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Four Killed In Pakistan Attack; E.U. Members Meet Sunday To Ratify Brexit Agreement; France Bans 18 Saudis Over Jamal Khashoggi Murder; U.S. Missionary Apparently Killed On Forbidden Island; Facebook Under Fire; Holy Valley Hermit; Innovate Shenzhen; Chinese Consulate Attacked in Pakistan; Matthew Hedges' Wife Speaks Up; Brexit Draft Not Smooth Sailing for Theresa May; Celebrity Chefs Cooks for Fire Victims and First Responders. Aired 03-4a ET

Aired November 23, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN HOST: Britain and the E.U. agree on a draft for Brexit. But does that mean it is a done deal?

Also, a British scholar is handed a life sentence after being accused of spying in the UAE. CNN's exclusive interview with his wife.

And an American missionary killed by an isolated tribe off the coast of India after he tried to spread the gospel there.

These stories are all ahead here this hour. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen, and this is CNN Newsroom.

We will get to those stories in a moment. But first we begin with breaking news out of Pakistan, where the Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned an attack on the Chinese consulate in the country's largest city Karachi.

At least four people are dead including two policemen. Authorities say no Chinese citizens were hurt in the attack. Witnesses posted pictures as you can see here of dark smoke rising from the area but officials say the incident is over and the attackers are dead.

CNN producer Sophie Saifi -- Sophia Saifi joins us from Islamabad with more about it. What do we know about who was behind this and why, Sophia?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Natalie, we know that the Baloch Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for this attack. And they usually they're quite unknown internationally except for people who actually really focus on what's happening in Pakistan southwestern province of Balochistan.

And the fact, you know that it is the BLA attacking the Chinese consulate is what makes this attack even more important because China has considerable interest in Pakistan's province of Balochistan. In fact, China has invested close to $60 billion in Pakistan's economy

building up infrastructure and connecting Pakistan's southwestern provinces to the Arabian Sea.

And that port connecting China to the Arabian Sea is located in Balochistan in the port of Gwadar where there has been considerable work being done there by Chinese businesses and by Chinese workers, along with Pakistan's military providing them security.

And the reason why they need the security is because the members of the Balochistan Liberation Army consider -- you know, this to be an imperialist project. They think that, you know, they're a separatist movement and they consider for the Pakistani state to be their enemy.

And because Pakistan has such a strong alliance with Beijing, they consider China by proxy to be part of that imperialist project.

Now, you know, we have been briefed by the foreign minister of Pakistan and this is obviously, you know, very important for Pakistan to maintain their alliances with China. The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned this incident. He was in China just last month.

So, you know, at the moment, we're still monitoring the situation. The operation is cleared, all 21 consulates staff who were within the consulate have also survived. There have been no Chinese, you know, deaths reported. However, there have been casualties amongst the police and the security forces who were preventing this attack from taking place. Natalie.

ALLEN: That's quite unfortunate. All right. Thank you so much for the latest. Sophia Saifi for us from Islamabad.

And historic summit is underway in Brussels on Sunday, 27 leaders of the European Union are to finalize the controversial Brexit deal with the U.K. It could be a make or break moment for British Prime Minister Theresa May who says leaving the E.U. is finally within grasp.

But the tiny British outpost of Gibraltar in southern Spain has suddenly become a stumbling block. Madrid threatens to derail Brexit unless it gets more of a say about what happens there in a post-Brexit world.

Well, despite the last-minute obstacles, Britain's prime minister is forging ahead. For more about it here's CNN's Nina Dos Santos in London.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Another day and another deal on Brexit. This time it was the future political relationship that was laid out in a draft text that the E.U. and the U.K. agreed on which would lay the foundation stone for a potential future trade relationship after the U.K. would leave the E.U. on March 29 of 2019.

Theresa May made it clear both on the steps of number 10 Downing Street and the people and also to the members of parliament that you'll have to convince that this was the best deal that Britain could get.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is the right deal for the U.K. It delivers on the vote of the referendum. It brings back control of our borders, our money and our laws.

[03:05:00] And it does so while protecting jobs, protecting our security and protecting the integrity of the United Kingdom.

The agreement we reached is between the U.K. and the European Commission. It is now up to the 27 leaders of the other E.U. member states to examine this agreement in the days leading up to the special E.U. council meeting on Sunday.


DOS SANTOS: Of course, you have to rely on members of the opposition party to make up her numbers after spectacularly losing her majority in parliament in the ill-fated 2017 general election. And that means support from some of the labor backbenches will also be crucial. The leader of the opposition, though, Jeremy Corbyn, made it clear she couldn't count on that.


JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: A little over a year ago, we were constantly told by the government that at the end of the article 50 period we would have a trade deal. The International Trade secretary said it would be easiest in human history. Instead, we have 26 pages of waffle.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go on, Jeremy, carry on.

CORBYN: This empty document. This empty document could have been written two years ago. It's peppered with phrases such as the parties will look at, the parties will explore, what on earth has the government been doing for the last two years?


DOS SANTOS: So, what happens now? Well, of all the action will be taking place over the next three days in Brussels with Theresa May set to make another whistle-stop tour there before of course the big meeting taking place on Sunday between E.U. heads of state to rubber stamp a lot of paperwork that we've seen issued over the last two weeks.

Then well, the U.K. parliament will have to vote on this. And they've made it clear that they're hostile not just to the political declaration but also to the previous piece of paperwork issued last which is the 585-page detailed withdrawal document.

If the U.K. parliament does pass this, well, then it has to go back to the European parliament early next year for them to vote upon this.

Brexit by no means is said and done but at least two milestones have been achieved for Theresa May with the agreement over the last few weeks of the U.K.'s withdrawal from the E.U. and now the nature of the relationship it wants to rebuild thereafter.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.

ALLEN: As we mentioned Gibraltar has emerged as a stumbling block to Brexit ahead of Sunday's vote in Brussels. The main sticking point for Spain, what happened to Gibraltar in the post-Brexit world. Madrid wants language in the agreement that gives it a say about the British territory's future. But here's what Gibraltar's chief minister had to say.


FABIAN PICARDO, GIBRALTAR'S CHIEF MINISTER: That notwithstanding the threats that we have faced, notwithstanding the considerable challenges that we have faced. Notwithstanding the claims that some voices have wrongly suggested that Britain presented Spain with the best opportunity it had in the last 300 years to acquire sovereignty or some part of it over Gibraltar.

Gibraltar will nonetheless, and despite all of that, be part of any withdrawal agreement and transitional period. If there is one.


ALLEN: We'll have more of a look at this longstanding dispute later this hour.

Serious diplomatic consequences, that is the warning, Britain's foreign secretary is sending to the United Arab Emirates. A British Ph.D. student, Matthew Hedges is at the center of the dispute. He has been sentenced to life in prison for spying.


JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The news about Matthew Hedges is absolutely devastating. And our thoughts are with Matthew and his wife Daniela and his family today.

And we are incredibly disappointed that the UAE should so this. We see no foundation in the charges that have been laid against him. There will be serious diplomatic consequences for a country that says that it is a friend and ally of the United Kingdom.


ALLEN: So, let's walk through this story for you. He's a specialist in Middle Eastern studies at Durham University but he cannot speak or read Arabic. He was arrested as he was leaving Dubai airport after a research trip in May.

A family spokesman says he was forced to sign a confession in only Arabic. But the UAE is pushing back saying he's being treated fairly. It says Hedges was provided with translators, both in the investigation stage and during his trial and it is not true that he was asked to sign documents he did not understand.

The statement goes on to say that both the UAE and the U.K. are working together. Hedges' wife, Daniela says her husband's trial lasted just five minutes.

[03:09:59] She spoke with our Hala Gorani in her first on-camera interview since her husband was sentenced.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Have you been able to speak to him since the verdict? And do you know where he is now?

DANIELA TEJADA, MATTHEW HEDGES' WIFE: I don't know where he is now. I have not been able to speak to him. We didn't even get to say good- bye.


GORANI: In the courtroom, you weren't able to hug or kiss good-bye?

TEJADA: No. The second the sentence was given, we were both made to leave.

GORANI: What -- is it possible that he did or said or spoke to someone that might have led to some sort of misunderstanding?

TEJADA: Absolutely not.


GORANI: With the UAE including?

TEJADA: I think the only misunderstanding is his research. It's not unheard of that governments in authoritarian regimes particularly, misinterpret academic research as espionage work or as a threat. And Matt sadly is the first person to endure such a travesty in the UAE, as a western academic.

GORANI: And you just met with a foreign secretary of this country, Jeremy Hunt. Did you -- did that -- did that meeting encourage you? What came out of it?

TEJADA: I am very hopeful that now the British government has taken firmer stance about the matter, and emphasized through their stance the fact that Matt is innocent that the UAE will come to terms with reality.


ALLEN: We will of course continue to bring you any more developments in that story. France has joined other European Union nations in banning and

sanctioning 18 Saudi citizens over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The French foreign ministry said his death is a crime of extreme gravity and runs counter the freedom of the press and fundamental right.

Meantime, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is receiving a warm reception in the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi crown prince said the UAE will always be a quote, "supportive home for our brothers in Saudi Arabia."

And Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is defending the crown prince in a television interview. He says Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in Khashoggi's death and downplayed the killing as a misstep.


ADEL BIN AHMED AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We heard in the middle of our review of our procedures and policies with regards to intelligence operations and make sure that the lines of authority are clear so that we don't have a mistake like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, that's a pretty extraordinary breach of authority, murdering somebody inside a Saudi consulate.

AL-JUBEIR: Absolutely, yes. But unfortunately, these things mistake like this happen with other governments.


ALLEN: Coming up here, Donald Trump also has some words of thanks for U.S. troops and himself. How he managed to turn Thanksgiving into his own political pep rally.

Plus, the Trump administration is set to release a major climate change report but some people are suspicious about its timing.


ALLEN: The Thanksgiving holiday did not keep President Trump from talking politics. Asked what he was thankful for, the president praised himself and, the quote, "tremendous difference he's made in the country." He had been speaking by phone with members of the U.S. military around the world.

Jeff Zeleny is in West Palm Beach where the president is spending the holiday.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: In a Thanksgiving Day phone call from his resort in Mar-a-Lago President Trump talking to military commanders across the world. Talking to a general in Afghanistan, talking to a commander of a ship in Bahrain and other military officials.

Now this would all be a normal course of events for a commander in chief to call in on troops serving around the world but the president quickly turned it political talking about a variety of hotspots around the world, including the U.S. southern border.

The president essentially asking members of the military if they agreed with his position. The president also blasting other countries for their policies against the U.S. also disposing some operational details.

But it was the conversation with the president doubling down on his defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that certainly raised eyebrows all over that brutal murder of Washington Post opinion columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The president said he believes the Saudi crown prince feels badly about it. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hate the crime, I hate what's done, I hate the coverup. And I will tell you this. The crown prince hates it more than I do. And they have vehemently denied it. The CIA points it both ways, you know, and as I said, maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But I will say very strongly that it's a very important ally, and if we go by a certain standard, we won't be able to have any allies with almost any country.


ZELENY: So, the president there drawing a moral equivalence to what he believes is an ally in Saudi Arabia versus other allies around the world, never once talking about the moral leadership and the moral questions here that so many others have raised, including Republican allies of the White House.

Now the president went on in that unusual phone call with military advisors followed by a Q&A session with reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort for nearly an hour talking about troops along the borders and that controversial ruling that ended up with the president in a fight with the Supreme Court justice here in the U.S., Chief Justice John Roberts.

He called him an Obama judge. Of course, the chief justice pushed back so the president pushed back as well, and it was essentially bringing in the independent judiciary into his political argument fray here.

So, the president certainly unscripted and unsupervised in many respects. Most senior White House advisors are not here in Florida for the Thanksgiving Day vacation. But the president after doing all of that spent most of the rest of the day on the golf course.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.

ALLEN: So, is President Trump trying to pit the U.S. military against the U.S. judicial branch over his border policy? I post that question earlier to Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England.


SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: From the military side, Donald Trump over the wishes of military advisers, including the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered almost 6,000 U.S. troops to that border to stop immigrants who in fact are thousands of miles away. Not in near Texas but near in California.

Donald Trump has ordered that the military, possibly unconstitutionally should be allowed to use armed force against those immigrants and that has the military concerned.

At the same time over immigration, Donald Trump is trying to overrun the courts. He has tried to say that the ninth circuit court is unjust when it tries to rule, for example, that there is a right to asylum.

And when John Roberts intervened to talk specifically about judicial independence Donald Trump tried to push him back and say sorry, chief justice, you need to be quiet here because courts, in order words, should not act against Donald Trump, the military should not respond to Donald Trump.

[03:20:02] That cutting-edge issue right now of immigration will continue for weeks because of Trump and his advisor Stephen Miller. And the question is, does the White House get its way or is there some attempt by the military and especially the courts to defend their position in the American system?


ALLEN: U.S. House Republicans have issued subpoenas to former FBI director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The House judiciary is asking for private depositions early next month on FBI actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Comey tweeted that he received the subpoena and he's happy to answer questions publicly but he says, he doesn't want to speak privately because of what he calls selective leaking and distortion.

In Northern California, the nonprofit group World Central Kitchen teamed up with celebrity chefs and businesses to provide 15,000 meals to fire victims and first responders this Thanksgiving.

They're in the Paradise region, an area hard hit by the so-called Camp Fire over the past two weeks.

Our Nick Watt has more on this generous deed and the latest efforts to control this deadly fire.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a moment of respite here for the people in Chico, California. Two weeks ago, this fire broke out and it's still not fully extinguished. Although we had some rain last night that did help dampen those spots. In fact, more rain tonight that authorities fear might actually cause some problems and cause some mudslides, they are fingers crossed that is not going to be the case.

But it is of course, Thanksgiving here in the United States. And that means Thanksgiving dinner. Now here we got chef Jose Andres who is over there and Guy Pierre, both celebrity chefs in this country who have made Thanksgiving dinner for 15,000 people and it is being served by volunteers and members of Cal Fire who have been fighting this blaze as well.

The destruction one firefighter told me unlike anything he's seen in his 25 years fighting fires here in California. Nearly 14,000 homes have been destroyed. The death toll will sadly probably continue to rise as the searchers make their way through more and more devastated neighborhoods.

Some people are being allowed back in, but not yet to the town of Paradise, that town of 27,000 people virtually burned off the map. The hurt goes on here in California. But for now, a bit of respite, thanks to chefs, and some pie. Back to you.

ALLEN: We've all had plenty of pie. Now we got to move on.

The Trump administration is just hours away from releasing a major report on climate change. President Trump of course has been openly skeptical of global warming. And critics argue the report is being released on black Friday, that's one of the lowest news days in the year in the U.S. And that it is being released at this time in an effort to bury the story.

Our Derek Van Dam joins us now to talk about it. Certainly, at every occasion, President Trump will not acknowledge climate change.


ALLEN: So, the timing is kind of interesting.

VAN DAM: Yes. Regardless of the controversial early release of the important assessment, the one thing is for sure. It's an important report for us. Because specifically in the U.S., because it puts in the context the state of our climate as we speak right now.

And what it is going to do is this is going to contribute to this overwhelming amount of evidence that's piling up that global warming is happening, it is manmade and its serious impacts like the California wildfires, for instance, are only going to become more frequent and more severe in the future.

We do know that 17 of the top 18 warmest years have occurred since the year 2000. This just puts it all in perspective as well. The period of warming that the earth has gone through lately.

Now we're releasing volume two of the national climate assessment. What was volume one about? Well, that was actually the science, the driving forces behind climate change. The difference with volume two is that it is going to break down the U.S. into regions, instead of a national outlook, we'll going to talk about the specific impacts, the risks and the potential adaptations for individual cities and locations across the country.

Two thousand seventeen was a record-breaking year, 16 record disasters costing the U.S. over $1 U.S. billion. That tie to previous record back in 2011. Volume two of the National Climate Assessment report as I mentioned, is going to talk about the specific impacts and threats for individual locations across the U.S., like sea level rise, for instance, or about the frequency in occurrence of heavy rain events that cause widespread flooding along the East Coast that's increasing.

We also know that wildfires are increasing as well. The burn year is becoming longer and our ongoing drought that we talk about so frequently.

[03:24:57] One thing for sure, global greenhouse gas emissions they are going up as we emit these warming gases into the atmosphere, from transportation, electricity, our industries, our agriculture.

And we're seeing that direct link with this explosive amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and extreme weather events like droughts, wildfires, and even hurricanes and the intensity of hurricanes, for instance.

So, lot to talk about in this report, it's going to be released on black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. It is a U.S. specific climate analysis, but there is a lot of really good information. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this 300-page report, Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes. You'll be reporting on it and hopefully I will be talking with a climate scientist about this as well.


VAN DAM: I'm looking forward that as well.

ALLEN: And you know, Derek, I want to show our viewers this treat -- this tweet from President Trump. So, we just mentioned, he does not acknowledge climate change and he tweeted this. He says, "The brutal and extended cold blast could shatter all records. Whatever happened to global warming?" He's often looking for ways to debunk it and this is something he often says a lot and we address it.

VAN DAM: yes. You know, this is a really misleading tweet for people around the world. And it's because he's misleading the person who is reading the tweet that weather and climate are the same thing. But, indeed, they're not.

Weather is what happens to us in the short-term. It's snowing outside, it's raining today, the temperatures are very cold in the northeast today, a climate is weather average over a long period of time, like 30, or 40 years or even longer periods.

And analogy to better understand this, is weather is like your mood today, maybe you're angry, maybe you're sad, maybe you're happy, but climate which is a long-term average is like your personality, it's how you and I behave over the course of our entire lives.

ALLEN: All right. Thank you for that. Of course, again, we'll covering that story tomorrow. Derek, thanks very much.

All right, unwanted attention. This is a fascinating story, unwanted attention on a remote tribe on a forbidden island after they allegedly killed a missionary who was there to try to reach them and spread the gospel.

We'll tell you why that was so dangerous, not just for him obviously, but for these people.

Plus, Facebook under fire after a marriage auction goes viral on its site. Why some say the social network is responsible for allowing the bidding to take place.


ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories for you this hour.

Authorities in Karachi, Pakistan says four people are dead including two policemen in an attack on the Chinese consulate.

[03:30:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: A separatist group has claimed responsibility. Officials say the incident is over and three attackers are dead and no Chinese officials were hurt.

The U.K. draft Brexit plan is expected to be ratified Sunday by E.U. ambassadors in Brussels. It includes a second agreement on future trade and security issues. Spain's Prime Minister said he will oppose the deal unless Madrid is given a say about Gibraltar, future Brexit.

France is banning and sanctioning 18 Saudis citizens over the killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The French foreign ministry says his death is a crime of extreme tragedy and runs counter to the freedom of the press and fundamental rights. Germany mad a similar announcement on Monday.

A Christian missionary from the United States appears to have been killed by inhabitants of a remote island up the coast if India. Authorities say John Allen Chau went to the north sentinel island to preach, even though it is illegal to go there. And the reasons are very important. The tribe living on that island is considered the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world. Nikhil Kumar has more about it from New Delhi.


NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI'S BUSINESS CHIEF: A remote Indian island, and an isolate tribe and a suspected murder of an American Christian missionary. The saga on John Allen Chau disappearance has captivated people in India and beyond as authorities try to pinpoint what exactly happened. Police say 27 year-old Chau, came to India on a tourist visa, but went to the country's north Sentinel Island to preach and convert its inhabitants. The tribe's people known as the Sentinelese were protected by Indian law.

Just over a dozen people are sought to live on the remote island of the country's East Coast. It is off limits for outsiders. No one is allowed with five nautical miles of the island. The rule is meant to protect the tribe and outsiders, because of the tribe's history of forcefully repelling strangers. But police say Chau found a local fishermen who could take him close to the island in mid-November, he used the canoe the rest of the way. That is when tragedy struck. According to the fishermen who say that day's alter, they saw the tribe's people dragging Chau's body around. Now the police haven't independently verified that Chau has been killed. They have been going by the testimony of the fisherman who had been arrested for facilitating Chau's trip.

Offender Chau tells CNN they knew the island was a restricted area and his mission there was illegal. He wanted to go there to get to know the island's way of life, eventually share the gospel and perhaps translate the bible according to this friend. But based on what authorities are saying, the mission ended in most tragic of ways. Nikhil Kumar, CNN, New Delhi.


ALLEN: So we all had become fascinated with this tribe that lived isolated on the island for thousands of years. We want to talk more about these people. Our Cyril Vanier spoke with the Andaman editor of the chronicle, Denis Giles, he is on a Port Blair in the Andaman Island, it is near the north Sentinel Island where the tribe lives. Here is how he describes the Sentinelese people.


DENIS GILES, ANDAMAN EDITOR, THE CHRONICLE: They have been isolated for thousands of years and they don't have any kind of connection with the outside world and that means that they lack any kind of immunity from the disease that lies outside. So the population of the North Sentinelese is again estimated to be from 15 to around 100. This is also depending on the size of the island and the resource availability.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN SHOW HOST: What about their lifestyle? What kind of people are they?

GILES: The Sentinelese and others of the Andaman Islands, they're basically hunting and gathering community. They don't do farming and restricted to hunting and gathering.

VANIER: Now we have some insight into what happened when John Chou made it ashore, because he actually described some in his diary which he then left with the fishermen who had brought him to the island. His mother recovered the diary and shared some of it with the Washington Post. So he wrote this, I quote, I hollered, my name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you. You guys might think I'm crazy in all of this, but I think it is worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people. Do you know of any past instances of people trying to make contact with the Sentinelese and how that happened and what happened?

[03:35:00] GILES: See, in 2006, there was an incident where two local fishermen got drifted and reached the north Sentinelese island and they were later killed by the North Sentinelese and their body was seen on the sand at the seashore. The North Sentinelese have always been hostile and the indication is even after the tsunami of 2004 when the authorities tried to contact them. They shot arrows at the helicopters and the ships that approach as a mark of protest that they don't agree to accept any kind of outsiders in the land. The thing is like, we should try to understand that -- that the north Sentinelese are endangered of originals tribal on the island and they're protected under several rules, regulations and laws.

So any attempt to contact them is illegal. And moreover, if we even try to recover the bodies or the body of Chou in the present instance, we might be posing a great risk to the people who lack immunity to the kind of diseases which lie in the outside world.


ALLEN: Unbelievable. These people are fascinating and hope they could be left in peace.

Growing criticism against Facebook after posts related to a marriage auction appeared on its platform. The post discussed the auction of a teenage girl from South Sudan. She was reportedly bid on by five men, including government officials. Activists say the social network allow violations against women to be enhance calling it a barbaric use of technology. CNN's Farai Sevenzo reports. The case is now raising questions of marriage traditions in the country.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Incredible story of a young woman named Yalong Gongden (ph) has gone viral all through south Sudan and indeed all through East Africa. Why is that? It is because three powerful men have been bidding for her hand in marriage. Of course their winning bid is the talk of all social media. The man who won had her hand in marriage, paid 500 cows, three cars and $10,000. Why does this matter? It might because, the center of it is the issue of women's rights. People like the national alliance for women's lawyers and all kinds of issues about why is it a young woman, a young girl for that matter, of this age can be bought in a way by a man so much older, who already has wife, but of course, this is tradition.

The Dinka in South Sudan do their marriages in this way. They offer a dowry and the parents accept it and they marry the girl. And of course, all of this is considering south Sudan's position in the world. South Sudan is a very poor country. The last African country to be independent in Africa which has been ravaged by war. On CNN we continuously cover stories of South Sudanese -- refugees all over this part of the world.

And of course, also at the center of it, why is it that men -- politicians is South Sudan, can afford to pay out this kind of money? And then we need to understand, what is it about the traditional marriage in South Sudan? Here's what the governor of the east lake region says about this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2011 when she was 10 years old and our families were neighbors to hers, she was a people in (inaudible) a town in South Sudan and I even paid her school fees at that time, because I grew up knowing her. Her parents know this is the truth. This is when I approached the parents and asked for the girl's hand in marriage when she matures. It is common practice here and acceptable in our culture since time in memorial. In our traditional Dinka culture, it is allowed. Why can't it happen now?

SEVENZO: Bu of course he lost his efforts to try to win her hand. The winner, a businessman, is now her husband. The story will don't mesmerize people all over social media in south Sudan and east Africa. We wait to hear how she feels about it. Was she coerced into it? SI it something she wanted to do? Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.


ALLEN: Photos posted on Facebook show her sitting beside the groom wearing a lavish dress and staring at the floor. She is his ninth wife.

The outcome of Sunday's E.U. summit on Brexit could hinge on the tiny British outpost of Gibraltar. It is slither of land of the southernmost tip of Spain that once held enormous military significance. Those days are gone, but not its political symbolism. We learn more about it from CNN's Nic Robertson.


[03:40:04] NIC ROBERTSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gibraltar, population 30,000 proud Brits, a vestige of U.K. Colonial power, now are not so strategic rocky spit, strangling out into the Mediterranean from southern Spain. More than a thousand miles from mainland U.K. And now not unsurprisingly putting a wrinkle in Brexit negotiation. Last year, the Rock Chief Minister gave me a flavor of behind the scenes tensions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spain insist that Gibraltar must be Spanish and we must handover a slice of Gibraltar at least to her and mostly become entirely Spanish.

ROBERTSON: Now come the 11th hour of Brexit talks in Brussels and Spain is throwing a wrench in the E.U's carefully coordinated plans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I have to say that we feel displeased. We found in the withdrawal agreement a number of elements, one article, article one eight four that call into question Spain's capacity to negotiate with the United Kingdom on the future of Gibraltar. And the Spanish government cannot accept that.

THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, BRITISH: I spoke it the Prime Minister in Spain, we've worked constructively with the governments of Spain and Gibraltar on the negotiation on the withdrawal agreement. We want this work to continue in the future relationship. But I was absolutely clear that Gibraltar's British sovereignty will be protected.

ROBERTSON: As the clock ticks down, tensions on these are rising. All 27 E.U. leaders must sign off on the deal, there was impatient to get it done.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (TRANSLATOR): I still have an objection on Spain. I can't say exactly how we will solve this issue, but I hope it will be solved by Sunday over the coming days more work will be done on the future relationship between Great Britain and the E.U.

ROBERTSON: And while they decide, back on the rock, views expressed to me last year are likely only pardoning.

What is it that you are worried about that Spain wants? What are they trying to get out of this Brexit deal??

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to get Gibraltar back.

ROBERTSON: They've been through hard times with Spain here before. The border blockade from 69 to 82.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spain, they always treated us the same. It hasn't changed.

ROBERTSON: Although almost everyone here voted against Brexit they are British before Spanish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100 percent British. I don't want to die being a Spaniard.

ROBERTSON: In Brussels talks are far on that kind of life and death choice. Quiet diplomacy is still the winning formula. Spain's longstanding desire to have a greater say in the future of the rock for now at least seems unlikely to crash the process connections the rock residence gave me last year, look set to hold true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will find a way to survive, but we will find a way to take Gibraltar forward, despite Spain's attempts.

ROBERTSON: It would be foolish however, to think that Gibraltar won't be making the headlines again, but another delicate moment in the torturous Brexit process. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ALLEN: Next on CNN Newsroom, with a record drought in Afghanistan, some families are forced into an unthinkable decision. Sell their child so the rest of the family can eat. Also ahead here, we'll take you high up in the mountains of Lebanon to meet an 84-year-old man from Columbia and we'll tell you why he is chosen to live his life as a hermit.


ALLEN: A record drought in Afghanistan is forcing some families to do the unthinkable, sell their child to feed the rest of the family. CNN's Nic Payton Walsh has the exclusive report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Record violence, Taliban control of territory they're fleeing. While ISIS were unparalleled of air strikes by the coalition has finally forced then from their homes, they are instead running from drought. As record dry spell forcing more families in Afghanistan from their homes this year than the war has. And as if Afghanistan hasn't already broken all superlatives for its misery, this is what it is driving them to.

Meet Memerine, and her six year-old daughter, Akila. You think a tiny family united under plastic sheeting, but desperation means it hasn't turned out that way. Memerine has sold Akila for $3,000 to this man, (inaudible) who will give her to his 10-year-old son, (inaudible). Listen to how they got her. Memerine first.

I fled my village, she said. My three children, because of severe drought. I came here thinking we are save from the systems, but I got nothing. To avoid starvation among my children, I gave my daughter to a man for about $3,000 and only got $70 so far. I have no money, no food, no bread winner, my husband was also killed. She doesn't know, but I sold her. How could she know? She is a child. But I had no other choice. What if Akila tries to run, we asked, whether in tears or laughter she said, Akila, will have to go. Who would sell a piece of their heart unless they really had to? Akila's buyer, (inaudible) thinks buying a six-year-old girl is an act of charity.

Her family don't have anything to eat, he says. They were hungry. I know, I'm also poor, but I'm sure I could pay it off slowly in two or three years. The cameraman asks, aren't they children? It doesn't matter he says, these things happen here. Even an old man marrying a young girl. It happens. He also fled the drought. The U.N. said it has put 275,000 people on the move this year. About half from around the area.

The wheat crop has failed us, he says, we couldn't grow melons, all of the other crops failed, because of the drought. We lost our livestock, the sheep, cows, and goats, all died of hunger, because this wasn't fodder for them. Around the camp we hear this kind of horrific story repeated. Here, this man sold his four-year-old daughter to a 20-year-old man to settle a debt. It is a world of survival and unimaginable choices were families must betray each other just to live. And winters ahead, promising to be colder as (inaudible) and hungry or two. Nic Paton Walsh, CNN.


ALLEN: In India, a baby girl is lucky to be alive after a train passed right over her. This is hard to believe. Take a look.

Can you believe that? The girl was accidentally dropped on the tracks the seconds before that train went through the station and miraculously the baby survived. As you can see cellphone showing the train passing right over the child. Somehow leaving her unharmed. She didn't move thank goodness.

[03:50:10] Well, if you were looking for out of the way destination for your next vacation, the mountains of Lebanon just might be the place for you. They become something of a tourist attraction for interesting reasons. Thanks to an 84-year-old hermit whose life is not always so secluded. CNN's Ben Wedeman made the trek.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Waterfalls on the cliffs down below to a rushing stream and a lush green paradise high up in Mount Lebanon. This is Lebanon's Bsharri Kadisha of Holy Valley. For centuries people fled here to escape religious persecution, or to avoid the law, others came here to flee sometimes permanently the madness of modern life or civilization in general.

Traditionally this valley a UNESCO world heritage site was home to hermits from the Maronite Christian church. And seeking solitude in the caves of this remote Lebanon. Only one hermit remains here. To get to him we walked for more than an hour along sometimes treacherous paths. When we finally reached 84-year-old father Dario Escobar, originally from Columbia, he had few words for us as one might expect from a (inaudible).

He did however list all the things he must shun. Telephones are forbidden, radios are forbidden, internet is forbidden, women is forbidden, he tells in Arabic. He is been in Lebanon since 1990 and a hermit in Bsharri Kadisha for the last 18 years. His isolation however, is far from complete. On this day, we weren't the only visitors to father Dario's hermitage. Almost 200 high school seniors trekked here on a field trip led by brother Carlos McKeown also from Columbia, who explains why the Kadisha's historical significance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Christians were in this part and many of the -- many of -- many are here.

WEDEMAN: Earthly distractions have whittled down the number of Lebanon hermits to a mere handful. The candles for the saints and martyrs still burns in these caves, but for how much longer? Ben Wedeman, CNN, Bsharri Kadisha, Lebanon.


ALLEN: To China next and the electric car maker blazing new trails and the big named American investor that is backing them.


ALLEN: China hopes to fight its pollution problem by selling 2 million electric vehicles by 2020. An innovative company in Shenzhen is challenging U.S. automaker Tesla as the top seller. It cranks out more than 100,000 cars a year.

[03:55:00] CNN's Matt Rivers took it's the latest model for a test drive.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a race to dominate the global electric vehicle market, you may think that American carmaker Tesla is leading the pack, but several Chinese competitors are catching up. If not already ahead and if you believe the snazzy car ads, one of them might just win.

This is a high quality video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. RIVERS: This is one of the hopefuls. BYD, or Build Your Dreams. The

company launched here in Shenzhen 23 years ago. And what you might not heard of it, investors have.

It is a big milestone, when Warren Buffet invest in a company.


RIVERS: Mia Gu, is one of the brand managers here.


RIVERS: She shows us their latest model. Most aren't that flashy, cheaper and designed with the average consumer in mind. Some are sleeker than others, Mia called them sexy. Only one way to find out, we take their so-called new generation tongue out for a spin.

So quiet.

This sells for about half the price of Tesla's popular model S, and that is their big pitch, it is just like Tesla, but for less.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tesla's price now is still a little bit expensive for many people.

RIVERS: China is the world's largest automobile market and it is also the world's biggest polluter, no wonder perhaps that authorities want 2 million electric vehicles sold here by 2020 and they offer subsidies to car buyers to help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the biggest as in the killer, of (inaudible) is the exhaust.

RIVERS: They produce over 100,000 electric vehicles per year. Sold in China and California, and everywhere in between, with a global workforce that is 220,000 strong. Clearly China is going all in on new energy. Now, Tesla wants in here too. Elon Musk's company recently announced they would open a plant in Shanghai, not that BYD is worried.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are open to competition. We welcome one more industry players.

RIVERS: Of course, the ride could be bumpy, after years of explosive growth, BYD's profits dropped 20 percent in 2017. Some now wonder if the dream of electric vehicles here is too dependent on those government subsidies, and what happens if they go away? But for now the company is confident that the future they say is electric. Matt Rivers, CNN, Shenzhen.


ALLEN: And that future can't come soon enough. Thanks for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @allencnn. The news continues next here on CNN with Max Foster in London. Thanks so much for watching. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)