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Quest Means Business

Evan Gershkovich Spends One Year In Russian Detention; Jourova: Artificial Intelligence Could Be A Big Threat To Elections; Major Averages Are All At Or Near Record Highs; Trump Appeals Ruling That Let D.A. Stay On Georgia Case; Largest Crane On U.S. East Coast Arrives In Baltimore; Tropical Cyclone Gamane Kills At Least 18 In Madagascar. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 29, 2024 - 16:00:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Markets are closed for Good Friday. We didn't get to 40,000. So now a chance for a long weekend and a bit of a


The stories we are talking about tonight: Evan Gershkovich has spent a year behind bars in Russia. The White House says it is working every day to

secure the release of "The Wall Street Journal" reporter now.

The Fed Chair Jerome Powell says there is no hurry to cut interest rates.

And Easter, an eggs-tra special time for chocolate makers. This year's joy is tempered by rising cocoa prices. The question of whether these will

survive the hour.

Live from London, it is Friday, it is March 29th, end of the month. I'm Richard Quest, I mean business.

We begin today with the US calling for the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich on the first anniversary of his arrest in Russia. The 32-year-

old "Wall Street Journal" reporter is considered wrongfully detained by the State Department. President Biden says he will impose costs on Moscow for

using US citizens as bargaining chips.

"The Journal" left part of its front page blank today to mark the anniversary. Instead of a headline were words "His Story Should Be Here."

Gershkovich is being held by Russia as an alleged spy. CNN's Fred Pleitgen now looks at where the case currently stands.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): No media allowed at Evan Gershkovich's most recent court hearing in Moscow,

just this short clip by the court's press service.

Despite a year in a Russian jail, a defiant smile from "The Wall Street Journal" reporter. No surprise, his detention was extended yet again

through June 30th.

The US ambassador to Russia ripping in to the verdict.

LYNNE TRACY, US AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: The accusations against Evan are categorically untrue. They are not a different interpretation of

circumstances. They are fiction.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Evan Gershkovich was arrested and charged with espionage a year ago while on assignment in Yekaterinburg, Central Russia.

MARIA ZAKHAROVA, SPOKESWOMEN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): I do not know if there are any other cases, but the

allegations made by our intelligence services today were not related to his journalism.

PLEITGEN (voice over): "The Wall Street Journal" and Gershkovich's family strongly deny the allegations.

Polina Ivanova of "The Financial Times" is one of Evan's best friends and still keeps in regular contact with him writing letters.

POLINA IVANOVA, FINANCIAL TIMES REPORTER, FRIEND OF GERSHKOVICH: He is doing remarkably well. He is absolutely staying strong. He's not allowing

himself to, you know, to wallow, to get too upset by everything. In fact, he spends most of his time in letters to us trying to make us feel better.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Gershkovich faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years if convicted.

But CNN has reported that Gershkovich and former US Marine Paul Whelan were part of a proposed prisoner swap with a now dead opposition leader, Alexei


The Russian president taunted on his re-election day that he approved a swap on the condition he'd get back a high-profile Russian intelligence

officer in prison for murder in Germany, Vadim Krasikov.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The person who spoke to me had not finished his sentence yet. I said, I agree, but

unfortunately, what happened, happened.

PLEITGEN (voice over): For those close to Evan, that means the waiting continues, outcome uncertain.

IVANOVA: When you see Putin talk about it, in you know, very clear terms that this is what they want to see happen that that they are looking for a

deal. You know, it just gives you hope that at some point this will -- this -- you know, that he will be home. He needs to be home. He needs to be back

with his family with his friends.

PLEITGEN (on camera): And the Kremlin has once again confirmed that there are contacts between the United States and Russia on a possible prisoner

exchange, but they also say that those talks need to happen in absolute silence or any results could be prevented.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


QUEST: The US ambassador to Russia says the Kremlin is taking Americans prisoner to achieve political ends. The EU Parliament is looking into

claims that some of its members were paid by Moscow to spread its propaganda.

Some lawmakers are calling for swift action to defend European democracy and the upcoming European elections.

Vera Jourova is the European Commission's Vice President for Values and Transparency.


Commissioner, thank you. You are with me from New York. My apologies that I am not in New York tonight to be with you in person.

But the arrest, the detainment and frankly, the use as a human bargaining chip of Gershkovich, there seems very little that the west can do to avoid


VERA JOUROVA, EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S VICE PRESIDENT FOR VALUES AND TRANSPARENCY: Yes, thank you very much for inviting me and many greetings

to Easter in London.

I want to say that EU also protests heavily against the wrongful detention of Evan Gershkovich and I was in contact with his parents and also I

visited his colleagues at "Wall Street Journal" and one thing is obvious that we have to invest all diplomatic efforts to have Evan Gershkovich back


And I think that there is space to do it in a silent way. I don't know. I am not a diplomat, but I believe that we have to do everything.

QUEST: You see, the problem is, I mean, a deal will eventually get done in some shape or form, whether it is for -- you know, for whatever price is

paid by way of the target. And yet, this does just encourage the more of hostage taking.

Look, I am not suggesting for a minute, Commissioner, there is an easy answer. You know, you're between a rock and a hard place, whichever way you

do this, but what is your preferred method?

JOUROVA: It is a horribly difficult question and there is, of course, a conflict between pragmatism and looking at some great result and moral

stances, so difficult question. I think that it is again for the experienced diplomats to judge case by case and do everything.

And of course, if Putin will decide to use these tactics more often, nobody can prevent him from doing that.

He is doing many other horrible things.

QUEST: We have the case at the moment of the Czech station, the Voice of Europe and that you have described as very troubling as being a Russian

propaganda voice. It has been closed down by the authorities. What's your fear here?

JOUROVA: It's just peak of the iceberg what has been now disclosed by the intelligence services, by the way, in my country, I am a Czech citizen, it

shows that Russia is using every possible channel to influence public opinion in the European Union.

They are using disinformation as part of their military doctrine. And they are also using these hidden ways if influencing the politicians in the EU,

which is corruption and which has to be investigated.

So this case, which was disclosed two years -- two days ago, just proves that are our signals are right. That Russia will do everything, and also

that we are doing exactly the right thing to take many different measures to protect our information space against the Russian propaganda.

QUEST: Can Europe do that with a fragmented system where many of the necessary actions have to be taken at a state, at a sovereign level, not at

the European level.

I was talking about this last week on this program with Thierry Breton, and both, you and he agree with the severity and the digital services,

digital marketing, the AI Act, all of these things, but do you have the necessary power?

JOUROVA: We do, and you just mentioned a very strong set of new rules, which cover the digital space and media space and even AI as the new

technology which can endanger democracy. So we are taking measures against that.

But you mentioned whether we have enough power at European level. There is a lot of coordination with our member states. I myself travel from state to

state. Now, it is an exception that I am in the United States for serious reasons, but we discuss with the authorities and the member states about

how to best protect the free and fair elections as very key element of our democracy.

So, there is that --

QUEST: But I am worried -- but Commissioner, I worry that whilst you're discussing how to protect, Russia is actually attacking in the cyberspace

and the misinformation and through the digital space.

JOUROVA: They are attacking, I said it. They use every possible channel. So already at European level, we impose the sanctions on Russia and on several

so-called media like Russia Today and Sputnik, it was already in the first sanctions list.


It was done at European level with consent of all the member states and the individual member states are also taking measures because, you know, Mr.

Quest, we have to see the actions of Russia, which are covering the whole European Union, but also specific actions which Russia applies on different

member states abusing the vulnerabilities and sensitivities in each society.

But we are ready for all of them. We are really now accelerating all the preparations before the European elections at the beginning of June.

QUEST: I am grateful for your time tonight, Commissioner. Thank you. Have a good trip in the US and have a good Easter. Thank you.

JOUROVA: Thank you very much. Thank you.

QUEST: The US Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge is moving away from its two percent target.

PCE rose to 2.5 in the 12 months, just a touch higher from January. Now the Fed Chair Jerome Powell said today he is coming trouble with the direction

of the economy and that there is no rush to cut rates.


JEROME POWELL, US FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Many forecasters see growth coming down to around two percent this year. That's about roughly what the

first quarter looks like.

That means that we don't need to be in a hurry to cut. It means we can wait and become more confident that in fact, inflation is coming down to two

percent on a sustainable basis.


QUEST: Now, Wall Street is ahead of the value of stocks at their best Q1 since '19, all three averages are at or near record highs.

Julia is with me.

Ma'am, good evening to you.

Look, a lot of people getting hot under the collar about this minor rise when you look underneath the numbers, you sort of see how it happened. But

the trajectory is still in the right direction. We are just moderating the right value the way it is going.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR, "FIRST MOVE": It is the first rise in five months. We are obviously and have been through a period where

the inflation that we have seen and the growth of inflation is slowing. We are a stage now, I think where enough people are saying it is really

slowing. Has it stalled out? And what does that mean for the Fed?

So far, Richard, what the Fed has said and we heard it there is that we are actually quietly okay with inflation being above our two percent target.

I am quite glad that stock markets were shut though today when they, and when we heard Jay Powell say, look, as far as the inflation rates are

concerned, there is no push or rush to cut rates because right now, we've got the best of all worlds -- strong growth strong consumer, little bit

concerns still about inflation, but we've also got a situation where they are saying they can cut rates three times.

You wait to see what happens in these stock markets and the levels that we are at right now, if they start to price out cuts.

QUEST: No, no, no. Now, you see -- you see the argument has always been from the Fed that if we keep these rates longer, eventually, it will do its


Now, this of course does allow for energy prices and all the other things that could boost economic activity and push up inflation.

But the question: Has all -- the issue has always been -- at these rates, at these current high rates of interest rate, will it be sufficient for the

trajectory to continue down to two percent or does that not matter?

CHATTERLEY: It matters a lot less than it ever did, Richard, but they won't tell you that because they don't want to influence you by telling you

direct. So it is always that supposition.

The key always is, isn't it, you don't want to raise rates too much and slow the economy too much and you want to time bringing rates back down so

that you don't tip the economy in a recession. You want to try and stop that.

The problem is, as you and I know well, we always go through these boom- bust business cycles where they never quite get it right.

The hope perhaps and it would be a miracle given what we've been through is that they can time it appropriately, that perhaps they leave rates where

they are, bringing them down slightly, and never actually have a situation where we fall into recession.

They could engineer what we keep talking about as a soft landing.

QUEST: Some say it is already here, but I am not getting into that one. I want to know instead, what do you think is the principal reason that the

market is rising so sharply?

CHATTERLEY: Everything I've just said -- growth, inflation, consumer strength, surprise to some degree that we weren't in a worst position given

the fastest rate hike cycle in four decades.

And look at NVIDIA as a great example, up 80 percent year-to-date. It is technology stocks, too.

Richard, I wish I could give you one principal thing, but that's the beauty of the record highs that we are seeing. We are at record highs that we are.

It is a whole host of things and that's keeping people relatively optimistic for now.

QUEST: Wonderful to see you. "First Move" is just a couple of hours away. I am grateful. Thank you very much.


QUEST: The Eurostar chief executive wants to take a page out of airline handbooks, hoping a hub and spoke system will help them.

The two of us have lunch on board a train. We didn't go anywhere, but the lunch was excellent.



QUEST: Israel will pursue the militant group, Hezbollah anywhere and everywhere according to the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant.

Israel escalated its strikes on Friday hitting targets in Lebanon and Syria. The IDF says a high ranking Hezbollah missile commander was killed,

this video, watch it, shared by the IDF allegedly shows that strike in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency is reporting an Israeli attack on Aleppo in Syria killed 38 people, including five members of Hezbollah.

Melissa Bell is in Jerusalem.

What are they up to, the Israelis here? Are they responding? Are they taking advantage of opportunity or are they looking to get involved?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From this -- at this stage, it is hard to tell, Richard.

What we do know from US officials is that this had been a plan that they brought to DC when Yoav Gallant went to meet not only with his American

counterpart, with other senior American officials. Remember these were talks at the start of last week that were designed meant to talk about what

Israel plans to do in Rafah, its ground operation that the United States is trying to urge it to refrain from looking for other solutions.

It had been planned for Yoav Gallant to be accompanied by a high level Israeli delegation that was canceled in the wake of a spat between Israel

and the United States. We now understand, they will be heading there next week.

But during those meetings, what we now know from US officials that Yoav Gallant had already raised the possibility of changing Israel's strategy

along its northern border.

Now this is an area where for many months now, Richard, as you know, there have been strikes one way and the other, tens of thousands displaced, both

in Lebanon and in Israel as a result, but it was Israel's intention to ratchet up further, taking on what we now know more aggressively,

Hezbollah, that's what Yoav Gallant has now stated publicly this Friday that they intend not just to respond onto it, but rather to pursue it far

more aggressively.

Now that has concerned American officials who say they understand that Israel's position is that there is a ratcheting up of the pressure that

falls just short of an outright assault. The United States is worried that that possibility doesn't exist.

They are concerned about Hezbollah's answer because of course, they've long feared it is known that they would present a far more formidable challenge

to Israel than Hamas does from the Gaza Strip. Also, this spreading out of the violence beyond just Southern Lebanon into Syria.


Of extreme concern, as you said, it is several dozen people who are believed to have been killed in Syria and this is exactly the sort of

spread that everyone had been worried about these last few months.

QUEST: All right, tell me about Rafah and whether that is still very much on the Israeli military's cards.

BELL: There is no question. We heard from Benjamin Netanyahu himself these last couple of days saying Israel has no choice, but to carry out its land

invasion of Rafah because these hostage talks had stalled.

Now, on one hand, this is a way of forcing Hamas, they hope to the negotiating table, forcing Yahya Sinwar, Hamas' head in the Gaza Strip to

change as Israeli officials say, his calculus. What we've also heard today is that there has been some small breakthrough, at least the beginning of

some hope on the hostage talk front and that could of course change the calculation that Israel is making with regard to Rafah, its plan so far,

its thought, its thinking, its calculation had been that it needed to get into Rafah, carry out this ground assault, Richard, that it may take out

the final battalions of Hamas that it believes are holding out in that part of the Gaza Strip, the southernmost point.

What we are now hearing from Benjamin Netanyahu is that he will be sending a delegation of his Mossad and Shin Bet Israeli Security Services

officials, both to Qatar and to Egypt to resume those indirect talks.

So there is some hope that perhaps Hamas might be encouraged to shift its position on those outstanding points that had led to the collapse of the

talks on Tuesday.

QUEST: Melissa in Jerusalem. Thank you.

When we think of Eurostar, we tend to think of trains going under the English Channel between the UK, France and The Netherlands, and the like.

Well, since its merger with the European train operator, Talus last year, Eurostar now has five principal cities that they connect -- the London,

obviously, then across to Amsterdam, Brussel, Paris, and Cologne.

They are, if you will, the open hubs as they call them connecting air and rail and other rail operators and airlines. The challenge now is to mesh

this new network of the old Talus with Eurostar to harmonize the products and of course, get more of us on the train.

Well, I enjoyed lunch on board with the chief exec, Gwendoline Cazenave.


QUEST (voice over): This is business premier, Eurostar's first class, if you will.

I am having lunch with the chief executive.

QUEST (on camera): Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you are. Now for your lunch.

This is our vegetarian option, which is some valley Rizzuto with mushroom sauce and some plantains, and the last plant option that we have, which is

the sarku (ph) chicken with mushroom sauce. We have some (INAUDIBLE) with a lovely cabbage and onion salad.

QUEST: What would you go for?

GWENDOLINE CAZENAVE, CEO, EUROSTAR: I'll have the vegetarian one.

QUEST: Oh, very tasty.

CAZENAVE: Which is it?


QUEST: Thank, you very much.


CAZENAVE: It is designed by a French chef --

QUEST: Which is why I decided to go for the richest, most calorie intensive, heaviest sauce.

(voice over): Gwendoline didn't eat much. I emptied my plate and when lunch was cleared away, we got down to the new classes on Eurostar.

CAZENAVE: So we have three levels of services in our trains.

QUEST (on camera): Economy, Standard Premier, and Business Premier.

CAZENAVE: And business, absolutely.

QUEST: Right. The growth area is where?

CAZENAVE: Everywhere. Young people really want now to travel with us. We have a very big mothership because for them sustainability is key and so


Standard Premium and Business Premier are growing as well because we have wealthy leisure people who want to travel with us.

QUEST: That's the key area.

CAZENAVE: Talking about --

QUEST: That is the key area.

CAZENAVE: Yes. No. There are plenty of key area. I do not agree with you. All the customers are important and the growth is in every segment of the


QUEST: The goal is to increase the revenue from those passengers that you've already got, as well as increasing more.

CAZENAVE: The goal is to increase the offer. The first thing is grow the number of trains. We take these trains on continental use. So that we had

900 seats trains going from Amsterdam to Paris, from Paris to Brussels, and so on, so that we can run really high capacity trains on these routes,

first thing.


Second thing, it is about out what I call the open hub strategy. It means hubs with Eurostar domestic railways and airlines. For instance, Schiphol

is an open hub for Eurostar. We work with KLM. We have connecting customers buying the short haul to Schiphol with us, Eurostar, and then flying abroad

with KLM and these open hub concept is going to make us grow really and have a big impact on the global Eurostar network.

QUEST (voice over): As Gwendoline and I retired to the lounge, I couldn't shake the thought of reality that European politicians simply won't be

prepared to spend the money to reach her ambitions.

(on camera): They will say they will, but the infrastructure requirements simply won't be made.

CAZENAVE: You know what? My call-to-action as Eurostar CEO you would be to all the railways ecosystems stakeholders to think bigger, actually because

if we want to grow sustainable travel, if we want Eurostar to be this, what we do, this backbone of high-speed sustainable travel in Europe, if we want

to have this modal shift from air and cars to train, we need to push the walls in stations.

We need to have biggest stations. We need to have investments in the station and the whole railways ecosystem.


QUEST: News in to CNN, the Vatican says, the Pope will skip the Good Friday precession at Rome's Colosseum to protect his health ahead of other Easter

weekend engagements.

The procession is underway now. Many Christians around the world are marking the death of Jesus by crucifixion, today, the most somber day in

the Christian calendar. The Pope wrote the meditations for tonight himself, addressing women's oppression, online hatred and war.

The last minute statements of the Pope would follow the service from his residence. Now, Pope Francis has of course been dealing with health issues

in recent months.

The new CNN Poll of Polls, 220 days, Good Lord, before Americans vote in the presidential election.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment, including all this slot, which I will explain. We'll also take a

look at the CNN poll of polls. Who's got the advantage in the election. And the unwelcome surprise for those celebrating Easter. Cocoa prices are

making these eggs even more expensive. Stay there for the moment. Before we get to all of that, this is CNN and here the news comes first.

Former President Donald Trump and some codefendants are appealing against the ruling then let the District Attorney Fani Willis stay on as the -- in

the Georgia elections subversion case. Defense attorneys asked the Georgia court of appeals to overturn a judge's decision and disqualify her and her


The largest crane on the east coast, the U.S. East Coast has arrived in Baltimore. It will help clear thousands of tons of temporary from the

deadly bridge collapse on Tuesday. Once the debris is cleared the search for the for missing victims will resume and the vital shipping lane will be

able to reopen.

Tropical Cyclone Gamane is being blamed for at least 18 deaths in Madagascar. The slow-moving storm made landfall on Wednesday cause heavy

flooding across the island. Officials are estimating more than 20,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

The actor Louis Gossett Jr. has died according to a statement from his family. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1982's An

Officer and the Gentleman and an Emmy for his performance in the trailblazing T.V. miniseries Roots. He was 87.

To the polls of polls, a tight race, verry, between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. We took an average of four national polls released in March. 47

percent of registered or likely voters are backing Donald Trump. 44 percent for Biden. It's a statistical dead heat which makes events like last

night's fundraiser all the more critical.

Harry Enten is in New York, Harry. So last night's fundraiser raised a lot of money which will be necessary if Biden is going to move that needle.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes. It raised a lot of money created a lot of traffic in New York. So, I felt that personally, Richard.

Look, at the end of the day, what's most important to point out here is we have a very different race now than we did four years ago, right? At this

particular point, as you pointed out, too close to call but perhaps a nominal advantage for Donald Trump.

If you go back during the 2020 campaign, Biden was up by seven points at this point. He never trailed during that campaign. So, events like last

night are going to be very key this time in a way that they would not have been raising money was not for Joe Biden back in 2020 because the fact of

the matter is he is behind nationally, even by a sliver. And he's more importantly, behind any electoral college.

So, he needs to reach out, as we spoke about yesterday, to those few true independent voters in the electorate who may not be paying that much

attention right now, may be going more off of "vibes" and be able to convince them that he should lead them the country for another four years,

instead of going back to Donald Trump.

QUEST: The thing with Donald Trump is in 2020 people could say, well, I didn't really know what was going to happen and I didn't really know. But

that 47 percent are on notice of what's coming their way. And they seem perfectly happy with it, which is entirely their democratic right. Where is

the middle ground that Biden needs to get?

ENTEN: Yes. I mean, that's exactly right. You know, one of the more interesting poll questions that I saw a few months ago from the New York

Times Siena College was that a majority of Americans and a majority of likely voters believed that Trump had committed a serious federal crime.


And yet the plurality of voters are still willing to go for him. Here's where he needs to go, Joe Biden, if he wants to win this campaign. He needs

to convince that 20 percent or so of the electorate that holds a favorable view of neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden to say, you know what, I am, in

fact, the lesser of two evils, not Donald Trump, because at this particular point, he hasn't convinced them of that.

There are still those voters who don't like Donald Trump who are still willing to go for them, which is kind of very interesting given all that

polling data that we've seen that they don't like Donald Trump.

QUEST: All right. But you know better than anyone else, it doesn't matter how many votes you get, it matters where the votes are. So, if you look at

where the number -- the states that are necessary, you really coming down to a handful. And when you talk about those state -- you're talking about

appealing to that middle ground, you're talking about appealing to that middle ground in those states because it's unlikely that the major ones or

the others will be changed. Oh, am I completely off beam?

ENTEN: No, no, I don't think -- I, you know, Richard, I always think you make a lot of sense, at least to me, even if I'm on only five hours asleep.

Look, at the end of the day, what you're looking at at that map right there, the Electoral College, it's the race to 270 electoral votes, right?

Joe Biden last time got a little bit north and 300, I believe it was 306. This time around, based upon the polling and past results, you see, Donald

Trump would be favored to win with 283.

That key three states to keep your eye out on or on the Great Lakes. It's Pennsylvania and yellow. That's the furthest year right. It's Michigan,

which is a light pink right now leaning towards Trump and a state that Joe Biden won by a little less than three percentage points. And it's that

other yellow state right there, Wisconsin, right there on the other side of the Great Lakes in yellow there.

If Joe Biden can sweep those states and then when Nebraska is second congressional district, that little tiny piece of yellow in the middle of

your screen, he gets to exactly 270 electoral votes. Those voters tend to be overwhelmingly white. There are a lot of college graduates in those

states, but they're also like a lot of white non-college graduates. I think Biden is best trying to attack Trump on the economy, saying, look, consumer

sentiment is up in this country.

More Americans are saying the economy is excellent now than any point in the last three years. He has to convince those folks who right now give

them a low economic approval rating and say you know what, ride with me this economy is high, it will continue to be high. If you put me in for

another four years.

QUEST: I think you might have earned yourself an Easter egg.

ENTEN: Well, you know what, I will tell you this. I like you. I'm Jewish. So, I never celebrated Easter, but my girlfriend is not Jewish. She is

taking me to Easter brunch on Sunday. We're going with Sara Sidner, who is of course our colleague and Sarah Sidner's mother. And if we can get some

Easter eggs like that, then we really got something going on.

QUEST: My boy, I didn't ask you for your social calendar for the next week.

ENTEHN: I thought you wanted to be interested in what we're doing. Because yesterday I said I was taken to a Yankee game. So, I want to tell you which

days were busy in which days weren't.

QUEST: Good to see you, sir.


QUEST: Good Shabbos Friday.

ENTEN: Good Shabbos.

QUEST: Good to see you. Now, the CEO of Norwegian believes it can become the leading airline in the Nordic Region. It's a remarkable turnaround for

the company which filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

Geir Karlsen is the Chief Exec. He's joined with the airlines for Europe conference last week. He told me he's targeting growth.


GEIR KARLSEN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE: The target is to be the leading airline in the -- in the Scandinavia and in the Nordics.

And then we will offer, you know, a good product to -- from the Nordics to the rest of Europe. And if you -- if you look at where we have been growing

the last couple of years, it's actually throughout the network. But I think what you will see going forward is probably that we will grow mostly

outside of the -- of the Nordics.

QUEST: SAS becoming part of Air France-KLM, leaving Star joining SkyTeam. They will become a more formidable player because they will have greater

resources against you.

KARLSEN: SAS is by far our biggest competitor and will be the biggest competitor going forward as well. You know, is the fact that they're

leaving Star Alliance going over to SkyTeam as you're saying is that the positive or negative to us. You know, it's -- I think it could be a

positive because the loyalty into Star Alliance and the fact that they have been building that for so many years is definitely a factor.

QUEST: It's too simple to say don't grow too fast and don't add long haul and don't add expensive wide body jets. But all airlines eventually end up

doing the same mistakes.


KARLSEN: I think we are growing, you know, cautiously and as you have heard here today, I mean, this -- now these days is actually an issue to get, you

know, the aircraft you need because of the, you know, the late deliveries from both Airbus and Boeing. But I think back in the days before the

pandemic, I think Norwegian -- yes, probably growing too fast. Yes. But also, being faced with issues on the -- on the whiteboard is on the Rolls

Royce engines, you had the Mac situations, unfortunately.

And then you -- and then you had a pandemic on top of it. So, yes, probably a little bit too aggressive, but also followed by what should I say, you

know, bad luck.

QUEST: And your own supply issues on planes and engines and -- through the supply chain, how are you coping?

KARLSEN: Now we are -- we are experiencing the same as the other guys. We have delays, we had delays last year, we have delays this year --

QUEST: How bad?

KARLSEN: Ten to 15 aircraft short compared to what we should have received as per today and that will just continue, that's how we believe it will --

it will, you know, go in the -- not only in 2024, but most likely, at least for the next couple of years. We have 50 aircraft for a motor with Boeing.

And we do we expect delays. They're supposed to start delivering next year but, you know, we will have delays.

QUEST: Do you still have confidence in Boeing?

KARLSEN: It's no -- it's no doubt that they have to -- they have to sort out their issues and their issues is, you know, massively public. And, you

know, we have concerns on the delivery going forward. We know the production rate and how it has been in the last few months. And it is way

too low. And I think it will continue to be -- to be low for a while.

QUEST: But as you get each new aircraft or as each new aircraft arrives, do you have confidence that they've built it properly?

KARLSEN: We do, we do. And --


KARLSEN: Because they're working. They're really working and, you know, the 737 Max 8 aircraft that we have taken delivery of and we have been flying

them for quite a while, it works. The crew like it, you know, the pilots like the aircraft and it's a workhorse and it has been around for, you

know, the 727 for a very long time. There's thousands of these aircraft flying every single day.


QUEST: Norwegian CEO. Now remember, the fairy tale the goose that laid the golden egg or cocoa prices are outpacing gold prices this year an excellent

piece. An excellent piece coming your way from Ana Stewart after the break. The break of the Easter egg.



QUEST: This week Call to Earth, we've been turning the spotlight firmly on the Bahamas. It's an organization that works to advance ocean research and

conservation. So today, let's dive with Dr. Austin Gallagher where we will discover the endless promise of certain natural assets for Bahamas and



ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Whether in the lab or in the field beneath the waves has focused much of its recent attention on the so-called

blue carbon ecosystems.

DR. AUSTIN GALLAGHER, FOUNDER AND CEO, BENEATH THE WAVES: Things like sea grasses, mangroves, salt marshes, and through natural processes like

photosynthesis. These plants sequester and store massive amounts of carbon significantly more than their terrestrial counterparts.

STEWART (voice-over): And it turns out that the Bahamas archipelago has one of the planet's most significant blue carbon spaces. A revelation that came

to light from their Tigershark research. The footage retrieved from their shot cams combined with satellite mapping and additional underwater surveys

led to what Austin calls a holy grail moment in animal science.

It actually ended up validating a prediction of up to 93,000 square kilometers. About 50,000 square miles of seagrass ecosystem here in the

Bahamas which makes it by far the largest on Earth.

STEWART (voice-over): For the Bahamas, the discovery is opening up new doors, particularly in its fight against the increasing intensity of

natural disasters.

ANTHONY FERGUSON, DIRECTOR, CARBON MANAGEMENT LIMITED: It's important because it's an opportunity for us to not be independent, but certainly put

us as a country in a position where we can monetize some of the assets -- natural assets that we have to offset the impact of climate change that we

are not contributing to. But yet we are on the frontline taking the first impact from these hurricanes.

STEWART (voice-over): Bahamians, like Anthony Ferguson, are working with Beneath the Waves under a private public partnership to establish a

science-based marketplace where the Commonwealth of the Bahamas can develop and sell blue carbon credits. The potential buyers are companies, investors

and even other countries looking to offset their carbon emissions. The aim is to have the project accredited by 2026.

To do that, they'll need to continually measure how much greenhouse gas the meadows are holding.

GALLAGHER: We're looking forward looking core. And what I love about this is that you can see the actual flowering plant component of the seagrass

here on the top as you move down into the car, and you can even see some of the root system. So that's really the technology that we're interested in

here that brings in that carbon dioxide. The sediment cores that we were able to collect in the field, they definitely do have a monetary value.

And it's actually quite high because the carbon sequestration market has the potential to be quite valuable for the small island developing states.

STEWART (voice-over): That value according to Anthony Ferguson could be between a few 100 million to over a billion dollars annually. Money that

would be critical in the Bahamas meeting their sustainable development goals.

FERGUSON: Poverty alleviation, infrastructure resiliency, of course, the ocean preservation, the environment preservation, education for youths.

GALLAGHER: Ultimate goal of the work that I'm doing is to create empathy for the ocean, and to also preserve what we have for future generations. To

find ways to live harmoniously with sharks to protect these ecosystems like seagrass. So, it's creating marine protected areas. It's, you know,

enhancing existing conservation measures for threatened species like sharks, but it's really about making sure that the legacy of these

incredible ecosystems remains as intact as possible for as long as possible.


QUEST: And you can watch the special half hour program Call to Earth: Expedition Bahamas. It's this Sunday and Saturday, this weekend, tomorrow

the day after it's on CNN.





QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) Beyonce has gone country in her brand new album Cowboy Carter complete with the hat. It's part of a larger pop culture trend.

People like Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid also jumping, arguably jumping on the country bandwagon. Although Beyonce has had several goals at this

before that the record show, I got my cowboy hat more than two years before.


QUEST: All right. Decision time. The traditional. The pitch from (INAUDIBLE) Brown or Buffalo.


QUEST: I'm ready for country. And, of course, as you spoke on this program, I actually went to university in the south into Vanderbilt in Nashville,

Tennessee. Hey, well, that's beside the point. Beyonce and her -- you love them. I spoke to varieties chief music critic. He thinks Beyonce is a

Grammy contender for Album of the Year. The one thing she hasn't received so far.


CHRIS WILLIAM, CHIEF MUSIC CRITIC, VARIETY: I stayed up all night writing a review after it came out last night. And it was a pleasure to stay up all

night with. I gave it a rare review. I called it magnificent. And I'm seeing much the same reaction from other people. People are really high on

it. I think it's an album of the year contender. And famously, she's never won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

I think ironically, it's kind of going a little bit off center for her. Maybe the thing that does it for her.

QUEST: Doesn't show Beyonce's ferocious talent that she can be so successful in different genres in such a way?

WILLIAMS: It does. And, you know, I would say this album is not purely a genre exercise. It's very interesting because it's sort of skirts around

the edges of the genre. Some of it doesn't sound very country at all, a lot of it does. Some of it is, you know, kind of a evolution reinterpretation

of country adjacent things. And so, she's really experimenting and being playful. It's 27 songs. It's quite a smorgasbord.

You really can't sum it up because each song is different than the next and there's some that are straight up country and some that aren't.


But, you know, she's kind of bending country to her will instead of being I think, you know, overly ingratiating. I think people thought oh, maybe

she's going to be playing cosplay with country because she's wearing the hat and putting on the costume. It doesn't feel like that. It feels like

she's really doing her own thing, but in a way that that feels like she is, you know, gracefully extending herself.


QUEST: From Beyonce to Easter eggs. Oh, the time is upon us. And this year, the Easter Bunny might not be so generous. Cocoa prices have skyrocketed.

It's much more expensive. Futures have outpaced Bitcoin and gold. Ana Stewart met a chocolatier in London who's the left shell shocked by the

rising prices. And a warning those of a nervous disposition report involves some extremely bad combs.


STEWART (voice-over): It's hard not to be excited. Easter weekend is here, the eggs and bunnies are ready. But this is an extremely hard season for

chocolatiers to yours like this one in West London.

ANDREW NASON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MELT CHOCOLATES: We're going to have to teach you how to temper chocolate first.

STEWART (voice-over): Chocolatiers are feeling the heat this year.

NASON: You know, we spend most of our life worrying about the price of cocoa and the rest of it worrying about the temperature of the chocolate.

STEWART (on camera): What worries your more right now?

NASON: The price of cocoa, obviously.


NASON: Well, it the way you're tampering is worrying me.

STEWART: Aren't good tempering.

STEWART (voice-over): The experts takes over. Cocoa futures have more than doubled since January, partly because of what's happening in West Africa

where erratic weather and climate change have hit cocoa producing countries hard. So, every drop of cocoa counts. Leftovers go back into the melting

pot. No licking the bowl here sadly. Once cooled, moment of truth.

STEWART (on camera): I'm really (INAUDIBLE) ready?

NASON: Oh, that's perfect.

STEWART: Oh, I did it.

NASON: Look at that. That's excellent.

STEWART (voice-over): With Easter egg selling for as much as $80.00, this business is extravagant. That being on the premium end of the market

doesn't insulate the business from the explosive rise in cocoa prices.

NASON: We're not a big producer, we're (INAUDIBLE) we handmake it, we don't have huge storage. So, we get very much impacted by, you know, the spot

price. So when it doubles, you know, we have to double, you know, increase our price.

STEWART (on camera): How much of an egg like this, the bunny egg? How much of the cost of that is the cocoa?

NASON: It's probably about a third.

STEWART (voice-over): Some finishing touches before this egg is ready to go. Although perhaps not quite good enough to sell.

NASON: You made it.

STEWART (on camera): Thank you.


STEWART: I will enjoy this.

NASON: I'm sure you will.

STEWART: You're not going to be (INAUDIBLE) it's excellent.

NASON: It is truly excellent.

STEWART (voice-over): Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


QUEST: I think she missed one out. I think there was an explosive - anyway profitable moment after the break.



QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. I have no idea whose egg this is and I'm not sure I really care that much about it. And I can't break it. That's

QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours weekend ahead, I hope it is profitable. I'm on the road next

week in Turkey. I will open this egg.