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Quest Means Business
E.U. And Belarus Exchange Threats As Migrants Suffer; Americans Face Sticker Shock As Inflation Hits 30-Year High; Americans Expected To Pay Higher Heating Costs This Winter; Germany Sees Record Infections, Bavaria Declares Emergency; Chinese President Lays Groundwork For Third Presidential Term; Call To Earth; Disney+ Reports Huge Reduction In Subscriber Growth; Dash To The Bell. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 11, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The Dow is lower for the third day in a row, but in a mixed day, the NASDAQ is notching gains. Those are the
markets and these are the main events.
Belarus threatens Europe with switching off the gas as outrage grows over its handling of migrants.
Parts of Europe are mulling new COVID lockdowns as case numbers continue to rise.
And some slower numbers from Disney+ sent the company shares sinking on Wall Street.
It is Thursday the 11th of November. I am Paula Newton in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Good evening. Tonight, the European Union and Belarus exchange threats as thousands of migrants grow desperate along Poland's Eastern border.
Now, the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is being accused of manufacturing the humanitarian crisis by allowing migrants to enter his
country in order to reach the E.U. Now Poland, which is led by a nationalist government isn't letting the migrants in. Germany's Acting
Foreign Minister says the European Union will sanction countries, companies, and people who are causing this crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEIKO MAAS, ACTING GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The European Union will expand and tighten its sanctions against Lukashenko's
regime. This is what we will decide at our Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Those people and companies actively involved in human trafficking will be further sanctioned no matter where on the globe. In addition, there are
other options on the table, such as the expansion of present sanctions, especially so-called sectorial sanctions, in other words, economic
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Meantime, Ursula von der Leyen says she and Joe Biden are discussing sanctions against airlines involved in human trafficking to
Belarus. Flights coming from Istanbul and Antalya in Turkey and from Beirut, Baghdad and Dubai are believed to be bringing migrants to Minsk.
Migrants are then being moved to the borders with Lithuania and Latvia.
At the Kuznika border crossing with Poland, thousands of migrants are being trapped between two countries in absolutely brutal conditions.
Fred Pleitgen is there on the Polish side of the border. And Fred, I know you've been following this for several weeks, and yet, Belarus now seems to
be unapologetically right escalating the crisis further, what's been the effect on the border where you are?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a huge effect. It really has to be said, Paula, on the one hand, of course, just a
couple of maybe two kilometers from where I am, that is where that camp is on the Belarusian side of the border.
Of course there, you do now have a very large makeshift camp with thousands of people in it, of course, who want to enter the European Union, but can't
do so. But on the other hand, also can't go back in the other direction, for instance, to Minsk, to try and seek some sort of shelter there.
And as you can imagine the situation on the ground there deteriorates, really, by the day. I mean, we've been standing here for a couple of hours
only and reporting from here. It's very, very cold. It's very, very damp. And one can only imagine how awful the situation must be for people who are
camped out there on the ground, in tents and of course, looking for anything they can really to try and make a fire to stay warm somehow.
And the border region here on the side that I am on the Polish side, the Polish government has essentially hermetically seal that off. There is an
exclusion zone that essentially begins right behind me, that checkpoint that you see behind me where media isn't allowed in, NGOs aren't allowed in
either. For a very long time E.U. officials weren't allowed in.
So as you can see, it's had a giant effect. But of course first and foremost, there are a lot of people in a very desperate situation who are
stuck in limbo.
Let's have a look.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Another day in limbo in the freezing cold, gathering any material that will burn to stay warm. Thousands of migrants remain
stranded on the Belarusian side of the border as Poland says it will not let them enter.
Only a few have made it across, like Youssef Atallah from Syria who says he was abused by Belarusian border guards.
YOUSSEF ATALLAH, SYRIAN REFUGEE: When I crossed the Belarus border, the Belarus guards catch us, they search us and hit me in the face. Broke my
cheeks here and my nose and broke two teeth I have a -- break four ribs here.
Then they took us to the forbidden area.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The forbidden area means the border between Belarus and Poland. Belarus denied abusing migrants and instead accused Poland of a
heavy handed approach. The E.U. says it will further sanction Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko saying he is luring migrants here in a bid
to destabilize Europe.
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI, POLISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Now from distance those events on the Polish-Belarusian border may look like a
migration crisis, but this is not a migration crisis. It is a political crisis and caused for a specific purpose, for the purpose of destabilizing
the situation in the E.U.
So, what we're facing here, and we have to state it clearly is a manifestation of state terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN (voice over): Lukashenko is counting on support from his biggest backer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, hailing Russian strategic bombers
that flew over Belarus on Wednesday and threatening to cut off Russian gas supplies to Europe.
ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO, BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are heating Europe, and they still threaten us with closing the border. And
what if we shut off natural gas there? I would therefore recommend that the leadership of Poland, Lithuania, and other headless people think before
PLEITGEN (voice over): The migrants are caught in the middle of the standoff, unable to advance into the E.U. or head back to their countries
PLEITGEN (on camera): The situation of those camped out at the border between Poland and Belarus is growing more desperate by the day. It is
extremely cold and damp out here with the temperatures dropping below freezing virtually every night.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Activist, Piotr Bystrianin tries to help them showing the clothes, food, and water he tries to supply them with.
PIOTR BYSTRIANIN, ACTIVIST: People are deteriorating very fast. They are more exhausted. Some of them are sometimes, one week or two weeks or even
longer only in the forest without proper food, without any drinking water.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Poland says it has registered more than 4,000 attempts to illegally cross its border in November alone, but says it will
not back down.
PLEITGEN (on camera): In fact, Paula, the Polish government is saying that it could actually deploy even more forces here to the border. And just this
week alone, we've seen the Pols go from about 12,000 forces here in the border region that's both the Polish military and also the Polish Border
Guards as well to about 15,000 that are in this area right now.
And again, the Pols say they could send even more. They are absolutely unequivocally saying that this border will not be open, that they are going
to stand strong. And we can see there now increasingly by the way as this week has progressed is that more and more European officials have now come
out and backed the way that Poland is also handling it.
You heard it there for instance from the German Foreign Minister. There are some other governments of course, especially Eastern European ones that are
now pledging their support for Poland as well -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, no doubt that unity is important. But Fred, so glad to have you there. I'm glad you pointed out obviously how cold it is and it is
startling to see the young children that are now still officially in limbo. Fred, appreciate it.
Now, meantime, the European Union and the United States are both preparing new or modified sanctions against Belarus. Belarusian President Alexander
Lukashenko though, you heard him, he says he is ready to retaliate and he has leverage. Here is the context, the Yamal Pipeline runs from Russia
through Belarus into Poland, and also key on to Germany. As Europe heads into winter amid a severe gas shortage already, Lukashenko suggested he
could just cut off the heat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUKASHENKO (through translator): We are heating Europe, and they still threaten us with closing the border. And what if we shut off natural gas
there? I would therefore recommend that the leadership of Poland, Lithuania, and other headless people think before speaking.
But this is their business. If they are closing it, let them close it. The Foreign Ministry must warn everyone in Europe.
If they impose additional sanctions on us, which are indigestible and unacceptable for us, we must answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Daniel Fried is the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and had an opinion piece for "The Atlantic Council." He writes that Lukashenko's
border policy is quote, "weaponizing human misery."
I want to thank you for joining us and you just heard the Belarusian leader there. You also say that what he is doing is quote "Putin-esque cynicism."
Explain the implications of that for Europe right now at this hour.
DANIEL FRIED, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO POLAND: Lukashenko is a dictator who is trying to remain in power. He is trying to intimidate Poland and
Lithuania because those countries have been strongly supporting the Belarusian Democratic Movement not just in words but in actions.
FRIED: So Lukashenko is trying to go after them. So far, it hasn't worked because the United States and Europe, the European Union have backed
Poland. Poland is right, there is no reason for it to give in to this kind of pressure. The humanitarian problem is entirely caused by Lukashenko, and
he is doubling down.
But this is part of a pattern of Lukashenko's aggression, and behind him stands Vladimir Putin, who is putting pressure as we speak also on Ukraine.
So, this is a nasty moment and it is a time for European and America -- European and American solidarity. And so far, that solidarity seems to be
NEWTON: It's apparent, but will it make a difference? And we'll get to some -- you know, sometimes the impotence of sanctions here, but it's
indisputable that, as you just said, Belarusian by extension, Russia, have the E.U. in a vise right now. How do you get through to them -- to Belarus
-- especially since the sanctions aren't working?
FRIED: Oh, I wouldn't say the sanctions aren't working. Sanctions take time. They're not a magic wand. I was the Sanctions Coordinator at the
State Department during the Obama administration. Sanctions can work, but they do take time.
Lukashenko's bravado is taken with a grain of salt. There are things we can do more to hurt the Belarusian economy and isolate him and I think we
should. Now, you're right about gas. That is Europe allowed itself to become too dependent on Russian gas. Germany made a mistake when it got out
of nuclear power. That made it more dependent on gas. Putin is using gas as a weapon against Europe right now and against Ukraine.
So, in the short term this winter, Europe has a problem as you said. The United States needs, I think, to be prepared to help Europe with the gas
supplies. Hopefully, the winter won't be so cold. But this is not an issue where they have the whip hand.
Putin and Lukashenko may think they can win, but I don't think so. The Europe in the United States have options -- solidarity, energy solidarity,
and the threat of further sanctions may focus Putin's mind, especially if he thinks he is going to lose Germany.
I don't think either Lukashenko or Putin counted on such solidarity between the European Union and Poland. But that solidarity is real and it is
NEWTON: Just to continue that point, though, in terms of Russian intentions at this point. We've even heard from Antony Blinken now, the U.S. Secretary
of State saying that look, this is a pivotal moment in terms of Russian aggression and you brought up an interesting point, that what is happening
now in Belarus does play into -- to use the term -- the Russian playbook on the kind of pressure they want to put on the United States right now.
FRIED: You're absolutely right. Putin has been pushing Ukraine. He has been using gas as a weapon. He has been making claims on Ukrainian territory. He
may think that the United States is weak and divided after Afghanistan withdrawing from the world. He may think that Europe is divided. He's
It's a mistake to bet against the United States, but this Russian military buildup against Ukraine has the Biden administration worried. They sent
C.I.A. Director Bill Burns to Moscow to urge the Russians to back off, it doesn't seem to have work.
The Ukrainians however, will fight. If they are attacked, they're not going to crumble. They'll make a fight of it, and that is something Putin may
well wish to avoid because a war with Ukraine is not going to be popular in Russia. But we're in that kind of a situation.
NEWTON: Yes. And geopolitically, you have just highlighted a number of risks and hanging in the balance. Unfortunately, in the short term, right,
are those thousands of migrants now in those cold temperatures at this hour, unfortunately, going to be below zero.
FRIED: That's right.
NEWTON: Mr. Fried, Thank you so, so much. I appreciate your time and your insights on this topic.
FRIED: Thanks for the opportunity.
NEWTON: Now, Europe's natural gas shortage and high energy prices, as we were just talking about remain a serious risk not just geopolitically, but
of course to its economic recovery. Officials say it is contributing to a spike in inflation along with global supply chain problems. The European
Commission is still raising growth forecasts so far for this year and 2022.
Now, Julia Chatterley spoke to Paolo Gentiloni, the E.U. Economic Commissioner. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAOLO GENTILONI, E.U. ECONOMIC COMMISSIONER: We updated our forecast, and now, it is five percent this year and 4.3 next year, and this is quite an
achievement for the European economy, of course, it is after a deep recession, but the fact that we are recovering the pre-pandemic level of
output at the end of this year, so sooner than we expected, a few months ago, is very positive.
Of course, we have what we call headwinds to face. So, the picture is a very good one, great achievement for our collective and national response,
but also challenges coming from different problems that are in our economic environment.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: I want to pick up on one of those challenges, which is what I think we're talking about globally and
that's rising prices -- inflation -- energy prices, of course, a huge contributor to the inflationary pressures that Europe is facing and the
Eurozone is facing.
But in this report, you're confident enough to say you think, at least in the four months to the end of the year, we're going to see a peak, and then
it's going to lessen into 2022. What gives you that confidence?
GENTILONI: Well, these increases are very much connected to temporary factors. One, of course, is the reopening of the economy. Large consumption
services activity in the third quarter of this year, strongly rebounding, and the other one is connected to gas prices and their impact in
Well, both these factors are mostly probably not exclusively, but mostly temporary, because we will not have such a rebound forever. The pent up
demand, the savings are progressing in their deployment in our economy, and they will slowly be going back to normal. And at the same time, what we see
in the energy markets, for example, in the gas futures shows that after the winter, it is very probable that these prices will go down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So that was the European view. Soaring prices here in the United States though have also got President Biden's attention. He is changing his
tone on inflation as more Americans feel that sticker shock. That's next.
NEWTON: Surging inflation has now become a pressing issue for U.S. President Biden. The latest numbers show the cost of living has shot up
more than six percent in the past year alone. Inflation, in case you were wondering, a 30-year high.
Everyday items like milk and eggs, gasoline are spiking as the Holidays get ever closer. Mr. Biden says he understands how that affects American
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Consumer prices remain too high. It tell us that the American people are in the midst of this economic
crisis and recovery is showing strong results but not to them. They are still looking out there. Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread
costs more and it is worrisome even though wages are going up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So, that is a different tone from Mr. Biden who has emphasized in the past that inflation is temporary. CNN's Kaitlan Collins joins me now
from the White House. This puts the Biden administration in a tough spot, especially since the Republicans continue to insist that the Democrats'
spending bill, right, will only make inflation worse.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course. And so that's the question of whether or not actually complicates the path to
getting that bill passed. Because, of course, that is the next undertaking that the White House and Democrats in Congress are going to work on.
And so when it comes to what you were hearing from the President yesterday, you are right that that is a different shift, a shift in tone from what we
had been hearing from the administration on inflation, where, for months, they had been insisting that this is not something that was going to be
long term. They repeatedly used the word "transitory," meaning, of course, that it was going to be only temporary, and clearly that is not panning out
since it is now November and it is still something very much that people are seeing.
And that report that was released yesterday, showing that consumer prices are up six percent over the last 12 months, almost a full percentage just
from September to October alone.
And so, of course, the President really had no other option but to take it head on yesterday in those remarks at the Port of Baltimore. But he tried
tying it to his agenda, saying that with this Infrastructure Bill that he is expected to sign into law on Monday, he believes that will help ease
some of these supply chain bottlenecks. In the end, he believes that will actually help drive down these prices, stabilize these prices that you've
seen going up with inflation.
But of course, in the meantime, it is going to be a political headache for this White House because when voters go to the grocery store, and their
bills are a lot higher because bacon is more expensive, eggs are more expensive, chicken is more expensive. That is something that is on almost
every voter's mind because it's not something they're even hearing from politicians, it is something that they are seeing on the receipt from the
grocery store in addition to their gasoline bills, and the cost to heat their homes.
And so it will be a headache for the White House, and what we're told by sources inside the White House is really President Biden wants to focus on
making sure people know that he is listening, he is paying attention, and he does know this is a problem that they are experiencing.
NEWTON: Yes, and if you forgive me, Kaitlan, to put a fine point on it. I mean, it's more than once in a generation between you and I, I'm the only
one who remembers that kind of inflation and I'm sure steps from the White House, he knows people are feeling it.
Listen, before I let you go, I just want to talk about the fact that the Summit -- virtual as it is -- which Xi was announced for Monday, they must
be banking on some kind of deliverable if they announced the date.
COLLINS: Well, this is shaping up to be a big day, Monday. He is signing that Infrastructure Bill. We are told though it has not been formally
announced by the White House yet that that is when he is expected to hold that Virtual Summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, of course, which is
expected to be one of the biggest meetings that the President is having in his first year in office.
Of course, it's not going to be face-to-face since Xi Jinping has not left China, of course in about 21 months. It does raise a question about what
the deliverables are going to look like. Will it be something related to tariffs? Is President Biden going to push him on the origins of the COVID-
There are a lot of questions about what this is going to look like, even in addition to Taiwan, and of course, what you've been hearing from the
Secretary of State lately, and so there was a lot of that agenda and so we will wait to see how it plays out and whether there are any concrete
deliverables coming out of that.
NEWTON: Great. Kaitlan, good to see you. Thanks for that update from the White House. Appreciate it.
Now, inflation is putting a strain on just about everything for Americans, as we were just talking about. Of course, that includes groceries with just
two weeks before Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday. You know, there is really no sign that these prices are letting up anytime soon.
Vanessa Yurkevich talks to Iowans about how inflation is hitting their wallets.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER (voice over): There's a chill in the air in Iowa. Winter is coming.
JOSH HOSKINS, ANKENY, IOWA RESIDENT: It's coming, so we put the fireplace on and get a little heat that way instead of turning the furnace up.
YURKEVICH (voice over): That's because heating bills for many Iowans could nearly double this winter. A warning from the state's largest power
provider, Mid-American Energy.
HOSKINS: We're all hardworking, middle class folks. So, you know, we can't go too far out of our means to make ends meet. But you know, we've still
got to eat, we've still got to live.
YURKEVICH (voice over): On Wednesday, the U.S. once again woke up to sticker shock. Gas, cars, energy, and food, just some consumer goods that
rose 0.9 percent together on average in October and are up 6.2 percent this past year, the biggest 12-month increase since 1990.
HOSKINS: Bacon was pretty high. I've kind of seen it on the news a little bit, but yes, it's jumped up a few dollars. So --
YURKEVICH (on camera): Did that stop you from buying anything today?
HOSKINS: I thought I'd buy it put it in the freezer to be totally honest with you.
YURKEVICH (voice over): The Lentz's were also out shopping early for their Thanksgiving dinner.
YURKEVICH (on camera): Did you notice that prices were a little bit higher?
EVELYN LENTZ, ANKENY, IOWA RESIDENT: Yes. Quite a bit quite a bit higher.
YURKEVICH (voice over): And soon, the couple will escape the Iowa cold and their high energy bill for Arizona, but it will still cost them.
GARY LENTZ, ANKENY, IOWA RESIDENT: We have a motorhome. It costs a lot to go to Arizona, but we're going in anyway.
YURKEVICH (voice over): Gas in the state is nearly $3.20 a gallon, up more than a dollar in the last year. Ben Thompson is trying to avoid the pain at
BEN THOMPSON, DES MOINES, IOWA RESIDENT: I price shop some, that's how I'm out here. You know the Kaycee's that I was at was about 44 cents more
expensive per gallon than this one.
YURKEVICH (voice over): He says his 16-gallon tank cost him $10.00 more on average.
YURKEVICH (on camera): So what did you tap out today?
THOMPSON: $46.87, and I wasn't out of gas.
YURKEVICH: Do you have a deal?
YURKEVICH (voice over): At Dewey Ford Car Dealership in Ankeny, a lot that typically holds 900 cars has just 61.
TERI SAENZ, GENERAL MANAGER, DEWEY FORD: I cannot keep hybrid vehicles on my lot. They want to be able to have that so they're not going to the gas
pumps to have to go through that.
YURKEVICH (voice over): Customers may save on gas by going electric, but the prices of cars are higher than ever. Used cars jumped 2.5 percent last
month, with new cars up 1.4 percent, a fallout from labor shortages, a supply chain crunch, and consumer demand all meeting the road.
SAENZ: Customers are really struggling at this point. When you go back through the last few years, nobody has ever paid full price for cars.
NEWTON: And our thanks to Vanessa Yurkevich for that report.
Now, the pandemic is flaring up again in Europe. Some leaders are now calling for more restrictions as the infection rate climbs.
NEWTON (voice-over): Hello, I'm Paula Newton. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment.
When parts of Europe are preparing to go into lockdown as COVID cases rise across much of the continent. And Disney's dismal earnings has analysts
wondering, could the streaming gold rush be slowing down?
Before that, these are the headlines this year.
NEWTON (voice-over): Defense attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse have called more witnesses in his homicide trial. They are arguing he acted in self-
defense when he shot three people during a protest last summer. Two of them died.
One of today's witnesses said he tried to deescalate tensions that night.
The U.N. Is calling on Ethiopian officials to release detained U.N. staff members and contracted truck drivers. They've been arrested by authorities
since the government imposed a state of emergency tied to its year-long conflict with rebels.
The U.N. says the detentions are stopping much needed food, water and medicine from reaching the public.
The last president of South Africa's apartheid era, F.W. de Klerk, has died at the age of 85. The controversial leader shared a Nobel Peace Prize with
Nelson Mandela after helping dismantle institutionalized segregation in the country.
But he was criticized for failing to recognize the full extent of the repressive system.
NEWTON: So European leaders are considering new restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge right across the continent. Germany reported a record number of
infections in one day. Bavaria has declared a state of emergency and the likely next chancellor is calling for more testing and vaccination centers.
The Netherlands meantime also hit a record for new cases. Experts there are recommending a partial lockdown with extra restrictions for the
In one part of Austria, meantime, unvaccinated people will be ordered to stay home Monday. They have a low vaccination rate by European standards
and is seeing, unfortunately, a late fall surge. Scott McLean is in London for us.
I really appreciate you following these numbers. They have been startling to me. If we start with the numbers in Germany, alarming enough; and as we
just saw, the trend is really right through the continent.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you are absolutely right. In Germany, we are talking about 50,000 infections in a single day confirmed. And think
about this. That's not a since X date; that's not a recent record. That's since the outset of the pandemic.
Keep in mind, that about two-thirds of Germans have the vaccine. Yet German Chancellor Angela Merkel has diagnosed the problem saying, it's pretty
simple. Not enough people are vaccinated still. And the virus can still spread easily through the one-third of the population that is unvaccinated.
As a result, you have German states trying -- starting to tighten the rules. One example, in Berlin right now, you could go to a restaurant,
theater, gym, all those things, if you can show proof of vaccination, proof of natural immunity or a negative test.
But starting Monday, that negative test is not going to cut it. You have to be able to prove that you likely have some antibodies.
A lot of other German states are either considering following suit or they already have followed suit. You mentioned the vice chancellor, the likely
successor of Angela Merkel, he would prefer to see that testing option scrapped across the country.
And this is significant.
MCLEAN: Germany has always tried to make life livable for people who choose not to have the vaccine by giving them that testing option. So the state
isn't discriminating against them in a way.
But given the cases are racking up and there's more and more pressure on the German health system because of the surge in cases, it seems
politicians are sort of grasping for any lever they can in order to right this ship and put Germany back on course.
There's undoubtedly also an east-west divide in Germany. Some east German states doing less well with COVID, lower vaccination rates. When you look
at the continent as a whole, there's an east-west divide. Suddenly, Germany does not look so bad when you look at the numbers in places like Bulgaria,
Ukraine and Romania.
Their cases are not only translating into hospitalizations but they are translating into deaths. That's because these are countries that, by and
large, have really struggled to get their populations vaccinated quickly.
They are trying to convince people to take first shot of the vaccine, while a lot of countries in western Europe are done with the first. They are on
to the booster shot to get older populations to take that third shot of the vaccine. They are miles apart when it comes to coronavirus.
You mentioned the L word, lockdown; Netherlands, an expert panel recommended to the government that restaurants, gyms, theaters close as a
temporary measure until cases can go down.
Austria, they have tied their potential new lockdown to the percentage of ICU beds taken up by COVID patients. Right now, it's 20 percent. When it
reaches 30 percent, there will be a lockdown but only for the unvaccinated.
This isn't like lockdown: you can't go to the restaurant. This is lockdown like we saw at the height of the pandemic, where you have to stay home
unless you are going to work, going to shop for medicine, going to get food, just the essentials.
NEWTON: Incredibly dispiriting that, at this point, with the vaccines, that we are still discussing lockdowns where they have plenty of vaccines. Scott
McLean, appreciate that update.
Now China's Xi Jinping has strengthened his grip on power with a resolution that solidifies his place in the Communist Party. CNN's David Culver shows
us how this could pave the way for Xi to be president for life.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China's ruling elite meeting behind closed doors for four days in Beijing, rewriting the
Communist Party's history to chart a new course.
The 350 or so top officials passing an almost unprecedented resolution and this time highlighting the role of its current leader and Chinese
president, Xi Jinping, in the nation's triumphant rise on the global stage.
VICTOR SHIH, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA/SAN DIEGO: He wants to really highlight his own contribution to the development of the party. That also
will seal his legitimate rule over China in the foreseeable future. And, of course, no one would challenge his power within the party.
CULVER (voice-over): Unrivalled control: that puts Xi on par with past paramount leaders, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Both oversaw the only two
previous resolutions. The first in 1945 firmly placed Mao at the apex of the party.
The second, 1981, five years after Mao's death, in effort to push past his disastrous policies as Deng opened China up to a surge of prosperity, an
economic boom that has lasted decades.
CULVER: Now 100 years since its founding, right here in Shanghai, the Chinese Communist Party has just passed a third such resolution, this one
widely seen as elevating Xi Jinping as undisputed supreme ruler of what many here believe will become the world's strongest nation.
CULVER (voice-over): China's already become the second largest economy in the world. It has successfully lifted millions of its people out of poverty
and making other countries, including the U.S., uneasy with its rapid military expansions.
Its ascendance, the leadership proudly displays its so-called Communist Party pilgrimage sites, historically revered spots that downplay or ignore
failures and controversies, from the tumultuous cultural revolution to the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Instead they focus on a century of successes and credit Xi alongside, Mao and Deng, for the nation's rejuvenation with Xi's two immediate
predecessors barely mentioned.
Xi is now even a mandatory part of school curriculums. All students must learn Xi Jinping thought. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has methodically
consolidated control, launching an anti-corruption campaign that simultaneously eliminated his political rivals.
In 2018, he rewrote the constitution, getting rid of presidential term limits.
CULVER (voice-over): And this year, with a series of regulatory tightening on business and tech, he showed the tycoons that the party is above all
else. And loyalty to the party now means loyalty to Xi.
JEAN-PIERRE CABESTAN, HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY: Now we're back to the strongman politics with the danger, of course, that relying on one person
to make decisions but also relying on his health, on his own character to decide about the future of a nation of 1.4 billion people.
CULVER (voice-over): So much power handed to one man, history has taught us what that could mean. But for now, the world's biggest governing party
keeping history in check and paving the way for a future, where its strongman leader could rule for life -- David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
NEWTON: Now to Disney. The company behind the Magic Kingdom is reporting less than magical earnings. Disney+ posted its lowest subscriber growth
since it launched two years ago. What it means for future of streaming. That's next.
NEWTON: Today on "Call to Earth," many of Bangladesh's turtle and tortoise species are under threat from poaching and destruction of their natural
Conservationist Shahriar Caesar Rahman has started a breeding center to help restore four of the endangered species with the help of citizen
scientists from an indigenous community in southeast Bangladesh.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a leafy corner of Bhawal National Park, a high-stakes courtship is taking place.
The future of this critically endangered species in Bangladesh depends on it. The Asian giant tortoise was thought to be extinct in the country until
10 years ago, when a few were discovered in the wild with the help of this man.
And now conservation biologist Shahriar Caesar Rahman is on a mission to bring them back.
SHAHRIAR CAESAR RAHMAN, CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST: We realize if we want to prevent an extinction of the species from Bangladesh, we must take drastic
STOUT (voice-over): Rahman runs a conservation and breeding center for four critically endangered species of turtle and tortoise in an effort to help
restore their populations in the wild.
RAHMAN (voice-over): Unfortunately, most of the species are threatened with extinction. The major conservation challenges are hunting for food and pet
trade (ph) and the destruction of their fresh water ecosystem and forest habitat.
STOUT (voice-over): On the front line is the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a remote region on the Bangladeshi border with India and Myanmar, considered
a biodiversity hot spot but one that is threatened by poaching, logging and agricultural development.
Rahman first visited in 2011. And working with the indigenous Mro community, he and his team trained former hunters as parabiologists or
citizen scientists that collect data and monitor species to help protect local wildlife.
RAHMAN (voice-over): We are empowering them to be the guardian of the ecosystem that they have been protecting for hundreds of years. Those
people become the ears and eyes for conservation. And eventually, when the species are released back in the wild, these are the individuals who will
be monitoring them every day.
STOUT (voice-over): While there, Rahman learned that a few Asian giant tortoises still existed in the region. And the idea for the breeding center
was born. These juveniles have been bred from specimens rescued from hunters by Rahman's team of parabiologists, like Passing Mro.
PASSING MRO, PARABIOLOGIST (through translator): In the past, our family hunted. But today, we don't hunt the tortoises. We make people understand
not to hunt them, as they are on the verge of extinction. I feel very happy to work on it. If we don't, the tortoises will have vanished from the
RAHMAN (voice-over): The captive breds are critically endangered Asian giant tortoises, which are bred here in our center for the first time in
Bangladesh. We will be releasing these individuals back into the wild end of this year.
STOUT (voice-over): His hopes for the future of the species in Bangladesh, slow and steady wins the race.
RAHMAN (voice-over): I do believe there are reasons to be optimistic. And it all depends on us and the future generation to make the decision and to
NEWTON: Stunning pictures there.
Let us know what you are doing to answer the call with the #CallToEarth.
NEWTON: Take a quick look at the markets. The Dow down for a third day in a row now. Nothing all that serious, though. It has dipped below the 36,000
The other U.S. major averages are doing somewhat better, especially the Nasdaq. As you can see there, up about a half a percent. It's off its
highs. And the S&P really evenly split there but not taking on more losses.
Disney's sharp losses shaved as much as 100 points off the Dow today. The shares are down about 6 percent after missing earnings estimates in the
last quarter. Investors were disappointed by EPS revenue and, crucially, subscriber growth. Disney said it added only about 2 million subscribers.
That's the smallest number since the service launched two years ago. By comparison, it added 12 million in the second quarter and 21 million during
the first three months of the year. It's part of a broader trend in the streaming subscriptions.
Netflix added 4.4 million subscribers last quarter, just 70,000 of those were in North America, the company's largest market.
Anna Nicolaou is the U.S. media correspondent at the "Financial Times" and I think for joining us. I want to get to Disney first. The market is
rethinking the value of Disney and Disney+ and this whole streaming component of it.
ANNA NICOLAOU, "FINANCIAL TIMES": Yes. What we are seeing right now is, essentially the past five years, Disney and all of the big entertainment
companies have been putting all of their money, their time into trying to catch up with Netflix and essentially change the business model they've had
for decades to become a streaming company.
Disney had a lot of success very early on. They added almost 100 million subscribers in the first year alone, which is astronomical growth. And I
think everyone kind of piled into this and it became the way to kind of boost your stock price, to add subscribers and to prove you are committed
Now we are seeing, a few years on, the question is being raised of, is streaming actually a good business for these companies?
Because they are spending tens of billions of dollars to keep making more TV shows, more movies to satisfy subscribers and it's become really, really
NEWTON: And I think that's the fascinating point of all of this right now. It's kind of caught people by surprise. Yet I'm intrigued by that concept,
that maybe streaming with its subs only revenue pretty much is maybe not the good business model that some people thought it was.
NICOLAOU: Yes. It's a little late now. But essentially, everyone was running head first -- obviously, Netflix paved the way here in the U.S. And
Netflix was treated by Wall Street as a technology company. So they were given a lot of room to kind of lose money for quite a while, grow super
fast. They were the future. Young people liked it.
All of those things that we have seen tech companies rely on. And then you have all of these older companies like Disney following that model. Now we
are seeing this re-evaluation of saying, wait a minute.
Is this actually best for the business?
Cable TV made a lot of money; subscription streaming so far has been proven to be really tough on profits.
NEWTON: And some of the production costs really are production costs of mass destruction. And I want to talk about that, that wider streaming. It's
a crowded market. Arguably, we are at this peak TV or movie moment. But the production costs astronomical.
NICOLAOU: Yes. That's the big problem that Disney and Netflix and every TV company is dealing with right now. They are spending so much money. When
Disney first came into the market with Disney+, it was a pretty easy sell. They were charging $5 or $6 for any American who has children, it was an
easy sell to say, I'll pay $5 a month and my kids can watch every Disney movie of all time. Right?
But now we are seeing, as more competitors enter, they are having to keep spending that much money to bring in new shows and new movies and material.
And streaming is easier for consumers to cancel. You could even -- someone could say, I want to watch this one show. I will sign up and then cancel
after a month. It can be that competitive.
So all of these companies essentially, it's almost like a race to the bottom now. They are spending money to keep up because everyone is spending
NEWTON: It's just been so interesting to see, especially now that that juggernaut, Netflix, is the one that is spending so much money on these
NEWTON: I really appreciate you going over this with us. And we have not heard the last. Appreciate it. Thanks so much.
Beyond Meat is another post results loser today, reported growing losses as demand for plant-based meat shrinks and costs rise. The stock is down
double digits today. This hurts. That's quite a bite out of the stock price. It's off more than a third year to date. It went public 2.5 years
ago for $25 a share.
The company says it saw higher transport and warehouse cost and lower grocery demand last quarter. It expects those labor challenges and hesitant
ordering because of the pandemic unfortunately to continue. Paul La Monica is here.
My question, is this company specific or is this bad news for the whole sector?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it is bad news for the whole sector, partly because there's just so much competition now.
It's in some respects, similar to the challenges that Disney is facing with streaming right now. We all know that plant-based foods became a popular
culinary fad, in part because of Beyond Meat.
But now you have Impossible with their Impossible burger. They are more ubiquitous; they're having more grocery store distribution, more
partnerships with restaurants. So that potentially hurts Beyond Meat as well.
I'm not so sure that plant-based food is going away although maybe it had a real big surge in popularity and it's going to tail off a little bit. But I
think the bigger issue is just so much competition from other plant-based peer players as well as traditional food companies.
NEWTON: I like the way you linked that to streaming, whether it was streaming or alternative meat, it was definitely the thing that you thought
was going to catch a lot of market share.
I don't have a lot of time but before I let you go, Elon Musk, he did it. He sold the shares. But that Twitter poll, that was just a stunt. Right?
LA MONICA: Yes, I think it was. Clearly, he was going to do this regardless of what people in the Twitterverse said he should or shouldn't do. He was
facing exercising options that he needed to do before they expire next year. He has to pay taxes when he exercises those options.
So not a big surprise at all. But the world's most richest man also is one of the world's most intriguing, to put it mildly, business people on the
NEWTON: Yes and continues to be intriguing, to use a word, on Twitter. Good to see you. Appreciate it. Thanks.
Now there are just a few moments left to trade on Wall Street. We will have those final numbers and that closing bell right after this.
NEWTON: All right, a few minutes left here on the Wall Street trade. The Dow fell below 36,000 while bond markets were closed for Veterans' Day in
the United States. The Dow is headed for its third consecutive losing day. Of course, Disney is dragging the Dow down the most. It's down more than 10
percent. Visa, meantime, down more than 2 percent.
Walgreens and the chemical company, Dow, leading. That's it for us here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Paula Newton in New York. Hear it ringing. The
closing bell. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.