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Quest Means Business
White House to Restrict Travel from India; Dozens Killed in Stampede at Religious Gathering in Israel; E.U. Suffers Double-Dip Recession in Q1 2021; Football Boycotts Social Media Over Online Abuse. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 30, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: The Dow off up triple digits to end a topsy-turvy week. A look at the big board, these are the markets, if you have a look at
them, right now the Dow Jones down just over half of one percent, 197,000, taking a breather after what has been a really pretty big earnings week. So
those are the markets, and these are the main events for you.
The White House is restricting travel from India as the virus there continues to surge.
And with lockdowns taking their toll, Europe enters a double-dip recession.
And Apple's battle with Spotify turns into a full-blown battle with Brussels.
Live from London, it is Friday, the 30th of April, I am Isa Soares, and I too, mean business.
A very good evening, everyone. Thank you very much for joining me this hour. We have a very busy hour ahead with two breaking news stories we are
covering this evening.
We are tracking news that the White House will restrict travel from India starting next week. And we are following the tragic scene in Israel where
dozens of people have been killed after a stampede at a religious gathering. We will be live at the scene in just a moment.
We begin though this hour in India. The White House as in the last half an hour or so, cut off almost all travel from India from Tuesday -- it is
going to start on Tuesday as the coronavirus continues to surge there.
Now, the country reported more than 300,000 new infections for the ninth day in a row. A nationwide vaccine rollout is starting to begin on Saturday
for people over 18, but some states have postponed their drives because of vaccine shortages.
Only two percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins joins us now from Washington; Vedika Sud is
standing by for us in New Delhi.
And Kaitlan, let me start with you. Talk me through the restrictions that have been announced and when they actually begin.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Probably the most important -- this is not something that's going into effect immediately. It
doesn't actually start until Tuesday at midnight, May 4th at midnight. I guess, I should say, just to be clear for everyone who is listening, that's
when it is actually going to go into place that the U.S. is restricting travel from India. That means non-U.S. citizens who have been there in the
last 14 days, they are not going to be allowed into the United States. That's pretty similar to some of the other travel restrictions that you've
seen in place.
And the White House says this is on the advice of the C.D.C. and directly as a result of the rise in cases that you've seen in India with those
record-breaking numbers happening every single day for, I believe, nine or ten days now.
And it's because of the multiple variants that are present in India that they want to restrict this travel. That's according to the White House in
saying that this has gone under discussion with President Biden, and his top officials. We know from sources, they have been talking about this for
about a week now, whether or not they should do this as they were facing calls from some people to do so.
The other important factors at play here, because you want to be just as clear as possible on this because it does affect what people are doing and
going to and fro. And this does not apply to U.S. citizens. So, if you're a permanent U.S. citizen, this does not apply to you.
It also does not apply to humanitarian workers. They can still travel back and forth with India. But however, with those two types of travelers, you
do still see those international testing standards still in place. That means, if you are coming to the United States from India, from anywhere
else, really, you have to have a negative COVID test to get on the flight and if you have not been vaccinated, you still have to quarantine for two
weeks and also get a second negative test once you are on the ground in the United States.
Those will stay in place for U.S. citizens and for those humanitarian workers. But, yes, the United States starting on Tuesday is going to be
restricting all travel from India because of the cases.
So, I guess the question that really follows that is how long this is going to last, and the White House has been stressing they are still sending
supplies, oxygen, PPE, testing equipment to India to help them with these rising cases that of course, you're just seeing the entire country struggle
because of it.
SOARES: And Kaitlan, the State Department, I remember, put out a Level Four travel advisory I think it was on Wednesday basically urging all Americans
in India to leave as soon as possible.
I mean, some could argue, Kaitlan, that these restrictions should have come in earlier. I mean, we have a list of countries: Iran, France, Hong Kong,
Canada, New Zealand, Germany, and many more have already put restriction on India earlier than the United States. Is there pressure? Is President Biden
facing sort of backlash to have moved quicker on this?
COLLINS: I wouldn't say there's any backlash that is built. There are definitely some voices that have been calling on this to happen, also other
voices calling on the U.S. to share vaccines because of what we're seeing happening in the U.S. and that's a plan the White House says they are
working on. Those vaccines aren't available yet to be shared internationally.
But when it comes to when these travel restrictions actually go in place, I do think a lot of people will ask, well, why aren't they going in place
right now? Why wait until Tuesday?
And one thing I was told that was in consideration when they were discussing whether or not they should actually take this step was, if
you'll remember last year when former President Trump was in office and he put a lot of those travel restrictions in place, it caused complete chaos
and you saw people at airports.
This is mainly because there wasn't a lot of clarity about what this travel ban meant at the time. People were spending thousands and thousands of
dollars on tickets to get home because they were so concerned that they would not be able to, that they'd be shut out at some point even though it
never applied to U.S. citizens.
And so I think that the White House was trying to avoid that. They are trying to be clear and put this out in advance, so people knew it's coming
down the pipeline, but they still have time to make their arrangements.
Now, whether or not, you know, the question of whether that's wise, I'll leave up to the experts. But that was something that I was told was part of
the conversation when the White House was discussing whether or not to go forward with this.
SOARES: Such important context. Thanks very much, Kaitlan Collins over there at the White House.
Let's go now to Vedika in New Delhi. And Vedika, obviously, this policy from the White House being implemented in light of course of this
extraordinary high COVID-19 caseload, which worryingly, India is not even at its peak. What kind of impact do these restrictions have? What might it
have on those in India?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Isa, like you pointed out and so did Kaitlan, that this was expected in the coming days given that it was under
discussion by medical experts in America as well as the C.D.C., and also, at a time when the travel advisory was already out saying that try to leave
India as soon as possible.
So, this was expected even here back in India, but interestingly, it comes at a time when the domestic carrier here in India, Air India was in fact
operating at pre-COVID times.
So there was a huge load of passengers traveling from India to the U.S., and in fact, Air India was planning to make sure that they had 31 flights
instead of 29 in the coming days.
Now, this news coming in, of course, will disrupt the operations of the domestic carrier. We've seen a lot of people who have been leaving India
for the U.S. recently. And it's very difficult to get a ticket according to people that CNN has spoken with.
The price of tickets has been soaring, and there are very few seats available, and that is what passengers have been telling us.
Yes, you're right, it's the ninth consecutive day that we are seeing numbers more than 300,000 here in a 24-hour wheel. In fact, it is much
closer to 400,000. Even the deaths are soaring here. And those are just the official numbers that we have for you. But medical experts say that those
numbers could be far higher -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, far higher. And experts also saying, Vedika, that it hasn't even -- India is not even at its peak here. Where are we on the vaccination
front? Because I know that 18-year-olds can start getting vaccinated as of tomorrow. Is that correct, Vedika?
SUD: I'm glad you asked that question because I do see tomorrow being a very chaotic day here in India because you have the Indian Prime Minister
as well as the Health Ministry announce recently that those above 18 can be vaccinated from May 1.
Until now, those above 45 or rather, 45 above have been vaccinated, and only two percent of India's 1.36 billion population to date has been
vaccinated, which is quite a small number. But given the huge population we have, it doesn't come as a surprise.
But, like I said, there are a lot of states that have actually come out today and said, you know what, we're not ready, we don't have the supplies.
The supplies are not in from the vaccine manufacturers yet, so we need to hold off. So don't come to the hospitals, don't be confused because you're
not going to get the vaccine.
I know of so many friends and relatives who are 45 and above and have been eligible for the vaccine before this in the last one month but haven't got
their second dose yet. So while those people haven't got their second dose, just imagine we're opening this up to those 18 and above from tomorrow, and
many states announced that we just don't have the supplies -- Isa.
SOARES: And Vedika, very quickly, I mean, is that message, don't show up, we don't have the supply, is that getting across? Is that message being
heard by those expecting the vaccine tomorrow?
SUD: Well, that's what the states have said. They've come out in press conferences. They've spoken to the media including Delhi and the state of
Maharashtra. In fact, the City of Mumbai, which is the financial capital of India has stopped vaccinations for the last three days because they just
don't have supplies.
But I do anticipate some kind of mixed messaging going out at this point in time, because the government did come out and say from May 1st, we're going
to start vaccinations for 18 plus.
SUD: So, we will have to wait until tomorrow to see how this really rolls out on the roads and streets and vaccination centers here in India -- Isa.
SOARES: Vedika Sud for us in New Delhi. Thanks very much, Vedika. I really appreciate it.
Let me take you to Israel now. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling it one of the worst disasters in Israeli history. Forty-five people are now
confirmed dead after apparently being crushed at a religious festival in Israel. It happened in a passageway. You can see just how crammed people
Around 150 people were treated for injuries. This is the awful aftermath today, the festival drew tens of thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews, the
biggest such gathering since the pandemic began.
CNN's Hadas Gold has the latest now from Mount Meron. And Hadas, do we know at this stage what caused the chaos? Why so many -- I mean, given this
happens every year, why so many were going down that little narrow lane?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, authorities are still investigating exactly what happened and how. But we were actually at the site of the
stampede earlier today, and we could just see how tight of a passageway it is.
You go from this sort of grandstand area in front of one of the bonfires, part of the Lag B'Omer Festival, and then you go into this very slippery
ramp that leads down a set of stairs, and it was difficult even for me just walking up the stairs to keep my balance. So I can't imagine being amongst
tens of thousands of other people crammed together in this passageway.
What's not clear though is exactly what caused this bottleneck, what caused the chaos and the stampede that we saw that led to just a tangle of bodies.
Those videos and images we are seeing are just absolutely horrific, seeing people all on top of each other.
CNN spoke to a medic earlier today who was one of the first people on the scene. She said that when she arrived at one point, she saw about 20 people
receiving CPR all at the same time.
And as the number stands right now, as you know, 45 people have unfortunately killed, more than 150 injured.
In fact, the funerals began today for several of the victims. And the United States also is now confirming that some of the victims were American
citizens as well.
So this is turning into a tragedy that's affecting more than just this country, but other countries as well.
SOARES: Yes. And, like you said, Hadas, this event takes place every year. Was there a sense from those you've been speaking to, Hadas, that this year
there were larger crowds, there were more people? Was something done differently this time around?
GOLD: In fact, well, this year actually was a slightly smaller crowd. Some previous years have noted even higher numbers of people attending this
festival. Now, there are some reports that there were some changes made to the layout because of coronavirus precautions, trying to kind of cordon off
some parts of the bonfire areas that perhaps that might have attributed to it.
But when you're up there, when you're up at the actual site, this is a site near a tomb of an ancient rabbi. So, this isn't some sort of modern space
with modern grandstands. It's very tight. It's very tight passageways. It is, you know, sort of an older space as well.
So, it's not hard to imagine how when you get that many people all in one space that you could cause some problems. And now there are many questions
here, questions about why so many, why tens of thousands of upwards -- there have been some reports up to a hundred thousand people were allowed
on this mountain especially in the time of coronavirus. We haven't seen that number before.
What was going on with the crowd control? With the police?
Clearly, they saw that there were so many people there at one time. Why were so many of them allowed onto the mountain? The Police Commander for
this Northern Region has already taken responsibility, but the Attorney General is launching an investigation to see exactly what happened and why.
SOARES: Yes, many more questions need to be answered. Thank you very much, Hadas Gold for us there in Israel.
Now, while the U.S. economy grows, Europe's contracts. How the continent failed to quell the virus and landed in a double-dip recession.
We'll bring you that story, next.
SOARES: Now, the E.U.'s latest numbers confirm it is falling into a double- dip recession after failing to contain the coronavirus and fumbling its vaccine rollout. The E.U.'s economy shrank 0.4 percent in the first
quarter. Germany, the continent's economic powerhouse as you can see there contracted 1.7 percent.
Let's show you the European GDP for the fourth quarter and the first quarter now. Europe's disappointing number stand really in contrast with
the U.S.'s economic figures that you remember were out yesterday.
The White House Chief of Staff is taking somewhat of a victory lap. He re- tweeted a headline about Europe's recession and wrote: "There was nothing inevitable or easy about the turnaround we've seen in America these 100
days." Comparing the U.S. and European economies shows a difference what an aggressive vaccination campaign, as well as a huge seamless plan can make.
More than 30 percent of the U.S. is fully vaccinated. Less than 10 percent of people are vaccinated in Europe.
Personal income in the U.S. grew a record 21 percent in March thanks in large part to those stimulus checks. And while Europe has stayed locked
down, Americans went out, spent their money and that of course all boosted GDP.
Melissa Bell is in Paris for us this hour. Melissa, as we've just clearly outlined, the differences between U.S. and Europe are huge, and it's not
just about stimulus, but critically the very slow vaccination drive and the restrictions that are still in place.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, that's right, Isa. It's about both. You realize that those are the keys really to unlocking economies,
vaccination programs, vaccination rollouts that are sufficiently quick and efficient that people can have hope.
But also of course, stimulus that comes in fast and at the right time. And of course, on both those fronts, Europe has been doing something it never
did before, which is trying to coordinate both on vaccines because health policy before wasn't dealt with by Brussels.
But also on stimulus, you'll remember last year that 750-billion-euro stimulus plan, that was the first time that Europe had decided to act
together, to leverage debt. It will take, Isa, several more months for those payments to come through. So, the United States has been able to do
two things that Europe has been much slower at: vaccinations and stimulus and for the simple reason that Europe is doing things it had never done
before -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and like you said, the coordination is the hard part, Melissa. It is 27 countries versus the U.S., which is one, makes slightly difficult,
but of course, many viewers won't know this, but these figures are backward-looking.
But we are starting to get a sense -- and now, you can talk about Paris here -- that things are looking slightly brighter, that European economies
are starting to show signs of life? Where does the ECB project Europe will be in the second half of this year?
BELL: Well, you're right, those projections are fairly optimistic. We're talking for the Eurozone, Isa, of plus four percent for the rest of this
year, and more than four percent next year as well, and by then, a return to pre-pandemic levels.
So it's all pretty hopeful, and the idea is that what we're being to see in Europe now in places like France, here in Paris, over the next few days and
weeks, a lightening of those restrictions. And I think it's important to understand when you look at those figures comparing the United States to
Europe just how strict the regulations so much of the E.U. has lived under for the last year have been.
BELL: Businesses have suffered a great deal. It's been very difficult to get the economy back up and running. Second and third waves devastating for
Europe with increasing restrictions. Only now are we beginning to see the light in terms of so different industries, people getting out and about,
restaurants opening possibly, museums, tourism starting once again. And this is all yet to come.
This has been a long, long winter for Europe -- Isa.
SOARES: Absolutely. Melissa Bell for us there in Paris, thanks very much, Melissa, good to see you.
Meanwhile, the E.U. has raised the stakes in its ongoing scrutiny of Apple. Its antitrust regulators say Apple is illegally forcing Spotify to steer
its subscribers to Apple's own App Store.
Apple could be fined up to 10 percent of its annual sales if it is found to be in violation. Apple says it has the right to set certain rules. Europe's
top antitrust official, Margrethe Vestager said the tech giant is going too far. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGRETHE VESTAGER, E.U. COMPETITIONS COMMISSIONER: We are concerned that Apple's rules negatively impacts its rivals by raising its cost, reducing
their profit margins, as well as their attractiveness on the Apple platform.
Through these laws, Apple steps in between these competitors and their customers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now, it is a hard-fought victory for Spotify in what has been a busy week for the company. Let's check Spotify's Discover Weekly play list,
shall we? Come with me. First up, "Mo money, mo problems."
Takes me back. Spotify earnings disappointed. New subscribers appear to be slowing down despite a spending spree to acquire new, exclusive content.
Let's fast forward to a classic. "Under Pressure." I know this one.
Greatest hits right here. Well, investors punish Spotify over what they see as increased pressure from music streaming rivals as Spotify's growth
slows, Apple and Amazon are capitalizing.
Okay, next song, Pink Floyd's "The Gunner's Dream." Spotify founder and CEO, Daniel Ek says, he has secured the funding to buy Arsenal football
club known as the Gunners. Many Arsenal fans aren't happy with current ownership after the club tried to join the ill-fated super league. Remember
And, finally, "Fight the Power."
Now, the protest anthem is a fitting way to cap Spotify's week. Apple is about 40 times larger than Spotify in market cap and they have been
bickering for years over the App Store.
Now, Spotify has struck a blow with today's European Commission decision. Clare Sebastian is in New York for more.
And Clare, I won't get you singing after all those greatest hits, but let's start with the E.U. once again going after Big Tech. And this time, Clare,
actually going after Apple's crown jewel, the App Store.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Isa, this is coming at a time when the App Store is increasingly important to Apple. It's trying to
become more than just the iPhone company and becoming a services business sort of in its own right as we've seen in the last quarter, iPhone sales
But services are increasingly important to Apple. So the timing of this is crucial.
The E.U. says, this is a preliminary conclusion. They find sort of two sort of set of parts of this that Apple is in breach of competition law, one,
because of the 30 percent commission that it charges in in-app purchases and app downloads. The Commission says that in their findings, they found
that streamers tend to pass that on to consumers. So that is sort of your traditional reading of antitrust law that it is bad for consumers.
But of course, they also say that this is bad for competition because they are requiring the developers to use their own proprietary in-app payment
system. They can't advertise other alternatives and that they say, reduces competition.
So, this really sort of still just at the beginning innings of this. Apple now has to reply in writing and give its response to this, they can then
request a hearing that we could see appeals.
But if they are found guilty, as you said, they could be forced to pay 10 percent of annual revenue. So, this is a threat to the world's biggest
publicly listed company -- Isa.
SOARES: And as you pointed out, it's not just about informing users of other purchasing options outside of the App Store. But also, the
Commission, which, I believe, can go up to 30 percent commission it charges on in-app purchases.
Correct me if I'm wrong, Clare, but wasn't there a similar complaint filed by the makers of Fortnite? Where are we with that?
SEBASTIAN: This is still going on, Isa. In fact, this case goes to trial in the U.S. on Monday. This was really a blockbuster case that started last
You'll remember that Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, they publicly defied Apple. They went and introduced their own payment system in their
They then got kicked off the Apple -- the App Store. They also got kicked off Google Play and they turned around and sued. It was sort of a pre-
They also had video parroting an old Apple commercial sort of accusing them of being a totalitarian regime in the digital space. They tried to rally
users around this with the hashtag, #FreeFortnite.
So this will come to a head next week in the U.S. The two CEOs including Tim Cook expected to testify. So that again, sort of a second but major
legal issue for Apple as we watch how the App Store is going to be able to exist in this ecosystem.
Right now, there are threats to the way that business model operates.
SOARES: And, Clare, very briefly, are investors that you've spoken to, are they worried at all about this potential -- this spat with Brussels and it
being dragged out?
SEBASTIAN: So, there is some sort of nagging concern, Isa. We see the stock down a little bit today. But I think a lot of investors are able to
compartmentalize this. This is a $2.2 trillion company. It's the world's largest publicly listed company.
They are really just sort of firing on all cylinders at the moment. They just posted 54 percent sales growth, so I think given that, investors and
many of them are able to view this as sort of a side show, at least until we get further down the line in the legal sort of processes here.
SOARES: It may take some time as we've seen these process before. Clare Sebastian, great to see you, my friend.
And as Clare was saying, Amazon shares aren't really getting much of a bounce despite the company's latest blockbuster earnings. Shares are doing
better than overall markets after the report of profits tripled in the first quarter to a staggering $8 billion and the stock is just up its all-
time high. You can see there pretty flat.
Matt Egan joins us now from New Jersey. Matt, I read that the profits that they made, Amazon, in the 12 months ending March 31st. I am talking about
Amazon here, is more than the profits they made in the entire three years up to 2019? I mean, they've definitely benefitted from the pandemic, Amazon
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Isa, you're right. This is a company that really was perfectly situated coming into this once-in-a-century
Amazon has made $27 billion over the last four quarters combined. That is a staggering sum of money. And listen, it makes some sense. E-commerce was
booming before this health crisis, and then you had all of these lockdowns. People who had never or rarely shopped online were suddenly reliant on it.
People like myself who were already shopping online bought even more. Amazon now has more than 200 million paid Prime subscribers. That's a big
deal. Those are sticky, reliable reoccurring customers.
Cloud computing has been a big, big growth area again before the crisis, and then that has accelerated as people have worked remotely. Amazon also
has this growing ad business, which is now more than 10 percent market share in the U.S. display ad business.
And they have a streaming business that's growing as well as people are staying home. They're not yet back at the movies and streaming hours are up
more than 70 percent year-over-year. So, Isa, this is why Amazon is a $1.8 trillion company.
SOARES: Yes. One analyst said today, I remember, reading that he said, Amazon, Matt, has the almost perfect business for the world right now. It
is obviously compelling in clearly what it is offering from Cloud, from commerce, to a growing Cloud business to advertising business.
But as we have just reported in the last few minutes, European economies are starting to open up, the U.S. is starting to open up. What is their
guidance going forward? Do they think that those converts to online shopping are not likely to leave now, Matt?
EGAN: Not surprisingly, Isa that is what they're saying. They are painting a pretty positive picture going forward. They are saying that sales in the
current quarter are going to go up another 30 percent, which is pretty impressive when you think about the tough comparison.
A year ago was really the height of the pandemic, at least in the United States. So the fact that they still expect to grow 30 percent above that is
pretty impressive, and they do think that a lot of the people who have migrated to Amazon, people who have bought more from it, they like it, they
love it, they're going to stay. We'll see, though.
I mean, I do sort of wonder if that could be one of the hangovers for the stock. I mean, as we mentioned, Amazon not doing much today despite the
fact that their profit had tripled year-over-year. They're only up -- the stock is only up seven percent this year, which is, you know, compared to
about 12 percent for the S&P 500.
But Isa, this is a stock that went up 76 percent last year and as we know, nothing can go straight up.
SOARES: And for our viewers scratching in their heads that's $13,000 every second. Matt Egan, thank you very much. Just staggering. Now taking a stand
against online racist abuse, CNN speaks exclusively to an iconic footballer. After his boycott goes mainstream. We'll bring you that story,
SOARES: Hello. I'm Isa Soares. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. When World Cup winner Thierry Henry tell CNN why he's abandoning
social media to protest racism in football.
And as the United States prepares reopen, I'll ask the CEO of Cirque du Soleil if live performances are also going to bounce back before that. This
is CNN and on this network the facts always come first.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a thorough investigation into a deadly stampede at a religious festival. At least 45
people were crushed to death, dozens of others were injured. Witnesses said people were trampled as they made their way through a tightly packed
corridor. The Prime Minister has declared Sunday a day of national mourning.
U.S. President Joe Biden is set to impose new travel restrictions on India in response to the country's explosion in COVID-19 cases. Friday marks the
ninth day in a row that India has added more than 300,000 cases and a 24- hour period. The White House's the travel policy will take effect on Tuesday.
Brazil's health minister is making an urgent appeal for more vaccines. He's asking countries with extra doses to share them Brazil as soon as possible.
SOARES: Only about six percent of Brazil's population has been fully vaccinated, although it has one of the highest infections in the world.
Now social media accounts from across the sports world are shutting down this weekend to demand an end to racist abuse online. The unprecedented
blackout on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will run through Monday. It was organized by English football organizations, including the Premier League
and the Football Association. Since then, it has grown really to include British broadcasters, UEFA and other sports.
Adidas says it's halting paid advertising across the U.K. social media platform. Formula One says it supports the blackout and the athletes who
have joined it, but isn't participating itself. Online vitriol drove football legend Thierry Henry to quit social media last month. He says this
is about taking a stand for those less powerful. Henry spoke exclusively to CNN contributor Darren Lewis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARREN LEWIS, CNN SPORT CONTRIBUTOR: It's been five weeks since you came on social media. What's life been like for you?
THIERRY HENRY, FRENCH FOOTBALL COACH: Great. Holiday camp? No, no joking aside. Now it's been -- it's been great in all fairness. At the very
beginning, no, I was going in a -- in a weird mood, shall I say. But I was like always looking and always mentioned the strength of the back. And
sometime when you -- when you're alone to scream something. You feel lonely. But I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about the people that
don't have a voice.
I'm talking about the people that have been abused, harassed for the way they look, for what they believe in the color of their skin on social
media. And so, I was like, OK, maybe if I come up social media as, you know, taking a stand for the people that don't maybe have a voice maybe it
can create a way because me coming on social media people would like to know why. And they wanted to know why.
But then the aftermath of it was like there was a little period where I was like, well, it's kind of a shame that people are not reacting.
LEWIS: Other people weren't quick to follow. When you see what's happened since and the way that all of sports, some media outlets are mobilizing to
get behind you. Does that make you feel better after feeling alone in those initial weeks?
HENRY: I mean, we all have English, nobody's doing it at the minute and what's going to happen on the weekend. People ask me, is it enough? The
weekend? And I'm like to start, you know, you can't be too greedy from not adding anything to that. It's a start. But yes, we are the voice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Darren Lewis joins us now. And Darren, thanks very much for that. It was a fascinating interview and very passionate Thierry Henry there. And
what is clear is that, you know, from the clubs, the athletes, the sporting bodies involved is that there is a collective anger, if I can call it that.
What do they want to see social media companies do? Once come Tuesday morning on Monday night, Darren, what did they expect to have changed?
LEWIS: They expect social media companies I said to come up with solutions to ensure that black footballers are not routinely abused on the basis of
the color of their skin. Also that black people aren't abused on the basis of the color of their skin. And also when they actually activate the
complaining mechanisms that apparently are at their disposal. The social media companies work faster to remove that abuse on (INAUDIBLE) myself.
Many people have remarked on the fact that when copyright is breached, the social media companies are very, very quick to remove anyone who posts for
example, music or football footage from the Premier League. But when it comes to removing racism, or sexism, or homophobic abuse, they do not act
quickly enough. People want that to change. And so on Tuesday, they are looking to see some kind of commitment from the social media companies
beyond the sound bites, Isa, where they continue to tell us that racism, it has no place on their platforms but they turn a blind eye when they see it.
SOARES: And if these companies, Darren, don't act, these clubs, do they believe and these players believe that the government ought to be playing a
more proactive role?
SOARES: I mean, perhaps finding them because there's clearly an appetite from what I'm hearing for more regulation.
LEWIS: Well, the government, the British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, he talks a very good game, he talks about fines that could be levied at the
tech companies. The Online Harms Bill first drafted in April 2019. Still no closer to having that brought into law. So the M.P.s are very, very good at
grandstanding when it comes to football. But so far, we haven't seen any evidence that they are willing to bring in the kind of controls that the
tech companies or even the kind of deterrent for the tech companies to be inspired to do better in relation to black people.
Let's not kid ourselves. I said this just is not about black footballers. It's about black people. When they use social media, they have a right not
to find racist abuse and when it is there, they have a right to expect it to be removed quickly.
SOARES: On that point, Darren, how much of our football is here in the U.K. been inspired, being forced to change, seeking change, given the events
that happened in the United States? I'm talking about George Floyd here, the death of George Floyd.
LEWIS: Well, the tragedy around George Floyd last year has inspired many people on both sides of the Atlantic. I said to find their voices. We have
seen a number of people speak out about the lack of representation in many areas of society, but certainly within sport, the lack of black decision
makers, people on the boards of the Football Association here in England, the Premier League, the EFL, the second tier of English football.
We don't have any black representation. And there are a number of sports, all of whom are joining in with this boycott who will need to look at
themselves on May 25th, the anniversary of George Floyd passing. And say to themselves, have we done what we said we would do last year when everyone
looked at us and call for change? Because it's all very well saying the right thing. Doing the right thing is a very, very different thing as far
as many companies are concerned.
So, black footballers, they are using their voices to call this kind of thing out. Black but people are doing that because we cannot continue the
way we had been going before last year.
SOARES: Yes, we definitely need to see more than just lip service from these companies. Darren Lewis, thank you very much for joining us. I really
LEWIS: Thank you, Isa.
SOARES: Now the U.S. is ramping up reopenings as we get further into spring. Disneyland is now welcoming guests back for the first time in a
year. We'll have the latest what else's coming down the line. You are watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
SOARES: Through hard lock downs and the transition to work from home, telecommunications has kept the world connected over the past year. In this
installment of Connecting Africa, Eleni Giokos speaks to the head of Africa's largest telecom giant about his plans to bring more people and
RALPH MUPITA, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MTN GROUP: We are seeing the demand of it surging is not abating. In the last year alone 110 percent increase in data
traffic. We're going to spend approximately $10 billion worth of CaPex over the next five years to ensure that Africa has the infrastructure to power
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you see yourselves and the definition of what a telco is? A communications company is starting to evolve in the
next few years and what would that mean for you?
MUPITA: That's exactly what we've painted out in ambition 2025 where we basically saying that we're going to have the strongest connectivity
business across Africa with 85,000 kilometers of fiber across the African continent. You know that kind of coverage is going to increase. But on top
of that connectivity are five platforms that will accelerate growth, financial services is going to be a big part of that.
Digital services, gaming music, video. And then we have what we call the Africa API marketplace. We bring small businesses together, expose them to
a platform and allow them to exchange data and through that exchange of data, ultimately monetize and create, you know, sustainable businesses.
GIOKOS: What's the most interesting coal that you have received during the pandemic, where business was caught off guard and suddenly needed to think
about the way that they should be digitizing? We should have done it a few years ago.
MUPITA: Oh, that's an interesting question. I think, you know, just the rapid change in e-commerce I think was surprising in many markets. And you
see this guy's now on scooters all over the place, you know, delivering -- we've seen in our markets, that pickup has actually been quite explosive.
So, I think people underestimated just the latent demand for kind of e- commerce solutions which are obviously all underpinned by connectivity.
GIOKOS: So, when I talk about the continental free trade area and we say intra Africa trade needs to increase from the current 15 percent that react
right now. Can it truly be done without a strong telco sector? And without executives like you thinking big?
MUPITA: I would argue that it's not possible that we get to the, you know, the kind of growth that is anticipated under the agreement. We have the
telecommunications sector, there is a massive fiber build and data build required over the next three to five years across the African continent.
And with unified regulations, you'll be able to move from country X to Y, with your investment secure that, you know, this investment, you know, will
yield the return.
So, the free trade agreement I think is super important and the telecommunications sector can play a massive role there.
SOARES: Now, after more than a year of COVID closures, Cirque du Soleil is looking to bounce back strong. It's bringing back four of its shows in
three key markets. We'll speak with the CEO next.
SOARES: Welcome back. Now 100 million Americans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 the White House says. That's more than a third of the U.S.
population. The news comes as President Biden's team moves into the next phase of its coronavirus response which involves increasing access to the
shots. U.S. reopening some buildings full steam ahead. Today Disneyland in California opens its gates for the first time in more than a year.
Over the next month, two Atlanta sports teams will resume games at 100 percent capacity and 1000s of mass spectators will show up to the watch the
Kentucky Derby. New York City is continuing to plan for its targeted reopening date of July 1st.
And this sun is rising again over Cirque du Soleil. The group is resuming four of its most eye- popping shows across Las Vegas, London, as well as
the Dominican Republic. The first, Mystere will return in late June. It's the company's chance to soar to new heights really after emerging if you
remember from bankruptcy protection last fall.
Daniel Lamarre is the chief executive of Cirque du Soleil. He joins me now from Montreal via Skype. Daniel, wonderful to have you on the show. You
know, after the year you've had this must be wonderful news. Talk to us. How are you feeling?
DANIEL LAMARRE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (via Skype): You can see by my smile that I feel much better now. I can tell you there was a
lot of emotion last week when I announced to our employees that we are reopening our shows. There was a lot of Zoom tears when I did the
announcement. I can tell you that
SOARES: Talks about us only about the preparations. What you've had to put in place in order to reopen.
LAMARRE: Yes. First of all, for Last Vegas, we've been lucky because our cast and crew lives there. And all the cast and crew are going to be
vaccinated before we open. And now what we have to do, and it's happening as we speak, our cast and crew are in the theater at Mystere, a Treasure
Island and all at the Bellagio and they're already rehearsing. And it takes -- it will take a good two months before they're ready to be able to
present our great shows to our fans.
SOARES: It's wonderful to hear that the rehearsals are starting, and I suspect Daniel, there will also might be changed as to some of the aspects
of the shows, the ones that are slightly more interactive, I assume.
LAMARRE: Yes. What's happening right now is obviously we want to solidify, you know, all the acts, we want to make sure that, you know, our artists
will be protected, the public will be protected. And we're so looking forward. You should have seen when we did the announcement last week, we
have reached out around the world, three billion people that were touched by that announcement.
And since then, we have been overwhelmed of comments of people that are looking forward for us to visit their country, to visit their cities. And
it means that the brand of Cirque du Soleil is really alive more than ever before.
SOARES: And that's for sure. It's wonderful to hear that but it's, you know, our viewers will probably won't know this. You have gone through a
really tough year, tough challenges. You went from putting on 44 shows down across the globe to really zero revenue almost overnight, and then you're
pushed into bankruptcy. How tough has it been? What have you learned from this?
LAMARRE: First of all, as you said that was horrible. Within 48 hours we went from 44 shows to no shows from a lot of revenues to zero revenue. And
then, you know, there was a lot of uncertainties about our future. But we've been lucky because of the strength of the brand investors, our
lenders, in particular believed that the value of the company, you know, was not diminished.
LAMARRE: At the opposite, decided to reinvest $375 million in Cirque to ensure the future of the company forever. So that was a big, big relief
when we got the support of this group of lenders and investor. And that's why today they deserve to have a great return when our show will come back.
SOARES: And Daniel, very briefly, what was the biggest lessons you've learned from this?
First of all, that was really important to keep the communication with our employees because now if we can regroup and come back and present our
shows, again, it's because we stayed in touch with our employees. The other thing was to stay in touch with our fans. And during this pandemic, we kept
a new way of communication with our fans, which was called Cirque Connect. And we reach out over 70 million viewers through content that we had
presented on social media for free, which also help to keep the brand alive.
SOARES: Lamarre, the CEO of Cirque du Soleil. Thank you very much for coming on the show. And congratulations, I can't wait to see it here in
London. I've seen it many times and it's always a spectacle time. Thank you, Daniel. Best of luck.
LAMARRE: Thank you very much. Have a good day.
SOARES: Now, they're just -- we're just moments left now to trade on Wall Street. We'll have the final numbers as well as the closing bell right
SOARES: Now there are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. It's been a bit of a rough day on the markets. All three indices are down as you can
see there. The Dow is down some almost 200 points, 194, it's off the worst of the day though. 193, half a percent low. Let's take a look at the Dow
component if we could. Only a handful of positive stocks. Amgen is leading the way up around two percent. Energy and tech shares are the worst of the
Apple is down just 1-1/2 percent. And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for today. I'm Isa Soares in London. The news continues right here on CNN with
"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper. Bye-bye.