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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Indian Court Denies Novartis Patent; Generic Versus Brand Drugs; Qantas-Emirates Alliance; Bigger Things for Dubai; Yen Rising; New Sunderland Manager Under Fire; Politics and Business

Aired April 1, 2013 - 14:00   ET

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


RICHARD QUEST, HOST: It is a resounding no to Novartis. India's court rejects the company's patent pleas.

Apple's chief exec apologizes to China after being accused of discriminating against Chinese consumers.

And a football fascism row. Sunderland's forced to defend its appointment of a new manager.

I'm Richard Quest. We start a new week together, because I mean business.

Good evening. In what could be a landmark ruling, India's highest court has rejected a patent application from Novartis, and it is making waves right across the pharmaceutical industry. The Swiss drug giant wanted to stop other drug companies from making generic versions and copies of its Glivec cancer treatment.

Now, the Indian Supreme Court has ruled Glivec is too similar to an older registered drug to warrant a new patent. Bad news for Novartis, good news for generic drug makers, like India's Cipla.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATIBHA SINGH, CIPLA LAYWYER: The claim of Novartis was that Glivec has better stability, more soluble, so the Supreme Court said these things by themselves cannot constitute an invention, and therefore no patent can be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Now, of course, it's not quite as simple as it sounds. The battle between the pharmaceutical big pharma and India over generics has rumbled for years if not decades. The substantial issues come down to this: Novartis says the decision discourages drug innovation, essential to advancing medical science. That tends to be the traditional view of pharmaceutical companies.

The country's commerce and industry minister says the judgment is historic and reaffirms the law that substantive innovation's needed to grant a fresh patent. What they want to prevent is so-called "evergreening," where you just make minor changes but get a whole new length of time on the patent.

It of course will all be the anti-evergreening law could inspire companies to create innovative new products, or if they're less likely to recoup development costs due to shorter patent protections, it could also be a deterrent.

Medicins Sans Frontiers says Glivec is a major victory. Why? Because it will offer access to affordable medicines in developing countries. Our correspondent in Mumbai is Malika Kapur, and as she reports, access to cheap generic drugs can be a case of life or death for India's most vulnerable patients.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Loon Gangte got some worrying news about his health in 1997. Doctors told him he was HIV positive. The medicine regimen he needed was unaffordable, upward of $12,000 a year.

LOON GANGTE, GENERIC DRUG USER: All they say is, have a nice year, get good food, do exercise -- the only medicine that they can give.

KAPUR: Until a generic version of the medicine became available in the Indian market for a fraction of the price. Gangte says it's the reason he's alive today. But big pharmaceutical companies, who are increasingly focusing on India to drive sales, aren't pleased. India's generic drug industry supplies much of the cheap medicine used across the world.

Swiss giant Novartis wanted India to grant patent protection to the new generation of Glivec, one of its key cancer drugs. Generic versions of the drug are widely available in India. After a seven-year legal battle, India's Supreme Court finally handed down its verdict on Monday. It's turned Novartis down, saying the new version of the drug is not different enough to warrant a patent.

It's a big blow to Western pharmaceutical giants. Novartis said the ruling discourages innovative drug discovery, essential to advancing medical science for patients. Health advocates are claiming victory.

ANAND GROVER, LAWYER, CANCER PATIENTS AID ASSOCIATION: This is a great judgment. The court has correctly understood that 3D is vital for making sure that you have good quality, safe, and efficacious drugs.

KAPUR: Many in India pay for the cost of health care themselves.

MEENU WALIA, DHARAMSHILA HOSPITAL: You have patients who actually don't even -- have enough money to rent a house, probably to meet the needs -- the basic needs. And that may person may also be suffering from cancer, and that is why the importance of cheaper drugs on the market.

KAPUR: The generic drugs have helped Loon Gangte live a normal life. Since he started using them, he's had two children. Neither of them, nor his wife, are HIV positive. He says generic drugs have saved not one but four lives, and he hopes they can save a lot more.

Malika Kapur, CNN, New Delhi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: A story we'll watch closely, of course. Now, when we come back after the break, Emirates and Qantas, two global carriers. You'll know, of course, that they now have their long-haul partnership. Well, they sealed their alliance in spectacular style. You're going to hear from the Emirates president after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: When the deal was announced between Emirates and Qantas, it was a game-changer for long-haul flights, not only from Australia, but it set a template that of course everybody knew the alliances and the way global airlines operated would not be the same again. Emirates and Qantas have now completed their alliance, which has come into force.

(RINGS BELL)

QUEST: They celebrated the deal with a spectacular double flyover over the Sydney Harbor, past the Opera House, two A380s flying in formation for the first time.

The deal means Emirates and Qantas will together run more than 100 flights a week between Australia and Dubai. And of course, Dubai becomes the new hub for Qantas. It will open up Emirates routes to Europe and the Middle East to Qantas passengers.

I want you to join me at the CNN super screen and you will see exactly what I mean. Now, traditionally, Emirates -- sorry, Qantas from Sydney, Melbourne, would run just to a few places, their own planes, only a few places in Europe. Now, they will run their own planes to London from Melbourne and Sydney and to Frankfurt.

But if I show you what this means, Qantas only used to have a few, basically, tentacles into Europe. Now, it is completely different. Look at that. The -- follow my finger. It goes from Australia up to Dubai, where they connect to Emirates, and then out to the rest of Europe.

And you can tell just by looking at all the routes that are Emirates- run. Copenhagen, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Glasgow, and there's all these routes will be run by Emirates over Dubai. For Qantas, which of course had a failing Qantas International model, it was an extremely important deal.

Now, Emirates deal, of course, opens up new destinations, and as the president of Emirates, Tim Clark, told us, it's more than just a simple alliance. He sat down with John Defterios in Dubai and he said the deal was, frankly, when you look at it, a bit like these two planes: like no other.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM CLARK, PRESIDENT, EMIRATES: It's the first of the type of partnership -- this type of partnership, which is to the scale that it is. We have never gone into a -- another carrier's territory, so to speak, and effectively, worked with them to handle a large proportion of their international operations as we have done with Qantas. It was a very, very neat fit. It's a game change in one because of that.

Two, here we have an existing alliance player, in this case, Qantas with One World -- joining with a non-alliance affiliated airline -- of course, Emirates, and that's the way we always have been -- to produce something which is probably in many respects more meaningful and likely to produce better results for, perhaps, Qantas' bottom line than perhaps the alliance partnership would be.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: I think it's fair to say that Emirates is kind of anti-alliance, but you have this partnership. Is this a model for partnerships? It almost seems obvious to look at Far East Asia to feed through Dubai and head west.

CLARK: Will this be a template for the future? My own view, yes it probably will.

DEFTERIOS: But for Emirates?

CLARK: For Emirates, if we see an opportunity, and we believe there is -- these have got to be judged by both carriers as being mutually advantageous. So, if there is anything like this we look at in the future, it'll be on those grounds.

DEFTERIOS: Qantas has suggested this is going to add almost $100 million to their bottom line per annum, and their European bookings have gone up sixfold. What sort of calculations have you made for helping Emirates' bottom line? You've made over a half a billion dollars in your first six months?

CLARK: We would not have entered into it, as I said earlier, had we not done the math to suggest that we were going to improve what we do and, importantly, in our measurement of we thought Qantas would be able to gain from this -- remember, we are not, up until we got full approval from the competition authorities, particularly in Australia, we weren't even allowed to talk pricing or maths or any kind of that.

But our assessment, we thought that it would add value to what they were doing. Now, if they're saying it's $100 million, OK, fine. That's up to them to say that, and I respect what they're saying. I'd like to think we could do a bit more than that eventually.

DEFTERIOS: Over your shoulder we have Dubai International. It had over 56 million passengers in 2012. Heathrow had 70, which puts it number one in terms of international traffic. Realistically, with this sort of partnership, could you top out and surpass Heathrow in the next two to three years?

CLARK: We've just gone past Paris, and that's a reality that we will eventually get to and beyond, Heathrow. It's not a design. It is what we are doing. Would Dubai become a major international hub that is the gateway to the East from the West, I think that's already happening, measurably so.

So, the European markets, the African markets, the Middle East and North African markets, are now looking at Dubai as one of the primary focal points, fulcrums, for travel between the East and the West, and the North and the South.

It's something that we've been saying we would do as an airline, and more recently, Dubai realized how potent that was as a sort of a push, impetus, for Dubai as a major aviation hub, not just regionally, but globally. So, you see that now.

DEFTERIOS: You took your 200th plane in the last week, and almost 200 on the back order. Many thought that was too ambitious and didn't know where Emirates was going.

CLARK: We have said we will be at 250 aircraft, we'll be 260 aircraft. They will all be wide-bodies, and we have been fairly up front with the aspirations of where we see the airline going. And it's no secret.

I think it worries a few people, continues to worry the very people who challenged us on our ability to grow the airline into the markets that we said we would grow them with the aircraft that we have. But there we are. That's reality now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Tim Clark talking to John Defterios. Just out of interest, they have 31 -- Emirates has 31 A380s, going up, of course, to more than 90 -- 91 by the time they've taken their full limit onboard.

Dubai is now the world's second-busiest airport for international passengers. You heard them talking about it overtaking Charles de Gaulle. For some analysis, our correspondent John Defterios told me, the Emirates deal could mean even bigger things.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: As you know, Emirates doesn't like to have alliances. In fact, Tim Clark was suggesting he doesn't like the big broad alliances, but he likes partnerships. You can drill down bilaterally with the different airlines right now.

So, we have different strategies, one that's coming out of Abu Dhabi, you have the case with Qatar -- with Qatar Airways going into One World. And then, you see Emirates going one-to-one with this partner, with Qantas, and perhaps taking this model elsewhere.

Richard, I think this is a gravitational pull from London, with Heathrow, going into Dubai from Singapore and Southeast Asia, going into Dubai, here. It moves them up to number two in January in February already in the international traffic numbers for international airports.

And they think -- and Richard, they're sticking by this -- they think by 2015, they're going to surpass Heathrow with this growth of 13 percent a year in the traffic numbers that are going through Dubai already, and that is before Qantas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Tonight's Currency Conundrum: before the euro was introduced, Turkey's currency had the same name as which other European currency? Was it from Italy, Greece, or Cyprus? The answer later in the program for you.

The yen's gaining 1 percent against the dollar, following the tankan survey. The euro and sterling are also rising. Those are the rates -- look at that, $1.52 on cable --

(RINGS BELL)

QUEST: -- this is the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Sunderland football club have appointed Paolo Di Canio -- as their new manager, and his first job, even before he's picked the team or met the players, is to deny having fascist leanings. It's a case of personal political views infringing on professional duties. And of course, some would say it's a likely distraction from the team's problems on the pitch.

Di Canio was given a 2.5-year contract at Sunderland, but he's become a notorious figure in football, having once said on the record that he has fascist sympathies. He's been pictures several times giving one-armed fascist salutes and says he's fascinated with Benito Mussolini.

A top UK lawmaker who serves on the club's board is resigning in protest. David Miliband, who is actually a former foreign secretary of the UK, says it is right to step down in light of the new manager's past political statements.

Di Canio has previously justified his stance, saying "I'm not a fascist and not a -- " Sorry. "I'm a fascist, not a racist." I beg your pardon. Today, in a statement released through Sunderland, he said, "We are not in the houses of parliament, we are in a football club. I don't want any more -- I don't want to talk any more about politics, I'm not a politics person." Paolo Di Canio in his statement released by Sunderland.

The club itself says it is insulting to accuse Di Canio of being a fascist and says the appointment shouldn't become a political circus.

So, why are we interested in it in our business program and our conversation tonight? Because this raises the very real questions of when somebody in a post, and their political or personal views can affect their post and what the corporate response needs to be.

Before we go to discuss that side, John Hudson has been a Sunderland fan for more than 30 fans. Now he says he won't step foot in the stadium while Di Canio is in charge, and he joins me via Skype. Simple question: why?

JOHN HUDSON, SUNDERLAND FAN: Well, one of the things I've been most proud of about Sunderland football club is they've got a long tradition of doing good work in the community using the power of the football club's brand and image for social root, and I just don't see how we can now do that, now we've got a declared fascist as the manager of the football team.

QUEST: Of course -- as the day has worn on, you've heard the arguments every which way and backwards, and the core one being that whatever his personal views -- he denies, of course, a lot of what is attributed to him. But they are his personal views, and provided he runs a decent football club and he takes -- gets the results and moves up the league, why do you care?

HUDSON: Well, I might agree if these were very private views, but they're not. He brought politics into football by giving the fascist salute three times when he played for Lazio in Rome. He can't have it both ways. If they're private views, they're private, but he's brought them into the public arena in a very obvious way, and now my football team needs to deal with that.

QUEST: If he says he's a fascist, and that's clear and above-board, and there's no one in any dispute about that, but he denies being a racist, and it's -- he's denied breaking the law as such, again, you're principle objection is simply because of his fascism.

HUDSON: That's right, and I accept that not every fan will agree with this. It's a nuanced position that Di Canio seems to be adopting, but to me, there are lines in the sand, and fascism has got to be one of them. It's an abhorrent ideology, he's quite open in supporting it, he has tattoos that relate to Mussolini's time on his body.

I just don't see how this can be squared with the deeply ethical, responsible approach that the club adopted for so long as a key part of its identity.

QUEST: So, it's as much a club issue as his issue?

HUDSON: Indeed. And for me, the bigger question is not about Di Canio himself, it's about the chairman of the football club and why he's chosen this person to be leader of our football team.

QUEST: Good to talk to you. Thank you for putting your point so succinctly. I appreciate it tonight.

As a player and manager, Di Canio has been a controversial figure. You just heard us then. Suspended for 11 games after 98 after pushing over a referee who sent him off. That was a brutal one indeed. And four years later, a special fair play award for declining to score past an injured goalkeeper.

Then, it's the fascist salutes that of course have cause such an uproar at the moment, while playing for Lazio in Rome, and which have become infamous. The club has a well-known fascist element to its fanbase.

Now, that meant he was a controversial choice to become a major for lower league Swindon. One of the team's main sponsors pulled its contract after he was appointed. So, Tancredi Palmeri is our resident Italian football expert, joins me from Milan.

Now listen to this, Tancredi, we've really got to get to grips here. You heard the fans, you know the arguments better than I do, so tell me, where's the rights and the wrongs like on this one?

TANCREDI PALMERI, FOOTBALL JOURNALIST: Well, Richard, the point is, if we want to be politically encouraged, but not giving any side to hypocrisy, it is why now? Why now this is becoming important and not before? Why not before when Di Canio was playing for West Ham? He didn't make the fascist statements at the time. But anyway, was known his view --

QUEST: Right.

PALMERI: -- and anyway, he was having -- he was collaborating also for the BBC writing a column. Why now, Richard?

QUEST: OK. But you've got to agree, surely, that the clubs themselves -- and I read the chairman's statement, and I read the club's statement -- but they can't have it both ways, can they? They are role models, these clubs, they have young supporters, they have to adopt best practice.

PALMERI: That's very true. At the same time, I'm not Di Canio's lawyer, by the way, otherwise I would be very rich, but I'm not Di Canio's lawyer, but I have to make an objection, for example. There's a famous quote that you said before: "I'm a racist -- " I'm sorry. "I'm a fascist, not a racist."

It has actually never been confirmed, and Di Canio himself a few years ago when it was pulled out, he threatened to sue any media that would attribute this quote to him, because he said "I never said this quote like that." And in the last year, he has been extremely wise about his political view, about his beliefs.

QUEST: Well -- do we know --

(CROSSTALK)

PALMERI: Also, it --

QUEST: Do we know what his political views are? Not that -- the man is reported to have quoted with approval the politics of Mussolini. Now, I'm not entirely certain that one would -- parents would necessarily want their children to be following people who follow those sort of views.

It really is as simple as that. The ethics of the corporate world.

PALMERI: Also, if we go in his -- I believe that he probably is in some way -- it is my view -- blaming the fact that when he was younger, he came out supplied with stuff like that, because he realized how much is arguing with himself.

QUEST: Right.

PALMERI: At the same time, in his autobiography, he had the views on immigrants, on politics with immigrants in countries that would be considered more leftist than any laborer, like giving the ball to immigrants, letting -- even expressing his application for them. Because they have a better value. They said, for example, better than Italians and everything.

QUEST: All right.

PALMERI: So, I believe -- the whole fact is like tickling one nerve that is very substantial. Political indeed is like a lot of things.

QUEST: We need to leave it there. Good to see you. Many thanks for joining us. The picture wasn't as strong as perhaps it should have been.

It all reminds me of a certain US president, I think it was, who during an election campaign when asked about his past said, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."

You'll have some thoughts on being young and irresponsible, perhaps. The Twitter address, as always, @RichardQuest. Is this a storm in the dressing room, or are there real issues behind it all?

When we come back, we've done one thing, we've done the other. Now Apple's chief executive is forced to apologize to customers in China. He says sorry, and we'll tell you why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. This is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first.

The US has sent state-of-the-art F-22 fighters to South Korea to take part in military maneuvers. The South Korean president says any North Korean provocation against her country will be met with a strong response.

South African officials say anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela spent part of the day with his family in hospital, and a statement from the president's office says there's no significant change in Mr. Mandela's condition. The 94-year-old former president was sent to hospital five days ago for a lung infection.

Two men are under arrest, and police are searching for a third person after a tourist couple was brutally assaulted on a minibus in Rio. Investigators say the woman was raped and both tourists were robbed and beaten and then left stranded. Another woman says the same men attacked her a week ago.

The US state of Colorado says it will seek the death penalty against James Holmes, the man accused of the mass shooting inside the Aurora movie theater. Twelve people were killed in the attack. Holmes faces 166 counts of murder and attempted murder. The date of his trial has been pushed back to February of next year.

Staying in the United States, tensions are high in Texas after the killing of two prosecutors within two months. Investigators haven't definitively said the deaths are linked, nor have they named any suspects. They are said to be exploring many possibilities, including the involvement of white supremacists.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Saying sorry is never easy but when China is involved and you're doing lots of business there, it becomes somewhat essential. After an intense media backlash, Apple's chief exec Tim Cook has overhauled the company's customer service policy. Now look at this, it's interesting.

Cook says Apple will replace or refund problem iPhones within 15 days of purchase. He says the company will also improve training and customer service.

China's central television has basically beaten up Apple, accusing the company of giving Chinese customers a second-rate repair service. It was picked up and it was repeated by local newspapers over the past two weeks, essentially saying they were going to be using -- I was going to say longer -- (inaudible) used parts and so on and so forth.

China is Apple's second largest market. Good relations are crucial. "Fortune" magazine's Philip Elmer-Dewitt joins me now from CNN in New York.

Fascinating, this, isn't it? Not only because, as you've been reporting, the actual warranty policy between the U.S. and China was no real difference.

PHILIP ELMER-DEWITT, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: They were identical. But China was asking for more than the Americans were getting. And in Tim Cook's apology today, he basically gave them everything they wanted.

The changes that they asked for didn't cost Apple very much at all. And the apology cost them nothing. So you know, it would be -- it would be laughable if there weren't so much money at stake. China is Apple's --

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: Let me jump in here because I know the answer to this, and you know the answer. But I do need to hear it straight out of your mouth. Why did they do it?

ELMER-DEWITT: Well, Tim Cook is counting on China to continue its growth. Apple has sort of stalled, it's -- people in the U.S. have bought most of the iPhones that they're going to buy. Europe has kind of slowed down but China was this huge engine of growth over the last two years. Sales of Apple products have grown 24 percent. It's one of the fastest growing markets for Apple.

And is now the number two market for Apple and will soon be the number one.

QUEST: (Inaudible) --

ELMER-DEWITT: You couldn't let this stand.

QUEST: Right. But it's a bit naked, isn't it, a bit obvious. China objects; Apple capitulates.

ELMER-DEWITT: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

ELMER-DEWITT: Exactly. But you know, it's -- there's a certain amount of face-saving going on. China got caught -- China television, which orchestrated the initial campaign, it's sort of the equivalent in the U.S. to maybe "60 Minutes."

It was a primetime broadcast; an hour was spent on it. And they got caught in social media, on their equivalent of Twitter, feeding negative comments to these social media stars, these celebrities, movie stars and singers. And it came out in the open. So they were embarrassed. And they couldn't let go.

QUEST: All right. So -- but then what was in it for China? I mean, you know, China obviously, I suspect, I may be wrong, but I suspect China doesn't particularly care one way or another whether Apple makes a minor improvement in its -- in its warranty policy. So why would CCTV -- sorry - - why would they go on this attack, this rampage against Apple?

ELMER-DEWITT: There are as many reasons as there are fingers on your hands. One theory is that they're retaliating against the U.S. for picking on a couple of major Chinese telecom companies that the House of Representatives in their wisdom told U.S. companies not to do business with, because they were -- they couldn't be trusted.

They may have been trying to help Chinese smartphone manufacturers get a larger share of the market in China. They may have been trying to help the negotiating position of the Chinese -- one Chinese telecom company, the largest in the world, China Mobile. It hasn't yet cut a deal with Apple.

And there's a theory that it might be part and parcel of this whole Chinese hacking scandal where China is involved in some very deep (inaudible) and would may be leading to a trade war. And Apple may be the spear tip of it. We don't know. We may never know what was really going on.

QUEST: Philip, we're very grateful that you came in and whenever you're writing on these subjects, it's always worth reading your views. We thank you for joining us, Philip Elmer-Dewitt, joining us from New York.

Apple shares are currently moving lower on Wall Street. Now in the U.S. they only take the Friday off, the Good Friday, of course; for the rest of us, it's a long Easter weekend. And Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange.

We're closed largely in Europe. Everybody's still enjoying Easter Monday. But you're doing --

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: (Inaudible).

QUEST: -- yes, you're doing good duty over there.

KOSIK: I am. But not many people are with me today, Richard. You know, traders, investors, I think they're extending that holiday weekend. Volume's really, really light today. As far as the trade goes, you know, pretty much stuck in the red or toward the flat line most of the day. You're seeing any gains being held in check by weaker than expected -- weaker than expected report on manufacturing.

And everybody's kind of waiting for what's coming later on in the week: job report, the big government job report is coming out on Friday. Then weekly jobless claims numbers, all that stuff coming out later in the week, sort of (inaudible) kind of taking a breather here, looking back at the first quarter, saying, wow, you see the major averages?

They gained 8 percent to 11 percent between January and March. We've got the S&P 500 trading at all-time highs. It's just one of those days, Richard.

QUEST: Alison, Alison, now you know what I'm going to say. It's like my grandmother used to say to me, so, you know, never mind what you did in the first quarter. So what have you done for me lately? We're more interested in the second quarter.

And I know you haven't got many people there to sort of gauge. But they must be hoping at least for a -- I mean, a consolidation, not a correction, and preferably an advancement?

KOSIK: Right. But you know what a lot of people are thinking, Richard, that you know, while the markets are clearly overdue for some sort of downturn, whether it's 5 percent, whether it's 10 percent, they're thinking, you know what, it's mostly likely not going to happen in April because April is on average the second strongest month of the year.

And with the Fed committed to making more of these asset purchases, buying $85 billion of bonds every month until the job market gets better, I don't think you're going to see, at least according to some traders I talked to, there really isn't this sense that you're going to see a huge pullback, that if there is a pullback, it's not going to be really anything more than maybe 5-10 percent.

QUEST: Classic correction, Alison Kosik in New York, having a quieter day, which I suspect will not last much more than maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. We thank you for that, Alison, in New York.

When we come back, a career with endless opportunity to travel. We're going to go behind the scenes with the circus. Yes, literally, a traveling circus, the Cirque du Soleil. What it takes to get the world's greatest show on Earth on the road. Do swing by.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

QUEST: All the overseas meetings and the offsite pictures, the conferences and the conventions that we all go to, it's often likely that as business travelers we feel a bit nomadic. Where really is home? I can tell you, being on the road for all but a few weeks a year and taking your entire office, workmates and equipment with you, now that would put business travel into a different league.

I'm talking about the people who travel with the greatest show on Earth. As Ayesha Durgahee discovered, that's life with the traveling circus, the Cirque du Soleil.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

AYESHA DURGAHEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Effortless and elegant, the performers of Cirque du Soleil's Kooza excite and amaze in every performance in every city.

The same precision to execute these moves in daredevil routines is applied to when they travel, making sure it's a seamless transition from country to country.

On the road for 300 days a year, they're in constant motion. The cycle to travel, train and perform is a balancing act to create a home away from home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I get to a new city, I really try to cherish it. (Inaudible) from London. There's no place I'd rather be. And then when it's Madrid, that's it. I have (inaudible) from Madrid. There's no place I'd rather be. We do our best to make it our home for that time that we're there.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): The cast and crew have been staying here in London Bridge in 85 apartments.

JEROME VEZINA, TRAVEL AND LODGING COORDINATOR, KOOZA: We (inaudible) the housing first, because we start that a few months in advance, like right now we're working on about three cities at the same time. For London, it's really nice that we have everyone at the same place here. But for example, in Madrid, we're in 24 different places.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) more stuff in this one.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): Whether it's London or Moscow, Paris or Madrid, these ultimate road warriors have to pack for all seasons, taking everything they need all year-round.

GENEVIEVE DESLANDES, KOOZA MANAGER, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: We don't live in the present. Sometimes it's sad to say it like that. We're really live in the future. Like right now, we're in London, in the U.K. And we're working on making sure that we have documents ready for Spain, for Russia, for France, because we're visiting those countries by the end of the year.

So we're always one day to six months in advance and living in the future.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): Kooza is not just a circus; it's also a community. There are 175 cast and crew, including 53 performers, along with two physiotherapists and four chefs.

The traveling circus also has a traveling school.

While training is in progress, the younger performers are trying to master mathematics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always a challenge because they are in a context in a working environment. On the other hand, they are still teenagers. They still need to have the contact with their age, which they don't necessarily have in a working environment.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): And there's nothing better than a school trip; learning on the road has its benefits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of my students, she's been reading about Egypt. (Inaudible) and the mummies and all that jazz. And now we're going to the British Museum to see them. So that's another opportunity that you don't have staying at home.

DURGAHEE (voice-over): Getting a glimpse of how 175 cast and crew work, live and travel together shows Cirque du Soleil from a different perspective. Once the lights are on and the music begins, the only place they really feel at home is on stage.

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QUEST: Ayesha Durgahee reporting there. Now that puts your and my travels into perspective. Imagine all of that.

Tom Sater's at the World Weather Center.

I'm guessing, Tom, that you must be getting a little weary of your European colleagues like me, basically -- I mean, I know there's some pretty bad weather around the world. I saw (inaudible) Mauritius and the floods there earlier. But in Europe.

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Richard, it's going to cost a lot of money. It's going to continue heating bills, continued snow removal. We're going to get to that in a minute. But first let's talk about Mauritius as you mentioned.

Here is Madagascar, (inaudible) reunion, Mauritius, 1.3 million people live there. It's only 2,000 square kilometers, a freak of nature, they're calling it, 202 millimeters fell on Saturday, 152 of that in less than an hour. That means it's like six inches of rainfall. We've backed up the satellite picture.

Here's Mauritius. It fell right on the area. In fact, it is so isolated most of the island nation picking 1-2 millimeters. But the pictures tell the story, the skies opened up.

And when you get 152 millimeters in less than an hour and a total of over 200, you have pictures like this, so isolated, 11 fatalities, eight of those people were actually in underground areas. They had to use rescue crews with scuba gear to get under to actually retrieve the bodies, just unbelievable.

As we pull out here, you're going to be able to see these toy looking- like vehicles, strewn around the area with just a massive force of this water. They are now cleaning up after massive flooding there.

Now let's go to Europe because this is going to hit your pocketbooks. We continue to have numbers that are unseasonably cool, -1 in Warsaw, 5 in Moscow, 4 in Copenhagen, 3 in London. But factor in the winds and this is going to add to the expense, the continued winter.

Jet stream far to the south, should be making its way northward. But we have high pressure which we're calling (inaudible). It's blocking everything from moving and it's locked in position. And you get an easterly wind with this. That means all the moisture around the south moves up into that colder air and more snowfall.

Many of you have seen the coldest March on record. And it's going to continue unfortunately. The numbers' going the wrong direction. London should be at 13. Warsaw, you should be up around 10. You're around 2 and 3 degrees, Berlin as well.

So when you break it down, I mean, budgets are being blown out of the war from municipalities and countries alone, continued extended heating bills or paying for those fuels you need to burn. Retail, no one's going to purchase anything for spring yet. People I'm sure are trying to change their plans when they would mainly go to some areas that are a little bit warmer and on the beaches.

Snow removal, salt, overtime hours to remove it, not to mention the farmers, like this Welsh farmer, which has to continue to feed their livestock. They're bringing in more hay, more grain for the cattle, for the sheep.

This is going to go on and on, Richard. It's just so unfortunate. I guess there's one good news, and that is the ski resorts are loving it. They're still getting, of course, some good snow in the Alps, but this is going to cost a lot of money.

QUEST: It is, and it's causing a lot of misery for the farming community, as you rightly point out, and the farmers have still got a long way to go. Tom, we appreciate that and I promise I won't (inaudible) you for high temperatures for too much longer.

When we come back, here's the deal. It's really very simple. I'm going to give you 10 pounds. I don't want anything back. But perhaps in maybe six months, you'll give it me with any profits you've made for a charity. Well, I'll tell you what happened when a certain vicar did exactly that.

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QUEST (voice-over): The answer to the "Conundrum" tonight, before the euro, Turkey's currency had the same name as which other European country? And of course it is Italy. Turkey's currency was the lira, the Turkish lira. At the current exchange of one euro, is worth about 2.3 Turkish lira.

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QUEST: Here's the money. What are you going to do with it? It's 10 pounds, just about $15-$16. Well, a vicar who handed out 10-pound notes to his congregation asked them to invest the money for him has had his prayers answered. He was Reverend Richard Steel. He distributed 550 pounds -- 55 of these -- about $800.

The hope was the churchgoers would help him raise money for repairs at his parish church in West Yorkshire, a part of the world I know well, having lived there. They didn't let him down, the parishioners. They handed back 9,000 pounds. Now we talked profit about this, 16 times the original outlay. The Reverend Richard Steel joins me now.

Congratulations. I tell you, please, come and present the program. With that sort of investment advice, you are well on your way to do a -- what sort of things did they do with the money?

REV. RICHARD STEEL, WEST YORKSHIRE VICAR: Well, all sorts of things. Somebody bought some canvases and did some multimedia artwork. Lots of people bought things like (inaudible) for baking, a lot of food being produced, lunches being produced.

But somebody when the snow ever stopped is going to take people for a wilderness walk. So we've been using it for petrol and for flyers to promote it. There are all sorts of things.

QUEST: Not only do you get the money -- and I suspect you probably still need quite a bit more before the --

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STEEL: A little bit more, yes.

QUEST: -- to do the roof. Not only do you do that, but you also gain that sense of community, don't you?

STEEL: I think that's actually the really very, very important, is a bit of a last stretch for our fundraising, and it really seemed to have energized people. And people have really put a lot of effort into it. And it's gone beyond the church community. It's gone into the wider community and people have been talking to friends and got some enthusiasm (inaudible) really good.

QUEST: Your idea came, of course, from the parable of the talents, when, of course, money was handed out by a property owner to some of his servants. People must have thought you were barking mad, pardon me saying so, when you did this. And they must have thought you were kissing goodbye to 550 good pounds.

STEEL: They did. And there was a lot of cynicism and some of the comments on the website and so on when I did it. But I haven't had any problem. And I'm absolutely sure nobody's (inaudible) or anything like that. And some people, I mean, one young 11-year-old girl made 542 pounds while producing cards from her own photographs, I mean, stunning work.

QUEST: What did your bishop say when you told him -- before you were about to do this, did he sort of give you that ecclesiastical equivalent of I hope you know what you're doing, young man?

STEEL: Oh, I didn't tell my bishop before I did that. (Inaudible) did it. He congratulated me after.

(LAUGHTER)

QUEST: Reverend, thank you for joining us. A wonderful idea. Thank you very much. There's a tenner from me on (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: Thank you.

QUEST: (Inaudible) -- I'd like to reinvest it in -- on the market, but I think actually the church will probably need this more as a 10-pound note than anything. And frankly, if I was investing it, we'd lose the lot, because if I could invest it in the market, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you now.

You've (inaudible) today. There's been plenty of pranks online, all in the honor of April Fool's Day. There's 13 Google by smell alone. Too good to be true? Google Nose was introduced by the tech giant along with Gmail Blue, a Google (inaudible). And an announcement that YouTube was closing down.

Twitter said it was going to start charging users $5 a month to use vowels in tweets. Virgin Atlantic announced the glass-bottomed plane to spot your home from above. IKEA offered a flat-pack lawnmower, perfect for small outdoor living spaces.

And finally, with a royal baby due in July, the car manufacturer BMW announced the post-natal royal automobile or pram. It's a soft-top convertible; comes available in princess pink and royal blue. You won't be getting your hands on any of them. Happy April Fool's Day.

When we come back, there's a "Profitable Moment" and it takes an ecclesiastical tone.

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QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment," all too often in our nightly conversation, well, it's a digest of losses, misery, misdeeds. So it was with real pleasure tonight that we brought you the story of the rector who handed out 550 quid in 10-pound notes and got it back with 1,000 percent profit. Heartwarming, to be sure.

And the ways the people invested -- bake sales, clean carts, doing anything and everything to turn their seed capital into flourishing projects -- it could have gone horribly wrong. The cynics and the skeptics would believe that people would have squandered the money or, at best, forgotten they'd ever received it.

And the reverend himself admitted to me how many people thought he was mad. You and I have spent so much of the past five years talking about market mayhem, bailout bonanzas, fiscal fumbling.

Well, let me ask you, whatever you may be celebrating at this time of the year, and even if it's nothing at all, let's be thankful there are still some to whom money means trust. And of course in this case, that trust brought profits. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.

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QUEST: The headlines at the top of the hour, in the last few months, CNN has learned that the United States is moving at least one warship closer to the North Korean coastline. The U.S. has already sent state-of- the-art F-22 fighters to South Korea to take part in military maneuvers. The South Korean president says any North Korean provocation will be met with a strong response.

South African officials say Nelson Mandela spent part of the day with his family in hospital. And a statement from the president's office says there's no significant change in Mr. Mandela's condition. The 94-year-old former president was hospitalized five days ago with a lung infection.

Two men are under arrest and the police are searching for a third person after a tourist couple were brutally assaulted on a minibus in Rio. Investigators say the woman was raped and both people were robbed and beaten and then left stranded. Another woman says the same men attacked her a week ago.

The U.S. state of Colorado will seek the death penalty against James Holmes, the man accused of a mass shooting in an Aurora movie theater. He faces 166 counts of murder and attempted murder. The date of the trial is February of next year.

You are up to date. Those are the stories we're watching. Now to New York, "AMANPOUR" is live.

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