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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Trump Repeats Election Lies, Dodges on Ukraine, Abortion Ban; Disney Saw Strong Theme Park Growth in Q2; Mori: Japan taking Comprehensive Approach to Global Issue; Islamic Jihad Rejects Israeli's Claim that Militants' Misfiring Rockets Inadvertently Civilians in Gaza; ZeroNox Wins World's Largest Retrofit Electrification Deal; Vision Funds Post Record Loss for the Past Fiscal Year. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired May 11, 2023 - 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 "First Move", great to have you with us this Thursday and just ahead this hour, the Trump
a town hall, the Former U.S. President taking an array of questions before a live CNN audience. He refused to admit defeat in the 2020 election.
He also declined to say if he wanted Ukraine to win the war. He didn't say he wanted Russia to win, though, but he did emphasize the need for a
settlement to save lives in the conflict. And on the debt ceiling, Trump's saying he does not think a default will happen because the Democrats will
"cave" to Republican demands for massive spending cuts.
And if not, he says do a default. All the details right ahead and speaking of the debt drama, President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen
sounding the alarm again warning of the dangers to the global economy and the hit to American credibility too. If the U.S. effectively sleepwalk my
words, not theirs into a debt default to Janet Yellen, speaking at the G7 summit in Japan.
Plus, inflation nation, this time, it's the Bank of England raising interest rates for the 12th meeting in succession. With inflations still
above 10 percent, that's five times higher than Central Bank's targets. The Bank of England raising rates another quarter of a percentage point, and
hinting of more rate hikes to come.
Just compare and contrast that 10 percent plus U.K. inflation rate to the U.S. Consumer Price Index. That's now below 5 percent. Of course, it's
still stubbornly high, but low enough for the Federal Reserve to hit the pause button on hikes at least we think so.
Now just released data backing up that pause scenario too prices at the factory gate rising 2.3 percent in April that's down from the previous
month levels and below expectations. The market response let me give you a look. Well kind of muted U.S. stock market futures and European shares as
you can see, they're mixed.
But tilted to the downside fresh weakness in U.S. Regional Banks weighing once again on sentiment and Disney also pressuring the U.S. blue chips too
an earnings report filled with both Disney pluses and some minuses. It shares had to fall some 5 percent there as you can see in early trade.
Tim Nollen, Senior Media Tech Analyst at Macquarie will join us shortly to explain all the details. And also today exact a close over across Asia,
keeping with the inflation theme, the Chinese consumer price index falling to its lowest level in more than two years. That's up a muted 10th of a
percent rise last month and well below expectations.
If you kept up with that you're doing better than me. We've got a lot to get to this hour and we do begin in New Hampshire, and the Trump Town Hall
in which the Former President refused to admit as I mentioned that he lost the 2020 election. He also declined to say whether he wanted Ukraine to win
the war with Russia. Though he did say he wanted the conflict to end and to save lives. Jeff Zeleny has all the details.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Former President Donald Trump picked off right where he left off lying
about the 2020 election.
DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: That was a rigged election. And it's a shame that we had to go through it.
ZELENY (voice over): Trump made clear his 2024 Presidential bid would follow the same script of his two previous campaigns, presenting himself as
a defiant messenger, unburdened by facts and unwilling to move on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you suspend polarizing talk of election fraud during your run for President.
TRUMP: Yes, unless I see election fraud. If I see election fraud, I think I have an obligation to say it.
ZELENY (voice over): He falsely said Vice President Mike Pence could have acted to overturn the election results as the vote was certified on January
6. Trump said he did not owe Pence an apology for failing to call off supporters who threatened his life as they stormed the building.
TRUMP: No, because he did something wrong. He should have put the votes back to the state legislatures and I think we would have had a different
WAYNE BEYER, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: But my question to you is, will you pardon the January 6, rioters who were convicted of federal offenses.
TRUMP: I am inclined to pardon many of them. I can say for every single one because a couple of them probably they got out of control.
ZELENY (voice over): The audience of Republican voters at St. Anselm College applauded for much of the night. Even as Trump belittled and
demeaned Former Magazine Columnist E. Jean Carroll, a day after a New York jury found him liable of sexually abusing and defaming her.
TRUMP: --I have no idea who to hell, she's a--
ZELENY (voice over): Press by Kaitlan Collins about whether the verdict would deter women from voting for him. He said this?
TRUMP: No, I don't think so.
ZELENY (voice over): Yet some Republicans believe otherwise. Like New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu who is considering a Presidential bid of
CHRIS SUNUNU, NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: If you're a suburban mom, all these voters that Republicans are trying to bring back into the mix. I don't see
any of them being convinced by anything because it was just kind of a same old regurgitation.
ZELENY (voice over): Seven months before voting begins in the Republican Presidential primary. Trump is leading the field, even as he faces multiple
legal challenges over interfering in the 2020 election and more.
TRUMP: I just want to find--
ZELENY (voice over): Once again, he struck a defensive tone about that now infamous call to the Georgia Secretary of State searching for votes to put
him over the top against Joe Biden, who narrowly won the state.
TRUMP: That election was rigged. And if this call was bad, why didn't he and his lawyers hang up? How dare you saying that? This was a--
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were clearly concerned enough, they recorded the call--
ZELENY (voice over): He brushed aside questions about another probe involving classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago.
COLLINS: When it comes to your documents, did you ever show those classified documents to anyone?
TRUMP: Not really, I would have the right to by the way, they were declassified after--
COLLINS: What do you mean by not really?
TRUMP: Not that I can think of, let me just tell you, I have the absolute right to do whatever I want with them. I have the right.
ZELENY (voice over): That, of course remains an open question and a key part of a federal investigation. Trump took personal credit for the Supreme
Court decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, citing his three appointments to the High Court.
TRUMP: That was, very honored to do it.
ZELENY (voice over): But he repeatedly dodged questions about whether he would sign a federal abortion ban.
TRUMP: I'm looking at a solution that's going to work very complex issue for the country. You have people on both sides of an issue.
ZELENY (voice over): On foreign policy, Trump once again showed his affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin declining to call for his
punishment for leading the invasion of Ukraine.
TRUMP: If you say he's a war criminal, it's going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to get this thing set up.
TRUMP: He also declined to say who he wants to prevail in the war, despite the U.S. and allies investing billions to help Ukraine defeat Russia.
COLLINS: Do you want Ukraine to win this war?
TRUMP: I don't think in terms of winning and losing, I think in terms of getting it settled. So we stopped killing all these people.
CHATTERLEY: Jeff Zeleny, reporting there. Now, some breaking news into CNN, Pakistan Supreme Court has ruled that the arrest of Former Prime Minister
Imran Khan on Tuesday was illegal that overturns an earlier lower court ruling. CNN's Sophia Saifi is in Islamabad for us. Sophia, what more do we
know on this ruling? And does that mean he'll be released or what have we heard so far?
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Julia, it's been a very tumultuous 48 hours that we've just been monitoring the Supreme Court off the country. And
we've only just found out that the Supreme Court the Chief Justice of Pakistan has issued orders that Imran Khan's arrest was illegal.
Now legally, that would mean that he is being released, but we will have to confirm whether those orders have been issued. What has happened in the
past couple of days is that Imran Khan was taken by forcefully by paramilitary troops while he was getting his biometric -- with another
court hearing at Islamabad High Court on Tuesday afternoon.
He was kept in custody with the National accountability bureau. Many protests happened across the country Imran Khan's own party has issued an
order preventing any of Imran Khan Supporters to come out towards the Supreme Court. There are attempts being made for some semblance of calm in
the country after two days of cities burning of military installments being set on fire the homes of military officers being set on fire.
The military has been called in for security purposes in the federal government as well as in different provinces of the country. We're still
waiting to see whether Imran Khan will be shown to the media we have. We did know that about two hours ago, the Supreme Court heard an appeal by
Imran Khan's lawyers about whether it was legal for Imran Khan to be apprehended in the way that he was rather forcefully by hundreds of
We do know that the three member jury had said even before Imran Khan was summoned to the Supreme Court that the way that Imran Khan was arrested was
highly problematic. And we're now just going to have to wait to see whether this will bring some calm to a fraught political situation here in
Pakistan, or will it complicate things further, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, so the Supreme Court their ruling that Imran Khan's arrest earlier this week was illegal. The question to your point now is legally
does that mean that they are going to release him? We should wait and see Sophia, great to have you with us. Thank you so much for that report there.
And if we get any further information, we will bring it to you. Let's move on. It was a magically mixed earnings report for Disney the company said it
lost 4 million paid subscribers on its streaming channel Disney plus during the second quarter with a firmer either one margins.
And profitability financial losses narrowed to just above $660 million as the company focused on charging more for subscriptions, cutting marketing
expenditures, and looking to boost advertising. Tim Nollen Senior Media Tech Analyst at Macquarie joins us now.
Tim, great to have you with us as always the good news on the streaming side of the business, as we've described is we saw losses at what the
slimmest level that we've seen in the last six quarters. And I guess the good news is they did it with fewer subscribers. But there's some bad news
surely in there, how material?
TIM NOLLEN, SENIOR MEDIA TECH ANALYST AT MACQUARIE: Yes, well, it was, as you said, I think it was a mixed report. I think subscriber losses for the
second quarter in a row is obviously not a good thing. Part of that was on the price increase, which led to a little bit of churn.
I think part of it was also just the content slate, which should get better into the second half of the year. But Disney is talking about U.S. and
Canada direct to consumer subscribers being again, you know, perhaps down in the next quarter, before they pick up after that.
So this is a key metric that investors look for is the subscriber numbers. Now, the ARPU or you know, the revenue that they're generating per user is
going up and that's certainly positive. And the advertising tier that they've launched is beginning to work.
It's beginning to attract more users, and even said that it's a net positive to their revenue versus the ad free tier. And they're going to be
rolling out an ad supported tier in Europe later this year. So you know, really quite mixed results, I would say, you know, the losses are a key
metric that investors are looking at as well.
This is the second straight quarter of much less bad losses, so -650 million in operating income in the quarter. Next quarter will be down a
little bit from that, again, it's not a linear progression upward. But, you know, I think you kind of mentioned that the key items here, it's the
subscriber numbers, and then it's the operating losses, which are getting better, but are still down. So it's, it's like you said a very mixed
quarter for Disney.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and your choice of words there, I think was perfect, because I was struggling as well, less bad losses. We have to keep that in
mind. And we're more sensitive, I think, more sensitive than ever, actually about key metrics like profitability, which is a good thing.
I just wanted more broadly about the profit plan, you know, when you read that accompany saying that they're going to cut back on content, they're
going to sell more ads in a market that you could argue is saturated. Although they said they're just scratching the surface there and charge
I still wonder if whether, if that's the right plan is that perhaps the only plan that they have here the only option.
NOLLEN: Well, I think Disney has a lot of options. I think subscriber numbers can increase again, a lot of it depends on the content slate, and
you'll have things like you know, the Avatar 2 film hitting the Disney plus streaming service in a matter of months. And so that alone can help boost
subscribers, more content coming out.
There being smarter about their content investments after doing what you know, all of their competitors did over the last several years, which is
just create tons and tons of content to attract subscribers. Now the focus shifts more toward generating a profit they've been pretty firm in stating
they will get to break even in the direct to consumer business by the end of fiscal 24.
So it's about six quarters from now, they've got a big cost savings plan going on, they actually indicated last night, they may exceed their 5.5
billion dollars' worth of cost savings. And the advertising tier I think is very important for Disney. We don't have a lot of detail on it yet.
But it's using smarter data using automated ad buying processes. It allows Disney to generate a lot more advertising revenue on that subscriber base.
So for Disney plus subscribers, you can get an advertising tier, which is probably going to stay at a lower price, certainly relative to the ad free
price, which is going to go up.
I think they indicated quite a bit more into the back half of this year in the next year. So there are ways that they can you know, manipulate their
subscribers to sign on to the right types of services, generate the right types of advertising revenue. I think there is upside for Disney over time.
But the next quarter still next quarters in not so great.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, but I think your point is that the focus now is on quality, rather than quantity in the content production that they're that
they're creating. And I think that has to be the case for all of these players. If there's one section of the business and it's sort of remiss
that haven't mentioned it already is that the parks and the experiences business.
I don't sort of think that this is underestimated and undervalued part of the business looking at this performance. If you're looking for some kind
of consumer slowdown yet you're not seeing it in these numbers. What do you make of that segment of the business and you can sort of tie that in on the
back in to what your price target is for Disney at this moment?
NOLLEN: Right, so the parks business grew I think it was 17 percent terms of revenue in the quarter. Operating income was up, I believe, was 23
percent, if I remember correctly, so that's good, strong growth. Now we're coming out of, you know, the COVID, you know, rebound that began maybe last
So the growth should moderate from here. But that's still very, very strong growth. And they particularly highlighted the international parks, with new
attractions opening and many parks still many more to open, and with the COVID restrictions easing in a number of their park locations.
So the park is still very important driver for Disney. I mean, it's a mid to high 20s EBITDA margin business for them. And they're very confident in
the long term ongoing growth of this business. So basically, you know, it does work into the valuation, you know, you can apply some of the parts
metric to Disney, you get plenty of upside.
Our target is $125 so 25 or so percent upside from here. We just think, you know, Disney is a virtuous circle of the IP that content, the consumer
engagement, the parks, obviously, the streaming business that people are signing up for, so everything sort of rolls together.
This has always been Disney's business model. They're moving through some transitions. Now, parks are fortunately through those TV transitions. Parks
is a very stable and positive growth driver for them.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, so a mixed quarter but still a magical kingdom. I think that's the message Tim Nollen, great to have you with us Senior Media Tech
Analyst at Macquarie.
NOLLEN: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you. We're back after this, stay with "First Move".
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move", Janet Yellen reiterating her dire warning to U.S. lawmakers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: It default on U.S. obligations would produce an economic and financial catastrophe. It would spark a global
downturn that would set us back much further. It would also risk undermining U.S. global economic leadership and raise questions about our
ability to defend our national security interests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Yes, the credibility point I think a vital one. The U.S. Treasury Secretary was speaking there at the G7 Finance Ministers meeting
And next week we will bring together Heads of State including U.S. President Joe Biden. The venue Hiroshima is a symbolic choice. Considering
that nuclear disarmament is also on the agenda. Leaders will also tackle the war in Ukraine, energy security, food security and action, further
action on climate change.
And joining us now is Ambassador Mikio Mori. He's the Consul General of Japan, in New York. Ambassador, fantastic to have you with us clearly much
to discuss, and many where the United States, in particular in Japan are very well aligned. Can we start on the war in Japan and the message I think
of solidarity that your Prime Minister has mentioned heading into this meeting?
MIKIO MORI, JAPANESE CONSUL GENERAL IN NEW YORK: Well, good morning, Julia and good morning, everybody. This is a very much prime opportunity for
Japan to present what we were thinking about not only Japanese peace and prosperity, but global, or peace and prosperity, of course.
The summit venue, which will be held exactly, one week and one day from today, will be hosted in Hiroshima city, which is the hometown of Prime
Minister Kishida. And their Japan along with other G7 allies intends to send out a message to the world that we need to consolidate our own
solidarity to tackle the challenges.
The world now faces, most normal way the in various regions of the world, including East Euro, or East Asia. We are facing challenges to the
international order based on rule of law. So including situation in Ukraine but not limited to that, G7 leaders, I believe, will send out a message to
the world that we need to consolidate our positions to protect the democracy and free world based on international order, abiding by rule of
And second message, of course, is our connection to the global cells. Various countries in so called global cells are facing challenges because
of the war in Ukraine. And we are in a position to work with them. That's why Prime Minister Kishida has visited the various countries as he said G7
leader, including India, African countries, and our Foreign Minister visited Latin America, to discuss what we can work together towards global
CHATTERLEY: I think, and I'm sure you would agree that part of the way that the G7 nations have agreed that this war can be at least attempted to bring
it to a swift end is via these of sanctions are not perfect, by any means, of course, but an effort to isolate Russia and make it harder for them to
finance this war, which I think is why some nations have voiced concerns that Japan continues to buy things like timber, LNG and seafood.
Can I ask you about that? And whether Japan is at least considering alternative options, and I think some nations Canada is a great example
MORI: That's why G7 countries need to reach out to the global south. There are some countries facing the challenges not only from this war, but also
from various other global issues including climate change. So Japan has taken comprehensive approach to address issues the global south is facing,
including climate actions or resilience assistance to countries in the global south.
Prime Minister Kishida in India announced his new plan of free and open Indo-Pacific, where he announced Japanese government's intention to extend
assistance to the countries in the global south in private and public financing 75 billion U.S. dollars in next index next few years.
And this is what we like to share with G7 leaders at the summit. And also we are inviting some of the notable leaders from the global south to the
summit, including Indian Prime Minister as well as the Australian Vietnamese leader. So our true intention is for the G7 summit is also to
reconnect to the G7 world --.
CHATTERLEY: Ambassador, I couldn't agree more with you that the global south needs to be, I think convinced in many ways to provide greater
alignment with the view of the G7 with regards the war in Ukraine. Can I ask about the point that you mentioned, with regards the security
arrangement in and across East Asia and the increasing concerns?
I think that you just expressed that your Prime Minister has expressed and news even this week that Japan is considering a NATO Liaison Office in
Japan, how quickly might that happen? And can you envisage, perhaps one day being part of NATO?
MORI: This is my personal opinion.
CHATTERLEY: Of course.
MORI: But I this is a very difficult question about Japan to be militarily around to other countries, except the United States, because we have
certain limitation in terms of national defense when it comes to our constitutional or obligation. And when we need to protect the peace and
prosperity in the world, as well as in the region, we need to work closely with allies, including that United States.
CHATTERLEY: And we'll see what that brings, Ambassador in the future, I think that was a diplomatic response. And that is your role certainly? Yes,
we are three days out, I believe, from celebrations of Japanese culture, here in New York City, which I know you're also going to do a speech and
you feel very passionately about. What will that mean and what will that bring? And what food of course, should I be eating for that celebration?
MORI: Well, this is appreciation of Japanese community to the New York City as well as to the citizens of the United States, who have been excellent
hosts for many, many Japanese populations, as well as Japanese-Americans. So we will bring about various aspects of Japanese culture, including
animation, pop culture, music, or dancing.
And even some of the animi characters will march together. Also, we will include various aspects of American culture and Asian-American culture into
our party. So you will come and find what Japanese people are can bring about to the New York City. And you mentioned about the food.
This parade is quite unique, which is combined with so called Street Fair, where we have 23 tents of Japanese food, including our daily enjoyment of
such popular Japanese foods as Ramen Okonomiyaki, Japanese versions of pancake or octopus ball. So please come and join me May the 13th Saturday
on Central Park West between 81st Street and 67th Street.
CHATTERLEY: Fantastic and we've just been showing some of the pictures of last year too. So if you're not sold, I'm sure you are not. Ambassador,
thank you for your time. Japan's Consul General in New York there.
MORI: My pleasure --.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you, sir. OK, an update on the situation in Islamabad now. Pakistan Supreme court has ordered the release of Former Prime
Minister Imran Khan. He was arrested on Tuesday on corruption charges. The nation's high court has ruled that arrest was illegal. We're going to show
you at any moment live pictures outside of that court.
We do not yet know if we'll see Imran Khan come out but we will bring you the latest and those images when we see it. And for now, and coming up
after the break a dramatic turn in Ukraine's and back of Eastern City of Bakhmut after months of Russian attacks. We're live in Kyiv with the
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! Islamic Jihad has fired more than 500 rockets towards Israel over the past two days. Israel says around 1/5
have fallen short, including two that killed four civilians that claim the militant group denied.
Israeli strikes on the enclave have left at least 25 people dead several of them civilians according to authorities in Gaza. Islamic Jihad says the
head of the rocket unit was among those killed. Elliott Gotkine joins us now from Jerusalem. Elliott, this is the kind of escalation I think you
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JERUSALEM JOURNALIST: I don't think anyone doubted Julia that we were going to see this kind of escalate to a degree although there
were hopes last night, and certainly rumors swirling that Egypt was on the cusp of brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad. But those
hopes eventually turned to north.
And so we've got a similar pattern today, as we did yesterday, albeit with a slower pace, actually of rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip towards
Israel. And so the result of that is that we have seen 550 rockets or so as of a couple of hours ago that had been fired over the last couple of days
As you said in your introduction, about a fifth of those falling short Israel saying that in a couple of those instances four civilians were
killed among those three children, including a 10 year old girl. As I said, Islamic Jihad denies that they said that Israel's claims are a lie.
But certainly Israel is saying and is continuing strikes on the Gaza Strip on Islamic Jihad militants, whether its mortar launchers, rocket launches,
weapons storage facilities, or wherever it thinks that it needs to strike. It says that so far in this campaign to destruct 166 targets and that at
least 12 of those 25 people that you say were killed were belonging to militant groups.
We assume Islamic Jihad because Israel maintains that Hamas the much larger more powerful militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, Israel says is
not involved even though Hamas says otherwise. Now there are still hopes that at some point and an expectation that at some point, a ceasefire will
come through probably brokered by Egypt, the United States is also being kept abreast of developments.
Israel's Defense Secretary Yoav Gallant, the Minister of Defense spoke with his counterpart in the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin last night to
tell him and even though Yoav Gallant's mother passed away overnight as well.
He remains very much in control and in charge of this current round of fighting between Israel and the militants of Islamic Jihad. But for now,
Julia, no sign of an end to this fighting Israel continues to strike targets. The pace of rocket fire from Gaza appears to be slowing but there
are still rockets being fired towards Israel and those communities certainly around the Gaza Strip in Southern Israel remain pretty much on
CHATTERLEY: Elliott Gotkine there thank you so much for that. Now the boss of the Wagner Group has been talking again about what he sees as a
deteriorating situation for Russian forces, saying that the Russian brigade has "Fled the City of Bakhmut allowing Ukrainians to seize kilometers of
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are preparing for a long awaited counter offensive in the south and east. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said his
country needs "A bit more time before launching that counter offensive" as it waits for the delivery of more military aid from the west.
Sam Kiley joins us now live from Kyiv where he sat down for a one on one with Ukraine's Nuclear Energy Agency Chief. Sam always great to have you
with us! A vital conversation I think to be having not only because of this Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's location on the front lines, but also to
gain some information about what Russian forces are doing in and around that. What can you tell us about that conversation?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station is on frontline location
itself. And that of course, if there is going to be a Ukrainian offensive is likely to put it at the eye of the store.
Now, what's very interesting is that the Head of Ukraine's Atomic Energy Authority is saying here or told me today, Julia that he wasn't that
worried about it being the site of any kind of attack by the Ukrainians at any rate, and he had seen signs that the Russians were preparing to pull
out, this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETRO KOTIN, PRESIDENT OF ENERGOATOM: We're probably right now trying to be prepared for click getting out of the -- and also personnel -- I recently
made this is the real, or the very quick packing of everything and just getting into the cars get out of the plants, our people could witness a
decrease in this number. So for militaries, and--
KILEY: If you had to say the danger that the power station is in on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you put it?
KOTIN: They still have like nuclear workers, and technically this people understand the risks, but there are a lot of militaries and also like
thousands of military, who do not understand anything. So this will depend on how actually powerful this Rosatom engineer is not alone, this military
still do some things with this.
KILEY: So are you saying to government please do not have an offensive in this area, I mean, there is a responsibility that they have to preserve the
integrity, even if it is occupied by the Russians?
KOTIN: Ukrainian military means quite intelligent not to do that. And so it is even not needed. Because what you need is just to cut the connection
between the Zaporizhzhia Power Plant in Crimea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Now, that thrust that he's talking about there, Julia sort of thrust on the southern front towards Crimea could arguably leave the Zaporizhzhia
Nuclear Power Station in Russian hands, but disconnected from the rest of their support.
But what he's hinting at there is then what happens would the Russians do something absolutely crazy if they're still in charge of a nuclear weapons
facility, or would they surrender? His assumption is that they would surrender, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's fascinating reading between the lines and a few ways on this about the potential timing. And what we're already seeing if I
overlay that with some of the comments that we got from the Wagner Chief suggesting that when Zelenskyy said, look, we need a little bit more time
here to begin the counter offensive.
He said the line the counter offensive is in full swing, can you just pull together all the threads of the information that we're hearing and give me
your perspective from spending so much time there? Where are we on this counter offensive?
KILEY: I don't -- there is no question that I'm in touch with commanders across Ukraine. And the President has said so there is no counter offensive
there is yet no real signs of any kind of softening up process, either.
I think that anything that the Leader of the Wagner Mercenary Group says must be taken with a bucket of salt, obviously Julia, he is propagandizing
essentially what he's saying, in Bakhmut is making up excuses for how come the lack of -- there was such poor coordination between the Russian army
and the mercenary group.
The Ukrainians were able to step into a gap in the frontline and invest it taking some two kilometers in what was just a mess up by the combined
forces of the Russians there. I think more broadly, though, the anticipation of this offensive has meant that the Russians are -- there's
no doubt about this.
They are evacuating officials from towns like -- they're evacuating, particularly Ukrainian officials who've collaborated with Russia in the
occupied territories and they're also moving children back they would say this is the Russians would say to safety in places like Crimea and even
further on into Russia proper in Rostov-on-Don.
So in that context, there's certainly a perception on the Russians side that an offensive is imminent. But there's no real science where there are
no actual signs of an offensive or indeed the softening up process yet, basically the Ukrainians will launch the offensive, I think with some
considerable vigor, when the time is right and military programming never has a fixed date.
CHATTERLEY: Fascinating, so there's no need for speculation at this stage when it happens we'll know. Sam Kiley, always great to have you with us
thank you! Coming up after the break, Africa on the road to a cleaner energy future replacing dirty combustion engines with battery power. We'll
hear from one firm with an electrifying eye on the future.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! Clean energy solutions coming to Africa one refuse truck at a time. My next guest celebrating a major deal
to retrofit thousand refuse collection vehicles starting in Ghana, replacing polluting combustion engines with zero emission electric motors.
The company says this will stop 400,000 metric tons of CO2 being emitted over five years. And it's a pollution solution which could be scaled up
around the world. ZeroNox specializes in retrofitting existing vehicles with battery tech and says customers range from Los Angeles Airport to
Oprah Winfrey's Ranch.
Vonn Christenson is the Co-Founder and CEO and he joins us now. Vonn fantastic to have you on the show! So we've sort of given a broad brush
explanation of what your company does, but it's not just about an African solution, though. This deal seems pretty exciting. Walk us through this
VONN CHRISTENSON, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, ZERONOX: Yes. No, it's a very exciting deal. It's collaboration with the just spunk group of companies in
Ghana, Africa. And they are a company with a lot of subsidiaries.
Their largest of which is Zoom Lion that does waste management and we've entered into an agreement with them to electrify thousands of their refuse
trucks. And the first one, the Alpha version was publicly announced last week.
CHATTERLEY: Congratulations on that. Just explain what your target vehicles are? Because it's not just about refuse trucks, as I mentioned, or garbage
trucks. You also can do farm equipment, forklift truck, as well?
CHRISTENSON: That's correct. So our focus is on off highway vehicles. In fact, we've entered into a business combination agreement with the spec
growth for Good Acquisition Corporation. And in that process, we've been informed that we will be the first publicly traded company that focuses on
electrifying off highway vehicles.
CHATTERLEY: What's the cost to adapt these vehicles versus, for example, buying a new electric one? If indeed, they're available? Because with a
forklift truck, I'm not sure I've ever seen one. Just talk to us about the cost to do it, versus if you can buy one of these vehicles versus the cost
savings and how quickly it pays back or at least breaks even?
CHRISTENSON: You bet. So the cost for electrifying a vehicle is approximately half the cost of a new vehicle. And a lot of that cost is
related to the battery. But the return on investment is also tremendous. Then, for instance, with the refuse truck electrification project with just
spawned group, their return on investment is expected to be just a little over two years.
And part of that is because the fuel in Africa is a lot dirtier. And because of that they require more maintenance, more service. Also, it's the
fuel is more expensive. And the flip side of that and part of the reason why this collaboration with just sprung in Africa is a perfect fit for
electrification is because they also actually have a cleaner energy grid than we do here in California where we're located because of the hydro dam
power that they have.
CHATTERLEY: That's such a great point. What about charging infrastructure, though, in these cases because the question always comes back to the
ability to charge. And in these cases, I guess, charging overnight?
CHRISTENSON: That's correct. So the way we design these electrification e- kits, is that they're designed to be able to perform the full duty cycle during the day and be able to recharge at night. Part of the solution that
ZeroNox provides to our customers is not only the electrification but also the charging infrastructure and the support and service that have needed to
truly be an effective and efficient electrification solution.
And so in addition to the thousand, truck, refuse truck electrification project that we're doing which is sprung, we've also entered into a joint
venture with them to bring electrification solutions, including infrastructure, including electric sedans, and UTVs and forklifts to the
Ghanaian and West African industry.
CHATTERLEY: You know, back in March, I read that you've produced 800 vehicles, or at least adapted 800 vehicles over the last two years, can you
just bring me up to date with what you've done and the cost of the company?
Because you mentioned there in the introduction, that you're involved with a special purpose acquisition company, which for my audience, so that they
understand that we've talked about this a lot, it's been quite hairy thing over the last 18 months or so as a way to raise money.
Are you profitable? What kind of cash burn? What are the challenges because I think this is something certainly that the whole industry is focused on?
We love the idea of electrification, the cost of achieving it, is something else?
CHRISTENSON: That's true. And there's no doubt that is one of the challenges in this space. But it's also the great opportunity. Our
philosophy here at ZeroNox is, of course, we need to provide a sustainable solution that's clean for the environment.
But we need to do so in a way that's economical, and high performing. And when we look at where we're located here in the Central Valley of
California, it's an AG community. And that's -- those were our initial investors that was the initial vision is to help electrify the agricultural
But as we've gotten further into this industry, we've realized it's not just agriculture, its mining, it's construction, it's the port's it's the
railroads. All of these parts of our economy need to electrify and they all want to electrify, but they need to do so in a way that is going to be
economical, and that's going to continue to perform at the high level that the internal combustion engine vehicles too.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it has to otherwise we're not going to see a tipping point and a push towards this. And as always, I have 20 more questions than I
have time for Vonn, you're going to come back I'm going to track your progress and I look forward to--
CHRISTENSON: I would love to do so.
CHATTERLEY: It's a day.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you. Vonn Christenson there the Co-Founder and CEO ZeroNox! OK, still ahead, no rose colored glasses at the Vision Fund soft
banks investment arm still looking a little blurry, the details just ahead.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! And some hard times for Softbank, the Japanese tech giant's Vision Fund Unit losing more than $2 billion in
the latest quarter even as the border tech market bounced back.
Softbank had promised better returns for its once high flying investment arm but for now, the blurry vision continues. Clare Sebastian joins me now.
Good news is Clare you never have blurry vision. But I think the emphasis has to be on what I just mentioned there.
It's fascinating that the Vision Fund continues to lose money when the broader tech markets rising, it sort of suggests to me that they hadn't
written down a lot of those private investments to the level perhaps that they should have done and are still doing it?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think to some extent, Julia, the timing was not on their side here. If you look at the reporting period,
tech stocks as a whole sort of continue to fall over that period, even though for the most part of this year, they've been on the rebound.
So the reporting period, didn't really capture the full extent of the tech rebound that we've seen in recent months. So that is one thing that hasn't
been so good for them. And you can see it in the numbers 2 billion was the loss for the Vision Funds, or just over 2 billion in the fourth quarter but
for the full year it was 39 billion, so you definitely get some sense of improvement towards the end of the reporting period.
If you drill down into some of the biggest sort of contributors to those losses, that they admitted in their filings some of them are already
showing signs of rebounding things like Sense Time, the Chinese AI Company DoorDash, all of those look like they're coming back up, that they could
show up for the company in the future.
But we do still see in there vestiges of that past strategy, the sort of Hallmark Masayoshi Son feeding, bubble investing type strategy, one of the
biggest contributors to the last for the second Vision Fund, Vision Fund II was WeWork.
So I think that sort of tells you that sort of hangover is still ongoing for Softbank, but overall, the company trying today to make the point that
you know, their loss is narrowing that the worst may be over. And I think if the market continues in this direction, they may potentially be right.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's fascinating, isn't it? I saw a brief note from asymmetric advisors based in Singapore and they said unlisted names account
for something like 60 percent of total investments, and they've not been marked down by more than 20 percent.
And even the CFO acknowledge that they've had to mark down the valuations of almost 350 companies. However, to your point Clare, Masayoshi Son does
not stay down for long and lifting into a little bit of a call here and listening to what the CFO said.
They're having sleepless nights with excitement about the possibility of artificial intelligence. What more did they have to say about that because
that's got his hallmark to your point all over it?
SEBASTIAN: Yes. So you'll remember that the second Vision Fund was actually launched with a view to being something that would sort of progress AI into
the mainstream. They are clearly now doubling down on that in particular generative AI as a result of ChatGPT, the CFO saying that has really pushed
it into the mainstream.
That Masayoshi Son, who he quoted directly, is saying that he's just as excited about that, as he was about the sort of dawn of the internet. So
you get a sense of what's going on. They have said that they're in defense mode, that they want to be very careful with their investments.
But he did say that their cash position has improved, they have enough cash on hand, he said, to go on offense for the right opportunity. And clearly,
that is going to be an AI. So I think with the landscape here like they managed to reduce their loss by coming out partially of Ali Baba other
stakes like Uber, the past investments, the previous landscape, for Softbank, and I think the future will definitely be moving towards in
particular generative AI.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was about to say no one cares about the losses when you're making lots of profits and other things, crystallized or otherwise I
guess that's the key. Clare Sebastian, great to have you with us thank you! And that's it for the show. "Connect the World" is up next. And I'll see