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Battle for Mosul Begins; China Launches Astronauts; Donald Trump Steps Up Rigged Election Claims; Donald Trump Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegations. 8:00a-9:00a ET

Aired October 17, 2016 - 08:00:00   ET


[08:00:13] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, and welcome to News Stream.

One of the most important battles in the fight against ISIS is taking place right now. Iraqi led forces are pushing to retake Mosul, the last

stronghold for ISIS in Iraq.

As his poll numbers continue to slide, Donald Trump steps up his claims that the U.S. presidential race is rigged against him.

And China launches its most ambitious space mission yet, sending two astronauts into space for a month.

And we begin outside Mosul with a battle that Iraqis hope will spell the end of ISIS in their country. Now, tanks and heavy artillery are rolling

in. Dozens of coalition war planes are carrying out air strikes, and soldiers are launching rockets and gunfire to recapture nearby villages.

All these paving the way for an advance on Mosul. Thousands of ISIS fighters are thought to inside the city, which they have controlled for two

years now.

It is their largest remaining stronghold in Iraq.

And just a short time ago, our Nick Paton Walsh is reporting from outside Mosul when heavy gunfire broke out. Now, he and his crew are embedded with

the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and just take a look at what happened.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Behind me now, has just gone in, what must surely be a substantial explosion. We haven't been

hearing aircraft in the past few moments, so that may well be one of a number of car bombs that ISIS have been deploying in their bid to keep the

Peshmerga off this road.

It is a volatile situation and it is also one in which the Peshmerga at this stage appear to be prevailing. They've taken this five or six

kilometer stretch of the road here, but the villages around it do still remain volatile, and that is the question, what kind of resistance will

they continue to face?

The Iraqi military, too, at some point will have to push down here towards Mosul. But this has been an effort with much international support, a lot

of coalition planning, American air power.

One came right at me. What are they shooting at? Let's move, yeah.


LU STOUT: Well, and that was CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reporting under fire there. And Nick joins us now live from his team's position near Mosul. He

joins us now on the line.

And Nick, you got caught in that firefight while you were reporting. Tell us what happened. What happened with that gun battle?

WALSH: Well, during that period of time it does seem some of the remnants of ISIS that

are still in the villages on that main road from towards the city of Mosul, they are still holding out inside there.

Now, what we've seemed to have experienced there was potentially two ISIS fighters emerging and simultaneously firing at the road at the Peshmerga

and us, that we were standing on. We know that because you seem to have heard gun shots coming from different directions towards us.

But Peshmerga in substantial numbers able to fire back, and we quickly just saw (inaudible) particular area. But it was clear from the time we spent

there that there is still substantial resistance of some degree trying to hold out in that village. I'm talking about lone

fighters who occasionally might take potshots, for example.

We saw in the hillside to the north from that village, too, one man who must be an ISIS fighter, seemed to emerge, possibly pop off from a tunnel,

from any tunnel networks or caves around that particular area. shoot on the Peshmerga, who ran towards him. And it appears there was some sort

of exchange of fire, which may have wounded one Peshmerga soldier. Then the ISIS fighter was shot, and then he blew himself up, remarkably, a loud

explosion that could be seen on the mountainside there. And that gives you the sense of the kind of strength of resistance that is potentially to

confront these Peshmerga/Iraqi forces as they move on.

Kristie, the job of the Peshmerga today is being to move five or six kilometers or so down the road towards Mosul. They've done that. There is,

as I say, still resistance in there, there has been a substantial number of air strikes in the area around them. And, too, also I should say ISIS have

on two or three occasions we've seen try to drive car bombs in the direction of the Peshmerga.

So a complex task and possibly at this stage the optimism in surrounding Mosul will be yielded by ISIS without much of a fight. Well, that's

evaporated slightly.

The Peshmerga command are very clear that they are getting less resistance than had expected. This has been a relatively easy move forward. But

without a doubt, there have certainly been weapons and explosives ISIS have left behind to slow that progress, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And you witnessed that moment, that moment of strong resistance from ISIS fighters there near Mosul. Earlier today we heard from the Iraqi

military. They are already claiming progress, claiming military advances against ISIS on day one of this battle. Is progress really being made this

early on in this fight?

WATSON: (inaudible) and that's pretty much an undeniable consequence of having thousands troops and armor and coalition air strikes, which have

been in play for weeks now grinding this area down, ISIS resistance. That's the obvious consequence of that much military hardware being on the


There's certainly progress that's been made.

The question really remains while I'm standing here, they could look at many different settlements along that main road towards Mosul. No doubt

there are still ISIS fighters along that particular road you could impede progress of the Iraqi security forces as they try and push down, as they

say they will, towards the urban sprawl of Mosul itself. That's key because it's a kind of sort of secure passage they are able to provide that

helps them do better in this source of conflict.

And you know the Iraqi military forces are going to move towards the city in the coming days and hours ahead. And, of course, people are concerned.

Unless (inaudible) they could run occasional resistance that we've seen. And much slower armored convoy, but certainly

it makes it happy to move back in this area and also for that general (inaudible) purged from territory around Mosul to actually be felt by those

in this area -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right, Nick Paton Walsh on the line for us, joining us live from near Mosul, Iraq. Many thanks indeed for your reporting, Nick.

Now, let's take a look where all this is taking place. Before ISIS took over, Mosul was the second largest city of Iraq. It was a hub for trade

with Syria and Turkey. It is near oil fields and a critical pipeline to Turkey.

The Qayyara oil refinery was recaptured a few months ago and just outside northeast Mosul, ISIS has filled trenches with oil and set them on fire.

It has done this to obscure the positions of the militants.

Our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is following this operation as it unfolds. She joins us now. Sh's near Mosul and she has

the very latest. And Arwa, again, the battle is under way, the Iraqi military claiming advances against ISIS. What have you seen from your


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have something of an overwatch position here. And you can see smoke still rising from the

villages that the Peshmerga have been moving through, the Kurdish Peshmerga that Nick was talking about there when you saw his report.

Now, they have been, as Nick was reporting, encountering some resistance, and we have been

ever since this operation was announced by the Iraqi prime minister. At this stage around 16 hours ago seen air strikes, there have been large

explosions taking place on the ground in those villages, on the roads, we've been seeing the Peshmerga trying to move through firing at various

different buildings. We've been constantly hearing, as we are right now, coalition aircraft overhead. You've also had artillery and rocket fire

going off from this position and from others, as well.

Now, as these forces are moving in this direction, you also have the Iraqi army moving from other directions, as well. This is an operation that is

encompassing around 100,000 troops, forces in total, not all of them will necessarily end up pushing all the way to the city of Mosul itself, but

it's a combination of Iraqi security forces, that is the army, the police divisions like the counter terrorism division and others, as well.

On top of that, you also have the Kurdish Peshmerga and you have these various different paramilitary forces, all of which are having to

coordinate to a level and degree and a level of complexity that they have not encountered in battles past. You also have, of course, a significant

level of coalition air support, not to mention the ongoing backing of the U.S. and other coalition partners when it comes to their advising and

assisting role. This battle is crucial, not just when it comes to what it means with regards to the presence of ISIS in Iraq, but also for the future

of Iraq.

Many will argue that it's the phase after the battle that is perhaps more important than the battle itself. But when we talk about the region, too,

the defeat of ISIS in Mosul will be phenomenally significant. Afterall, it is Mosul where the caliphate, the ISIS declared its so-called caliphate.

But then there's also another issue that's very important and just as important as the battle itself, and that is the civilian population within

the city. Some 1 to 1.5 million people believed to still be inside. And we look at the fighting that's happening out here. This is opens terrain.

There aren't that many, if any, civilians left in these villages. That fighting is going to be even more

intense once these forces hit the outskirts of the city and the city itself. And there you're going to have that added dynamic of a civilian

population that's been unable to leave, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, and many, many, many more Iraqis could be displaced by the fighting. Arwa Damon reporting for us live from just outside Mosul. Thank


Now, the offensive on Mosul is seen, as you heard it just then from Arwa, a critical strike against ISIS in Iraq, but it could also lead to one of the

largest humanitarian crises of all time.

The UN. says most of Mosul's 1 million remaining residents could flee the city during the fighting and they are at extreme risk of getting caught in

the cross fire. ISIS has also been known to use civilians as human shields. There's also the issue of food and aid. In fact, Save the

Children reports children have been dying of thirst as their families flee Mosul.

Now, for those who do manage to get out, the situation is very dire. Now, Lise Grande is the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq. She joins me now

via Skype from Baghdad. And Elise, thank you so much for joining us here on the program.

First, just how concerned are you for the safety of the people still inside Mosul?

LISE GRANDE, UN HUMANITARIA NCOORDINATOR FOR IRAQ: We're afraid that the civilians that are trapped inside of Mosul are at extreme risk. They are

at extreme risk from crossfire, from barrage. There are reports that ISIL has contaminated large parts of the city with booby traps. We're afraid

that people could be expelled forcibly by ISIL or they could be held as human shields. Any way you look at it, the civilians there right now are

at extreme risk.

LU STOUT: And there are these troubling reports, you just mentioned that, of ISIS using civilians as human shields, and are children and the elderly

the most vulnerable here?

GRANDE: There is no question that the people who would be held as human shields by ISIL, their lives would be in danger. We saw something very

similar in Fallujah when the Iraqi security forces were liberating that city. What you saw was ISIL trying to hold people back. And again, just

as you said, it's the women, it's elderly, it's the children, they are the ones that at the most risk in situations like this. This is what we're

worried may happen in Mosul.

LU STOUT: The assault is under way, and the fear is that it will further add to the scale of the already enormous refugee crisis. What's your

understanding of how many more Iraqis could be forced to flee?

GRANDE: What we're afraid of in a worst-case scenario up to 1 million people may flee the city. We don't know if that will happen. And,

obviously, we're hoping it doesn't. The Iraqi security forces have said that one of their top priorities is to protect families inside of Mosul, to

protect them in their homes and make sure they are able to stay rather than flee. That's what we're hoping.

But if that doesn't happen and if the families leave, we could be looking at the single largest, most complex humanitarian crisis in the world in

2016. If a million people flee, it could be a catastrophe.

LU STOUT: And when you describe this worst-case scenario, exactly what are you referring to? Possibility for a chemical attack, a drawn-out battle?

GRANDE: We can't rule out a chemical attack. And it could be that Mosul ends up being under siege for months. Any time a city is under siege,

people are deprived of food they're deprived of water, they don't have any of the things that they need in order to survive. If that's what happens

to Mosul, it's going to be really tough.

LU STOUT: You know, there is so much at stake here, and this is, as you said, it's is a tough, it's a major a very complicated humanitarian effort.

Does the UN have enough resources, and critically does it have enough funding to step in and assist here?

GRANDE: The humanitarians that work in Iraq have been planning for Mosul since February. We've had contingency plans in place for months and very

early on we appealed to the international donors, asking them to send funding to make sure that stocks were prepositioned and that emergency

camps and sites were built.

Donors have been generous, but we don't have nowhere near the funding that we require. So as we go into the Mosul operation right now, there are only

emergency sites for 60,000 people.

Right as we speak we're rushing around the clock to build more emergency sites. We're anticipating not even in a worst-case scenario, but in our

working scenario, that between 200,000 to 400,000 people may flee. So we have a lot of construction that has to happen right now.

[08:15:17] LU STOUT: Yeah, and the battle has only just started. But what is the need for basic aid right now for the people of Mosul? How dire is

the situation for people there in terms of food, fuel, basic supplies?

GRANDE: As people come out from Mosul, if they flee, if they come outside of the city and across the front lines and they make it to the emergency

sites, we're going to be doing everything we can to support them, providing them with tents, providing them with water

and sanitation, with food, with emergency household kits. There will be a whole range of services that we'll be making sure they get.

If the families are stuck inside of Mosul, there's nothing we can do to help them.

Now, the Iraqi security forces have said they are going to protect them and we're hoping that's

what happens.

LU STOUT: Ms. Grande, joining us live from Baghdad, many thanks indeed for that.

You're watching News Stream. And still ahead on the program, Donald Trump says that the U.S. presidential race is not a fair fight. The allegations

he's now leveling at the media, some very serious ones, and why some are calling his remarks dangerous.

And blasting off to China's new space lab. We'll get an update on the country's latest mission and also what it has to offer for future

international space exploration.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.

Now, let's give you an update on this all out battle underway now in Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqi and Peshmerga troops are closing in on the ISIS

stronghold of Mosul. It is the largest Iraqi city still in the hands of the terrorists, and the offensive is backed by coalition air strikes. It

is expected to last for weeks, possibly months. And the UN fears for the safety of more than 1 million civilians inside the city.

And now to the U.S. presidential race. A new CNN poll of polls shows Hillary Clinton widening her lead against Donald Trump. The Democratic

nominee is eight points ahead. She was only two points ahead in a similar survey taken last month.

Now the poll of polls averages results for the four most recent national surveys. And this latest snapshot of the race, it comes as Trump doubles

down on claims that the election is rigged. He's been telling his supporters that the media is out to sabotage his campaign.

Now, nine women have recently come forward to accuse Donald Trump of making unwanted sexual advances, but he says the allegations are part of a smear



DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: All stories, all made up, lies. Lies. No witnesses, no nothing. All big lies. It's a rigged

system, and they take these lies and they put them on front pages. This is a rigged system, folks.


[08:20:07] LU STOUT: Over the weekend, Trump also alleged that there would be rigging at some polling places.

And critics calls allegations of a rigged election false, even dangerous.

Now, Brian Stelter, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, explained why the possibility of a fixed election is near impossible.


BRIAN STELTER, HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: Donald Trump's biggest lie is about the election itself, the integrity of the election.

He is alleging a massive conspiracy, thereby creating a massive challenge for the news media. Trump has been planting seeds for over a year, warning

supporters not to trust the government, the polls or the media, because it's all rigged, he says.

In April, he started saying this:

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But the system, folks, is rigged. It's a rigged, disgusting, dirty system.

STELTER: That was a response to Ted Cruz winning delegates in that convoluted primary process.

But, as we all know, Trump prevailed, so I guess the system wasn't disgusting after all? Well, guess again. In August, Trump began to talk

about the general election being stolen from him.

TRUMP: And I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged. I have to be honest.

STELTER: The subtext here is that Trump is a winner, and he can't possibly be a loser, unless it's somebody else's fault.

So, he kept planting more and more seeds, like right here on Sean Hannity's show.

TRUMP: And I'm telling you, November 8, we better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching

closely, or it's going to be taken away from us.

STELTER: The first couple of times that he said this, it was news. It was very disturbing news. It got a lot of attention.

But, over time, the repetition, Trump's lies about election rigging, have become a form of background noise, more of the same. And this is a

propaganda technique, whether Trump knows it or not.

If you say something often enough, if you plant enough seeds, people start to wonder, will my vote matter? Will it actually count?

Now, you probably didn't hear this next Trump seed, because it's from Monday of this week, just one day after the second debate.

TRUMP: Even the polls are crooked.

We have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us.

TRUMP: And everybody knows what I'm talking about.

STELTER: "Everybody knows what I'm talking about." He's in the suburbs of Philadelphia there. Now, if you read right- wing Web sites that wrongly

claim there is widespread voter fraud in places like Philadelphia, then you might know what Trump is talking about.

But that remark, "We have to make sure the election is not stolen from us," mostly escaped scrutiny.

CNN only played the clip once up until now. Now, the anchor who did play it, Brianna Keilar, to her credit, did not let Trump supporter Peter King

dodge her question.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I don't know if there's no evidence or not. I'm just saying I do know there have been instances in the past where there

have been voter...


KING: No, there have been instances where there have been serious allegations of voter fraud.


KEILAR: He's talking -- he's talking about widespread voter fraud that would swing an election in a state where polls show he is down

considerably. I mean, what he is saying has no basis in reality.

STELTER: Brianna is right, and we need to keep saying it.

We, as a country, cannot allow ourselves to become numb to this. We, as a media, cannot shrug it off as old news, because the real danger here is

that, when Trump lies to his supporters about the others who are trying to steal the election, some of his supporters believe him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our lives depend on this election. Our kids' futures depend on this election. For me personally, if Hillary Clinton gets in, I,

myself, I'm ready for a revolution.

STELTER: Mike Pence was on stage, and he did try to temper her concerns. Watch what he said to her.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a revolution coming on November the 8th. I promise you. There's...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are we going to do to safeguard our votes?

STELTER: So she said there, "What are we going to do to safeguard our votes? "

This is the whole ball game, and this is what I really want to say. I'm proud that journalists are standing up, individually, speaking up in ways

that we rarely see. They're not anti-Trump. They're pro- democracy.

Julie Pace, writing for the AP today, says: "Trump's claims about vote- rigging made without evidence undercuts the essence of American democracy."

Ashley Parker, writing for "The New York Times," says: "We haven't seen a candidate from one of the two major parties try to cast doubt on the entire

democratic process and system of government since the brink of the Civil War."

Now, I know Trump supporters claim to dismiss those sources, so that is why conservative journalists have to play a role here, and conservative

commentators, too.

On the day after President Obama's reelection, Sean Hannity accepted the result.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": And, tonight, the 2012 race for the White House has been called in Obama's favor. And the voice and the will of the

people were heard and felt last night.

America wanted Barack Obama for four more years. And now we have him.

By the way, good look with that.

[08:25:110] STELTER: Let's remember that sound bite. Will Hannity accept the results if Clinton prevails three weeks from now? Will he?

What is happening right now is a test. It's a test for our voting system, run by the states, by the way, not the federal government. Our voting

system is run by Republicans and Democrats, with thousands of volunteers and layers of oversight.

When there's voter fraud, when it rarely happens, it's investigated. So, it's a test for our system. But what's happening is also a test for

journalism. There is a lot the media can do to instill confidence in our election system.

This might include phone banks or online tools on Election Day giving people easy ways to report possible fraud or voter intimidation. This

should also include frequent reminders that voter fraud is rare and that it is investigated and prosecuted. I think, right now, in this dangerous

moment, we have an obligation to you, the audience, because, actually, Trump has peddled this stuff before. On the night President Obama was

reelected, Trump threw a tantrum on Twitter.

And he said: "This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy."

The next day, he tweeted four words that we have all come to know. Listen to this. He wrote, "We have to make America great again."

Mr. Trump, think of your children. America is great partly because everyone accepts the results of elections, for decades in the past and hopefully for

decades to come. Inventing a conspiracy theory is no way to make America great again.


LU STOUT: CNN's Brian Stelter.

Now, police are trying to figure out who fire bombed a Republican Party headquarters in

North Carolina. Now, no one was in the building when a flammable substance was thrown through a window. The vandals also spray painted a message on

the building, "Nazi Republicans get out of town or else."

In a tweet, Trump blamed supporters of Hillary Clinton, but he offered no evidence for the


You're watching News Stream. Still to come, the battle for Mosul, it brings fears that the city's civilian population could be used as human




[08:30:52] LU STOUT: There is deep concern now that the battle to oust ISIS could have a devastating effect on the civilian population of Mosul.

Now, Jomana Karadsheh has been monitoring developments and she joins us live from Amman in Jordan. And Jomana, it is a very, very dangerous

situation for civilians inside Mosul. We know that there are thousands of these ISIS militants inside. They have explosives in place. What has been

done to warn or protect these civilians ahead of the battle?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have seen this in the weeks and the days leading up to this operation. We have seen the

Iraqi military dropping leaflets, telling people to stay away from ISIS headquarters, telling them that this operation is coming. We've also heard

Iraqi commanders asking people who can to stay in their homes, if they can, and they've even asked people to raise white flags on top of their homes if

they could.

But at the same time, Kristie, we are hearing from various humanitarian and aid organizations who are putting out statements today calling on the

security forces involved in this operation to create safe passage routes that can be used by the civilians who are trying to flee.

Of course, so much concern here for the civilians. The estimates, really unclear how many people remain in Mosul. It's anywhere from 700,000 to

more than a million people. And the concern is, if they are trapped inside the city, as you mentioned, that they would be used by ISIS as human

shields. And also if they are fleeing, that they could be caught in the crossfire fighting. And, of course, what comes after that in that

dangerous journey to try and reach relative safety -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, just about 15, 20 minutes ago we talked to the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, and she said that she is very, very

concerned about the situation for civilians inside Mosul now and about what could happen next, because when the

fighting escalates, thousands of civilians will have to leave.

The UN says that it's underfunded. It's been making and asking for pledges to come in since

February, but the funding isn't there. What kind of support is there in place for what everyone fears is

going to happen next, this new wave of refugees?

KARADSHEH: Absolutely, Kristie. Look at the figures. In 2014 when you saw ISIS taking over large parts of Iraq, especially in the northern part

of the country, You had this refugee crisis with more than 3 million people displaced, and that has barely been dealt with.

We met with refugees in Jordan who have been displaced since that first crisis in 2014, and now you're looking at this massive exodus, where as

you mentioned the UN is saying there could be a worst-case scenario, where they are talking about up to 1 million people who could be fleeing in the

first few days. There's an anticipation possibility that aid organizations say that about 200,000 people could be fleeing within those first few days

of the operation.

The UN and the aid organizations have shelters ready, these emergency sites that were set up to take in refugees that they've built since February of

this year in anticipation of the operation. And they can only take, Kristie, 60,000 people right now. They are working night and day to try

and have more shelters for about 250,000 people to be ready to take in this massive influx of refugees.

But as you mentioned, the main issue has been shortage of funding. T hey say they have received some financing from international donors, but that

is nowhere near enough what they have to be dealing with and they are going to try to work with what they have to help as many people as they can in

the coming days, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, this is a military campaign that may affect over a million civilians. Jomana Karadsheh reporting for us live. Thank you, Jomana.

Now, there will be plenty of eyes on Beijing as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pays a state visit to China this week. Now, Mr. Duterte,

he arrives on Tuesday and has already refused to bargain on the controversial South China Sea dispute, but he is also describing the visit

as a key turning point for both nations.

It is one the U.S. is likely to watch closely after Duterte threatened to cut ties in favor of China and Russia.

Now, you're watching News Stream. And just ahead...




LU STOUT: And with that, Chinese astronauts are on their way to the country's longest ever mission in space. Details on what they'll be

working on next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now China has just launched its longest ever manned space mission. Now, the country is determined to become a major player in space exploration.

As Matt Rivers reports, this latest mission is just one of many projects China has planned.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A successful launch in the Gobi Desert this morning for the Chinese space program as the Shenzhou 11 rocket took

two Chinese astronauts called Tyconauts (ph) here in China, up into orbit, and they are heading towards China's newest space station, the Tiangong 2

(ph), launched itself just last month.

Now, they will be spending 33 days in space. And we're told that they are going to be spending

their time by conducting scientific experiments for 30 of those days in the fields of medicine, physics, and biology.

Now, this is the longest time Chinese Tyconauts (ph) will spend in space. The last mission saw two people spend 15 days in space, this time it will

be 33 days. And this mission is the sixth time that the Chinese have sent people into space since October of 2003.

Now, the space station they are going to, the Tiangong 2 (ph) pretty new in of itself, but in reality just a protoype for the Chinese's ultimate goal

of sending a permanent space station into space by 2022.

And all of this really just amounts to a Chinese space program that has really, really grown over the last decade or so.

You've had those manned missions that I've mentioned about. And furthermore you have got them being the third country in 2013 to soft land

a spacecraft on the moon, the third country to ever do so, joining only the Soviet Union and the United States.

In 2018 they plan to send a probe to the dark side of the moon. That will be the first time that's been done to an area of the moon still largely

unexplored. And they also plan to send a probe to mars at some point in addition to that permanent space station I mentioned.

And of course, any time you talk about space, geopolitics can be involved. Take the International Space Station, for example, the current space

station up in space used by 15 different countries, including the United States, that is set to retire in 2024.

If the Chinese go ahead with their plans to launch a permanent space station in 2022, come say, 2025, they might be the only country to have a

permanent space station in orbit around the Earth. That could certainly make for some interesting conversations between the United States and some

other countries that use the International Space Station, perhaps wanting to get aboard the Chinese space station moving forward.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


LU STOUT: In the race for the White House, headlines about Donald Trump's alleged sexual misconduct have dominated as a number of women came


Now, CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with the New York Times reporters who broke the most recent allegations.

Trump's campaign says the article Trump's campaign says the article is a political attack and vehemently denies the accusations in the report.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So Michael, you heard what Donald Trump said today, saying, "This is," I want to get it right, "another fabricated and

false story," and he's calling you both discredited writers. Your reaction?

MICHAEL BARBARO, REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: I think he also said he thought we should have been fired but we're both very much employed. We thoroughly

reported the episodes and the characters in this story, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks. We talked not only to them multiple times, but we spoke to

people around them. In the case of Jessica Leeds, who was just on your show, that meant speaking to two of her friends, her son, and her nephew

about the details she conveyed to them to make sure they were entirely consistent with what she had told us. So we felt really confident and

comfortable in the reporting in our story.

COOPER: And Megan, he's also -- at one of his events today said, "The New York times" has, "Third-rate people, bad people, sick people," and that

you're, "inventing false claims without any evidence, no witnesses, no nothing." Can you explain -- or if you want to respond to that. Or how you

backed up these women's stories, the two women?

MEGAN TWOHEY, REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, yeah, that's a great question. And we spelled this out in our story. You know, not only in the

case of Jessica Leeds, did we end up speaking not just to her extensively, but to the people with whom she shared her story, prior to talking to us.

COOPER: Right. He said she started about a year, a year and a half ago telling people.

TWOHEY: Right. And in the case of the other woman, Rachel Crooks, she was 22 and working in Trump Tower as a receptionist when she says she bumped

into Donald Trump outside an elevator. She introduced herself, they shook hands, she says that he then, you know, kissed her on the cheek and then

moved in and kissed her on the mouth and, you know, that it made her feel extremely uncomfortable.

As she tells it, she then went back into her office and immediately called her sister to -- you know, she was so upset to tell her what had happened.

And she went home that night to her boyfriend, who she was living with at the time and told him what happened.

And so, you can be sure that we, you know, talked to the sister, we talked to the boyfriend, they corroborated that. You know, the boyfriend recalled

her coming home, him asking, how was her day, and her starting to cry hysterically. The sister remembers them talking, kind of going back and

forth, you know, the sister asking, do you think this could have been a mistake? Was he just trying to kiss you on the cheek, and her saying, I

don't think that was the case.

And so, you know, we went, you know, we certainly, you know, we've heard from a variety of people since we did our first story in May, looking at

the Trump's treatment of women. And, you know, there are, obviously, you know, there's a lot of due diligence we do before we report allegations.


LU STOUT: And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout, but don't go anywhere. World Sport with Amanda Davies is next.