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Quest Means Business
No Sign Of Santa Claus Rally As Weekly Gains Vanish; US Senate Approves Funding Bill, Including Ukraine Aid; Russian Assaults Have Left Many Ukrainians in Darkness; G7 Commits More Aid To Ukraine; Call To Earth; U.S. Prepares For Once In A Generation Arctic Blast. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 22, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, it is an ugly day on the market. Stocks are accelerating lower. The Dow is down. Let's take a look,
about 500 points. Those are the markets and these are the main events.
Wall Street breaks its two-day rally as fears over rate hikes mount.
Washington and the G7 commit to aid to Ukraine after President Zelenskyy addresses the US Congress.
And more than a thousand flights are canceled in the US during the Holiday travel season as temperatures fall below freezing. It is cold in a lot of
parts of this country, the US where I am.
Coming to you live from New York. It is Thursday, December 22nd. I'm Zain Asher, in for my colleague, Richard Quest and I too, mean business.
All right, tonight, no signs of a Santa Claus rally for US markets. The Dow is sharply lower on the second to last day of trading just before
Christmas. After strong gains on Wednesday, investors have been selling. Tech stocks leading the losses. The NASDAQ tumbled three and a half
percent. That's in part because of new data like this, third quarter GDP growth was revised higher to an annual rate of 3.2 percent. New jobless
claims were also lower than expected on the week.
While all of that of course, sounds good, a resilient US economy is fueling worries that the Fed will stick to its aggressive tightening path.
Let's bring in Paul La Monica joining us live from New York.
So Paul, this is the thing, December is typically a time for a Santa Claus rally. The markets usually love December, but the Dow is actually down
about 1,500 points so far, just this month, in about three weeks. So is all of this mainly to do with fears over tightening monetary policy here in the
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think that is the case, Zain. I mean, yesterday, it was clearly a "Here comes Santa Claus Rally" and
today, it is "There goes Santa Claus."
ASHER: I like that.
LA MONICA: He is already in the distant rearview mirror for many investors right now, but obviously there's still time for the market to rebound,
perhaps tomorrow and next week. All that being said, you're right, Zain, the data this morning, GDP revision higher than expected, jobless claims
still not really showing any serious signs of strain in the labor market. You add all that up, and it does make you think that the Fed will have a
reason to not necessarily pull back on these rate hikes anytime soon.
There still are overwhelming bets that the next move will be just a quarter of a point rate hike in early next year in February, but I don't know if we
get more data like this, it is possible the Fed has to do another half point hike instead of just a quarter point hike before eventually pausing.
ASHER: Let's talk about tech stocks, because I mean, you know, tech stocks have had a brutal year. Apple, Amazon, and Tesla all down today.
What do you expect for tech stocks when it comes to 2023? Next year?
LA MONICA: Yes, I have seen a lot of people, Dan Ives actually on the "CNN Business Markets Now" show earlier this week saying the tech could rebound,
but there still are some troubling signs.
When you look at the big selloff today, we talked about GDP and jobless claims, but another reason particularly for the NASDAQ slide, Micron, a
huge chip company, their outlook was a little tepid, and that is worrisome. And then beyond tech, CarMax, the used car retail giant, their outlook,
very, very concerning, and the company talked about the impact of higher interest rates and inflation, hurting consumer demand.
So if consumers are potentially pulling back and tech stocks are rebounding, it is hard to imagine how 2023 can be a great year for Wall
Street. Maybe it won't be as bad as this one, but may not be the huge rebound snapback that a lot of people are expecting and hoping for.
ASHER: Where are we in terms of fears of a recession? Because, you know you touched on this earlier. You've got so many positive data points in
terms of, you know, consumer confidence, obviously, US GDP being revised higher. How does that balance out with a possible looming recession?
LA MONICA: Yes, I think that that is what Wall Street is really grappling with right now, but we have seen some signs of softness in the economy.
Retail sales in November were not particularly encouraging. We all know that the housing market is rapidly losing steam because of mortgage rates
having spiked and concerns about prices being too high and unaffordable for many first time buyers.
So most people I talk to think that a recession is likely at the end of next year, 2023, heading into 2024, but it probably won't be a great
recession. And the impact also might be muted, because let's be honest, Zain, the fact that we are constantly talking about a recession, this is
not a black swan event, it might be the most expected recession in modern history.
ASHER: Yes, we can't say we didn't see it coming, that's for sure.
Paul La Monica, live for us there. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas.
All right, after Volodymyr Zelenskyy's passionate appeal for aid, more money could soon be on the way to Ukraine. Just a few minutes ago, and the
day after Ukrainian President's historic address on Capitol Hill, the US Senate has approved a funding bill that includes roughly $45 billion in aid
to Ukraine. G7 nations also say that they are ready to do a lot more having already pledged about $32 billion to Ukraine this year. A G7 statement says
that they are ready to do the same again in 2023.
On Wednesday night, President Zelenskyy implored, pleaded with the US to ramp up its support, saying it is money that will not be squandered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Your money is not charity, it is an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the
most responsible way.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: CNN's Kevin Liptak is at the White House where we expect to hear from US President Biden shortly.
So Kevin, President Joe Biden had already pledged long-term support to President Zelenskyy, but why was it so important for Zelenskyy to travel to
the US for just one day to get that face-to-face meeting with the President and also address Congress?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, and he certainly had to endure some risks to make that trip. So, I don't think it was just about the
symbolism. Of course, there was plenty of symbolism that went around this trip, but it was about something real, it is about trying to achieve
something concrete. And one of the reasons is, of course, the change in political control in the American Congress, Republicans are due to take
control of the House of Representatives in a matter of days. And certainly, that coincided with Zelenskyy's visit.
Of course, he is also coming as winter sets in in Ukraine and as Russia retrenches on the battlefield and what you heard from President Zelenskyy,
and what you heard from President Biden is that they don't necessarily see an end to this conflict anytime soon.
And in talking to Congress, he had a number of constituencies. He was talking, of course, to the lawmakers in the room, but he was also talking
to the broader American public, some of whom, particularly some Republicans, who are wondering why the United States continues to send
billions and billions of dollars of aid to Ukraine, to a country thousands of miles away, when there are so many problems here in the United States.
And what you have heard from some conservative Republicans, particularly those who are aligned with the former President, Donald Trump is that they
won't support any more aid to Ukraine, that they won't necessarily be issuing a blank cheque going forward.
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that that aid is going to dry up immediately. The incoming House Speaker or the presumed incoming House
Speaker, he has some hurdles to get there, Kevin McCarthy, has not indicated that he won't approve, or he won't bring up some of these Ukraine
aid measures. But the question really is for how long?
And that was sort of the overriding question of this entire visit was how much longer this war is going to last, and you heard both of these
Presidents indicate that they are committed to this conflict for the long run. President Biden said that the US would support Ukraine through 2023.
That's an indication he doesn't see this conflict ending anytime soon. And when it came to discussions of how this conflict might end, what Zelenskyy
calls a just peace. Certainly, there was no clarity afterwards about what exactly that means.
And Zelenskyy noted in his address to Congress that he presented Biden with this 10-point peace formula that he has come up with, but what US officials
said today was that that is essentially what he has been talking about for the last several weeks, that it didn't necessarily reflect anything new.
So I think today, as Washington is processing this historic visit and all of the highly symbolic steps that Zelenskyy took while he is here, there
are still a lot of questions about how much longer this conflict will endure and how much more support the United States will provide.
Of course, they did just pass that nearly $50 billion worth of support, that aid package that is making its way through Congress now, but as next
year unfolds, it will be very interesting and important to see how much more support will be coming -- Zain.
ASHER: Because this war is not going to be over anytime soon and you know, President Zelenskyy intimated that look, he is not going to give up
territory for the sake of peace. So the question is, how much longer can American generosity last?
Kevin Liptak live for us there. Thank you so much.
All right, Mr. Zelenskyy said he was returning from Washington with good results. He met with Polish President Andrzej Duda on his way back to
Ukraine and said he had found solutions that Ukraine's military had been waiting for.
CNN's Will Ripley has more from Kyiv.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know the exact location of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy right now, that
information is obviously kept secret for security reasons. But after his rave reviews in the United States, that speech before the US Congress in
primetime, in English, and the meetings with President Biden and the announcement of billions of dollars in additional aid for Ukraine, it is
gratefully accepted here, it is badly needed, and people are certainly proud of their President, but also living with the daily reality of life in
a warzone, a reality that includes living for extended periods of time without electricity or heat.
Even here in the capital, Kyiv, we have spoken with people who report having power for maybe 40 minutes a day, less than an hour of electricity a
day in the capital city. That would have been unthinkable just months ago before Russia began its onslaught of the civilian power grid, bombing
attacks, drone attacks that have consistently managed to destabilize and cripple the power supply, cut off the water supply, forcing people to stand
in long lines to get a hot meal that's often cooked over a wood stove, or even go to tents to warm themselves up, connect to Wi-Fi and charge their
cell phones because they just don't have electricity at home, sometimes for days on end.
This is one of the most well-protected areas in Ukraine where they manage to shoot down most of the incoming missiles. Other areas, other cities have
been pummeled even harder and have been being harder hit and are therefore, suffering even more with these plummeting temperatures.
As for the Kremlin, there is no indication that they are intimidated, certainly not expressing it publicly after this meeting in Washington, with
President Zelenskyy and President Biden. The Kremlin is saying that neither leader from the US or Ukraine showed in the Kremlin's words, "potential
willingness to listen to Russia's concerns" during the US visit.
Kremlin also said that the US supplying Patriot Missile Defense Systems to Ukraine will only prolong people's suffering here and they say the
collective West is set for potentially a long confrontation with Russia, that coming from the Russian Foreign Ministry. And President Putin of
course, echoing those sentiments when he was calling for the modernization of his nation's military, pouring more resources into it, and also training
the hundreds of thousands of conscripts, getting them ready for more potential battles to come on the frontlines, not just here in Ukraine,
Putin alluding that there could be other points of conflict with Russia as well.
Will Ripley, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.
ASHER: All right, Sam Bankman-Fried is free on bail. A whopping $250 million bail at that, the disgraced FTX founder left the Courthouse in New
York a short time ago. It was his first hearing in the US since being extradited from the Bahamas. We'll have all the details on his Court
ASHER: Sam Bankman-Fried will soon be confined to his parents' home in California after a Judge agreed to free the disgraced FTX founder on a $250
million bond. It was SBF's first appearance in a US Court after being extradited from the Bahamas. He is facing eight counts including wire fraud
CNN reporter, Kara Scannell is outside the Courthouse. So, this is apparently the largest ever pretrial bond, but now after posting a bond of
$250 million, he is now going to be living with his parents and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, quite the fall from grace.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Zain, so that was the prepackaged deal that the Federal government and Bankman-Fried's attorneys had brought
to the Judge. It is something that they had worked out. Now, it is not clear how they got to the $250 million number, but the prosecutor said that
it was an unprecedented amount for a financial fraud case. And clearly something that they wanted to put enough pressure on Bankman-Fried that he
would not have be any risk of flight here.
And now in addition to the $250 million bond as you said, he will be under home detention where he will stay with his parents at their home in Palo
Alto, California. He will also be wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle.
I mean, this was the first time Bankman-Fried has appeared in US since his arrest last week in the Bahamas. He was escorted into the Courtroom by a US
Marshal wearing a navy blazer, a white button down shirt, and you could hear the clinking of the shackles around his ankle as he was walked to his
seat at the defense table.
Bankman-Fried only spoke once during the hearing. That was when the Judge asked him if he understood the consequences if he bailed-jump, that is if
any of these conditions he violated and he nodded his head and said "Yes, I do."
We also learned a little bit more about the kinds of evidence that the Federal prosecutors have. One of the Assistant US Attorneys said that this
was a fraud of epic proportions. He said that not only do they have cooperating witnesses who have pleaded guilty and who had deals with the
government, but he said they also have the testimony of dozens of employees or former employees of FTX and Alameda Research, that's the hedge fund
associated also with Bankman-Fried in what prosecutors say was intertwined in this alleged fraud.
In addition, they said that they have encrypted messages, so really giving the sense that they have quite a bit of evidence that they have amassed in
this case, and of course today, the first time Bankman-Fried is in Court. He was not arraigned on the charges. The Judge said that that would occur
at a future date. The next Court hearing in this case is scheduled for January -- Zain.
ASHER: And Kara, as you touched on there, Gary Wang and also Caroline Ellison also pleading guilty to fraud, but do we know if there are other
people who enabled the fraud to take place as well?
SCANNELL: Well, they are the only other two people that have been charged in this case that we are aware of and those charges were unsealed last
night, this, when Federal prosecutors announced that just as Bankman-Fried had taken off from the Bahamas and was in flight back to the US.
Now, both of them have pleaded guilty to multiple criminal counts including conspiracy and wire fraud. They are facing a significant amount of jail
time: Wang, 50 years, the statutory maximum and Ellison, 110 years in prison. They are cooperating in hopes of getting a lenient prison sentence
by giving prosecutors essentially all of the information that they need to explain what happened behind the scenes at this company, what led to the
collapse of this crypto trading firm.
You know, the prosecutors have been encouraging other employees at the company to come forward. The US Attorney for the Southern District of New
York, Damian Williams reiterated that call last night saying that the window is open for now, but their patience was not infinite -- Zain.
ASHER: All right, Kara Scannell, live for there. Thank you so much.
The World Health Organization warns it doesn't know the full extent of the impact of an unprecedented wave of COVID-19 cases in China. The head of the
agency asked China to share more data on the severity of cases and hospital admissions. It comes as China narrows the definition of a COVID-19 death,
prompting fears it will underestimate the true toll of the current wave of infections.
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is relief that after three years of its draconian Zero-COVID Policy, China is finally opening
up, but the country is not prepared.
Hospitals are coming under pressure. Fever and cold medicine is running out. The local versions of Tylenol and Advil are nearly impossible to get
at drugstores across the country.
Now to try and calm panic buying, some local governments are resorting to rationing the amount of medicine for sale, down to the exact number of
pills, and dozens of pharmaceutical companies say they are going all out to try and increase production.
But even as COVID is rapidly sweeping through the country, China has only reported less than 10 total COVID deaths for this entire month. That is a
strikingly low number, and the government now saying that it is narrowing the definition of COVID-19 deaths to only include patients who died of
respiratory failure directly caused by the virus. That means that people who died because of another underlying condition will not be counted as a
COVID death, even if they were sick with COVID at the time.
That goes against the World Health Organization's guidelines, and the WHO says it will severely underestimate the true death toll in China. This
change in China's counting method also comes as crematoriums across the country fill up.
I visited a crowded crematorium in Beijing this week, and from the video you can see the long line of cars waiting to get into the cremation area.
The parking lot was also completely full. Several people there told me their loved ones had died from COVID. An employee said they'd been swamped
I saw metal containers full of yellow body bags and workers loading more coffins in. Stores nearby selling funerary items said they are much busier
I also went to a COVID-designated hospital where a worker told me elderly patients with COVID are dying every day.
A new study by Hong Kong researchers estimates nearly one million people in China could die from COVID if the country doesn't take necessary public
health measures like increased vaccinations. The vaccination rate is still lagging for people over 60 and only around 42 percent of those over 80 have
received a booster shot. And experts say that third dose is necessary to get enough protection since China is using less effective vaccines compared
to the mRNA vaccines used overseas.
China is only now going through this painful reopening that the rest of the world has already gone through, but China is not sharing the same data.
Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
ASHER: All right, Benjamin Netanyahu has announced Israel's new government and it is set to be the country's most right-wing ever.
Netanyahu had served as Israel's Prime Minister for 15 years. Voters gave him and his coalition a ruling majority in November after ousting him last
Once he is sworn in, will be his sixth coalition yet.
CNN's Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for us.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zain, Benjamin Netanyahu really going up against the wire before calling the Israeli President just minutes before
that midnight deadline to let him know that he has successfully formed a government that will soon take over.
Now while most of the high-profile positions like Justice Minister and Defense Minister will go to members of Netanyahu is own Likud Party, it is
some of the other Ministers that are causing concern in the international communities because some of these are from the far-right nationalist fringe
that up until recently, were considered too extreme to ever really be able to have positions of power.
But they did quite well in the November 1st elections, and now, they are expected to have some serious influence over places like the West Bank and
the Israeli Police.
Take a listen.
GOLD (voice over): The new Israeli government setting off alarm bells around the world, even allies warily eyeing Benjamin Netanyahu's new
Ministers who will make up the most right-wing government in Israeli history.
A stark change from the last coalition, every Minister announced so far, a man and are all Orthodox except for Netanyahu himself. Most recognizable is
Itamar Ben-Gvir, once convicted of anti-Arab racism and supporting a Jewish terrorist group. Now National Security Minister in charge of Israeli Police
-- eager to allow Jews to pray at Jerusalem's holiest site, where only Muslims are now allowed to worship, a place that has sparked intifadas and
Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Danny Ayalon, warning Washington will be on high alert.
DANNY AYALON, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: If they will perform what is conceived in Washington as provocations. For instance,
change of status in Temple Mount, or unchecked enlargement of new settlements. This could be a very, very big problem for Netanyahu and for
GOLD (voice over): Then there is Bezalel Smotrich, another far-right settler lawyer turned politician has been named Minister of Finance, and
has also been given power to appoint the head of the Israeli body, which controls border crossings and permits for Palestinians. Smotrich supports
abolishing Palestinian Authority and annexing the West Bank.
Israel's staunchest ally, the United States perhaps hoping the rhetoric won't match the actions.
ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE: We will gauge the government by the policies it pursues, rather than individual personalities.
GOLD (voice over): Other appointments causing uproar include a gay rights opponent who has vowed to ban Pride Parades to a position in the education
ministry, and proposed changes to the law of return for the restricting who was considered Jewish enough to be permitted to immigrate to Israel.
Netanyahu for his part has repeatedly claimed that the buck will stop with him.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE: I've had such partners in the past, and they didn't change an iota of my policies. I
decide the policy with my party.
GOLD (voice over): But as the government has taken shape, his critics like this cartoonist say he is creating a monster he won't be able to control.
GOLD (on camera): But Zain, even before this government can take over, they actually need to pass a few bills to even allow some of these Ministers to
take on some of these expanded roles or even serve. One of them, Aryeh Deri has been previously convicted of tax offenses. So, he needs a special bill
to be passed that will allow him to circumvent some of the rules so that he can take over as a serving Minister.
But all of those bills are expected to pass. Netanyahu and his allies have a comfortable 64-seat majority and they are expected to be sworn in and
Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to become Prime Minister once again within the next week and a half -- Zain.
ASHER: The UN says that more than 17 million people in Ukraine may need humanitarian help. Next, we'll speak to the tech companies trying to make
sure that that aid reaches them as quickly as possible.
ASHER (voice-over): Hello, I'm Zain Asher. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment, when we will speak to the head of (INAUDIBLE)
division on how they are getting aid to Ukraine faster.
And a once in a generation storm set to disrupt flights throughout the United States, during the holiday's travel season.
Before that, this is CNN. On this network, the news always comes first.
ASHER (voice-over): The U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken says the Taliban will face costs if they refuse to let women attend university.
Dozens of women in Kabul protesting yesterday's decision to prohibit female students from going to college.
A hospital in Sao Paulo says Pele's condition has gotten worse. The Brazilian football legend is being treated for a respiratory infection and
colon cancer. He's also dealing with kidney and heart problems. His family says the plans to spend Christmas with him in hospital.
And good news if you have a trip booked to Macao. On Friday, the special administrative region of China is dropping all quarantine requirements for
arrivals. Instead, visitors will be given a yellow pass and asked to monitor their health for five days with a use of rapid tests.
ASHER: Returning to our top story tonight, G7 nations saying they are committing more financial aid to Ukraine after Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged
U.S. Congress to act on Wednesday night.
Even away from the battlefield, the U.N. says more than 17 million people in Ukraine are in need of humanitarian assistance. Just days before
Christmas. That has inspired the tech company Needs List to launch an online platform that it says can get help and aid to where it's needed most
The plan received a grant of $1 million from google.org. Jen Carter's Google's global head of technology. She joins us from San Francisco.
Jen, thank you so much for being with us. Explain for the audience the logistical challenges of delivering aid to a country that is in the middle
of a brutal war.
JEN CARTER, GLOBAL HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, GOOGLE: Thanks so much for having me, Zain. Yes, historically the supply and distribution of humanitarian aid
has been predominantly managed through spreadsheets, which results in some significant inefficiencies as well as a lot of challenges when you try to
The response local platform makes it really easy for small organizations on the ground to post exactly what they need when they need it. It makes it
really easy for donors, such as international NGOs or other businesses, to match those needs.
It speeds up the process. It speeds up the response time. For example, one of the organizations that's been beta testing the platform is called Team
for UA and they're a humanitarian foundation operating in Ukraine.
As you can imagine, at this time of year, there is a significant need for coats and mittens and winter hats, all of these other items. They can just
post that on the platform, and they can post that need. Then they can access a large-scale donation of exactly those warm clothes they requested.
I think it has supported nearly 600,000 people with $11,000 of humanitarian aid since the war started. It's pretty incredible.
ASHER: You are essentially matching up large-scale donations to grassroots organizations on the ground who need it the most. You touched on this
already. But give us more detail in terms of how this actually works.
CARTER: There are a lot of challenges in creating these kinds of matches. Historically, a lot of local organizations were underfunded and a lot of
global organizations receiving funding did not know what was needed on the ground.
These inefficiencies maybe didn't get a lot of items that were no longer needed because that request was outdated or things like that. We are able
to work with needs. We provided them with a grant. The team at google.org fellows, employees who can offer technical skills to build out the platform
and create features that are essential for the product to be successful.
Just one example, we had some fellows with machine translation expertise, which enabled them to add real-time translation across five languages,
including Ukrainian and Polish and many other languages that are kind of critical here.
So even if the organization that didn't speak the same language, they would still communicate with one another really easily and directly.
ASHER: When you think about what Ukraine is dealing with right now.
Yes, there is the war. But it is so much more than that, especially at this time of year. It's damage to critical energy infrastructure. It's
blackouts, lack of electricity, lack of power, lack of water.
What is the greatest need at this point in time?
How is this needs list platform assisting with the greatest need?
CARTER: Yes, it's a great question. There really are a variety of different needs, like the ones you mentioned. Also it's constantly changing on the
ground as temperatures drop. There were these power outages that resulted in needs quickly changing.
That's one of the core benefits of this platform. It allows these nonprofits on the ground to quickly identify needs and post those and get
matched. Really drastically reducing the amount of time it takes for those supplies to get there, which is going to make them even more usable.
ASHER: Right, Jen Carter, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
CARTER: Thank you.
ASHER: Still to come here, our week of Kenyan conservation stories continues with a visit to one of Africa's most spectacular ecosystems.
ASHER: Throughout this week, Call to Earth is turning the spotlight on Kenya. The East African country are experiencing the region's worst drought
in 30 years, taking a toll on both humans and animals.
Today, guest editor Paula Kahumbu, that wrote the 2021 Rolex National Geographic explorer of the year, (INAUDIBLE) conservancies to learn how
they are helping preserve Kenya's wildlife heritage in the face of such extreme circumstances.
PAULA KAHUMBU, CEO, WILDLIFE DIRECT (voice-over): Wildlife in our parks in Kenya, primarily, is migratory -- it needs to move, it needs to breathe
into the larger ecosystem. The elephants, wildebeest, zebras, they have to move over vast landscapes.
But the development of those landscapes now includes mega farms, avocado plantations, roads, railways and our cities being built. That's interfering
with the ability of animals to move.
So the animals are becoming more constrained. When you have a drought, they can't go anywhere.
KAHUMBU (voice-over): This is the bull that died on Friday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This are the bull.
KAHUMBU (voice-over): Even in southwestern Kenya around Maasai Mara, where the drought has been less deadly, it was starting to reach breaking point.
When the rains did come, they were greeted with joy.
DICKSON KAELO, KENYA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCIES ASSOCIATION: Hello, Paula. How are you doing?
KAELO: Good to see you. Welcome to (INAUDIBLE).
KAHUMBU: Thank you.
KAELO: You brought us some rains. It's been so dry here. We've had more than six months of dry period. And we were beginning to panic. The rest of
the country is definitely very bad. Animals are dying. The manner was just getting at a brink.
KAHUMBU (voice-over): Dickson Kaelo is the head of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association. As climate events like the drought grow more
extreme, the conservancies will become more important to the survival of Kenya's wildlife.
KAHUMBU (voice-over): Unlike the national parks, they are managed and protected by the people or the communities who own the land.
KAELO (voice-over): What the conservancies does is it tackles the underlying factors driving biodiversity loss. The poaching of elephant
ivory is not bush meat trade. It's not all the other factors that we are often told. It's actually the loss of space.
If wildlife are not able to move over long distances, they affect the environment in a way that negatively impacts their either territories of
land are much smaller and have legal prey. The lands white and prides kill each other (INAUDIBLE).
So the conservancies actually expands the area available for wildlife. And (INAUDIBLE) has doubled by the creation of the 22 conservancies.
KAHUMBU (voice-over): The success of the conservancy's movement lies in the fact that it not only helps the wildlife but also the local community,
diversifying their income streams with the addition of tourism.
In alkeny (ph) and the neighboring Naboisho conservancy, 90 percent of the camp workers are from the local community with more Maasai (ph) students
being trained each year.
MICHAEL KAHIGA, INSTRUCTOR (voice-over): These are young men and women who have grown with the wildlife around here. They are quite familiar with the
animals. All they need now is the technical (INAUDIBLE), how to interpret that one to the biggest. A lot of them have transformed their livelihoods
from the inclement water to the tourism industry within the (INAUDIBLE).
KIMBERLEY SAKIAN NURU, FORMER STUDENT (voice-over): When I was a young child and we used to come here for trips, like when all my classmates used
to go back to school, I always used to cry and say, I don't want to live there anymore. I don't want to leave the lions, I don't want to leave the
antelopes, I just want to stay here.
So when I had a chance of being with all the animals, it is in my heart. Like it's not something I'm forcing. Like even right now, being a tour
guide, is just for my passion.
KAELO (voice-over): What we've seen is when the community begin to see wildlife as their own asset, they begin to feel that decisions being made
around wildlife conservation has their voice and their say. That actually benefits (INAUDIBLE) accrue actually also a need for them which seems to
achieve, coming in, back what it was a few decades back.
ASHER: You can watch this special half hour program, "Call to Earth: Voice of the Wild" airing this Saturday and Sunday on CNN.
Right back after a quick break.
ASHER: In the U.S., over 2,000 flight cancellations are dampening holiday travel and cheer. That's thanks to severe winter weather across the
country, forecasters predicting below freezing temperatures, blizzards and what they call a bomb cyclone.
The National Weather Service saying it is a once in a generation type of event. CNN's Pete Muntean is at Chicago's international airport, which has
been hit hard, as I understand it, by all these cancellations.
Loads of Americans, I think it's more than 100 million people in this country, expected to travel about 50 miles or more over the holiday period.
Walk us through how the airlines are dealing with this scale and level of cancellations.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A 100 million people by cars and 7 million people by air. But those huge numbers are being met with so many flight
cancellations. We've seen the number go up in just the last few moments, according to FlightAware.
Nationwide 2,100 flights canceled in the U.S., 5,300 flights delayed. Chicago O'Hare here tops the list. Denver International Airport is next.
And then Chicago Midway is third. But this is so important especially for international viewers. Because, O'Hare here is one of the biggest
connecting airports in the U.S., a huge hub for American Airlines, the biggest hub for United Airlines.
We were behind the scenes with United at the network operations center where they are trying to salvage some of those connections, keep troops
from falling apart by rerouting passengers on different flights through different connecting airports that will not be hit as hard by the snow.
Want you to listen to Joe Heins, the head of network operations for United Airlines. He says, after all the COVID issues airlines had last year and
all the worker shortages they had and then the thousands of cancellations airlines had this summer, they say that they are really learning their
lesson and they have stepped up ahead of this huge storm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE HEINS, UNITED AIRLINES: Last summer, with the high sick rates we saw through the remainder of COVID, we learned that we needed to have all our
resources beefed up to support the operation. All stakeholders, our vendors, caterers, refuelers, and we have overstaffed in all those areas
right now to be able to support the airline operation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: The snow is falling now here in Chicago. But the real issue for airlines, they say tomorrow is going to be bitingly cold. Two degrees
Fahrenheit is the forecasted high temperature here at Chicago O'Hare.
That makes it so hard for them simply to get planes on the ground, baggage loaded, planes marshaled up to the gate. We will see, as tomorrow pans, out
if we see the number of cancellations today, airlines have preemptively canceled about 1,000 flights tomorrow, Zain.
ASHER: But three days until Christmas, people are desperate to get home to their families, it's so hard. Weather is just the one thing they cannot do
What advice are they giving to passengers?
MUNTEAN: Well, the good news is airlines have tried to make it really easy for passengers by issuing these travel waivers. That means they can change
their flight in most cases completely free of charge. No change fee, no increased fare.
Pretty much every airport in the country is on United Airlines' change waiver right now. The good news is, if you are affected, according to
United Airlines, you can change your flight easily. You may be able to get compensated if you are lucky, if your flight is oversold, if you drive a
pretty hard bargain with an airline.
There are a lot of resources for passengers out there. The biggest tip from airlines, download their app.
That's how you get up to the minute, up to date information every moment about flight delays and cancellations. We are only at the start, here, it's
ASHER: I'm guessing you will be working tomorrow. My advice to you is to make sure you stay warm. Two degrees is no joke. Especially in Chicago,
that place is cold. Pete Muntean live for us there. Thank you so much.
You might not want to book any trips for this week. But "Conde Nast" has plenty of recommendations for traveling in the year ahead. The magazine
released a global guide of the 23 best places to go in 2023. From British Columbia to Kenya, "Conde Nast Traveler" says that these are the
destinations people will want to visit in the next 12 months.
Erin Florio is executive editor for "Conde Nast Traveler." She joins us live.
Erin, thank you. Some like to have on a positive happy story. And I love to travel. So I'm really excited about this. What I love about this list, you
didn't have any of the usual suspects. There was no London, Paris, Rome. It was all places that were kind of off the beaten path. Walk us through how
you compiled this list.
ERIN FLORIO, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "CONDE NAST TRAVELER": Sure. You don't need a reason to return to a place like London or Rome. But what's exciting
about this list this year is so much more of the world is finally opened up to us.
You know, we've been really limited in our travels for the past two years. With so many more borders opening this year, it created a really strong,
really robust list, filled with unexpected places across the world, where people could travel to next year.
ASHER: Interestingly, the number one city on this list was Auckland, New Zealand. I'm in the U.S. For people in the U.S., who don't mind sitting on
a flight for 17 hours, this would be an interesting place to go.
What makes Auckland a special place for international tourists?
FLORIO: I will say we know that our audience of travelers are willing to travel longer distances now. They are willing to spend more money to make
up for what happened in the past couple of years.
It's not a surprise that Auckland is on the list. We have other long haul destinations on that list if you're traveling from the U.S. or Europe. You
know, it has always been a hot destination. Auckland has always been the gateway to New Zealand.
It's played a bit of second fiddle to more of the outdoorsy destinations. But it has a great food scene. It has really exciting hotel openings. We
had some great green, sustainable, high design hotels.
And I think hot on the heels of the men's FIFA World Cup, it has to be noted that both Australia and New Zealand will be hosting the women's FIFA
World Cup in 2023. A lot of people will want to (INAUDIBLE) that.
ASHER: What makes New Zealand even more exciting is that only recently you couldn't get in because of COVID restrictions. I'm sure people covet going
there even more. Another interesting destination, Kenya also made the list.
I'm from West Africa, actually. But so many people associate Africa in general with safari. But there is so much more to Kenya than just the
Maasai Mara, right?
FLORIO: Absolutely. I think Nairobi is always trying to rival Cape Town as the great African city that a lot of long haul travelers want to visit.
There is really interesting openings happening in Nairobi at the moment. Social style clubs, an amazing hotel and community space called the Hotel
Eden, which is owned by a local fashion designer that brings together a whole community of creatives and spotlighting a different side of African
travel, which as you pointed out, can feel quite one-dimensional and rooted in safari. It's really dimensionalizing (sic) travel on the continent.
ASHER: When you think about what's happening around the world from an economic perspective, in the U.S. there's a possible looming recession. In
the U.K. there's a major cost of living crisis. Things are expensive. People are dealing with inflation among many, many other things. There is a
lot of economic issues people are dealing with, people are contending with right now.
One of the places on this list are quite expensive to get to. They certainly are not cheap, to put it that way.
For people who want to travel to these places who don't want to break the bank, what's your advice?
FLORIO: Well, my advice first of all would be go to cntraveler.com and look at the entire list. We do have a lot of long haul destinations. We have a
lot of destinations close to home, regardless of what market you are starting out from.
For example, I'm in the U.S., Central California is on the list. That sounds like a great, beautiful emerging mine station often overshadowed by
Napa/Sonoma. It's not going to break the bank, it's not at (INAUDIBLE) price levels. So there's really something for everybody.
But I will say that we know people are spending more on travel right now. Nobody can predict the future. Things might change. But because of the
spending habits of the last couple of years, people are willing to spend more money right now. So a long haul trip might be the thing you want to
take in your more immediate future (INAUDIBLE).
ASHER: What's your big trip for next year, Erin?
FLORIO: A few things are percolating. I have to say, following Argentina's big victory, I think a lot of people are thinking about Argentina. And
Mendoza, a very famous wine region in the country, has a lot of interesting entrepreneurial women emerging in the wine field and creating really
exciting new wine scenes, new hotels.
It feels like a place that has a lot happening right now. I think it would be a great place to visit and get a taste of it before the rest of the
world sees it.
ASHER: Yes. You mentioned Argentina, I love the idea of going there. I have little ones, young kids.
I have to think to myself, how long can they truly last on a flight?
That's a major calculation. That's why we end up choosing places like closer to home. We have to leave it there. Thank you so much for being with
All right, there are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. We will have the final numbers and the closing bell right after this.
ASHER: Just moments left to trade on Wall Street. Markets seeing no signs of a Santa Claus rally. The Dow was down more than 700 points earlier
today. It's now clawed back some ground but it's still off ground 370 points.
The Nasdaq has lost 2.5 percent, raising the gains on the past few days. Investors are concerned about rising interest rates among other things,
despite stronger than expected consumer confidence numbers on Wednesday and GDP data that was revised upwards Thursday morning.
Tesla shares got thumped again today, down 9 percent. That takes the losses over the last five days around 20 percent. Investors are worried about
demand for electric cars. Tesla just doubled the discount for some models in the U.S. and many would like to see Elon Musk shift his focus away from
Micron Technology down, too; the chip maker that warned of a steeper than expected loss over the next few months. It will lay off 10 percent of its
workforce next year. It is blaming a persistent glut in the semiconductor market.
All right, that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Zain Asher. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.