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Independent Turkish Newspapers Targeted As Terrorist Organizations; Shinzo Abe Wins Snap Parliamentary Elections; U.S. Senate Passes Spending Bill; Senate Passes Spending Bill; Russia Denies Reports of Near Midair Collision; Women Hit Hardest in Ebola Outbreak; "Jetman" Flies High Over Dubai; Middle East Internet Penetration; Computing Competition; Robust Retail; Online and In-Store; Tapping the Online Pool

Aired December 14, 2014 - 11:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN HOST: Turkey's fight for media freedom: an angry standoff in Istanbul after a raid on the offices of a popular newspaper. We're going

to tell you why fingers are pointing at President Tayyip Recep Erdogan.

Also ahead, vindication for Shinzo Abe: Japan's prime minister seems on course for a sweeping victory in snap parliamentary elections.

And flying high above Dubai. We're going to talk with the so-called Jetman about his latest aerial adventure.


CLANCY: Hello and welcome everyone.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears set to silence his critics after apparently trouncing the competition in snap parliamentary elections.

Exit polls show his Liberal Democratic Party taking around 300 seats in the 475 seat lower house. Mr. Abe called for the vote last month to shore up

support for his economic politics. Of course, those are known as Abenomics.

Japan unexpectedly slipped back into a recession of the third quarter. There was some misgiviung about the way that he was charting a course, but

the voters have given him a mandate.

So, one challenge has been successfully met, but many more await Mr. Abe and the Japanese people as Will Ripley explains.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before this surprise snap election here in Japan, many thought the prime minister Shinzo Abe was taking a political

gamble, a gamble that appears to have paid off.

Members of the ruling party there, giving the traditional Japanese call of victory as the prime minister thanked the Japanese public for what exit

polls show is a landslide victory for his ruling coalition. Not only did they appear to hold their majority in the lower house, but they have

actually gained seats if the exit polls are correct.

So what does this mean? It means that the prime minister will have four more years to institute his plan of economic reforms known as Abenomics,

flooding the market with cash, encouraging corporations to create more jobs and increasing government spending, all of this an attempt to revive the

Japanese economy after nearly two decades of stagnation. So far, the policy has been a mixed bag.

There was a very unpopular sales tax increase earlier this year that helped push Japan into a surprise recession. The yen is at a seven year low. And

in this country that relies on imports when the yen is weak. A lot of things at the grocery store are much more expensive. So it's really hurting

Japanese consumers and small and mid-sized businesses. And many voters are expressing apathy. It's one reason that the voter turnout in this snap

election was so low.

But the prime minister says this is a mandate from the Japanese people to stay the course and keep pushing ahead with Abenomics and hopefully, he

says, give the Japanese people the economic revival that he promised when he was first elected two years ago, and apparently now tonight reelected

for another four years.

Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.


CLANCY: Now to Turkey and a very tense situation. At least 23 people were arrested in what some are calling a politically motivated crackdown.

The raids targeted supporters of a group at odds with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to state media, the suspects were arrested for,

and I'm quoting here, "forming, leading and being a member of an armed terrorist organization with the intent of toppling the Turkish government."

Journalist Andrew Finkel joins us now from Instanbul with more.

An armed terror organization? These are journalists that have reported on corruption charges against Mr. Erdogan and a very, you know, enthusiastic

way. But what terror group is there?

ANDREW FINKEL, JOURNALIST: Well, the government is saying that the -- it was barely a year ago that there were a series of police raids against

senior figures in the government -- ministers' sons were detained, the head of a state bank was arrested with a huge amount of money in his bedroom in

shoe boxes. The government said that this was all a plot by the people associated with this newspaper that was attacked today, a plot to overthrow

it. And he called it a coup.

So, a year later basically the government is showing who is boss. It staged a series of police raids against major newspapers. It's not just newspaper

men who have been arrested, it's been people who write television series -- a television series, which have a storyline which goes against the

government. This is really an attempt by the government, or so it appears, to really put this opposition movement in its place, Jim.

CLANCY: I see some of the charges, you know, it mention lies and slanders, that's not new. But I think, you know, I have many colleagues, I'm sure

that you do as well, who are very aware of the fact that the president -- President Erdogan does not like critical questions. If he doesn't like the

questions, he will shut down the camera. He may strip search the crew.

FINKEL: That is the case. Indeed, what we've seen in the last year is that a lot of journalists who have taken lines against the government or who

have simply participated in their free time in demonstrations against the government or just know not to like the government find themselves losing

their jobs.

We've had evidence of the prime minister himself, or now President Erdogan, telephoning the television boss and saying, you know, I don't like the

banner at the bottom of your television station or broadcast, please take it away. Or having public fights with journalists who disagree with him.

So, you know, the fact that he's using the full force of the law to come down against the newspaper, which used to support him, but no longer

support him, but no longer supports him, it doesn't come as a great surprise, Jim, perhaps.

CLANCY: Let me ask you there, very important question, but I've got to ask you to give me an answer that's very short. Is the media sticking together

in this one? Is the media standing up for their own rights?

FINKEL: No, the media is incredibly polarized and divided. And that's part of the problem, of course. You have a pro-government media which, for which

the government can do no wrong, which supports these attacks, which supports these raids. And then you have a very small independently-minded

media which is saying you know hang on chaps, we all have to hang together or we're going to hang separately. But they're not being listened to, Jim.

CLANCY: Andrew Finkel giving us the bottom line there. That's sad news as well, Andrew. Thanks.

FINKEL: Well, from Boston to San Francisco to New York City, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of major U.S. towns on Saturday

protesting the deaths of African-American men at the hands of police.

Grand jury decisions, too, are criticized, the ones in Missouri and New York that decided not to indict officers after the death of a member of a

minority. Family members of some of the men who were killed appeared at the demonstration in the capital and CNN's Nick Valencia has more from




NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): They came by the hundreds for a justice march in the nation's capital. Some were bussed in

by organizers from nearby states.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I live in New York.

VALENCIA: Others walked a few minutes to get here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from D.C. I'm in Glover Park.

VALENCIA: Power in numbers from across the United States.

This man says he showed up with his familiar I had to show his infant son that his future can be better than his present.

ANTHONY PASSMORE, DC RESIDENT: Ii want a future for them to actually be able to do what they want to be, be what they want to be. They say this is

the land of opportunity and land of freedom. Let them live life. Let them choose the direction and which way they want to go.

VALENCIA: Eleven-year-old Wallis was one of the youngest demonstrators.

(on camera): Show me what's on your shirt. What does that shirt say?


VALENCIA: Why are you wearing it?

KYLE: To like show that, like, it's unfair what happened to Eric Garner.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Garner's family spoke to the crowd, so did relatives of others that lost their sons at the hands of police, including the father

of Mike Brown, the unarmed teen killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Their message...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will get justice for our children.

VALENCIA: Also in the crowd, Washington, D.C.'s police chief who said she showed up to stand in solidarity with the community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For many, many years, there's been a feeling that the justice system doesn't treat everybody equally. That's been -- you know,

when I was coming up through school and studying law enforcement, the justice system has to treat everybody equally. Black, white, rich, poor,

and that's always been an issue. This is not a new issue. It's just an issue that now is very, very emotional, and very, very wrong. It has to be


VALENCIA: Addressed here in Washington, D.C., and beyond.


CLANCY: And still to come tonight on Connect the World, we look at the details of that media crackdown in Turkey. At least 23 people rounded up

and arrested. We'll be live in Ankara and Istanbul. And we'll get two different points of view.


CLANCY: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Jim Clancy. Welcome back everyone.

I want to return to our top story now, the arrests in Turkey of about two dozen people. Several media outlets were raided by police across the

country -- television producers, newspaper editors. Those targeted all said to be supporters of this man, the U.S.-based Imam Fetullah Gulen. He was

once a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but since a public split in 2013, media outlets close to Gulen have been critical of the

Erdogan government. The Erdogan government says too critical.

This is just the latest in this ongoing struggle over freedom of speech in Turkey. Ironically, these two camps are really both aimed at the same

audience, that is conservative Muslims in Turkey.

Let's take a look at some of the recent examples, though. In April of 2013, pianist Faisal Sai (ph), was convicted of insulting Islam online. He was

given a 10 month suspended sentence.

In the months that followed, anti-government protesters took to the streets and relied heavily on social media to publicize their demonstrations.

Then in March of this year, the government blocked access to Twitter for two weeks.

In June, the Supreme Court forced a similar ban on video sharing site YouTube to be lifted.

Reporters Without Borders says by the end of last year, there were at least 60 journalists in Turkish jails. That watchdog calls Turkey one of the

world's biggest prisons for media personnel. They are joined in that assessment by the International Press Institute.

Let's talk about the wider issues of freedom of speech in Turkey. I'm joined now by Bozkurt. He's a columnist for Zaman, one of the publications

targeted in today's raids. He joins us from Ankara.

Your view of what is happening in Turkey today to the media under this government.

ABDULLAH BOZKURT, ZAMAN COLUMNIST: Well, Jim, it's very simple. We found out the senior government officials and their family members, they have all

involved in a major corruption scandal in the Republic's history, which involved $87 billion. And when we started writing about that and exposing

to the public from the case file, then we became a target by the same government and it's as simple as that.

We are the largest newspaper in Turkey with 1 million readers every day. And if you targeted the largest one, then everybody else in the media

landscape, they fall into line, they tow the line. So, I think that is the part of the campaign that we saw today.

CLANCY: Abdullah, you are also -- your newspaper is also seen as a supporter of Fetullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric that is now -- he was once

a supporter of Mr. Erdogan. He's changed his mind and it seems that you have as well. Are those charges justified?

BOZKURT: I think we have been critical of the government whenever we see some major corruption, you know, or wrongdoings going on in the government.

And they -- but we didn't realize the magnitude and the extent of the corruption until this case was exposed a year ago. Now that we are

approaching the anniversary of this corruption investigation, the government is trying to target the largest media group, trying to create a

distraction for the public opinion so to feed the line, to fee the news cycle and hoping to get away with it.

And the reason they are getting a gag order on this corruption file is also to serve the same purpose. They want to wrap this up under the carpet. They

don't want the people to talk about it. It doesn't matter whether you are a journalist or not.

If you a judge who are issuing a judgment that doesn't into the liking of the government, President Erdogan may come the next day and can easily

accuse this judge as a traitor.

And the same thing happened actually when the constitutional court overruled the Twitter and YouTube ban, it was bashed by President Erdogan

in public rallies. And the same goes for the business people when they raise -- yeah.

CLANCY: Yeah, Abdullah, you're painting a picture here of everybody is in it, everybody is susceptible to it. Is it a systemic problem in Turkey, or

is it a problem with Mr. Erdogan?

BOZKURT: I think both. This is a one-man show, no doubt about that. We have a president who is pulling the strings. We have a caretaker government,

very low profile prime minister. And he is a man whose calling the shots.

But it also indicates, as a systemic problem within the government of Turkey. The institution is not strong enough to resist this kind of

intervention, the freedom of speech or freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. And that's why you can easily find very friendly, very loyalist

judge who as to the release the corruption suspects, you know, months ago the same judge will sign up the arrest warrant for the editor-in-chiefs of

the largest newspaper in Turkey today as well as the editor-in-chief of this newspaper, but also graphic designers, director and producer of a very

popular TV series. They were all get arrested by the same judge order.

CLANCY: All right, Abdullah Bozkurt, a columnist there in -- he's joining us from Ankara tonight. I want to thank you very much for being with us and

giving us your point of view in all of this.

Now we're going to get another...

BOZKURT: Thanks for having me.

CLANCY: All right, we're going to get another point of view, the experience of journalists at Zaman differs from some of the pro-Erdogan camp. I want

to bring in one of those voices now. It's Ceren Kenar. I hope I'm saying that right.

Ceren, thank you so much for being with us.

These people are accused of being part of a terrorist plot. Do you see a terror plot? What's the organization?

CEREN KENAR, JOURNALIST, TUKRIYE: Well, of course, I'm not in a position to give a judgment about these allegations, however, there is severe

accusations against the Gulen movement claiming that (inaudible) is not simply a civil society organization nor merely a religious (inaudible).

Some critics, and that includes the government as well as some secularist critics of the Gulen movement argue that the Gulen movement is a cult

group, a religious cult group that has been infiltrated into the key state institutions in Turkey such as law enforcement and judiciary.

And the Gulen movement is also accused of having illegal operations against their opponents and in fact forging evidence and fabricating legal cases

with their power within the judiciary against their opponents.

So, here we have a very complicated picture.

Of course there are good reasons to be worried about what is going on in Turkey given that the last -- the last decade of Turkey has witnessed

several violations of the rule of law. And the Gulen movement, which used to be an ally of the government and which has been quite effective within

the judiciary is accused of being one of the main actors who is culpable of that kind of violations of legal violations...

CLANCY: But let's get down to it, it's the media, it's the media reporting on corruption. It's the media reporting on politics. It's the media

reporting on all of the flaws the various leaders and political players may have. Should they be free to report all of this, or should they be in jail?

I mean, how are you calling this with your colleagues in the media?

KENAR: If you're asking -- yeah, if you're asking my personal opinion, my personal, honest opinion I think all journalists should be free. And I'm

quite worried that my peers have been held in custody and jailed in Turkey during the last decade and throughout Turkish history. So my personal

opinion is that there should be no limits for freedom of expression.

So, I -- that's why I can't make -- I can't take a position here. I'm giving you a full picture and I'm trying to give you a full picture and try

to explain why these journalists are -- what these journalists are accused of. I'm not trying to defend or justify that, of course.

But these journalists are accused of being a member of a cult organization. And they are accused of involving in a propaganda against an opposition

group of Gulen movement and a legal case followed that propaganda using that stories against that group as an evidence in court.


CLANCY: Ceren, you seem like a very smart young lady, and I'm just wondering if you don't see, as I more or less see even from this far away,

that people who criticize President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tend to fall into a lot of trouble with him, they tend to fall into a lot of trouble with the

authorities inside Turkey.

Are you worried about the future of journalism in that kind of an atmosphere? I mean, I can't imagine that there are a lot of journalists

that say, oh, I'd like to be the next one to go to jail, to be charged with terrorism.

KENAR: That's a good question. And I don't have a black and white answer for that question.

On many issues, I think Turkey has been developing significantly. For example, there used to be certain taboos in Turkey, which included the

freedom of expression, the Armenian question, the Kurdish question. Now as a journalist, I feel much more comfortable to report, to cover such issues

and in fact, you know, cover -- in fact, cover the stories regarding the PKK, which has been an outlaw terrorist organization by the Turkish state.

However, as you pointed out, we have a structural problem about media in Turkey. Maybe the limits of freedom of expression is expanding in Turkey.

However, do we have an independent media? Do we have an independent media, which is independent not only from the government, but also certain

business groups in Turkey? Well, I don't have a positive answer for that. Therefore, of course, in Turkey a journalist, we should try for having a

more independent media and honestly to give a full picture, the Turkish government is not only factor which impedes that, there are other factors -

- there are business relations, there is...

CLANCY: There's money. Yes, there's money.

KENAR: ... organizations, et cetera.

CLANCY: I have to leave it there. Ceren Kenar, you have made your point. There's politics, international politics, there's money and there are egos,

too. I want to thank you very much for giving us this point of view.

KENAR: Exactly.

CLANCY: Well, live from Atlanta, this is Connect the World. And still to come, up, up and away, the high flying Jetman is going to join me live

talking about his latest daredevil mission in Dubai, or Abu Dhabi. I'll double check.

And the United States Senate passing a bill that will keep the government running, but some lawmakers not very happy about it. We'll go live to



CLANCY: You're watching Connect the World. Welcome back everyone. I'm Jim Clancy.

The United States Senate has approved a spending bill that will keep the government from shutting down for much of next year. The $1.1 trillion

measure passed Saturday night in a bipartisan vote 56-40. It's now headed to President Barack Obama. He's expected to sign it into law.

Now joining me to discuss more on this -- it was a controversial vote for a number of reasons -- but Erin McPike in Washington there, it was astounding

that it came out that the banks had written parts of this measure that roll back the regulations, which prevented them from using taxpayer protected

monies to fund their own derivatives trading, the dangerous trading that got the United States in so much hot water economically, caused, you know,

the great recession as it was.

What will be the fallout from that in Washington?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, there are going to be divisions on both sides of the aisle. We heard from a high-profile Democratic

senator, Elizabeth Warren, earlier in the week, and she made a stand. She voted against this bill, but she didn't keep it from passing despite her

opposition to it.

Now, President Obama spoke about this throughout the week, and he is acknowledging the new political reality that Democrats will have to bend to

the demands of Republicans going forward in the new year, especially when Republicans take control of the Senate. I want you to listen here to some

of the comments that President Obama made this week.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This by definition was a compromise bill. This is what's produced when you have the divided

government that the American people voted for. There are a bunch of provisions in this bill that I really do not like.


MCPIKE: Now, for many of our viewers around the world, what -- why President Obama pushed for passage is that it funds in a great way the

Department of Defense in the fight against ISIS as well as the fight against Ebola. And for those reasons, President Obama thought it was very

important to pass this specific bill.

Now, the other thing that it does is it only funds the Department of Homeland Security's programs on his executive order that he recently

announced on immigration through the end of February, not through the end of September, which is what the remainder of the bill does.

And that is going to set up a bigger clash, too, because Capitol Hill will have to take up some sort of legislation on what to do about immigration.

So, there are fights ahead, Jim.

CLANCY: Yes, it is not over yet by a long shot, but shocking. Elizabeth Warren, as you pointed out, standing on the House floor and naming all the

people that President Obama's team had put into high level positions, and they call came from CitiBank, which helped to write the bill that gives

them a greater free hand going ahead in 2015. Erin McPike, great to have you with us. I wish we had more time. Thank you.

Well, the latest world news headlines are coming up ahead, plus I'll talk live to the action man who's taken his unique brand of solo flight to the

United Arab Emirates. The one and only Jetman jets in to join us in just a moment.


CLANCY: Welcome back, you're with CONNECT THE WORLD, here are your top stories. Exit polls project Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's ruling

coalition will win a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. Mr. Abe called the snap vote after Japan's economy dipped back into a recession.

Early figures now show voter turnout may have hit a record low.

Protesters turned out in Istanbul to demonstrate against police raids on several media outlets. The early morning raids Sunday targeted supporters

of exiled imam Fethullah Gulen, who is a rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. About two dozen people, many of them journalists, were arrested.

Laurent Lamothe is stepping down as the prime minister of Haiti. Demonstrators have been calling for him and the president to step aside.

Violent protests denouncing government corruption and delayed elections have erupted in Haiti's capital over the past few days.

An American who says he crossed into North Korea illegally held an unusual news conference in Pyongyang, to say the least. Arturo Martinez criticized

the US political and economic systems. He says he plans to seek asylum now in Venezuela. His mother says he is a bright young man, but he has bipolar


Russia is denying allegations that one of its military planes nearly collided with a passenger jet south of Sweden on Friday. A Swedish

official, though, insists the incident forced the commercial jet to change its course. Matthew Chance reports it comes at a time of tensions in the

Baltic region over what's seen as aggressive behavior by Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Swedish Defense officials are describing this as a fairly serious incident

involving a commercial airliner and a Russian military plane.

Sweden's air force chief saying that the Russian aircraft later identified as an intelligence plane nearly collided with the passenger jet in

international airspace to the south of Sweden on December the 12th. He said the transponders on the Russian aircraft, which make it visible to

commercial radar, had been switched off, describing that move as "dangerous and inappropriate."

Well, in recent months, Russia has been dramatically expanding its military presence, particularly in the skies over the Baltic Sea, prompting

comparisons with the Cold War and concerns about possible midair collisions.

On this occasion, though, Russian officials are rejecting the allegations of a near miss. The Defense Ministry here in Moscow saying the flight was

made in strict compliance with international airspace rules, and that the distance between the military aircraft and the passenger jet was more than

70 kilometers, nearly 44 miles.

Nevertheless, after the downing of a Malaysian airliners over eastern Ukraine in July, there is particular sensitivity to the idea of civilian

aircraft becoming victims of the growing tension between Russia and the West.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


CLANCY: The new spending bill just passed in the US Congress includes nearly $5.5 billion to help fight the Ebola virus. The World Health

Organization now counts more than 18,000 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in West Africa. More than 6500 have been fatal. The vast majority of

cases are in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

WHO officials also report six deaths in Mali, while outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria have been officially declared ended.

Sierra Leone has banned public Christmas and New Years celebrations, all in an effort to help curb the possibility of the spread of the Ebola virus.

Limited resources within the country have made the struggle to contain the disease incredibly difficult. But as CNN's Isha Sesay reports, it's women

who have the most to fear.


ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even before the Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone was one of the most dangerous places in the

world for a woman to give birth. The country has one of the highest infant mortality rates and one of the weakest health care systems. At one point,

there were only 120 doctors to treat a country of 6 million people.

Then, Ebola hit. And the meager resources once allocated to sustain basic services were desperately diverted to fight the disease. People wait hours

if not days for an overburdened fleet of ambulances to transport Ebola patients.

If a patient is lucky enough to get to a treatment center, there aren't enough hospital beds for those infected, let alone those with other

diseases and conditions. And the bare essentials, like rubber gloves, are running out, forcing some clinics to shut down. The system is buckling

under the strain, and the United Nations warns that women are most at risk.

DAVID NABARRO, UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR EBOLA: Partly because of their role as healers, partly because of their role as carers in the home, and partly

because also they are most involved in household activities, this puts them at particular risk of getting infected.

SESAY: And the risks are even greater if a woman is pregnant. In the worst Ebola-affected countries, more women are now dying from complications after

choosing to give birth at home.

HAWANATU JAH, DOCTOR: So, we're defenseless women. There are no places to go if you want to deliver. You can choose by going home and delivering at

home, but that's not safe. You can go to a community center and maybe do the delivery. But you don't know who has the woman delivered before you've


SESAY: No good options for the women of Sierra Leone, once the caretakers of the country, now left behind by a struggling health care system.

Isha Sesay, CNN, Atlanta.


CLANCY: Well, he's taken on the Grand Canyon. He's taken on Japan's Mt. Fuji. Well, now the daredevil who goes by the name "Jetman," is flying

through the skies of one of the world's man-made wonders, Dubai.

Yves Rossy has been traveling through the sky with a jet-propelled wing for eight years now, and he's still the only person that's really managed to do

this. Amazing. Before this, Rossy was a military and commercial pilot, but he's taken that love of flying, really, I think, to an extreme. He joins me

now, live from CNN Abu Dhabi to discuss this latest adventure in the skies above Dubai.

Welcome. It is great to have you with us. I'm just wondering, what is it about the thrill of this that has you so -- you've abandoned everything


YVES ROSSY, "JETMAN": Yes. I did find a much better feeling. When you're in an airplane, you're in a box. Here, I'm completely outside. That's freedom


CLANCY: I'm fascinated by the design, here, because it's almost is if you were flying on a wing, but you are the wing.

ROSSY: Yes. And that's what is really great, because there is nothing between me and air. That means it's not something that you steer through

comments. That's something that follows just your movement in the air. And it's really close to the dream to be a bird.

CLANCY: So, when we see you doing these acrobatics, where -- and sometimes you leave a streak of colored smoke for everyone. It this a constantly

evolving experience for you?

ROSSY: Yes, it is evolving, and especially now in Dubai, thanks to the support of XDubai and these passionate people here, we will be able to

bring the project to its next step. That means there are so many things at the end of video, you see another guy coming.

So, that's the idea, that I will be not the only one doing that. Because this dream is one of the oldest dreams of humans. And there are so many

people that want to try to fly like that. So, that's one point.

And also, the technology is becoming more and more evolved, and there are possibilities to go in the air much more simple than that. Why not without

any helicopter to drop me?

CLANCY: All right. Yves Rossy --


ROSSY: So, the sky has no limits.

CLANCY: You are one amazing man. One amazing Jetman. I want to thank you very much for being with us. We share your enthusiasm and we feel your love

for flight. Thank you.

That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you all for watching.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: This week on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, an expensive network. The internet is playing a defining role in the Middle East, and

that position is only getting bigger. We speak to the founder of computer giant Dell --


MICHAEL DELL, FOUNDER, DELL: For the latest and greatest technology, this region is really unparalleled in the world.


DEFTERIOS: -- and find out how his company is developing the bond between the region and that resource.

Plus, robust retail. It's peak shopping season, with billions being spent worldwide. We take a look at key trends in cyber shopping.

Welcome to this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. From tablets to mobile phones, desktops to laptops, technology has entered nearly every

aspect of our lives. Despite having some of the highest disposable income in the world, internet penetration in the region, though, remains

relatively low. However, this is starting to change.

There are over 3 billion internet users worldwide, 3.7 percent of them are in the Middle East. Iran leads the way with around 45 million people

online. It's followed by Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. Not surprising, really, considering the populations of these countries.

Here in the UAE, there are over 8 million users. That's 88 percent of the population using the internet.

When going online, people want to have the sleekest, slimmest devices, but as you can see, there are literally hundreds to choose from. The name Dell

is synonymous with personal computers, and the company has had to adapt to very intense competition. Our Kim Kelaita spoke with the founder of the

company, Michael Dell, when he was here in the UAE.


DELL: What I found out here is not only is there a great energy and enthusiasm for technology, but the appetite for the latest and greatest

technology in this region is really unparalleled in the world. So, we're bringing everything that we have in helping our customers build world-class

IT capability.

KIM KELAITA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing a lot of technology being released in the market. You just released the world's

thinnest tablet. Can you compete with the likes of Apple?

DELL: We really see this as an extension of the PC business. So, we started with desktops, laptops, super thin light notebooks. Now we have the tablet,

virtual PCs. We're all over the space. And including tablets, our growth in the first half of the year has been 22 percent in units.

So, we're absolutely gaining share, we're competing very well and growing our share of, really, all the markets we're in.

KELAITA: Cyber security is a huge issue. We're seeing many breaches over many different computers and companies all over the world. What is Dell

doing to compete with?

DELL: Cyber security is an enormous opportunity for us. It's a concern for IT for sure, because of the enormous number of threat actors and new

threats that are emerging all the time. We see over 80 billion events per day, so we understand the threats that are out there, we're protecting our

customers against them.

We also have 2.5 million firewalls installed in 229 countries. So, we see all of the cyber activity and understand all of that really like no other

company in the world. That allows us to proactively protect our customers against the threats that are emerging literally minute by minute.


DEFTERIOS: Michael Dell speaking to our Kim Kelaita about the challenges and opportunities of operating right here in the region. Up next, we take a

special look at how technology is revolutionizing retail here and abroad.


DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST during this holiday season. From Birkenstock to Burberry, Prada to Primark, the retail sector

is a terrific barometer for economic growth no matter where you are in the world. Sometimes it's a simple case of consumers looking for the best

bargain, or a preferential luxury brand.

It's not hard to spot the affluence here in the Middle East, especially in Dubai. Last year, annual sales in the UAE hit $66 billion. In a special

series, we're going to take an in-depth look at an industry that impacts all types of budgets.

The world of retail is in a constant state of change. As more and more consumers click, bricks-and-mortar stores have to remain nimble. It's a

fast-growing market online, worth $1.5 trillion per year, and it's growing rapidly, as Samuel Burke reports.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A typical scene in early December. The lights, the sights, the sounds --


BURKE: The treats, the smells --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We made a nice little stuffing.

BURKE: The bells. All of this is part of the grand shopping experience.

ALLYSEN STEWART-ALLEN, FOUNDER, INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PARTNERS: Bricks- and-mortar stores know that if they're going to attract people, they need to be doing something better or differently than competing with your home

environment, your coffee machine, your pajamas.

Retailers definitely are looking at ways to bring people in. And that theater and drama and social aspect is increasingly being played up.

BURKE: Competition for your attention is fierce, while smartphones and tablets are changing the way we shop. Retail analytic firm ShopperTrak

analyzes consumer behavior in brick-and-mortar stores. Their 2014 holiday trends report says consumers are researching online, then heading to the

store ready to make that purchase.

BILL MARTIN, FOUNDER, SHOPPERTRAK: Our data would suggest that the same number of people are traveling to the mall as they were back in 2007 and

08, but they're very focused on what stores they're going to head to. And this is a result of their ability to do early online research so they know

what products they want, where they can get them, and what price they can expect to get them at.

BURKE: Some chains, like Macy's, are embracing this upward trend of online shopping with a new feature allowing consumers to buy online then pick up

their items in the physical stores. This can be good for both sides, reducing delivery costs and allowing customers to make an efficient trip to

the store when it fits their schedule.

MARTINE REARDON, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, MACY'S: As long as the consumer is engaging with the Macy's brand, if they choose to do it online, if they

choose to do it in the store, it's the same for us. Because the holidays are just incredibly special, people want to come into the physical place.

BURKE: One advantage brick-and-mortar shops will always have over online, the ability to satisfy the five senses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I come into the store, I get that personalized touch. The feeling about being able to try the clothes on. You don't get

the same experience online as you do when you -- as you come into the store.

BURKE: Samuel Burke, CNN.


DEFTERIOS: This time of year, of course, consumers want to have the mall experience, and the trend of shopping online in the Middle East is still in

its infancy. But the wariness is starting to drop, and retailers want to tap this ever-expanding pool. Jon Jensen has that story.


JON JENSEN, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): In the United Arab Emirates, shopping malls are not just for shopping. They're places where thousands of

visitors come each day to grab a bite, escape the heat, and to be entertained.

But if you're a businessman in a hurry, like Emirati Yousef al Hashimi, shopping with the crowds can be overwhelming.

YOUSEF AL HASHIMI, BUSINESSMAN: It just takes too much time, and you just get bogged down. By the time you're done, you're exhausted.

JENSEN: That's where 30-year-old Mahmoud Gao comes in.

MAHMOUD GAO, FOUNDER, MR. DRAPER: Maybe you lost weight, because this isn't 2011.

JENSEN: He runs a company that helps men buy clothes from the comfort of home. It's called Mr. Draper.

GAO: Mr. Draper is just a service that helps men shop as conveniently as possible.

JENSEN: Customers log onto their site, enter preferences on size, style, and price. Then, a few days later, a box of clothes arrives. What you like,

you pay for and keep. Everything else, you can return at no cost. And if you don't know what you're looking for, well, they can help there too.

JENSEN (on camera): Now, what sets this company apart from traditional online shopping is the service they provide: a stylist. This is Melissa.

She is here to tell men what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong.

I'm going to take this one to start.

JENSEN (voice-over): Gao is hoping this free, personalized makeover will give him an edge over traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

MELISSA, STYLIST: Not bad. Let's try another.

JENSEN (on camera): Yes?


JENSEN: OK. I don't know about this.


JENSEN: I think it's good.


JENSEN: What do you think?

MELISSA: That's very nice. That's the one.

GAO: We're a new styling service for men.

JENSEN (voice-over): It's not exactly a unique concept. Similar companies have been around in the US for years. But shopping online here is

relatively new and growing. E-commerce in the UAE is now worth $2.5 billion, and online payment company PayPal expects it to double next year.

Still, there are challenges in the region. Not all houses are correctly labeled, and the extreme heat can affect supplies. Plus, with 80 percent of

online purchases still paid for in cash here, returns are common.

NADA ZAGALLAI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GLAMBOX: It's filtered into brands that we've taken off and brands that we've kept.

JENSEN: Nada Zagallai runs an online startup called GlamBox. They mail cosmetic samples to subscribers, helping customers try new brands and sort

through the clutter, she says. In the past year, she says, their revenue has tripled. But logistics is still an issue.

ZAGALLAI: I don't think the market is challenging. Having the entire experience go very smoothly from packing point to delivery point, that's

really the core of our challenge.

JENSEN (on camera): What about blue?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has a lot of blue. He does all blue.

JENSEN (voice-over): Gao is hopeful Mr. Draper can overcome these hurdles.

GAO: We've been very surprised for what we've done so far. When we looked at the numbers, we were ecstatic, obviously. But we were also really

surprised about our potential.

JENSEN: He is, after all, turning a profit, and buying wholesale, selling for retail, and avoiding the type of rent stores normally pay in shopping



DEFTERIOS: Jon Jensen getting styled up for us here in the field. And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from

Dubai. I'm John Defterios, thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.