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Quest Means Business
No Breakthrough In Grain Deal; China Signals Xi Jinping Will Not Attend G20 Summit; Global Climate Crisis; Burning Man Attendees Start To Leave As Road Reopens; United States Sees Surge In Labor Action; 97 Percent UAW Members Support Potential Strike. Aired 3-3:45p ET
Aired September 04, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Well, stocks fell across Europe today, nothing too severe, and you see Paris there down around a quarter of
a percent. Wall Street is closed for the Labor Day holiday in the US. As you can see, the Dax also down slightly. Red across the board in Europe.
Well, those are the markets and these are the main events.
Turkey's president urges Vladimir Putin to renew the Global Grain Deal with no breakthrough yet.
China try to get kids to spend less time on their smartphones.
And a light at the end of the tunnel for 70,000 trapped festivalgoers. Burning Man organizers hope it will be dry enough for cars to begin leaving
Live from Dubai. It is Monday, September 4th. I'm Eleni Giokos, I'm in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Welcome to the show, and tonight, Turkey's president pushes for a new Global Green Deal without a tangible result. After marathon talks with
Vladimir Putin in Sochi today, President Erdogan says Russia is open to reviving the deal if Ukraine can make the right changes. Moscow quit the
agreements in July blaming the West for not keeping its side of the bargain. Russia now says it's down to Ukraine to "soften its approach on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have a lot to talk about, including from a point of view of ensuring security in the
region. Of course, we will not ignore the issues related to the Ukrainian crisis. I know you intended to raise questions about the Grain Deal. We are
open to negotiations on this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Our Nic Robertson has more on what the leaders discussed and what it means for both Ukraine and the world.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think what today gave President Putin was an opportunity to put his grievances writ larger and
louder on the world stage because he had the platform and the interest. And President Erdogan's visit in fact, President Erdogan was the one who told
him that the world is watching.
Erdogan went in with the UN's concrete proposals, but he did perhaps soften his own language a little bit to reflect some of what Vladimir Putin was
saying, indeed, he said that -- Erdogan said that Ukraine would have to soften its position if it wanted to get in step with Russia.
In essence, what Putin appears to be doing here, pulled out of the Grain Deal, up to the number of attacks on Ukrainian grain facilities, uses this
platform to point out that a lot of Ukraine's grain doesn't go to developing nations and in the most needy around the world.
President Erdogan is saying well, you know, Vladimir Putin has got a point here. Where does this actually take the negotiations of the conversations?
Of course, we don't know what really happened behind the closed doors there. But Putin is saying, you know, we've had our agricultural spare
parts that have been cut off to us. The fees of financial transactions have been slower, incomplete in going through, indeed, these are the Western
sanctions on Russia for its war of choice in Ukraine.
But nevertheless, Putin is taking this argument and using it as leverage to get what he wants, sanctions relief of some sort, it appears to rejoin the
deal. That's what's on the table.
GIOKOS: All right. So that was Nic Robertson for us.
Now the US president says he is disappointed China's president looks set to skip the G20 Summit in India after it was announced his deputy would appear
China's Foreign Ministry says Premier Li Qiang will travel to New Delhi for the Summit this weekend. It is the clearest sign yet that the Chinese
president will not be there. President Biden indicated he may instead meet with Mr. Xi at some point in the near future.
So how big a deal is this for the Summit? I want to bring in Robin Niblett, Distinguished Fellow for the European Program at Policy Institute Chatham
Sir, great to have you with us. Thanks so much for joining us today. Let's start off with Xi Jinping and not attending the G20 Summit in India. We
know this is a Summit where global leaders come together to talk about cooperation, to align themselves at a time where we are seeing enormous
tension occurring in various parts of the world. How significant is it that China's leader will not be there?
ROBIN NIBLETT, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW FOR THE EUROPEAN PROGRAM AT POLICY INSTITUTE CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, I think it's a big deal. It's a big deal,
because he was able to find the time to attend the BRICS Summit that just took place, the big Summit that involves Brazil, Russia, India, China and
South Africa in Johannesburg, and announced an enlargement of the BRICS of another six countries joining it. And he's really, Xi Jinping is trying to
turn the BRICS global.
GIOKOS: Robin, I think -- we have lost signal with Robin Niblett over there.
Robin, are you back online? We're just battling with your signal. Can you hear me?
NIBLETT: I can hear you perfectly. I don't if you can hear me. I can hear you.
NIBLETT: I can hear you, yes.
GIOKOS: Let's try again. We lost you at President Xi Jinping found the time to join the BRICS Summit in South Africa, which is a clear snub to G20
leaders, which is a really interesting point because India, obviously part of BRICS, they are having a dispute right now with the border with India.
But I guess from a macro perspective, China is trying to position itself in a very different way at a grand scale. Is this also snub to the US would
NIBLETT: I don't think it's a snub to the US in the way the US may come out better from this because the US will be the --
GIOKOS: All right, Robin Niblett there. We've lost Robin Niblett, unfortunately. Fantastic insights for the few minutes, we were able to
speak with him. But of course, we will try again. Robin Niblett there for us.
So, all right well, leaders, scientists and policymakers are gathered in Nairobi for Africa's first ever Climate Summit. Organizers say they want to
showcase the continent as a place for climate investment. Leaders are promoting the idea of credits, which would let polluters offset their own
emissions by planting trees or investing in renewable energy projects in Africa.
Kenyan President William Ruto told CNN, what he wants to see happen in his country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM RUTO, KENYAN PRESIDENT: Sixty percent of the world's renewable solar resources are in Africa, and we want to use these resources to power
our own growth in a responsible manner that we are not using fossil fuels, we are using renewable energy. And we want to do it not just for Africa, we
also want to use these renewable energy resources to decarbonize the world economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right, our Larry Madowo spoke with a top UN climate adviser about the role Africa can play in easing the global climate crisis. Take a
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The African Union and the government of Kenya are bringing African leaders, climate change experts, everybody
involved in this conversation together here in Nairobi to rally them around a common platform going into COP 28.
President William Ruto opening the forum talking about the need, for instance the tax sectors such as aviation and maritime, and looking at a
solutions approach to the climate crisis, pointing out that Africa's carbon footprint is minimal, but the real human toll of the climate crisis here is
I want to get some quick reaction now from Dr. Galine Yanon from Senegal. He's a climate security expert with the UN Office for West Africa and the
Sahel. What is the big ask from Africa in this climate crisis?
DR. GALINE YANON, CLIMATE SECURITY EXPERT WITH THE UN OFFICE FOR WEST AFRICA AND THE SAHEL: Thank you so much. We are here with four countries
representative -- for four countries -- you have seen from Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Cameroon. All what they are asking is, please can you
listen to us. We have activities, but no one is listening to us.
So we are here to raise a voice so that the world can listen to them in terms of adaptation, in terms of capacity development, and also in terms of
mitigation. So please let's listen to what community are developing in terms of climate action for peace and development.
MADOWO: So the feeling from Senegal where you're from, but also in the wider region is that you keep saying what you need, but the world is not
YANON: Exactly. And if you look at these conferences, they are very good -- COP African Climate -- all of these conferences that are running around.
How many COP now? We are now going to the COP 28. That means 28 up to now, we are still discussing this issue. But when are we really taking action?
When are we really fulfilling our engagement in terms of financing? When are we really considering the point of view of youth, the women from the
So I think that there is a time now for us to act and there is a time now for us to invest more in this community of youth and women so that we know
exactly where we are heading.
MADOWO: Listen to the youth and the women. Dr. Galine, thank you so much.
And one of the issues here will be again, loss and damage. This comes up in every one of these conferences, like he mentions, and often you don't see a
whole lot of follow through. So they're hoping coming into COP 28, there will be a difference that Africa will not keep harping on the same topic
without any tangible action.
Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.
GIOKOS: Yes. Really fascinating. It's all about action. And as we just heard there from Larry, it seems that we're going in the same cycle, the
same circle in terms of a lot of talk and very little action and Africa is stuck in the middle. This is definitely going to be an interesting topic
for COP 28.
Well, moving on: China's property market can breathe a sigh of relief for now after one of its biggest and most troubled developers won a delay on a
major debt payment. Why investors are celebrating. We will explain next.
GIOKOS: Welcome back.
Now, one of China's largest property developers has avoided default for at least a few more days. The embattled giant, Country Garden won an extension
on its debt repayment Monday. The company isn't off the hook though. This week, it will face the expiration of a 30-day grace period for an interest
payment it must last month.
It comes as turmoil in China's property sector weigh on everyday people and broader economic challenges mounts for the world's second largest economy.
Anna Stewart is in London for us. Anna, great to see you.
Look, a lifeline thrown to Country Garden, but it has a time limit and we know that the next three days are going to be quite important. So what is
the fate of Country Garden?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: I mean, the next few days are going to be really interesting. I mean, this debt repayment pushes the repayment of an
outstanding principal of over half a billion dollars into 2026. So that's good, but they still have to pay, of course the interest on that and they
have a lot more debt to worry about, including as you mentioned there the fact that they still haven't paid two US denominated bond repayments, that
was almost 30 days ago. That totals $22.5 billion.
Now the grace period for that ends this week, so we're already looking potentially at another default, and this was something that Country Garden
warned us about last week. They said they were at risk of defaulting on their debt repayment. That was as they posted a loss of $7 billion for the
first half of the year.
So the troubles for this company are nowhere near over. They got $200 billion thereabouts in terms of liabilities. According to Moody's, they
have over $4 billion repayments before the end of next year. They've maybe shaved off a little bit of that, but it's not looking great.
What they need is for the property market to come alive, and right now, we don't really see many signs of life there.
GIOKOS: I was just looking at Country Garden shares. I mean, they soared today on the back of this lifeline that we're talking about. As you said,
this isn't pocket change. This is a big chunk of money that they need.
You mentioned something fascinating, right? You need the property market to recover. One thing China is very good at is stimulus and stepping in. But
can they revive an ailing property market?
STEWART: I mean, it's been a question that we've all asked now for over two years. But just look at that share price, you're seeing a relief rally both
on the fact that there is this debt extension, so Country Garden, which is a massive developer has avoided default, at least for now.
But also, I think, because Beijing are acting, we're having more measures thrown into the pot to try and revive or I might say resuscitate China's
property market. A few of the policies that have been announced in the last few days include easing mortgage requirements, also making more attractive
mortgage offers for first home buyers and Beijing are going to set up a special bureau to promote the development and growth of a private economy.
So there are lots of measures being thrown in here. And yes, while Beijing has yet to actually directly bail out any of the private property
developers, even when they have teetered on the very brink of collapse over the last couple of years, they are now acting more at least to revive the
broader market, because, of course, they're so concerned about the economy.
The property market in China directly and indirectly accounts for around a third of the economy. So of course, while they may not want to rely so much
on the property market, it's definitely Beijing's problem right now.
GIOKOS: It is, and yes, perhaps more bailouts in the interim as pressure mounts, but revival will be vital, of course.
Anna Stewart, thanks so much. Great to have you on the show.
All of this comes as tensions remain high between the US and China. Now, the US secretary of Commerce visited China last week in an effort to bring
down the temperature as well.
Gina Raimondo told CNN about her takeaways from her trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINA RAIMONDO, US COMMERCE SECRETARY: I think we did achieve concrete outcomes, Dana. Just to put it in perspective, you know, I'm the first
Commerce secretary in more than five years to be on the ground in China. So I think we have to be realistic about what we can and can't accomplish on a
Prior to getting on the plane to head over to China, I spoke with more than a hundred business leaders myself in the US across a range of industries.
And I asked -- and I spoke with labor leaders, and I asked them, you know, what should I be trying to get done here? And by far, what they said was
open lines of communication so we can do the business of resolving issues. And so that's what I was able to accomplish, which I think is very
If you can't talk in a structured way about real commercial issues, you have no chance of solving these issues. And furthermore, as you well know,
what happens when you don't communicate is you can spiral into greater tension and even conflict because there's misunderstanding and
So, you know, I'm an optimist, but a realist, I think we accomplished a great deal and now we'll see if we can get to work with China and have them
resolve some issues.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So now that you have the dialogue, which you are calling a concrete result, what leverage are you
willing to use through these new open lines of communication to get China to take tangible concrete actions, the one that the US and American
companies are demanding?
RAIMONDO: I think the greatest leverage to use your word is that it's in the US interest, it is in China's interest. Indeed, it's in the world's
interest for the US and China to have a stable and significant commercial relationship.
And I will say, you know, I met at the very high levels of the Chinese government including the Premier and they recognize, in the same way that
we are not seeking conflict and we are not seeking decoupling, neither are they.
You know, we have a $700 billion relationship -- commercial relationship, and that is -- it is in our mutual best interest to maintain that, which is
to say, anything that gets that off track or allows that to devolve into conflict is a bad thing for our countries and for the world.
So I think there's no greater leverage than self-interest. And now, having said that, we have plenty of tools in our toolbox. In my case, export
controls, outbound investment screening, tariffs, countervailing duties -- we do have sticks if you will, and we are very ready, willing and able to
use those as necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right, China is considering placing limits on screen time for children and teenagers in a bid to curb internet addiction and cultivate
"good morality." All devices would be required to have a built in minor mode, which would restrict screen time based on age.
Ivan Watson has more on the proposed rules and the reaction to them.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's an all-too-familiar scene. A child begs his mom for one more minute on her
phone. A daily battle over devices.
China's answer: Minor mode, a proposed law to order tech giants to limit children's screen time and shut off apps. For one tired parent, the
proposed rules would be a relief.
CRYSTAL GUO, MOTHER (through translator): This would be wonderful if it were true. There would be less anger between us, mother and son. He just
can't keep this phone out of his hands.
WATSON (voice over): Under the new mode, children under 18 will get a maximum of two hours on smartphones per day and will be locked out
overnight. But Beijing's top-down approach has its critics.
ANDREW COLLIER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ORIENT CAPITAL RESEARCH: The broader worry I have is that China under the current leadership is imposing a very
strict cultural moralism on their citizens, which is not going to be necessarily helpful for their personal growth, or for the future of the
WATSON (voice over): As part of China's broader digital crackdown, minors are already banned from gaming on weekdays. Social media apps have time
limits, and some parents ship their children off to boot camps to kick internet addiction.
Mengtai Zhang, who was sent to one of these camps at 16, says Beijing's latest rules won't work.
MENGTAI ZHANG, ATTENDED INTERNET ADDICTION CAMP: Without those structural changes, limiting children's time on video game, won't change anything for
the addiction. If they find a way to create a more meaningful space for children to spend their time together and have their parents relax from the
work, the situation would be much better.
WATSON (voice over): Children are also finding ways around Beijing's roles. This 10-year-old explains.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY (through translator): Some kids use their parents' ID to login. They never put their phones down. They'll look at it until the
battery runs out.
WATSON (voice over): The new guidelines order Internet providers to highlight socialist and patriotic content, and promote family values. This
mom hopes the rules will also mean more outdoor play.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It takes away from your time to play, exercise, and read. It takes away from your time to do more
WATSON (voice over): But her son says parents need to lead by example.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY (through translator): It's not easy to control myself, adults can't either.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Don't speak about us adults, speak about yourself.
WATSON (voice over): A battle over screen time that's far from over.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
GIOKOS: All right, Ukraine says more than two dozen Russian drones were used in overnight attacks in the Odesa region. Most were shot down. Ukraine
is also putting drone technology to work for its own purposes.
CNN correspondent, Melissa Bell has more from the ground.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: Here we can see Russian military equipment hidden in this small forest.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ukraine's security service preparing for a raid across enemy lines.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: It is an infrared [camera], right?
BELL (voice over): In a war of artillery, and drones, and plenty of creativity.
BELL (on camera): It looks almost like a -- like a toy.
"PIXEL," SBU DRONE PILOT: It is Chinese toy with some upgrades and some innovations, with some magic.
BELL (voice over): Enough magic that this especially-made drone will travel far beyond the Zaporizhzhia frontline.
In search of a Russian air defense system, it flies deep into enemy territory towards a town that is one of the main objectives of the southern
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: We are approaching the target. We are approaching the target.
BELL (voice over): At the other end of the phone, and watching the same screen, a HIMARS unit is ready to launch. The call sign of this drone's
unit commander is Bankir, a reminder of his life before the war, when this land was still Ukrainian.
"BANKIR," COMMANDER, SBU UNIT: Now you can see, this is Russian's vehicles moving. This is checkpoint, Russians, you can see in Tokmak.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking foreign language.)
GRAPHIC: Left, left. Aim left.
BELL (voice over): But tonight, they've been unlucky. The air defense system they wanted to hit is no longer there.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking foreign language.)
GRAPHIC: We're coming home. The target is not there.
BELL (voice over): Home for tonight is a field about 15 kilometers north of the frontline. Using only red lights to avoid detection, they've got a
bird's eye-view of the battle below and what's happening beyond.
"BANKIR": We are hunting for them for some time. We have some results. We know where we know they're hiding. We know where they are moving. So it's
just about time, just to find them.
BELL (voice over): And each time it flies, the drone records precious information. The state of Russian defenses, vehicles, and systems being
moved, even if tonight a Russian air defense system and its four to five officers were, unbeknownst to them, spared.
BELL (on camera): Are you disappointed?
"BANKIR": No. No. We are -- we are not disappointed. This is our resource, it's our work, and we -- we will continue to do it.
BELL (voice over): Until, he says, every last inch of Ukrainian territory has been freed, however long that takes.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Zaporizhzhia region.
GIOKOS: All right, I want to take you through some live pictures now from Burning Man, you'll remember heavy rain, turning the annual event into a
dangerous muddy mess. Now tens of thousands of people are finally getting the chance to leave, but some are staying behind. Details of what you're
seeing right now on your screen coming up right after this.
GIOKOS: Cars, trucks and campers are finally starting to leave the Nevada desert as roads after the Burning Man festival reopen after being closed
for several days by flooding. And you can see that enormous traffic jam. More than 70,000 people were stranded with nearly three months' worth of
rain. Three months' worth of rain falling on the festival site within a matter of hours.
Smothering the grounds with mud so thick that you couldn't drive on it. Celebrity DJ Diplo and comedian Chris Rock were among those who try to walk
the nine kilometers out of the desert. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIPLO, AMERICAN DJ: The main issue is getting a car out of there is really impossible when it's muddy, because you're going to get stuck. And if they
have a lot of car stuck on the -- on the -- on the playa, it's going to create huge traffic jams for the eventual exodus of people. So, there was
no information, we had to check the Burning Man, Twitter and I think at 10:00 a.m. we said let's regroup and see if we can walk out of here.
And I was -- I said that's the only way we can do it is we can walk out. And we plan to -- an excursion that next morning and I think we headed out.
Me and about 20 other people and we just -- we just walked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Well, Nick Watt is following the story for us. Nick, great to have you with us. We've seen incredible pictures of so many people stuck in the
mud. Now we're seeing images of cars finally being able to make their way out of Burning Man. Take us through what you're seeing right now. And I'm
assuming the sun is shining, which means the land, the ground is drying up a little. Making it a lot easier to move around.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is that sun is the savior here. Listen, what happened is they had as you say about three months' worth of rain in
24 hours. It's a desert. So that's actually not much rain about point eight of an inch of rain. But that is an ancient dried up lake bed basically. It
is clay, it is silt. So, when the rain falls, it doesn't actually absorb it, just becomes this awful sludgy mud that sticks to everything, wheels,
feet, faces people, horrific.
But the saving grace here is the water stays on the top. So therefore, when the sun comes out, it dries it quicker. So, what we were told today is that
at noon, local time, which just passed, they were going to officially open the road. There's not actually a road, there's not a gate, and people have
been trying to get out earlier in four by fours. The problem is, there's more than 70,000 people in there.
So, it will be a long time for all these people to get out. Organizers are actually saying, you know what, if you can delay your exit until Tuesday,
that will be fine. And they're laying something on this evening that might entice people to stay. They will tonight. Be actually burning the man which
is the kind of culmination of this brave, freaky, amazing festival. So basically, if you stick around, you'll see the Burning Man and you might
not have to wait in a line as horrifically long as that.
GIOKOS: Stay to wait to see the Burning Man. I mean, look, I was just thinking, look, I've been to a lot of festivals myself, not like this one,
of course. But, you know, can you imagine having a great time, probably a lot of sleepless nights and then being stuck in the mud not been able to
leave. Take me through what some people shared with you. And I guess, their anxiety to be able to get out of the mud and finally go home. I mean, it
must be absolutely awful.
WATT: Yes. Listen, you know, this is not Glastonbury usually. That festival in Britain where everyone has to wear wellies. This is a desert. You know,
the issue here is usually the dust, not the mud. You know, there's also this kind of real -- one of the kind of main -- I suppose central themes.
This ethos of this festival is a kind of self-reliance, you're supposed to go into that desert with everything that you need to survive, and most
Some people didn't. And those people did struggle a little bit. It's a desert once again, so it gets cold at night. It was wet. It was not a nice
place to be. But people did seem to rally around and help each other out and people talked about making lifelong friends through this adversity. It
does not sound like any fun whatsoever to me, but they enjoyed it. And, you know, people are also saying maybe this will kind of make Burning Man
revert back to what it used to be. This started out as a counterculture festival in this country.
People are supposed to go and actually participate rather than just watching a headline act. It has been slightly infiltrated by celebrities
and tech bros in recent years. And some people are saying, you know what? This rain, this adversity, this might weed out the people who aren't real
true burning matters. And maybe next year, they won't come. The rest of us will come.
WATT: Yes. So, you know, they're saying maybe there's a silver lining to this terrific cloud and next year will be -- will be better than ever.
We'll see. I can tell you for one thing. I'm not going.
GIOKOS: They could always -- you know, I was going to say, have you been to Glastonbury? Are you planning to go to Burning Man or maybe it's mud man,
depending on the weather forecast next year?
WAT: No, I am -- I am totally not a music or a festival-type person. But, you know, people -- this has become a real fixture on the American cultural
landscape. And it is -- has been for many, many years, very dry and dusty. This is a totally different look. And I'm just looking at this line of
R.V.s. again. That looks horrific. If I was there, I would stay the extra day watch the Man Burning and avoid that. Jesus.
GIOKOS: And we're just -- well, I always have fun with this time of year. Next year will not have FOMO remembering these images. Great to have you on
the show. Thank you so much for breaking that down for us. Nick Watt, much appreciated. All right.
For more on the weather at Burning Man or madman, let's bring in Chad Myers from the World Weather Center. Chad, let's just break this down. Less than
two centimeters of rain. How did things get so bad? And we just heard from Nick Watt that this is probably an ancient river. This is why it's got a
clay base. Take us through why this happened.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEROLOGIST: Yes, it's the silt. And if you think of sand, actually sand is a very coarse product. This silt is so very fine. When it
gets wet. It turns into soup. It just doesn't drain. It just sits there. Let's take you to San Francisco here, Sacramento, California. And then this
area up here, the lake bed that has dried out and there you see Burning Man City right there. Black Rock City. I can zoom in a little bit closer.
This is from last year, but still same idea, same parking lots, the same lines, people doing the same thing all going to the center for a while. But
this is what it looks like all of these lorries that are stuck. I mean, you know, you got yourself a car and you put a trailer behind it. And all of a
sudden you get into something like that and you can't get out. So, they have been ironing out as we call it, some of this mud where some of these
roads are getting a little bit drier because of the sun.
But also, because the number of tires that are squeezing out the water has actually made a little bit of a roadway. Here's what happened. It was just
-- that's the same area right there. Rainfall event after rainfall event and I know it seems a lot like two centimeters shouldn't do anything and it
wouldn't for boreal forest. But when you're talking about clay, and the clay gets on the tires, and all of a sudden you have no traction, and it
just gets deeper, people were having a hard time walking.
That's how deep this muck was. And it was -- get stuck on your shoes. And you'd get taller as you walked because it would just keep getting deeper
and deeper and more thick and more thick on the bottom of your shoes. And they said it was so hard to move even your feet. Well now things have dried
out. Now the sun's out and this is all completely over. But this was absolutely 100 percent a function of what type of ground this rain fell on.
Loam, peat moss, whatever irregular yard, no problem with two centimeters. But all of a sudden you get that on something that will not soak in. It
just sits there on the surface and becomes almost like an mucky oil slick. People just couldn't move. Finally, some people are moving today, but it's
going to take a long time to get 70,000 people out of a desert.
GIOKOS: Yes, that's interesting. So, we need the sun out for a few days. Chad, I think the viewers should tweet you to figure out what the weather
forecast will be for next year before they book their tickets. Chad Myers, always great to have you with us. Thank you so much.
MYERS: You know, it's a desert. It never -- I never ever rains there. All of a sudden it did.
GIOKOS: It did. Yes. It's pretty crazy stuff. But yes, that's what festivals are about. The unknown makes it all exciting.
Well, it's Labor Day in the U.S. and a surge in labor action has made it an especially relevant holiday this year. The United Auto Workers Union
overwhelmingly approved potential strikes at Ford, G.M. and Stellantis last week. 97 percent voting in favor. The Writers Guild has been on strike for
121 -- 25 days already. Actors joined them in July. Vanessa Yurkevich is in New York for us to take a look at what's going on. Vanessa, great to have
you with us.
What is in it for the strikes right now? We're seeing so many people taking action. Give us a sense of what you're hearing.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's been called the hot labor summer here in the United States. Just in the last
year, there's been 70, seven-zero strikes initiated. And that's a 40 percent from the year prior. And you have an overwhelming support, public
support here in the U.S. for union. 71 percent of the public support unions. That's a number we haven't seen since the 1960s when unions were at
their height when they had the most power, the most membership.
But there's a couple of things going on here. You have a pandemic where a lot of folks work through the pandemic, UPS workers, auto workers, and they
believe that they risked their lives to do their jobs. They were essential workers. So, you have them wanting their companies to make good on that. At
the same time you have these union members watching their companies make record profits, and they want a piece of that pie.
So, you have all of the big labor strikes that we've been talking about. The writers, the actors, the almost UPS Teamsters going on strike, but they
came to a deal. And then you also have these more niche unions popping up. So smaller unions at Starbucks, at REI Clothing company, and at Amazon. So,
everyone kind of looking around saying who's on strike? If they're on strike, should we go on strike?
Should we be fighting for what we deserve? And so, you have a little bit of a ripple effect going on here in the United States. And there are many,
many strikes going on right now. It's really hard to keep track of them all, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes. It's really fascinating. It just shows you how disgruntled workers are right now. But
they also feel that this is the right time to ask for what they want. I want to talk about the impacts. And you were saying you can't keep track of
all the strikes. But what's the next possible strike that could move things?
YURKEVICH: The next really big strike is a potential strike by the United Auto Workers who represent 165,000 union members who work at G.M., Ford and
Stellantis. That's the big three here in the United States. They've been trying to negotiate a contract for four weeks now, but they only have two
weeks left to get a contract before the September 14th deadline of which they could go on strike.
All of these union members could go on strike. We've never seen the UAW strike against all three automakers. We've only seen them do that. A couple
here and there over the course of history. The last strike, Eleni, 2019. That was against General Motors. The company says that cost them $3
billion. The estimate if the Union members strike against all three auto workers, we're hearing that just 10 days alone would be a cost of $5
So, we are watching this very closely. A huge economic impact here in the U.S. And obviously, pro-Union President Joe Biden watching this very
closely as well.
GIOKOS: All right. Vanessa Yurkevich, it was great to see you. Thank you. Well, that is it for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Eleni Giokos. Up next,