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Quest Means Business

President Ruto Withdraws Finance Bill; US Supreme Court Mistakenly Posts Abortion Ruling Document Online; White House Can Urge Social Media To Remove Disinformation; Bolivia's President Denounces "Irregular" Army Mobilization; The Great Spine Of Africa. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 26, 2024 - 16:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Closing bell ring on Wall Street. Very little by way of activities, just up 22, but don't be fooled. Bank New

York Mellon, 240 years on the market, they ring the closing bell. Oh, oh my word, Madam. That was more excitement than we should have at this time of

the day. She runt at that gavel with gusto, the markets not worth talking about. We have plenty of events that you and I need to digest through the

course of the hour.

A stunning about-face, about-face of proportions in Kenya. President Ruto withdraws his controversial tax plans after deadly protests.

Deja vu at the US Supreme Court, a major ruling on abortion appears to be released by accident.

And Chipotle just had one of the largest share splits in US history, fifty to one. It is cutting its supersized stock into bite-size pieces.

So much in the next hour, just as well, we are live in London on Wednesday, June the 26th. I am Richard Quest and yes, I mean business.

Good evening.

"I concede" says the Kenyan president after days of violence and chaos in the capital, Nairobi. President Ruto has withdrawn the controversial

finance bill that sparked the unrest.

More than 20 people reportedly killed on Tuesday as protesters were angry at the proposed tax increases, stormed the country's Parliament and set

Nairobi's City Hall on fire.

The president defended the bill earlier and then admitted a lack of public support.


WILLIAM RUTO, KENYAN PRESIDENT: I run a government but I also lead people and the people have spoken.

Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with these Finance Bill 2024, I concede.


QUEST: The problem is that bill helped Kenya out of its economic woes and troubles. And now, the president will have to turn to austerity measures to

avoid a budget gap.

He says, he will start cutting spending at the office of the presidency and it will be an uphill battle. Look at the economics: Present public debt

reached $80 billion this year. That's 72 percent of GDP, but the problem is not necessarily the total amount, it is the interest payments. They are

getting higher as interest rates have being so high, and of course, there are a lot of their debts are in dollars, and that makes it even more


Larry Madowo is in Nairobi.

This is a stunning reversal of position, but I guess in a democracy, if the people are with you, that's what you do, change minds.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You change minds, but it took him too long to do that listening he says he did because this has been an issue for

weeks. People have been saying that these tax measures would make it too expensive for us to live.

People have been blaming the International Monetary Fund for these austerity measures that President Ruto was instituted. These proposals in

the Finance Bill, Richard was supposed to raise an extra $2.6 billion because President Ruto has to raise revenue somehow. He still has that

problem even after he has abandoned the Finance Bill, and now, he has got a bigger problem to do so.

But the reality is that for the common man, the cost of living has gone out-of-control.

Listen to the Law Society of Kenya president who we spoke to this evening explaining why so many people have been angry at President Ruto.


FAITH ODHIAMBO, PRESIDENT, LAW SOCIETY OF KENYA: The people are tired. The cost of living is impossible. Who is to say that people leave a dollar a

day? The people are living in $1.00 in two to three days. People don't have meals set on the table.

We say education is free. What education is free if you cannot afford uniforms, you cannot afford books, the structures are collapsing.


MADOWO: That is the background for this decision by President Ruto, Richard.

It was a stunning reversal, a major climb down just hours after he had called these young people protesting treasonous protesters.

QUEST: The difficulty now, of course, on the economic front -- well, first of all, how weakened does this make him? How weakened -- or maybe in the

eyes of some, it strengthens him because he did -- you know, it is never too late to do the right thing and he did it in the end.


MADOWO: He did it in the end, but it left him weakened significantly because it took him too long to make that decision and he allowed this

problem to fester.

So whatever he would have decided today, it is damned if you, and damned if you don't, because the young people have been saying for a long time,

please abandon this Finance Bill.

And we were outside Parliament where because President Ruto has a majority in the Parliament, they could force through this finance bill, while

outside Parliament, young people were literally begging them not to do this, but they did it anyway, and then they had to sit behind President

Ruto this afternoon and clap when he said he was abandoning that finance bill.

So it is a big stain on his reputation locally and internationally. He is significantly weakened, and he has to find the money.

QUEST: Now, that is the other big issue. I mean, when the cuts start to hit, to balance the books, some people will be on the streets again

protesting against austerity.

He is not going to be able to win this one.

MADOWO: He can't win this one, and so part of the criticism here is that President Ruto speaks about austerity measures and tightening belts, but

his government does not live by that same mantra.

They criticize how many foreign trips President Ruto takes with large entourages. They criticize the renovation of the State House or the deputy

president's residence, the corruption in government.

And so people feel that if you were a better steward of the resources you already have, maybe you would not be forcing us into these very tight

positions. So that is the issue and yes, people will be back on the streets if he tries to find this money somehow. He said that there is a Euro bond,

$2 billion that had to be paid up. They just paid the last installment of half-a-million dollars, but that's kicking the can down the road.

QUEST: Grateful to see you, Larry Madowo who is in Nairobi. We will talk more. This has got many different tentacles to it that we will get to grips


The US Supreme Court mistakenly published what appears to be a major ruling on abortion on the court's website. Bloomberg News is reporting this.

The now-removed documents shows the High Court is poised to rule that the state of Idaho cannot enforce its abortion ban if a mother's health is at


Now, this might all seem very similar in terms of both the issue and the leak, the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Dobbs case was leaked a

month before the decision was officially handed down.

Joey Jackson is in New York.

Let's take this two bits at a time.

I mean, careless? What is the old line about to lose two careless. They've done it twice.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, without question, Richard, right. These are generally decisions that are safeguarded until their release and

upon the release, we know that they are official. We know as you noted in the Dobbs decision, which was a historic decision overturning 50 years of

precedent regarding abortion, remember not going down a rabbit hole, but just to be clear, abortion was a constitutional and fundamental rights

since 1973 and then came Dobbs in 2022 wherein the Supreme Court of the United States, of course, which is the ultimate determiner of what is

legal, what is lawful, what is constitutional ruled not so fast. You do not have a constitutional right or a fundamental right to an abortion.

And so in that decision, six-three, which was released early like this one, it was noted that that was overturned and now comes this, a major decision.

And so is it coincidence? Is it carelessness? Is it purposeful in light of the debate tomorrow involving Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden? Who knows? But we do

know it was released. We will see what the specific opinion says once we get it officially.

QUEST: That is the issue, Joey, cock up or conspiracy?

JACKSON: You know, listen, it just seems a bit strange, right? There is a presidential debate tomorrow that involves the former president of the

United States with the current president of the United States. We know of course that the issue of abortion and whether it will be protected and

whether the Republicans will continue to attempt to eradicate a woman's right to choose, and of course the Democratic Party led by President Biden

will in some measure protect that right is a huge issue.

Certainly, it will come up tomorrow in that debate. So was this purposeful to say, hey, wait, the Supreme Court is protecting women's rights in some

regards, to stifle that, I don't know. I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but again, Richard, I don't believe in coincidences either, so

the people will have to decide.

It just seems a little too coincidental though for my taste.

QUEST: I mean, let's assume that the judgment is essentially -- the opinion is essentially the judgment, which was with the Dobbs case. There is -- it

is not exactly a huge move towards the right to choose, is it? I mean, they are basically saying you can have a termination in an emergency situation

where your life is at risk.

JACKSON: So, that's exactly right. Just in terms of the reset, you know that in the United States, there are 50 states. As a result of the Dobbs

decision, which I just noted, right, overturned 50 years of precedent. A precedent establishing a constitutional right, it is no longer.

So what happened? What happened is, is that various states started creating their own laws.


A lot of those laws being antagonistic and being strict bans on abortion. This particular case dealt with a ban in Idaho. What was it? It was

basically to say that doctors, Richard, we are going to take away your license. We are going to prosecute you. You could do up to five years in

jail and it is a felony, by the way, if you engage in allowing a woman to have an abortion, if her life is not at risk.

And then the Biden administration comes along through the Department of Justice, which is our entity that enforces federal law which says, well,

what about if it is a medical emergency? What about that? You have to establish that literally a woman's going to die. What about instances where

she is not dead, but certainly close? And so the court examined that and said, hey, okay, we will consider that. Right?

And so accordance with this opinion, what it does is say the abortions as of now could be -- could move forward in cases of a medical emergency in

addition to life-saving measures, but still a very strict ban on abortion in Idaho.

QUEST: It is incremental, but interesting development and we will talk more about it.

I am grateful to you, Joey Jackson joining me from New York.

JACKSON: Thank you.

QUEST: The Supreme Court also ruled that the Biden administration can press social media companies to take down misinformation.

Now some states and social media users had argued the practice infringed on free speech. Well, six-three says that the plaintiffs had no standing to

sue. Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote the majority opinion and said the Biden administration's jawboning had not heard the plaintiffs in any way.

Clare Duffy is in New York.

Is this, Clare, a classic Supreme Court fudge which basically says, well, we really don't want to get to grips with the gravamen of it. We will find

that there is no standing. We will say that there has been no harm to these people. And therefore, we can shove it out.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, Richard, it is a good question.

Look, as a practical matter, this is a really big win for the Biden administration to be able to weigh in on the online information ecosystem

in an election year is huge. It means that the White House or other government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security can continue

to nudge these platforms, platforms like Facebook, X, YouTube where so many people get their information about instances where for example, if they

identify that foreign agents may be trying to disrupt the presidential election.

And I think it is important to note that this isn't just this -- this in fact, almost certainly isn't the Biden administration demanding that these

platforms take content down. In most of the previous case bases, it was just a government worker saying, hey, platforms, look at this false piece

of information. It appears to already violate your existing policies. Maybe you should take a look at that.

But your question is right in this sort of, does fudge the decision-making here. They've ruled that these plaintiffs didn't have standing to sue, but

at least the majority of justices didn't engage with this First Amendment argument here that was at the core of this case, which means that

additional cases on this issue could be brought in the future.

But for now, it is a big win for the Biden administration.

QUEST: Yes, right, but what do you got to six-three, I mean, clearly some of the swing votes moved over with the liberals and the hardline

conservatives staged where they usually are.

And I wonder how far when this -- when the actual issue is dealt with, then rather than just a question of locus standi that then you see something


Look, Clare, how difficult is it for tech companies in this new morass where everything ends up in the court?

DUFFY: I mean, it is, I think a challenge, but look, it is also, you know, it is sort of interesting that this is how this played out. You had Justice

Amy Coney Barrett saying, in essence that it is important for the government to be able to communicate with private sector companies, because

as we know, there is a wide gap between what tech companies, the kinds of content that tech companies say they don't allow, and the kinds of content

that they actually end up removing for violating those rules.

Often, they remove much less content than is actually violating their rules, so to have the government, which is looking closely, especially at

foreign interference in elections to have the government's assistance in doing a good job of that moderation is important for these companies.

QUEST: Clare, I'm grateful. Thank you.

So to breaking news out of a Bolivia. The president of the country is denouncing the irregular mobilization of some army units in the country's

capital, La Paz.

The video shows a tank hitting the entrance of the Bolivian National Palace as soldiers entered the building. The president has written on X that

democracy must be respected.

Patrick Oppmann is on the line.

I can't work out what is going on here. Is there a coup?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): You know, it appears that way, Richard. We are watching these images come in, much of them on social

media and they are extraordinary.

It appears that members of the Bolivian -- military units of the Bolivian military have surrounded the National Palace in La Paz, Bolivia and acting

-- it is unclear under whose orders, but surely not the president of Bolivia, as they have tried to seize power. There is really no other way to

say that because the government of Bolivia, the president of Bolivia, Luis Arce saying that they are not acting under his authority.

They are trying essentially to take democracy down in the country. That is what he is saying.


There has been a lot of tension between the leftist government and the military going back years, of course, you remember when President Evo

Morales was forced from power, by public military and police who were unsatisfied with his rule but this is really still very striking, Richard,

that you have members of the Armed Forces essentially taking the law into their own hands and setting off alarm bells across the region as these

soldiers essentially are acting against the president and the government and taking of the matters to their own hand and pulling the guns.

QUEST: What we don't really know is whether these are some rogue elements within the Bolivian forces, not to be crude about it, who sort of

commandeered an armored vehicle and the like or an organized coup from the highest levels of the Bolivian military.

OPPMANN: It is more than just a couple of guys in a tank. From what we are seeing on social media, it seems like they closed down a large part of the

very central part of La Paz, the most important government institutions, the National Palace among them, and set up this sort of cordon around the

National Palace and are not being challenged by anybody else at this point.

So very, very troubling images as this unfolds.

QUEST: All right, but Patrick why? Why would they do this? I mean, is there a touch point? Is there a reason that we know about this moment that why on

a random Wednesday in June would they do this?

OPPMANN: You know, there have been tensions going back for some time between different governments in Bolivia that are very much the left and

the military, which up until recently has sort of maintained a much more rightward lean and you have seen this where Evo Morales was forced out,

where a right-wing government was brought in.

And then there was an election and then you had, once again the leftist government of Luis Arce being brought in. So that is the festering tensions

for some time now.

Still striking to think that soldiers saying that they could carry out this in front of the world's eyes, the region's eyes is already been condemned

and so what the ultimate plan is if they were to seize power, it is unclear. But certainly apparently some of the frustration between the Armed

Forces and the government of Bolivia is spilling over in a very visible way and in a very violent way.

QUEST: Grateful. Patrick Oppmann. When there is more to report from here, please, as we get more developments, please come back to us immediately so

we can hear from you.

Coming up, Edelman's latest trust barometer says faith and in the French and UK governments is slipping and voters in both countries are going to

the polls.




QUEST: The British elections are a week away. The Labour Party is widely believed to be on the cusp of a landslide.

After 14 years in power, the conservatives are well and truly on the ropes, largely as a result of their own gaffes and self-imposed scandals.

CNN's Nic Robertson explains.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Elections close, UK PM Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party facing an historic drubbing.

GIDEON SKINNER, SENIOR UK DIRECTOR OF POLITICS, IPSOS: The polls are showing that the Conservatives are in a perceived difficult position.

The last central estimate was having the conservatives around about 115 seats.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Six hundred and fifty seats at stake. Each week of campaigning damaging Sunak more than the last.

The British prime minister left D-Day commemorations in France early.

RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: On reflection, that was a mistake and I apologize.

ROBERTSON (voice over): More damaging allegations followed. Several of his senior staff bet on the unexpected July 4th election date.

SUNAK: Well, I was incredibly angry.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Good for his main opponent, Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, you'd think, not so much.

Labour like Conservative have dropped a little in the polls.

SKINNER: Maybe two to three points. The big picture is still that Labour has got, on average a fairly healthy lead.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Healthy, meaning about 20 percentage points.

Starmer's challenge, most voters aren't sure what he stands for recently praising his socialist predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, now booted from Labour

saying he would have been a better prime minister than Donald Trump friend, Boris Johnson.

KEIR STARMER, UK LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Look what we got, Boris Johnson, a man who made massive promises, didn't keep them.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Labour's left-wing legacy haunts Starmer, a centrist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said he'd make a great prime minister, did you mean it?

STARMER: It wasn't a question that really arose because I didn't think we were going to win the election.

ROBERTSON (voice over): His skills so far, uniting his once fractious party, not so for Sunak. Right-wing Tory voters increasingly tempted by the

upstart right-wing disruptor Reform Party led by Nigel Farage.

NIGEL FARAGE, REFORM PARTY LEADER: Thanks for coming, everybody.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Another friend of Trump, who almost a decade ago led the charge for Brexit. Now, back in the political fray, as ever,

pulling the country right, costing Sunak voters.

The field though bigger than these three leading parties middle-class, middle of the road liberal democrats, struggling for attention.

ED DAVEY, UK LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADER: I don't think politicians should take themselves too seriously.

ROBERTSON (voice over): His stunts paying off, lib dem polling up slightly, mostly at Sunak's expense.

Starmer looking to benefit in Scotland, too. The powerful, but scandal-hit independence driven Scottish National Party, SNP onto their third leader in

15 months.

JOHN SWINNEY, FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND: Be careful what you wish for, because the Labour Party is going to pick up where the Torys left off.

ROBERTSON (voice over): But despite their tough talk, likely losing their dominance north of the border.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Polls are notorious. There is no hard guarantee of actual results and if the most favorable outcome for Sunak is an historic

loss, the worst could leave his party in the political wilderness for years, vulnerable to populists like Faraj.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.



QUEST: Now across the channel, French voters are heading to the polls this weekend for the first round of their own legislative elections.

President Macron's gamble is expected to backfire with the far-right set to make big gains when both rounds are over.

Like in Britain, the establishment is facing an uphill climb. It is consistent with the latest Edelman Trust barometer, barely half the people

surveyed trust their governments. That number has fallen to 39 percent in France and 30 percent in Britain.

Richard Edelman is with me, the CEO of the company.

So Richard, we do have -- I mean, we have your trust barometer with all its implications, but we have to very real elections taking place in the UK

where I am today and across the channel in France, which seems to bear out the truth of this.

RICHARD EDELMAN, CEO, EDELMAN: Richard, the big news of the trust barometer we've just conducted in 15 countries is that people are making choices of

their brands based on their politics. It is just as important as their gender, their age, their religion, their race, their income levels,

education, so politics is the new factor in brand marketing.

QUEST: But how does that relate to what they decide? I mean, it is fine to say politics is part of the brand, but if you're a political party facing

an election, how do you massage that to the electorate that is basically suspicious of you?

EDELMAN: The question really is how corporations and their brands respond to a highly politicized moment? I really believe that branch should steer

away from being political. They have to recognize they are, however, in a very politicized moment.

So your choice of influencers, your supply chain, everything has become an important issue. Even Caitlin Clark not making the US women's basketball

team was construed by some as, oh, well, because of her race or whatever. It is ridiculous and she said so.

So, companies have to be very clear that they have a mission to do business and try to have narrower yellow lines about what they talk about.

QUEST: I liked it. Okay, Richard, but you have said to me on this program more than once, companies have to be true to their values. But in this

highly politicized environment, it seems that what companies would like to do is, I see no evil, I hear no evil -- la-la-la-la. This isn't happening

all around me.

EDELMAN: Richard, you can't put your head down and hope the storm is going to pass. Silence is actually construed as agreement with the worst possible


So you have to be declarative about your values. You have to stick with them. You have to make sure you protect your core audience first. Make sure

that you are consistent, but then be sure that you're trying to talk about issues that appeal to left and right.

A good example, Modelo, a beer is now doing a campaign where they talk about Latinos working hard and coming home and having a beer. Everybody can

agree around that.

QUEST: So was it a mistake for the Budweisers and the Targets of this world on Pride since we are in June to sort of do a vault fast, head in the

opposite direction because there was a consumer backlash.

And if you now throw in politics, is that more likely?

EDELMAN: So, of course, there is defending your core audience. That is absolutely rule number one. Second, you've got to be clear that the world

is moved from multinational to multi-local.

The rise of nationalism is stunning in this study, we see 80 percent of people saying, I won't buy brands from a specific country. For example,

Americans wont by Chinese or vice versa. And so you've got to say, these are my values, I am staying with these and that's where we are.

QUEST: Richard, fascinating. We will talk more about this when I am back in New York and we can really get to grips.

Thank you, sir. Grateful.

EDELMAN: Thank you.

QUEST: Now, talking of debate, so have a look at it. It is the first look at the presidential debate stage at CNN's Atlanta headquarters. We've set

it all up. Thursday's debate, first time in history, somebody's words there. A sitting president debates a former president, 9:00 PM Eastern and

then a replay at a few different times. 7:00 AM Hong Kong, 2:00 PM -- sorry, 7:00 London, Hong Kong. Actual hours again -- look, you can see on

the screen, it is all online and you'll find out where it is. It will be a fascinating 90 minutes, like nothing we've seen before I am predicting.


Chipotle's $3,000.00 stock price was perhaps a bit more than investors could swallow, a bit like the burrito. So now let's make it more like chips

for everyone. Chipotle awaits me on the other side of this break.


QUEST: Breaking news from Bolivia, the president of the country is denouncing what he calls irregular mobilization of some army units in the

country's capital La Paz. The video shows armored vehicle hitting the entrance of the Bolivian National Palace and soldiers are entering the

building. State media is reporting tanks gathering near the main square in La Paz. President Luis Arce wrote on X that democracy must be respected and

the country's former president wrote on X a coup d'etat is brewing.

Patrick Oppmann is on the phone.

Patrick, it sounds from what we're hearing that both political spectrum of, you know, I mean, of the regular parties, President Morales and the current

president, both of them what we would be very much concerned that a coup by the army is underway.

OPPMANN (via phone): Yes, it certainly, you know, looks like that, which are dire, and it's raising the spectrum of the not-so-distant past here in

Latin America, where troops and their commanders, when they disagreed with the democratically elected governments, other countries would simply oust

them a lot of times with U.S. approval.


But so far we are seeing across the region immediate combination from the left to the government of Chile -- sorry, right to the government of Chile,

to the left you're in Cuba. So just amazing to see the governments across the region reacting with what's playing out minute by minute on the streets

of La Paz where you have these soldiers, some of the masked, some of them breaking down the doors of the presidential palace, and so far apparently

not being opposed by either police or other military in Bolivia.

And apparently the tensions between the democratically elected government of Bolivia, of Luis Arce and the military, some reports that there've been

senior commanders who have been -- who lost their jobs in the last several days and apparently may be angry over that. And that has spilled over very,

very publicly, violently, and hopefully, you know, the violence will not get worse but where this all goes, it's very unclear because certainly the

region has lost its appetite for this kind of thing.

QUEST: Right. And first of all, do we know the whereabouts of the president and the safety of the president and his cabinet? But related to that, this

coup, I mean, can it expect, if it is a coup, can it expect to receive support from any neighbors? Because obviously what's the point of taking

over if you become a pariah, and you know, essentially, nobody wants anything to do with you?

OPPMANN: You know, it's hard to see what the long-term plan is here. But because, of course, you know, the president -- you mentioned Evo Morales,

former president of Bolivia, he was also ousted after allegations that he had stolen election. The police and military public rose up against him.

That installed a much more right-wing government, transitional government, and there really was a crisis in Bolivia that, you know, goes to the point

of this very, very divided nation.

There was a democratic election that the U.S. and everyone accepted. Luis Arce is the democratically elected president of Bolivia at this moment.

Everyone accepts that like it or not, except that these troops that we're now seeing essentially hammered their way into the presidential palace,

apparently looking for him. We don't know what the ultimate goal is, but they have surrounded the presidential palace in the center of La Paz.

As of a few minutes ago the president was able to communicate via social media. So we don't know where he is. Certainly if I were him I would be

keeping that -- I'll be keeping a low profile until order is restored, if order can be restored. I mean, is this the entire armed forces that has

risen up or is this just a certain group of certain commander that are upset, that are acting on their own and so far are not being opposed?

We don't know. This is playing out minute by minute. And certainly for many people in the who, region, you know, the hope was this was the past.

QUEST: Right.

OPPMANN: That the military is rising up against democratically elected government so that was not going to repeat because it happens so many times

throughout Latin America and yet here we are, 2024 watching this mostly on social media as it appears that a coup d'etat is underway.

QUEST: The history of coups in this part -- in your part of the world where you are, just about every country seems to have had one at some point. But

as you rightly point out they are slightly out of vogue at the moment. Other neighbors, international organizations don't really encourage them,

let alone encourage those who then support them.

OPPMANN: No. That's right, Richard. We've seen President Boric in Chile and certainly, you know, sort of the left middle of the spectrum criticizes the

very far left here in Cuba where I am and beyond. So you've seen governments of all stripes come out. The OAS has come out, which is even

more to, you know, the right wing of the spectrum. Luis Almagro has come out condemning this. You know, certainly it's hard to imagine the Biden

administration can have any kind of words for the military rising up and essentially trying to force out a democratically elected president of a

country in South America, of Bolivia.

And Luis Arce has not been as radical as Evo Morales. He's obviously to the left, you know, there's no denying that, but there's also no denying that

there was a clean election that was held.


He's the president. He's recognized by the U.S., by every other country in the region. So what the game plan is here maybe you would hope that this is

just an attempt to pressure the government, but it's already gone too far. If the breaking windows, if they're holding the main square in La Paz

essentially hostage, you know, masked armed gunmen, this is something that could lead to a much greater violence if it's not contained very quickly.

QUEST: And Patrick, you know, as this follows as the formula that we often see where the coup no doubt at some point the internet will be cut off, at

some point, communications will be cut off, and at some point some general will appear on television to claim that it was all being done in the name

of the people, and that they are rescuing them from whatever, whatever. I mean that's if sort of -- I don't mean to be flippant when I say this is a

good old-fashioned South American, Latin American, Central American coup, that's the way it'll go.

OPPMANN: But the fact it hasn't really speaks volumes about perhaps the planning and the long-term success of this. But the fact that we are

watching the images on social media, the internet, of course I'm not there, but the internet appears to be working for many, many people and that

blooming journalists are doing the job quite admirably and getting out that information as well as it can speaks to the fact that this, well, coup or

uprising, whatever you want to call it, does not have all the elements it would need because you want to have that information blackout immediately.

And yet we are watching and seeing updates second-by-second. New images coming in and that probably says a lot about what could happen here and the

lack of total control.

QUEST: I have to say, Patrick, I loved your phrase, you're the master of the understatement taking things a bit too far which I think sums up

exactly because this is nasty, Patrick. This is nasty.

OPPMANN: It's going to end poorly for somebody and, you know, obviously there's been a fight brewing between the military and the civilian

leadership in Bolivia now going on, some time now you have, you know, typically right-wing elements in the military and they've been unhappy with

the left leadership but, you know, hard to see how this ends well for the people who are taking, trying to take control of the country at the point

of a gun.

Patrick Oppman is in Cuba watching events and will be back to the moment there is more drip. Thank you.

QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, as we continue, it's team of researchers on the first scientific expedition to explore the furthest source of Africa's mightiest




QUEST: "Call to Earth" this week follows a South African explorer's mission to document Africa's inland with the basins. It's part of multi-year

expedition across Africa for Steve Boyes as he explores Northern Zambia, the furthest source to one of the continent's mightiest rivers.




BOYES: This is the source water of the Congo River, this is the biggest river in Africa, one of the biggest in the world as our Amazon. And this

water supports the largest carbon sink on the planet right now. Globally important. And, you know, all rivers are born at their sources. One of the

security comes from the sources. It's the (INAUDIBLE), it's just water. Sources are infested when it's saturated and have some form of water

storage. The water tiles of Africa, the Great Spine of Africa.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Call to Earth" guest editor Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to exploration and the

science of Africa's fresh water systems. Having said comprehensive scientific baselines across the length and breadth of the Okavango, Steve

now plans to do the same for the remaining five inland river basins of Africa, the Zambezi, the Nile, Chad, Niger and the largest of them all, the


The Congo basin stretches across 3.4 million square kilometers of the continent, barreling through the borders of up to 10 countries, but its

further source is the Chambeshi in the northern corner of Zambia. Steve and his team are the first scientific expedition to ever attempt to trip down

the length of this river.

BOYES: I was nervous before coming to look at the water. I'm excited now. It looks like a beautiful river. I'm just getting to know the Congo system.

And it's something I don't recognize. You don't recognize the trees. You don't recognize the birds. It just becomes foreign. There's magic, there's

mythology, there's power to these rivers. It's the unknown, and that's every single corner. And typically of these rivers, no one's ever

photographed them. There's no record of what they are. We produce that in the end. Of course, I'm nervous.

WEIR (voice-over): Along the water, the stream of data is relentless. Every bird, settlement, boat, bridge, anything that can be seen from the river is

recorded by the team, creating a comprehensive snapshot of the ecosystem. Throughout the journey, the team is recording 360-degree imagery and

stopping at regular intervals to do environmental DNA sampling and fish biodiversity monitoring.

MATT DOOLEY, RESEARCHER, GREAT SPINE OF AFRICA: As the expedition researcher, I'm responsible for collecting all of the data that we need

from this trip. The EDNA will show us what the aquatic diversity is in the river. In some of these rivers it's even though I've studied fish, the

diversity is incredible. And there's not many people in the world who actually know all the fish that we're collecting. So we often find new

species or new subspecies of fish. And the Chambeshi River in particular is very poorly sampled with regards to fish diversity.

WEIR (voice-over): That recordings are also collected every night. And flow measurements are conducted to see how the river is evolving as it makes its

way across the country.

BOYES: And it's not just going down and taking pictures and looking and meeting people. These are the most detailed hydrological, ecological river

baselines ever undertaken anywhere on earth. And we're doing this for future scientists.

STEPHEN MBEWE, RESEARCHER, GREAT SPINE OF AFRICA: Most of our institutions here in the country find that they lack in resources. Nothing more we study

like with Chambeshi has been done. So it's a very, very, very great opportunity for Zambian researchers to pick it up from here.



QUEST: My word. To find the source of the river. And then to reinvestigate it and explore it like that. For more on Steve and his team, tune in for

"Call to Earth: The Great Spine of Africa." It's this weekend and only of course here on CNN.


QUEST: The president of Bolivia is calling to respect democracy as it appears that some sort of coup d'etat is underway, or at least attempting.

He's calling it irregular mobilizations of some of the army units in the country's capital. President Luis Arce has just spoken. It follows media

reports and state media that armored vehicles have gathered near the main square in La Paz. The video showing soldiers entering the country's

national palace. The EU's foreign policy chief is condemning any attempt to disrupt the constitutional order.

Christophers Sabatini is an expert on the region with Chatham House joins me now.

And why would the army or certain renegade elements of it want to launch a coup against the elected government? What's their beef?

CHRISTOPHER SABATINI, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, we really don't know. There are three factors at play here. There's been a

division in the MAS, which is the governing party, between Luis Arce, the president, and Evo Morales who's his rival, who was the founder of the MAS.

They've been trying for a long time to sort of gather sort of the upper hand in both the government and who will succeed each other.

But there's also a significant contingent of conservatives, particularly in the east of the country, who have been claiming that the country has been

stolen and robbed and co-opted by the MAS movement. So we really don't know what's happening. There is a potential here, and I don't want to speculate

too much. This is all sort of orchestrated within the MAS as a way to justify a clamp down on power.

QUEST: Right. You're suggesting they're doing it themselves.

SABATINI: Well, again, the primary conflict has been between, again, Luis Arce and Evo Morales, and so, you know, it's an effort to some to distract

and to consolidate that would make more sense because the truth is --

QUEST: Yes, all right.


QUEST: But if that's -- this is, you know, as Patrick Oppmann said, things are getting out of hand.


This is more than a bit of trouble. This is -- the pictures are strong and it will be very, very difficult to put this Genie back in the bottle again.

SABATINI: I'm not saying it's insignificant, but the truth is that whether this is inter-party rivalry we'll have to see, but yes, I mean, a military

coup in any country in Latin America actually is trouble, will also meet with the opprobrium of the international community.

QUEST: So we're already seeing Paraguay and other regional leaders making quite clear they'll have no truck with this, which is an interesting way as

Patrick again was saying how those who are promulgating it will get out of jail free, if you will, to use that phrase, in how they handle it from here

on in.

SABATINI: I'm not sure they'll get out of jail free, but it's funny this occurs exactly the moment that the Organization of American States, the

U.N. of Latin America, if you will, is meeting in Paraguay and the OAS, Organizational of American States, has a clause that basically ensures the

defense of democracy against interruptions of the democratic order. So we'll have to see how they pronounce on this.

QUEST: Right.

SABATINI: But again, it's curious that it happens just as they're meeting in Paraguay.

QUEST: Christopher, we'll talk more. I'm grateful for you. Thank you. Short notice for coming in and giving us your time. Very kind of you.

SABATINI: Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you.

We will take a "Profitable Moment" after the break.


QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable moment, let me just talk about Chipotle, which today split the stock by 50 to one. 50 to one. It's one of the largest

stock splits that we've ever seen on Wall Street. And the reason can best be described and explained by Chipotle. This is one of their burritos. A

nice large burrito.

The problem was, as the stock price, think of this as the stock price, got to the best part of $3,000 a share. Well, as you can see, it's a bit of a

mouthful. So they split the stock and instead they create this, which is a lot more. I can have one of these, you can have one of those. And the stock

which was $3,000 is now $66 a share.

Let's be clear about this. You know and I know that splitting the stock does not in any shape or form change the corporation's underlying

fundamentals. It doesn't make any difference at all in the long run, but in the short term, it makes it more affordable for ordinary investors. And

that's why they did it.

Now, only time will show whether more people bought in and those that did buy in did it raise the share price? But it's a very -- the sheer numbers,

50 to one, that tells us an interesting experiment has been launched, and we need to watch it closely.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest. Should it be burrito or not? Burrito or chips? Maybe both. Whatever you're up to in

the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. "THE LEAD" is text. Get off. They're mine. All of them.