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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Botched Execution in Oklahoma; Concern Over Lethal Injection Drugs; US GDP Freeze; Dow Closes at Record High; US Economic Outlook; Most European Stocks Flat; Alstom Accepts GE Bid; Ukraine Military on Full Combat Readiness; Corruption of Former Ukrainian Leaders Exposed; Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams Arrested
Aired April 30, 2014 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
NINA DOS SANTOS, HOST: Well, the markets are poised to close at record highs on Wall Street. Why, it's Wednesday, April the 30th, welcome the show.
Lethal injection outrage. The botched execution of a death row prisoner given a triple drug cocktail. Tonight, the increasingly uneasy relationship between pharmaceutical companies and states with the death penalty. We find out the effect of Europe's embargo on providing lethal injection drugs.
Also on the show, US growth freezes on the back of freezing temperatures. We'll have all the details.
I'm Nina Dos Santos in for Richard Quest this evening, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Well, tonight, the US capital punishment, it seems, is in the dock, alongside the drugs that are used for lethal injections. It follows a botched execution in the state of Oklahoma. Witnesses say that Clayton Lockett convulsed wildly after officials administered drugs intended to kill him. Some 43 minutes later, Lockett died from a heart attack and not the drugs themselves.
It was actually the first time that the state had used a new three-drug cocktail for an execution. And the results? Well now, the state governor has ordered an independent review of these procedures.
Lockett was convicted of murdering a 19-year-old woman and watching her be buried a live in 1999. Max Resnik from CNN affiliate KJRH now reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The execution began at 6:23 --
MAX RESNIK, KJRH CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The dozen reporters who witnessed the execution of Clayton Lockett returned to the media center more than one hour after the process began. They explained to those who did not witness the execution what just occurred.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he continued with slow blinks, heavy eyes. He laid still.
RESNIK: At 6:30, Lockett received his first check of consciousness. Media witnesses say he was still conscious. Robert Patton, director of the Department of Corrections, told reporters he was sedated. At 6:33, media witnesses say prison officials determined Lockett was unconscious.
ROBERT PATTON, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: At that time, we began pushing the second and third drugs in the protocol. There was some concern at that time that the drugs were not having the effect, so the doctor observed the line and determined that the line had blown.
RESNIK: That line, according to prison officials, was Lockett's vein.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At 6:37, he mumbled, "Something's wrong" as he lifts his head and shoulders off the gurney.
RESNIK: Prison officials drew the blinds in the execution chamber at 6:39. Patton made the call to stop the execution.
PATTON: After conferring with the warden, and unknown how much drugs had went into him, it was my decision at that time to stop the execution.
RESNIK: Patton then called the governor's and the attorney general's offices to tell them he stopped the execution. He requested a 14-day stay of execution for Charles Warner, who was scheduled to die at 8:00 tonight.
DOS SANTOS: Well, the White House said that Lockett's execution fell short of a humane standard, and as we've said, it was the first time that Oklahoma decided to use that new three-drug cocktail.
Before the execution, Warner and Lockett's lawyers faced the Department of Corrections in court for more information on these particular drugs. The department released the names of the drugs, but would not say who supplied them.
US states have been forced to find new drugs for lethal injections as European-based manufacturers banned the US prisons from using their drugs to carry out the death sentence, and also banned their drugs companies from exporting from stateside.
Our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, and also Richard Dieter, the executive director for -- of the Death Penalty Information Center joins us now from Washington. Good to have you both on the show.
Jeffrey, let me first of all start out with you. You've written a very interesting and thought-provoking piece in "The New Yorker" about this particular instance. If I were to put it to you that what we have here is a case of not death by lethal injection, but death by incompetence, what would be your reaction?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that's certainly one way of putting it. There's a paradox at the heart of what's going on with the death penalty in the United States right now, which is it's clear that the death penalty is constitutional. At the same time, the courts have insisted that the process be humane.
It seems like that is almost an impossible path to navigate. There have been many techniques attempted: hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, now lethal injection. And with the withdrawal of the European sources for these drugs, the states are sort of flailing around trying to find appropriate drug cocktails.
But clearly, they haven't figured out a way to do it effectively. And it's an embarrassment, so say the least, for the state and for the country.
DOS SANTOS: Richard, whether or not you're for or against the death penalty, many of our international viewers might find the death penalty unpalatable, but the reality is, it is still a legal option in many states of the United States.
It has to be conducted humanely, and aren't we in a situation now where, realistically, the authorities, especially in the state of Oklahoma, should stop these immediately and evaluate exactly how they're going to be administering these lethal injections if, in this case, it seems they don't work?
RICHARD DIETER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DEATH PENALTY INFORMATION CENTER: Absolutely right. I think we should first make it clear that it wasn't an execution that occurred last night. This man was killed by malpractice of a doctor, he was killed by negligence of the state, by a failure of the system to prepare for alternatives.
They weren't ready. The used new drugs. They were conducting, essentially, an experiment. It went wrong and they had no clue about how to at least save the man's life until they could get this right. So this was, first of all, a terrible human rights violation, killing a human being by negligence.
Secondly, I think, yes, they have to now justify the things they're doing with lethal injection a whole lot better than they have been. Reveal the sources, reveal the names of anybody who's going to be putting drugs into a human being. Let's hear about his experience or licensure, things like that. Otherwise, don't go forward at all.
DOS SANTOS: Jeffrey, if I come to you, for instance, in your article written in "The New Yorker" today, you've talked about the actual protocol itself, the three-drug cocktail that has been administered in this case, and it involved administering an anesthetic as well as a muscle relaxant, and finally, another drug that will cause cardiac arrest and eventually lead to death.
Do we know at this point exactly which one of these three may well have failed? What we do know so far is that the United States has had a real bottleneck at being able to secure particularly the anesthetic among these three.
TOOBIN: That's certainly true. And the states who perform the vast majority of the executions in this country have been going to, frankly, shady compound pharmacies, not even the original drug manufacturers, to try to find something that works.
I think the only thing that's appropriate to say about yesterday's execution is that we don't know exactly what happened. What the state of Oklahoma announced is that the vein of Mr. Lockett did not accept all the drugs, and so the drugs were not administered correctly.
But that was just an initial impression. Obviously, what went wrong -- obviously it went terribly wrong, and I think it is not clear what went wrong. And fortunately, at least, the governor of Oklahoma has ordered an independent investigation, which will at least give us some clue about what happened here.
DOS SANTOS: Richard, obviously, the consequences of what's happened in Oklahoma extend well beyond this particular state. Florida's had its own issues with deciding which drugs to use for lethal injection as well.
And we now have this strange situation where California, Arkansas, North Carolina, all of these states have an effective moratorium on lethal injections because they can't agree upon a protocol that is actually feasible and they know works in a humane manner. Where does this leave the issue of death by lethal injection in the United States?
DIETER: Well, there aren't too many alternatives. Some states have said, well, we could go back to the electric chair or a firing squad, but those methods were full of problems as well. I don't think we're going back. As a society, we look forward. We try to fix problems.
I think if states were more transparent about where they're getting their drugs, who's preparing them, at least they would be able to say we've done our best rather than doing it secretively and under the table, paying by cash, traveling at night to secure the drugs from other states.
That sort of thing puts them under suspicion. I think, let's open this process up and maybe, at least the best practices could be found and the accidents that happened, like last night, will not happen again. It still doesn't make it perfect, but it would make it better.
TOOBIN: Nina, if I could just add one thing. It's worth pointing out, especially for an international audience, that the death penalty is down in the United States. There are fewer death sentences. Fewer death sentences upheld, fewer executions than there have been since the early 90s, which was the peak.
So, yes, it is true that there is a search going on for an appropriate execution method, but it's I the context of fewer executions in the United States, and that's really a pretty substantial change, when you think about how supportive this country has been of the death penalty over the years.
DOS SANTOS: It certainly is, you make a very good point, there, Jeffrey Toobin, I believe it's down to around about 98 since 1994 to just above 50. So, it has been falling. A lot of that also has to do with the response towards capital punishment, but also the response coming from the European Union in light of those drugs freezes.
Thank you so much for that, gentlemen. Senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin, joining us there, as well as the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, Richard Dieter. We thank you, gentlemen, for your views this evening.
Now, the US economy is in a deep freeze, but the Fed does see a little bit of a thaw ahead. And stocks -- guess what -- they've just closed at another all-time high. We'll see what happens after the break and tell you why.
DOS SANTOS: Hello and welcome back to the show. Well, today we got a chilling appraisal of the state of the US economy on the same day that the Dow -- guess what -- closed at yet another all-time high. Doesn't make sense, does it? But there you go. That is the trend we've seen for the best part of the last two or three years.
GDP here for the US growing at a nearly frozen 0.1 percent annualized rate for the first quarter of the year. That was still well off the previous quarter and far below many an analyst's expectations. Cold weather, it seems, was only partially to blame for these disappointing statistics that we saw coming out of the bean counters in the United States.
Well, weakness in Europe and also in Asia slowed US exports to those countries, and US businesses also slowed down in investment as well. One warm spot, though, was consumer spending. That one did manage to pick up just a little bit. It was driven largely by increases in health care costs and also spending more on household bills and things like utilities.
Despite the weak report, the Fed did say that the economy is heating up a bit. As expected, the Fed announced that it will reduce its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion in total.
Now, the Dow Jones Industrial average finished the day at a record high. Alison Kosik is live for us at the New York Stock Exchange with all the action. Alison, what happened? The economy goes in one direction, and the market goes in another yet again?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, sometimes there's little explanation for that when you see almost non-existent growth and on that day, seeing the Dow hit a record high, you just shrug your shoulders.
I think a lot of the focus was on the Fed's statement, one trader putting it to me this way: no real change, no real value, no surprises, yawn. However, Wall Street was looking for how members think the US economy is doing and what their thoughts on interest rates are.
On the economy, the Fed said it characterized it as picking up recently after slowing down, in part, because of bad weather. On interest rates, even after the central bank's bond purchases wind down, the Fed has said it will continue supporting the economy by keeping short-term interest rates low, and it reiterated that commitment today. And that may be the reason you saw stocks in the green today.
Also, some upbeat figures on private sector hiring for April, that kind of put the exclamation point on the day. Nina?
DOS SANTOS: All right. Thanks so much for that. Alison Kosik, there, with all the round-up of the latest record that the Dow Jones Industrial average has hit. Well, joining us now live from Chicago is Randall Kroszner, a former governor of the US Federal Reserve, no less. He's currently a professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of business. Great to see you again, Randall.
This reading of the US GDP, how much do you read into it, no pun intended? Because obviously, it does seem to be a bit out of kilter with the general trend.
RANDALL KROSZNER, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE GOVERNOR: Yes, I think it was kind of reflecting the very severe winter that we had. It was kind of the winter of our discontent. And I think you have the paradox of the Dow going up so much today, or reaching record territory, when you have this negative report. And I think that's because the markets, as well as the Fed, are looking forward.
We certainly had a very tough, tough patch there. But the most recent numbers for March and April seem to be a little bit more optimistic, and we seem to see a little bit more spending, particularly auto sales being up. We've seen a good number from the Chicago Purchasing Managers Survey. And so, things are looking a little more positive going forward, even though we had a really tough winter.
DOS SANTOS: Yes, there's only so much you can blame on the weather, though. I might admit the statisticians here in the UK often blame the weather when we have bad retail sales figures --
DOS SANTOS: -- and also first quarter GDP, too. It has been more dramatic in the United States, but we're also waiting the latest monthly jobs figures. Today, we had the private figures --
DOS SANTOS: -- coming out, they didn't look too bad. What are you expecting for the jobs numbers and how will that color the views of people at the Fed?
KROSZNER: That's probably the most important statistic right now that the Fed is looking at. And so, if you could only look at one thing, look at how job growth is, how it has been, because there'll be revisions from the last few months, and the prospects going forward.
I'm reasonably optimistic that we'll get a reasonably good number going forward, but there's a lot of variation from month to month. The Fed sort of looks through that. We've had a couple of better months and some very positive revisions.
And so I think that's what's giving the Fed a little bit of confidence that looking forward, things are going to be a lot better in the spring to summer than they were in the wintertime.
DOS SANTOS: Now, one of the interesting things that came out of this GDP report for the first quarter of the year in the United States is also some jitters and concerns surrounding trading partners, particularly in Asia, and also Europe.
DOS SANTOS: How much should we read into that? Because that feeds into the weakness of the export cycle. And of course, America is counting on some of those exports to head towards these major economies. Barack Obama was in Asia last week to cement those ties.
KROSZNER: So, I think if the whole of the US is relying on the rest of the world, particularly strong growth in Asia, we'll be disappointed. I think a lot of the growth really has to come internally through greater investment, greater confidence to people to go ahead and spend, and not just like in the wintertime, spend more on utilities staying warm instead of going out and shopping.
And so, we really need to have strong domestic growth, because I do see a bit of a slowdown in China, and Japan is sputtering just a bit. They've just increased their sales taxes, and so that may be a very strong headwind for them moving forward.
DOS SANTOS: All right, Randall Kroszner, thank you so much for joining us, there, from the Chicago University Booth School of Business. We thank you for your views.
Now, let's have a look at how European markets ended the day. Midpoint of the week, and they ended on something of a flat note, as you can see, with the exception of the CAC 40. I'll come back to the reason why that market fell so much in a moment's time.
But of course, remember, these markets did their final trades waiting for the announcements from the Fed in the United States, GDP for the first quarter of the year for the United States probably also had a hand in how the trading picture ended in Europe.
BNP Paribas was one stock that was down around about 3 percent in French trading. This is a firm that set aside $1.1 billion to pay potential fines related to US sanctions violations.
And another company that saw its stocks rise significantly in the French trading session, albeit in the other direction, was Alstom. Those shares jumping 9.3 percent as trading finally resumed on the back of the takeover approaches that it's had.
Speaking of which, let's go into a bit more detail about that. Alstom's board has accepted a $13.5 billion offer coming from General Electric. GE plans to buy the French industrial giant's energy businesses.
The deal as yet is not complete, though. Alstom says that it will now take a month to review the finer print in this bid, and it reserves the right, also, to consider anything it considers to be a better offer.
The French government, mind you, is taking quite a close interest in all of this. Officials worry that the deal could erode French energy independence at a time of heightened concern on that front with, of course, the situation in Ukraine and Russia coming to a head.
And they're also worried that it could cost French jobs. Some have also seemed to be encouraging the attentions of a rival suitor, notably in Germany, because Siemens has declared its own interest in this firm, and it says that it will now make a formal bid in the next few weeks to come. It's asked for four weeks to try and scrutinize the books for Alstom and do its due diligence.
Well, Jim Bittermann has the latest on where this bid stands from Paris.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The GE-Alstom deal obviously caught the government by surprise when it was announced over the weekend. And ministers immediately took steps to try to delay things, encouraging the company, Alstom, to entertain other offers.
And that's when Siemens came forward saying that they would like to buy the energy division. They've got a month, now -- the board's given them a month to come up with some kind of offer, which might match the GE deal.
Although, the GE deal is, in fact, fairly good, as far as the government's concerned, because General Electric has said that it's going to increase the number of jobs, the number of employees that they have in France. They already have about 10,000 employees here.
And that's a very tempting offer, as far as the government's concerned, because their major concern here is unemployment. The government really doesn't have a whole lot of leverage because, in fact, Alstom was privatized in 2004.
The only thing it does have, though, is a law dating back to 2004 that says that anything that involves strategic industries in France can bring about government regulation and government interference in the deal.
And in fact, in the Alstom case, Alstom makes turbines for nuclear power, so that's a strategic industry. And they could, in fact, block things if they don't like the way that Alstom is negotiating.
Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.
DOS SANTOS: Jim Bittermann, there, as you could see, giving us the latest. Well, when we come back, the secrets of the Ukrainian tax man. We discover a luxurious palace of pleasure inside an official building.
DOS SANTOS: Hello and welcome back. We're waiting for the IMF managing director to give a press conference on the situation in Ukraine this hour. She'll be speaking from Washington, DC. The IMF is expected to approve a $17 billion bailout for Ukraine's economy. Of course, the moment we hear anything, we'll bring you the latest.
In the meantime, Ukraine's acting president says that this country's military is being put on full readiness for combat. Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is in Slaviansk, Ukraine this hour with the latest. Nick?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, those comments from the acting president really a result that he's also admitting in the same statement that security forces here in the east are, quote, "helpless," who have failed to get control of the situation.
A staggering admission, frankly, given we are at least a week into what they announced is a wide-ranging anti-terror operation against the pro- Russian militants and protesters here.
Now today, we saw evidence ourselves at one of the checkpoints on the outskirts of Slaviansk near where I'm standing. For the second time in a week, Ukrainian armored personnel carriers rolled against that particular checkpoint. They apparently made some shots, according to the militants there, who said they didn't fire back. Obviously, only one side of the story there.
But advancing towards the checkpoint, and then turned around and left. And it's not quite clear what the purpose of the operation was, whether they were worried about causing casualties, worried about provoking, perhaps, a Russian military response if they did, or simply, as Mr. Turchynov himself as suggested, maybe lack the will to get involved in this.
But remarkable scenes, here, really. We're seeing the increase of presence at some of the checkpoints here, beefing up security. And no real sign of the Ukrainian military moving in.
Although one other checkpoint slightly north of where I'm standing today. Spoke to some soldiers who said they'd be moving down the road in the days ahead. But no real signs the Kiev government had taken control, and day by day, more and more government buildings falling in the hands of pro-Russian protesters.
DOS SANTOS: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much for that, there, joining us live from Slaviansk this hour in eastern Ukraine.
Well, a search of Ukraine's own tax ministry buildings revealed something of an interesting secret. The leaders of the overthrown Ukrainian leadership, this would have raised some eyebrows. Complete -- we're talking about with a massage room, sauna, jacuzzi, and plenty more.
This is a reminder of the kind of the kind of deep corruption many say that spurred a revolution in Ukraine. CNN's Phil Black is in Kiev with this exclusive report.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ukraine's Ministry of Revenue building looks pretty average from the outside. But within, spokesman Viktor Kosarchuk tells me these locked and sealed doors hide compelling evidence of excess and corruption. It's a pretty impressive boxing gym. Kosarchuk says it's much more.
He tells me tax workers used to think it was a secret jail. They'd hear yelling through the door. That's because bear-knuckled fighters clashed in this ring for the entertainment of government VIPs. An extraordinary story, impossible to verify.
But what we see through the next door is also pretty amazing -- our tax office tour enters a pleasure lounge. There's a big jacuzzi with a complicated control panel.
VIKTOR KOSARCHUK, SPOKESMAN, MINISTRY OF REVENUE: Oh. Oh, super! Good!
BLACK: A well-designed sauna, including the cold water bucket Ukrainians like to shock themselves with after a good steam. And it's all surrounded by swanky furnishings: gold sofas, lots of crystals and mood lighting. Murals on the ceiling and in the bathroom, where we find glittering accessories.
Down the hall, a room clearly designed for --
BLACK (on camera): Massage.
BLACK (voice-over): As well as the comfy bench, there's something called a cryosauna, like a fridge for humans. Good for you, apparently. And another device, which takes me a few moments to work out.
BLACK (on camera): This appears to be a -- not quite a tanning bed. But a facility that would allow Ukraine's tax officials to develop a nice golden glow on their skin.
BLACK (voice-over): Kosarchuk calls the next room "the masterpiece": a salt cave. Salt all over the walls, ceiling and floor. You lie here and breathe the salty air. Again, it's supposed to be good for you.
Throughout the tour, Kosarchuk repeatedly tells me the average Ukrainian wage is less than a dollar an hour. In this room, we find lots of expensive things lying around, just left behind.
BLACK (on camera): It's a lot Versace boxes here. And a glass as well, it's all Versace homeware.
BLACK (voice-over): This is the former minister responsible for the tax office, Oleksandr Klymenko. Ukrainian media says this security video shows him in February fighting his way through an airport to flee the country when the last government collapsed.
More of the extravagance, tasteful and otherwise, that government left behind is now an exhibition in a Kiev gallery. People are lining up to see it and learn from it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm maybe angry for myself, because I didn't take part in the presidential elections last time.
BLACK: A common response here, Ukraine must never let people like this lead the country again.
Phil Black, CNN, Kiev.
DOS SANTOS: Let's bring you some breaking news that's coming into us this hour at CNN. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been arrested by police in Northern Ireland.
Police are questioning Adams in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. McConville was abducted from her flat in West Belfast and shot dead by the IRA. She was 37 years old at the time and was a widow and mother of ten. We'll bring you more details on that as we get them this evening.
In the meantime, coming up, as its relationship with Russia withers, Europe is seeking a new source to fuel its own energy needs. My next guest says that his country is in a unique position and may well have the answer to Europe's gas needs. Do stay with us for more on that.
DOS SANTOS: Hello and welcome back. I'm Nina Dos Santos. Here's a recap of top world news headlines that we're following for you this hour on CNN. The U.S. state of Oklahoma has temporarily halted all executions after a lethal injection went wrong. Witnesses say that an inmate convulsed wildly after drugs were administered to him, and eventually died some 45 minutes later from an apparent heart attack.
Pro-Russian separatists have taken control of more government facilities in eastern Ukrainian cities, especially in places like Luhansk and also Olivka. Ukraine's armed forces have been placed on full combat readiness to deal with the - what the government calls the - threat from Russia and also pro-Russian militants within the region.
British actor Bob Hoskins has died of pneumonia at the age of 71. He was best known for his role in films like "The Long Good Friday," also "Mona Lisa" which gained him awards at Cannes and also at the BAFTAs and an Oscar nomination. He also gained huge success in - as a detective in - "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Hoskins stopped acting two years ago after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
The IMF has now slashed its forecast to Russia's economic growth this year to just .2 of 1 percent. While the IMF warns that more Western sanctions against Russia could soon trigger an even sharper recession than the one that Russia is currently finding itself in. Jim Boulden spoke to the head of the IMF Mission in Moscow who says that these threats are impacting investments for Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO SPILIMBERGO, IMF MISSION CHIEF TO RUSSIA: We realize that the geopolitical uncertainties including sanction and talk about escalating sanction are having a big impact on investment. Investors are worried about what can being - could happen - in the future, and have a wait-and-see attitude. This wait-and-see attitude is damaging investment. Despite the fact that consumption - prior to consumption - has been quite salient (ph) so far, we predict that the investment will force so much this year that this will basically cause a recession in the first two quarters of 2014.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Should we assume that the Russian economy will continue to - go negative this year? I mean you're saying barely any growth. There's a very good chance it could stay mired in recession, no?
SPILIMBERGO: Let me remind you that other factors had a big impact on the Russia economy in addition to the race and the geopolitical tensions. Russian growth has been slowing for some year - some years - because of Statford bottlenecks. The Statford bottlenecks were there before and they will be also if not addressed be present in the future. So, and this were also a cause of slow down. So our point of view is that in order to resume growth, the authorities have to address both the urgency of the geopolitical situation and the important - the importance -- of these Stratford bottlenecks. Unless they address both issues, the Russia economy will continue to slow down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: Well Russia is now looking to call in an even bigger debt from Ukraine on the gas front. Gazprom officials have said that tomorrow Ukraine's bill will probably grow to reach 'round about $3.5 billion in total. Europe is desperately seeking a way to avoid going to Russia for its own gas needs. The former Soviet state of Azerbaijan thinks that it may have the answer in the form of a pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea west towards the shores of southern Italy.
Elshad Nassirov is the vice president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan and joins us now live from CNN Washington. Thank you very much for joining us, sir. The Southern Corridor which could provide these gas needs from Azerbaijan according to some of the statistics that you've provided here means that we could see around about 16 billion cubic meters worth of gas heading towards Europe and Turkey within a few years' time. That will of course major require major investment. How feasible is it to deliver that much and to meet Europe's gas needs?
ELSHAD NASSIROV, VICE PRESIDENT, SOCAR: Well, we just made the final investment decision in December 2013 and in fact total investments that have to be made into the pipeline and to the production of the gas from the Caspian Sea will be equal to $45 billion. It will take five years, 3 and 1/2 thousand kilometers of pipeline construction, it will take several countries - 12 buyers companies from several countries, -- 6 billion cubic meters of additional gas will be delivered to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Italy by year 2019.
DOS SANTOS: OK, so how is this going to affect your relationship with Russia? Because traditionally Russia also buys an awful lot of gas from Azerbaijan to supply its own domestic needs and then it exports its own Russian gas out towards Europe. How is this going to affect y our relationship with your neighbor?
NASSIROV: Well we don't consider ourselves as a big competitor to the Russia gas because our volumes will not be substantial at the moment. But at the same time we think that our deliveries of additional or alternative gas to Europe will be a step to diversification of the supplies to the European Union and we will fill the gap between the supplies and demand total gas by the year when our gas will be ready to be supplied to Europe. I don't think that we have to use gas companies like our company or the production of gas in Azerbaijan as a tool against someone. Our goal is to diversify gas supplies to the European Union as the market for - natural market for - additional gas produced in Azerbaijan.
DOS SANTOS: We're talking about additional gas but that's not really what the European Union needs at the moment. What the E.U. needs is a stable, long-term energy partner. Is that what Azerbaijan has to offer here? How -
DOS SANTOS: -- committed are you to this?
NASSIROV: Absolutely we have been in negotiations for this oil and gas corridor for more than a decade, and we are committed to the supply of gas to the European Union. At the same time we are ready to supply gas at the shorter destinations to our neighbors - Georgia, Russia, Turkey.
DOS SANTOS: If we take a look at the price, because this is another notable issue that we have to mention, especially in light of what's going on in Ukraine, we sometimes see the price wobble enormously and energy being used as a bargaining tool here. Have you identified yet a price at which the investment that you're making - as you said it is tens of billions of dollars - you would be comfortable selling this gas to Europe at, and if so, what is it? Can you share some information with us on that?
NASSIROV: Well the companies that are producing gas in Azerbaijan, specifically in the Shah Daniz Stage-2 Project are serious major companies that have calculated all of their investments, profits, transportation tariffs. So of course it is a serious, challenging project but of course in any case in the long run it will provide additional substantial profits to the producers of gas in Azerbaijan. And not only in the project which is called Shah Daniz Stage-2 but if these deliveries of gas to Europe will be profitable enough, we will provide additional volumes of gas to the same countries - and the --
DOS SANTOS: So can I just -
NASSIROV: -- and the (Inaudible) region.
DOS SANTOS: Can I just confirm if you set that price yet, is it a question of you having set that price yet -- and not necessarily being willing to divulge that price -- or will that price move significantly? Because I'm just trying to attack the issue of gas because it's becoming more expensive with the potential of Russia turning off the taps.
NASSIROV: Well, in a project - in a long-term project - with pipeline gas, when you have to construct a pipeline that has to work at least 30 years, of course this project we cannot be sanctioned or triggered if you don't have the gas purchase and sales agreements for at least 25 years. So we'll all have these prices and of course these prices are commercial. But the prices which will be useful - our deliveries of gas - not used or not based on the basis of negotiations but they're based on the hop/hub (ph) and market prices.
DOS SANTOS: Elshad Nassirov, thank you so much for joining us.
NASSIROV: My pleasure, thank you.
DOS SANTOS: Excellent to have your points of view on the show this evening. Now, a website that has promised to shake up the hotel business has also ruffled some feathers with New York's attorney general. We'll explain all when we come back with our "Business Traveller" update. You'll want to stay tuned for that.
DOS SANTOS: Time for today's "Business Traveller" update. The co-founder of Airbnb has now hit back at the New York attorney general after this firm was accused of creating a "digital wild west." Airbnb matches property owners up with tourists that are seeking accommodation. But the problem is, is that New York regulations actually ban residents from renting out their empty apartments for less than a month. In "The New York Times," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote this -- "The only question is how long it'll take for these cyber cowboys to realize that working with the sheriff is both good business but also the right thing to do."
Well in response the Airbnb co-founder said to CNN money that his company pumps in a whopping $786 million into the new economy every single year. It's already wiped 2,000 listings so far this year and Airbnb thinks that New York isn't seeing the big picture, so of course that discussion will continue.
Well for any of you planning on traveling somewhere towards this weekend or indeed toward the end of the week, Jenny Harrison is standing by at the CNN International Weather Center with your full update on of course the wild weather that we see in the United States and how things are looking in Europe. Jenny.
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, certainly, Nina, I have to say this - the weather across the Southeast United not - nowhere near as bad this Wednesday as it was on Tuesday or indeed Monday or Sunday. This is the last few hours. You'll see a red box of course - that is a tornado watch, and once again, it is across the Carolinas as you can see. But over the last couple of days as we know just a swathe of the Southeast has really impacted by these tornados and also flooding rains. And on Tuesday, we saw most of the reported tornados actually in North Carolina. There were ten in total, one in Illinois, one in Florida and those eight others actually in North Carolina. But it was Sunday when we saw the first of these storms that have come through, and the first of the really powerful tornados. This is actually visible from space. This line here is what you're looking at and that was the part seen by - take by tornado.
And these are the before and after photos we've got here from DigitalGlobe. So look at this - this is Oklahoma obviously before and then after the tornado came through and you could just see it just absolutely ripped apart everything in its path.
Here we've got Baxter Springs in Kansas - a similar story. You can that line of destruction in the wake of that tornado. And here's another one in Baxter Springs - just a close up view is. When you see the close up view, you just realize that literally, you know, one house is OK, left completely standing and almost unscathed, -- those are the trees. And just next door your neighbor's house as you can see there in some cases demolished. So, these really powerful storms, there are still some storms around but they're moving quite swiftly eastwards. You could see there on the radar of course where they were and again that red box - red botch (ph) - box right now which is the watch for the tornados.
But again as we continue into Thursday morning, this huge swathe from D.C. right the way down into northern Florida is where again we could have these strong winds coming in with the hail and possibly one or two isolated tornados. But look at the rain that came through in the last couple of days across into the South, Pensacola in particular, just a phenomenal amount of rain there, saying actually it was a record. Nearly 400 millimeters of rain, so we're talking about 15 inches of rain that came down. So, not surprisingly, it's flooding in that particular portion of the United States. This shows you the river - the Fish River -- and how of course it peaked here. This is a major flooding line - already (ph) this red, and this as you can see is where it peaked. It should of course go down pretty quickly since the rain is coming to an end, but the warnings and the watches stay in place and you can see they extend right the way up to New York, and in fact, pretty much up towards Boston as well.
There've been lots of delays at the airports. Right now we've got ground stops and this is mostly because of weather - possibly of course in other areas - not necessarily in Orlando but it could well be but other areas trying to get to or from that airport. Then you can see the rain for the next 48 hours. So it is clearing swiftly but still a very unsettled pattern. What will happen of course, the temperatures are lower and that is always a good thing, and that is when we hope to see less of those severe storms. So on Thursday, 22 the high in Atlanta, 24 for Washington and New York. Nina.
DOS SANTOS: All right, Jenny Harrison. Thanks so much for that there at the CNN Weather Center. Now, nearly 800 million adults around the world can't read or write. After the break, we'll introduce you to someone who's doing all they can to change that.
DOS SANTOS: Hello, welcome back. Hundreds of protesters marched through Nigeria's capital today. They demanded that the government do more to rescue the 187 schoolgirls who're still being held by Islamic militants. The girls were abducted from their school dormitory earlier on this month. Parents of these girls have accused the government of making false claims and also politicizing the kidnappings, Well the name of the group responsible for these kidnappings, Boko Haram, loosely translates as "Western education is forbidden."
The statistics though show that a lack of education can stunt economic growth. Pam Allyn is the founder of LitWorld, she joins us now live from CNN New York with more on her initiative. Pam, there's obviously an interesting dynamic to what's going on with your campaign today because of course we have that march over there in Abuja. But the reality is, is, that there's a lot more women around the world who can't read and write, and of course that has huge economic implications for their independence and their future welfare.
PAM ALLYN, FOUNDER, It really does. Two-thirds of the world's illiterate people are women and girls, and actually it has a tremendous impact on world economy in every way -- girls who will face early marriage, dropping out of school at young ages. It's - research, all the studies show that it impacts the health of the country, the economy of the country. Girls are not productive in the workplace, they're not able to live into their dreams and their hopes and achieve all their goals. And it's really an incredible injustice actually in terms of thinking both about the kinds of contributions the girls can make to our economy but also in terms of the voices that will never hear if girls are not in school not becoming fully literate, not becoming literate in ways that will help them to both absorb information they need to be healthy, to live the lives they most truly want.
DOS SANTOS: Now obviously the sadness of this dynamic is that yes it's great to get more people who are reading and writing - it's a better world for everybody. But for those 793 people who currently remain illiterate, what are their options when eventually they do become literate. Because many of the countries that they live in have rampant unemployment and just can't meet the expectations that they will have later, don't countries have to have much wider policies in place as well?
ALLYN: Yes, it's true. I mean, I actually think that access is the currency that we all need and that is to say that the capacity that girls will be able to contribute to the world will be also about how they contribute through technology, through mobile phones, through really all kinds of the ways of 21st century is going to offer for all girls to be fully participatory as citizens, as business leaders, as government leaders, and our governments - all of our governments - really have to make stronger contributions to this idea that even if we invest in 1 percent more in secondary education, it leads to a .3 percent increase in our countries' GDPs. I mean, it's just a - the correlations are incredibly close and the more we invest, the more likely it is that our girls are going to be able to connect but virtually and actually in terms of the knowledge that they bring to the world.
So, access is key - and by access I mean access to technology, access to quality learning experiences, access to school that we - we have to fight for girls' right to be in school - and also access to resources, access to books, access to notebooks, access to quality, trained teachers. All of these things that governments can do right away in order to maintain and ensure girls' right -- girls' access to school, to education and to literacy.
DOS SANTOS: All right, Pam Allyn, thank you so much for that there. Pam Allyn there joining us at CNN New York with more on that initiative. You have to try and lift those almost 800 million people around the world out of illiteracy. Now, let's move on and bring an update on a story that we brought to you earlier on throughout the course of this hour. Northern Ireland police say that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been arrested and is being questioned by police in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. McConville, a mother of ten and also widowed at the time was abducted from her flat in West Belfast and shot by the IRA. Adams turned himself in and in a statement he says that he's innocent.
Moving on to the world of sport now. In Barcelona, defender Daniel Alves has received a huge amount of support after he ate a banana thrown at him during a match over the course of the weekend. A quickly-constructed PR campaign followed, led in particular by the Brazilian footballer Neymar. He tweeted out this picture shortly afterwards and worked with a Brazilian advertising agency, Loducca. Well, Guga Ketzer, the chief creative officer from that agency joins us now live from Sao Paulo.
Amid a lot of concerns about whether this was a carefully-constructed PR campaign, can I just start out by asking you how much of a PR campaign was this and what are the actual nuts and bolts of what we know? Do we know whether they had agreed that if a banana was thrown at him - because it had happened before - that this would be the response? Or had somebody actually found the banana and thrown it in an orchestrated stunt?
GUGA KETZER, LODUCCA: No, no, no. The thing was like Daniel explained, and someone took the banana to him and he ate it. That was not orchestrated. But then, like - I think it was like - an hour or two hours later, Neymar starts like a PR campaign like a social media campaign. We have the hashtag called '#We are all monkeys' or in Portuguese like '#Somos todos macacos' and a photo of him like eating a banana. So, it's - Dani was not a orchestrated stuff. He was like him - exactly him like doing what he want to do.
DOS SANTOS: But forgive me for also translating the finer side of Portuguese there, "Somos todos macacos' in Portuguese also means you're making fun of yourselves. We're all idiots as well, right? How right- hearted was this? Because it does go back to the issue of racism which is a very serious issue that continues to dog football.
KETZER: Yes, the thing is like it's kind of common to call like - macacos are monkeys - like the players in especially the South America. Ones are even like Balotelli in Italy. And what happened is like - what we tried to do was like, hey, let's kind of create something that is the opposite - like you throw something to me and I would throw back in a way that Neymar if someone calls Neymar or Dani Alves a monkey. So, we're right on his back and say like, hey, everyone is monkey. It doesn't matter if I'm yellow, if I'm black, if I'm white - it doesn't matter. We're all monkeys and we're all supporting everyone against racists.
DOS SANTOS: All right, Guga Ketzer, thank you so much for joining us there live from Sao Paula via Skype. We appreciate your time this evening. Do stay with "Quest Means Business" for plenty more after this short break.
DOS SANTOS: Well, this man is no longer legal tender in Britain. Sir John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England will no longer appear on your 50 pound notes, however you can still exchange the note at the Bank of England. Houblon, a successful merchant, was appointed to lead the bank in 1694, and the note featuring his face was introduced 300 years later.