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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Biden Hosting Leaders of Japan, South Korea; Two Years Since Afghanistan Fell to the Taliban; Afghan Woman Reveals her Secret Education; WSJ Report: SpaceX Dumps Millions in Bitcoin; Swingers Raises $52M for Further Expansion; England to take on Spain in Final on Sunday. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired August 18, 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 Friday. TGIF of everyone and a jam packed
show as always coming up including a meeting milestone. President Biden hosting a trilateral summit with the leaders of Japan and South Korea at
Camp David that begins in around two hours' time.
It's actually the first ever high level talks between the three nations. Japan and South Korea putting aside years of fraught relations to
strengthen security ties and take a tougher stance on regional players like China and North Korea.
A live report just ahead plus, horrible Hilary the U.S. Southwest bracing for a weather wallop this weekend as a strengthening hurricane get set for
landfall. Significant flooding is expected in a part of the nation that's been starved of rain up to now.
And it feels like the first time finale for Sunday's Women's World Cup showdown between Spain and England. A first for both teams will the
lionesses be a roaring success she asks complete coverage just ahead.
Also this Friday problems on the pitch for global investors U.S. stocks on track for a fourth straight day of losses tech actually coming off its
worst three day run now since February. Markets pressured by of course a sharp move higher in global bond yields.
The bond routes sending U.S. 30 year mortgage rates high past 7 percent that's actually a more than 20 year high. Just to be clear uncertainty too
over China's growing property crisis is also placing pressure across global markets.
One time property giant Evergrande filing for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Thursday Evergrande helping spark the Chinese property
developer crisis, which continues to this day with a number of major developers, also defaulting on their debt sparking repeated calls for
Beijing to do more to support the economy.
No surprise, as you would imagine, in the face of all of that another tough day of trade for the Asia majors the HANG SENG dropping some 2 percent it's
now actually fallen into bear market territory. So that's a 20 percent drop from its recent highs.
The NIKKEI there too slumping more than 3 percent this week also plenty to get to, as always, but first we do begin in Moscow, where Russia
temporarily closed all major airports in the city earlier after an alleged drone strike.
Moscow's Mayor says Russian air defenses shut down drone overnight saying debris found near Moscow's Expo Center. Meanwhile, better news for Ukraine,
a U.S. official says Washington is committed to approving the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as soon as training is complete.
The Netherlands is hailing the move as a major milestone. Let's get to the very latest with Nada Bashir. Nada, good to have you with us! Great news
for Ukraine but it comes down to that key factor of training. Where are we on the training and do we don't have a sense of how long it will take to
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely training being the key element here. And that is something that could take months we heard yesterday from the
Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson saying that they certainly won't have pilots ready to operate these advanced U.S. made jets before the end of
That means the next autumn and winter will be spent fighting on the frontlines and counter offensive ongoing without these F-16s that President
Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government have been asking for since the very early stages of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Now of course, this is a more positive indication from the Biden Administration. They say they are ready to approve the transfer of these
jets as soon as that training is completed. That training is set to be carried out in conjunction with America's EU partners.
And it was anticipated initially that that training would begin this month. That is certainly not the case. Ukrainians Air Force says they are hoping
this will begin in the near future. And in the meantime, the Biden Administration is said to be conducting talks with other EU partners in
possession of these F-16s.
The hopes of securing further countries that will participate and work with the U.S. to supply the Ukrainian Air Force with these all important jets.
Now of course, we know that Denmark and the Netherlands are playing a crucial role here. The European partners are taking a lead on these trading
protocols which are still in the works.
But as soon as that process is approved and underway, this will be a hugely significant step for Ukraine. The Ukrainian President himself hopeful that
this could mark a shift and a positive boost in Ukraine's counter offensive.
CHATTERLEY: Nada Bashir, thank you for that. Now Japan says it scrambled fighter jets earlier Friday after Russian Air Force planes were seen over
the Sea of Japan and East China Sea. It comes as Japan's Prime Minister prepares to join the Presidents of the United States and South Korea at
The meeting which begins in a couple of hours' time is the first ever three way summit between the nations. Ivan Watson has more on this.
Ivan Watson has more on this. Ivan, I think we have to explain how monumental it is that South Korea now appears ready and willing to enlist
in a U.S. led trilateral alliance with Japan's unimaginable even just two years ago. What might it mean in practice?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's certainly something that I don't think the Chinese government particularly likes. And
we had the Chinese Foreign Minister speaking out against this earlier this year kind of chastising the leaders of Japan and South Korea saying, hey,
you could dye your hair blonde, but you can never become a Westerner. You should stay close to your roots.
But what is helping drive Japan and South Korea two countries that have very tragic and traumatic shared colonial history together. What is driving
them together in such a kind of dramatic fashion?
This is the first trilateral summit involving the U.S. I believe, is a national security issues. Look at the tweets that were put out by Japan's
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida right before he flew out for the U.S. for this meeting in Camp David. He said that he'd be visiting.
And as the security environment surrounding the area becomes increasingly severe, it is extremely significant for the leaders to come together under
the same roof. He's going to reinforce strategic cooperation further.
And as a case in point, you had Japan scrambling fighter jets today in response to two Russian reconnaissance planes that flew between the Korean
Peninsula, the Strait between the Korean Peninsula and Japanese islands today.
And earlier this week, Japan's Ministry of Defense, expressing grave concern when it detected a total of 11 Russian and Chinese warships that
were sailing to the South West of the Island of Okinawa, with Japan saying this is the first time ever that they've seen this.
The Chinese government has come out and said, hey, they were operating according to international rules. This is in international water. But what
you see is in addition to the constant kind of threat and saber rattling that comes from North Korea firing missiles which worries both South Korea
You have a tightening of the relationship between China and Russia. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, China's threats to Taiwan, and that's helping
bring together South Korea and Japan and the U.S. in a way that we've never seen before between these three governments.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And we'll see what this meeting brings? Ivan, good to have you thank you Ivan Watson there! Now Hurricane Hilary has been upgraded to
a category four storm as it barrels towards Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.
Derek Van Dam joins us now with what more we can expect. Derek, great to have you on the show! And it's like deviations even in this hurricane can
fundamentally change things. But what are we expecting at least at this moment?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes Julia, this storm just absolutely blew up overnight, it strengthened by 120 kilometers per hour in a matter
of 24 hours, so rapid intensification.
Now we've got a whole slew of warnings and watches in place across the central and southern Baja California Peninsula. But likely as we get more
updates from the National Hurricane Center, these will be extended further and further north.
And we included Southern California on this map because that's next. This could be one of the first times that we ever have a tropical watch included
for Southern California. So something we're going to monitor but nonetheless this is a powerful category four hurricane.
It is a major hurricane. It's turning South of Cabo San Lucas, they will get some of the outer bands anticipate tropical storm force winds there,
but not a direct landfall near the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Look as it veers towards the north and west.
And it weakens as it does. So you see the storm is going to be encountering significantly cooler water. So that's going to help weaken the storm as it
makes its approach on the southwestern portions of the U.S.
Where does it cross landfall? Well, this is a game of kilometers, right and it matters where it actually makes that landfall because if it's a little
further west offshore, we get more coastal impacts if their further East more inland, then we sees more of a flash flood threat.
Don't want to diminish that there is still a flash flood threat for a large portion of the Southwestern U.S. Look at this a very rare level four from
the Weather Prediction Center. That is a high risk of flash flooding across the central interior of Southern California. We have a moderate risk for
San Diego and just outside of Los Angeles and look how for that moderate risk extends? All the way to Las Vegas so these are major population
And why do we care? Well, let's go back to last year 2022 this unfolded in Death Valley where we only received 37 millimeters of rain. On average,
they receive 53 millimeters of rain in an entire year. With this particular system with the remnants of Hurricane Hilary that will move through this
area. It's expected to bring over 75 millimeters of rain so we will easily get a year's worth of rain or more in a couple of days.
That puts it into context right? So flash flood threat very major and again, depending on the exact track of where the storm goes, does it
interact with the topography of the Baja Peninsula? Time will tell we're honing in on the details but one thing's for sure.
The Southwestern U.S. and the extreme Northwestern sections of Mexico have a rough next 48 hours ahead with flooding, mudslides, landslides and
hurricane to tropical storm force winds all on the table, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Wow! We wish everybody there safe and well. Derek thank you.
CHATTERLEY: OK. Now as people in Hawaii count the terrible cost of disastrous wildfires, the Chief of Maui's Emergency Management Service has
resigned from his post. Outreaches growing in the wake of the fires that have claimed at least 111 lives CNN's Randi Kaye reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many of us, residents felt like we had absolutely no warning.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hawaii has one of the largest public safety outdoor siren warning systems in the world. Sirens that were
silent as wildfires raged. Question is why? First it was this.
HERMAN ANDAYA, FORMER MAUI EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR: It would not have saved those people under the mountain side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you regret not sounding the sirens?
ANDAYA: I do not. The sirens as I had mentioned earlier, is used primarily for tsunamis.
KAYE (voice-over): That's what the Head of Maui's Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday before suddenly resigning a day later, but even
before that press conference ended his reason had changed. This time suggesting the sirens weren't used because people wouldn't have been able
to hear the warning.
ANDAYA: It's an outdoor siren. So a lot of people were indoors, air conditioning on, whatever the case may be. They're not going to hear a
siren. Plus the winds were very gusty and everything that I heard it was very loud. So they wouldn't have heard the sirens.
KAYE (voice-over): Same story with Hawaii's Governor, first, this.
JOSH GREEN, HAWAII GOVERNOR: Sirens were typically used for tsunamis or hurricanes. To my knowledge, at least I never experienced them in use for
KAYE (voice-over): Then minutes later, another explanation. This time the Governor suggested at least some of the sirens were broken.
GREEN: The sirens were essentially immobilized, we believe by the extreme heat that came through somewhere broken and we're investigating that.
KAYE (voice-over): Yet that doesn't all track with the county's own webpage mauisirens.com, which clearly states how the siren system is capable of
alerting residents to multiple disasters including wildfires.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emergency alert.
KAYE (voice-over): And we also found this explainer about the sirens uses on Hawaii's Emergency Management agencies webpage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We also use sirens for hurricanes brush fires, flooding, lava, hazmat conditions, or even a terrorist event.
KAYE (voice-over): This map also from the county's page shows where the warning sirens are located. According to this state, there are about 400
sirens statewide, including 80 on Maui, and in the historic Town of Lahaina, where more than 100 people were killed in the flames.
There are five sirens that were not used to warn those in grave danger. Instead, officials say they chose to send alerts by text message to cell
phones, as well as alerts on landlines, and through TV and radio.
ANDAYA: It is our practice to use the most effective means of conveying an emergency message to the public during a wild land fire.
KAYE (voice-over): While that may have worked in some cases, the wildfire moves so swiftly. It knocked out power and self-service. So how were
residents supposed to receive those warnings?
MIKE CICCHINO, WILDFIRE SURVIVOR: There's no warning at all. There's not a siren, not a phone alert, nothing, not a call.
KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN.
CHATTERLEY: OK, coming up on "First Move" a truly incredible story revealed in this new book, the Afghan woman who educated herself escaped Taliban
rule and went on to a high flying career in America that's next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move". This week marks two years since Kabul fell to the Taliban, the fundamentalist group seizing control of
Afghanistan following a chaotic controversial withdrawal by the United States after nearly 20 years of fighting.
The United Nations is urging the international community not to forget the suffering of its people, including the severe restrictions imposed on the
rights of both women and girls. "Their rights to access education and work, their freedom of movement and participation in daily and public life have
been eroded by a series of discriminatory edicts issued since the takeover".
The treatment of some women and girls in Afghanistan has been laid bare by my next guests. Sola Mahfouz risked everything to get an education. At 16
she taught herself Math's and English in secret online.
She sneaked into Pakistan to take her SAT test before finally escaping Afghanistan with her family to the United States. And her will and
perseverance pay dividends. Today she's a Quantum Computing Researcher at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Her memoir called "Defiant Dreams" was co-written by the Human Rights Activist, Malaina Kapoor, and I'm very pleased to say they both join me
now. Sola and Malaina, it is a huge honor to have you on the show. And I love the book, it was both heartbreaking I think, and heartwarming in equal
Sola, I want to begin with you because this book, at its core is about your fight for freedom, your fight, I think for the right to an education and
the will the strength to risk it all in pursuit of that. Where did that come from? Where did that strength and desire come from?
SOLA MAHFOUZ, CO-AUTHOR "DEFIANT DREAMS": So thanks for having us. You know, you know, my grandfather was self-educated. And so, you know, at age
16, I did not know how to add and subtract. And that was because when I was 11 years old, a group of men came to our door and threatened us if I
continued going to school.
And from that day on, the restriction on my life continued to increase you know I left home only a couple of times a year. And whenever I did, I had
to wear the suffocating burqa that covered me from head to toe.
Meanwhile, my brothers were going to school, and they were thriving academically, and I was deeply jealous of their lives. And in those times,
for me, the world seem like dark place. And, you know, my grandfather said that education is like, opening a window to the world, and I needed that
window and that light to shine in.
And so I start secretly start teaching myself, English, Math, and "Defiant Dreams" tells a story of how I went from not knowing how to add and
subtract in age 16 to all the way come here now in the U.S. doing physics, becoming a physics researcher at Tufts University developed quantum
CHATTERLEY: It's just -- it is an amazing story and there was actually so much in that.
And there was actually so much in that. But one of the things that gave me goose bumps and the story you said, you began to grow up the day that your
mother told you to be quiet, she was afraid of your laughter. You were threatened, men threw excrement at you.
You were threatened with acid. I mean people have to understand, I think what living was like and this was while the United States, let's be clear,
and NATO was there. But you also tell the story of your aunt's fight for education, your mother's fight for education and your grandfather.
Malaina just talk about this, because I know this is also part of the reason why you're also involved in telling this story, because this is
Sola's story, but it's true for many women as well.
MALAINA KAPOOR, CO-AUTHOR OF "DEFIANT DREAMS": Absolutely, you know, I think I was initially drawn to Sola's story just on the face of it, just
how inspiring it is, you know, the fact that she could only secretly educate herself using an extremely slow dial up internet connection.
You know, the fact that she had to study in the middle of the night, because that was the only time she wasn't required to cook and clean as a
member of her household. But in many ways, the deeper reason I wanted to be a part of this is because this is Sola's story but it's also a story of
mothers and daughters.
And the fact that history is moving backwards and Afghanistan you know, Sola's on mother was a student at Kabul University, and then a professor
there. She would have students who are older than her and she would fill her classrooms. But then she had to watch her own daughter couldn't even
finish an elementary school level education.
And now, of course, that's a story that's echoing across the country. And it felt really important to help amplify those stories.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and you really did that. So well, Sola, you mentioned, in way the heartbreak of watching your brothers get educated be allowed to go
to university and I know you actually asked your brother for help and he refused, which I think is a fundamental part of this story is the sort of
women's fight for education and the will to do more actually, than just be a housewife.
And the pressure from the male line, although your grandfather, of course, is an exception, in a sort of blinding light in this story, as well. Just
describe that moment, when you finally got to university and in Chicago, and you realize you didn't have to cover yourself anymore? I mean the life
adjustment that you went through there.
MAHFOUZ: I think for me, it felt so real, like I have thought like, you know, I was reading books. And you know, in some ways, when I started
learning, I felt intellectually free. But, you know, but only when I come to the U.S., I felt there was, you know, I just felt like I was back.
I was 11 year old, because, you know, I could leave home without a burqa and it, just like the boundaries from home to street. There were kind of no
boundaries. And so I think that was really freeing.
CHATTERLEY: What do you think, it is about the Taliban, about to a large degree, I think the culture as well that tries to prevent women, doing
more, being more, getting educated. Malaina, start us off.
KAPOOR: You know, I think that there's, in the book, we cover so many generations of history, and this repression of women really isn't just
unique to the Taliban. It's something that is unfortunately unfolded across the country, really, because women haven't ever been in a position of power
for long enough to ensure that with the next political wins, their rights aren't taken away.
You know, Sola's mother, her grandmother, her aunts, all of them went through similar struggles, the fact that her sisters were just born a few
years older than her, earlier than her, and then they had to live lives of arranged marriage at the age of 16, or 17. You know, this is not a story
that only takes place over the last 20 years when the United States was involved in Afghanistan. But the repression of women is something that's
stretched on for so much longer.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and you do a brilliant job actually, of telling that story of the generations of their fight and older generations succumbing to
what's expected of them, rather than following their dreams in a way, Sola, that you managed too, you're going to say something, Sola, please.
MAHFOUZ: I think it's also important to look back, like Afghanistan was not always like that, you know, there was a lot of progress happening. Back
when the King of in the 60s when liberalization started to happen, women were going to university. And, you know, it's like, the extremism is not
part of the culture it has because of the political, you know, outside political influences. It has become what it is now.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's such a great point to make it obviously you were in Kandahar as well, which was sort of the spiritual home of the Taliban.
So we have to be very clear on that too and you again you do that in the book there was so much hope in the past and I know you're aren't as well
studied in Russia, got a scholarship to Russia and had a very different life. You know, something that also came into my mind reading this book was
the protests that we're seeing in Iran, over women covering themselves, covering their hair.
Sola, it sort of reminded me of some of the comments you've made, and you've touched on it with what the Afghan burqa represented to you and what
removing that in particular meant?
MAHFOUZ: So I think it's, again, comes to the, you know, being forced to do cover and like, you know, I think would be, you know, it's just you have
this one identity. And I think that's what I'm. Yes, it is one, as a human, we should be free to be, how, do we express ourselves in some outside
person telling us.
That's how we should be then I think that feels very suppressing it. I think it's a symbolic of other choices that we make.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it should be OK to fight for more to have more. Malaina, what do you want people to take away from this book? And I do recommend
people read it for many reasons. What do you want the takeaway to be?
KAPOOR: You know, I think, especially on this anniversary, it's so important to just sit and acknowledge the tragedy of what's happening with
women's rights in Afghanistan right now, you know, as you mentioned, for those of us who've grown up in the United States or in the West, it can
sometimes be hard to understand just how difficult life is there.
The fact that there were moments when Sola wasn't allowed to laugh in her own home, you know, I'm reminded of a story of the first time that Sola's
mother had to wear a burqa, and her young son saw her and actually thought that she had gone blind because he'd never seen such a restrictive covering
And his family laughed at him in that moment, because of course, you can see a little bit through the crisscross slats over the eyes. But upon
reflection, really his innocent assessment was so correct that in that moment, she had lost everything. And in many senses, she had gone blind.
And now that's a story we see in so many households across Afghanistan. And it's important that doesn't become normalized, because when we normalize
the oppression of women, we all lose so much.
CHATTERLEY: Malaina, don't mind me, asking how old you are?
KAPOOR: I'm 20.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I think our audience needs to understand as I get a frog in my throat listening to you speak. Sola, I mentioned how amazing your
achievements are that you have this astonishing career, according to researcher in the United States was just an incredible achievement.
But it came leaving Afghanistan came at a huge price too. Your mother was very badly injured. And that's also part of the story that comes out. I
wanted to ask about how your mother is doing and what your friends and what your family back home think of what you've achieved, and whether that's
managed to inspire others? I hope it has.
MAHFOUZ: They are proud and you know, my mom has been a source of light for me, even in the darkest times. And, you know, she would always tell me
stories of her when she was Professor at Kabul University, having classroom full of students. And, you know, Defiant Dreams is my story, but it's also
And I hope to live to have what she had. And, you know, it's just politics that, you know, that has, you know, destroyed everything and taken away
everything for her. And I hope that in some small ways, I'm able to give back to that my young mom who wants lost everything.
CHATTERLEY: I agree, because it is your mother's story too. Thank you ladies, I recommend people read the book. You will have this reaction.
Thank you, Sola, Malaina, will talk to us soon.
KAPOOR: Thank you.
MAHFOUZ: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you. Thank you for writing an amazing book. We're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move", U.S. stocks up and running for the final time this week. A little bit of Friday fatigue is the challenging
week for investors stumbles to a close call it a case of misery loves company both stock and bond prices have been on the decline on concerns
that the Federal Reserve will have to continue hiking rates to battle inflation.
Now we should get a better idea of the Fed's future plans next week when Chair Powell gives his latest economic outlook at the annual Fed retreat in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So get ready for that. In the meantime, Bitcoin far from a safe haven during this mid-August angst the crypto currency down
more than 5 percent, it tumbled almost 10 percent late Thursday.
And there were also reports that Elon Musk's SpaceX has sold virtually all its Bitcoin holdings. SpaceX however, reportedly turning a Q1 profit, even
with Bitcoin off the docket. Just to be clear the Wall Street Journal reporting that SpaceX has been selling at least some of its holdings of
Bitcoin, which it wrote down by over $370 million in the past two years.
Now CNN has been unable to verify the sell-off. One broker was quoted saying the news sparked a panicked reaction in the crypto market. Elon Musk
has been a vocal proponent of Bitcoin and other crypto. Now Clare Duffy joins us on this. I read the whole thing from Wall Street Journal and
actually it was a case of hold your horses with the Bitcoin thing.
We don't really have any clarity on who did, what, when? But there's a broader shakedown going on in risk assets and bitcoins in that too.
CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, Julia, it's interesting because Elon Musk has been such a big proponent of Bitcoin and of crypto more generally.
But you know you see him starting to dump some of his holdings from his companies. Tesla sold off a big chunk of its Bitcoin holdings last year.
And I think this really underscores what a significant influence he and his companies have in this crypto market. But of course, as you said there this
Thursday sell off came amid a broader stock market sell-off.
You have lots of investors that are trying to dump some of these riskier assets over concerns in this sort of economic precarious moment that we're
in. And Thursday, sell-off hit, you know, hit the stock market. It hit even traditionally safer bets like government bonds. And so I think sort of a
gloomy outlook for investors in these riskier markets like Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, at the core of Cryptocurrencies, really was the bad behavior of central banks in particular. So when they're raising rates
and the argument, perhaps some falters, but to your point, it's far more complicated than that always, Clare Duffy.
DUFFY: And of course, you know, we're in this moment where crypto is facing significant regulatory pressure in the U.S.
DUFFY: -- probably contributing as well.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and also you don't have to stick to the program on SpaceX rather than perhaps some freewheeling and other things. Clare Duffy, thank
you. OK, staying with space and the world is witnessing a new era of exploration. India's lunar lander is in its final stage before it attempts
touching down on the surface of the moon over the coming days.
But another country might beat them to it. Russia sees its new spacecraft could land on the moon as early as Monday to space off. CNN's Michael
Holmes has more.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The race is on to explore the far reaches of the moon. Russia launching its first lunar lander in 47
years, with the hopes of beating out the competition and becoming the first country to make a soft landing on the south pole of the moon.
If successful, the Luna-25 mission would be an astronomical comeback for Russia, reclaiming some of the glory from its Soviet aerospace heyday and
putting it at the forefront of a new push by several countries to explore the deep craters of the shadowy part of the moon that's believed to contain
The liftoff was delayed for nearly two years, partially because of the backlash over Russia's invasion of Ukraine with the European Space Agency
pulling key camera equipment from the project. And even though Luna-25 is now aloft, it's not alone in its endeavors.
The Indian Spacecraft Chandrayaan 3 is already in lunar orbit. And on Thursday, India's Space Agency announced the lander module had successfully
separated from the propulsion module, even quoting the lander is saying thanks for the ride mate. They're now eyeing a soft landing spot on the
moon on August 23, two days after Russia's ambitious target landing date.
But both missions will have to avoid the fate of the Chandrayaan 2 in 2019, which crash landed on the moon surface. Other nations are in the moon race.
Earlier this month, the crew of NASA's Artemis 2 mission inspected the Orion spacecraft that is set to orbit the moon with astronauts onboard late
Artemis 3 will follow with plans to land a crewed spacecraft on the lunar South Pole. But NASA says this mission could be changed or delayed. If a
landing system created by SpaceX isn't ready on time. China also says it plans to land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade. Something
NASA says is worrying if they get to the moon South Pole first and claim it as their territory.
BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: So naturally, I don't want China to get to the South Pole first with humans. And then say this is ours, stay out.
HOLMES (voice-over): Both the U.S. and China in collaboration with Russia have advanced plans to build bases on the moon and finding water ice which
can be used to make fuel, oxygen and drinking water will be important to sustain those sites and the long term ambitions of several space agencies.
Michael Holmes, CNN.
CHATTERLEY: Coming up on "First Move", miniature golf but with giant ambitions the Swingers golf club chain, hoping for a hole in one as it
expands from London to the U.S. and beyond. If the question is, can it win over the high rollers in Las Vegas? We'll be right back. No ifs, and or --
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move", the post pandemic urge to splurge on experiences and dining out remains in full swing around the globe. Good
time for a swing for the fences growth for the Eagle Eye entrepreneurs behind the Swingers crazy golf club chain called Swingers, if you will a
hole in one, all in one experience.
It's a miniature golf course that also serves cocktails, and gourmet street food the first Swingers club opened in London 10 years ago, it now has been
used in both New York and Washington D.C. and the firm just raised $52 million dollars to fund a further franchise expansion Las Vegas and Dubai
locations are coming soon.
And Matt Grech-Smith joins us now he's from London and he's the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Swingers. Matt, fantastic to have you on the show, just talk
us through what Swingers offers.
MATT GRECH-SMITH, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-CEO OF SWINGERS: So Swingers is it takes the classic game of mini golf that makes it into a somewhat more
grown up experience. So as you kind of alluded to before, we've taken the activity, but put it into a very theatrical, immersive environment.
It's based on an English country golf club, all indoors. But we've added great cocktails, fantastic gourmet street food. And when you come in, we
have amazing staff including caddies who will take your drinks orders when you're on the course, because we believe that a drink or two helps with
your mini golf game.
And they'll give you tips and tricks as you go around as well. So it just is a very theatrical, immersive and slightly competitive evening out.
CHATTERLEY: I'm sure the drinks help with your evening. I'm not sure whether they helped with your golf game. I'm just wondering who the client
is? I would assume sort of bread and butter is corporate events, getting people out of the office and socializing but who's actually coming in? And
how often are they coming? Is it, people coming for repeat events? Or is it one and done?
GRECH-SMITH: That's a great question. It's when you look at some of our venues. For instance, our venue in New York is booked out something like 80
percent of the time. So in any week, we'll have 7 to 8000 people coming through the doors. So it's actually a really broad swathe of people that
are coming in.
On the weekend, it'll be groups of friends coming in to celebrate a birthday, lots of dates, but lots of group activities as well, lots of
corporates who are coming in, either for client entertaining or looking after their teams. So there's massively broad appeal because at its heart,
crazy golf or mini golf, whichever you call it, is this nostalgic, fun, accessible activity.
And then the way that we've wrapped the street food in, you know, you can grab a pizza or a delicious burger. So there's something there for
everybody, whatever your taste, and it's this fun, laid back whimsical environment. So it's not pretentious. We're not like some trendy club where
we're looking people up and down.
So it's this totally broad swathe of people we've had everything from you know groups of people coming in to celebrate 18th, 19th, 20th birthdays and
we've even done some 80th birthdays as well.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, well, you've got restrictions on that, of course in the United States below 21. So it's a little bit different. But what you're
saying is you're open seven days a week, and in the daytime, too.
GRECH-SMITH: Yes, very slightly. But yes, most of our venues are open either six or seven days a week. And they open from lunchtime onwards,
because what we've seen now is, especially the corporates, they like to do their corporate entertaining during work hours, some of them feel that they
don't want to push their corporate activities to outside of work hours.
So it's crazy. I'll walk into one of our venues on a Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm. And it'll be packed full of people socializing, competing on the
courses, grabbing some food, having a few drinks. So yes, that goes all the way through the day and into the evenings as well.
CHATTERLEY: What does it cost? And what's the average spending per person that attends or how long do they stay for?
GRECH-SMITH: So the average dwell time is in the region 2 to 2.5 hours. So you'll come in, you might have a drink, you might grab some food, then
you'll hit the course around of golf takes 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how long, how busy the venue is. But each course is nine holes.
And then you'll probably grab some another drink afterwards, and maybe some more food, I spent the head berries in the U.S. around 40 to $45. If you're
an online booker, someone who's booked a ticket, and just come in with their friends, but then with the corporate customers, where they're booking
a package and possibly booking a private room to host their event.
And then the average prices are up towards 70, $80 per head, depending on the location and the time of day.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, because I'm going to say 40 to $45 isn't going to get you very far, if you're buying a couple of drinks, the food and the entry cost,
what's the entry cost? Or is that sort of automatically assumed?
GRECH-SMITH: The entry cost that covers the round of golf. So in the U.K., that's around 13, 14 pounds. In the U.S., it's about $25. But so we're
quite democratically priced. You can grab a drink, you know, entry, sort of alcoholic drink would be a beer, which would be around 6, 7 pounds, or 10,
But then we've got a whole range of cocktails, wines, and all that sort of thing. So you can really craft your experience, but you'll get good values
for a $50 spend, you're going to get your goal, you'll get a couple of drinks, and you'll get some food as well. So in terms of the amount of time
and what you get for your money, it's a really great deal.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and if you're not drinking, then you're entertaining yourself for two, three hours actually, at a very reasonable cost then I
would suggest compared to other forms of entertainment as well. Are you profitable in the London locations?
GRECH-SMITH: Yes, we've been profitable. Since we got open businesses -- . Obviously, what we have is we are in the hospitality industry. We have our
food and beverage revenue streams. But what kind of gives us the special sauce is that we've got a third revenue stream in terms of the competitive
activity, the crazy gulf.
So the moment is obviously very tricky for hospitality venues with this inflation. A lot of the fixed cost is going up. We're in the cost of living
crisis, where people really have to think about their money. But having that third revenue stream and offering so much value for money as we do,
and a whole rounded experience is making us really well placed to weather the storms.
CHATTERLEY: And Vegas and Dubai set to open next year. How quickly do you think you can make those profitable given all the challenges that you just
described, which I think operate pretty much everywhere in the world, plus high rent?
GRECH-SMITH: Yes, we're definitely seeing global headwinds. But yes, we're opening our first franchise in Dubai in March next year. I think that's
going to be great. You know, Dubai, there are some pretty hot temperatures. And people definitely look for things to do with activities where they can
get out the sun.
And there's definitely a party scene in Dubai. So I think we're going to blend in well there. And then in September, we'll be opening in Las Vegas
in the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino, which is the kind of culmination of a lot of our ambitions 10 years after we opened up pop up in East London,
we'll be opening our Vegas site. And that's going to be our biggest one yet 40,000 square feet and with -- .
GRECH-SMITH: So, you know, these are big endeavors, but the lead the trade levels that we're used to operating at, and kind of, like I say, the
popularity of the venues, they pay back in sort of 2.5 to 3 years on average. So it's a pretty good ROI.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Who chose to name Swingers, by the way, is that your focus? I'm sure you've had a few people turning up expecting something
completely different than crazy golf.
GRECH-SMITH: Yes, it definitely raises a few eyebrows. When we sat about thinking we're going to create a crazy golf venue. I think in the first
half an hour the name Swingers was muted. And once we thought about that there wasn't really anything else we could call it.
So you do get a few calls to our reception team where they definitely call it something else. But we've seen set that's great. And once you know what
we are seeing, forget about the other meetings.
CHATTERLEY: -- say nothing more, if I get myself into trouble. Matt, great to chat to you, thank you so much, and good luck with the openings and
GRECH-SMITH: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: The Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Swingers there. Stay with CNN, coming up World Cup mania, reaching fever pitch for England and Spain. As
they head to the final in Sydney, we've got the latest.
CHATTERLEY: On emotional and hugely successful Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand heading towards a big finish. The stage is set
for the final this weekend, England meeting Spain on the pitch to determine the world champions.
And before that, of course to on Saturday, Australia takes on Sweden in their match to decide third place. Andy Scholes joins us now. Andy, the
all-important question with clearly no bias at all is will the Lionesses be roaring along with the rest of the country on Sunday?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, you know, Julia, there could be quite the party there in England on Sunday.
CHATTERLEY: Oh, yes.
SCHOLES: Yes, had a team in a World Cup final since 1966 when the men made it and won it. But this is the first ever appearance for the women. And
it's been quite a run for the Lionesses. You know, they won their first ever Euro's title on home soil last year. And England striker Alessia
Russo, she says this team is confident heading into Sunday's final.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALESSIA RUSSO, ENGLAND STRIKER: All I want to do is go out and obviously put on a performance we're proud of. And obviously, when we go into every
game, we started this tournament wanting to win seven games. And that's still the message and this is the last one to go and we're already locked
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Yes, now a big question for the team heading into this final match is, will their young star Lauren James start? You know, she was suspended
for the last two matches for stomping on a Nigerian player. So it'd be interesting to see if she plays or comes on as a sub in this one.
Now, it's actually Spain that is the slight favorite for the game on Sunday. And that probably has something to do with their amazing breakout
star Salma Paralluelo. She's been just playing incredible. The 19 year old had the game winning goal against the Netherlands and then another goal
And Paralluelo coming on as a sub both times and you know Julia, Spain is able to win at all. And I mean if she scores even more goals, I mean, she's
certainly going to be considered one of the breakout stars of this tournament, 19 years old.
SCHOLES: Julia, can you imagine being on that stage at that age?
CHATTERLEY: She's absolutely fabulous and we adore her but hey, the English like being underdogs, so I don't mind those odds. But can we also for a
second talk about Australia too clearly heartbreak for them that they're not playing in the final. But what are the chances that they actually
managed to win third place on Saturday?
SCHOLES: Well, obviously Australia would just love to have been playing in that final on Sunday. That would have just been a dream come true, but they
can still in their hosting duties. You know, on a positive note, the Matildas going to take on Sweden in the third place game on Saturday, and
now Australia, they've never finished better than six.
So, ending their world cup with a win in third place, it's certainly going to be pretty cool for them. They've already done better than they ever
have. Sweden, meanwhile, you know, they would also love to cap off a World Cup with a when they've had just an incredible tournament.
You remember they knocked out the giants of the tournament in the U.S. and Japan. And Sweden, you know, they're always so good, but kind of always the
bridesmaid, not the bride, Julia, they finished top four in five of the nine World Cups including this one.
They got silver in the past few Olympics, Julia, so once again, not going to win it all but always one of the best.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and what else can we say? Good luck, Spain, really good luck, England, no bias. Andy, thank you. I'll say it, don't you? And that's
it for the show. "Connect the World" is up next. See you next week.