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Quest Means Business
Six Killed, 31 Injured, Suspect At Large After Illinois Parade Shooting; EU Pledges To Rebuild Ukraine As Russia Captures Lysychansk; Turkish Inflation Soars; Branson Calls On Western Business To Help Ukraine; Severe Drought Leads To Good Insecurity In Southern Angola; At Least Six People Killed In Illinois Parade Shooting. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 04, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: We are following a developing story out of the US this hour, a police hunt underway after a shooter at an Independence Day
Parade near Chicago kills six with dozens injured. We will bring you the latest.
Ukraine's Prime Minister says it will take about $750 billion to rebuild his country.
And inflation in Turkey soars to nearly 80 percent.
Live from New York, it's Monday, July Fourth. Wall Street, of course, is closed for the US holiday. I'm Paula Newton, in for Richard Quest and this
is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
A dangerous and deadly situation is unfolding at this hour outside of Chicago. As authorities are urging everyone to stay inside. At least six
people were killed and 31 others injured after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July Parade in Highland Park, Illinois and that was about four hours
ago. Police still searching for the gunman.
One witness says it sounded like a string of firecrackers in a garbage can. Another described hearing dozens of gunshots and the chaos that followed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILES ZAREMSKI, WITNESS: I'd say I heard maybe -- and I'm guessing about 30 pops, and there was a pause in between, a set of pops and then a second set
of pops, and then the crowd that was on either side of Central start rushing, a stampede like going west, which was against me, I was not
knocked down, and then I gingerly went up on I saw blood on the sidewalk.
I saw a bloodied body that looked deceased. I even saw what it looked to be a young child, a boy being cuddled by his parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: You can imagine the chaos. Officials say the suspect appears to have fired shots from a rooftop and police are describing him as armed and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMMANDER CHRIS O'NEILL, HIGHLAND PARK POLICE: Highland Park Police and numerous Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies are searching
for the suspect. The suspect is currently described as a male, White, approximately 18 to 20 years old, with longer black hair, a small build in
wearing a white or blue t-shirt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: And again, people in that community being told to shelter in place we will have much more on the shooting and that manhunt later this hour.
Right now though, we turn to the EU that is preparing to help rebuild Ukraine as Russia continues to gain ground in the east. Now speaking at a
Ukraine Recovery Conference.
Ursula von der Leyen announced a reconstruction platform in her words to determine needs and coordinate resources. Now, the European Union has
mobilized $6.5 billion in support and promised to do more.
The announcement comes as Russia captures the latest -- pardon me, the last major city in Luhansk and Ukraine prepares for an assault on the
neighboring Donetsk region.
Addressing the conference, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said rebuilding Ukraine is a matter for the entire democratic world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE PRESIDENT (through translator): The reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project. It's not a project of one
nation, but a common task of the entire democratic world. All countries, you can say, that they are civilized. To rebuild Ukraine means to restore
the principles of life, to restore the space for life, and to restore what makes people human.
Of course, it means large scale construction. Of course, it means funding and colossal investment. Of course, it means a whole new level of security
for our country, which will continue to live alongside Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: CNN's Scott McLean is live for us in Kyiv.
Scott, we'll get to what the Recovery Conference is all about in a moment, but this is a military victory that Russia is touting right now and had
hoped to achieve it in a matter of weeks. Right?
We're now at months later and yet it does seem as if momentum would be on Russia's side at this point.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. The Ukrainian victory to retake Snake Island has sort of been overshadowed by this much bigger and
more important prize, which of course is the entire Luhansk region, a region that the Russians have had their eye on for a lot of years now,
since 2014 or even before that.
2014 is when they officially took about a third of the territory. Now, they've taken the other two-thirds and they control the entire thing.
The Ukrainians say the part of the problem was they simply lacked the artillery, firepower to compete with the Russians.
And so that's why in part, they decided to pull back their troops to have them fight another day. That day, though, will not be today, not until they
can get some heavier weapons to try to at least match the Russians and take back their territory.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin says that the troops who were involved in that particular battle for Lysychansk, they deserve a bit of a
break, but those other troops are marching right on to try to take Donetsk region next.
We've already seen signs of shelling in Sloviansk. We've seen missile strikes in Kramatorsk, and now the expectation is that the Russians will
begin attacking from the north of the Donetsk region toward those two cities, and of course, even beyond.
NEWTON: Yes, and it was one of the reasons that Ukraine, you know, put up such a defense in those areas, they knew that it would keep Russia from
advancing on other areas of the country.
I do want to turn to that conference in Switzerland. There is a Rebuilding Recovery Conference for Ukraine. The price tag could be nearly three-
quarters of a trillion dollars. And Ukraine says, look, these frozen Russian assets could pay for about half of that. Is that possible? And
would that work?
MCLEAN: Yes, $750 billion, the price tag right now, Paula. But of course, as the fighting goes on, that price tag is only going to grow. The
Ukrainian Prime Minister says yes, between $300 billion and $500 billion are the estimates about the frozen assets of the Russian government and
Russian oligarchs that might be out there right now.
But, yes, this is a popular plan amongst many people in many Western countries, but there are a lot of experts who say, "Cool your jets." This
plan is risky and it is not a sure thing, and it risks all kinds of legal challenges.
International law does allow the assets of convicted war criminals to go to their victims. But in this case, we don't have any convictions in the
International Criminal Court right now. And also, being a Russian oligarch connected to the Kremlin doesn't necessarily make you a war criminal, and
so you have all of these complicating factors in this sort of legal gray area that would likely result in a lot of legal challenges.
Plus, the laws in each country are a bit of a patchwork between the US and European countries and elsewhere. And so, it's not exactly the silver
bullet that the Ukrainians would maybe like it to be.
The bottom line, though, is that this country is going to need a heck of a lot of help. The Prime Minister estimates that there are some 1,200 schools
damaged, 200 hospitals, thousands of kilometers as well of gas pipelines, electrical wires, railroads, that have all been damaged or destroyed and
are in desperate need of repair, not to mention the cost of repairing individual people's houses.
Home insurance, not exactly a common thing in this country, Paula, so this country has a long way to go. They're hoping that at the very least they'll
get some money from international organizations.
NEWTON: And Scott McLean, we will leave it there as we go live to Highland Park, Illinois now where authorities are delivering an update on that
deadly shooting and update on that man --
O'NEILL: ... that started at City Hall at the same time by the precinct. We've put ramps in Central Avenue and on West Sunset Park. Around 10:14 PM,
we heard loud reports, which we perceived as gunfire.
Highland Park Police Parade Units immediately ran to the plaza area, the source to locate and identify the source of the noise and the gunshots and
gunfire. We immediately identified that there were people that were down that we had numerous people injured and shot.
We communicated that information with our police dispatch, coordinated a medical response with the fire departments and began setting up an inner
and outer perimeter and also requested additional outside resources.
We established a command post staging area here at the Fire Station on Central Avenue and we continue to obtain information or gather information
to try to coordinate who was doing the shooting and where that person was last seen.
Firearm evidence was located on a rooftop of a nearby business that was secured. The suspect description that we had at the time was broadcasted on
the police radio and shared with responding to non-scene units.
Highland Park Police and Fire personnel began transporting injured parties to the Highland Park Police Departments and additional resources helped us
at the scene.
We had an on-scene police commander, which was myself. Our patrol supervisor handled citywide command for any other incidents and then we had
a commander assigned here at the Fire Station for the command post.
SGT. CHRIS COVELLI, HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS POLICE: Most importantly as far as the investigative aspect goes of this and this is two-pronged at this
time. Number one, we are aggressively looking for the individual who is responsible for the shooting. Number two, we have the criminal
investigation that is occurring simultaneously. We're asking anybody with any video surveillance that they may have, please review your cell phones,
if you were snapping pictures in the area of Second and Central today, that could help investigators. They may see something in there that may be
useful, and allow them to proceed further with the investigation.
Any business owners in that area, we're asking please review your video surveillance. If you have any video surveillance of that area at that time,
even if you don't see anything in there, we would love to be able to take a look at that so we can further our investigation.
Again, the FBI is working in conjunction with us. We have well over a hundred law enforcement officers out here on the scene doing the
investigation on one side and doing the apprehension efforts on the other.
So this is very active, it's going to remain very active for the time to come. I'll try to answer some questions that I can, but again, please
understand we can't give away certain aspects of the investigation. We don't want to negatively impact -- we want to arrest the offender and hold
him accountable for his actions.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) where the rifle was recovered and if it is (INAUDIBLE).
COVELLI: I'm not sure if that right now.
QUESTION: Is there any direct timeline on social media (INAUDIBLE).
COVELLI: None that I am aware of. Certainly, investigators are combing through social media to see if there are any clues or any information that
they can uncover through social media that might help them with the investigation.
QUESTION: Do you have any updates on the victims as of now?
COVELLI: So as of now, we have approximately two dozen victims that were transported to area hospitals. There are a number of hospitals, some
hospitals did require going on bypass due to receiving traumatic victims and such a high number of them.
So hospitals throughout the region, both Lake and Cook County received patients from this and their conditions range -- some critical, some
QUESTION: Was there any point where officers had sight of the suspect or made any contact with the suspect?
COVELLI: My understanding as of now is they ran for the gunfire, however the suspect ceased firing right around that point when they got close.
QUESTION: And on top of the building, this this a building where he is able to discreetly or hide himself during the shooting or when he (INAUDIBLE) in
COVELLI: All indications is he was discreet and he was very difficult to see.
QUESTION: Any information on the ages of the victims?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) that might have stopped to reload? (INAUDIBLE) that might stopped to reload?
COVELLI: That's something we're looking at. You know, certainly evidence technicians are going to collect the rounds that were discharged from the
firearm. Another thing to remember, this is -- this is what is being considered as a very massive scene, it's very large.
You have where the shooting took place at Second and Central, but as people fled from the area, there is evidence and other things that may have gotten
caught on their shoes, kicked around, so it's a very large scene. We're very fortunate to have the support of the FBI, but we're not going to leave
any stones unturned. We're going to look at every angle of this throughout the investigation and try to figure it out.
As far as ages of the victims, the Lake County Coroner will hopefully be here for our three o'clock press briefing and we'll be able to provide some
What I know as of now, several of the deceased victims, unfortunately, perished at the scene. And it sounds like one of them was transported to an
area hospital where they perished.
Again, this is preliminary information changes, especially when there's close to 30 people transported to various hospitals.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) type of rifle that they recovered?
COVELLI: What I'll say right now is it was a high powered rifle.
COVELLI: I can't go into details just yet. We will release that information as soon as we can. We walk a fine line with any criminal investigation
where we don't want to provide too much external information that can negatively impact what our detectives are doing.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) targets were? Were people targeted for (INAUDIBLE) in the parade or spectators or a group -- a specific group (INAUDIBLE)?
COVELLI: Yes, it's very sad situation where it sounds like spectators were targeted and even those that were marching through the parade was
approximately three quarters of the way through when the shooting occurred.
So very random, very intentional, and very sad.
QUESTION: Can you tell us anything more about the effort --
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) see or how far is your preliminary --
COVELLI: We are working really hard to try to pinpoint where they could be. It's -- I don't want to give bad information. He could be in the city. He
could be somewhere else, but we're looking into it.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) at this time (INAUDIBLE).
COVELLI: Yes, it's a very large conglomerate of law enforcement that's working together hand in hand. The Lake County Major Crime Task Force and
the FBI are leading the criminal investigation into this, along with Highland Park Police. They are very involved.
Highland Park Police led the initial incident response and Incident Command when this was all is rapidly unfolding. As far as the search for the
individual, we have enlisted the help of several Federal partners. We have the State Police. We have NIPAS. We have other SWAT teams that are on the
scene here and all working together to further that aspect as well.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) possibly identifying the suspect?
COVELLI: We're working as hard as we can, I mean, and we want to make sure that the information we're receiving and putting out is accurate, and that
when the individual is apprehended, that's the correct individual. They're making -- they're working. They're working hard.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) structure of the building. Can you tell us how (INAUDIBLE) get on top of the roof and make a pivot spin?
COVELLI: I might be able to provide that a little later. I don't have that right now. Let's do a couple more questions.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) command.
COVELLI: Sure. My name is Christopher Covelli C-O-V-E-L-L-I and I'm the spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.
QUESTION: You said earlier that it was (INAUDIBLE) community (INAUDIBLE) today, was that because so many police resources are here or just because
COVELLI: I think there's a couple reasons -- a couple of ways communities are going to look at it. Number one, you have a tragic mass act of violence
that was random here today at a community event where people were gathered to celebrate, and the offender still has not been apprehended thus far.
So, you know, could this happen again? We don't know what his intentions are at this point. So certainly, we're not sure of that. And on the other
hand, I think there's a lot of communities that are not looking forward to celebrating after something like this happens right in their backyard.
COVELLI: As of right now, the information I have is there are six deceased, six.
QUESTION: There have been reports of people in the crowd (INAUDIBLE)?
COVELLI: There were and I'm sure they will come forward in the days to come. But there were a number of heroic actions by members of the
community, by police, by first responders that rushed in and immediately tended to the victims, tried to get them help. More to come on that later.
Right now, our focus is on the investigation and catching this guy. So all right --
QUESTION: There was a report of a child separated from his or her -- his parents, I believe. Any updates there in terms of a family being reunited
COVELLI: So Highland Park Police has established a family and friends reunification post, and that's at the Highland Park Police Department. So
anybody that's looking for somebody or anybody that got lost or separated during the event, they can go there. The reunification is happening there.
Again, folks --
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) people are celebrating today at nearby businesses there. Are they still being told to stay there?
COVELLI: Some people, business owners, employees and businesses have waited in their buildings for police escort. Right now, the SWAT team is escorting
people out of those buildings, getting them to safety, and being there for them, so they feel comfortable as they are leaving the facility. But three
o'clock. We'll be back. Thank you, folks.
NEWTON: And I'm Paula Newton in New York, you were just listening to Sergeant Chris Covelli as he gave us an update on what was happening there
on what he described as a tragic mass act of violence. I have to remind you that this is still an active investigation.
The suspect still apparently, on the run, apparently, he was described as between the ages of 18 and 20 years old, wearing a t-shirt, a White male
and they are looking for him at this moment.
At that point in time, they still want people to remain at their homes to shelter in place, as this is an act of investigation.
I want to bring in CNN's Adrienne Broaddus who is with us now from Highland Park. She was listening in on this press conference.
But more importantly, you've been covering this not just from this scene and what happened today, but for quite a few years in terms of what's been
Can you describe what people are going through right now and what they know? Because we're trying to reconcile this with what was supposed to be a
Fourth of July parade.
You see video of you know, baby carriages strewn, and people running for their lives. If you just set the scene for what happened there in the last
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you people we've heard from this morning into the afternoon are devastated. Some hadn't been
to this parade in nearly two years because remember, we are emerging from the pandemic, so they were looking forward to getting back to normal.
We spoke with a young lady who was along this parade route with her father when she heard those shots fired. At first, they thought the shots were
fireworks because as you mentioned, Paula, this is the Fourth of July, but they quickly learned that noise they heard, the gunfire was not a part of
Investigators telling us at least six people perished and dozens of others injured. Some of those died along this parade route.
I do want to show you what's left behind. If you look over my shoulder, you talked about some of the children's belongings that were left behind. We
see a lawn chair that likely belongs to a child that's yellow with a smiling face.
Other chairs also lining this stretch of central in the heart of Highland Park. If you look up, you will notice snipers on top of a building here in
the downtown area. As investigators just told us moments ago, they are "aggressively" looking for the individual responsible.
As you mentioned, he is described as an 18 to 20-year-old White male. Investigators believe he was seen wearing a white or a blue shirt.
I also spoke with a mother -- a family who was here and the gentleman told me when he heard those shots ring out, he grabbed the hand of his 87-year-
old grandfather, they were able to escape. Another woman says she was with another family hiding behind a dumpster. The father of the children, she
says put those children inside of the dumpster for safety as he went to go find his other family members.
At the top of this report you ask, how do people feel? The word that I've heard from one is "devastating." And she told me people here should not get
or should not become numb to gun violence -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, neither either of us. I cannot believe that description you just gave us, actually putting your children in a dumpster because you
obviously knew that that was the safest place for them as there was an active shooter still there at a parade scene.
Adrienne, I really want to thank you for being there. You will continue to be there in the hours to come and we will bring you more updates as we have
But for now, we will leave it there as police in Illinois still search for that suspect.
Coming up for US, inflation in Turkey is skyrocketing to the highest level in decades. The government's response that makes the problem worse.
NEWTON: Inflation in Turkey hit the highest level in 24 years in June. Consumer prices were up -- wait for it -- 79 percent year-on-year. Now food
prices about doubled and transportation costs more than doubled.
Many economists say the government's unorthodox economic policies are making the problem worse. What did Turkey do? They actually lowered
interest rates, and yes, this we will continue to follow that story for you as we are continuing to follow the inflation story here in the United
The founder of Amazon is disputing Joe Biden's claims about who is to blame for rising prices. The US President asked energy companies to bring down
gasoline prices. In a tweet on the weekend, he says companies are charging more than what they're paying.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos says the President's accusation is either misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of economics.
Rahel Solomon now is with us here in New York. Good to see you, Rahel, and a lot of consumers around the world. You know, they want an answer to this
and be straight, right? Is it Biden or Bezos who is right about this or is the truth somewhere in between?
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. Good to be with you.
Yes, it's a question that a lot of people were asking in terms of these higher prices. What is going on and who is to blame?
Well, President Biden, for his part, from critics has gotten quite a bit of the blame, although the reality of that is debatable and controversial, but
President Biden himself has also pointed the finger at oil companies, and over the weekend pointed the finger at the actual gas operators, the small
business owners who are running these gas stations.
President Biden tweeting: "My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple. This is a time of war and global
peril. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product. And do it now."
Jeff Bezos responding also on Twitter, where else: "Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like
this. It's either straight ahead misdirection or deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics."
So who is telling the truth here? Well, Paula, there's a kernel of truth in both of these arguments. So what Jeff Bezos is getting at is that 60
percent of the price at the pump is reflected from the price of crude, the raw commodity WTI, Brent.
So the bulk of the price of the pump is set by a global market, supply, demand, sellers, traders. Supply and demand was already tight because
demand soared after the pandemic and supply has simply not kept up.
That said, gas companies haven't lowered prices, perhaps as much some like the President would like. There is an expression, Paula in the oil and gas
industry that prices at the pump, go up like a rocket and come down like a feather. And when you think about the way a feather travels, it's sort of
slow and sort of makes its way and meanders down.
Prices at the pump had been slow to come down, and the feeling there, the theory there is that these gas companies, these small business producers,
finds it hard -- businesses find it harder once they have lowered the price at the pump to raise it again if the price of crude rises.
Crude, of course, as volatile, it goes up, it goes down. And so that's the theory there. So there's a bit of truth to both of it. But this question of
who is to blame -- it is simply not a black and white answer. Although, it seems like perhaps President Biden and Jeff Bezos would like it to be.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. And look, gasoline prices are the most glaring thing, but there are a lot of other products that people are wondering
right now, are they being gouged?
Okay, we'll continue this conversation. Rahel, for now, though, we will leave it there. Thanks so much.
Now billionaire, Richard Branson has just returned from Ukraine. What he thinks Western leaders should be doing and doing faster to try and support
NEWTON: Billionaire Richard Branson is urging Western leaders to act immediately to help Ukraine. Now, he says there's still a lot more
businesses and politicians can still do. The Virgin Group founder just returned from Ukraine where he met with President Zelenskyy and other
officials. He told Richard Quest Russia could win the war if the West doesn't act soon. Listen.
RICHARD BRANSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, VIRGIN GROUP: I wasn't surprised by what I saw on the ground, horrific though it was. I mean, seeing, you
know, children's playgrounds being blown up and blocks of flats being destroyed only three days before I arrived. And I wasn't surprised by the
resilience of the people. I mean, just extraordinary. I think what surprised and worried me the most was the conversations I had with the
foreign secretary and President Zelenskyy.
And what that told me was that Russia are going to win this war unless the west really pull their finger out.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This comes down to the provision of money and the provision of arms. And the west has said, President Biden
said, Boris Johnson said that they will -- there is an unlimited support for Ukraine, even though I'm sure you're familiar, there is an element of
war fatigue that will creep in. How do we balance that?
BRANSON: I'm absolutely certain that the west will give Ukraine all the weapons it needs, but it needs to give them -- to them in the next two
months, not in the next two years. Now, there are countries like South Korea, who have all the weapons that Ukraine needs, if they -- if South
Korea could be persuaded to give up five percent the weapons they need right away, maybe Germany in places that don't have those weapons could pay
South Korea back for them and replace those weapons.
Get them to Ukraine really quickly, Ukraine would have a chance of stopping the progression of Russian troops, if they would have the chance of
stopping the flattening of cities.
QUEST: You have some strong views now on the role that business can play on this as well. And that it -- I mean, which has to I think, go beyond it
can't be business as usual. It's got to be proactive part that business plays. But what is that proactive part?
BRANSON: Look, I think there's lots of things that can -- business can do to help. I mean, you know, I think there are business people who can speak
out which often hasn't happened in the past and in conflicts, people have literally just left it to the politicians. There are businesses that have
pulled out of Russia, like, say Starbucks who could move in and open up in Ukraine because -- and start creating jobs.
And there's business leaders who can help, you know, advised Zelenskyy in the rebuilding of Ukraine. I mean, he's asked if I were, as a business
leader would join him on a organization called United 24 to rebuild Ukraine. But all of that is a waste of time if we can't get the NATO team
to assume that Ukraine is their own country. You know, what they've got -- what we've got to do is get the mindset that, you know, in Britain, in
America, in Germany, we are being attacked.
And if we were being attacked would we be moving as quickly as we are today? And I think the answer is no. I think we could move quicker and I
think we could be, you know, twisting the arm of the South Koreans, we could be twisting the arm of the Israelis, we could be doing everything we
could just to airlift, you know, thousands and thousands of weapons to, you know, to bring this horrible war to stop as soon as possible.
QUEST: Do you fear that we will end up in the old, you know, fudge, where everybody -- where basically Ukraine is forced into a peace negotiation
that is less than desirable because the rest of us say, well, this is the best you're going to get take it because we can't continue to support you
BRANSON: I don't believe there's any need to end up with a fudge if we give them the firepower. At the moment, Ukrainians have about one-tenth of what
Russia has in the way of weapons. So, the only reason that they have held back the onslaught is through sheer bravery of human life lost and a fudge
is incredibly dangerous for the west. I mean, the -- if Putin gets away with it yet again, you know, we'll have Putin, the Putin Russia there for
decades to come.
We'll have a incredibly weakened Ukraine, we'll have an incredibly weakened west. And so, we've got to win it. We're ready, we've just got to -- we've
got to move quickly.
NEWTON: Richard Branson there speaking to our Richard Quest. Now the war in Ukraine has caused energy prices to surge. Most people have noticed that
and those rising prices are hurting consumers' wallets, but they've been a boon in fact, to oil producing nations. Angola recently overtook Nigeria as
Africa's largest producer, and the spike in prices added $700 million to its oil revenue in May alone compared to the month earlier.
Now, despite that, Angolan producers are having a hard time keeping up with demand. Output earlier this year was well below its OPEC target. In March,
Angola and Nigeria accounted for almost half of OPEC'S total shortfall. Vera Daves de Sousa is Angola's finance minister and she joins me now. And
it is good to have you on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I want to go first to that issue of OPEC and the request for more production.
Do you see output increasing in the months to come? And crucially, I have to ask you, what will be OPEC's central policy here? Given OPEC's
reluctance to put billions more barrels on the market every day.
VERA DAVES DE SOUSA, ANGOLAN FINANCE MINISTER: Thank you, Paula. Well, we are doing our best to see our production grow. We are in a point that we
are seeing now the production stable. We were seeing the production dropping, now is the stable and slightly increasing. This is a consequence
of a lack of investment in the last years. Now the investment is coming. And we are seeing the first results. But it will take time for us to reach
the OPEC goals.
So we will keep doing our best to create the proper environment for the companies to keep investing. But as you know, the investment take time to
react. So, we will face some challenges to address those goals, but we will do our best.
NEWTON: Yes. And you're describing a lot of the turbulence that is part and parcel of the energy markets. But on that finer point, do you believe OPEC
is disposed to putting millions more barrels on the market every day to alleviate the surge in prices that we see around the world?
DE SOUSA: Well, it's a matter of the -- to reach a consensus, I think it depends on how the country will be ready to address it. It will be a
challenge for us, for countries as Angola, probably for -- not for others that have huge reserves. So, at the end of the day it will depends on how
the country as a whole, as a group can move together to address those issues.
NEWTON: Yes. And I guess there's no prediction on a consensus there. So, you're waiting to see as well. Okay. All right. Clear. You're on the record
there. Now your country, I have to ask you. This is facing the worst drought in nearly half a century. Food security is real. And yet of course
we have this geopolitical turmoil and the issue with a food and security problem right around the world what are the particular challenges for you
DE SOUSA: Well, we still have a lot of high dependency on imports related to food. So, we are working on two roots of strategy. One is to create
local capacity, to create fertilizers and seeds, industry, attracting private investment to create that potential. And once again, it will take
time for us to see the results. So yes, we are doing quite well on fruits, on veggies. But we need to work hard to have also enough production on
wheat, rice, maize.
So, a lot of work to do on that front. In the short term, we need to look through the market how we can find alternatives, at least have access to
the goods despite the challenges on the price. And with that have local policies to try to mitigate the impact of the people's lives. We have a
cash transfer program. We will see what else we can put in place to mitigate the impact through the price.
But the challenge is also to get access to the quantities, the amounts that we need to address our needs.
NEWTON: All right. Minister Sousa, I will have to leave it there. But we'll continue to check in with you. Appreciate your perspective there from
Angola. And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for today. We will be back at the top of the hour and certainly we'll update you on our breaking news from
Highland Park, Illinois where there is still a man hunt on for that suspect. But coming up next for us, Connecting Africa.
NEWTON: And welcome back. I'm Paula Newton in New York. We want to update you now on the breaking news we're following from the U.S. state of
Illinois. Now police in Highland Park say at least six people have been killed and dozens have been wounded in a mass shooting. Authorities are
still searching for the gunman and are tracing of firearm they found at the scene.
They say the suspect opened fire at a crowded parade as people were celebrating Independence Day. Here's how one witness described what she
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZOE, WITNESS: -- was like something's wrong. I grabbed my dad and started running. All of a sudden everyone behind us started running. I looked back
probably 20 feet away from me, I saw a girl shot and killed the girl. I've heard on the news with -- in blood, saw her die. I've never seen anything
like this. We hid behind a dumpster for about an hour and then the police got us into Uncle Dan's Sporting Goods where we hid in the basement for --
I don't know how long it was, time is kind of a blur at this point.
NEWTON: Now that does it for us this hour. I'm Paula Newton. But we will have much more on that deadly parade shooting. "THE LEAD" starts right now
with Kaitlan Collins.