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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

New Clues Bring New Hope; Oil Hits 30-Month High; Slavery in Business

Aired April 4, 2011 - 14:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: New clues and new hope. Two years on investigators find more victims from Air France Flight 447.

Oil hit a 30-month high as fighting rages in Libya.

And the darkest secrets of the supply chain. A week of coverage on the fight to end slavery in business.

I'm Richard Quest. We have an hour together. I mean business.

Good evening.

Tonight a piece of the puzzle but the mystery of what brought down Air France Flight 447 is still unsolved. Air France today announced it found bodies in the wreckage of the plane. As Isha Durgahee reports, the most important clue as to what caused the death of 228 people aboard that aircraft is still missing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ISHA DURGAHEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wheels from the landing gear, parts of a wing, a section of the main fuselage, and both engines of the Airbus A330, of the Air France Flight 447. Pieces of this tragic puzzle have been found thanks to sonar imagery from submarine drones (ph). The head of the French Air Accident investigation agency the BEA, outlined the significant findings of the debris field. Almost 4,000 meters deep, at the bottom of Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area 200 meters in length and 600 meters wide.

JEAN-PAUL TROADEC, DIRECTOR, DU BEA (through translator): One of the submarines being sent down, we had first indications that we were looking at parts of the plane. But we weren't able to utterly identify them at that point. But we knew, we understood that we were seeing important elements. So, again, this time we sent a second submarine down. And this time we decided to take photos.

DURGAHEE: The director of the BEA also confirmed that bodies have found in the wreckages, but did not say how many. Families will be brought together once they have more precise information for identification. Officials say it is an encouraging find and somewhere amongst it might lay the flight data recorders, or black boxes.

ALAIN BOUILLARD, HEAD OF OPERATIONS, BEA (through translator): If we can get the flight recorders this will help us really build up a proper picture. Most importantly, the actually scenario of the accident, what actually happened, we'll need to see in what kind of state they will be in. Because everything will depend on our team to be able to read them. But obviously the most important things, before we even get to that is to find them and bring them up. The whole picture of the different parts of the plane, it is still a jigsaw puzzle. So we don't know where the black box recorder could be.

DURGAHEE: In the next few days the undersea search will enter its fifth phase, to recover the bodies and the debris, which is expected to take several weeks. The vessel that is currently with the submarine drones (ph) is not equipped to bring up the wreckage. Investigators are looking at three possible vessels from France, Cypress, and Africa, to help. In the meantime the drones will keep taking photos of the sea bed in a search for crucial clues that can offer some closure to families and answers to what may have caused the crash. After almost two years of searching there is now new hope. Isha Durgahee, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Now there may be new hope, as Isha said, but there is still no flight recorders and the ultimate mystery of what actually lead to the incident that brought down the plane remains unsolved. But it was day when there have been other aviation airline safety questions.

United Airlines, A320, en route from New Orleans to San Francisco, a disturbing case, was forced to turn back there was smoke in the cockpit and apparently a complete electrical failure. The aircraft landed overweight, speed, and ran off the runway; skidded off the runway, still landing under less minimal injuries. But an investigation into why a 320 should have smoke in the cockpit and electrical failure?

And the one that everybody is talking about, Southwest Airlines. Southwest, now, nearly completed the checks of many of their aircraft. And of course, they've found other, one or two or three of them, that do have cracks similar to the ones that lead to the roof becoming detached on the Southwest 737.

It is one of the issues that have people talking at the moment. Jeanne Meserve joins us now, from Washington. Fundamentally, what happened with this 373 and these other incidents are now giving some cause for concern, Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. They want to get to the bottom of this one. Southwest is inspecting 79 Boeing 737, 300 in its fleet. So far, as you mentioned, small subsurface cracks have been detected in three additional aircraft. Boeing, the manufacturer, is drafting a voluntary service bulletin and the Federal Aviation Administration is likely to mandate inspections. We don't know how broad their order will be, but it could involve other 737 models, and other airlines, potentially. The National Transportation Safety Board, meanwhile, has had its investigators remove a section of the ruptured fuselage skin, from that Southwest plane. It has been sent back to Washington for in-depth analysis by experts, so obviously the can learn more about what went wrong here and d take corrective action.

QUEST: Jeanne, the thing I noticed today is one Southwest executive saying that it was a new and worrying development. Because they do inspect the planes, they do look for these things and nothing has come up so far. Where is that leading?

MESERVE: Well, it is a real question. These planes, in airplane years, are middle aged. They are about 15 years old. But every time they land and take off there is compression and decompression that puts stress on the aircraft. Southwest's aircraft get a lot of use, averaging six flights per day. And that is part of the calculation, when the maintenance schedules are set. But this plane got a heavy duty inspection just last March. So either there was a problem that the people inspecting it missed, or the cracked developed very quickly. Investors are looking at the question.

According to the NTSB, the kind of joint where this problem appears to have developed gets only a visual inspection. Something more may eventually be called for. We'll find out soon enough.

QUEST: Jeanne Meserve, who is in Washington.

And I'll explain more now about that visual inspection, and why in certain cases. This is the 737. The plane that we are talking about, the one-the Southwest. Southwest incidentally has 500 or so of these aircraft; and as you can see from this diagram, one of the workhorses of the aviation industry. And this is where the incident actually happened. Go two windows back from emergency exit and it happened, just about, there, across three or four. That is where the roof opened up, the metal failed. And that, of course, is where the accident happened, or potentially.

And why was this so serious? Let me show you. Because this is, basically, one part of the aircraft. As Jeanne said, this part of the aircraft is not particularly structurally important in any sense. Of course, it could have been worse. It is not like here, or over here. However, if you take the aircraft overall, you will start to see that there are definitely, from the cockpit, to the engines, to the under carriage, to the back of the aircraft, there are cables running the length of the plane.

Now we saw this, of course, very much with the Qantas A380, which of course had its own problems from the engines and caused problems there.

Now, back to our plane here, with all this happening, and all this going backwards and forwards, any form of disruption to the fuselage, could-could have created a problem with some control surface. That is why this sort of incident is considered to be so significant.

Joining me now is Mary Schiavo, the former inspector general, at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Good to have you, Mary, as always. To help us make-

MARY SCHIAVO, FMR. INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSP.: Thank you.

QUEST: -understand this. I'm trying desperately not to add one and one together and come up with half a dozen. But the fact is, you've got this-these cracks in a 737, that shouldn't be there.

SCHIAVO: Right. And you've got this crack in a 737 that ordinarily at 15 years would not, under most U.S. regulations be considered an aging aircraft, or tired iron. But because it is Southwest and they fly each one of their planes so much, six to eight or nine times a day. That means a pressurization on ever flight, and a depressurization. That those cracks may have a special significance; one, they may develop sooner in a Southwest plane, or two, Southwest needs to really reconsider whether it should be using these older aircraft. This is not the Southwest model that it started with. When Southwest started they always went for new planes, new 737s and they didn't have to worry, they said, so much about maintenance, because they didn't have aging aircraft.

QUEST: Now, let's just talk about that. You talk about the pressurization. If we come back to my chart, over here. Basically, as the plane takes off and goes-the thing expands and contracts, goes in, and out. They are known as the cycles (ph). Now, we know a lot about cycles, don't we, to that extent? We know that cycles do cause metal fatigue. But with the 737, and the A320, Mary, being the backbone of short-haul, low-cost carrier fleets, not only in the U.S., but in Europe as well. Does this raise an issue?

SCHIAVO: Well, it does, because remember Southwest had its very problem, and a piece of the fuselage came off, off the top of a plane, in July in 2009. And the FAA when back and supposedly redoubled their efforts to oversee the inspections. There was a U.S. congressional hearing. Congress held hearings over how Southwest missed this. And Southwest was fined several million dollars, in 2010. So after that to have a plane that has experienced this cracking, and also they found several others in the fleet. It is very disturbing for Southwest. However, the mystery can somewhat be solved, in that when they did the last inspection, they called in experts, they called in Boeing. And they said, well, you know, six inch cracks can be tolerated-maybe not?

QUEST: Mary, good to have you, as always, on our program. Mary Schiavo joining me from Washington. And a reminder to you, of course, that flying is still the safest form of transport.

When we come back in just a moment, BP's strategy is placed on ice. The Rosneft deal heads back to arbitration. We'll ask, what does it mean for BP?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Oil prices have pushed over $120 a barrel, as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa continues to spook traders. Brent gained more than a $1 in today's trade. It is now at its highest level since August 2008.

Supplies issues, possibly stemming from the war in Libya, appeared to be the trader's biggest concern. Meanwhile, the market believes there could be a premium of up to $20 on a barrel of oil. For BP the search for oil on two separate continents has hit two separate snags. The U.S. government has denied that there are plans to let BP resume deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. While it's deal with Rosneft, in Russia, has gone back to arbitration. So, where now for BP after the spill?

A $7 billion deal with the Indian Oil firm, Reliance, show its pursuit of emerging markets. BP has also been selling assets. It came within $6 billion of its $30 billion divestment, today, by selling its aluminum unit, ARCO, to a Japanese group. That went for $680 million. And a few hours later we heard the U.S. government deny that negotiations were in place allowing BP's return to the Gulf of Mexico. There had been reports over the weekend, that the two were close to a deal.

One of the world's top energy analysts, Fadel Gheit, joins me now from New York; Managing director of Oppenheimer.

Lots of-we need to bash all through this. There is so much in your area of expertise. Let us begin. BP and the strategy, for the company, divest in some. But frankly, Fadel, surely, the strategy is in a bit of tatters after Rosneft?

FADEL GHEIT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, OPPENHEIMER FUNDS: Well, basically, BP has sold assets, over 24 billion. They want to refill their project pipeline. And the deal with Rosneft would have given them very long terms growth potential. The deal that they find offshore, in India, for example, there is a deal that is signed in Asia. All these projects or deals are designed to replenish, BP, basically, as a base. And the Rosneft, I think it is a set back, it is not the end of the line for BP. I think the deal will finally go through. Although, it might take longer and probably will have some changes made to accommodate the TLK Partners.

QUEST: And the-as we look at the current price, $119, $120, you and I were talking last week about where this finally settles. Is it an unknown, or where does the market believe it will settle, midterm.

GHEIT: Well, a couple of things. You have to realize that the oil market has always moved on speculation. The level of speculation depends on global events. We have the mess in the Middle East. It is creating a lot of uncertainty here, no body knows which regime will fall next? Is it going to be Syria? Is it going to be Bahrain? Is it going to be Yemen? Qatar, or whatever? The end of that is that people are worried about supply destruction. And once you have this fear, you have the right environment for speculators to come in and push oil prices as much as they can.

Right now, Brent is selling at $120. That BTI (ph) is trading at about $110. I think the continuation of tension in the Middle East will open another $20 upside in oil prices.

QUEST: That sort of upswing, and we head towards $150, then we are in the territory that makes already fragile economies becoming almost desperately fragile.

GHEIT: Well, a couple of things. One, we know from history that rises in oil would indicated, you know, bad things for the economy. Inflation fears, as well as higher costs. For anything that, you know, from food to clothing, to housing, to everything. So at the end of the day higher oil prices are not good for economic growth. The economy is still weak. It is still sputtering. Growth is not firm yet. We have problems in Europe, we have problems now in Japan. So, obviously, higher oil prices is not going to be a good omen for global economic growth.

QUEST: Right.

GHEIT: So, my fear here is that if we see oil prices push beyond their sustainable level, which I do believe it is already $20 or $30 more than their sustainable levels. That could definitely derail economic growth.

QUEST: Fadel, many thanks, at Oppenheimer's in New York, for joining us.

We need to return to a major story we're following. Reuters is reporting that U.N. helicopters fired four missiles at pro-Gbagbo military camps in the Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan. Now, we're trying to independently confirm this.

Troops loyal to the internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara, have surrounded Abidjan, and they are trying to oust the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo-well, self-appointed incumbent. Both sides deny accusations of atrocities and killings. On the line now, special representative of the U.N. secretary general, in the African nation, is Young-Chin Choi, who joins me from Abidjan.

Can you hear me, Young Chin Choi?

YOUNG-CHIN CHOI, SPECIAL U.N. REPRESENTATIVE: Yes.

QUEST: Sir, the situation, first of all, are you able to tell us anything about this alleged that U.N. helicopters have filed missiles at military camps. Can you help us understand anything about that?

CHOI: Yes, the Gbagbo special forces have been using heavy weapons against the civilian population and United Nations peacekeepers. So, it crossed the tipping point, so we launched an operation, 4:59 p.m., Abidjan time, to neutralize the heavy weapons which have been used civilian population and United Nations peacekeepers, and it will be an ongoing operation.

QUEST: Who are you firing at?

CHOI: At heavy weapons.

QUEST: But, heavy weapons from the Gbagbo side?

CHOI: Yes.

QUEST: And in doing so, this obviously help support, if you like the Ouattara side in their final push. Now, I understand that is not the object of the exercise, but the battle for Abidjan is in its final moments, we believe.

CHOI: We have to draw a fine line between the political objective of Ouattara forces, and civilian protection mandates of United Nations mission in Cote d'Ivoire. We do not have a mandate to militarily assist Ouattara's force to win the war. It is not in our mandate. We are only protecting civilians and ourselves.

QUEST: It is a fine line, though, isn't it, Sir?

CHOI: It is a fine line, yes. But you have to uphold the spirit and words of our mandate.

QUEST: Well, you say that. Let's just talk about this. How close to you believe, tonight, or in the next 24-48 hours, the Ouattara militia-

CHOI: No, Mr. Gbagbo, he lost most importantly, the hearts and minds of the population, because he betrayed them. He lost the election, but he is clinging to power, using military forces, which is unacceptable.

QUEST: Right.

CHOI: So, he lost the hearts and minds of the population and the lost most of the territory and most of the cities now.

QUEST: Yes, but he's still there.

CHOI: Just two small pockets of resistance around his palace, around his (UNINTELLIGIBLE), that's all he has.

QUEST: Right. So what do you believe, and I accept that it is not the U.N.'s job to do this, but what do you believe it is going to take to get him out of those two pockets, without serious and further major bloodshed?

CHOI: If he accepts the will of the people, it will be over instantly. If he resists, then, the pro-Ouattara forces are very close, very close, to take him out. So, the police (ph) engaged around these two places, last stronghold, and because it is a tighter spot, he is using his heavy weapons against civilians and against United Nations peacekeepers. We cannot condone it. So we are taking out heavy weapons.

QUEST: Right. Is it time for other African countries, is it time for others to get involved and help put an end to this, whether it is the French taking over the airports, or other African countries. Let's face it. The coalition has got involved to protect civilians in Libya. Maybe it is time that coalition is put together to protect civilians in the Ivory Coast.

CHOI: Fortunately, in the case of Cote d'Ivoire, the Ivorian people are capable of taking care their own destiny, without international military intervention, they are doing their job. So we have to give credit to the Ivorian people.

QUEST: Sir, many thanks, indeed. Young-Chin Choi, we thank you for joining us this evening, over what is obviously a desperate situation.

CHOI: Thank you.

QUEST: But we thank you, Sir, for taking the time and the trouble to join us.

Let me just confirm what we have just heard from Young-Chin Choi, the U.N. special representative, who does confirm that U.N. helicopters have been engaged in flying against pro-Gbagbo military camps in Ivory Coast, the main city of Abidjan.

It is 17 years since the genocide ended in Rwanda, and today that country comes to terms with the painful legacy of the killing which left an eighth of the population dead. In the capital, Kigali, city leaders are doing their best to restore civic pride, in the hope that the community cleans together, stays together. Today, Kigali, is our "Future City".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST (voice over): Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills. Nestled within the rolling green landscape is the country's capital, Kigali. With its population of just 1 million there are very big plans for the future of this relatively small city.

ANNOUNCER: A place where opportunities are abundant.

QUEST: Kigali's Vision 20/20 presents a radical and rapid modernization. The vision is bold. To become East Africa's future hub of business, trade, and tourism.

PAUL KAGAME, PRESIDENT OF RWANDA: We see the country growing, very fast. The economy is growing very fast. In the last 10 years we have had the economy grow at an average of 8 percent.

QUEST: This is the new Rwanda. The same country that 17 years ago, fell apart. In 1994, almost a million people were killed in the Rwandan genocide, that is one in eight. The 100-day massacre left Kigali, its epicenter, in total ruin.

GOVERNOR AISA KIRABO, FMR. MAYOR, KIGALI: It was dilapidated. It was completely-almost completely destroyed. When you looked at it at the time, it was like, it was practically impossible task to rebuild it.

KAGAME: It was like a completely dead city. You could see devastation in the faces of people. I know there are many people who have faced similar problems that we have. It is something I can share with others, if we can do it, if we can come out of the situation we were in, 16, 17, years ago. And to be where we are, nobody should despair.

QUEST: What emerged from the genocide was one of the world's poorest countries. Shortly after, foreign aide poured into Rwanda. The government began a major program to reduce poverty and improve the economy. It seems to have worked. Today it is one of Africa's stars of development. The capital city is rated among the safest, the cleanest, and most business friendly on the continent. With a population expected to double in the next 25 years, the city has had the American urban planner, Donna Rubinoff, to lead the way.

DONNA RUBINOFF, HEAD OF URBAN PLANNING: Over the last seven years, Rwanda and Kigali have spent close to $10 million on land use planning. I think the challenge is more in the international community, helping them to understand that major shift that has happened. And this isn't the same it was 15 years ago, at all.

QUEST: The future vision includes all the hallmarks of a regional business hub. Making way for a central business district houses in town are numbered to be torn down. While new low-cost housing areas pop up on the outskirts. Officials have faced criticism over some of these demolitions, but they maintain residents are being fairly compensated. Further out, another hill has been cleared to become a dedicated industrial and free-trade zone.

ALEX RUZIBUKIRA, CHAIRMAN, KIGALI FREE ZONE TASK FORCE: A couple of years from now, like three years from now, you should come back, you will see a major difference. As we are talking now 70 percent of interested investors have already pre-booked.

QUEST: Downtown investors are also filing in, with Marriot and Radisson among the international luxury chains already snapping up spots in the center.

Among the homegrown businesses riding the city's progress, is Bourbon Coffee, due to open its fourth Kigali branch this month.

JOHN BOSCO BIRUNGI, CHAIRMAN, BOURBON COFFEE: Kigali is one of the fastest growing cities, by any measures, on the African continent. The growth of the city is actually moving Kigali from being a traditional African city to being a top world destination.

QUEST: This aspiring global destination has clean streets and cappuccinos. It's come a long way. Yet despite its record of progress, the critics argue that future stability is being jeopardized by a lack of press freedom and open debate.

President Kagame, not surprisingly, rejects these claims.

KAGAME: For me, what matters is what is really happening on the ground?

What are the gains made by the people in this country?

People don't invest in the places where they are not sure about but they will forget

$600 million U.S. investments has been made here in the last for years. We will be growing, growing, growing, growing.

So I think we are just not going to be distracted from what we are doing.

QUEST: The progress in Kigali is there to see. But it's still tempting to be skeptical about the feasibility of the city's future plans.

To those who doubt they will succeed, Kigali says look at where we started.

GOVERNOR AISA KIRABO, FORMER MAYOR OF KIGALI: I believe in thinking big. And I believe that the same people who were here in 1994, if they saw what we have today, if we showed it as a dream to them, I'm sure they would say these are the craziest people on earth.

KAGAME: Having overcome all these odds of our history and the tragic situation and being where we are, well, I think maybe people may have to rethink the way they look at Rwanda.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: Kigali the first in our series as Future Cities goes to Rwanda.

In a moment, slavery -- it's still with us in 2011. And you might be surprised just how close it comes to your own dinner table.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dan Rivers in Thailand, where I've been investigating forced labor on fishing boats.

How sure can you be that the fish that ends up on your plate hasn't been caught by slaves?

(END VIDEO TAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

This is CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.

In Libya, fierce fighting has broken out in and around El Brega. Rebels, who say they have the oil town surrounded, are trying to reclaim lost ground. Government forces are trying to strengthen their control of the key city, that has switched hands six times in sic weeks. Britain's foreign secretary says the UK will not arm the rebels.

Protesters have been rallying in at least five Yemeni cities today. This amateur video appears to show thousands marching in Sanaa, with signs that read, "The people demand the fall of the regime." CNN cannot confirm the video's authenticity. Interviews from YouTube seem to show demonstrators in Tayan (ph) being carried away by medical workers. Reports indicate 14 people there were killed in clashes.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried before a military commission rather than in a civilian courtroom. The decision marks a major reversal for the Obama administration. Mohammed and four other suspects are charged with participating in the 9/11 terror plot.

Now, as we reported a week ago, fast-moving developments from the Ivory Coast. Fighting has very much taken up again in the commercial capital of Abidjan. The U.N. says it has started a military option there to neutralize heavy weapons used by forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo. Helicopters have fired on military camps of pro-Gbagbo forces. Reports also say France has authorized its military to participate in that U.N. operation.

Japan is dumping thousands of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean a part of an effort to stop a leak of run-off with even higher levels of radiation. The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the plant is now above 12,000.

Today, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS joins the fight to end modern-day slavery. It's part of CNN's year long global project, the Freedom Project.

in the global economy, stamping out the buying and selling of human beings is not simply a moral issue. It's also a key element of good corporate responsibility.

Companies have a responsibility to make sure that their products -- not just final products, but their supply chain products, meet international human rights. They must also make sure that companies live up to the same standards, anybody they contract with.

It's not enough to say they do OK, but what do their suppliers do, too?

So, we will find out what governments are doing to ensure that all workers in their countries are safe from exploitation, are safe from prosecution, receive the necessary protection and, most important of all, what's being done to bring those responsible to justice.

We also want to find out where your power lies as a consumer.

Do you know where your shoes were made, the food on your table, where it came from?

What will become clear as QUEST MEANS BUSINESS looks at this issue is corporate, government, consumer -- it's everyone's responsibility in the Freedom Project.

We start our coverage tonight in Thailand, where trafficking victims are finding that a prison does not need bars or walls, it just needs a vast stretch of ocean between you and dry land.

The U.S. State Department's most recent report on human trafficking discovered Burmese, Cambodian and Thai men being forced to work on fishing boats. The boats travel throughout South Asia. They remain at sea for several years. The men don't get paid, they're threatened, they're physically beaten.

Our correspondent, Dan Rivers, now reports from Samut Prakan in Central Thailand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): This is the thriving fishing industry in South Asia -- fish that might end up on dinner plates almost anywhere in the world. But you might be shocked to know how these fish are caught. Sometimes the boats are floating prisons crewed by slaves.

Brothers Pundinar (ph) and Punbolin (ph) were lured from Cambodia to work on the fishing boats three years ago. You can see why. Quarrying rock is their only other work opportunity. When a middleman offered them a well paid job in the fishing industry, they agreed eagerly.

Together with another brother, they left home, hoping to earn some money. But the reality was very different. They say they were imprisoned on a Thai trawler for three months with no pay and no chance to escape. They were slaves at sea.

They described how the crew, who didn't work had enough, had their throats punctured with a blade before they were thrown overboard.

LISA RENDE TAYLOR, U.N. INTER-AGENCY PROJECT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Even when they tire, even when they're sick, the captains compel them to continue to work harder by essentially instilling an environment of fear. So if somebody gets sick -- and we have many reports of people getting sick or people getting tired -- they are -- they are killed. They are thrown overboard.

RIVERS: There are plenty of witnesses. Prum Vanak (ph) from Cambodia was imprisoned on a Thai trawler for three years, forced to work 20 hours a day. He tells me how he was beaten by the captain and that murder was common on the boats. Their nets sometimes snagged bodies of crew dumped from other ships. And one of his crew had his throat cut after he fell ill.

(on camera): Aid groups say many of the Cambodians are put on fishing boats here in the Thai port of Samut Prakan. They join a vast armada of ghost ships crewed by slaves, who can be resupplied and stay at sea for years. Their only chance of escape is on the rare occasion the fishing trawlers approach land.

(voice-over): That's how Dina and Bolin escaped, ending up in Malaysia. They're home now, trying to make a go of their barber shop. Their mother, Tikhat (ph), had to wait almost three years for her son's to earn enough money to get home. She'd almost given them up for dead.

(on camera): How did you feel when your sons came back?

(voice-over): She starts to explain how grateful she was, but then emotion overcomes her. This is the human cost when unscrupulous players gain a foothold in this industry. The U.N. estimates hundreds, perhaps thousands of other men, remain enslaved on ghost trawlers bringing cheap fish to dinner plates worldwide.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Samut Prakan, Thailand.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: The National Fisheries Association of Thailand is working closely with the government on fishing related issues, but says it has not received reports of abuse or torture of the crews in the past couple of years on Thai boats. The chairman of the group says most crews there are there of their own free will. He acknowledged, though, some recruiters may have made false promises about pay and working conditions to some Burmese or Cambodian workers.

The Association also says it educates Thai fishermen about anti-human trafficking laws, warning, in their words, there could be fines or jail terms and their boats could be confiscated if they are found guilty.

As consumers, it's difficult for us to know whether the goods we buy have been produced ethically. From next year, retailers and manufacturers doing business in California, well, they'll be required by law to disclose their efforts to make sure slavery and human trafficking play no part in its supply chain.

The actress, Julia Ormond, was instrumental in getting this law passed.

Here she is speaking at the California state assembly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIA ORMOND, ACTRESS: Tsinan act that asks the impossible of companies. It is an act that enables the consumer's right to know the company's level of engagement in order that they can make an informed consumer choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: We'll be talking to Julia Ormond about our responsibility -- yes, that's you and me, frankly -- as consumers tomorrow.

When we return, India -- more and more travelers taking to the skies.

Our Eye on India, in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Welcome back.

Earlier in the program, of course, we were talking air and air safety.

Well, on this week on CNN, we're giving you an in-depth look at the major players in global business in India. And there, civil aviation is very much on the rise, pardon the pun.

Domestic passenger traffic grew by 19 percent in 2010. That's amongst the global highest. Domestic cargo traffic was up a whopping 30 percent. And the Indian aviation industry is predicted to be the fastest growing market of its kind by 2020.

It was a little known Indian airline that struck the biggest aircraft deal in January. IndiGo bought 180 Air Bus A-320s.

Sara Sidner has more on an industry with seemingly plenty of hot air to rise.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): India's aviation industry is really taking off. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of domestic passengers increased by 19 percent -- a big number, especially considering the 2008 global financial meltdown.

KAPIL KAUL, CENTER FOR ASIA-PACIFIC AVIATION: We wanted to get started. We could see at least, potentially, three to five decades of very high and profitable growth.

SIDNER: Kapil Kaul runs the Center for Asia-Pacific Aviation and points out that right now, less than 2 percent of India's 1.2 billion population travels by air, leaving massive potential for growth. So far, the big winners in all this, the low-cost carriers. Climbing to the top of the pack, the newest kid on the runway, 5-year-old no-frills carrier, IndiGo Airlines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And our ground force goes their work on time. SIDNER: Its kitschy ads, a reputation for good customer service and low fares are making a mark on the industry.

ADITYA GHOSH, INDIGO AIRLINES PRESIDENT: In the worst year in the aviation business ever, India only dipped five percent. You know, so it was not a dramatic fall. Now in that same year, we grew by 46 percent, you know. IndiGo grew by 46 percent.

SIDNER (on camera): How is that possible?

GHOSH: Well, one, as I said, one is a simple function of we are consistently bringing aircraft in.

SIDNER (voice-over): IndiGo Airlines made history this year with the single largest aircraft deal in global history. The company made an order for 180 aircraft worth more than $15 billion.

(on camera): The best thing about IndiGo Airlines, what is it?

GHOSH: I would have to say our consistent on time performance.

SIDNER (voice-over): A government tally shows IndiGo had the second best on time performance of a major airline in 2010 in the country. This year it will start international service.

But growth has its limits in India. The airlines contend with some of the world's highest fuel taxes, insufficient infrastructure and a massive bureaucracy.

ANIRUDDHA GANGULY, GMR GROUP: While we were constructing this airport, we had to contend with 58 government departments. During this period, we had to contend with 100 cold cases to take care of improvements in this area.

SIDNER: Aniruddha Ganguly is head of business integration for GMR Group, which built Delhi's newest airline terminal at a cost of $1.3 billion. He says they got the job done on time despite the roadblocks.

GANGULY: I would say that, you know, the country, over the -- over the years, has learned the art of overcoming -- overcoming obstacles.

SIDNER: Analysts say in the next decade, India will need three times the number of airports that it has today. Since it doesn't have enough skilled labor to build them or pilots to fly the planes, people with the right skills in developed nations with wilting economies may want to look east for opportunities.

Sara Sidner, CNN, New Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: For one day only, a massive jobs boom in the United States. McDonald's U.S. president tells us next why the company is going to be printing a phenomenal number of new name tags.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: McDonald's is putting jobs on the menu. On April the 19th, it's having a recruitment drive so enormous, the Big Mac looks like an hors d'oeuvre.

McDonald's is to hire 50,000 -- absolutely, 50,000 new staff for its 14,000 U.S. restaurants. Now, let's put that into perspective. The total number of jobs added last month in the U.S. was 216,000 net-net. In just one day, McDonald's will be hiring almost a quarter of that number.

Jan Fields started her McDonald's career flipping burgers in '78. She is now president of McDonald's USA.

And our very own CNNMoney's Poppy Harlow, who can probably flip a burger or two herself, asks what's behind the push for jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAN FIELDS, PRESIDENT, MCDONALD'S USA: McDonald's business is strong right now. We're in a leadership position and we're excited to be able to offer 50,000 new jobs to people across America, all in one day, April 19th.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Where are these jobs going to be, Jan?

I mean are there parts of the country that are doing better, that are stronger, where you're saying, all right, we can hire more here than, say, in another state?

FIELDS: Well, really, McDonald's is doing great across the US. And the jobs will be pretty evenly divided.

HARLOW: When you look at salaries here, what kind of -- of average annual salary can these workers be expected to (AUDIO GAP) minimum wage, a bit higher?

What are we looking at across the board here?

FIELDS: Well, it -- again, it varies on areas of the country and the actual franchise location. But our average wage is well above minimum wage.

HARLOW: What is the average wage?

FIELDS: It's in the $8.30 range.

HARLOW: So it's interesting, I was just reading a report that just came out from Wider Opportunities. And -- and they crunched a bunch of numbers and this is what they said. They said a single worker needs about $30,000 a year -- that's about $14 an hour -- to cover their basic expenses, save for retirement and be prepared for emergencies. And -- and that's what they, at least, look at as a living wage.

So I guess the question is, how many people have that opportunity, given that you're bringing 50,000 new people in to -- to reach that at McDonald's?

FIELDS: Well, there's plenty of growth opportunities in McDonald's, not only my story, but it's a very similar one. We've got an opportunity, because we're a growing business, to give people chances to grow into management.

Some of our restaurant managers have the opportunity to make $50,000 a year. So the opportunities are pretty broad.

HARLOW: Are you expecting -- and I know you head off the U.S. division, but to see this kind of growth, a big hiring surge in McDonald's, say, in China, in Russia, around the world?

FIELDS: Well, one thing about McDonald's, our success is our being able to scale and steal great ideas from one area of the world to the other.

So who knows?

A lot of the things have developed in the U.S. and gone global. But I think it's -- it's just an idea that really works well when you're talking 14,000 and the synergies to do something like this all in one day.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: That's Poppy Harlow, who was talking to the...

(COUGHING)

QUEST: -- excuse me -- the head, president of McDonald's in the USA.

Now, the markets do need to be updated about. Up just 2.5, not a terribly impressive performance for a Dow Jones at the beginning of the new week, 12379. But coming on the back, of course, coming on from the back of the way in which the jobs numbers came, we got a reaction to that, then that, of course, has made quite some difference. A quiet week will be welcomed by the market.

The timing of the market and the McDonald's news couldn't be better for President Barack Obama. The president has officially announced he is standing for reelection.

Maggie Lake is with me to explain -- Maggie, you will forgive me if some of our viewers are a little skeptical.

Who -- whoever doubted that he was going to run again?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: No, ab -- absolutely, Richard.

But you do have to make these things official here, so the fundraising can begin.

And, listen, why not come out at a time -- and they were probably planning to anyway -- but why not have this sort of tailwind behind you?

Because, as you know, the economy is issue number one. And the Obama administration really hoping that they're going to be able to ride this issue of an improving economy and make it central to the reelection campaign.

I mean Obama has been under a bit of pressure. His popularity has been down. But if you take a look at what's been happening on the unemployment rate, yes, it is still high, but timing is going to be everything here. If we can continue to see that kind of downward momentum as we get closer to the 2012 election, that is going to be an incredibly powerful message that could put him back in the White House.

But, I want to mention another important Friday, and that is this Friday. We're facing a government shutdown because of the deficit issue, funding issues. It's probably not going to happen, but the Republicans are absolutely going to grab on this idea of these ballooning deficits and the anxiety it's causing among Americans as their counter-punch to an improving economy. In fact, they've already started delivering that message.

So Obama is going to have to be careful, and the administration. But they're counting on those jobs to come through to help get him back in the White House -- Richard.

QUEST: All right. But when it comes to business and the business community -- now, look, I know you can't generalize on business. Some -- and, frankly, a lot of Wall Streeters, which is financial, they are big Democrat supporters, aren't they?

LAKE: Well, they were, and this is the problem. They came out in force for Obama in the past. And traditionally, you'd be surprised. There -- there is a core of Democrats at the heart of Wall Street and they contribute big.

Last time around for Obama, it was about $15 million.

But very few expect a repeat on that front. He has agreed a lot of people on Wall Street. We know. We've talked a lot about the relationships. They're mad about financial reform. They feel betrayed. They're very mad about the rhetoric about fat cats that took place during the financial crisis. And they're going to get back by funneling that money toward Republicans. They really feel betrayed by Obama. And that's going to hurt. That could really help the Republicans.

Obama is still, by far, the biggest fundraiser. And unfortunately in the U.S. here, campaigning is all about money. And so he is expected to have an advantage, but expect the business community to really rally behind whoever his Republican opponent turns out to be...

QUEST: Whoa...

LAKE: -- and we should point out...

QUEST: Whoa.

LAKE: -- there isn't an official one yet.

QUEST: Whoa. Maggie, don't...

LAKE: Don't get me started on this, Richard.

QUEST: -- please, control yourself, woman. We've got over a year to go. Who -- my word, Robin (ph).

Well, Maggie Lake, who's in New York.

And we haven't even got close to the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa Caucus.

I'll have a Profitable Moment and it's all about air safety, after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment.

On our show tonight, we have focused on several incidents where planes have come into question. United and smoke in the cockpit. United -- Southwest Airlines with a hole in the roof.

Indeed, it may often seem that when one of these incidents happens, there are many others that suddenly come out of the woodwork. And you might well ask whether or not safety in the air is an issue.

Well, take heart and take heed, because tonight, we also told you that investigators leave no stone unturned. They dig to the bottom of the ocean to make sure that flying remains the safest form of travel, which it is today.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.

I'm Richard Quest in London.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. : "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" after the headlines.

END