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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
UK Lawmakers Slam Murdoch Along Party Lines; News Corp Shares Up Despite Report; Strong Session for US Markets; May Day Marches; Europe in Crisis; French Presidential Elections; Conservative MPs Call Murdoch Criticism "Witch Hunt"; Dollar Gains on All Fronts; The Millennials: Michael's Big Performance
Aired May 1, 2012 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: A curse on the house of Murdoch. British lawmakers label him "not fit" to lead.
Welcome to Britain. Now wait. IAG's Willie Walsh says the government is out of touch on its border crisis.
And a slice of out of Q1. Domino's Pizza disappoints. The chief exec on this program.
I'm Richard Quest. I mean business.
Good evening. Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company. That is the damning criticism today from a British parliamentary committee investigating the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp.
In a lengthy report, the committee tore into the Murdochs, their company, and senior executives. The committee said Murdoch, in their words, showed willful blindness to what was going on. He showed a lack of effective corporate governance. As a result, he is, in their words -- and let's get this right -- not a fit person to run a major international company.
Now, on this point, the committee was not unanimous. Members from the ruling Conservative Party did not agree and voted against it. They were outvoted by the others.
Tonight, News Corporation has seized on this split on the vote, saying that whilst there was serious wrongdoing, they rejected "not fit" accusation as highly partisan commentary.
Now, the Labour MP who wrote that commentary, the "not fit" line, Tom Watson, did not hold back, despite News Corp's rejection, on his own condemnation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM WATSON, MEMBER OF UK CULTURE, MEDIA, AND SPORT COMMITTEE: Everybody in the world knows who is responsible for the wrongdoing of News Corp: Rupert Murdoch. More than any individual alive, he is to blame.
Morally, the deeds are his. He paid the piper, and he called the tune. It is his company, his culture, his people, his business, his failures, his lies, his crimes, the price of profits, and his power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That's Tom Watson, there. The committee was unanimous on many of their findings, essentially and especially those that people did mislead the original investigation. British regulators say they've read today's reports with interest and there could be more fallout to come.
Dan Rivers is outside the Houses of Parliament. Let's start with the most controversial line, the "not fit person to run a major international company." The fact that it is a split on party lines, which News Corp now rejects, has the committee shot themselves in the foot?
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, their critics will say yes, Richard, that they have, that they have over-egged the pudding, they've gone too far.
They were unanimous in a lot of the criticisms, but not in that "unfit to run an international company," and that by inserting that clause at the insistence of Tom Watson, primarily, that that has gone too far and that it is, as you say, shot themselves in the foot and weakened what would have otherwise still been a very strong and angry report against the misleading statements that they were given by three, at least, senior executives in News Corp and News International.
QUEST: Now, let's -- let's just talk about that, because the report does -- we don't need to go into the names, but they -- the report does say that numerous people, senior people, deliberately misled the -- an earlier 2009 investigation.
And we know from Rupert Murdoch's own evidence to Leveson that he now says there was a cover up. So, do we expect parliamentary contempt proceedings or some form of proceedings against those that the committee felt misled them?
RIVERS: Well, potentially, yes. We're sort of entering into slightly uncharted waters as the head of the committee, John Whittingdale, put it, it's been 50 years or more since someone was called to the -- what's called the bar of the House of Commons, the entrance to the chamber, to apologize to the House, but that is one possible sanction that they can impose.
What will probably happen is the report will go before the House and they will vote on it and then, presumably, decided what they want to do next. But it is going to be an absolutely humiliating moment, if that is the case.
But the Labour members of the committee will point to this un -- unfit to govern line as being as significant, perhaps more significant, in that the repercussions in the US with News Corp might end up being even bigger. Could this be the beginning of the end for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp?
QUEST: And on this point -- let's get back to the "not fit" line, because this is obviously, if you like, the big talking point, the most important part in many ways. Because News Corp -- there is an investigation into whether or not News Corp -- or News International -- should sell its stake in BSkyB, and whether the Murdochs are fit and proper people to have a broadcasting license in the UK.
Now, with a select committee report, albeit split, saying they're not fit, does that -- does that shift the balance?
RIVERS: Well, it might do, and I think it's interesting that they used almost exactly the same phrase. In fact, in here, they say "not a fit person." The Ofcom decision is going to be whether they're "fit and proper."
But basically, they're sort of echoing the same sort of terminology. Is it right that someone who has been in charge or presided over a company where phone-hacking was so rife, is able to get a broadcast license or maintain a broadcast license in the UK?
And so, they may well decide, yes, they're going to follow the lead that has been set here and rule that he's not a fit and proper person, but they have a much more sort of legal route to follow, Ofcom, and it may take them many more months to come up with that decision. Who knows what more may have been revealed by then?
QUEST: Dan Rivers, who is at Westminster tonight for us. Looks like it's a very pleasant evening down on Abingdon Green down there.
News Corp shares are rising regardless. They're now pushing $20 a share, up 1.25, 0.75 percent. Shares already at more than 10 percent so far this year.
QUEST: And a quick look, since we're in market territory. The Dow's also up, the highest point since December 2007. It's a very strong session, up 111 points on the grounds. Manufacturing picks up in April, according to the Institute of Supply Management, the ISM report. A very robust performance in New York.
Coming up next, the merry month of May is misery. A thousand, tens of thousands, millions of people in Europe, they are marching for jobs, and we'll have that story after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Good evening.
QUEST: Most European markets were closed today. Millions are marking the May Day break with rallies, marches, and protests against high unemployment, corporate greed, and what they say is government austerity.
In the United States, there were Occupy demonstrations held in 120-odd cities calling for a day without the 99 percent. No work, no shopping, no banking.
A week from inauguration, Vladimir Putin joined Dmitry Medvedev and tens of thousands of trade unionists at a traditional march through Moscow. In Istanbul, it was a heavy police presence as thousands marched through Taksim Square.
And here in Europe, tens of thousands protested against painful government cuts and rising unemployment. In Spain, where nearly a quarter of the workforce is unemployed, unions organized more than 80 marches against Mariano Rajoy's labor market reforms.
Europe, by the definition of the IMF and others, Europe remains the epicenter of these protests with good reason. If you join me at the CNN super screen, I'll show you how things really are.
This is the financial crisis in Europe. Now, if we just take straightforward basic fact of unemployment over 7.5 percent, you can see quite large swathes of it: Spain, Portugal, Ireland, France, Slovenia, Malta, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Finland, and Cypress. All have unemployment over that.
Now, if we take that out and you put in just those countries in recession in the EU, you see there are 12 of them, from Spain through to Portugal to Ireland, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Cypress, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and so on.
Superimpose one on the other, as you can see. So, that is what that one looks like. This is the unemployment. Now put the recession. Those that go orange are those that have high unemployment and are also in recession. And if we take France, for example, we can see that France is most firmly in the higher than 7.5 percent range at the moment.
There President Nicolas Sarkozy and the National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, fought for attention among the union rallies ahead of this weekend's presidential election, the final round, the second round. Correspondent Jim Bittermann is in Paris, joins me tonight.
A lot -- we must not forecast or take away the prerogative, Jim, of the French people, who will have their say at the weekend. However, we would be unrealistic if we didn't acknowledge the uphill struggle for Sarkozy today.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We should let them vote, Richard, I guess. That would be the best. But the fact is that Sarkozy really does have an uphill battle.
Some of the polls that in the last 24, 48 hours here show him trailing along by about six points, and although he has come up one point and Hollande down one point over the last few days, that's still a lot.
If you take the two margins of error, if you say you're overestimating Hollande by 3 percent and you're underestimating Sarkozy by 3 percent, you come up with 6 percent, and there you might be able to say, well, there could be a head-to-head battle shaping up here for Sunday. But it really does require a little imagination to do that.
Now, the one thing that is really going to be the telling thing, I think, is going to be this debate tomorrow night, a head-to-head debate between the two candidates. People have been waiting for this for some time, and there Sarkozy is widely believed to have the advantage. He is a really good debater, and we've seen before in 2007, for example, that he used that debate against Segolene Royal and used it very effectively.
QUEST: Jim, we'll talk more about this in the days ahead. We need to leave it there from Paris for the moment, because I want to return us to our top story tonight, the labeling of Rupert Murdoch as a not-fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company by a British parliamentary committee into the phone-hacking scandal.
Some members of the committee believe the report turned into a political witch hunt. Damian Collins is a member of the Conservative Party and is a member of that panel and voted against the, what has to be, what everybody is picking up tonight, like it or not, Mr. Collins, everybody's picking up the "not fit" commentary in the report.
DAMIAN COLLINS, MEMBER OF UK CULTURE, MEDIA, AND SPORT COMMITTEE: Well, they are, and that's a shame, because in some ways, the real substance of the report was that we found that three very senior executives of that company, including Les Hinton, the man who -- that worked with Rupert Murdoch for 50 years and who Rupert said he would trust with his life, we said that we thought all three of those people had misled Parliament and that they could be guilty of contempt of Parliament.
QUEST: So, why did you feel you could not vote for that particular line, the "not fit" line? Because you voted for the misleading bit and large parts of the really serious stuff where you got to the grammar of it, you were voted -- why could you not vote for the "not fit" line?
COLLINS: Because I don't think we took evidence on that. I don't think we were in a position to say. You and your viewers may have lots of views about Rupert Murdoch and his businesses, but we found no evidence to link him directly with knowledge or -- being complicit in phone-hacking or covering it up.
If we had have done, then I'm sure that is a charge that we could have substantiated. And as you may know, in the UK, to call a broadcaster not fit --
COLLINS: -- person means that their license could be revoked, which is a very serious matter, and actually is a decision for the media regulator, not for a parliamentary committee.
QUEST: Except you have -- because it's split on party lines, whether deliberately or otherwise, News Corp tonight are able to say it's unjustified, it's party political, and therefore basically rubbish, that very serious accusation.
COLLINS: They have. And that's -- I think a terrible error was made on behalf of the Labour members that wanted to include what was ultimately one sentence.
If that one sentence hadn't been in the report, we would have had unanimity of all the members of the committee and we'd be tonight talking about the very serious allegations or very serious commentary we gave on the whole of News Corporation and in particular the charges against three of their most senior people.
QUEST: Do you want the three senior people and others, if such there be, do you want them hauled to the bar of the House to apologize?
COLLINS: Well, that's the precedent. The last time it happened in the 1950s, that's what happened. We don't have the power to set the punishment, but it's, I think -- what there will be is a debate.
COLLINS: Whatever happens, I think, will be a serious blow to the reputation and prestige of these people, and I certainly think an apology at the bar of the House would be a good starting point.
QUEST: Right. So, to be clear, if it were you, when it comes to the House and when you get to vote in the House, your vote will be bring them in, make them say sorry.
COLLINS: Yes, and I think every single member of the committee will be in the same place, as well. This is an area where there was absolute unanimity from the committee on finding, in our view, that these three men had misled Parliament.
QUEST: Damian Collins --
COLLINS: And what that means, of course, is that by misleading Parliament, it means that they -- what we're saying is that we believe they had an insight and knowledge of the potential extent of phone-hacking some years ago and that not only did they mislead Parliament about that, but also they failed to act within their own business to stamp the practice out.
QUEST: Which makes it all the more extraordinary, Mr. Collins, that you weakened your report with the vote on the "not fit."
COLLINS: Well, no. It makes the "not fit" charge even harder to understand, because the report was very serious, and at the last minute, someone decided to tag on this extra charge that we couldn't substantiate.
QUEST: Damian Collins at Westminster for us this evening. We thank you for joining us, sir. Good to have you on the program tonight.
Time for our Currency Conundrum, something a little bit different. Today, it's a question of size. According to the Guinness Book of Records, what's the world's largest currency note. Now, we're talking about the dimensions of the paper, not the value. Is it the 1,000 Swiss franc, the Scottish 100 pound note, or the 100,000 Philippine pisos?
And whilst you're sizing that up, we'll have the rates. The dollar is gaining on all fronts. Go, dollar, go! Positive news on manufacturing up a tenth against the pound, pulling back from its eight-month low. Similarly on the euro. The strongest gains against the yen. Those are the rates, the rates to the break.
QUEST: Millennials are entering the workforce with a mission to make it big. If you're of the more experienced generation, well, perhaps like myself, it seems handle them with care. They don't always think that older is wiser.
MTV's been doing some research, and it seems our Millennials fit in perfectly with the figures. Joe Braidwood, who is 27 today, happy birthday Joe. Apparently 76 percent of Millennials -- 76 percent -- feel that they can teach the older colleagues a thing or two. Only a few weeks ago, we saw Joe educating an older colleague on the intricacies of apps.
Seventy-three percent feel you can go against conventional wisdom in the workplace, like taking on too much, such as our blogger fashion cognizant-slash-anything. Milli in Johannesburg is convinced she can do it all. Do the lot and still have time for that champagne.
And 70 percent of them are positive they'll get their dream career. Right from the start, Michael told us if you want it and need it enough, you can do it. He says it can seem impossible, but it is not. And now, Michael is New York making his Midsummer's Night Dream a reality in tonight's Millennials.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are young and confident, educated and ambitious. Born in the 1980s, they are the new generation entering the workforce, and their thirst for success knows no bounds. They're the Millennials.
We're at a gathering at the Theresa Lang Theater in New York. They're here to see William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I take -- if not, you're going to go around the far end.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Enjoy the show.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Preparing to take their seats among the crowd are Mary and Tony, the parents of our Millennial, Michael Burbach. As they carefully and proudly read the program, backstage --
MICHAEL BURBACH, ASPIRING ACTOR: Do you have a safety pin on you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here you go.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: -- their son is getting ready for his final performance as a student.
BURBACH: Buy a branch or -- that would take emergency.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Adding the final touches to his costume.
BURBACH: I don't really get nervous as much as I get excited and kind of anxious, but I've been doing theater for a long time, so I love the feeling right before the curtain goes up, because it -- it feels like it's the end, like finally -- I'm finally going to get rewarded for all the work that we put into it.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: As the orchestra plays its first note, silence. The lights fade. This is it.
THESEUS, "A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM": Now, fair Hippolyta. Methinks, how slow this old moon wanes!
EGEUS, "A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM": Happy be Theseus!
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Only a minute into the performance, Michael makes his stage entrance.
BURBACH AS DEMETRIUS, "A MIDSUMMERSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM": What's the news with thee?
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Playing Demetrius, one of lovers in this famous romantic farce. For Michael, this is the culmination of four years of hard work, and this performance must show it.
EGEUS: My noble lord, this man hath my consent to marry her.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Over the course of the last few months, we've seen Michael throw himself into this performance.
BURBACH: I eat theater, I breathe theater, it's what I think about all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: We've seen him warm up on stage.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Rehearse his lines over and over again.
BURBACH AS DEMETRIUS: Relent, sweet Hermia, and Lysander, yield thy crazed title to my certain right.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: We've seen --
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: -- on the working world with brand-new head shots.
BURBACH: It's very sort of black and white for love. Auditions and agents, they know exactly what they're looking for, so if you represent that to them, one image could change everything for you.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: And throughout it all, he's been working part time making ends meet, and in the process, making some key contacts.
BURBACH: I've learned from working with Patrick how much goes into this -- I mean, the city, the world. The arts, really. And realizing that it is a job, and it's not always just about glamor and it's not just about fame or money. It really is about hard work.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Today, he's delivering every word with passion and pride.
BURBACH AS DEMETRIUS: Yet you, the murder, look as bright, as dear, as yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: More than ever before, every pause matters.
BURBACH AS DEMETRIUS: Do I entice you?
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Every question mark is enunciated.
BURBACH AS DEMETRIUS: Speak in some bush! Where dost thou hide thy head?
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Michael must become his character.
BURBACH AS DEMETRIUS: The virtue of my heart, the object and pleasure of mine eye, is only Helena.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: As the play reaches its finale --
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: -- Michael takes his bow. The performance has been a success. For Michael, this is the reassurance he has always wanted. He can cut it in the working world.
BURBACH: This is just more inspiration for me to go out there and pound the pavement and look for an acting job and pursue my dreams and my career.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: For his parents, who've traveled all the way from Iowa to watch their son's performance -- who have encouraged him to pursue his dream to never give up, this is a moment of pride and joy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One great actor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very proud of him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nicely done.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Next week, on The Millennials, in Johannesburg, never pleased she's doing enough, Milli looks to make a buck or two for the new business venture. And David looks to expand his business beyond Latin America, only on The Millennials.
QUEST: I love it. The Millennials. More of them this time next week.
Coming up next, waving the flag and closing the door. Willie Walsh says the British government's inaction on border control delayed, is damaging UK business. He's with us afterward.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment, this is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first.
Unjustified and highly partisan is the verdict of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation on a new report into phone hacking in the U.K. The report came from the Parliamentary Committee, and it says Murdoch and other News Corp executives showed willful blindness to the issue. The committee members were divided over some of the language that singled out Murdoch as being not fate (ph).
The U.N.'s undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations says Syria has failed to pull its tanks and troops out of cities. He says security forces and opposition fighters have both violated the truce. Video posted online appears to show tanks stationed in Idlib province, where activists say at least 18 people were killed today.
One year after a team of U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, American authorities have increased aviation security for the anniversary. Homeland Department of Security (sic) officials say there's no evidence of any specific credible threat against the United States.
A New York judge has refused to dismiss a civil case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. The former head of the IMF is facing a lawsuit by the hotel maid who accuses him of sexual assault. The criminal charges against him were dropped last year.
Roy Hodgson has been appointed manager of the English National Football Team. (Inaudible) proud day as he joined from West Bromwich Albion. The former manager of Finland, Switzerland and the UAE has just one month to prepare for the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
QUEST: Willie Walsh calls it a crisis. Passengers arriving at London's Heathrow Airport have had to wait up to 21/2 hours at passport control, and the Olympic Games don't start for another three months.
In response, the British government is putting on 80 more staff and IAG, which owns British Airways in Liberia says it's happy to have landing fees raised to help pay for the extra resources. Willie Walsh told me he wants to know that the money won't be wasted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIE WALSH, CEO, IAG: I am prepared to pay more money for a service that is acceptable, which is not the service standards that the border force (ph) have set for themselves. To process in E.U., U.K. passport (inaudible) through the border in 25 minutes is unacceptable.
The standard for security , when you're going through security, going out of the airport is 95 percent of passengers go through security in five minutes. That's an acceptable standard. That's what I would expect to be delivered at the border. I don't mind paying a bit more to get that level of service. I will not pay for the completely inadequate, unacceptable standards that are in place today.
QUEST: Do you have confidence that they will address the problem? The minister said yes today, that every checking desk would be manned during the Olympics and that they were taking this seriously. Do you have confidence?
WALSH: No, I don't, because I don't want every desk manned just for the Olympics. This is not an issue solely related to the Olympics. We're facing a problem today. The reputation of the U.K. is being damaged as a result of this.
So I'm looking to the government to produce a permanent solution. We don't want people to try and hide the problem. We don't want people to try and pretend it's not as bad as it is. We want people to be honest and to sort it out.
QUEST: Do you believe the problem's arisen because of more -- of stricter checks or because of cutbacks?
WALSH: I think it's a combination of both. I think what you had is a government, who is the regulator, so in other words they determine what needs to be done, and a government that is the service provider. They provide the people to do the services.
And they've got it wrong on both. So what we're seeing today is changing standards, expecting the border force to do more than they have been doing with fewer people. And they've failed.
WALSH: We've got to sort this out.
QUEST: You're going to get the bill for this, aren't you, you and the other airlines, eventually? Because you can see the way this argument is developing. Charge the airlines more to make the (inaudible) gap so they can have more staff.
WALSH: We're suffering today. Our business is being impacted. You know, what surprises me is you get a chancellor who goes around talking about Britain being open for business. You've got a prime minister who's out there waving the flag.
And yet, look at what they're delivering. As I've said, I've never seen a government that tries to do so much to promote the U.K., only to damage it by the actual actions that they're taking. The words are inconsistent with their actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Inconsistent with their actions means a disagreement over how long and if you've ever been stuck or recently been stuck and got aboard, @RichardQuest is the Twitter name where you can join in our discussion on that.
And it's always a good place where you and I can have a good chin wag over what's happening in the world. But if you do have personal experience of the Heathrow delays, @RichardQuest.
After the break, a call from the pizza man, Domino's earnings are out, the quarter fails to deliver (inaudible) did arrive. The chief executive will be with us after the break.
QUEST: Today's "Currency Conundrum" answer: we asked you what the world's largest currency is according to the Guinness Book of Records. The answer is C, the 100,000 Philippine piece. (Inaudible) a limited edition note printed in 1998 to commemorate 100 years of independence.
You need to spot of origami to get it into your wallet. Here it's around. It's around the size of a piece of A4 paper, which is roughly the size of this. OK. Moving on.
Domino's Pizza has topped off the first quarter earnings with lukewarm numbers. Despite some decent same-store sales growth, the main takeaway from these numbers is that profits have fallen. Now our delivery from Domino's, thankfully, was right on time. But perhaps the numbers don't look as appealing as the food. It was profit fell by almost a quarter.
They were down some 231/2 percent. Now the net big slice of the decline was because of the reorganization and capital program. It finished refinancing its debt. Lower revenues (inaudible) had an impact, too. They were down just 1 percent. So if we take a look and take a slice out of the pie, you will see it was the recapitalization that made such an impact on it. The chief executive of Domino's, J. Patrick Doyle, joins me now from Michigan.
You know, the staff will be delighted. Thank you for providing dinner. We will settle the bill afterwards. We need to talk numbers. And if we look at what your results show, how do you justify the underlying trend rather than the financial ease of it?
J. PATRICK DOYLE, CEO, DOMINO'S PIZZA: Yes, Richard, you've got it exactly right. I mean, there was some noise in the numbers because we did the refinancing and that really was a big part of it. But I think when you get to the underlying numbers, our earnings per share were up 12 percent. Our international business was really incredibly robust.
And we're now, as of this quarter, bigger outside of the U.S. than we are in the U.S. But I think the disappointment for the street was we came in at 2 percent, same store sales growth in the U.S. Expectations, I think, were a little bit higher, and that's really what drove the disappointment.
QUEST: See, that's the point, and even if we allow for all the financial ease, and you're still a company that is turning around.
DOYLE: Yes, no, I mean, absolutely. The business is on track. We're growing smartly. The revenue that you saw -- you talked about revenues being down a bit, it was actually because we sold some of our corporately owned stores in the U.S. But overall, our business is still very good, particularly outside of the U.S. It's still absolutely robust.
QUEST: So you've got new menus and you're being a lot more rigorous and determining on what people can do with their pizza. You can't fiddle around with the pizza as much as you used to be able to because you want to maintain the standards. But I'm asking you now what is it that the rest of the world wants from Domino's Pizza, do you believe?
DOYLE: Well, it really comes down to great food delivered quickly. And if we do that for a good value, we grow. We've now had 73 straight quarters of same-store sales growth outside of the U.S. That's over 18 years. So the consistency of the business outside of the U.S. has been absolutely phenomenal. And it's in a growing category. The category's probably growing 5 percent outside of the U.S.
QUEST: OK, but it's -- it won't be long before that part of the market saturates as much as elsewhere. So, you know, but still you have to come up (inaudible) -- I mean, look, I know it's a big world and there's plenty of room to expand and I have little doubt before this interview is finished you will have mentioned China or some emerging market as a potential robust engine of growth.
But if you actually look at the product and what you've got to do with it, what's your goal?
DOYLE: Well, really what we've just played out. I mean, the fact is we've got just under 5,000 stores in the U.S. We're slightly over that number now outside of the U.S. Only 5 percent of the population is in the United States. So if we get consumers to love this food, you know, which we're doing, and we deliver it to them quickly, that's going to generate the growth we need.
QUEST: Finally, which is better? Hot pizza or cold pizza? You know, people love a bit of cold pizza in the morning after.
DOYLE: They sure do. I'll take it hot first, but I love cold pizza. No question.
QUEST: Which is just as well, because that's what my staff are going to be having tonight for dinner. With that, good to see you and many thanks for joining us, the great Mr. Doyle there.
Jenny Harrison is at the World Weather Center this evening.
Jenny, right. I'm afraid there's none left for you.
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's all right. Yes, I think by the time it gets over here, cold and squashed and goodness knows what else.
Now then, weather, we need to talk about that of course. Very wet weather in particular across the U.K. It is now officially the wettest April on record in the U.K., and of course records go back to 1910. So that is obviously just over 100 years. This is why. This is certainly why the last few days. Anyway, this area of low pressure.
Now even though it's pushing off towards the west, you can see all of this cloud still has been bringing the rain over the last few hours. But it has certainly given rise to floating across many areas of the U.K. in particular the southwest. The average -- nation average, 122 millimeters, but the average across the nation for April just over 691/2 millimeters.
We'll get some more details obviously when they come in finally from the U.K. Met Office. But as I saw, the wettest on April on record (inaudible) in Somerset, which is in the southwest, just about here in the U.K., 273.8 millimeters of rain, three times their average for April. So that is how the totals are in some areas.
But despite all that, some of these regions across central and southeastern areas still at risk for drought, and we're still, of course, the drought in place as well. But the rain really has eased off finally in the last few hours, some strong thunderstorms pushing through the low countries as well.
All this rain has also kept the temperatures down. In fact, April across the U.K. was cooler than the average in March, nowhere actually 20 Celsius, which has been unheard of for the last six years. But that system is moving away.
Meanwhile, central and eastern Europe, that is where the warm weather is. Now the wind's beginning to ease finally in Moscow, just an hour ago they were at 50 kilometers an hour, sustained winds, gusts around 65. But things are not too bad over the next couple of days, with the blustery winds as that low pushes away, but still high pressure across the central and eastern areas. And look at these temperatures on Tuesday, 31 in Budapest. The average is 19.
And then Kiev and Warsaw, an average of 16, and in both cases hitting 30 degrees Celsius. You can see that heat in place also extending far up towards the north. And then it begins to recede a little bit and temperatures coming back to average across those western areas. And you can see the temperature falling off in Berlin by Friday, pretty much down to the average, but still staying above average in Vienna, some sunny skies for the next few days.
And then Kiev is now cooling off with some rain and some thunderstorms, but still above the average. You can see that rain still in the forecast, although that low pushes away, begins to just spin off the coast of Portugal, bringing some more rain showers (inaudible) delays on Wednesday in Frankfurt later on in the day with some rain and also strong winds in Lisbon as you can see. Temperatures elsewhere, 22 in Rome and 14 in London on Wednesday, Richard.
QUEST: And I will want a forecast from you before the week is out for Florence in Italy, where I shall be spending the weekend.
Jenny Harrison -- hey, there's no point having an entire weather department if we don't use it for personal gain.
HARRISON: Exactly. Honestly, yes, my wish, your wish, my command and all that. Absolutely. (Inaudible).
QUEST: (Inaudible) in the post. Jenny Harrison in the World Weather Center.
One piece of news while we've been on air, the Bolivian government says it will nationalize part of Spain's power grid operator, Red Electrica, GDE. Spanish newspapers say the Bolivian president has ordered the army to take over GDE's facility.
Now of course it comes after Argentina expropriated the oil company YPF, which is majority-owned by Spain's Repsol. We're still working out the ramifications of this latest expropriation by Bolivia, which, of course, happens on May Day, the socialist workers' holiday.
Next (inaudible) scholarship to Harvard and a ticket to the big time, one month's journey from humble beginnings to running the $86 billion hedge fund Harbinger Capital. (Inaudible) is next.
QUEST: This is Philip Falcone. He made billions of dollars betting against the U.S. housing market only to lose much of it when commodity prices fell through the floor. The investor Falcone is the founder of the hedge fund Harbinger Capital, and his latest bet, as we talked about last night, is the spectrum.
Falcone says the spectrum at this radio frequency is a valuable, finite commodity, which is why he's invested billions in what will be the U.S.'s fifth major mobile network. It's called LightSquared. Now LightSquared, tomorrow we're going to look at how a red light from the FCC could force the network into bankruptcy protection before it's even powered on.
First, though, let's go back to Philip Falcone and consider, as Felicia Taylor reports, how the man who's backing it went from humble beginnings to managing $26 billion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP FALCONE, HEDGE FUND MANAGER: I'm the youngest from a family of nine, small town in northern Minnesota called Chisholm. I played hockey my whole life. It's one of the things you kind of do up in northern Minnesota.
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He had a humble upbringing, growing up in a house with just three bedrooms for 11 people, and one bathroom, living near the iron mines, where his mother worked in a shirt factory. But hockey opened a lot of doors for Falcone, helping him earn an Ivy league education after getting tapped by Harvard to put on the blades.
FALCONE: I think a lot of my competitive instincts and my competitive spirit is because of hockey. I was a pretty decent player and managed to kind of take leaps in my life because of it.
TAYLOR (voice-over): They live a lavish lifestyle, now renovating this townhouse, which once belonged to the former creator of "Penthouse" magazine, Bob Guccione. But Falcone takes it all in stride.
FALCONE: There's certain periods of life and certain periods of progression in business, where you may be only at the first period or the second period. And you've just to keep going until the buzzer rings back because things change in the last minute of the game. You can score two goals and win.
TAYLOR (voice-over): Falcone is known for staying in the game, often winning on big trades. He started his career in 1985 on Wall Street. In 2000, he opened the doors to Harbinger Capital Partners, where he would make billions of the housing market by betting against mortgage-backed securities. Falcone says he realized early on that these were bad loans and the housing market could not withstand it.
FALCONE: I think I started looking at it in January of 2006 and didn't make the first investment until November of 2006. But by February of 2007, I had $8 billion in position. So I ramped it up pretty quickly.
TAYLOR: Eight billion? You're right; you have a great stomach for risk.
FALCONE: Yes, there was a lot of volatility. And then we went -- we increased the size over and above that.
The difficult part is explaining to investors why I did this, and I'm not a great communicator. No, I'm leaving this afternoon.
TAYLOR (voice-over): Communicating to investors that he had then lost billions of their money on commodities was more difficult.
FALCONE: We were very, very big in some of the different commodities companies, and in the first six months of 2008, commodities were climbing like nothing else. And then in July of 2008, they dropped like nothing else. That was a very, very tough month when you were losing $1 billion a day.
TAYLOR: You still have your doors open.
FALCONE: Yes, I do. And they're going to stay open.
TAYLOR (voice-over): So Falcone can continue fighting for his latest big bet on LightSquared, a broadband spectrum company that he has already pumped more than $4 billion into because he believes wireless spectrum will be his next billion-dollar ticket.
FALCONE: For you to operate or for you to make a phone call, you have to make a phone call through kind of the highway in the sky, and that's all spectrum is.
TAYLOR: But some government agencies have strong reservations about what Falcone is trying to do on the information superhighway. Coming up tomorrow, which this is such an important issue in the corridors of Washington, and how some government officials are coming down hard on Falcone -- Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And tomorrow Felicia will be looking at how a red light from the FCC could force the network into bankruptcy even before it's gone (inaudible). And we'll be talking about that, and we'll have a special report on that in tomorrow's program.
Before we (inaudible) the moment, the Dow Jones (inaudible). (Inaudible) and up 106 points, the Dow is at its best level since 2007. I'm getting into trouble for throwing that pizza on the floor. (Inaudible) go and find it during the break. And manufacturing picks up in April, according to the ISM (ph), and that boosted the Dow. It's still a robust session, a gain of nearly just over three-quarters of 1 percent.
When we come back after this short break, it is a "Profitable Moment" as we take a look at what can happen when things go wrong (inaudible).
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment", the judgment of a common select committee that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to run an international company. It will be the serious stain that rests on his career, and indeed he has admitted as much in his own statement, saying that it is a blot, it will forever be a blot on his career.
But he's not alone in having done that, or not alone in having had such swingeing criticisms. Admittedly, so far, Mr. Murdoch has only admitted to knowing of a cover-up, but he has not actually have done anything illegal that has been tied to himself, unlike Robert Maxwell, the former rival of Murdoch, the famous media tycoon whom the Board of Trade declared unfit to run a public company, or Tiny Rowland, who was described by the then-prime minister as the unacceptable face of capitalism.
Then more recently, Fred Goodwin from RBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, stripped of his knighthood, the head of the FSA said he would never work in finance again. And now Rupert Murdoch, who is described as not a fit person.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. (Inaudible).
QUEST: Unjustified and highly partisan, that's the verdict Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation describes part of a new report on phone hacking in the U.K. The parliamentary committee said it released its report, said Murdoch and other Corp executives showed willful blindness to the issue.
The U.N.'s undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations says Syria has failed to pull its tanks and troops out of cities. He says security forces and opposition fighters have both violated the truce. Video posted online showed -- appeared tanks positioned.
The French socialist candidate Francois Hollande has campaigned on the May Day workers holiday, saying his opponent's drastic economic policies have not worked. Hollande is the front-runner in polls, ahead of the presidential runner from Sunday. His opponent, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy held his own rally at the base of the Eiffel Tower.
And Roy Hodgson has been appointed as the manager of the English National Football Team. He called it a proud day as the former manager of Finland, Switzerland and the UAE. He has just one month to prepare for the Euro 2012 tournament, which takes place in Poland and Ukraine.
You are up to date with the news stories we are following on CNN. Now, live from New York, "AMANPOUR."