Tribune News Service

International Budget for Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Tuesday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Pompeo meets Putin amid sharp differences, agreement on better ties<

USRUSSIA-1ST-LEDE:LA — Russian President Vladimir Putin told the United States' top diplomat Tuesday that he was eager to repair relations between their two countries despite sharp differences over the escalating crisis in Iran.

Putin spoke alongside Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in the Russian resort city of Sochi before the two headed in to closed-door meetings. Putin said he was reassured in a telephone call with President Donald Trump that they can rebuild ties now that the special counsel probe into Russian election meddling had concluded.

950 (with trims) by Sabra Ayres in Moscow and Tracy Wilkinson in Washington. MOVED



^Theresa May to introduce bill implementing Brexit in early June<

BRITAIN-EU:DPA — British Prime Minister Theresa May's government plans to introduce a bill in parliament implementing the Brexit deal in the first week of June, a spokesman confirmed late Tuesday.

"This evening the prime minister met the leader of the opposition in the House of Commons to make clear our determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU," the spokesman said.

500 by Bill Smith and Christoph Meyer in London. MOVED


^Venezuelan security forces seal off opposition-controlled parliament<

VENEZUELA:DPA — Venezuelan security forces on Tuesday prevented lawmakers from entering the parliament building, after the Supreme Court placed several of the legislators under investigation on treason charges last week.

Soldiers and police sealed off the area following an alleged bomb threat, local media reported.

500 by Sinikka Tarvainen in Bogota, Colombia. MOVED


^US official describes Venezuela's Maduro as paranoid, weak, isolated<

VENEZUELA-MADURO:MI — Venezuelan leader Nicol s Maduro has lost trust in his inner circle, can't venture out into public and is sleeping in a bunker as he clings to power in the shattered country, said Mauricio Claver-Carone, the senior director of the White House National Security Council.

Speaking at the Concordia conference in Colombia's capital Tuesday, Claver-Carone, one of the Trump administration's key national security advisers, pushed back against the idea that a brief military uprising on April 30 in Caracas had been a failure, instead arguing that it had unveiled how many of Maduro's closest allies were plotting against him.

750 by Jim Wyss in Bogota, Colombia. MOVED



^Donald Trump Jr. to testify after reaching deal with Senate committee<

TRUMPJR:BLO — Donald Trump Jr. has agreed to give limited additional closed-door testimony in June in a deal with the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to three people familiar with the arrangement, which headed off an increasingly bitter dispute that divided Republicans.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr had issued a subpoena for President Donald Trump's son, subjecting the veteran Republican lawmaker to sharp criticism from fellow Republicans.

650 by Jennifer Jacobs and Steven T. Dennis in Washington. MOVED


^House Democrats probe Trump lawyers' role in Cohen testimony<

CONGRESS-TRUMP-LAWYERS:BLO — The House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether four lawyers tied to President Donald Trump, his family and businesses helped to devise false testimony given by Trump's long-time lawyer Michael Cohen to Congress in 2017.

The committee is demanding they turn over documents and agree to interviews, Chairman Adam Schiff said Tuesday. The California Democrat said the focus is on "unresolved concerns about obstruction" of the panel's investigation into the Trump Organization's failed efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow.

600 by Billy House in Washington. MOVED


^A legislative graveyard, overseen by the Grim Reaper? Welcome to Congress 2019<

CONGRESS-AGENDA:WA — Democrats accuse Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of presiding over a "legislative graveyard," while McConnell happily calls himself the "Grim Reaper" — signs that political sniping is thriving on Capitol Hill, but not much else.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and other Democratic leaders used the word "graveyard" repeatedly Tuesday in a meeting with reporters to describe the state of legislation under a Republican-controlled Senate.

1200 (with trims) by Lesley Clark and David Lightman in Washington. MOVED


^Disaster aid deal nears as White House presses border funds<

CONGRESS-DISASTERAID:CON — The Senate effort to draft a bipartisan disaster aid bill could come to a close within the next week, after members of both parties said Tuesday talks have taken a turn for the better.

"We're going to have a vote next week," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday after meeting with GOP colleagues for lunch. "I hope it's a vote on a deal that has been reached with both sides of the aisle and the White House."

950 (with trims) by Jennifer Shutt in Washington. MOVED


^Trump downplays China trade 'squabble'<

TRUMP:CON — President Donald Trump called stalled trade talks with America's biggest economic rival, China, just "a little squabble," even as Congress and the markets are increasingly unnerved by it, and, touching on another foreign policy hot spot, suggested he would send more than 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to confront Iran.

The remarks came after The New York Times reported the administration is considering sending troops to the Middle East. The president already has ordered a carrier strike group and bomber wing to the region.

700 by John T. Bennett in Washington.

^Trump lawyer urges judge to nix demand for accounting records<

CONGRESS-TRUMP-TAXRETURNS:BLO — President Donald Trump's lawyer pressed a federal judge in Washington to nix efforts by a Democratic-led congressional committee to obtain tax records from the president's longtime accounting firm, calling the document request invalid.

"They've made clear this is not about legislation," William Consovoy told U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta Tuesday.

200 by Andrew Harris in Washington. MOVED


^Democrats demand Attorney General William Barr hand over documents on Obamacare decision<

DEMS-BARR-OBAMACARE:LA — House Democrats are demanding Attorney General William Barr hand over documentation behind the Trump administration's decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act in court — and threatening to use their subpoena power if the administration does not comply.

They also want Russell Vought, the Office of Management and Budget acting director, to sit for an interview about his role in the Justice Department's decision.

The demands, issued in two letters Monday, come as House Democrats begin to shift their oversight and investigations strategy away from the Mueller report — which could be tied up in court for months — and into one of Republicans' most politically vulnerable topics: health care.

550 by Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington. MOVED


^Still no public timeline for Jared Kushner immigration plan<

IMMIGRATION-KUSHNER:CON — When White House adviser Jared Kushner came to visit Senate Republicans on Tuesday to reportedly discuss an immigration overhaul he is developing, he did not have a full plan ready to go for solving what his own party says is a crisis.

Multiple Republican senators said there was no evidence that the Trump administration has set a timeline for a public rollout, but Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, did present some ideas that were new to many members of the conference.

800 by Niels Lesniewski in Washington. MOVED


^Montana Gov. Steve Bullock enters 2020 Democratic presidential race<

^BULLOCK:LA—<Montana Gov. Steve Bullock elbowed his way Tuesday into the crowded Democratic field for president, presenting himself as a political reformer who's achieved results in his Republican-leaning state by showing a rare capacity to work across partisan lines.

"I don't have the luxury of just talking to people who agree with me," Bullock said in a video announcing his candidacy. "I go all across our state's 147,000 square miles and look for common ground to get things done."

With Bullock's entry, the Democratic field grew to nearly two dozen contestants, the largest in modern history.

700 by Mark Z. Barabak. MOVED


^Beto O'Rourke visits 'The View,' tells Maddow it's time to reach national audience<

OROURKE:DA — Beto O'Rourke has ended a prolonged television drought that has coincided with sagging poll numbers, sitting down with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to discuss the state of his campaign and fending off tough questions on ABC's "The View."

"This is your relaunch today, maybe?" Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of "The View," put it to O'Rourke, a former Texas congressman whose White House bid hasn't sparked the national interest he enjoyed last fall when he challenged Sen. Ted Cruz.

1150 (with trims) by Todd J. Gillman in Washington. MOVED


^Alleged synagogue shooter pleads not guilty to 109 federal charges<

SYNAGOGUE-SHOOTING:SD — A 19-year-old man suspected of opening fire at a Poway synagogue in an anti-Semitic rampage made his first appearance in San Diego federal court Tuesday, pleading not guilty to 109 charges.

The federal hate crimes prosecution against John Timothy Earnest of Rancho Penasquitos, announced last week, is moving simultaneously alongside a state case charging him with murder, attempted murder and arson. He pleaded not guilty to those charges April 30.

650 by Kristina Davis in San Diego. MOVED


^Asylum-seekers forced to remain in Mexicali face long journey to court hearings<

IMMIGRATION-ASYLUM-MEXICO:SD — A woman from Honduras loaded into the back of an SUV a week ago outside a migrant shelter in Mexicali with her two young daughters.

The woman was about to begin her journey to Tijuana and then across the border to appear before a U.S. immigration judge for the first time in her asylum case. Asylum-seekers returned by the U.S. government to Mexicali to wait for their immigration court cases have to find a way travel more than 100 miles to the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana to go to hearings in San Diego.

1600 (with trims) by Kate Morrissey in San Diego. MOVED


^4 confirmed dead, 2 still missing in midair floatplane collision near Ketchikan<

ALASKA-MIDAIR-COLLISION:AC — At least four people died when two floatplanes carrying passengers from the same cruise ship collided in midair over George Inlet near Ketchikan.

A Coast Guard update late Monday said that four people were confirmed dead and two were still missing. A search continued Monday evening for the missing.

850 by Alex Demarban and Zaz Hollander in Anchorage, Alaska. MOVED


^Minneapolis man pleads guilty to throwing 5-year-old boy over Mall of America balcony<

MALL-CHILDTHROWN:MS — A 24-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Tuesday to throwing a 5-year-old boy over a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington last month.

Emmanuel Aranda, entered the plea at a hearing in Hennepin County District Court.

Under terms of the plea, Aranda will serve 19 years in prison for attempted first-degree premeditated murder in the April 12 attack on the Woodbury boy.

400 by Chao Xiong in Minneapolis. MOVED


^Second Florida county hacked in 2016 election, Gov. DeSantis says<

FLA-ELECTION-HACKING:OS Russian hackers infiltrated the election files of two Florida counties during the 2016 election, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Tuesday, though he was quick to add that no votes were manipulated or results altered.

"Two Florida counties experienced intrusion into the supervisor of election networks," DeSantis said. "There was no manipulation or anything but there was voter data that was able to be got. Now, that voter data was public anyways, nevertheless those were intrusions. It did not affect any voting or anything like that."

200 by Gray Rohrer in Tallahassee, Fla. MOVED


^Anthony Weiner is a free man<

^WEINER:CON—<Anthony Weiner is free.

The former New York Democratic congressman and New York City mayoral candidate emerged from a Bronx halfway house on Tuesday after spending more than a year-and-a-half behind bars, first in Massachusetts and later in the Bronx.

"It's good to be out," the former congressman told the New York Post. "I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service. I'm glad this chapter of my life is behind me."

300 by Griffin Connolly. MOVED


^Former USC soccer coach Laura Janke pleads guilty in college admissions scandal<

^CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-COACH:LA—<Laura Janke, a former University of Southern California soccer coach who is cooperating with a federal investigation into college admissions fraud, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Boston to a racketeering conspiracy charge.

Janke, 36, admitted to conspiring with Newport Beach, Calif., college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer to slip the children of wealthy and powerful families through what Singer dubbed the "side door" — a scheme in which Singer traded six-figure bribes for seats the universities set aside for recruited athletes.

600 by Matthew Ormseth. MOVED



^Consumers are already seeing price hikes from the last round of Trump's tariffs<

^USTRADE-CONSUMERS:LA—<President Trump has repeatedly proclaimed that when it comes to tariffs on Chinese goods, China pays the price.

But it's U.S. consumers who actually pay, if export and import firms and manufacturers choose to pass along the cost. And trade groups and economic studies show that U.S. consumers already are seeing higher prices on a range of items — luggage and major appliances such as washing machines, for instance — that were subject to previous tit-for-tat tariffs in the U.S.' escalating trade battle with China or retaliatory tariffs from other foreign countries.

1150 by Samantha Masunaga and James F. Peltz. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Trump Tower is now one of NYC's least-desirable luxury buildings<

REAL-TRUMP-TOWER:BLO — Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump's property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.

The 36-year-old building has been turned into a fortress since Trump won the presidency, ringed with concrete barriers and the two main entrances partially blocked off. It hasn't been substantially updated in years. And Trump's name has been a huge turnoff in liberal New York City.

For anyone who owns a unit in the tower, the past two years have been brutal. Most condo sales have led to a loss after adjusting for inflation, property records show.

1250 by Shahien Nasiripour in New York. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Graham, Feinstein echo Trump's warning on China as telecom risk<

HUAWEI-RISK:BLO — U.S. senators warned allies that Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. can't meet security standards for advanced networks due in part to Chinese law that demands cooperation with security agencies.

"There is no way in hell China can meet those criteria because of the way they're governed," Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in a hearing of the panel. "The only way China can meet the criteria is to stop being China."

550 by Todd Shields and Daniel Flatley in Washington. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Cargill invests in lab-raised beef company as market for alternative meats heats up<

^CARGILL-LAB-BEEF:MS—<Cargill Inc., one of the world's largest beef producers, has invested in another company raising meat in a lab.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based agribusiness joined others in nearly $12 million funding round for Israeli startup Aleph Farms, which was the first in the world to grow a beef steak from cattle cells this past December.

350 by Kristen Leigh. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Michael Hiltzik: Trump's trade war is wrecking America's farm economy<

^HILTZIK-COLUMN:LA—<Farm prices are down, bankruptcies are up, farm equipment is getting more expensive and export markets are fading away: Is there anything to like about the impact President Trump has had on the agricultural economy of the United States?

It's no secret that the nation's agricultural midsection has been a haven of support for Trump. But it also has been pummeled by his policies, not least among them his truculent trade war with some of the farm belt's most important export markets, such as China. Over the last week, fears have risen that the trade war is entering a new long-term phase.

1100 by Michael Hiltzik. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED



^Tim Conway dies; 'Carol Burnett Show' star and comedian's comedian was 85<

^CONWAY-OBIT-1ST-LEDE:LA—<Tim Conway, the comedian's comedian best known for his work on "The Carol Burnett Show," died Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, his rep, Howard Bragman, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. He was 85.

Conway died in a long-term care facility after suffering complications of hydrocephalus, Bragman said. He also had dementia.

"I'm heartbroken," Carol Burnett told The Times in a statement Tuesday.

1000 (with trims) by Christie D'Zurilla. (Moved as an entertainment story.) MOVED


^Doris Day, a life in 10 songs<

^MUS-DAY-APPRECIATION:LA—<Doris Day, who died May 13 at the age of 96, was one of the great voices of the 20th century, though, as with her acting, the apparent ease with which she performed could hide that fact. Day began, still in her teens, as a big band singer before moving inevitably into movies. "It's Magic," and recorded numerous ballads and novelty songs. Pure and perfectly pitched, informal and intimate, with every consonant and vowel present and accounted for, her voice was a great instrument of communication. Like her contemporary Judy Garland — they were born months apart, in 1922 — Day was casually modern, always real and completely presently; their work doesn't date, even if the pictures and songs and arrangements do. Unlike Garland, there was nothing fragile about her: Day's real romantic life was marked by some bad choices, but even in her songs of longing and disappointment, one feels that things will turn out well, eventually. And, seemingly, on her own terms, they did.

What follows is a look at a singer's life, as lived in music.

1200 by Robert Lloyd. MOVED


^Doris Day's screen-style legacy for working women was all about what to wear — not bare<

^DAY-STYLE-APPRECIATION:LA—<Doris Day appeared on screen as a wide range of characters in an even wider range of costumes from buckskin and bandanas (in 1953's "Calamity Jane") to a thigh-grazing, heart-festooned pair of short pajamas (in 1957's "The Pajama Game"), with a costume warehouse full of clothes including (but far from limited to) elegant, white one-shouldered gowns, exploded houndstooth check jackets and flouncy peignoirs in between. But Day's lasting fashion influence — beyond the screen — was cemented with a troika of movies that cast her as a powerful woman in the workplace in the late 1950s and early '60s.

650 by Adam Tschorn. MOVED


^Rodrigo y Gabriela talk their unusual blend of flamenco and thrash metal<

^MUS-RODRIGO-GABRIELA:ND—<Most songs need lyrics to become popular. But don't try telling that to the Mexican instrumental duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. "Music was here before language," said Gabriela Quintero. "You don't need words to tell people something true or to convey your real feelings."

For proof, look to Rodrigo y Gabriela's video plays on YouTube. Each clip has drawn between 300,000 and 1.7 million views, while the duo has attracted nearly half a million monthly listeners to their Spotify station. By adopting a thrillingly aggressive approach to dual, acoustic guitar music, the pair have been able to headline scores of tours around the world over the past 15 years. Their latest and sixth studio album, "Mettavolution," is their first release in five years.

800 by Jim Farber. MOVED



^Commentary: The bigger reason Steven Mnuchin should turn over Trump's tax returns<

^TRUMP-TAXRETURNS-COMMENTARY:TB—<In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton sarcastically asked for China's help in obtaining Donald Trump's federal income tax returns. "China, if you're listening, why don't you get Trump's tax returns?" She added: "I'm sure our media would richly reward you." In so doing, Clinton paraphrased Trump's shoutout to the Russian government to hack Clinton's email accounts during the 2016 presidential election (which Russia did).

If the Chinese do not come through, perhaps Congress will.

900 by Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr.. MOVED


^Commentary: A proposed HUD policy targeting migrants could boot 55,000 kids from their homes<

^MIGRANTS-HOUSING-COMMENTARY:LA—<You have to wonder if there's some sort of internal Trump administration contest for who is the most heartless. And if there is, we have a new contender: whoever thought up the proposed regulation that could bounce 55,000 children, including U.S. citizens, from public housing.

The new proposed rule (could it have been Stephen Miller who came up with it?) would deny housing aid to households that include a person living in the country illegally even if other members are lawful residents or U.S. citizens.

400 by Scott Martelle.

^Commentary: Flying Spot with the Samsonite can be deadly<

^PETS-TRAVEL-PETA-COMMENTARY:MCT—<It's being called a miracle: All 143 humans on board a military-chartered plane that crash-landed, skidding off the runway and into the St. Johns River in Florida, survived. That is miraculous, indeed, but not everyone on the flight made it off alive.

While passengers stood on the wing of the airplane, awaiting rescue, two cats and a dog were left in the cargo hold, which was filling up with water. Locked in travel crates, they probably panicked and paddled frantically to try to keep their heads above water, until their last remaining air pocket was engulfed and they drowned.

It's a terrifying way to die. And it's one more reason why no animal should ever be flown in a cargo hold. A fourth animal on this flight did make it out alive — a cat who had traveled in the cabin.

650 by Lindsay Pollard-Post. MOVED


^Commentary: Supreme Court conservatives are bickering over the death penalty and religion<

^SCOTUS-DEATHPENALTY-COMMENTARY:LA—<The Supreme Court justices' tempers are showing.

In an unusual written exchange released Monday, conservative members of the court — divided over a Texas death penalty case — argued about whether the court was right to halt the execution of Patrick Henry Murphy. Murphy is a Buddhist inmate who had been denied the right to have a Buddhist spiritual advisor present at his execution even though the state regularly granted Christians and Muslims the right to have spiritual advisors of their faiths present in the execution room.

700 by Scott Martelle. MOVED


^Noah Smith: The grim logic of Trump's trade war with China<

^SMITH-COLUMN:BLO—<If Trump wants to slow China's ascent as a superpower, a trade war might be an effective way to do it. If the harm to the U.S. is modest and the costs for China are severe and lasting, Trump might conclude that the former are acceptable losses. Geopolitical primacy, not maximum prosperity for Americans, might be the president's true objective.

850 by Noah Smith. MOVED


^Patricia Murphy: 'Grimmer by the day' — Farmers' love for Trump in peril<

^MURPHY-COLUMN:CON—<The love affair between President Donald Trump and rural America has always made sense to me.

When I covered the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump often went to remote farm communities where Democrats, and even other Republican candidates, never bothered.

The image of a New York billionaire holding a rally down the street from an Alabama Dollar General might have seemed hilarious to some reporters, but to the farmers and their families at those rallies, a rich, television celebrity coming to their hometown made them feel important and even hopeful that someone like him would value a place like theirs. The details of his policies weren't important at those rallies. It was about the way he made them feel.

1100 by Patricia Murphy. MOVED


^Virginia Heffernan: It's not Ft. Sumter yet, but Trumpian snidery is tipping us into a constitutional crisis<

^HEFFERNAN-COLUMN:LA—<What is a constitutional crisis?

At its most elementary, it's a government emergency in which some of a nation's citizens — generally with political power, an arsenal, or both — decide that the republic's fundamental principles are not binding on them. They're above the law.

Bent on nullification, anarchy or megalomania, the group resolves that, damn the torpedoes, they're going to defy the mechanisms that limit power in government.

These mechanisms, of course, are designed to protect the citizenry against tyranny and chaos.

A constitutional crisis is inestimably grave.

850 by Virginia Heffernan. MOVED


^Editorial: Trump's tit-for-tat trade war with China escalates again<

^USCHINA-TRADE-EDITORIAL:LA—<China has been breaking trade rules and cheating its way to manufacturing dominance for well over a decade, despite efforts by a succession of U.S. presidents to get it to abide by international norms. That's the main reason President Trump has tried to raise the pressure on China by imposing ever-larger tariffs on a growing number of Chinese goods.

Trump's decision to ratchet up tariffs came after a setback in his effort to persuade Chinese leaders to make fundamental changes in their economic policies. After five months of trade talks, Chinese negotiators reportedly reneged on some concessions they'd previously agreed to.

But let's not kid ourselves: The tariffs have imposed real costs on Americans, even though Trump keeps pretending that they don't.

500 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: In San Francisco, police target a journalist — and flout the law<

^JOURNALIST-POLICE-RAID-EDITORIAL:LA—<It isn't just journalists who should be outraged over what happened to freelance videographer Bryan Carmody in San Francisco last Friday: Police handcuffed him while they searched his home in an apparent bid to identify a confidential source. The officers seized telephones, computers, tablets and notebooks after using a sledgehammer to try to break through Carmody's front gate.

450 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: Editorial: San Francisco police's bullying of journalist is shameful<

^JOURNALIST-POLICE-RAID-EDITORIAL:SD—<This all adds up to a despicable attempt at intimidation. If San Francisco police were embarrassed before about the Adachi leak, the department should be even more embarrassed now. An attack on one journalist's rights is an attack on the public.

250. MOVED


^Editorial: Cory Booker has bold ideas on gun safety<

^BOOKER-GUNS-EDITORIAL:BLO—<New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has released a plan to combat gun violence. Alongside some familiar proposals — including universal background checks on gun purchases and bans on semi-automatic rifles ("assault weapons") and high-capacity magazines — he has some bolder ideas, and these could do even more to advance the cause of gun safety. His plan is a welcome addition to the debate on gun violence in the Democratic presidential campaign and in the nation at large.

400 by The Editors. MOVED


^Editorial: Vaccinations aren't about religion. They're about public health<

^VACCINES-EDITORIAL:HC—<Those who are in favor of religious exemptions to vaccines that are otherwise mandatory before children attend school claim that the issue is about religious freedom.

That may be true in some cases, but there are growing signs that the religious exemption is being used as a backdoor by those who subscribe to the misguided belief that there is science behind the idea that vaccines are somehow harmful to children.

650. MOVED




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