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Italy Political Reshuffle; Italy's Wheel of Fortune; OECD on Europe; European Markets Flat; Ethiopian Jet Hijacked; Trapped South African Miners; Illegal Mining in South Africa; Scottish Independence; Japan GDP Below Expectations; Walk of Fame; Stage Privilege; Biz Stone's New Startup; Pick of the Puns

Aired February 17, 2014 - 16:00   ET


MAGGIE LAKE, HOST: It's Presidents' Day in the US, stock markets here are closed, but it hasn't stopped the dollar falling to a six-week low. It's Monday, the 17th of February.

How quickly things change. Matteo Renzi outlines his 100-day play for Italy.

The head of the OECD tells this program Europe is at a crossroads.

Plus, Helen Mirren says that only rich can go into acting. The chief executive of the National Youth Theater, her old training ground, gives us his verdict.

I'm Maggie Lake, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening. A new government with ambitious new reforms. Matteo Renzi is the latest to ride the carousel of Italian politics. The country's president has charged him with pulling together a parliament-backed coalition government. If he can do it, he'll be the new prime minister. Nina Dos Santos looks at the challenges ahead for the young politician.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fresh-faced and full of pledges of reform, 39-year-old Matteo Renzi becomes Italy's youngest-ever prime minister and one of the nation's most ambitious.

MATTEO RENZI, PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE OF ITALY (through translator): I've been tasked with trying to form the new government by the president. I've approached this objecting with a sense of the responsibilities, importance, and the challenges that this mission will present.

DOS SANTOS: Often described as his country's answer to Tony Blair, the mayor of Florence has been nicknamed Demolition Man for promising to smash Rome's infamous political gridlock. Yet, by ushering in Italy's third unelected government in two years, can this relative newcomer with no parliamentary experience drum up the support needed to actually push his policies through?

GIUSEPPE RAGUSA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, LULISS GUIDO CARLI: He's not going to have the public support. He's not going to have the consensus to even get the votes from the electoral polls, so this is going to be a difficulty.

I think what everybody in Italy is hoping for is that his very young persona, has dynamism, is going to help to do something very quickly.

DOS SANTOS: In Renzi's in tray, the full agenda with measures to cut taxes and spending, to re-haul antiquated labor laws and to reduce record unemployment. First on the cards, a major re-think of Italy's fractious coalition system, which has collapsed all but one of the country's governments since World War II.

RAGUSA: I think what he can do very quickly is try to intervene on the bureaucracy. He has to try to simplify the Italian system. There are too many lows, they are too complicated. He has to try to do something very quickly there.

DOS SANTOS: Renzi's ascent comes at a turning point for the single currency's third-biggest member, with Italy's economy returning to growth in the final months of 2013. Yet, curbing a 2 trillion euro debt pile and attracting foreign investment will require a sustained effort, and fears Italy's budget deficit could overshoot EU limits may put Renzi on a collision course with neighboring leaders, too.

Renzi says he plans to stay on until the next election in four years' time. But for this football-mad Florentine, the game is far from decided.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.


LAKE: Well, one of Renzi's lesser-known achievements is that he was a winner of Italy's version of "Wheel of Fortune." Now, the odds were in his favor then, but he'll need more than just luck when he takes the helm of the eurozone's third largest economy. Let's spin the wheel to find out.


LAKE: Round and round it goes -- and it's going to land on $2.7 trillion. That's the amount of Italy's public debt. The country was one of the hardest-hit in the eurozone crisis. And I'll choose the letter M for Matteo.


LAKE: And we've got two Ms. Let's spin the wheel again.


LAKE: Now for two straight years, that's eight consecutive quarters, Italy's economy shrunk. That was until last quarter, 0.1 percent. That's how much Italy's economy grew in Q4 of last year. It just pulled the economy out of technical recession. And with that in mind, I'll choose the letter T.


LAKE: And there are two Ts. Let's send it round once again.


LAKE: Italian authorities expect 2014 GDP growth to hit more than 1 percent. Mm, the IMF forecast a more modest 0.6 percent. I think I'll buy a vowel, and I will choose E this time.


LAKE: And we're on a roll, two Es. Let's keep spinning.


LAKE: Renzi has already pledged swift action to help Italian businesses, that includes tax reform, and cutting government red tape. Let's have one more vowel, a letter O.


LAKE: OK, two of those as well, and one last spin.


LAKE: Now, Renzi says he'll also focus on creating jobs. And so he's pledged labor reform, that's to tackle the country's biggest problem, and - - the answer to our puzzle today.


LAKE: Youth unemployment. More than 41 percent of Italians aged between 15 and 21 -- 24, rather -- are out of a job. That number is a devastating record high.

Now, the OECD says Italy and other hard-hit eurozone countries face a crossroads in their economic recovery. Secretary-General Angel Gurria met euro finance ministers in Brussels today. He wanted to discuss ways to make the euro area more dynamic and resilient in the future. Max Foster spoke to Gurria about the road ahead for the EU.


ANGEL GURRIA, SECRETARY-GENERAL, OECD: Europe is confronting a very heavy legacy of crisis. Overall high unemployment, growing inequalities, and then a drop in the confidence -- actually, a collapse in the confidence of all the institutions we built over the last 100 years.

And when you see the traditional engines of growth, the cylinders on which the engines of growth are working, they're at half speed. I'm talking about investment, I'm talking about trade, I'm talking about credit. Even the emerging economies, which have been helping to pull us out of the recession, are slowing down. So, it's a pretty tough context in which we're looking at the recovery for Europe.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You also talk about the European Central Bank having -- becoming -- its policies, its monetary policies, becoming less effective. So it's not working as well.

GURRIA: No, not -- I did not mention -- not to an extent have I mentioned that the central bank policies in general, and that includes the Fed and that includes the Bank of England, the -- Japan, and of course, the ECB, are becoming less effective because they're running out of space.

Meaning they've done what they should have done. They were very important to the recovery, we owe them a debt of gratitude. The only problem is that their instruments are moving into at least reducing their yields now, and therefore are reducing -- they're moving into diminishing returns.

And therefore -- and the same thing happens with fiscal, by the way. Everybody used public expense to get out of the hole, to get out of the recession, and now the question is, everybody's trying to reduce their deficits and their debt.

So, these typical instruments that we had are no longer -- or at least we can't use them to the same extent. So, our basic message in the presentation today was go structural.


FOSTER: You --

GURRIA: So, what does structural mean?


GURRIA: Education, innovation, competition, et cetera.

FOSTER: And that's a very longterm gain, isn't it? If you manage to sort that out. But it's a big worry if you're saying that fiscal and monetary policy has reached the end of the line.

GURRIA: Well, the thing is, we've used them extensively. As I said, we owe them the fact that, perhaps, the recession was not as deep as it could have been. But we've used the instruments, and we now have to move into the third stage. First we faced the crisis. Then we repaired all the damage that was caused, or still there, but the third stage has to be how do we get growth back?

And there, it's structural now. As I said, it's -- good old-fashioned things that we know. Education, innovation, competition, having to do with infrastructure, taxes, flexibility in the labor markets, flexibility in the product markets, how do you deal with the health system, et cetera.

These are the things, if we get them right, that are going to keep the growth going in the medium and the long term. Otherwise, we can have a spike for a year or two, and then, like we just had in 2011, 2012, we can get back into a low growth or even negative growth.


LAKE: Investors in Milan seem unfazed by the announcement of Italy's prime minister designate. The FTSE-MIB closed largely flat, as were markets in Paris and Frankfurt. Meanwhile, in London, the FTSE 100 finished the session more than 1 percent higher.

Coming up, why trapped miners in South Africa are refusing rescuers' help and choosing to stay underground.


LAKE: The Ethiopian government says a man who hijacked a national carrier jet en route to Rome was medically sane and had no criminal record. In fact, he was the copilot of the plane, and he's asking for political asylum after landing in Switzerland. Frederik Pleitgen explains what happened.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was an ordeal for the passengers onboard the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767, but finally all were able to disembark safely after the copilot, who had hijacked the aircraft, landed in Geneva and got out through a cockpit window.

"At 6:02 AM, this plane landed quite safely at landing strip number 5," this police official says. "At 6:10, the copilot got out of the cockpit through a rope and announced he himself was the pirate and explained to have prepared his act before the flight."

Geneva Airport was shut down for several hours before flights resumed. Swiss authorities say the copilot waited for the captain to go to the restroom in flight, then locked himself into the cockpit and notified air traffic controllers that the plane was hijacked.

He demanded asylum in Switzerland. This is his communication with Swiss air traffic control before landing.

FLIGHT 702: And you have to give us lastly information about the asylum (inaudible) because everything is not in English portion.

TOWER: Yes, I know. Sorry, but we are still waiting for the response, sir. We are trying our best to get you the response, sir.

PLEITGEN: The plane's original destination was Rome, but it was forced to land in Geneva by two euro fighter jets like this model.

"The copilot, who was the pirate, was born in 1983. He's of Ethiopian origin, and his act has been motivated by the fact that he feels threatened in his country and wants to make an asylum claim in Switzerland," the Geneva police official later said.

It's not the first time an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner has been hijacked. In 1996, a plane from the same airline crashed into the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel when three hijackers tried to divert the flight to Australia; 50 passengers survived, but 125 onboard were killed.

Luckily, the jet that was diverted on Monday made a safe landing. Authorities say the passengers were never in danger. The copilot is in custody. Instead of getting asylum, he might go to jail. Hijacking can bring prison terms of up to 20 years in Switzerland.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


LAKE: Rescuers say 24 miners have been freed from an illegal gold mine in South Africa. The men became trapped in the abandoned mine near Johannesburg on Saturday. A handful of the miners are refusing to be saved. They remain underground for fear that they will be arrested. Emergency workers explained why they are staying put.


DUGAN MOODLEY, SPOKESPERSON, EMERGENCY SERVICES: I think due to the fact that their offensive regards the issue of organized crime, due to the fact that it's an illegal operation that they are undertaking. So yes, with regards to some type of arrest, et cetera, naturally so, they are very reluctant to get out.

So whether they want to stay down, I'm not too sure. I can't answer that. But the negotiations, and to answer that question, they are trying to get them to the surface such that we know we can assist them from a patient perspective and then hand them over to the correct authorities.


LAKE: Illegal mining is common in South Africa. It remains a serious concern despite efforts by the mining industry to block access to older mines and seek out illegal workers. Illegal miners face dangerous conditions and even violence as rival groups battle for the resources.

Losses from illegal mining cost South Africa more than $500 million per year. Mining is the backbone of the country's economy. The industry has generated over $213 billion for South Africa's GDP and export earnings over the past ten years.

Earlier, I spoke to Chris Hart in Capetown. He's chief strategist at the asset management organization Investment Solutions. I asked him how widespread illegal mining is.


CHRIS HART, ECONOMIST AND CHIEF STRATEGIST, INVESTMENT SOLUTIONS: It's become a lot more widespread. The problem is that the gold mining industry has really shrunk over the last ten years of so. The gold -- formal gold production is right down to 160 tons a year. It was over 600 tons a year.

And basically, you've got old abandoned areas and many out-of-work ex- miners that know these areas and can actually go in. But of course, it's illegal because you've obviously got a property rights issue, in terms of that effectively from a legal point of view, these miners are actually stealing gold.

It's not under any formal regulatory conditions, and it's extremely unsafe, because clearly in a normal mine, workings are not -- not there, the ventilation, for instance. The supply of food. And also people just coming up.

So, sometimes, they can spend months underground doing it. They're excising it through the shallow surface working, but there are some areas where they actually go into the old workings of even the deeper level mines and basically it can be a problem.

There are, effectively, gangs that work underground as well. And it becomes very difficult even for an operating mine security to actually secure the underground areas fully.

LAKE: Right, because of the vast region. Chris, what's the economic reality facing these men that they would choose to do this?

HART: Well, basically, it's a guess. The unemployment in South Africa formally recorded as 24.1 percent at the last reading. But it's over 34 percent if you add the discouraged workers, and that's an enormous number. In other words, without that job, there's very few other prospects.

And one needs to try to find how can one accommodate this in safe conditions effectively. We've really got what I call a first-world mining system and first-world reproductive system that's really interfacing in with an emerging market or third-world conditions as well.

And basically, there's a transfer not just in mining, where we find it, the whole informal sector really finds itself at loggerheads with the formal commercial sector, whether it's informal trading or whether it's illegal mining, it really doesn't matter. The actual small guy is in fact, to a large extent, finds it difficult to access the economy.


LAKE: Coming on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, London says Scotland is in for an economic pounding if it splits from the UK. We'll hear from a British politician who says a solo Scotland is bad news.


LAKE: The head of Scotland's government says British business could suffer if his country isn't allowed to use the currency of its choice if it votes for independence from the UK. It's the latest in a bitter row that's seeing barbed threats and so-called underhand tactics between London and Edinburgh.

It leads up to a September vote where a simple yes or no will decide if Scotland stays or goes. The original plan called for a shared sterling zone, but British threats last week poured water on that plan. The UK chancellor said if Scotland walks away, it leaves the pound, too.

Now, Scottish nationalists say it will threaten UK businesses if an independent Scotland can't keep the pound. The Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, didn't mince his words.


ALEX SALMOND, FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND: I'm promising to do an estimate of the transaction cost he -- that's the chancellor -- would potentially impose on businesses in the rest of the UK if he tried to force Scotland into a different currency. They run into many hundreds of millions of pounds. Now, my submission is that this charge -- let's call it something, let's call it the jobs tax --


SALMOND: My submission is that this would be impossible to sell English business.


LAKE: Meantime, the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barros, has thrown a wrench in the direction of independence supporters. He says that an independent Scotland won't necessarily get into the EU. Earlier, Nina Dos Santos asked the chief secretary of the British Treasury, Danny Alexander, if Scotland could go it alone.


DANNY ALEXANDER, CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE UK TREASURY: Erecting a new border, as international evidence shows, is something which disrupts trade, which damages jobs, which damages investment. We're already seeing, I think, the impact of economic uncertainty on the Scottish economy because of the referendum.

DOS SANTOS: Flip side of the argument is that there is actually a trade surface between these countries, which Alex Salmond says just goes to show that Scotland does have an economically viable reason to try and go it alone. You don't by that argument?

ALEXANDER: Well, Scotland is a highly successful small country, more successful in many measures than Portugal and Denmark and Finland, because of the advantages that we get from being part of the United Kingdom.

Because of the deep pockets of the UK to deal with fiscal risks that can be shared in common, because of the clout of the UK in world markets, because of the ability of UK firms to trade across the UK to create jobs and investment in Scotland.

DOS SANTOS: Word is that Manuel Barroso of the European Commission said over the course of the weekend basically that Scotland can't just assume that it would automatically as an independent nation have a membership with the European Union. That must have been music to the government's ears here.

ALEXANDER: Well, the case that's made by the nationalists for independence is based on a lot of assumptions. People should assume that we can use the pound. Well, we can't. A currency union wouldn't work. People should assume that we'd easily join the European Union. As the president of the Commission explained, that would be a slow and difficult process.

It's a union between countries that has worked well for 300 years. It's the longest-lasting and most successful union between countries anywhere in the world. And just at a time when in other parts of the world, countries are coming closer together, it would be a disastrous time for us to break up that brilliant example here in the United Kingdom.

DOS SANTOS: So, what kind of concessions really could be put on the table here to try and placate the situation?

ALEXANDER: I'm not sure -- this is not about putting concessions on the table. This is about having a debate. Having a debate between those of us in Scotland who want to keep the UK together and those who are advocating this uncertain journey of independence.

And going right back to the first principles, why the United Kingdom is such a benefit and such an advantage to Scotland, there's a very positive case there, in terms of jobs, in terms of trade, in terms of cultural and family connections across the UK for keeping the UK together.

DOS SANTOS: Say Scotland were to vote to become independent from the United Kingdom. There's been a lot of criticism, perhaps prematurely so, leveled at the UK government saying well perhaps the government might even just totally ignore the outcome of that referendum itself. What's your response to that?

ALEXANDER: It's totally wrong. The result of the referendum will be respected, whatever it is. That's the nature of democracy. People in Scotland quite rightly will have the chance to vote in September. I'll cast my vote along with millions of others, and we will respect the result whatever it is, end of story.


LAKE: Coming up, what Japan's disappointing GDP numbers could mean for the future of Abenomics.


LAKE: Welcome back, I'm Maggie Lake. These are the main headlines. In Italy, Matteo Renzi has been asked to form a new government. Renzi has already outlined areas of major reform he wants to tackle. They include the constitution, taxes, education, and the labor market.

A UN commission has concluded that crimes against humanity have been committed in North Korea. The panel gathered evidence from witnesses who detailed cases of torture, starvation at prison camps, and arbitrary detentions. North Korea has rejected the report.

The US State Department has rejected allegations from Venezuela that it is helping to organize anti-government protesters. Three US diplomatic officials have been expelled from the country after President Nicolas Maduro accused the United States of conspiring against his government. The State Department says those claims are baseless.

An Ethiopian Airlines copilot is in custody after hijacking his own aircraft. He locked the pilot out of the flight deck and diverted the plane from Rome to Geneva. He reportedly asked for political asylum, but now he faces possible hijacking charges.

Most members of a group of Japanese scuba divers who went missing off Bali, Indonesia, have been rescued by fishermen. Five of the seven people on the excursion are receiving medical treatment. Police aren't releasing any information about how they went missing or about the two people still unaccounted for.

Japan's economy grew much slower than expected in the final quarter of last year. GDP increased at an annual rate of 1 percent. Economists predicted more than twice that rate. It raised questions about the government's ambitious plans to turn around the economy.

Each of the three parts of Abenomics is facing challenges. First, the monetary stimulus plan. Japan's exports are still struggling despite a weakened yen. The government has increased spending, however this effort could be offset by sales tax increase coming in April.

Prime Minister Abe has also promised reforms to make the labor market more flexible, but those have yet to materialize. If growth doesn't increase soon, the government may look to the Bank of Japan to do more.

Earlier, I spoke to Seijiro Takeshita, director at investment bank Mizuho International, and I asked him how much pressure this puts on the Abe government.


SEIJIRO TAKESHITA, DIRECTOR, MIZUHO INTERNATIONAL: We all know that the reason why the numbers were bad is because of excessive imports on L&G and crude oil. And as you reported earlier, our nuclear activation is virtually zero. So, imports were much stronger than expected.

But what we're seeing is transition of the growth engine from the public sector into private sector, such as private consumption, especially capital expenditure, the business spending. So, we are seeing the trend working out nicely.

But that said, yes, there are lots of talk, as you just mentioned, that the Bank of Japan may have to comply with more demands from the government to basically -- if the market continues, for example, to drop, for example, then there would be more talks about that coming through.

LAKE: You and I have talked a lot over this transition about the fact that a lot of it has to do with confidence. There seems to be finally confidence that Japan had turned the corner, that maybe this recovery was going to be different from the others. Is that confidence still in place?

TAKESHITA: Not totally, unfortunately not. And I think we have to wait until the latter half of the year, and that is when we see the capital expenditure, that is the corporate spending coming back after all these consumption tax-related volatility is over, from around July-September period.

If we see that, the investment will take place, and then we'll have the wage increase that will take place and the consumption. In other words, we'll see the cycle of Japan coming back into a normalized state.

And when we see that, then yes, I think the confidence will definitely kick in. We're seeing signs of plateau of these things happening, but certainly not exactly witnessing these factors yet.

LAKE: Let's talk a little bit about the disappointment on the export side. You mentioned the imports, the energy-related import. On the export side, no country's an island. Everybody is hit by what's happening in the global economy, and it's seen that in this case, Japan also feeling that volatility from the emerging markets.

We know the eurozone is slow itself. Do you think this is just a temporary hit to exports, or is there something more fundamental going on with competitiveness in terms of Japan?

TAKESHITA: I don't think the Japanese competitiveness is eroding. If anything, it's rising, thanks to the weakening of the yen. But as you just reported -- as you just mentioned, the weakness in emerging nations was something that most of the Japanese exporters had not expected.

And one of the biggest negative factors for Japan is definitely these external factors. If we see, for example, slowing growth in emerging nations, or a hiccup in many of the advancing nations -- advanced nations, as we saw two years ago, then of course, yes, that could jeopardize a comeback stage of Japan.

Because for the capped expenditure for the corporates to come back, we have to see the first spearhead of the Japanese exporters doing that. So, that would be a very big negative factor to watch carefully.

LAKE: And does your list end with that third quiver, the third arrow in terms of reforms, is there going to be confidence that Abe and his government are going to be able to push through and do what's necessary? That was always going to be the toughest piece of the puzzle. Can they do it? Are they going to be on track?

TAKESHITA: Let's see what kind of legislation they can come up with in the next three months. That could give us a taste of what they're going to come up with. But the result, I would say, of the third arrow will take a lot longer than what most people anticipate. The markets anticipate for a year or two, but in my opinion, it will take a lot longer than that for structural transition to take place.


LAKE: The Venezuelan government has issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Government officials blame the popular politician for the street protest that left three people dead in the past week.

In a YouTube video posted from an undisclosed location, Lopez calls for new protests on Tuesday. That's when he says he plans to appear at Venezuela's justice ministry.

After the U.S. State Department voiced concerns about the situation in Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro expelled three U.S. diplomats, accusing them of conspiring against his government.

Jim Clancy has more on the growing pressure on the Venezuelan president and his clear message that he will not back down.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The streets of Caracas have resembled a war zone, thousands of anti-government protesters met with water cannons and armed security forces. Buildings scarred with bullet holes.

These protests began last week when students organized against rising crime, food shortages and high inflation. At more than 56 percent, Venezuela has one of the highest inflation rates in the world.

DANIELLA ROJAS, PROTESTER (through translator): We are here because we hope we can have enough goods, supplies and a safe environment to live in. We also expect quality education.

CLANCY (voice-over): President Nicolas Maduro met the opposition with a rally of his own and is not backing down.

NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT, VENEZUELA (through translator): I will continue in power because the people are in power. On this constitution I swear. I swear and I will swear, nothing will take me off the road of building the Bolivarian revolution that Hugo Chavez left us.

CLANCY (voice-over): Maduro has the media on a tight leash. The Maduro government threatened legal action for what it called media manipulation against Venezuela and attacks on BTV, the government-run television station. And they issued an arrest warrant for protest organizer Leopoldo Lopez, which only caused the protests to intensify further.

ERIKA HERNANDEZ, PROTESTER (through translator): We won't stop the demonstrations until the government issues an order to disarm the pro- government militias. We've had enough of going out in the streets full of fears in our own country. We want to enjoy a safe environment in Venezuela.

CLANCY (voice-over): While Maduro can still count on a loyal following of Chavistas, supporters of former President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's youth refuse to back down -- Jim Clancy, CNN.


LAKE: Coming up on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, it's Britain's answer to the Oscars. The BAFTAs celebrated the best of film from Britain and around the world. One leading actor warns only rich youngsters can afford to break into the industry. We'll explain why straight ahead.




LAKE: It was certainly a starry, starry night in London Sunday. Our Becky Anderson spent the night mingling with the big names on the red carpet.



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Brad and Angelina, Tom Hanks, Christian Bale, Hollywood royalty and even a touch of the real thing. Well, it has been a dazzling night here at the 66th BAFTAs at the Royal Opera House in London, the red carpet awash with stars.

Leonardo DiCaprio stole the preshow wooing an ecstatic crowd.

When the awards were announced.


ANDERSON (voice-over): British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor who nudged DiCaprio for Best Actor as Solomon North up in "12 Years a Slave."

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR, WINNER, LEADING ACTOR: Steve McQueen, thank you. Thank you, sir. Thank you for your work, for your artistry, for your passion in this project. You really just brought us all through it.

ANDERSON (voice-over): And it wasn't just his performance that impressed.

DAVID O. RUSSELL, DIRECTOR, "AMERICAN HUSTLE": I saw the guy from "12 Years a Slave," and I got to get his tailor. He said it was a British tailor.

Oh, my God.

At that time, I looked like his barman (ph).

ANDERSON (voice-over): The movie about slavery in America also won the coveted Best Film BAFTA.

STEVE MCQUEEN, DIRECTOR, "12 YEARS A SLAVE": There are 21 million people in slavery as we sit here, 21 million people. I just hope that 150 years from now, our ambivalence will not allow another filmmaker to make this film. Thank you so much.

ANDERSON (voice-over): But it was Alfonso Cuaron who was named best director. This 3D thriller, "Gravity,"; was a great night for Somali-born newcomer, Barkhad Abdi, taking the Best Supporting Actor for what was a sinister and moving performance alongside Tom Hanks, in "Captain Phillips."

BARKHAD ABDI, WINNER, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: It was really an honor working with him. He's really a good, very good man.

ANDERSON: What happens next for you?

ABDI: I look for other parts and continue acting.

ANDERSON: I don't think you're going to be -- need to look for parts. I think the parts are going to come to you.

ANDERSON (voice-over): If there was one surprise in London, it was that Lupita Nyong'o failed to get the nod for either Rising Star or Best Supporting Actress. But the young star surely stole the show with style.

LUPITA NYONG'O, ACTRESS: It's definitely the most dressed up I've ever gotten.

ANDERSON (voice-over): And this could still be her year with the nomination for an Oscar up her sleeve. She'll do the walk of fame once again next month at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles -- Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


LAKE: Well, despite the fresh talent at this year's awards, actor Helen Mirren says the industry is being stifled by high cost. She says it's creating a place only rich kids can get into, shutting out those from working class backgrounds. The cost of acting tuition is expensive. A year's education at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London costs $15,000.

And over at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, it's even more. Students will pay $30,000 a year to attend.

Helen Mirren herself began acting classes at London's National Youth Theatre, which offers free training for young adults. I'm pleased to welcome Paul Roseby, the CEO and artistic director of the National Youth Theatre. He joins us from our studios in London.

Paul, good to see you this evening. Does Helen Mirren have a --


LAKE: -- fair concern? Is this becoming a -- something only rich kids can do?

ROSEBY: Well, I think Helen Mirren, to be honest with you, is right on the money. The fact that you may well be rich in talent doesn't always go into you're going to be rich in life. And certainly if you're not rich in life to begin with as a young person, it's definitely a barrier to the industry. It's going to be in all sorts of walks of life.

And certainly in theater, because theater is still deemed a little bit as a luxury good. And actually it's a lot more important than just a luxury item. It's essential in all our lives, as Helen Mirren and others there witness and advocated.

So, yes, she is right. And I think the problem is getting worse, not better, for young people as cost of education and opportunity is getting higher and higher. And that means there are fewer and fewer opportunities out there and the National Youth actually does offer those. It also has to charge to sometimes balance its books like every organization.

LAKE: Exactly. And, you know, though you offer those classes, I'm sure you'd like to have them be much bigger. I mean, the amount of people that apply versus the spots that are available are so small.

Paul, you sit back, though, and you think about how much movies make, how much actors make, why isn't there more support from the community itself in terms of seeding into programs like yours?

ROSEBY: Well, Maggie, I think it's a very good question and you know what, I could spend hours, probably over a large glass of wine or two, telling you what I really think. But here's the professional answer. You sit in a great country that is well known for its philanthropy. And actors and business leaders and individuals give generously.

In this country, our culture is somewhat tighter in the purse, shall we say, and that's no individual criticism of anybody. It's actually more to do with our culture, which means that we still have to rely on big industries and certainly big government to have a big heart and write those checks to give young people the opportunity.

You know, as a result of the arts in this country, investing in it, over 71 billion pounds went into the U.K. economy alone last year. It's worth investing in. The National Youth Theatre invested in Helen Mirren. It's worth investing in those people that are less fortunate than others that can't afford it.

Now I wish we had more Americans in Britain that had that attitude. We're raising a minimum of $200,000 fundraising for young people to be able to get free opportunity this year at our rep company, which is a great opportunity. It's unique to this country. And I believe yours as well.

But I think it's very hard and fundraising is not easy because we don't save lives. We just change them. All important, but that's the bottom line.

LAKE: That is the thing, isn't it, when people are making decisions.

Paul, realistically, do kids need to go to acting school to land a part, though? I mean, if you're talented and you've got the drive, can you still show up at an audition? Or is it that hard to get through the gates?

ROSEBY: It's never going to be easy. There are no guarantees. What you need to do is know yourself and have confidence. You do not need three years' training to do that and spent 30,000 pounds, $50,000 or more on that. You need opportunity. You need not to give up. You need to know that you're tenacious and talented and that's just by saying I think yes to anything and everything.

Work in a shop. Work behind the scenes here in the studio. Meet other people that have had different routes. But first and foremost, believe in yourself and believe what Helen Mirren and other winners last night at the BAFTAs said; is that you can do it. And please, please, if you're out there, help us and invest in the National Youth and at other brilliant organizations, too, to allow those successes in the future.

LAKE: Well said, Paul. We don't need to add anything to that.

Paul Roseby, good to see you this evening. Thank you for joining us.

ROSEBY: Thank you. Good to see you. Thanks.

LAKE: Well, after weeks of snow causing travel chaos in the United States, now it's Japan's turn to get a blast of arctic weather. Tom Sater is at the CNN International Weather Center.

Tom, obviously, no place is safe.

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No. In fact, not even there in New York now. You're under a winter weather advisory, 2-4 inches of snow overnight. But it should change to a rain-snow mix, though. You'll be all right by morning.

Air travel should be fine in and out of New York. That's not the case in Japan. Record snowfall two weekends in a row. It's just amazing to get the totals that I'm going to share with you when typically Tokyo picks up a couple of dustings of snow every year.

The annual snowfall rate -- the total in Tokyo is about 11 cms. That's it. They have been shattering this. They've only had two snowfalls. This weekend and last weekend, let me show you what happened. See the moisture here? Crazy amount of moisture. They also had a building collapse.

Southeastern areas of South Korea, there are fatalities. There's still rescuing and pulling people out from a school building there with a roof collapse.

Kofu, this is a meter of snow. That's 44 inches of snow fell. That shatters the old record by more than double in the amount of snowfall. When was the old record? Last week. Tokyo, 27 cms two snowfalls in a row. This is what a meter looks like. This is in Kofu, currently 83 cms still on the -- it's just amazing. Snowiest years on record after a back-to-back top 10 snowfalls in Tokyo.

Here you are; you're only 1 cm off from number three, which you'll probably see this week, maybe Wednesday, Thursday. Number two, you're a good 12 cms off. But again, you pick -- typically pick up 11 in a whole year. So that's a year's worth.

Now it's been so mild most of it's gone. In fact, except for the piles of snowfall, everything is melted. In Nagano, you've got to replenish the shelves. They are watching more snowfall in the northern areas of Japan. Shanghai should miss out. But the next storm, here it comes. Wednesday into Thursday, we're going to be watching it closely.

In the U.K., this is tremendous amounts of flooding. We're starting to see a change in the pattern which would be great, 16 severe flood warnings since the beginning of December, over 130 of them, all of 2012, there were only nine.

To give you an idea, the latest storm system moving across the area, not as intense but every millimeters counts. We're still watching the high-risk zones, Somerset area, the Thames River Valley. But the pattern is changing and this is fabulous news. Doesn't mean we're not going to have rainfall. But as that pattern lists to the north, the intensity will be lighter. Maybe we'll have more dry days in between. This is a good 4-5 day total; we're not seeing 40 or 50 millimeters but the economic cost is amazing. So far in the U.K., 830 million in insured losses. This is going to cost over $1 billion and that could go up as infrastructure problems continue to be revealed.

But I leave you with this, Maggie. They are starting to see the crocuses blossom in southern Germany, spring and a change of season right around the country. Couldn't come soon enough for everyone.

Back to you.

LAKE: You're absolutely right. Thank you for leaving us with that little ray of hope, Tom. We need it. Good to see you. That's Tom Sater for us.

Coming up, the app that could turn your group of friends into your new search engine.




LAKE: One of the creators of Twitter says you can't always find the answer you're looking for through a search engine. And his new app, Jelly, might just be the solution. Biz Stone spoke to CNNMoney's Laurie Segall, who joins us now in the studio.

Laurie, good to see you. We talked about this. He launched this with some great fanfare. Of course there's big expectations when you're one of the Twitter cofounders. He's having a little momentum problem, though, isn't he?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, look, he founded -- he cofounded Twitter. So it's -- to live up to that pressure, it's huge. And I actually sat down with him. We went inside Jelly's headquarters and I said, what's it like to go back into the startup trenches all over again? Listen to what he said.


BIZ STONE, COFOUNDER, TWITTER: Actually, sort of felt nauseous (sic) because I was getting used to the idea of like maybe just like relaxing for a little while.

SEGALL (voice-over): That's the sound of a new idea hatching from Twitter cofounder Biz Stone. You'd think he'd want a breather after riding the rollercoaster from scrappy startup to public company.

But when a good idea strikes, it's back to the startup trenches. Stone's latest venture: an app called Jelly, which launched last month.

STONE: Jelly is a new way to search using pictures and friends from your social networks.

SEGALL (voice-over): Here's how it works: you take a picture then you can ask any question you'd like. Now friends from your social networks can answer that. Their friends can answer, too.

STONE: So people are saying like, what is this bug? Is it like -- is this spider going to kill me?

SEGALL (voice-over): Ironically, in an increasingly connected world, this tech founder wants to add a human touch to search.

STONE: The oracles of our day, the Web search engines, we always ask -- we ask them everything. But there's got to be some percentage of our queries that are just better answered by a person. And our thinking is that maybe this -- the true promise of a connected society is just for people to help each other.

SEGALL: How does that community and that network relate to the name jelly?

STONE: The jellyfish has a very unique nervous system. It doesn't have a brain. So a jellyfish is just floating around, no brain, all of a sudden a predator comes by.

And what happens is, a few neurons fire, and then its neighbors fire. And then what happens is, within a fraction of a second, a brain is formed on the fly. The visualization of that is very much like the way we want Jelly to work.

SEGALL (voice-over): Years ago, I sat down with Biz and asked him about the name of a different company.

STONE: We put a bunch of names in a hat and they were words like Jitter. You know, because we knew that we were --

SEGALL: So we would be jeeting?

STONE: So it was like we want -- we knew we want to have this very like instant mobile SMS tech space thing. And then one of them was Twitter.

SEGALL (voice-over): Fast forward four years, that site now has more than 215 million users.

SEGALL: So going forward with Jelly, what are your challenges?

I mean you're now in the trenches again. You're at a startup. How do you go forward?

STONE: You have to be -- basically have to be constantly uncomfortable. And afraid. And if you're okay with that, then it's cool.

SEGALL (voice-over): For Stone, his family has helped with that.

SEGALL: How has your family and kind of played into your creative process in what you do now?

STONE: One thing that's always been true is my wife has actually been sort of like my secret weapon all along. She's super smart and I always ask her work stuff. And she just, offhand, offers incredibly good advice.

I got this great job at Google in 2003 before the IPO and they gave me all these shares and all this stuff. And I quit, I wanted to quit because I wanted to start a company with Evan Williams. And my wife was supportive of it. Like, even, that's crazy - look at the share price of Google now.

The unasked part of that question is like how do you have a family and be a good startup person?

SEGALL: Isn't a startup like a child or something?

STONE: Yes, I mean, it sounds ridiculous but you like put in your calendar, "Play with son," you know, "Play spaceman from 2:00 to 4:00." Because otherwise just you get so busy that you forget to do everything. And a week goes by and you didn't go to the playground.


SEGALL: It's interesting because you can see there -- Biz has always been very idealistic. He was known along with his cofounder, he's known as being the one who is the guy with the dreamer. He said Twitter could be used for all these different kind of use cases. He convinced -- tried to convince me of that as you saw in the piece four years ago.

Now he's doing the same thing with Jelly. And he's the first to admit, it's terrifying to start all over and to have a new company.

LAKE: Right. And so the innovator in the -- and the idealist isn't often a good executor and manager. Does he have the staff and support around him to be able to forge a new marketplace where there's so much competition? And it's cutthroat. We're talking about search. That's the core of Google's business. Facebook wants a piece of it. Twitter's looking at it. I mean, that's where the money is.

SEGALL: Right. You're absolutely right. And Facebook is doing this. Facebook has launched a social search. A lot of folks are trying to fight this. And we're also looking at app fatigue. A lot of people putting out another app, it's harder than it used to be. That being said, Biz has a good track record. Twitter, a lot of his other platforms, Blogger has done very well. And he's known for surrounding himself with very good people.

Inside Jelly's headquarters right now, they're literally engineers who are from the top companies, sitting around and looking at how you're using Jelly. And they'll iterate the product based on how you're using it. So he's the first to say this could fail. But he's also the first to say I'm going to go back in the startup trenches and try all over again.

LAKE: Right. And what it starts as isn't necessarily what people find it most useful for. And if you're willing to be open to that, sometimes that transformation is where you need to go. And that's sort of what happened with Twitter. Really --


LAKE: -- it's going to be fascinating to watch, high stakes though, for sure.

All right, Laurie, thank you so much for bringing that to us.

We'll be back with more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment.




LAKE: A good pun can make a business name unforgettable. And now we know the best ones in all of Britain. The U.K.'s Local Data Company compiled the top 10 and let the public vote on their favorites.

In third place, Barber Blacksheep, a barber shop in the southern town of Brighton. Y'all decide if that might sound better with an English accent.

In second place, this window dealership called Pane in the Glass, just west of London.

And the number one pun, Junk and Disorderly, a secondhand store in Northern England. Other entries on the list included World of Woolcraft and the old classic, Abra Kebabra.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Maggie Lake in New York. Thanks for joining us.