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Quest Means Business

Apartment Block Fire Kills At Least 74 In Johannesburg; UBS Rakes In Record $29 Billion Profit In Q2; Workers Say Young Colleagues Have Influenced Their Views; Xi Jinping Plans To Skip G20 Summit; More Countries Interested In Joining BRICS; Call To Earth; Baidu, SenseTime Unveil Chatbots. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 31, 2023 - 15:00   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It is the final day of trading for the month, the Dow are on track to close roughly two percent down on the

month. You can see the Dow Jones down four-tenths of a percent. That's 138 points in the red, a big shift from positive to the negative. Well, those

are the markets and these are the main events.

A fire kills more than 70 in South Africa. The country's president calls it a wake-up call. France expands price controls in the battle against food

inflation, and Brazil's foreign minister is with me. We'll be discussing plans to expand the family of the BRICS nations.

Live from Dubai, it is Thursday, August 31st. I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Welcome to the show and a very good evening. We begin tonight in South Africa where we are learning more about the deadly fire that tore through a

crowded housing block in central Johannesburg. At least 74 people were killed, 12 of them children.

Officials described the five-story derelict block as a hijacked building. That's one abandoned by landlords and taken over by gangs and other groups

who lease it out to people who cannot afford other means of housing.

The fire which has now been extinguished, began early on Thursday. It is been called the worst in recent memory. The cause is not yet clear.

Now in the past few hours, South Africa's president visited the site to get a briefing from search and rescue teams and he said the disaster was caused

in part by social crisis.


CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: We've got to go to the bottom of what caused this fire and also address from now on, it's a wake-up call

for us to begin to address the situation of housing in the inner city.


GIOKOS: Well, we've got David McKenzie in Johannesburg for us where he has been speaking to witnesses firsthand. He has been on the ground to see

exactly what played out over the day.

David, we heard from the president there saying, it is a wake-up call that we need to focus on housing. But frankly, hijacked buildings have been a

very big issue if you're in Johannesburg, you know exactly the problems that the city faces. Tell me what you saw today and where we stand right


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, it is a very dark day in South Africa, I have to say, and people are shocked at the extent of

the loss of life in this fire that ripped through this building in downtown Johannesburg.

Yes, the president called it a wake-up call, others called it an accident waiting to happen that should have been prevented.


MCKENZIE (voice over): A woman's wail pierces the streets of Johannesburg. More than 70 people are now dead and dozens injured after a

brutal fire tore through a five-story building in the center of the South African city.

WISEMAN MPEP, BUILDING FIRE SURVIVOR: People were making noise, yelling "Fire. Fire. Fire."

MCKENZIE (voice over): Survivors like Wiseman Mpep say he was woken up by screams in the early hours of the morning and raced to get out of the

building, but the gates were locked.

MPEP: So I come back in the gate. The fire is full-full. After that, don't have any plan. I just sit.

MCKENZIE (voice over): The smoke quickly smothering him.

MPEP: Smoke was coming for me. Yes. After that, I just fell down. Then from there, I don't know anything until now.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Authorities quickly on the scene, moving through the building floor by floor and pulling out charred bodies, many though,

still remain missing.

MPEP: I have a brother, sister and sister's husband.

MCKENZIE (on camera): You don't know where they are?

MPEP: I don't know.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Another survivor who lost three sisters describes how her niece was thrown out the window and caught by people who already

made it outside.

OMAR FOART, BUILDING FIRE SURVIVOR: My in-law hit the window and threw the daughter outside. The people, then caught the daughter while it was hot

in the air.

MCKENZIE (on camera): You look at this building behind me, you can imagine the chaos and the terror that ensued. People desperately trying to

get out of those packed apartments. Floors of it totally gutted as people were burnt to death.


This is what's known as a hijacked building in South Africa taken over by gangs, and mostly leased to poor migrants.

HERMAN MASHABA, FORMER JOHANNESBURG MAYOR: This is not an accident. This for me, it is made of culpable homicide because it was bound to happen.

Actually what you say in this building, I can tell you, I can take you to buildings that are worse off where people live worse than pigs.

MCKENZIE (voice over): This tragedy tangled into the deeply ingrained inequality across the country, many of the people who lived here were

migrants, just hoping to start a new life. Instead, emergency services, now sorting through the ashes of the little that is left.


MCKENZIE (on camera): Now that building has been taken over by the police. No one is allowed inside, Eleni. And certainly there's a lot of

questions being asked of how this could happen. The investigation will begin and fingers will be pointed, but the reality remains in the skyline

you see behind me, there are multiple buildings like this with many people living in this kind of squalor -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, David McKenzie, thank you so much for that report. Really important story for us today.

Well, I want to take you back to 2017 when I visited a hijacked building in Johannesburg, similar to the one that burned down today. I was joined by

the city's then-mayor, Herman Mashaba during a police raid on the complex.

The living conditions there were absolutely dire, made worse by unregulated construction. Here is what I saw.


GIOKOS: Look at these informal structures that have been built within the building itself. Each one of these houses have an entire family. There is

no running water, there are just cable wires running through for electricity. It's very -- it's crazy. It's like an informal settlement

within a building.

And just to show you how small it is, I mean, just these informal structures that have been put together. Really small and stuffy. I mean,

there's absolutely no ventilation in here. There's no -- there are no standards, no ventilation.

The conditions are very extreme.


GIOKOS: It was a harrowing experience, one that will stay with me forever.

I'm joined now by Moeletsi Mbeki, who is the deputy chair of the South African Institute of International Affairs. He's also the brother of the

former president, Thabo Mbeki, he joins us now.

Moeletsi, great to have you on with us, sir.

Look, I've been in these hijacked buildings. I just know exactly what the conditions are like. It is a difficult situation. But it becomes so

prolific within the CBD of Johannesburg, and it has almost become part of the dynamics of the city.

There are families living there, they're living in these inhumane conditions. The working men and the working woman, but the buildings are

run illegally, and they're very dangerous. The question is here where to move these people? What do you think the government has done to be able to

sort out the situation that's been plaguing the city for many years now?


government in South Africa is really only nominally in charge of what is going on in the country. It is nominally in control of the country. It is

marginally in control of the borders of the country. It has totally lost control of the urbanization of South Africa.

There is no town planning, except for a small part where the middle class and the upper class live. But for the rest of the population of the working

class of the poor, there is no town planning whatsoever.

So it is not surprising that what happened today actually happened, but the authorities are not in control. And in a way, are not really interested in

the welfare of the boy in South Africa.

GIOKOS: Moeletsi, look, the biggest issue remains that even though there is some works underway and the government has said that they are trying to

make a plan. But even with, you know, more affordable housing, it is still unaffordable to the large parts of the population.

Around half of South Africans are currently on welfare. To give the viewers an indication, that's 350 rand a month. That's around $19.00 a month.

With that kind of, you know support, you're basically saying to someone you can only live in an informal settlement. That's just enough to feed one


So what to do about the unaffordability of life in Johannesburg?


MBEKI: Yes. But the unemployment problem is not a standalone problem. It's not that a mysterious problem. It is an outcome of economic policies

that the government is driving. That is why we have such high unemployment.

The primary economic policies that are being driven by the South African government favor in particular, the Black middle class, and the middle

class and the upper class in general.

Just to give you an illustration, the public service in South Africa is the highest paid in the world, relative to the GDP of the country, and that is

where the new elites in South Africa is employed.

So the unemployment that you're talking about is a consequence of the economic policies of this government.

GIOKOS: So Moeletsi, well, the question now becomes: Has government failed in economic policy, as we speak right now? And are they making an

effort to change this reality for the majority of South Africans?

MBEKI: I agree with you that the government's economic policies have failed completely. Our railway infrastructure is in a complete shambles,

because there is no investment in the railways. So we cannot take our minerals, like coal, like iron ore, like manganese ore to international

markets, which is why there is so much unemployment, and that is the failure.

Our economic growth rates last week I saw was 0.3 percent. That is in South Africa. Now, in Sub Saharan Africa, the economic growth rate is above three

percent, but in South Africa, it says 0.3 percent. So the economic policies of this government have failed totally and that is why we are getting the

catastrophes like you saw today, with people living in the conditions that you saw when you visited a hijacked building.

GIOKOS: But Moeletsi, it's not just the hijacked buildings, right? I mean, you know what it's like in informal settlements. We've seen the

images, we've experienced that living in Johannesburg. We see the poverty - - South Africa is the most unequal country in the world according to the World Bank.

I want you to give me a sense of where to from here? Because this isn't fixed in a day. These are systemic fundamental issues that are going to

take a very long time to reverse.

MBEKI: Well, they take both a long time and a short time. The present government, it adopted policies 25 years ago that led to the

deindustrialization of South Africa. It opened up the economy without recapitalizing our industry. The consequence of that is that our

manufacturing industry was decimated by imports from Asia. Now, that is economic policy.

So you cannot say it will take a long time. It was a deliberate economic policy of trying to deliver cheap goods to the voters for the present

government, but this was at the expense of growing the economy. They delivered cheap goods by importing from Asia, instead of restructuring our

manufacturing sector, which admittedly had been protected under big tariff barriers during the apartheid era, but they had to restructure and

gradually open the economy up.

Instead of doing that, they opened the economy instantly. Our manufacturing sector was wiped out, and that these are the consequences that you are

seeing today.

GIOKOS: Yes, and I'm glad -- because this is a macro picture, right? These are structural issues within the economy that is manifesting into

what we see today, the unaffordability of decent housing resulting in hijacked buildings.

Moeletsi Mbeki, great to have you with us, sir. Thank you so much for your time.

All right, when we come back, blockbuster earnings for UBS after its takeover of Credit Suisse.

And a major survey finding that young people are helping their older colleagues learn to set healthier work-life boundaries. We'll give you a

lesson right after this.



GIOKOS: Welcome back.

Now UBS just reported the most profitable quarter for a bank ever. Shares in the Swiss lender are up six percent on the $29 billion windfall. You

might remember that UBS took over its ailing rival, Credit Suisse earlier this year. Analysts say the huge profit is a direct result of their buyout.

Even so, UBS says it's going to cut 3,000 jobs in Switzerland. The layoffs are part of a larger $10 billion cost cutting effort.

Matt Egan is in New York for us. Big profits, and yet more job cuts. Part of a consolidation after that mega merger, it seems. They wanted to cut

back on $10 billion. Give me a sense of what is going on.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Eleni, let's start with those blockbuster profit numbers because we knew that UBS got a pretty sweet deal in this shotgun

marriage with Credit Suisse, but the latest profit numbers really make it look like an outright steal. I mean, $29 billion in a single quarter as you

mentioned, this is not just a record for UBS, or for a Swiss bank, this is the biggest profit that any bank has ever generated a new single quarter.

It's amazing. And it really does go back to the Credit Suisse deal.

This is largely an accounting phenomenon known as bad will. When a company buys something and pays less than it's actually worth, they have to adjust

their accounting, their books for that. And so that's what's happened here is they've had to reflect the fact that Credit Suisse is actually worth a

lot more than they paid for.

Now, this is not the only bank here that's benefiting from the banking crisis, the only big bank, right, we saw JP Morgan, their profits, their

quarterly profits were up by 67 percent, in large part because of their acquisition of First Republic. Similar story in the US with First Citizens

and their acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank.

But when you look under the hood here, Eleni, you can see that things are not quite as rosy, right? The underlying profit for UBS is only $1.1

billion and Credit Suisse itself reported a pretax loss of $4.9 billion, so that is why we're hearing more talk about cost cutting. As you mentioned,

UBS targeting $10 in cost cutting. They are laying off 3,000 jobs all, as they're trying to consolidate and absorb Credit Suisse into a larger bank



GIOKOS: Matt Egan, thank you so much for that.

Well, workers say they're learning a thing or two from their younger peers. Per the latest Edelman Trust Barometer, 93 percent say younger co-workers

have influenced their views on things like work-life balance, and new technology. People are also expecting more out of their companies.

Employees say they're more likely to work for firms that speak out on social issues. Eighty percent also expect personal empowerment from their


Richard Edelman is the CEO of Edelman, the company behind the Trust Barometer, he joins me now. So great to have you with us.


GIOKOS: Look, Gen Z is pushing for more meaningful work and this work- life balance. Full disclosure, I'm a millennial, but I'm closer to the previous generation. Work-life balance doesn't really exist in my life, but

it is fascinating to see what younger employees are pushing for.

Give me a sense of what they're thinking and why they are actually -- they have, you know, the strength and I guess, the gravitas to be able to go to

the employer and say, look, we want more out of life and this is what we want from you.

EDELMAN: So as we come to Labor Day in the US, what you see is that you have Gen Z being belief driven buyers of products, and also values driven

employees. And since there's such low unemployment, they get to control their relationship with their employer. And they get to say, look, you're

the most trusted institution, my employer trust is local. But we, in return, expect to have a voice in decisions. We want to have an employer

who actually is making change in the world, and we want you as CEO to speak up on our behalf.

GIOKOS: Look, it's also fascinating, I was just looking at how worried the younger generation are about world issues, specifically, the group

between 18 to 24 years old, a lot more worried than the older group, the 27 to 42-year-old group. How does this affect their ability to work and

engage? Is that spilling over into their work life?

EDELMAN: I think it's fascinating that a millennial is different to a Gen X because -- and a Gen Z, what you observe is much more willingness to work

through the company channels to make change on the first group, but you know, the Zs basically say, I'm taking it direct to the streets. It's sort

of 50/50.

And there's also an incredible willingness to write about what's happening in the company, 1- point jump in a year commenting about what's happening

with the company and social media. That's a fundamental change, so we're talking and we're demanding action.

GIOKOS: In terms of the fear, I think that everyone is worried about, right, so artificial intelligence, we are all worried about what that means

for future jobs, how that's going to influence our lives going forward. To what extent is that starting to become an issue?

I mean, I think that the other narrative is learn to work with AI, which can help you prepare for jobs of the future.

EDELMAN: There is a shocking finding in this study, which is the deskless workers. In other words, a factory worker or even a house painter, could be

a doctor, someone who's not sitting in front of a screen has substantially less trust in institutions, like 30 points lower trust in government and in

business, and actually sees much less achievement on sustainability or DEI than their colleagues who are in the executive class or who are sitting at

a desk.

And so this deskless worker group is feeling disenfranchised, not listened to. So the smart CEO will follow the model of the CEO of Starbucks, who is

going out into the stores actually put on the green apron and watched and participated in how the workers are serving clients, and that makes all the

difference because he's listening, and then he's able to enact change.

GIOKOS: Really fascinating. I mean, I've also just seen some of findings here that they really are worried about job losses. And I find that quite

interesting because also the list of demands are very different to what we've seen with the previous generations.

I want you to tell me how that is, you know, kind of moving into a specific direction. On one hand, you're worried about job loss; on the other hand,

you want work-life balance, you're quite demanding of your employer, you know, how do you reconcile these issues?

EDELMAN: Well, there's even a third aspect which is I'm demanding that my voice be heard and that the company follow my lead in a sense and stand up

for me on issues ranging from sustainability diversity, equity and inclusion, geopolitics, wages and rescaling.


I want my company face forward on these issues.

Now, I in particular, want the company to act, I want to see change, I want to see tangible efforts to have improvement and measurable change. And so

all these siren songs about well walk away from ESG -- that's wrong. That's bad advice to the CEO.

You've got to hang in there, because the expectation of your customers, your employees, and of your communities is that you are showing continuous


GIOKOS: Okay, Richard, one last question very quickly. Are multinationals, are CEOs, are businesses, small and big, going to comply

with some of these demands?

EDELMAN: I think the smart company is going to have a combination of what are my core competencies and what are my values and select those issues in

which you can make a difference. Every company can improve its environmental footprint, improve on its DEI scores, and then if you're

Heineken, getting out of Russia is a signal to the entire world that you're a decent company and that you're making change.

GIOKOS: Right. Great to have you with us, Richard. Great to speak to you.

EDELMAN: Thank you.

GIOKOS: Much appreciated for your time.

All right, to France now which is taking aim and inflation with new measures to keep prices in check. The French Finance minister has announced

doubling in the number of products that are price capped. Bruno Le Maire has also lashed out at several institutional producers for not doing enough

to help the consumer.

Anna Stewart joins me now to break down all of these numbers. Look, someone is going to have to take a hit on their margins looking at these inflation

or price caps. Producers usually don't make the most money in that value chain. It's the process, it is mostly the retailers, so which parts are we

talking about here that is being blamed?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, the agreement certainly with both the producers, the retailers and the blame, I'd say up to this point has pretty

much been shared across the board. But here, I guess the multinational food producers are probably copping a lot of it simply because Bruno Le Maire,

the French Finance minister, actually named and shamed three of them.

We have Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever all named. He said they have done "a bit," I'll quote, "but not much." This has been an ongoing issue,

obviously, not just in France, across the continent. But in France, there were negotiations back in June, to put some price caps in place for certain

goods in the supermarkets. They've now doubled that.

I think what will be key here is how they enforce it. We're told that it will be backed up with sanctions and checks from the government. Something

similar was said in June, and we found out this week that many of the commitments that were made by food companies to reduce prices or put caps

on them actually really weren't followed through at this stage.

So enforcement will be key. Perhaps naming and shaming is one way to go about that.

GIOKOS: Yes. Fascinating. Look why now in France, because this isn't the only place we're seeing it, right? We've seen it elsewhere in Europe as

well. This is a strategy that's been adopted by many other countries to try and put a cap on inflation.

STEWART: Yet France has certainly been more active than most. It's interesting, actually, because the French economy actually grew in the last

quarter, unlike many of its Eurozone peers, including, of course, Germany, the biggest economy in the Eurozone, and inflation has ticked higher over

the last month, but food inflation is beginning to fall in France.

It's still double digits, though, which means food prices are still getting higher, just not as quickly as they were. This is though, as you say, a

problem across the board. It is interesting to see what different countries have done about it.

Hungary, for example, have also implemented price caps into that quite quickly. Portugal has an exemption on VAT, on value-added-tax on certain

goods for low income families. Italy is trying to implement caps. I know here in the UK, the government has threatened food companies, producers,

supermarkets with caps, but hasn't actually implemented anything at this stage.

This is the specter I think of stagflation hovering over the entire continent and really beginning to worry governments about what it's going

to do next.

GIOKOS: All right, Anna Stewart, great to see you. Thank you so much.

Well, coming up, I'll have Brazil's Foreign Minister with me and we'll be talking BRICS expansion, a common currency, and the future of Brazil. Stay

with us.




GIOKOS (voice-over): There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment, we'll be speaking to Brazil's foreign minister on the expansion of the BRICS


And the Chinese tech giants are unveiling a new AI product and we'll look at what makes them different. Before that, the headlines this hour.


GIOKOS (voice-over): Former U.S. President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty in the election interference case in the U.S. state of Georgia. Trump

waived his right to an in person appearance, instead opting to enter his plea through court filings.

Several of his codefendants also pleaded not guilty to trying up end the 2020 presidential election. No trial dates are set.

The military coup in Gabon, widely criticized by the international community. On Wednesday, military leaders placed the president under house

arrest. They plan to swear in a transitional president before the constitutional court Monday. The power grab follows a series of recent

military coups in Africa.

A member of the far right group that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2020, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison. Proud Boys lieutenant

Joseph Biggs was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other charges. It's the second longest sentence handed down to a January 6th rioter.

For fans who missed Taylor Swift live in concert, her recorded tour is coming to North American movie theaters in October. The superstar made the

announcement on social media, posting, friendship bracelets, singing and dancing encouraged, Taylor Swift's tour could gross $2.2 billion in North

American ticket sales alone.


GIOKOS: Western officials tell the "Financial Times" that Xi Jinping is not planning to attend the G20 summit in India. He's been at every one of

the gatherings since 2013 when he first became Chinese leader. Last week he was at the BRICS summit in South Africa. At those meetings, the group

agreed to invite six more countries to join BRICS.


GIOKOS: You can see the new members in blue there. It is a move Brazil's president says will change the world. Lula da Silva is also pushing for the

bloc to adopt a common trading currency.

Mauro Vieira is Brazil's minister of foreign affairs.

Great to have you with us, thanks for taking the time. We have six invites now to nations to join BRICS.

Does Brazil support that expansion and invites to all of those six nations?

MAURO VIEIRA, BRAZILIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Well, first of all, good afternoon. It's a pleasure to be here talking to you.

Yes, concerning the BRICS expansion, we agreed and, it's, the decisions, in the BRICS group is taken by consensus. So all of us were in agreement with

the names of the countries that were picked.

GIOKOS: Look, since the formation of BRICS, we've seen big focus on how the global south can rally together to form alternative financial

alliances. And now BRICS is going head to head with G7 nations in terms of global GDP.

Is this an effort to create a new global power axis?

VIEIRA: No, not at all. I don't think so. It's important. BRICS is something that appeared some 14 years ago, 15 years ago. I think this group

means a lot because it represents countries, developing countries and emerging countries of the south, that.

And we want to have a consensus on different issues and to have a consultation on different issues and discussing, especially development,

sustained development and other issues that are important and common to all of us.

So I believe that the group has nothing to do with rivalry or impact with other groups.

GIOKOS: Look, I want to talk about just the weighting (ph) of China because, it accounts for around 70 percent of the BRICS GDP right now.

China's by far the biggest member. Of course, Russia is really important, in the sense that Russia is at war with Ukraine. China is close to Russia.

India also has strong alliances with Russia now.

The question now becomes, whether this has become in essence, a way to support Russia in having a border coalition.

What is your response to that?

Because, the Ukrainian war has definitely changed dynamics at a global scale.

VIEIRA: No, not at all, it's not a bloc to support anyone. It's a bloc, it's a space to join countries, developing, emerging countries that want to

have worth in the international scene.

To join the BRICS, there are some criteria. We adopted some criteria. One of them is, well, having friendly and normal diplomatic relations with

other countries. And, also, sharing values and sharing -- we have -- we're not a homogeneous group. We come from different places in the world.

We have different cultures, sizes; the economy is different as you mentioned. But this is not to build a bloc against any other bloc --


GIOKOS: But minister, if I may interject, apologies.

But surely hasn't the war in Ukraine created and influenced, at all, the expansion of BRICS?

VIEIRA: No, I don't think so. BRICS, we have more than 23 countries that declared the wish to join BRICS. And, the war in Ukraine, Brazil has taken

a very clear position against invasion and has condemned Russia, for that, not only publicly but also at the U.N. and different locations and

different resolutions of the United Nations.

So it hasn't changed (INAUDIBLE) --


VIEIRA: -- we continue to have trade to develop different skills of each country. Now we decided also to start using national currencies to pay our

bilateral trades. So it's a mechanism (ph) of a group of connection and the group of, let's say, that want to show to the world that we are -- we want

to have a say in world affairs.


GIOKOS: Absolutely. Minister, I've been covering BRICS for a very long time and attending the BRICS summit, many years ago. I get that the global

south wants a say.

But optically, from a global perspective, when you see Russia in this alliance, you know, many people are asking the question, what does this

mean for global power shifts and for what it means in terms of, as you said, currency, using your own currencies, the dominance and the survival

of the U.S. dollar.

Are these being discussed within the conversations that you are having?

Because these are vital global issues that can shift things dramatically.

VIEIRA: Well, yes. But we're not doing anything against the strength of the dollar. The dollar is still the most important currency in the world.

Trading in our local currencies will only lower the cost of international transactions, like exports and imports, that's it. It's not against anyone

or anything.

GIOKOS: So really great to have you on. Thank you so very much for sharing your insights with me. Much appreciative of your time, Minister Vieira.

The head of European football says there's no need for UEFA to take action against Luis Rubiales. The UEFA president condemned the chief for forcibly

kissing player Jennifer Hermoso. Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA and Spanish prosecutors are looking into it. Atika Shubert is with us in


Look, banning 90 days, also currently being investigated.

Are these actions enough, given the outcry that we've seen?

ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: Well, you know, clearly it's putting more pressure on Rubiales to resign. But so far, he has resisted those calls,

defiantly said he would not resign. That was on Friday and we haven't heard a peep from him since.

In the meantime, what we've seen is that the prosecutor has opened up a criminal investigation. The number of complaints has gone from one

complaint on the night of the World Cup, to 16, today.

So it just seems to be increasing by the minute. However, this all really rests on the tribunal for sports in Spain. They have the authority to move

him out. They have not made a decision on whether or not an investigation is warranted and whether or not these would be grave or very grave


Depending on that judgment will mean whether or not he is officially suspended. Either way, he's ineffectual. But in terms of technically

holding that office, he's holding on.

GIOKOS: Atika Shubert, great to have you with us.


GIOKOS (voice-over): Well, connection is vital in the human world and it might just save the animal world, too. We'll meet (INAUDIBLE) reconnecting

critical habitat to some of the world's most unique creatures. That's up next.




GIOKOS: Well, today on Call to Earth, CNN chief climate correspondent Bill Weir introduces us to impressive conservation efforts in the Americas,

focused on the preservation of a rare and captivating animal.



BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In one particular corner of one country, there lives a creature that lives only one place in

the world. This is Colombia and their unique species is adorable, elusive and critically endangered.

But trudging through a forest hot as a sauna, our odds are better than average, thanks to people who know them really well.

ROSAMIRA GUILLEN, FUNDACION PREYECTO TITI (voice-over): They love the nectar of the flowers. And they stick their head in the flower like that --

and their facial hair.

WEIR (voice-over): Rosamira Guillen started her career as a landscape architect. But when she was hired to help build a zoo, she met the animal

that would change her life and theirs.

The cotton topped tamarin, a little monkey with a look right out of Dr. Seuss. And an equally cute local nickname, the titi.

When she learned the illegal pet trade and slash and burn cattle ranching had driven them to the brink of extinction, her architect mind shifted from

building zoos to rebuilding forests, which is much more difficult than just dropping seeds and soil.

GUILLEN (voice-over): This may take a day to cut through a hectare of forest but to rebuild, it takes about 20 years.

WEIR (voice-over): Her effort is called Project Titi. In over two decades, she's learned that rewilding takes sweat, smarts and human relations

because in order to connect the titis' fragmented habitat, she would need land and the cooperation of ranchers, who do not share her love for these


Is it harder working with nature or human nature?


GUILLEN (voice-over): Well, I would be happy to just hang out with the monkeys in the forest.

Our goal is to get to a certain point where there is enough for them to be stable and make it in the long term, right?

Our fears is that, you know, you always fear that you will not have enough support to keep going.

WEIR (voice-over): She worried that she would never have the resources to buy a pivotal piece but then came an angel investor from Silicon Valley.

Entrepreneurial, smart, dedicated to saving our planet.

CHRIS VARGAS, FOUNDER, REWORLD: If there's one thing that I want to do before I die it's help this woman do what she does, which is incredible.

WEIR (voice-over): Chris Vargas has been a supporter for almost 20 years. And when he heard Rosamira wanted to buy an old cattle ranch in a vital

spot, he came up with an innovative form of crowdfunded conservation he calls ReWorld.

VARGAS (voice-over): Why not just build a website and build the technology that lets anybody click on a map and get all that feedback, exactly what

happened with your money?

WEIR (voice-over): With a one time donation of $1,200, he says one acre can be secured for the titis forever.

VARGAS (voice-over): And it'll give you some satellite shots that shows your land being reforested and the trees growing. So you know what you gave

weekends. So when you buy land for her, you're giving her a chance to get carbon credit --


VARGAS (voice-over) -- and to come for the next 40 years, which will fund staff, trucks, fuel, educational programs for kids.

This is for my son, River, and my daughter, Olivia. This tree's for you.

GUILLEN (voice-over): Well, we are saving this beautiful forest but then we are saving the forest for many other animals.


WEIR (voice-over): And a livable planet for us.

GUILLEN (voice-over): And a livable planet for us, exactly, because, we get water, air and lots of resources in that. That's why we focus so much

on connecting people with nature, to appreciate it and care for it and who want to do something about it.

With a little help, we can make it, because, we've got the experience, we've done it. And it works.


GIOKOS: Well, let us know what you're doing to answer the call with this #CallToEarth.




GIOKOS: Welcome back.

Two Chinese tech firms officially jumping on the generative AI bandwagon. Michelle Toh reports.


MICHELLE TOH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chinese tech firms, Baidu and SenseTime, have just launched their answers to the ChatGPT craze, rolling out AI bots

today to the general public.

The move marks a new milestone in the global AI race, which is heating up. Baidu is letting all users get their hands on the platform, dubbed ERNIE

Bot. This allows users to conduct AI powered searches or carry out tasks, from creating videos to making newsletters and summaries of complex


The news sent Baidu's stock up immediately. Baidu is among the first companies in China to get regulatory approval for this rollout and the

first to have it launched publicly.

Until now, ERNIE Bot was offered only to corporate clients or select members of the public, who requested access through a wait list.

Meanwhile, SenseTime, which is a AI startup in Hong Kong, also announced a public launch of its own platform today. The company's stock surged 4

percent after the news.


TOH (voice-over): Baidu has been the front-runner around generative AI, like ChatGPT or its successor, GPT-4, giving it an early advantage in

China, according to analysts. Since then, though, competitors like Alibaba have announced plans to launch their own ChatGPT style tools.

Alibaba told CNN it had filed for regulatory approval for its own bought, released in April. Baidu says its service is different because of its

ability to generate various responses like text, images, audio and video. SenseTime has touted a range of features which it says lets users write

code more efficiently or receive personalized medical advice -- Michelle Toh, CNN, Hong Kong.


GIOKOS: Stargazers can see a very rare spectacle in the night sky. It is a blue supermoon which peaked Wednesday evening. This is a time lapse video

of what it looked like over Jerusalem.

A super moon appears bigger and brighter because its orbital path is closer to the Earth. So August began with the bright supermoon and will end the

same way this week. Not to be outdone, the ringed planet, Saturn, is making its closest and brightest appearance of the year near the moon.

Right, so, we've got just moments left to trade on Wall Street and we'll have the final numbers and the closing bell right after this.




GIOKOS: Just moments left to trade on Wall Street. It is the final trading day of the month and the Dow has slipped in the red. It started off in

positive territory, losing momentum. It's now down 0.4 percent, 150 points.

It is said to snap a four day winning streak. Investors are digesting two new economic reports. One showing U.S. consumer spending rose in July and

another measure that shows price pressures remain steady. That is the big issue.

The oldest jobs report comes out tomorrow. That is going to be a big one.

Well, that is it for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street and "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.