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Quest Means Business

Buckingham Palace Saddened By Harry And Meghan Interview, Piers Morgan Quits Show After Attacks On Harry And Meghan; OECD Predicts U.S. Stimulus Will Add One Percent To Global GDP; Seychelles Open For Visitors By End Of March; Seychelles President On Reopening His Country; Green Passports Open Doors Of Famed Israeli Chef's Restaurant. Aired 3-3:40p ET

Aired March 09, 2021 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Huge tech rally is under way. All the three major indices are high. I'll show you the big board and off the

tops of the day, but the big board is up half a percent. The NASDAQ up three to four percent, not it's more than four percent, so it's a really

strong session.

If there was a rotation under way, Paul La Monica is going to explain to us why or what's happening -- 32,000 on the Dow. We've had intraday highs as

the day moves on.

The markets and these are the events: Tech stocks are paring back with the NASDAQ having its best day in almost a year.

Joe Biden's stimulus plan gives the rest of the globe an economic boost according to the O.E.C.D.

And Buckingham Palace is responding to Harry and Meghan's interview, now, the British media faces a reckoning of its own.

We are live in New York. It is Tuesday, the 9th of March. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.

Good evening. Today and tonight, the British Royal Family has put its statement following the Harry and Meghan interview. Buckingham Palace say

they are saddened to learn just how challenging life had become for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The company's interview with Oprah Winfrey has triggered the biggest crisis in decades. There were claims of course that they were subject to racism

and neglect.

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, didn't address the interview during his first public appearance since it aired. As later, Buckingham Palace

issued the statement on behalf of the Queen, and it says, "The issues raised particularly that of race are concerning. While some recollections

may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family


Our Royal correspondent, Max Foster is in Windsor tonight. The barest -- the barest they could possibly get away with and still say something. Two

words there, concerning, and the recollections will vary, but taken very seriously. What do you make of it?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think you're picking that moment where they are talking about recollections. This is about the

conversation clearly about the tone of Archie's skin, who was in the room with Prince Harry at the time, the person who was in the room has a

different recollection of that conversation.

There was also a line that came in a statement ahead of what you just read and it talks about being saddened to learn the full extent of how

challenging the last few years had been for Harry and Meghan, and that's probably a reference to the mental health issues of the Duchess, them

suggesting that they didn't know the full extent of those issues, which is interesting because Meghan and Harry's point in that interview was of

course to say, we made our concerns very clear and the Palace didn't act on them.

So I recognize what you're saying, it looks like a simple message, but also, this, as you know, Richard, they pour over these statements. I think

there's a lot in there and it will come out.

Even above that line, you know, the announcement was a statement issued by Buckingham Palace on behalf of Her Majesty, the Queen. Normally, it would

just from Buckingham Palace. But they are making it very clear, this is from the Queen, it is from the boss, it's from the top, so sit down and


QUEST: Max, in the interview, Harry specifically says, and he uses these words, "I warned them this will not end well." And if you take onboard that

Meghan went to H.R., so I'm sure that went up the chain, too, is this just a case of they lead such different lives that the severity -- and I'm

trying to give them the benefit of whatever doubt there may be available here, that they just don't think in the same terms that perhaps you and I


FOSTER: Well, I think it's just that issue, isn't it? It's a firm -- it's a family firm. It is various households, there are various power bases and

they don't communicate properly. There's too much communication between the aides and not between the family often, I find.

So the aides are working just for their principals and they end up competing, so messages do get mixed up. It's Chinese whispers really in

Palace walls.

I mean, you know, there is a serious element to this later on, where they talk about -- well, a source tells me, diversity, equality, inclusion and

mental health are important issues and highlighting that is one part of the work of members of the Royal Family for many years.


FOSTER: I know that you were making this point earlier on, you were looking to the mental health issue and how that is vital essentially here really

because if they don't treat Meghan's mental health issues properly, then they're being hypocritical because they campaigned on mental health issues.

And I think this is the bigger concern that they have, you know, the hypocrisy of the brand which represents all of these causes, which

effectively Harry and Meghan were attacking, so they're trying to address that as well later on.

QUEST: Max, thank you. Max Foster at Windsor.

The British TV interviewer, Piers Morgan, has left one of the country's top morning shows after storming out during a live debate over his Royal


Now, Piers Morgan, of course, who used to work here at CNN, has made headlines of his own. It was his tirade against Harry and Meghan's

interview and he stormed off the set earlier today after being skewered by a co-host for his attacks. Have a listen.


ALEX BERESFORD, TELEVISION PRESENTER: You continue to trash her --

PIERS MORGAN, BROADCASTER: Okay, I'm done with this. No, no, no. Sorry.

BERESFORD: Do you know what? That's pathetic.

MORGAN: All right, you can trash me, mate, but not on my own show. See you later.

BERESFORD: I am being --

MORGAN: Sorry, can't do this.

BERESFORD: This is absolutely diabolical behavior.


QUEST: Sorry, can't do this, and off he went.

Oliver Darcy is with me, in New York, It was a very strange -- I mean on Monday he is bombastic in his attack on Meghan. On Tuesday, when he walks

off the set when one of his colleagues takes him to task. And there's been some 40-odd thousand complaints to the British regulator, Ofcom.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes, yes, Richard. The big deal here seems to be that Piers made comments yesterday where he suggested that

he didn't believe Meghan's complaints or statements that she was suicidal because of the press coverage she was receiving in the U.K.

Now, Piers tried to walk those comments back, but they did generate a lot of controversy and a lot of complaints to the British media regulator,

Ofcom, which said today that they are going to be investigating those comments.

And shortly thereafter, ITV which carries "Good Morning, Britain" announced that Piers will be leaving the show. They released a short statement, I'll

read it for you. It says that, "Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided it is time to leave 'Good Morning, Britain.' ITV has

accepted this decision and has nothing further to add."

I should note we did reach out to Morgan and he hasn't responded to our request for comment yet.

QUEST: Okay, so reading between the lines, I think, either one of two things happened. Either ITV wanted to sensor him, or wanted to discipline

him, or wanted to do something and he wasn't prepared to go along with that, so he decided to quit or they are just dressing up what was a firing.

What's your gut feeling on this, with your experience?

DARCY: You know, it is difficult to tell. You know, it is possible that they wanted to him to issue a more full-throated apology. Like I said, he

did try to walk those comments back and he said that suicidal thoughts are something to be taken seriously.

And so he did make that comment, but it maybe wasn't really maybe that full-throated apology that they would have liked to see, especially with

Ofcom investigating.

So you know, this came within a few hours of each other and it's difficult to maybe separate the two. But it's possible that he also didn't appreciate

being skewered by his co-panelists on the show this morning and maybe decided it was time to call it quits.

We really do not know at this moment in time, but I do expect we'll -- however we hear from him, soon enough.

QUEST: Oh, yes. Oh, absolutely. Oliver, Thank you. Congratulations, by the way, on winning the bet over Stelter on the number of viewers that there

would be for Meghan Markle and the Oprah Winfrey interview on CBS. Congratulations on that.

The major markets on Wall Street. I think the bell -- where is the bell -- the bell is here.

What a day. The triple stack shows just its frenzy, because of the Biden stimulus plan, tech now leading the way. The NASDAQ was in correction when

we were here yesterday, and now gaming is getting more expensive.

Coming up next, the CEO of one of the world's top video game publishers tells us why he thinks gamers are ready for a price hike, in a moment.



QUEST: Well, sessions on Wall Street with the numbers all over the place, strong gains. The NASDAQ is up four and third percent. The Dow is lagging

and of course, the Dow made gains when the NASDAQ was falling and now, it is sort of holding back a bit, but the broader market and the NASDAQ are

both up very sharply.

NASDAQ coming back out of a correction, and tech stocks are leading the day. Apple, Intel, and Microsoft are amongst the Dow's top gainers, and the

NASDAQ is up sharply.

Despite following a new O.E.C.D. prediction that the U.S. economy will go 6.5 percent this year, three percent more than the December forecast from

the O.E.C.D.

Paul La Monica is in New York. Now, I don't get this, Paul, because if the O.E.C.D.'s prediction is right and the U.S. economy is going to grow faster

than first thought, that would surely be inflationary.

So why is the market choosing to take this number as being good for stocks, not bonds and otherwise what are the other reasons for today?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I mean there's a couple things at play here, Richard. I think you nailed it when you talked about the bond

market reaction.

Bond yields finally have started to cool off a little bit despite this strong projection, which to be honest isn't all that much of a shocker.

We all know because of the massive amount of stimulus coming from both the fiscal and monetary side that the U.S. economy should have a much better

year and a solid comeback especially as people are getting vaccinated. You have people going back to work. These are all good signs.

The bond market, though, had started to panic people with yields rising dramatically. Now that they are pulling back a little bit, I think

investors are okay with the better growth aspect of the story as long as inflation doesn't run amok and if the 10-year yield starts to cool off a

little bit, then that is a good sign that maybe inflation is not going to be as big of a problem as many had thought, which is what Jerome Powell has

been saying all along, by the way, you know, heaven forbid, the market ever listens to him.

QUEST: Absolutely. And then you have this issue of a rotation anyway out of tech into value -- out of growth stocks into value stocks. But I always get

the feeling with those sort of rotations, it's a bit like eating vegetables. Everybody knows they have to do it, but they can't wait to go

back to the ice cream.

LA MONICA: Yes, it's a good point. If you want to call the oil stocks and utilities and banks your Brussels sprouts and broccolis of the stock

market, then Tesla is kind of like a big, rich chocolate cake that you're having for dinner.

And speaking of Tesla, they said some good sales coming out of China today. That stock is up 20 percent at last check. That's obviously helping the

NASDAQ and S&P 500.


QUEST: I mean, that's extraordinary that it is up 20 percent. It's put on $111.00. Admittedly, it is still down about 20 percent or 25 percent from

its -- but anyway, we'll leave Tesla alone because I think it's more like a roulette wheel sometimes than a stock, which is amazing that it actually

makes motor class, it is not a pure tech play.

Good to see you.

LA MONICA: Yes. Now for Bitcoin, too, which makes even more of a speculative stock, definitely.

QUEST: Well, leave Bitcoin, yes, absolutely.

Joe Biden's stimulus plan is expected to pass through Congress and land on the President's Desk within the next 24 hours. It's not just a stimulus or

recovery plan. Watch closely. It's a massive generational shift towards government intervention in the economy.

Now, the O.E.C.D. says the effects will be felt around the world. Watch, I'll show you how. You inject $1.9 trillion into the American economy and

U.S. GDP goes up by as much as four percent.

From there, the glass runneth over with goodies for all. Canada, Mexico, immediate neighbors for the treaty and key U.S. trading partners will see

about a one percent growth and rise in growth.

But it is more than that, even further away, traditional, major, the U.K., the E.U., Japan, Transpacific will add about half a percentage point.

All told, the global economy will gain around one percent and that's from the stimulus in the United States.

Catherine Mann is with me, the Global Chief Economist for Citi. She's in New Hampshire. So we're getting -- I mean the rest of the world -- this

might not be the reason that Joe Biden has done this plan, but the effects are going to be for everybody.

CATHERINE MANN, THE GLOBAL CHIEF ECONOMIST, CITI: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the U.S. fiscal stimulus and the overall boost to the U.S. economy is just

so much bigger than what's happening in other countries around the world that it really does dominate the overall profile for the global economy.

In fact, when we kind of look at these things country by country, the U.S. really is the only one that is contributing to global growth through the

trade channel.

China, for example, is running a bigger surplus in order to get its economy going. That's not contributing to global growth. The Euro area is kind of


But when we look at all the other countries, there is no one else who is in the position of exporting some of the benefits of its domestic stimulus


QUEST: But arguably, of course, they're doing it for their own domestic reasons, the United States.

MANN: Of course, of course.

QUEST: But I do like --

MANN: And --

QUEST: Go ahead, please.

MANN: I was going to say -- and you were worried about inflation. That was one of previous segments. One of the ways that you can avoid having too

much inflation coming is by, you know, having the pressure valve released through the trade channel and perhaps even some dollar appreciation that

also tends to put a damper on domestic prices.

So, you know, if we are worried we are going to get a lot of growth domestically, it's going to be disproportionately benefitting the people

who have not received benefits in the past, in other words like the lower income distribution rank, the lower 80 percent and it keeps inflation in


So this is all a good deal.

QUEST: One wonders should the Euro area be doing more? Now, the massive recovery plan, the borrowing that's taken and the money that is being given

to Italy and the billions being given to Italy and to Spain and to the southern countries, why is that -- cumulatively, it's smaller than the $1.9

trillion, but why is that not going to have a similar effect for the rest of the world?

MANN: Well, first it isn't as big, right, so that does -- size matters here. Secondly, there are the channels through which the types of

expenditures and the way we count them as expenditures are implemented through the automatic stabilizers, furloughs instead of actual direct


To people, new checks. Its existing mechanisms and a lot of it is also through guarantees for business as opposed to the PPP program that the U.S.

has put into place to sort of offset the revenue losses for companies.

The U.S. is a direct cash outlay, whereas in Europe, not only is it smaller, but the mechanisms by which they've chosen to support their

economy much more -- you know, the way they normally do it is not new money -- not new money.

QUEST: Catherine, not sort of an area that perhaps economists normally go into, but I do want to talk about the generational nature of what Joe Biden

has done, it has been done very fast, and there's the obvious bits, the loans to restaurants, for example and the money to people.


QUEST: But if you look underneath it, the people are talking about this being the biggest attack on the war in poverty for a generation, if not


MANN: Again, look at the sort of the way in which they have made an effort to target the expenditures for those who are currently unemployed, but also

those who are at the low end of the income distribution. There's additional money as well for children, as well as for spouses who don't work. So

different family formats.

And, you know, frankly, a center piece which did not get through this piece of legislation was the $15.00 minimum wage. That really would have

represented an attack on the income distributional consequences of the policies that have been in place for quite some time.

Now, maybe they'll get that through. Maybe it'll be $12.00, who knows. But you know, a lot of states already put to the ballot box minimum wages

within their state of $11.00, $12.00, $13.00, $15.00. So many U.S. states already have that incorporated.

And so, you know, at the Federal level, it really shouldn't be such a heavy lift to get there.

QUEST: Catherine, very good to have your interpretation on the stimulus package and its global effects. Very grateful for you. Thank you.

The NASDAQ rally is benefitting gaming stocks that has had a rough time lately. One of the world's largest video game publishers Take-Two

Interactive is up four percent, it is still down nearly 20 percent year-to- date following the route.

The company's stock is expected to do very well this year. There are analysts that forecast, the media is up about 30 percent. Gaming has

outgrown the movie industry to increase in its sales rather than increasing prices. Take-Two led the way in changing when it announced last year that

the latest edition of its basketball game would cost $70.00.

Video game prices remained at $60.00 for decades, years and it was actually more expensive decades ago, but it adjusted for inflation.

Strauss Zelnick is the CEO of Take-Two. He joins us via Skype here in New York. Were you surprised -- are you surprised at the fuss that's being made

bearing in mind the adjusted price for inflation of your games is way lower as a result because the price hasn't gone up.

STRAUSS ZELNICK, CEO, TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE: Well, also, the price in the U.S. is actually lower than all other developed countries' front

line prices, and there really hasn't been a fuss. I think we've had great success with NBA 2K21 at the $70 frontline price point, and I think that's

a reflection of what an amazing title it is.

It's our first built from the ground up for next generation. It includes the new city mode, which is this vast open world where you can participate

in the culture of basketball while you're not playing the actual game.

So I think consumers have understood largely and the results speak for themselves. They're great.

QUEST: We know the numbers for gaming. I'm constantly astounded, astonished at just the sheer numbers. Not only the revenues, the profits, the number

of people taking part, the whole infrastructure. But it has benefitted during a pandemic when people haven't been outside.

As we move away from that, I'm not suggesting it's a bad thing that we are going to be allowed out. I'm not going there. Don't worry, Strauss, but I

am saying, do you see that it will have an effect as the pandemic's effects wane?

ZELNICK: Well, I think if you had asked me a year ago, I would say certainly, in fact if you had asked me a year ago, I would not have

expected that we would fare so well.

And, obviously, any time we talk about our great news, and it has been great news, we have to bear in mind that the pandemic has been a terrible

tragedy for so many people in so many different ways.

I think we do take some comfort that we've been able to provide entertainment during those times. But undoubtedly, the whole industry has

actually benefitted. The question that you pose is the right one to ask which is, okay, so when the world comes back to normal and it will, I am

not quite sure when, but it will, does everything go back to the way it was? And the answer is certainly, no.

Activate, a leading media consultancy has said they expect post-pandemic engagement and spending to be about 14 percent higher than pre-pandemic. I

think anecdotally, we're seeing results that are vastly better than that, we have had the entire time and engagement continues to be stellar even

though the world is returning to normal in many places, and it remains stellar over the past summer when as you'll recall cases diminished



ZELNICK: So we actually think that -- we've encouraged new players. We've brought back old players and people are astonished by what they see, and I

think they're going to stick around.

QUEST: So what have you learned during this? If we were to now look to what the next iteration is going to be, what will you be incorporating into

future developments that you believe you've learned by the much greater engagement that took place during pandemic?

ZELNICK: I think what we realized is that people like to consume entertainment with other people, and with our titles and our competitors'

titles, you don't just get great graphics, great stories, great characters, great game play, you also have the ability to consume that with other

people, with other communities at the same time live all around the world.

So you can talk to your friends while you're playing. You can compete with your friends. You can make new friends and people do. In fact, I was

recently asked: do you think people would be having conference calls inside Grand Theft Auto Online because it's a lot more fun there than on Zoom? And

I think the answer is people are already are.

There's a level of engagement in interactive entertainment that that just isn't available in other forms of entertainment. It doesn't mean it will

supplant all other forms, but we have seen a systemic shift in favor of interactive entertainment and I do believe that will continue.

QUEST: Fascinating. Sir, may I give you an invitation to come back later in the year so we can discuss exactly how -- well, first of all to see how

your predictions are panning out, and we can move forward on that. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

ZELNICK: It would be my great pleasure. Thank you for having me.

QUEST: Thank you.

The phrase "herd immunity," now, we're all familiar with it. What does it actually mean? And where are we going to see the first examples?

The Seychelles -- the President of Seychelles says his country's population will reach that goal in a matter of days. The President of Seychelles is

with me after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.



QUEST: The Seychelles president says his country hopes to reach herd immunity against COVID-19 within a matter of days.

Stunning beauty which you can see from these pictures of my recent visit for "World of Wonder." The economy depends heavily on tourism, an industry

that has been devastated by the pandemic.

Now Seychelles had one of the world's first vaccine roll outs.

Seventy percent of Seychelles will be vaccinated within days and the president says it's on track to reach the level of herd immunity; 70

percent is the generally accepted number for that.

I spoke to the president when I was in the country a few moments ago -- he joins me -- a few months ago. He joins me now. Mr. President, thank you for

taking the time today.

So herd immunity will -- is 70 percent which you're going to reach any day now or before the end of the month. What does this mean practically within


WAVEL RAMKALAWAN, PRESIDENT OF SEYCHELLES: Well, of course it means that we will be protected. This is the first aspect of this vaccination program.

But secondly, it means that we will be able to reopen our borders.

And we've already set the 25th of March as the date when Seychelles will be once again open to receive visitors with only a 72-hour PCR negative test.

And I can tell you already there's been so much excitement. Emirates has announced that it will be flying daily into Seychelles, Aeroflot is coming

back after seventeen years.

All the airlines are now being excited about coming back to Seychelles. And of course, we will also have the opening of Club Med.

QUEST: So --

RAMKALAWAN: And at its opening, it'll be 65 percent occupancy. So everything is looking good because of that vaccination program.

QUEST: And for those arriving, you talk about a 72-hour PCR, which is sort of the sweet spot, if you like, for vaccines.

Are you going to go for a vaccination certificate or as it's known, vaccination passport? If you've been vaccinated, what advantage will that

give you arriving there?

RAMKALAWAN: Well, right now if you are vaccinated you can enter the country without going through quarantine. So this is already in existence right


But as from the 25th you do not need to be vaccinated but, of course, being vaccinated will help. It might be a condition that the airlines themselves

will set but Seychelles will be open.

This is the important message we want to send to the whole world.

QUEST: When I was with you, we were talking a lot considerably about the amount of debt that the country has had to take on. The airline is heavily

in debt and may not survive as a carrier or as much smaller carrier.

Do you need to borrow more both for the trade deficit and -- because everything's imported -- and for the budget deficit. Are you going to need

to borrow more from international organizations, IMF and the like, World Bank?

RAMKALAWAN: Well, we are still in discussions with the IMF because we want to have a program with them. But definitely, if we continue the way we are

going now Seychelles will be in deeper financial troubles.

So this is why we hope that with the opening of the country, our economy will pick up and tourism will once again give us the dollars that we need.

But right now, we are -- well, we are in the middle of the budget process and I can tell you that things are still very gloomy. But we are pushing


We've had to launch new bonds in order for us to get money from (ph) our people. We might even launch an international -- a foreign currency bond.

But if we can get our economy, our tourism, back on track then things will look very much better.

QUEST: You see, that is -- that depends, doesn't it, so much on the vaccination in other countries and all that happens elsewhere.



QUEST: I also wonder -- now you've been in office some months, is it very different to -- as you had expected? You took office at a time of real

crisis that few leaders have had to face of this magnitude.

RAMKALAWAN: Richard, I always describe myself as the only elected leader with a good majority who's never had a celebration, had a victory


Yes, we took office at the most difficult time. Even compared to the 2008 economical crisis because 2008 you still had dollars coming in but in 2020,

no dollars were coming in.

So, yes, it's been tough. But at the same time, for us it's been a very good experience. Taking on the tough times right at the beginning of the

mandate, having to face COVID -- and we've already made a success of how to deal with it. Seychelles is number one as you know in the vaccination


And now we're looking also at the fight against drugs.

So if we pass the two tests, the two major tests, I think we're in for a bright future.

And in six months' time, if you ask me the same question I'm sure the answers will be very positive and Seychelles will be right on top of it all

facing the economic difficulties. And, of course, strengthening our nation as a people.

QUEST: Mr. President, thank you for joining us. I had two excellent, superb visits there. World of Wonder was marvelous. And I am grateful that you

have taken time today to talk to us.

The president of Seychelles joining me.

RAMKALAWAN: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

QUEST: And we'll be following herd immunity as and when it arrives.

And this time two weeks from now Israel will be looking at the first exit polls from parliamentary elections. Yes, remember the number of elections

that they've had in Israel because the government keeps falling.

The vaccine program means life is slowly returning to normal for those who've received what's known as the green passports.

Our correspondent, Sam Kylie, reports from Israel.


SAM KILEY, CNN SNR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An hour before reopening, Israeli celebrity chef, Assaf Granit is on site for the renaissance of the

kitchen at the center of his restaurant empire.

ASSAF GRANIT, CHEF & OWNER, MACHNEYUDA RESTAURANT, JERUSALEM: It's like a rebreath (ph), yes. Exactly. It's like opening all over again.

Let's see -- I think lunch will be slowly picking up and then dinner we already booked. So it's going to be a long and happy day.

KILEY: It's not surprising really that there's a party atmosphere here in Machneyuda. It's perhaps the most famous restaurant in the city, famous for

its high energy music, high energy food, high energy chef.

But also it's going to be working at 75 percent capacity. Patrons have to be six feet, two meters apart. That's going to policed, invigilated by an

extra member of staff.

And this is all going to be a result of the introduction of the Israeli green passports, the vaccination certificates that mean that, slowly, at

least this economy can start to recover.


KILEY: First in line, 30 minutes ahead of their booking, a couple from Tel Aviv proud of their vaccine passes.

UNKNOWN: We have it on the phone but here you can see it Please.

UNKNOWN: Wonderful.

KILEY: Why are you so excited?

UNKNOWN: After a year.

UNKNOWN: Because it's a new day, after a year.

KILEY: 40 percent of Israelis have had both vaccine shots and can now enjoy new freedoms to attend concerts, hotels, restaurants, bars even

universities; with some limits on total numbers.

But the fears of another lockdown loom over even the most optimistic. Renewed restrictions would be ruinous.

GRANIT (Speaking in Foreign Language, Captioned): Let's hope they don't close us.

MULTIPLE SPEAKERS (Speaking in Foreign Language, Captioned): They won't close us.

GRANIT (Speaking in Foreign Language, Captioned): God willing.

KILEY: About 5 million Israelis have had a first dose of the vaccine. A world leading level of taken up even though ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli

Arabs are lagging behind.

It's achievement that Benjamin Netanyahu Likud Party will trumpet in the couple of weeks remaining before elections here.

KILEY: How does it feel to be opening?

UNKNOWN: A little scary and very exciting.

KILEY: Why's it scary?

UNKNOWN: First of all, opening up, just seeing customers again. It's been a year.

KILEY: He's screening customers for vaccine certificates.

And what if people don't have it?

UNKNOWN: Then they can sit outside.

KILEY: Not a bad option. After all, spring is in the air.

KILEY (Voice Over): Sam Kiley, CNN, Jerusalem.


QUEST: Agree. Spring is in the air. It is indeed here in New York as well where I think we're going to hit 60 degrees -- of course, they still use

old money here in the states when talking about temperatures.


That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for the moment. Rejoin me at the top of the hour, we'll make a dash for the closing bell, an important one today

because the markets are up so strongly.

But up next after this short break, CONNECTING AFRICA.