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Quest Means Business

US Says Soldier Crossed DMZ into North Korea; Donald Trump Receives Target Letter from Special Counsel; Record Global Heat Since July 3; Day of Discontent Protests in Israel; China's Foreign Minister Not Seen in Weeks; Bank Earnings Lift Dow; U.N. Labels Heat a Growing Health Risk; Gene-Edited Chickens make their Debut. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 18, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN HOST: US markets on a tear. The Dow rising for a seventh straight day, up nearly 400 points we'll call it 355 at this point, up one

percent. Those are the markets and these are the main events.

Strong bank earnings really helping push the US markets higher, also easing fears of a recession.

A US servicemember is in North Korean custody after crossing the demilitarized zone.

And it is just one day of record-breaking heat after another in Europe and parts of the US as authorities issue health warnings.

I am live from New York and it is Tuesday, July 18th. I'm Rahel Solomon, in today for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Tonight, a US Defense official says that the servicemember who crossed into North Korea was facing disciplinary action and due to be sent back to the

US. We are told that he was a junior enlisted soldier in the US Army.

Officials say that he crossed the border "willingly and without authorization" while on a tour of the Joint Security Area at the DMZ. He is

now believed to be in North Korean custody. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says that the US is worried about his fate.


LLOYD AUSTIN, US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: In terms of concerns, I'm absolutely foremost concerned about the welfare of our troop, and so we will remain

focused on this. And again, this will develop in the next several days now.


SOLOMON: CNN's Marc Stewart is live for us and watching this from Tokyo, National Security reporter and Natasha Bertrand also with us. She is live

at the Pentagon.

Marc, I want to start with you because you've been to the DMZ, you've been to North Korea, but most people haven't, myself included. Describe this

area for us and what types of things are in place to prevent this from happening?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Rahel. If you visit the DMZ, what you can, as a tourist, a lot of people don't realize this, you can go and

visit as a tourist.

It is very well marked. These areas of the border are very well delineated. There should be no question if you are stepping in an area where perhaps

you should not be.

So that adds to the big intrigue in all of this and exactly where did this soldier enter? This is a complex that has many buildings, guard posts, if

you will, it is very easy to look from the south and see North Korean forces not only in this joint security complex, but also just around it.

There are open fields. There are areas where you can actually look into North Korea. It's not unusual for you to be able to look eye to eye with a

North Korean soldier, you have that close proximity, but it is very clear where you should and should not be.

Also interesting to note that this is an area that is full of procedure and protocol. For example, a phone line has been set up for the United Nations

forces, which in many cases are American soldiers who are on patrol of this area. They can pick up the phone and call their North Korean counterparts

if there is some kind of incident or something that needs to be discussed, not clear if this was activated here.

And finally, Rahel, I want to point out that even though this is a very sensitive area with so much political significance and weight, the soldiers

are not armed. It's part of an agreement that dates back to 2018. The soldiers there are not armed.

In fact, there's also a very specific list of rules. So for example, in the case of someone going over the border, from South Korea into North Korea,

it's not unless if these United Nations forces have authorization to go get them so to speak, they're actually told to stay back. So this is a very

regulated area, but yes, tourists are allowed to visit there.

SOLOMON: It does make you wonder, Marc, if this is regulated and very clear as you point out what the motivations of this person were.

Marc, hang on for just a moment. I want to bring Natasha into the conversation because, Natasha, you have some new reporting about who this

soldier is. I mean, what are you learning?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Rahel, so we don't know a ton, but what we do know is that he was a junior enlisted soldier and that

he was assigned to US Forces Korea and apparently, he had signed up to take this tour of the Joint Security Area within the DMZ and he was not in

uniform and apparently what happened is, he willfully and voluntarily crossed that demarcation line into North Korea.


Now it is unclear why exactly he did that, but a Defense official did tell us that he was facing some sort of punishment by the US military and that

he was actually set to return to the United States before he stepped foot into North Korea and was then detained by the North Korean military.

Now, US officials have been in touch with the North Korean military and their counterparts there. According to a statement from US Forces Korea,

they have been working with their North Korean counterparts to try to resolve the issue. Unclear how that's going, of course, because obviously

the US has not had much communication or actually any communication at all on the diplomatic level with the North Koreans.

However, on the military level, there does appear to be some communication occurring, according to US Forces Korea, but look, the Pentagon really

emphasizing here repeatedly in statements from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, down to you know, US Forces Korea that this was not someone who was

detained by the North Korean military, just kind of out of the blue, he did this willfully. And according to the statement, he did it without any


And so they're trying to figure out now how to notify his next of kin before they can actually release his identity. So hopefully, we'll be

getting more information about who this person actually is -- Rahel.

SOLOMON: More to come there. Natasha Bertrand live for us at the Pentagon. Thank you, Natasha.

And this just into CNN, the Japanese government says that North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile. It comes as the US docked a nuclear

capable submarine in a South Korean port.

We will bring you of course more information as it comes in, but I believe, Marc is still with us.

Marc, I want to bring you back into this conversation. I mean, what do you make of this new development because it certainly comes at a time of rising

tension in that part of the world with North Korea.

STEWART: Right, regardless of the situation with this soldier that is now being investigated. There is clearly an effort by North Korea right now to

stay relevant in the global dialogue.

We just got confirmation from the Prime Minister's office here in Japan of a suspected missile launch from North Korea. It is just after four o'clock

in the morning. It is not unusual for these launches to happen in these early morning hours.

But it was just days ago, we were talking about a separate launch, this time a launch of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, actually

in the air for 74 minutes. That is significant because it's perhaps the longest flight thus far of a missile of that nature.

A long-range missile that does have the capability of traveling over the Pacific Ocean and possibly landing on North American territory. This

missile in that case was launched at such an angle where it did not obviously take a flight path such as this, but as we have seen, North Korea

is trying to get the world's attention. These missile launches are one way. And it is going to be interesting to see in the hours ahead exactly how

this plays out.

Not clear if this missile has landed anywhere yet. Typically, if they land in an area, you know, near the Japanese coast, near the Korean coast, we

still need to wait on the geography of that.

But obviously this is falling into this broader narrative of tension here in Japan and near the Korean Peninsula -- Rahel.

SOLOMON: And Marc, if I remember correctly, that last test that you just mentioned there came in the midst of the NATO Summit. And so when you think

about sort of North Korea hoping to remain relevant and sort of stay relevant, the timing is certainly significant.

Marc Stewart, great to have you today. Thank you.

And as Marc mentioned in his piece there, tours of the Joint Security Area between North Korea and South Korea are open to the public and organized by

the United Nations Command.

An estimated 1.2 million people visit the DMZ area every year, and Richard Quest was recently one of them. He shared the experience on "Quest: World

of Wonder."


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, "QUEST WORLD OF WONDER" (voice over): The two countries are separated by the DMZ, the demilitarized zone,

a no man's border, two-and-a-half miles wide, stretching 160 miles.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

QUEST (voice over): I'm heading to the very heart of the zone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The red placards indicate the presence of mines.

QUEST (voice over): The Joint Security Area correctly called "The Truce Village."

Here, the US and South Koreans maintain a major base with the North Korean military just over there.

QUEST (on camera): Really surreal. Those gray stones actually melt the border. These gentlemen are really here to make sure we stay on the path,

let's put it like that.

QUEST (voice over): The South and the North are technically still at war. So, this is a real military border and despite the seeming quietness, one

of the most tense places on earth. Even this neutral meeting place straddling north and south is designed to make sure there are no



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These microphones are on and they are broadcasting to both sides at all times. Please don't lean on any furniture or touch

anything, but you're welcome to take some pictures.

QUEST (voice over): When then President Trump walked across the line, he added his own bit of history to a border rife with symbolism.

QUEST (on camera): So that is the line of demarcation between the north and south which President Trump crossed. I can walk across in here because it's

international agreement, but if I was outside, that would not be allowed.

There's just an absolute feeling of what if, what if I suddenly made a run for it? Would they stop me? What if they came out here? What if?

LIEUTENANT JOHN PAUL MULLIGAN, UNITED STATES NAVY: You running across? That'd be an incident for sure. So, they are well-trained to stop that. And

most of the soldiers that are stationed up here are black belts in one or multiple martial arts, because you can't be armed in the JSA, but you know,

hands only.

So I personally wouldn't risk it.

QUEST: Obviously, you like it.

MULLIGAN: For me, working up here feels very surreal, but I know the consequences of what we do are very real.


SOLOMON: And Richard now joins us now from France, where he is filming for "World of Wonder."

Richard, great to have you again on the program tonight.

I wonder what was your first reaction when you heard this news? Because you described it in the story there as a surreal experience. So what was your

first reaction when you heard this news that this American had been detained?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, my first reaction was he had done exactly what I said, I wondered, what if, what if I just ran

across? Would there be anybody to stop me? Well, apparently not in this particular case, if you do it fast enough -- now remember, if he had done

it somewhere else along the zone, or wherever he could be, he could have got -- been shot. He could -- all sorts of things.

But obviously, the point he chose, he was able to get across and in The Truce Village, there is this gap where President Trump walked across. So

when I heard it, I thought, what if had actually happened, and what's interesting is, the North Koreans have arrested him.

And knowing the way the geopolitics are, they're highly unlikely to just simply say, oh, wander back, because they know the Americans want him back.

So they're highly unlikely to say, just wander back across. Sorry, mistake, all over. No, this is a bargaining chip now.

The North Koreans are going to use this either in some form of food bargaining or aid bargaining or some form of bargaining, if indeed, they're

prepared to let him back.

SOLOMON: Well, Richard, to that point. I mean, walk me through and provide some context here in terms of the geopolitics of all of this. I mean, we

spoke with Marc for a short time about the rising tensions right now with North Korea, and these tests.

Walk me through the geopolitical implications here.

QUEST: Well, there are various levels and you can really treat it, Rahel, how one wishes. At the human level, you have the man who might have been

disturbed, he might have had mental issues. I get that impression, listening to the US Defense Secretary that they are concerned about the

mental health of the person.

But now let's go to the next level. Relations are bad between North and South Korea at the moment. They are dreadful with the United States. You

have the ballistic missile that was fired today.

And so, now the North has another chip to play in this brutal game. And the state of war still exists. The DMZ is a truly horrible place.

The quietness, the wildlife, the peace, the ever presence of so much military, it is a dreadful reminder of how bad things can get.

It could be worse, of course, if violence breaks out, and then finally, you have the coming together of all these events. What the hell do you do next?

If you're the US, you're going to have to wait.

SOLOMON: And we all wait to see what in fact they do. Richard Quest, live for us there in Nice. Thank you, Richard.

And we will have more of Richard in Nice tomorrow for a special edition of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS live from the French Riviera. We will hear from the

head of Silversea Cruises and look at the local tourism industry, that will be this hour tomorrow. So that's 8:00 PM in London, 9:00 PM in Paris.

Well, former US President Donald Trump has been told that he is the target of a criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Mr.

Trump announced on social media that he received a notification from the special counsel leading the probe, and sources confirmed the letter to CNN.

It's a sign that prosecutors are focusing on the former president himself as opposed to just the people around him.

Mr. Trump says that he was given four days to report to a grand jury, which will then decide whether there's enough evidence for an indictment.

On the campaign trail, he has stood by his false claim that the 2020 election was rigged. He said in his Truth Social post that he has the right

to protest the results.


Let's bring in CNN's Katelyn Polantz in Washington.

Katelyn, you have been following this story from the very beginning, but this follows -- this development today follows what has been a real flurry

of activity in the investigation. Different elections officials being questioned, people in Trump's close circle being questioned.

I mean, what more do we know about this target letter? And what it tells us about a possible indictment?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE SENIOR REPORTER: Well, Rahel, this is an investigation in its final throes, an investigation that began before

the special counsel, Jack Smith was appointed by the Justice Department to look into Donald Trump and others after the 2020 election efforts to hold

on to the power of the presidency, even though he had lost, but it is one of those things that we don't know exactly how it will turn out or when

there would be an indictment filed.

But a target letter from the Justice Department is one of the surest signs someone can receive before being charged with a crime, that they are very

likely to be charged with a crime.

So Donald Trump receiving this letter on Sunday, saying that he has the opportunity to come to the grand jury and testify on Thursday of this week.

It's very unlikely Trump would do that. But this is the pattern that played out once before when he was charged with a federal criminal case in


Again, now we're seeing the investigation nearing its end, apparently, or at least part of the investigation nearing its end around Donald Trump,

around a charging decision by this grand jury in federal court, Rahel.

But when you look at this overall, it is a sweeping investigation and it is one that we keep learning by the day, more and more people who have come in

and spoken to investigators, who have testified to this grand jury.

We do know that in addition to the invitation for Donald Trump to come and testify, there is one of his personal aides, someone who worked for him

after the White House as well as inside the White House, a man named, Will Russell who is being subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury on Thursday.

So a little bit more work in the investigation to do there.

There are others who have been asked to speak to investigators or who have received outreach in recent weeks. We also know that there is a whole list

of state officials who were in charge of elections or receiving phone calls directly from Donald Trump to pressure them after the 2020 election who

have responded to the special counsel's investigation and given them information.

And so, there are a lot of different ways this case could go when it is finally charged. We don't know what the charges we will be. We don't know

the defendants that will be listed on top of that charging sheet. Although it does look likely Donald Trump will be one of them.

This is an investigation that has spread across the country, it has looked at the White House, it has looked at the National Mall, the Ellipse where

that rally began that then turned into a mob of Trump supporters overrunning the Capitol.

And so there are still a lot of questions for the Justice Department as to exactly how they're going to structure this in the days ahead.

We asked them for comment. We even saw Jack Smith getting lunch today. He's the special counsel. He would not answer any questions posed to him by CNN,

and a spokesperson for the special counsel's office had no comment at this time.

SOLOMON: Katelyn, I think it's important to mention the knowledge of this target letter. The public knowledge of this target letter falls on the same

day that some of Trump's legal team is in Florida, as part of the classified documents case. It's the same office, Jack Smith, that you were

just mentioning there that is investigating what's the latest here? What came out of this?

POLANTZ: Well, that investigation that Jack Smith has been doing it essentially was bifurcated as far as we know. There was the January 6

investigation, that's where Trump just received the target letter, but then, he has also been charged with a crime -- the crime of retaining 31

records of national security importance to the United States after he left the presidency at his Mar-a-Lago beach resort in Florida, and then he is

also accused of trying to obstruct the Justice Department by trying to hide those records so that they weren't going to be given back to the federal

government after they were subpoenaed.

And so he has had to be in court for that. It is going to trial. He has pleaded not guilty, so has his co-defendant, and Rahel, today is an

important day in that case, because it's the first day that both the special counsel's office, the Justice Department prosecutors and Trump and

his team, this team that has to feel all of these investigations at the federal level, they got to go in Florida and go before Judge Aileen Cannon,

the federal judge in that case, that's going to take it to trial.

That said, it could be completely separate and it very likely would be separate than any court proceedings that would arise if Trump is charged

related to January 6. So just highlighting how many fronts Trump is having to fight on right now with this criminal defense team, they have a lot of

business on their hands.


Court hearings, people going into the grand jury, responding to that target letter if they want to, and that is not even to include state

investigations that at least in New York have already resulted in even other charges for the ex-president.

SOLOMON: Safe to say, Katelyn, it is becoming a very crowded legal calendar in the midst of what is likely to become a very crowded campaigning


Katelyn Polantz, great to have you. Thank you.

Coming up, heatwaves, typhoons, flooding, and wildfires. We are seeing the devastating impacts of climate change combined with an El Nino event.

Experts say it will only get worse, that's next.


SOLOMON: Welcome back.

Every day since July 3rd, the global average temperature has surpassed the previous record highs set in 2016. What we are witnessing is the combined

results of El Nino, a naturally occurring phenomenon and human-caused climate change and its impact can be seen all around the world.

Rome hit a new record high temperature today, 41.8 degrees Celsius. That is 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Much of Southern Europe is in the grips of a second

punishing heatwave in as many weeks, the soaring temperatures fueling wildfires in Greece, Spain, and the Swiss Alps.

We are into the 39th day of an unrelenting heatwave baking large swaths of the United States as well. And in recent days, a typhoon has struck China.

Torrential rains have also inundated parts of South Korea, Japan, and India.

I want to bring in Melissa Bell. She is live for us in Paris. Melissa, this comes in the midst of what is usually a really busy time for tourists there

in France. How are people coping?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With difficulty, Rahel, because the temperatures are so extreme here in Paris, but also Rome, Athens, all of

these cities that people come to visit, really find themselves in sweltering conditions. And there is, of course, what that means for the

tourists, but there is what it means for the locals in a part of the world where there just isn't that much air conditioning. About 10 percent of

homes have it across the European continent. We're simply not equipped, Rahel to deal with the kind of heat that we're seeing.

And it is now the second year in a row that we're seeing these extreme temperatures and sadly, the fires that tend to go with them.


BECKY TODD, TOURIST: We didn't expect it to be as this hot. We expected heat, but not this hot.

LAURA GUERRA, TOUR GUIDE (through translator): We are holding on as best as we can, looking for places with air conditioning and staying well-hydrated.


BELL (voice over): Europeans are feeling the heat. As temperatures reach blistering highs, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Switzerland are just some of

the countries already suffering the consequences.

In Switzerland, forest fires ripped through several mountain villages as emergency services worked through the night to tackle the flames,

mobilizing at least 200 emergency workers to secure the safe evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes.

ADRIENNE BELLWALD, VALAIS, SWITZERLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT (through translator): Yesterday, we evacuated 205 people from Ob-ried (ph) and Ried-

Morel. And as the wind was slowing down, we didn't have to evacuate people from Riederhorn luckily.

BELL (voice over): Over in Greece, firefighters tackled blazes spreading across four woodland areas near Athens and ordering thousands of residents

to leave their homes.

BELL (on camera): It was some 62,000 people who died here in Europe last year as a result of the heat, and one meteorologist is warning that this

time, too, the heatwave we're going through could well prove to be an invisible killer not just in Europe, but around the world.

Also warning that this may actually be the new normal.

JOHN NALM, EXTREME HEAT ADVISER, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: These events will continue to grow in intensity, and the world needs to prepare

for more intense heatwaves and they will have quite serious impacts on human health and livelihoods.

BELL (voice over): In Italy, there are 20 cities enduring what the Health Ministry describes as a heatwave, and which involves high-risk conditions

which last for three days or more. That didn't deter some from queuing to visit the Italian capital's Colosseum with tourists doing what they could

to try and keep cool.

ANDREAS DREAN, TOURIST: First strategy, I guess, is finding places like this one, we're chilling out right now. I don't know, drink a lot of water.

BELL (voice over): Others felt the heat was dampening their holiday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The heat is horrible. It's wet. It's making it kind of miserable. I'm ready to go back to my hotel instead of walking around.

BELL (voice over): Meanwhile, Spain is battling its third heatwave this year with wildfires raging across the Canary Islands and authorities

warning the temperatures are set to rise further still.

It is so much of the world that finds itself in the middle of a heatwave. And for some, there's nothing to do but bask in the sun and search for some

much needed fresh air.


BELL (on camera): Tonight, Rahel, it is some 500 firefighters battling 80 fires across Greece, and that is an example of a country here in Europe

where traditionally these last few years who had seen forest fires.

What we saw last year and we are expecting to see again this year is the extreme heat, seeing those fires creep northwards. So you mentioned a

moment ago, Rahel, those fires in the Swiss Alps, which is extraordinary enough.

Remember, last summer they had reached London as well. So the European continent is really trying to get used to things it had simply never had

dealt with before.

For instance, the European Union now organizing the Canadair, those firefighting airplanes at a European level. Until now, the European

continent had not had to consider these kinds of things. Now, they're not only being obliged to consider them, but they're becoming a sort of

emergency given how quickly those new temperatures are setting and all the very extreme changes that they are bringing -- Rahel.

SOLOMON: Certainly, you have no choice, but to keep them in mind and consider and prepare for them.

Melissa, let me ask because you have been reporting on this for us for at least through the weekend, I know, just from running your stories. At

night, does it better because here in the US, one thing that we've experienced is that the night is insufferable, too, and so it just provides

such little relief for people.

BELL: I think it's such a good question, Rahel, and specifically when you consider the health impacts, what the authorities, the UN in particular

warns is that it is heart attacks.

All of these health considerations that come specifically amongst the elderly, but not only -- and it is at night, it is the sweltering heat at

night, there is no respite at all. That's the biggest difficulty in terms of trying to prevent unnecessary deaths in these kinds of heatwaves.

The trouble we have here in Europe is that you simply don't have air conditioning. I think it's 10 percent of homes that have it across the

European continent, compared to the United States, where we're equipped, the air conditioning is there, we know where to retreat from the heat, you

can go and get some respite. In Europe, you just can't do it, and I think that's one of the biggest troubles.

Again, with that heat having gotten so extreme and so quickly now the second year in a row, and Europeans having to organize themselves,

Canadair, air conditioning, try to figure out how they're going to manage to survive these extreme heat looking forward.

For now, we are simply not equipped -- Rahel.

SOLOMON: Yes, just miserable.

Melissa Bell live for us in Paris, thank you. Hopefully, you can now get into the shade. I know it's evening there, but you can get some water you

can rest and cool off a little bit. We so appreciate you. Thank you.

All right, coming up for us, protests erupted in Israel today. It comes as a vote on parts of the country's contentious judicial reform draws near,

we'll talk about that coming up next.




SOLOMON (voice-over): Welcome back, I'm Rahel Solomon. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment.

Joe Biden meets with the Israeli president as Israel stages a day of discontent.

U.S. markets getting an nice boost from some stronger bank earnings. The optimism fueling a winning streak for the Dow.

But before that, this is CNN and, on this network, the news always comes first.


SOLOMAN (voice-over): One day after a Ukrainian attack damaged the bridge linking Russia to Crimea, Russian forces fired back. Explosions reported in

Odessa where the Ukrainian navy has its headquarters and in Mykolaiv near the Black Sea.

A powerful militia is claiming a key victory in Sudan as it fights the army for control of the country. The Rapid Support Forces say they have taken

the town of Kass in South Darfur. They claimed to have overrun an army brigade, using combat vehicles and dozens of cannons.

A U.S. judge in Florida has been holding the first hearing in the criminal case against Donald Trump over his alleged mishandling of classified

documents. Prosecutors and defense lawyers are discussing rules and procedures and also a possible start date for the federal trial.

A giant metal cylinder that washed up on a beach in Western Australia now fueling speculations about what it is and how it got there. Police are

guarding the 2-meter object while they work with military and maritime experts.

Australia's space agency says it could be part of a rocket.

A permit for U.S. rapper Travis Scott's performance at the Giza Pyramids has been revoked. It comes as the Egyptian musician's syndicate says that

the concert, quote, "contradicts the cultural identify of the Egyptian people."

Scott was due to reveal his new album at the sold-out event. It is unclear whether the performance will now go ahead.



SOLOMON: To Israel now, where protests erupted today. It was the 28th straight week of demonstrations against the government's proposed judicial


You are looking at live pictures from a highway in Tel Aviv. You can see the police lights there. Police have been spraying demonstrators with water

cannons. These rallies come as a vote looms in parliament to make parts of the controversial reform into law. Something we've been watching very


Meanwhile, Israel's president was at the White House. Take a look. You can see Isaac Herzog sitting down with U.S. President Joe Biden earlier. His

trip was meant to show the strength of U.S.-Israel relations but it comes amid tensions between the Biden administration and Israel's right wing

government. Biden reaffirming his commitment to Israel before today's meeting.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I confirmed with prime minister Netanyahu yesterday, America's commitment to Israel is firm. And

it is ironclad. We are committed as well to ensure that Iran never fires a nuclear weapon. So we've got a lot to talk about. But again, welcome.


SOLOMON: You've heard the president mention the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. That has been somewhat of an elephant in the room in

these meetings. Many people wondering why he's not the one visiting the White House today. CNN's Hadas Gold explains.


HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Israeli president Isaac Herzog's trip to the U.S. and his address to a joint session of Congress on

Wednesday is likely the type of trip that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wishes he was having right now.

Instead, it is the Israeli president taking this trip, sitting down with President Biden in the Oval Office, meeting with all the top figures of

American politics, including the vice president, Speaker of the House and addressing a joint session of Congress.

This trip and this speech is ostensibly to mark Israel's 75 years of statehood. That is why the Israeli president is going. He is the ceremonial

figurehead. He is not technically a part of this Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. He is not a part of Benjamin Netanyahu's party.

I think that is significant because tensions in the relationship between this Israeli government led by Netanyahu and President Biden's

administration are rather high right now, both about -- because of the situation in the occupied West Bank but also because of this massive

judicial overhaul plan that Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to push through.

Actually, as president Herzog landed in the U.S., another massive day of protests were going on here across Israel. Protesters were shutting down

the train stations, taking to the streets once again in opposition to this judicial overhaul plan that Benjamin Netanyahu's government has been trying

to push through.

President Herzog has been at the forefront of efforts to try to mediate some sort of compromise negotiations between the Netanyahu government and

the opposition parties, hosting negotiation talks at the president's residence over the past few months.

But those seemingly fell apart and the government has been pushing forward, once again, with parts of this legislation. That's what we're seeing these

protests really ramping up over the past week or so across Israel.

The day before Herzog landed, President Biden did have a phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu. But there is a question about whether there was

actually an invitation to the White House or to the U.S. or not.

The Israeli readout of that phone call did say that President Biden invited prime minister Netanyahu to the U.S. for a visit. But the White House

readout didn't go so far. What we have is the White House essentially saying they agreed to meet.

That is according to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, not mentioning the word "invitation," not mentioning the word (sic) "White


Now there is some predictions, potentially, that what that could mean is that the two will meet sometime in the U.S. but not necessarily a big Oval

Office White House missing. Most likely, that could possibly be a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly set to take place in

September -- Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


SOLOMON: Meanwhile, China's foreign minister and former ambassador to the U.S. has suddenly disappeared from public view. The Chinese government has

cited health reasons. But as we hear from Will Ripley, that explanation is raising eyebrows.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There were a few reasons why the disappearance of China's foreign minister is really

sparking so much mystery and speculation, rampant rumors across China, that is because, one, he was or is China's second highest diplomat after Wang



RIPLEY: He has spent his whole career working as a diplomat. He was promoted to the foreign minister post last December after working as the

Chinese ambassador to the U.S.

He's a well-known voice in Washington, speaking on behalf of Beijing's interests, even in an aggressive tone that made him unpopular with lots of

other diplomats from the West. He was a trusted aide of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

That's why he was installed into this position, because when Xi received the unprecedented third presidential term, he surrounded himself with an

echo chamber of yes men. And Qin Gang was believed to be one of them.

He met with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken during his visit to Beijing in June. But he was last seen in public on June 25th, when he met

with Russia's deputy foreign minister.

This absence is incredibly noteworthy, given the flurry of diplomatic activity he has missed during the period he's been disappeared. He missed

meetings with John Kerry and Janet Yellen, two top U.S. officials.

And last week's China's ministry of foreign affairs only offered the explanation that this was for health reasons, the reason why he has been

absent for so long. They said that China's diplomatic activities are continuing on as usual.

That brief health reasons excuse from the ministry of foreign affairs, has a lot of people in China wondering what really happened. There are all

these rumors online, rumors that are frankly driven by the real lack of transparency inside the government in Beijing.

You are talking about Communist Party officials under investigation. People are disappeared and it may be months before the world learns what happened

-- Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


SOLOMON: U.S. markets are rallying today. You can see the Dow climbing, up 375 points, up more than 1 percent. Not bad at all. We'll talk about the

bank earnings behind today's optimism when we come back.




SOLOMON: Welcome back.

The latest bank earnings are driving the latest gains on Wall Street. The Dow is up 375 points, 1 percent, high for a seventh straight day. Banks

delivering strong quarterly results. Bank of America, a surge up 4.3 percent. Morgan Stanley up as well.

And PNC is up about 2.3 percent.

Allison Morrow is live for us in New York.

Allison, one thing that got my attention today is we learned from retail sales.


SOLOMON: They rose in June for a third straight month. What struck me is where people continue to spend, big ticket items like furniture,

appliances, electronics. These are not the types of areas that people will be spending on if a recession was imminent.

What do you see here?

ALLISON MORROW, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: The bank news is really exciting, in part because Wall Street has lower expectations. Banks came in

and beat them. I think the upshot for everyday people, for consumers, is that this means individuals and businesses are borrowing money.

That reflects confidence. Like you said, we saw that in the retail earnings as well. So this is all kind of adding to a litany of good news we have

seen on the economy. It might be a sign that that soft landing that the Fed has been angling for, for about a year, might actually happen.

SOLOMON: Soft landing meaning lower inflation, cooler growth but perhaps not so cool we see a recession.

Allison, a big part of the consumer resilience story has been the labor market. We still have unemployment here in the U.S. which has been at or

near 50-year lows.

How much do people expect that to change?

The big question has become, does it have to change in order to get inflation closer to the Fed's 2 percent target?

MORROW: I think if you asked a year ago, every economist would have said the labor market can only tolerate so much. Interest rates go up and that

tends to hurt the labor market.

But that just hasn't happened. We still have one of the strongest labor markets in a generation. So you know, I think, a lot of economists and

forecasters who have been predicting a recession are looking at the data now and are saying, it is not happening.

Customers aren't expecting it, businesses aren't expecting it as much, though they are getting prepared for the possibility. It is just a much

sunnier economic environment right now. You see that in bank earnings and in the retail numbers as well.

SOLOMON: One thing that I think has been really peculiar, even though consumers continue to spend, they still feel pretty crummy about the

economy. We see it in poll numbers all the time. They may feel like things are crummy but they are still spending money.

MORROW: The data is good and the vibes are bad and that's part of the problem. That's one of the things people are still feeling, the hangover of

the pandemic and the hangover of inflation that really genuinely is still hurting a lot of consumers, especially people who haven't seen a raise in

the last year.

Inflation is down but it's not completely defeated. That is why the Fed is still expected to keep raising interest rates. And we'll see what happens

with that in next week's meeting.

SOLOMON: Certainly a lot of eyes on that meeting. But Allison, I like the way you put it, in a world of financial jargon, I like just explaining it

as, data is good, vibes are bad. It tells you everything you need to know. Allison morrow, thanks so much for being with us today. Thank you.

All right, coming up, extreme heat is rapidly becoming a major health risk. The U.N. warning and making its warning as record high temperatures are

broken around the world. That is coming up next.





SOLOMON: We're turning now to one of our top stories. Heat records just tumbling around the world. Take a look at this map, it helps us show why.

Heat is being trapped across large parts of the U.S., North Africa, Southern Europe and Asia.

At the same time, we have unprecedented sea surface temperatures. The oceans becoming warmer and warmer as they absorb more and more energy. The

U.N. World Meteorological Organization says the extreme heat is dangerous and also a rapidly growing risk to health.

But it is not only the heat that is a problem. It is smoke; 20 U.S. states are under health alerts as smoke from Canada's roughly 900 wildfires drift

across the country. The U.S. now sending firefighters to support Canada's crews. CNN's Paula Newton got a firsthand look.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (voice-over): They've come all the way from America's Southwest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Quebec.

NEWTON (voice-over): Now here in Northern Quebec's scorched lands, joining hundreds of other American and international firefighters, doing what they

can slow wildfires that just won't quit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, we're just trying to secure the edge and make sure that the communities are safe.

NEWTON (voice-over): The Silver State Hotshot Crew is looking for hotspots. They are firefighting crews specially trained and skilled, now taking on

Canada's record-breaking wildfires.

NEWTON: I know you're from Montana, Big Sky country, but this was a big fire.


NEWTON: It's a big territory.

KROHN: And the scope, for us in the States, this would be one of the largest fires ever to occur in -- in the United States. So yes, it's a


NEWTON (voice-over): The total area burned in Canada already has shattered records. Now 10 million hectares. That's almost 25 million acres, an area

nearly as large as the state of Ohio and still burning.

MATT RAU, INCIDENT COMMANDER, SOUTHWEST AREA INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM: And when they burn like this, there's no way to even put people in front of it

to even stop the fire. There's no amount of resources on the ground or from the sky that's going to be able to stop one of these fires when they --

when they get the momentum.

NEWTON: As shocking and, frankly, unsettling as it is, this fire is just far too large to extinguish. In fact, the area already burned is larger

than most countries on the planet. It means that not only does the fire burn but there is going to be a lot of smoke.

NEWTON (voice-over): And that means many American cities could be shrouded in smoke on any given day for weeks or months to come.

RAU: don't be surprised if -- if it continues. And secondly, this is -- this is a problem that is going to go on into the future. When it's the

year to burn and the conditions are right, it's just going to continue to burn.

NEWTON (voice-over): Here in Quebec, many were evacuated within minutes as the flames threatened towns and fires burned with raging speed.

Jimmy Seaburn (ph) is grateful to see American help. He says he had minutes to leave in June and was upset to leave behind the family pets. They were

fine when he returned six days later but he fears his home will be threatened again.

NEWTON: C'est incroyable, mais ce n'est pas normal. Oui?

It's incredible but it's not normal.

SEABURN (PH): (Speaking French).

NEWTON (voice-over): He says it's not normal. But cautions we should all learn to expect the worst from the weather now.

The rain helps. It has finally arrived in some places. But in the words of a Canadian official, it's like a drop in an otherwise empty bucket. The

mayor of this town, Chibougamau, says that the rain is an answer

to prayer. She may not have to evacuate her town again. But they have to adapt, she says. No one imagined so much would burn so quickly.

NEWTON: Where you scared?

MANON CYR, MAYOR OF CHIBOUGAMAU, CANADA: Strangely, I wasn't scared. I was mad. And then I have to come down and say, Manon, you have a job to do. And

that's why, you know, I stayed calm. And I said to my people, let's be patient. Let's do it and keep it Zen.

NEWTON (voice-over): It may be difficult to stay calm as Mother Nature rages.

The cliche applies here in every way possible. Canada is burning. And it's not out of the woods yet -- Paula Newton, CNN, in Northern Quebec.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SOLOMON: A big contributor to greenhouse gases is agriculture. Scientists are searching for new ways to make farming practices more efficient. Gene

editing is about to revolutionize the poultry industry.


SOLOMON: Every year, billions of unwanted male chicks are killed in favor of egg laying females. Scientists have now found a way to ensure that only

the female chicks hatch. Anna Stewart has the story.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): It's a girl!

Well, in this laboratory the males will not be coming out of their shells; only female chicks hatch here. Females are preferred for their taste, egg

laying ability and economic value. So the poultry industry kills billions of male chicks every year, through what many consider to be inhumane

culling methods banned in Germany and France.

But technology is poised to end the cruelty.

YUVAL CINNAMON, CSO, POULTRY BY HUMINN: So what we're trying to do is to give a solution to the probably most devastating animal welfare issue

worldwide, which is the culling and sorting of the old male chicks in the layers industry.

STEWART (voice-over): How do they do it?

Gene editing, they alter the DNA of hens so only female chicks hatch in the first place.

YAARIT WAINBERG, CEO, POULTRY BY HUMINN: The males stopped developing very early upon induction, very early in embryogenesis, meaning that they are

not fully developed to fall into a chicken, they don't hatch.

STEWART (voice-over): They do this by exposing the gene edited eggs to blue light. This activates a kill switch that affects only male chick embryos.

CINNAMON: Were able to confirm that indeed the eggs which carry the genetic trait, namely the male embryos. They indeed stop developing at a very early

stage of embryogenesis while the unmodified female layers normally hatch in becomes a lame, a chicken.

STEWART (voice-over): The global demand for eggs is expected to increase until 2035. According to Huminn, putting millions more male chicks on the

line, a fate this lab hopes to prevent by 2025 when they go to market with their technology -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


SOLOMON: And there are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. We'll have the final numbers and the closing bell right after this.




SOLOMON: Stronger than expected start to earning season has sent U.S. markets higher. The Dow set to notch its seventh straight day of gains.

Longest winning streak since March of 2021. It's up 1.08 percent or 375 points.

Take a look at the Dow components, Microsoft set for a record close. It unveiled a more secure and more expensive AI chatbot for businesses.

Goldman is higher as we reported, strong big earnings helping the entire sector there.

There are some laggards Visa and Honeywell, both off about 1.4 percent. That's Quest Means Business, I'm Rahel Solmon, closing bell ringing on Wall

Street. The Lead with Jake Tapper starts right now.