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Quest Means Business

Explosions At Soleimani Grave Kill More Than 100 In Iran; US And Others Condemn Red Sea Attacks In Joint Statement; Further Fighting Reported In Both North And South Gaza; Soon: Newly Unsealed Epstein Documents To Be Released; Investigation Underway Into Tuesday's Fatal Crash; Rescues Continue After Monday's Massive Quake; U.S. House Speaker Visiting Southern Border Today; World Darts Championship; Steamboat Willie And "Mack The Knife" Enter U.S. Public Domain. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 03, 2024 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There's an hour to go before the end of trading, and we're barely into January. And look at the numbers! Look at

the way things are going! Down 159. And that's better than it was earlier! So it's a case of the blues all across the markets at the moment. We'll see

how that progresses over the course of the hour the market and the events we are following for you tonight.

In Iran, more than 100 people are killed by dual blasts as a military commander's memorial.

Newly-released transcripts show that Japan Airline's flight was cleared for landing, and the other plane was told to hold and wait. So, who didn't do

what they were supposed to do?

And Mickey Mouse, happy birthday, 95! Hey, you're steamboat wheeling. Disney's most famous character has now lost its US copyright protection.

We are still copyrighted, live from New York, Wednesday, January the 3rd. I'm Richard Quest, in New York as elsewhere. I mean business.

Good evening. We begin tonight in the Middle East, a new crisis following two explosions in Iran that killed more than 100 people. Now, the local

officials are calling it a terrorist attack. And Iran's supreme leader is vowing a harsh response, but a response against whom?

The explosions went off near the grave of an Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by US airstrike four years ago today.

People are gathered at the burial site to mark this very anniversary. Iran has declared a day of mourning.

But this is the core questionnaire, who was responsible for the explosions? The US State Department spoke to us and says the United States has no

reason to believe it was Israel or that Israel was involved. Repercussions are, though, being felt in the region. CNN's Nada Bashir reports.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Scenes of chaos in the Iranian city of Kerman, an explosion sending crowds into disarray when a second blast

rings out. Thousands had gathered to mark the anniversary of the death of military commander, Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a US airstrike in

Baghdad four years ago.

The twin blasts, less than a mile from Qasem Soleimani's grave, killing more than 100 and injuring many more. Iranian officials say this was a

terror attack. State media reporting that one of the explosions was caused by a bomb inside of a suitcase in a car.

Soleimani was Iran's revered top military general. This attack on his supporters seen as a strike against the Iranian regime, which has many

enemies both inside and outside of the country.

In Lebanon, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah commemorated Soleimani's death in a speech, but also shifted his focus to respond to an attack on

his own soil.

(HASSAN NASRALLAH speaking in foreign language.)

HASSAN NASRALLAH, SECRETARY-GENERAL, HEZBOLLAH (through translator): Yesterday's crime was large and dangerous. This crime will not be left

without a response and punishment between us and our enemies. There is time in the battlefield.

BASHIR (voice over): Tuesday's strike in southern Beirut killed top Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri and several others in what Hamas described as a

cowardly assassination. And while the US official tells CNN that Israel was behind the strike, Israeli officials have, so far, been careful not to

publicly take responsibility.

MARK REGEV, SENIOR ADVISER TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israel has not taken responsibility for this attack. But whoever did it, it must be clear that

this was not an attack on the Lebanese state. It was not an attack even on Hezbollah.

BASHIR (voice over): Hezbollah, perhaps, not the target in Israel's eyes, but the Iran-backed group has long warned that any attack on Lebanese soil

would trigger a response of equal severity on Israeli territory.

From the outset of the war between Israel and Hamas, fighting between Israel and Hezbollah has been largely contained to Lebanon's southern

border region. But the brazen strike in Beirut, in the heart of Hezbollah territory, has raised fears among the United States and its allies that a

full-scale war could break out between Israel and the Middle East's most powerful paramilitary force, or, even more broadly, across the region.



QUEST: All right. So, the Middle East is a region pockmarked with crises, a region that is always volatile with the potential of spilling over into

violence. And whilst, at the moment, each one of these crises may not be linked to the other, they have the potential to inflame other tensions in

the area. Let me show you what we're talking about.

So you have the developments at the moment. You have the developments in Iran, and you have the Lebanon killing. Now, question mark whether there is

actually a connection between the two because we don't know who did either of them. Then you have, of course, the war that is behind it all in the

Hamas attack on October the 7th. And if all of that wasn't sufficient, the Red Sea attacks from the Houthis.

Now, the problem with all of this is they are, in some ways, arguably interlinked. There have many questions that we just simply don't know the

answer to. And at the end of the day, it begs the question, who is responsible, for instance, to this one and this one, whether this one will

continue? And, indeed, at what point will Israel's war start to -- in Gaza, start to abate? That's the scenario at the moment.

Brian Katulis is the senior fellow at the middle east institute with me now. We are no stranger in any of this. The war that we know of, Israel and

Hamas. But the way that this seems to be reaching out ever further is cause for concern.

BRIAN KATULIS, SENIOR FELLOW & VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: Oh, absolutely. And the thing that is common to all of these

theaters, the Red Sea and the Houthis in Yemen, Lebanon and Hezbollah, I'd add to it the attacks in Iraq between US troops and some Iranian-backed

militias. It's the role that the regime in Tehran has played for years on these fronts.

So we're are at a moment right now, Richard, where you wake up every day, if you work on the Middle East, like I do, and you worry about what's going

to blow up today, right? And then will this spread? So the big fear yesterday was whether the assassination of this Hamas leader in Beirut

would lead to a response from Hezbollah. So far, we've only seen a speech from their leader, but no action.

But it's really a tenuous balance right now. And I have not seen so many fires burning since, basically, the middle part of the 2000s when you had

multiple (inaudible).

QUEST: Right, okay. Brian, who do you think -- I mean, the new wrinkle in all of this is these Iranian explosions at the military commander's

gravesite, who's likely to have been responsible for that?

KATULIS: Well, that's a key question everyone is trying to answer. And in today's Middle East, there's 10 sides to every story.

QUEST: Right.

KATULIS: And quite often the story is pretty cooked. But the best guess that many people have is this maybe some form of a Sunni Jihadist militant

group, like ISIS-Khorasan, groups like this that don't like Israel, but also don't like the Islamic regime.

But, frankly, there is just so much speculation just hours after incidents like this.

QUEST: Right.

KATULIS: And we don't yet have many facts.

QUEST: So let's talk about the Red Sea attacks at the moment. Now, again, back to this particular one, we've got the Houthi militia, which are backed

by Iran and probably providing the necessary drones from there, but this is causing massive problems for shipping. And it seems to be, I mean, you

know, we never put dollars before lives, but it does seem to be a situation where you can't get a ship through the Red Sea at the moment, and that will

have tremendous knock-on effects for supply chains and economies.

KATULIS: Absolutely. It adds to shipping costs, insurance costs. You remember that problem of inflation we were talking about in 2023? It may be

back simply because of this. All of these things are interlinked. And the Houthis are a militant group that operate, essentially, like the government

in Sana'a, and they do have some backing from Iran.

But here is the thing, they're not only .

QUEST: Right.

KATULIS: . using this war between Israel and Hamas to attack ships that they think are affiliated with Israel, they're hitting everyone. And that's

why the US has stepped up with some of its partners to try to stop this.

QUEST: Then you come to the Gulf -- Saudi, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain. Now, they've grown massive economies.


QUEST: They are true economic players. And indeed, obviously, we saw from the Abraham Accords they have a vested economic interest in stability,

growth, and trade. What role do they now play to try to pour the oil -- pardon the pun -- on the -- on the troubled waters without setting it on



KATULIS: Well, what's interesting is that the posture of most of these countries have shifted quite a lot in the last few years, and many people

have not noticed it.

In 2016, 2015, Saudi Arabia, UAE were at war in Yemen. And now they're trying to use diplomacy and de-escalate.

On this question of Iran, which is central to a lot of this, they actually have these countries a view that we should actually seek pathways to de-

escalate tensions with Iran because for the reasons that you cited. They built their own .

QUEST: Right.

KATULIS: . economies. They're building -- they don't want to see the war come to them.

QUEST: So, my next question is a little tricky.


QUEST: And I am saying this not in any sense in an approving fashion of it, but Hamas has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams, assuming it doesn't care

about the life and limbs of its own people in Gaza who are being slowly -- everyone not slowly, but are being attacked and killed.

But they -- in terms of turning Israel into a quasi-pariah state at the United Nations and elsewhere, in terms of getting the United States --

pretty much everybody is back up -- and a region in ferment and farewell (ph), Hamas has -- could never have imagined this result from its attack.

KATULIS: Right, it's punched far above its weight here in the so-called access of resistance.

But here's the thing, Richard. It actually doesn't have a clear endgame that's realistic that actually leads to peace and prosperity, first and

foremost, for its own people -- for the people in Gaza right now who are suffering terribly for this, but then more broadly in the region. And the

way that they conducted these attacks against Israel, some compared it to ISIS -- the brutality and all of this -- it just demonstrates that when you

used tactics like this, even if you can seize the narrative for a few weeks or a few months .

QUEST: Right.

KATULIS: . it's a road to nowhere. It's not a recipe for peace and stability.

QUEST: Another tricky question, since you're well and truly on the hook here, you know, everybody is questioning why the US, the EU, the UK, the

usual suspects -- allies -- are not demanding a ceasefire. Is not one reason that Israel is doing, if you will, the dirty work for them in

getting rid of Hamas, which they're not averse to?

KATULIS: That's one argument people make, but another argument why a ceasefire has not been achieved is simply because Hamas has not accepted

one. Over the past few weeks, during the holidays, there have been intensive diplomacy to try to get the 129 additional hostages, including

elderly people, including a baby out of Gaza. And in those discussions was offered some form of a ceasefire. You add, too, with the fact that Hamas

continues to use weapons and fire upon Israeli population centers.

So, you know, I'm with the people who want peace .

QUEST: Right.

KATULIS: . and want there to be a ceasefire, but you got to not ignore that reality as well.

QUEST: One final quick question. Back to the map, you can't see it. We can see all the countries in the region. Which is the one that we should be

looking at closest now? Saudi, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, which is the one country that we need to keep our eye on?

KATULIS: At this moment, I would watch Lebanon very carefully because of this attack just yesterday and whether Hezbollah's response because if a

new front opens on Israel's northern border, then you can see this spreading to a broader regional conflagration.

QUEST: I'm grateful. Thank you, sir. Brian, I'm very grateful. You couldn't see it, but we were showing all the things as necessary on the screen.


QUEST: Thank you.

KATULIS: Thank you.

QUEST: Here in New York, newly unsealed documents relating to Jeffrey Epstein are expected to be released any minute now. Now, the documents

could reveal the names of dozens of people linked to Epstein, the convicted sex offender, who died in prison in 2019. A federal court order says they

will be released today.

CNN's Kara Scannell is with me. I'll say it before you say it or need to say it, inclusion in these documents does not mean you've done anything

wrong, it just means you're an associate, or whatever. But it won't be smart, you know, the old phrase, no smoke without fire.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. I mean, this has been a long-running lawsuit, and that's the -- this is the vehicle for which

these documents are going to be unsealed. It was brought by a woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Jeffrey Epstein as treating her as a

sex slave. And she has alleged that he forced her to have sex with many powerful men, including the most -- probably the most prominent being

Prince Andrew.

Now, she had sued Prince Andrew separately. They have reached a settlement, and he agreed to pay some money to a charity. But it is through this

litigation that we are going to see these documents being unsealed.


And because she has ultimately settled this lawsuit, things have been under seal for some time. But the news media had asked the judge overseeing this

case to unseal this document. And the judge said that she would, in part, because so much information has already come out about various people

associated with Epstein, whether it is through interviews that Giuffre has given, interviews that other accusers of Epstein have given, or the trial

of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's former girlfriend, who was convicted of helping him run this child sex trafficking operation. So a lot of material

is already out there.

And the judge said that, you know, some people didn't object to their name coming out. And in other cases, people's names are coming out in a way that

is not salacious at all. So, you know, because this is litigation, it is going to be deposition transcripts. We will someone referenced maybe a

calendar, an email.

You know, we'll really know it when we see it. But it is stuff that has already largely in them domain. We'll just be looking to see if there's

anything that sheds some new light on any of these allegations that have been out there.

QUEST: And to avoid the fact that just being salacious, those names that are coming out, do we know if -- I mean, are these still -- are some of

them still under investigation? Once the names released, should we expect to hear more from them? What's your guidance on that?

SCANNELL: Well, this lawsuit was initially brought in 2015, and so, a lot has come out since then. Epstein himself was indicted. And after he was

indicted, he died by suicide before going to trial. But the US attorney overseeing that investigation at the time, Geoff Berman had interviewed

personally and was in the office interviewed numerous of these accusers with so many women came to light, whether publicly or contacting US

attorney's office. And so they had conducted thorough investigation of that.

The only charges that followed were the charges against Maxwell. They did look into some of these other associates who worked with Epstein, you know,

some people who were allegedly being recruiters to draw in these minors, these underage girls.

But ultimately, they didn't bring any charges.

QUEST: Right.

SCANNELL: They were well aware of this lawsuit and had spoken with a number of people in this whole universe. So it's unlikely that there'll be

something that really changes the mix since this information is not going to be necessarily a secret to prosecutors.

QUEST: Kara Scannell, thank you. As soon as you see that list, please come back and tell us more. I'm grateful to you. Thank you.

SCANNELL: You got it.

QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Which plane was not where it was supposed to be? There are details now on the collision and what each plane, the Dash 8

and the A350 were told to do by Air Traffic Control. And we are inching our way towards a better understanding of how this accident happened, in a




We now know more, or are getting some more details about what happened with that deadly runway collision in Tokyo on Tuesday. The transcript is being

released of communications between ATC, Air Traffic Control, and the two planes involved.

Pete Muntean is with me to go through this. Pete, let's take this point by point. So we now -- we know what happened. Now, the first thing is does the

Airbus A350, the JAL 350, it was -- had been clear to land, and there had been a satisfactory readback by the pilot on that, correct?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And then the next step was the Coast Guard plane, the Dash 8, essentially being told by the Haneda

Tower to taxi to a place short of the runway that the Japan Airlines flight was lined up to land for, but not go on to the runway. And so .

QUEST: Right.

MUNTEAN: . we now are able to see that very quickly in the images -- the daylight image that's there on the screen. You could see the ground scar of

the A350. It sort of continued along after the impact on the .

QUEST: Right.

MUNTEAN: . about 11 o'clock position on the screen, like a freight train. And so this, of course, is something investigators are going to be looking


QUEST: Right. But we've got a diagram here of the .


QUEST: . runway, which you can now see. And that shows where the Dash 8 was told to go -- to --


QUEST: --- to go to hold at C5, which is short of the runway, classically allowing enough distance for a large plane with its wings to go pass,


MUNTEAN: Right, correct. And also, the issue is that the crew was told to go to that spot of the Japanese Coast Guard plane, but then also read back

that instruction. So something clearly broke down in the chain there.

QUEST: Right.

MUNTEAN: And the question is, why did that plane ultimately end up on the runway? And you have pointed out and I have pointed out, on TV and beyond,

is that this seems to sound like a runway incursion, which has been a huge problem here in the US, although not with a fatal outcome like this one,

although seven of these incidents have ended up on the radar screen at the National Transportation Safety Board, now the JTSB, or the Japanese

equivalent, is investigating this one.

QUEST: So, when this happened, everybody sort of said it would take months, whatever, to work out what happened. And you said, and it wasn't going to

take that long. And clearly, we've got a really good idea.

We don't know why the Coast Guard plane incurred onto the runway, but it clearly did readback the acknowledgment to hold short.

MUNTEAN: That's right. And, you know, we will probably not know the full scope of this until a final report comes out. And that takes some time.

But we know pretty clearly that there is a narrative here that there was an error, a potential error on the part of the Japanese Coast Guard flight.

And really, there could be some major human factors here, like, this flight was going to help out with the earthquake relief in a different part of the

country. Were they rushing? Did they simply just have too much adrenaline flowing through their veins? And were they trying to get on to the runway

and get out to effort that relief quickly?

There's a lot of really, really big questions here that investigators will have to ask. Although, we do have a pretty clear scope already that there

was a major safety failing on the part of the Japanese Coast Guard crew. But then also the question is, why did Air Traffic Control not stop this

collision in the making?

And so, after the Japanese Coast Guard .

QUEST: Well, yes.

MUNTEAN: . crew read back the instruction, it was two minutes and nine seconds to impact. That might not sound like a lot of time, but it's

definitely enough time for the air traffic controllers to say, Japan Air Flight 516 .

QUEST: Right.

MUNTEAN: . go around, abort your landing. And so, that could be a really key thing that investigators will look at here, as well.

QUEST: Which also begs the question it was nighttime and, obviously .


QUEST: . the pilots on the 350 .

MUNTEAN: A lot of factors.

QUEST: . you know, the 350 didn't see in front me, I suppose most all the flashing lights and the Dash 8 is small, as well.

But it doesn't seem likely that the 350 hit the thing straight on. Otherwise, the inertia -- I mean, because the 350 does -- maybe I'm jumping

too far. I can see, you know, the 350 does carry on and what would have thought it .


QUEST: . was actually hit it, it would've sort of gone in a different -- I don't know.

MUNTEAN: A lot of folks have pointed this out. You have pointed this out. It is a composite airplane, meaning, that it's incredibly strong.

And so, to me, it look like, sure, maybe not a dead head-on collision .

QUEST: (Inaudible).

MUNTEAN: . but maybe a bit of a broadside kind of collision.


MUNTEAN: But no doubt, the nose of its airplane was damaged in a big way. And you could see the fireball in the immediate aftermath coming almost

straight from the nosewheel of the airplane.


And so, this wouldn't have been such a bad outcome for the Japanese Coast Guard Dash 8 if it was not, at least, very near the center of the runway --

the centerline of the runway, which is typically what pilots aim for. But it could have been just right on it. It is hard to say. And that is

something that investigators will be able to tell pretty clearly, especially from the photo that you see of the daylight ground scar. That is

something they will look at, big-time.

QUEST: Pete Muntean, I'm grateful to you, sir. Thank you.

MUNTEAN: Anytime, Richard. Be well.

QUEST: And in Japan -- in western Japan, the search continues for those affected by Monday 7.5 magnitude earthquake. At least 73 people are now

known to have died. Seventy people have been rescued, thank God. Though the number who are still missing remains unclear.

CNN's Hanako Montgomery reports.


HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, we're initiative Wajima City, one of the worst-affected areas in Ishikawa Prefecture. Behind me is

a very alarming site. There's a seven-story building that's completely toppled on its side. There's glass everywhere from broken windows, street

lights that are still on.

Now, there are dozens of rescue operators right next to me, and they're trying to pull out a woman, they believe, is still stuck in this rubble.

They're trying to get access to her by climbing underneath this building and pushing aside what rubble they can. But rescue operations keep getting

interrupted because of these very powerful aftershocks. The Japanese government has warned that these aftershocks can continue for the rest of

this week.

Now, much of Wajima City looks like this building behind me, houses have been completely destroyed. Rooves have caved in. Roads have had fallen

trees and landslides that are just blocking ways for people to evacuate.

Now, what roads are left have had cracks in them and have been totally blocked up by traffic as hundreds and hundreds of people are trying to

evacuate. On our journey here which took, pretty much, all day, we've seen at least 50 ambulances and firetrucks from all across the country as they

try to get access to this part of the prefecture. You can only imagine how difficult it's been for emergency medical personnel to find the remaining

survivors in this weather.

Hanako Montgomery, CNN, Wajima, Japan.

QUEST: Still to come tonight, new details on a deadly collision between two aircrafts in Japan. The cockpit recordings have now been released, in a





QUEST: It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. A lot more to bring you. What to the Threepenny Opera, Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan all have in common?

Come on. They're losing copyright protection this year but it is not as easy as it sounds.

Also, the 16-year-old darts prodigy about to make history, perhaps, only after the news headlines. This is CNN and here the news comes first.


QUEST (voice-over): Ukraine and Russia say more than 200 prisoners have been released by each side and returned to their countries. Kyiv says it is

the largest prisoner of war swat since the start of Russia's invasion. Russia credited the UAE helping to push the deal through.

A new round of Russian attacks across Eastern Ukraine has killed at least two and injured dozens of people on Wednesday. Five people killed the

previous day, according to President Zelenskyy. Russia has now launched at least 500 missiles and drones over the past five days.

Former president Trump is appealing against the state of Maine's decision to remove him from the primary ballot for his role in the January 6th

Capitol insurrection. Mr. Trump plans to appeal a similar case in Colorado to the Supreme Court.

He's also asking a federal court to re-hear his immunity argument in a defamation case against him. That trial is set to begin in two weeks.


QUEST: Now, while we are talking, the U.S. House Speaker, Mike Johnson, is leading a Republican delegation on a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. It

follows a surge in the number of migrants crossing the border.

Senate negotiators are still struggling to reach a deal on migration reform, one that could pass Congress. For weeks they have failed to find

common ground on asylum, parole, detention centers, expelling migrants and the like.

Now they are staring down the national debt. More than $34 trillion in a matter of weeks they will have to agree on new funding for the plan for the

federal government to be able to pay its bills.

Speaker Mike Johnson is likely to have a tough battle to get that funding passed. The debt has become a major sore spot between Democrats and

Republicans in recent years, even though it has soared under both parties. Manu Raju is in Washington.

I mean, the demigods of the White House are not happy that the Speaker has gone to Texas, along with them. But there is no reason why he shouldn't.

After all, it comes with the role, he is Speaker of the House.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, it underscores that this is a central issue as we head into the election this year.

Republicans, in particular, have used this as a rallying cry, seizing this issue in the months and weeks ahead and have demanded much stricter

immigration policy than what Democrats are willing to go for.

The House GOP passed a bill last May, which would impose a number of new immigration restrictions. It is known as H.R. 2 in the Capitol. That bill

is a nonstarter with Senate Democrats, along with three senators in particular, Chris Murphy, Kyrsten Sinema and independent James Lankford, a

Republican, are trying to negotiate a separate bill.

An immigration compromise with the White House that would impose more immigration restrictions, particular dealing with asylum seekers and

migrants coming across the border. But that plan would not go as far as what House Republicans would like, underscoring the real challenges of this

eventually becoming law.


Earlier today the Democratic leader, Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, talked to reporters about this very dynamic, saying that he still hopes the

Senate deal can be reached. And that that can convince Republicans in the House to go along with that Senate deal.

As he warned the GOP and the House that he would not except their proposal.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: When the House clings to H.R. 2 as the only solution, which every Democrat has voted against, I believe

both House and Senate, certainly every Democratic senator voted against it.

I think every Democratic council member voted against it, as well. If not it was almost everyone.

We are not going to get a deal. But I think if we pass something in the Senate, look, we are working hard to get that done. As I said, it is hard.

But I think if the Senate gets something done in a bipartisan way, it will put enormous pressure on the House to get something done as well.

And not just to let these hard right people get up and say, the 30 of them, to dictate how the whole country should work.


QUEST: So Manu, you have been covering politics in Washington for a very long time. This is an election year with a febrile, very toxic environment.

Is not the truth nothing by way of compromise will be achieved unless the bus is about to go over the cliff?

RAJU: It is very possible, Richard. You know that very well. As we get closer and closer to the election, legislating gets harder and harder,

especially an issue as complex as immigration, something the two parties have simply not been able to resolve or deal with in a bipartisan way in


Can they get a deal now, especially given the dynamics in the Republican controlled House, the narrow majority there?

The Democratic-controlled Senate, the narrow majority there, a Democrat in the White House and the GOP using this as their main issue heading into the

election, all raising major questions.

And hanging on the -- waiting for one of the big fears, of course, is without a deal that means aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel will not be

approved either. Because Republicans have said that the border must be dealt with first before dealing with those other pressing national and

international issues.

So much is riding on Congress' ability to get some sort of resolution on this. As you can hear from that discussion, chances of that happening are

very slim at this moment.

QUEST: We will talk more about this. It is obviously significant in relation to Ukraine. I am grateful, Manu, as always for your time and your

attention. Thank. You

The Federal Reserve did discuss cutting interest rates at its meeting last month, according to the minutes released over an hour ago. The markets went

down in a sense but I'm not sure that that is all tied together.

Tuesday is the worst that we have seen it since October. Wednesday may yet finish even worse. All that against a banner year of 2023, with major

indices up 15 percent or more. The Nasdaq's best performance over the past four years. Kristina Hooper is the chief global market strategist at

Invesco. She is with me now.

OK, it is that moment of the year when, absent an exigent or dramatic event, i.e. Middle East crisis that sends all bets off, what are you


Assuming that we just continue down the road, maybe a couple of interest rate cuts, what should investors expect by way of market performance?

KRISTINA HOOPER, CHIEF GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, INVESCO: Well, there are no promises. My view is we are likely to see a good year, particularly the

early part of '24. That is because markets are likely to discount a reacceleration in the economy in the back half of 2024.

That will certainly be helped by rate cuts, that, I think, will begin in the second quarter of 2024. Before that, we could certainly get some

volatility. We could certainly see down days. There is still a lot of policy uncertainty out there.

The Fed is going to continue to provide hawkish speak as they try to tamp down the easing of financial conditions. This is not going to be easy

peasy. This is going to be a volatile, difficult road. But I think we are going to see good returns as markets discount the back half of the year.

QUEST: Are we talking value stocks or are we talking high growth or both?

HOOPER: We are talking a broadening of the market. That would include cyclicals. Those, of course, are going to be very sensitive to recovery, a

reacceleration in the economy. And we are talking small caps.


So I think a broadening. It doesn't mean that tech will participate. I think tech will benefit when rates come down. I do expect long rates to

come down.

QUEST: Is it one of the problems here we are always told, balance it out, at 60-40. But that doesn't really matter. But I show graphs and charts of

growth in the markets in the major indices last year. Many of us sit here and think, my pension didn't do anything like that.

I didn't even get close to those sorts of gains. Yet I invested, where I thought where I was supposed to invest.

HOOPER: There are a variety of reasons for that. Overexposure to some asset classes might have belled (ph) returns. Especially in overweighting to

cash. You want to be well diversified, you want to have exposure to cash but you do not want to be overweight cash.

We saw a number of investors who were overweight last year who were spooked. We entered 2023 with many thinking we would see a hard landing. So

I think that impacted returns.

But I think the biggest impact returns are those who take money in their 401(k)s and move it out of stocks because they get spooked. If you go back

to the global financial crisis, March of 2009, many did not participate in the recovery that ensued because they locked in losses because they got


QUEST: We will follow it throughout the year. You have a standing invitation here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS to help us understand strategies we

need to follow. I'm very grateful to you. Thank you.

HOOPER: Thank you.

QUEST: As we continue tonight with the latest on the darts sensation, Luke Littler, who's making sporting history tonight.




QUEST: Luke Littler continues to make history, this time by earning a spot in the World Darts Championship final, a semifinal. He got there after he

beat the veteran Rob Cross six sets to two. Now the 16-year old is the youngest player to make it to the semis.

And on the final competition, which is underway even as we speak, the local sponsors are lining up to get behind him. Prestige Building Supplies, which

a construction company, a supply company in the northwest of England, and Skoda car dealership. They are all sponsoring him.

I'm not sure Skoda, though; they will have to wait until he turns 17 before he can legally drive in the U.K.


CNN's Don Riddell is with me.

Don, first of all, how is he doing at the moment?

DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Richard. Happy new year to you, mate.

The match is in its very early stages. Luke Littler began looking like he was struggling. Luke Humphries, his opponent, is no slouch. He is the world

number one. Littler lost the first set but he stormed back to the second set so the match is tied. Littler looking good but still a long way to go.

This is the first of seven sets in the finals. So very early stages.

QUEST: I don't know too much about darts and the strategy of darts other than you throw the thing at the board, the dart board.

But from your understanding of it, Don, what makes him so good?

What is his technique?

What is it about the way he is playing that people in the darts world are saying, this is a progeny?

RIDDELL: He is fearless. You would think somebody in his position, playing in the world championship for the very first time at such a tender age,

would completely fall to pieces. But he hasn't.

Not only that, he is just reveling in it. He is so calm under pressure. He doesn't panic. He plays fearless darts and he's quite audacious with it as

well. He's very entertaining.

I think if you had to analyze what was so good about him and why he is so successful, he's just got nerves of steel. This is a very mental sport.

It's a sport where, of course, you need to throw exactly where you want the dart to go.

But you've got to keep your head. By the way, Richard, you say it's not a sport you really know much about or understand, I think a lot of your

business years would be interested because you really got to be a very good at math to play this sport.

You've got to be constantly doing the numbers in your head and know exactly where you will throw and why.

QUEST: Indeed, of course, there is that great -- I just realized, that great economic investment theory, the dart board theory, which says -- are

you familiar with this?


QUEST: It basically says, and I've done research on this, if you throw darts at a board with company names on, it you will be as successful as if

you had -- and then invest -- you will be as successful as if you had carefully analyzed all the various -- it's a bit like the monkey theory of

investing as well.

Don Riddell, the darts comes and goes, doesn't it?

It is a little like snooker. It's always there for the aficionados and those who love these sports. But in terms of the big dramatic moments, it

comes and goes.

RIDDELL: Yes. This is the 31st year of the world championship. I would say in the last few years, it has been gaining in popularity.

But this guy, Luke Littler, has changed the game. The viewing figures in the U.K. for this tournament are off the charts. There is so much more

interest and excitement, especially among young fans, kids who might not have thought of playing darts. Now they are all wanting to go out and play

just like him.

So this is a real boon for the sport.

QUEST: Next time I'm down there, I think you and I need to have a -- I'll bet you are good at it, aren't you?

RIDDELL: I'm all right.


QUEST: Don Riddell, thank you very much.

The U.S. public domain has a whole host of new residents, like Tigger and Peter Pan and this man, it's Mickey Mouse. It's very early Mickey Mouse,

Steamboat Willie and all of that. All of the (INAUDIBLE) in the works. Now Mickey-- the original Mickey -- is no longer protected by copyright.





QUEST: I love that song, "Mack the Knife." And that was Bobby Darin, who made it a popular hit. But it was originally part of a Threepenny Opera, a

1928 German play. Remember, 1928. That means the music and the German lyrics are now in the public domain.

Recordings of the English version are still protected. And (INAUDIBLE), this little chap who is now also in the public domain.


QUEST (voice-over): That is Steamboat Willie, the earliest iteration of Mickey Mouse; 1928, the cartoon character can now be reimagined. But no,

you cannot touch modern-day Mouse. We are only three days into the new year and we've seen the original Mickey being put to some interesting uses.



QUEST: Rebecca Tushnet is a professor at Harvard Law School; she joins me now from Virginia.

This is really complicated, isn't it?

Because, you know, we talk about "Mack the Knife," and you can't have the German (INAUDIBLE), you can't have the English. You talk about Steamboat

Willie. But it's a very narrow definition of what is now in public domain.

REBECCA TUSHNET, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: To a certain extent, although it is sort of like saying anybody can produce their own "Hamlet" but you can't

really make a copy of Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet."

So the question is, what are you free to start with?

The answer is what is in the public domain. So if you want to make your own Steamboat Willie, you can, although you will have to avoid making him like

modern Mickey.

QUEST: You see, that is the issue.

The moment you start looking like a modern Mickey, how far you can go?

I suppose it's a lawyer's paradise, isn't it?

But then you also get the reality of it, at what point is somebody worth suing who decides to actually use the modern day Mickey or get closer to

Steamboat Willie?

TUSHNET: Well, I assume Disney is having a lot of internal discussions about that and I suspect they are targeting things they think are most

likely to be competing directly with them. So unionize everywhere Mickey, which I've seen put into place, is probably less likely to than a Mickey

Mouse clock.

The whole question of the public domain and the loss of copyright, there have been numerous attempts, sometimes to tighten it up and others to

loosen it out.

Where do you stand?

TUSHNET: So copyright lasts way too long right now. We already have a situation, where works are in copyright for decades after they have real

economic value.

And the copyrights are in general just sitting there, interfering with potentially productive, beneficial, educational uses. Mickey Mouse is

really the exception. The things that last 95 years just are not that thick on the rent.

QUEST: So most of them, are -- what you are saying.


It wouldn't make any difference in a sense. But then there is also this question -- as we heard with "Mack the Knife," a very limited public

domain, which is also then you take the Bobby Darin, you've then got the question of their fair usage.

And you've got the question of, even if we can use the original, you've got the artist and the royalties on that. This is a minefield.

TUSHNET: I would say there are parts that are a minefield and parts that are reasonably clear. It's true that you would want more than a minute to

figure out what you could do. But there are lots of things that are worth figuring out. I don't think people should treat it as radioactive.

QUEST: Rebecca, as you look out into the future, what for you is the biggie?

I always thought Mickey Mouse or Steamboat Willie was the biggie.

But what is the one that everybody like you in your area of expertise is thinking, ha, ha, ha, just wait until that it is in the public domain?

TUSHNET: In some sense, I guess I will have to vote for Superman. But again, there is so much older stuff has already been reworked, revisited in

so many ways that I think we are used to that kind of cultural recycling.

Santa Claus was once a character under copyright, at least the version we know now. It doesn't seem like we've lost an awful lot, now that anybody

can be Santa. There is not so much of a version of Santa.

QUEST: You are reminding me it's only about 300 something shopping days until Christmas. I'm grateful to you, professor. Thank you very much for

joining us.

And we will have a very Profitable Moment after the break.




QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment, the dart board theory, I've just been reading up, I've been reminding myself about it.

It's where "The Wall Street Journal" had a competition of professional stock pickers versus those who just threw it against the lists of stocks in

"The Wall Street Journal." It was a mixed performance.

But they don't do it anymore. They've retired the idea. It also comes from the original idea, where you get the blindfolded monkey, give him darts and

just have him throw at a dartboard. They also would have the same sort of returns as everybody else.

Maybe we should revisit the dartboard theory on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Finally, one other point. Several of you have noticed that I'm wearing my wedding ring on my middle finger and are now wondering what is the reason

for this?

Is there something?

Well, there is. When I travel and I'm busy, my ring finger gets thinner and the ring falls off. I used to put it away on one side. And then a colleague

says, don't do that, just put it on your middle finger and it will stay there.

So during the course of the year, will this come up, you will see the ring finger there and then when I'm traveling, it might go to there. If you

don't see it on at all, then start to ask questions.

That's our report tonight on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I am Richard Quest. Whatever you are up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable. I will

see you tomorrow. The closing bell is ringing.