Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Senate Vote on Kavanaugh; Interpol President's Disappearance; Nobel Peace Prize Champions Survivors of Sexual Violence; Indonesia Disasters; Boko Haram Threatens to Kill Schoolgirl, Sponsors Respond to Ronaldo Rape Allegation; Russian Espionage. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired October 6, 2018 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Protests around the United States. Yet the U.S. senators say they will confirm the president's pick to the Supreme Court.

Plus the head of the international criminal police organization is missing following a trip to China. CNN Live in Beijing with details for you

And one of football's highest paid athletes face backlash over a rape allegation that includes concerns from some of his biggest sponsors.

Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here and all around the United States. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: At 5:00 am on the East Coast, a controversial Supreme Court candidate is likely to pass through a divided Senate and on to the high court. Protests are planned around the United States against Brett Kavanaugh after allegations of sexual violence committed by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford 36 years when the two were in high school.

In the meantime, Democratic senators have been debating through the night. You see these live images, 5:01 in Washington, D.C., and Democrats on the floor in opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation. Their efforts likely will not change the outcome. Republicans have enough votes to reach the 50 vote threshold. After three previously undecided senators said that they would vote yes. CNN's Manu Raju has the very latest from Capitol Hill.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After one of the most intensely fought confirmation battles in a generation, Brett Kavanaugh now headed to the Supreme Court.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

RAJU: A key Republican senator, Susan Collins, announcing she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh for a lifetime seat and handing President Trump a historic victory amid furious protests over Kavanaugh's nomination and sexual assault allegations.

COLLINS: We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be.

The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time. But they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard. Therefore, I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court.

RAJU: Collins had been under enormous pressure for weeks, facing angry protesters, storming her office and forcing her to be escorted by police who blocked anyone, including reporters, from approaching her. The senator even interrupted at the beginning of her speech.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Collins, please don't vote. I'm a voter from Maine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The senator will suspend. The sergeant at arms will suspend.

RAJU: Senator Joe Manchin, a red-state Democrat up for reelection in November, also announcing his intent to support Kavanaugh as protests broke out in front of his office.

RAJU: You can listen to the people here. Are you concerned about --

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I'm concerned, basically, with the sexual abuse people that people have had to endure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shame, shame, shame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shame, shame, shame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shame, shame, shame.

MANCHIN: And I'm very much concerned that we have to do something as a country, but I had to deal with the facts that I had in front of me.

RAJU: Kavanaugh now will be confirmed by one of the narrowest margins for a Supreme Court nominee in history, ending a fight that bitterly divided the country just ahead of next month's midterm elections.

Behind the scenes, Republican leaders scrambled, after Collins said she'd announce her decision on the final vote later in the afternoon, with top Republican leaders privately lunching with her and hearing her concerns.

Both parties were on edge all day, as protesters hounded key senators after Kavanaugh's nomination barely cleared a crucial roadblock to advance to Saturday's confirmation vote. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On this vote, the "yeas" are 51; the "nos" are 49. The motion is agreed to.

RAJU: Collins and Manchin, along with Republican Jeff Flake, all voted to advance the nomination. But Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska quietly voted "no."


RAJU: She later told reporters it was the most difficult evaluation she's had to make, saying, "He's not the right man for the court --


RAJU: -- "at this time."

Now after her speech, Susan Collins told reporters that she had struggled with this decision, even as she went point by point, defending Brett Kavanaugh's record and all of the allegations made against him in that speech, even questioning whether or not Christine Blasey Ford, one of Brett Kavanaugh's accusers, was being used by Democrats to derail the nomination.

And Joe Manchin, I asked him if he believed Christine Blasey Ford's Ford and he said he did but he isn't sure that it was actually Brett Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her. He believes it may have been somebody else. And he also thinks that the FBI investigation was thorough, from what he has seen, siding with the Republican argument.

But now the question is how much backlash will those two receive at home? -- Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


HOWELL: Manu, thank you.

In the meantime, the U.S. president has not shied away from the controversy surrounding his Supreme Court nominee. In response to protesters facing off with Senator Jeff Flake in a Senate elevator last week, Mr. Trump tweeted, "This very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals funded by billionaire George Soros and others to make senators look bad."

If Kavanaugh is confirmed it would be Mr. Trump's second Supreme Court confirmation and a huge step toward a more conservative Supreme Court, keeping in mind Mr. Trump's tweet, that is not true. We know that those people who were in the elevator are not paid do that. In fact, they were doing that because they wanted to do it.

Mr. Trump is hoping to ride this momentum into the November midterm elections. Later on he will hold a rally in the U.S. state of Kansas. Let's talk more about this now with Inderjeet Parmar, a professor of international politics at City University of London, live for us in our London bureau.

A pleasure to have you on the show, Inderjeet. INDERJEET PARMAR, CITY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Thank you.

HOWELL: This is certainly a big win for President Trump who promised to reshape the courts in a more conservative manner.

What does the addition of Brett Kavanaugh mean for the Supreme Court?

PARMAR: First all of, it means the last two Republican presidents, who had lost the popular vote as George W. Bush and Donald Trump are now responsible for having appointed four of the Supreme Court justices and what it means in the long run effectively is that you have a conservative majority. And I think we can look forward to a large number of cases coming up to the Supreme Court which are going to be really be toward the Right, which is going to effectively free up, if you like, market principles, corporate power and so on and probably diminish welfare rights and workers' rights more broadly.

And I think there's going to be maybe even a challenge to Roe versus Wade and the issue of abortion politics as well. So I think what we've got for the next few decades is an upswing in the most ultraconservative court I think in probably 80 or 100 years.

HOWELL: We also heard from Senator Lisa Murkowski focusing on the process that played out in front of the world. Here's the criticism she had of it.


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: l hope and I pray that we don't find ourselves in this situation again. But I'm worried. I am really worried that this becomes the new normal, where we find new and even more creative ways to tear one another down, that good people are just going to say forget it, it's not worth it.


HOWELL: The concern that she raised, your thoughts?

A real concern about this being a new normal as she described it?

PARMAR: How many times have we used the idea or the concept of the new normal in the last 2-2.5 years?

The whole way in which politics is discussed, the incivility, the lack of recognition of the legitimacy of an opposition, the partisan way in which truth and lies are determined, all of that suggests there is a new normal.

And this challenges the very legitimacy of one of the key institutions in the United States. The Supreme Court was supposed to be the one body made up of sober judges who would really decide largely on the fairness of an issue, the legality or the constitutionality of the question.

And the behavior of Brett Kavanaugh last week during the hearings does suggest that he has an idea about political vendettas against him and people are worried about the legitimacy of the court.

But we know the legitimacy of the entire political system has really been challenged since 2016 and I think Murkowski represented that. She represented that very accurately. And I think that some of more astute observers and participants in American politics see that. And I think they lament it. But --


PARMAR: -- they appear to be locked into a logic of behavior which they can't extract themselves from, that two-party system. And I'm afraid, you say the GOP has got a big win. I think the Democrats have something of a win, too. They've galvanized their base around this idea, around this sort of sexual aggression and I think they're looking forward to a galvanizing of that in about four weeks as well.

HOWELL: You talked about Democrats. And Senate Republicans chalking this up as a win against, as the Senate majority leader put it, being bullied by a mob.


O'CONNELL: If you vote for the Democratic Party, you're voting for people who spit on you. If you keep the Republican Party in place, that means an alliance between citizen Collins and others to make our life better.

You should not allow mobs to intimidate you. And I think the good lesson for us, it made us excited about the November election, was good for the American people to see these people were stood up to and they did not win. That's the most important thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How radical has the Democratic Party of today become?

MCCONNELL: It's a pretty wild bunch. Willing to say anything to try to win. No boundaries.



HOWELL: Mitch McConnell there speaking on a conservative opinion show on another network.

Politically, how does this play out for Republicans heading into the midterms?

PARMAR: I think they're going to be pretty confidant. There's a whole lot of numbers regarding jobs and more jobs. President Trump has triumphed, if you like, in a number of his trade agreements with Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the E.U. He's squeezing China in various ways, too. He's going to be able to say that I've delivered a large amount. But there's still four weeks to go and we know happy voters and Republican voters will be pretty happy by the end of this vote today. Happy voters tend not to turn out to midterm elections. So I suspect the confidence is there right now.

But by four weeks time I suspect it's going to be diminished somewhat and I think the Democrats will be able to use the galvanized electorate that they've got now behind them to take over the House of Representatives. Probably not the Senate but definitely the House, maybe by 30 to 50 seats will probably change hands.

HOWELL: There's been the talk of impeachment among Democrats.

Do you see that as something that would be seriously considered, should Democrats gain ground in either chambers?

PARMAR: I think that will be thoroughly considered. But it probably would be very poor strategy, especially after what has happened and the way in which the opinion polls have shown the direction of movement with regard to the Kavanaugh nomination.

The fact is that when you steer President Trump, who has a very ambiguous relationship with the idea of the rule of law and due process himself, at a rally saying you're innocent until proven guilty, that there should be due process and the rule of law and he is getting support, I think then you've really lost the momentum, you've lost the high ground.

And I think that's what the Democrats did at that particular time. So any kind of idea about impeachment I think would be very, very bad politics and it could well thereby galvanize the electorate further behind Trump than maybe they would otherwise be.

HOWELL: Inderjeet Parmar, live for us in our London bureau. Inderjeet, thank you.

PARMAR: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: If confirmed Brett Kavanaugh would be the fifth likely conservative vote on the nine-member Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is President Trump's second pick for the court. Mr. Trump also picked Neil Gorsuch who was confirmed in April of last year.

This means there's a potential for current precedence to be either reinterpreted or changed. A long range of precedents, like a woman's right to have an abortion, the right of same-sex couples to marry, the right of schools and universities to have race conscious admissions programs, also known as affirmative action, and protections for people with preexisting conditions under the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Trump promised during the campaign that would try to overturn Roe versus Wade. That is a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973 that a woman's right to privacy under the due process laws of the 14th Amendment gives her the right to have an abortion.

Then there's Obergefell versus Hodges, this landmark civil rights case from 2015 grants same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry under the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

And Grutter versus Bollinger, a landmark 2003 case, which the Supreme Court upheld the affirmative actions --


HOWELL: -- admissions policies at the University of Michigan Law School. The court ruled that the university had a compelling interest in promoting diversity with their race-conscious admission policies. A lot there.

Still ahead, we'll hear from Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys. Find out what might be next for her.

Plus the mysteries disappearance of the president of Interpol. The latest on his whereabouts as CNN NEWSROOM pushes ahead.




HOWELL: America's top diplomat has arrived in Japan. It is the first stop for the secretary of state Mike Pompeo on his trip in Asia. In the coming hours, he's meeting with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe and other leaders.

After that, Pompeo is set to make his fourth trip to North Korea where he's set to meet with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. Surely the topic of denuclearization will be on the agenda. Pompeo could also lay the groundwork for a second summit between Mr. Kim and U.S. President Trump.

French police are investigating the disappearance of Interpol's president. His wife reported him missing and said that she last heard from him 10 days ago. His whereabouts a mystery but a Hong Kong newspaper reports he's being questioned by authorities somewhere in China. CNN's Brian Todd has the latest for us.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's a top leader of Interpol, the world-famous global crime fighting agency. An elite law enforcement official, well-versed in security measures, but tonight, a deep mystery surrounds Meng Hongwei, who has vanished from his post in France -- missing for more than a week.

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: This is very strange because this is a very high-ranking position within Interpol.

TODD: Meng, a former top Chinese law enforcement official, was assigned to Interpol headquarters in France. But a senior French law enforcement official tells CNN he was not on French soil when he was last seen. Meng's wife was the person who reported him missing. But even though he'd been missing for more than a week, she didn't tell police until Thursday night, French officials say. The French interior ministry says Meng's wife had recently received threats over the telephone and social media.

RODERICK: The wife is going to be the key. Obviously, when did she last talk to him. They'll look at whatever digital footprint he's got. They'll look at his official e-mail, his official e-mail that he used at Interpol.

TODD: And there are questions about whether Meng Hongwei's disappearance is related to threats --


TODD (voice-over): -- on his wife. Some reports say Meng returned to China, then disappeared. The South China morning post newspaper, known to have connections to Chinese authorities, cites an anonymous source saying Meng is under investigation for unspecified reasons and was taken away for questioning by so-called discipline authorities.

DEAN CHENG, CHINESE EXPERT, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: He may well have been picked up for questioning, not simply about what his activities may have been as a senior official at Interpol, but also, what were his activities as a senior official in China where he likely has interacted with other senior officials, some of whom have been purged.

TODD: Analysts say the possibilities of what happened to Meng and what he may know are almost boundless given the world he came from, the cunning and ruthless Chinese security apparatus.

CHENG: Any intelligence community, any especially internal security force is always going to be deeply suspicious of everyone, because especially in the Chinese context where you are policing 1.3 billion people, where you have to worry about not just actual conspiracies but internet-based conspiracies, criminal activities. The people who are very senior officials in this are aware of the habits and tendencies of a vast swath of the population. This is a country where the right to privacy is not even a figment.

TODD: The Chinese government so far has not commented on this case. Analysts say if Meng Hongwei was brought back to China for questioning, we may not find out what happened to him for quite some time, probably until brief announcement by the Chinese government about possibly some type of punishment -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Brian, thank you.

CNN senior producer Steven Jiang is following the story, live in Beijing this hour.

Steven, thank you for your time today.

Why is China not saying anything?

And what is the importance of his role there? STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: Well, George, probably because the political sensitivity surrounding this case as we speak, actually when Brian's story was on air, CNN's signal was actually being blacked out by Chinese sensors here. So viewers in China did not get to watch the story and are not able to watch us talk right now.

That's the kind of sensitivity surrounding this case and the Chinese state media have also stayed away from the story entirely on social media, even though Meng's name has not been entirely censored. Any mention of his disappearance has been scrubbed clean.

In terms of why? Because even though there's no official confirmation, all signs pointing to his vanishing act is the result of an internal party investigation. Really bears hallmarks of what happens to senior Chinese officials when they're suspected of violating the Communist Party's regulations, including corruption and wrongdoing.

Now President Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, has been trying to rid the party of corruption and clean up the party since he took power. It's very popular with the people, his campaign, but also very controversial because of the methods and tactics deployed by his party investigators. They're known to snatch people away, hold people incommunicado for months at a time and even use torture to extract confessions.

And the whole process is really shrouded in deep secrecy. So things not looking good for Mr. Meng right now.

HOWELL: This is not the first high profile disappearance involving a Chinese national in recent weeks. A high-profile actress also mysteriously disappeared.

JIANG: That's right. That's also a fascinating and some would say terrifying story. Fan Bingbing, one of the country's most famous and highest paid actresses, often compared to Jennifer Lawrence, she vanished into thin air in June. We did not find out what happened to her until a few days ago, when the government announced she had been placed under investigation for massive tax evasion. She was found guilty and ordered to pay back taxes and fines totaling about $130 million U.S.

So it's that kind of example, that kind of case really illustrates how murky and how nontransparent the political system, the legal system here is and that really does not bode well for Mr. Meng.

HOWELL: Steven Jiang following the story for us live in Beijing, thank you for the reporting.

A prominent Saudi journalist is still missing. Jamal Khashoggi hasn't been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia claims that he left the building but Turkey says he may still be inside.

More than a week after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia, the hope of finding survivors in all the rubble is fading fast. Rescue teams are still searching for more than 1,000 people who are missing --


HOWELL: -- but they're mostly bringing back bodies at this point. Officials say more than 1,500 have died and that number will likely rise as information from remote areas continues to come in.

Still ahead on NEWSROOM, the final stages of the Brett Kavanaugh final process. How key senators determined their votes.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: We have come to the conclusion of a confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional, it looks more like a caricature of a gutter level political campaign than a solemn occasion.




HOWELL: Good morning coast to coast across the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following this hour.



HOWELL: The woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault internationally shared her story privately with Senator Dianne Feinstein. The allegation was eventually leaked, so Ford decided to go public. Despite the difficulty in testifying about the incident in front of the Senate and in front of the world, Ford's attorneys say her client has no regrets. CNN's Dana Bash asked Ford's lawyers whether the process was broken.


DEBRA KATZ, CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD'S ATTORNEY: I can't speak to the process. What I can speak to is when victims of sexual assault and violence go to their congress people, when they go to their senators and they ask for their information to be kept confidential, I think that's a request that needs to be respected.

Victims get to control when and how and where their allegations get made public. But I think Senator Feinstein respected the wishes of her constituent and that was the right thing to do.


HOWELL: To talk more about this, let's bring in CNN legal analyst, Areva Martin, in Los Angeles.

Areva, thank you so much for your time today.

Look, there is the political aspect of all of this, also the legal aspect around the investigation, mainly focused on Ford's account of sexual assault. And we're seeing senators backing Kavanaugh on a political aspect though casting doubt on the credibility of her testimony under oath. Take a listen.


COLLINS: I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), W.V.: I believe Dr. Ford --


MANCHIN: I don't believe that the facts showed that it was Brett Kavanaugh. But I believe something happened.


HOWELL: So, Areva, can senators really have it both ways?

Supporting her but not believing her and supporting Kavanaugh?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, George, that's been the problem all along with respect to the way the senators, GOP senators have treated Dr. Ford. They say she's credible. They say they believe her but somehow she's mistaken about who attacked her.

And if you listen to Dr. Ford give her testimony, she was unequivocal in her statements about who attacked her. There was no ambiguity about who it was. She was asked repeatedly, could she be mistaken?

Could it have been someone else?

And she was very clear that it was Brett Kavanaugh. And experts who deal with sexual assault survivors will tell us that oftentimes survivors can't remember all of the details, like the time, the street, the color of the paint on the wall. But they can remember the traumatic event that occurred to them and they can remember the perpetrator of that traumatic event.

So I don't see how senators can speak credibly about believing Dr. Ford but somehow dismissing her very credible testimony about who actually attacked her when she was 15 years old.

HOWELL: And given the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh at that hearing, there are questions about whether he can be an impartial arbiter, above politics. We're hearing from Justice Elena Kagan about the importance of impartiality on the high court.


JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN, U.S. SUPREME COURT: Part of the court's legitimacy depends on people not seeing the court in the way that people see the rest of the governing structures of this country now. In other words, people thinking of the court as not politically divided in the same way, as not an extension of politics but instead somehow above the fray.


HOWELL: Kavanaugh just the other day mentioned he might have said some things he wished he wouldn't have said.

Can the court maintain its perception of being impartial?

MARTIN: I don't think so, George and we should note --


MARTIN: -- in that op-ed piece that Kavanaugh wrote, he didn't specifically identify which statements he was so-called "sorry for" and he didn't use the word "sorry" and he didn't identify which statements he think went too far.

So we're not sure if it was the statement about being the witch hunt, if it was the statement about the Clintons somehow being involved, if it was the statement about what goes around comes around.

So I don't think he did anything in that editorial piece that can assuage the conscience of the American people that he can be an impartial arbiter. And not only Justice Kagan, we should note also what retired Justice John Paul Stevens said.

He originally in favor of Kavanaugh being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But after listening to Kavanaugh's very partisan statements during the last confirmation hearing, he himself said he no longer believed that Kavanaugh could serve in the position of a United States Supreme Court justice.

He said the statements he made demonstrated an inability to be impartial, to be an unbiased arbiter and he also raised questions about his temperament. That's one of the most important aspects of a judicial officer, is his temperament, his ability to be composed, his ability to not lose his temper.

And what we saw was a very angry, very belligerent Judge Kavanaugh during that last hearing.

HOWELL: Look, at this point, given what we've heard from Senators Collins, Manchin and Flake, Kavanaugh has the votes to be confirmed.

Ahead what are some of the cases where he could have the greatest impact should he be confirmed?

MARTIN: One of the things I'm particularly concerned about are the issues of civil rights, George. When you look at all the gerrymandering cases that are making their way through the judicial process and may end up at the Supreme Court, those cases are often brought by political parties. They're brought by Democrats.

So if Judge Kavanaugh believed that this allegation brought by Dr. Ford was somehow orchestrated or engineered by Democratic operatives, how can he be unbiased in a gerrymandering case that's brought by a Democratic Party, that's brought by a local Democratic Party, say, in North Carolina?

So I think there are cases like that, where it really begs the question as to whether he can even sit as a judge in those cases. And district courts or even federal appellate courts, no one can tell a Supreme Court justice that he or she must recuse him or herself from a particular case.

That is strictly a decision that they make on their own without any oversight or any supervision from anyone else. So we don't know if Judge Kavanaugh will make those kinds of decisions, if those kinds of cases come before him.

And that's why his name and the court I think will always have an asterisk after this appointment, once we've watched this whole partisan process play itself out.

HOWELL: Areva Martin, in Los Angeles, thank you so much for your time today.

MARTIN: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: There's a verdict in the murder case that sparked racial tensions in the United States. A white Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, has been found guilty in second degree murder in the shooting of the African American teenager, Laquan McDonald back in 2014.

Van Dyke shot the 17-year old 16 times. He claimed McDonald lunged at a knife with him but dashcam video shows McDonald walking away instead of charging the police officer. Release of the video in 2015 led to massive protests across the city of Chicago. The police union says the conviction will be appealed.

The parents of a kidnapped schoolgirl are begging the Nigerian government to do everything possible to free their daughter from her captors. The chilling details ahead. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

One of the world's most important awards, the Nobel Peace Prize, was awarded on Friday and the two winners are being acclaimed for working tirelessly to end sexual violence against women as weapons of war.

Nadia Murad is a young Yazidi woman who survived sexual slavery while in ISIS captivity. Now she works with the U.N. to fight for justice for victims of human trafficking.

Also Dr. Denis Mukwege is a surgeon in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has treated thousands of women in his country who have been brutalized by rape and extreme sexual violence.

Dr. Mukwege has dedicated his prize to survivors across the world, telling them the world is listening to you and refusing to remain indifferent.

In Nigeria the parents of a kidnapped schoolgirl tell CNN that the terror group Boko Haram is threatening to kill their daughter if its demands are not met. Our Farai Sevenzo has the very latest on the chilling details from Nairobi.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are real concerns in Northeast Nigeria about the fate of 15-year-old Leah Sharibu, who was abducted along with 100 other of her schoolmates from the Government Girls' Science and Technological College up in Dapchi, northeast Nigeria.

Over the last couple days, Leah's parents, Nathan and Rebecca Sharibu, have issued a desperate plea for the government of Nigeria to try to do everything they can to bring their daughter back. They say that the militants have threatened to kill Leah this October if their demands are not met.

No one has been privy to them but we know that, in the past, they usually involve money, exchanging of money and the freeing of captured Boko Haram insurgents. Now we don't know what stage these negotiations are at. And we do know that October, no firm fixed date but October is when reportedly the Boko Haram militants have said that they will kill 15-year-old Leah.

And President Buhari is very keen to be seen to be on the side of those who are aching for better security up in the northeast of Nigeria. He tweeted in the last couple of days, "Toady I spoke with Ms. Rebecca Sharibu to reiterate our determination to bring her daughter, Leah, back home safely."

And of course he says we will do everything we can to bring them back.

There are over 1,000 kids that have been taken by Boko Haram since 2013. And remember also, April 2014, 200 girls taken from Chibok. About 93 of those still remain missing. But the fate of Leah no one quite knows what will happen to her -- Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.


HOWELL: Farai, thank you. Cristiano Ronaldo's club is standing by him after a rape allegation has resurfaced. The woman says that she was assaulted by the Portuguese football star in 2009. He's denying the accusation but his sponsors have been forced to respond.


CNN's Melissa Bell has more on the fallout.


CRISTIANO RONALDO, FOOTBALLER: When I grow up, fame was nothing but a dream.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A dream that appears to be souring for Cristiano Ronaldo or at least for his sponsors. Nike which has a reported $1 billion endorsement deal with the Portuguese player, says it is deeply concerned by the rape allegations that resurfaced this week.

And like his other big sponsor, EA Sports, the company says that it's monitoring the situation.

The allegations center on the events of this night in Las Vegas in 2009. Kathryn Mayorga says that later in the evening, Ronaldo raped her in a hotel room while she repeatedly screamed "no," according to a lawsuit that was filed in Nevada.

LESLIE STOVALL, KATHRYN MAYORGA'S ATTORNEY: The #MeToo movement and the women who have stood up and disclose sexual assaults and publicly has given Kathryn a lot of courage.

BELL: Mayorga's lawsuit accuses Ronaldo and his team of taking advantage of her fragile emotional state after the alleged assault to force her into signing a $375,000 settlement deal in exchange for her silence.

Her lawsuit seeks to void the settlement and a nondisclosure agreement she signed at the time. Representatives denied the rape allegations when they were first reported by a German publication.

Ronaldo who watched his team Juventus play from the sidelines on Tuesday had this reaction on Instagram.

RONALDO: Fake. Fake news. Do you want to -- you want to promote by my name. It's normal. They want to be famous to say my name.

BELL: His Italian team, Juventus, also came up fighting, tweeting that Ronaldo had shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication and that the events allegedly dating back almost 10 years did not change that opinion.

On Friday, Juventus shares were down 5 percent on the back of the allegations. Ronaldo only joined the club in July in a deal reportedly worth $117 million, making him one of the four most expensive players of all time. And although Las Vegas police have reopened the criminal investigation into the alleged assault last month, the rouse appears already to have taken some of the shine off a man whose golden image is worth hundreds of millions of dollars -- Melissa Bell, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Melissa, thank you.

Denials from Moscow and contempt from the United Kingdom. The latest on what's being called a failed Kremlin spy mission.






HOWELL: On the Korean Peninsula, North and South Korean officials came together on Friday in Pyongyang. It was to mark a peace declaration that the two sides agreed to back in 2007. That didn't solve long simmering tensions but it was still a reason to put on a show and have games.

This year has also seen improved ties between these long-time foes. A delegation of 160 people from South Korea was able to attend in Pyongyang.

Russia is fighting back after being accused of carrying out worldwide cyber attacks. Moscow says it's all anti-Russia hysteria. The United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are among those pointing fingers at Moscow and identifying spies.

Just this week the Netherlands announced it had expelled four officers of the GRU, a Russian intelligence agency. They were accused of planning a cyber attack on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. But despite the reputation of the GRU, a British official says the Russian agents behaved a lot like amateurs, more like amateurs than James Bond. CNN's Matthew Chance has more for us.


ROWAN ATKINSON, ACTOR, "JOHNNY ENGLISH": Johnny English. I'm here to see Pegasus.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's all too easy to mock a bungling spy. More Johnny English than James Bond is how one British minister dubbed Russia's GRU agents in a series of embarrassing blunders.

Take the four agents recently expelled from the Netherlands. Not only were they caught red handed trying to hack the global chemical weapons watchdog, but one of them even had a Moscow taxi receipt in his pocket showing a ride from GRU headquarters in the Russian capital to the airport. Great for accounting, not good for espionage.

Of course, even the best secret agents can make mistakes. Not that long ago, Russia mocked British spies after filming them using an electronic gadget disguised as a rock to receive information. And it's just a few years since an alleged CIA agent was unmasked in Moscow and shown on TV wearing a particularly bad blond wig.

The concern about recent sloppiness of Russian spies, though, is that they don't seem to really care about being caught. The suspected GRU agents accused of poisoning the Skripals in Britain earlier this year made little attempt to hide their tracks. The pair were repeatedly caught on CCTV traveling to and from Salisbury, even Novichok, the poison used, is identifiably Russian.

And as for their cover story, as broadcast on Russian state television, unconvincing is one that springs to mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Our friends have been suggesting for quite some time that we visit this wonderful city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Salisbury, a wonderful city?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): What makes it so wonderful?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's a tourist city. They have a famous cathedral there, Salisbury Cathedral. It's famous throughout Europe and in fact, throughout the world, I think. It's famous --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): -- for its 123-meter spire. It's famous for its clock.

CHANCE: Implausible deniability, that's one way of seeing it. The Kremlin sending a blunt message to its enemies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, remember, every agent would carry a pen that looked just like this, completely innocent to the untrained eye, but click it twice --

CHANCE: Plain old incompetence, though, cannot be ruled out.

"ENGLISH": Have you seen my secretary?

CHANCE (voice-over): Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


HOWELL: Matthew, thanks. It's an end of an era for an unlikely tourist attraction in the city of Tokyo. But don't worry. After 83 years, the world's largest fish market is not closing. It's just relocating to a more modern location across the bay.

The market certainly had an atmosphere. It served hundreds of kinds of seafood and known for auctions of huge frozen tunas. It sold for fortunes. The location will be used as a transport hub for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A prank has left the art world stunned and it was once again at the hands of the elusive artist, Banksy. Banksy's painting, "Girl with the Red Balloon" self destructed just moments after being sold for $1.4 million.

The painting began to pass through a shredder hidden in the artist's frame just as the final hammer signaled the end of the auction in London. No word on what happens now for the purchaser and their money.

Thanks for watching NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. For our viewers in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For viewers around the world, "AFRICAN VOICES" is ahead. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.