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Quest Means Business

Biden Calls For Ceasefire During Call With Netanyahu; Report: Israeli Military Uses AI To Help ID Bombing Targets; Minneapolis Fed President Downplays Likelihood Of Rate Cuts; Rescuers Work To Reach More Than 700 People Stranded After Taiwan Quake; Judges In Three Criminal Cases Rule Against Trump; Saudi Arabia To Host Next Three WTA Finals; Levi's Shares Pop After Earnings Report, Profit Forecast; Singer-Songwriter Raye Speaks Up About Her Brit Awards And Upcoming "SNL" Stint. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 04, 2024 - 16:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Laughs and smiles at the New York Stock Exchange as always on the closing bell. Investors, I think cheering

the end of what has been a painful session. The Dow down 1.3 percent as you can see there. A reality check coming from Minneapolis Fed President Neel

Kashkari, suggesting that if inflation continues to stall, rates this year might not be cut at all.

Those are the markets, and these are the main events: President Biden tells Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel must take steps to address the

humanitarian crisis in Gaza or face consequences.

Janet Yellen is in China where she is expected to press China over its generous subsidies for green tech, including solar cells and EV batteries.

And singer-songwriter, Raye joins me to talk her "bonkers year" including six Brit Awards and her first appearance on "Saturday Night Live."

I'm live from New York. It is Thursday, April 4th, I am Julia Chatterley, in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

And a good evening once more. US President Joe Biden pressed for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during a call today with Israeli Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu.

The White House says Biden made clear that US policy on Gaza will depend on whether Israel takes measurable steps to protect civilians. Biden also

emphasized that strikes on humanitarian workers are unacceptable.

The call was scheduled after seven workers with World Central Kitchen lots their lives in Gaza. The IDF says it has completed an investigation into

that strike and will present it to Netanyahu.

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken says Israel must make sure events like these never happen again.


ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE: A hundred percent of the population in Gaza knows acute levels of food insecurity, a hundred percent of the

population is in need of humanitarian assistance, and those working heroically to provide that assistance are doing so in great peril to their

own lives.

This week's horrific attack on the World Central Kitchen was not the first such incident, it must be the last.


CHATTERLEY: Jim Sciutto is in Washington for us.

Jim, you'll know as well as I do that more than 200 aid workers are believed to have lost their lives in this conflict. These weren't the

first, we hope they are the last. What was different today, do you think if indeed it was the message that President Biden delivered to Prime Minister

Netanyahu about changes that they are expecting in their behaviors in order to better protect civilians.

Because we've heard this message before, and I think a lot of people want to understand what those apparent consequences will be if their behavior

doesn't change?

JIM SCIUTTO CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I think what is new is that final phrase from Secretary Blinken to say that this

must be the last. In other words they are saying that if Israel does not announce -- quoting from the White House readout of the call -- "specific,

concrete and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers," then the US policy regarding

Israel will be changed.

He did not -- it is critical to mention -- did not announce consequences today in the wake of this just horrific attack on World Central Kitchen aid

workers, but did say if they do not come up with a list and a plan to ensure that this doesn't happen again, then there will be consequences.

Now, that will disappoint some in this country who are already calling for consequences inside this country and outside, and it is notable that you're

beginning to hear more democratic voices, including close allies of the president saying that the US needs to condition aid to Israel going


In other words to say, no more aid will come unless these conditions are met and that is a notable change. We haven't seen that happen, but at least

that threat is new and different.

CHATTERLEY: And the belief is still though that the US will continue to provide weaponry and resources, including that $18 billion worth of

weaponry that we've been talking about already this week.

Jim, do you think -- and I know presidents have learned better perhaps than to talk about red lines -- but to your point about the pushback that he is

receiving from his own voters, Democratic voters from his own party members, do you think he has a red line even in his own mind, even as far

as for purposes of self-preservation, if nothing else?

SCIUTTO: Listen, there are Democratic -- there are people inside the White House who are very aware of the political risks for the president based on

his full throttled support for Israel since October 7th in particular as the humanitarian death deal has reason so dramatically.


The White House is aware of that. Ultimately, it is up to the president what is done about it, that there are some in his own administration who

believe not enough has been done yet and you're beginning to here, public voices of close allies of the president saying things like you must

condition aid, et cetera.

This is new from the president, but it does not appear that the president is willing to impose those consequences today, but he is making a demand

which I suppose you could call something of a red line saying if these new measures are not announced, then there will be consequences going forward.

That will not satisfy a lot of the president's own critics in his own party, and earlier in the last hour, I spoke to a spokesperson for the

Israeli government and asked simply whether Prime Minister Netanyahu will heed that demand for those concrete steps and he did not yet have an


He said, well, let's see what the prime minister and how the prime minister reacts. So it is not clear that there will be immediate change from the

Israeli side either.

CHATTERLEY: Jim, always great to get you on the show and get your perspective.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Jim Sciutto there.

Okay, a new report that Israel uses AI to identify targets in Gaza raises questions about safety protocols and more. The investigation by "+972"

Magazine and Local Call cited six intelligence officials involved in the program. They said the AI tool is known to have a 10 percent error rate.

The investigations author, Yuval Abraham spoke to CNN. He said human oversight of the tool is cursory at best.


YUVAL ABRAHAM, INVESTIGATIVE AUTHOR, +972 Magazine: A lot of people would want to hold people who have committed certain crimes or war crimes

accountable for what they have done. When you have an algorithm that is making so many of the decisions, again, sources saying they spent 20

seconds. One source said he felt like a human rubber stamp on these decisions, you know, it helps I think it could help people to evade


So I am really scared of the future of the world and based on this AI based warfare, I think it is completely dehumanizing.


CHATTERLEY: The IDF had this response: "Contrary to claims, the IDF does not use an artificial intelligence system that identifies terrorist

operatives or tries to predict whether a person is a terrorist. Information systems are merely tools for analysts in the target identification process.

For each target, IDF procedures require conducting an individual assessment of the anticipated military advantage and collateral damage expected."

Melissa Bell is in Jerusalem for us.

Melissa, there was -- and it is important to reiterate -- a stringent denial of all the allegations made in this article, but I think that what

you heard there from the author was the term "scary" and it is a scary showcase perhaps of what is possible with AI and warfare, and bleak

allegations of some form of technology even if the IDF deny using it.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bleak predictions about warfare generally and very specific allegations about particularly, Julia, what went on in

the first part of this war. Essentially those allegations laid out in that investigative piece you mentioned based on, as you said sourcing now on six

different intelligence officers, they suggest that it is the reliance on this AI program named, Lavender that was not just widely used, but

dependent upon in the early weeks of the war and that led to a couple of, they suggest, very worrying consequences.

First of all, that 37,000 militants were identified by the IDF as a result of the use of this program entirely AI driven with very little, as he said,

cursory than human interaction with the information to then translate them into strikes.

But what they suggest in the article is that these 37,000 were people who were either loosely identified or shown to be part of either Hamas or

Islamic Jihad and that in a second chilling part, they suggest that not only he did this system identify these targets, but that then the strikes

that were carried out often at night. And again, we are talking about the beginning of the war when the IDF were simply not present on the ground in

Gaza as they are now, so that the reliance on the system is so great.

But what you saw those early days were strikes on houses that this system had identified as belonging to these often low-level sympathizers or people

who belong to these organizations and their families with the use of dumb rather than smart bombs leading to mass casualties of

civilians around these particular targets, with the added issue that this system is believed to have a 10 percent fallibility rate.


So the allegations at the heart of this piece are really fairly explosive and damaging for the IDF and come at a time, of course, Julia when already

the IDF is under a great deal of pressure about, you mentioned a moment ago with Jim Sciutto, the strikes that killed the World Central Kitchen

workers, but also more generally the civilian toll that this war has had.

And so the strenuous denial of the IDF, not at all, Lavender has been used. No denial that AI has been used, but putting it in this context of the way

that it has been used, say the IDF with as a tool at the disposal of human intelligence that they suggest has continued to drive this war, they say,

in accordance with international law -- Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and all the more explosive in light of what we've seen with aid workers dying this week as well. Not that we are tying the two

thing, but to your point, an explosive report, nonetheless.

Melissa Bell, thank you for that.

Now, Paul Scharre helped draft the Pentagon's policies on autonomous weapons systems. He is also the author of "Four Battlegrounds: Power In The

Age Of Artificial Intelligence" and he joins us now from Washington.

Paul, great to have you on the show.

I am sure you've read the report today. Can you just confirm very briefly that this kind of technology does exist and could be used as such?


The allegations about how the Israel Defense Forces are using AI are very reasonable in terms of the state of the technology, and in fact, the

Israeli military for a long time has been a leader in artificial intelligence.

And so the way that they are alleged to be using AI to scoop up massive amounts of data from social media, from cellphones, from photographs, tie

them together and identify potential militants is certainly something that AI is capable of doing.

And in fact, if we are being honest, AI is notoriously unreliable, and so a 10 percent error rate is pretty good for AI. It is obviously not good

enough though for them making life and death decisions.

CHATTERLEY: I mean, this article creates the image of a computer making an assessment to be specific that the death of 15 to 20 civilians in the

pursuit of what they say is a low-level Hamas operative is deemed acceptable. A human might balk at that and think about the collateral


A computer -- to a computer, it is just an acceptable benchmark. Tick, fire.

SCHARRE: Well, and I want to include, what the allegation says actually is that humans had set that threshold and that humans were determining it

would be 10 civilians or 15 civilians or maybe 20 civilians, and then it fluctuated at times, but then the computer was based on some algorithm

determining whether in that particular strike, it was above or below that threshold.

And I think that's what is really clear to understand what AI, it is not magic and the AI is only as good as the training data or the rules that we

put into that system.

So if you tell the AI system it is okay for a lot of civilians to die, then the AI system is going to go ahead and operate that way.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and that was the point about the checks and balances. There has to be human oversight. It is not the technology that's at fault,

it is the use of that technology, in this case, in particular, that's key.

We are talking about governments potentially using that, a whole load of voices have come out and said, look, we are looking at the face of the

future of warfare in many respects. Where is the regulation here? Because governments are the ones that promote that or is asking questions about the

use of this and perhaps controlling the use of that above our collective pay grades. Because its governments utilizing this technology and its

governments that will or won't regulate it.

SCHARRE: Well, that is right, and countries actually have been discussing the role of autonomy and AI in use of weapons on the battlefield for the

last decade, but have not agreed on any rules that will guide how militaries use the technology.

So, the law of war still applies. AI doesn't get some escape hatch from the rules under the law of war to not target civilians, to avoid

disproportionate amounts of civilian casualties, but there are no special rules which relate to AI.

So for example, there is no rule in the law of war saying that a human has to be the one to make this final decision. Now, the reality is, these ai

systems are not reliable enough to trust them, but there has been a lot of debate about how much human involvement is actually required.

And right now, it is just up to countries on their own to figure that out.

CHATTERLEY: You know, the ethics of this is so important. One of the aspects that struck me from this article was a suggestion that perhaps the

military soldiers that were using this technology trusted the computer more than perhaps they trusted themselves and their colleagues because they were

also suffering.


They had been through the emotional turmoil of October 7th. Many of them had lost friends, perhaps relatives, and actually they trusted a computer

to make an objective decision rather than themselves. That also frightens me and I will reiterate, the Israelis have denied that they are using this,

but the idea that perhaps humans think the computer can do this better because it takes that humanity and the human emotion out of it, I find

perhaps one of the most terrifying aspects of this.

SCHARRE: It is troubling and I think it is important to highlight that it is one that cuts both ways, incorporating human emotion into these

decisions about say, targeting and killing on the battlefield could mean that people are respecting the humanity of the people that they are

targeting, but it can often mean that people are seeking revenge, emotions are running hot and that is a flaw that humans have.

And you know, if he is right, there could be a way that AI could reduce civilian casualties, and so we want to find ways to use this technology in

a way that makes for more precise, more humane, but doesn't lose our humanity in the process.

CHATTERLEY: This doesn't feel like the way to do it.

Paul, good to have you with us. Thank you for your insight.

Paul Scharre there.

Okay, we are going to take a break care here, still ahead, denim in demand. Levi's earnings are out, how the iconic jeans brand has come to the

forefront of a new fashion movement. That's next.



US stock markets falling sharply after the Minneapolis Fed president said, it is possible there will be no rate cuts this year. The Dow turned sharply

lower. It lost over 500 points.

Neel Kashkari said he did anticipated two cuts this year. He went on to explain that if inflation kept moving sideways, he'd question whether the

fed needs to cut rates at all. He said raising rates further is unlikely.

Art Hogan is the chief market strategist at B. Riley Wealth Management and he joins us now from Boston. He also said that no rate cuts is not his base

case, and we also have to add a disclaimer that he is one heck of an inflation hawk, but it was a reality check, I think for investors, Art.

ART HOGAN, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, B. RILEY WEALTH MANAGEMENT: This really seemed to be you know, we've had 20 Fed speakers or 20 Fed speeches

scheduled for this week, so we've certainly been on a roller coaster of will they or won't they in terms of rate cuts.

But I think the important thing is the market has gotten much comfortable with fewer and later cuts. The beginning of the year, we thought there

would be six and the first one would be March. Now, we think there will be three, maybe just two and the first one doesn't happen until June or July.


I think that's probably less important a driver in what the market -- what caused market rollover today. I think crude price is making a new high over

the geopolitical concerns with Israel and Iran, likely was the biggest driver, and this is a commodity that was stuck in a range between $70.00

and $80.00 for the last five months and just broke out this week above $80.00 and it got as high as $87.00 on WTI today on an intraday basis.

And that typically signals some sort of fear or disruption to supply, so both of those things together, certainly delivered a pretty good one-two

punch for markets that otherwise were doing well this morning.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I saw that, too and it also of course, feeds into the inflation story so it reinforces all the concerns, perhaps that he was

talking about at this stage.

What kind of selling are you seeing? I appreciate, it is only what, one- and-a-half percentage, but who is selling? Is this sort of shorter term traders? No one that really has a strong market position is taking chips

off the table surely at this stage.

HOGAN: No, I think if you look at the inflows that we've seen thus far this year in the first quarter, it is a very broad ownership of equities, but

certainly, when certain things trigger algorithms, you look at things like WTI breaking above 86, making a new and yearly high and that tends to put

on a sell program from the algos and once that thing starts, it becomes very self-fulfilling.

So I don't know that there are a lot of individuals or portfolio managers that are out there and saying, hey, we need to gather this market because

of a couple of rumors going on in Israel and Iran or the fact that oil has finally broken out here.

I think it is much more of a fear of what this might turn into. This is turning to something larger. Does the US have to respond et cetera, and I

think that is why you see the defensive posture in things like gold, certainly in Treasuries, and certainly today in energy prices.

CHATTERLEY: So a potential buying opportunity, perhaps in stocks? I mean, a few days ago, we were talking about the Dow perhaps hitting that 40,000

level or to your first point, which I think is really important, watch what is going on perhaps in energy prices first, just to judge.

HOGAN: Yes. I think that's going to be important. It is interesting, energy was the worst performing sector in the S&P 500 last year, it is now the

best performing sector this year, so it had some mean reversion.

But you don't want to see a non-economic spike in energy prices. But I think in terms of long-term opportunities this year, we continue to see

surprisingly strong economic data, a surprisingly strong labor market and certainly earnings revisions that are going up and not down.

So I think there are more tailwinds than headwinds right now, but it is also important to note that we haven't had a two percent drawdown on a

weekly basis going all the way back to the middle of last October. We typically have three to five percent drawdowns every year.

So this kind of volatility is the norm, not the exception, but we've been lulled to sleep because markets have gotten unidirectionally higher, up

some 25 percent since the lows of October and up 10 percent for two quarters in a row.

I certainly think it isn't hard to find any excuse to take some profits here, and I think this is the better one of those weeks where they had been

delivered to you, whether it is in higher yields on Treasuries, there are certainly higher energy prices.

CHATTERLEY: Particularly when you've got a payrolls report tomorrow as well. Art, this is why we come to you. That's such important perspective,

sometimes a little bit of a pullback as one could call overdue and healthy.

Thank you so much, sir.

HOGAN: Absolutely.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, Art Hogan there.

HOGAN: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Thank you.

All right, we are going to take a break here.

Emergency teams in Taiwan's eastern region rush to rescue hundred stranded after Wednesday's earthquake. The island has long prioritized earthquake

preparation and education, of course, too.

How some locals believe that helped them avoid a bigger tragedy, next.



CHATTERLEY: Hello, I am Julia Chatterley, and there is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment, when hundreds of people are still stranded after the

earthquake in Taiwan and I spoke to the British singer-songwriter, Raye, and she told me about her appearance on Beyonce's new album and her

upcoming gig on "Saturday Night Live."

But before that, the headlines this hour: Denmark has halted traffic in the Great Belt Strait due to a malfunctioning missile launcher on a Danish navy

ship. It was turned on during a test Thursday, and authorities say "cannot currently be deactivated."

Specialists have been called in and ships near the busy shipping lane have been asked to wait until the problem is resolved.

US President Joe Biden will travel to Baltimore, Maryland on Friday. He is expected to meet with families of the six men killed in last week's bridge


The construction workers, all immigrants to the United States died after a cargo ship rammed the structure. The US federal government has promised to

pick up the cost of clearing debris and rebuilding the bridge.

And the NATO secretary-general says the Alliance is not and will not be a party to the war in Ukraine, but he says they will support Ukraine in

defending themselves. NATO is considering options to fund, Kyiv, including $100 billion fund.

The NATO's head comments follow a two-day meeting of the Alliance's foreign ministers in Brussels.

Rescue workers in Taiwan are desperately trying to reach more than 700 people stranded following Wednesday's powerful earthquake. Ten people are

now known to have died in the strongest quake to have hit the nation in 25 years.

Video shows maternity nurses in Taipei rushing to protect more than a dozen newborns when the quake hit -- heroes.

You can see the terrifying seen as the cots slide around as the brave nurses battle to hold them. We can tell you the babies are all safe and

none of them were harmed.

Ivan Watson reports now on those efforts to get those still stranded across Taiwan.



One day after Taiwan is pummeled by a powerful earthquake, emergency workers struggle climbing over treacherous landslides trying to bring

victims home.

Among those initially stranded, dozens of miners in two remote quarries.

On Thursday, authorities announced their successful rescue, some choppered to safety.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

WATSON (voice over): "There were too many rocks falling like bullets from above," this miner said. "We didn't know where to run."

The aftermath of some landslides visible from a moving train. Many paved roads to the disaster zone are still blocked, but on Thursday, the railways

resumed service.


It has only been a day since this powerful, deadly earthquake rocked Taiwan. And already this train to the epicenter is running on time.

(Voice-over): In the small city of Hualien, residents still coming to grips with the earthquake's damage. Though there are some scenes of real

destruction, it also feels like this earthquake prone community is quickly bouncing back. The city government set up this temporary shelter in an

elementary school.

This is your home?


WATSON: There's a hole in the wall.

(Voice-over): Wang Mei-fen is camping out here with her husband and mother.

Do you feel safe staying in Hualien?

WANG: I'm not afraid. I was born here.

WATSON (voice-over): Among those here, the mayor of Hualien, who was injured in the quake.

What happened?

(Voice-over): A cabinet fell on me, he says. He attributes the relatively low death toll in his city to advanced preparation.

WEI CHIA-YAN, MAYOR OF HUALIEN (through translator): Here in Hualien we grew up with earthquakes. Our teachers and relatives always taught us how

to react when earthquake strike. So we've known about this since we were kids.

WATSON: This ruined building is a terrifying example of the power of Wednesday morning's 7.4 magnitude earthquake. But look down the road here

and you see that most of Hualien is not damaged. It is lit up, intact and very active.

(Voice-over): Amid these scars, an impressive display of community resilience.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hualien, Taiwan.


JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now former U.S. president Donald Trump has been dealt three important legal losses over the

past day. Georgia judge Scott McAfee rejected his bid to get the election subversion case dismissed on free speech grounds. A federal judge denies

Trump's attempt to toss his classified documents case by arguing they were personal records. And a New York judge denied his latest effort to delay

his criminal hush money trial. That trial is now set to begin on April 15th.

Evan Perez is in Washington.

Thank goodness you're here because it is always tough to keep up. Give us the headline. What's most important here?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the most important parts of the last 24 hours certainly for the former president is

the fact that we finally, we finally have a ruling of some kind from the judge in Florida who's overseeing the case with regard to the documents or

the classified documents that were retrieved by the FBI from the former president's Mar-a-Lago home.

What the judge there Aileen Cannon has ruled finally is that she will not dismiss the case based on the former president's claim that he had a right

to hold onto these documents under a law called the Presidential Records Act. She says that the indictment against the former president doesn't

mention the Presidential Records Act, and so therefore she says the indictment will stand.

But what's remarkable about this ruling is that she then uses this to push back against the Special Counsel Jack Smith who had implicitly criticized

her for how long she's taken with some of her rulings, also for the fact that he -- that she had ordered the two sides to start coming up with jury

instructions. I guess something that is really early in this process when we still don't even have a firm trial date for that case.

What we now also have with this ruling in Georgia is also again a state there, Judge McAfee, who is ruling that the former president doesn't get to

get out of these -- out of this case there simply because he's claiming that what he was doing was protected by free speech, by the First Amendment

and political speech. The judge saying that this defense has not presented and they can't find any proof that the speech or conduct that is alleged is

protected political speech.

Two very, very strong rulings that are going against the former president, as you pointed out, Julia. The judge in New York is having none of the

efforts by the former president to delay his trial. The trial is now as you pointed out set for April 15th, just about nine days from now, and the

former president is still making some last-minute efforts, but none of those seem to be bearing any fruit.

CHATTERLEY: Evan, can we go back to the Presidential Records Act and what took place there?


CHATTERLEY: Because the judge is saying, look, OK, I'm not going to throw it out based on your ability to effectively walk out of the office and

automatically declassify those documents.


But what she didn't prevent was that the defense could still use this as part of the arguments that they make in the defense.

PEREZ: Right.

CHATTERLEY: Is that what they're expected to do? Because if that is allowed and is a viable defense in this case then what's to stop any president just

walking out of the White House one day holding a whole bunch of very important classified documents and doing exactly the same thing? It will

mean some great novels being written, I presume, at some point in the future.

PEREZ: Right, exactly. No, no, you're exactly right. And that's what the special counsel, that's what the government has been pushing back on the

former president's plan to make this part of his defense.

Now, look, the issue is that this is likely to be something that will end up -- have to be litigated before too long and in the end, what this means

is that we don't anticipate that this trial is going to happen anytime soon.


PEREZ: And so what you what you're raising is certainly something that we will likely see end up having to be appealed before we even get to a trial.

CHATTERLEY: Precisely. Good luck seeing a trial day on that for anybody.

PEREZ: Right. Exactly.

CHATTERLEY: Quite frankly, whether it's the defense to try and get through this or the prosecution to do their job.

Evan Perez, thank you so much for that. To add insult to injury, obviously, by the day as well, Truth Social I think lost 4.5 percent, but I won't ask

you to comment on that.

All right, still ahead serving up controversy, Saudi Arabia has been chosen as the host of the next three women's tennis association finals. Not

everyone in the sport is happy. That's next.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back.

Saudi Arabia will be hosting the championship tournament for women's tennis for the next three years. Total prize money for the WTA Finals will rise to

more than $15 million. That's up from the $9 million at last year's event in Mexico. Still, the decision has prompted criticism over Saudi Arabia's

human rights record and its restrictions on women's freedoms.

Two of the sport teams' all-time greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova said earlier this year the move would be a significant step backwards,"

going on to say there should be a healthy debate over whether staging a Saudi crown jewel tournament would involve players in an act of

sportswashing merely for the sake of a cash influx.

Christine Brennan joins me now.


This decision and the location coming in for a whole host of criticism as you heard there from some of the most well-known women in the sport. Tough

to criticize the prize money, though, which is enormous, too, but that are contributing to the criticism I think.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: It's right, Julia. You know, it was right before the Beijing Olympics so a little bit more than two years

ago Peng Shuai was missing and the WTA and the CEO, Steve Simon, made the courageous and terrific decision in my opinion to pull out of China. A

matter of ethics, a matter of dignity, women's rights, standing for women, and did the right thing there.

A remarkable moment when the WTA said we are not going to play our finals in China, we are leaving China, and they gave up a lot of money to do it.

This is the complete opposite. This is 180 degrees to me. It is a sellout. It is the WTA doing the absolute opposite of what it did standing up for

women's rights, in this case, go into Saudi Arabia, if it was, you know, Chris and Martina said it, good enough for them.

I think we can all agree that it is just something that is just so reprehensible to sell out like this for money. Understandably the money is

huge. But what a statement, the organization, the WTA, which was founded by Billie Jean King 51 years ago, that organization for women's rights, for

women's equality, to pay women is now going to Saudi Arabia to make this kind of money. Quite a statement. And I think it is truly unfortunate.

CHATTERLEY: Christine Brennan, thank you so much for that.

All right. Levi Strauss and Company is having a cultural moment.


CHATTERLEY: That's Levi's Jeans from Beyonce's hot new album "Cowboy Carter." Levi's CEO says the company is proud the artist named a song after

their brand. The jeans maker has just reported strong earnings and raised its forecast. Its shares popped more than 12 percent during the session and

it was a down session, of course, as we well know.

Nathaniel Meyersohn is in New York for us.

And this is exactly what we were talking about in terms of the push to direct-to-consumer when we were discussing what Calvin Klein and Tommy

Hilfiger. These guys are making it work. It's around, what, half of their sales now and it's profitable.

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is profitable, Julia, and that's what investors really like. The shift from wholesale into

direct-to-consumer, which Levi's is making really well. So we have the growing direct-to-consumer business. You know, Levi's is clearly getting a

bump from Beyonce, and also kind of a shift into Western fashion. So these three trends really coming together to bump up Levi's right now. Stocks up

about 12 percent.

Levi's also has a new CEO, Michelle Gass, and she comes from coals, so another kind of shift from wholesale into direct-to-consumer. Michelle Gass

has an interesting background and investors are very high on her at Levi's.

CHATTERLEY: She also said that wholesale is still part of the strategy, though, or an important part of the strategy which to your point perhaps

their background sort of plays to that. How important, Nathaniel? What's the ambition here for the direct-to-consumer versus the wholesale one? When

we say wholesale, we mean obviously in shopping malls.

MEYERSOHN: Yes, shopping -- you know, I think these department stores still are critical for the brands like Levi's, making up about half of sales. But

as you mentioned earlier, they're not as profitable. So investors, they really want to see companies really be able to take control of their brands

at selling at their own stores and also their own Web sites. And that's what Levi's is doing really well right now.

And of course, the help from Beyonce, I think we can't discount kind of how important these cultural moments are for these brands. Certainly when you

get an artists like Beyonce, naming a song after your brand, that's going to give you a lot of momentum. And this isn't the first time Levi's has

benefited from the kind of the connection with Beyonce, but it is interesting to see how brands can capitalize on these cultural moments.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. She brings a certain level of cool, Nathaniel. Not many of us could.

Nathaniel Meyersohn there, thank you.

Now, singer-songwriter Raye taking the music world by storm. She talked with me about breaking records at the Brits and her upcoming performance

this weekend on "Saturday Night Live," next.




CHATTERLEY: That's Oscar-winning "Tears" by singer-songwriter Raye. She's a pop powerhouse who just want Artist and Album of the Year at the Brit

Awards, where she also happened to break the record for most wins and nominations in a single year. As a songwriter, Raye has collaborated with

numerous top artists, including Rihanna, David Guetta, and John Legend. Her hottest new co-writing credit, though, "River Dance" from Beyonce's new

album "Cowboy Carter."


CHATTERLEY: Now I had the opportunity to interview Raye on Wednesday. She told me how she's feeling ahead of her "Saturday Night Live" performance

this weekend.


RAYE, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Just kind of Bonkers. I still -- for someone who puts words together for a living, I do struggle with the words for it, or

what. I will say -- yes, no it's been -- yes.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, you're speechless.


RAYE: I don't know. It's a lot.

CHATTERLEY: You know what, it didn't matter. The smile.

RAYE: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: The smile says it all.

RAYE: You image these moments as a kid, I think that's what it is. And when they actually happen, it's like, well, you know.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I think for most people, and by the way, I'll just translate the word bonkers Brit to Brit. It's sort of completely madness

and mind-blowing. You're sort of an overnight success for many people that has been and have been working your behind off for, what, the best part of

a decade. You had a very famous label. You split. It was said to be amicable, but you came out and said, look, I want to do my own thing, and I

think you held your own there. You took a huge risk and it's starting to pay off. Where does that strength come from?

RAYE: I think I don't know. Me personally I've always wanted to be the kind of artist who releases albums. I believe in albums, I think albums are

important, and special, and that's the dream when you envision the last musician. It's putting an album together and I, unfortunately, that wasn't

the priority where I was, even though I'd signed a four-album deal. So I just was -- I think I hit a breaking point.

I didn't really think it through but I just went onto it, and you know, managed to speak my mind and then become independent. And then, yes, during

that, I then put out an album and it's been -- it's gotten way better than I could imagine, so.


CHATTERLEY: Let's say the rest is history. Most important question. Have they come back yet and said, maybe we should've let you do what you wanted

and allow you to show your passion?

RAYE: I don't think there's been any of that, but I did get some nice flowers and a letter that actually framed and put on my mantle. It's just a

reminder, you know.


RAYE: Trust your gut, back yourself. Yes.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Believe in your own powers. You've also written for other megastars, which is also part of, you know, what's been your creative

process, I think, and you can tell me if I'm wrong, but it makes you who you are. You also wrote a song on Beyonce's new album, which is huge. How

does that creativity and experience compare to what you're also incredible at, which is performing?

RAYE: I think they're two completely different hats. I love to perform. I love to entertain. I love to sing. I love music. So all of that is very

like, yay, you know, but then when you're writing, I think it's a completely different vibe. I like to be comfortable, put on my track suit

or my big extra-large T-shirt, and just kind of, you know, crack open a can of honesty, don't know why I said it like that, but, you know, I think it's

a space where you kind of get to, you know, be open and be vulnerable.

And for me as well, I'm a people person. So in times I'm writing for other artists, you get to kind of have a really human moment, conversations, and

that will lead into deeper things which will lead into a song, and I really love it. But they're two completely different practices.

CHATTERLEY: Open a can of honesty is a perfect way to say it because I think you do pour your heart out. What's your best advice for young singers

or songwriters today that are perhaps struggling, overwhelmed by the industry? What would you say to them, the best piece of advice you can give


RAYE: And I'd say probably the same advice that I try and give to myself. And there's a lot of things I think it probably goes for everything in

life. There's a lot of things that we don't have any control over. You can't control the weather. We can't control X, Y, and zed, but the things

that we can control are where we should focus our energies. So I can't control whether people are going to love my music or respond well to a


But I could control how much I love it and how much I pour into it and being in a place where I'm like, I love this. You know? I don't know.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Yes. Those are the things you can control.

RAYE: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: Because those are --

RAYE: And trust your gut always.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Can we talk about -- speaking of humans, can we speak about non-humans and AI? We had a whole bunch of recording artists this

week. Very famous Katy Perry, Billie Eilish, Cher, Nikki Minaj, all coming out signing a document warning about the risks of AI and the risks to the

industry in particular. I didn't see your signature. Were you asked to sign? Would you have signed if you were asked?

RAYE: Do you know what? Yes.


RAYE: I've been really vocal about deciding to be an AI ally and --


CHATTERLEY: The robots need you.

RAYE: I will speak in 20, 30, 40 years' time. The AIs might look back on moments like this and be like, who was -- who was an ally, you know what I


CHATTERLEY: You mean they'll be asking that question.

RAYE: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: That kind of scares me. So basically on a threat scale, you're zero, you don't think you're going to be replaced by AI anytime soon?

RAYE: Oh, you know, I understand that -- on a serious note that, you know, there's a perspective in which it can be intimidating. And look, I do think

there is a perspective that can't be imitated by my beliefs and that's just simply a human's recount of the human experience. And that's essentially

what being a songwriter. You know, and I do think there'll be AI technology and software that can develop amazing pop songs and ear candy and things

that are super catchy and amazing.

But, you know, technology is evolving in every industry and there'll be good things about it and there'll be things that are tough to adjust to, or

there are tough to process so, I don't know. I don't have necessarily like a really, really clear opinion on hard against it. I just think it's going

to be interesting to see what happened.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I'm going to read between the lines there for your fans and on your fans' behalf and say you're actually that good that you're not

going to be --



CHATTERLEY: You're not going to be replaced. Speaking of that, for people that might be watching this that perhaps have never heard your music, don't

know who you are, I hope your vocal cords are warmed up because I'm going to ask you just to give us a flavor of who you are and what best represents

you, whether that's the musicality or the words. The stage is yours.

RAYE: Oh, what, to sing a little bit?


RAYE: OK, since we're in New York, we could do a bit of Frank Sinatra.


RAYE: I do love jazz. OK. Let's see. I'm warmed up and it's, you know.


RAYE: (Singing)

CHATTERLEY: Wow. Oh, my goodness. Raye, you a ray of sunshine in the CNN offices. Thank you for your time.

RAYE: Thank you for your time.


CHATTERLEY: And just in case you didn't get that, that was Raye singing the song "Fly Me to the Moon."

OK. Coming up, we'll have the final numbers from Wall Street right after this.


CHATTERLEY: And welcome back with a final look at where the stock markets closed this Thursday's trading session and you can see there Wall Street

closing sharp below the Dow, down some 1.3 percent. A couple of drivers here. The first one tensions in the oil market. We saw WTI Crude, a U.S.-

based oil, higher by 1.6 percent. Some nervousness on what's going on in the Middle East. And that's been stuck in arrange for a while.

The second driver we had well-known Federal Reserve hawk, the Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari saying there may actually be no rate cuts this

year if inflation continues to stall at current levels. It's an if, it's not as base case, but that's the case. The major U.S. averages all off by

more than 1 percent, as you can see there.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Julia Chatterley. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tried to stop traffic across the bridge.