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Tesla CEO Buys Twitter; The War In Ukraine Threatens Food Prices And Supplies Worldwide; Newer Approaches To Cybersecurity. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired April 27, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Another billionaire is buying another media company. The reasons why and the concerns surrounding the deal are all part
of today`s down the middle coverage.
I`m Carl Azuz. Thankful to have you watching.
We`ll start with the company being bought. Twitter is a social media giant. Hundreds of millions around the world regularly use it sharing their
thoughts and tweets that are limited to 280 characters or less. The company has grown tremendously since it was founded in but it`s been criticized for
how it governs its users and the information they share.
Many political conservatives for example have said Twitter has a double standard that it`s more likely to censor the tweets or suspend the accounts
of conservatives than it is of political liberals. Twitter has denied doing this saying its policies are based around users` behavior not where they
stand politically, but there have been several instances of Twitter appearing to suppress or put warning labels on conservative publications.
That brings us to a question asked recently by billionaire businessman Elon Musk. The founder of SpaceX has said in the past he`s not a conservative,
that he`s an independent whose views are politically moderate. But last month, Musk accused Twitter of failing to adhere to the principles of free
speech and he asked what should be done about that given that the platform functioned as what he called a public town square.
Well, he has decided to buy it. The agreement which is worth more than $40 billion is one of the biggest deals ever to put a public company into
private ownership. Musk says he wants to make twitter better than ever by adding new features, making its algorithm clearer to the public and getting
rid of spam bots on the platform.
Congressional Republicans called the deal a victory for free speech and said they hoped it would keep technology companies from, quote, censoring
users that have a different viewpoint.
Musk is not the first billionaire to buy a major media company. In 2013, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, bought "The Washington Post" newspaper.
In 2018, Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce, bought "Time Magazine".
But there are critics of Musk`s purchase of Twitter. Brian Todd reports on what they`re saying.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world`s richest man, buying up one of the world`s most powerful social media companies,
generating huge buzz tonight.
Twitter has agreed to sell itself to Elon Musk, the flamboyant, controversial CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, for about $44 billion. A deal that
could bring enormous change to the popular platform.
BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: What we`re talking about here is the confluence, really, of a number of conversations we`re having nationally
and internationally about, you know, the power of billionaires. For example, the influence of tech platforms on democracies.
ELON MUSK, TESLA CEO: We`re going to have an option --
TODD: With this purchase, Twitter will now led by one of the quirkiest business titans America has ever known. Musk himself has used Twitter and
his more than 80 million followers to build his brand but also to troll others.
MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO, HOST, "RUN TELL THIS" PODCAST: You know, it`s hard to know when exactly to take him seriously because he is so eccentric. So when
this idea came up, you know, we know that this will cost him billions of dollars.
TODD: Even with his quirks, why should the average consumer care that Elon Musk will lead Twitter?
FUNG: Many of its users are government officials or government accounts, or politicians or business leaders. You know, that could have really
important effects on how the rest of us perceive many of these topics that have so many influential people engaging on.
TODD: One concern critics have, Musk`s goal of bolstering free speech on Twitter and his complaints about Twitter censoring too much content and its
permanent bans of some users.
JESSICA GONZALEZ, CO-CEO OF FREE PRESS: I don`t think we actually want any anything-goes Twitter, because we`ve seen that conspiracy theorists are
willing to use the platform to spread lies and disinformation to spread hate and harassment campaigns.
AZUZ: Between January and December of 2021, average gasoline prices in the United States rose about a dollar per gallon or more than 45 percent over
the course of the year. In 2021, average grocery prices rose 3.5 percent. And this year, prices for gas and food have climbed even higher, in part
because of widespread complications from the war in Ukraine.
The Biden administration says it`s not expecting a food shortage in the U.S. during the months ahead, but that may not hold true for the rest of
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Russia`s invasion of Ukraine shocked the oil market, sending crude skyrocketing and prices at
the pump to record highs. But that could look like a blip compared to food prices. Consider this: Russia supplies 8 percent of global oil exports, but
Ukraine and Russia together supply about 29 percent of all wheat exports.
The prospects of sharply curtailed supplies from the world`s breadbasket is sending gyrations through the market. Wheat futures surged in early March
and have been volatile ever since. In the U.S., expect higher prices for bread and cereal which were rising even before Russia launched its war in
Ukraine in late February.
But most U.S. consumer brands don`t rely on imported wheat, so supply disruptions are unlikely. But that`s not the case for the rest of the
world. Russia and Ukraine are the top wheat suppliers for Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
And it`s not just wheat, Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn oil and the world`s largest supplier of sunflower oil. Those prices have surged
too, as war prevents supply from leaving the country.
Fears are growing that soaring prices in the Middle East and Africa could fuel social unrest. In the months before world food prices hit a record
high, more than a decade later, prices are again in record territory, and Russia`s invasion of Ukraine is only making the situation worse. Cracks are
already showing with recent protests in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Peru over rising food and fuel prices.
A food crisis driven by shortages, skyrocketing prices and hunger could bring even more people to the streets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
What is the most commonly used password online?
123456, Qwerty, password or default?
Cyber security experts say the world`s most common password is the first, 123456.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Passwords and you. Many of us get annoyed at having to type upper and lowercase letters and numbers and special characters to get into online
accounts. But cyber security is a growing problem and all of the potential solutions have drawbacks.
The Verizon wireless company says weak passwords or ones that have been figured out or stolen are responsible for more than 80 percent of data
breaches, when someone who isn`t authorized gets into an account. Some businesses require two-factor authentication like when you`re texted a code
you have to enter in addition to your password, but hackers have reportedly found a way around those as well.
CNBC reports that Apple, Google and Microsoft are working on ways to address password insecurity. Instead of keyboard characters, your face or
your fingerprint would be used to unlock your online accounts. Might sound more secure since only you have your exact fingerprint, but an image of
that or your face can still be stolen. So, constantly having to change and update passwords may still be easier.
AZUZ: Amazon has been given the green light to build its HQ2, its second headquarters in northern Virginia. The estimated cost is $2.5 billion, and
it`s supposed to have room for 25,000 workers. But it`s the helix design of it which is unique that kind of reminded me of soft serve ice cream. Other
interpretations weren`t all flattering.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to its new second headquarters to be built across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.,
Amazon`s designers are thinking outside the box.
The Arlington County, Virginia Board gave Amazon a lot of love.
KATIE CRISTOL, CHAIR, ARLINGOTN COUNTRY BOARD: All those in favor please say aye. Aye!
MOOS: Unanimously approving plans including the helix building with a walkable ramp surrounded by greenery. Sort of a mountain hike that the
public could access two days a month.
Please tell me there`s a slide to get down from the top after you hike it.
The height will be about 350 feet.
PETER SCHULZ, ARLINGTON COUNTY PLANNER: It does not have stories in the traditional sense.
MOOS: Twitter invented stories, comparing the helix to everything from a rotini to a spaceship in disguise, to the Tower of Babel. Some noted
similarities to an ancient mosque built back in the 9th century in present- day Iraq.
The helix sure is eye-catching -- Amazon in its prime.
And while this commenter used a bedazzled emoji to say how cool is this building, someone else weaponized another popular emoji. Looks pretty shiny
AZUZ: Guess if you`re one of the world`s wealthiest companies, you`re going to put your own spin on things, try to turn heads, ramp up, spiral
up, spring forward, hang around, stay ahead of the curb, designed with a twist. Sure, critics might be turned Amaz-off, but it will raise eye lines
to the skyline.
Kingwood Park High School is in Kingwood, Texas. It is great to have you watching. You get today`s shout-out.
I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.