Return to Transcripts main page
Quest Means Business
Elon Musk Faces Falling Tesla Shares, Starship Explosion; Yellen: US will Reset Beijing's Unfair Economic Policies; Violent Clashes in Sudan Despite Second Cease-Fire; Call to Earth: Microplastics in the Ocean; Alec Baldwin Has Shooting Charges Dismissed; Outlet Published Fake Schumacher Interview Generated by AI; Google's New Earth-Friendly Features. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 20, 2023 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: US markets have been low all day, that's thanks to weak earnings from major companies, as well as some
worrying manufacturing data creating a lot of concern about where the economy is growing. The Dow Jones is down, 0.42 percent. As you can see,
it's red all day.
Those are the markets and these are the main events: SpaceX's Starship explodes just minutes after liftoff. Elon Musk calls it a learning
Janet Yellen says the US will continue to respond to China's unfair economic practices.
And Google wants to help you reduce your carbon footprint. Its Chief Sustainability Officer joins me later in the show.
Live from Dubai, it is Thursday, April 20th. I'm Eleni Giokos. I am in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
A very good evening.
Tonight, Elon Musk is assessing the damage as his two biggest companies face major challenges. Earlier this morning, SpaceX launched its Starship
spacecraft using the most powerful rocket ever built. About four minutes after liftoff, it exploded over the Gulf of Mexico. No one was on board.
Meanwhile, Tesla shares are down sharply after the company's earnings call on Wednesday. Its investors are worried about a possible price war with EV
competitors, and we begin with Tesla, whose shares are currently down around 10 percent.
The company reported its lowest profit margin since 2020. Elon Musk said recent price cuts have led to higher demand. Faced with growing
competition, Tesla has slashed its prices this year in the US. The Model 3 is selling for 11 percent less, the cost of its base, Model Y has been
lowered by 20 percent.
Tom Narayan is the lead equity analyst for Global Autos at RBC Capital Markets. Great to have you on.
You know, the strategy behind the pricing is fascinating. If you just dig deeper, and you take a look at the gross profit margins, you see Elon Musk
saying, look, we need to gain market share, and then the big question is, are we in an EV price war?
TOM NARAYAN, LEAD EQUITY ANALYST FOR GLOBAL AUTOS, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: Yes, I mean, I think a lot of folks are looking at the results today and
worrying about what this means in terms of overall demand for Tesla, like is he worried about demand? And is that why he is cutting prices so much?
But I think folks are maybe overanalyzing things a little bit. You have to put things in context. Pricing has been escalating for the past three
years. You know, from the year 2016 to 2019, pricing is only up nine percent from 2019 to 2022. Global, industry-wide, auto pricing is up 37
percent, and during 2022, Tesla actually was raising prices.
So a lot of this is adjusting for the reality of the economy that we're about to head into today. Higher interest rates, lower affordability, and
what he is also trying to do is not just look at other EV makers, I think that is a mistake that a lot of us, you know analysts tend to do. We tend
to pit them against other EV makers.
He is targeting ICE regular petrol cars, and trying to convert them to EVs. Today, if you look at the pricing of the Model 3 with a $7,500.00 IRA
credit, it's the same price as a Toyota Camry, and everybody is worried about the gross profit margin they posted today.
But their overall operating income margin is like thirteen, fourteen percent, the same level as Mercedes or BMW, and they're selling a car at
the same price as a Toyota Camry.
So I tend to think that folks are maybe over analyzing one day's quarter. It's going to happen with Tesla, obviously. Everybody loves to talk about
it, but I think longer term, bigger picture, there are bigger plans that are in front of us.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, look, it's fascinating insights, and if you put it up against, you know, the combustion engine vehicles, it is really interesting
to see how margins differ.
I mean, Tesla -- well, you know, Elon says that I guess he would be making up earnings in what they'll be doing on the autonomy earnings later, which
is fascinating. He is looking to the future: Are you convinced by that strategy?
NARAYAN: I really am. I mean, you just have to look at the math behind what we already can see what some of the prices people are paying for. Things
like FSD and autopilot, you know, a couple of hundred bucks a month, you know, over a thousand bucks a year, over a lifetime of a car, that's
several thousand dollars. How much is he cutting the prices by? Less than that.
And when you pay for service like autopilot or FSD, you know, it's a great product, you're willing to pay for that, and Tesla only has to spend on
research and development one time. It's a software expense.
If he can scale and get as many Tesla's on the road as possible. It makes it all the more profitable. So, that's really the game plan here, the long
term vision here, that Level 2+, Level 3, you know, the car doing a lot of the driving for you, people are going to be willing to pay for it. How many
times have they been stuck in traffic, and needed to stop and go with yourself, would you rather have the car do it for you?
You know, this is where the industry is headed. People are willing to pay for this, and if you're getting a $7,500.00 credit for Uncle Sam, maybe
you'll be willing to pay a little more and get some of these self-driving type services that you didn't before, and that is much more margin
accretive than selling a car.
GIOKOS: Trust issue, and I know that's the future, but it definitely for me is a trust issue. I still kind of have to wrap my head around this. But
here is the thing, costs are coming down, which is a positive.
Look, Ford and GM still making money on their traditional businesses. I guess Tesla doesn't have that buffer, but costs are coming down for EVs. I
guess where are margins heading for Tesla and the EV space realistically?
NARAYAN: Yes, so if you're looking at gross automotive profit margins, what folks really look at, you know, they were like 19 percent this quarter,
which is a lot lower than, you know, people were expecting around them, you know, low 20s. But, he is looking -- we're looking at pricing being lower
for maybe this year, and then he clearly said on the earnings call that once macroeconomic situations, the conditions are reversing, he will raise
He said that long-term targets are 25 percent of gross operating profit margins. That is demonstrably higher than 19 percent they just posted. You
know, that's meaningful.
And remember, they're doing the same operating margin as a Mercedes and a BMW today. What happens when battery prices, which is the main cost of an
EV, starts coming down and it already has. We're talking about lithium, because the main cost of lithium ion battery, the main raw material is down
60 percent since November.
So battery raw materials are coming down, chemistries are improving. You know, EVs actually have less parts than a regular combustion car. So in a
few years, we could get to the point where cars cost less to make an EV than to make a combustion car, and you have all these services and features
you can offer to a consumer, and there are consumers who may be willing to pay more.
So these can become wildly profitable, even exceeding the 25 percent level that he has envisioned.
GIOKOS: Fascinating times. I think now the markets are still trying to get their head around what this means.
Tom Narayan, thank you very much for your insights. Great to have you on the show.
Well, now we head to Texas where SpaceX's Starship failed to reach orbit.
Still SpaceX employees celebrated this moment.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
GIOKOS: After clearing the launch pad, the rocket was supposed to separate, instead it started spinning and then exploded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: . was icing on the cake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Starship just experienced what we call a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, or a RUD during ascent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Elon Musk congratulated the team on the launch. It is expected to provide a trove of new information that will be used for future missions.
We've got Ed Lavandera at the launch sites in Texas who saw it all firsthand.
Look, it must have been an incredible experience to witness this Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, which we are, you know, calling an explosion in
the sky, but still, this is a feat for Tesla and for Elon Musk.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And you know, in hours since this rocket launch this morning, there have been a lot of speculation
in trying to figure out what exactly caused the (launch) and now we have a much clearer picture.
We've just received a statement from SpaceX officials confirming that they were the ones that ignited and triggered what is known as the Flight
Termination System onboard the booster of the rocket ship, as well as the rocket ship itself.
LAVANDERA: And essentially, what that means, they hit the self-destruct button in all of this. As you saw there in the video, the spaceship
essentially became uncontrollable and was spinning out of control. And obviously, the engine failure and I think up to as many as six of the
engines made it very difficult for the crew on the ground to control it.
So SpaceX now confirming that they were the ones that essentially destroyed this, this rocket ship, and essentially that is done for public safety
reasons, because they were unable to control it at that point.
GIOKOS: And Ed, I mean, what is also really fascinating is that NASA has congratulated SpaceX as well. This is, you know, an enormous first step for
What is -- you know, Elon Musk saying that they are thinking forward to new missions, because they are going to gain so much knowledge from what played
LAVANDERA: Yes, Elon Musk said after the launch that they learned a lot from this experience and from this rocket launch. In SpaceX's view,
clearing the launch pad was really one of the hopes that they would be able to do, they were able to fly this rocket ship for about three minutes. So
from their point of view, that is a success.
Now they do have a lot of questions to answer. The Federal Aviation Administration here in the United States says they will oversee this mishap
and this explosion and that future flights will be awarded and allowed based on the insurance of public safety. So they do have a lot to go
But also the administrator of the US space agency, NASA says this is a good first step because you know, as we've reported, this is really the
beginning stages of this partnership between SpaceX and NASA to return astronauts to the moon, and in the years ahead, hopefully to Mars.
GIOKOS: Yes. Ed Lavandera, thank you so much. Great to have you on the show.
Well, Elon Musk, in the meantime, is getting his way at Twitter, which has started removing blue checkmarks for users that don't have a paid
subscriptions accounts. For journalists, celebrities and academics no longer are verified, I want to show you this. That has affected me as I
have not paid, that's affected my colleagues. That is Richard Quest, he doesn't have a blue check anymore and Clare Duffy has also lost her blue
check as well.
Clare is with me now.
I have to say, I got a call from my producer, Ronan saying, Eleni, your blue check is gone. I was like, that's impossible. Look, I saw my blue tick
earlier in the day. It is gone. It is over.
I thought he was busy with SpaceX, but clearly, he has been busy with other things as well.
CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: You would think, you know, Eleni, you and I are in good company. Major users, including Kim Kardashian, Bill Gates,
Beyonce, the Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, even the Pope have also lost their blue checks today.
And so you know, this is really a massive shift for Twitter. Elon Musk has been talking about this for a long time wanting to reserve blue checks,
only for people who pay $8.00 a month for it subscription platform. He is really trying to drive Twitter's revenue growth that way.
But the checkmark system has long been a way of preventing impersonation for high profile users and in that way, attracting high profile users to
the platform. And so I think it'll be really interesting to see whether these people that were on this platform and drew an audience to this
platform will continue to use Twitter after losing their verification.
GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, it is such a contentious issue, right? I mean, there's been so much debate since that announcement about who is willing to pay
$8.00 a month and weighing it up against what they are getting in return.
What is the sense here, when you say we're in good company, you know, you've got high profile people that are experiencing the same thing. What
is the prognosis here? Will people start paying?
DUFFY: I think, it is a sort of a wait and see moment, but you know, a lot of these high profile users have talked about the fact that they're really
bringing a service to Twitter, they are tweeting, and it's making people want to go on Twitter to see what they have to say. And so I think, there
is a likely chance that these people won't start paying Twitter because they're saying, hey, Twitter, maybe should even be paying me, other
platforms pay creators to create content, and that's sort of the opposite of what's happening on Twitter.
So you know, I think it's sort of a wait and see moment, but you know I think there's a good chance people won't be willing to shell out for this
and because of that, may stop using the platform altogether.
GIOKOS: Clare Duffy, great to have you on. Thank you so very much, unverified Clare Duffy, joining us today, talking about our blue checkmarks
All right, well, the US Treasury Secretary says China and the United States can work together on major global issues, but Janet Yellen also had a
warning for Beijing on security, human rights, and unfair economic policies that is coming up next.
GIOKOS: The US Treasury Secretary has warned a decoupling of the economies of the United States and China would be disastrous for both countries.
Speaking in Washington, Janet Yellen said the current tensions between the two superpowers shouldn't stand in the way of a constructive and fair
relationship, but she also gave this warning to Beijing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET YELLEN, US TREASURY SECRETARY: We will clearly communicate to the PRC our concerns about its behavior, and we will not hesitate to defend our
Healthy economic competition where both sides benefit is only sustainable when this competition is fair. We will continue to partner with our allies
to respond to China's unfair economic practices.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now from New York.
There was Janet Yellen talking about concerns, even warnings, but peppering the messaging with almost what seems like reaching out and saying let's
work together on mutually beneficial issues.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, speech in Washington by Secretary Yellen really set the tone for US-China relations
going on forward.
She on one hand, said that the National Security of the United States comes first even if it comes at an economic cost with China, and then she also
said that she wants to make sure that the two countries work together when possible.
She also laid out three priorities of the Biden administration going forward with China. Those are prioritizing National Security and defending
Human Rights, promoting a healthy and fair economic relationship and working with China to address global issues like climate change.
YURKEVICH: Now this comes at a time when China's economy grew very quickly in the first quarter of this year and where there are some questions about
the US economy here at home.
There is a possible looming recession, there is a debt ceiling crisis and inflation is still very hot here in the US at about five percent.
But China is the United States' biggest trading partner. There are a lot of US companies that manufacture in China, that allows US consumers to pay for
cheaper goods and allows US consumers to have greater spending power, but of course, that does shift US manufacturing to China.
It is a very delicate dance between the two countries, and as you mentioned, this comes at a really tense time between the US and China.
There was the Chinese spy balloon that floated into US airspace. China has been cozying up to Russia, during the Russia-Ukraine war. And here at home
in the United States, the Biden administration has called on ByteDance, which is a Chinese company to sell TikTok amid security concerns over US
privacy here in the US.
And Yellen also in her speech, saying that they can and they will sanction China, if it comes to that, and they are going to review all Chinese
investments in the US and US investments in China that could ultimately, Eleni, further escalate the tensions, but here, she is really trying to
play a delicate dance in terms of holding China accountable, but also making sure that they can continue to be a strong trading partner with the
GIOKOS: It is certainly a balancing act. Vanessa Yurkevich, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much.
Well, this week we've been covering the changing demographics of two Asian rivals. The UN says India will overtake China as the world's most populous
nation this year. Beijing is downplaying the effects of a falling population. But after restricting family size for decades, China is now
encouraging a baby boom. Kristie Lu Stout reports from Hong Kong.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: China has been the world's most populous country since at least 1950 when UN
Population Records began, but all that is about to change.
China is set to be overtaken by India as the world's most populous nation, according to the UN. By mid-2023, China will have around three million less
people than India. The issue was addressed by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
WANG WENBIN, SPOKESPERSON, CHINESE MINISTRY OF POPULATION (through translator): When assessing a country's demographic dividend, we need to
look not just at the size, but also the quality of the population. Size matters, but what matters more is talent.
Nearly 900 million out of 1.4 billion Chinese are of working age, and on average have received 10.9 years of education.
STOUT: Last year, China's population fell to 1.4 billion people, its first dropped since the 1960s, and a number of factors are behind that, including
changing attitudes towards marriage and family. China's one child policy which was introduced in the 1980s, but later scrapped and 2016, and the
challenges of raising children in China's expensive cities.
China's falling population has economic implications, a shrinking workforce will make economic recovery after the pandemic even more challenging.
It has social implications as well. China's Social Security system will likely come under strain.
Beijing is addressing this. Last year, the Chinese government released a plan to strengthen maternity leave and to offer tax breaks and other perks
to families. Local governments have even offered cash to encourage people to have more babies.
But so far, these measures have done little to stop the downward trend. In fact, in 2022, online searches for baby strollers on baidu.com slumped 17
percent. In contrast, searches for elder care facilities spiked eight times last year.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GIOKOS: Well despite a global economic slowdown, the IMF recently upgraded growth forecasts for the Philippines. The country's economy is now expected
to grow by six percent this year, that is the highest among emerging markets in Asia.
Richard Quest spoke to the Filipino Finance Secretary at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings, and he told Richard why his outlook is so optimistic.
BENJAMIN DIOKNO, FILIPINO FINANCE SECRETARY: IMF downgraded the whole world from three percent to 2.8 percent growth, but surprisingly, they upgraded
the Philippines from five percent to six percent growth. We will be the fastest growing country in that part of the world.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": What do you need to do now though? What's your next policy measure?
DIOKNO: Still our concern is inflation, which is global.
QUEST: That is everybody's.
DIOKNO: That's everybody's -- but we're confident that we have deployed the necessary monetary and fiscal tools that inflation will be back to where we
want it to be by the fourth quarter of this year, two to four percent.
QUEST: So you have a range, don't you?
QUEST: As opposed to a target.
DIOKNO: Target range. Target range two to four percent.
QUEST: And you're currently at?
DIOKNO: We are currently at 7.6.
QUEST: You're not going to make it.
DIOKNO: We are very confident because the -- we have deployed the most aggressive monetary policy. It took 425 basis points within nine months.
QUEST: Right. But are you going to face the same situation where you get to five percent or five-and-a half, you know, or just above the top end of the
range and everybody says, well, I think we're there now. We don't need to continue.
DIOKNO: Now. We're not going to. It is two to four percent.
QUEST: We look at the trade arrangement, I was talking yesterday to the head of the WTO. Trade is slowing down.
QUEST: Trade growth is slowing, still growing, but slowing, the growth is slowing. It's such an important part of your economy, trade.
DIOKNO: You know, the foreign trade sector is not that big as far as the Philippine economy is concerned, there has always been negative actually,
the foreign trade sector in the Philippines because we import more than we export and that's part of our growth strategy.
QUEST: Right. But how do you close that gap?
DIOKNO: We have a -- you'll be surprised, we have a constant flow of overseas Filipinos remittances, $30 billion. BPO industry are also on the
QUEST: Remittances are tricky.
DIOKNO: No, no.
QUEST: No, no, no, because remittances go down as other parts of the world have economic problems. We've seen the level of remittances fall.
DIOKNO: You'll be surprised at the height of the crisis, remittances went up, because there is an altruistic part on the part -- aspect of the
DIOKNO: Filipinos send more money back home when they see some problems.
QUEST: But yet, Filipinos overseas are suffering their own economic problems, because other countries are. Can remittances hold up?
DIOKNO: Of course, because many of our overseas Filipino workers are in the medical business -- nurses, and that made it very, very useful during the
pandemic. No, we're very optimistic on the remittances.
QUEST: You seem to be optimistic generally.
DIOKNO: Of course.
QUEST: But most people here aren't.
DIOKNO: I know. I'm surprised. We were in the group of 20 foreign nations who are mostly African, Latin American, and I said, what's happening here?
QUEST: Are those countries, and I say this with respect.
QUEST: Are you fooling yourself?
DIOKNO: No, no. For example, our debt to GDP ratio, you will be surprised before the crisis was less than 40 percent, now, it's up to 60 percent.
That's pretty good by international standards, right?
So we have done the reforms before this crisis we have. We have beefed up our buffers already.
GIOKOS: Well, next to the escalating conflict in Sudan, where there's evidence the Wagner Group, better known for its involvement in Ukraine
maybe lurking in the shadows, an exclusive report is coming up.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello, I'm Eleni Giokos. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment, when we'll explore
how a K-pop singer's death is prompting new questions about the pressures on some of the industry's biggest stars.
And Google's chief sustainability officer tells us how the Search engine is changing to help people lower their carbon footprints. Before that, the
news headlines this hour.
GIOKOS (voice-over): At least 78 people have died in a crowd surge in Yemen as merchants gave out food and cash for Ramadan. Hundreds had crowded into
a school where the donations were being handed out. They were set to receive just $9 each.
Ukraine got a high profile show of support today from NATO for the first time since Russia's invasion. NATO secretary general visited Kyiv.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he considered it a sign that the military alliance is ready to begin a new chapter.
In Uganda, a controversial bill is in limbo. It would make it a crime to identify as LGBTQ and it would suggest the death penalty for so called
aggravated homosexuality. A lawmaker for the ruling party says president Yoweri Museveni has sent the bill back to parliament for amendments.
Protesters burst into the Euronext offices in Paris to demonstrate against a rise in the retirement age. They briefly occupied the stock exchange's
lobby, which filled with smoke from their flares.
One of them said billionaires and big companies should pay for pension reform, not workers.
GIOKOS: And breaking news just in to CNN, prosecutors are expected to drop all charges against Alec Baldwin. That per Baldwin's attorney. The actor
was charged after an accidental shooting on the set of the upcoming film, "Rust," which killed one crew member and injured another.
The death toll is rising, in the meantime, in Sudan, where two previously allied military leaders are now engaged in a violent power struggle. More
than 330 people have been killed since fighting broke out at the weekend.
The latest attempt at a ceasefire have collapsed. The U.N. estimates up to 20,000 people have fled the country. The U.S. is deploying additional
capabilities near Sudan to assist with the potential evacuation of its embassy.
CNN has uncovered evidence that Russia's Wagner Group has been working to tip the balance in this escalating conflict. Nima Elbagir has this
exclusive report for us.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: The Sudanese and the Libyan armies celebrated a successful joint operation
Wednesday, April 19th, near the remote desert border between Libya and Sudan, having captured the Chevrolet garrison belonging to the rival
Sudanese paramilitary, Rapid Support Forces, the RSF.
But why is this garrison important, given how far it is from the existential fight in Sudan's capital, Khartoum?
Because CNN can reveal that the fight in Khartoum is being influenced by what was happening at that Chevrolet garrison, a Russian resupply campaign,
backed by a key regional player, aimed at turning the tide in Sudan's war in favor of the RSF, who have been a key recipient of Russian training and
In collaboration with all eyes on Wagner, a research group focusing on Russian proxy Wagner, CNN investigated the group's current presence in
You can see here on April 16th, one day after the fighting began in Khartoum, a Russian Ilyushin-76 transport plane at the Al Jufra base in
Libya, previously identified by American intelligence as a Wagner base.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): Three days later, this same plane is spotted by flight tracker aviation expert Gurjen (ph) coming back from the Russian
airbase in Latakia, Syria, before returning to the Libyan air base in Haredim.
Images of that same plane began circulating online April 17th, heading in the direction of Sudan. Sudanese and regional sources tell CNN that
weaponry was airdropped to the RSF within that timeframe, April 15th to April 18th, to the Chevrolet garrison during a period of fierce fighting,
boosting the RSF.
The Al Khadim and Al Jufra bases, where the Wagner planes departed from in Libya, under the control of field marshal Khalifa Haftar, who commands
territory in the east of Libya, Haftar and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemetti, have in
common strategic alliances, one with Wagner, who Haftar is hosting in his territory in Libya and whom a previous CNN investigation exposed as working
with Hemetti to extract Sudanese gold.
A second with the United Arab Emirates, who tapped Hemetti to send forces to the conflict in Yemen and backed Haftar in the fighting in Libya.
What does it all mean for the ongoing misery and conflict in Sudan?
It means that both a regional Libyan general, Haftar, and a global player, Russia, are putting their thumbs on the scale, which raises the stakes for
the region, for the global balance of power and for the people of Sudan caught in the crossfire -- Nima Elbagir, CNN.
GIOKOS: The Rapid Support Forces denied to CNN receiving support from Libya or Russia.
Coming up, see how a new fleet of zero emission submarines could remove microplastics from the ocean. That is coming up.
GIOKOS: The world's oceans are polluted by trillions of plastic particles. One study estimates that, if gathered all together, they would weigh around
2.3 million tons. While it's not a problem that can be solved overnight, the company, Oceanways, is hoping a fleet of plastic filtering submarines
can start to turn the tide in the latest Call to Earth.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dhruv Boruah is on a mission to rid plastic from the ocean. It's a problem the engineer first became
aware of during a yachting race across the Atlantic.
Since then, Dhruv has dedicated himself to raising awareness of the issue by cycling down waterways in the world's largest cities.
DHRUV BORUAH, FOUNDER AND CEO, OCEANWAYS (voice-over): Do you like the bike?
STEWART (voice-over): Now he is starting to think about the bigger picture.
BORUAH (voice-over): So we're collecting rubbish as well. So you can see loads of that when they're underwater, yes. I had raised some 300 million
people worldwide. The question here I ask myself every day.
Where is the tangible impact?
Where is the scale we're talking about?
Because riding on a bicycle, so much you can do. So this project is all about restoring the ocean with microplastic collection, taking action
around ocean certification (ph) and everything else.
But to start with microplastics and other data sensors.
STEWART (voice-over): Putting his engineering background to work, Dhruv started Oceanways, a company set on building a fleet of zero emissions
submarines that can carry cargo, replacing other carbon emitting vessels, while also filtering microplastics from the water.
BORUAH (voice-over): We need to make sure that the new system we build is net positive in the ocean, does not pollute the ocean but actually gives
back to the ocean, unlike other systems that exist today. Radical thinking.
STEWART (voice-over): Here in Biscayne Bay in Miami, Dhruv and his team are taking the new prototype out for its first sea trial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On top is the microplastics filtration system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our first product we have built and her name is Pearl. So we have tried our best to use off the shelf components because,
to build a new system, the question here is, how can we build at low cost but also quick build, so at a scale you can have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water comes into the pipe, goes here. This is the sort of the filtration system, comes out here and we'll collect everything
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here we have got some sensors to collect ocean data, behavior of the -- of the vehicle in the water today that we have collected
lot of radar. Hopefully we can feed them into a simulator to learn what's going on here.
STEWART (voice-over): Ultimately, the ambition is to use fuel cells that draw hydrogen from the ocean to power the submarines to travel
BORUAH: From a technical perspective, we've learned a lot of things. The whole research now is we take it back to the workshop and then we look into
the electric eels (ph), the cables, what happened. And we collect the sensor data and understand what happened in the sensors.
And those will really help us.
STEWART (voice-over): Once the results from the sea tests have been analyzed, Oceanways plans to have its next prototype transporting cargo in
Scotland within 12 months.
BORUAH (voice-over): First step would be to make it autonomous and then build a bigger one to start transporting cargo because we have made a lot
of progress from a commercial perspective. We already have customers and in the use case and would love to try this, make it autonomous and start
delivering some cargo on day one.
The ocean now is a super microplastics. In our roots we will understand the amount of microplastics. It's all about understanding what is happening in
the -- in the ocean, in our roots and take action science back action in the future.
GIOKOS: Well, let us know what you're doing to answer the call with the #Call to Earth.
GIOKOS: All right, I'd like to take you back to the breaking news just crossing in the last few minutes. Prosecutors are expected to drop all
charges against Alec Baldwin. That per Baldwin's attorney.
The actor was charged after an accidental shooting on the set of the upcoming film, "Rust," which killed one crew member and injured another.
We've got CNN's Chloe Melas taking us through the latest.
This was kind of a surprise, Chloe. Take us through what the lawyers of Alec Baldwin are saying right now.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I will say that, a surprise to the public but clearly, Alec Baldwin's legal tax legal team has been working in
overtime. So I want to read you a statement from Alec Baldwin's attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro.
It reads, "We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and
circumstances of this tragic accident."
Remember, I sat down with Alec Baldwin last summer at CNN and he told me this was an accident. "I have no idea how the live rounds of bullets got
into the gun. I did not pull the trigger," he maintained.
Now the FBI report said that the trigger had to have pulled -- been pulled for the gun to go off. So, you know, we remember the original special
prosecutor Andrea Reeb, who stepped down about a month ago, which is significant here.
You know, she had said that we may never know. She said it on CNN's air. We may never know how the live bullets got to the set and that it didn't
really matter. But clearly the district attorney's office in New Mexico, they have more information in order to drop these charges against Alec
So the filing has not yet happened. It will be happening sometime this afternoon or potentially tomorrow. Now this is all ahead of a scheduled
status hearing and a preliminary hearing for the trial, which is currently scheduled for May 3rd. So this is still moving to trial. There is still
someone else that faces charges.
That's the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed. She faces two counts of manslaughter with up to 18 months in prison. So look, really significant.
We have not heard from Alec Baldwin. But we do know where he is today. He is on the set of "Rust." More than 18 months later, today, they started
filming, right, of all days. They started filming again today in Montana, at Yellowstone. And they have about 20 days of filming.
And, you know, this is all breaking and we're all waiting to hear what Alec is going to say.
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely. And what the parents of Halyna Hutchins will say as well. This is an ongoing story. Chloe Melas, great to have you on it.
Thank you so much.
Well the family of motor sport legend Michael Schumacher says it's planning legal action over a fake interview. It was published over the weekend by a
German magazine, which called it "Michael Schumacher, The First Interview."
Schumacher hasn't been seen in the public since a 2013 brain injury and he wasn't involved in the process at all. Instead, the magazine used AI to
mimic what his responses might have been.
It included made-up quotes and discussions about his family as well as medical condition. The magazine has declined to comment. Anna Stewart is in
London for us.
He was on the front cover of this magazine. I mean, it is deceptive. It is absolutely hurtful, I'm sure, to the family as well.
But you know, you do a double take and say, what is going on here?
Anna, take us through what happened.
STEWART: Yes, you suddenly do a double take. In fact, I think plenty of people go through magazines and just skim them. And if you look at this
one, the front page big picture of Michael Schumacher, the headliner is "Michael Schumacher: The First Interview"
And under that you can see a small subheading, which says, "it sounded deceptively real," very cryptic, not clear at all that this is a completely
fake interview. This is generated by AI.
STEWART: And even if you skip through to page 8, where you get this article, you then get a headline there that says, "You know, my life has
changed completely," and a load of quotes that purport to be Michael Schumacher talking about his condition since he had that terrible brain
injury back in December 2013. He hasn't been publicly seen since. It talks about his family life.
And only if you read really almost through toward the end of the article do you find out that this is fake. This is generated by artificial
intelligence and actually with no real information about which AI is used here and why.
So really, this is quite deceptive and I don't think it's a tool, surprising that Schumacher family are not happy and that they are going to
take legal action.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, really fascinating. The backlash, the public backlash has been absolutely enormous with regards to this. But I guess it also just
poses so many questions about the capabilities of AI, how it's going to influence us, how is going to influence journalism and also ethical ways of
STEWART: Yes, and what regulation there needs to be. I think in this case, I think most people are on the same page here, that this does feel very
deceptive. People buy magazines thinking Schumacher did an interview and it may take them a very long time to figure out that it's not even real.
And whether or not that's right for the Schumacher family. But look at AI across the board. There are legal questions all over the place. We're
talking about AI almost every single day, a great story in the last week.
Do you remember this song, Eleni, in the last few days?
It was playing rather well, have a listen.
STEWART: Hey, I quite like it. "Heart on My Sleeve," viral --
GIOKOS: -- sounds like Drake and The Weeknd.
STEWART: Yes, it's not. It was uploaded to TikTok by a unknown musical ghostwriter, 977. They came to use AI to use that. It's now being pulled
from a load of streaming sites. But only after it was viewed in terms of YouTube and listened to on streaming service, hundreds of thousands,
millions of times.
Is it OK to use existing voices and to feed AI with existing songs, to create something new?
Where is the copyright?
And this is still being worked out.
GIOKOS: Yes. So much gray area but, then again, you and I could start a band. We could, you know. We could --
STEWART: Actually my voice has been used to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" on CNN Decoded. It was a pretty good performance. I'll tell you.
GIOKOS: We can take this offline. I'm like, we can, maybe just like re-up Nirvana, you know, might the '90s tracks that I used to listen to. Anna
Stewart, great to see you. Thank you so much.
Well, Google is trying to help people in the U.S. reduce their carbon footprint ahead of Earth Day this weekend. The Search giant is rolling out
new Earth friendly features, covering everything from commutes to cooking.
It says users are looking more than ever for answers about the environment. Searches for climate and sustainability recently hit an all-time high. And
the queries for energy saving tips are up 35 percent.
Kate Brandt is Google's chief sustainability officer and she joins us now live.
Kate, great to have you on. I want to talk about this tool and how it can possibly assist me and understanding what my carbon footprint is and, of
course, how to reduce it.
KATE BRANDT, CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER, GOOGLE: Absolutely. So, as you mentioned. what we're seeing is people are looking for sustainability on
Search like they never have.
And a key area we're particularly seeing is around how to save fuel when driving. You know, this is increased by about 60 percent just since the
last year. And so here at Google, we have a great feature that we call eco friendly routing in Maps.
When you're using Maps to navigate to a restaurant or to a play date for your kids, you can type in your address and you'll see a green leaf next to
one of the routes. And that's going to be the most fuel efficient route, even if it doesn't have -- even if it has a slightly longer time associated
And we estimate that this has already saved people about half a million metric tons of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking about
100,000 fuel-based cars off the road. So we're seeing some good results already.
GIOKOS: That's great. Yes, that sounds really interesting. So I don't really need to do much because there's certainly a level of, I think,
fatigue when it comes to having to input data in an app or, you know, engage into, like, this is what I'm doing.
So what do I need to do to diminish my carbon footprint?
I mean, is this going to be sort of a natural move to, you know, making my life easier?
Or do I need to input data?
How will this actually work?
BRANDT: Yes, it's all about being helpful, is the approach that we're taking. So whether it's a feature right there for you in Google Maps, like
what we were just describing with eco routes or, similarly, you know, we're seeing a lot of interest in search in e bikes and electric scooters there
BRANDT: In Maps you can find, where is the local ebike or electric scooter going to be available to me, so I can grab it while I'm on my way.
We're also thinking about this for electric vehicles. A lot of people are thinking about buying an EV. When they come to Google Search, they'll see
helpful information so they can see an electric, how it compares to an internal combustion vehicle and even look at where charging stations are
So we're really just trying to embed the helpful information that people are looking for, in the experience they already have in places like Search
GIOKOS: What I love about what you're doing is that you've been, you know, noticing an uptick in searches relating to you know, sustainability or
people thinking very deeply about how to change their habits.
To what extent have those searches, those metrics, that data impacted what you're offering at the moment?
BRANDT: Yes, so, I mean, we're very much being guided by what people are interested in. And so we've talked a lot about transportation. Another area
where we see people are really interested in is how they can save energy at home. That Search trend was at an all time high last year.
And what we also know is this is a really compelling way for people to save money. What the EPA tells us is that you can save about $50 a month,
depending on where you are, by doing something like having a learning thermostat at home.
You know, at my house, we have a nest learning thermostat and we're using that and they have -- we have great features like savings finder. So my
daughter and I'll go in there sometimes and say, hey, what else can we be doing?
We could turn down the heat a little bit at night while we're sleeping. So that's another place where we're seeing a lot of interest from people. And
we're trying to meet that demand with helpful things that they can do at home.
GIOKOS: Kate Brandt, thank you so much. I'm excited to see how this is going to work. Great to have you on the show. Thank you so much.
And just moments of trade left on Wall Street and we will have the final members and the closing belt right after this. Stay with CNN.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. So one last check on U.S. markets. The Dow is in red territory right now. It is set to close much lower as you can see, down
almost 0.4 of a percent. It has been in the red all day. Investors are taking into account corporate earnings.
We had weak manufacturing reports as well as rising jobless claims all feeding into concerns about the health of the economy. Let's take a look at
the Dow components and how they are playing out right now.
Walgreens is on top, up around 1.5 percent. American Express is down 1 percent after missing on profits as well but mostly in the red. All eyes on
economic data right now, that is driving market sentiment.
Well, that is it for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Eleni Giokos. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street. And "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts