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tv   John King USA  CNN  May 24, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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do you think this going to turn you into millionaires? >> i think so. >> reporter: they will have a slogan, liquiglide, let it slide. no more banging with shoes or mallets or sucking up ketchup. for traditional bottles, liqui glide could mean their last gasp. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> love that report. i can relate. thanks very much for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next. good evening, i'm john king. tonight honest by about outrageous honesty from the man who leads the united nations. at least 10,000 people already dead and ban ki-moon tells cnn, quoted, there's no plan b to stop the killing in syria. battle for battlegrounds. president obama in barack obama, mitt romney in pennsylvania and half a dozen new state polls that give us a new glimpse at the electoral college tug of war. governor romney promises to cut unemployment to 6%.
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the truth if that's a promise he can keep or whether it's his version of read my lips or i'll close gitmo. this evening with presidential politic, and a focus on key battleground states. president obama is in iowa tonight. six electoral votes but a hotly contested tossup state at a wind turbine plant in newton, iowa, the president said he understood times are tough but he argues the republican agenda isn't the answer. >> when you hear somebody say, we should cut more taxes, especially for the wealthiest americans, well, newton, you've been there and you've done that. we did that. 2000, 2001, 2003. when you hear people say that we should cut back more on the rules we put in place for banks and financial institutions to avoid another taxpayer bailout. well, we tried that. >> that's the president in iowa just moments ago.
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republican challenger mitt romney has his eyes today on pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes, encountering some democratic protests as he made his case on education. >> education and the gap in the educational opportunity and achievement of people of color in this society, i believe, is a civil rights issue of our time. and you'll have a better perspective than i do, but from my perspective, our failure to provide kids with the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow is a crisis. >> a bit later we'll take a closer look at a dust-up between governor romney and some teachers over class size. first, the changing lay of the land and state by state race to 270 electoral votes. several new polls out today. we could lump them together under this headline, remarkably close race but advantage so far to president obama. some polling come from battleground state of wisconsin. a state president obama won last time. governor romney wants it this time.
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the new poll shows a slight advantage to the president, 49/43 in the battle ground stay, a key midwestern battleground state of wisconsin. let's move that over. battleground state of ohio, what do you get? simple numbers. advantage, president obama, 48% to governor romney's 42% in nbc news/maris poll. president obama slight advantage in state of ohio. to the east, virginia, one state the president turned from red to blue four years ago. a huge battleground. this time a toss-up state. a more narrow lead but at the moment advantage obama. within the margin of error. but the president on top in the state of virginia. now let's move south along the east coast down to the state of florida. again, always a huge battleground state in presidential politics. two polls in two days. they give us slightly different result. this one out today, shows the president up four points. that's margin of error, dead heat but the. the with a slight momentum perhaps in florida. that's today's poll. just yesterday we had a different poll from quinnipiac university that showed governor
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romney up close. you say a tight competitive race in the state of florida. the big question is, how does that impact the race to 270? here's my map, as we call it right now. i would say at the moment, you need 270 to win. president obama has about 217 electoral votes. those are the blue states. solid democratic or leaning democratic. governor romney starts with 206 electoral votes. red on the map right now, solid republican or leaning republican. look at the states i just mentioned. first one, footnote, i have pennsylvania a toss-up. many would lean that democrat right now. we could call that either way. let's go through the states we just mentioned. remember, the president now at about 217. if that wisconsin poll were right and he were to win wisconsin, that moves him up. if that ohio poll were right and election today and he were to win ohio, if that virginia poll were right and he were to win virginia, bang, look at that. that gets him to 25. he only needs 270. then we had florida as a toss-up, if president could win that, he's over the line. let's assume florida is not in play, we'll take that back off,
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then pennsylvania would put the president over the line. let's bring in, as we look at this very close electoral college battleground but advantage obama at the moment is deputy campaign manager back from chicago. stephanie, when you look at the map like this and realize three or four states could decide it, let me ask this question, would would you spend money anywhere else in five or six states like wisconsin, iowa, virginia, florida? >> well, john, i can't see your maps but i can imagine what you're doing on the magic wall. we're not taking anything for granted and playing in all the different battleground states. we're focusing on grassroots organizing, voter registration and not taking a single vote for granted. the president is in iowa today. a state incredibly important to us. you know, the bottom line is, you know, the organization that the president had in 2008 never went away. we've been steadily building on it. as a result, there are many different pathdy ways to victory
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to get to 270. we're not relying on any single state. >> let's test this theory. wisconsin is a key battleground state. you won it last time. a huge laboratory in american politics. you have the recall election with the republican governor. scott walker, he's being recalled right now. why isn't the president going on there? there are been statements from the obama campaign supporting the milwaukee mayor. why isn't the president going out there? >> well, we tegs the turnout organization all the time. we're about to test it again. you know, the commitments we've made to turn out the vote against walker for the democrat. you know the commitments we've made both financially and in items of on the ground resources. >> is the president not welcome? why wouldn't he get involved in the final days out there? >> well, i think that the president has a lot on his plate right now. it's not to say that, you know, he won't lend his efforts at some point for that race. wisconsin is very important to us. we have spent a lot of time in that state, as you know.
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but right now, we're focused on getting out the vote. we're focusing on ensuring that they have all the tools and resources that they need. and sending surrogates to the state. >> i want to you listen, governor romney gave an interview to "time" magazine, an extensive interview, and he talked about his record at bain capital but listen where he sums up, there will be a lot of back and forth about details and policy proposals, but essentially in a sentence or two is his case against your boss, the president. >> this is a president who spends his time blaming other people for the fact that he has been unsuccessful in turning around this economy. and i think the reason you're seeing across the country people saying they'd like to try someone new is because they believe this president, while he may be a nice guy, is simply not up to the task of helping guide an economy. >> answer that, stephanie cutter, nice guy but not up to the task. that's what governor romney says. >> i think he has a fundamental misreading of where the american people are. the american people understand that when the president took
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office, he was handed a mess. and he has been working since day one to fix that miss. you know, our policies are now in place. we've now created more than 4 million private sector jobs. the economy is steadily growing. we're putting the building blocks in place so that we're building an economy meant to last, not one based on risky financial deals, outsourcing, tax cuts for the wealthy, all these policy cuts mitt romney supports, which are precisely policies that got us into this economic mess in the first place. i think mitt romney, which shouldn't shock anybody, has a fundamental misreading of where the american people are. let's remember, mitt romney is the one, you know, the president's going to the iowa state fair grounds tonight to talk to grass root supporters. you know, just a few months ago, mitt romney was at the iowa state fairgrounds and his answer to voter question was, hey, corporations are people, too. human beings. corporations are human beings. it shouldn't shock anybody that
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mitt romney has a fundamental misenning of where the american people are in this race. >> stephanie cutter, thank you for your time. i want to tell everybody to look at that activity behind stephanie cutter in the chicago headquarters. it's only may, ladies and yes, but all that activity tells you both campaigns view this as a hotly contested election. for the first time, the chen guangcheng is speaking out in depth about his escape from captivity and his new life here in the united states. in an exclusive conversation with anderson cooper, he describes his life in china as suffering, quote, beyond imagination. anderson is with us live from new york. tell us more about this fascinating conversation. >> yeah. you know, he just arrived here this weekend. he's going to be studying at nyu, learn english, study law. he's a lawyer, working as a lawyer in china, he has no normal legal training. never went to law school. he's speaking out for the first time. what he says is that he is very afraid, very concerned about his
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relatives who are still in china, his mother, his brother, his nephew, who's been charged with intentional homicide because security agent, chinese government security agents burst into his home and they were searching for mr. chen and he apparently brandished a knife against them and he has now been arrested and is still in custody. so, there's a lot of questions about what is going to happen, not only to his family members still in china but also those who helped him take part in that daring escape from his home village that ultimately wound up with him seeking safety inside the u.s. embassy. i talked to him about what it was like after he had been released from jail. he had been in jail for some four years. what it was like to be under what i termed house arrest. here's what he said. >> when you were released, you were under house arrest. what was that like? >> translator: i want to correct one thing here. when we talk about my situation in the future, let's not use the word house arrest but instead let's use the term illegal
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detention. it's hard for me to describe what it was like during that time. but let's just say my suffering was beyond imagination. >> so, he, as i said, his main message today is that he's very concerned about family members who he left behind and also the other activists who helped him make that daring escape. >> anderson cooper, appreciate your insight and help. you can see much more of this conversation, anderson exclusive conversation tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "anderson cooper 360." next, a world leader's startling moment of truth. there's no backup plan to stop the slaughter in syria. later, we'll ask nationally known education reform advocate about mitt romney's assertion smaller class size doesn't necessarily mean better learning. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions...
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it's been over a month since syria and opposition groups agreed to a cease-fire brokered by former united nations chief kofi annan. with over 20 0 monitors in the country, the violence rages on. at least 33 people killed today alone. 10 sth 10,000 over the past 14 months. ban ki-moon was asked f your diplomacy fails and sure looks like it is failing, what's the back upplan? >> we don't have any plan "b." the joint special envoy kofi annan has proposed six peace proposals, among which the complete sesation of violence is number one. unfortunately, this has not been implemented while -- with the deployment of monitoring missions, we have seen some dampening effect. >> if there's no plan "b," then what will stop the violence in syria?
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joining me senior fellow at hoover institution, and author of the book "syrian rebellion." they say there's no plan "b," kofi annan is going to brief the security council next week but he hasn't been to syria even since march. this process is a joke except people are dying so it's not funny. >> well, you know, i think you said it very well. it is a joke. as you know a few days ago, some days ago, i went with our friend and colleague, anderson cooper to syrian refugee camps. in the refugee camp you meet true historians of the syrian rebellion, true historians of the victims of bashar al assad and his regime. at least grant ban ki-moon one thing. he said there was an honest man. he said there was no plan "b." the world has been watching this ordeal for 15 months and every child even in they see refugee camps, victims of bashar, will tell you they have been forsaken by the world. >> well, this is why the united
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nations, the security council, exists. if they can't fix this or stop this, and they don't have a plan "b," who? >> well, who in fact will return to the true fact and sobering fact. american power will are to do the rescue in syria. i know, i know, sometimes american -- american people wonder why us? why must we shoulder the burden? no one, by the way, is calling for america to commit boot on the ground. senator john mccain is not asking for boots on the ground but there's a lot that could be done. we must commit ourselves as a country to the support the syrian rebellion. we must enlist the support and the help of the turks, of those who are more than eager to help, the saudis eager to help, libyans who offered weapons. the libyans offered syrians weapons, and the united states threw its weight against that proposition. there you have it. the facts are plain for all to
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see. if american diplomacy and american power doesn't commit itself to the rescue of the syrian people, we see what we've been seeing for the last 15 months. >> as you know, some people saying no, including the obama administration, to committing american power. they're worried they would be essentially saying, start a full out civil war with pretty much no expectation of how it might end. you're saying that risk is better than what we have right now? >> that's exactly right. and again, i think, john, if you listen to the washington statements and the washington discourse, there is now this new argument, if you will, for this new case being made for abdication, that al qaeda is now involved in the struggle in syria. and my response to this, i don't think al qaeda is a factor in syria. if al qaeda is a factor, the powers of the world, the democracies are to blame because for a long time now, the syrian people have been waiting for the rain of mercy and it did not come. if al qaeda, a handful of jihadists, offer the is syrian people help, they'll take it.
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>> someone from who from the beginning has been a great moral voice. thank you for your time. when we come back, tonight's truth concerns mitt romney's new and very memorable campaign promise. still ahead, why he may regret making it. next, the u.n. any boni uni managed to embarrass his old school. ♪ [ engine turns over ] [ male announcer ] we began with the rx. [ tires squeal ] then we turned the page, creating the rx hybrid. ♪ now we've turned the page again with the all-new rx f sport. ♪ this is the next chapter for the rx and the next chapter for lexus. see your lexus dealer.
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welcome back. latest news you need to know
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right now. >> hi there. student loan interest rates still are on the road to doubling in july. mostly party line votes this afternoon. the senate rejected both democratic and republican plans that had different ways to pay for keeping the loan rates down. the federal government's weather experts say we can expect normal hurricane season which expects 9 to 15 named storms and 1 to 3 major hurricanes. right now they're watching an area of disturbed weather off florida which could be the second named hurricane of the season. bud may be the mexican coast by friday. and elton john is out of the hospital after he became ill during a performance in las vegas last weekend. the pop idol did undergo treatment for a respiratory infection at cedar sinai medical center in los angeles where his doctors recommend he rest for the next seven days to recover and prevent further damage. he has canceled his remaining shows at the coliseum in las vegas but is planning to return in october to perform 11
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concerts. and the folks at harvard's alumni association are apologizing for publishing an updated profile of one of the members of 1962, ted kaczynski, unibomber updated his profile to list his occupation as prisoner. in the award seconds he wrote, eight life sentences. his clearly are not amused. >> the families, i can understand not being amused. >> it's obviously somebody goofed at harvard. that should have never been allowed to be posted but now they are -- >> fire walls, security, yes. >> it was an oops. somehow it got through. that's all i can say, john. >> thank you. see you a bit later. mitt romney says smaller class sizes don't mean better learning. we'll ask the education add rephenomenaler michelle reed if that's what she found when she was here in washington, d.c.
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in this half hour, a man claims he killed the first missing child to appear on a milk carton 33 years ago. mitt romney says smaller class size ises don't mean students get a better education. we'll ask a national education reformer if that's what she found. wait until you hear what some of the women in this picture there with former
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president bill clinton actually do for a living. mitt romney visits a classroom in philadelphia but before he left the school, he was in hot water with some teachers and parents for thoughts on classroom sizes, using his experience as massachusetts governor as an example. >> as a matter of fact, the school district with the smallest classroom, cambridge, had students performing in the bottom 10%. just getting smaller classrooms didn't seem to be the key. >> i can't think of any teacher in the whole time i've been teaching over ten years, 13 years, who would say they would -- more students would benefit. >> right. >> let's talk this over. joining me from sacramento is michele reed, ceo of students first, chancellor of the washington, d.c. public schools. chancellor, is mitt romney right or wrong. he says smaller class size doesn't necessarily translate
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into higher achievement. >> it's actually right that it doesn't necessarily mean better outcomes for kids. for decades in this country we were focused on this notion that smaller class sizes meant kids would get more attention and, therefore, we would have better outcomes. but if you look at the research, it's very clear that that's actually not the case and that really what we need to be focusing in on is the quality of the teacher in front of the children. that's much more important than class sizes. and i actually think intuitively parents know this as well. if you have -- if you're sending your kid to school and there's two teachers, one who's an outstanding teacher, the other one not as much, you're going to fight as a parent to make sure your kid gets in the classroom of that great teacher. as the principal said, well, there's already 25 kids in that classroom and you would be the 26th kid, but this classroom over here only has 20 kids, you would still want your child to be in the classroom with the most effective teacher. >> where is the line? i assume you would agree it's a
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combination, though, even if you have an exceptional teacher you don't want 35 kids in the classroom. is there a balance, yes, if you get better teachers, still, is it a combination? >> you know, it's interesting because i think that one thing that could absolutely change the game on this is technology. we are seeing that through blended and hybrid models. people are really trying to think about whether -- if you have an unbelievable teacher, whether you can have them teach lots and lots of kids via the use of technology, and have those kids learn a lot more, and in some of these what we call hybrid models which is where you're using technology a lot more in the classroom, we're beginning to see some really, really interesting and positive early results. >> let me ask you more of a political question. you mentioned your experience, what you think the teacher quality is more important than the number of students in the room. politically for governor romney, you say parents get it intuitively. has a parent ever come to you and said, yeah, i want larger
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classes or politically is this risky if he doesn't explain when he means a little more? >> he definitely has to explain what he means because, you know, as parents, we have these conceptions in our heads. i can say this because i have two daughters. when i first sent my daughter to school, i thought, oh, i want a sort of very nurturing grandmotherly teacher who's going to lift my daughter into her lap and read with her. that's what i had in my head of a great classroom. and i thought, well, if there's only 14 or 15 in the class, my child will get more attention. that's a good thing. part of what has to happen in america is we have to -- we have to change our cultural beliefs and sort of visions about what great just budget.
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romney said he couldn't predict unemployment in one year but willing in four years. it's like preticket dikting the weather a month from now. it was a deft answer all around. >> politicians, again, say these things knowing they can't unilaterally do these things by themselves.
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>> i didn't get myself out on a limb. i couldn't get back off of with some integrity and with some respect. and i think when you make those type of promises, people hold you to them and you can't do it by yourself. i can promise something that i can do by myself. he can't do that alone. >> especially in today's age. everyone not caught on a professional camera, it's caught on one of these. erin burnett coming up at the top of the hour, here with a preview. >> hi, john. you always hear about debt in this country being, what, about $15, $16 trillion. what i told you you were wrong. what if it were $6 6 trillion? that may be the answer. two heros in washington. we found them. two heroes today. plus, we'll be joined by former ambassador to china and presidential candidate jon huntsman. among other things, we'll talk about china and chen gauone cha
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says he was a sexy man, named one of the 21 sexiest men alive over 50. >> i saw that. betty's going to tell you, boy, i wish i knew that when he was running for president. came too late. >> that's right. i thought -- i thought you would enjoy that. collin p coll collin powell only got a bump. >> see you in a few, john. >> thanks we'll show you what happened. and all sorts of people want to have their picture taken with former president bill clinton, all sorts. trust me. you want to see this.
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we're back talking politics with michael crowley. i want to focus on battleground state polls. wisconsin's a dead heat, obama up a little bit. let's look at florida. yesterday we had one that showed governor romney ahead. there you see the president ahead a little bit. that's essentially a dead heat. virginia, the president ahead, essentially a dead heat. a little bit more of a lead for the president.
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48%, 42%. we've got about 160 days left and there are essentially half dozen states that are going to decide this election. they break late. sometimes they look close now, they're not close in the end. you say -- >> they are really close. we just see what the next rounds of job numbers are going to look like, see how the campaign played out. one thing that strikes me in some of these -- the nbc poll had ohio, virginia and florida in particular. interesting states where the economy is doing better in those states, the trajectory is better than it is on the national level. virginia has a really strong economy, ohio is below the national unemployment average and florida's improving than the national average. and all three of those states, republican governors who were talking up the economy. you have a really funny dynamic right now where people like john kasich are saying things are going in the wrong direction. mitt romney shows up and says we're going in the wrong direction. >> as the manager of bush/gore 2000, the closest of any race in
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any of our lifetimes, when you see it like this, what does it tell you? >> 12 years ago we had about 18 battleground states, today you have maybe, six, nine truly battleground states. so this is going to be hard fought, it's going to be close. and at the end of the day, the last three days after all of the debates, negative ads, all the super sugar daddy money, it comes -- i say democrats have an advantage. >> a lot of people are saying, wow, mitt romney's in better shape than we thought he'd be in. on the other hand, he's got a very small margin of error. if the president can win florida and ohio, that blocks mitt romney unless magic happens in pennsylvania. so he's got a much tighter needle to thread. >> and we all know, john, those numbers are going to change back and forth. and i don't think president obama nor governor romney are going to be encouraged or discouraged by the numbers that you just put on the screen. i think they know that there's -- there's a lot of field left, there's a lot of runway. but i think the net take away is
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probably in my opinion the fact that -- i mean president obama came in with a lot of excitement and a lot of energy, 3 1/2 years down the road, he's not up more. but i don't think that discourages him. i think he feels like he's going to be tough to beat. >> interesting at the top of the show, we had stephanie cutter on, it was amazing to see the level of activity behind her in the headquarters in may. that tells you these campaigns know not a day to waste. thanks for coming in. and lisa sylvester's back with the latest news you need to know right now. >> hi there, john, we're told significant differences need to be worked out at the baghdad talks between iran and the world's nuclear powers. but both sides want to make progress. the u.s. is leading the call for inspections to prove iran's claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. iran wants economic sanctions lifted. the secretary of state hillary clinton says not yet. >> as we lay the ground work for these talks, we will keep up the
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pressure as part of our dual track approach. all of our sanctions will remain in place and continue to move forward during this period. >> also today, secretary clinton said the u.s. will raise the issue of what she calls pakistan's unjust and unwarranted jail term for a doctor who helped the cia locate osama bin laden. a pakistani tribal court labeled him a u.s. spy. a senate committee today voted to cut $33 million in aid to pakistan for each year of the prison sentence. put out a fire onboard a nuclear submarine this morning. seven people were injured fighting the blaze overnight. the "uss miami" had no weapons onboard and the nuclear reactor was not affected according to the shipyard commander. he also says the cause of the fire is unknown but an investigation will be conducted. and another famous newspaper
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has become a victim of the changing times and technology. the "new orleans times" a city fixture for 175 years is cutting back from daily production to three printed papers a week. wednesday, friday, and sunday. officials say they'll devote most of their resources to digital online coverage, other reports say they will cut a third of the staff. so big changes coming for them, john. >> it's tough. technologyi ins changing our business, but it's a legendary, legendary paper. ouch. >> it's going to hurt for most of those folks and like they said, possibly a third of the staff cut. >> let's hope as they make the transition maybe they rehire some of those folks. last night at a party you almost certainly missed unless you're lucky, but the former president bill clinton didn't. it's in monte carlo to benefit the foundation and the prince albert ii of monaco foundation. who is he with?


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