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Quest Means Business

US GDP Grows 2.4 Percent In Q2, Beating Expectations; Biden And Giorgia Meloni Discuss Climate, Ukraine; At Least 40 Killed In Wildfires Across Mediterranean; Putin Offers Russian Grain To Africa; Power Struggle Unfolding In Niger; Call To Earth: Saving Mongolian Bankhar Dogs; Poshmark Faces Possible Softening U.S. Retail Demand; Dash To The Bell. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 27, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": An hour to go of trading on Wall Street and we were so close to beating the record of

number of gains, 13 proud days of gains on Wall Street, but as you can see, highly unlikely that the record of 1897 will be beaten.

That's the way the Dow is looking, and the broader markets, the NASDAQ and the S&P, they are also sharply lower. So I don't expect any gains or

particular record breaking tonight.

The events of the day that are driving us all: The US economy is defying expectations. It is growing 2.4 percent in Q2.

Italy's right-wing prime minister is trying to woo Washington. Giorgia Meloni is due at the White House in this hour, and you will see in the


And AI, it could make it easier for you to search what you want online. We have the CEO of the resale site Poshmark, who joins me, who gives me an

opinion or two on my own threads.

Live from New York. Thursday, it is July the 27th. I'm Richard Quest, and yes, I mean business.

Good evening.

The US economy is showing remarkable resilience in the face of sharp interest rate rises and warnings of recession. Now GDP grew at an

annualized rate of 2.4 percent in Q2, well above expectations, and as you can see, pretty much along with trend and improvement from Q1, strong

consumer demand and that is a healthy job market, cooling inflation.

And as spending has moderated in recent months, so it feels exactly a Goldilocks scenario, but fears of recession are subsiding.

The Dow has gone on its winning streak except for today, which is in jeopardy with just an hour to trade.

The Dow has closed 13 days in a row higher, making it the longest streak since 1897. The index gained around five percent during its status run up

to 1,800 points.

CNN's economic commentator is Catherine Rampell, she is with me.

We've got to square this circle, Catherine, because the GDP number is good. The inflation numbers are not where they need to be. Interest rates are

still going up to slow things down, but employment numbers are good as well. So how do we square it?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICS COMMENTATOR: It's a really puzzling economy. I think there are few people who predicted or could have

predicted a little over a year ago that when the Fed raised interest rates, that unemployment would not budge. And in fact, unemployment is at 3.6

percent. It's exactly where it was when the Fed started hiking rates. I draw that number out, because that is one of the key indicators people were

looking at for signs of a recession.

And not only has unemployment, of course, bested those expectations, GDP, as we saw today has hiring growth. Even, you know, you mentioned that

inflation is higher than people are comfortable with, certainly higher than the Fed is comfortable with, but even that has come down quite a bit.

So yes, we've been pleasantly surprised by this run of better than expected numbers and I don't know that it will continue, but I sure hope it does.

QUEST: Well, why? What has changed? I mean, this level of monetary tightening, which is the equivalent of stomping on the brakes, frankly,

this number and they're still doing it. It should have had a much more dramatic effect, but it didn't.

RAMPELL: I think it's a bit of a puzzle. Part of it seems to be that look, supply chain kinks get unwound.


RAMPELL: That's obviously a good thing. We've had better than expected numbers for the labor force, by which I mean, immigration has normalized,

that's obviously quite a good thing in terms of filling the jobs that employers have opened.

Women's labor force participation rate, particularly prime age women is at record highs at this point, so there are a number of upside surprises that

we've gotten, but it is a puzzle about why the US economy has been as resilient as it is.


Certainly the Biden administration has tried to take credit through what they call Bidenomics, which is primarily -- by why which they primarily

mean industrial policy. I think it's a little bit too early to assign credit or blame to that, in the sense that most of those policies have not

worked their way through the economy.

So yes, I think there's some good stuff going on and some upside surprises.

QUEST: Catherine, good to see you. Grateful for your time. Thank you.

The steady growth of its layoffs and other signs of trouble has some analysts suggesting the US is in a rolling recession. It is the idea that

some sectors might shrink as others regain their footing.

For instance, US housing sales fell quickly and fell last year as the Fed started raising rates, and that was followed by a slowdown in

manufacturing, and then the tech downturn.

But in this idea of a rolling recession of different sectors, industries like travel have barreled along, and that's helped pull things up in a

different direction.

John Lipsky, my old friend, John Lipsky is the chair of the NBER, the National Bureau of Economic Research. The body that officially declares a

recession in the US.

John is with me now.

John, look, I know that your recession committee, it's always an ex post facto. It is many months after the event, but are they even looking at


JOHN LIPSKY, CHAIR, NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: Well, they're always looking, but of course, the definition of recession, as you can find

on the NBER website, is a generalized decline in activity that is sustained.

So you can look for yourself at the various points of information that are of importance to the business cycle dating committee, but -- and you can

draw your own conclusion, but obviously, 2.4 percent real growth is not a recession.

QUEST: What's going on, John? I mean, in all your years of, of looking at economies to have had such monetary tightening after a pandemic, even

allowing for pent up demand, and we're still seeing this level of economic growth with low unemployment. Is the Phillips Curve broken?

LIPSKY: Well, the Phillips Curve has been broken for some time. In fact, we have to ask further, we don't want to get into jargon here, Phillips

Curves, the notion that the inflation rate will be inversely related to the unemployment rate, lower unemployment, higher inflation. That idea is that

wages aren't necessarily reflecting or growth in wages reflect change the unemployment rate.

But those earlier calculations were for a much less competitive market than we have today, and for some time, the linkage between unemployment wages

and inflation hasn't been anywhere near what it has been in the past, much looser reaction.

But I think you've put your finger on what's new this time and that's the pandemic that initially created a shutdown, that restricted supply on the

service sector and focus demand in the goods sector, produced bottlenecks that shot up inflation in the goods sector that is now going away.

The reopening of the economy produced strong demand in the service sector that is producing an increase in prices, but all of that seems to be fading

and fading rapidly.

QUEST: I know you've subscribed probably to the two percent inflation target, but does the Fed need to push inflation down to two percent?

This idea of higher for longer? Well, whether or not we've had the last rate rises academic. We know those rates are going to remain up there. Do

they need to remain until you see that magic number of two percent?

LIPSKY: Not necessarily. After all, the Fed says that they are data dependent, but they can't define exactly which data they're dependent on

and exactly what that dependence means. They are data influenced and judgment dependent.

But of course, they want to say hire for longer to make sure that folks understand that they are serious about hitting their inflation target, but

do they need to continue raising rates to accomplish that? Already, the demand for -- year-on-year inflation for goods prices in general has come

way down and it is below two percent.

Housing on the margin, housing prices seem to have come off very sharply and we know that the measurements that go into the price index are quite


So right now the focus is on the labor market, but even today, wage gains have only been replaced or have restored real wages from what they were

before the pandemic. There isn't any clear evidence that wage growth has been fueling inflation. And if that's the case, certainly, current real

wage, real interest rates are quite high.


QUEST: If in all of this, the market seems to want to rise, I mean, it doesn't -- this is -- the market always tends to be marginally optimistic

at the best of times.

LIPSKY: Indeed.

QUEST: It is taking every scintilla of encouraging news as a real excuse to put on weight. Should we be guarded against that?

LIPSKY: Well, of course, you always need to look closely. However, the most salient point here is that since the turn of the century, profit

margins and profit share of GDP has been much higher than it was previously and that has been sustained, and what the latest data seem to say, is that

effect, that high-profit high-margin economy has survived the pandemic, hence, adding to optimism.

Now --

QUEST: What --

LIPSKY: Yes. Go ahead.

QUEST: Well, one final thought, you know, I remember the 90s during the internet, Alan Greenspan was always talking about whether we had a new

paradigm, could we now have higher productivity and low inflation at the same time? Do you see the post-pandemic economic world as an adaptation of

the old or as a new paradigm?

LIPSKY: Let's call it an adaptation of the old. What is promising, like in the mid-90s, when Chairman Greenspan was paying attention to trends and

productivity, he was early in recognizing the digital revolution was going to impact the economy.

It looks like we could be on the edge of a new phase of progress in the so- called Digital Revolution that could have a real impact on productivity.

In any case, the economy is performing better than most people expected, and I think increasingly, investors are optimistic that growth will be

sustained and inflation will come down relatively rapidly obviating the need for future Fed tightening.

QUEST: John is always good to speak to you, sir. I'm grateful for your time always. Thank you, sir.

LIPSKY: Richard, always a pleasure.

QUEST: John Lipsky joining me.

In Europe, the ECB president, Christine Lagarde said her outlook was much less rosy. President Lagarde was speaking after the bank raised interest

rates by a quarter point, it's at a 23-year high, and Christine Lagarde said she thinks inflation will come down, but the process will not be easy.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: The near-term economic outlook for the Euro area has deteriorated owing largely to weaker

domestic demand. High inflation and tighter financing conditions are dampening spending.

This is worrying especially on manufacturing output, which is also being held down by weak external demand.


QUEST: Now President Lagarde gave us few clues as to where that is going next other than it would not cut rates. I think that much had already been

worked out. CNN's Anna Stewart has been reading the runes.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, the rate hike itself came as no surprise, but a very slight change in language and forward guidance

suggests that the ECB is hike cycle may be coming to an end.

And echoing Wednesday's comments from Fed chair, Jay Powell, the statement from the ECB's governing council says any future decision will be "data


And now it's not just inflation that the ECB is weary of, which at five- and-a-half percent remains much higher than its two percent target.

There in our fears that the Eurozone may remain stuck in a recession, particularly after some worrying reports this week. Demands for business

loans fell to a record low in the second quarter according to the ECB and business activity in July contracted at the fastest pace for eight months.

Central Bank action this week was summed up by one strategist at SocGen as the Fed was bland, the ECB was gloomy. Well, next week, it is the Bank of

England's turn. They're widely expected to follow in the footsteps with a quarter of a percent hike, and I think they're probably more likely to be

gloomy than bland.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


QUEST: And now to live pictures. This is the White House. the US president is welcoming the Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and the

Marine guard is waiting, a sure sign the arrival is imminent.

Both leaders are grappling with the effects of climate change. It will be high on the agenda, of course along with Ukraine, and there is a shift in

emphasis, arguably from both sides to the more right wing Italian prime minister. We will interpret after the break.



[15:17:44 ]

QUEST: At the White House, President Biden is hosting the Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni. She is due to arrive any moment now. They will

discuss Ukraine, of course, and the climate crisis is very much on the agenda.

Before the meeting, Mr. Biden announced new measures that would protect workers from extreme heat.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The number one weather- related killer is heat. Six hundred people die annually from its effects, more than from floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes in America combined.

And even those places are used to extreme heat have never seen it hot as it is now for as long as it's been. Even those who deny that we're in the

midst of a climate crisis can't deny the impact of extreme heat is having on Americans.


QUEST: Jeremy is with me at the White House. Now, it is interesting this meeting because the Italian prime minister is further right than the

president would be normally comfortable with in terms of policies. And so I wonder, has she shifted a bit to the middle and has he shifted a bit to the

middle so that they can sort of make common ground at this meeting?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Richard. I mean, you're hitting the nail on the head there in terms of what has happened

over the course of Giorgia Meloni's tenure as Italy's prime minister.

You know, back when she was elected to that position, President Biden not only greeted her election with caution, but also with a warning


He was talking at a pair of fundraisers a few days apart, where he talked about the fact he was talking about democracies, and we all know that Joe

Biden talks about the importance of democracy in the world, and his big vision of democracy versus autocracy and in that context, he said, you saw

what has just happened in Italy in that election, talking about the ascendance of this far-right politician to the Prime Minister's Office in


But since then, a lot has changed. Not only has Meloni perhaps moderated a bit in her time as prime minister, but you've also seen in particular in

what matters most of the Biden administration is the fact that Meloni has been a really stalwart supporter of Ukraine and in continuing to kind of

hold the line alongside other members of the NATO Alliance in term providing funding and support for Ukraine's war effort to push back on this

Russian invasion and since then, the White House's national security spokesman, John Kirby, he has said that the two leaders have enjoyed a

really strong working relationship.

So Ukraine is certainly going to be a key topic on the agenda today and also the fact that next year, Italy ascends the presidency of the G7 and so

that's also an important mile marker there, too.

QUEST: What comes out of today, if anything?

DIAMOND: Sorry, say that again, Richard?

QUEST: What comes out of today?

DIAMOND: I mean, look, we don't know of any specific deliverables that are coming of this, but I think you should view it as part of the

continuation of what President Biden's main mission in leading this coalition of nations supporting Ukraine has been, which is to ensure that

that solidarity continues, and that all of these NATO countries continue to provide robust support to Ukraine for as President Biden has said, as long

as it takes for Ukraine to achieve a victory in its war against Russia.

You will report these events as they happen during the afternoon. I'm grateful to you, sir. Thank you.

QUEST: Wildfires across the Mediterranean have now killed at least 40 people. That includes two elderly people found burnt to death in their own


Crews are battling the fires in Italy, in Greece, in Portugal, and Algeria, competing in scorching temperatures and strong winds. The deadliest fires

have been burning in Algeria, where at least 34 people have been killed, including 10 soldiers.

Jomana Karadsheh is with me from London.

So now we know and we'll talk about this in a moment, it is the hottest July on record. Is there any respite that we can see so far?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I mean, for now, Richard, it does seem that these fires that we've been seeing

raging for more than a week now in southern Europe, and in North Africa. For the most part, they seem to have been brought under control, and there

is a lot of concern, though, right now in Greece about these small fires that have erupted on the mainland.

The focus has really shifted from the islands, to the mainland, where we've seen some fires today, close to Athens, in Central Greece as well, so this

is the focus right now. The situation in roads, of course, is you know, one of the hardest hit seems to have really improved and officials, they are

believed that in the next couple of days, they might be able to bring those fires under control.

But of course, the concern is, you know, seeing this damage, this destruction, the death across the southern Europe and North Africa and

while these fires for now, Richard, may have been contained, this is not the end. This is just the beginning.

You've got weeks to go of what is expected and what is on track to being the hottest summer on record. So a lot of concern right now and you're

hearing from these different governments saying that they really need to start working now on mitigation.

QUEST: Right. But what? What does that involve? Because last week when I was in Nice, we had that at the WHO talking about how elderly people need

to do -- I mean, everything from drink more water to be more careful, and what sort of mitigatory efforts are they talking about?

Well, I think there needs to be a lot of, I mean -- and we are hearing this from locals on the different Greek islands that are battling these flames,

what has been described as the war against the fires this year, is just this lack of preparedness as well, Richard. That has been a big issue that

you hear from people that it is no surprise these fires have been happening year after year.

We have seen it. It is just the intensity of it that is increasing. You're seeing these more widespread fires, of course, you know, we both know that

it is not climate change that causes these fires, it just creates the perfect conditions for these fires to spread, and we know the situation

right now.

We have heard the warnings from the scientists. We have heard the warnings today from the UN Secretary General saying that the global boiling is here

and we need to deal with it right now.

So I mean, this is the new normal, unfortunately, Richard and governments and populations around the world need to prepare to deal with this for

years to come.

QUEST: Jomana, thank you.

Joining me, Chad Myers, he is with me.

So the UN sec-gen said the era of global warming is over, the era of global boiling has arrived. I mean, I'm looking at your chart, which is telling

the story.

All right Chad, is this year, atypical or is it part of a trend?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is atypical because it is so, so much warmer than any other July-June period we've ever seen on record. The map

you see behind me here is the June and July, really July period here for all the years from 1942 now, and we know that July 2023 has already been

claimed as the hottest because it is so much higher than even 2022, 2021.


In the 1920s, we were down in the 15 degree range, and now, this month, we are almost 17 degrees on average. So there is nothing that's going to

happen over the next seven days, that's going to cool this July down to get it anywhere down near to not breaking the record.

We are well over the record at this point, even some days at that 1.5 degrees C that we are all trying to avoid. A few of the days in July did

exceed that 1.5, even where you are right now the heat index is 38.

In DC, the heat index is 42 degrees outside. Now, this doesn't compare to what we see sometimes in the Middle East where we had one day where it was

52 for the heat index.

QUEST: Right.

MYERS: Ridiculous, right?

QUEST: But Chad, to the denier, I mean, I think back to sort of Donald Trump's argument was over the period of time, there will be hot years,

there will be cold years. This is just a hot year.

MYERS: No, in 10 years, this might be a cool year. That's where we're going. That's where we're going, and there are a number of things that can

be happening here why we're so hot.

There was a volcano that exploded under the ocean that sent billions and billions of liters of water into the atmosphere, and water vapor is a

climate warming gas, even though it doesn't seem like it, but it does keep heat near the surface.

So the surface could be a few degrees or couple of tenths of a degree warmer than we should be because of that. We've had heat domes over parts

of the US, not climate. This is weather. We've had a typhoon that's now moving into China. This is weather.

But every next level event, whether it's hot, or cold, or rain or dry, is extended. It's drier than it should be or it is wetter than it should be.

It's colder or it's hotter. It's because the jet stream is doing the up and down motion. It is the ridge in the trough and the ridge in the trough, and

sometimes weather gets in the way of these things and that's what we're seeing here, weather in the way of the global climate heating.

We know that this would not be possible. Temperatures like this would not be possible without the amount of methane, carbon dioxide,

chlorofluorocarbons that were in the atmosphere that work in the atmosphere in the 30s, 40s, 20s, 1800s. It wouldn't be possible. This red line behind

me would not be possible.

QUEST: And you will be watching August, which hopefully will not look like that. Thank you, Chad. Very grateful for you.

As we continue, Russia says it is ready to make any grain shortages in Africa, a part of a myriad of promises from Vladimir Putin in St.


That after the break.




QUEST (voice-over): Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment.

Vladimir Putin is trying to win over African leaders with the promise of free Russian grain. We'll talk about that.

Now this is a very nice sweater, it's out of my cupboard this morning. It's a brand name as well.

What would you give me for it?

What's the best way to display it?

I'll be speaking to the CEO of Poshmark and selling off items of clothing. If anyone buys them, I'll give all the money to charity only after the

headlines. This is CNN and, here, the news is first.


QUEST (voice-over): A district court has told CNN, no indictments are expected for Washington, D.C., grand jury today. We're awaiting a possible

third indictment for former president Trump.

Earlier, his lawyers met with the special counsel, Jack Smith, who's looking into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, in the runup to the

attack on the Capitol.

The football star, Kylian Mbappe, has reportedly turned down a meeting with the Saudi club that offering to make him by far the world's highest paid

athlete. Al Hilal of Saudi is reportedly offering him up to $775 million to sign for one year. They would also to pay a $332 million transfer fee to

Paris Saint-Germain.

North Korea is giving a lavish welcome to key allies Russia and China, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement, which ended

the fighting on the Korean Peninsula. According to North Korean state media, Russia's defense minister presented Kim Jong-un with a signed letter

from Vladimir Putin.


QUEST: At today's summit with African leaders, Vladimir Putin said Russia can replace any grain that it would've gotten from Ukraine. Putin also

promised free grain to six African nations. In addition, he says Russia would increase its media presence in the continent.

Objective and unbiased information, he said, about world events will be provided. And yet, incredibly low turnout to the St. Petersburg conference.

Less than half of what it would have been pre-pandemic. Nic Robertson is in London.

Africa is having several bashes of this, in terms of trying to do that. South Africa particularly. They're not getting anywhere. I'm wondering,

whether Putin's bribe of free grain has any effect.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, it might have a little traction with the handful of countries it's offering it to. They

probably need it, no doubt about that.

But I think, you know, they'll step back, most of the nations there will step back and look at the big picture that everyone else sees and

understands that the reason that the world is short of Ukraine's grain is because Russia started a war with Ukraine.

It invaded without reason. Even some of those countries that might even feel moderately sympathetic to Putin's narrative, that he had to go to war

in Ukraine because of NATO provocation, the reality is that Putin started that war.

He shut down, effectively, Ukraine exporting its grain, now offers to replace it. And he calls the West hypocritical, because he can't get enough

of his own grain out right now. Yet, if he hadn't had have invaded, Ukraine would be exporting. He would be exporting and African nations wouldn't be

in this situation.

I think probably the big takeaway on this point today comes from the U.N. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. He said, look, what Putin is offering

in terms of free grain to this tiny handful of countries, in no way makes up with the massive, massive shortfall of the grain that would normally

come out of Ukraine.

So I don't think, for most of those nations, it's going to wash. But this shows, in a way, the desperation of Putin's position, to try to win over

supporters in the global south.


ROBERTSON: That he's in the right and the West is in the wrong. This is not the end of this argument. But this is today's piece of it.

QUEST: Isn't South Africa a good example of exactly how this has gone so weird, where you've got the leading economy on the continent, which, you

know, is trying to play both ways but, in reality, seems to be firmly in the Russian camp and is, in a sense, muddying the waters through all of


ROBERTSON: Yes, it's hard to see sometimes what it is from Putin's eyes, how he thinks he's going to get from point A to point B. As you say, South

Africa is a particular point in case, a country that he should have and does in some ways, have relatively good connections with.

Yet he was due to attend the BRICs summit there in August. And he can't and the South Africans have warned him, that he's not able to do that because

if he went there, as being indicted by the International Criminal Court for the transportation of children out of Ukraine into Russia forcibly, then he

would be liable for arrest and sent to the international court in The Hague.

So Putin's position, you know, it collapses under the reality rather than the logic that he applies to it.

QUEST: Prigozhin is there. This is weird. This is getting more and more strange by the day.

What role is Prigozhin playing these days?

ROBERTSON: Yes, we don't know because we don't know what deal he cut with Putin. But the ace up Prigozhin's sleeve all along, remembering that he was

understood to be in some sort of exile to Belarus, because of his failed effort to push the defense chiefs in Russia out and also essentially

threaten Putin's power.

Putin said there'll be severe consequences. All of that that we know about, yet here's Prigozhin, the same city as Putin, meeting with one of the

delegates to that conference that Putin is holding.


Look, I think it's because Prigozhin is intertwined with the Kremlin's activities in some African countries -- Mali, Sudan -- with the Wagner

mercenary deals. Prigozhin set those deals up. So the leaders in those countries get security and the Russians get things like gold, diamonds,


So he's got his hands inside those deals. So it's not so easy for Putin to cut him out of that sector of his business empire, as it has been

apparently to cut him out of the fight in Ukraine.

QUEST: Extraordinary business. Nic, glad to have you interpreting for us, thank you, sir.

Russia and the U.N. have joined calls for the release of the president of Niger after Wednesday's coup. The office of president Mohammed Bazoum

issued a defiant message today on Twitter, declaring that democracy will prevail.

They were nice words but he's now lost the support of the military. CNN's Larry Madowo is reporting from Nairobi.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, it was a dramatic day in Niger, especially in the capital, Niamey, as the detention of president Mohamed

Bazoum turned into a full blown coup.

We saw pro military protesters on the streets of the capital. They set cars on fire. They even set the headquarters of the president's party on fire.

This was in response to Wednesday's protests, when pro-democracy protesters were also on the streets, asking for the release of president Mohamed

Bazoum and a return to a democratic path.

And now, concern from the U.N. secretary general, calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Also concerns about the wider region in the



GUTERRES: You have military regimes in Mali, in Burkina Faso. Now eventually, in Niger. A fragile transition in Chad and an horrible

situation in Sudan.

So we are witnessing that the whole belt south of the Sahel is becoming an extremely problematic area with terrible consequences for their populations

and with terrible consequences for peace and stability in the African continent and further afield.


MADOWO: The U.N. secretary general's right to point out the strategic importance of Niger in a very unsafe neighborhood, suffering from a

jihadist insurgency, especially critical in Mali and Burkina Faso.

France has about 2,000 troops stationed in Niger and Chad. And U.S. officials tell CNN, there are about 1,000 troops in the country, that have

been there for counterterrorism operations. And Niger has become the centerpiece of the international community's Sahel security strategy.

But the new military men in charge, say they don't want any foreign interference. In fact, the army command that supports this coup says that

any foreign military intervention --


MADOWO: -- risks having disastrous and uncontrolled consequences on the country. And so, in fact, the military already accusing France of having

violated the closure of the airspace, by landing a military aircraft. The next few days and weeks will be critical in Niger -- Richard.


QUEST: Larry Madowo reporting.

As we continue tonight, Call to Earth will meet the dogs who protect Mongolia's grasslands.




QUEST: Mongolia is a nation of expansive grasslands that cover 80 percent of the country and enable the nomadic way of life. Now I'm very much

looking forward to seeing them when I visit Mongolia, not a place I've been to. And QUEST MEANS BUSINESS will be there next month, incredibly looking

forward to it.

Before I go there, let's have a look at today's Call to Earth, where we meet an animal once nearly lost to Mongolia, that could help protect the

country's biodiversity.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): On the vast Mongolian steppe, there are predators, there are prey and there are protectors. For centuries, Bankhar

dogs guarded herd animals from wolves, eagles and other dangers here.

Communist campaigns against traditional herding lifestyles in the 19th century almost wiped the dogs out. But the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project is

helping their numbers to return and protect biodiversity in the process.

At a center in central Mongolia, 100 kilometers from the capital, Batbaatar Tumurbaatar and his team research and breed the Bankhars.

After getting a trained Bankhar, some herders tell him that livestock losses of around 60 are now down to zero. This stops them from hunting

predators, which are often endangered species themselves.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): But human conflict is just one of the threats to these animals.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Their habitat is at risk, due to climate change and a rapid increase in raising livestock, according to The Nature


GALBARAKH DAVAA, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY (voice-over): According to some study, almost 70 percent of Mongolian grasslands are all

grazed. That is costing also some species.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In a bid to preserve its biodiversity, Mongolia has designated dozens of protected areas, including ones where

livestock cannot graze, like Hutsai National Park. It was established in 1993 to reintroduce the Przewalski's horse, considered the last remaining

wild horse species on the planet.

Declared extinct in the wild over 40 years ago, now there are nearly 400 that roam here. There is hope other species can thrive again, too.

DAVAA (voice-over): The mountains in the west of Mongolia turned to global endangered species, such as the snow leopard and the (INAUDIBLE) species

known as (INAUDIBLE), ibex and many others.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Mongolia plans to create a lot more protected areas: 120 million acres, 30 percent of the country, by 2030.

But nearly 30 percent of Mongolia's population are nomadic herders, according to the U.N. Development Program.

So limiting grazing is usually not an option.

Around 10 kilometers beyond Hutsai's borders, herder Idshee Byambajav and her husband look after a herd of 500 animals, a job that's becoming

tougher, she says.

IDSHEE BYAMBAJAV, HERDER: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Experts say improving herding practices could help protect this fragile landscape and the Bankhars could come in

here, too. Today, Batbaatar is bringing Idshee one of her own.

BYAMBAJAV: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Dogs like Shepherd (ph) could help herds travel safely, to more varied pastures and allow grasslands more time to

regenerate, he says. There's more research needed and to how this can counter degradation. But Batbaatar hopes to drive efforts to safeguard

Mongolian ecosystems one puppy at a time.


QUEST: I hope I get to meet those dogs. Or at least some dogs like that. Let us know you're doing to answer the call at the #CallToEarth.





QUEST: Back to our top story of the day, stronger than expected U.S. GDP growth. Consumers are still holding up the U.S. economy and we are seeing

strong earnings from the likes of MasterCard and McDonald's.

There are some storm clouds on the horizon that'll be made. (INAUDIBLE) just warned American shoppers are cutting back. All of this stands through

at retailers like Poshmark, the resale site, that lets people worldwide buy and sell fashion from the comfort of their homes.

Manish Chandra is the CEO of Poshmark, joining me now from California.

I mean, it's an interesting one. In a sense, the harder economic times means more people will put items on for sale. But they won't be buying more

new things that they can then offer later.

MANISH CHANDRA, CEO, POSHMARK: Yes. When you think about the circular economy, it really is about both selling and buying. You're right; when

people are hard at work and hard in their wallet, they will put items up for sale.

But more importantly, the bargains and discount you get on Poshmark are exceptional. For example, typically items are priced 70 percent or 80

percent off. Not only are you getting something that's good for your wallet but you're also making a difference in the ecofootprint and something

that's good for the Earth as well.

QUEST: How much stuff sells?

Does it all eventually go?

Does it all work on the basis that, if you sell it cheaper, someone will buy it?

CHANDRA: Yes. I mean it, literally, you know, your trash is somebody else's treasure. That's something we've seen from day one when we started

the platform. You look at an item, you say, who would buy it?

But it gets sold within two seconds. Just to give you a sense of the impact, since we started the platform, over 200 million items have been

sold on the platform and over $8 billion worth of items, which are obviously at significant discounts.

The mapping to retail sales would be, 3-5 X. And literally, people buy and sell from over 90 percent of the zip codes in the United States. So it is

fairly broad and fairly pervasive, within the country, in terms of who's buying and selling on the platform.

QUEST: Now I decided I had this rather nice sweater. It's a bit heavy for today. But it's Paco Rabanne so it's good make. It's a designer sweater.

I've sort of put it on and we've decided to put it onto the site to see if we can sell it.

What sort of thing, $50?

Who on Earth would offer you -- cost even more than that.

Who on Earth?

What do I need to do to make my sweater as attractive as possible for somebody to buy?

CHANDRA: Well, it's too rich to sell on Poshmark today. One is, very simply, take a couple of pictures, maybe you take a little video and put it

up for sale. We will even give you price suggestions for your sweater. And then, voila, it's up for sale. That's all. Nothing else, no more things you

have to do.

When the item sells, we actually send you a prepaid, preprinted shipping label. You put it in any box, you have it goes Priority Mail to your

customer, customer gets. It customer accept its. You get your money.

So it's very simple, very easy. The second way is more, what we've just launched, which is using live selling. Here, you can just go on a live

show, either you create a live show or you join someone else's live show.

And you show your item and, boom, somebody can bid on it and actually purchase the item. So we made it as easy as possible to get your items from

your closet into somebody else's closet and make some money along the way.

QUEST: What I love about this is, it's not new. In a sense, that it's a jumble sale. We're going to rummage sale, a jumble sale, secondhand, a

charity shop. It's not a new idea. But you're managing to turn something very traditional into something quite different.

CHANDRA: Yes, it's an age-old idea. We've always talked about trading items, selling items, et cetera. What we made it, is make it very fun and

very simple. Using technology, it can give up a lot of hassle and making it very economical.

And the results are, we have over 100 million users and tens of millions of people buying and selling on the platform every year.

QUEST: Extraordinary. Thank you for joining us, sir. I'll let you know what happens to my sweater, if anybody does buy it. If they do, we'll give

the money to charity. Thank you very much.

Very nice sweater.


QUEST: Thank you, sir.

Tomorrow, our Summer Friday series continues. The Guggenheim Museum -- the actual building itself is a masterpiece in its own right.


QUEST (voice-over): The art involved is magnificent inside, not always my cup of tea. But it's a Summer Friday. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS at the

Guggenheim Museum, 3 pm in New York, 8 in London, 9 in Europe. I'll see you then.

Market update and the Dow winning streak is set to end; 13 straight sessions. I told you at the beginning, I don't think it's going to do it.

I'm right. In fact, it's quite heavily down 249-250 odd points, which started well. So no records broken.

But the market is 8 percent higher or so, since this rally began. So giving back a little bit is not to be too concerned about. And the broader market,

the S&P and the techs, they are also. Up

Interestingly, they're all roughly the same, 0.07, 0.06, 0.07. So that tells me that it's broadbased. But nothing to be concerned about. Look at

that, the Dow. The Dow itself is number one. Honeywell is down -- is at number 30. The way the market is looking, we will take a Profitable Moment,

after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.




QUEST: I can't see that anybody would want to buy my hot winter sweater, it's very thick at the moment. But the heat has been just extraordinary.

The question, of course is, just how much are we going to have to put up with of this heat?

Chad Myers did a really good job of explaining tonight that, even by worsening standards, this year's aberration is worrying, that there is no

way we would've seen these sort of numbers in decades previously, which all begs the question.

What are we going to do about it?

I loved the U.N. SecGen's comments about climate change, now climate boiling. The world is now boiling.

But what are we going to do about it?

Well, COP28 is coming up. And even ahead of COP, who of course is the oil minister and head of the oil industry in the UAE, agrees that the era of

the fossil fuel has to dwindle. And it has to dwindle faster.

Anybody who thinks this is easy or light is playing with fire, quite literally. And the fires at the moment are burning around the world.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, stay cool. And I hope it's

profitable. Probably not today. The market's down quite heavily. No gains.