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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Clippers Owner Punished; Sponsors Cut Ties; Football Racism Row; "New Unfriendly Gestures"; Nokia's New Boss; Internet Explorer Flaw
Aired April 29, 2014 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: The market was up for most of the session, not quite the all-time high of the day. But still a strong session, hit the gavel, tall man hits the gavel in a strong way and nearly breaks it in the process.
On Tuesday, it's the 29th of April.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The price of racism, race has no place in basketball. Tonight I speak to chief exec of the world's largest PR firm about why sponsors are now so quick to take the moral high ground over business.
Also tonight, a fresh start. Nokia has a new boss and a new future. I'm Richard Quest. I mean business.
QUEST: Good evening. It's a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine. They've been handed to the man at the center of basketball's racism row. The NBA said Donald Sterling, who has owned the L.A. Clippers since the 1980s, admitted it was his voice on that tape. The fine is the largest allowed under the NBA's constitution. The NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling expressed no remorse for the remarks.
And he said it will begin an immediate action to force him to sell the team describing Sterling's remarks as deeply offensive and harmful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SILVER: Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility. And he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Rachel Nichols joins me now from our New York studio, has been covering the story in great detail.
Rachel, we -- I've heard your various hours discussing whether or not the NBA would be brutal in their decision-making.
Is this what people have looked for? Have they got the result they sought?
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I think a lot of people around the league, a lot of fans of the league wanted the NBA to ask decisively. And there is no question that brand-new commissioner, let's point that out, this commissioner's only been in office for less than three months.
But brand-new commissioner Adam Silver made quite a statement about what kind of leader he is going to be. He is not going to tolerant racism. He is not going to tolerant discrimination. And he's going to build consensus around the league to get very difficult jobs done.
All of that being said, there is still another step here. He issued the lifetime ban that is something he has the power to do. And that's very significant by the way. We shouldn't just sidestep that. That means that Donald Sterling can never be associated with an NBA team again, which is huge and what a lot of players were looking for.
He levied a fine, $2.5 million, which, hey, we can do the math; for a guy worth $1.9 billion, that's sort of couch cushion change. But a statement nonetheless. And then he said that he is going to urge the Board of Governors, the owners from all the other teams, to force Donald Sterling to sell the team. And this is where it's going to get interesting.
NBA bylaws state that you need three-quarters of the other owners to agree to basically vote to force the other owner, in this case Donald Sterling, to sell the team. And even as of yesterday, there were owners speaking out who didn't seem that they were that comfortable with that idea.
Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner, who's usually pretty progressive, was saying that he thought it was, quote, "a slippery slope" to make that kind of decision.
Well, Adam Silver coming out as strongly as he did today put public pressure on all of those owners. So if there were owners that were on the fence, like perhaps Mark Cuban was, they don't really have the room to be on the fence anymore, because he came out so boldly and there was such a public rush of support, even just in the last hour or two behind him, I don't see any NBA owner really being able to get away with withholding their support.
So we'll what develops over the coming days, the coming weeks.
QUEST: Let me jump in here because much depends, doesn't it, whether or not firstly it's a secret ballot and secondly whether owners can be pressurized into saying how they voted.
NICHOLS: Yes, there's no question. It's complicated. What I was about to say is we'll have to see over the next days and weeks how this plays out. There's a big rush of emotion today, right? So everybody's getting behind Adam Silver today.
And we've seen men's teams' owners issue public statements in the last hour, saying that they fully support the commissioner and indicating that they would fully support him in such a vote.
But we'll have to see how it goes over the next couple of weeks whether they come through with that. I do think it's very interesting to note the way Adam Silver did this. I asked in his press conference do you have the support of the owners to push this through? And I thought his answer was telling. He said that he had not polled the owners, but the few he had spoken to were with him.
That was basically him saying, look, I didn't go out and make sure I had the votes and make sure I had consensus first. That was him saying I am laying down the law. I am leading the charge here. And they'd better follow me. It's an interesting, interesting way to go about it.
QUEST: And you have helped us understand every twist and turn as it moves forward.
Rachel, excellent reporting from you over the last day or so. Thank you for joining us.
Now if you want to know, this is what the L.A. Clippers' website looks like right now.
"We are one." One can only wonder whether or not Mr. Sterling had any decision-making power in whether or not that was what it was going to say.
The mayor of Los Angeles says he applauds the NBA commissioner for taking such decisive action. He was speaking to Christiane.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: Those are exactly the sorts of strong statements we need to stand up against these hateful comments. And again, my sentiments tonight are with those players. And I think this is taking hopefully a burden off their shoulders so they can concentrate on what they do well. They've worked their entire life to be in this point in the playoffs. This city is behind them.
And thank you to the NBA for standing up behind this city and for what's right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now in Europe, viewers can see the interview in around 45 minutes from now.
Adidas became the latest major company to cut ties with the Clippers. At least 13 companies have now dropped or changed their sponsorship agreement with the L.A. Clippers.
Now joining me in the C-suite tonight, good to see you.
QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) some perspective.
Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of the world's largest PR middlemen joins me now.
All right. How much of this decision does the -- was the decision of the sponsors to quit and to head for the door, do you think?
RICHARD EDELMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, EDELMAN: Richard, the brands had no choice. They have to stand up for American values. They have to stand up for what's right. Actually, brands now are playing a much more important role in social communities. They are absolutely the topics of conversation. And they have to lead. They cannot be followers. And that's why they acted so decisively.
QUEST: They acted before Silver even acted.
Are you surprised?
EDELMAN: Not in the least. The notion that a brand in some way or other is not just the property of the corporation but actually of the people who buy it --
QUEST: What sort of brands acting against in this sense? And I'm not sort of being difficult here with you. We always think of brands happy to put profits before principles.
Well, arguably, by doing this, they might have done exactly the same thing. They're being politically correct --
EDELMAN: Well, I don't agree with that at all. I think that smart brands today put engagement and integrity first. It is actually the values that allow a consumer to feel comfortable buying the product. They don't just buy it for functional. They buy it because they feel emotionally associated and they also feel as if the brand is part of their life. And that's why the brands acted so quickly.
QUEST: Do you think, though, that some CEOs, the calculus in this, was not, I think it's wrong, but I think if we don't do this, we will lose out? Because there is a difference, isn't there, between the CEO who said I'm taking a principle decision come what may versus the one who says, ooh, I up, there could be --
EDELMAN: You know, I actually -- I don't even think it necessarily was the chief executives. I actually think in many cases it was the chief marketing officer or even the brand manager who makes the decision if you're State Farm or if you're Kia, you've got to act decisively and you've got to make this very clear statement to your consumers who you have strong relationships with, this is intolerable. This does not meet our standard for values.
QUEST: Arguably there will be those who say they should have known a bit more about it all in the first place. But that's for another day.
If we take a look at the encroaching development of corporate sponsorship, in taking principle stands, you and I were talking about it a while -- a moment or two ago, what do you see? Give me some examples.
EDELMAN: Well, look, you know, Guess had a very hard call to make about the St. Paddy's Day parade, for example, and the issue of gays in parades. And for me, they made the right call to opt to pull out of the sponsorship. I believe that brands actually have to lead now. They have to not be the passive kind of business purveyors. They actually have now to move public opinion along. They actually help to make Adam Silver's job easier today because 13 of them had already acted.
QUEST: And finally, when the CEO rings you up, and as I'm sure they have in the past, not whether you'll tell us which ones or in what circumstances, and says, Richard, what do I do? What's your answer?
EDELMAN: Our answer is very clear. You've got to maintain trust. That's the number one goal you have. And the way to do it is to act. PR is not good if it's just about communication. It has to be about action. It has to be about something decisive and only then can you communicate.
QUEST: Good to see you.
EDELMAN: As always.
QUEST: Meanwhile, more footballers are tweeting to show their support of Dani Alves, who had a banana thrown at him at a Barcelona game over the weekend. Our correspondent in Madrid is Al Goodman. And as he now reports, getting the rest of the Spanish media to take the story seriously unlike the international media, that hasn't been easy.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the Spanish press, the initial coverage of the racist incident against Barcelona football player Dani Alves was largely muted. But not here at the "As" sports newspaper, which gave it prominence right from the start, calling it an ugly racist aggression.
"It seemed to me like a hateful act," he says, "and it seemed we could call attention to it so these things won't be repeated."
On the Internet a campaign of support for Alves was quickly building. He took a bite out of a banana thrown at him during a game in the stadium of rival Villarreal, as he attempted a corner kick.
Barcelona teammate and fellow Brazilian Neymar started a campaign called "WeAreAllMonkeys," which Spanish state television soon joined with the leading talk show hosts also taking a bite, she said, in solidarity with Alves and against racism.
Internationally, Italian footballer Mario Balotelli of AC Milan took a stand against racism along with many others. By Tuesday, two days after the weekend incident, many Spanish newspapers jumped aboard, too, and were covering it big.
But at the Spanish Football League, while condemning this incident, they insist racist displays in stadiums are not widespread.
"In the past 10 years, almost 8 million fans have attended games," he says, "and fortunately these acts are isolated."
But Dani Alves told Brazilian media that Spain is behind in tackling racism and he called for the banana throwing fan, who's been banned from the stadium for life, to be publicly identified.
The newspaper director says Spain until not so long ago was a relatively closed society.
"We are behind on this," he says. "We've always thought racism was something done abroad, not here."
"It would be very good for the banana thrower to personally apologize," he says. "I agree with Dani Alves on that point."
GOODMAN: Dani Alves' reaction to the latest racist incident has prompted reflection in Spain with some calling for really stiff action by taking points off of a team's total in the standings if they allow racist behavior in their stadium -- Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.
QUEST: When President Obama talked free trade in Asia, some said, well, maybe not so fast. After the break, we'll get an analysis of the president's visit from a Nobel Prize (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: Moscow has accused the West of pulling down an Iron Curtain and resorting to Cold War tactics or a bygone era. New sanctions announced today by the E.U. have been dismissed as new, unfriendly gestures.
Join me at the superscreen and you'll see what I mean.
It was Russia's deputy foreign minister who likened the measures to an Iron Curtain. Think of it as this way. And that the curtain comes down. The E.U. has named 15 prominent Russians who'll face asset freezes and travel bans. Now these are prominent; they are political rather than corporate.
The punishments of which asset freezes and travel bans of which we are familiar.
Now those involved include the deputy prime minister and the Russian military chief, Valery Gerasimov as well. Now President Obama is about to return home to the United States from a difficult trip to Asia. On that trip, besides Ukraine, trade talks with the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe did not produce the breakthrough deal the president was seeking. The transpacific partnership aims to promote free trade between the U.S. and Asian partners.
Now the president said it would open up new markets for U.S. firms and create jobs. That's the way the president looks at it. The Nobel Prize- winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has written that those who support the free trade deal in Asia are "bogus, debunked economic theory."
I spoke to Professor Stiglitz earlier and I asked him if he'd done anything on this trip from the president which had changed his mind.
PROF. JOSEPH STIGLITZ, ECONOMIST: No, I didn't. In fact, I'm not surprised that he found some resistance for anything in Japan. You know, the big issues today are not about tariffs in general. And the areas where tariffs remain, trade barriers are strong, are areas where in both countries there are special interests that are playing an important role. And that's not true only in Japan, in the United States, but also in Vietnam.
Vietnam wants access to America for its textiles and apparel. We are not bargaining, I think, in good faith.
QUEST: And yet the free traders continue to bash forward with these deals, bedevilingly difficult though they are. And they try to make people like you seem almost antediluvian, as if you don't quite see the light on the benefits of free trade. It must be infuriating.
STIGLITZ: Well, it is. But I mean, you know, it -- I sometimes joke, if they were really in favor of free trade, getting rid of all of our agricultural subsidies, getting rid of our hidden subsidies to our banks, getting, you know, really creating the level playing field, that would be one thing.
But you know, our politicians are very good at picking a name for something that's just the opponents. These are not free trade agreements. These are managed trade agreements. And for the most part, they're managed for special interests in the United States and in other countries, not managed for the interest of the average American, which is concerned about jobs, about protection of the environment, about protection of health and safety. These are things that they care about. And unfortunately, those are not things that we're adequately addressing.
QUEST: Do you fear that the weight of corporate money, particularly after the most recent Supreme Court decisions, will push forward not only a free trade deal across the Pacific, but an even bigger free trade deal or managed trade deal across the Atlantic?
STIGLITZ: I think there's already building enormous resistance in Congress and in countries around the world. One of the real problems is the lack of transparency. And several of the key leaders in Congress have made it very clear that unless there's more transparency, they're not going to support a fast track. And without fast track, it will be very hard to do a deal.
QUEST: Now if you look at the numbers, it becomes quite clear the market itself doesn't appear too concerned about the impact of sanctions, at least the U.S. market. I mean, we sized up mine a little bit at about 10:30. The market traded pretty much close to its high point of the whole day. When all was said and done, up 86 points, a gain of just over half a percent, hardly the sort of deep concern you might expect if they were worried about Ukraine.
In Europe, the markets were higher also across the board. And that includes Russia. The MICEX was up nearly half a percent on the closing numbers in Europe and look at the Xetra DAX. A gain of 1.4 percent, which is really quite extraordinary if you put it all into perspective.
Do you remember this? It was a very popular sort of handset. Some of us over 50 actually used it. The handsets like this were the must-have accessories in the 2000s. Now Nokia must map out a future without its handset business. We'll explain this.
QUEST: There's a new boss at Nokia. Steven Elop is out. He's over at Microsoft now on devices. And he took Nokia's handset business with him. The man who's replacing him is Rajeev Suri. He helped turn around the company's telecom network division, which counts for most of the revenues in the business that Nokia plans to keep.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJEEV SURI, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NOKIA: Think about this as the Internet of things plus a lot of intelligence, where billions of programmable objects become programmable systems, which then become a programmable world, where software will be at the heart of nearly everything that we create and we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, we tried to get Mr. Suri to come onto the program and tell us exactly what he's planning to do. And he wasn't available.
Jim Boulden's going to now hopefully discuss with us what Mr. Suri is going to do.
Nokia has lost money with handsets for some time. Are they rid of a bad lot?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they got rid of the bad lot and they got a lot of money for it, of course, and they're going to use that money for buyback for shares. So shareholders are quite happy. We didn't see Nokia shares soar today. And also to pay off some of its debt, which is a good thing, Richard, because Nokia has had a lot of debt for a while. So it's using the money wisely, analysts would say today.
The question is can the network's business carry it forward? Of course, it's the big boring side of the backside of the telecom networks that they're going to focus on. They're also going to focus on the mapping system. Nokia still owns the mapping system that we see in many GPS and they hope, of course, even to be on Nokia phones, even though they don't own those handsets anymore. And also they don't own a lot of patents. And that's the third thing to have. And they're going to call that technology.
So Nokia still has a lot going for it, Richard. So what do they need to do now? I think they need to get out of the public eye. You know, now they don't have that mobile phone. Now you and I can't slam them every quarter about how badly it's going for the handsets. They can get on with the business of competing with Huawei and with Ericsson, doing the plumbing behind the scenes. And we can see whether the new CEO can do that.
He's of course, come from the networking side. He knows that side of the business. And as you said, that's where the revenue comes from.
QUEST: And whenever I speak to Hans Vestberg at Ericsson, you know, it is the dirt with which these companies go into the telecos that's extraordinary. For instance, you know, Ericsson does the billing for many global telecoms companies when we're roaming around the world. Nokia's also going to be going to that sort of area.
BOULDEN: Yes, because remember, Nokia is actually the old Nokia Siemens, we used to call it. That's the old Siemens side of it as well, which they own. And they've become a services company. And so you think of the way that IBM transformed itself very successfully with just not sell the computers. Forget about the computers. Sell the services behind it, run the networks for companies, do the upgrades, control it all for these companies and get paid a huge amount of money to run those services and then do the upgrades, because that's of course the best thing about it is once you're in the building, then you can continue to sell upgrades. And that's how Nokia plans to compete with Huawei who needs to continue to move into Europe and Ericsson, who also, as you say, does a very good job of that as well.
So they've become the three big players in the world. And they can forget about the handsets.
QUEST: Jim Boulden, thank you.
Jim Boulden in London tonight.
Microsoft is racing to fix that major security flaw that we told you about. It's all part of the Internet Explorer browser. As we reminded you, the vulnerability affects all versions of the browser from the last 13 years. If you visit an infected site, hackers can gain complete access to your computer.
Security experts at FireEye revealed the problem over the weekend. I asked the company's chief operating officer why the U.S. government is taking the problem so seriously.
KEVIN MANDIA, COO, FIREEYE: Well, I think it's just the quickest and simplest solution. There have been other warnings that have alluded to, hey, just don't run this plug-in or don't run this software, there's not a patch available.
And throughout my career of doing this for over 20 years, there's been similar guidance, because it's simply -- it's easier. If we tell everyone don't use Internet Explorer, we don't have to worry about it. And then the patch will come out and we can ramp up our security safeguards in a manner that's simple and efficient for the consumer.
QUEST: Who is likely to take advantage of this breach in Explorer? Is it your old friend the Chinese?
MANDIA: Well, it is. I think that cyber espionage certainly will leverage this zero day Internet Explorer vulnerability. They've leveraged zero day Internet Explorer vulnerabilities in the past. And they'll continue to do so in the future. But also cyber criminals, folks that tend to be from the Ukraine or Russia, that are very technical and very capable, may understand this zero day based on some of the postings and be able to replicate it in some way or fashions.
QUEST: Is there any evidence that anybody has actually used this window into -- from Explorer into PCs and done anything nefarious as a result?
MANDIA: Well, absolutely. That's how we found it. In under a 10-hour period, we were responding to an incident, found where that -- where we had seen before couldn't figure out how it was placed, turned it to our FireEye labs team, which then informed Microsoft that we found a zero day vulnerability that we had never seen before.
I don't think it's any real surprise other than the intricacies, how do people break into networks changes all the time. And we'll see a dozen or so zero days come up this year. What they do after they break in really doesn't change, and that's a lot of what we focus on as well.
But in this case, we wouldn't have found the zero day had we not been responding to incidents and finding malware.
QUEST: Are we inevitably ever just one step ahead of those who wish us ill online?
And quite frequently they will get one step ahead of us, too.
MANDIA: Well, you want to be optimistic here. You know, I started a company in 2004 with the premise security breaches are inevitable. We can't withstand all of them. But we can do careful hygiene, improve our security infrastructure, run modern security software that doesn't just rely on antiquated signatures and share information better.
And I can tell you what we can hope for, that even if there is a breach, we can eliminate or prevent consequence and impact of the breach.
QUEST: So the ban or at least a warning still remains. Keep away from Internet Explorer if you want to practice safe browsing.
When we return in a moment, reaction to our top story tonight and the punishment handed down to Donald Sterling, the owner of the L.A. Clippers and his lifetime ban.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment. This is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first. Pro-Russian separatists have stormed and occupied the regional government building in Luhansk. Demonstrators kicked in windows to get access. Also today the European Union unveiled added sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine. Government have stormed a building in Parliament in Tripoli in Libya. There are no casualties according to the General National Congress members. A group of armed protesters tried to storm the building as M.P.s were meeting to vote on a new prime minister. The same building was stormed and ransacked earlier this year. Then, several M.P.s were shot.
The National Basketball Association, the NBA, has banned the L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after verifying he made racist comments that were caught on tape and made public. The NBA commissioner Adam Silver also announced Sterling will be fined the maximum $2.5 million. The league will now look to force Sterling to sell the team.
At least 30 people in the United States have died after a series of tornados ripped through the South and Midwest of the country in the past few days. An estimated 75 million people are now in the path of the severe weather. A private Australian company says its scientists may have found what they believe could be the wreckage of Malaysia 370. But this is in the Bay of Bengal, some 190 kilometers south of Bangladesh. And indeed it's in exactly the opposite direction and thousands of kilometers away from where the searchers have been looking in the South Indian Ocean off Australia. A source tells CNN investigators are very confident that Malaysia Airlines went down in the Southern Indian Ocean and not in the Bay of Bengal.
So, to our top story tonight, and the lifetime ban given to the owner of the L.A. Clippers after he was supposedly recorded -- actually we can't really say supposedly, he was recorded -- according to Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, making racist comments. This was Commissioner Silver just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they're now public, and they represent his views. My message to the Clippers fans is this league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach, any one player. This institution has been around for a long time and it will stand for a long time
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Joining me now is the NBA Hall of Famer and the former coach of the New York Nicks, Isiah Thomas. How good to see you.
ISIAH THOMAS, HALL OF FAME BASKETBALL PLAYER: Good to see you also.
QUEST: Thank you for coming in. This decision -- lifetime ban, a large fine -- as far as it goes you're satisfied?
THOMAS: Very satisfied because it goes a long way in protecting the sanctity of the game, and when we talk about the sanctity of the game, we we're talking about the values of the game. And sport and basketball, it mirrors the values of society. And we want to stamp out racism and racialization in our society, and we can't stand for it in our sport.
QUEST: And that requires only the most determined and robust decision- making.
THOMAS: Not only does it require great leadership and great decision- making, but it also requires great vigilance. Just as we're vigilant against that type of behavior and language in our society, we should be that vigilant in sports.
QUEST: Right. But now comes the really tricky bit because in some ways, Commissioner Silver's decision was the easy bit. He had the power to do it. Now it's up to the owners to try and force divestiture of Silver of his team.
THOMAS: And I've been around these owners a lot, I know a lot of them personally, and I know a lot of their personal beliefs. And they are in line with Commissioner Silver's personal beliefs and also the players in our league. This is a league that has fought racism, that has been a diverse league for so long in the 60's and the 70's when our country was torn apart. This is a league that brought people together. Sport brings people together.
QUEST: But when --
THOMAS: I believe these owners will.
QUEST: -- but when people like Mark Cuban describe the threat of divestiture or forced divestiture as a very, very slippery slope. What he's basically saying is once you've gone down this road, albeit on a strong case like this, once you've started working out the parameters of divestiture, where does it end?
THOMAS: Well, sports is a business, but it's a business that encompasses moral values. So, and Mark Cuban is probably speaking from a business perspective, but the moral sanctity of the game is more important right now than the business perspective.
QUEST: OK, so let me ask you then, on that question, he's been banned, he's been fined, but what does moral sanctity requires you to be divested of ownership? It's not anybody else's to play around with. He owns it.
THOMAS: He owns it but this is a game that is a world game that we -- we -- export to the rest of the world internationally. Basketball is a game that we put in all kids' hands. This is a game where we teach our kids how to respond to certain pressures, how to respond to certain tough situations, how do you build character? So the most important thing about this game is not necessarily the money that's made off of it --
QUEST: It was the sponsor -- the sponsors helped force this decision.
THOMAS: Yes, and they did a great job because they took the lead. They took the lead when we were asking the players -- young men, I might add -- to stand up and boycott. I like the fact that the sponsors said, 'No, we will lead the boycott. We will impose the economic sanctions on this owner.'
QUEST: I'm going to take a second or two longer to just ask you -- you're obviously familiar with the Alves scandal -- the soccer -- he ate the banana that was thrown onto the pitch. Do you think other games, other matches like soccer need to deal with their own issues of racism?
THOMAS: I think sport in general brings up to this topic and it allows us to have these conversations where in society it's very difficult to have it because of the political structures, because of the economic structures. But in sport, we're allowed to have these conversations safely. So whether it be in soccer, basketball, football or baseball, let's engage and let's have the dialogue.
QUEST: Providing people have got the guts to have it.
THOMAS: And we saw a commissioner today who had the guts and the courage to stand up and lead.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir.
THOMAS: Good to see you also.
QUEST: We're going to stay with sports after the break. A blistering assessment of Brazil's preparations for the Olympics. How a country can get in shape ahead of the Games when the IOC member says they're far from it? (RINGS BELL).
QUEST: Brazil's preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics are critically behind schedule. That's not live, it's the withering assessment of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC vice president John Coates has called the situation -- and he makes no bones about it -- the worst he has ever seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN COATES, VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: With my experience it's the worst that I've experienced but, again, we just have to make it happen and that's the IOC's approach. We haven't had to as an IOC send people in like this before. We -- we've been struggling to get them to understand the problem. Test events are starting this year and yet in the test event department, there's two people working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, it's not the first time that such warnings have been given as the Games appear to run into some problems. And one might arguably question whether the IOC is calling or crying wolf, hoping to put a bit of humph under the organizers in Rio. For example, Greece was the home of the original Olympians, struggled to prepare for the 2004 Olympic Games -- I beg your pardon -- that's Atlanta, there's Athens -- 2004 Athens. This is the statement "If from now until the end of the year there are no drastic changes, we will enter the red phase." This was said of Athens at the end of the yellow phase in 2004.
So clearly, four years before the Games took place, there were serious, serious worries about the ability of Athens to produce their games. Beijing also had worries too. Now, in 2007, the IOC president Jacques Rogge warned about the failure to prove air quality could force longer events to be rescheduled. He's saying, "Definitely the cycling race where you have to compete for six hours" as one of those that would be in serious trouble as a result.
Even those games that went off or seemed to go smoothly in the process, for example in London, there were warnings. "It's a humiliating shambles" over the security -- the private security company -- G4S -- who trained to -- to failure to secure and to train guards to look after the Games. The company's chief exec was hauled before the Parliament less than two weeks before the Games began, and that's what he was said. "It's a humiliating shambles," Mr. Buckles. OK, now, Shasta Darlington is at Sao Paulo. How seriously will they take this warning?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, I think we do have to take -- take it with a pinch of salt, but we've seen some of these delays ourselves. I think one of the biggest complaints has been over the Deodoro Olympic Park. It's going to host eight events. They haven't even started construction on it yet. They also talk about water quality. The Guanabara Bay where they're going to be sailing, they haven't even started the clean up there. It is full of sewage and pollution -- it's a sorry sight. They've also talked about -- Don Coates in particular mentioned -- what he said are social issues that Rio has to deal with, a veiled reference to the violence and crime that Rio has been trying to get under control but we've seen so far they've failed to. So there are issues that they have to come to terms with and Rio says that they will, but it's still a gamble, Richard.
QUEST: OK, so -- I'm just trying to work out how long they've got. They ain't got long and the importance about the warning, certainly with the Olympics, Shasta, is you're in deep doo-doo and trouble before you can get yourself out of it. We saw that with the Commonwealth Games in India, we saw it with Sochi where at least Russia had the billions that it could spend to get out of the mess. You don't know you're in danger until you're in it.
DARLINGTON: Well that's right, Richard, and in fact when I was trying to get a reaction from the local organizing committee, what people did say initially was this is happening with the Sochi Games, this isn't unprecedented, there is a lot of sort of a pushing at the very end. They eventually did come out with a statement and they said they'll deliver excellent games, that they'll be on time and that they'll be within the budget that they promised. Interestingly now, the Olympic -- the International Olympic Committee also came out with a new statement in an apparent attempt to mend --
DARLINGTON: -- fences, and they had this to say. They said, "Now is the time to look forward to work together and to deliver great Games for Rio, Brazil and for the world and not to engage in discussions of the past." They said, "We continue to believe that Rio is capable of providing outstanding Games." Obviously a change of tone there --
QUEST: No, no I'm not so sure. It says "is capable of providing," it does say Rio will provide. And anyway, to my way of thinking, Shasta, what you've got there is a good cop/bad cop with one IOC being the bad and the statement -- hey, we'll talk more about it. Please keep an eye on these facilities and come back and let us know when there's more to report. Thank you. The weather forecast now, and Jenny Harrison is with us this evening. Terrible, dreadful tornados and storms. I assume that's where we're headed.
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is exactly where we're headed, Richard, because of course these storms are not done just yet. It's been a fairly quiet afternoon although there are now some actual tornado warnings across into the Carolinas. The watch is each of these red boxes and it's within this red box here where we have the warnings. So the thunderstorms of course ramping up in the afternoon, evening hours as the temperature also goes up at the same time.
So, there have been showers and thunderstorms throughout most of the day, it's just now expected to see them -- to be a little bit stronger unfortunately. This is Sunday through Monday. These are all the storm reports that we've had so far -- the National Weather Service. It has tornados -- the filtered number is 67 -- that was just on Monday, has strong wind reports and also hail. And you can see the majority of these certainly on Monday were actually across into Mississippi and Alabama and it's sort of just a little bit further to the East though we expect to see stronger storms developing later on.
Now so far, they've had -- some of the tornados that have actually been assessed have been anything from an EF 1 to an EF 3, and this is what is considered the damage is severe, this with winds -- look at this -- between 218 and 266 kilometers an hour. Remember that it's not wind coming one direction, that is, as we know a twister. That of course is how it gets its name. So this is why the damage has been so very widespread. It is also this time of year when we see the number of tornados really ramp up, particularly May. That is always the strongest month. That's when we still have this very, very cold air coming down from the Northwest and very moist, warm air into the South. And of course, it's the clash of these air masses.
So as we continue through Tuesday into Wednesday, we've got the warnings in place. A huge swathe of the Eastern half of the United States -- 75 million people are under some sort of watch. This red area is the probable area for more of those severe thunderstorms which could spawn the tornadoes. This is showing you throughout the day and then up to current time. This is where the cloud is. Theirs is where we've got clearer skies and this is where the temperatures will peak, and this of course when we see these very, very powerful storms that are developing. Right now 24 in Atlanta, 24 in Dallas, so not as hot as it might've been. But of course watching this area all the while because it will continue, Richard, Wednesday into Thursday as those warnings move eastward. Very heavy rain as well coming down with these storms so that a wide-spled (ph) -- spread -- flood watches and warnings as you can see. So it's another couple of sort of dicey days ahead for sure.
QUEST: Jenny Harrison at the World Weather Center. And during the course of the week, I'm going to ask you are we getting more tornados this year or recent years than previous years. We'll talk about that --
QUEST: Jenny, thanks. Now, while we've been on-air in the last hour, Twitter has -- had -- its quarterly results, and they've been disappointing. User growth slowed. There's not 255 million active years in Q1. Revenue was up at a quarter of a billion -- it's slightly ahead of expectations. But with these sort of numbers -- because it is all about the users, not just the revenues -- the shares are down 9 percent after hours. Now, we've all heard it said -- working together, living together, frankly never works together. Now pop's power couple is hoping to prove everyone wrong. After the break.
QUEST: Pop music's power couple, Beyonce and Jay Z are about to commit to a cardinal business sin (RINGS BELL). This married couple will be working together (RINGS BELL). Tickets go on sale on Friday for their first joint tour which starts in June and will take them throughout North America. In an HBO documentary released last year, Beyonce hinted a possible reason for the move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEYONCE KNOWLES, SINGER: He's taught me so much about being an artist. Not a musician, but an artist and fighting for what I believe and having my standards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: She may have one eye on another power couple. Bill and Hillary Clinton took to learning from each other to a whole new level. The former first lady, the former senator, moved into politics and the former U.S. president moved into charitable work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I learned all about NGO work from Hillary when we were going out. She was already active in many kinds of non-governmental activities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And then there's the ultimate success story, Bill and Melinda Gates. Mrs. Gates told CNN last year their secret is all in the planning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELINDA GATES, CO-CHAIR, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: It's a constant act of respect -- just like inside your marriage, and when you're working on something that you're passionate about together, it comes through and you support one another. So Bill and I will often have projects today where one of us is working on something and then that person goes and travels, then will pick up where the person is and make sure it gets furthered while the other one is on the road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Oy, oy, oy. Whether or not you're the CEO of Microsoft, workplace relationships are very common. A study out this year in the U.S. estimated more than half of American men and women mix business and pleasure at some point. Bruce Feiler is "The New York Times" family economist and the author of "Secrets of Happy Families." He joins me now. And, I might say, you have personal --
BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR, "THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES." I do.
QUEST: -- experience.
FEILER: I do. I spent much of the last year working with my wife on a project. So I write for a living, she runs an organization called Endeavor that supports entrepreneurs in 25 countries around the world, and she had the opportunity to write a book and so I'm the writer in the family, so suddenly I was called into action and we made pretty much every mistake that you can make.
QUEST: (RINGS BELL). Failed.
FEILER: Look -- exactly -- you know, contrary to what Melinda Gates - - and they may have found most of the examples out there, as you know, are bad actually. You know, Tom Cruz/Nicole Kidman -- all the way going back to Lucy and Desi Arnaz, Sonny and Cher -- ah, but they're all divorced - - right down the line most of --
FEILER: -- because a couple of things. So this, I wrote a piece about this and this is what I learned. Number one, you shouldn't compromise. OK, a healthy relationship is built on compromise, but you don't want to compromise at work because one of you is going to be resentful.
QUEST: Right, but surely there has -- you don't want to compromise, you want to be mature enough --
QUEST: -- to say 'my husband is right,' or 'my wife is right on this issue.' But you're saying that's not possible.
FEILER: Well the best way to do this is to divide and conquer. So, let's just assume -- we can assume that when Beyonce and Jay Z are going on tour, each of them is going to perform separately and then they're going to perform together on occasion. So, stay out of each other's business. Beyonce gets to control when she's on stage, Jay Z gets to control when he's on stage. Because really what's interesting about this to me, Richard, and that's there's another dynamic here, right? Which is we now know that four out of -- in four out of ten families, it's the woman who's the primary breadwinner. So who's the primary breadwinner here? Is it Jay Z or is it Beyonce? OK, so that's what's interesting and we're going to have a chance to find out and that's where it gets complicated because then pride gets in the way because Jay Z's been doing this a lot longer.
QUEST: This is fascinating. So, but Bill and Hillary managed to make it work in the White House, in the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.
FEILER: Well now there's a flip going on and how's it going to work now, right? So suddenly Bill had been the primary politician and now suddenly it's Hillary's turf, and --
QUEST: But it -- it's about compromise, isn't it?
QUEST: You don't agree with me at all?
FEILER: I do not agree with you at all. Actually, you want to compromise in the relationship, but not in the workplace. But when you work together -- here's the other thing that's going to shock you -- conflict is good. OK, in a relationship you want to temper the conflict, but when you're working together, a good relationship has some chemistry, you have to be bringing something different and actually conflict in the right circumstance can actually be helpful.
QUEST: Are you still married?
FEILER: I'm still married.
QUEST: Thank you for coming in.
FEILER: Nice to be with you. "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." That is the message that is on the L.A. Clippers website tonight. It is of course the lifetime ban for Donald Sterling, it is the $2.5 million fine. But the real issue now is whether or not the owners have -- you know what I mean -- have the owners got them sufficient to actually divest him of ownership of his team? That will be the true test of what this story is really all about.
And that's "Quest Means Business" for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead (RINGS BELL), I hope it's profitable. I'll see you tomorrow.