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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Ukraine: Russia may Escalate Attacks Around Independence Day; China's Ban on Taiwan Food Imports Squeezes Farmers; Doing the Dangerous Work of Clearing Mines from Ukraine; AMC Stock Falls Sharply with "Ape" Debut; Virgin Voyages Announces $550M in new Funding; Unmanned Rocket Launches for the Moon at the end of August. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired August 22, 2022 - 09:00   ET




ALISON KOSIK, CNNI HOST: A warm welcome to "First Move". I'm Alison Kosik, great to have you with us coming up this hour, Moscow murder mystery

officials searching for suspects after a car bomb takes the life of Darya Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Putin supporter.

Russia now blaming Ukraine for the attack also today Somali forces ending a 30-hour siege at a hotel in Mogadishu at least 21 people killed and some 50

injured. Al Qaeda linked group al Shabab claiming responsibility will be live with the latest. But first, a look at the global markets looks like a

rough start to the trading week with U.S. Futures falling European stocks down sharply.

German stocks currently down more than 2 percent Soaring European energy prices and China's new move to cut mortgage rates. Those are two big issues

facing global Investors today China battling not only a sizable property market downturn, but also an ongoing heatwave. That's forcing carmakers

including Tesla to cut production.

The state of the global economy will be firmly in focus later this week when central bankers gather for the annual Fed summit in Jackson Hole

Wyoming. Fed Chair Jay Powell is that to speak on Friday, Investors hope to get a clearer picture of the Fed's future interest rate path. The markets

it's still unclear, though about how far and how fast the Fed will hike rates over the next few months.

We're going to have a closer look at all that in just a moment. But first, Russia is blaming Ukraine for a car bombing that killed the daughter of an

influential Russian ideologue. According to state media, Russia's Federal Security Service says the attack on Darya Dugina was prepared by Ukraine's

Special Forces, special services rather and carried out by a Ukrainian woman.

It says she remotely detonated an explosive device on the car driven by Dugina. Authorities said the victim, the daughter of Alexander Dugin died

at the scene near Moscow on Saturday evening. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow with more on this.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Russian security service the FSB, now blaming Ukraine for the murder of Darya Dugina. I want

to read for you just one line from the statement that the FSB put out literally a couple of minutes ago they said, "The murder of journalist

Darya Dugina has been solved".

It was prepared by the Ukrainian special services by a citizen of Ukraine they sort of then in their statement go on to detail that a little bit they

name a Ukrainian or allegedly a Ukrainian woman who they say remotely detonated a bomb that was attached to the car of Darya Dugina and claimed

that the woman then fled to neighboring Estonia, I would say is at least about probably about a 12-hour drive from here in Moscow.

They also say that this Ukrainian woman allegedly rented an apartment in the same apartment complex that Dugina lives in as well. Of course, we have

to point out that the Ukrainians already yesterday said that they were absolutely not behind on any of this, that they have nothing to do with all

this. But of course this could have major reverberations, especially with the war going on in Ukraine with Russia calls its special military


And if you look at the sort of sphere here in Russia, it's really charged up right now there have already been several senior Russian media figures

from Kremlin controlled media calling for further strikes on key of calling for tougher action against Ukraine. So this could really have a big effect.

And right now the Russians claiming Ukraine is behind it, where again, the Ukrainians are saying it wasn't them.

KOSIK: And I thank Fred Pleitgen for that, meantime, Ukraine is on alert for a potential escalation of Russian attacks this week. President

Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Moscow could do something particularly cruel in the lead up to Wednesday. That's the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's

independence as well as 6 months since the war began.

Several cities have banned public celebrations this week. I want to bring in CNN's David McKenzie; he joins us live now from Kyiv. David, good to see

you! What more are you learning?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alison, certainly what Fred was describing can only heightens the level of tension

here in Kyiv. There have been several measures put in place in the last several hours by senior leadership including making sure that there are no

large gatherings no Independence day gatherings of any substance in the next few days.

This is a very significant week here in Ukraine marking 31 years since Ukraine gained independence from the advanced Soviet Union also a 6 months

into this brutal war.


MCKENZIE: Outside of here in Kyiv which hasn't seeing any significant strikes for many, many weeks it's been relatively common. There is a sense

of normality here. Now, in the Northeast in Kharkiv, they are instituting a 36-hour curfew starting tomorrow evening, local time in the lead up to that

independence celebration.

It's even to the extent of here in the Capitol, asking just the minimum amount of municipal workers and officials to be on duty to make sure that

the city runs smoothly. So you do get a sense of the tension, at least the worry from officials.

President Zelenskyy over the weekend did also speak about this specifically, a warning that Russia could do something to escalate

something cruel and nasty, as he put it. So it is certainly tenser in Kyiv. At the moment, people holding their breath as they wait this Independence

Day celebration, commemoration and what might come with it.

KOSIK: Yes, because there's so much uncertainty about what this act could be. I mean, is there a way to even prepare for what measures could be put

in place?

MCKENZIE: Well, Kyiv has, of course, was in the firing line of this conflict in the early weeks and months of this war. So there are

substantial measures in place, including measures to intercept missiles and other attacks. So that is not necessarily the main issue here. The main

issue is that it has been a period of calm here, and this renewed tension will be worrying to officials. And of course, for the overall scope of this

war, should it escalate from where it is right now.

KOSIK: All right, David McKenzie, live for us from Kyiv, thanks very much. Renewed recession fears as we gear up for a big week for the markets, a new

survey saying 72 percent of economists think the U.S. will be in recession by the middle of next year, if it isn't already. Economists and Investors

will be listening closely to Jerome Powell's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That's later this week, for any clues on how much the Federal

Reserve will raise interest rates in the months ahead?

I want to bring in Rahel Solomon, who joins us live, Rahel, great to see you. So I went through some of the results from this survey. And you know

it's kind of jumped out at me how much these economists are blaming the Fed, for creating this recession in its effort, of course, to get a handle

on inflation.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, yes, looking through the survey, some say that monetary policy has just been two lakhs. And so to your

point, they have blamed the Fed. So all eyes will be on Friday, when we hear from Jay Powell and, you know, Investors in the markets trying to get

a sense of like, we see another half a percent rate hike, might we see three quarters, if we were to see another supersized rate hike up three

quarters, Alison, three quarters of a percent.

That would be the third such rate hike that said chair Powell has been very hesitant has sort of shied away from Guinea, giving any level of

specificity certainly about the September meeting, saying of course, that they will be data dependent. And you could argue that perhaps they still

haven't decided perhaps they still don't know, because we're still going to get an inflation report on Friday, we have another CPI report as another

job report before the Fed meets in late September.

So all eyes going to be looking for trying to read the tea leaves, as we often do when we hear from Chairman Powell about what's to come.

KOSIK: What more Rahel, these economists say in this survey?

SOLOMON: Well, you know, there isn't a ton of specificity, I have the report here. But look, nearly half of the panelists expected recession by

the end of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023. Not necessarily surprising. That's a lot of what we hear from the big banks.

And of course, the reason why is because the Fed doesn't have a great track record of raising rates to fight inflation without triggering a recession.

Chairman Powell has pointed to three such periods. Banks, however, have pushed back against two of those periods.

Look, whether it's one time that they've been able to do it, whether it's been three times that they've been able to do it. It's very rare, right? So

it is not perhaps a surprise to hear economists say that they expect a recession. I think the timing is interesting.

I think the magnitude of how many economists are expecting a recession is also very interesting. I should say that many economists here actually

threw their support behind the inflation Reduction Act. I thought that was interesting. And in terms of what they think this was another point that I

thought was really interesting, Alison.

I'm glad you asked in terms of what they think would have the biggest impact to lowering inflation. It wasn't actually the Fed, what they said is

that they believe that supply chain issues managing the supply chain would actually have the biggest positive contribution to inflation at this point.

KOSIK: Yes, so many people forget that. That is one of the major issues that are keeping inflation at these historic levels. Rahel Solomon thanks

so much.


KOSIK: More U.S. politician setting foot in Taiwan this week. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb leading the latest group to stage a visit discussing

trade and investment this comes after visits by House Speaker Nancy Police and another congressional delegation drew and an angry reaction from


Blake Essig joins us now with the latest. Blake, so what will this do to the already tense relations between Washington and Beijing?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alison, it's hard to imagine that it won't make tensions worse previously, China had blame the United States for

creating a cross strait crisis across the Taiwan Strait as a result of these visits and eventually halted military and climate talks with the

United States as a result of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stuff.

Now another visit even if it is a low lower profile, visit nature can't possibly help now, for the third time this month a delegation of U.S.

officials is visiting Taiwan the first of them was U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then the other Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. They were

focused on reaffirming U.S. support for Taiwan.

This current visit led by Indiana governor Eric Holcomb is all about state based economic cooperation between Indiana and Taiwan with a specific focus

on semiconductors and after arriving on Sunday.

Today was his first full day on the Democratic Island and he met with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who addressed the media following their

meeting to talk about the importance of building sustainable supply chains for semiconductors to counter threats from China. Here's what she had to



TSAI ING-WEN, PRESIDENT OF TAIWAN: Economic Security is an important pillar of national and regional security. Taiwan is willing and able to strengthen

cooperation with Democratic partners in building sustainable supply chains for democracy chips.


ESSIG: While Beijing hasn't officially responded to this most recent visit by U.S. officials, you have to imagine that a response is coming based on

what we've seen previously, of course, every time we've talked about Beijing's reaction to these U.S. delegations visiting Taiwan along with

fiery rhetoric, it was their military response that created headlines. But Beijing's retaliation didn't stop there immediately deciding to also

tighten the economic screws on Taiwan as well.


ESSIG (on camera): In a small township in the south of Taiwan, farmers like Li Meng-Han are battling more than Mother Nature to make a living. But

geopolitics that's something is hard work can't change.

LI MENG-HAN, OWNER, CHINGCHUAN ORCHARD: Some kind of political issue between Taiwan and China, we simply want to grow fruits and sell them at a

good price.

ESSIG: A reasonable request, but one that just got a whole lot more difficult, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent stop in Taiwan.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (R-CA): Will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan.

ESSI (on camera): China reacted by flexing its military muscle, executing at least 6 days of live fire drills while at the same time exerting its

economic power over this democratic Island this time going after what some consider low hanging fruit.

Citrus fruit like this - was included on the most recent list of Taiwanese items banned from entering China. Beijing says the reason is because of

excess pesticides, accusations that farmers here deny it's a move that experts say less about healthcare or the economy and all about politics.

MENG-HAN: I didn't see the banned coming so fast. We were caught off guard.

CHIAO CHUN, AUTHOR, FRUITS AND POLITICS: We all know that politics is behind the bans. This is a politically motivated economic sanction on

Taiwan to exert economic pressure on Taiwan.

ESSIG (on camera): The latest sanctions on fruit and fish went into effect on the same day Speaker Pelosi met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Sanctions that will cost farmers like Li, a lot of money. And if things don't change could force him and other farmers to let employees go.

SUN TZU-MIN, GENERAL MANAGER, MADOU FARMERS' ASSOCIATION: It's been hard for farmers. A sudden ban can put everything on hold and the pomelo trees

can last for decades and their fruits get sweeter as the trees get older, so it's impossible for farmers to abandon them.

ESSIG (on camera): Each year roughly 72,000 tons of pomelo is produced here in Taiwan. Only about 7 percent are exported to China, vast majority of

being sold and processed here locally in places like this a small number on paper, but one that will have a big impact on farmers financially and


CHUN: I think psychology is a bigger factor here. And they can say that they have banned a large number of food items from Taiwan in --.

ESSIG (on camera): Well, Pelosi has now gone the impact of her visit still being felt with farmers forced to get creative by transforming the pomelo

into something different to make up for that lost revenue.


MENG-HAN: Taiwanese people shouldn't suffer from the tension between the U.S. and China. They always come and then they leave the next day but the

impact is felt here by Taiwanese farmers.

ESSIG (on camera): It's the collateral damage of world powers going toe to toe. Whereas it's usually the case it's not the politicians that suffer,

but everyday people just looking to pick some fruit and feed their family.


ESSIG: Taiwan's agriculture minister estimates that this most recent import ban will result in the loss of tens of millions of dollars for the island.

Previously, over roughly the past year, China had also banned other agricultural items that had a bigger financial impact on the island like

Taiwanese pineapple, sugar apples, wax apples and grouper fish.

Now one item that Beijing hasn't banned and can't produce domestically is semiconductors. Taiwan's most valuable export to China and something China

relies on in its technology race against the United States? So, Alison, while China hasn't responded to this latest visit, the fact that it's

focused on improving the partnership between the United States and Taiwan around semiconductors probably won't sit well with Beijing.

KOSIK: All right, Blake Essig thanks so much for your reporting. These are the stories making headlines around the world. The U.S. and South Korea

kicked off their largest joint military drills in 5 years following recent weapons tests by North Korea. This is video of earlier drills back in May.

Souls defense ministry say today's exercises included thousands of soldiers and that their response to beyond Yang's growing missile threats. In

Somalia's capital, Mogadishu search and recovery operations continue at the scene of what was an upscale hotel.

This after Somali security forces ended a 30-hour standoff with the terror group al Shabab on Sunday. At least 21 people were killed, dozens more were

injured. CNN's Larry Madowo joins us now live from Nairobi, Kenya. Larry, what more are you learning about this?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're learning that the Somali Prime Minister is promising to hold officials accountable for what is turning out

to be what they consider a bungled response to the standoff. It took more than 30 hours partly because according too many local politicians, that

there were so many security units inside that building without a central command. Police are told CNN on Saturday that an elite counterterrorism

force was inside there, but it's we still had gunfire and some explosions for hours, 24 hours, 26; 28 hours after that standoff began.

It all started when a gunman from the al Shabab terror group detonated several explosives outside this hotel in a usually well-guarded part of the

city. They made their way into the building and began to shoot at staff and at the guests that they had some hosted us as well.

More than 100 people were rescued more than 100 people were wounded there. And the Prime Minister has been visiting with those who are wounded and

promising accountability and also saying that there should be no repeat of what happened there?

This is the first time that the al Shabab terror group has attacked the Somali capital since the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud he

promised during his campaigns to neutralize the terror group. So this appears to have been a direct message to him and his new administration.

The U.S. considers al Shabab a major threat so much so that in May, President Biden authorized a redeployment of U.S. troops back into Somalia.

That reversed an early decision by President Trump to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country. In recent weeks, U.S. forces have also been

carrying out airstrikes against the al Shabab.

And one just this two Sundays ago killed 39 al Shabab fighters, but there's still an estimate that it's between 5 and 10,000 fighters in the country.

And one senior U.S. officials described al Shabab as al Qaeda's the largest global affiliate.

So the threat is not just for Somalia, but for East Africa in the Horn of Africa region, because there are so many attacks that are carried out in

Somalia here in Kenya. And there's been some recent reports Alison, about its work in the Ethiopian Somali border.

KOSIK: All right, Larry Madowo thanks so much. To deputies and a Police officer in Arkansas had been taken off duty and are under investigation

after a video of a violent arrest was posted on social media.

The video appears to show the officers punching a suspect in the head and kneeing him in the back several times. That man was eventually taken to

jail and has been charged with a number of offenses. Stay with "First Move" we've got more to come I'll see after this break.



KOSIK: For nearly six months, the almost constant bombardment of Ukraine by Russian forces has left the country littered with destroyed buildings as

well as unexploded ordnance, which could detonate at any time.

The U.S. State Department recently committed almost $90 million to help clear the landmines in Ukraine, calling it one of the worst challenges of

its kind in decades. CNN's David McKenzie spent time with a team doing this dangerous work.


JOHN "MONTY" MONTGOMERY, FSD TEAM LEADER: That's where the vast majority of the contamination has gone.

MCKENZIE (voice over): For each devastating strike is a deadly chain reaction.

MONTGOMERY: An item of ammunition struck this building any ammunition which didn't detonate on that initial blast has been kicked out has been thrown

from here, and it can travel up to several 100 meters.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Ammunition like this live round can kill civilians often children long after the fighting has stopped.

MONTGOMERY: So you see before it's the sort of carnage that's been left by the ammunition trucks, which are privileges great detonating.

MCKENZIE (voice over): In March, Ukrainian forces struck this farm warehouse housing tons of Russian shells and rockets.

MONTGOMERY: I can only imagine the fireball and the sound that was produced when it happened.

MCKENZIE (voice over): For this explosive ordinance disposal team in Chernihiv.

MONTGOMERY: We don't go in aggressive; obviously, there's a threat out there.

MCKENZIE (voice over): The threat is very real.

MONTGOMERY: We will continue with the straightforward. If I say stop at any time you stop immediately.

MCKENZIE (voice over): We have to be all the way back here for our own sake; you chose how dangerous this work is. And it's painstaking, this

small area has taken several days and you're not even finished.

MONTGOMERY: No we've merely scratched the surface. And you've got an entire country.


MCKENZIE (voice over): How could you possibly do that job?

MONTGOMERY: If me doing this job, and being here in Ukraine, removing one item, however small or however large has saves one life, then for me

personally, that's a goal that I've reached. OK. Stop.

MCKENZIE (voice over): When they spot a suspected shell.

MONTGOMERY: Everyone come back.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Team Leader John Aldridge must go it alone. Using only his fingertips John works very, very carefully. These shells are

designed to destroy defensive positions. If armed, even the slightest nudge could set it off.

MCKENZIE (on camera): What is it like when you're there scrambling through not knowing what exactly you're going to find?

JOHN ALDRIDGE, FSD TEAM LEADER: Yes, it's an interesting one. I think it's something that you get used to after time.


ALDRIDGE: But there's still that element of you know sort of adrenaline kick in and a little bit yes and if you'd be the sweat.

MCKENZIE (voice over): This shell can be moved safely; soon they'll have Ukrainian team leaders clearing their own land.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This will be an enormous task since Natalia. Since all this must be done carefully. You just can't rush this job.

Nice and steady, yes.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Even if this was stopped today, it could take years per country to be safe David McKenzie, CNN, Chernihiv, Ukraine.


KOSIK: In Spain, the effects of climate change have uncovered a prehistoric site containing dozens of upright stones arranged in circles. Despite the

country's worst drought in decades, researchers now have the perfect opportunity to take a closer look. CNN's Isa Soares has more on the Spanish



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Emerging from the receding waters of a reservoir in West Central Spain. A prehistoric stone

circle, now fully exposed as the region battles one of its worst droughts in decades.

ENRIQUE CEDILLO, ARCHAEOLOGIST, COMPLUTENSE UNIV. OF MADRID: The current situation with the heat waves and drought is very sad for all of us. But in

this case, it does offer archaeologists a unique chance to be able to study again, a site that had not been thoroughly studied before.

SOARES (voice over): Since it was first discovered by German archaeologists in 1926. The Dolman of Guadalperal, as it's officially known, has become

fully visible only four times. Believe today back to 5000 BC. It is one of several domains of vertically arranged stone formations that exist across

Western Europe. How such heavy boulders were moved and erected thousands of years ago, it's still largely a mystery?

CEDILLO: We believe the Dolman of Guadalperal is a collective to burials took place in it for more than 2000 years. So everything that was found

there when it was first discovered, is remains of items that accompanied the dead.

SOARES (voice over): The emergence of what's been dubbed the Spanish Stonehenge is the read benefit of little rain and blistering temperatures,

while many suffer in the extreme heat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not had enough rain since spring. So the ponds run out of water, and there isn't enough for the livestock, and we have to

go get water and bring it here. This is just unsustainable.

RUFINO GUINEA, LOCAL FARMER: Most orchards have not grown this year. All the peppers have dried up, crops have been devastated because of the heat,

and the cattle have hardly any water to drink.

SOARES (voice over): A study published in the Nature Geoscience Journal last month found that due to climate change, parts of Spain and Portugal

are the dryers they have been in more than 1000 years conditions revealing a pre historic landmark as they wreak havoc on a region in an increasingly

warming world Isa Soares, CNN.


KOSIK: Coming up on "First Move" the inflation Reduction Act, touts new investments to help lower energy bills for Americans. But is it enough?

I'll be talking with the CEO of the biggest oil and gas trade group next.



KOSIK: Welcome back to "First Move", I'm Alison Kosik. U.S. stocks beginning the week with across the board losses as Investors brace for a

busy week of economic data including a fresh read on the Feds preferred measure of inflation plus an updated look at U.S. second quarter GDP.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivers a closely watched speech on U.S. monetary policy on Friday as well. U.S. stocks posted their first weekly loss in

over a month last week. Stock weakness today is hitting many of the so called meme stocks that have enjoyed strong bounces this summer.

Theater chain AMC seeing its stock plunging more than 30 percent as a new class of shares make their market debut, Bed Bath & Beyond shares that are

falling again as well.

They plunged more than 40 percent on Friday after investor Ryan Cohen sold his almost 10 percent stake in the firm. I want to bring in Paul La Monica.

He joins us with more details.

So Paul, I do see this broader risk off move in the stock market, you know, the red arrows but there's also this meme stock meltdown, especially with

AMC shares plummeting. What is driving this latest move?

PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN REPORTER: Yes, I think Alison, what's going on? There's a combination of factors you mentioned Bed Bath & Beyond and the

plunge there. And even though AMC and Bed Bath & Beyond aren't related companies, they're lumped together in this whole meme stock phenomenon.

But with AMC, you've got a couple of other issues right now that are troubling for them. Most notably, Cineworld, the UK based movie theater

chain that owns regal in the United States is reportedly getting set to file for bankruptcy.

Then there have been a lot of worries, Alison, about the fact that many people are only going to movie theaters for those true blockbuster films.

And they're staying home and watching a lot of TV on streaming services instead.

And that is hurting the economics of the movie theater business. That's why you see AMC is still losing money, you have Cinemark another big movie

theater chain IMAX, they are getting hit hard today their stock as well.

So I think investors are worried about that. And then there's that whole new preferred equity 8 - stock that is trading as well, that might dilute

the existing shares of AMC investors right now, that could be also leading to this stock price drop today.

KOSIK: Sticking with the movie theater theme here. You know, is it a lack of blockbusters? I mean, we had Top Gun and there were minions, but theater

owners are really wrestling with how to come back from the pandemic, aren't they?

I mean, is it Hollywood that's not, you know, offering up the blockbusters or and what is the future for movie theaters as we know them?

MONICA: Yes, it's a great question. I think that movie theaters still have a hopefully bright future they are not going away. People do love to go see

those true blockbuster phenomenon movies, like a Top Gun because of the fact that it was Tom Cruise reprising his role from many decades ago.

Minions are very popular kid's movie and we all know animated movies tend to do well bringing the families. But I think Alison the problem is that a

lot of studios, they're just producing the same old derivative content and that might be turning off movie goers.

And then also you still have a lot of options to stream things on Disney Plus on our parent companies owned HBO Max on Netflix. There are so many

options out there right now for entertainment. And I think that is something that is a problem for movie theaters.


KOSIK: Yes, like the prequel to Game of Thrones, for example. All right, Paul R LA Monica thanks so much. Americans are finally starting to feel

less pressure at the gas pump.

The national average for regular gasoline is down very slightly to $3.90 a gallon that's $2 below the record cent set in mid-June. Gas prices have

been on a steady decline since President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law last week.

The bill promises new investments to help lower energy costs for millions of Americans. But the American Petroleum Institute says it falls short of

addressing America's long term energy needs, and discourages needed investment in oil and gas.

Joining us now is Mike Sommers. He's the President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. Thanks so much for your time.


KOSIK: Let's start with the Inflation Reduction Act. I know you've got some major issues with this legislation. In fact, you sent a letter with others,

to congressional leaders talking about how problematic this legislation is. Give us the cliff notes of what the issues are?

SOMMERS: Well, first of all, Alison, there are a number of key components of this bill that we support. In fact, its plans to open up new drilling

activity in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska were for that.

It also has key investments in carbon capture utilization and storage technology that we want to make sure that we're able to do during this time

of concerns about climate, were for those provisions.

At the same time, there are increased taxes on American oil and gas producers. There's a new natural gas tax, which is particularly concerning

during a time of a record high for electricity prices. And then in addition to that there's a new tax on oil for incoming oil into the United States.

We don't think that those are wise components for an energy bill, particularly one that seeks to tame inflation.

KOSIK: Well, we are seeing prices at the gas pump here in the United States come down below $4 a gallon. Talk us through what caused that drop? Was it

President Biden's efforts like release of oil from the SPR the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Was it that big emergency meeting you had with CEOs

threatening to pull unused drilling permits? Did any of that stuff make an impact? What's the real reason we're seeing gas prices drop here in the


SOMMERS: Well, there are a lot of components that go into gas prices, of course. I worry however, that of course, while you put more oil on the

market through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Unfortunately, when you do that kind of thing, eventually, you start running out of those reserves.

And in the fall timeframe, we expect that those purchases are going to cease. At the same time, we're likely to see new sanctions on Russia go

into effect in Europe. And then if COVID pressures ease in China, you could potentially start to see some more pressure on oil prices, which could lead

to increased prices at the pump.

The real need that we have here in the United States is to increase production; we need to increase production here in the United States, which

is going to continue to allow consumers to see these benefits at the pump.

But that requires increased regulatory certainty for the American oil and gas industry, which we do not have right now. Production continues to rise

in the United States.

But at the same time, we have an administration that has continued to put a pressure on this industry, both from an economic perspective and from a

regulatory perspective.

And if we knew we're going to continue to advance American energy security, and ease prices at the pump, we need certainty not just for this year, but

for decades and decades into the future.

KOSIK: Critics say that production can be ramped up; it's just that oil producers are choosing not to let this happen at a faster pace. What do you

say to that?

SOMMERS: Well, this industry is dealing with the same issues that the rest of the economy is dealing with. We have supply chain issues, particularly

when it comes to steel, which is an important component to drilling activity here in the United States. In addition to that we have workforce


We're dealing with the same issues that other industries are dealing with in terms of getting qualified workers to produce here in the American oil

industry. So those issues are real constraints, and ones that we need to relieve if we're going to increase production here at home in the United


KOSIK: The American Petroleum Institute released a report of what policymakers can advance today to what you call unlock American energy

fuel, economic recovery and strengthen national security. What's in this plan?

SOMMERS: So we actually have a plan. You can find it at 10 and This is a new plan that we released before the Inflation Reduction Act. And it's

10 policies, 10 common sense policies that lawmakers can advance to ensure security for American energy, while at the same time reducing prices for



SOMMERS: It includes a permanent reform, for example, which was not included in the Inflation Reduction Act. It includes that regulatory

certainty that I was talking about earlier. It also includes developing more lands for producers to produce here in the United States.

So your viewers can find more about it at 10 and We're really proud of this plan. And it provides a roadmap for lawmakers to really focus on

American energy security at a time when we need it most.

KOSIK: How much do you see U.S. oil producers stepping up to export oil to the European Union as its dependence on Russian oil abates, we hope?

SOMMERS: Yes, so we need to do two things. Of course, we need to produce more so that we can export more to our allies in Europe. At the same time,

we need to focus on the production and the export of American natural gas.

We have centuries and centuries of natural gas here in the United States that we can export to Europe to replace the Russian gas that is being cut

off by Vladimir Putin.

We can be that energy supplier, that safe energy supplier that the world needs during this time of energy crisis. But we need regulatory certainty.

And we need certainty, particularly when it comes to the development of these resources here at home.

We're ready to do it. And we want to work with the Biden Administration to do it now. But that's going to require a long term commitment to American

oil and natural gas.

KOSIK: All right, Mike Sommers, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. Thanks so much for being here.

SOMMERS: Great to be with you, Alison.

KOSIK: Still to come, Virgin Voyages says it's back on course post pandemic, thanks to new funding and a new ship on the horizon the CEO of

this adult's only adventure, coming up next.


KOSIK: Welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik. The cruise industry has been battered by COVID-19. But Virgin Voyages say calmer seas have returned with

a rebound in demand for adult's only trips.

Virgin Voyages runs a no kids policy on its two ships, which run in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. More good news is on the horizon. It's

just secured $550 million to drive more growth. I want to bring in Tom McAlpin; he is the CEO, great to have you with us.


TOM MCALPIN, PRESIDENT & CEO, VIRGIN VOYAGES: Good morning, Alison. Thanks for having me.

KOSIK: All right. So in July, Virgin Voyages became the first major cruise line to do away with pre COVID testing before sailing in the U.S., though

you are still requiring 90 percent of passengers in all of the crew, actually, to be vaccinated.

I'm curious how the cruise demand has been going since these COVID rules have been lifted. And have there been any COVID outbreaks onboard your


MCALPIN: Well, we have seen incredible growth since we would launch for bookings that has even improved over the past couple of months. So we're

seeing real a lot of pent up demand, people want to get out there.

And they're happy that we don't have these restrictions for testing. And we've lowered the requirements for vaccinations. So people are very happy

about that. And we, you know, still have all of our protocols on board to take care of our folks make sure that they are safe and secure.

That's always our number one priority. And we've done that. And people have thousands and thousands of people have sailed safely onboard our ship. So

we're excited.

KOSIK: Have there been any COVID outbreaks on your ships since then?

MCALPIN: We have not had any COVID outbreaks on our ship. There are a lot of protocols that we do in place. In fact they are just beaming with

satisfaction you know, we have more five star ratings on cruise critic than any other ships with people are having a fantastic time. They're enjoying

not wearing masks. They're enjoying getting back celebrating life again and traveling.

KOSIK: Resilient Lady that is your third ship and it was scheduled to sail its maid-- in cruise from Athens this month. Why is that being delayed?

MCALPIN: So you know, like other industries, we've had challenges with supply chain issues, we've had problems with crew and having a war going on

in Europe hasn't helped.

But we're seeing things rebound now we will launch that ship, and in May of next year, it's the right thing to do think about it, we are launching a

brand. We are not just launching one ship, so we need to do it at the right pace. And this makes sense for us.

KOSIK: Our Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, your other two ships, are they being impacted by these similar challenges, you know, hiring new workers

supply chain challenges?

MCALPIN: No, they're not. And that's one of the reasons why we decided to postpone Resilient Lady, so that we can continue to provide that amazing

experience for our sailors onboard. They love the fact that we've got six specialty restaurants, they go to different restaurant each night,

incredible entertainment.

Of course, as you said, it's an adult only experience and they get to go to our private beach club in Bimini, which is an amazing experience for them.

So they're having a great time.

Last week as an example 35 percent of the people that were onboard the ship booked another cruise before they got off the ship.

KOSIK: Virgin Voyages has secured $550 million in funding from Blackrock. How are you going to use that in your growth strategy exactly?

MCALPIN: Well, it's a combination of funding from our existing shareholders, which include the Virgin Group, Bain Capital, as well as

Blackrock. And this allows us to continue to grow the brand, continue to launch successfully and to take delivery of our two new ships, Resilient

Lady and Brilliant Lady which will take delivery at the end of 2023.

KOSIK: So you have a new twist on godmother for Virgin Voyages. You've got a new title for this person, the chief entertainment lifestyle officer and

a cute way of introducing her in this promo with Sir Richard Branson. I want to play a piece of it standby.


JENNIFER LOPEZ, AMERICAN SINGER & ACTRESS: Yes, I'm really excited too, but I was thinking that maybe before we announce it that we should decide on my

official title at Virgin Voyages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I already have a few options for you--


KOSIK: So those who are living under a rock that is J-Lo Jennifer Lopez, why did you choose to her as you know in this role for Virgin Voyages?

MCALPIN: Well think of Jennifer as the godmother of our fleet. I mean, she has incredible awareness. She loves the experience. And she'll do more than

just be the godmother; she'll be the chief entertainment and lifestyle officer.

So providing insight for us, helping us to further curate the brand and the experience on board will have her beauty products on board the ship. So

it's a great partnership. She is in this for the long haul to make sure that that Virgin Voyages continues to be successful.

KOSIK: Any chance we'll make so make a cameo and perform on one of your ships?

MCALPIN: You know, you never know, she's had some other priorities as you might expect if you've heard over the last couple of things. But expecting

her onboard the ship and making some grand appearances in the very near future. So fingers crossed. We'll be seeing more from her.

KOSIK: Before we go, I have to ask you about Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady who made a splash on The Bachelorette. The show was filmed on the ship

during a Mediterranean cruise. Have you seen your bookings jump because of this?

MCALPIN: We have seen incredible spikes in activity of people going to our website and shopping so it has worked very well. We've had a spot that we

aired on the last episode, so we're happy about that relationship. I think there's more to come you know as we continue to leverage that, but it was

the right thing to do.


MCALPIN: We got incredible awareness and people understanding and seeing how beautiful our ships are, what the experience could look like. And

again, when people come on board the ship, they just want to come back time and time again. So we're excited about the incredible high satisfaction

levels. And this kind of gives us a way to showcase a little bit of that.

KOSIK: While the ships certainly look beautiful from here, Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages, thanks so much.

MCALPIN: Thank you.

KOSIK: And J-Lo is celebrating more than just being Virgin Voyages Chief Entertainment Lifestyle Officer. The singer and husband Ben Affleck tied

the knot again over the weekend, this time, surrounded by family, friends and fellow celebs in Georgia.

The couple said I do the first time last month in Las Vegas. From the Hollywood stars to NASA's new mission to the moon, the U.S. space agency

taking one small step to put Americans back on the lunar surface for the first time since 1972. Stay with us.


KOSIK: For the first time in 50 years, NASA plans to send humans back to the moon. A first step toward that goal takes place later this month with

the launch of an unmanned rocket and the beginning of the Artemis program. CNN's Christina Macfarlane reports.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN ANCHOR AND SENIOR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A make a moon rockets on a slow 6.4 kilometer ride aboard a giant

NASA crawler before reaching its launch pad this week. One of the final steps before the unmanned Artemis 1 begins a mission set to journey farther

than any spacecraft built for humans before.

It is the first time in about half a century that a NASA built rocket is set for lunar bound liftoff. On August 29, the Artemis 1 mission is set to

begin a 42 day journey that travels around the moon before returning to Earth, sitting atop its rocket is NASA's Orion astronaut capsule designed

to separate from the rocket in space.

It carries 54 kilograms of cargo, including a commander Moonikin, a suited mannequin that can collect data on what a human crew might experience. Two

other phantoms, Helga and Zohar will be aboard made of material that mimics the soft tissue, organs and bones of a woman.

This time the mission is unmanned, but the launch of the most powerful rocket ever built kicks off a more ambitious plan. This is the start of

NASA's Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface by 2025. Eventually build a lunar base and

make way for further exploration to Mars and maybe even beyond. Christina Macfarlane CNN.



KOSIK: How much would you pay for one of the coolest and most iconic cars ever seen in a movie? Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are using this Aston Martin DB5 modification. Now pay attention please. Windscreen bulletproof as other side and the rear windows

revolving number plates--


KOSIK: Yes that's Bond, James Bond in the movie Goldfinger and that's his 1964 Aston Martin DB5 tricked out with the 007 guns gadgets and ejector

seat. Actor Sean Connery loved that car so much.

He bought one just like it and he owned it until he died. That Aston Martin recently sold at auction; forget this $2.4 million for this car. The buyer

remains anonymous but whoever you are, whoever it is, I hope you are celebrating right now with Martini, of course parked on the side of the

road not driving with the Martini. That's it for the show. I'm Alison Kosik. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @alisonkosik. Thanks for joining

us. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next, I'll see you tomorrow.