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Whitney Houston: Chris Christie defends half-staff flag

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is strongly defending his decision to have flags lowered to half-staff Saturday for the late singer Whitney Houston amid criticism partly related to her history of substance abuse. Christie says he rejects the idea the New Jersey native “forfeited the good things that she did in her life” because of her substance abuse struggles.

The Republican governor said Wednesday disparaging emails and other messages have been coming into his office. He says critics are wrongly accusing him of treating Houston better than fallen soldiers. He has ordered flags flown at half-staff for all 31 fallen New Jersey soldiers and every fallen police officer during his time in office.

The cause of Houston’s death at a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel over the weekend hasn’t been determined.