Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

IDF Blames Mistaken Identification For Strike On Aid Workers; Blinken Welcomes Israel's Plan To Reopen Erez Crossing; US Adds 303K Jobs In March, Blowing Past Estimates; Janet Yellen On Tour In China; Tensions High As Parts Of Mideast Mark Quds Day; Ukraine Claims Major Drone Strike On Russian Airfield. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 05, 2024 - 16:00:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR, "FIRST MOVE":A resilient US stock market performance this Friday in the face of bumper -- a bumper

payroll report from the United States. Far more jobs gained than expected, perhaps context is key, however, still down two percent overall for the

week, the Dow Jones.

Those other markets and these are the main events.

The World Central Kitchen calls for systemic change as the IDF says the strike on its workers was a "grave mistake."

As I mentioned, a bumper US Jobs Report piling more pressure, however on the Federal Reserve.

And a rumble in the concrete jungle, an East Coast earthquake means trouble for travelers in New York City.

Live from New York, it is Friday, April the 5th, I am Julia Chatterley, in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

And a good evening once more.

We will have plenty of coverage of today's US job numbers and the market reaction. We do begin though, in the Middle East where the Israeli military

has fired, two senior officers after releasing a report blaming, "mistaken identification" for the IDF strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza.

The inquiry says an Israeli commander "mistakenly assumed" there were Hamas gunmen in the World Central Kitchen vehicles, and it finds that officers

misidentified a bag being carried by one of the aid workers as a weapon.

The IDF also sees the strike happened at night and claims officers couldn't see the aid group's logo printed on the cars in the dark.

World Central Kitchen criticized the findings, saying the IDF cannot credibly investigate its own failure in Gaza.

Jeremy Diamond is in Jerusalem for us tonight, and Jeremy, we should make clear that this was a preliminary report. They still need time to collect

further information and I think we should reiterate that as the base case at this stage, but it does leave many questions at this moment unanswered.

And I think it is understandable that World Central Kitchen is saying, look, we need some kind of systemic change to ensure our workers that they

will be safe there in the future.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT:Yes, there is no question that many more elements of this remain unknown, that there are still more questions to be

answered, and that an independent investigation is something that World Central Kitchen and many other parties are still calling for.

But at the same time, it is also important to note that in six months of war, we have never seen the Israeli military take an incident like this

involving its forces quite as seriously providing quite a grim account of what its forces actually did here, on that is certain to provoke a serious

reckoning in Israel.


DIAMOND (voice over): Six months into the war in Gaza, the Israeli military tonight delivering its most thorough and public admission of wrongdoing for

killing civilians in Gaza.

Four days after targeted airstrikes killed seven aid workers, the Israeli military says several of its commanders violated military protocols and

made errors in decision making leading to a fatal sequence of events.

At 10:00 PM on Monday night, a World Central Kitchen aid convoy departs this pier on the Gaza coastline, heading south on Al-Rasheed Street, 28

minutes later, the Israeli military says its forces identify a gunman on top of one of the aid trucks.

As the convoy passes the World Central Kitchen Welcome Center, four additional WCK vehicles joined the convoy driving south along Al-Rasheed

and then east arriving at a warehouse just off Salah al-Din Street at 10:46 PM.

As aid pallets are unloaded at the warehouse, Israeli forces misidentify a bag slung over one of the passengers shoulders as a weapon.

And soon, Israeli commanders make a deadly and false assumption that the cars accompanying the trucks are not part of the aid convoy, but rather

carrying Hamas militants.

World Central Kitchen had cleared the convoy, including the cars with the military, but these really military says the commanders involved in the

strikes had not seen that information.

As three vehicles carrying the seven WCK workers leave the warehouse heading south on Al-Rasheed Street, Israeli commanders give the order to



The first vehicle is hit at 11:09 PM. An Israeli military official says, some of the passengers survived fleeing into the next vehicle, but two

minutes later, an airstrike hits that vehicle a half-mile down the road. At 11:13 PM, a third missile hits the final vehicle.

In just four minutes, seven members of the World Central Kitchen team are dead. International uproar ensues triggering the most comprehensive Israeli

military investigation into its deadly actions in Gaza to date.

In a statement, the Israeli military said: "The investigation's findings indicate that the incident should not have occurred. Those who approved the

strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees. The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake

stemming from a serious failure due to mistaken identification, errors in decision-making and an attack contrary to the standard operating


General Herzi Halevi, the IDF's chief-of-staff dismissing two Nahal Brigade officers involved in the incident: Colonel Nochi Mendel, the brigade chief-

of-staff, and an unidentified major serving as the Brigade's fire support officer.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

DIAMOND (voice over): Three others are formally reprimanded, Colonel Yair Zuckerman, the Nahal Brigade Commander; Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, the

Division Commander, and General Yaron Finkelman, head of Israel's Southern Command.

In a statement, World Central Kitchen called the disciplinary actions "important steps," but said, "Without systemic change, there will be more

military failures, more apologies, and more grieving families calling for an independent commission to investigate the killings."

"The IDF cannot credibly investigate its own failure in Gaza," the aid group said.

ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE: It is very important that Israel is taking full responsibility for this incident. It is also important that it

appears to be taking steps to hold those responsible accountable.

As Israel pursues any military operations against Hamas, it has to prioritize the protection of civilians.

DIAMOND (voice over): As bombs continued to fall on Gaza today, human rights groups continuing to raise questions about Israel's broader

commitment to protecting civilians in Gaza, vowing a longer road to accountability.


DIAMOND (on camera): And the Israeli military says that they will take the lessons learned from this investigation and apply them in the future, but

so far, they have yet to actually lay out any concrete changes to rules of engagement. For example, one thing though that they are considering is

thermal stickers for aid vehicles that's because they say that the drones overhead were not able to see the World Central Kitchen logo on the

vehicles at night -- Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Jeremy, I wanted to ask you as well about some of the other comments that have been made internally about the decision and the degree

at least at this stage of accountability that the IDF and the Israeli military are taking.

The National Security Minister Ben-Gvir criticized the decision to dismiss those two military personnel as a result of this strike. I've got a quote

here. He said: It's an abandonment of the soldiers in the middle of war and a grave mistake that conveys weakness." It gives you a sense, I think, of

the -- this sort of delicate balancing act that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to face within the coalition government at this moment.

DIAMOND: Yes, well, certainly the Israeli prime minister and the military itself has really tried to convey the gravity of this mistake, trying to

convey that they taking this seriously.

I mean, as I was saying before, this is the most thorough, most public accounting of any kind of mistakes by the Israeli military killings of

civilians that we have seen in the six months of this war, and yet, what we are seeing is a key member of Netanyahu's governing coalition, the right-

wing minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, talking about this, as you said, as the abandonment of soldiers.

He is also saying that soldiers should be backed up even if there are mistakes in identification in war -- Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for that report.

Now, Israeli officials say aid to Northern Gaza should arrive through the Erez Crossing starting on Sunday. Currently, the only way for aid to enter

Gaza by land is through Rafah and Kerem Shalom Crossings, both in the south. The Erez Crossing was one of the points breached by Hamas fighters

on October 7th and has remained closed since.

Israel pledged to reopen it after the US demanded concrete steps to help civilians.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it is a step in the right direction.


BLINKEN: These are positive developments, but the real test is results, and that's what we are looking to see in the coming days and in the coming

weeks, is the aid effectively reaching people who need it throughout Gaza?



CHATTERLEY: The EU's top diplomat said opening new aid crossings into Gaza is still not enough to save people from starvation, and a report this week

from the UN and the World Bank helps perhaps explain why it says 92 percent of roads there have been either destroyed or damaged. The same applies to

84 percent of health facilities, and three-quarters of the Gazan population is now displaced with electricity and water in short supply.

We are joined now by Sam Mundy, the president of Fogbow, the firm that designed a plan to build a maritime corridor to help bring aid into Gaza.

Sam, great to have you on the show.

Can we start first with the reopening of the Erez Crossing, as I mentioned, this was utilized during the October 7th attacks, and obviously suffered

damage in the process.

How much of a difference do you think this makes?

LT. GEN. SAM MUNDY (RET), US MARINE CORPS, FOGBOW PRESIDENT: Thanks for having me, Julia, and first of all, the Erez Crossing, as I understand, it,

was never designed for large truck volume to come through. It was more a personnel crossing, and so presumably the Israeli government will take

steps to improve that so that you can get additional aid in, but that is the first challenge that I see with Erez Crossing.

That said, every opening, every additional means to get aid in, of course, is a benefit.

CHATTERLEY: I also just mentioned, Sam, that 92 percent of the roads in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged according to that UN and World Bank

report. These roads are also essential to delivering aid at the point upon which they enter The Strip, leveling those, making those accessible by

trucks is also a crucial part of delivering this aid and also needs to be addressed surely.

MUNDY: Yes, you said it, exactly and that is why some of the first deliveries via the maritime corridor, that at least as a part of our plan,

would be designed to bring in heavy earth-moving equipment that could actually help improve roads. I think thats one of the challenges as you

look at the layers of challenges that are involved in any sort of crisis response particularly from a humanitarian aspect like this, it is getting

the right things in, in sequence so that you can then deliver the aid.

But yes, the road networks are something that has to the focused on improving to get the aid distributed throughout Gaza.

CHATTERLEY: The other thing, Sam, of course is -- and that is essential to the distribution of this aid. Are the humanitarian workers and obviously

that has been a huge topic of conversation this week and perhaps should have been more of a topic of conversation given the numbers that have been

lost up to now.

The World Central Kitchen are asking for systemic change in order to ensure the safety of their workers going forward. What do you want to see at this

stage that will help in some way rebuild the trust, I think that has been broken between the Israeli forces and those workers?

MUNDY: Well, first of all, let me just say that my heart goes out to everyone at the World Central Kitchen. This is a tragedy that all of us

felt. It is one that should have never happened and especially just like the families, the loved ones of those who were killed to know that we

grieve with them.

But to your point about regaining trust, Julia, I think what needs to happen obviously is ongoing and it would be improper for me, especially

given my background to comment on an open investigation, except to say that procedurally they are going to be looking at several things.

They're going to be looking at the process. Was it supportable? Was it legally supportable? And then you look at the execution of this. Did the

people involved in the actual execution of it, were they trained properly? Do they have the correct oversight? Did it make the right decisions?

And you can tell that there are just a lot of variables that are involved in this and it sounds to me like the Israelis are actually doing that right


But after this is done, obviously, we want to try and get the two sides, the humanitarian side and the Israeli Defense Forces back together to help

establish that trust so that both sides can perhaps hear from each other about their concerns so that they can then work out the procedures to

ensure that this doesn't happen again.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, but you raise a critically important point, I think, which is that a complete investigation and a full report needs to be achieved in

order to move on and have those kind of conversations.

I mentioned that you at Fogbow designed a plan looking at some kind of maritime corridor to facilitate aid distribution and getting aid to The

Strip and then beyond.

The US government, of course, has subsequently talked about building -- appear themselves to facilitate that, too. What key considerations come

into that and came into your designing of some kind of plan that we perhaps haven't already discussed, whether that is even just ensuring that the aid

workers and the aid that then gets into The Strip isn't overwhelmed.

Because two weeks ago, we were talking about the tragedy that took place when aid workers and trucks were overwhelmed by desperate Gazans workers

and the aid that food, that's just one of the other, I think considerations of this process.


MUNDY: That's right, and so there is really layers, as I mentioned earlier to this. There are the notification and deconfliction thats the approximate

topic here with what happened with the tragedy just a few days ago. There is the civil unrest that can arise when aid is brought in because people

are desperate, and I think we saw that a few weeks ago. The road networks we've already talked about having the equipment to improve those road


And then of course, there is always a risk of unexploded ordnance in this like this, so when you take all of that together, it is very complex and

has to be thought through and I know that you

mentioned the US military pier. I think thats going to be -- it is a great capability when I was on active duty. I worked with a peer that's very

similar to this one.

It will absolutely be value-added to bringing aid into Gaza as will our plan when we hopefully are able to execute that. But these are all of the

things that we would be taking a look at.

The UXO, the unexploded ordnance, the road networks, the heavy equipment and the notification and deconfliction procedures, and then the ability to

do it in a way that's not going to endanger the Gazan people.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, this clearly more demand than supply at this stage, so nothing should be off the table and everything should be

considered, I think.

Sam, great to have you with us. Thank you for your insights.

MUNDY: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Sam Mundy there.

Now, US President Biden says the collapsed bridge in Baltimore will be rebuilt as quickly as possible. We will bring you the latest on his visit

to the city after this break.



US employers refuse to slow their pace of hiring. More than 300,000 new jobs were created net last month. Economists were expecting closer to


Now given the latest numbers on jobs and inflation, the probability of a May rate cut from the Federal Reserve is practically nil according to

Futures trading.


That matches comments today from Fed Governor Michelle Bowman. She said it is not yet time to cut since progress on inflation has stalled.

Dana Peterson is the chief economist at The Conference Board and joins us now.

Dana, great to have you on the show.

Your assessment of what did feel like a bumper Jobs Report today?

DANA PETERSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, THE CONFERENCE BOARD: Yes, we definitely did see another sizable reading in payroll gains, but I would note that

most of the gains continue to be in basically three sectors, and these are the sectors that are suffering from extreme labor shortages. That'

government, leisure, and hospitality and health care, and social services.

But even away from that, we are seeing some broadening in labor games out there. The unemployment rate fell, labor force participation ticked up, and

wages remain sticky.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and there wasn't -- and we didn't see excessive upward pressure on wages to your point, in part, I believe and you can help me

understand and explain this, immigration is filling some of those gaps that you described with employers struggling to find work is actually

construction, I think was a great example of that.

PETERSON: Well, indeed immigration is slightly above the long-term trend, and yes, that is helping to fill some of the labor shortages, but its

clearly not enough. And indeed, what I did say is that wages are rising in a number of those sectors that are experiencing labor shortages, as well as

those sectors that are really hot right now, like construction and manufacturing, because the US is spending a lot of money on building out

infrastructure, fixing what is broken and also building factories as companies are reshoring.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I called a pretty big investor this morning and I told him the good news on jobs and he was silent for a second and then he said,

actually, this is terrible. The Fed is going to end up having to hike rates, not cut them, which admittedly, perhaps is a little bit melodramatic

in terms of a response and it is not terrible news.

But you're still expecting one percentage point of interest rate cut this year. When do you anticipate them coming? Because I can certainly see

investors pushing back their expectations, I believe now, a full cut is not priced until September of this year. I'm talking a quarter of a percentage

point cut.

PETERSON: Right, so the thing is that there are still plenty of room and there is also still plenty of time, but that needs more information, so we

think the Fed could potentially start cutting interest rates in June, and that would give them five opportunities before the year is over to cut

anywhere from 75 to 100 basis points.

And certainly between now and June, the Fed is going to receive many, many more reports on inflation, wages, and also first-quarter GDP.

So, it is really too early to start really changing your views on the timing. I think the Fed really wants to see whether or not the CE deflator

inflation gauge continues to track towards two percent, which it has been despite some large monthly gains recently and also wages are slowing, but

not as fast as they like.

So, if we could see some continued traction there, and we also think that real GDP growth in the first quarter of this year probably was around two

and a quarter percent. That's healthy, but certainly much slower than the outsized gains we saw in the last half of 2023.

So, I think all of the stars are aligning for the Fed to consider an interest rate cut, definitely, probably by the middle of this year and

several cuts at that.

But again, we really need to watch the data.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, the data dependency point I think is crucial here and the Fed have said, look, we will be patient to continue to watch that before we

make decisions.

What would it take -- and you mentioned a number of datapoints there -- what would it take for you to adjust your expectations as you said, for the

first cut to be in June?

PETERSON: Well, certainly if we continue to see 300,000 job gains, I mean, again, a lot of it is concentrated in just a few sectors, but the thing is

that, still many people are working and many companies are still telling us that they are going to hire and also hold onto workers. They are not really

looking to let people go.

And they are also looking to raise wages by more than three percent, which is pretty outsized. So all those things are constructive towards continuing

to support the consumer and indeed consumer spending has been a big piece of the puzzle here in terms of keeping the economy strong, but also fueling


So I think the Fed needs to see all of these things continue to cool, and if we don't see that, certainly we are going to adjust our call.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, patient on the data and patient on those decisions. Dana, great to have you. Thank you so much for discussing that with us today.

PETERSON: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Now, President Bidden says he hopes the full channel into the Port of Baltimore will reopen in May. He received an aerial tour of the

collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge upon his arrival in the city.

Biden then participated in a briefing on the response efforts before speaking in the last hour.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: . call on every company, at and around the port to do the same thing, the same exact thing, commit to stay

and the customers who use this port.

We're coming back. We are coming back soon.

Folks, finally, we are going to move heaven and earth to rebuild this bridge as rapidly as humanly possible and we are going to do so with union

labor and American steel.


CHATTERLEY: Biden is scheduled to meet with the families of the people who lost their lives.

Kayla Tausche is in Maryland where the president was just speaking there.

Kayla, great to have you with us.

The other good news I think for those in the state is that he is going to ask Congress, for the federal government to cover a hundred percent of the

cost of the rebuild, which is crucial, too.

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And certainly, Julia, it will be Congress that has to provide them money for the rebuild this

bridge if the federal government is going to put that up.

President Bidden has pledged that from the very beginning, and I'm told that that was his idea, to put the full weight of the federal government

behind the recovery here on the Patapsco River.

Today in his remarks, President Biden offered condolences for the victim of the collapse, the six immigrant workers who died when the Dali container

ship hit the bridge, but also offering his condolences and his support to the 20,000 workers whose families and their livelihoods depend on the

commerce that comes through this port every single day, pledging that it would be opens soon as possible providing that ambitious timeline on behalf

of the Army Corps of Engineers and saying that the whole nation stands with Baltimore. Here is what he said.


BIDEN: All military members and first responders, most importantly, the people in Maryland, I'm here to say, your nation has your back and I mean

it. Your nation has your back.



TAUSCHE: Bidden called specifically on Amazon, on Home Depot, on Domino Sugar, companies who have big operations either here in Maryland or a lot

of imports and exports that come through this port to specifically keep those workers on their payrolls and to pledge to keep that business coming

even and if there is a hiatus of six to eight weeks where they have to move those operations elsewhere.

To that end, Maryland Governor Wes Moore said that there are more than 50 companies, sports teams, and other organizations who have pledged to do the

same in a public-private partnership that is calling Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong, and he says that he is looking to add or companies to

that effort to make sure that the commerce doesn't leave this area, which is such a critical piece of the nation's infrastructure and to all the

activity that happens along the Eastern Seaboard -- Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong and all the way along that wind has hampered recovery and rebuild efforts, Kayla, and you're battling

it today, but doing so well. Thank you so much for that report.

Kayla Tausche there.

Okay, still ahead, shake, rattle, and roll. The Northeast US is rocked by a rare earthquake catching residents by surprise and disrupting transport in

the area. That's next.



CHATTERLEY: Hello. I'm Julia Chatterley and there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. When everyone may still be buzzing about the

earthquake here in New York, entrepreneurs are hoping Monday's eclipse doesn't get overshadowed.

Plus, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gets stuck into some local cuisine while on tour in China. But before that, the headlines this hour.

Rallies in parts of the Middle East to mark Quds Day, an annual pro- Palestinian event sponsored by Iran. This year's events coincide with the funerals of seven officials killed in a strike

on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Iran and Syria have both blamed Israel.

In a Quds Day speech, the leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement Hassan

Azrallah warned that Iran would retaliate.

The U.K. Foreign Secretary is calling for an independent review into the Israeli strike that

killed seven World Central Kitchen workers, two of whom were British nationals. He's also calling on Israel to publish the finding of its own

investigation in full. Israel says serious violations, "and mistaken identification" led to this week's deadly strike.

Ukraine has carried out a major drone attack on an airbase in Russia's Rostov region. That's according to a Ukrainian source with knowledge of the

operation. The attack reportedly destroyed at least six Russian fighter jets and killed and wounded about 20 Russian personnel.

The judge overseeing Donald Trump's Hush Money trial has rejected the former president,

subpoena of NBC. Trump wanted records related to the network's Stormy Daniels documentary. She's the adult film star at the center of the case.

Judge Juan Merchan said the subpoena was too broad and amounted to a "fishing expedition."

Bronnie James, the oldest son of basketball superstar LeBron James, declared for the NBA draft today. The 19-year-old USA freshman shuttered a

cardiac arrest last July but has since returned to the game. LeBron James has said he wants to play either with or against his son before retiring.

And then all these, United States was rattled by a rare and historic earthquake on Friday.

The 4.8 magnitude quake was the strongest to hit the state of New Jersey in more than 240 years. It was found by millions of people, some as far away

as Maine and Vermont and shook buildings in Washington, D.C. and right here in New York. The Empire State Building announcing afterwards on X, I am


Transport authorities did take it seriously though.


Well, services across the northeast were slowed for track inspections and flights in and out of Newark Airport were suspended for a short time after

the air control tower was evacuated. All of this drama aside, the mayor of New York has urge residents to carry on with their plans for the day.


ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: All of us felt in some way or another the earthquake that hit our city around 10:23 a.m. We felt the impact of this

4.7 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was in Lebanon, New Jersey about 50 miles from New York City. And as you know, this is a developing situation

where you always concern about aftershocks after an earthquake. But New Yorkers should go about their normal day.


CHATTERLEY: No one panic. I mean really, it was like a phone vibrating in your pocket. But hey, we want the transport infrastructure to be safe. Pete

Muntean in Washington for his us. Pete, what kind of on-stewing delays have we had as a result of some of these sort of checks

and balances that we've seen?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, remember, Julia, you know, Californians made chortle about a 4.8 earthquake here on the East Coast.

But New York, not really a place that is built with stand such seismic activity. And it's a city that is very heavily bridged and very heavily

tunneled, a lot happening underground in New York. We have heard from the transport authority there, the MTA, which operates the subways and some of

the regional rail systems.

They say that things are OK. Amtrak was delayed for several hours today along the Northeast Corridor, which was one of the busiest rail corridors

in the United States. They really had to go out and do this with eyeballs, visually inspect some of the tracks there on Amtrak while these trains were

slowed down, Amtrak just said in the last few minutes that things are getting back to normal, it was the infrastructure that was really the


It could be in an airplane, that's probably the best place to be, actually, during an earthquake.

But the runways were the big concern there at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK. There was a ground stop at all three of those airports at one point. Two of

them went away, Newark persisted, now the ground stop is over there. There was a ground delay program for flights going into Newark, which could have

a worldwide impact here because that's a huge international hub for United Airlines.

The average delay for flights bound to Newark right now, 122 minutes, two hours and two

Minutes. They had to evacuate the 350-foot-high control tower there because of this tremor,

which is pretty significant is that that is why the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration,

put this ground stop into place. The good news here is that a lot of the delays and cancellations and the issues when it comes to transportation as

a result of this earthquake have subsided.

Although don't be surprised if some damage is found later on. Remember the earthquake in Washington, D.C. back in August of 2011, the National

Cathedral was damaged. They spent years doing work there to fix the cathedral. Also, the Washington Monument, one of the biggest landmarks of

the D.C. area was damaged and closed for some time as they did repairs there. I was closed to tours for a relatively long time, more than five


So, we will see as this sort of develops, but the good news here is that things are mostly

getting back to normal, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, good news, always safety first. That's what we like to see.

MUNTEAN: No doubt.

CHATTERLEY: Pete Muntean. Happy Friday. Thank you, sir.

MUNTEAN: Happy Friday.

CHATTERLEY: Now, Janet Yellen says decoupling from China is neither practical nor desirable.

We'll have the latest on the Treasury Secretary's critical trip to China next.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. Janet Yellen is firmly rejecting any idea that the U.S. and China should decouple. On the second day of the Treasury

Secretary's trip to China, she spoke to business leaders in the southern city of Guangzhou. Kristie Lu Stout explains the Careful Balancing Act

Yellen's trip requires.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is back in China

to further stabilize the U.S.-China relationship and press Chinese leaders on the threat pose by overcapacity. Now, she says China is overproducing

exports like solar panels and E.V.s, which distorts global markets and harms workers. China dismisses the notion. Now, Yellen is making two stops, Guangzhou and Beijing.

And today in Guangzhou, she met with members of the business community, as well as Chinese leaders, including Vice Premier He Lifeng. The visit comes

days after that phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. On Tuesday, they had their first direct talks since

November, and she criticized Biden's moves to "suppress China's trade and tech development."

Our tech and trade development have been in focus today in Guangzhou. Here's Janet Yellen.



and more generally considering market-based reforms is in China's interest. As I've said before, China is too large to export its way to rapid growth.

And if policies are oriented only at generating supply and not also at generating demand, global spillovers will result.


STOUT: Overcapacity is the key word here. The Biden administration is concerned that Chinese subsidies will spark a flood of low-priced exports.

And Chinese state-run Xinhua has slammed such concern as hype. But in his March the 5th work report, Chinese Premier Li Qiang acknowledged that

overcapacity is a problem. Now, Yellen's current trip is a follow-up to her meetings in Beijing last July when she had those direct and productive

talks to China's economic leadership.

And during her latest trip, Yellen has been praised by state media for mastering the use of chopsticks. Yellen was observed while eating at a

famous local restaurant in Guangzhou.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

CHATTERLEY: Now, going beyond solar panels and batteries, some are turning to an unexpected source to fuel the green transition. Rubbish or trash. The

U.N. predicts that by 2050, 10 percent of city waste will be used to produce energy. And we've got a look inside one UAE-based firm

that claims it's opened the world's largest waste to energy facility in Think Big.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Is it the end of the road for this household rubbish? After all, it's hard to imagine that anything here could

be of further use. But actually, they're just beginning a journey to produce power.

TIM CLARKE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WARSAN WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY: Around about 45 percent of Dubai's total waste comes to this facility. And

we turn that into energy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Overseeing this site in the United Arab Emirates,

Tim Clarke is an expert in turning piles of trash into megawatts. Here, enough to power approximately 130,000 homes.

CLARKE: This facility is the largest of its type in the world. We're processing about 1.9 million tons a year of waste.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The process is simple. Burn the waste, produce heat and steam, drive a turbine to make electricity. It's a tried

and tested method that has existed for over a century. Now, Tim says, having a plant of this scale takes it to a different level.

CLARKE: We operate at a 34 percent efficiency of producing electricity, which is much higher than it would normally be expected from an energy from

waste plant. And that's partly because of the size we can operate at higher temperatures and higher pressures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Last year, the world's urban areas produced more than two billion tons of waste, and that will grow to nearly

double by the middle of the century. Landfills are piling up and there's an urgent need for a way out.


we're creating methane that is unmanaged as a solution waste energy can create less emissions compared to a landfill setting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): At Warsan, besides the energy produced, waste metal is recycled and leftover ash is used for building roads.

Finally, sulfur and heavy metal contaminants are filtered and taken away.

CLARKE: Only the 200 tons of flue gas residue is the net waste at the end of 5,500 tons of waste

going in per day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Using trash to create power can be seen as a more sustainable way to manage waste and combat the climate crisis.

For experts, it's one piece of the puzzle.

STANLEY: I think waste energy is part of a holistic solution. If we look at things from a circular economy standpoint, turning that plastic bottle back

into a plastic bottle is by far going to have the least amount of energy consumption. In the first, of course, we'll be just minimizing waste from

the get go. For example, less packaging or no packaging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): This is the future of trash in a world where no efforts are left to waste.


CHATTERLEY: And North America is counting down to Monday's full solar eclipse. We'll tell you how businesses and travelers alike are preparing.

Stay with us.


CHATTERLEY: And it's been a week of serious rarities for New Yorkers today. A 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook some parts of the state. And on Monday,

other parts will experience a full solar eclipse. Millions of people travelling all over the U.S. to see these celestial events stirring up

major businesses and business for a phenomenon that will last for a total of about four minutes. Yes, you heard me, four minutes.


Stephanie Elam is in Los Angeles for us. Stephanie, I've already ordered, I'm joking, but there were things on social media. And one of them was a t-

shirt that said, I survived the New York earthquake. So clearly, I need one of those. Talk to us about the eclipse business opportunities too. I know

you want one.

STEPHANI ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Julia. I was so tempted because, you know, the Californian --



ELAM: Awe, a 4.8 earthquake, that's so small.


ELAM: But, you know, I get it. I used to live in New York. I get it. It's very scary when it's not

supposed to happen there. But one thing that we are expecting to happen is the eclipse and that is meaning a lot of business opportunities for some

smart people who started planning this many years ago. Many of them in 2017 when that eclipse happened here in the United States and they realized that

this was a good time for them to get in on it.

And we're looking at $1.1 billion possibly worth of economic stimulation for that path of totality in particular. Although I should note that all 48

lower states should actually get to see some part of this eclipse. So, you're seeing airlines getting in on it. Delta and Southwest

offering special flights that fly the path of totality. United giving away solar eclipse glasses for the flights that will fly through the solar

eclipse at that time.

You've got hotels that have had deals getting in on it. And of course, you've got the big companies, you've got smaller companies. You know of

Carbondale, Illinois. Fun fact. They were in the cross path -- the path of the 2017 eclipse and they are again in this one so they are doing a big

deal there emptying out a stadium at a local university so people can come see there.

One bakery there is selling eclipse cookies.

And then you have solar sun chips because they are putting out ones that you can get for free

but only for that four-minute and twenty-seven window -- a twenty-seven second window on Monday. And then, you know, if you think about the eclipse

glasses how busy that is, I talked to one small business owner who has been planning this since 2017. He and his wife started

eclipse glasses USA. Take a listen to say what he says this is done for his business.


ROGER SARKIS, OWNER, ECLIPSE GLASSES, USA: So, we've been spending hours in our garage folding and sending them our Amazon stores. We're on track to

sell out on Amazon as well but we are -- it's just my wife and I right now. And so, we're just sitting out there sending stuff going back and forth to

the post office, UPS, you name it. it's been a while. So interestingly enough we actually sold out of our original inventory in February. So I

bought more inventory and I think we're on track to sell 500,000 pairs.


ELAM: And that was way beyond what Roger and his wife Alyssa thought that they were

going to be able to do. And they're still selling glasses on their Amazon shop with those Eclipse Glasses USA. But, you know, there's a lot of food

besides glasses, just getting in on the fun. Even if it has nothing to do with their brand at all things like this bad boy right here Julia.


ELAM: This would be the solar eclipse donut from Krispy Kreme and a shout out to correspondent Camila Bernal who's helping me celebrate the fact that

I'll be covering it on Monday. She brought this in for me today. But if you take a look at that everyone getting in on this fun and even those t-shirt

sellers, I'm sure there'll be plenty selling those t-shirts along the way up a path of totality too.

CHATTERLEY: I'm just going to see if you're going to bite that. What's inside that donut? We don't know. No.

ELAM: So, you've got Oreo and then there's Oreo bits around it. Then -- it looks like it's a

chocolate frosted blazed Krispy Kreme donut as well. I mean, that's pretty -- it's kind of intensive, it's an intense donut there for sure.

CHATTERLEY: You know where I'm going after the show. Stephanie. Oh god. Oh no, oh my goodness. You have me fooled. Stephanie Elam, thank you for that.

Enjoy in private.

And you can join us on Monday for complete coverage of the solar eclipse. We'll track it as it travels from Mexico through the eastern U.S. and into

Canada with a healthy dose of science and excitement of course along the way. Our special coverage starts at 12:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 p.m. in


Now coming up. Most museums touching the artwork is taboo. Well at Mercer Labs in

downtown Manhattan, it's actually encouraged. The Mercer art museum is where Roy Nachum's latest work. You might not know him or you might know

him as the artist behind the cover of Rihanna's anti-album. She says that at Mercer Labs the visitors are part of the art.


ROY NACHUM, ARTIST AND FOUNDER, MERCER LABS: We redesigned this place 50 times until we find the right layout and the right energy and the right

message behind every step and everywhere you go in the space.

MICHAEL CAYRE, FOUNDER, MERCER LABS: Each room touches your sense in a different way. The whole goal is the people to really walk through,

experience those things. The sight, the smell, the touch, the feel.

NACHUM: The main hall we have at 26 projectors so this room can be transformed to anything we want. You can see a film in 360. You can

experience sound in a completely new way.


Coming in you are part of the installation. You're part of the art by walking in the space. I try to create a space that you're standing there

and you don't know where is the (INAUDIBLE) where is the sky and where is the floor. We encourage people to come and touch the work and experience

everything. You can touch everything. It's -- that's difference between what we are doing right here and other museums as well.

I feel like today people need a little escape. I try to do something that can give hope.

CAYRE: Roy has about 50,000 pieces of content that he hasn't released yet, so I think he has enough to keep this place exciting for the next thousand



CHATTERLEY: Wow. Never mind. Dunkin' Donuts. You know where I am actually heading after the show. Alright, coming up. We'll have the final numbers

from Wall Street. Stay with us.


CHATTERLEY: And a strong rally Friday for the Dow after a strong jobs report. As you can see, they're eight-tenths of one percent but a tough

week overall. The Dow ending the week down some percent. All sorts of questions now about when the Fed can make their first cut.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Julia Chatterley. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. In this hour, the countdown to the final four, and women are dominating the game.

Sports commentator Bob Costas will be here to talk college basketball and more.

Plus, new comments today from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the January 6th attack. His polarizing remark as he questions the fallout of that day. But

we're going to start this hour with breaking news.

The U.S. is actively preparing for a "significant attack by Iran against Israel." That's an attack that could come within the next week, we're told.

This is according to a senior administration official, Biden administration official who says a direct strike on Israel by Iran is one of the worst-

case scenarios that the White House is preparing for. Iran has vowed to get revenge after Israel's airstrike on Iran's embassy complex in Syria on


Let's get straight to CNN's M.J. Lee at the White House. And M.J., what else are your sources preparing for?