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Quest Means Business

Israel Expands Ground Operations To All Of Gaza; IDF Orders People To Evacuate More Areas In Southern Gaza; Israel: Military Objectives In Northern Gaza "Nearly Completed"; COP28 Head Defends Controversial Fossil Fuels Comments; Lufthansa Group Expands "Green Fare" Initiative; Alaska Air Agrees To Buy Hawaiian Airlines For $1.9B; CNN Gaza Reporter's Home Destroyed, Relatives Killed In Strikes; U.S. Republican Primary Voting To Begin In Six Weeks; SCOTUS Grapples With Oxycontin-Maker's Bankruptcy Deal. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 04, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There's an hour left to trade on Wall Street as the new week is well and truly underway. The way the markets

are looking, we are down 60-odd points for the Dow Jones, holding over 36,000 comfortably. But you can see, it's been down for the entire session.

There's 1,001 reasons why we will deal with many of them in tonight's program, the markets and the main events.

Israel's defense forces says its objectives in northern Gaza are nearly complete, and the shift focuses now to the south of Gaza.

The president of COP 28 is defending his comment to science -- his commitment to science after a barrage of criticism of comments on fossil


The six weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the race to be the Republican nominee.

Tonight, I'm in Dubai, in the UAE. We're live in Dubai on Monday, December the 4th. I'm Richard Quest and I mean business.

Good evening, tonight, Israeli forces have expanded their ground operations into southern Gaza. They're calling for people in large areas inside Gaza

to evacuate immediately.

There have been strikes today on Khan Younis, the main city in the south. Gunfire can be heard in a video geolocated by CNN as south of Wadi Gaza.

The IDF is describing the main route near Khan Younis as a battlefield and said people cannot flee the city to the north or to the east.

Southern Gaza is already filled with people displaced by the fighting. In October, Israel told people to leave the north and head to the south. So

take a look at the map from last week that shows the damage across the strip based on satellite data.

Now, you can see the north, where they all move south, where there's been massive bombing shelling, and where the tanks are. If the IDF is telling

people to head even further south into smaller areas of safety, well, it begs the question where they are supposed to go.

Israel dropped leaflets last week with a QR Code that links to this map, dividing the strip into hundreds of numbered evacuation zones. There's a

major problem. Without electricity or Internet, you have to ask how many people can actually access the information or use the QR Codes, bearing in

mind all that has to be done in the moment in the (inaudible) [00:03:21] the heat of war with bombs and bullets.

The head of the -- of UNRWA says the number of civilians killed is rapidly increasing.

Ben Wedeman is in Jerusalem. Ben, the first thing I thought this morning when I heard this idea that Israel was asking people to evacuate from the

south as they move forward, the first thing I thought, you know, where the hell are they supposed to evacuate to?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that's the question everybody is asking. Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA,

noted that the presumption of military operations and its expansion in southern Gaza is repeating the horrors of the past weeks. He noted that,

basically, people are being told to concentrate themselves in one-third of the Gaza Strip. And it's also worth noting that according to a network

monitoring firm that that there is -- at this point, at this moment, there is no Internet in Gaza. So even if people had those leaflets with a QR

Code, they wouldn't be able to access them anyway.

Now, Lazzarini also said that this news of Israel's expansion of those military operations into the south had spread panic, fear, and anxiety that

the roads now are crammed with cars and donkey carts of people trying to get to the safer areas. But they're going to places where there is no

shelter available, there is no food available, there is no water available. And most importantly of all, there's no safety available -- Richard.


QUEST: I mean, I suppose the argument is a -- it's a valid one. I mean, Hamas can always, I suppose, sort of all surrender or, you know -- I mean,

as long as the fighting continues and there's overwhelming force coming against you, you either fight to the death or you give in?

WEDEMAN: Well, I think it's obvious Hamas is going to fight to the death that they (inaudible) [00:00:29] have come to the conclusion that the

Israelis are out to get them -- every single one of them.

Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, said today that the fate of Hamas fighters in the south is going to be the same as it was in the north.

And I think that we -- even though the Israelis say that they have achieved most of their military objectives in northern Gaza, we know they are still

running into resistance that Hamas is using its knowledge of the terrain, its tunnel networks to ambush Israeli forces. And it -- since the

presumption of military operations on Friday morning, we have seen, on a daily basis, there have been more Israeli soldiers killed and wounded. And,

of course, in all of this, there are people caught in the middle -- Richard.

QUEST: Ben Wedeman in Jerusalem tonight. Grateful for you, Ben. Thank you.

The head of Israel's armed corps -- Armored Corps says the military's objectives are nearly completed in the north, as Ben was saying. And the

IDF says it killed a commander of a Hamas battalion in an airstrike on Sunday.

The IDF released this video. This is the strike that they're talking about. The commander was in charge of Hamas forces in the Shati area, was

responsible for raids in Israel on October the 7th.

General Wesley Clark is with me, our military analyst, former NATO supreme allied commander. General Clark, before we get to the nitty-gritty, in a

way, of how the battle is progressing, this idea that you can tell a million (inaudible) [00:02:20] people to move further south or to move to a

safe area, when you are decreasing that area day-by-day, you're literally pushing them into a smaller and smaller cone.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, it's a real problem. It's a real problem for the Israelis. It's a real problem for the civilians

in Gaza. It's a real problem for the United States, but there doesn't seem to be an answer.

The original idea, I think, Richard, would have been that Israel or Egypt would have set up some kind of ancillary camp so people could evacuate Gaza

while they finish the fight against Hamas.

Israel was concerned about this because they didn't want the terrorists to slip through what the civilian population. It could've been prevented if

they had had the right support from the United Nations and others.

But as things evolve, it just -- they had to get on with the military mission and now they're in it. And there doesn't seem to be an easy way to

protect the innocent civilians that are in Gaza.

QUEST: So what should the US do at this point? I mean, the speech by Secretary of State Blinken yesterday pretty much laid out in a much more

clear and concise, you know, US policy of how far Israel can go, but they don't seem to be listening.

CLARK: It's a real dilemma politically and militarily. Let's talk about the military side first. The United States was insistent that Israel not use

overwhelming ground forces. Israel hasn't. Israel is going in there with relatively limited ground forces, but they're using firepower instead. And

this is more destructive, maybe more protective to reduce Israeli casualties, but it's certainly causing a lot of civilian casualties.

But there's only so much you could do in battle to avoid these civilian casualties. You really have to look at Hamas. It's what you said earlier,

Richard. Hamas should surrender.

If they're really concerned about the welfare of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, surrender. Just stop. Just come out of the tunnels, put your hands

up, call on the world to show mercy to you. Let's have an international court. And because they are deliberately -- Hamas is deliberately using the

civilian population and attempting to provoke the Israelis into causing more and more casualties. That's defense.

QUEST: Right. Now .

CLARK: Now .

QUEST: . let's go down that road, if we may. Let's go down that road, if we may, general, because if that is what Hamas is doing, and it seems to be,

then if you are Israel, what do you do?


I mean, you heard the defense secretary say the other -- yesterday, you can, you know, win the war and lose the strategic -- you can win the battle

and lose the strategic war. That seems to be what's happening as far as Israel is concerned.

CLARK: Well, I think the horse is out of the barn on that one as far as Gaza is concerned, Richard, because the people in Gaza, after these losses

-- and besides after the years of conflict between the Israel and the Palestinians, it's not the same as when the United States was in Iraq going

after ISIS and worried about the Iraqi civilians in Mosul. This is an entirely different circumstance.

Now, for Israel, Israel has to worry about Hamas. It's branded Hamas as an existential threat. This is the first time really, since 1973, that Israel

has faced an existential threat. This is a problem. And Israel recognizes that if Hamas gets away with this, the next threat will come from Hezbollah

in the north. And there's fighting already in the west bank.

So Israel feels quite beleaguered and under pressure at this point.

QUEST: Right.

CLARK: And especially because these -- Iran is on the outside forcing all this. So the United States is working to contain the possibility of

escalation. But Israel and Israeli military leaders are going to insist they finish the job against Hamas.

QUEST: Are you still worried about escalation?

CLARK: I'm not as worried because Iran has said they don't want to escalate. And they made that public. But they would like to do as much as

they could to discredit the United States in the process. So the United States also doesn't want to escalate.

So this is a sort of -- is a constrained tit for tat, and maybe the United States will go tit and a half for tat on this after the latest actions in

the Red Sea. But no, I'm not as worried about escalation.

Iran wants to protect itself from the threat of escalation because it wants the opportunity to get that nuclear weapon so it can change the overall

balance in the Middle East. Apparently, it doesn't yet have the nuclear weapon or it doesn't want to admit that it has .

QUEST: Right.

CLARK: . the nuclear weapon.

No, I'm not that worried about escalation. But I am worried that Israel sees this as an existential threat, and they are going to finish the job

against Hamas, and they're going to consider what they have to do against Hezbollah in the north.

QUEST: I'm grateful to you, General, as always. Thank you, sir. Thank you for your time.

And so to come (ph) [00:02:56], and the oil executive leading the UN climate summit here in Dubai is now defending his own comments on fossil




QUEST: Day five of COP28 here in Dubai, the oil executive that's leading the event is defending his recent comments on fossil fuels. Sultan Al-Jaber

caused a stir. He claimed many days before the summit, in his words, "No science that says phasing out fossil fuel is necessary to keep global

warming at bay." He says those comments were misinterpreted.

All of this comes as the role of fossil fuels in this climate transition is being reevaluated. They make up 80% of energy now. And frankly, being

honest, they're not going away completely or much anytime soon.

The IEA says they expect fossil fuels to be more than half of the energy mix 20 years from now when there's COP discussions focused on finance. The

UAE, which is hosting the conference, made a splash, pledging $270 billion in green financing by the end of the decade. And that's only a fraction of

what's needed.

The founder of Bridgewater, Ray Dalio, and the president of the World Bank spoke to CNN about financing the green transition.


RAY DALIO, FOUNDER, BRIDGEWATER: The picture is pretty clear that between $5 trillion and $10 trillion of money has to go into this. And it has to go

into it for three purposes -- either to develop new sources of energy or to have the cost of cutting those back and then also remediating. In other

words, when -- prepare -- to put the walls up so that the sea rising doesn't not matter and, you know, those types of costs, so let's call it


And then the third cost is the cost of the damage itself. That's going to be costly.

AJAY BANGA, PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK: All multinational banks put together, there isn't enough money to meet those change. You're going to need the

private sector. You're going to need to look at subsidies. You're going to need to look at voluntary carbon markets, and we've made announcements

around voluntary carbon markets as well at COP. So I think this is a war we have to fight on all fronts. We don't win on one front.


QUEST: Now, lower income countries at this end of the climate discussion, some of them face the worst of the change. The Spanish deputy prime

minister says focusing on vulnerable countries is a necessity.


NADIA CALVINO, SPANISH FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: We need to bring everybody forward with us in this green transition. It does affect very

directly oil-producing countries. It also -- I mean, the climate change is having a very direct and damaging impact on most vulnerable countries that

have to rebuild after terrible climate disasters, you know, time and again. And so we need to reinforce our global instruments, our global safety nets

so that we can continue to support the most vulnerable countries, support investments to become more resilient, and also ensure that we have an

orderly transition that does preserve a balanced outcome for everybody.

And in that sense, COP28 comes at a critical moment. We need to continue to make progress. Spain is very strongly committed. We also have put our money

where our mouth is.

We have launched massive investments, which are also proving to be the right way forward because Spanish companies are becoming more competitive

with low energy prices and cleaner energy. And that is also allowing them to gain market share in international markets. So we're starting to see the

benefits of being committed to climate action, but we need to ensure that these global challenge has also global solutions.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: One of the challenges was trying to compensate those countries that are unfairly harmed by emissions and some of the

bigger polluters in the world. And the good news is that was agreed to. The bad news is talking about putting your money where your mouth is, that the

contribution from the United States seemed, on a comparative basis, pretty woeful. How do you feel about that? Do you think everybody is playing

enough of a role?

CALVINO: I absolutely think that the large economies have to be leading in this process. And I am positive, you know, positively impressed by the fact

that in recent years we've seen the US but also China, you mentioned, it very strongly engaged in the technological challenge and technological

change, which has taken place.


But this should not be a technological battle or a race. At the end of the day, we need these clean technologies to be available for all countries

around the world. We need to also bring emerging economies, border economies, you know, emerging and most vulnerable economies to join also

this process of technological development, which is a challenge but also a great opportunity.

So again, you know, I think that we need to come together and foster all cooperative solutions that can reinforce the financial safety net, ensure

that clean technologies are spread across the world, and that we -- all together, we stop the heating process, and that we master these climate

change challenge, which is to the benefit of all of us, but most importantly to future generations.


QUEST: One of the industries that is really feeling the full force of, if you will, public anger over climate change is airlines and aviation. And

so, the airlines are trying to respond.

Lufthansa is expanding their so-called "Green Fares" with 12 new long-haul routes. The fare includes an offsetting of flight-related CO2 emissions,

sustainable through the use of SAFs -- sustainable aviation fuels -- and a contribution to climate protection projects.

According to the IEA, aviation accounts for -- now, and I was actually to have a guess -- you might say 15%, 20%, 30%. No, actually, aviation is 2%

of global emissions last year. The group, Lufthansa, which is a member of Star Alliance, is -- involves Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, amongst the


Joining me now is the Star Alliance Chief Executive, Theo Panagiotoulias. He joins me. Sir, good to see you. Theo, we were talking about all of this

last year, so earlier this year at IATA.

The reality, first of all, is you're getting the blame and you're not doing a very good job of fighting back. That's my view, not yours. Why do we ask

this? But the reality is aviation is only 2%. You're getting much -- people think it's much greater.

THEO PANAGIOTOULIAS, CEO STAR ALLIANCE: Hey, Richard, hi, and good to see you again. No, you're absolutely right. I -- it's a very important issue,

However. And now, everyone at Star Alliance, all our members take this very, very seriously. And it's something that is a top priority. There's a

bunch of initiatives going on across all the member carriers, and it's something that is top of mind, no doubt. But there's got a lot more

communication that needs to be going on with it.

QUEST: And within that, what role do you see for something like Star, because each individual airlines doing its own thing?

PANAGIOTOULIAS: Yes, and I think that's the way it should be. The individual carriers have their own investments, and priorities, and

initiatives independent of Star. Our focus at Star and our mission is to focus on the customer experience and making sure that we're looking at all

the different touch points and making a bid for all customers.

QUEST: How big a loss will it be when SAS moves across to SkyTeam, assuming the Air France airline deal goes on? But we have no reason to believe it


PANAGIOTOULIAS: Yes, SAS is a founding member of Star Alliance and have been a member for 27 years now. They've expected great value from the

alliance. And like any business, we have evolving market conditions, different priorities, different situations. And so we will focus on

strengthening our position even further in northern Europe.

And let's remember, Star Alliance is the largest alliance globally. We have an extensive network with multiple partners. And we feel good about making

sure that we are serving our needs, in particular, in northern Europe.

QUEST: Transparency requires me to declare an interest, of course, that, you know, I mean, across the Star Alliance, I tend to fly Star Alliance, I

mean, just so that the viewer isn't misled in that sense.

And with that in mind, you might call this a personal hobby of yours, Theo. But the UK is a glaring emission for Star since BMI long since went, you've

-- and SkyTeam's now have got Virgin. Oneworld has BA. You are lacking, if you will, sir, in the UK.

PANAGIOTOULIAS: Well, I think the way I would characterize it is our network is vast and global. And in the UK, it is no different.

We have services. Their connection services, in particular, is one example where we ensure that our customers have seamless experiences. If there's

irregular operation, we've actually got personnel that meet our customers at flights to make sure they get to other flights.


So our presence is very, very strong in the UK. And let's not forget, it's a global footprint and our alliance .

QUEST: Right.

PANAGIOTOULIAS: . is unmatched in that regard.

QUEST: Okay. So are you still hoping to bring new members in? And if so, who? Well, I can ask. I mean, I don't think you'll tell me, but let try it

and see.

PANAGIOTOULIAS: Look, we're always looking for opportunities, Richard. You know, that -- I mean, in any business, we're looking for opportunities.

QUEST: Right.

PANAGIOTOULIAS: But, yes, our focus right now with regard to the largest network of any alliance in the world, so our focus is now making the

customer experience more seamless. As I shared with you before, there are so many touch points where, at the end .

QUEST: Right.

PANAGIOTOULIAS: . of the day the customer wants control of their own destiny, and we're there to help them achieve that.

QUEST: I would be remiss if I didn't just ask you about Hawaiian being bought by Alaska. I know you're not there at Hawaiian anymore, but you are

-- you did have a very senior role.

Looking at the share price, Hawaiian is up 10%, Alaska is down 5%. And are you surprised at these two coming together? And when they do come together,

obviously, I imagine Hawaiian will go to Oneworld. But when they do to come together, it starts to look more like a European-type of merger, doesn't

it, where both brands get under a holding company.

PANAGIOTOULIAS: Well, yes, I mean, it caught me just as much a surprise as it caught you, Richard. So I haven't been there for a while now, so I know

as much as you do. I have a lot of colleagues there that I have very, very strong positive memories with. And there's some very smart people there, so

they know what they're doing.

QUEST: Theo, I'm grateful for your time. We will talk more when we're face- to-face and there's not a delay, and it's not half past four in the morning for you in Singapore, middle of the night, midnight for me here in Dubai.

I'm grateful, sir. Thank you.


QUEST: Six weeks to go and the Republicans in Iowa will start the process of choosing their party's presidential candidate. Former President Trump

has dominated the race thus far. In a moment.



QUEST: Our top story, Israel says it hit about 200 Hamas targets in Gaza with overnight airstrikes. In doing so, they killed a commander who helped

carry out the October the seventh terror attack. The IDF claimed it's nearly completed its military objective in northern Gaza, and is expanding

operations in the southern areas of the enclave.

This is the aftermath of a strike on the city of Khan Yunis, where many Palestinians have sought shelter. The president of the International Red

Cross has called Gaza a desperate humanitarian situation.

Larry Madowo is in Cairo joining me now. Larry, before we talk about the situation, we must of course talk deal with matters closer to home. Our own

colleague, our journalist Ibrahim Dahman has told us of nine members of his extended family that have been killed. What more?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Richard. Over this weekend, Ibrahim Dahman is our Gaza producer found out that nine

family members had been killed in an Israeli airstrike that includes his aunt and her family, his uncle and his family. And his two other family

members remain in critical condition and some remain buried under the rubble.

His childhood home is in ruins. His own house that he's only recently renovated is also now a rubble. And he is obviously devastated.

In this evening, he has been here the Cairo Bureau all this week. This evening, he lost contact with his brother for a few hours. And we were all

holding our breath because you know, there's a communications blockade but he was fearing for the worst.

Mercifully, he's fine, but just for now, his dad is still out there. His brothers is still out there, his extended family and he feels for them,

considering what we've been hearing, Richard.

QUEST: So, now the thrust of the Israeli maneuvers is to the south. And we talk -- we've already talked earlier in the program about where people are

supposed to go, but tell me what they'd been doing in the south, please.

MADOWO: They've been told to evacuate to the south. That was the Israeli message that the North was part of this military operation to safeguard the

South. But now, the U.N. is saying nowhere in the south is safe.

A few people have been lucky to cross the Rafah Crossing into Egypt, mostly dual nationals. Over the weekend, 871 dual nationals were able to cross

into Egypt.

And at the same time, there's some aid coming in. Fuel has been short supply, water has been short supply, food has been in short supply.

However, the amount of aid coming in is extremely small. Only 100 trucks came in on Saturday, another 100 trucks came in today. We don't have 100

trucks on Sunday. We don't have the exact number today because the Palestinian Red Crescent says they lost contact with a lot of its

operations there.

But for a lot of people, they're so desperate because they don't know where to turn. Look at this dad, whose 2-year-old -- whose 2-month-old son was

hurt in an airstrike.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They told us to leave Gaza. There's a war in Gaza. So we left the north and came here to the south just like

they asked. But this is what we found in the South.

What can we do? This is my son. He was born on the second day of the war. And we haven't been able to register his birth yet at the Civil Registry.


MADOWO: He had hoped that his son would have a better life and he says we die a million deaths every day.

The big picture here, Richard, is that aid agency says there needs to be a whole lot more aid coming in to Gaza for the 1.8 million people, about 80

percent of the population that are displaced and the Rafah Crossing in Egypt. I've been there this past weekend, there's a lot of trucks waiting

to get in, it's not nearly enough.

In fact, the U.N. has said the Israelis need to open the Kerem Shalom crossing and dramatically increase the amount of aid going in across the

Gaza Strip.

QUEST: Larry in Cairo, we're grateful. Thank you, sir.

Six weeks from now, Republicans will start the process of choosing -- the formal process of choosing their presidential nominee. The Iowa caucuses.

Now, we begin on January the 15th. We're not going into what is a caucus on what's a primary just yet.


Republican voters will gather that evening in schools and other locations and have a chance to make a pitch for their favorite candidates. The

ballots are then taken. Kristen Holmes has more on the closely watched race.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They're six weeks until the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses. But GOP front runner Donald Trump is

already signaling a pivot to a potential general election matchup.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Joe Biden is not the defender of American democracy.

HOLMES (voice over): In Iowa, offering his most forceful rebuttal yet to President Joe Biden's argument that a second Trump term would threaten

American democracy.

TRUMP: Joe Biden is the destroyer of American democracy.

HOLMES (voice over): Trump facing felony charges over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, claiming it was Biden who pose the threat to

the country.

TRUMP: Their the records of the American Dream, the American Dream is dead with them in office. It's sad.

HOLMES (voice over): Trump also continuing his renewed attacks on the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

TRUMP: We're going to fix it because it's a catastrophe for family budgets.

HOLMES (voice over): His GOP rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, saying he too would seek to replace the health care system that millions of

Americans depend on.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Obamacare hasn't worked, we're going to replace and supersede with a better plan.

HOLMES (voice over): Democrats seizing on the threats made by Republican candidates, the Biden campaign airing this ad in battleground states.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The idea that we could go back to the policies that helped the rich get richer and left so many people behind, I don't want to

go back.

HOLMES (VOICE OVER): While Trump and Biden are both looking towards the general election, Trump still needs to beat out his GOP rivals for his

party's nomination, DeSantis, still trailing Trump in the polls, also in Iowa this weekend, completing his tour of the state's 99 counties, as he

pins his presidential hopes on a strong showing in the Hawkeye State.

DESANTIS: By the fact that I'm willing to do this, that should show you that I consider myself a servant, not a ruler. And that's how people that

get elected should consider themselves.

HOLMES (VOICE OVER): The Florida governor projecting confidence that he'll win Iowa, and with it, the nomination.

DESANTIS: We're going to win Iowa. I think it's going to help propel us to the nomination.

HOLMES (VOICE OVER): Despite a weekend of internal drama, three top staffers exiting the main super PAC supporting his campaign efforts in what

one source characterized as firings.


HOLMES (on camera): And while DeSantis faces all of this internal turmoil. Nikki Haley's campaign has seen a surge according to recent polling.

However, if that polling is accurate, she's still trailing pretty significantly behind former President Trump and it would be very difficult

for her to actually catch up to him for those Iowa caucuses.

However, as we have repeatedly said, anything could happen. Iowa itself is known to be a wild card.

Kristen Holmes, CNN, Washington.

QUEST: The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments about Purdue Pharma bankruptcy deal. The company produced and promoted the addictive drug

Oxycontin, but yes, under the deal, the family that owned it would pay up to $6 billion to the victims of the opioid crisis. The Sackler family would

then be protected from future opioid related lawsuits.

The Justice Department has blocked that agreement asking the Supreme Court to review it. Multiple justices today emphasize that most victims are in

favor of the deal.

CNN's Senior Supreme Court Analyst Joan Biskupic is in Washington.

And I guess the issue is, nobody will ever come to a deal if they don't get the immunity necessary so that they can do a deal and be done with it. And

I guess that's what the justices are all sort of get hinting at, there has to be finality.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SENIOR SUPREME COURT ANALYST: That's right, Richard, I have to say this has been the most riveting bankruptcy case I ever sat

through. And, you know, people are saying, you know, it's the biggest bankruptcy case in more than 30 years, and that's because of what's at


And certainly, the victims, their families, and the devastation of the opioid crisis hung over the courtroom, but so did the Sacklers. And as you

said, the Sacklers want this deal.

The U.S. Trustee, who's you know, overseeing this, monitoring this, has come in, represented by the Biden administration saying two main things.

First is that, U.S. bankruptcy code does not allow this, but also saying something somewhat tantalizing that if this deal has to be scrapped, the

victims and the families and the stakes and the cities could actually get a better deal.

But the other side says, not only will there not be a better deal, there will be no deal. And you're exactly right, that these releases are critical

to Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, being able to turn over about $6 billion to compensate the victims and to have prevention programs on the

part of states and cities.


And just to give you a flavor of what was said in the -- you know, as I said, a very riveting set of arguments, Justice Kavanaugh right from the

start brought up the family saying, you know, the families are saying, you, federal government, federal lawyer standing here before us are coming in

here late, you're only going to delay things further.

And then, just as Elena Kagan pointed up, the fact that, you know, all of the people involved in this, I think about 95 percent of the claimants

have, you know, said yes to it. And these are people who don't like the Sacklers.

At one point, Richard, she said, these are among the people who have -- who think that Sacklers are pretty much among the worst people on Earth.

They've negotiated a deal that they think is the best they can get with these people who are the worst people on Earth. And the point of bankruptcy

law, as she's addressing, the government lawyer is not just have all these highfalutin principles, that's using her word, highfalutin, but it's also

have some highfalutin core values here, and one is that you're supposed to maximize the estate, and you're never going to be maximizing this state if

you do not allow these releases. That's at least what she said to the government lawyer.

And I have to say, Richard, the government lawyer got most of the scrutiny. Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you. Thank you, Joan. My apologies. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS at the top of the hour. We'll have a dash for the closing bell.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. Together, we're going to have a closing bell dash. It's just minute or so away. Uber shares are up more than two

percent after the company was selected on Friday to join the S&P 500. It means various fund managers now have to buy Uber.

The Dow is set to snap a winning four day streak. It's off just 28 points, but it's much better off than it was earlier in the session where it had

been more than 70 points low.

Now, as you can see, there's the triple stack as well. The NASDAQ and the S&P are smidgeon also lower. The NASDAQ self nearly one percent.

And the Dow components, there you have the Dow 30. You don't often see this, 3M is at the top. And if I'm not mistaken, that Salesforce is at the

other end of the market, and pretty much even stevens which of course is why we're seeing a market that has now recovered over the course of the



And that's your dash for the closing bell. The real closing bell on Wall Street is ringing any second now. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead,

I hope it's profitable. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts.