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Quest Means Business

France In Limbo After Left-Wing Alliance Beats Far Right; White House: Biden Not Being Treated For Parkinson's Disease; Ukraine Vows To Retaliate After Russian Missile Barrage Kills Dozens; Congressman Adam Smith Joins Other House Democrats Calling On Biden To Drop Out Of Race; Boeing To Plead Guilty To Fraud Over 737 MAX Crashes; Paramount Global Agrees To Merge With Skydance. Aired 4-4:45p ET

Aired July 08, 2024 - 16:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, well, have a look at that trading range. Can you tell its summer? No traders are awaiting more

economic data at the end of the week, but still, it is a quiet day.

Those other markets, and these are the main events: Uncertainty in France, a surprise surge by the left-wing coalition leads to a hung Parliament.

Boeing will plead guilty to defrauding authorities for its role in two fatal 737 Max crashes. It is not the outcome victims' families had hoped


And he is devoted, he is attentive, and he is a chat bot. Dating in the age of artificial intelligence, you'll want to see this.

Live from New York. It is Monday, July 8th. I'm Paula Newton for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

And good evening. Tonight, a shock election result in France has left lawmakers scrambling for a path forward and President Emmanuel Macron is

severely weakened.

We want to go straight to our Isa Soares, who is in Paris for us tonight and has been for the better part of this fine -- of this political


Isa, over to you.

ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: Hi, Paula. A very good evening to you.

Political uncertainty reigns in France, it continues to rain after a fractious left-wing alliance upset the far right in Sunday's election,

really a shock as Paula was saying there.

Emmanuel Macron has rejected Prime Minister Gabriel Attal's resignation for now while negotiations are underway to form a new government. The New

Popular Front now holds the most seats in the National Assembly, have a look at the breakdown there, but it is short, as you can see, of an

absolute majority.

Even so, many are celebrating, the setback for the far-right, which had dominated the election's opening round.

Our Melissa Bell is outside the National Assembly in Paris and she joins me now. So Melissa, I wonder the question is, for our voters as we see, there

is such a fractured National Assembly, what happens now? Just talk us through the options here.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The truth is, Isa, nobody knows, even at this stage, the relief of last night that saw so many people come out of

the streets of Paris, Place de la Republique and elsewhere to celebrate the fact that the far-right had been blocked. It doesn't actually answer the

question of what happens now, and there is really no one who knows.

We know that the president himself believes that this is likely to be a long drawn-out process. We heard it from a source close to Emmanuel Macron

that it is possible that France has no government at the time of the opening of the Paris Olympics in just 18 days' time.

The negotiations have gone underway, but one of the big problems, Isa, is that this particular lions that has scored this extraordinary victory,

managing to bring the country together, managing to lead to all that tactical voting and keep the far-right out is itself a very disparate bunch

of parties that had trouble in the past getting along or agreeing on terribly much.

So they've been united in their opposition to the far-right. The question is now, what they are for. And beyond the questions of policy, there is the

immediate question of what candidate they are likely to propose to become the next prime minister.

And of course that will matter a great deal because the color of the prime minister, whether he is from the far-left, from the moderate-left, from

ecologists, or a compromise again, between parties that have traditionally found it difficult to compromise on terribly much will determine how easy

or difficult Emmanuel Macron finds it then two cohabit with this particular prime minister and the government he is likely to form over what is going

to be the second half of Emmanuel Macron's second and last presidential term.

Essentially, I think one prediction is fairly certain, which is that he is not going to be able to do very much. Whichever candidate he choose,

whether he is moderate or less moderate is not going to be someone that works for his party or is a representative of his centrist alliance. And

therefore, you can expect a fair amount of political deadlock ahead -- Isa.

SOARES: Well, let's have a look at -- apologies, Melissa, I want to have a look, replay out for our viewers the options here going forward and it is a

divided, divisive --

Oh, apologies. Do we have Melissa's report? Can we go to it? Have a look at this?




BELL (voice over): Disbelief and joy on the streets of Paris as news of the far-right's defeat was announced.

JEAN-LUC MELENCHON, LEADER OF FRANCE UNBOWED PARTY (through translator): The united left has shown that it has risen to this historical occasion.

BELL (voice over): Even that unified left seemed astonished by its own success, an improbable coalition with ecologists, socialists, and

communists that was only created a month ago.

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT AND SOCIALIST (through translator): I am indeed a leftist and I probably wouldn't have won if the

left hadn't come together and I am well aware of that.

BELL (voice over): As Paris celebrated the coalition's victory, there were already questions though about how such a varied group of parties will

actually govern.

CAMILLE, NFP VOTER: We are quite happy because the left is getting a majority of the Parliament, but we are bit scared as well because the union

is not really solid. So maybe there will be a betrayal, but tonight we are celebrating.


BELL (on camera): The biggest disappointment of all, of course for Marine Le Pen, she had hopes that her National Rally Party would finally be able

to govern.

In fact, it came in third, but still recorded the party's best ever electoral success.

BELL (voice over): Doubling the number of its parliamentary seats with the far-left doing well, too. The radical party's gains, largely made at the

expense of President Macron's centrists.

A reflection of growing anger much of it outside of Paris like here in Normandy, where the National Rally won outright in the first round.

JEAN-PAUL RIBIERE, DEPUTY MAYOR, TALMONTIERS (through translator): The vote here is more of a disapproval of what is happening in Paris compared to

what's happening in the rural world, which is that no one listens to us. No one hears us.

BELL (voice over): Yet, the images of the far-right celebrating their first-round success appear to have focused the minds and the votes of those

who wanted more than anything else to keep them away from power, for now.


BELL (on camera): So many of the questions in the last few weeks, Isa, have been what was Emmanuel Macron thinking when he dissolved the Parliament?

How will this gamble go?

The answer tonight is the far-right was kept out of power, but France has become far less governable than it was before -- Isa.

SOARES: Yes, everyone now asking, what is Macron thinking now? We shall wait and see for that response.

Melissa Bell, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

And the French left has a short window to celebrate before the hard choices really, truly begin. During the campaign, the NFP vowed to scrap Macron's

unpopular pension reforms. It also proposed price caps on energy and certain foods and raising both the minimum wage and public salaries.

The added government spending could run afoul of the EU's fiscal rules. France already has one of the highest deficits in the Eurozone.

Well, I spoke to French journalist and filmmaker, Rokhaya Diallo just a short time ago. She said she thinks Macron's next move may be a slap in the

face to the French electorate.

We discussed the immediate reaction to the results in France. Have a listen.


ROKHAYA DIALLO, FRENCH JOURNALIST AND FILMMAKER: I couldn't believe it. It was such a surprise because we've been telling the tale about the far-right

being the great winner of this election. So we were -- like everybody was prepared to (AUDIO GAP) France, so suddenly, having -- not only having them

not winning the election, but also having the left being first was a surprised.

It was a surprise.

SOARES: But they still got -- they didn't win, they are at third in the election, but they still got a substantial number of seats and we heard

Marine Le Pen saying, she said "The tide is rising."

And just to put into perspective for our viewers, I mean, in 2022, I had seen four million voted for Le Pen, 11 million voted for the far-right.

That in itself is worrying.

DIALLO: It is concerning. It has been concerning and it is still concerning because if you quantify the members of voters, they have the largest number

of voters, the hard line, much more voters than they used to have in 2022, for example, in 2027, they only have eight MPs. This year they have 143

with the coalition, so it is a big number.

It is a big win to them and when you win many votes, you win a substantial amount of money. So that will give them enough means to train and to

prepare the next election.

SOARES: More resources and the platform.

DIALLO: Exactly.

SOARES: Let's speak to the political conundrum that France and political deadlock that France is facing now, because yes, the far-right is third,

but it does seem that political limbo, there will face a political limbo. How do you see this moving?


DIALLO: I think that even if they are third, they have won an ideological battle because during the last term, there were only 89, which is a big

number actually, and they managed to influence Macron's policy in a substantial way.

For example, a bill on immigration was voted in December and the position of the presidential party decided to include all the demands from the far-

right, and Marine Le Pen claimed that bill as a win, as a success for her, as a victory.

So that means that today, many of the right-wing parties look up to the ideology of the far-right because they think that helped them in winning.

So it is very concerning because today, their ideas are normalized. They are part of the mainstream and they're part of the political landscape.

You know, once it was commonplace to fight their ideas and even to fight their presence in the mainstream. Now, it is commonplace to run after their

ideas and to try to make them mainstream.

SOARES: And we are seeing, of course, we don't know how it is going to play it out. We know there is a lot of horse trading right now. Where do you see

-- I mean, the challenges in the next weeks and months for France? Who is going to be the next prime minister? How will they govern? The machinations

going on?

DIALLO: So this situation is unprecedented in the Fifth Republic in France. We have a very polarized political life and we are not used to having like

three big groups having --

SOARES: The coalitions.

DIALLO: Yes. Coalitions with almost the same numbers of MPs. So the difficulty would be to find someone who will be consensual enough to

represent the majority group, which is the left without governing with Macron.

SOARES: How do you see -- how you see it going? Because I've heard today people saying, oh, he is going to go towards the right, la Republica, or he

is going to go towards the left. Where do you stand on this?

DIALLO: I think that Macron is still hoping to be the coalition on the center right, that's why he kept his Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, because

there are enough MPs in the center and in the right to build a coalition, but it will take him to convince MPs one-by-one, but it is impossible --

SOARES: But will that be -- how would that be received though by the French electorate who clearly voted the other way the majority of them?

DIALLO: Of course, it will be received as a slap in the face as many of Macron's decisions. So like the dissolution of the -- coming to the snap

election, but I think that everything that has happened over the past week has been very surprising and shocking to many because like what Macron has

done was a very dangerous and reckless gamble.

It was -- he really risked much and its only because candidates mostly from the left decided to withdraw themselves in order to block the far-right

that they didn't win and that they didn't make it to have an absolute majority.

But if not, you would -- he would have risked the lives the of many.


SOARES: Rokhaya Diallo speaking to me there.

I want to get back to Paula, and Paula, I expect I believe furious days of horse-trading and perhaps some instability and uncertainty in the days

ahead here.

Sigh of relief, no doubt, but this is political deadlock for now.

NEWTON: Yes. And we continue to watch, Isa. It is just fascinating what is going on there on the ground.

Isa, good to have you there. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

SOARES: Thanks, Paula.

NEWTON: Now, US President Joe Biden tells Democrats in no uncertain terms, he is seeing the race through to its end.

Biden delivered that message in a forcefully worded letter to lawmakers telling them that any weakening of resolve would only benefit Donald

Trump's campaign.

Biden said voters had their say during the primaries and it is time to move on, and he reinforced that message on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program when he

called in. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): I am getting so frustrated but by the elites, now I am not talking about you guys, but by

the elites in the party who they know so much more.

If any of these guys don't think I should run, run against me. Go ahead. Announce the president -- challenge me in the convention.


NEWTON: Biden also spoke today with campaign donors as some start to have real -- very real second thoughts. A participant on that call says Biden

seemed to grasp the gravity of the moment after last week's debate.

Now, in other breaking new, CNN and other media outlets are reporting that a Parkinson's specialist met with President Biden's physician at the White

House earlier this year.

The White House press secretary denies that the president is suffering from Parkinson's. I want you to listen to that now.



KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Every year that he has had this exam, he sees a neurologist and just to give you a quote from that --

from the report most recently in February, an extremely detailed neurological exam was again reassuring in that ". there were no findings

things which would be consistent with any cerebella -- cerebellar or other central neurological disorders such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis,

Parkinson's, or ascending lateral sclerosis."

So that came directly from -- in February in that comprehensive report that was provided by the president's doctor to me that I share with all of you.

So anyone who is watching can certainly go to our website.


NEWTON: All right, our John King is in Washington for us. Of course, you've been out speaking to voters about all of this, but I do want to get to the

point that we are 10 days post-debate night, John.

You were the first among anyone to tell us, you came on the air at the debate and said, I am hearing from Democrats, they are panicking.

So can you trying to give us just kind of a state of the race right now as to whether or not Biden is in or out? Because what we are hearing now, it

seems like he is not going anywhere.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is in, Paula and he is digging deeper saying he is not getting out. He is being absolute about

that. He is trying to put pressure on those who believe it would be best for him to get out.

And the president is dividing the party as he does that, make no mistake about it.

Very few Democrats will say so publicly, but there are very few who are coming out and saying he should step aside. What the president is trying to

say is, you heard him in that "Morning Joe" interview, get in the race. Well, it is too late to get in the race. The primaries are over. The

president has the delegates.

No one is going to challenge him on the floor of the convention. Many though, Paula, are still trying to convince him they believe that the data

shows and it is pretty hard to change data when you get closer and closer to an election that not only is Joe Biden going to lose, but that they are

going to lose the House and lose the Senate and Donald Trump will have an all Republican, all Trump Washington, that's the argument they are trying

to make to the president.

The president's team has saying, go away, this will settle down and the poll numbers will change. They are hoping with the Republican Convention

next week, maybe voters see Trump and they are reminded, but make no mistake about it, there is still a panic in the Democratic Party and a lot

of people in this town say, you know, let's see where we are at the end of the week. If the president can show some polls have improved, maybe the

volume turns down, but if he cannot, Paula, trust me, it is not just about the presidency.

Democrats are worried about the House, worried about the Senate, worried about the other down-ballot races in 2024. Their concerns are not going

down as the president continues to whether he is doing rallies, whether he is doing interviews whether it is releasing that letter, he is trying to

turn the volume down, so far he is not succeeding.

NEWTON: Yes, and what you say about the fact that its dividing the party, that is incredibly serious, especially when you're out there talking to

voters. I mean, I am really curious to hear from you especially those voters in swing states. What are they saying about all of this?

KING: So you just heard the president saying it is just the elites. That is simply not true.

Now, to be fair to the president, I was just in Wisconsin last week, a swing town called Cedarburg. It is a small city that Joe Biden won by 19

votes -- 19 votes. It is in the Milwaukee suburb. In 2020, Hillary Clinton lost it to Donald Trump. He got 55 percent back in 2016.

These are the kind of swing voters that settle the close states. A number of Democrats Biden voters we spoke to said they thought it would be best,

Paula, if he would get out of the race. They said they were frightened. They were scared by what they saw in the debate, and they have every reason

to believe his condition will only get worse, that he can't be president for four-and-a-half more years.

Now, to be fair, they said they would vote for Biden if he stays in the race, those voters; however, close races are won on enthusiasm and many of

the people we talked to are in the hospitality industry. So they are talking to their employees, they're talking to their suppliers, they're

talking to their customers, they're talking to other businesses.

And the thing that struck me, Paula, from this visit to see Cedarburg was Democrats are just demoralized. They are demoralized with what they saw

from the president and many of them don't think he can turn it around.

Many of them said if I were there a week before the debate, they would have told me they believed President Biden would carry Wisconsin again.

And remember, Trump wins Wisconsin in 2016, he wins the presidency. Biden wins it in 2020, he wins the presidency. It is one of those key swing


Those Democrats who said a week before the debate, they thought Biden, would he get out? Now, they're not so sure. Some of them actually think he

is going to lose.

NEWTON: What an incredible turn of events in 10 days and we will continue to watch this race.

John King, thanks so much, really helpful to have your analysis.

KING: Thank you.

NEWTON: Appreciate it.

KING: Thank you.

NEWTON: And coming up for us, Russia's deadliest strikes on Ukraine in months killed dozens of civilians. Ukrainian leaders now vowing to




NEWTON: Ukraine says Russia's deadliest missile attack in months will not go unanswered, at least 36 people were killed in the daytime barrage, which

targeted cities right across Ukraine. One strike partially destroyed a children's hospital in Kyiv.

Fred Pleitgen reports now on the brazen assault.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A massive attack in broad daylight. This social media video purporting to

show the moment a Russian missile hit Kyiv's main children's hospital.

The building flat.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Desperate first responders, but also hospital staff trying to find survivors under the debris.

(MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO speaking in foreign language.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): "There are people under the rubble," Kyiv's mayor says. "There may be children among them."

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): Tis woman in tears. "We came here five minutes before it all happened," she says. "We managed to get to the pediatric

ward. It's a nightmare."

Just days before, Vladimir Putin's military bombed Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, currently holding

the European Union presidency, was in Moscow. A trip that other EU leaders have rejected and criticized. Putin using the platform to attack the US and

its allies.

(VLADIMIR PUTIN speaking in foreign language.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): "The sponsors of Ukraine continue to try to use this country and its people as a battering ram," Putin said. "A victim in the

confrontation with Russia."

Urban is not only arguably Vladimir Putin's staunchest ally in Europe, he is also a major supporter of former President Donald Trump celebrating a

March visit to Mar-a-Lago on his Instagram page and telling German outlet "Bild," he supports Trump's presidential bid in an exclusive interview.

VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER: So he is -- he is a from businessman. He is a self-made man. He has a different approach to

everything. And I believe that that will be good for the world politics.

Don't forget that he is the man of the peace.

PLEITGEN: Orban cozying up to other US adversaries as well. Currently, on a visit to China meeting President Xi Jinping. Beijing is saying, they are

pleased with Orban's efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

This as, China has just sent troops to neighboring Belarus, close to NATO's eastern flank for military exercises.

The Ukrainians say, rather than proposals for their de-facto surrender, they more air defense systems to help prevent strikes like the one that

destroyed the children's hospital.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


NEWTON: As you can imagine Ukraine will be the major focus of this week's NATO Summit in Washington. Leaders are gathering tomorrow to mark the 75th

anniversary of the alliance.

President Biden is set to hold a news conference on Thursday, which will no doubt be scrutinized for any possible slip up. White House national

security spokesperson, John Kirby spoke to reporters earlier. He was asked if the president will try to reassure NATO allies who saw his debate with

Donald Trump. Listen.



that they need to be reassured of American leadership and President Biden's commitment.


And I don't believe that's the case. We are not picking up any signs of that from our allies at all, quite the contrary.

The conversations that we are having with them in advance is, they're excited about this Summit. They're excited about the possibilities and the

things that were going to be doing together specifically to help Ukraine.


NEWTON: Kylie Atwood is in Washington for us, and Kylie, I know how closely you follow the US relations with all of these allies.

Now, against all odds, NATO has the expansion it wants, right? But Ukraine itself still continues to struggle.

Stoltenberg, who is -- eventually will be the outgoing NATO secretary general, says the war in Ukraine demonstrates how closely aligned Russia

and China and North Korea and Iran are and this is the key line here, China is the main enabler of Russia's war aggression against Ukraine.

Faced with that, how do you look into this Summit in the next few days, especially given the distraction of US politics right now.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well look, the distraction of US politics is undeniable. Of course, you started out there

with that sound from John Kirby from the White House effectively denying that there are any questions from US allies who are going to be here in

Washington about President Biden's capability to do the job given that disastrous debate performance.

I have talked to diplomats from NATO countries though, who say they are going to be watching incredibly closely for the performance of President

Biden throughout the week here.

They saw signs of his age during the G7, which was just last month. So they will be watching to see if they see those signs again and if there are any

reason to raise concerns about those with the White House.

Today, they haven't gone to the White House and made any pleads with them to change course because President Biden is obviously doubling down on the

fact that he is going to be the Democratic nominee in November.

When it comes to the substance, here in Washington this week, we heard from John Kirby saying that the alliance is going to be making some

announcements about the air defense for Ukraine, increasing the alliance's support for Ukraine's air defense that has been a much needed ask of

Ukraine in recent months and really for a while now.

And there is also the expectation that there is going to be some more details with regard to how Ukraine gets into NATO, what the State

Department, what the US officials are calling this bridge to NATO for Ukraine.

The White House is saying that NATO is in Ukraine's future, but we will watch and see exactly how explicit they are with laying out that pathway or

if it is a little bit more broad-based language that we've seen in the past.

NEWTON: Always with an eye to who will be heading up the next US government in 2025.

Kylie Atwood for us, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

Now, Boeing has agreed to plead guilty and pay a big fine for its role in two 737 Max crashes. I will speak with Zipporah Kuria who lost her father

in the 2019 Boeing 787 Max crash in Ethiopia, we will speak to her right after the break.



NEWTON: Now just into CNN. House Representative Adam Smith is the latest democrat to call for Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race making

him the sixth House Democrat now to do so. He told CNN's Jake Tapper just moments ago that it's become clear that he's not the person to carry the

democratic message. And it comes as the President has dug in and told donors and other Congress people that he's not going anywhere. Here's what

the congressman said moments ago. Listen.


REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA): Well, like I think he should step aside. I think it's become clear that he's not the best person to carry the democratic

message. And here's the thing. We have an incredibly strong message and record to run on and all, you know, respect to the president. He's done a

great job.


NEWTON: And we will continue to follow that breaking news here on CNN. We now go to Boeing, has agreed in fact to plead guilty to conspiracy to

defraud the U.S. government for its role in two 737 Max airplane crashes. Boeing confirmed the deal in a brief statement saying it was the subject of

approval in terms of the specific terms. Now as part of the agreement, the plane maker will pay up to $487 million in fines.

Boeing will also have to cooperate under the -- have to operate pardon me, under the eye of an independent monitor for the next three years. The

guilty plea adds to Boeing's reputational damage, but it's a far cry from what the billions in penalties that is being sought by the victims'

families. One of those family members joins me now from London. Zipporah Kuria lost her father Joseph in the 2019 Boeing 737 Max crash in Ethiopia.

And we thank you for joining us on what are obviously difficult circumstances. I mean, look, do you believe this deal helps Boeing escape

justice and perhaps more importantly, to families like yours, escape accountability when it comes to those who died?

ZIPPORAH KURIA, FATHER KILLED IN 2019 BOEING CRASH: I mean, escaping accountability seems to be what Boeing specializes in instead of safety.

And I think this deal definitely enables them to do that yet again. You know, you talk about the fine that they have to pay half of that was

already paid in the DPA, Deferred Prosecution Agreement that they had in 2021. And this sweetheart deal is just kind of a reap on that. So yes,

they're definitely yet again evading justice for us and also accountability for them.

NEWTON: Yes. And to be clear, by any measure even a half billion dollars is not a lot for a company of Boeing size. I do want to talk about what the

Department of Justice is saying about this. In a statement, they say Boeing will be required to make historic investments to strengthen and integrate

its compliance and safety programs. This criminal conviction demonstrates the department's commitment to holding Boeing accountable for its


So, do you believe that the U.S. government can hold Boeing accountable to all it says it can do? An independent -- it won't operate independently.

It'll have a monitor or what do you think?


KURIA: I mean, the notion that they would be able to hold Boeing accountable is utterly ridiculous because it can't even hold themselves

accountable to provide justice, which is what the, you know, government is there to do. And also, the fact that this independent monitor would be

selected by Boeing or suggested by Boeing to even indicate that that would mean that there would be objective and doing their job thoroughly is

absolutely ridiculous, which is harrowing, at the same time, because that's what got us here in the first place.

You know, the FAA allowing them to regulate themselves, the DOJ making the same mistake and expecting different results. And, you know, like I said,

it's harrowing because our fear is people will continue to die. And we will continue not to be safe because they're not being held accountable.

NEWTON: And I want to -- really want to underline, underscore that you say it's harrowing, because that's what got us here in the first place. In

fact, you say, if this happens, again, you are pointing the finger at the Department of Justice here and saying that they should be reminded that it

had the opportunity to do something meaningful and instead chose not to buy that. Do you honestly believe that the U.S. government will be complicit if

there's another Boeing safety incident?

KURIA: Yes. But definitely holding our breath, not for the third but for the fourth crash because Alaska, you know, that Alaska door plug incident

was the crash that didn't happen. And it's really terrifying that the Department of Justice is aware of that. They've watched this happen. They

have documentation. We've provided them with ample evidence over the last five years as to why the DPA should have been invalidated.

And also, when they breached the agreement, why they should have, you know, had harsher penalties for them not just the financial ones but also like,

you know, actual criminal charges for the executives that are involved in decision making. And when you have been given everything you can do to make

sure the best outcome is achievable, and you choose not and people die as a result of that.

Of course, that has to land on your conscious because you were at a pinnacle point in a crossroad where you could have changed things and you

chose not to. It's enough looking aside but when the consequences of you looking aside is more lives lost. And that's something that you have to

definitely as we would say in London, that's an L you'd have to eat. That's something you would have to live with.

NEWTON: We will all be watching the story and I know it is difficult for you to speak but I know you do so lovingly and your father's memory and you

want to make sure you do right by him. Zipporah Kuria, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Now the media company Paramount global has agreed to merge with Skydance Media. Now you'll know paramount for its blockbuster properties like the

movie studio behind Top Gun and networks like CBS and MTV. The deal and Shari Redstone's control of media giant, she's received a flood of interest

for the group from media power players like Barry Diller and Sony. Now, under this latest deal though, Paramount still has 45 days to -- it's

called go shop, right?

Shop around if there is a better offer. Sarah Fisher has been following this story for months and months. The deal itself, Sarah, if you can bring

us in on this in simple terms like -- it looks like a series recap if you could give us a description of that. Plus, the final episode. Is it the

final episode?

SARAH FISHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: I think it is the final episode. You know, there was some interest but Shari Redstone didn't like the interest that

she was getting. For example, after the initial exclusive inner window between Skydance and Paramount to negotiate ended, a bid came through from

Apollo and Sony. But she didn't like that bid because it was likely to face regulatory pushback.

And it might have meant having to break up the company that she worked so hard to bring together. So, I think sky dance is likely it. It's a very

complicated transaction essentially, they're going to invest in Paramount's parent company and then they're going to actually merge Skydance with

Paramount after that. There's a lot of different financing coming in including from private equity for RedBird.

And so, this is a very convoluted deal. I think that's why it took a long time to hammer out but it does provide a lifeline for Paramount as it faces

a lot of challenges in the streaming market and the decline of linear television.

NEWTON: Yes. And if we get to some of that there was biz speak in this deal, right? It says "they're going to do -- there wouldn't be the

unification of marquee right." So, it's brands that we know. Top Gun, Mission Impossible, Star Trek. You know, they're looking for a content

merger here. Do you think this could ultimately shake up the whole industry or strengthen it perhaps?

FISHER: I mean, it could jumpstart a lot more consolidation within the industry. Everyone's trying to get bigger now, power their services --

their streaming services to have more scale. But ultimately what this deal is about was Shari Redstone needed an out. And David Ellison, who is a

Hollywood executive who was also the son of Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO, I think really wanted to get his hands on his favorite Hollywood studio.


And so, I don't think this is indicative of like a massive major trend. But I think more consolidation is to come. You did mention, you know, one of

the things that's important about this field is actually making sure it gets over the finish line in terms of regulatory approvals. This is

expected to get regulatory approval, the FCC will have to take a look at it, because there are some local broadcast licenses involved with CBS.

But this is not like a merger of, you know, two very, very massive, massive companies that would think we would knock out competition. I think this

goes through.

NEWTON: We only have 30 seconds left. But obviously, they also described how perhaps they might want to have some other merger, I guess, with

another streaming entity, you know, on Paramount plus. Do you see that happening, whether it's consolidation, or just teaming up that continues on

the streamers?

FISHER: Yes. You know, the executives addressed this with reporters today. And they didn't call out the joint venture specifically. But they did say

they want to integrate technology much deeper into their products, including recommendation algorithms for their streaming services. It

wouldn't shock me if they power -- partnered with a tech company or another company to scale a streaming service but they didn't offer any new details

about those conversations today.

NEWTON: Yes. We'll see you again, as you said, some regulatory hurdles not many. There is this 45 pause and then it's probably off to the races. Like

I said, it was at times like an episode of succession. Sarah Fisher for us. Thanks so much, really appreciate it. And that is --

FISHER: Thank you.

NEWTON: And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Paula Newton in New York. Coming up next, Connecting Africa.