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Quest Means Business
Trump In Court; US Congress Omits Ukraine In Stopgap Funding Bill; JPM: Strikes Have Already Cost, Ford, GM Over $100 Million; Paris Grapples With Bed Bug Infestation; At Least 13 Killed In Night Club Fire In Spain; Gaetz On Ousting U.S. House Speaker: Stay Tuned. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 02, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A new week, but the same uncertainty seems to be swirling around the markets. If you take a look as we go into
the last hour of trading, we're off the lows of the day, but still unhappy. The Dow is off over 200 points.
The broader market and the tech is also choppy and lower. I will show you those as we move through the course of the program. There's lots for us to
talk about as we start a new week together.
The former President Donald Trump is in New York court. He is defending himself on civil fraud charges. EU Foreign ministers are in Kyiv. It's a
show of European solidarity, amid concerns of flagging support for the war effort.
A Nobel Prize in medicine, two scientists for their work on mRNA vaccine that's used against COVID-19.
Live in London, last day here in the UK, it is Monday. It's October the 2nd. I'm Richard Quest and as we start a new week, I mean business.
A good day to you.
The former President Donald Trump is in a New York courtroom. It's the start of his civil fraud trial that's at the heart of his business empire.
Before entering the court, Mr. Trump denounced the proceedings. He attacked the New York attorney general, Letitia James, and claimed he was the victim
of what he called the single greatest witch hunt of all time,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It has railroaded their fast track. This trial could have been brought years ago, but they
waited till I was right in the middle of my campaign, the same with other trials and indictments.
It's all run by DOJ, which is corrupt in Washington. Everything goes through them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now the trial could provide a much closer look into Mr. Trump's business and net worth. He's accused of inflating the value of the famed
buildings including Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, and doing so to get better deals on loans looking more creditworthy.
The judge has already ruled on a major issue in the case. He found Mr. Trump and his sons liable for fraud and canceled their company's business
Now, it remains to be seen whether they lose control of their properties. The State's attorney general is seeking $250 million in penalties.
Elie Honig is our senior legal analyst. He's a former federal and state prosecutor. He knows a good bit of fraud when he sees it in the back
Elie, look, I don't understand. Just help me on one simple point. The judge in this case has already found Trump has committed fraud. So, how does that
relate, that finding of fraud relate to the rest of the case that we're going through now? Surely, the fraud question has been determined.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So this is a hugely important point, Richard.
There are seven counts here. The attorney general has sued Donald Trump on seven different legal causes of action. Last week, the judge even before
the trial, gave the attorney general what's called summary judgment, meaning I find in favor of the attorney general against Donald Trump on
count one, one of the seven, the most important of the seven claims, which charges repetitive, persistent fraud. The judge found Donald Trump
committed massive fraud over many, many years.
There are still six other claims remaining. Now at bottom, they do relate to fraud, but there are different technical legal requirements that go to
those six that could make it more difficult to prove them.
For example, you'll have to show a higher level of intent as to Donald Trump, and you may have to show what we call materiality, meaning there
actually was some victim and some loss. Neither of those are required for count one, which is why the judge already has ruled in favor of the AG on
count one, but the other six remain in play.
QUEST: Right before we talk to Jim Sciutto, who's also with me, a very quick one for you, Elie. Why no jury?
HONIG: Because Donald Trump's team did not request a jury. They could have had a jury. It would have been a six-person jury here in New York in a
civil case. They would have had randomly selected civilians, instead because Donald Trump's team opted not to seek a jury trial. This case will
be decided by the judge.
It's really a curious decision, especially given how strongly this judge has so far come out against Donald Trump in various rulings. He may live to
regret it, but for whatever reason, we are going to have a judge decide this case, not the jury.
QUEST: Elie, stay with me. Jim Sciutto, jump to the politics of all of this, sir. Good to have you as always, sir.
And I mean, so is it -- we've got all the criminal stuff and now we've got the civil stuff, but how much of this in your view is he playing to his
electorate, his base? You know, the legal stuff be gone, in a sense, this is about getting the primaries.
JIM SCIUTTO CNN ANCHOR: You're right.
I mean, there's a reason he showed up in that courtroom today, because he didn't have to. He wanted to have the bully pulpit in front of court before
he entered, and if you heard the statement, it was his greatest hits of charges. This is a witch hunt. He attacked the judge as rogue. He attacked
the attorney general of New York as racist, providing no evidence for those charges.
But as you know, Richard, those are frequent charges from this president whenever he gets on the wrong side of the law here.
So the question is, how much this damages him in the GOP primary for now? Right now, none of these cases have done so. Right? And there are four of
them going on, including, you know, the federal cases that deal with his attempts to overturn the election and mishandling of classified documents.
He remains the frontrunner and by the way, he said that in his statement as well, he remains the frontrunner by a longshot. We don't know how that
plays in a general election, but in the in the primary election, it hasn't hurt him yet.
QUEST: Elie, I've got a legal question for you in a second, but a quick political question for you, Jim. How terrified is the core, not the base,
the core of the traditional Republican Party about all of this?
SCIUTTO: Terrified that he's the nominee again? Listen, I speak to Republicans who served Trump at senior levels. I speak to members of the
military establishment here, intelligence officials. And frankly, I speak to Republican lawmakers who are frightened by that prospect, they are. Many
will not say it publicly, though they will say it privately.
I speak to officials in Europe as well, who are, one used the term mortified to describe that prospect. So that is not an unusual viewpoint,
but they concede that democracies are run by the votes. People choose who they vote for and we are going to have another election in 13 months' time
and we're going to find out if Donald Trump is the choice for another term.
QUEST: Jim, I'll let you go back to your newsgathering duties in Washington. Elie, a quick one for you.
We've got four criminal cases, we've got the one with the defamation case, we've now got the civil case. I mean, I'm missing many out. At what point
can you simply say, enough already? How many cases are there? His legal bills must be astronomical?
HONIG: Yes, it is sort of hard to fathom, Richard. I don't think I've ever seen any one individual, certainly in modern American history with this
many legal problems facing him at one time.
The biggest priorities, let's be straight, here are the four criminal cases, all of which are loaded up for trial starting March, April, May of
next year. They're going to have to sort it out. There's no possible way they try all four of those. I think they'll try maybe one before the
election. So those are the biggest concerns.
On top of that, we have this civil fraud lawsuit where let's be clear this, this is Donald Trump's future business empire at stake here and he's
already lost a big piece of it.
So yes, Donald Trump is under really unprecedented legal pressure here. He has remarkably sophisticated and large legal problems. I don't have a great
recipe out of it. He seems to be just taking it day by day, hour by hour and trying to cash in politically as much as he can.
QUEST: I got it the wrong way around. It's Elie, thank you very much, Elie Honig who is leaving me, hopefully, we still have Jim Sciutto. We'll find
out if we do in a second.
But the US was able to narrowly avoid a government shutdown over the weekend. The agreement left out $6 billion in aid for Ukraine. President
Biden suggested he made a deal with the House Speaker McCarthy and that funding will be secured in a separate measure. The speaker did not confirm
any agreement and the president said the issue for him is a priority.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope my friends the other side, keep their word about support for Ukraine. He said they're going to
support Ukraine in the separate vote.
We cannot, under any circumstance allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Jim, sorry, I let you go.
SCIUTTO: I wasn't going anywhere, Richard Quest.
QUEST: There was more to squeeze from you. Squeeze the assets, as we say in business.
Look, Jim, President Biden is in a difficult spot here and even again, the traditionalists, all the traditional Republicans and Democrats all want to
continue. How are they going to run around and get the funding started again to Ukraine?
SCIUTTO: We'll see, right? I mean, the question is did McCarthy give some sort of assurance that he will bring this up to a vote?
I spoke to a Democratic congressman who was the lone Democrat to vote against this funding deal and the reason he voted against it was because
there was no money for Ukraine and he said that in 45 days when this current deal expires, he doesn't see how, you know what held the Ukraine
aid on Saturday somehow disappears by then.
It's an open -- it is an open question. And Richard, I just spoke to a Republican congressman, on CNN Max and I asked him, I said, why are you in
your party standing in the way of increased aid or continued aid, I should say, for Ukraine as it defends itself against the Russian invasion? He
said, well, both sides are fighting there, both sides are causing damage.
I said, only one side has invaded the other country and one country, Ukraine is defending itself and then he proceeded to talking points and so
on, but that that is a position that is gaining hold, among some members of the Republican Party enough to hold up aid for now.
What we don't know is whether the bipartisan support which still outnumbers them is big enough to set that aside, because a minority in our system can
hold up things pretty well, and it is just not clear, greater support in the Senate. But you need both the House and the Senate to move forward.
They've got 45, well, now 44 or 43 days to settle it.
QUEST: Jim, grateful, sir. Thank you very much.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
QUEST: Jim Sciutto is in Washington.
Ukraine's allies are starting to show some signs of war fatigue on both sides of the Atlantic, and that's threatening some of the most important
pillars of support for Kyiv.
So you have the last minute US budget deal, as Jim was talking about that left out aid for Ukraine. You have Slovakia, a pro-Russian politician could
form a new government based on this week's election results.
And support in Brussels is strong for now. The EU's Foreign ministers met in Kyiv. It is the first time they've held a Summit outside of the bloc.
Nic Robertson is with me in London.
Nic, I mean, Kyiv is obviously concerned and worried, but Kyiv doesn't have the problem of solving the problem in a sense.
Van der Leyen, Charles Michel, on Europe's side; Biden on the other side, they are the ones that have the difficulty to try and keep the funds and
the weapons flowing.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and I think when you look at what Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel have done in the
past and the EU is able to do, you know take Viktor Orban the quite pro- Russian Prime Minister, populist Prime Minister of Hungary, you know, who said that he supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but also is
maintaining a very sort of warm relationship with President Putin.
When the EU has had to sort of control him or bring him slightly more in line with other European countries, they have been able to do that by
virtue of funds that would be stopped going to Hungary.
So there are tools at the EU's disposal, you know, I think perhaps the biggest worry at the EU level is what happens in US politics, because the
US is often the glue, the bigger glue that binds everyone together and keeps everyone sort of marching in the same direction.
Poland, for example, another populist prime minister there, they just signed a $2 billion deal to modernize their military with the help of US
funding. So you know, money speaks. The EU has it, the US has it, the EU -- von der Leyen is able to control it. But Biden, obviously at the moment
not, and that's the point, isn't it?
QUEST: Okay, at what point does it become operationally significant where Ukraine has to worry? I mean, you know, my guess is that the realpolitik is
they'll do everything possible to fund it any way they can, but at some point, they will hit a wall.
ROBERTSON: One of the big issues, right, is ammunition and one of the big issues about providing enough ammunition is getting ammunition
manufacturers to step up and keep making more. When they do that, they have to open production lines.
It's a long term commitment for them, it is a standard business practice. You invest in in upping your output. Well, this is going to put a chill on
them. While politicians are saying, hey, we need more ammunition, there is a chill that has a knock on effect down the line.
You're talking about the immediate effect and yes, the realpolitik, they'll do everything they can. But it's also going to have an effect in the
frontline, where commanders are going to know that potentially the number of artillery shells they're getting is going to be moderated because nobody
knows how long the stocks are going to last.
All of this apparent division and lack of unity. It feeds into Putin and Putin is playing for time. He is playing for time until the US elections
next year and if he get Donald Trump in office as president of the United States, then he will be thinking my life is going to get much easier. So
it's an incentive for him just to play for time.
QUEST: Which, considering the election isn't until late next year, is a horrifying thought for the people of Ukraine.
Nic, thank you, sir. Grateful as always.
Congress has only agreed to fund the US government through the middle next month. At that point, a shutdown again on the agenda. The economic risks of
Paul Krugman is with me after the break.
QUEST: JPMorgan says the auto workers strike has cost Ford and GM over $100 million each. It's been a busy year for the unions and the US government
data shows more than 300,000 workers have been involved in stoppages and such disruption could hurt the chances of a soft landing.
And other short term risks of factories are popping up, student loan payments have resumed for millions of borrowers, pandemic era savings
seemed to have vanished for millions of Americans. And despite the stopgap funding bill, the US government could still shut down in mid-November.
The Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman is with me.
When I list them like that, it all seems rather grim out there at the moment, but to some extent, to some extent, even the Fed indicating
interest rates will stay higher for longer seems to be feeding into that having read your recent article, something you're distressed about.
PAUL KRUGMAN, ECONOMIST: Well, I'm not -- I mean, I'm concerned about the Fed, though I understand it's a difficult choice right now. I mean, we have
several things that are individually not that big taken together, it's very likely that we're going to see I think, Goldman has been calling it a
pothole for growth in the fourth quarter.
If the government shutdown, if they're -- first of all, we might actually manage to avoid one which I have to say is kind of a miracle. But if there
is a government shutdown, if it's brief, it's not a big deal. It is only if it accumulates.
I mean, a large number of government workers would be furloughed for a little while and even larger number would be going without pay, but
expecting to be paid afterwards. So as long as it doesn't go off for very long, it is not going to have a big impact on spending.
But you know, a shutdown that runs for months is going to get really ugly and that's still a definite possibility.
QUEST: I look at your latest article or the recent article, you say the bond market is saying high interest rates are here to stay and it is not
easy to see why that should be the case.
In other words, you know, the Fed, and you're questioning the reasoning for this, the Fed is telling us as we listen to the last meeting, and you look
at later statements that the rates aren't going down anytime soon.
Now, is that in your view, because of some myopic policy point of hitting a mythical number of two percent or have they just got it wrong again?
KRUGMAN: Well, first of all, they may -- I mean, they are responding. The Fed is responding to the state of the economy. And so far, you're really
not seeing a big negative impact from the rate hikes so far.
So although the inflation news has been really, really good, almost really good in the last few months, they're still worried about the economy
overheating. And, you know, when they say -- through projections that say, well, we don't expect to be cutting rates anytime soon, that's because
their current forecast is that the economy is not likely to weaken very much, they don't know that. I don't know that.
So, I like to say that right now, the Fed is working on a PPE bases, proof of the pudding is in the eating, right? They are not going to cut rates as
long as the economy seems to be resilient in the face of the rate hikes they've done so far, but that could change quite soon. We have to see.
QUEST: But you know, I was much struck by the conversation you had in "The Times" with Peter Coy and on this question of whether there will be a
recession or not and you write: Honestly, I don't know what I believe here.
Are we in that unchartered territory where the historical compass and reference points don't tell us all guide us, give us much guidance?
KRUGMAN: Sure. I mean, look, we've had a major inflation burst, a major monetary tightening, which we haven't had anything like that for 40 years.
I mean, we're really going back -- going back to the early 1980s as a model for the kind of thing that is happening, except there are many
discontinuities between what's been happening in the US economy this time and what happened the last time we had serious inflation.
And also, you know, the world has changed a little bit in 40 years, right? So we don't have very good historical precedence. You know, you can try to
-- there are many things -- almost everything in economics is hard to estimate, given the available data, but the lags in policy has got to be
one of the most impossible things to estimate.
How long does it take a Fed rate hike to actually filter through to the economy? Well, we have various numbers, some of them say that there is
still a lot of downdraft ahead of us, some of them say there isn't. So I don't have a lot of faith that any -- certainly, that I or anybody knows.
QUEST: But finally, are you surprised, Paul? Are you surprised when you look at the sheer amount of tightening in a relatively short period? In
other days, in other times, we would have said, oh, it's over, turn the lights off. Last person out -- but that's not happening.
KRUGMAN: Yes. I mean, well, particularly the normal place where the rubber meets the road in Fed policy is housing. We expect that monetary policy
works largely through Fed funds rate affects the mortgage rate, which affects housing starts, and that's where the biggest channel of
Mortgage rates are sky high, but housing is not crashing and that's totally at odds with what I expected, it is totally at odds with past experience,
but what do we make of it? I would not have believed that if you told me a year ago that we'd be here now with these numbers.
But, you know the world changes and who knows what the source of resilience is here.
QUEST: We will talk more about it. Very grateful to you, sir. Thank you. Thank you for your time tonight. Thank you.
KRUGMAN: Take care.
QUEST: Britain's Education secretary says she's instructing schools to ban cellphones.
Gillian Keegan announced new guidance at the Tory Party conference in Manchester. She said her Department of Education will ask teachers to ban
phones even during breaks.
In a post on X, she said, the devices were a distraction and a source of bullying. Some teachers unions have criticized the move calling it
unenforceable and counterproductive.
Isa Soares is here.
I think the significant thing, Isa, here is also that line at the Tory party conference. She is playing to the faithful.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: What did you say, Richard? Sorry, I was busy on my phone. I didn't quite catch you. Say that again? What did you say?
QUEST: Oh, very drawl.
SOARES: Very much. I think parents up and down this country will be saying yes, we're all for this. This is causing distraction.
This is causing a lot of cases of bullying -- cyber bullying. We've seen in some countries results, test results have actually dipped, because students
are too distracted by these things that we hold so close to our hands.
But others will say actually, many schools already have guidelines in place, they are trying to enforce it. Other schools, Richard say, this is
just not -- you cannot get teachers to start policing children on the question of the timing of this and what the unions are saying, basically
saying they should focus on other priorities when it comes to schools.
They said we already have policies in place to deal with the problems of mobile phone users, the National Education Union is saying, in fact, they
should be focusing on recruitment and retention, funding cuts, mental health, and the rising levels of child poverty.
So while it may be welcomed by parents, unions are being upset. We've tried this, it hasn't worked. Think of a new policy, Conservative Party.
QUEST: We will leave your phone to one side for a moment if you be as kind. But again, it comes back to this she's playing to the public. She's playing
to the Tory Party at its annual conference, the hung 'em ups group that you get at conferences.
SOARES: Indeed, she is playing to the Tory Party, but I think parents up and down this country, whether you're from the right or from the left or
Conservative or Labour, will probably get behind this policy, Richard in the sense that --
QUEST: They do?
SOARES: Look --
QUEST: You're a parent.
SOARES: I've got two young children. My children are not allowed to have phones, any sort of social -- they don't have social media, they don't have
iPads during the week. They have games that they have, they can play, part school games in terms of phonics and times tables, Rockstars, you know,
that sort of thing, educational resources, I'm all for that.
But I have noticed that if my kids have a phone for longer than 45 minutes, that becomes -- I see a behavioral change in them and what concerns me the
most, as I'm sure it concerns many parents, besides the fact that they lose concentration, they lose focus in class is the cyber bullying aspect,
Richard, that is a huge concern.
I was hearing from a head teacher just before I came on the show and she says, she's all for it. Cyber bullying is one of the biggest concerns that
they have in school. There are lots of fights often involving these things.
But she said, you know, classrooms should be a space for calm and tranquility, and she will spend more time trying to police this than
actually to teach and that is the concern.
QUEST: Isa, lovely to see you as always. Very grateful. Thank you.
SOARES: Very well.
QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight from London. Coming up, the laureates of this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This year's Nobel Prize recognizes their basic science discovery that fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA
interacts with the immune system and had a major impact on society during the recent pandemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest. There's a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. The CEO of the new giant Axel Springer explains to me how A.I. is set to
reshape the media industry. And don't let the bedbugs bite the tiny insects of causing big disruptions in France. It's all after the news because this
is CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.
A nightclub in Spain that went up in flames over the weekend was ordered to be closed last year. According to city officials who say the club didn't
have a proper license. The deadliest nightclub fire in Spain in decades as 13 people were killed. Investigators are still trying to figure out what
started the blaze.
Serbia's president is disputing U.S. claims of an unprecedented buildup of Serbian troops on the Kosovo border. The White House expressed his concern
last week following a deadly shootout in northern Kosovo between police and Serbian government. NATO says it's sending additional forces to Kosovo as
tensions are rising.
The Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz says stay tuned referring to his threat to house the U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The conservative so
they may call for a vote to remove Mr. McCarthy because he relied on votes from Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.
The California Governor Gavin Newsom has chosen Laphonza Butler to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat left by the late Dianne Feinstein. Butler will
become the first black lesbian to serve in the U.S. Congress. She will be the sole black female senator there right now, and only the third in U.S.
Two researchers who work led to groundbreaking COVID vaccines have won this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine. Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman are both
professors at the University of Pennsylvania. It was their studies on messenger RNA that helped usher in a medical revolution. According to the
committee, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development, showing one of the greatest threats to human health in modern
Jacqueline Howard is with me. I think besides obviously, the extremely well-deserved nature of this. I think it's the speed, isn't it? Normally,
it can be decades after your work for -- on research and your findings before Nobel comes up with a -- with a prize. But this has been a matter of
a couple of years.
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: That's absolutely right, Richard. And many people have been wondering if or when some of the scientists that
developed mRNA vaccine technology and really laid that groundwork for the COVID vaccines would be recognized. And here we are seeing two scientists
whose work led to the development of these COVID-19 vaccines. They are being recognized right now.
And really, Richard, mRNA vaccine technology. The research behind it dates back decades. So, we're really recognizing the years of research that have
contributed to getting us the information and data needed to quickly develop COVID-19 vaccines which is what we saw happened during the COVID-19
And the chair of the Nobel Committee on medicine, she really highlighted the importance of having that groundwork and how that led to this speedy
development of vaccines. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUNILLA KARLSSON-HEDESTAM, CHAIR, NOBEL COMMITTEE FOR PSYCHOLOGY OR MEDICINE: But what's important here, I think, is that vaccines could be
developed so fast. And this was, as we just heard, largely due to, you know, improvements in the technology. So, I think in terms of saving lives,
especially in the early phase of the pandemic, it was very important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD: And Richard, not only did we see this work applied during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we're still seeing COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, Pfizer-
BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine being updated to specifically target circulating variants right now. So, we're still being the science --
seeing this science used today. And this mRNA vaccine technology is being studied and other aspects of medicine, as well like cancer research as
QUEST: Talk -- actually you've just reminding me to go and get my booster shot when I get home. Thank you for that. But more importantly, the -- that
last comment that you just made, the mRNA extension to other individualized medicines, to oncology and those sorts of things. This is -- these men and
their work, we haven't really scratched -- more than scratched the surface of its potential.
HOWARD: Absolutely right. So, it will be interesting to see where this science takes us in the future. Because what we know now from the work from
the two scientists that were just recognized today, their work really helped give our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system.
So that groundwork is now being applied to future studies on how can we use this work to maybe harness the power of our immune system to battle cancer.
Or how can we use this work to study the development of other types of vaccines for other diseases. So, that's where this science is taking us in
the future. And it will be interesting to see what future mRNA vaccines might look like, Richard.
QUEST: I'm grateful. Thank you. The CEO of Axel Springer, the giant German media company says he's ready to embrace artificial intelligence. And
that's no small deal when you think that Axel Springer owns brands like Bild, Politico, Insider and others. Mathias Dopfner told me he sees A.I. as
a friend to media. One that will clear the way for better journalism. Just one thing we discussed when we sat down, we were in the C suite in the sky.
MATHIAS DOPFNER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AXEL SPRINGER: There was a constant belief that we have to digitize the company we started very early,
more than two decades ago, it was clear when I saw the first website that that is going to open a new chapter. And the second belief was that we have
to internationalize the company. And here, the United States were for me the biggest and most attractive media market in the world. And when we had
an opportunity to buy Business Insider, we did it.
QUEST: And then from that came others.
DOPFNER: Morning Brew and then Politico.
DOPFNER: And it's only a beginning.
QUEST: But when you buy those sorts of assets, Politico is very well known. But at the same time, it's a lot of money for a digital asset.
DOPFNER: We focus very much on the intellectual charisma of the content. That's why journalists are for us the most important people in the company.
If we have the right team, if we believe in that capacity, then we make such a move. And whenever we underestimate that role, then we make
mistakes. So, it is really very, very easy in the end. You have to focus on the best possible content.
And another aspect, if everybody is polarizing in the media industry and journalists are taking sides, one in the camp of this party, the other in
the camp of another party, then perhaps for the very few who think that you should be unpredictable, you should be unbiased may have an opportunity. I
cannot imagine that in the long run. People just want to amplify their own prejudice.
QUEST: Let's talk Germany first, if you will. The traditional products, which you want to move completely digital, get rid of the paper.
DOPFNER: I suggested that when I became editor-in-chief in 1998 to transform the paper into 100 percent digital paper, the board almost fired
me. When I became CEO. I said that's my second chance. Let's do it. It was in the early 2000s. And now the company is 95 percent digital business.
QUEST: Do you miss the print? Come on. Those of us of a certain age.
DOPFNER: Well, I'm not saying it in order to pretend to be young, but I honestly don't miss it too much.
DOPFNER: No. I mean, the mobile phone has changed my life. I've only one device. I've only a mobile phone. I have no laptop, I have no computer.
I've written all my articles, all my speeches, my books, all with my mobile phone over the last years. So that has simplified my life so much. Why
would I miss paper? No, I think it is about the -- it's about the content, not about the medium.
QUEST: So what do you going to do to grow the German side which is extremely mature? It's mature, you've, you've got readers who love you and
DOPFNER: Let's take the opportunities for a company like Axel Springer in the context of artificial intelligence. We have already five projects where
we take advantage of the possibilities of large language models. I don't see it as a structural enemy of journalism. I see it as a potential friend.
Why? Because we can come up with new products that we could have never afforded before.
And we can basically delegate the boring stuff of our business translation, technical production, fact checking to certain degree aggregation of
information that is out there anyway. We can delegate that to bots to artificial intelligence and focus at the same time of the very essence of
our business. And that is the news to find out something that was not supposed to be found out.
And to focus on investigative reporting to go out and watch and describe reality. That is so much more interesting for good journalist.
QUEST: Provided you've got the necessary safeguards in place against disinformation, your fire.
DOPFNER: Yes. Absolutely.
QUEST: I worry that companies will do the first bit and skimp on the second bid.
DOPFNER: That's a fair point. Some companies may do, we don't. If you just use A.I. in order to save costs you make a big mistake.
QUEST: But many will.
DOPFNER: That would be good for those who don't.
QUEST: Politico, what's its role?
DOPFNER: Politico, I think is the nonpartisan unpredictable, quality journalism platform for political information for policymakers and people
interested in politics. I think it is a small, very focused brand and target group. But it has an incredible potential for internationalization.
We do additions in California that you may have seen if that works, that has an incredible potential to be rolled out in Europe, in Paris, in
London, maybe in Germany and Berlin.
QUEST: It's powerful in Brussels.
DOPFNER: In Brussels, it's very powerful. In two years, it became -- some people are saying the most relevant medium in the E.U.
QUEST: Fascinating. And there's more to come in part two of my interview with Mathias Dopfner. We discussed his new book, The Trade TrapL How to
Stop Doing Business with Dictators. He tells me why he thinks democracy is in decline. You can hear that next week on a QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Cheese you shamelessly. Still to come. It's the sort of thing that keeps all of us who travel up at night. Bedbugs. Well now apparently in Paris,
right, it's causing major problems and in the midst of the Rugby World Cup. Oh my, oh.
QUEST: Seaweed could save the world. No, that's not hyperbole. It's the message from Vincent Doumeizel, a guest editor of CNN's Call to Earth. He
says we still know very little about it. Now we'll take you to a French Research Center that's focused on the science of seaweed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): The city of Brest is hosting the week-long European psychology. Congress for psychology being the study of algae. It's
what brought Vincent and hundreds of other seaweed advocates to the Brittany region.
VINCENT DOUMEIZEL, FOOD PROGRAM DIRECTOR: I think I believe that it's positive. I mean, it's (INAUDIBLE) with a lot of excitement, generating a
lot of (INAUDIBLE) topics, you know, seaweed. So, I think we are all full of optimism in the seaweed community.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The seawater that goes into the aquarium here, there you want to have some phytoplankton and things in it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): Today a delegation from the conference had made its way to the seaside town of Roscoff along Brittany's northern
Referred to as the seaweed capital on the region's official tourism Web site, here you'll indeed find it everywhere -- in the shops, on restaurant
menus and, of course, covering the rocky shorelines.
In the middle of it all, hugging the waters of the English Channel is the renowned scientific research and training center, the Roscoff Marine
DOUMEIZEL: It's a very important place. Roscoff is where we first discovered the life cycle of the kelp. It has 150 years of experience in
seaweed science and marine science.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): And this man, marine biologist Philippe Potin, who Vincent refers to as his brother in algae, is the center's
PHILIPPE POTIN, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, ROSCOFF MARINE STATION: Here we have very international important (INAUDIBLE) by some colleagues from U.K., from
Germany, from the States, from Portugal. More than 70 people focusing on seaweed studies.
DOUMEIZEL: The (INAUDIBLE) urchins.
POTIN: No, no. They are --
DOUMEIZEL: Oh, this one.
POTIN: They prefer to eat some (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): From genome sequencing to studying seaweed's impact on human health, Philippe says they've been able to
plethora of new-found knowledge.
POTIN: We have -- during the last 20 years, it's related to a lot of strange self-defense species. And this is available for visitors who want
to come to Roscoff and of course, we are part of a lesser (ph) program in Europe. So, Roscoff is really providing a lot of exercise along algae
especially for seaweed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): Vincent says one of his biggest concerns is that globally seaweed are disappearing at an alarming rate.
DOUMEIZEL: There is a fire below water, just like there's one in (INAUDIBLE) but we should protect, we plant and cultivate. Otherwise, they
will disappear soon. And we will as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): While more seaweed is cultivated year after year, both experts and critics agree that as the industry scales up,
it needs to be done for the right reason.
DOUMEIZEL: I mean, we want to make sure that when you are growing seaweed you do not do any harm to the environment. We want to see only positive
outcomes from the seaweed cultivations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): There is quite simply a lack something like know- how.
DOUMEIZEL: I think the big problem that we have in the West is that we still don't know how to cultivate. So, understanding the life cycle of the
seaweed and understand the mix of bacteria around them ought to put them in the right condition to grow. I think most of the discussion we had this
week were around that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's where institutes like the Roscoff Marine Station play such a critical role.
DOUMEIZEL: This western world is getting interested into seaweed. And there's no other way I think if we are ever to get together to do that,
then we could be remembered as the first generation on this planet that will be able to feed the entire population of this world while mitigating
climate change, repairing biodiversity, and alleviating poverty.
But we will need to be all together to do that. And I do believe that we will.
QUEST: Fascinating. Actually, I love seaweed. If you want to know more about seaweed and how it's one of our planet's most valuable resources, the
full documentary on Call to Earth's Sea of Hope, and you can watch it at CNN.com.
QUEST: If this doesn't chill you to the bone, nothing will. No one is safe from bedbugs in Paris. It's a warning from the city's deputy mayor. He says
there's a widespread outbreak. Now they are small, just the size of an Appleseed spotted in movie theaters and public transport. I did have
bedbugs once and it was the most revolting experience. Well, Melissa Bell tells us what's happening in Paris.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A nasty commute and not just for the passengers you can see. French officials say that bedbugs have
infested Paris's transport networks and the wider city. The race is now on to exterminate the bugs with less than a year to go until the Olympics.
From metros to high-speed trains, videos have shown them taking over some cinemas and even Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is making for an itchy
situation as France prepares to host the rest of the world next summer.
French officials are preparing to take measures to contain the scourge with transport operators gathering this week to try to find ways of getting rid
of the pests. But that's not enough for some who say the thought of sitting on a bus or a train next to the uninvited seatmates makes their skin cool.
LAURA MMADI, TRAIN PASSENGER (through translator): That really traumatized me. I'll keep my luggage close to prevent them from getting to my home.
Also, I'm not from here. So, once I get home, I'll have to wash all my clothes.
LUC VILLETTE, TRAIN PASSENGER (through translator): I mean, the fact that we can actually see them means there are a lot of them. And in addition,
they are being seen in the day when they usually come out at night. So there is a big problem somewhere.
BELL (voiceover): Paris Deputy Mayor Emanuel Gregoire says that no one is safe from the problem because the bugs can be picked up anywhere. A recent
government report estimated that about one in 10 French households had had bedbug infestations between 2017 and last year. There are some fumigation
companies say business is higher than usual and more urgent.
SACHA KRIEF, PEST CONTROL STORE MANAGER (through translator): We've had customers calling us up crying desperate for a solution. And it's very,
very costly when you have to throw away all of your bedding, when you have to undergo works in your apartment. And so, you get into a sort of
BELL (voiceover): And whilst bedbugs may be a growing nuisance in Paris, health experts say that they're not considered dangerous. Causing merely
itching and rashes. And their numbers are increasing not just in the French capital, but around the world. As people travel more and the bugs become
more resistant to pesticides. An irritating problem, but not one save French officials that should pose a threat to the upcoming Olympics.
Their plan, to stop the bedbugs biting as soon as they can. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
QUEST: I think I need to go and have a short shower after that. But instead, we'll have a profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. This morning, I had a bit of a chesty cough. I woke up in the middle of the night to be honest. And I was
coughing and wheezing. And I quickly did a COVID test because I was filming with colleagues and I really didn't want to make anything worse for anybody
else. Well, thankfully, it wasn't COVID, at least not yet. But it does make me realize how much we owe to the two Nobel scientists, researchers who
have won the medicine prize for their work on mRNA.
mRNA isn't new, but what they did is revolutionary and saved more lives. And probably we can count. And as one of them said, I don't really go for
the big thing on camera. I was just told to create a vaccine and that's what I did. And only the rest of us could be so modest about a achievements
that are not just groundbreaking but earth shattering and life-saving. And that's why I'm so delighted that the Nobel Committee decided to do it now.
Now wait 20 years for actually doing the award.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in London. Last time I'm in London. I'm heading back to New York tomorrow. So whatever
you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. I'll see you from New York this time tomorrow.