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Quest Means Business

Macron: Sending Troops To Ukraine Cannot Be Ruled Out; Metinvest Steel Plant In Zaporizhzhia Under Threat; Polish Farmers Protest With Flares, Smoke And Sirens; Michigan Votes In Democratic And Republican Primaries; Macy's To Pivot Toward Smaller Stores, Luxury Brands; Wendy's Will Soon Begin Testing Uber-Like Surge Pricing; "Quest's World Of Wonder" Goes To Bari, Italy. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired February 27, 2024 - 15:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: So I'm not going to call this a technical analysis, but there really is not much moving the markets today.

They've kind of been meandering, they are off their lows though. If you have a look at the big board here, you will see that it is slipping a

little bit. The NASDAQ though, faring a little bit better.

Those are the markets and these are the main events: NATO and multiple EU leaders say there are no plans -- read -- no plans to send European troops

to Ukraine after French President Emmanuel Macron actually floated the possibility.

President Joe Biden's support for Israel is under scrutiny from some primary voters in a key swing state.

And Macy's plans to close 150 stores.

Live from New York, it is Tuesday, February 27th. I'm Paula Newton, in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

And a very good evening. Tonight, Russia is pushing back after French President Emmanuel Macron said he wouldn't rule out deploying Western

troops in Ukraine.

Now, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said a broader war would be "inevitable" if such a thing ever happened. Mr. Macron made the comment at

a European Summit in support of Ukraine. Listen now.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): There is no consensus today to send ground troops in an official endorsed or a

sanctioned matter, but in dynamic terms, nothing should be ruled out. We would do whatever it takes to ensure that Russia cannot win this war.


NEWTON: So European leaders then scrambled to try and clarify their own positions. Several countries have said they have no plans to send troops.

In fact, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz even says the summit participants were unanimously against it.

Melissa Bell is in Paris, thankfully, to explain all of this to us. This really caused quite a bit of controversy here. I mean, firstly, you've

covered him for so many years now, he knows very well that those comments will have rattled European allies.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He did, and we've been hearing from Elysee a sources in response to those very strong reactions, clarification of what

the French president meant.

Not, Paula, that NATO or the European Union should be thinking about coordinated action to send troops on the ground, but rather than it is

time, for the beginning of a debate, that individual countries and allies should have to try and consider what more they can do than what they have


So for instance, not so much the sending of combat troops for now, but that individual countries should begin to consider the possibility of sending,

for instance, people to help with demining, people to help with the maintenance of Western military equipment that is already on the ground,

help with border control, for instance, in order to liberate Ukrainian forces that they may go and fight.

But that it is time that this red line that no boots would ever be on the ground that came from either European or NATO countries should end. It is a

call for the beginning of a debate.

Now, whilst you're correct, there have been a number of announcements made by individual European countries that this is not something they're willing

to consider and we've heard the Elysee response that that is fine, but this was a call for countries like France, for instance, to be able to think

about it.

There has been some positive response, for instance, the Lithuanian foreign minister saying that it was time, a welcome move, and I think that part of

that is also the signal that it sends to Moscow and this was at the heart of what Elysee sources had to say, after the comments and the reaction

came, Paula, that it was time that Moscow understood that there is not necessarily the stalemate that they imagined that there is no Western

fatigue, and that some sense of what they described as operational ambiguity was important in maintaining and ensuring that Moscow does not

sort of assume that things will remain as they are.

I think there are really actual considerations happening inside countries like France about whether extra help could be given, as I say, not so much

combat troops as support troops that might come in alongside Ukrainians. Again, the very beginning of a debate.

But those words have caused great consternation to allies because it sounded like collective action was being prepared, not so explain Elysee

sources, it is a call that individual countries consider how much further they can go -- Paula.


NEWTON: Yes, definitely, President Macron attempting to put in a red line there for Moscow and apparently, it seems to have worked. Melissa Bell for

us in Paris. Thanks so much.

Now, Ukraine says its troops have pulled back from two more settlements in the Donetsk region. They both lie to the west of Avdiivka, which fell to

Moscow's forces less than two weeks ago.

Now the Ukrainian steel maker Metinvest lost a major coal plant when that town was captured. Now it's coal mine is in Pokrovsk, the largest in

Ukraine and it is now just -- remember this just 40 kilometers, think of that from the frontline.

Its steel plant meantime in Zaporizhzhia is also very, very close to the fighting there. Metinvest Group CEO, Yuriy Ryzhenkov joins me now and I

want to thank you for joining us as we continue to really parse what Ukraine is in for in the coming months.

As we just mentioned, Avdiivka is in Russian hands. Russian troops continue to push further west. How would you characterize what Ukraine is facing at

this hour, especially given your company? You know, you have thousands of employees on the frontline right now and your company is a strategic

component of that Ukrainian defense.


Yes, that's true. It's not the easiest hour for Ukraine at the moment, and obviously, even though everybody understood that we might lose Avdiivka for

quite some time now, this loss was resonated in the population. And as you rightly mentioned, this frontline is literally thirty-five, forty

kilometers away from our main operations.

So yes, it's very difficult. It's even more difficult to see that we don't see any progress, for example, US aid, which is blocked right now in

Congress, and that creates a rather negative mood in Ukraine. But at the same time, I think there is a determination to continue, there is a

determination to help the country to achieve victory, and we are ready to carry on.

NEWTON: Yes, certainly President Zelenskyy has articulated that will, but as you mentioned, Ukrainians are fatigued. I'm sure you and your company

right now are feeling that fatigue. You are still, as I mentioned, so close to the frontlines. You've said your employees have already proven and I'm

quoting you now, "That people are stronger than steel." But how are you keeping them safe with Russia menacing with strikes, artillery so close by?

RYZHENKOV: Well, we have to implement certain safety procedures since the beginning of this full-scale invasion. First, we had built a cover ups for

our employees. So whenever there is an aerial raid, they can go and then hide in those shelters.

For people who are not able, because of the nature of their work, because they have to be on the shop floor, they cannot go into the shelter, we have

them individual protective equipment, like helmets, like bulletproof vests, so that's the only way we can carry on operations.

As you can imagine, steel business, it is a continuous operation. So you cannot stop it and start it.

NEWTON: You'll be interested to know, I am a former steel worker, and when you talk about trying to keep those blast furnaces up and running, I know

exactly what you're talking about. And especially as I said earlier, because it's so material to Ukraine being able to continue this war effort.

I want to ask you, though, about that in terms of staffing shortages, given Ukraine is talking about further mobilization. They need even more

Ukrainians to fight. So how do you keep your business going under those conditions?

RYZHENKOV: It's true. It is a difficult situation for most of the businesses, especially those businesses that are dealing in transparent

manner and fully transparent to the authorities like Metinvest is. We have more than 99,000 of our employees right now serving in Defense Forces of

Ukraine, which is I'd say it's almost 15 percent of our workforce right now.

So, yes, that creates a substantial difficulty. We are trying to find replacement. We are arranging shifts, so that people can take some extra

time at work for their colleagues who are in the frontline. We also try to employ more women and that also helps to sustain operations.

But other than that, it is a difficult situation and as the war will continue, as more people will have to be mobilized, drafted, that

difficulty is going to increase.

NEWTON: And as I said, given the continuous operations, and if you want to keep these steel plants going, it really doesn't have to be continuous.

You mentioned US aid, it is now stalled, fatigue setting in, as you also mentioned with Ukraine and perhaps even with European allies.


I mean, you guys had that company, Azovstal, that was that really iconic battle, a very sad and horrific battle that happened at the beginning of

this war. Given all that Ukrainians there and elsewhere have sacrificed, what do you tell Congress right now about what's at stake if Ukraine does

fall to Russia?

RYZHENKOV: It's very simple. It is the Ukrainian existence of Ukraine as a state and Ukrainians as a nation. That's what's at stake.

So if Ukraine fails, that means that the nation failed, and that the international law, international support failed. And that will -- we will

change the world completely, in my view, because it's going to be a new world in which you cannot rely on international rules, in which you cannot

rely on the aggressor being punished, so that will create a very bad precedent in my opinion.

NEWTON: Yuriy Ryzhenkov, we will continue to check in with you as this conflict progresses. Thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it.

RYZHENKOV: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says he may do more to restrict Ukrainian food imports if the EU fails to act anytime soon, and he

made that remark as thousands of Polish farmers marched in Warsaw to protest the EU's policies, opening the European market to Ukrainian grain

has been a hotly contested issue, particularly in those neighboring countries to Ukraine.

Now, shipments of Ukrainian corn were actually spilled across the railroad tracks in Poland this past weekend. You see it there, farmers there have

also been blockading Ukrainian border crossings.

Joining me now from Warsaw is Michal Sznajder. He is a senior anchor at CNN's sister network in Poland, TVN 24, and I'm really happy to have you

join us to give us some insight about what's going on in Poland right now.

We are seeing the emotion involved in this farmers protest. Do you expect these protests to grow in the coming days? And what kind of economic impact

is all this having?

MICHAL SZNAJDER, SENIOR ANCHOR, TVN 24: Good evening, Paula. Thank you very much for having me.

I most certainly do expect these. These protests to continue perhaps even increase. Let's have a look at the numbers in front of me, I have a brand

new opinion poll, which confirms what the previous ones stated clearly. But this time, these numbers according to the authors are almost unprecedented

in terms of support for the demands of a social group.

So almost 80 percent of those surveyed support the protests in Poland, 46 percent strongly support the protests, 79 percent say that the influx of

Ukrainian food needs to stop and they don't accept it, the argument that it could hurt Ukraine, which is fighting Russia, and according to that survey

for and TOK FM, they support the farmers more than they support the EU's Green Deal.

And you ask about the potential results for the Polish farmers, the impact for Poland, well, the farmers, the protesters, they say that should the

Green Deal become reality, they could go bankrupt. That could hurt their livelihoods and the livelihoods of their communities, so that is what they

are afraid of, that is what they are trying to avoid.

And also in another survey, almost 70 percent of those surveyed blame the EU's decision to open the European market to Ukrainian agricultural imports

for the difficult situation of those Polish farmers.

Now, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that the EU has to solve the problem created by that decision: "No one has the right to think that

the Czech Republic and Poland do not support Ukraine, but we will work together in Brussels for corrections that will protect our market against

the negative effects of this decision," Tusk said.

And the speaker of the Lower House of the Polish Parliament, Szymon Holownia met with the farmers today with the representatives of the

protesters. He said that: "All of the problems they highlighted will be solved, that they are valid, but that undoing some of those decisions at

the EU level will take weeks." He also said that the EU should create some sort of mechanism, which would allow the food surplus to be bought from the

farmers and allow for those products to be moved somewhere else where they are needed.

He also said that perhaps European bureaucracy created a situation where some unnecessary burdens have been placed on Polish farmers. He added that

the EU subsidy system should be improved.

NEWTON: Can you hear me, I hate to interrupt you here, but believe me, we've been following EU subsidy wars with agriculture in the EU for


This is another one, but there is a war at stake. So I ask you, what should we interpret from these protests in Poland in terms of the support the

Polish people have for the conflict in Ukraine, for actually backing Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

SZNAJDER: Excuse me, I didn't hear you correctly. Could you please repeat your question?


NEWTON: Sorry. Do you -- do the Polish people still back Ukraine in their conflict with Russia? When you are seeing these protests, it is hard to

actually separate the agriculture protests from the sentiment that Polish people have towards the conflict in Ukraine. Are they still supporting

Ukraine in their conflict?

SZNAJDER: You hit the nail on the head right now with that question, because there is this concern that perhaps these protests, the agricultural

situation, this situation of the farmers could result in some sort of decrease of support for the Ukrainian cause. And in fact, there already is

a decrease. We also see it in the numbers and that is connected to some sort of wider frustration.

According to the most recent polling, barely -- more than half of polls support accepting Ukrainian refugees, it was more than 70 to 80 percent

initially. There is an increase in the number of polls willing to financially -- there is a decrease of the number of polls willing to

financially support Ukrainians.

There is lower acceptance for Ukrainians who are living in Poland. The polls also approve of the fact that Ukrainians and Poland are working. Also

in sectors which couldn't find workers.

There is a lower number of Poles who believe that Ukrainians are receiving bigger and better social support than Poles and that was some -- that was a

problem two years ago. Now that has decreased and we must add that almost one million Ukrainians have received a Social Security number in Poland,

and 90 percent of those who are in Poland are children, women and the elderly.

NEWTON: Yes, certainly two years on, there is a lot of fatigue, even among allies there in Europe. Michal, thanks so much for joining us. Really

appreciate it.

Now, a star witness has taken the stand in Fulton County where Donald Trump is facing an election subversion case. We will tell you what the

prosecutor's former law partner had to say about a controversial relationship with a district attorney.


NEWTON: US President Joe Biden met with congressional leaders today in part to discuss aid for Ukraine. Republican Speaker Mike Johnson was one of the

people there. He says he told the president that the US needs to secure its southern border before acting on Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told Johnson that an aid package was vital.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I made it so clear how vital this was to the United States. This was so, so important and that we couldn't afford to

wait a month or two months or three months.


Because we would, in all likelihood lose the war. NATO would be fractured at best, allies would turn away from the United States.


NEWTON: Melanie Zanona is in Capitol Hill for us. So she's been following all of this.

So you know, it's a direct question I'm going to ask you. Is there any evidence of any progress here out of this meeting?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, everyone came out of the meeting, saying it was a productive meeting, but there was not a deal.

There was not a deal on government funding, which expires at the end of this week, and there is not a deal about how they're going to tackle this

question of Ukraine aid.

Now Johnson, in private conversation we are told has said that he acknowledges how important it is and how urgent it is that they try to

figure it out and he has said he wants to do something on Ukraine, but the challenge for Speaker Mike Johnson here is that he's dealing with a right

flank, who is very powerful in his conference, who does not want to see any more dollars flowing to Ukraine.

And you heard there, Johnson in the meeting today continually brought up the southern border and said, before we give out any more money to foreign

countries, we need to address our own issues here domestically, starting with the southern border.

But as a reminder here, it was Johnson and former President Donald Trump who rejected a bipartisan deal in the Senate that would secure the southern

border. And so that is where we are in terms of the impasse here on Capitol Hill.

Now, as you heard Chuck Schumer and President Biden and Leader Jeffries, all of the Democrats in the room really tried to implore Johnson to stop

thinking about the immediate politics and the immediate repercussions and to think about the long term and they said things like history is going to

remember what you did.

And it really is important to point out here that Johnson is only a few months on the job. He really is still a rookie speaker. He has not had a

lot of international experience. Hardly any, really.

He was just a rank and file member before he pretty much accidentally stumbled into this job. And now here he is with the fate of Ukraine and the

war itself all in his hands.

So at this point, the ball is in his court. He has not said how he's going to act. I'm told that the leadership team is thinking about potential

different ways to address Ukraine aid, whether that's turning it into more of a structured loan or trying to offset it or tying it to other hardline

border immigration provisions.

At this point, though, nothing has been decided even as Democrats mount that pressure campaign on Speaker Johnson.

NEWTON: Yes, and Melanie, everything you're saying President Zelenskyy has made a fine point of it as well. He says he trusts Speaker Johnson to do

the right thing and certainly a lot on the line here.

Melanie, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

An update about the effort to disqualify the prosecutor and district attorney in Donald Trump's election subversion case in Georgia. Now a star

witness says he doesn't know when District Attorney Fani Willis began dating prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Terrence Bradley is the former law partner and ex-divorce attorney for Nathan Wade. He took the stand just moments ago. The testimony heated up as

the defense attorney tried to nail down the timeline of that affair.

Terrence Bradley had this refrain.


TERRENCE BRADLEY, ATTORNEY: I didn't have any personal information, where I could personally say when it started. I've said that time and time again,

so I don't -- I don't know when the relationship started.


NEWTON: Legal analyst Norm Eisen joins me now, and you've been watching this unfold. I mean, what do you think? Has this moved the needle at all in

this case? And again, at issue is whether or not Fani Willis should be removed from this case.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Paula, it's moved the needle backwards, away from disqualification and towards the continuation of DA Fani Willis in

this case.

This was one of the star witnesses, may be the star witness that the defendants were counting on to knock the DA out of the case.

The problem is they have an extremely steep legal burden and this witness has provided absolutely no evidence that there was any dishonesty on their

part about when the relationship started. He says he doesn't know when the relationship started.

He has explained away a text, the case has gone backwards. He wrote a text seeming to approve of the motion to disqualify. He said oh no, I was just

referring to one specific invoice involving me. So they're slipping backwards at this point, the evidence does not seem to justify


NEWTON: And Norm, as you're speaking, we are watching he is still on the stand. So we'll see if they can bring out any other evidence in this.

If you're the judge, though, at this hour. You clearly wanted to hear from this witness. So what are your motivations because everyone's waiting on

him to make some kind of ruling on this.


EISEN: The judge wants to give both parties every opportunity to put their evidence forward and Judge McAfee, he is a new judge, very experienced

former prosecutor and lawyer. He is terrific, Paula.

I have been so impressed watching how he has handled himself, but the fact that he allowed this witness to testify doesn't signal what he is thinking.

You can never predict what a judge is going to do. But if you look at the law, and you look at the evidence, this steep hurdle to prove

disqualification just has not been met here under Georgia law. Prosecutors are allowed to have a relationship. That doesn't mean it was smart. I think

Mr. Wade, should step away from this case, but it's not legally required.

NEWTON: And so we will wait for that ruling, but in the meantime, the clock is ticking. It is some people's impression that this case is actually a bit

out-of-control in terms of actually trying to get it to court? Because you still have to set up that timetable, you have to select a jury not an easy

thing in these kinds of cases.

EISEN: Well, if the judge rules, as I think the facts and the law suggest against disqualification, that will clear the air, I expect that we will

get that in the next week or so maybe even sooner. There will be argument later this week, and then we'll get a resolution.

And that enables the case to get back on that timeline. Look, the case can't go to trial in March, April or May because the 2016 election

interference case is going to be put on trial by Alvin Bragg in New York for those hush money payments and the cover up that allegedly affected the

2016 election.

That means the soonest this case could go is the summer. It could very well get back on track, that will also depend on the federal 2020 election

interference case where we're waiting for word from the United States Supreme Court.

So I wouldn't assume that this case will not be tried in 2024.

NEWTON: Oh, interesting. Okay, well, we will continue to monitor what's happening there in Atlanta in court.

Norm Eisen for us. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

EISEN: Thanks, Paula.

NEWTON: And coming up for us, voters are heading to the polls in Michigan. Some Democrats are urging people not to vote for Joe Biden in the

Democratic primary. We will explain why.



NEWTON: Israel, Hamas, and Qatar all distancing themselves from Joe Biden's optimism on the timing of a ceasefire. The U.S. president said he thought

an agreement could be reached in the coming days. Now an Israeli official tells CNN Tel Aviv doesn't know on what basis that comment was even made.

And a member of Hamas' political bureau said, quote, "There is nothing."

Here's exactly what Joe Biden said on Monday at an ice cream shop in New York City. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you give us a sense of when you think that ceasefire will start?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I hope by the beginning of the weekend, until the end of the weekend. At least my National Security

adviser tells me that we're close. We're close. We're not done yet. My hope is by next Monday, we'll have a ceasefire.


NEWTON: So the U.S. president's handling of the Israel-Hamas war is under scrutiny in Michigan, where voters are at the polls for the state's primary

battles. Joe Biden and Donald Trump are expected to win their respective party contest by large margins.

Still, today's result could in fact reveal who has strength heading into November's election. Biden won there in 2020 after Trump, remember, he took

the state in 2016. And some Democrats say they're voting uncommitted to protest the president's Middle East policies.

Omar Jimenez is in Detroit, Michigan, following all of this for us, and I'm interested, Omar, in what you're hearing from voters because it is a big

deal in terms of those who may go in and even though they are registered Democrats vote uncommitted.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, and, you know, here in Michigan it really is an open primary here, so you can come in here no matter what

your party registration is and ask for any type of ballot you want, Democrat, Republican, and vote in whichever way that you want. And of

course, as you spoke about, you're seeing major movement here in the state to vote uncommitted over Joe Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

Now here in Michigan, the state has the largest Arab-American population of any state in the country. And that has been primarily the community that

has been leading these calls. But it hasn't just them from that community. We spoke to a voter a little bit earlier today who previously told us that

he voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and has changed his mind over the handling of this very the issue. Take a listen to some of what he said.


EVAN BAGWELL, VOTED MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, PREVIOUSLY VOTED JOE BIDEN: I do not agree with what Biden has been doing it all, and I feel like with

everything that's going on there, he needs to be out. When it comes down to, like, the lives of innocent people being hurt and him not doing

anything about it, I do not stand for that at all.


JIMENEZ: Now, of course he's talking about the civilians killed in Gaza, but I want to -- it's important to set expectations for people. As you

mentioned before coming to me, it's not like Joe Biden is not expected to win in this primary. It's not like Donald Trump is not expected to win this

primary. But what's interesting here is it does give key indications in this battleground state of Michigan as to where some of the vulnerabilities

may lie for each of these candidates and where some of those strengths may lie.

And also that group, the group encouraging people to vote uncommitted, says that they would feel happy if they got 10,000 people to vote uncommitted.

That number is likely going to be higher because even without a campaign like this, there were people that voted higher than that for various

reasons. They voted uncommitted. So that'll be an important dynamic to keep an eye on.

Another one on the Republican side of things is, we're in Michigan now, but a few days ago we are in South Carolina for that primary where Donald Trump

won there.


But Nikki Haley got 40 percent of the votes which is a sizable portion of a primary electorate groups. So the question is, even though Trump is

expected to win here in Michigan, how big is that margin actually, and more significantly for someone like Nikki Haley, what sort of a case does she

have to make to voters moving forward that she is in fact the best person to take on the presumptive nominee which should be Joe Biden at this point.

So a lot of interesting dynamics even if it isn't necessarily a packed voting booths, and I will say that'll be my last point. Part of the reason

we're not seeing this super packed is this is the first election cycle here in Michigan where you can do early in-person voting. That combined with the

absentee voting we've seen already more than a million people cast their vote, when in 2020, it was just over two million people in total that cast

their vote.

So even before we got to today, just around half of the people that are expected to vote had already voted, and that means less packed places like

this, but still, people eager to have their voices heard.

NEWTON: Yes, I'm glad you explained all that, Omar, because it is interesting because it also has implications, right, for the general

election in terms of those mail-in ballots and how everything gets counted. We will be watching very closely, Omar. Thanks so much. Really appreciate


Now CNN's special coverage of the Michigan primaries begins at 8:00 p.m. here in New York. That's 1:00 a.m. London Time.

Macy's plans to close 150 department stores over the next few years in what it's calling a bold new chapter for the company. Shares popped on the

decision to focus instead on its luxury brands, Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury. Now both of them have been outperforming Macy's itself and it

couldn't come at a more critical time.

Mid-priced retailers, you see them there, are being squeezed from the bottom and the top. Big spenders are turning toward luxury brands like

Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's. And frugal shoppers are searching for bargains at Amazon and at discount chains like TJ Maxx.

Nathaniel Meyersohn is in New York for us.

And Macy's, you know, such an iconic brand, really an American institution. What challenges does it face in trying to once again find that sweet spot

in retail? Because it needs to find it.

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So I think, Paula, that graphic that you just pulled up between luxury, mid-tier and budget really says it

all. The middle of retail has been squeezed on the high-end and the low- end. And so Macy's is really right in the middle of that and it's gotten hit hard these -- not just the past few years, but stretching back a couple

of decades. And also that's not even on that list is Amazon. So Amazon has put a lot of pressure on Macy's, Walmart and Target are also hitting it


So, look, Macy's customers is middle America, middle-income shoppers, some wealthier shoppers as well. And so those customers have been squeezed and

they're going elsewhere. And so Macy's, which has this legacy store base from when we didn't have online shopping, when there were fewer options,

it's contracting.

NEWTON: And in terms of Macy's results, how does that fit into the larger retail landscape? Because, you know, the whole retail landscape has been

torn apart and really people have to rebuild it in terms of what's happened in the last decade.

MEYERSOHN: So you have the higher-end doing well and the lower-end doing well. So I think that's really kind of what it signifies. People with a lot

of money, they're spending on luxury goods and that's why Macy's is really focusing on its Bloomingdale's chain. That attracts wealthier customers.

Beauty has also done really well, particularly coming out of the pandemic. And so Macy's is going to be opening some of those Bluemercury stores,

strong kind of beauty company, but pulling back on the traditional department store model that has kind of a relic of the past and

increasingly less relevant to shoppers today.

And then you have the discount shoppers often heading to TJ Maxx, Ross Stores. Those discount chains have really expanded over the past several


NEWTON: Yes, it really is a confusing landscape at this hour, and we'll see what Macy's is able to do with it, especially given the latest results.

Nathaniel Meyersohn for us, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

Now, the fast-food chain Wendy's is testing out Uber-like -- stay with me here, Uber-like surge pricing for its menu. Now what does that mean? It

means starting next year the price of your frosty could change based on when you order it and how many other people want one at that hour. Wendy's

plans to install digital menu boards to show the changing prices and the strategy was announced during its latest earnings call.

Interesting there in terms of how all this is going to work.

Nathaniel, we're going to bring you back in. I said goodbye to you far too soon because I need this explained to me. I don't understand what consumers

are going to think about this one way or the other. I mean, it's novel. We understand that given digital capabilities, they can do it, but will it



MEYERSOHN: So, right, Paul, I think that Wendy's really risks some backlash from customers who are going to go into the Wendy's and see that their

burger is going to be $15, $20 when demand is really high. And we've seen McDonald's get a lot of backlash over its high burger prices, high Big Mac

meals. There was one that really went viral for McDonald's, $18 Big Mac. So surge pricing, Wendys does faces a risk here.

But the company is betting that people will want to come in when prices are a little bit low. Maybe not on peak hours, and that will allow it to space

out its operation. Sometimes you think about during peak times the fast- food lines are so long, the drive-through lines are so long, and so Wendy's is really trying to discourage that. And as you said, they have the digital

capabilities now to do so. They can do them on -- they can, you know, change these prices on electronic boards and not just by hand.

NEWTON: All right, we will wait to see if it works.

Nathaniel, thank you again. Appreciate it. Thanks for being with us.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'll be back at the top of the hour as we make a final dash to the bell. Up next, "Quest's World of Wonder."


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Richard Quest. I love traveling the world. Broaden the mind, open the heart.

It really is quite something to see all this.

And I'm not done yet.

It's time to embrace new adventures. Find the fun. Seize the moments.



All right, Al. I asked on X if it was OK to eat oysters at breakfast. It's half past 10:00 in the morning. You're up for it?

AL, CAMERAMAN: I'm in if you're in.

QUEST: All right. Ready?

AL: Hang on, hang on. Wait for me.


QUEST: I'm in Bari in Southern Italy, and I've just my Awesome Al to join me in a breakfast of oysters. Fresh fish is abundant here after all. So let

us indulge.

AL: This could go horribly wrong, Richard. Raw fish in the middle of a shoot? It's not so recommendable.

QUEST: Oh, that's very good. Now what was that rule?

AL: So you should only eat oysters when there's an R in the month. But it might be a myth.

QUEST: No, no, no. It must be the other way round.

AL: No.

QUEST: You don't eat oysters when there's an R in the month.

AL: No.

QUEST: Hang on, and careful. I think I could cut my finger off here.

AL: But hang on. The other great oyster debate is do you chew or swallow whole? Why are you looking at me like that? What?

QUEST: Cheers.

AL: Cheers. What a breakfast.

QUEST: Gorgeous, aren't they? Absolutely gorgeous. It's straight out of central casting as they say.

Alberobello is like stepping back into a fairytale.

These are intrinsically interesting. They're weird. Look at this.

Alberobello sits farther south and inland than Bari. It dates back to roughly the 14th century.

Number 95.

And these hobbit-like houses called trulli are more than a novelty. The style is unique to the Polya region built using pre-historic methods.

Well, now, I'm well and truly late. Trulli late? Well, I thought it was funny.

Mimmo Palmisano grew up here. He knows the town very well and everyone in it, including these gentlemen, some of the few remaining master craftsmen

who is skilled enough to repair and build these centuries old trulli. It's taken them years to acquire these skills. Naturally I want to try it after

watching for, oh, maybe five minutes.

This looks good. Stand back, Al. Stand back. Stand back. Let's the dogs see the rabbit. Exhausting on the forearm.

MIMMO PALMISANO, TRULLI OWNER: Yes. If you touch it, they're bionic.

QUEST: The forearms are absolutely screaming.

PALMISANO: You're going to pay for them.

QUEST: My brief apprenticeship is over before it's begun. Health and safety demands I leave immediately.

Give me a break.

So instead, a different perspective of the town.

I go. Right. Oh, look at them. Yes.

PALMISANO: Yes. This is place where I grew up.

QUEST: The trulli signature cone shape is part of what gives Alberobello the fairy tale quality. What's more impressive is how these rooves are

built, stone layered on stone without mortar in sight.

Put that here. Then you start here. I don't know. Yes. Yes. Not as a child growing up in Yorkshire we had several walls that were dry stone and I

remember learning how to put it together. Cement was considered a moment of failure.

What about this? All go need to because the next one, the next one goes on top of that. Look at these trullis. They're just a thing of beauty.

A short distance from Alberobello, I descend into a place that was once believed to be hell.

My goodness. Wow. Look at this.

CLAUDIO LACOPETTA, PUGLIA HISTORICAL CULTURE GUIDE: They would see hundreds of bats coming out every night from that hole, and some vapor coming up. So

they figured this must be the entrance to hell, the gates of hell.

QUEST: My world.

It takes a lot for me to be gob smacked. But this is doing it. One of Italy's largest cave systems.


It was, of course, shaped by nature around 100 million years ago.

Takes the breath of the words away. Size, scale, beauty. Extraordinary.



QUEST: On this breezy morning in Puglia, I've discovered the fantastical.

I love these. Love these.

The land of papier-mache.

That's where the magic is made.

South of Bari, I arrive at the city of Putignano, where the art of papier- mache is practiced to an incredible degree.

together know where the r took paper m/v practice to an incredible degree. The artists Nicola Genco has no idea of just how much of a novice I am.


QUEST: The idea is very good.

He's about to learn what he's dealing with. This is more difficult than the pasta.


QUEST: Pinocchio nose.

GENCO: OK. Big nose. Big, big.

QUEST: Oh, big? Oh, you want it bigger.

GENCO (through translator): This is a small imaginary (INAUDIBLE).

QUEST: Nicola and his father spent years creating large scale papier-mache floats. The hallmark of carnival in Putignano. An event dating back some

600 years. It's one of the oldest carnivals in Italy. Even on a small scale, I am reminded that papier-mache process is neither short nor clean.

This is going to get really messy, isn't it?



QUEST: Oh, god, no, this is --

GENCO: OK. Little bit --

QUEST: Oh, no. No.

What's worse than having flashbacks of primary school disasters.

Yes, yes, yes. You know, I'm getting better. His enthusiasm and passion is infectious. And before long, I'm starting to really care about whether I've

got this exactly right.

GENCO: Bravo, Richard.

QUEST: All my experiences here. The pasta making, the truffle hunting, the trulli, well, there's a common thread. They are craftsman. That's the word.

Craftsman. They've elevated their craft to the point of art. And I think that's very typical of this part of Italy.

How wonderfully whimsical.

At the beginning of my visit, one of the pasta ladies of Bari sent me on a mission. Explore the Puglia region. Look and learn, and don't come back

without truffles.

I have some things.

Nunzia Caputo and I are about to cook orecchiette of course, made by the women of Bari, dried outside in the southern Italian sun. This doesn't get

any more homemade.

You have cheese, tomatoes and some basil. I see you have some basil. Perfect. Oil first. Tell me about Bari. People here seem to be very

friendly, very kind, very generous.


QUEST: It's true, we are welcoming, she's telling me. Even when people asked how to make orecchiette. They're never told go away. They're


Look at it. Can I taste one? Fresh. The simplest things are the best. I'm wondering if some of these are the ones I made. I think that one is mine.

In Nunzai's household, lunchtime is for family.


CAPUTO: Cook it, boom. Cook it, boom.

QUEST: I've got that.

You cook it and you get it on the table fast. So this has only taken minutes.

I have a present. Truffles.

CAPUTO (through translator): I don't use it because it's too expensive.

QUEST: Well, we're going to have it today. I hunted this truffle.

CAPUTO: Bueno, chef. Bueno.

QUEST: Said with all the approval and love of an Italian mother.

CAPUTO: Bon Appetit.

QUEST: Bon Appetit.

CAPUTO: Bravo.

QUEST: The orecchiette is perfect. So good.

Barely we refinished eating and Nunzia is back at her table making tomorrow's orecchiette.

They said I was mad coming to Bari off-season. They were wrong for there's never a bad time to visit Puglia with its warmth, kindness, and generosity

of spirit. Come visit Bari, and expand your own "World of Wonder."



NEWTON: Hello, I'm Paula Newton. And this is your dash to the closing bell. We are less than two minutes away. It has been I have to tell you a

lackluster day on Wall Street.

You see the big board there. It is off of its lows, but still not a great day. The Dow fell and as you can see it has not recovered. It is about to

close probably nearly 100 points lower. Meantime, the S&P is trying to eke out some gains. The Nasdaq set to finish the session, just shy of a record


And that's it for us. I'm Paula Newton, the "LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to THE LEAD. You have been watching one of the star witnesses in the case in which they are trying to -- the

Trump team is trying to push to disqualify Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis.

This witness was ordered back to the stand just a short time ago. This push, of course, Trump and some of his co-defendants trying to impeach her

essentially. Terrence Bradley is the witness. He was the divorce attorney for Fulton County prosecutor, Nathan Wade, and Mr. Bradley was today

repeatedly pressed with new questions about the romantic relationship between his former client.