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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 20, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EST

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♪ i will always love you good evening. i'm don lemon. a rising star, the republican party holding a news conference to tell the world he is gay. arizona sheriff publicly came out, left his role as state cochair for the mitt romney campaign. he has become nationally known for his tough stance on illegal immigration and is running for congress.
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the phoenix new times reports that he wanted his exto shine an agreement to keep their relationship a secret. the exan immigrant refused and says he threatened to get him deported back to mexico. the attorney is accusing him of accessing campaign computers without permission. the sheriff denies any wrong doing. >> i'm here to say that these allegations in one of these newspapers are absolutely completely false except for the issues that refer to me being gay because that is the truth. i am gay. >> i spoke with monica, the reporter for the new times who broke this story and asked her how this all game to light. >> part of the intimidation came from they both agreed they would not contact each other through
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their attorneys. they would cease all contact. after jose moved he got a christmas card. even though he had moved to an apartment and didn't leave a forwarding address. he felt that was his way of letting him know i know where you are at. there was pressure for him to sign something that he wouldn't disclose details about the relationship. >> paul to your knowledge in the community is not out? >> no. not before the story, no. >> what is the evidence that he was going to threaten to deport him if he made their relationship public? >> the evidence comes from the attorney who received the threats through the attorney. as they were discussing this document they wanted him to sign and she made it clear that her client wasn't interested in
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doing that. that is when she started raising questions about her visa saying it had expired and legally he was not here. >> that is where the threats and the accusations of abuse of power are coming from that. >> you are saying he is not out in public. he is saying he is gay and said it in front of cameras. there are pictures of him with jose. there is a shirtless picture online with him taking in a mirror. there is also a profile from a gay website of him and his personal information and shirtless that is allegedly him. why is any of that important? >> well, it's important because it goes to judgment. here you have sheriff, somebody who has made himself the face of arizona when it comes to border security and illegal immigration and making a run for congress. and i think the reason those
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pictures are important because it talks about the credibility or the judgment that somebody has in posting photos like that or e-mailing photos like that and those were the more tame ones. the other ones are a little more explicit. >> the reporter who broke the story. i talked about this with a writer at espn. they don't see eye to eye on this one in the slightest. >> the think i see most interesting is that he resigned from mitt romney's campaign but still running from congress. why would you resign from mitt's campaign and have your own? either you are qualified to continue on as a co chair for romney or not because the same qualifications would be -- >> we don't know if we are going
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to take jose at his word we have to take them both at the word. why is it important? >> it's not important to me because right now it is all rumor. he said, he said sort of story. i think it is important that he concentrate on what are the real facts and that is he has elected to resign from romney's campaign. does he feel that coming out disqualifies him from being able to serve with the republican candidate? if that is the case then we have a much larger issue to talk about. >> if he was out in the first place would this be an issue, you think? >> would mitt romney have him a co chair for his campaign? that is like the real question. why is he resigning? did he feel he had to resign because he felt he couldn't continue on as an openly gay volunteer.
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>> do you want to respond to anything that lz said here? >> we are friends and we have had a lot of conversations offine and on tv. lz almost invarbly opposes. he made a broad generalization about the gop. i think these stories should be looked at as individual circumstances. by your own standard i don't know how you apply a broad generalization to an entire party. i don't know how you can do that by your own standard. >> i can give you a long list of examples but i don't know if we can take up don's show like that. we have plenty of examples about people in religious front and political front who happen to be antigay or linked to antigay organizations and then we find
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out they are wrestling with sexual orientation themselves. >> i don't know what broader conclusion we are trying to reach with that. tomorrow night anderson cooper has an under view with sheriff babeu. national security advisor hadf-that might not be enough for israel. whether israel would dare to launch such a strike is the million dollar question. >> reporter: according to one israeli newspaper tom expected to urge the israeli government to wait and see if the newly
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recently applied tougher sanctions on iran will work by the european union and the united states. of course, israel is saying that the time for sanctions is over although aid of iraq speaking in tokyo said that only crippling sanctions could be tehran to the negotiating schedule. certainly it is the topic on everyone's minds here. >> reporting from jerusalem. in syria opposition forces may be gone but they aren't backing down. forces are coming together learning the discipline they need for their country. many feel they don't have any other choice. >> reporter: the commander is a former syrian army general who defected six months ago. he covers his face for safety. he calls syria's 11-month-old
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uprising the orphan revolution because unlike the revolts the syrian rebels haven't received any foreign support. with no outside help the men of this community turn to a higher power. friday prayers in a packed mosque in the rebel held town. condolences for a man killed by a sniper's bullet turn into a war of god is great. the crowd marches into the town square and performs a weekly ritual of defiance. there is no syrian government presence in this town. will you fight if the syrian
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army comes here? >> we will. >> you have to fight? >> yes. we have to fight. >> that was ivan watson reporting from syria. rick santorum is lashing out not at just gop opponents but the man he wants to battle this fall, president obama. we'll talk about it straight ahead. zero-to-sixty in less time than a porsche panamera s. the 429 horsepower genesis r-spec. from hyundai.
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santorum said he was talking values and said he doesn't doubt the president's faith but it was a choice of words. so, will, rick santorum said this morning that he wasn't questioning the president's christianity. why did he use the word "theology?" >> it's inappropriate. i do think it is an inappropriate use of verbiage. whether or not it is intended or not it is going to have implications for a broad range of people out there. did he know that? i can't get inside his mind. the bottom line is people out there are going to hear someone invoking religion in a way that is a nonchristian religious context to suggest president obama isn't a christian.
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that is the bottom line. >> i think that is the way most people are reading it. do you think it was strategic? >> well, i tend to think that it was strategic. it was another code word using to remind people that he is different from us. >> i got it. so lz santorum said insurance companies shouldn't be required to cover prenatal testing because certain tests lead to abortions. are comments like this calculated moves on his part, as well? >> whenever he says things like this i wish people in the area would ask what he bases this on? did you interview doctors and this is what they told you? why are you saying these things? he says a lot of things like this? he doesn't get challenged on the facts. i think it is disturbing. >> will, if you want to weigh in, quickly.
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>> i love to kind of put thips comment about prenatal care in context. rick santorum is opposed to screening for whatever reason. call him a knuckle dragger. he doesn't want the government to ban prenatal testing. he is opposed to government forcing private employers to include it for free in their health care plans. i and many are opposed from the government forcing to provide many things. there should be a matter of choice andvatism between an employer and employee. this is a bottom problem with obama care. >> the election team isn't buying the critique of the president's so-called theology. >> three people are dead in washington state after an avalanche roars through a ski area. [ horn honks ]
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three people were killed today in an avalanche near seattle, washington that happened in a remote part of the stevens pass ski area. the area received 19 inches of snow. king county sheriff officials say all skiers have now been accounted for. >> typically you will have the more experienced skiers if they choose to ski this area. they are skiing the avalanche happens. at this point almost all of them probably up to 12 are buried in the snow. they manage to dig themselves out of the snow. they look and find that three skiers are suffering from
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medical issues. they begin cpr and were not able to resustate the victims. >> ski patrol dealt with a second rav lanch at roughly the same time. no one was injured there. in the western half of the u.s. two strong storms may make your morning commute a really big mess. here with the outlook for monday. >> we have three storms we are tracking. the first one in the mid-atlantic is pulling off the coast. the temperatures are going to stay below freezing so roadways are going to be icy in the morning. second storm right here pulling out of the rockies going to have a big impact on the plains. this will be a huge wind maker. in the west another storm pushing in there and this is going to keep that avalanche threat elevated in the upcoming days. here is the week ahead. we are going to take you through
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mid week. this is the storm we'll be watching closely looking for snow. this system is moving so fast that i don't think the totals will be incredible but the wind impact and white out conditions. we are looking at rain here but you will see snow and sleet in the dakotas. you should be able to count the number of inches on one hand. as we head into tuesday we'll be seeing the impacts in chicago and heading into detroit and eventually the system pulls off the coast. tomorrow's commute tonight. city number five, portland, oregon looking at rain. city number four denver, colorado. city number three, amrarillo texas. the interstate running right through there. very high travelled area. kansas city looking for rain and winds around 30 miles per hour. city number one, don't look.
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we have a tower cam. we had a tower cam of san francisco. >> the live shot looks like atlanta where jackie is in the cnn severe weather center. >> we'll get it for you another time. >> thank you very much. coming up we take a look back at our week as we said good bye to whitney houston from when the terrible news broke to when she was finally laid to rest. first the president's big announcement comes out in the next few weeks but does contain a fix of the current code. david johnson is a columnist at thompson reuters. you wrote that our individual
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income tax system is as out of touch with the era as digital music is with the hand cranked players. if the tax code is unfair what would you do to change it? >> well, fundamentally i think we need to recognize we have a tax system allowing companies to earn profits in america and siechen those out of the country and hold the money offshore on tax, what the 1 had the 4 trillion offshore is invested here in the u.s. just owned offshore. companies shouldn't be able to take money out of their american pockets and put it in another pocket and pay no taxes on it. we need a system that encourages investment in creating things. there is something we can do outside the tax system and that would be lowering the value of the dollar relative to other
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it was a little more than a week ago when we got word that whitney houston had died in a beverly hills hotel. she was buried next to her father today at a cemetery in new jersey bringing an end to a week full of pain, grief, inspiration and at times even joy. i covered this story from start to finish from this news room to los angeles and then new jersey.
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it's a week that none of us will likely ever forget. this is cnn breaking news. >> every once in a while you have to report something that you thought would be the worst thing that could happen and it was going to happen and now it has. singer whitney houston, one of the greatest voices of our generation, just gotten confirmation from a representative has died. whitney houston has died. >> she was found in the bathtub. that was put out by beverly hills pd. i believe somebody removed her from the bathtub and the pair medices did cpr. >> when i spoke to the coroner he said there weren't that many prescription drugs found. he said i have more prescription drugs at my house than were found in that room so let's take a big step back. they said they don't know if it
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was death by drowning. they are waiting for the toxicology reports. according to the funeral home which is handling the body and handling the arrangements it is going to be a private service at new hope baptist church. this is the latest information that new jersey governor says he intends to order the state's flags flown at half staff during whitney houston's funeral. they say she was seen ordering and consuming considerable quantities of alcohol before 10:00 a.m. guests overheard her complaining that her drinks were watered down. investigators are confirming that they are aware she was partying the night before she died. the sources confirmed that xanax was found in the hotel room.
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from east to west they have subpoenaed pharmacies and doctors. it is a death investigation. they don't believe it is anything criminal about it now. no one saw her in the bathroom. the person who found her and the person who pulled her out of the tub, the staff member and the person who try today revive her saw her. she was face up on her back in the hotel room. there is vast amounts of information that they are dealing with. >> according to our police sources who we spoke to they said that bobby came in with an entourage of people and could not be accommodated. when he couldn't be accommodated he chose to leave. ♪ i will always love you >> just dawned on us that whitney left us about a week ago
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but her music will last a long time and she has impact. >> remembering whitney houston. what a week. coming up what you can expect in your week ahead from the white house to wall street and hollywood next. also a romney campaign leader in arizona resigns. we're going to take the gloves off in our no talking points segment coming up next. ll, i mau a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business.
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the week ahead from the white house to tinsel town our correspondents tell you what you need to know. we begin with the president's plans. >> reporter: traveling with the president in everett, washington. fast forward to friday president obama welcomes the prime minister of denmark. they will talk about the upcoming nato summit. on thursday the president will hit the road to miami, florida. then on tuesday and wednesday the president and the first lady will focus on black history month including a blues conference at the white house. in washington this week secretary of state hillary clinton holds a global business conference with over 100 organizations discussing ways to promote u.s. business overseas, attract investment in the u.s. later in the week she'll meet with over 64 ministers as part of the friends of syria group
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trying to stop the violence in syria, put pressure on the regime and deliver humanitarian aid. in new york markets are closed monday for president's day but investors will be keeping a close eye on greece. later in the week housing will be in focus with reports on new and existing home sales coming out for the month of january. retailers like walmart, macy's target and sears will report their numbers. we'll track it all on cn money. here is what we are watching this week. roburta flack will bring us her personal account of whitney houston's funeral. the oscars are next weekend. catch show biz tonight week nights at 11:00 p.m. on hln.
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time now for no talking points. >> tonight gay skeletons in the conservative closet. who knew there was room left in there. here are a few examples of many. first a high profile denial. >> let me be clear, i am not gay. i never have been gay. >> that was former republican senator larry kraig denying wide stance allegations of soliciting an under cover park in a men's room. now a high profile rationalization. >> it's an innocent thing going back and forth. i wasn't out soliciting people on the internet. this is not that kind of arrangement. >> former republican congressman mark foley admitting he was gay
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only after exposed after flirting with young males in person and text messages. he resigned and went to sex rehab. you have seen the denial and rationization. time for the admission. >> i'm here to say that all of these allegations in one of these newspapers are absolutely completely false except for the issues that refer to me being gay because that's the truth. i am gay. >> so to be fair to arizona sheriff paul babeu, to our knowledge he has never denied being gay nor pushed for antigay measures but now a congressional candidate with a tough stance on illegal immigration and only came out after being the subject of an abusive power scandal about an ex lover who happens to
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be a staffer who says the sheriff threaten today deport them if he made the relationship public. babeu denies it all. none of this would be necessary or scandalous if sheriff babeu acknowledged he was gay in the first place. there would be no need to allegedly coerce jose into signing a nondisclosure agreement. this picture and other more revealing ones might never would have become republic. this one said he didn't remember taking these pictures. he resigned just because. to be fair there were democrats pushed out of the closet. why are there so many more examples of gay conservative closet cases, perhaps the gop platform is what forces gay members to live a lie.
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wouldn't it be easier and less embarrassing to just come out? that's tonight's no talking points. straight ahead a powerful report about slavery in america and it may not have ended when you think it did right after the civil war. jobless claims reach a four year low but home foreclosures are still a problem. here is alison kosik with this week's getting down to business. unemployment claims fell last week, a strong sign the sluggish job market may be improving. the number of americans filing for first time claims dropped to the lowest level in almost four years. economists say this could mark a turning point for job seekers. it's a mixed bag for the housing sector. more new homes were built in january. the number of foreclosures is
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also on the rise. according to realty track foreclosures jumped 3% since september but still lower than a year ago. look for a report on existing home sales on wednesday. hollywood's biggest stars are getting ready for the academy awards but a new survey shows americans aren't going to the movies as much as they used to. more than half admit to going less often since the start of the recession. that's this week's getting down to business. i'm alison kosik. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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the south, take on this particular topic? >> i grew up in a place in mississippi where there were more black people than there were white. i went to schools where it was overwhelmingly black. for whatever reason from really early on in life i was sort of possessed with trying to figure out why things were the way they were. why were black people facing more difficulty than i was in my life. >> your book is an investigation of american corporations using slave labor after slaves were free. what did you learn? >> i learned that after the civil war, after a period of time when the emancipated slaves were free for a period of time, they were in tough times but free but then began this great campaign all across the southern
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states to reenslave large numbers of african americans. over the decades a whole new system of slavery emerged partly through the criminal justice system and the terrible needs of economic exploitation of african americans in the rural areas of the deep, deep south. it was a real kind of slavery in which people were being bought and sold and abused. >> people are going to say what does that mean today? >> what it means is slaverily didn't end 150 years ago. anytime you are in a conversation and somebody says why are we talking about this stuff? why are black people still complaining about disparities? it has been 150 years since slavery ended why can't they get over it? that is not true. slavery didn't begin to recede from american life until like 50 or 60 years ago. in many respects there were
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vestiges that continued to the 60s. and for sure there are thousands of elderly african americans today who were born on farms in south georgia or alabama or south carolina born into slavery in their child hoods. for us to deny that is to deny one of the most important aspects in american history. >> tell us about tonya grooms and susan. who are they and what was your influence on them. >> tonya grooms is a descendant of the main character in the book and the film whose name was green cottonham. he was arrested in 1908. sold into slavery in a coal mine in alabama. he died there a few months later. susan is a white woman, the
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great granddaughter of a man named john williams who lived in georgia and in 1921 after there was a brief investigation into that he was holding large numbers of african american men as slaves to try to avoid prosecution he murdered all of the black men who were on his farm. there were at least 11 bodies found. so these two women who come from, whose ancestry goes back to the opposite sides of this terrible chapter of american history both came forward and have beautiful perspectives and ways of discussing what you have been asking about and that is what does this matter. >> documentary fascinating. thank you. >> thanks for having me. up next those two women we just spoke about join me in the studio. you'll hear their compelling story in their own words. one of the best things about state farm is our accessibility.
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before the break we told you about a powerful book called "slavery by another name" that waps recently turned into a documentary. two women share emotional stories about their relatives on opposing sides of the slavery controversy. susan is the great granddaughter
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of a slave owner who murdered 11 slaves to hide evidence of slavery. tonia grooms discovered her great grandfather was made a slave until he died. we begin with tonia talking about her great grandfather. >> cunningham represents these people the detailed research they would have disappeared completely. people were being reenslaved on a large scale and they were working for companies as lease labor. their crimes, i can't prove i have a job. if you couldn't prove you had a job and you were an african male you could be picked up at any time and forced into work where courts could receive payment for work you do. oftentimes it was brutal. >> susan, your great grandfather murdered 11 black workers using
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as slaves and their bodies to avoid prosecution. i want to play a very powerful moment from you in the film. >> i just get so emotional. i think about not just the fact that these men were murdered but the cruelty with which it was carried out. that's what is hardest for me to imagine and hardest to accept. >> so it's decades later. do you have guilt about that at all? >> i can't say that it's guilt because it 90 years ago long before i was born or before my father was born. still it's a horrible thing to know about your family. however, i have known this about my family for quite a while. >> people shouldn't be guilty because this is american history. if there is shame in it it is
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not to know it and accept it and talk about it. >> that was what was so remarkable about this book and film is i knew my family's history but i didn't know how wide spread the problem was. >> what do you want peep tool get out of this? many people say this is so painful. why do this to us? >> i don't dredge it up because of anything good for my family. it is painful to read about these things and talk about these things. i think it is important for the country and our education system that they include this information because all of us growing up never knew this, never knew this problem that existed for so many years for thousands of people. >> ignorance is not bliss. >> these people worked extremely
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hard. your choice was to work hard or die and people didn't know what happened. a lot of times these people would disappear and you didn't know what happened to your relatives. that is how they were lost in family history. in the course of this book we discover this ancestor who probably disappeared, he was the first cousin of my great grandfather. he was one person how horrifying it would be to live under that fact. the beauty of it is is that these people and i did talk to older ancestors, they weren't broken and pitiful. instead of me seeing them as victims i see them as survivors. >> did you have a chance to talk to each other before this project? >> no. we met through the project. >> tell me what happened. >> it seems like we met and immediately had a connection. we have a lot of things in common even though our stories about this project come from
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totally different positions. we just hit it off and have been hanging out some. >> i appreciate that. coming up on cnn iran says britain and france will be cut off from that country's oil supplies. no signs if prices in the u.s. will be affected. and available to all. distill all that data. make information instinctual, visual. introducing trade architect, td ameritrade's empowering web-based trading platform. take control of your portfolio today. trade commission-free for 60 days, and we'll throw in up to $600 when you open an account.
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what makes us number one in motorcycle insurance? we love bikes. we love riders. and most of all, we love to ride. perfect hair every time. leading the pack in motorcycle insurance. now, that's progressive. call or click today. iran says it is cutting off oil sales to britain and france. the oil ministry says it won't have any problem disposing of
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the excess oil. the eu has approved a ban of crude from iran. oil provides half of iran's revenue. more than a third go to china and india. pope benedict xvi celebrated mass with cardinals. the 22 new princes of the church as they are known to catholics will be eligible to vote for a new pope when benedict dies. i'm don lemon at the cnn head quarters in atlanta. we are going to leave you tonight with a look back at some of saturday's most poignant moments from the memorial services for whitney houston. ♪ she was found in newark
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♪ she was heaven sent. >> we are here to mourn our loss but to celebrate her life, one of our angels, whitney houston. ♪ a long time coming but a change had to come ♪ >> what i know about her is that she loved the lord. if that was a grace that carried her all the way through it was the same grace that carried her home. ♪ but i know she wasn't afraid to die ♪ >> so say whatever you want, god was for her and she is resting singing with the angels. god bless you, family. god bless you, whitney. we love you so much. ♪ whitney understood somebody's wing beyond the sky ♪ ♪ it's been a long time coming
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>> a lot of men could have played my part, a lot of guys could have filled that role but you, whitney, i trully believe that you were the only one that could have played rachel meren at that time. she told god she was going to be like aretha and like her famous cousin deon and like her beautiful mother, sissy. there could be little doubt in this room that she has joined their ranks. as the debate heats up about the greatest singer of the last century, as the lists are drawn, it will have little meaning to me that her name is not on it. >> without knowing of her love of music and her absolutely natural genius in interpreting songs, you certainly don't know all of whitney houston. personally, all i can say is that i loved her very much.
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everyone in heaven including god is waiting and i just know you are going to raise the roof like no one else has done before. ♪ no more whitney, no more do you have to cry ♪ ♪ you'll always be our ribbon in the sky ♪ >> don't grieve for me for now i'm free. i'm following the path god laid for me. ♪ i look to you >> god

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