tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN September 21, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
convicting cop killer troy davis' pastor. and are israel and the palestinians getting closer to a deal. >> peace cannot be imposed on the parties. it's going to have to be negotiated. >> plus the white house budget cuts. president bush called the blade, mitch daniels. could it land him on the gop ticket? and how two presidents and a top fashion designer are working to rebuild a devastated nation. >> to employee the people. empower the people of their country. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening. a last-minute appeal to the supreme court has delayed the execution of troy davis which was scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m. eastern. he was convicted of killing an
offduty police officer in 1989. working to stop the execution. also have breaking news on the other big story. the release of two american hikers in iran. josh fattal and shane bauer were escorted to their family. we'll begin with the extraordinary troy davis take. i want to go straight to david mattingly outside the prison in jackson, georgia. there seems to be increased activity in the last hour. apparently family members arriving, a lot of state police arriving. what is your feeling about what may be going on? >> well, there's a tremendous show of force here. it continues to grow as the minutes go by. i want to let you take a look at this. this is a rare sight in georgia to see this many officers in this much riot gear standing guard. they are standing at the gates of the facility where the execution is supposed to take place. they have been staring intently
across a four-lane highway. i'm going to show you this now. across the highway to give you a lay of the land. there are hundreds of supporters for troy davis standing over there. they've been over there for hours. they've been holding signs. they've been chanting. but i have to emphasize, they've been orderly and peaceful. and yet hour after hour there are more and more officers gathering here just a few moments ago there were about 20 patrol cars with the georgia state patrol coming in here with their sirens on and with their lights flashing. those officers have now joined the ranks there. easily more than a hundred uniformed and armed officers. and for a short time ago, we saw several of them passing out those plastic handcuffs that they would use in riot situations. again, at this point there's no indication that this crowd is out of control. over the past week i've watched the demonstrations for troy davis continue here in the state of georgia. they've always been orderly and peaceful.
and now at this hour as we continue to wait for word from the supreme court, the crowd has been strangely quiet for the past few minutes. they're starting to pick up just a little bit, but everyone wondering what is about to happen next. >> david, stay with us. i want to bring in senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin to explain. a pretty complex situation here. just explain in simple terms what you think is happening on the legal side of this process. >> well, this has been an extraordinary legal drama. a murder in 1989, a trial in 1991 and 20 years of litigation that has continued all day today. at about 5:00 this afternoon eastern time, the georgia supreme court denied a stay of execution to troy davis. at that point his lawyers instantly hit send on an application to the united states
supreme court for a stay of execution. there are nine justices. five justices are necessary to grant a stay. for more than three hours now we have heard nothing from the united states supreme court. georgia would be within its rights at this very moment to execute troy davis. the order said they would execute him as of 7:00. but georgia is saying we are not going to do this until we hear one way or the other from the united states supreme court. and this is an unusually long delay from the united states supreme court to fail to act on a stay of execution. all we can do is wait. >> jeffrey, i mean, there are two arguments here. one is about whether he's guilty. he was obviously convicted but there are elements of doubt being raised about that guilt. secondly about the whole nature of the death penalty. i heard you earlier on cnn
saying murder cases are dropping in america and so are executions. which i thought was an interesting overview of where we are with that part of it. but tell me from a legal point of view, when you studied everything to do with this case, what's your feeling about the original conviction of troy davis? >> it's a problematic case. one of the things we've learned in the criminal justice system over the past 20 years is how unreliable some of the things we thought were very reliable. this is a case based almost entirely on eyewitness testimony. eyewitness testimony is problematic. this case also had in it what's known as a jailhouse snitch. a fellow prisoner who said that troy davis confessed. even at the trial that testimony was widely regarded as worthless. jailhouse snitches are notoriously awful and unreliable witnesses. but this case is about eyewitness identification. and that's why it's been such a
problem for so long. >> jeffrey, thank you. now i want to bring in reverend rafael warell. obviously a difficult time both for troy and his family. what is the latest that's going on? >> indeed it is a very difficult time. this has been an incredible night. i was standing with the family at about 7:00 p.m. by that time, of course, naturally we were expecting the worst. and suddenly we began to hear cheers from the crowd across the way. and the word came that the execution had been delayed. certainly we're glad that troy davis is still alive, but we are still witnessing in my estimation a civil rights violation and a human rights violation in the worst way unfold before our very eyes. this is troy davis' fourth
execution date. i'm glad that he's alive, but that in and of itself is cruel and unusual punishment. america can do much better than this. >> obviously the family of the man who was killed that day believe adamantly in troy davis' guilt. do you believe aside from the fact that you're a pastor to troy davis, a personal friend of his, i mean, can you understand how the family feels? they're going through a different emotion this evening. >> i am a pastor and pastor to the family. i've gotten to know them in the context of this case. i'm from savannah, georgia. i know something about the culture of that city. which even to this day in some ways is still very much rationally divided. as a pastor i empathize with the pain of the macphail family. i have stood with mothers as they've had to deal with the unspeakable horror of burying
their children rather than having their children bury them. what is absolutely certain is the pain of the macphail family. what is absolutely uncertain is mr. troy davis' guilt. and in that regard because we are america, we can ill avoid to execute this man. >> can i ask you. this is a difficult question for you but i want to put it to you. do you believe that he's 100% innocent or do you simply believe there is enough doubt about the evidence that led to his conviction that should prevent an execution taking place? >> well, i think that both would be grounds for halting an execution. that is the ultimate punishment. it is irretrievable. most of us are horrified by the notion of someone spending 20 years, 30 years in prison only to be discovered later that they are innocent. imagine taking someone's life. there is no way to correct that. i will say to you that i have
spent hours with mr. troy davis over the course of the last few years. he is a man of deep faith. even on monday when i met with him he talked about this being a journey, a spiritual journey for him. he maintains his innocence. as his pastor i believe that. but the question for the criminal justice system is not have we proven that he's innocent. the question is have you proven that he's guilty and clearly the state has not. and that's why we continue to get these incredible stays up until the last moment. >> it's an agonizing time for troy davis. whichever side of the argument you take. i mean, do you know in terms of the practicalties of his evening, had he had his last meal and was he prepared for execution? >> i do know that on the last
time he received an execution warrant, he refused his last meal. i spoke tonight with his nephew, an incredible young man whom mr. davis has mentored from death row. he says his uncle said he would refuse his last meal again today. he has continued to insist that this is not his last meal. i must say to you that he shows faith that is just amazing even to me as his pastor. i was there to encourage him. he inspired me and in a real sense whatever the outcome tonight, he's rallied the world. and i think caused all of us to rethink the death penalty. people who were for the death penalty today i think will have to rethink this tomorrow. this is a water shed moment unfolding right before our very eyes. >> can i ask you.
do you believe the death penalty is ever acceptable under any circumstances? >> well, as a christian, as a man of faith, and because i believe in the best of america i am opposed to the death penalty. but the extraordinary thing about this case is that people who are supporters of the death penalty, the likes of william session former head of the fbi, bob barr a congressman from georgia with whom i disagree about 95% of the time has gone public saying that this execution should not take place. we live in a sharply divided partisan time in which democrats and republicans cannot even agree on the debt ceiling in the midst of an economic crisis. yet bob barr and jimmy carter believe troy davis should not be executed. clearly the state of georgia needs to pay attention. >> thank you for your time.
obviously it's going to be a difficult evening for you. we appreciate you taking time to talk to us. >> thank you so much for having me. we'll bring you all the latest breaking news from that story. the so far delayed execution of troy davis throughout the show. our other big story tonight is a happier one. release of josh fattal and shane bauer from an iranian prison after two years in captivity. my next guest is someone who escorted them to the airport. she joins me on the phone. ambassador, thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me. >> we're watching these extraordinary scenes with the two young men coming off the plane to meet their families. scenes of utter joy as you would expect. how have they been today? you spent more time with them than anybody else. what's their mood been like? >> of course they were completely overjoyed. that this was all over. that they were about to meet their families.
and it was just even on a personal basis, it is a real pleasure to see them and be there. that was great. >> do you feel they've been treated well? do they seem healthy to you? have they had to have any kind of medical treatment so far? >> they seemed well. they seemed strong. they had no immediate complaints. and i think they have been treated well in the sense of good food and a decent cell and everything. no complaints. >> can you confirm that the million dollars that was paid over came from the sultan of iman is that correct? >> well, these are the kind of things that i don't really want to speak upon the details of the release. in any case, everything fell into place. and the important thing is it was possible for them to finally
be back after more than two years. >> and josh and shane, now that they've been freed do they accept they broke any law in iran? do they understand they may have done that even if it was inadvertent? >> well, you'll probably have to ask them yourself. of course in the short time they haven't talked about that. they have repeatedly said that they were in no intentions of entering iran. and if they did so through an unmarked border that they were sorry about it. but as you know the border between iraq and iran, it isn't necessarily clear where which country starts. >> i know you're a mother yourself, ambassador. how important was it to the two young men that their families were so determined to get them back and obviously tried
everything they could to do that? >> this was a very, very important for them. it was hard in the beginning. they didn't get any information from the family nor contact with us. so they felt extremely isolated. they just told me how important it was this very first time to actually visit them and then later on it was possible to organize that they would receive letters from their families. and this was key to them. but being in prison they did not know everything that was going on over these more than two years. i'm sure they will discover now things they didn't know. we, of course, tried to keep them informed as much as possible. >> it's a wonderful end to what has been a long, drawn out and difficult story for the families in particular. thank you very much for joining
me. >> thank you. now i want to turn to palestinian president mahmoud abbas. president obama had meetings with abbas and netanyahu. who close are the sides to doing a deal? a representative to the united states is here. thank you for joining me. >> thank you. >> a lot going on. the president met with both sides today. what is your understanding of how the meeting went with mahmoud abbas and the president? >> the president abbas met with president obama this evening and they exchanged views about the palestinian decision to go to the united nations to seek full membership at the international organization. it was actually a repeat of the u.s. previous positions which are very well known to the palestinian side. the president reiterated the support of the united states for palestinian state for the two
state solution. and he expressed the u.s. opposition to the palestinian seeking full membership at the united nations. the u.s. believes it has to be the outcome of bilateral negotiations. at the same time president abbas explained to books. that the palestinian decision was made and that they are determined to go to the u.n. to seek a full membership. >> this is a political move, isn't it? because you know there's no chance of actually winning full membership. you know the americans are going to have to use the veto. so what is the real game that's being played here? what do you really hope to achieve this week if you can? >> actually what we are trying to achieve, we're trying to send a clear message to the international committee that the status quo on the ground cannot continue. israel is in a situation where they don't have to pay for the consequences of their occupation
of the palestinian people and land. and therefore we have to change the dynamics. we are trying to evaluate the status of the palestinians to that of an entity to a state. which will enable the palestinians to be able to talk to the israelis at more equal footing. and the palestinian state will be an occupied area. there is a disparity that israel exploited in the last years of negotiations to its own advantage. >> i've heard the arguments on both sides. i've interviewed benjamin netanyahu. they say the security of israel is paramount to them. they said many people have been slaughtered. i have sympathy on both sides. what i feel like most people is right now with all this going on in the middle east, with all the
uprisings, the arab spring, it really seems like there's never been a more important time than right now for this deal to be done. and i sensed that they feel, the israelis, that abbas is somebody they could do business with. i felt they could do business. but they were concerned about hamas there. they've said they don't even want abbas coming to the u.n. they are opposed to this. how can you deliver a peace process if you don't have hamas with you? >> i think this is an issue that has been brought over and over again by israel unfortunately to be used as a pretext not to move forward. the palestinian leadership president abbas has repeated to appeal everywhere inside the territories is responsible for
conducting negotiations. and once we can conclude an agreement, it will go to the people for referendum. the issue is not hamas. it is israel refusing negotiations to end the conflict and to resolve all outstanding issues. ever since netanyahu took office two and a half years ago, he completely shunned all efforts by the united states, by the international committee, by the palestinians to sit down and discuss issues starting with security on borders in order to move the process forward. >> do you believe finally that a deal is achievable now? do you sense there is enough international will led by barack obama to get this done? >> well, i think if you are talking about from now until friday that the palestinian decision is clear. we are determined to seek full membership at the united nations. >> i'm more talking about could you get a peace deal done by christmas? could you do that?
>> well, we have indicated that the day after we become a member of the united nations, we will engage in order to resolve all the outstanding issues. the idea of abandoning negotiations because of going to the united nations is totally a myth and the palestinian leadership has stressed that it will engage the israelis in meaningful negotiations after we become a full state. >> thank you very much. next a man who could be the republican nominee for president governor mitch daniels. [ female announcer ] lactaid milk is easy to digest. it's real milk full of calcium and vitamin d. and tastes simply delicious. for those of us with lactose intolerance... lactaid® milk. the original 100% lactose-free milk. a network of possibilities... ♪
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americans. america's best governor it says in the new york times. >> i don't know what made him say that. >> how are you going to keep the republic? >> i hope we're going to do it by first of all placing the future ahead of the present which is to say matching long-term means with ends. we're badly out of whack as we all know. huge debts today. like so many other developed countries. and worse still we've made unfundable commitments for tomorrow. the growth of the private sector. what's troubling me most, piers, is that it's not just our economy at stake. i think it's the whole american prospect, the american promise of upward mobility for all. and i go so far as to suggest really the whole project of governor of the governed here is on trial here.
as philosophered predicting it would be. >> you're the knife and the blade when you worked for president bush. but this is a guy that brought in the bush tax cuts. and that has been partly responsible along with going into wars in iraq and afghanistan for the financial mess the country's got itself into. you're the one that stuck the republic in there. how do you respond to that? >> i think it's a little overstated. maybe it's testimony those years to my poor powers of persuasion. i was always arguing with the republican congress. i gave speeches at the national press club and other places and pointed out they didn't pass conflicts. harry truman at the time of korea is a great example, had really reduced spending temporarily on other things. that's what you do if you take on new obligations or wars.
didn't get very far with that. we did have guns and that was part of it. >> only a tiny part of it and shouldn't be considered. it's a trillion. that's not a tiny part of the budget, is it? a trillion dollars on wars? >> it doesn't sound as big as it used to now that we're running $1.4 trillion every year. you know, i'm not here to argue or defend anything that happened back then. if you want to know how i feel about spending you may look at the seven years i've been in charge of something. >> you've been elected there in indiana and it's good in many areas. no question. what i'm going to put to you. even someone like you who's got a great fiscal record in your state, you still struggle with unemployment. it's up to 8.2%. but it's rising.
and you're clearly despite having all the answers having similar problems to the president. >> first let me say i try to be very explicit in this book i don't claim to have all of the answers. i take the responsibility for offering what i think are the best answers. but i say many times that this situation i believe is so urgent that no one can afford to be totally doctrine. opposed to inaction and the disaster that would bring, then you could count me in for one. >> how much of president obama's problem is down to the republican eight years running the white house? in other words, the financial crisis, the wars in iraq and afghanistan, tax cuts and so on. how much of what he inherited percentagewise is to blame for the current malaise? >> some percentage, the biggest problems by far -- >> is where would you put it?
>> statistically if you were to repeal the tax cuts you'd solve less than 10% of the problem we have today. >> you wouldn't honestly look at me and say only 10% of the financial problems america has today are down to the republicans would you? >> well, that's a different question. because, listen. the problems that we're really facing, the ones that are -- i think ought to absorb our attention are far bigger than any one year's deficit. the previous ones even the enormous ones right this minute. the unfunded liabilities we have stacked up for ourselves compounded by debts at the state and local level. not to mention private debt is an overhang on the american future. and a major theme of what i've tried to say in this book is that whatever got us into this, to debate it endlessly now is a
waste of precious time. i believe a clock is ticking. and that the need for big change is urgent. we need to reform the safety net programs. not for those in the now but for the future. we need a pro growth tax plan. a tax reform. we ought to be wholeheartedly supportive of domestic energy production in every form, absolutely every form. >> one of the main themes of the book is civilized. you're not ripping into opponents. >> i try not too. >> here's a problem with some of the republicans. is up in washington they made it absolutely clear some of them on the record we want barack obama to be a one-term president. and they're doing everything they can to do him in. and they're causing huge riles over the debt ceiling when there shouldn't have been any and everyone knew that. there's a disconnect between what's going on here and what
the public wants. you seem much more unifying in your tone in this book than many of your colleagues in the party. what is your message to them as they continue to tear into obama and make it all very partisan? >> yes, well, i have found in -- we have found in our state and i had to learn this the hard way honestly. if you're interested in results, then you must always strive to bring people together. big change requires big majorities. and we need big change to avoid becoming the greece of the future. >> barack obama has tried to do that. that's exactly what he said when he came in. he wanted to be inclusive. >> he has said it -- >> he wanted to work with the opposition. when he tried the republicans have stamped on his head. >> piers, you joined us fairly recently. maybe you missed a little.
they won the election. had his way completely for two years ignored reservations that republicans had. and my gosh the -- what a devicive speech he gave this week. >> you can't blame him. having been trashed all summer, he finally come out and said if this is the way you're going to play it, i'm going to get dirty too. >> he gives as good as he gets. he's a acolyte who started his advice to radicals with personalized and condemned opposition. >> hold that thought for a moment. when we come back, i want to continue this and hear how you're going to beat obama in the next election. maybe not you personally or maybe you personally. who knows. [ beeping ]
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indiana governor mitch daniels here with me. governor, got to ask you about this whole issue of executions. in your time in indiana you've executed nine men. obviously it's always a hard thing to do. you've had appeals that you've rejected. as you see what's going on today in various parts of america, what is your view of execution generally? if you had your way, would you dispense with them? do you believe it's becoming increasingly unpopular now?
there's less murders than there used to be in america. >> piers, it's the one thing i was least prepared for in taking on this assignment. the first such decision came -- the first two or three game very quickly. i don't understand anybody who says they don't have at least some ambivalence about this subject. really on either side. in our case i'll tell you how we've resolved it. after an awful lot of thought and reflection and counselling with other people, the people of our state have said very emphatically that they believe at least in the most extreme cases this penalty is appropriate. i've decided it was not for me to substitute my own individual -- any individual judgment i might have for theirs. but we are very careful about it. i read the files twice myself. our rule is there can't be a sbt
of guilt. >> do you personally believe in the death penalty? >> i believe there are circumstances in which it is warranted. i've now had to confront some of those. i've commuted a sentence and approach each one really from the standpoint that i very well mig might. at least in our state this is a diminishing thing. >> beginning to spread around america. my sense is it's going out of fashion. that more and more americans are saying do we actually need to do this? if there can ever be doubt, why have it? >> certainly what juries appear to be doing. again, i will say that the people of our state -- i can't speak for others -- have expressed in clear terms their
belief that it ought at least be an option for the worst of the worst of the worst such offenses. but i freely admit that the loneliest nights i've spent as governor are those in which we impose this sentence and we wait until the very last minute to make certain there's not a good reason not to. >> let's move on to the presidency, the campaign next year. you ruled yourself out when many wanted you to rule yourself in. and you kind of cited family reasons. you know, happy marriage. i want to come to that a minute. curious setup, your marriage over the years. and now you're sort of flirting now with the vice presidency option. because your governance ends just in time for it. any truth to this? >> i think it's the silliest question in our politics. >> so zero intention of being vice president?
>> yeah i have zero intention. and zero expectation. and it's all in someone else's hands. >> could it ever change? if somebody asked you to be, would you say no? >> that's something a person ought not say. i promise you i don't spend one -- >> if i was someone like mitt romney or jon huntsman or rick perry or whoever it is and you get the ticket, who would be better than mitch daniels with your record? >> off the air i'll give you a long list. >> would you say no if they asked you? >> i can't tell you the answer to that. we probably have to have another conversation in the family. >> as a politician you know that's basically a yes. >> you're too cynical. we americans are -- >> i'm positive here. tell me about your marriage. do you ever think that might be a problem for you politically or is it an asset? you split up from your wife, get divorced, then get back together and remarried. it's unusual state of affairs.
>> if you like happy endings you'll love our story. i have no idea. i have never presumed to tell a voter what's important and what isn't. everybody's entitled to decide for themselves. but i -- you know, i think i'm the most fortunate person you'll interview this year in terms of both the family i have and the good things that have come along in life. i don't spend a minute worrying about it. >> i'm glad it ended happily for you. thank you for enjoying me. >> i enjoyed it. when we come back, two presidents and a top fashion designer on how they're helping save a devastated country. i habe a cohd.
haiti is still dealing with the effects of the earthquake. joining me now is president of rwanda, president of haiti, the u.n. specialist to haiti. and donna karen the fashion designer and founder of the urban zen foundation. rwanda went through a devastating situation. but you've managed to rebuild rwanda in an extraordinary way with the help of the
international community. when you see what's happening in haiti and the problems they've had obviously caused by a very different natural disaster in their case, what advice would you give them about how you rebuild a country that's been through devastation? >> one of the first advice i would give the people of haiti and leadership in haiti is not to despair and fear. however insurmountable it may seem with the leadership and the people if they pull together and organize their sources and their will that is there to help globally and get organized and target the kind of assistance in a specific area. then they can pull through like rwanda has in the last 17 years.
>> how important was the direct help from the united nations? >> that is helpful at the beginning mainly when the kind of situation of emergence where all kinds of help is needed. the most important thing is to have national ownership and make sure there's coordination of the kinds of very well intended efforts to try and help. if not coordinated you may have a lot of help coming in but it will not result to intangible. >> let me ask you when this disaster happened and the earthquake struck, you had the world's attention for a period of time. as with all these things, the world moves on. and you're left in haiti to continue the reconstruction process. and the rebuilding of a shattered country. how are you getting on at the
moment? and how much more should the international community now be doing that perhaps they stopped doing? >> first of all i must tell you we were really caught by surprise for not having the culture of dealing with earthquake first and secondly waiting for the earthquake we had no infrastructure. so after the earthquake we were really lost. and then the world moved in. and a lot of money have been spent at the time. unfortunately today when we look back, we can't -- we can barely see what's been done with the money. >> how much of that has been either wasted or, you know, lost through corruption or all the things that tend to happen in such a situation? >> well, that's exactly the point. today you can't see. because they put the emergency and saying it was about saving lives. so you can't really tell what
money was properly used. some people used the earthquake to make their money. >> i see you nodding there. you've been an expert in these areas. you described it as a disaster that hit a fragile country. what is the imperative now from what you've seen? >> if i could mention the imperative what's always right in front of you. i'm a physician so for me that would be a patient who's injured and having been there after the earthquake, i understand that imperative better than any other. at the same time what the people of haiti are facing now is not just relief but reconstruction. and the imperatives are getting kids back in infrastructure, as president martelly said, and coordinating the goodwill, that i think there is a lot of goodwill turned toward haiti, but if it's not
coordinated, as president kagame said it ends up complicating matters. one thing we can know, and president martelly knows this, of the jeep rouse donations pledged to haiti for acute relief that is saving lives, less than 1% of that money went to the haitian government and the public sector and so, you know, you really -- you can't rebuild municipal water systems with ngos, as well-intentioned as they might be. certainly, the one i volunteer for, partisan health is very well-intentioned in haiti and rwanda, but we cannot replace the government so we are trying to -- >> bring in donna here, you have this organization, urban zen, worked with the global initiative to build homes in haiti. >> the model for the developing countries is their soul and their spirit and you can look at this as negative or you can look at it positive and i think the people were quite shocked when i went down originally, 'cause if -- i came out with a very simple way of doing it and then i saw every person there as an
artist. so what i was able to do is work with the artisans to work with the artisans, everything i'm wearing here are made in haiti. >> really? >> these are horn brace let's. this story is spectacular a woman to went down. to adopt two children what did she do she adopt advil lage, by recycling paper and making these beads. then i have come in and work with her in coloration. you know, recently, developing papier mache bags, you know, having the opportunity to work with this type of creativity, i really believe it's the model. >> how are they responding to this kind of thing? >> you know, it's not as easy as i thought, but i do know that there is an answer here. i was association site i had finally put it on the runway at the donna karan show. unless we put philanthropy and
commerce together. >> which is what president kagame was saying, this u.n. and community are only going so far but in the end, you need of the people of rawanda, of haiti being inspired and helped and encouraged to rebuild from within with. you are the man in charge of the government there, you have heard what the man from rwanda says, he has been through all this. what do you think? >> first of all, it is a model that we are closing very closely. first of all, we need to identify what we want to do. for instance, let's say we are going to work with coffee, we work with coffee and make the best part about it, to ex-sport coffee. in past years, we paid dividends with coffee. >> i'm going to go and start drinking haitian coffee. thank you both very much, mr. president, mr. president, doctor, donna karan, very interesting and i hope people have watched had this and react accordingly. thank you very much, indeed. look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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