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Quest Means Business

US Markets Flat To End Strong July; Military Junta Arrests Members of Bazoum's Party; UK Will Drill For More Oil And Gas; ISIS Claims Responsibility For Pakistan Attack; Typhoon Forces Thousands To Flee Beijing; Tourist Bus Crashes In Northern Spain. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 31, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: You can tell we are in the depths of summer end of July, beginning of August. Look at the market as we start a

new week, barely budged. It is small movements, not terribly significant. Down a bit, up a bit.

I think it could be like this in the absence of any news. I think we could have a few days like this in the absence of any direction. The markets are

quiet for summer. People are on holiday. Events of the day still remain.

Europe's economy returns to growth after a rough couple of quarters. It's grown, but how fast?

The UK has announced new plans to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea, square that with climate change commitments.

And New York expands its rollout of e-scooters while Paris bans them.

Tonight, the Lime chief executive joins me. We will discuss the best ways for cities to regulate popular scooters and e-bikes.

It is Monday. We are live in New York, July the 31st, as I said, right in the heart of the summer. I am Richard Quest, and yes, in the summertime, I

mean business.

Good evening.

The quiet day that we are seeing should not fool you into what's been otherwise a good strong month for the markets. All three major US averages

have made significant gains in July. The NASDAQ and the S&P are both on track for their fifth straight winning month. The Dow closed lower only

four times since the end of June.

Now the reasons are well known: Falling US inflation has given the market and investors a sense of optimism and a growing belief the Fed will

engineer a soft landing. The European economy is also showing some signs of promise, with the zone returning to growth in Q2. Even it was bad growth

0.3 percent, flat in Q1, headline inflation thereto is also low.

Although arguably, not enough for the ECB to hold off increasing rates any further to make sure down to policy.

CNN's Clare Sebastian is in London and takes us through the latest numbers.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the surface, this looks like a sign of resilience in the Euro area, a modest growth rate of 0.3 percent

compared to the previous three months after flatlining in the first quarter of the year, and shrinking in the one before that.

Overall inflation also fell to 5.3 percent in July, which is exactly half its peak rate last October, when of course the war in Ukraine had caused

energy prices to skyrocket. That shock, now clearly receding.

A dig into the details, and there are still worrying signs.

GDP growth seems to have been driven by just a few countries. Ireland grew by more than three percent, France by half a percent. But on the flip side,

Germany, Europe's biggest economy was flat, and Italy actually contracted.

And as for inflation, that top line number, also not the whole story. Core inflation when you strip out food and energy didn't change at all in July

compared to June, and it is still more than twice the European Central Bank's medium term target.

But for economists, all this just really adds to mounting concerns as data in recent weeks has shown business activity dropping, business loans

falling to a record low as banks tighten credit standards, and an ongoing decline in economic sentiment. All of that economists say it means

recession is still a risk and this would definitely raise the stakes for the European Central Bank as it tries to balance that risk with persistent


Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


QUEST: There is an element of on the one hand and on the other hand. Now, the global chair of Boston Consulting Group recently wrote he has been

frustrated by overly negative headlines about the economy. I'm not quite sure what to make of that last report.

Now, arguably, Rich Lesser has a point. Inflation has slowed significantly since this time last year, while job growth has held steady and central

bankers are signaling that their rate hiking cycle to terminal rates, if you will, is near.

On the other hand, core inflation remains very high, double what it should be. Commercial real estate has been battered. China's economy is well

struggling more than expected and Beijing says manufacturing activity has now shrunk for four straight months, and as Clare says, if you look in

Europe, well, it is only a few countries that are really propping it up.


Rich Lesser is the global chair of Boston Consulting. I'm a lot more pessimistic than you. I continue to believe that this this mantra, Rich

that -- you know, soft landing, soft landing, and then all of a sudden you're in a recession. But you say I'm wrong?

RICH LESSER, GLOBAL CHAIR, BOSTON CONSULTING: Well, Richard, to be honest, most journalists are more pessimistic, and I think that's the world we've

lived in, actually, from, oftentimes over the recent over many years, actually, but particularly in the recent past.

We have been on the more optimistic side for a while. A year ago, nobody thought a soft landing was even possible, we were either going to be in

spiraling inflation, or we were going to be in unemployment, and I'm speaking US here, you know, well, above five percent, some were arguing.

And I think we've felt that consumers recognized this inflation was different than the systematic problems of the 1970s. It's hard to break an

inflation regime of 40 years that we've lived in, and that the Fed would act and maybe it acted a bit slower than we all expected a year-and-a-half

ago to get started on these rate increases, but when it acted, it acted decisively and I think it is now signaling that it thinks it can start to

plateau, hopefully, where we are, some would argue maybe we'll have one more.

And I think there is a very good chance for a soft landing here. There was enormous negativity around emerging markets, they're actually navigating

better than people expected. Europe just had a quarter of growth. I agree with you, China is soft. That's certainly true, but it would be hard not to

feel like we've made enormous progress from where -- what people were predicting a year ago, when there were so many negative headlines.

QUEST: What are your clients telling you in terms of future order books? In terms of their own balance sheet reorganization? The availability of debt

and lending -- the sort of, if you will, the engine room of the economy, what are your clients saying?

LESSER: I think most of them -- well, let's recognize that a low inflationary environment is not necessarily an easy environment for many


In fact, inflation is often a salve to be able to raise prices, and use that to drive profitable growth. It's often an asset, particularly when the

government is putting dollars in so many pockets as it was during COVID.

So I think for many of our clients, this is a trickier period to navigate us, as consumers' tolerance for price increases have come down, you've got

to get profitability in other ways. We're still in an uncertain environment, I think that plays through to help companies view their

investment expectations.

So I would say most of our clients are not finding this a down period, but they are finding it a period of high uncertainty, mixed views on the

economic outlook, obviously, navigating a world of higher interest rates that haven't been seen for many, many years, and so I would say they would

say it's not so easy right now.

QUEST: When I look, though, I mean, let's assume we're just about at the terminal rate, and maybe there's one more increase to go.

This idea that the rate is going to stay at this level for longer, it begs the question, do you push inflation down to two percent? Or do you

basically say, job done -- I mean, I am talking about core inflation now not headline inflation -- or did tell you push on?

LESSER: Okay, first, I'm not in the Fed, I never would pretend to be. We'll see what they would do.

My hope is interesting. Lael Brainard, who is now at the National Economic Council, when she was on the Fed in 2019, so this was during the last

administration -- talked about needing to think about inflation, not as a 2.00 target, but two percent over the long term, and I think she used a

phrase called average inflation targeting to represent that there'd be periods, when you may not be at exactly two, just like we were under two

for a long stretch in the prior decade, and a little over two is okay.

So I don't think the Fed can or should relax the two percent target, but I think it can be more tolerant of a world where the inflation number starts

with the two, but we're on a glide path to 2.0, but we don't necessarily get there fast.

And I think particularly in a world where there's a de-risking in global supply chains, and where we're seeing actually wage growth at the bottom of

the wage curve, which is what theoretically we want to close inequality gaps, I think that'd be a very strong logic to not go for 2.0. But for

sure, it's too high now and it needs to keep coming down.

QUEST: In just a moment, we are going to be talking about the British Prime Minister and the new energy policy or an energy policy in the UK where

they're issuing more oil and gas licenses.


The climate -- the climate crisis is one that is going to the heart of every one of your clients and indeed your own company. Net zero, the

mechanisms by which you do it, offsetting carbon trading emissions, all of these various tools.

How much of this is number one now for CEOs?

LESSER: I think it's top three for many CEOs. I don't know that it's number one for all CEOs. In some industries, if you're in energy, parts of the

industrial sector, it's hard for this not to be the top priority or tied for the top priority.

I think in many other sectors, it's on the very short list, but of course, we have an AI revolution underway. We have the economic uncertainty you and

I just discussed. There is all the geopolitics, so I think it is on the shortlist. It needs to be higher for most companies, I want to be clear.

If you look at the targets in both the government world and the corporate world, they are not sufficient to get to the goals that we need.

So we're not yet -- we are making progress and I'm encouraged about the ambitions that have been set forth for this COP, but I think we'll need to

see a step up in individual ambitions, country and corporate in the years ahead, given what we're watching happen all around us.

QUEST: Final thought. I just want to just get -- I know that, thankfully, you're going to be going away, taking your own annual holidays with your

family and we're all at that time of the year.

I just want to get your perspective how -- you're going to tell me that obviously vacation time is important in and people being rested is

important, but when you see your senior director at staff not taking vacations, or being more hard lined in terms of the siloing down through

their divisions about this, how important is it to you to get that message across to them to get that --

So it feeds down the network if you will, that it is not a nice thing. It is not a good thing. It's dysfunctional to have a workaholic that doesn't

take a holiday.

LESSER: I'm so glad you phrased it the way you did. I think we think both for ourselves because we're a very hard working environment, but also for

the many clients that we serve that people need a break and if you don't spend some time to recharge yourself, to invest time in family and friends,

that actually your own personal productivity drops and that it's not --

I mean, yes it is in your interest, but it is actually in our interest too to want people to have balance in their lives, that's during their work

weeks, but it is most certainly also to catch a break every so often and to really get -- when you get away, to actually get away, to be able to turn

things off.

I'm not good at it personally, I try, but really, to getaway and our leadership, you know, Christoph Schweizer, our new CEO, the leadership, I

mean they're constantly reinforcing that message and that from personal experience, I think it's so important.

QUEST: Rich, have a lovely holiday. Send us a postcard. Thank you, sir.

LESSER: Thank you. Richard, I hope you get a break, too.

QUEST: Well, I have been looking forward to it.

As Rich and I discussed there, the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak is facing criticism over his energy policy. The UK government announced plans

to expand oil and gas drilling in the North Sea. The former UK chief scientific adviser is with me after the break.




QUEST: The political crisis in Nigeria is escalating. The military junta that seized power has now arrested six members of the ousted president's

political party.

On Sunday, France said it fired teargas to disperse protesters that were attacking its embassy in the capital and thousands of pro-coup

demonstrators have shouted slogans in support of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Larry Madowo is with me from Nairobi in Kenya. Now look, this is really quite straightforward. You've got ECOWAS basically saying, if you do not

give up, we will look at a military option and you've got the general in charge saying, don't push me, go away. We're in the fatherland and that's

the end of that.

So, what's the way forward?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They've got to find a way to restore President Mohamed Bazoum.

So the way two key Western allies are looking at this is instructive, Richard, one is the Americans who have about a thousand troops in the


The US State Department has not declared this a coup yet. They believe it's a domestic dispute between General Tiani who is declaring himself

president. He is the head of the presidential guard and his boss, President Mohamed Bazoum, and the French are saying that these protests you saw on

the streets, these pro-military, anti-French protests, pro-Russia protests were clearly orchestrated, that they were planned, that these people had

fresh Russian flags that they appear to have been on, they have Molotov cocktails and all that, which is why many Western allies believe there is

still a path to return this year to democracy, to return President Bazoum to power.

But people on the streets at least those you are about to see do not want the French.


MADOWO (voice over): Angry Nigerians smashing windows of the French Embassy in the capital, Niamey.

Thousands of people outraged at the country's former colonial power, a day after it suspended aid and financial support for Nigeria with immediate



MADOWO (voice over): "Down with France," some said, condemning French support for ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum.

Unable to get into the heavily protected compound, a window is set on fire and a French flag trashed, a common sight since Wednesday's military coup.

Security forces eventually deployed teargas to disperse the protesters. France warned it would retaliate immediately and in a strict manner in case

of any attacks against its embassy, national army, or diplomats, the Elysee Palace, saying on Sunday, adding that President Emmanuel Macron will not

tolerate any attack against France and its interests.

The military junta that ousted the West African country's democratically elected president, keen to show France and the world that it has the

backing of the public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We also came out to tell this little Macron from France that Niger belongs to us. It's up to us to do

what we want with Niger what we want. We deal with who we want and how we want. We are forming support for the army.

MADOWO (voice over): A sea of people outside Niger's Parliament denouncing France and some raising Russian flags.


MADOWO (voice over): "Long live Putin" and "Long live Russia," the protesters say demanding that foreign armies leave the country.

France has about 1,500 troops in Niger, a key ally in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel. The US has about 1,000 troops in the country

involved in counterterrorism operations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As citizens of Niger, we are against French bases, American bases, Canadian bases, Italian bases -- all

the bases that are in Niger, we don't need them.


MADOWO (voice over): The head of the presidential guard, General Abdul Rahman Tiani deposed his boss and declared himself Niger's new leader on

Friday, saying he would suspend the Constitution and rule with the so- called National Council for the safeguard of the homeland.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They're really brave and I support them 100 percent. We've really suffered a lot. We've suffered a lot

because they are our children, a lot of blood has been shed in Niger. We want peace. We want peace.

MADOWO (voice over): In neighboring Nigeria, an emergency Summit of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, regional leaders

announcing sanctions including closing borders, a travel ban, a no-fly zone, freezing assets and a deadline.

ECOWAS has given the Niger junta one week to reinstate President Bazoum or threatened to take all measures to restore his government.

OMAR ALIEU TOURAY, ECOWAS COMMISSION PRESIDENT: Such measures may include the use of force. For this effect, the chiefs of Defense staff of ECOWAS

are to meet immediately.

MADOWO (voice over): But many protesters on the streets don't want any ECOWAS military intervention or involvement and the military junta says it

is ready.

COLONEL-MAJOR AMADOU ABDRAMANE, NIGER MILITARY JUNTA CNSP (through translator): We once again remind ECOWAS and those who wish to adventure in

this of our firm determination to defend our country.


MADOWO (on camera): The coup plotters are riding on this anti-French sentiment not just in Niger, but across the region, Burkina Faso, in Mali,

in Senegal, in Cote d'Ivoire, and elsewhere, but one US State Department official telling CNN that that does not necessarily mean that general Tiani

who declared himself as president is popular, and also that there's some kind of disagreement within the military.

Some generals were surprised that he declared himself as president, which is why they consider this a domestic dispute between the head of the

presidential guard, General Tiani and President Bazoum and there could still be a path to restore Niger to a democracy.

So Richard, the way out here is this mediation effort led by the President of Chad, who has been in Niamey meeting with these two men. If that doesn't

work, then ECOWAS has make good on its threat to use force to militarily intervene in Chad because if that does not happen and the coup stands, the

African Union warned, this risks destabilizing the entire region.

QUEST: Larry Madowo who is in Nairobi, thank you, sir.

So we cap off the hottest month on record made possible by global warming, and yet, the UK government has announced more plans to drill for fossil

fuels, bringing to grant more than a hundred new licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

The British prime minister, Rishi Sunak says the new supply will reduce Britain's reliance on states like Russia. Environmentalists say he is

taking a wrecking ball to the country's climate commitments.

Sir David King is the former UK Chief Scientific Adviser, and the chair for Center for Climate Repair, joins me now from Greece.

Good to see you, sir. grateful for your time.

Look, Rishi Sunak's argument is basically this, that even after net zero, there will be a requirement for oil and gas and it is better to get that

from your domestic supply, if you can, rather than put your hands into strategic partners.

SIR DAVID KING, FORMER UNITED KINGDOM CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISER: Which is, of course, a complete nonsense. We've been shifting our economy away from

the dependence on fossil fuels for the last 20 years, and we've been quite successful in doing that, reducing our emissions overall since 1990 by

nearly 45 percent.

And so for example, our electricity, something like 40 percent of our electricity comes from just offshore wind, we have been working very hard

to see that we can move all the way away from fossil fuels.

At the moment, globally speaking, we are emitting more than 14 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum. The net result is that compared

with the pre-industrial level, carbon dioxide pre-industrially was at about 270 parts per million, we're now well over 500 parts per million.

And since we know the greenhouse gases act as a kind of blanket over the earth, we've now put a second blanket over the earth, it is bound to lead

to unbearably high temperatures.

So I think --

QUEST: Why do you think he's doing it? I mean, he's got all these statistics. He has the access to your successors and others. Why do you

think the British government would willingly do this then?

KING: There is only one possible reason to give this. I mean, I've called for the science advice that lies behind what he is talking about and of

course there is no response to that.


The British public would surely see this as a desperate act of electioneering, putting our future at serious risk, in order that he might

gain a few more votes at the general election that will take place next year.

There is no doubt in my mind, and I think in many, many people's minds that that's what underlies this. We're looking at a very cynical charge from our

prime minister.

QUEST: But surely, that's a double edged sword in a sense, because there's an entire younger generation that will say, surely, no, you've got to put

it right -- you've got to put the climate first and you failed to do that.

So balancing that, I mean, the cynicism of which you talk about could backfire on him.

KING: It will, I believe, backfire on him. I don't believe the British public are ready to go down this route. We have had since 2008, we've had

an all-party agreement on climate action, parties of whatever color that have come in since that period of time, when Labour was in government and I

was the chief scientific adviser, parties of whatever color have followed the, not command, but it followed the advice of the Climate Change

Committee of Parliament set up under that Act in 2008. And suddenly, we now have a prime minister breaking away from that.

We all know that the Conservative government is very unpopular amongst the British people. I do see this as a desperate action to try and recover the

popularity. What we see is pictures of the prime minister in cars saying I'm the man who's behind supporting car drivers. Incredible, incredible.

We -- I don't believe that the British public will not see through this.

QUEST: David King, thank you, sir. We'll talk more about it. I'm grateful for your time tonight. Enjoy Greece. Thank you, sir.

It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight from New York.

Russia intensifies its attacks on Ukraine and doesn't rule out the use of nuclear weapons. We will give Moscow's reaction to the latest threat in

just a moment.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. A lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS to bring you. We'll tell you how the authorities in the U.K. are using A.I. to

monitor migrants heading for Britain by "exactly where they're likely to go." And a month from now, Paris is to join the list of those cities that

have banned e-scooters or shared e-scooters. I'll speak to the CEO of Lime on that.

We'll only get to that after the news headlines because as you would expect, this is CNN and here, the news always comes first.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for Sunday's terrorist attack in Pakistan that killed more than 50 people, including children, and injured more than

120. A suicide bomber detonated explosives near the stage at a rally being held by the Islamist political party.

Typhoon Doksuri is forcing tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in Beijing. These four people have been killed so far by torrential rain.

And forecasters say another storm is on the way. Doksuri is the strongest typhoon to hit China since 2006. Another extreme weather event following

this month's heatwave.

And the heat dome that's driving a deadly heatwave into the United States is now expected to drift across the south of the country this week, and

more records are likely to be broken. This month's average temperature in Phoenix, Arizona has been the hottest. Almost 39.5 degrees Celsius. And

more than 40 million people across the south are now living under heat alerts.

The American actor who portrayed their quirky naughty child known as Pee- wee Herman has died. Paul Reubens passed away at the age of 17. A statement said Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years. His Pee-wee

Playhouse series went 22 Emmy awards during its run from 1986 to 1991.

Spanish emergency services say a tourist bus carrying people including children crashed in the northern parts of the country (INAUDIBLE) say all

on board were rescued. However, at least six people were seriously injured. Firefighters at the scene arrived after the bus overturned on a highway.

Ukraine now says Russian shelling in Kherson has killed at least four people and hurt 17. Airstrikes on Kryvyi Rih killed at least six people,

including a 10-year-old girl according to city officials. 75 people have been hurt in the ballistic missile attack. The Kremlin meanwhile, has

condemned recent Ukrainian's drone strikes on Russian soil, including this one on Sunday. The former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says

nuclear weapons may be used if Ukraine's counteroffensive succeeds.

The White House has hit back in those comments describing them as reckless and irresponsible. CNN's Nic Robertson is with me looking at the day's

events. Reckless and irresponsible, I suppose doesn't really fully do justify to justice to the idea of nuclear weapons.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. And I think perhaps we're hearing, you know, from U.S. officials sort of toning down

what could either by otherwise be some quite ballistic language, in part because although Medvedev is making these comments, and it's not the first

time he's made them, actually, they're not seeing any evidence on the ground that Russia is moving in any ways to bring its nuclear weapons into


So perhaps that's why the language is structured like this. I think what we're seeing from Ukraine, conversely, is to try to puncture Russia's

narrative that everything's going well in the war that its special military operation, as it calls it, is going well. Puncture that narrative with

Russia's population who by and large live many, many hundreds of miles from the frontlines of the war.


ROBERTSON (voiceover): Russia's war in Ukraine is increasingly blowing up in Moscow.

This Ukrainian drone attack Sunday night, bringing Russia's war hundreds of miles away into the heart of its own capitol. Shocking citizens.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My friends and I rented an apartment to come here and unwind and at some point, we heard an explosion

and it was like a wave. Everyone jumped.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Attacks like this in Moscow, becoming increasingly common. Last week, another Ukrainian drone hit a Ministry of Defense

building. A psychological blow for a population repeatedly told by Putin state media. They are winning the so-called special military operation.

POLINA, MOSCOW RESIDENT (through translator): I was asleep and woken up by an explosion. Everything started to shake and the whole building had come


ROBERTSON (voiceover): This weekend, Putin was keeping up the pretense everything is OK celebrating Navy Day. But behind the scenes his officials

appear rattled by Ukraine's refusal to be beaten.

ROBERTSON: Former President Dmitry Medvedev says if Ukraine's counteroffensive is successful, Russia will use its nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is dismissing the drone strikes and Moscow as an act of desperation, the defense minister calling them terrorist attacks.

Reality. They've got Moscow's attention.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Ukraine's president is hinting more of these strikes to come.

VOLODYMR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): Ukraine is getting stronger. Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of

Russia to its symbolic centers and military bases. This is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Zelenskyy is stating what is becoming increasingly apparent. Ukraine is ramping up drone strikes inside Russia. In recent

weeks, targets just over the border in areas vital to Russia's war efforts have increased too.

The impact even breaking through on Russia's state media. What is clear, Ukraine's fight on Russian soil is having effect.


QUEST: This is -- got a sort of a very dangerous air about it, doesn't it? Because a few more drone strikes that hit strategic targets. And suddenly

Russia is arguing that the homeland, the Motherland itself is under threat.

ROBERTSON: Yes. And Russia is making very strong -- has already made very strong comments that it considers parts of Ukraine that it's already

annexed Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk. Those areas, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson already considers those part of Russia's territory. I think if there were

to be a big strike on Moscow that was to inflict high civilian casualties, this will be something that would put the Kremlin and Putin in a difficult


How would they respond? I mean, you could almost interpret some of the things we've seen over the past couple of days of some kind of tit for tat

you have on the one hand, that attack on Dnipro in Ukraine on Friday where there was high civilian casualties. And over the weekend, you have

Zelenskyy saying, well, there will be increased attacks on Russian soil. And then you have an attack overnight into today on Zelenskyy's hometown.

So, you can see the way that this can escalate. But it's not the first time that a weaker country or entity is taking its attack to the heart of the

enemy because the enemy is narrative to its population is not correct, is inaccurate and they want to shift that narrative and inflict political pain

on Putin. That he's not the kind of guy, leader, dictator to change course because his -- because his public is getting unhappy. But this is a tactic

Ukraine is turning to right now.

QUEST: Nic Robertson, grateful. Thank you, sir. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from New York. The British government is ramping up efforts to stop migrants

crossing the English Channel by boat. And now surveillance technology A.I. is being employed as well.



QUEST: U.K. government's ramping its measures aiming to deterred migrants from crossing the English Channel from France. It's doing so by investing

millions in high-tech surveillance and artificial intelligence. The goal is to track the small boats and interpret where they're likely to go. A CNN

investigation find no evidence that technology was used during the deadliest incident in the channel last year. Katie Polglase glass reports.


KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (voiceover): It's 3:00 in the morning on the 14th of December 2022 in the middle of the English Channel.

A fisherman has spotted multiple people in the water and is trying to haul them out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pitch dark. It was very cold night, minus one, minus two. And there was a lot of screaming.

POLGLASE (voiceover): In total, they rescue 31 people from the sinking vessel, including two Afghan boys just 12 and 13 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not an area that we fish in a lot and if we weren't there, everyone there would have been probably drowned.

POLGLASE (voiceover): U.K. authorities arrive later and rescue eight more. Four died in what becomes the worst migrant tragedy in the Channel that

year. But officials have been informed of the incident nearly an hour earlier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please help. We have children and family in a boat. Please, we are in the water.

POLGLASE (voiceover): Just before 2:00 a.m., the boat had made a distress call here to Utopia 56, a French migrant charity that passed it on to the

French and U.K. authorities. The French coast guard say the boat is undetectable on shipping radar, but estimate it will shortly cross into

British waters.

Now CNN has found that at the time of the incident, the U.K. government had expensive A.I. technology designed to spot these boats and knowing that the

vessel was soon entering their territory, and that there were people freezing in the water including children they could have sent this.

Tekever AR5 drone designed to detect small boats and capable of deploying a life raft. It's licensed by the U.K. Government, even the British Prime

Minister proud to show it off. CNN has established it flew over the same area where the distress call was made on multiple previous journeys.

And even flew the day before and after the incident, but not in the hours the vessel was sinking. Instead, it took more than an hour for the first

U.K. lifeboat to arrive in which time a fishing crew rescued the majority on board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must stop the boats.

POLGLASE (voice over): This tech forms part of a campaign of deterrence and hostility by the government towards those attempting to reach British

shores. Millions of pounds have been spent on AI cameras trained to find rubber dinghies, some able to see beyond U.K. waters drones with Automatic

Identification abilities.

And while the company's tout their life saving capabilities, footage from these drones has also been used to identify those driving the boats and

prosecute them for human trafficking. A new bill will take it even further criminalizing anyone who seeks asylum in the U.K. this way.

PETRA MOLNAR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND MIGRATION LAWYER: Yes, technologies could very easily be used for search and rescue for finding votes faster for

preventing these horrific disasters. But unfortunately, the reality on the ground is the opposite.


It's assisting powerful actors to be able to sharpen their borders make it more difficult for people to come and again, you think surveillance for

these kinds of ends.

POLGLASE (voiceover): And it follows a global trend in digitizing border security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These towers operate 24/7, 365.

POLGLASE (voice over): The same century tower was made by the American tech startup Anduril that line the U.S.-Mexico border have recently been

installed along the British coastline to identify and track boats. Another company serious insight A.I., whose technology is also available to the

U.K. authorities, insisted that tech is used for saving lives. But stop short of talking about how the government uses it.

MALCOLM GLAISTER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SIRIUS INSIGHT A.I.: Our equipment shows any vessel that's in the U.K. territorial waters where it

is and where it's going. And if that vessel is in distress, it allows the lifeboat to get to that precise location because we're tracking it.

POLGLASE: And so, we've been following some of the incidents that have unfortunately led to fatalities in the Channel. If we have this technology,

why are people dying?

GLAISTER: I don't think I can comment on those instances, because of the commercial nature of their relationship with the home office.

POLGLASE (voiceover): The Home Office declined to comment on the incident on the 14th of December. In response to a freedom of information requests

submitted by CNN, U.K. Border Force said revealing the text capability might aid the criminals facilitating the crossings and increased risk to

life at sea.

The Coast Guard declined to comment citing an ongoing investigation into the incident and a court case underway to prosecute the alleged driver of

the boat. A new record was set for June with nearly 4000 people detected arriving to the U.K. But for those that do make it, they face an

increasingly hostile welcome.

Katie Polglase, CNN London.


QUEST: Regular viewers know when it comes to getting around and have an e- scooter or an e-bike. Well, everyone shares my enthusiasm. A love-hate relationship has been created for a problem for cities around the world.

I'm talking to the CEO of the e-scooter and e-bike sharing company Lime next. How to support the rise of micromobility in an era of NIMBY, not in

my backyard.



QUEST: New York City's expanding its trial of shared e-scooters into the borough of Queens. At the same time, many cities are trying to navigate the

rise of the micromobility options. Dallas has brought them back after a three-year ban. The critic said they cluttered sidewalks and bolster public

safety risk. Paris is to outlaw e-scooter rentals in September, after locals overwhelmingly voted to rid them from the streets.

Regular viewers will be aware. I am an e-bike and an e-scooter aficionado. Whenever I'm in a new city I love using them. Great for exploring a new

city and even getting to work.


QUEST: They are everywhere. They are littering the cities, they are abandoned, they are dropped, the batteries have run out. And yet everybody

is using them. It is truly the digital way forward.


QUEST: The line chief executive Wayne Ting is with me joining me in New York. Good to see you, sir. The argument is not new. The solutions are

pretty much ban them, geo cap them, restrict them. What's your preferred solution?

WAYNE TING, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, LIME: Well, I think the -- my preferred solution is we need more, we need more micromobility. I love this

show today, Richard, where you talk a lot about the crisis around climate. And the number one source of carbon pollution in Europe, in the United

States is from transportation. The vast majority of that coming from our personal use our cars.

And so, if we're going to be serious about this, we have to increase bikes and scooters as a way to reduce our reliance on cars.

QUEST: So, let me focus down. What is your preferred solution to the nuisance level that the e--scooters and to some extent e-bikes have

created? The base work up to a point, the geofencing works up to a point but, you know, in London they're littered everywhere, in every city I've

been to, is it to restrict the number of companies who have access? What's your preferred solution?

TING: Yes. Well, we take very seriously on the type of critiques that we're hearing. And we're investing in things like digital corral parking

solutions. We're testing out new things around sidewalk detection. So, if an e-bike or e-scooters on a sidewalk, we can tell them to get off the

sidewalk or slow them down. But I would actually challenge, Richard, the notion that we are the ones littering the streets.

You mentioned London. London has over a million cars. If you add up all the e-bikes, e-scooters, including the doc bike system, it's a -- it's less

than one percent of all the bikes, all the cars that are in the streets of London. We're simply not used to it, we're blinded to all the cars we see.

And it's parked on every street, in every corner. I think one of the challenges we have to do is to change our perception that bikes and

scooters are have a right to our streets.

We need to build more bike lanes, build more parking, so that we can resolve some of this nuisance around parking.

QUEST: Now, I think it was in one of the Scandinavian cities where I was visiting where as one might imagine, they were duly parked properly.

Everybody park them in a nice line in the parking bay. And there wasn't that same problem, how you enforce it. I wonder whether you have the

ability because I'm not doubting for a moment the value of what you're offering. But by finding me, by being more rigorous, by kicking me off your

system, by literally being the policeman to me, don't to have a responsibility?

TING: Richard, you're absolutely right. And we do exactly that. So, in -- so we have digital parking corrals. We have to many cities only parking the

digital parking corral. We ask every rider to take a picture of their ride. We review every one of these pictures. And if you're not following the

rules, we start finding you and we actually increase excessively, the fines and if you're somebody who consistently break the rules, we kick you off

the platform.

And you're absolutely right. We got to take responsibility for that. But we can do it without also shifting our infrastructure.


You know, when we talk about not having enough too much bikes parked on the street. Well, if we take one out of every 10 car parking spots and turn it

into a bike rack, we would solve the bike parking issue. And so, we got to also tackle infrastructure.

QUEST: I was just -- I'm just looking here, my bike hire list, because obviously, yes, I have lime in there. But I've also got Bolton, Veo and

Bird and (INAUDIBLE) give you a bit of indigestion and humans forest in London and Tier and Spin. There's too many of you.

TING: I think that that's a fair -- that's a fair point. I think one of the things that we need to make sure is that riders know how to leverage us.

And so, one of the things that we continue to work with cities is to say some cities have too many operators and have too much fleet. When you do

that, it's actually confusing for consumers. And we think that the right way, you want competition, but probably two or three operators per city.

So that's easy for riders to access micromobility without creating a type of brand confusion that you're describing.

QUEST: Wayne, good to talk to you. Next time we'll do it on a (INAUDIBLE) safely of course. We'll do it when maybe you're operating here in New York.

Thank you, sir. Grateful for your time. Thank you.

TING: Thank you, Richard.

QUEST: Profitable moment after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.


QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, the list of cities where I have e-bikes and e-scooter growing. I love it. When I arrive in a new city, one of the

first things I do is pick up one of these machines. And it gives me a real feel for the place. I can go outside and see what's what. But I've also

seen the mess, the horribleness of when they're just dumped or left anywhere or left across. And yes, why don't you take a picture? It's not

the most effective way.

No, the true answer is you have to use geo fencing, you have to use more parking bays, and you have to find the users. I don't particularly want to

be find myself, but that's the only real way to do it. You have to hit the users hard in the pocket, because they'll always be miscreants, you can't

go out against all of those, but for the majority of users, hit us in the pocket when we get it wrong.

Otherwise, frankly, there's no other solution. But I think Mr. Ting is right, that the e-mobility, the micromobility is the way of the future.


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

bell ringing on Wall Street. It's a bit of middling sort of day. We put on a bit of weight to the end but (INAUDIBLE) I'll see you tomorrow. Have a

good day.