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Quest Means Business

Princess Of Wales To Attend King's Birthday Celebration Parade Saturday; G7 Leaders Reach Compromise On Wording Of Communique; Cleveland Fed President On Rate Outlook; Alex Jones' Assets To Be Liquidated; Putin Demands Kyiv Surrender Land To End War; South Africa Has Agreed To Form A Government Of National Unity. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 14, 2024 - 16:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The end of the market week here. A bit of a listless day on the markets on this Friday, but, you know, it has

been an eventful weeks, so everybody was taking a little breather. Those are the markets and these are the main events.

The Princess of Wales announces her first public appearance since Christmas.

The head of the Cleveland Fed speaks to Richard Quest, Loretta Mester says the Central Bank is trying to balance both sides of its dual mandate

maintaining price stability and maximum employment.

And Europe's biggest football tourney begins. Germany is currently leading Scotland, three-nil. We will keep you up-to-date on that live from New

York, it is Friday, June 14th. I'm Paula Newton, in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

So tonight, the Princess of Wales says she will make her first public appearance Saturday since her cancer diagnosis.

Catherine announced she is making good progress in her recovery. Kensington palace released this new photo. You see it there of her taken earlier this

week in Windsor. She is expected to appear on the balcony at the King's official birthday parade Saturday.

The Princess said, in her message that she is "not out of the woods" yet.

Our Royal correspondent, Max Foster, is outside Buckingham Palace where she will be making that appearance hopefully tomorrow.

And Max, good to see you.

She has committed to the event tomorrow. No doubt, a boost for the entire Royal family and I dare say maybe even the country, but what is the timing

tell you here about this very last minute announcement? And also carefully choreographed, including that very evocative picture we just saw.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: The photo was taken in Windsor as you say, earlier this week. I think the timing, there has been this ongoing

debate about whether or not she would appear at Trooping the Colour because lots of people saw that as a good time for her to appear. The palace would

never confirm or deny that.

So I think, it has probably been considered for some time, but it is entirely based on how she feels and as she said, she has good days and bad

days when you feel weak and tired, you have to give in to your body resting, but on your good days when you feel stronger, you want to make the

most of feeling well.

I think, she just got to the point where she does want to start getting back to normal. We've seen her doing that behind-the-scenes, visits to

school for example, trying to support the family.

She started doing some work from home behind-the-scenes, and now she feels ready to come out in public and this was a good opportunity to support the


He says he is delighted that she can make it and its manageable. We will see her come out from the palace tomorrow morning in a carriage with the

children. I think the optics of that are deliberate because she is putting the children first, not this whole process.

She will go up and watch the parade, come back in the carriage, and then she will appear on the balcony with the rest of the family to show that she

is still present and it is a big moment because we haven't seen her since last year at a public engagement.

But she may decide tomorrow is a bad day. Her doctors might decide it is a bad day and say, she shouldn't appear. So they are taking each day as it


So whilst they are considering more engagements going into the summer, I think we will have to just wait and see as to whether she can turn up.

NEWTON: Yes, and it is unfortunate, Max, because it is something that is so familiar to those who are going through cancer treatment now or the

families around them knowing the up and downs of each treatment and each day.

Now I have to say, Max, it is absolutely a breathtaking picture and I note her solitude in it. The fact that she actually said to people quite

transparently, she is not out of the woods yet, what do you believe people there will take from this, from that comment?

FOSTER: Well, also that she said that she has got months more treatment to go, so that was a surprise to some people as well, considering it was meant

to be preventative chemotherapy. They are also being very cautious with her because they caught it early.

But I think the recovery is taking longer than many people expected. I think what she is saying there is not to see this as a full-time return to

work. She is not back on our feet properly yet. She is going to do what she can and if she does have to cancel an engagement, not to read too much into

it, this would be expected according to everything that she said today.

What is quite an emotional statement for her expressing a lot of feeling, trying to get people to understand that she wants to behind-the-scenes

build up, perhaps there will be paparazzi pictures of her doing that. They don't want people to share those pictures because she sees part of that

getting back to normal behind-the-scenes as part of her recovery to allow her to build back up to a full schedule.


NEWTON: Yes. It is such a good point. And again, first and foremost, everyone has to remember she is the mother of three young children and that

is obviously her priority.

Max Foster, for us, outside Buckingham Palace, really appreciate it.

We go now to our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta who is with me now and we really appreciate you being here because people do have a lot

of questions, right? A lot of curiosity and concern about her condition.

Now, Princess Kate has not disclosed what kind of cancer she has, but she has revealed that she started, as Max was just saying there, preventative

chemotherapy. She said that in February.

What does that mean?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, some of this might be semantics. I mean, when someone has cancer, if they have had an

operation, for example, to try and address that cancer, remove it.

Depending on the type, there is sometimes the idea that there are cancer cells left behind. So preventative chemotherapy, or what is also called

adjuvant chemotherapy, is to try and address those remaining cancer cells, Paula, that's basically what that means.

And we know going back, if you look at the timeline, going back to January is when she had that initial operation. At first they thought, you may

remember that it was not cancer, but then I think after a closer examination, probably they decided and realized that it was cancer and that

is when she had that hospitalization, started the chemotherapy at the end of February. And now we are hearing from her saying that this is likely to

go on for a few more months.

That is, depending on the type of cancer, this is what we know, this timeline. What we don't know still is the type of cancer, the stage of

cancer, the medications that she is getting for this cancer, just sort of what you heard in the statement that Max just read that over the next few

months, likely she is going to continue receiving chemotherapy depending on what it is, chemo can sometimes go several months.

So that is kind of what we know and what we don't know.

NEWTON: You know, it is interesting just putting up the timeline there, you realize this is a family that has been dealing with this already for the

better part of six months and will continue to do so.

The Princess, we use her words, she says she is not out of the woods, unfortunately, it is something so many cancer patients know to be true.

From a medical perspective though, what is your reaction when you hear her say that?

GUPTA: Yes, it is tough. I mean, I think as you pointed out with Max, you know, just dealing with this as a family and with small children and then

in the public eye like this, I have a lot of patients who are very reluctant to talk about their cancers and they are not in the public eye.

I think out of the woods, not being out of the woods probably refers to a couple of things. One is how well is the chemotherapy working? Treatment

still necessary. They may be doing assessments, imaging, or something from periodically to sort of determine is this chemotherapy actually doing what

its intended to do?

But I think the second thing is sort of the factors that you see on the screen there, Paula, when you're getting chemo, I mean, you can change in

terms of things how fatigued you are, mood, physical sort of impact of the chemotherapy, that can change not just day-to-day, but even hour-to-hour.

And so the idea that someone could be doing well on Tuesday and then have a tough day on Wednesday is not unusual. And I think that's -- so I think

those two things are really what she probably means by not out of the woods, still seeing how the chemo works and acknowledging the side effects.

NEWTON: Yes, I guess not wanting to give the impression that she is fully healed or cured in any way. In terms of a recovery, as you pointed out from

the timeline, she had also gone through abdominal surgery.

And given what you have now learned, I mean, what does recovery look like in the coming months? Because I think a lot of people are confused by the

fact that she might still be going through chemo and yet she is willing to hopefully give it a try and go to this very important and very public royal


GUPTA: You know, it is really -- it is just really hard to say and it is really hard to speculate because there are different types of chemo.

I will say this, that people sometimes have a conventional view of chemo and that its going to suppress your immune system and people are going to

have all of these difficulty with keeping food down, nausea, things like that. It has gotten better.

And again, it depends what the chemo is, but people can tolerate chemotherapy much better than they could a decade ago, for example, with

other medications and different dosing and things like that of the chemotherapy.

So it is just really -- I completely understand their desire for privacy, but we don't know what exactly the type of cancer is or the type of chemo.

So it is just tough to say what that recovery is going to look like.

NEWTON: Yes, and obviously, given the fact that she has hopefully committed to this event tomorrow, a big boost for her family. And of course, for

everyone to hopefully see her out there tomorrow.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much. Really appreciate having you on the story.


Now we turn to the G7 and it has finally reached a compromise on the wording of their joint communique. The statement includes a reference to

reproductive rights, but does not include the word "abortion." It does say however, that it reaffirms the Hiroshima Communique, that statement from

last year does contain an explicit reference to safe and legal abortions.

Now, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni didn't want abortion in this year's final declaration. Hence, we have the compromise.

Nic Robertson is in Italy for us and has been following all of this. You know, you and I both know from so many G7 communiques, there is major

compromise on this, but normally it is set out much earlier.

Giorgia Meloni perhaps didn't want to offend the Pope being there today as well, but on that very contentious issue, what more can you tell us about

the compromise and how they got there in the end?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was the idea that she didn't want to offend the Pope was an idea that her brother-in-law, who is

agriculture minister in her government suggested.

The compromise seems to really come from the fact that, you know, you have a communique here, 39 pages long. This was on the 33rd page, not everyone

gets everything that they want and we don't know where the compromise was.

Did Meloni compromise on exercise -- did she want to exercise more language from the Hiroshima Communique where it was the 43rd paragraph of that

communique back then? Did she want to exercise all of that language? And did she compromise on some of the language that she allowed in?

The idea that sexual and reproductive health rights for all should be there -- should it be this comprehensive? Did she compromise on that? Or was the

compromise on something else? Some other area of the G7 communique?

We just don't know, but this is what White House officials were indicating earlier that this would be arrived at by a compromise, and I despite the

fact that President Biden did want the language of abortion in there, the White House appears to believe that this is okay, that this has worked out

for what they want as well.

We know that the French President Emmanuel Macron, actually when asked by an Italian journalist what he thought about the fact that abortion wasn't

going to be in there, he said that he was disappointed, but that he also respected the wishes of the Italian people.

So yes, contentious, but the idea of these G7s is that the leaders walk away generally satisfied across the platform.

But this is one where President Biden on this very key electoral issue for him back home, could potentially face some pushback. We don't know what his

answer will be tonight here.

NEWTON: And also in that communique, there were strident remarks for China. The G7 says it is enabling Russia in the war against Ukraine, and of course

the language was tough perhaps for a communique, but did the G7 say what they would actually be able to do to stop any of that cooperation and help

to Russia?

ROBERTSON: Well, they said that they are willing to tackle banks and institutions in China and third countries that are enabling this, the

additional raft of sanctions once from the United States that were announced this week as well, 300 individuals and corporations were designed

to firm up existing sanctions that are being circumvented, they say by countries like China, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, many different

countries are now being used by Russia to get products, semiconductors, IT technology that they can't get through the front door. They are getting it

through the back door.

So the United States said very clearly that it is willing to target banks in those countries, institutions in those countries which could mean that

they would lose access to using international financial markets that involve transaction in dollars, that could be costly for some.

The communique already had outside of the Russia issue with China, it had a lot on trade and the trade practices and the over production that China is

involved in right now and calling China to stand by and go with WTO agreed guidelines on production, on supply chains -- all of these issues, but they

did make the point to China on that, on the trade side that this communique is not about trying to disadvantage China, if you will, are not trying to

decouple from it, but trying to find a way to protect their own economic interests and supply chains that are being impacted by China's



NEWTON: Yes, and Europe also being very robust on that issue, vis-a-vis China, as well as the United States. Nic Robertson, good to have you there.

Appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Now, coming up, the Cleveland Fed president tells Richard Quest she needs more signs of falling inflation before she would feel comfortable lowering

rates and she said it is also time for the Fed to start watching that unemployment rate.


LORETTA MESTER, CLEVELAND FEDERAL RESERVE PRESIDENT: Both parts of the mandate now are in -- are very much in our focus, and it is balancing

achievement of those goals that become important.



NEWTON: The Cleveland Fed president says she is a few good inflation reports away from thinking it is appropriate to lower rates.

Loretta Mester is stepping down at the end of this month, that's due to term limits. So she spoke to Richard Quest just two days after the Fed

voted, you'll remember to hold rates steady.

They also signaled on Wednesday the likelihood of just one rate cut this year. Remember, they were thinking there might be three or four.

Consumer inflation slowed in May, but has now been stuck somewhere between three and four percent for about the last year. Richard asked her what she

made of that trend.


MESTER: Things are moving in the right direction. I mean, we've made a lot of progress in the last two years. Inflation is down from its peak.

Remember, it peaked between seven and nine percent depending on what measure you're looking at.

Right now, we are below three. That's a great bit of progress there. We are not there yet though, because our goal is two percent.

At the same time, labor markets are very healthy and that is a really good thing. We have a dual mandate.

So we are making progress. We need to see continued progress, and I think that's where the statement is trying to convey that we've made progress, we

want to see that progress continue.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Right, but then, of course, what is the sign for you that there will have been sufficient progress to make the


MESTER: So what I am looking for are a couple of more months of good reports. We've got a pretty good reports, CPI report, the second day of our

meeting this week. That was great. That was a great gift for my last meeting at the FOMC, I have to say.

But we just need to have -- I would like to see a few more of those reports and as inflation comes down and as one year ahead, inflation expectations

come down, then I would be thinking that it is appropriate to think about taking off some of that restricting this in our policy.


QUEST: Would you never just think, oh God, the markets -- just give them a quarter, keep them happy, throw a bit of red meat. Give him a quarter and

then don't do anything for the next six months while we bed down.

MESTER: No, I think we always have to be looking at what the economy is doing, where it is going, and what the risks are to our dual mandate goals.

So I mean, that is kind of evaluation I do before every FOMC meeting is okay, this is what the incoming information tells us. The data as well as

all the reports that we get when we talk to contacts all across the fourth district in my case, and then that tells you something about okay, this is

where they economy is right now. This is where it is headed.

There are risks to both parts of our mandate at this point, and we need to take those to an account. That's how we set policy.

QUEST: But we got of course, new tools some years ago, the famous dot-plot where we can actually see how everybody's views are changing.

MESTER: Yes. I mean, I think the dot-plot actually conveys how the committee is data dependent, right? So we use the words "we are data

dependent." Well, what does that mean? Well, it means that one data comes in, it may change our outlook, it may not.

And then we use that to assess where things are and where they are going and we would write down a forecast. Every participant on the FOMC writes

down their own forecast about where they think the economy is going, and importantly, what monetary policy should be appropriately in that case.

QUEST: Right, so if you take that philosophy and now again, just explain to me where you think we are, that is where the economy is.

This is where monetary policy is going.

MESTER: Yes, so what do we see this year, right? We saw growth step down a little bit in the first quarter from where it was last year in the second

half of last year, but if you looked at underlying demand, that was still very strong, in fact, stronger than maybe we might have expected it to be

given the level of interest rates.

We saw labor market conditions very healthy, still; payroll growth very healthy, but we are seeing that come into better balance and we are seeing

inflation that was basically stalling out a little bit in the first couple of months of the year, but in the last couple of readings, starting to

resume coming down.

All of that fed into the outlook and why we decided like, okay, it makes sense to keep rates at this level until we see that or become more

confident inflation is on that downward path back to our goal of two percent, and then, right, it might be appropriate to start thinking about

removing some of that restrictiveness.

QUEST: There are many who thought you're going to fudge it and you would tolerate a higher level, a marginally higher level of inflation because

getting down to the last mile is too difficult.

MESTER: So I would characterize the decisions differently. I would characterize it, when we started raising rates, it was clear that inflation

was the focus, getting inflation down.

Both parts of the mandate now we are in are very much in our focus and it is balancing achievement of both goals that become important. So it is not

about as you said, fudging, it is basically now we have to balance, right, risks to both sides of the mandate and that is what is different than when

we started the increase in interest rate.

QUEST: How do you balance that? When you have a dual mandate and it is not obvious that one side or other of the mandate takes priority, how do you

balance it?

MESTER: Well, that is where analysis, judgment come into play, right? We are always out in the districts across the country talking to both

community development people in the labor market side and businesses to really assess where are things going? Where are you seeing things?

You know, our district contacts are telling us that it is easier to hire now than it was a year ago.

QUEST: Other Central Banks are starting to cut. I know you obviously have a mandate for your own dual mandate, but, you know, you don't live in an

isolationist world. You sort of have an eye on what the BoE is doing or what Madame Lagarde is doing in Frankfurt.

How much of it are you aware that as they cut, that will have currency flow issues, that will have other issues that could -- could -- alter the

monetary stance.

MESTER: Yes, so we are certainly -- we are in a global economy. The US, of course, is a big global economy of course. So we are very well aware of

what is going on in other countries.


But remember their policy is also focused on what is happening in their economy, right? And our economies evolve at different paces. There was this

global shock to the economy, the pandemic, of course, which affected all economies, but the recovery from that and some of the policy actions, they

are geared to their economy.

But we are aware of those things because they do ultimately affect things that will affect both parts of our mandate. And so we are aware of those,

but of course we are setting our monetary policy based on progress on our maximum employment and inflation and price stability goal.


NEWTON: The US Supreme Court has struck down a federal ban on bump stocks. The devices are used to modify semiautomatic rifles into weapons that can

fire hundreds of rounds a minute.

Now, they were banned after a mass shooting in 2017 when 58 people were killed at a music festival in Las Vegas. Former President Trump approved

the ban, saying bump stocks convert legal weapons into illegal machines.

Gun control groups criticized the court's six to three ruling. The organization Brady United said: "Weapons of war should have no place in our


Shira Feldman is the director of Constitutional Litigation at Brady United, and she joins us now.

Good to have you, as we try and figure out what this decision means going forward, I want to get your reaction to the decision, and was it what you


SHIRA FELDMAN, DIRECTOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION: Yes. So, I think we are very disappointed at Brady with this decision. The Supreme Court used

the very technical analysis of the law to prevent the ATF, which regulates guns in the United States from being able to enforce something that is both

common sense and is what Congress had already intended to do when provided for almost 90 years ago, which is to keep machine guns out of civilian

hands in this country.

NEWTON: And yet, it was that technicality, the fact that they determined that the ATF did not have the authority to actually ban these kinds weapons

being turned into machine guns.

I want to repeat, and I know we've told our viewers this before. Remember the Las Vegas shooting, a thousand rounds in 11 minutes. It is incredible

to think about that.

So many Americans can and do believe that that just shouldn't be allowed and yet, the laws do not reflect most of American opinion. Where to from

here? Because there was this suggestion in this opinion that that it is right over to you, Congress.

FELDMAN: Yes, so first of all, you know, that is exactly right about what happened in Las Vegas. The reality is that bump stocks serve one purpose,

and that is to maximize lethality, and they really have no place in our communities.

But you're right that Congress can act now and we are calling on Congress to act now. There is a House bill closing the bump stocks loophole, and

Congress should go ahead and pass that legislation.

NEWTON: A couple of things here: Do you have any hope that they will, in fact, this was a Trump-era order, right? The Trump administration agreed

that these things should be banned.

And also we should say, is it effective now that some states actually ban these?

FELDMAN: Yes, so, it is hard to know what Congress will do. Of course, I would note that there is a lot of influence of the gun lobby here.

As you said, this was originally a Trump administration rule and yet Republicans seem to be backing away from it.

As to state laws, it really depends on the state law and whether the law is tracked to what ATF is doing or whether it is a separate ban.

NEWTON: So where do you go from here? You know, we've had so many depressing anniversaries. I mean, today, in Parkland, they were just trying

to get -- really trying to start a new page in that school. Everyone remember that dispiriting high school shooting.

You had graduating from high school, those children from Sandy Hook, and yet today, we have this ruling.

So to put it in perspective, do you feel you can move forward with more effective gun legislation? Because in writing for the dissent, Justice

Sonia Sotomayor she said it plainly, right, if it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck, it is a duck, meaning it is a machine gun, it should be

off the streets.

FELDMAN: Yes. Yes, and we completely agree with her descent. This was not a decision that majority of the court had to make, but there is a way

forward. Congress can act, but also voters at the polls this fall can put people in Congress and in the presidency, who will listen to what most

people in the United States want, and that is gun violence prevention laws.


NEWTON: We will certainly see if this does end up being an issue in this upcoming election. Shira Feldman, appreciate it. Thanks.

CNN has been granted an exclusive interview with a top Hamas official in Beirut. She told our Ben Wedeman, no one knows how many hostages are still

alive in Gaza. We'll have that next.


NEWTON: Hello. I'm Paula Newton. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment where an Alex Jones Infowars empire appears to be crumbling after a

Texas judge approved the liquidation of his personal assets.

And Germany is ahead in the opening match of the Euro 2024 football tournament. We'll check in on the game's final moments. But before that,

the headlines this hour.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has laid out his conditions to end the war in Ukraine. Wants Ukraine to withdraw its troops from four regions and to

abandon its hopes of joining NATO. Putin also said the West must lift its sanctions against Moscow. An official in Kyiv called those terms a complete


South Africa's ruling African National Congress has signed a historic power sharing deal with its rival, the Democratic Alliance, paving the way for

coalition government now. Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to remain in office as president. The national unity government comes after the ANC lost its

majority in May's national election.


Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to remain in office as president. The national unity government comes after the ANC lost its majority in May's national


And demolition is underway at the site of the 2018 High School massacre in Parkland Florida. Family members of some of the 17 victims watched as an

excavator, pardon me, tore through the building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Demolition was delayed so the evidence inside could be used in

the gunman's trial.

Israel's defense minister has rejected a French framework for deescalating tensions with Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon, exchanges of rocket and

artillery fire have become commonplace. And in the scene out of the Middle Ages, you're looking at it now, Israeli troops have even used a catapult to

hurl fireballs across the border. The IDF said that was a local initiative.

Now, as the situation in Gaza, we turn to that now. And a senior Hamas official in Beirut tells CNN that no one has any idea how many hostages are

still alive. Osama Hamdan sat down with our Ben Wedeman for an interview. And Ben joins us now from Beirut. Ben, this really was an extraordinary

interview and gave us so much insight into Hamas' thinking. I'm wondering given, you know, you sat down with for quite a period of time. What

surprised you from this?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTENATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What surprised me, is that A, the fact that they don't know how many hostages are still alive.

That's what jumped out at me. You would expect that they might not know where they are, given the chaos in Gaza, but certainly knowing how many are

alive or dead would seem rather a critical point. So, let's just go ahead and listen to what he said.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Since the 7th seventh of October last year when Hamas militants streamed into Israel, killing hundreds and grabbing hostages, the

war in Gaza has been an unrelenting nightmare of death and destruction. Talks to end the war are once again bogged down, as every day the death

toll mounts. In Beirut, we spoke to senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan, one of the few privy to details of the ceasefire negotiations.

But not privy, he claims to the condition of the 120 hostages still in Gaza.

WEDEMAN (on camera): How many are of those 120 are still alive?

OSAMA HAMDAN, SENIOR HAMAS LEADER: I don't have any idea about that. No one has any idea about this.

WEDEMAN (voiceover): The Wall Street Journal recently reported that messages from Gaza Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar to mediators and other Hamas

officials included one in which he allegedly said the deaths of civilians in Gaza is a necessary sacrifice. Hamdan insists the messages were fake.

WEDEMAN (on camera): After eight months of this war, more than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed, probably more. More than 80,000 injured. Was

it a necessary sacrifice for the people of Gaza?

HAMDAN: You seem that you can't start from the beginning. Let's start from page number one. Why to talk about the page of the the of October. What

about the Israeli occupation?

WEDEMAN (on camera): I'm talking about what came after the7th of October.

HAMDAN: Well, the 7th of October was a reaction against occupation. What came after that? It shows the real face of Israel. It shows how Israel is

occupying the Palestinian lands, demolishing the situation of the Palestinians, killing the civilians. It's not the first time they are

killing the civilians.

WEDEMAN (on camera): I mean, Hamas is an organization. Does it regret what it did on the 7th of October, given what happened afterwards?

HAMDAN: We are living with this for the last 75 years as Palestinians.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Now, CNN spoke to one of the doctors who treated the four Israelis who were freed on Saturday and he said that they suffered

mental and physical abuse. And what do you say to that?

HAMDAN: Well, he is an Israeli. He has to say what the Israel authorities are asking him to say. If you compare the images of both before and after

releasing, you will find that they were better than before. I believe if they have mental problem, this is because of what Israel have done in Gaza.

WEDEMAN (voiceover): But in addition to what has been said about the four recent hostages freed, there have been also claims about the dire

conditions others faced while in captivity. The fate of the remaining hostages hangs in the balance at the G7 summit in Italy. U.S. Secretary of

State Antony Blinken said he was hoping Hamas would agree to the latest U.S.-backed cease fire proposal.


ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Response we got was unfortunately not the yes that we were looking for, a yes that virtually

the entire world has given.

WEDEMAN (on camera): OK. Mr. Hamdan, simple question. Why hasn't Hamas yet agreed officially to the U.S.-backed proposal for a ceasefire?

HAMDAN: We said it's a positive step, but we need to see the facts on the ground. We need to know what exactly the president means by saying a

ceasefire, a withdrawal.

WEDEMAN (on camera): What is left? What do you need?

HAMDAN: We need an Israeli, a clear position from Israel to accept the ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, and let the Palestinians to

determine their future by themselves.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Are you optimistic at this point in time that you will reach some sort of agreement?

HAMDAN: Well, I think if the United States administration acted in the positive way. Seeing the situation, not only in the eyes of Israel, we can

reach soon an agreement.

WEDEMAN (voiceover): And in the absence of an agreement, this war goes on with no end in sight.


WEDEMAN: And see Hamas wants more clarifications. The Israeli government has authorized the U.S.-backed proposal, but Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu has not explicitly agreed to it. President Biden, Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, increasingly pessimistic it appears that the

hoax that rose after President Biden made this announcement on the 31st of May. This U.S.-backed proposal. It appears that those hopes may be dashed.


NEWTON: Yes. Quite a sobering assessment, mostly for the people of Gaza at this hour. Ben Wedeman, we thank you for that interview. Appreciate it.

Now, the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to liquidate his assets. The money will go to the families of victims of the

Sandy Hook School shooting as part of a defamation lawsuit.


NEWTON: The families of Sandy Hook shooting victims are one step closer to getting the money owed to them by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex

Jones. Now a Texas judge has approved the liquidation of his personal assets.


Jones owes more than a billion dollars in damages over his lies about the 2012 Elementary School massacre. Hadas Gold has the story.


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alex Jones's Infowars conspiracy empire facing its final days.

ALEX JONES, CONSPIRACY THEORIST: This is probably the end of Infowars here, very, very soon.

GOLD (voice-over): A bankruptcy judge in Houston has approved the liquidation of Jones's personal assets, while also considering liquidating

the parent company of his notorious media brand, all to help pay the nearly $1.5 billion settlement he owes the Sandy Hook families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hundred and twenty million dollars.

GOLD (voice-over): Jones was found liable for defamation and emotional distress for his lies about the massacre that left 21st graders and six

educators dead in 2012. In the wake of the Newtown Connecticut shooting, Jones told his audience the massacre was a so-called false flag operation

staged by the government and that the grieving parents were actors. An attorney for some of the families says this ruling will likely take away

Jones's main megaphone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what I expect to happen. Infowars will no longer exist. It will certainly no longer be a platform upon which Alex Jones can

do all the damage he's done in the past.

GOLD (voice-over): Jones spouted lies even as he drove to the hearing in Houston on Friday.

JONES: It is all a brazen power grab.

GOLD (voice-over): Leading up to the hearing, he had been vacillating between tears, more lies.

JONES: That was the FBI and the Justice Department behind all these fake lawsuits against me to get me off the air.

GOLD (voice-over): And naked opportunism peddling supposed dietary supplements until the last moment.

JONES: If you order any products in you will get them before InfoWars shut down.

GOLD (voice-over): But despite any liquidation, it's likely the proceeds will only make a small dent in the more than $1 billion Jones owes the

families. But the family's attorney says the money is not what matters most.

GOLD (on camera): What would such a ruling mean for the families of the Sandy Hook victims?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they're hoping to achieve is the most amount of accountability that the legal system can deliver. And money is just one

component of that, and not the most important component of it. But their objective has long been to protect their families and other families from

the type of harm that Alex Jones inflicted on them for years.

GOLD (voice-over): In Houston, the judge's ruling is finally potentially bringing some form of justice to the families who have already suffered too


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They brought a lawsuit against all odds, they prevailed, and that there is some form of justice being administered here.


NEWTON: Our thanks to Hadas Gold for that report. Now, there is an old adage, a man is only as good as his tools. Richard Quest puts that to the

test as he visits artisan knife makers in Osaka, Japan and works on his kitchen skills.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You push a few on your slice. You push and you pull after (INAUDIBLE) OK.

QUEST: Look at that.




NEWTON: Japanese knives are some of the most sought after in the world. They're razor sharp and crafted by artisans who have spent decades

perfecting their trade. Richard Quest was just in Osaka, Japan. Very envious, by the way. He saw step by step how these cutting edge knives are



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have a machine to check the pampered traits all by eye.

QUEST: All by eyes.


QUEST: How many years has you been doing it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty years. 40 years of experience.

QUEST: Oh, wow. He's pulling the -- he pulls the coals over it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can make 15 or 16 knife a day.

QUEST: All right. What's the next step?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next step, he will polish it. He will polish a few. Yes.

QUEST: Oh, wow. It's going to be shiny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's shiny because when we warm the metal, there is like a rust, kind of rust on the metal. When we beat it, we can take off

the rust and make it smooth.

QUEST: So, he's made it. Somebody else is going to sharpen it, and then it will go to?


QUEST: To the handler.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. The handle maker, it's different people, yes. So the handler. The seller. The seller will buy a handle. Buy a blade from a

sharpener. He put it together on the seller.

There is different grind of a stone. If the number is really big, it means pretty fine. So, 1000 is like middle grind.

QUEST: All right. But I keep -- hang on, hang on. He keeps testing it. But how does he not put himself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you touch, you -- do you -- no, no, no. It's OK. You don't get too flat. Just flat.

QUEST: Right. You hear that? Cut himself.


QUEST: He's touching the blade. This is very sharp. Seriously sharp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You push a few on your slice. You push and your pull after.

QUEST: Push and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And you pull it. OK.

QUEST: Look at that. So now we want to move up a grade. It's like a dream.


NEWTON: Do it faster, Richard. You can watch him on his adventures in Osaka this weekend. Quest World of Wonder is on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern,

that's 9:30 p.m. in London. And Sunday at 2:30am Eastern, 7:30 a.m. in London.

Now, the 2024 euros have just kicked off. You're looking at live pictures from Germany where --yes, Germany has taken the commanding lead over

Scotland. We'll have an update for you, that's next.



NEWTON: The 2024 euros that just kicked off with the host country, Germany, taking on Scotland. I hear that Don Riddell has a last-minute update for us

here, as this game is in the last few minutes. I mean, Don, they wanted me to give the update. No way, we're going to go to the professional. What's


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, it's over. And Germany and their fans will be thrilled and Scotland and their supporters will be absolutely

devastating because it was a real shellacking. Five-one for the German team. No wonder their fans are so happy right now. This game literally is

just finished in the last couple of minutes. This was the tournament opener for EUFA's 2024 European Football Championship.

It is going to be a month-long festival of football. The euros is always such an exciting tournament and Germany came into this one with high hopes.

Obviously, as hosts, they didn't have to qualify. They've won this tournament three times in the past, but none since 1996. But I think they

fancy their chances this time around, they're certainly among the favorites and they will just be delighted with the way that this game went.

Scotland, to be honest, really couldn't get much of a look in. The Germans were ahead after just 10 minutes, two-nil up after 19 minutes, three-nil at

halftime. Their fourth goal scored by Niclas Fullkrug might end up being the goal of the tournament. It certainly will be a contender. It was just

such an absolutely brilliant finish. And so, the Germans rolling to in the end. What was a pretty easy five-one win.

They have Hungary and Switzerland still to come in their group. I think everybody is probably looking at this now thinking they're just playing for

second place in group A.

NEWTON: Yikes. OK. Don, we don't have a lot of time left, but I do want to hear from you. I'm curious to hear from you what you're looking forward to

over the next month of play here.

RIDDELL: I mean, just all of it, to be honest. I mean, what? Three games of football every day. I'm so lucky that it's my job to watch and talk about

sport because if this wasn't my job, I wouldn't be getting much work done over the next few weeks. So, no, no, very, very excited about it. There are

so many great teams. The standard of play in this tournament is usually pretty high. So, I just think we have so much to look forward to.

Can Italy defend their title? Remember, they won in the final three years ago. They beat England on penalties. They're not among the top group of

favorites. A lot of people actually have England down as the favorites to win the tournament which is an England supporter. Makes me a little bit

nervous because that kind of thing just sounds like it's too good to be true. Portugal, could they do it again? They won it in 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo at the age of 39 is still scoring brilliant goals. So, they'll be fun to watch. Look out for the French as well. They didn't do so

well in the last euros, but they've played in the last two World Cup finals. And remember, they won it in 2018 and they came within a whisker of

being back-to-back world champions in Qatar a couple of years ago. So, the French with Killian Mbappe will be very, very good too. I just think it's

going to be so much fun. We're going to really enjoy it.

NEWTON: Yes. You've teed it up perfectly for us, Don. I will say in my house now that the NBA and the NHL playoffs are close to over. We are also

looking forward to those euros. Don Riddell for us from Atlanta. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Paula Newton. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts now.