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Quest Means Business

G7 Steps Up Support for Ukraine, Sanctions for Russia; Syria's Assad joins gathering of leaders in Saudi Arabia; Footprints May Be Those Of Missing Colombian Children; Northern Italian Regions Issues New Red Alert For Flooding. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 15:00   ET



ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Stocks are falling as talks over the US debt ceiling hit a snag. The Dow right now is down just under a hundred

points. Those are the markets, and these are the main events.

G7 leaders rally around Ukraine as they meet in Japan.

An exclusive interview with the Turkish president. If re-elected, he'll stick with his unorthodox economic policy.

And the world's richest man looks for a successor among his children.

Coming to you live from New York. It is Friday, May 19th. I'm Zain Asher, in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening.

Tonight, the G7 is strengthening its military support for Ukraine as it takes aim at Russian diamonds. Leaders of the world's richest democracies

began their meeting in Hiroshima earlier. They pledged to stop exporting anything to Russia that would help in its war in Ukraine, and the US said

it would support training Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets.

Ukrainian president, Zelenskyy is expected to join the meeting this weekend.

Marc Stewart is at the G7 in Hiroshima. We've also got Nic Robertson, standing by for us in eastern Ukraine.

Nic, as I just mentioned, one of the biggest headlines to come out of the G7 so far is really this idea that Western allies now support sending F-16s

to Ukraine, something that Zelenskyy case asked for, for many months. They probably won't arrive in time for the counteroffensive, but just walk us

through how much of a game changer this is going to be on the battlefield.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Ultimately, once the training has been accomplished and once the planes are found and put into

Ukrainian hands, they will make a difference. There's been a narrative hear that until Ukraine has better air defenses, if you give them these fighter

aircraft, then there's a real possibility that Ukraine would use them, and the Russians would shoot them down.

So, it's a sort of you're creating a system, an air defense system that these aircraft can operate them. So you can't get too far ahead of

yourselves militarily. That's what people have been saying.

But in parallel to this ongoing discussion about when Ukraine can have the F-16s and really, it is President Biden announcing that he will support

this coalition of countries that will help train Ukrainian pilots and the United States won't stop. Countries like Denmark, like Norway, like the

Netherlands, all of whom have F-16s and potentially could donate them to Ukraine.

The United States won't get in the way. So, they're not going to be available in the short term, even though we know that the British back in

February said that they would begin some F-16 fighter aircraft training for Ukraine's fighter pilots.

The difference that they will make on the frontline is unlike the planes that the Ukrainians have right now, these aircraft don't have to get so

close to the Russian forces to fire their missiles, which automatically makes them safer. And that's a fundamental difference.

They can sort of look over the horizon better. They have better technology. They will be able to use the more sophisticated weapon systems that NATO is

providing Ukraine.

You know, the counteroffensive, it has to be said has been much talked about. There are no details on when and where it will be launched. It might

be next week. It might be even a few months away.

The concern is if the fight gets bogged down in this counteroffensive this summer or this fall, then it could stall, and the initiative will be lost.

And that would be to Russia's advantage, because it will reinforce its side more with more men, better trained, better equipment.

So if the fighter aircraft can come into play before the end of this year, a big aspiration, Ukraine will hope to be able to press the advantage and

take back all the territory that they want. That's a big ask, and it's perhaps too much for this year.

ASHER: All right, Nic, stand by. Marc, let me bring you in. Another headline to come out of the G7 Summit is that these seven nations are

imposing tougher sanctions on Russia to make it that much harder for Russia to finance its war in Ukraine.

Just walk us through what the sanctions actually consist of and how much a difference the sanctions will ultimately make.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Zain, if you look at the components of the war in Ukraine, Russia really is operating using three

ingredients if you will.

First of all, people, soldiers; two, machinery. We're talking about airplanes as Nic was reporting.


We're talking about missiles, and then number three is money, the financial component, and that's where the sanctions are certainly targeted.

The EU, as well as the G7 nations have really been examining where the money trail has been going and they realized that there were some gaps,

some holes that needed to be tightened and that is why we saw a series of new sanctions announced today, 300 from the US, very interesting to see

what was happening in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom, for example, is banning the import of Russian diamonds and metals. These are precious commodities that Russia has been able to

make a lot of money from, that is now on hold. And then even if we look in Australia, Australia was dependent on Russian machinery and parts to do its

everyday life, that now has been cut off.

So it is seen collectively as a very strong effort to tighten the financial instruments that have been funding the war machine by Russia, to quash it

even further. Oil caps, that will still remain.

And Zain, this really wasn't that tough of a sell. If we look at the different areas where the G7 is having discussions with Ukraine, this was

far less complicated than some of the military conversations, and even some of the diplomatic debates that have been taking place and certainly will be

taking place with this anticipated arrival of President Zelenskyy.

ASHER: Marc, standby. Let me bring you back in, Nic. So Zelenskyy is expected to address the G7 Summit, just walk us through what we expect him

to say obviously, a plea for more weaponry, obviously a play for more aid.

ROBERTSON: You know, I think what he is going to try to communicate is the need continues, that the planes are a step, but we need them as fast as


You know, when tanks were committed and tanks were the last big thing on the on the Ukrainian agenda, big ticket item that they wanted, and when

they were committed, not so many came forward, barely a hundred and Ukraine had said they thought they would need about 400.

So I think Zelenskyy is going to, as his advisers say, give a clear assessment of what they need, make a clear case and clear arguments about

the situation and be able to do that face-to-face.

So the need for more ammunition is a big thing still for the Ukrainian forces. You know, frontline officers here tell us that they could advance

more and do more if they had more ammunition, it would be relatively easy. They just don't have it.

They are stockpiling it for the big counter offensive in other areas, that is not entirely clear, but I think this is what Zelenskyy will try to

communicate that even despite, you know the 1,550 armored fighting vehicles they've got from NATO allies, and the coming soonish of the F-16s, it

doesn't guarantee a victory.

And I think that's the sense that you get here at the frontlines, that nothing in this fight is guaranteed. And Zelenskyy will want to, I think

reinforce that message that the country really does need the help. It is not crying wolf, he is not asking for too much. He is asking for the bare

minimum to get the job done.

ASHER: As you mentioned, the need continues and that is what he is going to try to communicate.

Nic Robertson, Marc Stewart, thank you both so much.

All right, ahead of his trip to the G7 Summit, Zelenskyy attended a meeting of the Arab League. While in Saudi Arabia, he sat down with Crown Prince

Mohammed bin Salman, who offered to mediate between Ukraine and Russia. Zelenskyy told Arab leaders that they cannot ignore Russian aggression.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Unfortunately, there are some in the world and here among you who turn a blind eye to those cages and

illegal annexations, and I'm here so that everyone can take an honest look, no matter how hard the Russians try to influence.


ASHER: Jomana Karadsheh is live for us in Istanbul.

Jomana, he was very blunt. He was very direct accusing many Arab leaders of really turning a blind eye to the horrors of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Just walk us through the specifics of what he said.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Quite a bold move by the Ukrainian president, Zain, addressing the room with Arab leaders who had

gathered there and pretty much calling out a lot of these countries for, as you mentioned there, for turning a blind eye for what is going on and he

acknowledged that they don't see eye-to-eye on the war in Ukraine saying that some of you describe this as a conflict, but he said that they need to

do the right thing.


He was calling on them to provide more support for Ukraine in terms of trying to achieve peace. This is -- the Arab world is pretty much divided

on this. For the most part, they have stayed on the fence, countries really not interested, not willing to get involved in another war.

This is a region that is trying to move away from conflicts within this region and you have countries that have very close ties with Russia,

whether military or economic ties.

So he was trying to appeal to them saying that I hope that those gathered in this room that we all agree on the need for peace and justice, calling

on them for their support, to try and free Ukrainians from Russia jails. Of course, Saudi Arabia, Zain has been trying to carve this new position for

itself in this region as a mediator. They have tried that when it comes to mediating between Ukraine and Russia a few months ago, they did manage to

release some foreign prisoners of war. They brokered that deal.

So you heard from President Zelenskyy, again, calling on the region to support Ukraine more, reminding them also that there are Muslim Ukrainians

who are struggling as well, who are suffering from the Russian aggression and the Russian invasion of the country in Crimea, and calling on them to

support the Ukrainian formula for peace, which calls for the withdrawal of Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

And what was really interesting, Zain, is President Zelenskyy's arrival, being there at that Summit, not only did you have countries that are --

that have close ties with Russia, you also had Russia's biggest ally in this region, Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, who was attending his

first Arab Summit in more than a decade.

Of course, this is coming at a time where you're seeing this wave of reconciliation across this region where Bashar al-Assad has been welcomed

back into the Arab and regional fold attending this meeting today.

And of course, the only reason Bashar al-Assad survived the war in Syria, the revolution that turned into a civil war was the support of his Russian

ally, Vladimir Putin.

So it was very interesting seeing that contrast with these two men in that room and also, Zain, it kind of -- the presence of President Zelenskyy kind

of took attention away from the whole reason the world was watching this Arab Summit was the fact that this is the first time we're seeing Bashar

al-Assad being welcomed back as an Arab leader and getting the red carpet and the handshakes and sort of this victory lap where he arrived, looking

very relaxed and all smiles.

I mean, this is a day that was being described by so many Syrian refugees, victims of his regime as a very shameful and sad and painful day for them

to watch the man that they believe should be welcomed, they say at the International Criminal Court. He should be in The Hague. He shouldn't be

welcomed at Arab summits and be brought back in as an Arab leader.

So this was a day that so many Syrians were watching, saying that they feel horrified seeing him being brought back in, and they feel that the Arab

leaders should be doing more than just welcoming him back, that they should be trying to pressure his regime to change their ways.

I mean, the reason the Arab world is trying to welcome Bashar al-Assad back in, they say it's important for stability in the region and the return of

refugees. But when you speak to these refugees, they say there is absolutely no way they are going to return back to Syria under the rule of

Bashar al-Assad, the same regime that they fled years and years ago and lost just everything.

ASHER: Yes, a lot of people are saying that there really should be accountability and the fact that he is being welcomed back into the fold

without any sort of preconditions whatsoever, that is what many Syrian refugees are calling shameful.

Jomana Karadsheh, live for us there. Thank you so much.

In the US, talks to raise the debt ceiling have stalled and investors aren't taking the news so well. Take a look here, you can see actually, how

the Dow turned sharply negative after House Republicans and then the White House announced the pause, that was actually at around 10 -- there we go. -

- 11, excuse me, 11:00 AM this morning, local time.

The White House said later, a deal is still possible if both sides act in good faith. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blamed the breakdown on Democrats.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Well, we've got to get movement from the White House. We don't have that movement yet, so yes, we've got to pause.

REPORTER: The tone seemed really optimistic yesterday. Is it sort of the easy steps done and the hard stuff is left.


MCCARTHY: Yes, I mean, yesterday -- yesterday, I really felt we were at the location where I could see the path. The White House is just -- look, we

can't be spending more money next year. We have to spend less than we spent the year before. It is pretty easy.


ASHER: Jessica Dean is live for us on Capitol Hill.

Jessica, it is interesting because before the president left on Tuesday, he made it seem as though a deal was indeed possible. He sounded hopeful and

optimistic. What went wrong?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, Zain, we're told they're just taking a pause. And I will say, as someone who has covered a

number of negotiations here on the Hill, this is kind of typical in the script of how a deal gets done. Oftentimes, we see them make some progress,

people get really optimistic, and then things either kind of break down, or everyone kind of needs to take some time apart, and so we're kind of at

that point.

So what will be key moving forward is if and when they come back together. Both sides still understand that a negotiated deal is the best way out of

this particular situation. Now, they've got to come together and figure something out and we are told that they have spent the last several days

really laying out what their positions are, of course, just to remind everyone, the White House and Democrats just want to raise the debt

ceiling, that's all. Republicans -- the House Republicans want spending cuts attached to that.

And they have some leverage in the sense that they run the House, and they've got to have that support to get anything through the House of

Representatives. So that is the kind of the big picture right now.

What's in the details is where will they make that deal? We've been told that there are some issues where they feel like they can make some -- they

can cover some common ground, potentially work requirements around some social programs, calling back some unused COVID money, potentially doing

something called permitting reform.

So these are kind of the things that they're circling around right now. But at this point, Zain, the discussions, they're not anticipating any further

discussions today. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had said he really wanted to deal in hand by the end of the week in order to give it time to get

through the House, get through the Senate and get to the President's desk by that June 1st deadline -- Zain.

ASHER: Yes, both sides need to realize that they are clearly not going to get everything that they want. That's what a compromise is.

Jessica Dean live for us there. Thank you so much.

All right, up next, the Turkish president is standing by his unorthodox approach to inflation. Becky Anderson asked Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his

interest rate cuts in an exclusive CNN interview. He joins us next on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.



ASHER: Turkey's president says that he will stick with his economic gamble to tackle inflation if re-elected on May 28th. In an exclusive interview

with "Connect the World's" Becky Anderson, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to keep cutting interest rates though most central banks do the

opposite when there is a period of high inflation. The results have been mixed.

The Turkish lira crashed by more than 40 percent last year. Annual inflation has come down from 85 percent in October to 44 percent last


Becky Anderson is in Istanbul for us and joins us live now.

So of course, aside from foreign policy, Becky, one of the key issues that has loomed large over this election has of course, been the Turkish

economy. Obviously, I mentioned how much the Turkish lira has plummeted, and also just the rising cost of living for a lot of ordinary Turkish


Amid all of that, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided not to raise interest rates. I understand that you spoke to him about that, what did he have to


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We did. We had a long discussion in what was a wide-ranging exclusive interview earlier.

The Turkish central bank, Zain, is in full defense mode at present, trying to avoid a further weakening of the Turkish lira that you have rightly

pointed out is causing a cost-of-living crisis here in Turkey, a swinging cost of living prices, and a real credibility gap for Turkish assets on

international markets.

But for anyone hoping that a new term for President Erdogan would bring a new economic policy, well, have a listen to this interview. You may be



ANDERSON: Do you concede that your determination to reduce rates in order to push growth in this country is failing the people of Turkey? And will

you change course? Can the people of Turkey, if you're re-elected, expect a change in economic policy?

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): When it comes to economic policy, we are following quite a different trajectory than the

rest of the world. I have a thesis that interest rates and inflation, they are directly correlated. The lower the interest rates, the lower the

inflation will be. So, this is my thesis.

The interest rate is the reason, and the inflation is the consequence and I'm an economist, and as an economist, during my prime ministry, I have

done it.

ANDERSON: But your economic policy, your decision to cut rates as opposed to raise rates, which is the orthodox way of cutting inflation comes at a

huge cost to the people of Turkey and to your credibility, quite frankly, on the international markets.

Experts worry that your current policies will continue to hurt the lira, could lead to hyperinflation, economic instability, and financial turmoil.

You argue that your policy is good for trade, for tourism, and for foreign direct investment. But that is risky at best and reckless at worst. That's

the view of the international market.

So I ask you again, can Turkey expect a change in economic policy if you're re-elected.

ERDOGAN (through translator): We have seen results in terms of the steps that we have taken. In this country, the inflation rate will come down

along with the interest rates so that we will come to a point where people will be relieved.

I see this speaking as an economist, this is not an illusion,

ANDERSON: No change in policy if you're re-elected?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Yes. Absolutely. Because I got results. When? When I was prime minister, thanks to the implementation of this policy. I

will see results again and I know I will see the results again.

Russia is doing exactly this. They are reducing the interest rates and they are trying to shorten up the inflation rate as well. This is what we are

going to observe.

Please do follow me over in the aftermath of the elections and you will see that the inflation will be going down along with the interest rates.

ANDERSON: I mean, officially the inflation rate is right about 40 percent at the moment, some say it could be as high as a hundred percent. But

again, do you not worry about the short-term impact to the Turkish economy? It's a genuine question.

ERDOGAN (through translator): We have surmounted challenges in the past. We are strong right now is Turkey. Per capita income used to be around

$3,600.00, but right now, it has reached $10,650.00 per capita income. This is showcasing something.


The GDP per capita reached that level. The purchasing power of the people increased, and this number is bound to reach $15,000.00 in the next few

months, and we are going to move on even stronger.


ANDERSON: You and I know, Zain, that there is a school of thought that says you can try and grow your way out of a crisis and this is a school of

thought that President Erdogan as an economist seems to sign up to, but it really is those -- that short term issue of hyperinflation, potential for

hyperinflation for the economic instability and financial turmoil the people here are so concerned about. But it seems no change, if indeed,

President Erdogan is to win this second round.

Look, his main opponent has campaigned on a sort of ticket of fundamental change here in Turkey, fundamental change to the way this economy is run.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu says that he would put the central bank back in the hands of central bankers; at present, it doesn't have that independence.

Policy is run by the presidency.

The opponent -- his opponent says that he would change that, and he wants to see a fundamental change to the way this country is run. He sees an

erosion of democracy under President Erdogan and President Erdogan, of course has been in power here for more than 20 years and a creeping

authoritarianism, which many people, many millions of people who voted for Kilicdaroglu says, you know, is exactly what is happening here.

But look, the opposition candidate has lost his momentum and when I asked President Erdogan whether he was confident of a win on May the 28th, he

told me he was, and you can see it. He genuinely thinks he can win this.

And he has first passed the post, right? I mean, you know, it's two candidates at this stage. President Erdogan, and the opposition candidate

and a further term for President Erdogan will be extremely consequential. What happens here in Turkey doesn't stay in Turkey. The decisions that are

made here, don't stay here.

Turkey has a huge influence on the global stage, not least, of course, as a NATO member with the current war in Ukraine going on. And Turkey at

present, President Erdogan, if he were to be president, again, after May the 28th, holds the keys, for example, to Sweden's accession to NATO and I

asked him, I put it to him. Have a listen to what he said.


ANDERSON: Are you ready to support Sweden's NATO membership?

ERDOGAN (through translator): First Sweden should deport the off springs of the terrorist organizations in Stockholm. As long as Sweden continues to

allow the offshoots of terror groups in Turkey to roam free on the streets of Stockholm, we cannot look favorably on Sweden's membership in NATO.

ANDERSON: Are you saying that you are not yet prepared to agree to Sweden's accession to NATO?

ERDOGAN (through translator): We're not ready for Sweden. First, they need to solve this issue because the NATO countries should have a strong stance

when it comes to fighting terrorism. And they should not allow any terror groups to run freely in their streets against a NATO country, because this

is what makes NATO special.


ANDERSON: As I say a just one of the reasons that this is a hugely important election here nine days from now.

Stick with CNN, of course, we will continue to cover why these matters, not just here, but for those of us watching this around the world -- Zain.

ASHER: And as you mentioned, he is likely to win that runoff on May 28th, not least because without Ogan in the race anymore, that stands to benefit


Becky Anderson, live for us there. Thank you so much.

And we'll have much more news after this quick break.




ASHER: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment when Tiktok leaders are striking back suing Montana, the U.S.

state of Montana that is for banning the social media platform and the race to inherit a $500 billion LVMH Empire reads like a script from the HBO

dramas succession. We'll explain. Before that though, these are the headlines at this hour.

The Colombian army says it has found what it believes are the footprints from four children missing after a plane crash in the Amazon jungle. The

bodies of three adults have been pulled from the plane wreckage, but officials think that children who are on the plane may actually still be


In Serbia, thousands are protesting once again, against the government in the wake of two mass shootings that occurred earlier this month.

Opposition-led protesters are demanding the resignation of several government ministers and license is revoked from T.V. stations they blame

for Serbia's culture of violence.

Italy's Emilia-Romagna region has issued a red alert with more rain in the forecast this weekend. The area has been devastated this week by heavy

flooding. Entire towns have been cut off by the rising waters. 14 people have been killed.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says it's not yet clear whether interest rates need to go higher. The Fed chair was speaking at an event in

Washington, alongside one of his predecessors Ben Bernanke. Powell said the Fed needs to assess the full effect of its previous rate hikes.


JEROME POWELL, CHAIR, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The risks of doing too much versus doing too little are becoming more balanced. And our policy has

adjusted to reflect that fact. So, we haven't made any decisions about the extent to which additional policy firming will be appropriate. But given

how far we've come, as I noted, we can afford to look at the data and the evolving outlook and make careful assessments.


ASHER: Shares of Morgan Stanley are down sharply on the CEO's pending departure. They're off more than two percent, 2-1/2 percent actually after

James said that he would step down within 12 months.


Morgan Stanley's share price has more than doubled since he took over. Gorman won't be going far. He set to become Morgan Stanley's executive

chairman during the transition. Our Richard Quest spoke to him in 2016 about his vision for the company.


JAMES GORMAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MORGAN STANLEY: You start with, what does the world environment look like for the sorts of products and services

we offer? And the answer that is in a global economic growth, we do well. Secondly, what parts of that do we do really well in? We do really well,

equities, we're number one in the world. M&A, we're number one or two every year.

IPOs, we're number one in the world. Wealth Management, we're number one or two.


ASHER: Allison Morrow is joining us live now from New York. So, just explain to us what Goldman's legacy is. How will he be viewed? Because he's

credited with really leading a sweeping transformation of the bank, especially bulking up wealth management, as one of the divisions he bulked

up and also diversifying away from risk as well?

ALLISON MORROW, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR EDITOR: Absolutely. I think the view on Wall Street that I've been hearing is, he's a really solid CEO. It has been

-- Morgan Stanley has been one of the best performing bank stocks since he took over and that was 13 years ago at this point. So, I think it's easy

for people to forget how Morgan Stanley really almost collapsed underneath itself during the great financial crisis in '08.

And James Gorman took over not too long after that, when the bank was still in a lot of trouble. And he's credited with, you know, really stabilizing

operations, riding the ship and focusing on growth and stability. And that's a pretty good legacy to leave on.

ASHER: Yes, it is. And in terms of who's going to take over at this point, still a lot of uncertainty, but I understand that there are at least three

internal candidates. Candidates within the company that the board of directors are looking at. What more can you tell us about that?

MORROW: Yes. It's the million-dollar question or the $30-million question on Wall Street. That's probably going to be their salary. Yes. Everyone

wants to know and I think importantly, you know, Mr. Gorman said that he's going out. He's leaving sometime in the next 12 months. So, he's going to

have plenty of time to kind of clear the path for the successor. He did joke during a call today announcing this decision that he has no plans to

go out like Logan Roy, which was a nod to all our Succession fans out there.

So, he's clearing the path for someone who's probably cut from the very similar cloth that he --from the strategy that he built at Morgan Stanley.

ASHER: Don't ruin Succession for me because I've only just started watching. I have no idea what actually happens --


MORROW: No spoilers.

ASHER: No spoilers because I have no idea what happens to Logan or I think I'm the only person in like the entire world. But it has been a very rocky

few months for banks in general. Just talk us through how well insulated Morgan Stanley is going forward in this kind of environment.

MORROW: Yes. Morgan Stanley, like all banks has had some ups and downs this year, for sure. Especially for Morgan Stanley, you know, IPO deals, and M&A

have been -- have been sliding and that was a big part. That is a big part of their business. But financially, it is pretty healthy. And it was in

fact one of the banks that put up billions of dollars to try to save First Republic when that bank was about to collapse last month.

And so, that was kind of seen as a sign of financial health on Morgan Stanley's part, and it's even snapped up some of the advisors that lost

their jobs at First Republic to build out its wealth management based. So, it's widely seen as being pretty well insulated, even though it is as you

said a tumultuous time for banks.

ASHER: Yes. And that could be surprised. I mean, you have no idea what could happen in this kind of environment. But as you point out, it is well

insulated. All right. Allison Morrow live for us there. Thank you so much.

All right. Just ahead. Free speech versus national security. Legal challenges begin over Montana's TikTok ban.

Pen America's director of U.S. Free Expression Program joins me next.



ASHER: A court battle is underway over Montana's Tiktok ban. Five content creators are suing the state attorney general. They argue the ban, the

first of its kind violates their First Amendment rights. The governor says he believes the law will -- he signed will protect people's data from the

Chinese Communist Party. That's what the government is saying. If it is upheld all of the apps users in Montana will no longer have access starting

January 1st.

It's a big loss for those in the state who make a living from TikTok like for example fashion influencer Kylie Nelson. Take a listen.


KYLIE NELSON, FASHION AND LIFESTYLE INFLUENCER BASED IN MONTANA: I'm not going to lie, I was a little shocked and surprised. It's been in talk for a

long time and especially this past month when they said that it was going to be just state. But when it came to -- that it's going to be all of us, I

was -- I was actually pretty shocked.


ASHER: Pen America is condemning the bill director of its U.S. free expression program. Kate Ruane is with me now. Kate, thank you so much for

being with us. So, many say that this ban obviously violates First Amendment rights. But how justified is the state of Montana in terms of

their national security concerns?

KATE RUANE, DIRECTOR, U.S. FREE EXPRESSION PROGRAM, PEN AMERICA: Thank you so much. It's great to be here. And I really appreciate the question. I

think that there is sometimes and a desire to think that asserting national security concerns gives the government the right to essentially trump the

Constitution. But that's not how this has ever worked. So, I think that there are two clear problems here.

First, it is unclear the degree to which Montana as a state can assert national security interests when it regulates. And second, it's pretty

clear that even when the government has national security concerns, they still have to comply with the First Amendment. And in this circumstance,

what Montana has done is ban access to an entire speech platform rather than addressing narrowly the problem at hand.

They could have taken a much more narrowly tailored approach. The Constitution requires them to take a more narrowly tailored approach. And

so, it's pretty clear to me that Montana has stepped far beyond its authority, even assuming some of its concerns. And, you know, just to a

certain degree, we agree some of its concerns are real and should be addressed.

ASHER: Yes. That's an interesting point you just brought up there that as a state does it have -- does it have a right to sort of use the national

security concerns? It's not the federal government, it's a state here. So, is there room for compromise? Just in terms of not issuing the outright ban

but still perhaps honoring some of the concerns that the state of Montana actually has? What would a compromise look like that's not quite an

outright ban?

RUANE: I mean, to begin with a comprehensive consumer privacy law would really go a long way towards minimizing the amount of data that Tiktok

could collect in the first place, preventing TikTok and really any of the other platforms that are out there that are collecting our data to engage

in their, you know, surveillance advertising business model.

A comprehensive consumer privacy law would be able to limit that and therefore limit the degree to which that data could ever be shared legally

with any other party. So, that would be -- that would be my first recommendation for certain.


ASHER: I mean, just in terms of which way you expect this to go. I mean, obviously, Montana expected a legal challenge, you know, they're not --

they're not stupid. They would have known that this was coming. Obviously, they're prepared for this. Given that, how do you expect this to resolve


RUANE: Well, at this point, I do think that Montana's law will likely be blocked, or at least I hope it will be blocked by the courts that the

previous administration, the previous federal administration had attempted to ban Tiktok and three district courts found that that activity was

probably in violation of the First Amendment and they blocked it then. So, we do have precedent saying that this would not be -- that this is not that

-- that this is not legal.

But like even an additional -- in addition to the constitutional concerns, I'm not even sure how this ban could be implemented. What it essentially

does is it requires TikTok and it requires app providers, sort of App Store providers to know whether a person who is accessing their app store or who

is attempting to access Twitter -- excuse me, TikTok is in Montana or not.

ASHER: Right.

RUANE: It's a tremendous amount of surveillance that is going to be imperfect one way or the other. And so, in addition to the constitutional

concerns, I don't even know how this could technically be implemented.

ASHER: Right. And just quickly, obviously, it's interesting that Montana is the first sort of state to try to ban Tiktok. Obviously, there have been a

number of other policies whereby in certain states, it's banned from -- for example, government devices. Do you expect other states to try to follow

suit here?

RUANE: That is a deep concern for many reasons. Beginning with -- you see the users in Montana, who are bringing this lawsuit right now explaining

how this ban is going to harm their expressive rights. It's going to harm their ability to be part of a global conversation. I would be incredibly

disappointed to see other states follow in Montana's footsteps not just for users within those states, but also because pursuing this policy, pursuing

a total ban policy is sort of a gift to authoritarian regimes.

It's such an alarming global precedent lending legitimacy to authoritarian regimes that like to block access to U.S. platforms or prevent or it shut

off the internet entirely when dissent begins within the -- within a country. The U.S. has been a leader in condemning that sort of cutting off

of access to international communications platforms and we should not become part of the crowd that engages in censorship when we are -- when we

have legitimate concerns about privacy.

ASHER: All right. Kate Ruane, live for us there. Thank you so much. We appreciate you.

RUANE: Thank you.

ASHER: Call it jet-set regret. If you're lucky enough to be able to afford a private jet, perhaps you're not so keen on the potential environmental

impact. One private jet company wants to change all that and make the aspirational more sustainable as we hear and today's Think big.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whether spending millions of dollars to cruise the high seas and a mega yacht or flying across the skies in a private plane,

the jet-set lifestyle is all about glitz and glamour. But when it comes to the environment, there are some things that even money can't buy. Well, not


SUZANNE KEARNS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF AVIATION, UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO: We are seeing a lot of people who choose to fly privately. But I think we need

to embrace the concept of sustainability. So, when you think about this in the context of private aviation, you can imagine all of the different

applications of social and economic benefits that the industry is producing.

But in order to embrace the goods, we need to understand and reduce the negative environmental impacts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Adel Mardini is the founder and CEO of Jetex which has more than 30 terminals around the world. The Dubai-based company is working

alongside dozens of other big names in aviation to meet an ambitious goal set by the International Air Transport Association of reaching net-zero

carbon emissions by 2050.

ADEL MARDINI, FOUNDER AND CEO, JETEX: The first thing that comes to my mind, my family, my children, my grandchildren like OK, how the -- how the

world will be for the coming 20, 30, 40 years and how we can work together with everyone to make the climate change less affect for our life and for

our future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Private jets can be five to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes and 50 times more polluting than trains according to

data from European nonprofit Transport and Environment. But small steps are slowly leading to big changes in the sector.

MARDINI: We already started to convert all our terminals around the world to be green terminal. We'll start with fortification to be fully green.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jetex unveiled plans last year to launch what it calls the world's first fully pure green private terminal at Berlin's Norten-

Hardenberg Airport which is home to one of the biggest solar farms in Europe. The company also now rents out planes that aren't as harmful to the

environment while exploring the use of electrically-powered aircrafts. And through a partnership with Finnish Oil Company Neste, it's deploying

sustainable aviation fuels made out of renewable waste and residual raw materials.

KEARNS: That we expect that maybe 60 to 70 percent of emissions reductions will come from the integration of sustainable aviation fuels. But today,

accessibility is limited. So, it's not available at every airport. We would love to see private aviation to move more quickly on the adoption of

sustainable aviation fuel because that could create economies of scale that could make it more affordable and easier for the other sectors to then move

to integrate sustainable aviation fuels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, while the luxury of flying privately is an experience that's likely to top off the bucket list of most travelers,

companies like Jetex now carry the ultimate responsibility of making sure the convenience of private aviation can also be sustainable.


ASHER: New York City's massive skyscrapers have helped build the city up. Now they're literally pushing it down. We'll talk about why Manhattan is

sinking, next.


ASHER: New York City is on the decline literally. New research says that the city is sinking under the weight of its famous skyscrapers. Altogether,

the skyscrapers in Manhattan weigh nearly 1.7 trillion pounds as sea levels rise and weather becomes more extreme. This could spell trouble for the


Bill Weir joins us live now from New York. Bill, scary stuff. But the good news is that this is happening quite gradually. It's still something to be

concerned about though.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: It is. It is. But we have time. That's the big top line headline here is every year this beautiful city,

the magnificent city of Manhattan sinks about the thickness of two coins, stacked on top of each other. That's the whole city. Other places are

sinking more than others.


Parts of Staten Island in particular for whatever reason. But this is happening around the world. It's happening in London as buildings there

kind of subside into the London clay as well. But why it's concerning, it's not so much that the city now weighs 1.7 trillion pounds, it's that the

atmosphere holds over a trillion tons of heat-trapping gas. And that of course, is causing the poles to melt, it's causing an acceleration and sea

level rise.

The predictions are could be anywhere from 200 to 600 millimeters by the middle of the century. That's seven inches to two feet and of course, big

cities that are sinking, it's going to be three to four times worse. That's the concern. So, the scientists, one from the American Geological Society

looked at this and here's actual tangible proof of why they're taking this seriously.

This is Red Hook or actually Dumbo Brooklyn, Red Hook is around the corner. Even more vulnerable. But you can see the barge with a pile of boulders

there. They've been spending over the last weeks, a lot of time shoring this up. And this is in response to a storm of nine years ago. Superstorm

Sandy completely rewrote the flood zone maps in New York City and put another maybe 60,000 homes or more in to harm's way for another storm like

that if it comes along as well.

So, this is underway. The Army Corps of Engineers has a number of plans that they will debate on sea walls. I mean really expensive, multibillion-

dollar multi-decade long projects to try to fortify Lower Manhattan from rising water.

In the meantime, we now have a wonderful answer to our children's questions when they ask how much New York City ways but more importantly, it's a

reminder of how we are now in the age of sea level rise and adaptation and coastal communities everywhere are adjusting to this. People in the

mountains are adjusting to, you know, glacier lakes that are giving way. It's being tasted everywhere. But another reminder that it's time to batten

down the hatches.

ASHER: Now you can say that again. Bill Weir, beautiful background behind you by the way, I have to say. Even though what we're talking about isn't

the best of topics. It is a gorgeous skyline behind you. Bill Weir live for us there. Thank you so much. And there are moments left to trade on Wall

Street. We'll have the final numbers and the closing bell right after this.


ASHER: There's just moment moments left to trade on Wall Street. The Dow turned negative after Republicans walked out of a meeting on the debt

ceiling. It's down about 100 points right now.


Investors also heard from the Fed chair who suggested the central bank may pause its rate hikes next month. Let's look at the Dow components. Nike is

at the bottom. Disney is right behind it a day after it said it will cancel investment in the U.S. state of Florida.

That is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Zain Asher. The closing bell is ringing right now on Wall Street. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.