unfrozen. But for now, a senior State Department official telling CNN that is not going to happen there is no plan to recapitalize
Afghanistan's central bank right now particularly in the wake of the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, further version of any form of trust that was trying to be built. Clarissa Ward, thank you so much for being there and thank you for
OK, let's move on losing steam. China's central bank is cutting interest rates as the economy struggles with COVID lockdowns coupled with the
ongoing property slump.
Selina Wang joins us now. Selina Wang, already some weaker data retail sells factory data as well and youth unemployment. The problem is like many
other nations around the world, they have an inflation problem. So cutting interest rates to support the economy exacerbates other challenges too.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And well Julia, if you're dealing with lockdowns and the threat of snap lock downs, well, monetary policy isn't
going to solve that problem. And if you look at that July data across pretty much every category, the numbers were worse than forecasts.
Economists are calling this data alarming that it reflects a crisis of confidence in both the household sector as well as from businesses, that it
also reflects a housing sector in free fall. So retail sales growing just 2.7 percent in July from a year ago, industrial productions growth slowed.
You mentioned youth unemployment that hit yet again a new record of 19.9 percent. And if you look at the real estate sector, property investments by
developers contracted more than 6 percent in the first 7 months of the year. Now, this is a big deal.
We've been talking about this story for quite a while now. Because the property sector it accounts for as much as 30 percent of China's GDP. So
troubles in that area puts major pressure on the overall economy.
The other story here is that you've got angry homebuyers across China that have in a statement of protests have been threatening not to pay their
mortgages. Now this is because in China, oftentimes developers will sell homes before they're actually done being built. Now in response to all of
these problems across the economy the central bank, as you mentioned they're cutting 2 key interest rates. This was an unexpected move. But if
we're talking about self-inflicted zero COVID policy pain, will how much of an impact exactly is that going to make?
CHATTERLEY: Yes you raise such an important point and speaking about self- inflicted and the impact that it has on it, I think consumer confidence, I just want to share my videos this, our viewers this, take a look at this
video from social media showing customers rushing out of an IKEA store in Shanghai. It was actually forced to close after a contact of a COVID-19
case was identified nearby. Now they would have been taken into government quarantine for 2 days that followed by 5 days of health monitoring.
And what you're seeing there is some of them pushing against an exit door. Some actually did manage to get out before officials could detain them. I
mean, Selina, you know, you watch that kind of videos on social media and who's going to go to an IKEA store or any kind of store where you could
perhaps be identified along with someone who's been near a COVID-19 patient and then face days in some form of quarantine. It sort of explains the
economic softness that we're seeing in China.
WANG: I think it's a perfect representation. I'm in a country where not a single COVID cases tolerated it means that any outing whether you're just
trying to go to the grocery store or buy some furniture at IKEA, or trying to take a vacation, will any of those outings could turn into a nightmare.
And when you look at that stunning footage, important context here, it was not that a COVID case was actually found in that IKEA store. It's because
they traced a close contact to that IKEA store. So not even that a COVID case was found there. And that created all of this chaos, people screaming,
running to get out. They're terrified of being locked in.
And of course the people of Shanghai they know how brutal and traumatic these lockdowns can be. They went through a brutal 2 month COVID-19
lockdown just earlier in the year and those people they don't want to get sent to that government facility for several days, followed by several more
days of home monitoring.
But what we're seeing right now is that China's zero COVID policy it is struggling to keep COVID cases at bay when you're dealing with this highly
contagious Omicron sub variant. And it's not just that people are getting caught in snap lockdowns in stores. We talked about just last week; more
than 80,000 tourists were trapped in the resort island of Hainan. So if you talk about a hit to consumer confidence to the travel sector to business as
well, that is a stark example just right there, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we saw it and felt it, Wow! Selina Wang, thank you for that.
OK, let's move on renewed anger in Beijing over a surprise visit by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan, the Bipartisan Congressional groups that they wanted
to reaffirm U.S. support for Taiwan.
In response to China's stepped up military drills Blake Essig, is in Taipei for as just as the dust was settling on the visit by House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi then the subsequent Chinese military drills, you have another bipartisan group visiting Taiwan wants more Blake, you have to wonder where
this ends. It ends in Chinese anger, I guess that's clear.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, clearly, China not happy with Nancy Pelosi's visit and this current delegation in China didn't wait long to
respond to the most recent visit from U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan, the self- governing island that Beijing claims and sees as a breakaway province.
Earlier this afternoon, China's defense ministry released a statement calling this most recent stop in Taiwan by U.S. lawmakers as an ambush
visit and a flagrant violation of the One China policy which acknowledges that the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government in
And the White House maintains that there's been no change to that policy now. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation left Taiwan about
two weeks ago, China imposed new trade sanctions and kicked off at least 6 days of live fire military exercises surrounding the democratic island on
the military aggression continued.
Today as a result of this latest U.S. Congressional visit on Chinese social media. The Eastern theater command announced that in having conducted a new
round of joint drills and combat patrols in the air and at sea, saying, "The exercises are a solemn response to the political plays by the U.S. and
Taiwan that are undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait". Now, the post didn't say whether or not those drills had finished at this
A spokesperson for China's embassy in the United States also addressed the visit on Twitter saying China firmly opposes any kind of official ties
between the U.S. and Taiwan. And that the U.S. should bear all the consequences although it seems to be Taiwan bearing the brunt of these
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said that they detected 30 Chinese warplanes and five vessels operating in the Taiwan Strait and despite
escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei as a result of visits just like this, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry thanked Senator Markey and his
delegation for their timely visit, and unwavering support with Taiwan's Foreign Ministry.
Once again, reiterating that China does not get to dictate how Taiwan makes its friends. In some of those friends include the delegation visiting
Taiwan right now led by Senator Markey. His spokesperson said that the purpose of the visit is to reduce tensions in the Taiwan Strait, expand
economic cooperation on items like semiconductors, and most importantly, show solidarity and reaffirm support for Taiwan.
And since arriving late last night, the U.S. lawmakers have met with Taiwan's Foreign Minister, local legislators in Taiwan's President signing
when who think the delegation for visiting Taiwan in demonstrating their support for the democratic island with action with the fact that they are
CHATTERLEY: I think no one can argue that they're certainly showing support. No one wants to back down in the face of challenge let's call it
that from any other nation. But in terms of reducing tensions in the street I think perhaps there might be those that argue that this was not the most
auspicious time ahead of the Congress, of course in China later this year.
CHATTERLEY: Blake Essig, thank you so much for that. OK, let me bring you up to speed with some other stories making headlines around the world. Any
moment now Kenya's Electoral Commission is expected to announce the winner of last week's presidential election. Early results show, it's neck and
neck between Deputy President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The winner will become Kenya's fifth president replacing current President Kenyatta.
CNN's Larry Madowo joins us now from Kenya. Larry, I think it points to the fact that this is so incredibly tight in terms of the voting you've now
been saying this for many weeks that we are still waiting for result to be called.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Julia were just whether or not rather being a woman the next president of the country after five tries
of the job, or it will be William Ruto here in Kisumu, is the heartland of Raila Odinga support. A lot of people here have been celebrating for the
past few hours since they heard that the Kenya's electoral commission with a bachelor announced the results. So I can just show you some of our
The Electoral Commission is a little bit behind schedule, they promised that they would have this announcement about an hour ago, and it's still
not happen. But here are the streets; people are actively celebrating, expecting that their man will be the winner if you see some of the hands
because they feel that he should have won already.
Now, the race itself we're going to move back slightly. The race itself was so tight, it could go either direction, it could go either way. It could go
rather dangerous way or that could be a runoff in this election for the first time. There is a maybe a few more minutes until we hear from the
Electoral Commission what that will be.
We already have the national talent - the deputy President William Ruto has arrived. We haven't seen Raila Odinga yet so some people think that of
course the fact that made you that are going to be William Ruto, the President - Larry I'm going to send it back to you Julia.
CHATTERLEY: There's a lot of people that already pointed to that what you're saying, OK, now we've waited for days we want the result. I did see
both Mr. Odinga and Mr. Ruto over the weekend saying to people please be patient. We'll get the result when it comes but also calling for calm.
What's expected in light of this result? Are they expecting violence what are they hope peace can be maintained because it has been relatively
peaceful? Let's be clear.
I think we've lost it. We could still hear the celebrations and the hoots and the excited people there waiting when we get that result we will bring
you that result the moment we get it Larry Madowo for now there in Kenya.
OK, let's move on at least 41 people have lost their lives after fire swept through a Coptic Church in Egypt during Sunday services. Many of the
victims were children. Officials blame an electrical fault. They say most of those who died were killed by the effects of breathing in smoke.
And Iran is denying had anything to do with the attack on author Salman Rushdie. Instead Tehran blames Rushdie himself and his supporters. This 75-
year old remains in hospital after being repeatedly stabbed in New York on Friday and a suspect remains in police custody.
And Brittney Griner's legal team has filed an appeal against her conviction on drug smuggling charges in Russia. The court near Moscow sentenced the
WNBA starting 9 years in prison the U.S.A she's being wrongfully detained and is offered a prisoner swap to try and get Griner and another U.S.
citizen home. OK stay with "First Move" we're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move" heat waves that have radiated across Europe have had serious consequences. In England prolonged high
temperatures of course the source of the river tends to dry up. So it now begins several miles downstream. CNN's Scott McLean went to see it for
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's one of the most famous waterways in the world, London's Thames River. This year at its
headwaters to the west, there's no water at all. What would this look like on a normal year?
ROB COLLINS, DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND SCIENCE, RIVERS TRUST: Well, typically you'd find half a meter of water in here.
MCLEAN (voice over): Global rivers expert Rob Collins toured us along the winding riverbed in southern England that stretches on without water for
miles past parched fields and through quaint villages, where the ones mighty father Thames, has been reduced to a stagnant puddle.
COLLINS: The very source of a river you might find drying up quite frequently, but what's quite unprecedented just here is there's absolutely
no water and that continues to be the case, the best part of 10 miles downstream.
MCLEAN (voice over): Collins says England uses far too much water and its aging pipes leak far too much. A fifth of supplied water is lost to
COLLINS: We have to adapt to this new, new normal. We have to use less water use it more wisely more efficiently.
MCLEAN (voice over): Satellite images show why 2022 has just been officially declared a drought in some parts of England, normally lush
green, the nation is now scorched pale yellow.
At the nearby Oaksey golf club. They're hoping to be spared the watering bans already imposed in other places.
ANGUS COOPER, CLUB MANAGER, OAKSEY PARK GOLF AND LEISURE: A golf course without grass on the greens is like a shoe shop without shoes on the shelf.
MCLEAN (voice over): In the quaint hamlet of North End, water has never felt so precious.
Last week, locals were forced to rely on bottled water and water tankers when the taps ran dry. It's not clear if the persistent problems during hot
weather are high demand or low supply in the local reservoir. So this is the moment of truth.
The water is back now, but local farmer Peter Langford nearly had to give his cow's bottled water.
PETER LANGFORD, FARMER: And it was getting quite desperate.
MCLEAN (voice over): The drought has also killed off the grass his cattle rely on forcing him to use the hay he saved for winter rain can't come soon
LANGFORD: What it says to me is that these extreme temperatures that we've got that's not terms waters fault, that's everybody's fault. You know, we
all fly off in planes we all do our bit to increase the problem. And I think this is a wakeup call really.
MCLEAN (voice over): Scott McLean CNN, along the Thames River in southern England.
CHATTERLEY: OK, coming up here on "First Move" amid calls for the release of international reserves to help address the humanitarian crisis. The
Former Governor of Afghanistan Central Bank discusses life after a year of Taliban rule next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move" one year after the U.S. withdrawal and the chaotic fall of the government in Afghanistan more than 70
International economists are calling for the release of desperately needed reserves that are frozen abroad. In a letter to President Joe Biden they
say "In order to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and set the Afghan economy on a path toward recovery, we urge you to allow DAB that's the
central bank, to reclaim its international reserves".
Billions of dollars have been frozen abroad since the Taliban took over the government a year ago, around 7 billion of them estimated held in the
United States. And this as Afghanistan's economy plunges further into crisis. The U.N. says half the population is now experiencing acute food
insecurity. The World Bank also predicting the country's GDP will decline by more than a third since 2020.
Joining us now is Ajmal Ahmady. He's former central bank governor of Afghanistan. Ajmal, good to have you back on the show. In terms of the
economic and the humanitarian crisis that's taking place; does that tie with what you're hearing with people that remain there in the country?
AJMAL AHMADY, FORMER GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF AFGHANISTAN: Thank you, Julia, for having me on the program, I'd say yes, this does tie in with
what I'm hearing. I'm in contact with colleagues, former colleagues who are still there in the country.
And what they're telling me is that unemployment is high. They're having difficulty finding jobs. They're having difficulty making payments for
basic goods. And it's becoming a worst humanitarian crisis by the day. And so we're trying to help out where possible sending money, thankfully,
remittances are allowed again. But for the people who are still there, humanitarian crisis is worsening by the day.
CHATTERLEY: You know, as awful as it sounds, and we know it is. I remember our conversation from a year ago of, of just how bad it might get? And I
think myself and others fared worse at this stage, and I've read reports of some things working things like revenue collection at borders, less
corruptions at road checkpoints for example. Do you think this could be in some way, preventing a further economic collapse in the country?
CHATTERLEY: I'm also conscious of the fact that the U.S. treasury allowed some of those reserves to be released into the country. What do you think
is perhaps stopping more desperate situations than we're already seeing?
AHMADY: Yes, that's a good point, Julia. I think last year, when we spoke, the assumption that I had in many hands was that no international aid would
enter Afghanistan. So if you remember, Afghanistan was previously receiving about $7 billion per year. And the fear was that that will drop to zero
immediate, and therefore it would cause a severe economic crisis.
And while we've seen a significant deterioration economic condition, I guess the good news that you can point to is that the U.S. treasury has
provided sanctions relief waivers. And that has allowed approximately $2 billion to enter the country and humanitarian support over the past year.
And that's the primary reason I believe why the situation is not even worse than it is right now.
CHATTERLEY: It's interesting, the fact that that, aside from what we're discussing here, that the fact that international aid stopped. Could we
also say it for some degree of fiscal and monetary responsibility, particularly as far as printing bank notes, for example, it's just not
So in many ways, they've had to be the Taliban have had to be very careful about how they manage things, because they weren't the options perhaps to
create the kind of money printing, greater inflationary environment that perhaps we could have seen.
AHMADY: That's correct. I think many emerging markets or frontier economies face such a crisis, I think this is the extreme crisis in the case of
Afghanistan. But when you don't have access to international aid, or don't have access to international financial markets, you simply have to make do
with what's available.
And I think that's what the Taliban have done; they've been able to collect some revenues. And that's the only source of revenues; all of the
humanitarian support that's been provided to Afghanistan has been provided what we call off budget.
So it's gone directly to the UN agencies and not to the Taliban government in order to provide humanitarian support for the people of Afghanistan.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And there's a reason for me asking you these questions, because I'm headed in the direction of the viewpoint now, that's been
presented by international economists from around the world that are saying, look, the situation now in Afghanistan is so bad.
And the people have been doubly hurt and impacted by what's happened and international reserves should be released to the central bank. Ajmal, what
do you think?
AHMADY: I do believe that the reserves should be used to support the people of Afghanistan. There's some complexity in the matter. And so maybe I'll
just take a moment to, to provide some more details. But the reserves were held mostly abroad.
And there was a court judgment last year that mandated half of that should be provided for the victims of temporary levels, or at least kept for a
potential judgment. And three and a half could be used for the people of Afghanistan, so there's a potential three and a half billion that could be
And I believe the U.S. treasury was in negotiations with the Taliban on that matter, the complexity arises, because I think there's a small,
there's less trust between the two sides. And so the Taliban were requesting that it go back to the central bank. And I think the U.S.
treasury and the U.S. governments wasn't comfortable with that, and are potentially setting up a trust fund structure that would manage those
funds, and then channeled into the benefit of the people of Afghanistan.
CHATTERLEY: I mean this is so important for us to understand, because we were talking to Clarissa who's in Kabul, as we speak. And she was saying
that there is food but people can't afford to buy it. Is there some way and it pretends to what you were discussing there of providing support for
people for basic resources and services, but without overtly legitimizing the Taliban regime itself because, as you and I will discuss in a moment,
for women, for minorities, the situation is terrible, for whatever, a different word.
So it's finding that balance between providing supports for individuals but not legitimizing some of the behavior that is breaking trust.
AHMADY: That's correct. I think that's the challenge. And there's this is unlike any other situation in the world, because on the one hand, you want
to provide support, so that there's no humanitarian crisis, but at the same time, I don't think people are asking for 7 billion to be provided on an
annual basis as it was with the previous government. So between this zero and seven right now the international community has set upon approximately
$2 billion per year.
AHMADY: And so the question becomes, do we want to increase that at the risk of legitimizing Taliban? Or do we want to decrease it with the risk of
creating a humanitarian crisis.
And I think the goal is to hopefully increase that amount, but there has to be greater trust built between the two sides.
CHATTERLEY: Some part of this perhaps on a fundamental level, if we just go to the management of the country would be putting in people that aren't
sanctioned, that are unknown, not known necessarily for their relationships with the Taliban, but more that they're able to understand financial market
flows that they have experienced and understanding how to manage an economy and to manage a central bank, for example.
But then it goes to the point that you're making earlier about trust, and we can't ignore the devastating consequences for the country of what's
happening to women's education, to the sheer uncertainty over their future and for the future of minorities.
How does anybody, whether it's you, as an Afghan national or anybody else, justify providing support and working with a government that at the same
time is breaking promises and creating such uncertainty over the future for, for people like, like women like minorities?
AHMADY: I think that's the challenge. I think, in some ways, there was actually a lot of goodwill at the outset of the discussions. And I think
there was a few bad decisions, but two in particular standout during the past year that made providing more amounts of humanitarian aid challenging.
The first was in March of this year, when the Taliban decided to not allow girls to go to school beyond a certain age. I think one that that broke the
trust. And then secondly, of course, was, when it was recently found that senior al Qaeda figures were in central Kabul, I think, those kinds of
issues when they arise, create a trust deficit.
And again, it makes it more difficult for the international community to justify providing these funds to Afghanistan.
CHATTERLEY: I have about 30 seconds Ajmal, what do you want people to know, one year on and to understand the most important message from those back in
Afghanistan and what they're saying?
AHMADY: I think the message is the same as it was one day after the collapse of the government, and that's that humanitarian support needs to
continue to be provided for the people of Afghanistan. This was an issue caused by them.
And we hope that that trust deficit can be resolved or some other mechanism could be developed so that greater humanitarian assistance can reach the
people of Afghanistan.
CHATTERLEY: Our hearts are with you, and with the Afghan people, Ajmal, thank you so much for joining us today. Ajmal Ahmady there, former Central
Bank Governor of Afghanistan. We'll talk again soon sir. We're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: OK welcome back to "First Move". U.S. stocks up and running for the first time this week, the major averages all lower unfortunately call
it a case of the Monday blues after a week of positive economic news including lower inflation cues.
The S&P and NASDAQ rallied more than 3 percent. In fact last week with tech entering a new bull market, up more than 20 percent from recent lows. The
small cap, Russell 2000 also outperformed that junk as you can see there, almost 5 percent on the week.
U.S. stocks now for four straight weeks in fact the strongest summer throughout the - have been the retail numbers will show some clout, Wal-
Mart and Target will provide views from the checkout.
Meanwhile, the energy sector well has a reason to pound, the U.S. all majors all choppy lower, and with new fears of weaker Chinese demand. The
country's central bank is cutting rates unexpectedly to help battle slowing growth.
Add to that Saudi Aramco saying it's ready to pump more oil to context, of course, is everything. Chevron still up by more than 35 percent this year,
Exxon soaring more than 50 percent and nothing accidental over at Occidental it shares soaring more than 120 percent vols.
Now we're trying to get away from all of that with our next guest. What started is a project in Syracuse dorm room sparked into an on the go
solution for owners of electric cars.
The roadie from SparkCharge is the world's first and only mobile charging system for electric vehicles. It allows drivers to skip the lines and wait
times for traditional charging stations. It also has a delivery service.
Subscribers login to the company's app and SparkCharge will come and charge the EV for them. The service already is available in Dallas, Los Angeles,
San Francisco and San Jose, with plans to expand to 20 cities by the end of the year. And last week, the CEO Josh Aviv was at the White House to meet
Joe Biden before the President signed the CHIPS Act into law. Aviv says the law is the right bill at the right time to solve one of America's crucial
supply chain problems.
And the SparkCharge at CEO and founder Josh Aviv joins us now, Josh, fantastic to have you on the show. Let's talk charging first and then we'll
get to the CHIPS Act. Welcome first and foremost.
But what you're offering is a sort of app based concierge service really for EB charging, just explain how it all works.
JOSHUA AVIV, CEO & FOUNDER, SPARKCHARGE: Absolutely. And thank you so much for having me on today. Yes, so our mobile app called currently can be
downloaded today, both iPhone and Android. And an EV owner is able to select the time place and how much range they want. And with the push of a
button, get it delivered straight to their car.
We like to think of it as you know, Grubhub, UberEats or Instacart. But instead of hungry people, we charge hungry electric vehicles.
CHATTERLEY: I love that. Now, the benefit of Postmates, or one of the other brands not that I'm being specific is that when I order some food it
arrives within the hour. How much warning do I have to give you and who actually gets the charging unit to me, explain some of the functionality of
AVIV: Absolutely, so it's super simple. And that's what we really love about it. So an EV owner can have range delivered in as little as 30
minutes. And they can also what's really cool about this plan ahead as well.
So we have EV owners that say hey, well, I want range delivered now. And that range gets delivered to them right then and there. But we also have EV
owners who say, well, I'm going to be at work or I'm going to be at my house or I'm going to be at a friend's house.
And they can actually schedule the charge to meet them there. And that's something that's really unique about the service, you can have it right
away or you can have it delivered to you in the future.
When we think about the simplicity and who delivers it, you know, our team of SparkCharge currently employees that are out there delivering the charge
directly to the EV owner.
CHATTERLEY: What's the average wait time? I'm really excited by this.
AVIV: Yes, so I believe right now, once we show up and charge the car, it's about you know, maybe 30, 45 minutes to charge the car.
CHATTERLEY: Wait, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about how long I wait once I say help me; I'm stuck on the side of the road. I need some
extra charge because this is what I think this is what you're tackling is charge anxiety. And it's part of the big barrier of buying electric
CHATTERLEY: It's like how, if I, if I do run out of charge somewhere, even if it's in a city, how long do I have to wait? What's the average wait time
once I get on my app and go, hey, come fix my car, please? How long do I have to wait?
AVIV: It's about 30 minutes. So it's super quick. And the cool thing about the service is that 60 percent of all our calls are actually done at home.
So it's actually people calling the charge to their house to their apartment.
The other 40 percent are actually EV owners calling us to their job. So can you come charge me while I'm at work, so I don't have to stop and wait at a
supercharger on the way home, I can go directly there.
CHATTERLEY: So you have delivery vehicles, people ready just to go out there, wherever it's going to be in charge it? Are they combustion engines?
Are they electric vehicles as well, just checking?
AVIV: Yes, we're actually super excited to announce that we've already started to convert our fleet to fully electric.
CHATTERLEY: OK, good.
AVIV: So now more than 10 of our fleet are fully 100 percent electric vans.
CHATTERLEY: OK, cool. And how much do I pay for it, I pay a monthly subscription. And then I pay for the charge that I use?
AVIV: Absolutely. So we have subscriptions that range as low as $5 a month and you can get the killer price per kilowatt hour for what you use down to
as little as I believe 50 to 51 cents a kilowatt hour.
CHATTERLEY: OK, so actually, if we compare it to building out infrastructure, on a relative basis and going to charge an electric vehicle
at somewhere that's got established infrastructure, then it's, it's lower, the cost is lower to the consumer.
AVIV: Yes, 100 percent. In most cases, the costs can be lower, especially if you think about peak charging times and peak rates were actually
significantly more cost effective than those grid or infrastructure, tie charging stations.
CHATTERLEY: OK, I read that you can scale up as well once you decide to enter a city in around 14 days, which is quite fascinating, too. But what
about expanding beyond cities, because I know you're taking funding as well.
And the key for most people, I think, with electric vehicles is less about cities, even if there's the challenge, perhaps of queuing up for a
charging, it's about having them spread all over.
So talk to me about expansion plans, because I think this is sort of vitally important for going back to the point I made earlier about
addressing this charge anxiety if we really want to scale up EV adoption.
AVIV: Absolutely. So when we think about scaling up EV adoption, and we think about how we scale as part charge, you know, when typically, if you
want to get a DC fast charger deployed, it can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, and the costs can be astronomical.
And so we're currently we're able to go in and set up a city in under 14 days. And that means we blanket that entire city with energy. So anyone in
that area can actually call and have charge delivered to them.
And what happens is basically now you remove all of these, what we like to call charging deserts or areas that have been left, you know, basically
untouched because the need or the seen the demand for that zip code has been made unavailable.
And so typically, what you see is that you see lower income areas kind of get left behind or left out of having infrastructure installed. But with
mobile charging, we cover an entire area, we cover an entire city, no one gets left behind, and everyone has access virtually overnight.
And so as we expand to these other cities, what we're going to start to see is hopefully more adoption of electric vehicles, because people have easier
access to charging.
He knew what was really cool is, and I think you talked about it, because you were on Shark Tank. And that's where you got money originally from Mark
Cuban. And I know you've scaled up now, which is, which is super exciting.
But it's if a consumer could buy on themselves, and have a portable charger with them that they plug in and carry with them that that for me also is
the future. Are you tackling that technology? And how far away do you think that is to? Not that I don't love the delivery service however.
AVIV: Absolutely. I think it's a great idea. And I think what it's really going to come down to is, you know, does the need to have it delivered
outweigh the need to carry it with you, right.
So if you're going to carry something with you the weight, which is going to go into the car is going to shorten the range in some cases. And then
you might forget to charge it you might forget to have it with you.
Being able to, you know, call the charge on your phone, what we found to be like the most simplistic, but also the most convenient, right? But we will
be having some new updates coming out in fact, this September 15.
We'll have spark day our annual keynote conference where we'll be actually unveiling some new charging technology that I think it's really going to
excite a lot of people and it's really going to disrupt the way that we think about EV charging today.
CHATTERLEY: Sparks will fly on sparks day, which is September the 15th. We'll be looking out for it, Joshua, great to have you on, Joshua Aviv, CEO
and Founder of SparkCharge there, thank you, sir.
AVIV: Thank you so much, take care --.
CHATTERLEY: OK, thank you. OK, coming up for you on "First Move" it's one of the hottest dry summers on record across much of Europe - will now one
town in southern France is imposing painful measures to conserve water, the details next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move". Now earlier in the show, you saw how the source of the River Thames in England was left high and dry from
heat waves, while across the channel France facing severe water shortages too. Our Jim Bittermann reports from a village where the drought is
sparking extreme measures and some heated controversy.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): That's how the foothills of southeastern France, the village of Seillans claims a
dubious distinction. The mayor says his town of 2500 is a country's first community hit with water restrictions because of this year's devastating
drought. The first but not the last because there are now more than 100 places like fail in France where water is so short, they're forced to do as
in Seillans supplying residents with water from tanker trucks are setting a strict limit on the amount of water each resident can use, or both.
RENE UGO, SEILLANS MAYOR: Seillans has always been a territory relatively affected by the lack of rain, but never, never like this year.
BITTERMANN (voice over): That's a sentiment felt across Europe this year where heat waves and droughts have left fields and forest parched and
rivers dry right across the continent. The river Rhine in Germany, the Po in Italy, the Thames in England, back and say all the most worrisome aspect
is the lack of water for personal use.
People here are constantly checking their water meters because the limit in some parts of town is 150 liters about 40 gallons of water per person per
day. Bridgitte Ricou says she's gotten used to the limitations but not without some adaptation.
She reuses the water from washing fruits and vegetables on our hash plant. The family tries to avoid flushing the toilet after every use.
BRIGITTE RICOU, SEILLANS RESIDENT: This is basically what we tried to do on daily basis to pay attention to water and to become concerned about water
all the time.
BITTERMANN (voice over): Choices have to be made; Ricou thinks so much water is being used for agriculture. But ask her neighbor Cecilie Messelis,
a vegetable farmer and she couldn't see the situation more differently.
To her food should be the top priority. She's no longer allowed to use public water supplies on her organic crops and they're suffering. And yet
in towns all around there are people with swimming pools who are able to privately by the water they need to fill them up at prices the farmers
CECILIE MESSELIS, ORGANIC FARMER: It's astonishing. You say to yourself, it's so obvious that the priority is to eat that we put some time to
realize that no; it's not necessarily obvious for everyone. This question of water and how we share it, I think that we shouldn't avoid the debate.
BITTERMANN (on camera): It's not just in the South that there's arguing over who should be first in line for water use. All over this country,
similar controversies have broken out on how to prioritize the use of water, especially after the month of July, the second driest in French
BITTERMANN (voice over): And while there still may be some climate deniers around who refuse to believe in global warming, it doesn't take much to
convince those suffering from this year's water shortages that the climate crisis is real, and is unlikely to go away. Jim Bittermann, CNN.
CHATTERLEY: And look at the future there too. OK, that's it for the show. If you've missed any of our interviews today, they'll be on my Twitter and
Instagram pages as usual; you can search for @jchatterleycnn. In the meantime, "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is up next and I'll see