— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on July 16, 2021, Friday.
Jeff Bezos, who could have been the world's first super-rich man in space, was replaced in the Number 1 spot by Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson, but Bezos wasn't completely overshadowed as he prepares to fly into space next week.
Blue Origin is scheduled to launch the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight on 20 July. In addition to his brother, Jeff Bezos also picked an 18-year-old physics student to go to space with him. It is reported that a mystery billionaire who bid with $28 million had a scheduling conflict, which made the seat available for this student. Now, the student will be Blue Origin's first paid passenger; his father, CEO of a private equity firm in the Netherlands, paid for the flight.
Days before he embarks on the trip to space, Jeff Bezos announced a $200 million donation to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. This is one of his largest donations to date and the biggest donation that the Smithsonian Museum has received since its establishment in 1846. As the world's richest man, Bezos hasn't been very active in philanthropy, which has earned him the nickname "skinflint". Many even signed a petition to ask him not to return to earth after his space trip. But in recent years, Bezos has stepped up efforts in philanthropy and has received some good feedback.
The billionaires' trip into space has been lauded, but the trip by Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan, has been controversial after he escaped Japan while hiding in the box of a musical instrument.
In a remote interview with BBC recently, Ghosn gave more details on how he managed to smuggle out of Japan, Ghosn reckons that he was in the box for around an hour and a half, though it felt like it lasted "one year and a half."
"The 30 minutes waiting in the box on the plane, waiting for it to take off, was probably the longest wait I've ever experienced in my life." Ghosn said, "'this is your chance, you can't miss it. If you miss it, you're going to pay with your life." Now, the two U.S. army special forces veterans who helped Ghosn to escape are being held in Japan and could face up to three years in prison. Speaking of these 2 people, Ghosn said "I feel sorry for all the people who are victims of the hostage justice system in Japan, all of them." Ghosn is listed as wanted by Interpol, he lives under armed protection in Beirut, Lebanon.
Ghosn's quest for freedom will be very difficult, but in the United States, pop singer Britney Spears has taken a crucial step in bid for freedom.
On Wednesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge approved Spears' request of hiring her own attorney; her new representative, a high-profile Hollywood lawyer and former federal prosecutor will help her end conservatorship.
Because of Britney's mental health issues, the court granted her father conservatorship in 2008. Now the 39-year-old Britney has been under conservatorship for 13 years. According to Forbes, Britney has a fortune of $60 million. Due to the conservatorship, she has little control of her wealth, while her father can receive decent payment. Over the past few years, some Britney's fans launched the #FreeBritney movement. Last month, Britney attended the online hearing, accused her father of 'conservatorship abuse', and asked to remove her father from the conservator role.