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Protesters Defy Authorities in Islamabad; Egyptian President Vows Brute Force in Response to Mosque Attack; Trump's Decision on CFPB Sparks Backlash; Global Outcry over Libyan Slave Auctions; Flights Canceled after Bali Volcano Erupts; Pope Francis is First Pontiff to Visit Myanmar; Funeral Held for U.S. Border Agent; North Korea Digs DMZ Trench after Soldier's Defection; Witnessing the Birth of Zimbabwe's New Political Era; Netflix's "The Crown" Returns for Season 2. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired November 26, 2017 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A standoff in Pakistan's capital city, more protesters block a key roadway, calling for the resignation of the law minister, accusing him of blasphemy.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Egyptian president al-Sisi promises to retaliate with brute force after the deadliest terror attack ever in Egypt.

HOWELL (voice-over): Plus dangerous volcanic ash prompts a red warning for flights in the skies near Bali. We'll have the very latest on the situation.

ALLEN (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. We're live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): And I'm George Howell, 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast at CNN World Headquarters. NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: And we begin in Pakistan, state media reporting troops have seized a key intersection from protesters in the capital, Islamabad.

HOWELL: Look at these images from earlier. They show protesters clashing with security forces. They occupied the intersection for more than two weeks but police tried to drive them out on Saturday. That led to violent clashes. And the protests then spread on to other cities.

CNN's Sophia Saifi is in Islamabad and following this story live.

It's good to have you with us this hour. We're hearing now that the Pakistani rangers have stepped in. They have been able to gain control.

Have they at this point, from what you're seeing?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well, George, the Pakistani rangers were called in last night by the interior ministry because the police clearly could not wrest back control of the interchange from these protesters.

What happened is that the operation by the police had to be suspended. The military was requested to send in backup and that backup has arrived this morning. That, however, does not mean they have taken control of that interchange.

The numbers of protesters have actually increased, going from, like, 1,000 to around 3,000 as of this afternoon. And not only that, these protests have actually kind of blossomed or mushroomed across the country.

So we do have the rangers in there but they're not in the first line of control when it comes to dealing with the situation. You still have the police there, who are unarmed. They just have rubber bullets and tear gas.

The rangers themselves are armed but they have not, as of right now, taken control of the situation. It is still very much ongoing -- George.

HOWELL: With regard to the root of these protests, help our viewers understand the situation regarding the law minister.

SAIFI: Right. So this goes back to early October, when there was a change in electoral laws that was introduced. There are going to be elections in 2018. There is a bit of confusion regarding what actually happened.

The protesters, who are part of a fringe radical Islamic party, they're saying that there is an oath that lawmakers are supposed to make regarding the finality of the Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet of God.

According to the protesters, there was an attempt to change that oath. The government initially said that there was no such attempt. They then claimed that it was a clerical error. So the protesters, when they were sitting in on that interchange, they were requiring the law minister to resign.

That has not happened. There has been a stalemate. And after many deadlines given by the Islamabad high court as well as the interior ministry, we saw those rather chaotic clashes take place in the capital yesterday morning.

Now what we're seeing is a situation where the major cities of the country are now in lockdown; schools are shut tomorrow, which is a Monday. We're seeing strike calls by various smaller parties and a complete sense of unease as to what is going to happen next.

HOWELL: And there is certainly still a media blackout in that country as well, on Twitter, et cetera, social. So we'll stay in touch with you as you bring us the very latest live from Islamabad. Thank you, Sophia Saifi.

ALLEN: Also in Pakistan, the country is being criticized after releasing a terror suspect. Pakistan said Friday Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, seen here, was released from house arrest.

He's accused of plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India, which killed more than 160 people. Six of the victims were American. And the U.S. is demanding Saeed be prosecuted.

HOWELL: In a statement, the White House said this, "If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan's global reputation."

At least two people are dead and two others seriously injured from a factory explosion that took place in Eastern China. The state news agency there says that the blast took place around 9:00 am local time. The force of the explosion collapsed several nearby buildings.

ALLEN: More than 30 people were rushed to hospital and emergency workers combed through the wreckage looking for those injured. The cause --


ALLEN: -- is under investigation. There have been several explosions and deadly accidents at industrial sites in China in the past.

Egypt is in mourning after the worst terror attack ever on its soil. Authorities say over 300 people were killed when gunmen stormed a crowded Sufi mosque in Egypt's Northern Sinai region during Friday prayers. They set off explosives and sprayed the building with gunfire.

HOWELL: Among the dead, more than 2 dozen children. Egypt's response was swift. It says airstrikes destroyed several terrorist outposts and vehicles used in the attack.

ALLEN: There is no claim of responsibility but Egypt's state prosecutor says one of the gunmen brandished an ISIS flag.

For more now, senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman joining us from Cairo.

Certainly that country is in mourning over what happened, Ben.

But what more are you learning about this attack?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we did hear this account from the public prosecutor that was read out on Egyptian TV, basically explaining that five SUVs drove up to the outside of the mosque. They had on board about 25 to 30 men, dressed, many of them, in combat fatigues, armed with heavy machine guns.

They surrounded the building. And there were 12 windows to the mosque. At each of those windows, they placed men with machine guns; they set off some sort of explosive, which caused a panic within the mosque. And as people tried to flee, the militants opened fire.

According to the Middle East news agency, killing 305 people, including 27 children; by some estimates, that means that about a quarter of the male population of the village, the village of al- Rawda, were killed in that attack.

Now according to the public prosecutors, one of the attackers, it appears, was carrying a black banner of ISIS.

In the aftermath, the Egyptian air force went into action. I saw, in one Cairo newspaper today, quoting intelligence sources, saying that 22 of the attackers were killed as a result of airstrikes.

However, I must add that the Sinai Peninsula is off limit to journalists, both Egyptian and international. Oftentimes the communications in the Sinai are shut down by the authorities. So it is very difficult to know what is actually going on.

But it is important to stress that this battle between the Egyptian state and Islamic insurgents in the Sinai has been going on for several years. More than 1,000 Egyptian military personnel and policemen have been killed.

And, of course, the attacks by ISIS affiliated militants have spread to the Nile Valley. We've seen, for instance, last December, a cathedral in Cairo was attacked, more than 20 people killed. On Palm Sunday, there were attacks on such churches in Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta.

And of course it was ISIS that claimed responsibility for downing the Metrojet plane that took off from Sharm el-Sheikh on the 31st of October, 2015, killing all 224 passengers and crew -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, Ben Wedeman for us in Cairo. Ben, thank you.

We turn to the U.S. now, where President Trump is slamming the consumer watchdog agency and its former director. On Friday, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau named an interim director and quit. Hours later, the president named his budget director as the interim director.

HOWELL: In a tweet on Saturday, the president called the bureau "a total disaster," a devastated financial institutions and said, quote, "We will bring it back to life." Boris Sanchez explains.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing a pretty swift response from the lawmakers behind the Dodd-Frank Act that actually created the CFPB. One of them, Elizabeth Warren, saying that they should be challenged in court.

Another, Barney Frank, whose name is actually on the law itself, said that the lawmakers always intended for the agency to be independent from the rest of government.

The White House, though, is defending the president's move, saying that he has the authority to make that appointment.

It makes for a bit of a confusing situation when it comes to who is going to be leading the agency as soon as next week. It could potentially also wind up getting disputed in court.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Dueling appointments opening the door to a potential showdown between the White House and the country's top consumer watchdog agency.

On Friday, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, resigned and named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as deputy director and --


SANCHEZ: -- de facto replacement.

Just a few hours later, President Trump stepped in, naming his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, as interim director, the move setting the stage for a political and possibly legal battle and confusion over who would lead the CFPB come Monday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, good afternoon.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The president's pick is also controversial because of Mulvaney's previous comments on the agency, which was created after the economic meltdown in 2008, designed to protect consumers from predatory financial institutions.


MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: It's a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody. It turns up being a joke, and that's what the CFPB really has been in a sick, sad kind of way because you have an institution with tremendous authority over what you all do for a living, over your businesses, over your members.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): One of the architects of the agency, Senator Elizabeth Warren, argued that the president was overstepping his bounds and not following the law. In a tweet, she cited Dodd-Frank legislation, which states that the deputy director of the CFPB would serve as acting director in the absence or unavailability of the director.

On Saturday, the White House cited a different law, the federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, to defend the appointment as a routine move.

A senior White House official told reporters on a call, quote, "We think that this move is clearly supported by a plain reading of the vacancies act. The vacancy act is long established, used by presidents of both parties as a routine function. And we believe this act is consistent with that long established practice." And according to another administration official, the Justice

Department's Office of Legal Counsel has already signed off on Mulvaney's appointment; while a senior White House official said that the administration hopes the dispute does not end up in court, they are ready to fight for the appointment.

SANCHEZ: We're also getting a response from Mick Mulvaney himself. In a statement to CNN, he says, quote, "I believe Americans deserve a CFPB that seeks to protect them while ensuring free and fair markets for all consumers.

"Financial services are the engine of American democratic capitalism and we need to let it work."

We should point out a source close to Mick Mulvaney said that it is not likely that he winds up being the permanent pick to lead that agency, that source telling us that Mick Mulvaney is very happy at his current role as the director of the Office of Management and Budget and that he didn't really envision himself leading the CFPB -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, in Washington.


HOWELL: Boris, thank you.

Let's get context on all of this from Scott Lucas. Scott is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, live in Birmingham, England.

It's good to have you with us, Scott. Let's talk about this big question come Monday morning.

Who will lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

And, the greater question, will the president's pick override process here?

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: I think the one who leads is the first one that gets to the office door at this point. Quite clearly, the outgoing director of the CFPB wanted to make sure he had his type of continuity by leaving a week earlier than was anticipated, bringing in the deputy director.

It is also quite clear that the White House simply will not allow that type of basically process on agencies. They feel they're being challenged.

So who is right, who is wrong?

You've heard the different citations of law. But I think what is the wider issue here, and that is there a big divide between the White House and many long-term career staff at a number of agencies, not just the CFPB. We could talk about the State Department, we could talk about the Defense Department.

And what compounds this is the Trump administration's -- because of its dysfunctional nature at times, inability to provide nominees very, very quickly. So that means that you face a possible stalemate for weeks or even months, unless one side or the other backs down on this, which I don't anticipate will occur in the next few hours.

HOWELL: Monday will certainly be interesting, as you point out. Who gets to the door first. We'll have to see.

Another story we're following, political headline out of Alabama, the Senate election, Democrat Doug Jones is challenging Republican Roy Moore, who is facing sexual harassment and sexual abuse allegations.

Despite the allegations, Jones has an uphill battle, according to "The Washington Post;" Jones must carry more than 90 percent of African American voters and boost their turnout by up to 30 percent. And one endorsement for Jones could go a long way.

It came Saturday from the former basketball star and Alabama native, Charles Barkley. Listen to what he had to say.


CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA STAR: Roy Moore is running with Steve Bannon as his right-hand man, who's a white separatist. I'm not even going to get into the women stuff.

But a guy -- how can you be a white separatist and represent all the constituents in your state?


So Scott, you're there in Birmingham, England. But Birmingham, Alabama, is home for you.


HOWELL: The question we ask you, as a hometown guy, does this matter when these local, high-profile names speak out?

What impact will it have on the minds of voters in the state of Alabama?

LUCAS: Every move matters at this point. Look, Charles Barkley is an Alabama sporting legend. I covered him 30 years ago as a young journalist. And just yesterday, at the time he made the announcement, there was a statue that was unveiled to him on the Auburn University campus, just before the big football, Alabama-Auburn football game.

So sports and politics do connect in Alabama. They always have. And in terms of the wider question, I think "The Washington Post" is being a bit dramatic here. It is quite clear that, in normal times, Alabama is almost the deepest of the deep red states. And Doug Jones would have a very, very difficult battle.

But the fact is, we are in unusual times, given the allegations against Roy Moore, given splits in the Republican Party. I think turnout will be vital on December 12th. I think turnout will be vital amongst the African American community.

But turnout will be vital across the board and, at this point, there is no way of telling which way the special election will go.

HOWELL: And finally, the president's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, we know the deadline is tomorrow for him to hand over more documents that he failed to hand over before. But at the same time, he is the topic of two major newspapers suggesting his power is diminishing.

Is Kushner somehow becoming toxic to this White House and to this president?

LUCAS: No. "The New York Times" report, for example, which says that Kushner is being curbed by chief of staff John Kelly, you know, in some ways Kelly has tried to impose order on the White House.

But Kushner is right at Trump's side, whether it be supposedly solving the Middle East, whether it be talking to Saudi Arabia, in detail about moves in that country, whether it be basically connections with the financial community. So Kushner hasn't gone away.

It is the broader question which is important here and that is with the news that Michael Flynn may be cooperating with the special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation, the only way is up from there.

So in other words, does Flynn have information on Kushner, does that bring Kushner into the frame sooner rather than later in that investigation?

That's the big threat, not White House infighting at this point.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas, live in Birmingham, England. It's good to have you and your perspective today. Thank you.

LUCAS: Thank you.

ALLEN: A volcano covers the sky over Bali with massive clouds of ash. Coming up, how that's impacting people on the ground and planes in the air.

HOWELL: Plus, more global outrage after CNN reported African migrants are being auctioned as slaves in Libya. Up next, critics say European countries are partially to blame.





ALLEN: More migrants are drowning in the Mediterranean as they seek a better life in Europe. At least 30 African migrants died Saturday when their boat sank off the coast of Libya; 200 others were rescued.

HOWELL: The International Organization for Migration is calling the Mediterranean Sea the world's deadliest border. Almost 3,000 migrants trying to get to Europe by sea have died or gone missing.

More global outcry after a CNN exclusive investigation that revealed African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya.



The numbers roll in. These men are sold for 1,200 Libya pounds, $400.


ALLEN: Critics say European countries share some of the blame since they rely on Libya to prevent migrants from crossing the sea into the European Union. The Libyan government, backed by the U.N., says it is investigating.

HOWELL: Protesters across Europe are demanding change. In Paris, a rally on Saturday was the third protest in a week. The French president is urging the United Nations to impose sanctions on Libya.

ALLEN: A volcano in Central Mexico nicknamed Popo (ph), is that right?

OK, had quite a busy Friday. It erupted three times, Popo (ph) did, sending bright flares of burning rock high into the sky and spreading ash over the villages and fields to its south.

HOWELL: Look at the power of that. My goodness. The volcano has been active since the mid-1990s, it's known for irregular bursts of smoke and ash but for generally leaving the nearby communities alone. Authorities are still urging local residents, though, to avoid outdoor activities. And looking at that, I think that's a good idea.

ALLEN: No problem there. OK.

This is Indonesia. It is warning planes now to steer clear of danger in the skies over Bali after this volcano sent giant plumes of ash and steam into the air Saturday night. And it is still erupting.

Indonesia raised its aviation warning from orange to red to signal the threat. So several airlines canceled or diverted flights late Saturday, leaving some travelers stranded and, you know, how it goes, frustrated.



HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, Pope Francis faces a delicate balancing act, soon to head to Myanmar. Many are hoping that he'll speak out on the atrocities being inflicted on thousands of Rohingya Muslims there.

ALLEN: Plus, Zimbabwe is transitioning into a new political era. Next, CNN's Farai Sevenzo explains what it is like to witness his country build a new future.

HOWELL: We're glad to have you here with CNN NEWSROOM, live from Atlanta, Georgia, this hour, simulcast on CNN International worldwide, CNN USA here in the States. Stay with us.




HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with us. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. Here are the headlines.



ALLEN: In the coming hours, Pope Francis heads to Myanmar. This is the first visit by a pope to that country. And it comes as Myanmar is engulfed in controversy over its treatment of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims.

HOWELL: More than half a million have been forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh. The U.N. says they are victims of attacks, killings and ethnic cleansing by Myanmar's military.

Pope Francis has spoken out in defense of Rohingya Muslims prior to this visit. Human rights groups are hoping he speaks out again when he meets with Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the country's military chief.

ALLEN: The archbishop in Myanmar's largest city urged the pope not to use the term Rohingya while he's in Myanmar. Human rights groups do want him to use the term. The legal director of Fortify Rights explained to us why just the name "Rohingya" is so charged.


KATE VIGNESWARAN, LEGAL DIRECTOR, FORTIFY RIGHTS: It is a term adopted by the Rohingya themselves. The Myanmar authorities have refrained from using that term, instead calling this ethnic group "Bengali interlopers" from Bangladesh.

And they do that to disavow them of their citizenship and their Myanmar identity. So this is not the first time international leaders have been asked to not use that term, partly because the authorities don't want to give -- to recognize that group but also partly to avoid inflaming tensions. So there is concern that by using that term, the local communities --

so this is a government arm position that is well supported within Myanmar -- that by using that term the supporters of the government's approach will lash out and lash out partly against other minority ethnic Christians in Myanmar.


ALLEN: These people have been through so much and yet there is more. A report by Human Rights Watch accuses Myanmar's military of carrying out a vicious campaign of rape against Rohingya Muslim women and girls in the country's Rakhine State.

Earlier this week, a U.S. envoy said sexual violence was, quote, "being commanded, orchestrated and perpetrated by the armed forces of Myanmar."

HOWELL: The military released a report on Monday, denying all allegations of rape and killings by its security forces. Myanmar also announced it was replacing the general in charge of Rakhine State. CNN's senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward has spoken with multiple Rohingya women at refugee camps in Bangladesh, who describe being raped.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rashida Begum rarely speaks these days. When she does tell her story, she speaks quietly and mechanically as if trying to recount what happened without reliving it.

"We were five women with our babies," she says. "The military grabbed us, dragged us into the house and shut the door and they raped us."

She tells us they stabbed her and tried to kill her but she survived by pretending to be dead.

"It will good if I had died," she says, "because if I die, then I wouldn't have to remember all these things."

Stories like Rashida's are all too common in the Bangladesh camps that now host nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims. Every tent, it seems, has a story of agony, shame and death inside it.

When the military came to Aisha's village, her husband fled, leaving her alone with five children.

"Two soldiers stood guard in front of my door," she says. "Another came in and pointed his gun at me. He raped me."

WARD: Did he say anything to you?

WARD (voice-over): "He punched me and ripped off my clothes. He said --

[05:35:00] WARD (voice-over): -- "'If you move, I will kill you. If you scream, I will kill you.' And he covered my mouth with his hand," she says.

"I felt so awful. He did it so roughly. He did it without mercy."

Human rights groups say that rape is one of the Myanmar military's most feared weapons. While it's difficult to estimate how many women have been assaulted, hundreds of cases have been reported.

These Rohingya women are learning songs to offer support to the victims.

"Rape can happen to anyone," the lyrics go.

Within three days of rape, you need to consult a doctor. The program developed by Doctors without Borders is headed by midwife Aerlyn Pfeil. She explains that beyond practical concerns, many victims are struggling to reclaim the family their dignity.

AERLYN PFEIL, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: A piece for me that is kind of the most heartbreaking is that the women coming in are still wearing the same skirts. It's just heartbreaking that three months later, you're still putting on the same skirt that someone assaulted you in.

WARD (voice-over): For Aisha, the pall of shame still hangs heavy.

"When I remember what happened, tears come to my eyes. Why did they do this to me?" she asks.

"Why did they rape me?"

She finds peace in reading the Quran. For many here, faith and ritual provides some solace amid the squalor. Rashida's anger still burns.

WARD: What do you want to see happen to the man who raped you?

WARD (voice-over): "If we get the opportunity, then we must take revenge," she says. "We will be pleased if the military who raped us and killed our parents are hanged."

But for now, survival takes priority over justice. There are mouths to feed and a new generation to protect from the horrors of the past -- Clarissa Ward, CNN, in the Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh.






ALLEN: The U.S. Border Patrol agent, Rogelio Martinez, who died from injuries he suffered while on duty, has been buried. HOWELL: It is not exactly clear what led to his death but President Trump has used this tragedy to argue a border wall should be built. Our Scott McLean has more from El Paso, Texas.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez was laid to rest on Saturday. His flag-draped casket was carried by six members of his family into this Catholic Church in El Paso for his funeral service before being taken to a nearby cemetery, where he was buried.

Family, friends and scores of law enforcement officers and Border Patrol agents came from across the state and across the country to pay their respects.

What certainly makes this difficult for his family, particularly difficult, is that they don't know very much about how Agent Martinez died.

What we do know is that, last Saturday night, he was searching a culvert area along the interstate about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Beyond that, what happened is unclear. But Martinez and another agent who arrived later were taken to the hospital with head injuries and broken bones.

There is no body camera video from either agent and there is no dash camera video from either of their vehicles. And the one person that investigators know was a witness to at least part of what happened, that second agent, told his union representative that he can't remember anything. He remembers coming into work and then nothing after that.

His union rep says he walks with a cane and has stitches and a bruise on the back of his head. The president, the governor and Texas senator Ted Cruz have all pointed to this story as evidence of the need to beef up security along the southern border.

But the reality is that the FBI, which is actually leading this investigation, either will not or cannot say what it believes happened. It will only call this a possible assault -- Scott McLean, CNN, El Paso, Texas.


HOWELL: Scott, thank you.

Argentina's navy says it is not giving up the search for a missing submarine. Look at this new video, which shows equipment being used to find the ARA San Juan. That sub went missing 11 days ago, with 44 crew members on board it.

ALLEN: What may have been an explosion was detected near its last known location and the crew would likely be low on air by now. Their families are desperate for any good news and grateful for all the help in searching. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): A lot of help. A lot of warmth. A lot of support. Well, you can't get full comfort but I am very thankful from my heart. I'm thankful because I feel that the 44 have support, along with us, the closest family members.


ALLEN: That was a family member there, speaking, as teams from around the world continue to search for the submarine.

A swift reaction from North Korea after a soldier's dramatic defection. A U.S. government official sharing this photo from the demilitarized zone that divides North and South Korea showing North Korean troops digging a trench and planting trees near the spot where their soldier escaped.

HOWELL: It comes as that soldier is being praised for his daring desertion by a man who knows what it may have been like to go through that. The former defector sat down with CNN's Anna Coren to explain the brutal conditions inside North Korea and why a young soldier would risk his very life to get away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see him moving at a good rate of speed.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Speeding down a deserted road on the DMZ, a North Korean soldier is attempting something that the U.N. command says no one has ever done before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will see some KPA soldiers, come out of this building here as the vehicle quickly moves past them.

COREN: Using an army jeep that he drives to within meters of the South Korean border. And under a rain of bullets from his own comrades he runs across the demarcation line defecting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There have been many defectors but this is the first one I want to praise the bravery. He was heroic. I never thought to do this because it was a suicide mission.

COREN: Thirty-two-year-old Kang Ri Hyuk would know. He spent 10 years as an officer in the North Korean People's Army based on the DMZ. And while he thought about defecting, he never imagined pulling off such a daring escape.


COREN: Instead he crossed the border into China, made his way to Thailand and then defected to South Korea four years ago. And that's where he met his wife, also a defector, who doesn't want her identity name revealed fearing for the safety of her family back in North Korea. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Conditions were harsh. Everyone was hungry, even the soldiers, he said. The U.N. is sending rice and fertilizer and it all goes to the ranking officials. There are many soldiers who also die from disease because they're not given medical treatment.

COREN: The latest defector, the third this year, suffered serious injuries to his arms and abdomen from at least four bullet wounds. By the time he was medevacked to hospital, he'd lost more than 50 percent of his blood and was almost dead.

And while surgeons were operating, they discovered dozens of parasitic worms, some up to 27 centimeters long which doctors say were the results of poor hygiene and malnutrition.

Back in the 1990s famine and starvation plagued North Korea but the U.N. says malnutrition is still a major problem. More than 40 percent of the population is under nourished and one in four children face chronic malnutrition.

And while North Korean soldiers are generally treated better than civilians, life is still a constant struggle. This exclusive footage obtained by a South Korean Christian mission shows North Korean soldiers physically plowing the soil instead of using livestock.

And here they're foraging through a bird's nest, hunting for chicks, presumably to eat. Park (INAUDIBLE), who heads the mission, has rescued hundreds of North Koreans. He says while this footage is bleak, it's not hunger that motivates defectors but rather the desire for freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): North Koreans are thirsty for the outside world and frustrated by the reality they face, he explains.

Those who defect including soldiers are hungry for information and have a strong desire to get out.

COREN: Kyang (ph) says he, too, wanted a better life, especially for his new family. And now, working as a journalist he occasionally broadcasts loudspeaker messages to the North Korean soldiers and has this message for his fellow defector.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Congratulations on your defection, happy South Korea. I wonder if you heard my broadcast and it helped with your decision. I hope we can meet and have a soju.

COREN: Anna Coren, CNN, Seoul.


HOWELL: Now to Zimbabwe, which is transitioning into a new political era. That country's high court ruled that the military takeover, which helped to bring political change, that it was constitutional. The former vice president of the nation, Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as The Crocodile, was sworn in as the new president on Friday. ALLEN: He had been fired earlier this month by former leader, Robert Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades. CNN's Farai Sevenzo was born in Zimbabwe. He has witnessed first-hand how and why the Mugabe regime collapsed. Here's his story.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It took us seven days, seven days from the point I flew in from Nairobi, which is my usual patch, to this minor mini revolution, non-coup, apparent coup, to fall down.

Everywhere, they're coming from all over the place. Look at this. Look at this.

This is my home. This is where I went to school. This is where my relatives are. This is where my great-grandmother would tell me stories, which made me into a filmmaker, actually.

Oh! That's so heavy. That's so big.

This is my nephew, Neil (ph), with whom I'm most pleased.

NEIL (PH), SEVENZO'S NEPHEW: I want the new president to be better. I want him to be better, more better, 100 percent better than Robert Mugabe. I don't want him being corrupt. I don't want him to have polices just beating people for no reason, when they did nothing.

No tear gas in the city, just peace. No rubbish. No potholes. I want our environment to be better, more better.

SEVENZO: As we headed into town, it was obvious. It was in the people's faces, the drivers next to my car, that the hooters and the horns going off, you knew the moment had happened.

Yes, that's right. (Speaking foreign language). Thank you, sir. Thank you. And there you have it. I mean, people, (INAUDIBLE) it is absolutely incredible. (INAUDIBLE). The joy. (INAUDIBLE) Soldiers are sitting there. And they are trying to contain the people.


SEVENZO: You could feel this electricity in the air. They said, that, you know, there is different feet in the same shoes but all they needed was change. But any change from what the country had is a positive step. Now is that how Emmerson Mnangagwa actually effects his government.


ALLEN: The world is certainly pulling for Zimbabwe.

HOWELL: Yes, the energy and the excitement about change, it is just --

ALLEN: Wonderful.


ALLEN: Next here, a peek inside the British monarchy during the 1960s.

HOWELL: The long-awaited season two premiere of Netflix's "The Crown" show shows a troubled royal marriage.





ALLEN: Christmas comes early for fans of the captivating British Netflix series, "The Crown."

HOWELL: It returns in two weeks for the second season. CNN's Robyn Curnow tells us what to expect.



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): It is a red carpet fit for a queen. The crowds, the cameras, the corgis. The stars of the hit Netflix series, "The Crown," turned out for the season two world premiere in London.


CURNOW (voice-over): The show, starring Claire Foy as the young Queen Elizabeth II, takes us back to the early years of her marriage and reign and the struggles facing the monarchy. This season is set in the turbulent 1960s.

CLAIRE FOY, ACTOR, "QUEEN ELIZABETH II": I've been queen barely 10 years. And in that time I've had three prime ministers. Not one has lasted the course.

CURNOW (voice-over): It is not just politics rocking Buckingham Palace. The story line covers the crisis in the Suez Canal, rumored infidelities by Prince Philip and a new love interest for the rebellious Princess Margaret.

FOY: Well, I mean, they're trying to change with the times as quickly as they possibly can. And unfortunately, you know, what is happening in every single way is that, you know, the world is changing faster than anyone is able to keep up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people have a right to know about their leaders.

CURNOW (voice-over): With lush scenery and captivating characters, the viewer gets to witness the ups and downs of an extraordinary family.

"ELIZABETH": The monarchy is too fragile. You keep telling me yourself.

One more scandal, one more national embarrassment and it would all be over.

CURNOW (voice-over): All eyes have been on the queen and Prince Philip in recent days as they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Posing for portraits marking the occasion, the queen wore a gold brooch given to her by Prince Philip in the same time period the TV drama is set.

Now all eyes will be on "The Crown." The new season will hit the small screen worldwide on December 8th -- Robyn Curnow, CNN.


ALLEN: Another one to watch.

Thanks for watching us. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. For our viewers here in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For our viewers around the world, Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT" is ahead. Thank you for watching CNN, the world's news leader.