#BlackLives Matter Issues Response ...

#BlackLives Matter Issues Response to Murder of Two NYPD Officers

Ferguson Action Coalition Issues St...

Ferguson Action Coalition Issues Statement in Response to Today's Murder of Two NYPD Officers

Noncooperation for Liberation

Noncooperation for Liberation

Statement on EPA Announcement of Fe...

Statement on EPA Announcement of Federal Coal Ash Protections

Sanders: Don?t Let Republicans Sla...

Sanders: Don?t Let Republicans Slash Social Security, Medicare

EPA's First-ever Coal Ash Rule Leav...

EPA's First-ever Coal Ash Rule Leaves Communities to Protect Themselves

Russia's Vladimir Putin says his ma...

Russia's Vladimir Putin says his marriage is over

Source: [b]BBC[/b] Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have said their marriage is over. The couple, who had been married for 30 years, made their divorce public on Russian state television after attending a ballet performance. "It was a joint decision, we hardly ...
Christie expected to name Lautenber...

Christie expected to name Lautenberg successor

Source: [b]News12 NJ[/b] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears poised to name a temporary successor to the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. The governor has scheduled a 1:30 p.m. news conference in Trenton. However, the announcement did not specify a topic. Lautenberg died Monday a...
George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammator...

George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammatory terms’ banned from trial

Source: [b]Yahoo News[/b] George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammatory terms’ banned from trial The Lookout By Jason Sickles, an arrives for a pretrial hearing on Thursday. (Joe Burbank/Getty) “Profiled” “Vigilante” “Self-appointed Neighborhood Watch Captain” “Wannabe cop” Suspec...
Swimming Champion, Movie Star Esthe...

Swimming Champion, Movie Star Esther Williams Dies

Source: [b]ABC News[/b] By BOB THOMAS Associated Press LOS ANGELES June 6, 2013 (AP) Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91. Williams's died early Thursday in h...
Syria Hails Qusair Capture as Fores...

Syria Hails Qusair Capture as Foreshadowing Rebel Defeat

Source: [b]Bloomberg[/b] The Syrian governmment’s capture of al-Qusair is a “strategic turning point” marking the beginning of the end for the armed opposition, Syria’s premier said, as the army promised mercy for surrendering rebels. Retaking the city opens the door “for successive vi...
Lindsey Graham ‘glad’ NSA collectin...

Lindsey Graham ‘glad’ NSA collecting phone records

Source: [b]Yahoo News[/b] Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Thursday morning he's "glad" the National Security Agency is secretly collecting millions of telephone records from Americans in an effort to track down terrorism suspects. “We are very much under threat," Graham said on "F...


Techies Join Other Liberals Who Are...

Techies Join Other Liberals Who Are Not Ready For Hillary

Hillary Clinton continues to look like a strong favorite to win the 2016 Democratic nomination, but there continues to be many Democrats who hope that the party decides upon a liberal nominee. This includes the techies who helped Obama to beat her in 2008. Politico reports: Scores of the Democratic techies who helped Barack Obama […]
Ferguson Prosecutor Admits To Allow...

Ferguson Prosecutor Admits To Allowing Testimony From People Who Were Clearly Lying

We have already seen many signs that the grand jury investigation in Ferguson was handled improperly, with the prosecutor essentially acting as the defense for Darren Wilson. There were also irregularities in how the evidence was handled. Wilson was allowed to present his case without undergoing cross examination, despite his testimony being contradicted by physical […]
Reasons Why Torture Does Not Work

Reasons Why Torture Does Not Work

One major finding of the recent bipartisan Senate report on torture was that torture used in the United States post 9/11 did not produce any useful intelligence. The same lack of efficacy was seen by every other country which tried to use torture, even in cases such as Nazi Germany and North Vietnam, which are […]
Why Stock Market Investors Vote Aga...

Why Stock Market Investors Vote Against Their Self Interest

When I saw that James Carville had written an op-ed for The Hill entitled Why do people vote against their interests? I thought it was going to be another article along the lines of What’s The Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Franks. We have seen plenty of material on how lower income people vote against […]
Federal Government Ends Prohibition...

Federal Government Ends Prohibition On Medical Marijuana

The Los Angeles Times reports on a surprise in the recently passed spending bill–an end to the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana. The was passed with support of both Democrats as well as some Republicans who opposed raid by the federal government in states which have legalized medical marijuana on states’ rights grounds: Tucked […]
PolitiFact Lie of The Year: Exagger...

PolitiFact Lie of The Year: Exaggerations about Ebola

Conservatives used Ebola as one means of spreading fear, helping them in the 2014 midterm elections. PoltiFact has now made exaggerations about Ebola their 2014 Lie of the Year. This includes both conservative hysteria which greatly exaggerated the threat faced in a developed nation such as the United States and many of the right wing […]


Crucifying children at the altar of...

Crucifying children at the altar of Great Power Game

The stunned and shaken people of Pakistan mourned the Peshawar Army Public School massacre of 149 people including 132 children, and the government announced new measures to combat terrorism. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the removal of the ban on the death penalty for terrorist offences which had been in force since 2008.
Why Eric Garner's arrest & death vi...

Why Eric Garner's arrest & death violated his Civil Rights

Corporate TV pundits and so-called legal experts have debated minutia in the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police in Staten Island, New York. Questions debated have included whether he was resisting arrest, whether police technically used a chokehold to subdue him and whether he was killed because he was black.
A review of Phillip F. Nelson's boo...

A review of Phillip F. Nelson's book, "LBJ Mastermind to Colossus: The Lies, Treachery and Treason continues"

A review of Phillip F. Nelson's book, "LBJ Mastermind to Colossus: The Lies, Treachery and Treason continues" with the reviewer's comments.
Cellphones, Cell Towers and Wildlif...

Cellphones, Cell Towers and Wildlife - Part 2

Here is more crucial material about cellphones, celltowers, and bird migration.
(Sunday Homily) The Torture Report:...

(Sunday Homily) The Torture Report: Cheney Channels King David in the Struggle over Historical Narrative

It seems most "American" Christians (80% of the U.S. population) agree with Mr. Cheney that what the Romans did to Jesus was not torture.
US escalates campaign against North...

US escalates campaign against North Korea

Obama made it clear that the US government would retaliate against North Korea for the alleged hacking attack on Sony. "They caused a lot of damage, and we will respond," he said. "We will respond proportionally, and we'll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose."

It's time to end America's global i...

It's time to end America's global isolation over Cuba

There's an old saying that the United States is always fighting the last war. If so, then the apoplectic assortment of Cuban-American irredentists, aging anti-Communist crackpots and knee-jerk, Cro-Magnon conservatives opposing the normalization of relations with Havana are several conflicts behind.

Simply put, the exigencies of the Cold War and the Monroe Doctrine no longer apply. Castro's Cuba long ago ceased being a dangerous client of the Soviet empire, one that ended up on the dustbin of history. There are no Russian intermediate range nuclear missiles and no combat brigades in Cuba. There is no Marxist dictatorship in Jamaica, and no "red menace" in Central America. There aren't thousands of Cuban troops fighting in Angola. (There are, however, Cuban doctors in West Africa, fighting Ebola.)  And the thousands of Cubans who land on American beaches or cross over from Mexico aren't met with gunfire, but with the guarantee of a path to citizenship. Yet 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States maintains its anachronistic embargo that helps keep the Cuban people in tatters and Americans alone on the world stage.

Nevertheless, the usual suspects among the shrinking Cuban exile community and the conservative commentariat are still calling for regime change. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whose father Rafael fought alongside Castro's force against the Batista dictatorship before fleeing the island in 1957, called President Obama's diplomatic opening to Havana "a tragic mistake." His fellow 2016 GOP White House hopeful Marco Rubio (R-FL)?the same Marco Rubio who pretended his parents fled Cuba after Castro seized power?called Obama's move a "victory for oppression" and a "precedent" that "places a new price on the head of every American." (Apparently, Rubio was confusing Barack Obama with Ronald Reagan.)  Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, the face of the large Cuban community in New Jersey, echoed those talking points in his USA Today op-ed, as you can read below the fold:

We are no better than our enemies

We are no better than our enemies

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks about national security at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in this file photo from May 21, 2009. Cheney, 69, was hospitalized in George Washington Hospital on February 22, 2010 after experienci
This man authorized torture. Never forget that.

Significant emotional events, a term learned in a Sociology class, are instances in your life that change you. They are events that once they occur, you cannot go back to being the person you were before that event. Some of the significant emotional events I have experienced in my life have been being bullied in elementary and grade school, going through Army basic training, becoming a father, seeing my parents age and pass away, and going to Dachau when I was stationed in Germany.

As a child I grew up watching the sanitized version of war that was available on the meager channel selection of early cable TV. My dad loved watching westerns and war movies. The Longest Day, The Sands of Iwo Jima, Rat Patrol, Combat, To Hell and Back, Battleground ... the list goes on and on. Men died, but there was no blood. The Japanese were portrayed as savages, the Germans/Nazis were portrayed as efficient, but not really evil. The only time I ever had a hint of how evil the Nazis were was during an episode of the Twilight Zone, Deaths-Head Revisited, and even that left a lot to the imagination for someone who did not live through that time.

Follow below the fold for more.

Ignoring torture here at home

Ignoring torture here at home

black man bound - screen shot from The Outer Limits of Solitary Confinement
It is incredibly important that news headlines, pundits, bloggers, and activists are once again discussing heinous tortures perpetrated by our government?excused and explained away by the torturers?and applauded by a certain element of the public in the unholy name of "national security." Too often we hear that the end justifies the means?to keep us "safe." One can only hope that the national outrage being expressed around the murder of people of color by police will spill over into an in-depth examination of the ongoing torture, and death inflicted upon men, and women, and children?many of whom are also people of color?held in our nations jails, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities.

There are some small signs that this might, just might, be happening. But too many people who are willing to vociferously condemn torture and brutality that has taken place not on our soil remain silent when it comes to denouncing what is happening every day behind bars. There are no rebellions in the streets or massive marches. Strikes by inmates themselves tend to be ignored, and the retaliation for their resistance that takes place afterwards does not usually make the nightly news.

It's not a secret. These practices have been denounced by major civil, legal, and human rights organizations for many years now. For example, consider the case of Latandra Ellington:

A Floridian prison inmate wrote a letter to her aunt saying she feared a corrections officer might kill her while behind bars ? and ten days later, she was dead. The body of Latandra Ellington, 36, was found Oct. 1 at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala. Now Daryl Parks and Benjamin Crump, the attorneys who represented Trayvon Martin's family, are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the woman's suspicious death.

In the letter, written Sept. 21, Ellington expressed her fear that she might not make it out alive because of an officer she identified only as Sgt. Q, the Miami Herald reported."He was gone beat me to death and mess me like a dog,'' she wrote in the letter, obtained by the newspaper. "He was all in my face Sqt. Q then he grab his radio and said he was gone bust me in my head with it.''

A private autopsy paid for by the family shows that Ellington?who had seven months left to serve?died of blunt-force trauma to her stomach consistent with kicking and punching, according to the family's lawyer.

Had she not written that letter, one wonders if there would even be an investigation. Help came too late for Ellington, but that does not have to be the outcome for countless others.  

Follow me below the fold for more.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Twas t...

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Twas the week we use twas in a sentence edition

Erik Kaplan is pro-Santa. In 1897 the American Civil War correspondent and editor Francis Pharcellus Church wrote an editorial for the New York newspaper The Sun in defense of religious belief. The piece responded to a question by 8-year-old Virginia O. Hanlon and included what has become the famous catch phrase, ?Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.?

Church?s argument is double-barreled. First he argues we have no way of knowing if Santa is really there... there are some things our brains just aren?t capable of knowing. Maybe Santa is one of them.

But why does Church argue for making the leap to Santa belief, rather than standing pat with Santa agnosticism? Here Church brings in his second, pragmatic point. We should believe in Santa Claus because it will make our lives better if we do. Echoing Nietzsche?s defense of art, Church argues that we need poetry, romance and childlike faith to make life tolerable. Life without Santa is dreary and unromantic, and life with Santa is fun and magical. So we might as well believe in him. We also, according to Church, should believe in fairies dancing on the lawn, and an unseen world full of ?supernal beauty and glory.?

As a war reporter, Church saw mass slaughter carried out in the name of unseen ideals. He needed to believe in fairies, but we may balk at his Victorian tone with its creepy veneration of childhood and high-toned glurge. So it?s worth restating his point about the benefits of a belief in Santa in more modern, prosaic terms.

'Scuse me a minute while I dig among the scraps of paper and left over bits of ribbon for my official Romper Room Magic Mirror. Ahh. I see teacherken, and skohayes, and greenbird, and I see a2nite, and xxdr zombiexx, and skillet, and el vasco, and I see dinotrac being grumpy, stop being grumpy, dinotrac, and I see all the other people who get up early on Sunday morning and read this series. And I see you too, Greg Dworkin, pretending like you're taking the day off then sneaking in here just because you think I'm going to screw up and forget to post the APR... like I did last week. Well I'm here. Go back to bed.

The rest of you go read Eric Kaplan's piece. And if I didn't get to your name, blame this mirror. It hasn't worked well since I stole it from Miss Judy fifty years or so back.

When you've finished your assigned reading, you can come inside. Otherwise I'm putting a check next to naughty...

Sunday Talk

Sunday Talk

Meet The Press: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Others TBD.

Face The Nation: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic).

This Week: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Roundtable: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Republican Strategist Ana Navarro and Cokie Roberts (ABC News).

Fox News Sunday: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)'; Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD); Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Judy Woodruff (PBS), Sociopath Liz Cheney and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: President Barack Obama; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Thirty-six Senate and House Democra...

Thirty-six Senate and House Democrats join Obama in calling for true net neutrality

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D - CA), Senator Ed Markey (D - MA)
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) , Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and 34 other Senate and House Democrats have released a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, calling for broadband internet access to be reclassified under Title II of the Communications Act II in order to ensure true net neutrality.

In July, Sen. Markey and 12 Senate Democrats asked for net neutrality.

Head below the fold to read the letter and to see who signed it. This doesn?t happen without the incredible effort of the netroots over the past year. Saving the internet is in sight.

Indonesian police use Shootings, ki...

Indonesian police use Shootings, killings, beatings, arrests on West Papuan independence rallies

Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.

Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.

A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".

Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla

Civil Society stages mass walkout p...

Civil Society stages mass walkout protest from Warsaw Climate change negotiations

Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.

Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan  have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit 

Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement

Canadians and Australians protest c...

Canadians and Australians protest climate wrecking policies and pipelines

The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.

The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.

Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.

Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia

Typhoon Haiyan causes death and dev...

Typhoon Haiyan causes death and devastation in the Philippines

On November 8 Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall over Guiuan, Eastern Sama province in the Philippines, destroying coastal communities with ferocious winds and a storm surge of 6-7 metres (up to 20 feet). According to Dr Jeff Masters "Haiyan had winds of 190 - 195 mph (315 km/h) at landfall, making it the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history."

Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.

Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International

Mi'kmaq attacked by police and snip...

Mi'kmaq attacked by police and snipers

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and unidentified snipers attack Mi'kmaq women and elderly who were part of an anti-fracking encampment. Support pours in for Mi'kmaq attacked by police and snipers. Today, Monday, Mi'kmaq Warrior Tyson Peters shot with rubber bullet risks losing his leg after protecting woman from a bullet. [ From Global IMC Newswire ]
Global Warming impacts escalate as ...


Ebola Becomes a Political Issue in ...

Ebola Becomes a Political Issue in the U.S.

President Obama and members of Congress weigh in on the Ebola scare, turning it into a political issue ahead of the midterm elections.
Ebola Becomes a Political Issue in ...

Ebola Becomes a Political Issue in the U.S.

President Obama and members of Congress weigh in on the Ebola scare, turning it into a political issue ahead of the midterm elections.
High Court Upholds Texas' Voter ID ...

High Court Upholds Texas' Voter ID Law

Just ahead of the midterm elections, the Supreme Court upheld Texas' controversial voter ID law that requires people to present identification before casting their vote.
Chuck Todd to 'Meet the Voters'

Chuck Todd to 'Meet the Voters'

Beginning October 22nd, Chuck Todd will hit the campaign trail in an RV to "Meet the Voters" on a road trip through key battleground states.
Declined: Obama Says His Credit Car...

Declined: Obama Says His Credit Card Was Denied in NYC

Not even the president of the United States is immune to the embarrassment of a declined credit card, apparently.
Obama Taps Ex-White House Adviser K...

Obama Taps Ex-White House Adviser Klain as Ebola 'Czar'

Klain is a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore.


$680,000 home built on wrong lot

$680,000 home built on wrong lot

Six months after building their $680,000 vacation home, a couple learned it was built on the wrong lot.
What the dying really regret

What the dying really regret

There are many regrets that patients have in the months before they die. But the stories about the years people spend not appreciating their body until they are close to leaving it are some of the saddest.
Most-hated font has a typewriter

Most-hated font has a typewriter

The world's most reviled font has gone analog with "Sincerity Machine," a typewriter that types in Comic Sans.
Military mom surprises daughter

Military mom surprises daughter

A mother in the Navy surprises her daughter, who she's only seen for one month this year. CNN affiliate WNEM reports.
Tot hitches ride on dad's surfboard

Tot hitches ride on dad's surfboard

Tyler Medford surfs with his three-year-old son, Nolan, on his back! HLN's Mike Galanos has more.
Resident finds jellyfish in ...

Resident finds jellyfish in ...

Jellyfish were found in a freshwater lake in Wisconsin. CNN affiliate WBAY has more.

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