Return to Transcripts main page
Quest Means Business
Delta Variant Sparks New Restrictions, Threatens Recovery; Israeli Prime Minister Calls For Renewed COVID-19 Restrictions; China To Keep Border Restrictions For Another Year According To WSJ; Fauci: Delta Variant Spreads "More Efficiently," Is "More Dangerous"; Beijing Freezes "Apple Daily's" Assets; Protests In Japan One Month Before Olympics Start. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired June 23, 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 INTERNATIONAL HOST: The Dow set to close the day around where it started, clearly taking a breather after two days of gains. Let me
show you the big board and see the market moves for this hour. As I told you, pretty flat.
Those are the markets and these are the main events. Europe's C.D.C. says the delta variant is gaining a foot hold on the continent, threatening the
bloc's economic the recovery.
Israel's Prime Minister calls for more COVID restrictions in response to a new outbreak of the variant.
And get a shot or stay at home. Morgan Stanley bans unvaccinated staff from its office.
Live from London, it's Wednesday, the 23rd of June. I'm Isa Soares, and I too, mean business.
Good evening, everyone. Tonight, the global economic recovery is under threat from the delta variant. It comes amid a dire warning really from the
European C.D.C. The more infectious, more transmissible coronavirus strain will make up 90 percent of the new cases in the E.U. and that is by the end
of August. That's the prediction.
It really is a direct clash and as well as a major setback to the demands, of course, of the travel industry, which we have spoken so much about on
this show. At protests really across the U.K. calling on governments to really open up borders and end quarantine rules.
They say the time is now or never to save the summer season and really rescue the tens of thousands of jobs reliant on a tourism rebound in
Well, concerns over the delta variant are prompting new restrictions right around the world. In Israel, the new Prime Minister is urging Israelis not
to travel abroad and is calling for the return of masks indoors. The "Wall Street Journal" reports that China plans to keep pandemic border
restrictions for at least another year.
And in England, they have already pushed the next phase of is reopen much to the dismay of course of British businesses.
None of these bodes well for the European Union which has limped towards restarting its economy which is 29 percent of its population fully
I'm joined by Spain's Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya. She is joining me now from Madrid.
Minister, thank you very much for joining us this evening. Let me start off with what we heard from the European Center for Disease Control that that
delta variant will represent 90 percent of all cases in E.U. by the end of summer. How worried are you about what you're hearing?
ARANCHA GONZALEZ LAYA, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, this is giving us even more determination to proceed with vaccinations. We know that the
vaccines work against the delta variant and this is where need to put all our efforts into vaccinating our citizens.
Just today, we passed the mark of 50 percent of Spaniards with at least one of two doses, and over 30 percent with two doses. We hit a record of a
daily vaccination with 650,000 Spaniards vaccinated in 24 hours.
So, we're moving full speed ahead to make sure that our citizens are protected, so that we can open businesses in a safe manner.
SOARES: Does this warning from the C.D.C., is that making you change or try to go faster when it comes to vaccinations? And where are you, Minister, on
the question of vaccine passports or vaccine certificates?
LAYA: We have already introduced the vaccine certificate because we have already decided to accept citizens traveling to Spain that are fully
vaccinated with proof of this vaccination, with a COVID certificate, and this is where again, we need to speed up vaccinations. This is the biggest
guarantee we have to stop the variants having an impact on our healthcare systems, and having an impact on death rates.
Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. That is the name of the game.
SOARES: It is the name of the game and we are seeing that really right around the world and those countries that at least have access to those
vaccines. But like you had said, Minister, Spain is starting to open to vaccinated travelers, and to citizens like you said of low-risk countries.
As our viewers will note, this is all part of a bid to re-jumpstart the tourism sector. How confident are you, Minister, that the measure that are
being put in place are being not only communicated clearly to travelers, because it can be quite confusing, and that people that will be -- that
people who are taking the risk by traveling outside their country.
LAYA: Well, we are being very clear with travelers, because we respect travelers and we want to make sure they have the best experience when they
come to Spain. We also want to make sure that we open and ensure travelers can experience holidays in Spain, but ensuring their security and their
And this is why, we are saying, citizens that are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, they can come in with proof or evidence that they've been
vaccinated. And then on the basis of that, we have a second tier of countries, not citizens, but countries, where the incidents are low. They
can also access Spain. All countries where the incidences very high, they remain with our borders -- we remain with our borders closed for them.
But the key is the citizens. Those that are fully vaccinated, it is easier for them to come into Spain.
SOARES: Yes, but I suspect, looking at the vaccination rate that we were just seeing in the E.U., for example, just 29 percent of its population
fully vaccinated, and those who do travel the most, those are in their 30s and their 40s, Minister. They won't be vaccinated.
So do you suspect, do you think this is going to be another lost summer?
LAYA: Well, the prospects look better this summer through a combination of domestic traveling, but also, European and other third country travelers
that are fully vaccinate. It will that be the 90 million citizens that we used to have pre-COVID, but we are expecting a summer that looks better
than the last one.
Again, where we need to put our effort now is in vaccinating the citizens. And not only in our own country, in Spain, but also making sure we share
vaccines with third countries so that they are also protected and they can enjoy mobility. This is where Spain will, in the course of July, start
sharing around 22.5 million vaccines that we have promised, we will be sharing with third countries, too.
SOARES: So, sticking with Spain, Minister, what is the aim? When do you want to have, let's say, 80 percent of your population vaccinated? Give me
an idea, and our viewers an idea of timing here.
LAYA: Yes, by the end of July, we expect to have -- end of July, beginning of August, of course, it all depends where we are with accessing vaccines
that we have purchased and the arrival time into Spain. But around the summer, we will have herd immunity in Spain.
And this again is a guarantee not only for Spaniards, but for those traveling to Spain, that they will be able to come to a country which is
safe and secure.
SOARES: And let me ask you this. We've heard the German Chancellor Angela Merkel say that she would like other European countries to require people
entering from countries with high levels of the delta variant like the U.K., to go into quarantine. Is this something that Spain will follow?
LAYA: Well for now, we think that asking citizens to be fully vaccinated, protect the travelers and protect Spaniards. This is what scientists are
telling us, that the delta variant is -- we are protected against the delta variant when we are vaccinated. So, let's proceed with vaccinations. This
is the most important one, and let's open already mobility for those that are fully vaccinated, which represent a much lower risk.
It has to be safe, but also understandable for our citizens.
SOARES: Yes, but let me ask you this. Spain is on the amber list here in the U.K., anyone traveling from Spain has to quarantine, as you well know,
Minister, for 10 days. Do you think this decision is justified? Do you believe it will change in the coming days?
LAYA: Well, I do not question the schemes. I do not question the way other countries decide to restore mobility. But what we know, and this is
something that scientists in the U.K. are telling us, is that people that are vaccinated are well-protected against the delta variant. So, we think
there is a logic between opening mobility without requiring quarantine for those citizens that are fully vaccinated.
This is what we see as a logical step stemming from what scientists are telling us. Of course, the decision is for the U.K. to make. Obviously, I
do understand that there are many U.K. citizens that have been fully vaccinated that are looking forward to traveling to Spain. We will be,
obviously, more than happy to welcome them.
Any rules in the U.K. is for the U.K. authorities to decide.
SOARES: Arancha Gonzalez Laya, thank you very much, the Spanish Foreign Minister. Thank you. Minister for taking time to speak with us here on
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Now, the spread of the delta variant is leading Israel, one of the world's most vaccinated countries to reverse course. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
is asking people there to avoid international travel and to once again wear masks indoors.
Israel's vaccination campaign is still the envy of the world. Nearly 60 percent of the country is fully inoculated against COVID-19. Even so, cases
have been creeping higher, especially among school children, as well as teachers.
Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem, and Hadas, I think it wasn't so long ago that you and I were talking about Israel, praising Israel, having the world's
highest share of its population fully vaccinated, which it still has. So, talk to us about why these measures are being put in place now.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, it has barely been a week since the indoor mask mandate was technically lifted. But now, the restrictions
may be headed back to Israel.
According to Israeli officials, there have been outbreaks, especially within the school system. There are at least 278 positive cases right now
in the school system over the past few days. Officials say that has helped lead to a surge of new cases. We'll give you an example.
Just a week ago, there were just 30 positive cases listed in a single day. Yesterday, there were more than 100. That goes to show how quickly things
are spreading here.
Now, the culprit, officials say, is this delta variant, which is of course, much more contagious. It is combined with international travel. Israeli
citizens who are vaccinated are allowed to leave and enter the country, as well as the fact that children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated,
and that the Israeli officials are trying to get more children above the age of 12 to be vaccinated.
So as a result, the new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett has reconvened the Coronavirus Cabinet. There was a picture of them meeting today, sent around
and showing actually all of the members of the Cabinet now wearing masks indoors. He is encouraging people to wear masks indoors. It is not yet a
requirement. They say they will be watching the cases and if they stay above 100 positive cases a day, they will bring back the mask mandate
He is asking people not to travel internationally. There was also supposed to be a plan to allow vaccinated tourists, individual tourists into the
country starting July 1st. That has now been pushed back to August 1st. And he's also calling, urging parents to vaccinate their children who are above
the age of 12.
He is saying that right now, only about 2,000 children above the age of 12 are being vaccinated per day and that Israel needs to be vaccinating 20,000
of these children every day to reach its goals. He is telling all parents to get out and do it soon because he actually said, the current batch of
vaccines that Israel has are set to expire at the end of July.
So, if parents want their children vaccinated, to get both doses in time, they need to do so before July 9th, trying to really encourage parents to
get their children vaccinated because of course, if a child is not vaccinated, they can still pass along this very highly contagious delta
variant -- Isa.
SOARES: On the hundred or so cases that you were mentioning there, Hadas. I mean, have they been mostly mild? And have they been mostly younger people
contracting it? What do we know?
GOLD: So, there is definitely an outbreak within the school system. Of the 278 that I noted within the school system who have tested positive, the
vast majority of them are children. Now, we don't know exactly the breakdown of how many are seriously ill versus who are not.
We have heard from Israeli health officials today, who are saying that they are encouraged by the data they're getting out of places such as England
showing that the Pfizer vaccine, which is the vaccine that was administered here in Israel is still quite effective against the delta variant. But they
are still waiting to see more data coming out of the cases in Israel before they can determine how effective the Pfizer vaccine here is against the
SOARES: Hadas Gold for us in Jerusalem there. Thanks very much, Hadas. Good to see you.
Now, the world will have to do without lucrative Chinese travelers for at least the next year. That's according to a "Wall Street Journal" report
that says Beijing will maintain its pandemic-era border restrictions for the foreseeable future.
David Culver is in Shanghai with more.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China is expected to keep its strict pandemic border patrols in place for at least another year, this according
to "The Wall Street Journal," which cites people familiar with the matter.
This essentially means that travel in and out of this country will remain limited to certain visas and COVID-19 protocols, such as government
quarantine and Chinese vaccinations. "The Journal" reports that officials are hesitant to ease those restrictions because of two major events slated
for next year, the Beijing 2022 Olympics in February and China's Communist Party Congress where every 10 years, the transition of power takes place.
CULVER: Now, it is widely expected, President Xi Jinping will stay past the customary two-term limit.
CNN was in Wuhan as the virus began to spread and just before the city went on lockdown early last year, Chinese officials were quick to criticize the
U.S. and other Western nations for shutting off their borders to people traveling from China.
But by mid-March of 2020, as China began to successfully contain the virus, officials here sealed the country off from so-called imported threats. It
has since enacted strict contact tracing, mass testing, localized lockdowns, and vaccine rollout allowing life within this secured bubble to
return to near normal.
But fears that the virus could spread rapidly again weigh heavily, given China is unlikely to reach herd immunity until late this year or early next
year. Officials have been hesitant to relax border restrictions and risk another widespread outbreak.
David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
SOARES: Now, getting back to normal, Wall Street is ready to bring back more office workers, though a major workspace provided warns of the long
road ahead. That is next.
SOARES: Now, Morgan Stanley is planning a strict new policy in its New York offices -- get a shot or go home. A company memo reportedly says the rule
will apply to clients and visitors, as well as employees, and that starts next month.
CEO James Gorman said earlier this month, if you'll remember that if you can go to a restaurant in the city, well, you can come in to work. Vaccine
verification will be on the honor system.
Paul La Monica has been covering the story for us. And Paul, Morgan Stanley had I believe previously required employees only in certain areas of the
company to be vaccinated to return to the office. So, why this rush?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I mean, I think that so many companies in Corporate America and especially on Wall Street where New York
is, you know, really rapidly returning to normal, companies are trying to make sure that they are crossing their T's and dotting their I's and making
sure that all of their employees that will be coming back into the office are having some proof of vaccination, and that I think is going to be a key
for the reopening of Morgan Stanley offices.
LA MONICA: The key one in Times Square, as well as others in New York and Westchester also. The company said that they are starting this for the main
offices in New York, but that in the next few weeks, they are going to require their other employees in parts of the New York area to show some
sort of vaccination status as well. Though, as you point out, it is on the honor system. So, I think there are going to be some questions of just how
rigid will a company enforce something -- are they going to ask people to show the vaccine card or other proof or what have you?
SOARES: How does this compare, Paul, to other Wall Street banks or to other U.S. banks around the world? Are they making vaccinations a requisite as
LA MONICA: Yes. You are seeing Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, these are companies that are going to be having a large number of their employees
showing some sort of vaccination status in order to return to the office. And that I think that this really just mirrors what is happening,
particularly in New York.
There are large swaths of the population that have already been vaccinated. So, I think many of these companies don't feel that they are in a situation
where they really can lose by asking people to be vaccinated because most of their workers probably will be. And Morgan Stanley, James Gorman
previously said, 90 percent of their employees already are vaccinated.
They expect that number to go up to 98 percent to 99 percent. And they will take things on a case-by-case basis for anyone that has a legitimate health
reason or religious concern with regard to why they may not yet be vaccinated.
SOARES: Paul La Monica, appreciate it. Thanks very much, Paul.
Now, the slow return of office work, continued lockdowns, and new variants are all taking a toll as you can imagine on commercial landlords. The
International Workplace Group formerly known as Regus, posted more than a 600 million pound loss in 2020. And it warns that earnings this year will
fall. Shares are down 15 percent for the month.
The International Workplace Group founder and CEO, Mark Dixon is here with us. Mark, great to have you on the show. Let's start, if you don't mind, on
the vaccination front given the news we're hearing out of Europe that the variant, the delta variant will make up roughly 90 percent or so of COVID
cases in Europe.
What are you hearing from companies, particularly on the vaccination front? Are they requiring that employees be vaccinated before returning
MARK DIXON, CEO AND FOUNDER, INTERNATIONAL WORKPLACE GROUP: Well, look, I think the regulation is different in different parts of Europe in
particular. So, I think in some countries, it is not possible for you to require that someone is vaccinated.
So, you know, employment contracts are different and so on, but the reality is that most people are getting vaccinated now. So you know, it has become
-- Britain, for example, has a very high percentage of the population already vaccinated. Ireland, the same. And many European countries are
catching up very fast.
So I think people feel more comfortable with vaccination and, but I think it is quite difficult in some countries to sort of impose vaccination.
SOARES: Yes, I agree with you. I absolutely agree with you. Different rules pretty much across Europe. Let's talk, Mark, about demand. How has it been
for you in the last six months or so? Are you starting to see a pick-up here?
DIXON: Well, look, absolutely. For us, yes, we had a very bad last year last year. We are in offer of flexible space, so when governments actually
say, you can't go into the office, our customers don't come into the office. But what we've seen this year is really record business throughout,
really as things started to get going in February-March, a lot of the conversations we've been having with companies who are moving to a more
hybrid sort of work platform, which means hybrid means, allowing people to work from home some of the time from a near home office some of the time,
or come into a company's office some of the time that allows flexibility. You know, that seems to be the norm that is being adopted by companies.
We have seen record business. We've signed up more than a million new members over the past eight to nine weeks, and we've got another million in
the pipeline. These are very large companies. These are some of the banks like Standard Chartered Bank, there are companies like NTT who signed up
300,000 workers to hybrid work programs.
DIXON: So you know, companies are really starting to adopt a much more flexible approach to where people carry out their work and they are getting
much better at managing it as well.
SOARES: Yes. And this is exactly what I've heard from CEOs in the last few weeks, especially European companies, the European CEOs, more hybrid, more
flexibility, changing a bit the way they operate.
Given that you said, Mark, that people want -- kind of flexibility, but proximity, too, I think you said that. How has that, would you say,
impacted the commercial real estate sector? Are you well placed for this?
DIXON: Well, we're well placed for this. We're in more than 1,100 cities. We're in 120 countries. But we've got a lot of coverage.
So, our out of town locations, so our suburbs and our rural locations have done relatively well through COVID. Where we've been hit has been in the
major city centers, and really, this is very related to commuting. What it will end up when you look back, this is the death of commuting. No one
Companies insist that when you get a job, you've got to go in and use an office with a lot of other people to do a job that you could quite easily
do either from home or locally. So, commuting is the enemy here. So commuting will reduce over time.
The impact on cities, well, it will be quite a slow effect. It will be quite quick at the beginning, but cities will become less popular unless
they reinvent. Unless they create more affordable housing close to where people work, then those cities will struggle in the future as more and more
people move to the countryside and the suburbs, where it is cheaper to live, there is good quality of life, and they know they can work locally.
SOARES: Yes, and I was looking at the data, I think people don't want to commute more than 15 minutes or so, Mark, from the data that I was given by
my team. And that pretty sums -- it says a lot. People just obviously, don't want to be commuting for long hours. They don't think it is
productive, but also concerns of the variants.
And that brings me to my next question as we hear from the C.D.C. of concern of this new delta variant. How worried are you? Where do you see
the business, for example, in the fall?
DIXON: Well, look, our business, we said we would have lower profits than expectations this year, but the numbers will be much better than last year.
So you know, basically, we've got a business that is improving quarter on quarter. It is just not improving at the same rate that we expected.
However, that could change in the future. What we are seeing is a lot of the business. Clearly, where you have these new variants, combined with a
lack of vaccination, countries like India where it is very, very widespread. India has largely shut down in many parts of the country.
Clearly, we're affected, that really affects our business for the period of time. It slows down the recovery.
And you've got, you know, short lockdowns occurring in Canada, in parts of Australia, parts of Asia, Malaysia and so on. But at the same time, more
and more people are being vaccinated, so there is less need for lockdowns.
More of the population is vaccinated, so the impact of these variants is much less. There is less hospitalization and less long term illness;
therefore, it becomes a lesser problem.
So, it is being compared now to being sort of not as bad as flu once you've been vaccinated.
SOARES: Well, Mark, we wish you the best of luck for the business for this year and beyond. Mark Dixon there. Appreciate it, Mark.
DIXON: Thank you very much.
SOARES: Now, the rise of the variants. Officials in the U.S. and Europe are warning about the spread of the delta variant, you had me talking there, as
India says it has identified cases of what could be even more dangerous versions of that. What you need to know, next.
SOARES (voice-over): Hello. I'm Isa Soares. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment.
When health officials in India are sounding an alarm on the new mutation of the COVID-19 Delta variant called Delta plus.
And forbidden fruits: CNN visits Hong Kong's "Apple Daily" as it publishes its final issue following a crackdown. Before that, this is CNN and, on
this network, the facts always come first.
SOARES: Now health authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are warning about the Delta variant. They say it could make up 90 percent of new COVID
cases in Europe by late August. President Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the variant is more efficient as well as dangerous.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF COVID-19 MEDICAL ADVISER: It spreads much more efficiently than the virus we've been used to over the last
several months to a year.
FAUCI: And also, data from the U.K. say indicate that it also is more dangerous in that it makes you more seriously ill. So the combination of a
virus that spreads more rapidly and has the potential to make you more seriously ill is a threat we have to worry about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now this comes as India warns of a new mutation, the Delta plus variant. It says it's even deadlier. The government has reportedly
identified 40 cases so far. Let's get more on this. Elizabeth Cohen is here with more.
What do we know about this Delta plus variant?
How worried should we be?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is unclear whether this Delta plus variant is any worse. The plus makes you think it would be. But
basically what it means is there's a variant of the variant. It's not necessarily any worse.
But the Delta variant on its own is quite bad. So let's take a look at what makes the Delta variant so very worrisome. It is about 60 percent more
transmissible. And early findings show that it gives the people who get it have an increased hospitalization rate.
And to this transmissibility, let's look at the U.S. From late April to early May, only about 1.3 percent of the coronavirus cases out there were
the India variant. Then by mid May, 2.8 percent. Then to mid June, almost 10 percent and then now, 20 percent. In a few weeks it went to being one
out of five cases.
In Europe, we can see the numbers are even bigger. So it is projected that, by early August, 70 percent of new cases will be this Delta variant. Again,
this is the variant that started in India. By late August, 90 percent of new cases will be this variant.
So variants are sort of varying strengths. This one is particularly strong. It knows what it is doing. It knows how to move fast and it appears it also
knows how to make people quite sick.
SOARES: Yes. Critically important to get the vaccinations we've been seeing in terms of data to make sure it doesn't lead to hospitalizations. On the
Delta plus, I mean, I read there were 22 cases in India.
Do we know how severe those cases were?
And do authorities knows whether that variant, Delta plus, is already in Europe and the United States?
COHEN: All of that is unclear at the moment. You have to do surveillance in order to see what variants are out there. It is not automatically known.
When someone becomes ill with COVID, you usually don't type to it see what variant it is. There is a surveillance system done on a percentage of all
those cases. So in India, when we hear there's a relatively small number, it may be even more. It may just be their surveillance system hasn't kicked
in to find more of them.
And sure, it could be in all sorts of places. We've seen this over and over again. Months ago we were talking about how there were no cases of the U.K.
variant in the United States. And everybody said, I bet it's out there. We just haven't found it. Lo and behold, that turned out to be true.
SOARES: Do we know whether vaccines are effective against this new variant?
COHEN: Yes. So we do know they are quite effective. Let's quickly go through those numbers. Pfizer appears to be 88 percent effective against
this Delta variant and AstraZeneca, 60 percent. That's lower than what it was against the U.K. But still very, very good numbers. Get vaccinated if
SOARES: Appreciate it, Elizabeth.
Next, overnight protests in Hong Kong over the closure of a newspaper that is critical of Beijing. What it means for the city and what it means for
democracy. You are watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
SOARES: We're going to Hong Kong now where protesters have gathered over the past few hours in support of the pro-democracy newspaper, "Apple
Daily." Reporters without Borders said the paper's pending closure sends a chilling message to critics of Beijing.
Authorities recently raided its offices under the recent national security law. Ivan Watson has the story for you.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is sprawling newsroom of one of Hong Kong's most popular newspapers, "Apple Daily." But
it is not likely to be functioning for much longer.
The staff here are working to put what management says will be their final edition to bed. That's because, less than a week ago, hundreds of Hong Kong
police raided the offices and began going through computers and hard drives.
They arrested least five of the newspaper's top executives. Those individuals are now being accused of essentially treason. They have
allegedly incited foreign governments to put sanctions on the government and Mainland China through the articles that they have published.
The leadership of Hong Kong vehemently deny that this is an effort to stifle Hong Kong's free press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE (through translator): And don't try to accuse the Hong Kong authorities for using a national security law as a
tool to suppress the media or to stifle the freedom of expression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Throughout a sporadically rainy night, several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the offices of "Apple Daily" in an impromptu
show of support. A gathering that has now attracted the attention of the police.
And now the final edition has been printed in these predawn hours. The headline here says, "Hong Kong's painful farewell in the rain." The
management of "Apple Daily" say, since the police seized the company's assets, they cannot afford to continue publishing their daily newspaper,
which means these presses will soon go silent for the very last time.
The British foreign secretary of the European Union have denounced this and it is part of a larger crackdown in Hong Kong, where opposition politicians
have been rounded up and faced different kinds of charges.
The pro democracy marches and protests that were once part of the city's culture have not been tolerated for a year; ostensibly, on the grounds of
public health because of the coronavirus pandemic. It has taken just one week for the authorities in the city to kill this newspaper -- Ivan Watson,
CNN, Hong Kong.
SOARES: Now South African energy and chemical giant Cecil (ph) says it's investing sustainable technology to address the impact of climate change.
Eleni Giokos interviewed the CEO about the plans for the company.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Cecil (ph) is such an amazing example of taking a raw material like coal and gas and completely processing it and
producing a final product essentially that can be then used.
GIOKOS: How do we replicate this kind of model in other African countries where they have oil and gas and coal fines so they can truly expand on
their value chains?
FLEETWOOD GROBLER, CEO, CECIL: Yes. I think we need to bring in the sustainability links on this specific question you ask. The reason for that
is that today, we will not invest in a coal to liquids (ph) facility just because of the carbon footprint.
What we can foresee is that the technology enables us also to use different type of feed stocks that will be sustainable in the future. So we've
sharpened our focus on sustainability. And climate change is a cornerstone of our strategy because we know it is an item that we can't wish away, walk
away, run away from.
We have to address it head-on. And that's the crux of the matter. So we are preparing ourselves to travel a pathway where we can have significant steps
in our decarbonization of our processes, in terms of using different feed stocks and eventually through renewables.
GIOKOS: So when we talk about your transition, what are you thinking in terms of renewables?
And your hydrogen plays?
How important is that?
GROBLER: So green hydrogen has to be made from renewable electricity. So the cost of renewable electricity is still in a downward trend, with the
low cost that are now installing solar farms in other parts of the world. I see no reason why that can't be the case also in South Africa.
GIOKOS: Do you think we could see infrastructure like this that Cecil (ph) has in other African countries?
What will it take to build -- it has taken you decades, right?
Is this something that countries should be targeting and aiming for?
GROBLER: I think when we look at the sustainability agenda globally, the imperative that all of us need to address is how do we get products
developed, made and used with a lower carbon footprint?
So that would be for me the crux. If we can use technologies and renewables and sources of carbon that are sustainable, those would be the long-term
areas that we should focus on to unlock value in Africa.
SOARES: Now a not so glowing response. UEFA faces a backlash over its refusal to light up a Munich stadium like a rainbow. We'll explain, next.
SOARES: Ready or not, the Olympic countdown is on. The Tokyo Games are now just one month away after a year-long delay and despite a global pandemic.
Anti-Olympic protesters have been marching in the streets of Tokyo.
Many would prefer to cancel the games, especially since less than one in 10 people there are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Selina Wang in Tokyo
spoke to some of the protesters.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Olympics are a month away. But the Japanese public is not convinced these games can be held safely.
(INAUDIBLE) anti-Olympics protest in Tokyo going through the center of the city. They are chanting for the Olympics to be canceled.
They are scared and angry, scared that these games will lead to a rebound in COVID-19 cases and angry that the government is putting so many
resources toward this when so many in Japan and around the world are still suffering.
Now vaccinations are starting to pick up in Japan but still less than 8 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. I've spoken to many people
here today, who tell me that they have yet to get a vaccine and they're frustrated that the government is prioritizing Olympic participants over
the broader public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is too dangerous. I want the Japanese government and the IOC to cancel it immediately.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This COVID-19 pandemic --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- so that's why we are here to stop this craziness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WANG: The people are also protesting the billions of dollars in public funds that have been put toward these games. These are set to be the most
expensive Summer Games on record. And more than $15 billion, some are holding posters that say cancel the Olympics, use the money for COVID-19.
Olympic organizers have also announced that spectators will be allowed in the games, a decision that goes against Japan's top COVID-19 adviser.
Organizers insist that these games can be held safely but strict COVID-19 restrictions on both participants, spectators and athletes. But public
health experts say there are many ways for that bubble to be broken and they're scared about the spread of more dangerous or contagious COVID-19
variants, including the Delta variant.
The people here say it is too dangerous for Japan to hold the Olympics, too dangerous for the world and that any potential fallout from the Olympics,
that price will be paid by the Japanese public -- Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
SOARES: To another big sporting event, the Euros, where Germany is taking on Hungary in more ways than one. The score on the pitch is 1-0 to Hungary
still but it is what has been happening off the pitch that is really making news.
UEFA, football's governing body in Europe, declined to light Allianz Arena in Munich in rainbow colors. The Munich city council suggested the idea as
a response to a new law in Hungary that discriminates against the LGBTQ community.
UEFA cited the request political context in its refusal. That confused and angered fans, including the German foreign minister, who tweeted this.
"It is true that the football pitch isn't about politics. It is about people, about fairness and about tolerance."
In turn, 20,000 rainbow colored flags are being distributed at the stadium for tonight's game. The game is now halftime. Rob Harris is the global
correspondent for the Associated Press and he joins me from London.
Rob, look, I hear what UEFA is saying. Like so many people hear what UEFA is saying. But few agreed with their decision.
So tell me where the German Football Federation, where do they sit on all this?
Have they stood up to UEFA and Munich's request?
ROB HARRIS, GLOBAL CORRESPONDENT, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, the German Football Federation, the ones backing this move to ensure the Munich
stadium had the rainbow colors on, but ultimately, Germany has now accepted this decision from UEFA.
The decision that has gone down so badly. You have to look at those scenes in Munich tonight. So many fans turning up with rainbow flags, even as the
match prepares to be kicked off.
It was the pitch invaded with a rainbow flag and it really has touched the issue here between the disconnects between the actions of the sports
governing body and its words.
While UEFA does put out statements promoting equality and portraying itself as a social movement, very difficult often when it comes to situations like
this, how they navigate it, particularly when they have close alliances to the likes of Hungary, Hungarian billionaire is the vice president of UEFA.
And there is a close association with Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, who has helped UEFA in terms of their stadiums being used to
stage matches when they couldn't be played in other parts of Europe during the pandemic over the past year.
HARRIS: And indeed, put it past has provided the only stadium in all these Euros because of their vaccination program.
SOARES: Let's break that down. I find that fascinating. Viktor Orban and his party have pumped huge amounts of money into reviving football again.
Would you say that this decision from UEFA, would you say that this is political, financial, a bit of both?
HARRIS: Well, UEFA are trying to portray themselves as an apolitical organization. The reason they said they rejected this move was because it
was directly linked to the presence of the Hungarian players in the Munich stadium and the decision of the Hungarian parliament in recent weeks to
introduce the laws which have been very widely condemned in terms of their moves to prevent the spread and discussion of the LGBTQ community.
Now we're seeing actually how, while UEFA might paint their logo with a rainbow flag today, actually it is far more difficult to take home these
very challenging moments, when some of the people they're so closely aligned with and have politics perhaps had indeed run into conflicts with
the rest of Europe, as we've seen.
Viktor Orban has been investing in football stadiums, their arena which has been staging games, also some favorable policies which helped encourage
investment in football and all about using football to project and influence and project a renewal almost of the nation.
The fact that they are leading at the moment in the European championship game that could be going through to the round of 16, it would be a big
moment. Viktor Orban himself was said to be due in Munich and hasn't actually gone to the game.
SOARES: If they don't want to make it political, maybe don't invite politicians to it. But I looked at the statement and there was no LGBTQ
word on that statement, either. Rob Harris, thank you very much, the global sports correspondent from the Associated Press.
And there are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. We'll have the final numbers and the closing bell straight after this.
SOARES: There are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. Let me show you the big board and it is heading for the red, after a session lacking
any direction whatsoever.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Isa Soares in London. The news continues here on CNN.