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Quest Means Business
U.K. Prime Minister Reveals Restrictions Set To Be Lifted In England; BNP Paribas CEO Says Expect Rate Rises In 2022; China Probes More U.S.-Listed Firms Following DiDi Crackdown; Florida Building Collapse Death Toll Rises To 27 People; 140 Children Taken From Nigeria School By Armed Gunmen; Vatican Pope Francis In "Good" Condition After Surgery. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 05, 2021 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Normally, I'm saying now, it's an hour before the end of trading on Wall Street. Of course, today is July 4th
or the 5th, and there is no trading on Wall Street.
The European markets inching towards record highs. You see all the major markets were up. The rest of the gains, we're seeing in London with the
FTSE up over half a percent. There may not be markets in New York, but it's been a busy day, and we are going to update you now on markets and the main
If not now, then when? Boris Johnson says it is time to lift restrictions despite surging COVID cases in England.
China is taking its own tech companies down a peg or two with new government measures.
And the reign of Jeff Bezos at Amazon is over. It is his final day as the company chief executive.
We're live in New York on Monday, the 5th of July. It is today the holiday for the 4th. I'm Richard Quest. Of course, I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that England is on track to lift most COVID restrictions by July the 19th, the
so-called stage four. It's the first major economy to set a date to remove national restrictions despite surging case numbers.
There will be no limits on how many people can meet and where. The opening up of clubs, theaters, and sports events all on the cards. The mask mandate
will be scrapped for discretionary use instead. The government will no longer instruct people to work from home.
The return to normality will be swift, and so the Prime Minister has urged the British public to act responsibly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We must remain -- we must remain cautious and I think that's why, you know, I am asking people to think in
that way. This is -- I don't want people to feel that this is as it were, the moment to get demob-happy. This is the end of COVID. It is very far
from the end of dealing with this virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Bianca is with us in London. This is interesting, isn't it, because just a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister delayed this stage saying that
more needed to be vaccinated to make it safe, what happened in the meantime?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the other Richard, which he -- why he delayed that stage was to try and gather more data about the delta
variant, so they had a better understanding to what extent the vaccinations actually prevented hospitalizations and death and how effective they were
Well, that data is reassuring to the Prime Minister and to his government. And even though it isn't as effective against that variant as it was
against the initial coronavirus variant, the Prime Minister said today that that link between cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has been weakened
enough, he thinks, to justify this decision.
Also Richard, a couple of things have happened between now and then, such as the context of a key members of his government, the former Health
Secretary very publicly having pictures of him on CCTV plastered all over the British newspapers showing him breaking the rules that the government
themselves had set, and there is a lot of, I think, erosion of trust.
So, it would be quite untenable for him to keep asking the public to obey all these rules which members of his government didn't even abide by.
QUEST: This is the moment when, in a sense, within the U.K., COVID goes from pandemic to chronic.
NOBILO: Yes, that was the refrain really that the country are going to have to learn to live with this, and you need to reconcile the fact there are
going to be hospitalizations and there are going to be deaths, and that's his approach.
Now naturally, the British Medical Association scientists and the opposition parties are all being a lot more cautious here saying actually,
we don't have quite enough data. Just last week, the British Medical Association said that the number of hospitalizations had actually increased
by 50 percent, which is really significant.
So, even though the Prime Minister is obviously trying to frame this as something that the public just need to get their heads around and basically
treat like flu now, that's not an opinion that is shared across the spectrum of scientists and politicians.
QUEST: I don't -- I mean, you've now got this situation where the U.K. is, I suppose, marginally ahead of other people, of other countries. The E.U.
probably won't be that far behind, but there is still no talk about opening up much more in terms of travel. We're expecting those details later in the
NOBILO: Yes. And of course, it depends what you're looking at when you say ahead because there is this huge surge of cases in the United Kingdom
fueled by the delta variant. The Prime Minister again hinted today that he is going to look at what's going to happen for people who have been double
vaccinated who, for example, might want to go to countries that are on the amber list.
So currently, people going there in the United Kingdom would have to come back -- in England rather, and quarantine for 10 days. But that's something
that the government say that they're looking at. And again, the conservative party and Boris Johnson, they've been keen to try and not
create this narrative of the two-tier country of people who aren't electing to get vaccinated being treated any differently from others.
But realistically, I think, it is recognized that people who have had both vaccines need to have, A, some kind of incentive to do that in the first
place and also, should be able to have a little more flexibility, whether it's -- whether they have to isolate after coming into contact with a
positive person or perhaps more freedom to travel.
QUEST: Bianca is in London, thank you.
Bianca has talked about the rising numbers as a result of the delta variant. Well, the U.K. is currently recording more cases per day than the
entire European Union combined. It has reported 27,000 positive tests, and it's actually almost near the disastrous second wave after Christmas.
The difference, of course, as we were saying, the vaccination drive that kept the death rate low. More than half the country is now vaccinated.
Unions are still concerned about losing the mask mandate on public transport. Adam Finn is with me, Member of U.K.'s Joint Committee on
Vaccination and Immunization. He joins me from Portugal.
So, this is the turning point in a sense. The U.K. is giving us a very strong indication of what it will be like for the rest of us in that you
live with these positive numbers, but it doesn't cause death and destruction.
ADAM FINN, MEMBER OF U.K.'S JOINT COMMITTEE ON VACCINATION AND IMMUNIZATION: Well, that's right, if it comes off. I mean, this is a
calculated risk, I guess. As you said just now, the cases are rising rapidly. People are also being immunized rapidly. So, the immunity in the
population is going up for both of those two reasons.
But the number of cases is doubling every 10 days. And with that, we are seeing an increasing number of people getting seriously ill and ending up
in hospital and some of them dying. So, it is really just a question of, at what point do those two things cancel out and we see the wave peak and
begin to come down, and does that happen before we get into such big trouble that we end up having to lock down again?
QUEST: You say lockdown again, but it's almost inconceivable. The Prime Minister himself said it's almost inconceivable that the U.K. would offer
or would put forward any other -- any form of lockdown now.
FINN: Well, it's inconceivable if the calculations work out the way that they are looking. So, the models have predicted these differing trends, but
it does depend on certain things that are uncertain. We're not certain about how people will behave when being careful becomes optional rather
than a rule, and we're not certain how well people will continue to come forward and get immunized. So, there is a gamble here.
QUEST: So, Professor, what's your fear here because I know we've obviously got the aspect of the children or youngsters who have not been vaccinated,
but we do know that the breakthrough for double vaccinated or at least double shots is very small.
So what -- and bearing in mind that the vulnerable have predominantly been vaccinated, where is your worry?
FINN: Well, I guess it is all fine for the people then, 19 out of 20 people who are vaccinated and fully protected. But it's not such good news for the
one in 20 who -- in whom the vaccine fails.
So, for those people who end up in hospital and who end up dying, it's a bad outcome, and it is really just a question of how many of those people
there end up being before we know for sure that with --
QUEST: So just -- forgive me interrupting -- but I want to take you down that road. Bearing in mind what you've said, do you think it is the right
thing to do that the Prime Minister has announced which is effectively de facto bring it all to an end on stage four in the middle of July.
FINN: Well, it will turn out to be right if his sums add up and if there is a peak, which doesn't coincide with too many hospitalizations, the N.H.S.
doesn't get overwhelmed and we get through it and out the other side and everyone will congratulate him.
It won't be so good if it goes off further than is predicted and we end up with a bigger problem.
QUEST: Right, but as a member on the committee of vaccinations, et cetera, would you have taken that decision in that sense -- would you have come to
the same decision? For instance, lifting the mask mandate and making it discretionary. The Prime Minister gave several examples of when he would
continue to wear a mask. But would you keep the mask mandate?
FINN: Well, it isn't for me to advice on that. I advise on the use of the vaccines and so far the government has followed our advice with regard to
the vaccines to the letter. The advice around mask mandates and distancing fall to other committees.
Personally, I hope at least that people will continue to be cautious because I'm concerned about the exponential rise in cases, but I hope that
things work out the way that the modelers are predicting and that everything turns out to be okay.
QUEST: You see, that's really the issue now, isn't it? Particularly with sort of the interconnectedness, which is what we've learned very, very much
to our cost in all different countries. It's whether or not the risk is worth taking at any particular point, isn't it?
FINN: Yes. I mean, I think it's always better in the long run to be cautious and perhaps criticized for having been too careful than for being
under cautious and then resulting in a lot of chaos, which is what happened at the beginning of the pandemic, not only the U.K., but all countries, I
think, responded to this much more slowly than they afterwards wish they had.
So, this time around, it's the same story. We have to try and hope that we're not overreacting and not underreacting, but getting it about right,
and there's a lot of uncertainty around that.
QUEST: Good to see you, Professor. Thank you. I appreciate your time. Thank you.
FINN: Thank you.
QUEST: To the markets. No trading in the United States with it being July the 4th holiday. It's the fifth today. The fourth was on a Sunday. We
celebrate it on the 5th. Broader markets in Europe close to record highs, and as you can see from the numbers, they are enjoying the sort of boom
that comes along with perhaps easier restrictions on COVID.
And the head of BNP Paribas in the United States says he expects rate rises from the Fed and the Bank of England next year and the E.C.B. won't be far
behind. I asked Jean-Yves Fillion if he shares the worries of the global economy was now running too hot.
JEAN-YVES FILLION, CEO, BNP PARIBAS U.S.A.: Well, first, we do see inflation. We do see four percent inflation in the United States for 2021,
two percent inflation in Europe, annualized. And definitely what's driving the trends today are what we call transient factors. Logistical
bottlenecks, release of pent-up demand, reopening of some COVID-19 dependent sectors with the shortage of workforce and this is the driver.
However, we are watching very closely some more prominent factors such as wages. Our home price is --
QUEST: Right, because if you look at what we saw in the last F.O.M.C., two rate rises by the end of 2023. So, lift off has been brought forward, and
one would expect tapering. The idea was talks about talks about tapering.
Now, I think we've gone a bit further than that. Now, we're almost at the point of talks of tapering.
FILLION: It is very likely that as things develop, you will see Central Banks, first and foremost, slowing and lowering their asset purchase and
then eventually hike rates.
QUEST: Right, but we're talking short a short term now, because if the first rates are going up late 2022-2023, then you're talking about stopping
the tapering much sooner.
FILLION: Prediction is you might see the Bank of England, you know, hiking rates by mid-2022, then the Fed will follow and probably the E.C.B. in
QUEST: How many employees have you got in the United States?
FILLION: Fourteen thousand people.
QUEST: Fourteen thousand. How many people are you expecting back at work in the office?
FILLION: Today, which is the current status is between 15 percent to 20 percent of our staff on premises, and we're asking staff to come back
gradually over the summer, expecting to have, in the fall, anywhere between 40 percent to 50 percent of staff on premises. But the hybrid model is here
QUEST: All right, Jean-Yves, I need to -- let's be blunt here. Where do you stand? Goldman wants them back. Morgan Stanley wants them back, and he
says, you will be back in the office. The famous -- the totem quote is now, "If you can go to a restaurant in New York, you can go back to the office,
we want you back in the office." Where do you stand?
FILLION: Well, I can't comment on the firm's -- on the positions of the firm you just listed, but as it relates to BNP Paribas, we have a balanced
approach on this, obviously. We -- basically, I miss so much the physical interaction. It's so great to be in studio in person here, and as we
welcome our staff back in the office, I can tell you, I really enjoy the personal interaction, the face-to-face, the in person.
FILLION: Having said that, the hybrid model has shown some benefits, and staff, by the way, will appreciate and will value the agility and the
flexibility, and this is something we will continue to support.
QUEST: But the truth is, you're all still making it up as you go along. I mean, nobody really knows how it's going to work. You can't have the staff
fully out and you can't have the staff fully in and some want to be in on some days and some want to work in the office, not on Mondays or Fridays.
FILLION: And I think that's an excellent point and this is where it will really vary across staff depending on the position and the role they have
at the bank, for instance, certain categories that you have to be on premises if you work in infrastructure, most of the trading, but some other
professions can benefit from our flexibility.
QUEST: But, I guess what I am really getting at in my question is, do you believe that there has been a permanent shift in working practices as a
result of the pandemic?
FILLION: I do believe that it's part of the new normal, absolutely. Oh by the way, the mention of the new normal started being pretty clear, you and
I spoke about business traveling and we used to travel a lot. We will continue to travel, but in a very different way.
If you look at real estate, real estate footprint in the large cities. It is evolving into a very different dimension as well. And I do believe that
the working from home, the digitalization of the economy is a new paradigm of the post-pandemic world.
QUEST: The ride-hailing app DiDi may have a long road ahead. Days after going public, it has come under investigation by the Chinese government,
and for Amazon, it is bye-bye Bezos. The CEO steps down after nearly three decades.
QUEST: China has announced a probe into three Chinese tech companies that are listed in the United States. Authorities are citing national security
It follows the decision by China removing the ride-hailing giant, DiDi, from its App Stores saying it poses a cybersecurity risk. Now, DiDi only
went public on the New York Stock Exchange less than a month ago.
CNN's David Culver on the goings on from Shanghai.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Perhaps a lesson in who is the boss. Beijing making it clear, China's Cyberspace Administration announcing a
probe into several tech companies, including the very popular ride-hailing service DiDi.
The agency citing national data security concerns and has suspended the company from adding new users for those apps. In the case of DiDi, it has
also banned App Stores from offering DiDi for download.
DiDi is likened to the Uber of China and it boasts some 377 million users here in Mainland China alone. The Chinese Regulatory Agency says that DiDi
severely violated laws by illegally collecting and using personal data.
DiDi said it will comply and rectify and improve risk avoidance. Analysts we spoke with say this could have wider implications.
MATTIE BEKINK, CHINA DIRECTOR, "THE ECONOMIST": China is not alone in trying to strike the right balance between innovation and regulation at a
moment when corporations become more powerful than many nation states, when geopolitics and business are intertwined like never before.
You know, for all of these reasons, you know, what happens to these firms in China has implications for other tech firms and other industries perhaps
in China that everybody is watching. But also for foreign firms.
CULVER: But it is worth noting, the Cyberspace Administration of China is targeting companies that have something in common. They recently went
public in the U.S. stock market. It raises a question if geopolitics might be at play.
Chinese state media fueling a nationalistic reaction playing out on Chinese social media. "Global Times," a state-run tabloid ran a commentary saying
in part, quote, "We must never let any internet giant become a super database of Chinese people's personal information that contains even more
details than the state, let alone giving of them the right to use those data at will." It's another example of the power of the central government.
In March, Chinese President, Xi Jinping stressed the need to regulate platform companies, businesses that offer online services for customers in
the country. Several tech companies in the past few months have faced investigations that in turn have led to record fines and massive overhauls.
David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
QUEST: The end of an era at Amazon. Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Chief Executive after 27 years. The world's richest man had humble beginnings.
Bezos started Amazon in this Washington garage in 1994. Three decades on, the company is worth $1.75 trillion and Bezos is getting ready to launch
into space. Amazon shares have an impressive trajectory since the IPO in 1997. Look at it.
If you think about it, one -- look at where it was then, look at where it is now. Clare Sebastian is with me.
Jeff Bezos, he was everywhere at the beginning. And now he is nowhere -- he never gives interviews. He very rarely speaks, but right at the beginning,
I remember Jeff Bezos would do an interview with me every quarter.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He did a lot at the beginning, Richard, and I think he has sort of -- it seems to be a
conscious decision to talk less about Amazon and let the sort of success do its own talking.
In recent years, it has been an unbelievable ride fueled in the past year by the pandemic, which has made Amazon more and more essential and at the
same time, more vulnerable to scrutiny.
So look, over his 27 years, he's done -- he's done a great job getting customers on site, everyone loves to use Amazon. Shareholders followed
after that. But the next step for Andy Jassy, which is -- who is his successor, the head of Amazon Cloud, will be to get the workers on site.
We've seen a lot of worker unrest and also the lawmakers. Take a look, Richard.
JEFF BEZOS, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AMAZON: Our obsessive focus on customer experience.
What has worked at Amazon is focusing on the customer --
Customer obsession has driven our success.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): For 27 years, this has been Amazon's stated mission. From pioneering customer reviews to Alexa, its AI personal
assistant, to two-day shipping and then same day delivery.
Jeff Bezos put customers first, even it seemed above shareholders.
BEZOS: As you know, we are a famously unprofitable company.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): It took Amazon more than four and a half years after going public to make a quarterly profit, two decades to see the
billions start to roll in.
BILL CARR, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF DIGITAL MEDIA, AMAZON: We were reinvesting the revenue and profit that we were earning from our operating
businesses back into the business to continuously improve the customer experience.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Bill Carr, a former Amazon executive says Bezos was willing to take risks. Case in point, Amazon Prime, which launched in 2005.
CARR: We had actually just invested several hundred million dollars in a fulfillment center network that was designed to ship packages to customers
in a timeframe of more like four to five days. So, we knew that we would have to scrap that over time.
But if we had focused on our sunk cost investments we have, we would have never made that leap to Prime which is what customers wanted.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Today, a growing chorus of voices believes Amazon's growth has come at too high a cost.
STACY MITCHELL, CO-DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL SELF-RELIANCE: I think customer focus was always about how do we dominate everybody else in this
industry. There's a growing level of concern about Amazon's power and I think you see that, you know, across the public, but particularly workers.
You know, we've seen a lot of walkouts, a lot of wildcat strikes over the last year, you know, especially with the dangers of COVID.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): As the COVID-19 pandemic drove its sales up 38 percent last year, Amazon hired half a million people growing its workforce
by more than 60 percent.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): There is no excuse for workers at Amazon not to have good wages, good benefits, and good working conditions.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): While an attempt to unionize at an Alabama facility in April ultimately failed, that threat hasn't gone away. One of the
biggest U.S. labor unions, the Teamsters has made building worker power at Amazon its top priority.
RANDY KORGAN, TEAMSTERS NATIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AMAZON: Millions of our members over the last hundred years have helped to propel this industry
into the middle class, and we've just got to make sure that it stays there.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Amazon says its wages are fair and workers also get benefits like healthcare coverage and a 401(k) plan. In June, Amazon told
us they'd invested a billion dollars in new safety measures in 2020.
In his last shareholder letter as CEO, Jeff Bezos updated his mission to become Earth's best employer and Earth's safest place to work.
ANDY JASSY, CEO, AMAZON: At AWS, we are customer focused.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): It is a challenge, his successor, Andy Jassy now inherits, the man who built Amazon Web Services from scratch into the
number one player in the global Cloud market. He will likely have to do more of this.
BEZOS: We have a policy against using seller specific data.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Defending Amazon before lawmakers who believe it's a threat to competition.
Amazon after Bezos, just like Bezos himself will have to reckon with the risks of stratospheric success.
SEBASTIAN: Well, Richard, Jeff Bezos may be leaving Earth for about 11 minutes in two weeks' time, but he is not actually leaving Amazon. He
assumes the title of Executive Chairman, which is something we've seen the likes of Bob Iger at Disney, Kevin Plank from Under Armour take on that
He says, he will be looking at -- focusing his energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.
QUEST: I guess the question, how much he is involved, isn't it? How much of Amazon today is still driven by him?
SEBASTIAN: So, if you ask people at the company, Richard, they will say that Jeff Bezos, it's not about him as a person, but sort of the leadership
principles and the -- not so much the products, but the initiatives that he put in place that he was able to scale throughout the business.
And Andy Jassy, his successor is sort of imbued in that culture. He has been at the company for 24 years. He joined in 1997, the same year the
company went public. He pitched their expansions, the music market, he worked in the early 2000s as what's called the shadow to Jeff Bezos, which
meant that he was sort of a trainee leader alongside him.
And he is the man who built AWS, Amazon Web Services, into a $45 billion company. So, in many ways, although we are likely to see a shift in tone,
particularly as he will have to go probably to Capitol Hill, like his predecessor, and defend the company against this regulatory drum beat. We
will see a slight shift in tone, I think.
QUEST: Right, but it raises this very distinct point, Clare, thank you, it raises this distinct point about how much of it is the genius of a single
person versus, can you train somebody? Well, we'll watch or you will watch and report. Thank you, Clare Sebastian. Thank you.
Now, Tropical Storm Elsa is headed for Florida. It made landfall in Cuba having been downgraded from a hurricane. The winds, the maximum sustained
is 95 kilometers an hour. After the break.
QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. I'll be joined by the head of Virgin Orbit. As the billionaire
space race reaches the final line, the finishing line.
And the head of Kering, one of the world's top luxury house explains it's time to take action on gender inequality. It all follows the news
headlines. This is CNN and in this network the news always comes first.
In Afghanistan, thousands of people are fleeing major cities after U.S. NATO forces left Bagram Air Base on Friday according to Afghans first vice
president. The major worry is the advancement of the Taliban right now moving into areas where the group previously had little presence.
The bodies of three more people have been found following the demolition of a condo building the collapse near Miami last month. It brings the total
number of confirmed dead 27. 100 people are missing. The state of emergency has now been issued across Florida as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches.
Rescue operations are underway in Nigeria where at least 140 children have been taken from their school by armed gunman. 26 students were able to
escape during the overnight attack. The kidnappings for ransom have escalated in the northern parts of the country since the end of last year.
The Vatican says the pope is in good condition A day after undergoing intestinal surgery. The 84-year-old pope underwent the procedure on Sunday.
It's expected to stay in the hospital for around seven days, barring any complications.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID. Kate Middleton is not
experiencing any symptoms of world source says the Duchess has been double vaccinated and takes a COVID test twice a week.
Disruption on dangerous weather conditions right now in Cuba to tropical storm Elsa made landfall now in the last couple of hours. It's going
Northwest and there were weather warnings in effect for swathes of South Florida. Tom Sater's at the World Weather Center. Tom, will do the rest of
Florida in a moment. First of all, where it is just so we know for Caribbean countries, how bad this is likely to be before we deal with, of
course, South Side.
TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: Well, as you mentioned in the 2:00 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, we did have a landfall.
SATER: As a tropical storm the southern coast of Cuba. Elsa's the fifth name storm of the year. It's the earliest we've ever had a fifth name
storm. That sounds familiar to you. We went through this last year. Hopefully it will not be a return visit to what we had last year.
We went through the entire alphabet and well into the Greek alphabet. This was a hurricane when it moves through the Caribbean. It's the earliest
hurricane that we've seen in nine years. That's all signs of climate change. Now, there's been a number of things that are running against Elsa
to become a monster. First, where we are in the calendar year, this is early July. Typically, these are small in size, they're compact.
It's very rare to get a major hurricane to develop, as this was making its way through the Caribbean, Richard, it was moving at a really fast pace, it
was doubling its speed. So, it's 23 kilometers per hour now. When they move that fast, they just can't generate the power and intensity. Now that it's
making landfall and interacting with land, it's going to lose a little more strength. Just a couple of hours ago is about 100 kilometers per hour, it's
down to 95.
I wouldn't be surprised to drops at 90, maybe 85. It's going to squeeze out a lot of rainfall and this higher terrain, we're talking about 200, 250
millimeters. Some areas could see as much as 350 or 375. So that's a concern. Havana right now just a few bands moving through, they've got a
couple of hours for final preparation. But if you look at the colors here, the brighter colors show, the higher the colder cloud tops.
So where it's really coming down. East of the center, southern flank, but I want to point out up to the north here, Richard, and it's starting to move
in toward the Florida area. And we actually have a storm now that's moving into the surf side region which is a severe worn storm. The path has been
sliding westward. That's good news away from areas to a surf site. But really quickly, these are the tropical storm force winds that are well away
from the Florida peninsula.
But that doesn't mean they can't get a gust. When you look at the probability of maybe getting a tropical storm gust Surfside still has eight
and that's because the possibility of a thunderstorm. Look where they are Richard, they're moving in. There's a lot of lightning here. And as
mentioned, it only takes one and that area of Miami and Surfside is now warned. We could have a few spin up tornadoes in the next 24 hours as well.
QUEST: Tom Sater, thank you. Virgin Orbit is going to the moon only metaphorically. The rocket company did make its second successful orbital
launch from under the wing of a (INAUDIBLE)
QUEST: In the battle of the billionaires to get into space, one man, Branson is making more progress on multiple fronts. So Richard is hoping to
celebrate several milestones at various Virgin space enterprises. He is still planning to be aboard Virgin Galactic's debut spaceflight this
weekend, incidentally, beating Bezos by a few days. Meanwhile, last week Virgin Orbit, you see it, launched a 70-foot rocket under the wing of a 747
that was nicknamed Cosmic Girl.
The company's first successful, fully operational rather than test mission, it was named Tubular Bells: Part One. A reference to the Mike Oldfield
record that inspired Richard Branson when he started off the whole thing with his Virgin company. Dan Hart, the CEO of Virgin Orbit is here and with
me. All right. Let's -- we're going to take this apart bit by bit. Let's first of all, deal with the fact. Virgin Orbit, you've had these various
tests. You've had an operational, you're now getting ready for the next one.
DAN HART, PRESIDENT AND CEO, VIRGIN ORBIT: Yes, we had a phenomenal flight last Wednesday. We took off from an airport in Southern California, flew up
to 35,000 feet released our rocket, and it took seven satellites to orbit. Our team is thrilled. Our customers are thrilled. It was an amazing week.
QUEST: And now, later next week, next week, you've got your big boss, so to speak, even if -- I mean, don't mind the corporate ownership structure but
-- so, Richard, going up in space, where the Galactic, what do you make of that?
HART: Well, you know, Richard is a leader who leads from the front. He was with us last week with me on the flight line as we disconnected our rocket
and sent it off underneath our airplane. It's no surprise to me, or I think anybody that Richard would be the first one to take a flight as a passenger
on Galactic. He's been planning to do that for years. We're all excited about it. He's thrilled over the moon. And we'll all be cheering him on
QUEST: Dan, did he say to you in any way, I have to be Bezos, I've got to get there before Bezos?
HART: Not at all. This has been a -- he's -- this has been a laser focus of his for years and years. So he's determined. He's in great shape. He's been
training and he'll be flying.
QUEST: Back to Orbit, where are you going to fit into this? I mean, Orbit is among -- eventually launching maybe more reasonable cost. But the cost
of getting Orbit up and running has been higher than other launching from rockets. So how do you make money?
HART: You know, there's a transformation going on in space. Satellites used to -- have to be the size of a small school bus to do any good from space.
Now, a satellite the size of a microwave oven, or a toaster, or a dishwasher, any small appliance can do incredible work. Connecting us
across the world. Imaging helping agriculture, helping us environmentally, satellites are getting smaller.
And so, it's only natural that they want smaller rockets so they can get to where they want to get to, when they want to get to it. And we have a
unique platform, because it's also mobile, a 747 aircraft can take off from anywhere on the planet. And so, we're incredibly excited. Our customers are
incredibly excited. We've got a nice backlog and manifest, and we're thrilled to be getting into our normal operation.
QUEST: Can you make money at it? I know -- I know, that's a horrible word. When use with space, that God forbid anybody actually makes a profit. Can
you make money?
HART: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the enabler for satellite capabilities in orbit is the transportation. And the buying habits of the small satellite
community is changing. You know, these are -- these are companies or projects that used to be curiosities 10, 20 years ago, you know, making a
small satellite. How interesting. Well, now, these are businesses. They have revenue streams, they have requirements on schedule.
They want to get to their orbit when they want to get to it and they don't want to wait on the ground. And they don't want to drift for months and
months in orbit trying to get to the right orbit for their business, or their mission.
QUEST: And as you plan, I mean, I know this is a case of you, you've only just got the first lot up there. And I'm already asking you what you're
going to do next. I mean, realistically, how many -- how many law can you do? Because if it is a simple or straightforward, you can get all these
rockets, prebuilt with their satellites and ship them to where the 747 is, hoist them at the bottom, and then you're clear for takeoff.
HART: Exactly. So, you know, instead of going through a big readiness process on a launch pad, we clip a rocket to a 747 and go. A 747 can fly,
as everybody knows, multiple times a day. So it's all just a matter of building the rockets.
In addition, you know, there are almost 80 space agencies across the world, about 10 countries have space launch. And so, we look forward to working
with the U.K., with Japan, Brazil, Australia and many other countries to bring space launch to them.
So that they can have a full space economy for their commercial needs, for their civil space needs and for their national security.
QUEST: Dan, have you made it part of your performance review bonus that you get a ride on Galactic?
HART: Not yet, but it's a good idea. I'll have to bring that up.
QUEST: Come along for the ride as well. We wish you well, sir. And that -- by the way, that Cosmic Girl 747, I mean, that is an asset that has been
squeezed for the best part of four decades, five decades. If you think about its previous owner, then Virgin Atlantic and now yourself. Talk about
make the girl work.
HART: It's a fantastic asset. It's great reuse of technology. You know, she used to haul passengers and now she hauls rockets to space.
QUEST: Good to see you, Dan. Thank you.
HART: Thanks, Richard.
QUEST: This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Back in a moment.
QUEST: The head of the world's top luxury houses tells me it is moral obligation to stand up for gender equality. Kering is the owner of brands
like Gucci and Balenciaga. Its brand is built on glamorous fashion shows like this. It's taken on issues which has been to brew for too long. Kering
is working with the French government to open shelters for women who are victims of violence and their children who suffer as a result.
And alongside the Ford Foundation, which is pledging almost half a billion dollars to fight gender inequality. I spoke to the leaders of both groups
last week who joined me from Paris. and whilst why now is the time.
DARREN WALKER, PRESIDENT, FORD FOUNDATION: The core of it is an opportunity, historic opportunity to bring together the private sector,
government and philanthropy along with donors to commit to by 2030 achieving gender equity in the world. This is never been more important an
issue than today, when around the world, we continue to see gender inequality manifest in the most pernicious, profound and harmful ways.
QUEST: Francois-Henri, Darren may talk the policy. But for somebody like yourself as a CEO, you have to do the practicalities which is make it
happen. What are you going to do to make it happen?
FRANCOIS-HENRI PINAULT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KERING: Yes, it's exactly our role as a private company, it's to really be on the field. On actions
to help women, the victim of violence. We founded our corporate foundation to help women fight over victim of violence 15 years ago. So, we're working
very closely on the field with the local association that are really tackled the issue in a very practical way.
So -- and we announced yesterday that we will add the French government to roll out to build 15 houses dedicated to support victims of violence across
France. It's a program that was launched last year by the government and we will invest practically there.
So, it's centers for women where you have medical care, psychological care, legal care, to really help the victim of violence to get out of the cycle
of violence. And never forget that being women, there's always children, also victim of that plague.
QUEST: One of the most distressing and disturbing parts of the pandemic, is the toll that it has taken on women in the workforce who have been pushed
out in the world was either because of looking after families or because those jobs have gone, and they have -- they've suffered the first. It's put
us back decades some people say, how do we reverse that?
WALKER: We reverse that by advocating for policies that pay women, a decent wage first. So we must address the wage and income gap. We also must
address the benefits of paid leave, the benefit of maternity and paternity leave, parental support for our aging parents, these are the things that
women often are addressing. But Richard, I think the core issue here that is the elephant in the room is the fact that we have a system of patriarchy
in many parts of the world that devalues women and girls.
It is abhorrent to me that we live in a world where young girls as young as 10 or 12 years old, are married off or traded as chattel, in exchange for
some small amount of money, because they just simply are not valued. That has to change. And this effort aims to change that.
QUEST: Francois-Henri, the businesses you are in very much -- well, not very, they are, the luxury side, they sell the beauty, the glamour, the
sparkle, if you like. We're talking about the opposite side of that coin. And I wonder how you internalize that yourself, how you square that circle
between that which you sell and that which you're now putting so much effort in.
PINAULT: Well, it's true that when I started the foundation back in 2008, the fighting against violence on women was, first of all, a taboo most --
in the most country in the world. And when I announced to my board and people around me that I wanted to really commit to that cause, he was a
little bit difficult. I had to convince but, you know, when you look at violence on women, it's every country, every social classes, it's
It's not just certain people, a certain category of the society, it's everyone. So, you cannot because you're in the luxury business, not tackle
with those issues. It's a moral obligation for me and for the group to be involved in that and to fight violence against women. So, even if it's not
-- may not be compatible with the notion of luxury, no, yes, it's a responsibility that we have.
PINAULT: It's like sustainability fighting for the rights of women fighting against violence on women. It's a moral obligation for all companies. And
of course, for my company.
QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) no trading on Wall Street were the 4th of July which of course is a Sunday is being observed on the fifth but Europe was open, and
they had a start - a higher start to the week with oil prices hitting multi year highs after OPEC meeting was cancelled driving uncertainty in the
market. 75.09, look at that. It really has picked up quite a lot over the last 12 months. We will take our profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. It is tempting to view the battle into space between the billionaires Branson and Bezos, something akin to a sort
of very wealthy men playing with toys fripperies if you like. Who can get to space first?
It would appear it's going to be Richard Branson by several days over Jeff Bezos. I think that ignores the whole point of this thing. The reality is
both Branson and Bezos, both men who I've met are men who revolutionized different industries in their own way.
Retailing for Bezos, record industry and then aviation through Virgin Atlantic for Richard Branson and a host of other industries or businesses
that he has run ever since. And now they're focusing on space. And even though neither man being of a certain age will probably live to see the
true fruition of their efforts now. The fact they have poured such huge sums and resources into businesses albeit Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit, to
try and drive the space race further.
I think it speaks volumes to the real contribution these billionaires have made. You may love them or you hate them. You may think they're arrogant or
confident. You may really dwell in their success or recoil at it, but you can't ignore the fact that they are boldly going where billionaires haven't
QUEST: And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're doing the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable.