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Australian Say Yes To Same-Sex Marriage; British Prime Minister May's Brexit Plan Survives First Debate; Roy Moore SAGA; Migrant Slave Auction Held In Several Libyan Cities; Salvator Mundi By Leonardo Da Vinci. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 15, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] MAX FOSTER, HOST, CNN: Modern day slave auction is the horror facing some migrants in Libya. A CNN exclusive this hour. Also ahead, what's happening in Harare, Zimbabwe's army takeover the airways but insist they've not orchestrated a military coup.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They voted yes for fairness. They voted yes for commitment. They voted yes for love.


FOSTER: Australians say yes, voting in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. Now the politicians have to get to work.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. This is CNN Newsroom.

Zimbabwe's military is intervening in the country's political crisis but denies carrying out a coup. The dispute is over who will succeed President Robert Mugabe after 37 years in office.

A military spokesman interrupted state-run television assuring the president and his family are safe.


SIBUSISIWE MOYO, MAJOR GENERAL, ZIMBABWE NATIONAL ARMY: To put our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government.

What the defense forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social, and economic situation in our country, which, if not addressed, may result in violent conflict.


FOSTER: The military backs the former vice president, who is seen as the likely successor to the president, but Mr. Mugabe fired him last week. Many analysts believe the 93-year-old president is clearing the way for his wife Grace, to succeed him.

Our Farai Sevenzo is following the story from Nairobi in Kenya. The semantics here, first of all, it is a coup, isn't it?

FARAI SEVENZO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, you've got a good point there. But, look, let's look at what they've done, Max. They've taken over the state broadcasters Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. They have confined the head of state to his residence in Borrowdale just outside of Harare.

There are pictures emanating from social media of soldiers, tanks on the street. To all intents and purposes, it looks like what, how many coups in Africa start. But the army is at pains to tell us that this is not a military takeover. They are doing this to safeguard their Constitution and arrest what they're calling criminals and looters within Mr. Mugabe's circle.

SO that's where we are at the moment. We're not calling it a coup. But any student of African politics will notice that the modus operandi of many are coup in the actions that Zimbabwean army have taken.

FOSTER: They haven't told us either what they want out of this. They're speaking quite generally, aren't they? What do you think they're after here because we've mentioned the vice president and they're clearly siding with him?

SEVENZO: Well, Max, you must remember that for the last three years, Mrs. Mugabe, that's Grace Mugabe, 53 years old, she was barely a child when many of these leaders in Zanu PF were leading the liberation struggle, including Emmerson Mnangagwa who is being at Mugabe's side for the last 40 years or so.

In fact, when he was first arrested in 1960 for political activism, Mrs. Mugabe had not yet been born. And what they want basically is to stop the first lady's meteoric rise to the center of political power in Zimbabwe.

They're saying that she has sidelined many of the stalwarts of Zanu PF's revolutionary ideals including former Vice President Joice Muhuru, and of course as you said last week, Emmerson Mnangagwa who is a pivotal character in the development of the Zanu PF and indeed Zimbabwe.

And that urge the army. They went in and are saying they are trying to arrest criminals, at least criminals we know from the whole buzz about the Zimbabwean political life are many people allied to Grace G40 section. People like Ignatius Chombo, the finance minister Saviour Kasukuwere, and Jonathan Moyo, we don't know where the whereabouts of these individuals are, but that is probably what was motivating the army to take control.

[03:05:04] FOSTER: OK. Farai, thank you.

The U.S., the Attorney General faced a marathon session of questioning on Capitol Hill about Russian contacts with the Trump administration. Jeff Sessions corrected himself on the events in one key meeting.

But as Pamela Brown reports, he was vague about the details.

PAMELA BROWN, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Today Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifying under oath that he never misled Congress regarding contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.


JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: In and all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory. But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied. That is a lie.


BROWN: But after previously testifying he was not aware of any contacts between Trump campaign surrogates and Russians, Sessions is now changing that answer.

Campaign adviser George Papadopoulos who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians revealed that he proposed setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Putin during a campaign conference with Sessions. Sessions testifying today he now recalls pushing back against such a meeting.


SESSIONS: I do now recall that the March 2016 meeting at the Trump hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting. After reading his account and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government or any other foreign government for that matter.


BROWN: Sessions has been criticized for not recalling contacts earlier this year that would later be revealed. Today Sessions said the confusion of the campaign led to his incorrect responses.


SESSIONS: It was a form of chaos every day from day one. We traveled sometimes to several places in one day. Sleep was in short supply.


BROWN: Sessions' grilling comes just one day after a report from the Atlantic showing Donald Trump, Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the height of the presidential campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This just came out. WikiLeaks. I love WikiLeaks.


BROWN: WikiLeaks sent several Twitter direct messages to Trump Junior, including requesting that he and his father tout WikiLeaks content to their supporters. One message from WikiLeaks on October 12th told Trump Junior their site was posting new e-mails that were stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Just a short time later, Donald Trump himself tweeted about WikiLeaks. Trump Junior released the messages Monday night.

Well, Don Junior's attorney says there's nothing worrisome about the communications, emphasizing that it was mainly one-sided that WikiLeaks continued to reach out through July of this year, but Don Junior had stopped responding as of late 2016.

Meantime, there's been a mixed reaction on Capitol Hill about the messaging. With the chairman of the judiciary committee, Chuck Grassley, coming out and calling those messages innocuous.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.

FOSTER: CNN contributor and former Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty joins us with more on Russia's reaction. No immediate reaction from them on this but how they are taking all of these hearings in Washington?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: You know, Max, I really don't expect that we'll get much of any reaction. That's usually what happens. All of these hearings on Capitol Hill, the live shots, et cetera, there really is no particular reaction because in a sense, why should they? Why should they get into the weeds in something that they deny even happened?

So, you know, it's really kind of a standoff position by the Russian government, by people in the government who comment, let's say, on Twitter, et cetera, just to say that this is ridiculous and there is no way.

And don't forget, you know, just this past week, we had the meeting between President Trump and President Putin at the Asian -- at the APEC meeting. And president Trump asked the Russian president yet again, did you do it? And yet again, President Putin said, no.

In fact, at the news conference later, he said there's really absolutely no basis for even discussing this issue. It never happened. Russia did not interfere.

So I think the takeaway, at least the way I look at it right now is Russia has decided, at least publicly, that this is ridiculous, ludicrous, and laughable. So they are downplaying it, just saying, you would have to be crazy to believe this.

The problem is that I don't think they fully comprehend what's going on in Washington and what's going on in the United States with the reaction to this, which as you can tell, is quite serious. Regardless of where you come down on the issue, this discussion is very serious, and investigations are continuing.

[03:10:03] FOSTER: What about the public in Russia what do they make of it? Are they proud that Russia has got this position on the world stage or are they embarrassed?

DOUGHERTY: Well, I think you know, it's kind of a complex reaction because I think Russian people also many of them think that it's completely ridiculous, that why would Russia want to do that? After all, the United States says that it's a big democracy. How could this possibly happen that little old Russia would have this influence in big America's elections?

I do think also there is some pride on the other hand, seriously, that some Russians feel they are in the focus right now and that President Putin is becoming the person whom the world looks to -- this is all in quotes, of course -- for leadership, sobriety, clearness of thought, fighting terrorism, et cetera. But I don't think that really almost -- very few people really believed that they interfered at least here in Russia.

FOSTER: OK. Jill in Moscow, thank you.

Next on CNN Newsroom, why President Trump's ability to launch nuclear weapons is under intense scrutiny by U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Plus, China detained the wife and young son of a North Korean defector now he's begging the Chinese president to help.

And CNN travels to Libya after a tip about migrant slave trading. Later this hour, how this video clip lets our exclusive report.


NIMA ELBAGIR, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The numbers roll in. These men are sold for 1,200 Libyan pounds, $400 apiece. You are watching an auction of human beings.



FOSTER: Four people are dead and at least 10 others wounded after gunman went on a rampage in Northern California. Police believe an argument with a neighbor may have set them off. He shot people at seven different locations before police finally killed him.

At an elementary school authorities say the gunman fired through windows and walls but couldn't get into the secured building. The school district has one student was wounded by gunfire while others were hurt by flying glass.

There are growing concerns about U.S. laws allowing President Trump to launch nuclear weapons. Sources say U.S. allies and lawmakers from both parties want the White House to assure them he won't launch a nuclear strike rashly.

Our Barbara Starr reports on that.


TRUMP: We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.


BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: A warning from President Trump what will happen if the U.S. is forced to defend itself against North Korea.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president recognizes that we're running out of time.

BEN CARDIN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Many interpret that to mean that the president is actively considering the use of nuclear weapons in order to deal with the threat of North Korea.


[03:15:02] STARR: The rhetoric leading to an extraordinary hearing. For the first time in more than 40 years, the Senate foreign relations committee publicly questioning how and when a president can launch nuclear weapons. But this time it is also about Donald Trump.


CHRIS MURPHY, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: We are concerned that the President of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile as a decision making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapon strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests.


STARR: CNN has learned that some U.S. allies as well as some in Congress have sought reassurances that Trump could not rashly order a nuclear strike even though he has the authority to do so.


ED MARKEY, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Many Americans share my fear that the president's bombastic words could turn into nuclear reality.


STARR: But sharp warnings about changing decades of the president's ultimate war authority.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if we were to change the decision-making process in some way because of a distrust of this president, I think that would be an unfortunate precedent.


STARR: A former top nuclear commander underscoring a nuclear strike order must be legal in proportion to the threat.


C. ROBERT KEHLER, RETIRED COMMANDER, UNITED STATES STRATEGIC COMMAND: If there is an illegal order presented to the military, the military is obligated to refuse to follow it.


STARR: And no appetite for change from the defense secretary.


JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think that we have to keep trust, keep faith in the system that we have that has proven effective now for decades.


FOSTER: That was Barbara Starr reporting for us from Washington.

Now, North Korean defectors begging China's President Xi Jinping to free his wife and 4-year-old son. He's not seen his family since they were detained by Chinese authorities earlier this month while attempting to flee from North Korea.

Our Paula Hancocks is following the story from Seoul for us. What more have you managed to find out, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Max, it's certainly a dangerous trip, maybe even deadly in some cases that defectors take, showing their desperation in some cases to try and leave their homelands.

Now we have heard from human rights groups that China has started to increase a crackdown on trying to prevent defectors from crossing China and going into South Korea here. And we know one man has found that very personally. His wife and son have just been detained shortly in China, and he is begging the Chinese president to let them go.


HANCOCKS: A father begs for the lives of his wife and 4-year-old son. Mr. Lee is a North Korean defector. His family was detained in China more than a week a while they too were trying to escape. We're concealing their identities to protect other family members still inside North Korea.

China doesn't see defectors as refugees but as illegal economic migrants and returns them to North Korea and almost certain punishment. "When defectors are caught trying to go to South Korea," Lee tells me,

"they're sent to political camps and never leave. From what I know, in two to three years, maybe less, you'll wither to death. Because my son is young, if he's not sent to the camp with his mother, he'll wander the streets like an orphan and die there."

Lee breaks down repeatedly. He says he defected alone in 2015, carrying poison in case he was caught. In October, he arranged for his wife and son to escape. But on November 4th, they were arrested by Chinese authorities along with eight other defectors.

Lee says he phoned his wife. She said they were in handcuffs. Then the line went dead. He's heard nothing since.

"A 4-year-old child in a cold cell," he says. "How is he surviving? It's just horrible to imagine."

He makes a personal plea to China's President Xi Jinping appealing to him to see his son as he would see his own grandson. The foreign ministry said last week it's unaware of the case but handles such matters in accordance with international law and humanitarian principles.

Reverend Kim Sung-un (Ph) says he and his mission have helped around 500 defectors to escape. "Twenty years ago," he tells me, "for me to bring one defector to South Korea, it would cost $5. Now it costs up to $20,000, which shows how much more has become. Chinese soldiers are all along the border."

As the Chinese and South Korean leaders met Saturday, Seoul's presidential office says they've asked China to handle North Korean defectors from a humanitarian perspective. Lee says another source of hope for him was U.S. President Donald Trump's speech to the South Korean parliament where he listed North Korean human rights abuses. He asks the U.S. president to intervene.

[03:19:57] "My son is my whole life, he's everything," he says. "Thinking of losing him, I'm devastated. I'm in darkness."

A desperate plea for help knowing the fate of his family lies in the hands of others.


HANCOCKS: Now, human rights watch has said that they have -- they believe that China is carrying out a more aggressive crackdown on North Korean defectors, trying to get to South Korea. They say that there have been 49 detained between July and September of this year. That's almost the same amount as for the previous 12 months. So it shows, according to human rights watch, that this crackdown is becoming more aggressive. Max?

FOSTER: And in terms of the numbers of defectors we're talking about now and the sort of ones that you're following, how many are we talking about, and what's the trend? HANCOCKS: Well, it's very difficult to know exactly how many make it

out of North Korea because some disappear. Some go underground. We have figures for those who actually make it here to South Korea that the government here keeps a tally of that.

And they've shown that there's about 1,200 came here just last year, but that's half of the number that came here in 2011. That was when Kim Jong-il, the former leader, died and his son took over. It's a well-known fact, according to most officials, that there has been more of a crackdown not just from North Korea, but also from the Chinese side trying to prevent these North Korean defectors from getting to South Korea.

Of course China says they believe they're illegal economic migrants trying to find a better life. But ironically many of these North Korean defectors don't want to stay in China. They want to come to South Korea, and many of them are just asking China for safe passage and not to be sent back to North Korea and almost certain punishment. Max?

FOSTER: OK. Paula, thank you very much indeed.

Well, every year, the U.N. climate change conference often called COP23 gathers world leaders to tackle climate change as a global community.

This year the first to include U.S. representatives from the Trump administration, and their introduction didn't go smoothly either when the presentation pushed for coal, the natural gas.

The Trump White House already lacks some credibility in the area of climate change, they say, after the president pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord. But Mr. Trump's energy adviser did his best to put a reasonable spin on what they're trying to accomplish.


DAVID BANKS, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT: This panel is only controversial if we choose to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the realities of the global energy system.

If we are unwilling to have an honest, objective discussion about the need to balance, effectively climate mitigation, economic development, and energy security objectives.


FOSTER: While not long ago, diesel was thought to be the type of fuel source he was describing there, comparatively cleaner than other fossil fuels while remaining economically viable.

And few countries if any push diesel harder than Germany. But now Germans are facing some unpleasant realities as our Atika Shubert reports. ATIKA SHUBERT, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Florian keeps

an eagle eye out for pollution emitters. When he finds a car that doesn't have an emission sticker in his hometown of Berlin, he whips out his phone for a photo and reports it to police. He asked us not to use his last name.


FLORIAN, BERLIN RESIDENT: I was shocked how many people ignoring these laws and they don't really find this something to think about.


SHUBERT: But for a chronic asthmatic like Florian, it is serious. He has a pollution sensor at home and checks it regularly before heading out the door. For now, it flags high levels of particulate pollution.


FLORIAN: It feels like from the inside someone is making this to your lungs. So there's an air like needles.


SHUBERT: To the naked eye, Germany does not seem to be a pollution hotspot. There are no billowing clouds of exhaust on the street, and the country prides itself on the success of its clean energy investments.

But Germany also runs on cars, specifically those powered by diesel. Once marketed as a cleaner alternative to gasoline. Then the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency blew the whistle on Volkswagen and other manufacturers in 2015. V.W cars had been cheating emissions tests for years, pumping out in some cases up t 40 times the legal limits of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

According to the E.U. air pollution is responsible for more than 500,000 premature deaths in Europe.

Doctors know that nitrogen dioxide pollution in particular reduces the capacity of the lungs and increases the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

[03:24:58] And while it's difficult to attribute NO2 as the cause of many of the deaths, it has been proven to shorten our life spans.


ANDRES DE ROUX, INTERNAL MEDICINE: Especially with nitrogen dioxide, we know that it has impact on health of children, yes, on their development of asthma, on development of airway obstruction. And so this is a thing that directly goes with diminished life -- lifespan.


SHUBERT: When the diesel gate scandal broke, Florian made a political decision. He immediately ditched his German made diesel car for an electric Tesla. He's also joined the Green Party pushing for a diesel ban in Germany's worst affected cities.


FLORIAN: I want all these people and small children suffering having a long life to live. They -- it's not a choice for every Berliner to move out in the country side.


SHUBERT: Florian isn't the one to dump diesel. Sales of diesel cars have plummeted by almost 20 percent in Germany. Germany's consumers are now demanding change, but for a country that bets so heavily on diesel, switching gears to electric will take time.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.

FOSTER: Gay rights supporters are celebrating in Australia. A majority of people voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. So, what's next? A live report coming up.

Plus, it's not every day you get a chance to buy a Leonardo da Vinci painting, but this one's going on the auction block. How much it could cost you just ahead.


FOSTER: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster. Let's update you on our top stories this hour.

The military in Zimbabwe denies predicting over the country amid a political dispute over who will succeed President Robert Mugabe. A military spokesman says they're trying to avoid violent conflict and that the 93-year-old president is safe. Mr. Mugabe sacked his vice president last week who was considered his likely successor.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Myanmar to address the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. Here he is speaking right now. He's holding a news conference with the leader there, Aung San Suu Kyi. And he met earlier with the head of Myanmar's military.

A violent crackdown has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from the country.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions denies lying about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. Sessions says after reading the news, he remembers the meeting with campaign adviser George Papadopoulos last year. But he didn't recall specifics. Papadopoulos offered to arrange a meeting between candidate Trump and the Russian president.

[03:29:58] A 5.4 magnitude earthquake has been reported in South Korea. It struck in the southeast about 9 kilometers north of the city of Pohang. Tremors and aftershocks were felt in Seoul, nearly 300 kilometers from the epicenter but so far there have been no reports of major damage.

Australians are celebrating after a two month national survey came out in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. At least 61 percent of Australians voted in favor of marriage equality. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says parliament will approve the measure and pass legislation by the end of the year.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done this year, before Christmas. That must be our commitment. We ask the Australian people for their view. This was an unprecedented exercise in democracy.


FOSTER: Let's bring in Annelise Nielsen she joins us from Melbourne. The issue here, of course, is this was a nonbinding vote. Whether or not it will get through parliament as Malcolm Turnbull suggests it will, what are the stumbling blocks?

ANNELISE NIELSEN, SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA REPORTER: Absolutely, that is the question. As you said, the government did want to have a binding vote, but that was knocked down, so they were forced to go through this survey. They were hoping for a convincing win so they could take a strong mandate to parliament. They are saying, 61 percent doesn't sound like a strong win, but what we know is it is a large portion and it is the majority of the Australian population. What's really interesting with the results coming through today is we've seen the electorates where they have voted to against same-sex marriage have been mainly labor electorates which is the opposition party here. We are also seeing it is a lot of what would be defined as immigrant sections of the Australian population. So it will be interesting to see how this does play out in parliamentary. We've seen a bill already introduced by the liberal Party in the senate today with members speaking for it. But there is going to be at least a week's debate and that is expected to start on the week of the 27th. We've seen a very convincing statement from the Prime Minister saying he is confident we'll have this passed by Christmas. That is politics, anything can happen. And it comes at quite a tumultuous time in Australia in particular. We've had a number of issues with different members of parliament being ruled ineligible, and those have been some quite contentious seats. This is suddenly isn't the absolute victory that I think many proponents of same-sex marriage were hoping for.

FOSTER: And the "no" campaign are going to lobby pretty hard on the wording of this legislation as well, aren't they? They're going to look for protections.

NIELSEN: Absolutely. We saw earlier this week a liberal member of the senate introduced a bill, and to had some quite strict wording around protecting anyone who is against same-sex marriage from being discriminated against. And what in particular they're concerned about is what we've seen play out in America with baker's, a civil servants who are refusing to engage in any kind of same-sex marriage being, they said discriminated against. This is what they're coming out to protect. What we've seen with this strong mandate that has come through the postal vote is we think a lot of Member of Parliament who would have otherwise argued for it might back off because they wouldn't want to be too contentious within their own electorates especially on a critical time in Australian policy.

FOSTER: Annelise in Melbourne, thank you very much indeed.

Here the British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday. It easily prevailed in two votes from the European Union withdrawal bill, which would transfer European law to British law. But that victory didn't come without some heated words on the house floor.


STEVE BAKER, BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER: If this government takes its responsibilities seriously and this committee to ensuring that U.K. exit E.U. with certainty, continuity and control, it make no sense to legislate for one piece of legislation on the face of another piece by and I therefore, ask the right honorably to withdraw her amendment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the greatest of respect to the minister, after a fort diagnose night in which the government has seen the foreign secretary, the development secretary, the former defense sect, the current defense secretary and the cabinet secretary all subsumed, I think the government is doing quite well on the payoffs front without any help from me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I happen to believe that what we did last year was a great and historic error. I am certainly not willing to suspend my own judgment, particularly when I have to witness when I see is an extraordinarily painful process of national self-mutilation, which I am required to facilitate.


[03:35:05] FOSTER: The Prime Minister wasn't present for this round. We saw a number of amendments voted down or simply dropped, but she'll likely show up for future bouts as lawmakers tackle some of the more contentious issues at play.

U.S. Republicans have a real problem with Alabama. U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. He is accused of pursuing relationships with, teenage girls and in two cases sexual abuse while in his 30s. Moore's campaign is losing funding. Top Republicans want him out, but he refuses to quit. Then what happens next, and what's at stake? Here is CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here is the first question about any Republican opposition to his election. Could Republican blocked December 12th election all together? The answer is yes, they could. The Republican governor of Alabama, Kay Ivy, could move it further down the line and delay it. She says she will not. In fact she says, she is going to vote for Roy Moore, although she notes we don't have all the facts in the case yet, so maybe that could change as well. Could his name be withdrawn from the ballot? No, it could not be. That would have to happen 76 days before the voting and bear in mind a lot of absentee ballots have already been counted, so that is off the table.

Could Moore simply be beaten? Yes, he could. It could be a case where the Republicans say we're going to have a write-in candidate, and maybe President Trump gets behind that candidate, and they create enough momentum. He has fallen some in the polls since all this news has come out there. But bear in mind President Trump backed his opponent in the primary, and Moore won anyway. But, yeah, he still could be beaten in the process.

Could the stop Moore in Washington if he wins in Alabama? Yes, they could. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell could get together with all the Republicans there. They would have to seat more. They would swear him in and say, you legitimately won and you're here, but we have deemed you to be unfit to serve. It would take two-thirds of the senate to do that. That would happened than he would be sent right back home. And one if the biggest risk of all of this? Obviously here is a really big one, people like Steve Bannon and other very (inaudible) anti-establishment people on the Republican side could start harassing and going after the Republicans left and right over this matter. But they're kind of already doing that anyway, so I'm not sure if that is as big a risk as people think. Then there is this one. Maybe the Democrat, Doug Jones, would simply win this race. And if he wins, that upsets the balance of power for Republicans who need that extra vote in the senate here to hold on to power. But bear in mind, Alabama may have elected nothing but Republicans to the senate since about the mid-1990s, but before that they had a long, long history in Alabama of electing Democrats.


FOSTER: Tom Foreman reporting for us in Washington. Still to come, CNN freedom project goes inside Libya's horrifying slave trade and witness's people being auctioned off.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All in all, they admitted us there were 12 Nigerians that were sold in front of us, and I -- I honestly don't know what to say. That was probably one of the most unbelievable things I've ever seen.


[03:40:40] FOSTER: Migrants crossing the Mediterranean have shared stories of horror, beatings, kidnapping enslavement. Many of them make harrowing journeys from West African countries and those migrants who do make it to Europe are often too terrified to go on the record about their ordeal. The last year, CNN has been working to bring these stories to light. The CNN team comprising them Nima Elbagir and photo journalist Alex (inaudible) they were able to travel to Libya to witness the true inhumanity for themselves. They got access to a migrants slave auction where men were sold like commodities. Here's Nima.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A man addressing on unseen crowd. Big, strong boys for farm work, he said. 400, 700, and 800 the numbers roll in. These men are sold for 1,200 Libyan pounds, $400 apiece and you are watching an auction of human beings. Another man claiming to be a buyer. Off camera, someone asks what happened to the ones from Niger? Sold off, he is told. CNN was sent this footage by a contact. After months of working, we were able to verify the authenticity of what you see here. We decided to travel to Libya to try and see for ourselves. We are now in Tripoli, and we're starting to get a little bit more of sense of how this all works. Our contacts are telling us that there are one to two of these auctions every month and that there is one happening in the next few hours. We're going to head out of town and see if we can get some sort of access to it.

The safety of our contacts, we have agreed not to divulge the location of this auction. But the town we're driving to, is not the only one. Night falls. We travel through conscript r& suburban neighborhoods, pretending to look for a missing person. Eventually we stop outside the house like any other and adjust our secret cameras and wait. Finally it's time to move. We're ushered into one of two auctions happening on this same night. Of the back of the yard, a floodlight obscuring much of the scene. One by one, men are brought down and the bidding begins. 400. 500. 550. 600. 650. 700. Very quickly, it's over.

We ask if we can speak to the men. The auctioneer, seen here, refuses. We ask again if we can speak on them, if we can help them. No he says. The auction's over with. And we were asked to leave.

That was over very quickly we walked in, and as soon as we walked in, the men started covering their faces. But they clearly wanted to finish what they were doing, and they kept bringing out what they kept referring to in Arabic as (inaudible) the merchandise, all in all they admitted to us there were 12 Nigerians that were sold in front of us and I -- I honestly don't know what to say. That was probably one of the most unbelievable things I've ever seen.

[03:45:12] These men are migrants with dreams of being smuggled to Europe. They come in their thousands from Niger, Mali, Nigeria, and Ghana. It's hard to believe that these are the lucky ones, rescued from warehouse like the one which we witnessed the auction. They're sold if those warehouses become overcrowded or if they run out of money to pay their smugglers, so many here say they were held against their will, it doesn't take us long to find victory.

Victory was a slave. We know that some people are being sold.


ELBAGIR: Some people are being sold. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ELBAGIR: Is this something you have heard about?


ELBAGIR: What happened? On my way here, I was sold. If you look at most of the people here, if you check their bodies, you see the marks. They're beaten, mutilated. Even if your butthole -- you understand? Most of them lost their lives there.

ELBAGIR: Other migrants now start to come forward with their stories.

(Inaudible) is the supervisor here. With no international support. It's his job to look after the captured migrants until they can be deported. He says every day brings fresh heartbreak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm suffering for them. I am suffering for them. What they have seen here daily, believe me it make me really feel pain for them. Every story's a special case. A few, they was abusing them. They stole their money.

ELBAGIR: Have you heard about people being auctioned off about migrants being sold?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly we hear the rumors, but there's nothing obvious in front of us. We don't have evidence.

ELBAGIR: But we now do. CNN has delivered this evidence to the Libyan authorities, we've promise to launch an investigation on that scenes like this are returned to the past. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Libya.


FOSTER: In addition to alerting the Libyan authorities about what we uncovered, CNN has passed our evidence on to the office of the prosecutor at the international criminal court.

Ahead of the U.N.'s migration agency William Swing has been following this awful phenomenon for months now and seeing the horrors firsthand in Libya earlier this year. The swing has been pushing Libyan officials to improve the treatment of the migrants. Earlier, he spoke to our Christine Amanpour.


WILLIAM SWING, DIRECTOR GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: We're trying to support migrants throughout the world. When I see -- look, let's just take some figures. We lost 5,000 people in the Mediterranean last year. We've lost already 2,816 as of today, which is a higher percentage relative to arrivals than last year. And that doesn't -- we don't know how many other people are buried on the bottom of the sea or lost in the sands of the Sahara. And it doesn't have to be that way, but we don't have the right policies in many countries, and it is putting migrant's lives in danger, and more people are dying than should normally die along the migratory routes.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Went to the detention centers. What did they tell you? What were the stories you heard there?

SWING: First it is pretty horrible, I saw of one of the 30 under government control that was supposed to be the best one. You have heavily overcrowded warehouses with no ventilation, no light, with men and women and children sleeping apart, maybe six inches apart. Very little in the way on hygienic facility. What they have, we're providing. We've been able to remove four or five of them. We are working to improve the others. And my plea to the government was, first of all, let's turn these -- let's separate the men and women and turn these detention centers into open reception centers and eventually not put them in detention centers at all. We've taken home about 15,000 from the detention centers. We've done about 10,000 flights, and we're going to continue to do more.

[03:50:14] AMANPOUR: What about social media? I know that you've, written that, you know, a lot of the commentary around this crisis is not helping. What do you mean?

SWING: Well, you're absolutely right. I mean the smugglers themselves are using heavily the social media to try to tempt these people to come into their area. Very lucrative business. Probably 1 billion to 1.5illion a year it's much easier than running drugs or guns and almost as profitable. So we've got to try to break the smugglers business mogul and for that we need to be back in Libya, all of us.

AMANPOUR: And just finally, I mean there you are in Geneva and you know the climate against refugees and economic migrants that is in Europe today, not to mention here in the United States. I mean where do you realistically see all of this ending up?

SWING: Well, you're absolutely right. We have a very toxic atmosphere right now. Migration has become a very negative word, and we need to comeback to a definition that is much more historically accurate. The 1.5 million who came north in 2015 is less than a half percent of Europe's total population of the 28 states. It's a perfectly manageable issue. It is not a problem to be solved. It's a human reality that we all have to learn manage.


FOSTER: CNN is committed to fight against human trafficking. Check out for our latest reporting from around the world. You can also get resources there for finding out more about the issue and ways to help too. That is at We will be right back.


FOSTER: Back in 1958, Christie's sold a painting for just $60. That same piece of art is expected to fetch at least $100 million when it goes back on the auction block in New York on Wednesday night. It turns out it was the work of Leonardo Da Vinci. A CNN documentary team charted the discovery and restoration of this masterpiece. Here's Nick Glass.


NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Manifestly a painting with an aura, a presence, CNN was among the first to see it after scholars gave it their blessing in 2011. Jesus Christ, "Salvator Mundi," savior of the world by Leonardo Da Vinci. For a collector, it's obviously a trophy work of art, the rarest of the rare. One of fewer than 20 known Leonardo oil paintings. It was first publicly displayed in London's national gallery in Leonardo exhibition in 2011.

It's a wonderful ghost of a painting. That is of course because it's highly damaged. The surface has clearly been stripped back. Mysterious presence gazing out on the darkness towards you.

In advance of this week's auction, Christie's took it on a world tour. Naturally, it attracted crowds and a lot of mobile phones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Da Vinci is magic.

GLASS: Frankly there are better preserved Leonardo's. You can see that on national gallery exhibition in 2011. When you compare it with the Mona Lisa, painted pretty much at the same time in about 1500, you can see that it's lost some of its detail and color.

[03:55:06] The quality of the painting is most visible in its lower half. Christ's blessing hand and the crystal orb in his left. The upper half was heavily overpainted Christ's once had red hair and a beard needed delicate cleaning and restoration. Diane (inaudible) spent six years off and in working on it in her studio in New York.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very important to help it as much as you could, and not in any way suppress this extraordinary spiritual quality that it had.

GLASS: Hard to part with it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, terrible. It was like a breakup. Yeah.


GLASS: Since (inaudible) let it go, the savior of the world has been exposed to some of the art market. Crudely some people saw dollar signs spinning in those misty eyes. Here's a brief history. 2005, a sale in Louisiana by an American dealer for bargain $10,000 or less. The work was listed as a Leonardo copy. Eight years later, 2013 as an authenticated work by the master, was sold privately by Soteby's for $18 million. The new owner, a Swiss art agent, he was a man for an eye with a quick profit. Within a few days he sold it for a whopping $127.5 million to an old client, Russian billionaire art collector, Demitri Bonafleck. In 2014, the Russian found out about the hefty size of the markup. He took legal action in 2015, the case is still ongoing. Christie recently approached the man to sell the painting. He agreed. So the savior of the world, originally commissioned by a French King Louie XII, once owned by an English one, Charles I is destined to find a new owner. It's already guaranteed to sell for at least $100 million, and that will set a new world record auction price for an old master painting. It's unlikely to be eclipsed for some time. Nick Glass CNN, in London.


FOSTER: We'll get you test when we have it. You're watching "CNN newsroom." I'm Max Foster back with more news from around the world after this short break.