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Crack-Smoking Mayor Refuses to Resign; Christie Win Could Impact 2016 Elections; Cities Vote to Legalize Marijuana Possession; Michele Knight Talks of Kidnapping, Torture; Missing Mississippi Family Found Dead.

Aired November 6, 2013 - 11:30   ET



ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.


FORD: But no -- do I -- am I an addict? No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORT: When did you smoke it?

FORD: Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors probably approximately about a year ago.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And there it was, the sordid truth that this mayor could no longer outrun.

Months of secret police surveillance of Ford was made public last week in connection with the arrest of his friend and part-time driver. Sandro Lisi faces drug offenses as well as extortion charges, but police say the mayor has not been so far charged with anything. The police did confirm that they have the video, the one that allegedly shows Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine from a pipe.

And Mayor Ford says he wants to see it.

FORD: I want everyone in the city to see this tape. I would like to see the tape. I don't even recall there being a tape and a video. And I know that. So I want to see the state I was in.

NEWTON: Now Mayor Ford says, he's put it all out there, he's looking for forgiveness.

FORD: I have nothing left to hide. I embarrassed everyone in this city. And I will be forever sorry.

NEWTON: He had a lot to say except the words, "I'm stepping down."

FORD: I was elected to do a job, and that's exactly what I'm going to continue doing.

NEWTON: He intends to run for mayor again next fall.

Paula Newton, CNN, Toronto. (END VIDEOTAPE)


So here is this. Rob Ford is by no means the first politician to become embroiled in controversy and to survive it and then to get re- elected. Just for your memory here, a few others. Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Berry, videotapes smoking crack in 1990, and he actually served six months in prison for that. But then he got out and then he was elected to the D.C. city council. And that is a position that he still holds today. Take you back further, the career of the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy. That nearly ended in 1969 when he drove off the Chappaquiddick Bridge in Massachusetts. A passenger in his car, not his wife, Mary Jo Kopechne died in that crash. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and went on to a very good career. And former Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Buddy Cianci was forced to resign from office twice -- twice -- due to felony convictions.

Back in a moment.


BANFIELD: Even with 60 percent of the vote, Chris Christie didn't rack up the biggest win in yesterday's elections. That honor goes to the incoming New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who scored 73 percent of the vote. Just huge. But Christie may have actually had a bigger win overall, and I don't just mean a second term as of New Jersey governor. What do I mean?

Joining me to talk about that is senior reporter for "Politico," Alexander Burns.

Alexander, we've seen a blue map turn so incredibly red in one night. The big question is: Does that translate into a national election for president or are there so many more layers to that story?

ALEXANDER BURNS, SENIOR REPORTER, POLITICO: Ashleigh, I think it's both. But there definitely are a lot more layers to the Chris Christie 2016 story. But certainly a necessary precondition for him to be a serious candidate for the presidency, a serious candidate for the Republican nomination is he has to be able to tell a compelling story about having governed as a conservative center-right leader in a Democratic state and won approval from the voters. He's going to be able to point to statistics from yesterday's elections. If you look at some of the suburbs near New York city that he won the kind of voters that you need in order to take the White House and make the case that he's the guy who make conservatism work in elections.

BANFIELD: Good point. Now that he's going to be the chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, is he going to get tarnished right now by what is a tattered GOP brand or is he going to take all of his celebrity and good will and somehow fix that brand?

BURNS: That's sort of the million-dollar question or hundred-million- dollar question given how much money they raise for these elections. Christie is going to have to go into states like Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan and campaign with Republicans governors who do not necessarily have his personal magnetism and record of winning over Democratic voters and try to transfer some of that in 2014. And we have not seen, that kind of down-ballot, coattails campaigning work too well in either party in the last couple of years. And if you look at the elections last night in both New Jersey and Virginia, neither of the candidates who won the governor's races took that many candidates in their party with them down the ballot in state legislatures?

BANFIELD: I'll tell you one thing, he is fun to cover, no matter how you slice it. It's a blast watching him on the trail.

Alexander Burns, nice to see you. Thank you.

BURNS: Thank you.

BANFIELD: We know that champagne corks were popping and champagne was flowing last night. But some people had no interest in the champagne. They broke out the weed. Yes, sir and ma'am. Several cities in several states are celebrating differently today. We'll explain.


BANFIELD: I think it's a safe bet to say that pot lovers are likely celebrating this morning and maybe even lighting up to do so. Because voters in Portland, Maine, and three Michigan cities approved to legalizing the possession of marijuana.

Rene Marsh joins us live now from Washington.

Rene, can you run down the results and the significance of them?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ashleigh, you know what happened at the polls really mirrors public opinion on marijuana, and it really raises a question is marijuana going mainstream? In Portland, Maine, it became the first east coast city to make it legal for adults, and we're talking up to 2.5 ounces. Three Michigan cities, including the state capital, voted to remove local penalties for adults, up to an ounce of marijuana. And in Colorado, where recreational marijuana was already was already legal, nearly 70 percent of the people there voted to tax it. The measure means they will impose a 15 percent excise tax to fund school construction and 10 percent sales tax for marijuana- related to law enforcement efforts.

The opponents are arguing that the tax will make it so high that it will push people to the black market. But the prediction is this, the move will mean big bucks for the state. The nonpartisan Colorado legislative council, they're projecting that, in Colorado, this tax will generate nearly $70 million in additional revenue next year.

So you ask, what is the big picture here? We do expect that across the country we're going to see this issue come up on ballots in 2014 and 2016. But what it really shows is that the public view on marijuana has changed. Many, many people, the majority of the Americans are for legalizing marijuana. You're looking at the numbers there. 58 percent said yes, 39 percent, no -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: It keeps changing, too. And yet it's still a federal crime. It's a bit mystifying.

Rene Marsh, thank you for that.

Coming up just ahead, a young mother kidnapped and lured into a house with the promise of getting a puppy. It was just the start of a decade of torture for Michele Knight. And she is telling a lot more details about what really happened in that house. That's next.


BANFIELD: It is hard to believe that Michele knight is alive, let alone able to talk to Dr. Phil about what happened to her at the hands of Ariel Castro in that Cleveland house of horrors.

Martin Savidge looks at the heart-breaking interview.

I do want to warn you, this is hard to watch.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The interview is so powerful, it's uncomfortable. Michele Knight's words don't just tell us, they take us inside the torture rooms of a Cleveland home.


SAVIDGE: Knight's the first victim to talk in detail in the aftermath of a multiple kidnapping case that's horrified and spellbound the nation.

Speaking to TV psychology, Dr. Phil.

KNIGHT: He already had it setup to where he could tie me to the -- I think it's like a clothes line.

SAVIDGE: Knight was kidnapped by Ariel Castro in August of 2002 and wouldn't go free for 11 years.

KNIGHT: He ties me up to a pole with chains wrapped around it. The chains were so big and he wraps it around my neck. He sits me down on the floor. And he says, this is where you're going to stay until I can trust you. Now, if I do it too tight and you don't make it, that means you wasn't meant to stay here. That means God wanted to take you.

SAVIDGE: She was chained, starved and left naked in a frigid dark basement for days. Then came the sexual abuse. When she eventually became pregnant, knight described how Castro beat her resulting in miscarriage.

KNIGHT: I was standing up and he punched me with a barbell. He took the round part and he went like this. And he made it go up so it could hit the lower area of my stomach. I fell to the floor. SAVIDGE: Knight says Castro would show leniency, once giving her a puppy, a comfort that ended when the dog snapped at him and he killed it before her very eyes.

KNIGHT: Picked him up, turned his neck. All I heard was a yelp and he was gone.

SAVIDGE: The torture went on and on. Then one day Knight says she realized she was no longer alone, meaning a girl who had gone missing who she recognized from the news, Amanda Berry.

KNIGHT: Sometimes she would cry and I would tell her, everything will be OK and that one day we'll get home, we just have to wait it out.

SAVIDGE: It was just the beginning.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


BANFIELD: There is a way that you can reach out and you can help. The Cleveland Courage Fund directly benefits Michele Knight, but also Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry and Amanda's young daughter, who she had in captivity. You can log on to And I think the running tally right now is $1.4 million. You can certainly help.

When we come back, a murder mystery in Mississippi. A family's car crashed and burned and then their bodies found in some woods nearby. A possible suspect is now in custody. And a town is asking how and why this happened.


BANFIELD: A Mississippi family devastated and heartbroken because yesterday their worst fears were confirmed when the police found three missing members of their family, and all of them, dad, mom and little son in the middle, had been shot to death. Shot to death. The man now in custody, after leading police to the bodies, is named Timothy Burns.

Our national correspondent, Gary Tuchman, is live from Galman, Mississippi.

This is so bizarre, Gary. What do police think happened?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ashleigh, it is. It's so tragic and bizarre and still mysterious. But what they tell us is the 7-year-old boy, his 30-year-old mom, her newlywed husband, all found shot to death in an abandoned house right nearby where their SUV was found four days earlier, upside-down and on fire. What they're saying is the man in the jail behind me, his name is Timothy Burns, is under arrest for arson. The sheriff tells me he was driving the car, got into an accident and set it on fire. The sheriff is blunt -- he says this man is his person of interest for the murders and charges could be filed as early as today.

Also bizarre about this, the man, the suspect, according to the sheriff, told them where the bodies could be found.

So why did this happen? The sheriff says he doesn't know at all right now. He's examining any possible relationship between this man in the jail and the family that was killed.

Back to you, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: So strange.

Gary Tuchman, live for us, thank you.

We encourage you to watch Gary's reporting tonight on "A.C. 360" at 8:00 p.m. eastern. He'll have further details on the story.

Don Horton has Parkinson's disease and his wife is doing something strange. She's using magnets to make daily chores a little bit easier for him.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has our "Human Factor."




DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For more than three decades, Don Horton's life has been mostly football.

HORTON: Division I, Division II, Division III, and also a high school coach. All very rewarding experiences.

GUPTA: Then in 2006, Don became one of the 60 thousand Americans diagnosed every year with Parkinson's disease.

Perhaps the worst day came in 2009. That's when Don found himself unable to button his own shirt. Russell Wilson, who is now a quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks, helped Don with his buttons so their team could get back on the road.

HORTON: It's just a humbling experience to be helped with doing something. You can see it there, you did it before. It seems so easy for everybody else to do.

MOIRA HORTON, DON'S WIFE: There were so many challenges he was going through that I couldn't help with, but this was one change I could help.

GUPTA: Calling on her own experience as a children's clothing designer, Don's wife, Moira, got to work, creating a line of magnetic clothing, free of buttons and zippers, that would help her husband and others, regain their independence.

MOIRA HORTON: So, it's a simple as lining it up.

HORTON: I wasn't sure what to think. But as it grew, the emails she got were incredible, you know, how many people across the nation.

GUPTA: The Magna-Ready Magnets are strong enough to keep the shirts closed, but not so strong that the shirts are difficult to open.

MOIRA HORTON: And you're dressed.


GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


BANFIELD: That's just awesome. I would like that for my kids, too. Great invention.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you.

And thank you, everyone, for watching. AROUND THE WORLD with Suzanne Malveaux starts right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: A big win for Republicans in a blue state. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wins re-election.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think of yourself as a conservative or do you think of yourself as a moderate?

CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R), GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I'm a conservative. And you know, I've governed as a conservative in this state and I think that's what's led to some people disagreeing with me.


MALVEAUX: But is he conservative enough to win over Republicans in 2016?

Then Pope Francis, shaking things up once again, this time asking Catholics what they think about gay marriage and divorce. The Vatican survey on the modern family, coming up.

Plus, moments to live in. An extreme kayaker gets stuck under a waterfall and a daring rescue was caught on camera. You're going to see more of that.

You're watching AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Michael is off this week.

Well, the voters have spoken in key races around the country and we're watching closely. What does it mean for 2016 and the presidential race? The big winners are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely Republican presidential hopeful. He beat his Democratic challenger, in a mostly Democratic state by a wide margin. We're talking 60 percent of the vote. Well, Christie says he did it by reaching across the aisle, something he says Washington has not yet learned, an apparent reference to the 16-day government shutdown.