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Quest Means Business

Dangerous Storm Pummels US Southeast; Military Officers Announce Coup In Gabon; Biggest Drone Attack On Russia Since War Began; Hurricane Idalia Strikes Florida And Georgia; Mark Thompson Named Next CEO Of CNN; U.S. Commerce Secretary Wraps Up China Visit; Gannett Suspends AI Sportswriting. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 30, 2023 - 15:00   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Some early steam seems to have evaporated with stocks with one hour left to trade. Let's take a look at

how the markets are faring right now, and we're seeing the Dow Jones up marginally, 0.1 percent to the green.

Hurricane Idalia pummels Georgia after major flooding. We'll be focusing on that.

Major events occurring around the world. Let's take you through some of these headlines. Hurricane Idalia pummeling Georgia after a major flooding

in Florida.

After seizing power, Gabon's military junta appoints a general as president of the transition.

And Australia sets a date for a historic referendum on how the Constitution recognizes the indigenous population.

Live from Dubai, it is Wednesday, August 30th. I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

A very good evening. Great to have you with us.

And tonight, Hurricane Dahlia is bringing violent winds and heavy rains as it moves over the US state of Georgia. The storm made landfall on Florida's

gulf coast earlier as a major Category 3 hurricane, weakening to the level of Category 1 hurricane, but officials warn it remains incredibly


We've seen videos showing widespread flooding, collapsing infrastructure, even trees blown down onto houses by the force of the storm.

President Biden just spoke in Washington. He says the effects of Idalia are being felt across several states.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It has moved over land has now shifted to Category 1, but it is still very dangerous with winds up to 75

miles an hour.

And the impacts the storm are being felt throughout the southeast, even as it moves up the eastern coast of the United States affecting Georgia, South

Carolina, North Carolina, and we have to remain vigilant and there's much more to do.


GIOKOS: All right, in Florida, the damage was not quite as severe as some residents feared. Still, water levels rose to record levels in the town of

Steinhatchee. CNN's chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir was there for us.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Here in Steinhatchee, Florida, a quaint village, a thousand anglers and birders and scallopers and

crabbers, they were expecting the worse. When you heard that storm surge forecast of 12 to 15 feet, longtime locals like Captain Mike Baker told me

he feared that it would reach the roofline here of the Dockside Grill. Thankfully, that didn't happen, but the devastation is still obvious for so

many people here.

The homes that were built on stilts did okay, some of the lower lying ones along the river, this is the Steinhatchee River, flooded, and will be

probably total losses, but it could have been much worse.

This is one of the lesser populated parts of the state of Florida. The Big Bend there, a lots of beautiful nature here. Not a lot of dense population

and that is a good thing given the insurance crisis that is plaguing the state.

This now the third major hurricane in 12 months to hit Florida, which raises insurance costs for everybody regardless of where you live in this

state. There is still much assessment to be made about the storm surge around Tampa area, Cedar Key, a barrier island which took the brunt of it.

Still assessing the damage, still a lot of tornado warnings as this category now one storm heads into Georgia, but coming out and in surveying

the damage so far, they're breathing a sigh of relief here in Steinhatchee.

Bill Weir, CNN.


GIOKOS: All right, to the Central African nation of Gabon, where military officers have named a new transitional leader after a stunning coup. The

junta has designated General Brice Oligui Nguema to take charge calling him president of the transition.

The EU says the coup could destabilize the whole region. Tensions have been running high in the oil rich, but poverty stricken nation since Saturday's

election, which the ousted president appear to have won.

David McKenzie has more.


ALI BONGO ONDIMBA, GABONESE PRESIDENT: I'm Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon and I'm to send a message to all the friends that we have all over

the world to tell them to make noise, to make noise.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's an extraordinary appeal in English.

BONGO ONDIMBA: And my family --

MCKENZIE: just hours ago, Ali Bongo seemed untouchable. Now, he is under house arrest.

(GENERAL BRICE OLIGUI NGUEMA speaking in foreign language.)

MCKENZIE: Because of this.

In this season of coups, a group of army officers making a now familiar announced announcement.


GENERAL BRICE OLIGUI NGUEMA, GABONESE JUNTA PRESIDENT (through translator): I have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime.

The general elections of August 26, 2023, as well as truncated results are canceled.

MCKENZIE (voice over): On the streets of Libreville, celebrations, shouts of liberation from some and a scene replayed over and over in recent


The coup leader say that the just concluded polls were not transparent and said Bongo's leadership threatened "chaos."

International observers weren't allowed in and the Internet was curtailed. From former colonist France, a well-practiced response.

OLIVIER VERAN, FRENCH GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON (through translator): France condemns the military coup that is underway in Gabon, and France is closely

monitoring the evolution of the situation on the ground and reiterates its desire to see the results of the election respected once it's known.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Gabon, the latest in a cascade of coups on the African continent, if solidified, it will be the eighth in Central and West

Africa since just 2020.

Most of them former French colonies, but each of them a different cocktail of power plays and discontent.

In Gabon, the citizens have lived under a dynastic regime for more than 50 years. Omar Bongo ruled for more than four decades, much of that time spent

in France, a critical ally.

The elder Bongo, members of his family and confidants were accused of eyewatering corruption, often linked to OPEC member Gabon's significant oil


Ali Bongo took over from his father in 2009. He has been praised for conserving Gabon's vast forests and taking innovative steps to develop

carbon credits to combat climate change.

But he's faced growing discontent from many, with violence breaking out after disputed polls in 2016, and an attempted coup three years later.

But these scenes have wider consequences. Many fear that Gabon is not the last domino to fall. African Union and international actors have failed to

effectively counter recent military takeovers, and Bongo's fate in house arrest was going remains tenuous.

BONGO ONDIMBA: I'm calling you to make noise, to make noise, to make noise, really.


MCKENZIE (on camera): What an extraordinary image that is, appealing for help from house arrest.

Gabon is an oil producer, but it's a deeply unequal country and there has been discontent, that that oil wealth hasn't been shared amongst the

population, something that's certainly not just in Gabon.

The issue here as well is that Gabon was seen by many as a democracy on paper only, and the efforts of the international community to try and bring

back this president might be stymied by that. We'll have to see if the pressure has any effect -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Well, earlier, my colleague, Christiane Amanpour spoke about the situation in Gabon with Joseph Borrell, the EU High Representative for

Foreign Affairs, and she asked him if the EU was worried about the series of coups in Africa over the past three years, and what could be done to

support democracy?


JOSEPH BORRELL, EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Let me say one thing first. The situation in Niger and Gabon are not at all equivalent. In

Niger, the president was a democratically elected president. In Gabon, that was before the military coup, it was an institutional coup, because the

elections were stolen, because the election had so many pitfalls, that it was also seizing the power illegitimately.

No military coup is a solution, but no military coup is equal to the other and it has to be judged according to the circumstances. I cannot say that

Gabon was a full democracy with a family ruling the country for the last 50 years.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Okay, but I mean, is a military coup, the way to go and you've seen what's happened. Okay, Niger

maybe different but --

BORRELL: I know.

AMANPOUR: What about Sudan?

BORRELL: I said no. I said no. I said no military coup is a solution. The solution goes through building a democratically and functional political

systems with inclusiveness, human rights respected, the whole process, but I want to make the difference because I want to repeat that, before the

military coup, it has been another coup.


An institutional coup. Nobody talked about it. But when you took power by pausing elections, this is a coup.

AMANPOUR: So very quickly, what can -- what does the EU need to do now to mitigate the instability there? What are you planning to do?

BORRELL: African solutions for African problems. I think that moment for the African regional institutions and the African Union, to take the lead,

this is an African problem that has to be solved by the Africans. We will support and we have said, we will support the efforts of ECOWAS, and we

will consider -- consider a request that we could receive in order to support ECOWAS on what they want to do.

They have taken decisions about sanctions, we will do the same thing, taking into account the humanitarian consequences of these sanctions. I

think that some kind of humanitarian exception has to be taken in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Niger. But you know, we, Europeans, we

cannot intervene and solve the country with this kind of problem.


GIOKOS: All right, Joseph Borrell there speaking to Christiane Amanpour.

But I want to take you back to our top story, the storm that's lashing the southeast United States. Ryan Young is in Savannah, for us, the first major

city in the heart of the storm.

Ryan, great to have you with us. Look, we've seen the devastating images over the past day just that the flooding, the storm surges, and I can see

where you are right now. It is also looking very risky.

Tell me about what threats you're facing right now where you are.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We'll just to let you know, we haven't got the brunt of the storm just yet. That's expected in the next two to three

hours, but for my colleagues who are down south, they have seen that flooding, and they've seen that heavy rain that you've been talking about.

There has been a lot of loss of property down there. There might have even been some people who have lost their lives. Now, we're in Savannah, a city

that's known throughout the world. One of the things that we've been pointing out, they are worried about the heavy winds in this area.

If you look at the big bridge right here, that's the Talmadge Bridge. That has been shut down for safety protocols, and even during this live shot,

you can see the gust of wind as it pops into us, as has been coming through, they are expecting winds as strong as 70 miles per hour.

Now, the good thing about this storm, it's been moving so fast, they do believe it may start breaking up as they get closer to this area. Right now

they believe this will be more of a wind event in the Savannah area, and not as much as a rain event.

But to show you, they've been preparing by putting sandbags throughout the city, they've even brought in water barriers at some businesses. That way,

they actually fill like these large balloons with water, put them around a building, and that way it stops the water from coming in.

What they're worried about is the surge, and if you look right here, it's not close to high tide yet. We've got to kind of be careful as we get here

because the wind is so bouncy, but you can see the water moving in the Savannah River.

They're worried about the water here, coming up above the banks, and then crashing into some of these businesses. That has happened before. As we've

been told, it should be around seven to eight o'clock tonight. When it starts, the rain really starts to impact this area.

They're also concerned about power outages, and that is what the entire state of Georgia has been dealing with. The last time we checked and heard

from the governor, we are talking about over 70,000 people in the state so far without power, and that's before all of these trees start falling

because of the heavy winds.

The moisture that's on the ground has weakened a lot of the root systems because of all that extra water, it makes it easy for some of these larger

trees to start falling.

Now, we are told emergency crews are on standby, especially in the Savannah area. They are thinking about doing curfews, they have not gotten to that

just yet.

So as you broaden this out, they're worried about pockets of heavy wind, downburst and tornadoes throughout the state of Georgia, as people start

looking southward, especially to their neighbors in Florida, who have been impacted so greatly by this large, enormous hurricane as it comes on the


GIOKOS: Wow. Yes, I mean, it's been incredible to just watch how it is hitting certain areas and the peak and you say the peak is coming through a

little bit later.

I can also see you're trying to hold on to your cap so that it doesn't blow away. I want you to give me a sense of how people are preparing.

YOUNG: Absolutely.

GIOKOS: I mean, I can see those businesses clearly leaving, you know what you're hearing from locals?

YOUNG: Well, that's a great question. Now, walk with me just a little bit, okay. So one of the reasons why we're out here, this is a big holiday

weekend in the US, right, and right now, this street will be packed with tourists.

In fact, we've seen some of them come out with their families, because obviously some of them are international. They have nowhere to go. So

they're stuck here right now as the airport has kind of slowed down their operations.

But all of these businesses along here have been closed. People who are from areas where hurricanes, I grew up in Florida myself, they don't get

worried about hurricanes until the very last minute.


In fact, when we went to the grocery store yesterday, the shelves were stocked perfectly. There was enough water, there was enough bread, there

was enough food, and they haven't had serious power outages throughout this area.

So right now, no panic has been setting in. But as you talk to tourists who have come to this area to enjoy all the sun and the heat that that this

area is known for, they were a little concerned. But I can tell you, most hotels have an operational standard in which they operate during a


So as of right now, no issues. But of course, if there's some homes damaged, or you have evacuations, that's when things could kind of take a

turn, and where people are kind of out of place, that's when we can see some of that panic that we haven't seen so far.

GIOKOS: Ryan Young, you stay safe, try to get to dry areas. Good to see you. Thank you so much for that update.

And still to come tonight, aerial attacks on both sides of the Russian- Ukrainian border with Russia targeted by the biggest drone assault since the war began in Ukraine. More details, that's coming up next.


GIOKOS: An intense night of drone strikes for both Russia and Ukraine. Russia on the receiving end of the biggest drone assaults on its territory

since the start of the war with attacks on six different regions, including Moscow. No casualties were reported, and Russia says almost all the drones

were intercepted.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Kyiv says there was a massive Russian bombardment on the capital. At least two people were killed. A military official called it

the most powerful attack since the spring.

Melissa, great to have you with us. Melissa Bell joins us now in Ukraine.

Look, we've seen these drone attacks in Russia. It's the largest as we've said, since the war began. I want to take us through the impact not only on

Russians, because for such a long time, the war was occurring somewhere else. Now, it is happening within Russia, bringing a very different

experience not only for the politicians there, but also for Russians themselves.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And that's exactly the point, Eleni, and you're right. Whilst we've seen these kinds of attacks

here in Ukraine ever since the war began for many months now.

This was the first time in a while that we've seen Ukrainian skies lit up in that way. Still, the air defense is relatively effective. Perhaps more

significant is what happened across the border because whilst we've been seeing these kinds of attacks on Russian soil, the fact that it was this

big, the fact that some of the targets reached were many hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian border, much closer to the Estonian, in fact.


The fact that whilst the air defenses were relatively effective across the six regions of Russia that were targeted, there were hits taken to

transporter planes at that airport in the very west of Russia, the very kind of transport planes that are used to bring equipment and men down to

the frontlines of Ukraine, so symbolically important as well.

And the point for the Ukrainians, and whilst they don't comment on the specifics of individual drone attacks, neither confirming or denying, they

have been making increasingly clear and did so again today through the voice of a presidential adviser that this is about bringing the war to

Russian soil.

They've also these last few weeks made it clear that this is part of a strategy. It is of course, about bringing morale to the Ukrainians, but

also showing to the Russians that their president is simply not able to keep them safe.

It is of course, since what is targeted are infrastructure and logistical hubs about making it harder for Russia to prosecute this war. And remember

that just south of here, the counteroffensive is making progress. The territorial gains may be small, but they are significant.

What the Ukrainians are aiming to do is get to a logistical hub called Tokmak to the south of where they are right now, to the south of Robotyne,

that town that they managed to take these last few days. They've been making further gains southwards, and what we're hearing is that from the

Russian side, they are bringing in more reserves, more equipment, and that the fighting is intense as Russian forces try and prevent those Ukrainian


So in that context of that counteroffensive and everything that is happening on the frontline south of here, the wider picture is also for the

Ukrainians about trying to make it difficult for Russia to bring more men and more equipment down to these lines.

Bear in mind, Eleni that it is an extremely long frontline even as the Ukrainians are making that very slow, but they say steady progress along

the Zaporizhzhia line, they are facing a very intense fighting along other parts, in Bakhmut, for instance, up in the north, around Kupiansk and

Lyman, we know that Russian forces have brought some 100,000 men there to try and make progress with their offensives to push the Ukrainian line

back, even as Ukraine makes these advances southwards.

So an extremely difficult situation, one that that continues to involve a lot of loss of life on all sides, but the Ukrainians do feel that this

slight progress that they've made, could give them the kind of momentum they need to carry on pushing forward to talk about their ultimate aim, of

course, Eleni, the Azov Sea and cutting off that land bridge to Crimea.

GIOKOS: Yes, yes, really important, also Jens Stoltenberg was speaking to Christiane Amanpour earlier and he said Ukrainians are gradually gaining

ground in the counteroffensive, albeit, the criticism that they are moving very slowly.

Look overnight, we also saw Kyiv at the mercy of a massive drone strike as well, and this has been the largest we've seen since the spring. To what

extent do drone strikes of this nature impact Ukraine's ability to gain even more ground on the frontline?

Because efforts cannot be, you know, sort of ignored in terms of what needs to be in terms of air defenses specifically on larger cities like Kyiv?

BELL: Well, I think what the night showed certainly on the Ukrainian side was just how efficient their air defenses now are. Of the 16 drones that

were launched, all but one was intercepted, the missiles as well and these are remarkably efficient air defenses that Ukraine has had to build up over

the course of the last year-and-a-half and has done with a great deal of creativity and imagination. Of course, a great deal of Western health as

well, but they are remarkably efficient.

Still, the debris the missiles caused -- did lead to the loss of lives in Kyiv, which shouldn't be forgotten. These are civilians that continue to

pay the price of this war regularly ever since that strategy began many months ago of trying to bring the war further inside Ukrainian territory

than simply along the frontline.

And I don't think it so much prevents the Ukrainians; if anything, it probably adds to their resolve. There is a great deal of determination and

focus on those frontlines and on that counteroffensive and I would suggest that their resolve has actually probably never been stronger -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, Melissa Bell in Zaporizhzhia for us, thank you so much. Great to have you on the ground there bringing us those details.

Well, Australia is now set for an historic referendum. On October 14th, voters will decide whether to change the Constitution to recognize the

nation's indigenous people. Supporters say a yes vote would give them a seat at the table advising the government on laws that affect First Nations


Olivia Caisley with Sky News Australia has more.



ANTHONY ALBANESE, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: The referendum day will be the 14th of October.

OLIVIA CAISLEY, SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA (voice over): A jumpstart to the referendum campaign in Adelaide, the place of the Red Kangaroo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is funny that that kangaroo never goes backwards, only forwards.

CAISLEY (voice over): Australians will soon decide whether to take the constitutional leap and recognize Indigenous Australians in the nation's

birth certificate and establish a voice advisory body.

ALBANESE: A once in a generation chance to bring our country together and to change it for the better.

No more waste, better results where they needed.

CAISLEY (voice over): The Yes Campaign mobilizing an army of over 30,000 volunteers driven by guest appearances from across the political divide,

including the Greens leader and former Labour leader Bill Shorten side by side in Melbourne.

Albanese and government ministers and tails together on Perth's popular Cottesloe Beach. And senators from across the aisle amassing together in

the nation's capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it'll save us money to be honest.

CAISLEY (voice over): Setting up a David and Goliath battle between the yes and no camps.

WARREN MUNDINE, VOICE NO CAMPAIGNER: It's all Albo. He is the one who started this, and if he thinks that the voice is the answer to fixing

everything is magic wand.

JACINTA PRICE, AUSTRALIAN SENATOR AND NO CAMPAIGNER: To suggest that we have not had a voice is completely and utterly misleading.

PETER DUTTON, AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: He says that all of the details will be provided after the vote takes place. If you don't know vote no,

because this is the biggest change to our Constitution in our country's history.

CAISLEY (voice over): The Yes Campaign has won over one time voice opponent, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: An assembly of the kind that is proposed was proposed would be in effect, a third chamber of


I've reflected very long and hard over it. It will not be a third chamber of Parliament, but it will have enormous influence. We shouldn't kid


CAISLEY (on camera): Yes campaigners hope their voices will be the loudest, but they'll have to shout louder according to the latest polls. To succeed,

they have to convince the majority of Australians, as well as at least four of the six states. With New South Wales and Victoria leaning towards Yes,

Queensland and WA leaning towards No, Tasmania and South Australia are shaping up to be the key battlegrounds.

PETER MALINAUSKAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA PREMIER: If our great grandparents can say yes to waves of migration, if our grandparents can say yes in 1967,

then this generation is capable of saying yes to an advisory committee.

KATY GALLAGHER, AUSTRALIAN FINANCE MINISTER: Canberra is important. We're not a state. So obviously we don't count on that test.

CAISLEY (voice over): The prime minister insists this is a once in a generation opportunity for voters which should not be wasted.

ALBANESE: And don't close the door on the next generation of Indigenous Australians. Vote Yes.

CAISLEY (voice over): Olivia Caisley, Sky News, Canberra.


GIOKOS: People in the US state of Georgia are hunkering down as Hurricane Idalia leaves a trail of damage in Florida. We are going to have the latest

on the storm for you right after this short break.

Stay with CNN.




GIOKOS (voice-over): Hello, there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment when the U.S. Commerce Secretary warns China of becoming uninvestable as

she wraps up her trip.

We will discuss the U.S. newspaper that is pausing its artificial intelligence program after learning the technology's limitations the hard


Before that, the headlines this hour.


GIOKOS (voice-over): North Korea apparently fired a ballistic missile earlier on Wednesday. South Korea's Yonhap News Agency says, the missile

was fired toward the East Sea, also called The sea of Japan. The U.S. has been conducting air drills with South Korea and Japan.

A U.S. judge has ruled Rudy Giuliani is liable for defaming two election workers in Georgia. They sued Donald Trump's former attorney for falsely

claiming that they rigged votes in the 2020 presidential election. A civil trial will be held to determine the damages Rudy Giuliani owes them.

American soccer star Megan Rapinoe will plan in one last U.S. national team match before she retires. U.S. Soccer is billing the match in South Africa

in Chicago this month as a farewell game in her honor. It will be her 203rd appearance for the national team.


GIOKOS: As we speak, Hurricane Idalia is bringing strong winds, heavy rain to the U.S. state of Georgia. It left a trail of damage across Florida,

where it made landfall as a major category 3 storm. Idalia has since weakened to a category 1.

But officials warn, it remains life-threatening. In its wake we've been seeing videos, sobering videos of downed trees, flying debris and ravaged

homes. Officials had warned that the storm surge could be over 15 feet tall.



KINKADE: Beijing says the U.S. and China should work together to promote a global economic recovery. That comment follows a visit by the U.S. Commerce

Secretary. Gina Raimondo told Chinese officials the U.S. does not want to decouple.

During her visit, she said some companies considered China uninvestable. China's economy has been struggling and just got more bad news from its

biggest private property developer.

Country Garden warning on Wednesday it could default if its finances further deteriorate. It said it felt deeply remorseful for a first half

loss of nearly $7 billion. Beijing is facing mounting problems. China's real estate market has ground to a halt.

Youth unemployment is so high, the number is no longer reported. And deflation is set in last month. Steven Jiang has more for us.


STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Secretary Raimondo told reporters before leaving Shanghai that she saw no setbacks or even pushbacks from

Chinese officials during her three days of open, candid and constructive conversations with them.

But the Chinese did push back on Wednesday afternoon when asked about her comments made on a train from Beijing to Shanghai, that some American

companies have complained to her that China has become quote-unquote "uninvestable" because of a series of policy moves and actions from Beijing

that included fines and raids.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China remains one of the world's most important investment destinations and, instead, calling on the U.S. to

stick to its position of not decoupling from China and creating a more favorable business environment for both sides.

So this back-and-forth illustrating the challenges faced by U.S. officials as they try to maintain and improve economic relations with Beijing,

despite rising geopolitical tensions.

Secretary Raimondo obviously trying to highlight these ties and promoting U.S. business interests while in China, stopping at some of America's most

iconic companies in Shanghai, including Boeing and Disneyland.

But she also told reporters that she had to mention that her own email was hacked by Chinese -- China-based hackers not long before this visit to make

a point of saying that such actions will erode trust and not conducive to doing business with each other.

She also stressed again that the export control measures targeting China, issued by her own department, they are not negotiable but they're also very

narrowly focused to protect U.S. national security.

The good thing she said is that both sides have agreed to launch a new platform for U.S. officials to explain these decisions to their Chinese

counterparts and also launching a new working group involving not just officials but also the private sector to address and trying to resolve

economic and trade issues.

And all of that, according to Raimondo, is a good sign that both sides are willing to work to stabilize this very important economic relationship and

also, of course, she added that she was the first U.S. Commerce Secretary to visit China in five years.

And that itself is a very positive signal -- Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.


KINKADE: GIOKOS: CNN names its next CEO. We will talk about the shakeup in our organization and what Mark Thompson brings to the table. That is coming

up next.





GIOKOS: Welcome back, you're watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I am Eleni Giokos in Dubai.

Now some news from our own organization. CNN has a new CEO, Mark Thompson officially takes the helm October 9 and adds to an already extensive

resume, which includes eight years as director general of the BBC and more recently, CEO of "The New York Times."

He's credited with bringing "The Times" into the digital age. The company's stock more than quadrupled under his leadership when he left in 2020.

Thompson told Richard about his strategy. Take a listen.


MARK THOMPSON, INCOMING CEO, CNN: You invest in journalism. We have got more than 300 more people in our newsroom than when I started. Invest in

journalism. Get smart about how you package it and sell it as a digital project on smartphones and so on.

And you can generate the loyalty and the subscribers, which help pay for more journalism. So we've managed to get ourselves into a virtuous circle.

And we're one of the few news organizations to do that.


GIOKOS: That interview was from April 11, 2020. We have Oliver Darcy in New York.

Great to see you. In the same interview, Richard also said he is too young and too experienced to grow petunias and go fishing, to which he responded

that he likes big challenges. And he likes to help organizations confront the present and the future. Take us to the challenges he will face at CNN.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he will face a lot of challenges, really three big challenges he will face. One is, of

course, the media landscape is shifting very rapidly.

CNN earns the bulk of its revenue based on linear television model, the model that people are watching you and I (sic) right now on. That model is

rapidly shrinking as people switch to streaming and cut the cord. So he's going to have to grapple with that reality.

He's also going to have to grapple with a really complicated, thorny political reality. Donald Trump is, of course, running to be president

again in 2024. That is going to result in a lot of mis- and disinformation being spread next year as well as the criminal indictments.

So you can expect a lot of thorny editorial decisions that have to be made in covering the 2024 race and Donald Trump in general. And then he's also

inheriting a bruised organization. CNN has been through a lot in the last 20 months.

Its longtime chief executive, Jeff Zucker, ousted; the CNN+ streaming service was suddenly shattered. You had star anchors fired, programming

changes, layoffs and, of course, the most recent chief executive, Chris Licht, also was -- ended up being fired early this year.

So the organization has been through a lot and it's looking for stability. So Mark Thompson hopefully can be that steady hand. Now he has acknowledged

all of these challenges.

In his first memo to staff, I want to read to you part of what he said.

He said, "We face pressure from every direction -- structural, political, cultural, you name it. There's no magic wand that I or anyone else can

wield to make this disruption go away.


DARCY: "But what I can say is that, where others see threat, I see opportunity, especially given CNN's great brand and the strength of its


So that's his first message to staffers, acknowledging the challenges but saying, he sees a great path forward.

GIOKOS: Yes, and sees opportunity, which is quite important. Looking at his track record, he said, in his own words, he is a TV guy. And yet, he was

able to make big changes at "The New York Times," increasing subscriptions dramatically.

He says that he goes in with fresh eyes to see what needs to be done. You mentioned a few things, talked about the political landscape, the era of

disruption, which is quite interesting because this is what the future is about.

Where are the eyeballs going to come from. Is it going to be on digital platforms, on cable?

What kind of mix sort of are we seeing in the market right now that warrants investments?

DARCY: What's so interesting is, when he was at "The New York Times," the paper faced similar challenges. You will remember back then, print

subscriptions were rapidly declining.

So "The New York Times'" model was built on print subscriptions print very similar to how CNN's models are built on linear television. And that model

obviously is declining. So what Mark Thompson did at "The New York Times," was he really transformed the paper into a digital powerhouse.

Of course now it's one of most relevant news organizations in the world, arguably with a much larger footprint than before, when it was a print-

based publication.

So the hope here, I think, is that Mark Thompson can take CNN's great journalism and transform the company, position it for the future, by making

it stronger on digital platforms, while also moving the linear product, what people are watching you and I (sic) do right now, on to streaming,

where people, where the future of the audience is going to be.

That is the hope. It's a big challenge but he has had success transforming "The New York Times" in a similar way. And so I think the hope is he can do

the same for CNN.

GIOKOS: Yes. Thank you so much, Oliver Darcy, great to have you on. Much appreciated.

Now more on China struggling economy, which we've mentioned, is facing deflation, high youth unemployment and a lot more. We have Sitao Xu, chief

economist for Deloitte China. He joins me now from Shanghai.

Great to have you with us. I know we've been trying to get you online but glad we could establish contact.

We've just heard that many U.S. companies are saying China is just not investable right now. They say it is uninvestable, talking about policy.

Even policy aside, the current economic climate is very concerning.

What do you make of this comment that some companies are saying we just don't want to put our money into this market right now?

SITAO XU, CHIEF ECONOMIST, DELOITTE CHINA: I think economic slowdown has structure reasons and cyclic reasons. COVID has obscured the trend of

slowing down, which really began quite a few years ago.

The economy needs another driver in post-poverty era. So the next two years. Poverty (INAUDIBLE) is unlikely to bring anything to the (INAUDIBLE)


But that said (ph), I think the consumer sector itself will provide some cushion. So I do think the medium-term growth trend should be around 4

percent. But of course, policymakers will need to undertake certain reform; for example, the labor market, relaxation, (INAUDIBLE), so on and so forth.

So that is how we see the Chinese economy going forward.


GIOKOS: So you talk about the consumer. Yes, you talk about the consumer but we are seeing deflation kicking in, which is showing the consumer is

just not expending as it should.

Another shocking piece of information is that employment is reaching levels where we are just not seeing it being recorded anymore.

Could you give us some insight into the health of the consumer and whether they've just been that hurt because of the no COVID policy that we are now

experiencing the aftereffects?

XU: Yes. Consumers have knocked down so-called revenge consumption as many have anticipated after the first quarter this year. And the policy (ph)

factor also has weakened. But we have to put this in perspective. The poverty sector, residential poverty sector, has a massive (INAUDIBLE) and,

in many cities and prices have gone up --


XU: -- like 10, 20, 30 times over the past 50 years. So of course from this very elevated level, the price is coming down. But I don't see there is a

(INAUDIBLE) moment. Certain segment I think consumers are still doing OK. For example, travel, tourism, hospitality, restaurants.

Youth unemployment, it's not just Chinese issue (ph). I think it's a global issue. We need some I think ultimately, the solution is relaxing service


GIOKOS: All right, Sitao Xu, great to have you with us, thank you for the insight.

Right, let's move on now. And now you can ask AI to write just about anything. That doesn't necessarily mean it will do a good job. Up next,

newspaper learning that lesson the very hard way. I'll explain after this. Stay with CNN.




GIOKOS: Welcome back. You are watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I am Eleni Giokos in Dubai.

A newspaper article generated by AI is going viral for what is described as comically bad writing. It recaps a high school football game in Ohio

without mentioning a single player's name.

It relied instead on awkward phrases like calling the game "a close encounter of the athletic kind."

Danuth Ridge (ph) owns "The Columbus Dispatch," says it's pausing this AI experiment. It comes as more newsrooms turn to AI tools, drumming up

controversy and ethical challenges.

Clare Duffy is in New York for us.

I've got so many questions.

Did no one proofread the article before it went to print?



DUFFY: -- AI principles. They said they would be editing these things before they went to print but you have to wonder how some of the stuff

slipped through. This was just one of dozens of articles published by Gannett Papers in recent weeks.

They used this AI writing service and, as you said, many were clearly not human sounding. They missed key details. They had this odd phrasing,

repeatedly using phrases like describing a game as high school football action and noting when one team took victory away from another.

So just sounding really odd. And a lot of these stories have since been updated and as you said, Gannett says it plans to pause this experiment,

using this AI writing service for high school sports dispatches in all the local markets (INAUDIBLE) saying (ph).


DUFFY: You know, but it just -- I think it really is a lesson for news outlets. This is just the latest news outlet that we've seen that has had

to sort of walk back some of these AI experiments. And you can see how, at a resource strapped local newspaper, this could seem like a real


AI technology has developed a lot but I think this is a clear sign that this technology just isn't quite ready for prime time. Which for you and I,

Eleni, maybe is a good sign. There's just nothing quite like having a reporter in those football stands.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. Reporter is always required. People are required to proofread as well. A close encounter of the athletic kind, that really made

me laugh. But the point is, AI is developing rapidly.

But it seems to be a really important note here, that human intervention is required at various stages of development in terms of articles or any kind

of input to create content.

DUFFY: Absolutely. I think there really right now is this race to -- everyone is talking about AI; everybody wants to take advantage of this

new, splashy technology. But I think there is some need for people to slow down and think about how it's being implemented.

In the case of the articles, the byline made it clear that these articles were being written by AI. But I think that is another part of the concern.

Are the people consuming this news going to be aware that their news is being written and generated by AI?

If the company says that it will be editing this stuff before it reaches people, is it actually doing that?

I think, in that way, it is important for consumers to understand how they are getting the information that they are getting.

GIOKOS: Clare Duffy, great to have you on, thank you so much.

We have just moments left to trade on Wall Street and we will have the final numbers as well as the closing bell, right after this. Stay with us.




GIOKOS: Well, we've just got moments left to trade on Wall Street. I want to take you through how the U.S. markets are faring. Dow is up marginally,

35 points to the good. We've also got the S&P 500 slightly higher as well today. That would make it a four-day winning streak for the S&P 500.

Overall, just slightly in the green, there you have all the numbers. Nasdaq also in the positive, doing far better than the rest. Lots of economic data

that investors are trying to analyze today. That is, of course, driving markets as well.

Now private payroll reports showing job growth closed in August. U.S. GDP growth in the second quarter was revised slightly lower. I want to take a

look at how the Dow components are doing; 3M up 5.2 percent; Goldman Sachs also in the green. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street and "THE LEAD