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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Signs of Ukraine U-Turn; Ukraine Torn Between East and West; Ukraine-EU Trade Deal; Crisis in Kiev; US Energy Revolution; Hilton Worldwide Market Debut; Dow Down; Michelin Opens New US Plant; Slovenia Banks; New Rules on EU Failed Banks; Vatican Financial Cleanup; Iceland Bankers Convicted; Building Ireland's Recovery

Aired December 12, 2013 - 16:00   ET

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


(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)

NINA DOS SANTOS, HOST: The Dow is down. It's the close of the trading day today, and investors are displaying their concerns that the Fed will taper earlier than expected. As you can see there, it's Thursday, December the 12th, and here are our top stories in the show.

Ukraine is at a turning point. The EU is confident, though, of the deal.

The US energy secretary tells us about his new plan to try and combine energy and climate change policy.

Plus, the mystery of the man who faked sign language at the Mandela memorial and the company that influenced him.

Hello, I'm Nina Dos Santos and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening. Signs are pointing towards a U-turn in the Ukraine. Ukraine's first deputy prime minister today said that the government would soon sign a trade deal with Europe after all. This is according to Reuters.

Well, this comes just a day after the EU's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, said on this very show that President Viktor Yukonovych (sic) -- sorry, Yanukovych, I should say -- of Ukraine intends to move forward with the European Union.

Well, protesters remain on the streets of Kiev tonight. They've been braving the bitter cold for at least four weeks now, furious about the government's decision to reject a deal with the European Union and to seek instead closer ties with Russia. Today, the EU Commissioner Stefan Fule says that it's not too late for Ukraine to change its mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEFAN FULE, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ENLARGEMENT: This offer is still on the table. The European Union remains ready to sign it as soon as Ukraine authorities are ready and prove their commitment by deeds.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: Well, Ukraine has been torn between the EU and Russian since it regained its independence. The situation is becoming more and more strained as Ukraine soon runs out of cash. It needs several billion dollars to roll over a chunk of international debt that's due for repayment in the new year, and so the question becomes, where will it look for help?

Well, Russia has something of a choke-hold over Ukraine here. Ukraine actually gets around about 60 percent of its natural gas needs from its near neighbor in the east. A spike in the price could be devastating for the cash-strapped nation.

Making a deal with Russia could mean significantly lower energy costs for Ukraine, and that is one of the benefits here. Many also believe that Russia could easily inject much of the financial aid that Ukraine needs and do so in a hurry, and it could also come without the kind of harsh conditions which would naturally apply if a loan were granted from the International Monetary Fund.

Closer economic ties with the European Union would also bring much- needed investment for a country like the Ukraine. A trade deal would also open up opportunities for exporters toward the west.

But if Ukraine does turn its back on Russia, well, of course, Moscow has threatened to retaliate with higher import tariffs and stricter trade rules, not to mention, as we were saying, turning off those gas pipelines, which is what they've done before.

Nick Paton Walsh is live in Kiev for us this evening and he joins us from the scene there. Still cold presumably, people still camped out. And despite this mollification in this dance of Viktor Yanukovych, do people believe his message, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not really trickled down in a meaningful way behind me. And I should add another big note of caution: we've seen that positive messaging from Catherine Ashton, from the first deputy Ukrainian prime minister this could still go ahead.

But I've spoken to an EU diplomat with close knowledge of those talks, and they made it clear the deal isn't being re-written, there's no big cash incentive from Brussels to Ukraine to change its mind. This meeting was about both sides trying to understand each other's difficulties with signing the deal a little better.

They'll now go back to their bosses in their capitals, talk about those problems again with them, and maybe meet again at some point. But no date for that future meeting set. So, I think the impression being given by Brussels and, perhaps, some in Kiev too that there is still talks going on about that deal, but no real date in sight, perhaps a little too much positivity prematurely put around here.

But as you say, that may be meant to mollify the protest behind me. There are still thousands of people out there in the snow behind some of the highest barricades people have seen at all.

We walked amongst the crowd this afternoon and between Soviet-era war veterans from the Afghan War and young women who were too young, frankly, to even remember the 2004 Orange Revolution, we saw a crowd with one key demand, and that's a sea change in the life of Ukrainian politics.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALSH (voice-over): At first glance, Kiev is on repeat, living again the pro-Western Orange Revolution I saw here in 2004, but innocence is missing after nine years of lost hope.

WALSH (on camera): But this is the key difference about the protests of 2013, these fortifications, that they feel the need to hide behind, barricades put up with the advice of military veterans, and I think it's fair to say amongst the crowd here, a sense of nervousness coupled with frustration that it had to come back on the streets.

WALSH (voice-over): Oleg leads dozens who fought for the Soviets in Afghanistan but now say they fight for Ukraine again, shielding the protest.

WALSH (on camera): He's going to show us the barricade they've put up, saying the snow works just like sand does in bags when it freezes up like this. Just saying it's mostly men here, whereas in 2004, you would really see a lot of it women, children, packing the square tight, coming out after work. Like the Bourgeois Revolution, this is 80, 70 percent men everywhere.

WALSH (voice-over): Oleg has supplies and a goal.

OLEG MIKHNUK, SOVIET ARMY VETERAN, AFGHAN WAR (through translator): Next year, it's 25 years since we left Afghanistan, but now we are in Maidan Square. All our lives, we have fought for the rights of citizens. The people here aren't for politicians, but for Ukraine.

WALSH (on camera): Are you ready to die for this cause?

MIKHNUK: Da.

WALSH (voice-over): But ordinary civilians fuel this protest.

WALSH (on camera): The scale and organization here, it's almost industrial, passed them out straight into the cold and also look at the respect for hygiene here, too. It just shows how committed the people are here to keeping this going for a long time.

WALSH (voice-over): Down the square, a younger generation who never knew the Soviets and learned of the Orange Revolution as children from their parents. This is a new fight about their future.

"If we don't support the idea of the revolution now," she says, "for us, our studies aren't needed because there for our future. With Russia, our country will have no development."

"Many of our friends study," her friend adds, "and then leave for Europe as there's no life here."

A protest without a leader, with ideas rather than demands, even in this cold, digging in for their second revolution in a decade.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALSH: Well, Nina, the real thing here, I think, is that both sides have significant leadership issues. Many are asking what went on in the last 72 hours with that police raid.

Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president, wouldn't have satisfied hard-liners who'd like to see him sweep in and clean the square, because they didn't mange that. Of course, he upset protesters. And then he upset Western diplomats whom he'd been promising hours earlier that he'd be gentle.

And then the protesters, they have a major leadership issue, too. They don't have a figurehead at the head of them. As we just said, there are a lot of vague ideas about improving life across the country, but no clear agenda and again, no singular figure who can lead them through negotiations. Real concerns about how you get this to end peacefully, Nina.

DOS SANTOS: All right, Nick Paton Walsh there, live on the scene in Kiev's Independence Square. Thanks so much for that.

Well, the Russian government says that it's not bullying Ukraine. Rather, it says that it's the European Union that's strong-arming this country at present. The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, says that he's interested only in cooperation, not coercion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We know about all the events that are taking place in Kiev at the moment, and all the political forces of the country. It is in the interest of the Ukrainian authorities to succeed. You need to work together on all these fears. We are not obligating anyone to do anything. This is our wish: to work together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: So, let's take a look at how some of the other countries around the world are responding to this crisis, particularly to the police crackdown on protesters that turned violent earlier on in the week.

Starting out with the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, he said that he is, quote, "deeply concerned at the government's decision to send in riot police against peaceful protesters."

That sentiment was echoed in the United States as well, where Secretary of State John Kerry expressed disgust at the clampdown. The State Department officials have said that the US could consider sanctions against Ukraine if the violence does continue.

Well, the subtext to all of this is, of course, energy, and we're going to be continuing on the theme of energy, because the United States is offering business -- 12 businesses $150 million in clean energy tax credits. The aim is to reduce pollution from the country's hefty manufacturing sector. It's all part of President Obama's climate action plan.

The US secretary for energy, Ernest Moniz, joins us now, live from New York, where he's just delivered the keynote address at the Platts Global Energy Outlook forum. Great to have you on the show --

ERNEST MONIZ, US ENERGY SECRETARY: Thank you, Nina.

DOS SANTOS: -- Secretary Moniz. It's great to see you again. Last time we spoke, it was Istanbul two weeks ago, and boy things have changed in the world since then. You've announced this tax credit, which is effectively what it is for these businesses, to try and make sure that you can mitigate the effects of heavy industry here. What are you expecting to obtain from it?

MONIZ: Well, the climate action plan of our president, first of all, is emphasizing that we need to use all of our energy sources, including fossil fuel. So, today, we announced actually two things. One is a major loan guarantee program for clean use of fossil fuels.

And secondly, as you alluded to, with the Treasury Department, we have offered $150 million of tax credits for a variety of technologies: renewables, batteries, storage technologies. Clearly, we are trying to move to a low-carbon future, and in doing so, frankly, we want to make sure that the United States captures a lot of the manufacturing of those new clean technologies.

DOS SANTOS: You're saying that you want to move towards a low-carbon future, but there's an automatic irony in the fact that the United States is undergoing one of the most unprecedented shale oil booms.

MONIZ: Yes. We believe that we -- first of all, we are supporting both the continued development of our oil and gas resources even as we push for low carbon. It's really not in conflict. For example, with the oil situation, we are greatly increasing our production.

October was the first month in two decades in which US crude oil production exceeded imports. Our imports are going down, our balance of payments is improving. But even so, we remain a large oil importer, and we continue to focus on reducing our oil dependence.

So, we are advancing efficient vehicles, we are advancing alternative fuels, like biofuels, we are advancing electric vehicles, so even as we produce more oil, we hope to be using less of it.

DOS SANTOS: Now, I know that I've asked you this question before, but considering we've got the opportunity of having you back on CNN, I'm going to put you on the spot again. It's currently illegal to export oil from the United States because of its strategic reserves.

Will you ever be able to free up that legislation and allow the United States to export some of that oil to counties that really need it?

MONIZ: Well, I cannot answer the question whether that will be changed in the future. It is correct, I think, your implication that the rule against exporting oil comes out of the 1970s, the oil embargo period, and of course, already going well beyond -- before that to President Eisenhower.

Already, there were concerns about growing oil imports, and consequently, the Congress in the 1970s did put these restrictions on oil experts, I might add, with the exception of Canada, to which we are exporting oil for refining.

So, I think there may be a re-look at this. We know, of course, that with the new oil resources producing a lot of light, sweet crude oil, there are some differentials in global prices, but whatever the case, the Department of Commerce will be in charge of doing that.

I might add, however, a different point. And that is that we are also greatly increasing our export of oil products. So, diesel fuel and the like we are now a considerable net exporter of oil products.

DOS SANTOS: US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, thank you so much for coming on the show.

MONIZ: Thank you, Nina.

DOS SANTOS: It was great to have you on CNN.

Now, let's move along and talk about the markets, because over there on the markets today was a very big day for one particular company, Hilton Worldwide, as it made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. It's the largest initial public offering for a hotel company in corporate history.

Our Zain Asher is live for us at the NYSE, where she's been following all of the action since the early start of day. How did it fare, Zain?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Nina. It did very well, actually. It jumped 8 percent right at the open. It traded within a very sort of tight range, roughly around $21 a share. It was priced yesterday at $20 a share.

So, as I've said, it's always very tricky to price an IPO, a lot of work goes into it, but it does look like the underwriters did a pretty good job with this one. They sort of read investor demand right, they valued it fairly, they priced it fairly. And also, it was very actively traded, roughly 70 million shares changing hands.

Switching gears, though, I do have some economic data to report to you today. The Dow actually ended down about 104 points. And basically, the economic data pretty much came in mixed.

So on the one hand, not so good, you had jobless claims. They rose about 68,000 to 368,000. The Labor Department says there's no major factor influencing this, but you do tend to see some volatility around this time of year.

On the other hand, retail sales did pretty well, rising 0.7 percent in November. It is interesting, because we do know that Black Friday holiday sales didn't come in too great. These retailers offered a very, very steep discount, so even though sales were good, it's going to be interesting to see how they did in terms of margin and profit. And of course, the big question everyone is asking, what does this mean for tapering? Nina?

DOS SANTOS: Yes. Thanks so much, Zain Asher there, live at the New York Stock Exchange, bringing us the action.

Well, we heard earlier from the US energy secretary just moments ago about how fracking has been changing the nature of the world's largest economy. One of those ways is by encouraging manufacturers back into the United States to produce their products. I'm going to be speaking to the president of Michelin after this break, live from his new plant. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: Welcome back, you're watching QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Michelin today threw open the doors on a brand-new manufacturing plant in South Carolina. The tire-maker is set to begin production in January for commercial sale as of mid next year.

The new facility will make the world's largest tires, and here to tell us all about it is the chairman and president of Michelin North America, Pete Selleck. He joins us now, live from Starr, South Carolina, which is obviously the location of their new facility.

This is -- thanks so much for coming on the show, by the way, Pete Selleck. This is a huge investment for a company like yours. Why do you feel so confident you can do this now in America?

PETE SELLECK, CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT, MICHELIN NORTH AMERICA: Well, this new plant is very, very exciting. We've just opened it up. It's making, as you said, earth mover tires. And the market in the mining industry requires that technologically we make better products to support the larger and larger trucks that are necessary in mining today.

We have special innovation and technology that is really demanded by our customers, both the mines and the constructors that make the large equipment. We started a plant here 16 years ago about 100 miles from here in Lexington, South Carolina, making earth mover tires. We have completed the expansion of that plant, and now we have opened up our second plant.

And what's very interesting about this plant is that 80 percent of what's being manufactured here in Starr, Anderson, South Carolina, is going to be exported to the rest of the world. So not only are we building a plant in the United States, but we're building a plant that's exporting to the rest of the world

DOS SANTOS: And presumably, you're going to be creating jobs. That is something that America badly needs these days as the recovery remains pretty anemic.

SELLECK: Well, exactly right. We -- with this investment between the two plants, we're putting in $750 million, we're creating 500 new manufacturing jobs, and we're hiring production employees, reliability technicians, engineers, business unit leaders.

And we're finding these people right here. We're having no trouble finding folks. Obviously, there's a lot of demand. But the big challenge for us is with reliability technicians.

And we've had a very good partnership with the local technical colleges that allow us to basically find people as early as high school, get them trained, and get them in, and start them at very, very good salaries on very good career paths within our company.

DOS SANTOS: Do you think that the future really now is starting to turn for America and American manufacturing? A lot of companies, like yours, seem to be making big investments back in the United States after they had mothballed plants 5, 6, 7 years ago. If you had to sum up 2014, how do you see it?

SELLECK: Well, we're pretty optimistic about next year. Most indications say that GDP in the United States should increase between 2.5 and 3 percent, which is greater than it's been the last year. But that optimism is also based on the fact that manufacturing really remains very strong in the United States.

Most people think manufacturing has deserted the US, but manufacturing output in the United States today is at record levels. Now, what's changed is that fewer people are working in manufacturing because our plants have become much more efficient.

So obviously, the types of jobs have changed, the skills required of our workers are different, they're higher, and we're finding those folks. But modern manufacturing is certainly very much alive and well here in the United States.

DOS SANTOS: Pete Selleck there, the chairman and president of Michelin North America. Thanks so much for joining us there from that new plant, Starr, North -- South Carolina. And they're going to be employing, as he was saying before, some 500 jobs.

Well, after the break, Slovenia knows the extent of its banking problem, and it's doing everything it can to try and avoid a bailout from other countries. We'll get the view from Ljubljana next. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOS SANTOS: Welcome back. Slovenia has revealed the cost of cleaning up its banking system. An independent audit released just today uncovered a $6.6 billion hole here in the bank's balance sheets for this country.

Slovenia's government insists that it doesn't need a bailout at the moment. Instead, it says will inject around about $4 billion into the three biggest banks in the country in an effort to try and prop up that banking system.

Now, joining us tonight from Ljubljana is Denis Ostir, who's the news editor of POP TV. Denis, great to have you on the show, especially from the Slovenian capital. So, are you surprised by this figure that's been put forward?

DENIS OSTIR, NEWS EDITOR, POP TV: Well, the figure hasn't surprised anyone. What was discussed over here was number that were even higher, up to 8 billion euros. So the figure right now is 4.8 billion, that is the amount of -- that is the hole in the banking sector.

The government will have to put up 3 billion to save the three major banks. However, it is also saying that five additional banks, which are not state-owned, the owners of those banks will have to make sure that they put additional capital into their banks.

If they don't do it in six months, then those banks might get nationalized as well, and additional money will be taken from the state budget to solve the problem. As said, the government says it has 5 billion euros set aside to save these three major banks, which are NLB, Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor, and Abanka. And it should begin doing that probably by the end of April.

Apart from putting money in these banks, it will also take out about 4 billion euros worth of bad debt, put it aside on a separate company, and try to sell that off. We will not give the companies -- the banks cash, it will do sort of a partial deal.

DOS SANTOS: Yes.

OSTIR: Two billion will be in cash, and about a billion in convertible bonds.

DOS SANTOS: Denis, what about the fact that Slovenia wants to go it alone? There's a real, real risk here that the country will find itself in even worse financial situation just as the economic tide has turned in the rest of Europe. Are you personally worried about that?

OSTIR: There was a lot of discussion about that today as well following the press conference where these 3 billion were announced. There was a special briefing by the minister of finance and the president of the central bank, and they were pretty clear about -- pretty blunt about it, saying the economy needs to pick up.

If the economy doesn't pick up, if the banks are not able to lend money to companies, this might mean that an additional bailout will be needed. The government is certain that this will be enough. It has the power, it has the money to do everything on their own. However, there is a substantial fear that if the economy doesn't pick up, there is going to have to be outside intervention.

Might I point out also that the -- temperature -- the feeling among people is also they want this to stop finally? They've been bailing out these two -- or three major banks for the last 23 years. This is not a first bailout for the state banks.

So, the folks are pretty much saying, you know what? We're going to give an additional 1800 euros per person out of their own pocket, out of the state budget, and we want to see results. And this is mainly what the folks here are saying. You know what? Let's get this done, let's get it over with, be it internal or outside help. It just needs to end finally.

DOS SANTOS: Denis Ostir, news editor of POP TV, thanks so much for coming on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS this evening. You make some excellent points there about the fact that this isn't the first time that we've seen banks bailed out there.

Well, there's lots to talk about in the banking sector, in particular the fact that the EU is now rewriting the rulebooks on its own failed banks, as you can see here. From 2015, shareholders and creditors will now have to bear the bulk of the losses here, not the taxpayers. Only in so- called exceptional circumstances will public money actually be used here.

The deal now needs to be signed off by EU governments and, of course, the EU parliament. As we all know, getting anything through that can also take time, too.

The bank -- the Vatican is also moving closer towards meeting international financial standards as well after raising eyebrows for a number of times on what has been called lax supervisory standards as well. It's doing a good job, it seems, of cleaning up its finances eventually, but more controls need to be implemented here to tackle issues like, for instance, money laundering as well as other financial crimes.

This is the final assessment coming from Moneyval, this is a European financial watchdog, the Vatican has been trying, as I was saying before, desperately to repair its reputation, especially of financial management after years of allegations of financial mismanagement. And of course, the new pope certainly has that in the top of his inbox.

Well, also in the banking sector, the men who once ran Iceland's largest bank are going to jail. A court in Reykjavik today sentenced the former chief executive and the chairman of Kaupthing Bank as well as two others to prison.

All four were convicted of deceiving the markets before the bank collapsed. That was back in 2008. Their sentences range from three to five and a half years, so three years for one, five and a half years for another couple as well.

And Ireland's construction sector, you may well remember, was heavily blamed for causing this country's own economic crisis. But now, some intrepid entrepreneurs, it seems, are helping to build a new future for Ireland. Jim Boulden went down to meet the few brave developers who've worked right through the economic storm.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A building site, a sight for sore eyes in a country which has suffered a five-year economic hangover.

BOULDEN (on camera): The global economic crisis led to a collapse in the value of houses and property here in Ireland, and that led to the bailout. So, these sights and sounds of construction are welcome, indeed, to the entrepreneurs who are doing the building.

BOULDEN (voice-over): The words "builder" and "developer" became synonymous with "boom and bust" in Ireland. Builder Brian McKeon suffered, though. His small family-owned construction company bought this piece of land for 15 million euro in 2007. He estimates it's now worth just 5 million euro. Until now, there was no point to start building the 59 apartments on this site, three miles from Dublin's city center.

BRIAN MCKEON, PROPERTY DEVELOPER: There was no appetite. The figures -- the prices weren't there. The money wasn't there from the financial institutions to build it.

BOULDEN: But now, an unusually sunny December day is only helping sentiment.

MCKEON: We've been very lucky with the weather.

BOULDEN: Brian and his family are doing their part to restart the key construction sector. But the government says, part of that rebuilding is to also concentrate on creating jobs outside of Dublin. There are fears the rest of the country is being left behind in the recovery. Entrepreneurs are being lured to the countryside by organizations such as Connect Ireland.

RICHIE HUGGARD, CONNECT IRELAND: Dublin is doing very well, but rural Ireland needs as much support as it can get also. So when we do identify a company, we will do our best to evaluate the sites throughout the entire country.

BOULDEN: One of those is Mafic, which set up in Kells, around a 90- minute drive from Dublin.

BRIAN DOUGAN, OWNER, MAFIC: And we're hoping that there might be interest in using basalt instead, because it's a higher-quality product.

BOULDEN: A start-up that hopes its basalt fiber will compete with glass fiber used in the aerospace and automotive sectors.

DOUGAN: This is our first plant globally, and we intend to roll out plants elsewhere. So, what we're looking for was somewhere where we had good quality staff, well educated, who would be able to learn to actually bring their own contributions and help us actually make the thing work.

BOULDEN: And Ireland no longer needing a bailout could help.

HUGGARD: We're climbing out of it, and now that we are exiting the bailout, we're the first country to exit the bailout, which is a very positive sign. So, I think countries who are looking at expanding -- or companies who are looking to come to Europe should focus on that.

BOULDEN: Some entrepreneurs have been here right through the recession. New Zealander "Buzz" Fendall, known as "the Bald Barista," told us three years ago he would stick it out. Now, he's hiring more staff ahead of expansion.

(LAUGHTER)

"BUZZ" FENDALL, "BALD BARISTA": More than 19 months or 2 years, we'll certainly be looking at a third place.

BOULDEN (on camera): Yes. And so, you're a good example, then, of someone who has the confidence to take the risk. Others may not be able to do that, or decide not to do that, but you're going to do that.

FENDALL: I've always been a gambler, all or nothing. And quite simply, it is all or nothing, especially in the times that we've got now.

BOULDEN: Again, nobody lives there.

BOULDEN (voice-over): Back on the building site, McKeon says the worst appears over.

MCKEON: We've worked hard to get to where we are. We've taken some pretty stiff medicine, and I think the whole -- the whole economy is looking good.

BOULDEN: He'll know for sure when these go on sale in late 2014.

Jim Boulden, CNN, Dublin, Ireland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: When it comes to property, people say location is everything. But what if you want to develop an emerging market? How do you (inaudible) the next hot address? And what defines prime real estate? Every week on "One Square Meter," join me as we go into the property business. We'll explore the latest building designs, talk to those driving growth and find out where investors are moving in next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: Hello and welcome back. I'm Nina Dos Santos. These are the main news headlines that we're following for you on CNN this hour. Ukraine's deputy prime minister said that Kiev may soon sign a free trade agreement with the European Union according to Reuters. This comment comes just a day after the president of Ukraine held talks with European and U.S. officials. Despite the positive words, thousands of protesters still continue to pack into Kiev's Independence Square. An infamous leader has become the first person to be executed for war crimes in Bangladesh. Abdul Quader Mollah as the 'Butcher of Mirpur' was hanged earlier today in Dhaka. He was convicted for crimes against humanity dating back to 1971, committed during the country's war for independence. There's now concern that his execution has sparked violence on the streets. There were huge lines in Pretoria for a second day as mourners continue to pay their respects to the South African leader Nelson Mandela. The crowds have been so large that many people had to be turned away when viewing hours ended just before sunset. Mourners will have one final chance to pay their respects and to see Nelson Mandela's body on Friday. CNN affiliate ITB News spoke with Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie. She says that she was with the former leader when he passed away after his dialysis machine was switched off.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, EX-WIFE OF NELSON MANDELA: They switched off the dialysis. I watched those (figures) going down and down so slowly. And then he drew his last breath and just rested.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

DOS SANTOS: The South African government is trying to locate the owners of SA Interpreters. This is the company that apparently supplied the sign language interpreter at the Mandela memorial. One minister said that the owners seem to have vanished. The government admits that it makes -- had made mistakes about memorial and says that it's examining how the interpreter was vetted. Our David McKenzie's actually spoken to the interpreter and questioned himself and he joins us now live from South Africa. David, some say he's a fake. He says that he wasn't a fake. What message did you get from him?

DAVID MCKENZIE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL BASED IN BEIJING, CHINA: Well the message I got, Nina, was that he's defiant and he called himself a champion of sign language. That's not really the message coming from experts here in South Africa and abroad who said that while this man, Thamsanqa Jantjie, spent those several hours interpreting for world leaders and others during the memorial for Nelson Mandela, that what he signed was in fact pointless and rubbish. So, when I met up with the man and tracked him down, he said he's been doing this for several years including for President Jacob Zuma in the past few years. And he said he knows what he's doing. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

THAMSANQA JANTJIE, MANDELA MEMORIAL INTERPRETER: I've never, ever, ever in my life have anything that said I've interpreted wrong. You can go through all the medias of South Africa. I've been interpreting through all the medias of South Africa. Even if you can see my portfolio, I've been in papers for a very long time. No single one said I'm interpreting the wrong interpretation.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

MCKENZIE: Well, that's not in fact correct because at least a couple of organizations have told us that they complained about him some years ago. So the question now is how did he end up at such a high-profile event in front of thousands in that stadium, and in fact millions around the world, doing such a crucial job which he appears to not be able to do? He told us that he is suffering from schizophrenia, that he's on medication but he didn't indicate that that was in fact hampering his performance in any way. We went to the company's address on his business card. They said they're an events company of no link to this man. So that's kind of where the trail runs dry at this point. The government is saying they're investigating the matter. They say while they made mistakes, they did vet him for security, they say. But, again, a question's being asked how he ended up in this very high-profile role during this very important event for South Africa.

DOS SANTOS: The mystery continues. Thanks so much for that, David McKenzie there live in South Africa with that interview with the interpreter in question. Now nude images, jilted lovers and a website that puts them all together. The man accused of running what's being called a revenge porn site says that he hasn't broken the law. We'll have the details and analysis straight ahead.

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DOS SANTOS: Hello, welcome back. It's a sordid tale of a website allegedly set up for explicit photos posted without the permission of those people who are actually pictured in them. This is what we're talking about -- authorities in California have accused 27-year-old Kevin Bollaert of running what they call a 'revenge porn' site here. Excuse me. Court documents allege that Bollaert created this website used by angry ex- boyfriends and internet trolls to posters that are seeing those images without a person's permission. Prosecutors send -- say that the -- he then set up a second website charging 350 or dollars to remove these pictures from the sites. As you can see, obviously creates quite an issue, doesn't it? With two websites in question. Authorities believe that Bollaert, and he is seen behind me, made tens of thousands of dollars from this particular process. Bollaert spoke to CNN affiliate KFMB and denied breaking the law. He says that he's now finished with the business. Let's bring in a fan of the campaign called "End Revenge Porn." Holly Jacobs joins us now live from CNN Miami. She was herself a victim of Revenge Porn for more than three years and subsequently set up the campaign group to try and end this. Great to have you on the show. Just share your personal experiences briefly, if I may, about how damaging this particular scenario is because it's a growing problem.

HOLLY JACOBS, FOUNDER, "END REVENGE PORN": Yes, this -- it can absolutely affect every aspect of your life. I mean, me personally, it affected me psychologically. I was put through unimaginable trauma because of this. It affected me professionally -- I had to change my job because information about where I worked and what time I was at my workplace was posted along with these photos, and I was afraid of getting physically stalked. I had to legally change my name because of this just because it could be damaging to my professional reputation, and I was pursuing my PhD in industrial organizational psychology at the time. So, I needed to escape this somehow and I went to the police, I went to the FBI, I had lawyers help me out here and there but I kept running into dead ends every step and that's why I eventually ended up launching the End Revenge Porn campaign and tried to petition to change the laws across the U.S.

DOS SANTOS: And what kind of stories have you been hearing from people who have been just calling you up and saying this is a huge problem, it's a personal problem for myself -

JACOBS: Right.

DOS SANTOS: -- and they have so many stories like yours. How many people have been communicating with your campaign here.

JACOBS: We've had thousands of victims contact us from all over the world. So, this isn't just happening in the U.S., its -- we've had a lot of victims contact us from the U.K., from Japan, from France, from India, from South America. This is a worldwide issue, and they're telling me the same kinds of stories that I expected to hear just having been a victim of it and knowing what they go through. They've lost their jobs, some of them have changed their names just like me, some of them have been driven to living on food stamps because they can't get a job after they lost their job, because of this material and the kind of reputation that it builds for them on the internet. Nobody wants to hire them with that kind of baggage whether or not, you know, what's being portrayed about them on the internet is true. So it's -

DOS SANTOS: So the damage --

JACOBS: I mean that -- sorry.

DOS SANTOS: So, Holly, the damage that you're talking about here is tangible. If anybody was to stand up you know in a court of law, they would have good grounds to say, look, I've lost my identity. Some people might say they've lost their dignity or almost lost their dignity --

JACOBS: Yes.

DOS SANTOS: -- and lost their job. There've been economic consequences here.

JACOBS: Yes.

DOS SANTOS: Let's just highlight how the laws really don't yet keep up to date with what's going on on the internet, because everybody has a camera phone, everybody has a webcam these days, and a lot more people are actually sending things to each other that they don't want used as blackmail later on.

JACOBS: Right. I mean, that is -- at the most basic level we can say that the laws just are not keeping up with technology. I mean, technology is advancing at such a fast rate. An iPhone is obsolete after a year, and the laws just aren't keeping up with this. But Revenge Porn is absolutely a form of harassment and stalking that's occurring on the internet, and more than that, it's a form of domestic violence and sexual assault that's happening on the internet. And that's what my campaign is trying to bring attention to, and the campaign is actually part of a non-profit that I've formed -- the Cyber Civil Rights initiative. So, after we managed to end Revenge Porn as much as we can and get legislation on -- in place and help the victims, then we're going to move on to other campaigns that are going to help other victims of different forms of cyber harassment that are occurring online.

DOS SANTOS: And we wish you the best of luck with those endeavors and those efforts. Thanks so much for that. Holly Jacobs there --

JACOBS: Thank you.

DOS SANTOS: -- heading that campaign to end Revenge Porn. Now let's change (inaudible) and bring you some news that we've had in to CNN just in the last hour or so. The North Korean state news agency has announced that Kim Jong Un's uncle -- this is Jang Sung-taek -- has been executed. The hermit state announced just last week that Jang had been dismissed from his post for a string of criminal acts. Jang has been considered one of the most powerful people in North Korea, and CNN will continue to follow that story and bring you the latest throughout the course of the next few hours. Do stay with us as "Quest Means Business" continues after this short break.

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RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND REPORTER HOST OF "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" SHOW: It's a winter wonderland best of "Business Traveller." On the ice, we're looking back on the highlights of 2013 -- the countries, the gadgets and the road warriors. Santa, ho, ho, hello, Richard. Join me for the fun of the fair.

Male: Catch "CNN Business Traveller" Saturday on CNN.

DOS SANTOS: Hello and welcome back. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission voted three to two to consider lifting the ban on cell phone use in flights. Rene joins us live from Washington. Rene, this will be music to the ears of many travelers, but I suppose people are just wondering is it safe to use cell phones:

RENE MARSH, AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I traveled out to Boeing and we tested our cell phones in their lab there and they told us their selves that there really is no danger as far as a phone bringing a plane down. There's no record of a phone actually being able to bring down a plane. So, the folks there at Boeing seem to think that it's not an issue, granted the airplane has the appropriate technology onboard to handle the signals. That being said, you just mention it -- this -- the FCC voted three to two to consider lifting its ban on flight -- on inflight cell phone use. We're talking about voice calls as well as texting. Now, the Commission says the new technology that is around these days, it eliminates interference with cell towers on the ground, and that was the original reason for the decades-old ban. Now, one FCC commissioner said he's been bombarded with letters from opponents. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

AJIT PAI, FCC COMMISSIONER: Many of these messages were quite colorful. One person wrote quote, "It's bad enough being herded like cattle on these planes without having to listen to boorish idiots have needless conversations on their cell phones."

(END VIDEOCLIP)

MARSH: All right, well in Congress a new Senate bill today aimed to ban those calls. It joins the Republican Bill Shuster's House proposal that was made recently as well. Nina.

JACOBS: All right, Rene Marsh, there joining us with the latest on that FCC three to two vote. Thanks so much for that. Well, the digital music streaming company Spotify has just announced that its service will be expanding to mobile. CNNMoney's Laurie Segall calls up the Spotify's founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, to get more on the company's fans.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY: Hey there, big news from increasingly popular music app, Spotify. Free mobile streaming where you can shuffle play your favorite artists or playlists. Now, because it's free you're still going to be listening to those ads and if you want to bypass the ads, then actually be able to choose the specific song you're listening to instead of shuffling through, you got to pay $10 a month for Spotify's premium model. So, how's that they will the company encourage people to pay if they're giving away even more for free? I asked founder and CEO Daniel Ek.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

DANIEL EK, CEO AND FOUNDER, SPOTIFY: We're a data-driven company, so actually we've been experimenting with this for months and months. Actually, we started over a year ago experimenting with this model, and what we see is the same thing that we see in all the past data which is the more you play music, the more likely you are to pay.

SEGALL: The way we've listened to music has completely evolved. I mean, where are we going to be listening to music in five, ten years? I mean, what's the device?

EK: Well, I think -- I think it's all changing. I mean, right now, the (bold) device is obviously huge. But I think in the future, we're going to be looking at other types of wearables -- like watches -

SEGALL: Yes.

EK: -- and glasses and all that. A couple of weeks ago I tried on a sweater that had speakers in them.

SEGALL: My.

EK: So, who knows whether that will take off. But one thing we know at Spotify is that we want to be everywhere where music is. So we're building Spotify into more things, whether its home stereos or potentially even wearable jackets, who knows? You know, as much as I'm excited about (inaudible) how people listen to music, the secret dream I have is to be able to impact how people create music.

SEGALL: How would you change the way people create music?

EK: Well, we don't know that yet --

SEGALL: OK.

EK: -- so to begin with. But imagine a future where you have something that is probably a mix between a music video but also some interactive portion to it.

SEGALL: Yes.

EK: What if a song was different from every single person that listened to it? What if there was a visual component that altered to the mood that I had? What if there are multiple versions of the song that fits different types of moods but still has that catchy lyrics or a (touching) thing that just relates to me? I don't know what the answer is. I think it -- we're just in, as I said, the early days of this whole revolution around music.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

SEGALL: Now, some of that may sound crazy but you've got to remember, this is coming from the guy who convinced millions of people that they don't need to own music -- they don't even need to download it, just stream it from the internet. The company just announced they extended it twenty more countries, so as you can see, Daniel Ek -- he's showing no signs of slowing down.

DOS SANTOS: So, that's Laurie Segall from CNNMoney talking to Daniel Ek of Spotify. Let's head back into the realm of general news now and bring you more on that news. The North Korean state news agency KCNA has announced that Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Sung-taek, it seems has been executed. Let us bring you some more details about exactly what's been said over the last few days. The hermit state announced just last week you may remember that Chang had been dismissed from his post for what they called a series of criminal acts. Jang has been considered so far to be one of the most powerful people within the hermit state. You may remember also that scenes emerged over the last couple of days of him being dramatically removed from a Communist Party session by armed guards earlier on this week. He was accused it seems of forming factions in North Korea against the state. They also accused him of corruption and depraved acts such as, again, womanizing and drug abuse -- these are things that have come across according to KCNA. KCNA, the Korean state news agency has also been saying that Mr. Jang was executed immediately after a military trial on Thursday, calling him "a traitor" and accusing him of seeking to overthrow the state. He'd already, it seems, been stripped of his official titles from the party, and has been referred to as I was saying before as Jang Sung-taek. This is the uncle of the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. He is one of the most powerful people -- or was one of the most powerful people -- up until very recently inside the hermit state. But he was dramatically removed from one of their sessions just late last week and then as I was saying before, he has been reported as having been executed immediately after a military trial which took place on Thursday, calling him a traitor, accusing him of various criminal acts including the acts of corruption.

All of this has come amid various scenes and reported scenes of a purge within Kim Jong Un's government over there in the hermit state of North Korea. We're hoping to speak to our correspondent on the scene, Paula Hancocks in Seoul who is obviously in South Korea later on throughout the course of the show. But in the meantime, that's the update that we have so far on what North Korea's state news agency has been announcing about the uncle of Kim Jong Un. Stay with us.

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DOS SANTOS: Welcome back. There's been some breaking news we've had in this hour -- North Korea's state news agency has announced that Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Sung-taek, has been executed. This followed a military tribunal apparently which happened on Thursday. Paula Hancocks joins us now live on the line from Seoul in South Korea to put this into context. Paula, is this part of the ongoing purge that we seem to be seeing under Kim Jong Un's term?

PAULA HANCOCKS, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL BASED IN SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Absolutely, Nina. I think there will be some people, though, that will be quite surprised that Jang Sung-taek has been executed. He is, after all, Kim Jong Un's uncle. But we have seen a dramatic fall from grace for him in the recent days -- earlier this week. We heard from North Korea that he had been fired from all of his positions.

He was effectively the second most powerful man in North Korea, and what we were hearing from state-run television is the reason Kim Jong Un fired him from those posts was because Jang Sung-taek was trying to build a (fraction) of his own, and trying to build a power base. Now, what we're hearing this Friday morning here in Korea is some state-run media once again as you've heard they broadcast their news that he has been executed and also that the reason for that is because there was a special military tribunal and that they did realize and judge that he was trying to get power from Kim Jong Un, he was trying to create a power base of his own, to create a separate (fraction) within the ruling Workers' Party and he was trying to take power.

Now, of course this is a very, very public warning to anybody else within North Korea who is thinking of trying to take power from Kim Jong Un, whether or not this is actually accurate whether he was trying to build his own (fraction) is something we will never know. This is obviously what we're being told by North Korea and it's a very isolated country, it's not a country that you can find out information freely, so you have to take what the North Korean state media is saying at face value. But it just goes to show that Kim Jong Un is consolidating power, he is making a very public show of power and making sure that everybody else within the country knows that if you don't support him, then this is what will happen. So it is a very strong message coming from the young leader. Nina.

DOS SANTOS: A strong message indeed. Thanks so much -- Paula Hancocks there joining us from Seoul in South Korea. We now join Jim Clancy for more on this breaking story.

END