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E.U.: Apple Must Pay $14.6 Billion In Back Taxes; Newborn Twins Among 6,500 Rescued Migrants; IOM: 264,513 Migrants Arrived In Europe By Sea This Year; Racism Accusations In The Presidential Campaign; Trump Supporter Apologizes For Offensive Posts; U.N. Hails End Of French Town's Burkini Ban; Brazil's Senate To Vote On Whether To Oust Rousseff; Michel Temer Would Finish Out Rousseff's Term; Alien Life? Telescope Detects Strong Signal In Space; Comedy Legend Gene Wilder Dies At 83. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired August 30, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead at the "International Desk." Apple is ordered to pay billions in back taxes. Thousands of migrants are
rescued in the Mediterranean. And saying goodbye to beloved film star Gene Wilder.
Hi there, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN center. Thanks for joining me. And we start with the ruling that could have a global impact on how
big corporations and governments do business.
Today, the European Commission ordered Apple to pay billions in back taxes for its operations in Europe. At its core, the ruling challenges the power
of major companies to influence policy and secure sweetheart tax deals. Apple and Ireland's government say they will appeal.
We're covering the story from all angles here with our CNN correspondents, Samuel Burke is in London, Paul La Monica is in New York.
Samuel, to you first, break this down for us. How did we get here?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNNMONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Plain and simple, Apple is an American corporation, of course, but they've had
offices in Ireland for quite some time now. And that's really been the place where they've done a lot of their international transactions. And
we've always known that they pay a very low corporate rate there. And Apple has always said listen, we're just doing what the Irish government
says we're allowed to do, and Ireland has always said this is our tax framework. They're allowed to do what they're doing.
Today the European Commission came out and said that Ireland was giving them a deal that was unfair and violate E.U. law, and they also came out
with some surprising numbers. Even people who follow this closely, quite frankly, were surprised to learn that Apple was paying such low taxes. The
signature tax rate, as it's known in Ireland for companies, is 12.5 percent.
But Robyn, I just want to put up on the screen just to make this crystal clear, these numbers that we saw from the commissioner. She said that in
2003, Apple paid just 1 percent in tax, and even further, 2014, they just paid 0.005 percent in tax. The E.U. Commission saying, this is really just
all a gimmick, in a way, to try and avoid taxes, and that they have to pay back $14.6 billion, not a penalty, but back taxes plus interest. A massive
CURNOW: Massive amount. And there's so many strands to this story, Samuel, also to Paul, and one of the strands is political. I mean
Americans here have been warning the Europeans, this has been a conversation taking place between Washington and Brussels, and the
Americans saying the Europeans are overstepping their power, that that's the way they see it. And also, this has huge implications for the U.S.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: They said that they are very disappointed in this decision. They feel that there has been some progress
made as governments around the world have, you know, worked together to try and stop some of these tax inversions where companies do have headquarters
overseas that allowed them to have a lower tax rate. It is interesting, though, that the Treasury Department is supporting Apple in this regard,
because there is one non-partisan -- one research group, Citizens for Tax Justice in the U.S., that estimates that there are $66 billion in taxes
that have been lost in the U.S. as a result of Apple having these operations in Ireland, paying that lower tax as a result.
CURNOW: And Samuel, back to you. You'd think that collecting back tax would be a win for a government like Ireland. Why don't they want the
BURKE: You've never seen so many places say, no, no, please don't give us the money. Let me just put up on the screen, all the people who have so
much to lose here. Obviously, Apple maybe more than $14 billion. I don't think anybody's feeling too bad for them because they have the cash
reserves, they are a very successful company.
But Ireland saying we don't want to lose companies like Apple. Maybe it's a small rate than they're paying, smaller than you'd think, but we don't
want to lose Apple and the thousands of people that they employ, Apple, in Ireland as well as the other corporations that have flocked to this country
for the low corporate tax. Also, other European countries like Netherlands and Luxembourg who have also faced similar, though not quite so big their
fines for these types of tax deals.
And, of course, as Paul was mentioning, the dent in the U.S. federal budget that this could cause. There is a clause that basically says that if an
American corporation has to pay another government in taxes, you get a credit. So all of a sudden, the United States is seeing that Apple is
going to be paying much more than they expected. And that could cause a huge dent that they did not foresee in the U.S. federal budget.
CURNOW: And to you Paul, consumers no doubt watching this, trying to sort of unpack what all of this means. The numbers are gob smacking, but really
what people want to know is what impact is this going to have on their Apple products? Is there going to be an impact?
[10:05:08] LA MONICA: I don't really think there will be that big of an impact. We know that Apple has a big announcement scheduled for September
7th. Everyone expecting it to be the next iPhone, the iPhone 7, assuming they call it that.
What I found interesting was that Tim Cook, in his letter, he really seemed to be writing it to Brussels. And he was pointing out that there could be
problems in Ireland with all the employees that they have there, that that could be the biggest issue that would Apple need to pull back in Ireland
and other parts of Europe as a result of this. I seriously doubt, though, that it's going to have any change at all in terms of what Apple's plans
are for the iPhone 7 and any future products, whatever they may be coming in the next few months and years.
CURNOW: Last question to you, Sam. I mean, is this shaping up, essentially, to be Europe versus the big American corporate giants? And I
mean, is this going to be a big battle that's going to run and run and run?
BURKE: There is a sense of that. All of the American tech companies that I talked with so frequently feel like Europe is against them whether it's
Google, sometimes Facebook, and of course, in this case Apple.
But what's interesting here is how everybody is against the European Union, in this case, obviously, Apple, Ireland, and the United States. But all
these member countries actually going up against their own body, the European Union. So at the heart of all of this maybe Ireland saying we
make our tax rules and the European Union saying our tax rules supercede yours. And really getting back to the questions that were fought over in
the Brexit in this country, in other E.U. member countries. Who has the power?
CURNOW: Yeah, and I think that is what's key here. Paul and Samuel, thanks so much. And there's a lot more to talk about later on in the
We're going to get our Richard Quest also to talk about the ramifications of this ruling, as Ireland and the rest of Europe, as Samuel also said,
brace for the upcoming Brexit, and what this all means and how it all plays in together. So stay around for that in the next few minutes.
Now, a dramatic day of rescues in the Mediterranean on Monday for migrants seeking refuge in Europe. The Italian Coast Guard says 6,500 people were
rescued in a single day. Among them was this sick five-day-old premature baby and his twin brother. The rescued migrants are being taken to Italian
Well, let's go straight to Rome now where Barbie Nadeau joins us.
So many people, Barbie, and remarkable amount of rescues.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, that's absolutely right. 6,500 people in one day alone. The day before that though, there were 1,100 people.
And this is really just taxing the whole mechanism out there. You know, these rescues have been happening for months and months and months. But
every time you have a rescue like this, one of those big rescue ships has to go back to port. That takes a day sometimes, depending on where they're
So that means that there's one less ship out there to rescue the other people who are coming in. There are four rescues going on right now as we
hear. These two little twins though have been evacuated, we understand, being air lifted to a safer place. Let's hope the best for them. But
there are so many children on these recent rescues, so many people trying to get to safety. And we haven't seen a day like this, certainly not this
year or in the last year. 6,500 people in one day alone, Robyn, is really, really a lot to deal with for the authorities.
CURNOW: In many ways, this is a good news story, because so many people were rescued. They made it. These children, their mothers, these
families, you know, are alive. They were rescued in time. But in terms of the number of people losing their lives this year in the Mediterranean,
that number continues to increase.
NADEAU: It does. And, you know, we've talked about this so many times. What we don't know is how many people did perish even in this day of
rescues, because there are no passenger lists. No one knows with any certainty how many people started out on any of these boats when they left
Libya. And with that -- because of that, there's just no way to know how many people would perish.
When they get to the Italian shores, they'll start interviewing people. How many people did you travel with? How many people were you -- in your
party, in your family, in your little group? And only then will they understand that people fell overboard, that the human traffickers, in so
many cases we've seen, you know, are very violent with some of the refugees and migrants. You know, that death toll is always going to be a little bit
unknown. Nobody is ever really going to know how many people die on these journeys.
You're right, though, 6,500 people saved one day, 1,000 the day before. That means that the rescue operations that are underway are working and
lives are being saved. But Robyn, the journey just begins once they get to shore. They have to apply for asylum. They have to set up a new life.
You know, they have to try to figure out how to go forward in Europe which has really doesn't have a lot of patience with all these refugees and
migrants coming in.
CURNOW: Yeah, I'm just reading the latest figures, Barbie, from the International Organization for Migration, and they say already this year
there have been over 3,000 deaths in the Med and that's compared to over 3,700 for the entire year last year. But what is also interesting is that
the amount of illegal migrant crossings into Europe by the Med is lower this year. I mean, there is an urgency for many of these people because
the gateways are narrowing into Europe.
[10:10:25] NADEAU: That's absolutely right. That's why we're seeing so many more people trying to come through Italy now. The conduit through
Greece which was highlight last year, we are talking about so many people getting to the islands -- the Greek islands from Turkey, that is basically
and essentially been closed up for the most part.
These are different kinds of migrants. So a lot of those who are going to Greece were from Syria. A lot of these are sub-Saharan African migrants
that are coming. But as the places to get through become tighter it's more and more -- they take more and more dangerous routes, Robyn.
CURNOW: Barbie Nadeau there in Rome. Thank you so much.
Well, people are gathering for a mass state funeral in Amatrice, Italy for victims of last week's earthquake. The town was the hardest hit by the 6.2
magnitude quake. The ceremony will take place in a tent surrounded by shattered buildings. Some three dozen people will be laid to rest. In
all, more than 290 people lost their lives in the earthquake.
And Donald Trump's campaign says it's trying to reach out to minorities in the U.S. However, controversy seems to be undermining those efforts.
And a former recruiter for al-Qaeda has a new gig at an American university. He'll share his unlikely path to peace.
Lots to talk about. Stay with us. You're watching the Idesk.
CURNOW: The U.S. presidential race is taking an ugly turn. One of Donald Trump's African-American supporters who's also a religious leader has
tweeted out an image many considering insensitive and racist. This, as Trump gets an unwanted endorsement. Jason Carroll has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Accusations of racism leading to more personal attacks on the campaign trail.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: People will look at that and say, you seem desperate.
CARROLL: Donald Trump's campaign manager hitting back at Hillary Clinton's running mate for remarks he made last week linking Trump to former Ku Klux
Klan grand wizard David Duke.
TIM KAINE, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is pushing their values, Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values.
CONWAY: In the case of Tim Kaine, I mean, we expect the rough and tumble politics, the lies from Hillary Clinton and her folks. And you stoop so
low that you are making these allegations. And I think it's going to backfire.
CARROLL: But Duke, who's running for a Senate seat in Louisiana, is promoting Trump in robo-calls for his Louisiana Senate campaign.
DAVID DUKE, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE AND FORMER KKK LEADER: It's time to stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me, David
Duke, for the U.S. Senate.
[10:15:04] CARROLL: Trump had been criticized for not disavowing Duke's endorsement quickly enough during the primary. Trump's campaign did
quickly disavow the robo-calls in a statement and on CNN.
KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: It's absolutely disturbing. The Trump campaign has no knowledge of the campaign that David Duke is
running and we have disavowed David Duke and don't condone any of the activities that he's doing.
CARROLL: At a fundraiser in the Hamptons, Clinton saying Duke's Senate bid is a by-product of Trump dog whistles to racist voters.
CARROLL: This, as Trump supporter Pastor Mark Burns apologized after tweeting this photo of Hillary Clinton in black face, mocking her outreach
to black voters.
PTR. MARK BURNS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: The last thing I want to do is to offend people.
CARROLL: Meanwhile, the Republican nominee seizing on the latest sexting scandal surrounding the husband of longtime Hillary Clinton adviser, Huma
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's married to a guy that is uncontrollable.
CARROLL: Abedin announcing her separation from disgraced Former Congressman Anthony Weiner after the "New York Post" published suggestive
pictures he allegedly sent to another woman with his child lying next to him. Something people close to the family tell CNN left Abedin furious and
sickened. Trump using the opportunity to slam Clinton's "bad judgment."
TRUMP: He's a sick person. And, you know, she has access to classified information. To think that it's very likely that much of this information
Anthony Weiner would know about. And I think it's something that was terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Jason Carroll there. Well, two prominent Republicans are in tough fights to keep their jobs in Congress. Voting is underway in the states of
Arizona and Florida, where senators John McCain and Marco Rubio are hoping to win their primary races.
McCain was the party's 2008 presidential nominee. He is up against fellow Republican Kelli Ward. She's pushing the idea that 80-year-old McCain is
too old for the job.
Rubio, who ran in this year's presidential primary, is hoping to keep his seat as well. He's facing wealthy businessman Carlos Beruff in Florida's
And a few minutes ago, we heard about the scandal involving one of Hillary Clinton's closest aides. This, as Huma Abedin's role in Clinton's career
comes under scrutiny from her opponent.
Well, Brian Todd joins us now with a closer look.
Hi there, Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. Yes, a lot of questions being asked right now about Huma Abedin's role in Mrs. Clinton's career, about
her very important role in the Clinton campaign. And whether Huma Abedin might in fact, be a liability for Hillary Clinton at this point.
Well, either way, these latest reports about Anthony Weiner have clearly pushed Huma Abedin over the edge after a series of embarrassments and
various attempts to save her marriage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUMA ABEDIN, CLINTON CAMPAIGN VICE CHAIRWOMAN: I'll be making no further comments. Thank you.
TODD: For someone who always seems to destain the spotlight, Huma Abedin has repeatedly, unwillingly been pushed into it. Hillary Clinton's longest
serving aide is dealing with another humiliation caused by her husband, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. A new report from the "New
York Post" that Weiner sent sexually explicit photos to another woman, including one picture with Weiner's and Abedin's four-year-old son
apparently sleeping next to him, prompted Abedin to announce she's separating from Weiner.
KIRSTEN POWERS, FORMER CLINTON ADMINISTRATIVE STAFFER: I can only imagine how painful it must be for her. She has a child with Anthony Weiner.
They're a family. And so, I think this is a very personal thing that she's having to live out in a very public way. And I wouldn't wish this on
TODD: A close friend of Abedin tells CNN Abedin and Weiner have "essentially separated for months." A clear sign of that, according the
friend, Abedin had been seen recently without a wedding ring which people around the Clinton campaign noticed.
Weiner's sexting scandals go back five years when Breitbart News first published a racy photo of his underwear. He first said he was hacked, then
admitted he lied, then resigned from Congress. Two years later, while Weiner was running for New York mayor, more explicit messages from him were
revealed. He'd used the pseudonym "Carlos Danger". From Abedin, an extraordinary show of support.
ABEDIN: I love him. I have forgiven him. I believe in him. And as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward.
TODD: Around that time, a documentary on Weiner's campaign was produced. At one point in the film, Abedin clearly looks agitated as Weiner
apologizes to his staff.
ANTHONY WEINER, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: The level of guilt and pain that I feel, I'm very sorry I put everyone in this position.
[10:20:00] TODD: A campaign aide complains she's being harassed by the media. Abedin forcefully coaches her on optics. Seemingly a signature
response from Huma Abedin. Tidying up with an obsession for detail, no matter how damaging the crisis.
Recently, e-mails obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch showed Abedin was often approached by Clinton Foundation staffers for donors'
access to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. The e-mails show Abedin seemed to facilitate at least one meeting. The Clinton
campaign denies wrongdoing. But after 20 years by her side, has Huma Abedin become a liable for Hillary Clinton?
POWERS: She's not a liability, except for the fact that her political enemies, Hillary Clinton's political enemies, will try to make her a
liability. I don't think it will stick, because I think most people recognize that Huma Abedin didn't do anything other than try to make her
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: That former Clinton Aide Kirsten Powers says Hillary Clinton wouldn't get rid of Huma Abedin any sooner than she would get rid of
Chelsea Clinton. Huma Abedin right now isn't saying much beyond her announcement of a separation, other than to say that she and Anthony Weiner
right now are focused on doing what's best for their son.
CNN has reached out to Anthony Weiner for comments on all of this. We have not heard back. Robyn?
CURNOW: Yeah. Besides this sort of tabloid quality of this conversation, the reason we're having this conversation is precisely what you say, that
Huma Abedin is probably one of the closest people to Hillary Clinton. She could play a big role in a possible Clinton White House.
Is this now over? Donald Trump has tweeted something. Is that sort of the end of it or do you think this issue could snowball in other ways?
TODD: Robyn, I don't think it's over. I think Donald Trump will continue to harp on this. Look, a lot of people believe that if Hillary Clinton
wins the presidency, that Huma Abedin may very well be Clinton's chief of staff. That's such a key position in any White House.
Trump, you know, the campaign probably will seize on a lot of this to say look, you're going to have someone very close to the president, who is next
to the president, has access to classified information and whose husband, estranged husband, has, you know, has behaved in this way. I think that
Donald Trump will probably continue to harp on this and call it kind of a risk to national security, whether it really is or not.
CURNOW: Thank you so much, Brian Todd there.
Well, the United Nations Human Rights Commission is hailing the end of one French town's burqini ban. The country's high court overturned the ban on
the swim wear which is usually worn by Muslim women.
The U.N. Human Rights Commission said in a statement, "These decrees do not improve the security situation but rather fuel religious intolerance and
the stigmatization of Muslims in France, especially women".
And, in a fight against terrorists, some experts say the most useful tool is a defector. To that end, one former terror recruiter has jumped to the
other side. Our Elizabeth Cohen caught up with him and his new employer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This U.S. citizen was once a radicalized extremist.
JESSE MORTON, FORMER AL-QAEDA RECRUITER: I went to prison for propagandizing on behalf of a terrorist organization.
COHEN: He recruited people to join al-Qaeda.
MORTON: It became a call to go out on to your back porch and just start killing civilians.
COHEN: We couldn't tell you then what we can tell you now. His name is Jesse Morton. And he has a new job, as a research fellow at George
Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, where he'll be doing research and writing, but not teaching.
So what can you, given your background, contribute to this program?
MORTON: Well, I mean, I have a background in radicalizing others. I understand the mentality. I understand also what attracts people to the
ideology. I also understand how to counter that as a result.
COHEN: The hope that Morton can stop others from becoming extremists. But can he be trusted? Take a look at this story from CNN's Drew Griffin
nearly seven years ago, when Morton called himself "Younus Abdullah Muhammad".
MORTON: We're commanded to terrorize the disbelievers and this is a region, like I said .
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're committed to terrorize the disbelievers?
MORTON: And the Quran says very clearly in Arabic language (foreign language), this means terrorize them. It's a command from Allah.
COHEN: We showed the story to Seamus Hughes, who hired Morton to work at George Washington.
MORTON: Let's just kill (ph) the United States and the enemy of (inaudible).
COHEN: Is this the man that you know now?
SEAMUS HUGHES, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON CENTER FOR CYBER AND HOMELAND SECURITY: No. That was Jesse who he was. It's not Jesse who he
is now. He is reformed. He's changed.
COHEN: Do you trust him?
HUGHES: Yes, I trust him. We did our due diligence. So I used to be with the intelligence community. I called my old colleagues, the prosecuting
attorney that worked on his case. I talked to the FBI in which he's been working with the last year.
COHEN: And you're an expert in extremists. But does he know things that you don't?
HUGHES: It's one thing to read a book. It's another thing to experience it.
[10:25:01] COHEN: Can you understand how someone might see this and say, "I can't believe George Washington would hire this guy?"
HUGHES: I absolutely understand people's concerns.
MORTON: We dare you, Muslims, to rise up.
COHEN: Is this the same man as I'm looking at right now?
MORTON: No, that is an ignorant man. That is a man that has been brainwashed.
COHEN: How does it make you feel to see this now?
MORTON: Regretful. And like I want to deter others from adopting that same position.
COHEN: Jesse Curtis Morton was born in Pennsylvania 37 years ago, was a choir boy at his grandmother's Baptist church. But he came from an abusive
household and was in and out of jail as a young man on drug and other charges. He came into contact with radical Islamists and co-founded a
group called "Revolution Muslim" in 2008.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jesse Morton.
COHEN: And he maintained those views while earning a master's degree in International Affairs at Columbia University in 2009. At Revolution
Muslim, he encouraged others to engage in violent jihad, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In 2012, Morton was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for threatening the creators of the T.V. show "South Park" which depicted the prophet
Muhammad in a bear suit. He was released after less than three years. He later cooperated with the FBI on several high-profile cases, according to
George Washington University.
MORTON: There's a lot of people that I've interacted with in law enforcement because -- and I understand it. I was viewed as like a demon.
COHEN: He said his de-radicalization began when one FBI agent saw him differently.
MORTON: I had interaction with a fabulous agent, a female agent that over time it became apparent to me that she was a human being. All she cared
about was protecting the public. She really was like a good family person. She loved her country. And she was just -- it wasn't a manipulation, as
far as I saw it. And so I opened up. I was re-humanized by my interactions with someone I once thought to be my enemy.
COHEN: Morton said he hopes the American public will come to believe him and ideally forgive him.
I imagine some people would say, why should we believe this man? He was a voice for hate, and a voice for violence. Why should we believe him that
MORTON: I'll just have to prove myself, and deal with the questions that come as I go. Just I have an enormous amount of guilt and regret. This is
an opportunity for me to make amends to some degree.
COHEN: Have you forgiven yourself?
MORTON: I think yes. I have seen things that people have done and to know that I once sort of sympathized and supported that view, it sickens me.
COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Thanks to Elizabeth for that insight.
Well, ahead here on the Idesk, the European Commission ordering Apple to pay billions of dollars in back taxes. Richard Quest will help us assess
the impact of this ruling.
[10:30:18] CURNOW: Hi everyone. Welcome to the "International Desk". I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.
In one of the largest operations so far on the Mediterranean, 6,500 migrants were rescued at sea on Monday. The migrants were making the
treacherous journey from Northern Africa to Europe. This newborn infant and his twin were among those rescued. The Italian Coast Guard says the
migrants are being taken to Italian ports.
A suicide bomber has apparently carried out a rare attack on a Chinese embassy. He killed himself and wounded three others at an embassy in the
capital of Kyrgyzstan. A bomber reportedly smashed through a gate, detonating his car in the compound. No group has claimed responsibility.
The European Commission has ordered Apple to pay more than $14 billion in back taxes. Europe's top antitrust official says Ireland illegally gave
Apple a very low tax rate to boost its profits. About a quarter of Apple's European employees are based in Ireland. The U.S. warns the ruling could
harm transatlantic business partnerships. Apple and Ireland's government say they will appeal.
Well, this ruling and the reasons behind it are fodder for critics of E.U. government oversight. I want to bring in our Richard Quest from CNN's New
Hi there, Richard. I mean, there's so much to talk about with this case, isn't there? And it certainly hits a raw nerve and speaks also perhaps to
public anger. The anger which fueled Brexit.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" ANCHOR: I think the reality of this case is that for many years, the Irish government or the Irish tax
authorities and Apple had colluded in an arrangement that was clearly obviously, you know, a fiction. And that fiction was finally caught by the
Essentially, what they did is they set up a variety of companies and they so organized them that profits to those companies appeared somewhere else.
And not only that, the Irish authorities in a tax ruling signed off on it.
And other companies were doing the same. Ireland was doing it to gain more business, if you like. Clearly, it wasn't doing it to gain tax revenues,
because the revenues were never being paid. But more money was coming into Ireland. And now what the commission has basically said is this was a
fiction from start to finish. The referee has blown the whistle and said it's time to play by the rules.
CURNOW: When I talk about sort of touching a raw nerve, on one hand, Brexit was fueled by a sense that there was too much overreach by European
regulators. And even here in the U.S., we've been hearing, on a political level, about this sort of conversation that corporations and governments
are in collusion, that the system is rigged, that there is not any -- there's no fair level playing field here. And this, many people,
particularly the public, are saying a prime example of that.
QUEST: Yes. The problem with the argument that you have just advanced elegantly, Robyn, is that it depends where the jobs go. And that's why you
have to have these rules that say, you can't have unfair treatment for one company. And that's what this is all about.
Now, you know, I have a certain sympathy with Apple who were merely arranging, I mean, I don't have a moral sympathy with them but they were
merely arranging their affairs to the lowest tax advantage that they could. And shareholders in Apple, of which I'm not one, but shareholders in Apple
we will thank them for doing that and raising the profits elsewhere.
However, when you start arranging your fares so egregiously, you're now starting to take advantage against other companies and that's what this is
really all about. It's a company trying to lower its tax bill and a government going along with the plan. And what the European Commission has
said is that's not good enough. You've got to pay your tax. It will be interesting Robyn to see .
CURNOW: Yeah, I was going to say this is not a once off, Richard. I mean, what about Starbucks and the Netherlands, and Amazon and Luxembourg and
Anheuser-Busch in Belgium and Facebook as well here.
QUEST: Right. But should the companies be blamed for trying to lower their tax bill? Now, let's everybody get off the model high horse here in
the sense that, you know, I can hear viewers already twitching in anticipation that they're about to say these companies should pay taxes,
these -- how, you know, social services paying for things like that.
That's right. But you can't blame a company for arranging its affairs to lower its tax bill. What you have to do is turn your fire power on the tax
authorities and say you've got to do a better job of closing the loopholes, making the rules clear, and enforcing them against the companies.
[10:35:20] That's where the real work needs to be done. You cannot blame any -- I've said it before. As a famous English judge once said, Lord
Denning, I think it was, once said, it's every man's job to avoid paying tax. It's no man's job to evade it.
CURNOW: And certainly, the E.U. regulators feel that they need to rectify that situation. Richard Quest, great speaking to you. Thanks for joining
QUEST: Thank you.
CURNOW: Well, now to Brazil where the impeachment trial of suspended President Dilma Rousseff is in its final stage. Brazil senators are
expected to vote as early as today on whether to permanently boot her from office.
Well, Shasta Darlington is right there live in Brazil's capital, Brasilia.
Hi there, Shasta. So, is there a likelihood we're going to have some conclusion to this political drama today?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, things are dragging on a little longer than initially anticipated. What we're seeing right now
are the closing arguments of both the prosecution and the defense. They have an hour and a half to present their argument, and then go a little
back and forth. And then each of the 81 senators, if they choose, can take 10 minutes to make closing remarks, which means that the vote is probably
not going to happen by the end of the day and it'll be pushed off until tomorrow morning.
You know, as we've talked about before though, most observers say that this is pretty much a foregone conclusion, that there will be at least two-
thirds of senators voting in favor of impeachment, which would mean Dilma Rousseff could cease to be officially the country's president by midday
tomorrow, Robyn. And, then her vice president, Michel Temer, who took over on a temporary basis back in May, would step in permanently until the end
of the term 2018.
CURNOW: So in many ways, you feel that there's an inevitability to Dilma Rousseff's political career, that it's kind of come to an end. But the
underlying problems of corruption and economic -- real deep economic issues are going to remain.
DARLINGTON: Exactly. And I think that's the big challenge going forward. The country is in the second year of recession. There is a widespread
corruption investigation going on that has already engulfed several politicians in both Rousseff's workers party and Michel Temer's own party.
That investigation continues and is likely to name new names.
In the meantime, he's already said he's going to move his social and economic policies further right. He's talked about privatizations. What
he has that Dilma Rousseff didn't have is backing in Congress.
He's not a highly popular politician. He doesn't have popular support. But he does have the support in Congress that could make it easier to get
some of these tougher austerity measures through the Congress, Robyn.
CURNOW: Thanks so much. Shasta Darlington there, keeping an eye on the political end of the road of Brazil's first female leader. Thanks so much
Well, still ahead, saying farewell to comedy legend Gene Wilder. A look back at his most memorable roles. That's next.
[10:40:38] CURNOW: Astronomers are buzzing over a strong signal detected from space that could be a sign of extraterrestrial life. If you're a
space enthusiast, you'll probably remember this scene from the movie "Contacts."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's force detection of an unidentified radio source from deep space can neither be confirmed nor denied.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever it is, it ain't .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Position?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Jodie Foster played a scientist who searched for and found advanced alien life. This latest discovery comes from a Russian telescope,
which detected a signal from the Star 94 light-years from earth.
Don't get your hopes up just yet. U.S. astronomers say they want to give the signal a closer look before saying for sure it's from aliens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no reason to believe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Now, Hollywood is mourning the loss of comedy legend Gene Wilder. The actor made his mark on a generation of moviegoers with his quirky and
pretty neurotic characters, like his iconic portrayal of Willy Wonka and many roles in Mel Brooks classics. Well our Brynn Gingras looks back at
his life and career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Willy Wonka has left this world. But actor Gene Wilder leaves it changed with his performances with
his Oscar nominated role in "The Producers" .
GENE WILDER, AMERICAN ACTOR: Put under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than he could with a hit.
GINGRAS: . to his other Oscar nominated role in "Young Frankenstein."
WILDER: I'm the Frankenstein.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frankenstein, you must be Igor.
WILDER: No, it's pronounced Igor.
GINGRAS: Wilder died at the age of 83 from complications of Alzheimer's, though his nephew said it never stole his ability to recognize those
closest to him. He was an actor who painted water colors, married four times, including to SNL great Gilda Radner. Wilder's last wife, Karen,
Legendary Director Mel Brooks tweeting, "One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic, and he blessed me
with his friendship." Wilder blazed his way through three Brooks comedies, multiple films with Richard Pryor, and countless other projects. But he'll
always remain the ultimate candy man.
WILDER: There is no life I know to compare with your imagination.
GINGRAS: A toast to your imagination, Gene Wilder. You'll live in ours.
WILDER: Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened?
WILDER: He lived happily ever after.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Beautiful tribute there from our Brynn Gingras. Thank you.
Well that does it for us here at the "International Desk." I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks for watching. World Sport is up next.