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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  December 18, 2019 7:00pm-7:34pm +03

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when. preparing to make us political history the house begins a debate that could see donald trump become only the us president to be impeached. the whole impeachment thing is a hoax all trump's dismissed the move as an attempted coup knocking the charges against him as we. look again i'm just on the attack and this is out of there and my friends are also coming up. protest in new
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delhi off to india's top court postpones a hearing on the contentious to citizenship table. and rivals fear it cries and imagine to the wilds of 4th biggest carmaker. now u.s. president on the trump could be just hours away from being written into history as only the 3rd u.s. president to be impeached it's now 16 g.m.t. that's 11 am in washington d.c. where the u.s. house of representatives has begun a session on capitol hill to debate and then vote whether to send him to a senate trial well that's all but certain because trump's opponents in the democratic party have a majority in that no one chamber of congress ahead of the vote debate is underway right now on the 2 articles of impeachment which could last up to 6 out as i'm sure at the moment when procedural discussions will go to that debate shortly while in the meantime try again lashed out at the democrats describing the process as an
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attempt to crew. in a moment we'll speak try white house correspondent committee halkett but fast let's go to hide his or castor who's on capitol hill where that historic vote will happen heidi talk us through what we've been seeing over the last hour. sureness to us yes so we are now on the procedures to solidify or of prove what the rules are will be of this debate on the actual articles of impeachment but it's very easy to characterize what this should be a preamble to that of a it seems that we're already next deep in the arguments themselves through the partisan lens is whether or not trump should be impeached democrats already on the floor arguing that trump endangered national security when he solicited election interference from ukraine and republicans calling this impeachment process illegitimate there were 2 attempts by republicans in the very 1st hour of this
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debate trying to do rail this process introducing parliamentary maneuvers to at least allay the ultimate impeachment vote all those measures were quickly defeated and now we are progressing toward what many say are the is the inevitable that the house of representatives by the end of today will be voting to impeach president making him only the 3rd president in u.s. history to have been impeached that vote expected to be down partisan lines and the question isn't whether or not democrats have the numbers to pass the impeachment they do the question is how many democrats may defect from their party we know of at least one who has said he will be voting against the impeachment but a handful of other democrats who have been on the fence on this question because they represent conservative leaning districts all day has stated that they will support the impeachment the reason they say is because this is fulfilling their
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constitutional duty to oversee the president and they are doing so to vote to approve this impeachment even knowing that they risk backlash from voters in their conservative districts back at home stasia to talk us through what happens from here because off to today if things go as we expect and president trump is impeached and then goes to a senate trial. that's right and that trial could happen as early as january of course it's a very different political dynamic once moved to that phase with republicans the president's own party holding the majority in the senate and it's those very members who will become the jurors in the impeachment trial of president trump they will determine whether or not to convict him on these articles of impeachment and thus remove him from office the top republican in the senate mitch mcconnell he has said though that he is in total coordination with the white house in a stablish ing the rules for this impeachment trial democrats have been wanting to
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call additional witnesses to testify about the president's motives when he was pressuring ukraine for this political dirt on his election opponents at home republicans have been resisting that saying that mcconnell in his words saying that there is no chance that republicans the members of the senate would vote to remove trump from office castro there live for us on capitol hill the very beginning of a very long day will be chatting to a throughout the day while president trump has unsurprisingly been tweeting about the proceedings and he said can you believe that i will be impeached today by the radical left do nothing democrats and i did nothing wrong well let's go live now to our white house correspondent kimberly how kit kimberly he's been tweeting so prolific even more than usual about this whole process but he's also written this incredibly aggressive lesson on super tuesday ahead of of everything happening today talk us through where his head's at. well the president continues to tweet as
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you point out what he does and what he's typically does when he's sending out these tweets trying to frame the coverage on the american television screens that are really in wall to wall coverage of what's happening in the house of representatives one of the tweets he's said of the last hour is a quote from one of his big supporters on capitol hill representative mark meadows a republican says this is all about convicting a president based on u.n. toe not on the facts even the ukrainian president said there was no pressure of course he's referring to that telephone call with lot of merciless keep back in july where it's alleged the president leverage the white house visit as well as military aid withholding military aid to ukraine in order to dig up dirt on his political rival former vice president joe biden you reference that letter that the president wrote on the eve of what we expect to be this historic vote to impeach president trump where the president once again maintain no wrongdoing not only as
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you said calling this is a legal partisan coup but also a perversion of justice and abuse of power the argument the president's made whether it's on twitter whether it's on the 6 page scathing letter he sent to the house speaker nancy pelosi essentially sums up to this the argument that republicans this president are making is that in fact this is an attempt by democrats to undo the results of the 2016 u.s. election and kimberly has set to become only the 3rd u.s. president in history to be an page when i see his kind of mice to his shadow for the rest of the day what all has plans. yeah the president according to those we've talked to here on the white house campus appears to be watching this very closely in between meetings we are told but you're right the schedule for the most part is clear with a very notable exception the president is planning to travel later today he'll be leaving the white house in the late afternoon to head to battle creek michigan that's a key battleground state where there are
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a lot of independent swing voters that helped the president win in 2016 and he needs their support again in 2020 so there's no question as we read the letters as we read the president's tweets that this is bothering him he doesn't want to be impeached he doesn't want to go down as it appears he will in the history books as being a president who is impeach so the president is taking his case to the american public specifically the american voters really trying to say that these efforts to undermine his legitimacy while he seems to recognize will be a stain on his legacy certainly was to portray himself as someone who has been a victim of partisan politics in order to win reelection and that's very notable in all of this very quickly bill clinton when he was impeached it was in his 2nd term this is happening to donald trump in his 1st term that means that ultimately it is the american voter in november who'll get the final say on all of this can be huckaback for us at the white house thank you kennedy when you had that talk about
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public opinion after weeks of herring's public opinion on the impeachment remained split and you got to reports from miami and florida a swing state that donald trump won back in 2016. this is not impeachable the impeachment hearings into president trump's dealings with ukraine began in november the hearings have times been dramatic revealing and deeply hot is on places like graham's bar in miami though you're not likely to hit patrons talking about what many see as a political crisis it's something owner adam ghost and doesn't shy away from he holds election watch parties here isn't afraid of heated debate but says most of lost interest despite his efforts there's not an aha moment where you suddenly say democracy it's a long slog and you've got to stick with it and so my part in sticking with it is keeping people engaged and exposing them to what's actually happening exposure to the twists and turns of politics may not be as crucial and deeply republican or
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democratic states florida and especially its hispanic voters will be pivotal in the 2020 presidential election i guess i kind of care but only like if he actually does get impeached but for the most part i make keeping up with until the voting occurs i have no power in the situation so i don't pay attention i don't care so hard to weed through all the information out there and it seems like people are in such different sides of it that it's hard to at this point understand what's going on i mean for myself as a 2020 presidential election looms the fight to sway public opinion appears to have wavered on let's say that could have implications for the democrats they claim that trump was a russian stooge who was going to destroy the country the miller investigation found out that wasn't true and sort of decimated those trump russia conspiracy theories and now people are left wondering is this just more partisan bickering voters remain divided in one camp of the other the sunshine state though has
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a history of deciding the nation's fate how people feel matters if florida does one thing consistently it tends to reflect the mood of the entire country for decades florida voters have back but when. presidential candidate and that's mostly because the demographics make this a mini version of the united states so a collective shrug here could be seen as a fairly accurate reflection of the current mood under gallacher miami florida well we'll have lots of experts with us over the coming hours to help break down all the things that are happening in washington shortly we'll talk to philip bobbitt who was the associate counsel to the office of the president under president carter he's in new york but fast let's cross over to michael isikoff who is the chief investigative correspondent at yahoo news and he joins us now from washington d.c. michael let's start with this incredibly pot isn't house that we're looking at as you covered the clinton impeachment extensively how things changed since then.
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well it's only got worse i mean things were polarize then the clinton impeachment was viewed through a partisan lens and yet you know you had 5 democrats they did vote to impeach bill clinton and i think 5 republicans who voted not to in this case we're going to have no it doesn't look like there's going to be any republicans that vote to impeach donald trump and it looks like the democratic defections is going to be to maybe one or 2 more but not much more than that so by the numbers this is a more partisan impeachment than the clinton one was that said it's clearly one that in which the issues are of greater constitutional gravity then the issues at the heart of the clinton. impeachment which was about lying under oath
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about his sexual relationship with monica lewinsky well when clinton was staring down the barrel of impeachment i remember he went to the rose garden issued this apology back in 1908 he said he was profoundly sorry and i know you you have your and you're not entirely sure how profound that was but as we said to them about how profound he was but yes he did mouthed contrition and that was something that democrats some democrats wanted to hear to give them cover to oppose impeachment. controls and such coming to republicans took us through the difference between how the 2 men have approached this. well you know on one level you know there is the difference of clinton mouthing contrition after by the way he got caught the d.n.a. clearly showed he did have the sexual relationship with them with lewinsky that he had been denying for nearly
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a year so. you know we don't i don't know that we want to give clinton too much credit for coming clean after the facts were irrefutable in this case you know one could argue the facts of trump's. request to zoar wednesday to investigate one of his political rivals joe biden is also irrefutable it's in the transcript that the president released 2 months ago so in that sense the facts have been staring us in the face for a while now the question is does it has it moved public opinion and there the polls are pretty consistent that the country is just divided right down the middle on this incredibly and we're heading towards an election do you think that president tom could be in a stronger political position going into that vote if he ends up being acquitted in the senate trial. it is really hard to say 'd how this is going to
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play out politically i think we pretty much know the outcome he's not going to be removed from office there are the republicans control the senate it would take 20 to flip but the evidence is not helpful to the president and there is that wild card out there of additional witnesses who could be called to testify john bolton mike them pay a mick mulvaney and i think if any if that happens or if the republicans vote to refuse to allow such testimony that could backfire politically it could look like they are trying to shut down. and bar relevant evidence from key witnesses who would have been there and had direct communications with the president about what his intentions were so i think there's a bit of a risk for republicans if they if they refuse the democratic
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efforts to get those additional witnesses but at the end of the day how that cut's is is going to be hard to say michael isikoff that the chief investigative correspondent at yahoo news thank you for joining us again on al-jazeera well let's now go to philip bobbitt who is a former associate counsel to the office of the president under president carter and he's joining us again from new york set your a former white house where and we've just been talking a little bit about how donald trump has approached this whole process and i want to read you a portion of the letter that he sent nancy pelosi just 24 hours ago he said by proceeding with you and valid impeachment you are violating your oath of office so breaking your allegiance to the constitution declaring open war on american democracy as a former white house what you make of that. well i think the president is. in character he's not going to change his stripes for any particular
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crisis in his presidency. had i been and have been counseling the president as as a lawyer i would not have suggested that. this is the way to to heal the country and to lead it forward but i'm sure he feels cornered right now and he lashes out when he feels that way i wouldn't take the letter as a constitutional argument about the oaths of the speaker and her colleagues i think it more is a kind of a spasm of anger and frustration well amid all of that anger and frustration we are expecting that he will be impeached today and then it would go to a senate trial talk us through that process a little bit well the articles will be presented to the full house they'll be a vote on each article if the articles are adopted that is then
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transmitted to the senate and then the senate undertakes trial the actual procedure is it will go to the senate the senate then commands the attendance of the chief justice the vice president is removed from the chair the chief justice provides the facades over the subsequent proceedings. in the past the majority leader and the house managers have agreed on a witness list and on the time ie an extent of testimony now there seems to be more contestable and i would say that if there's one issue still alive right now on which everything could turn it would be why they were not the witnesses that michael isikoff mentioned. assertive state the chief of staff former national security adviser appear under oath that that would that could change things and we'll know more about that after the transmetal well mitch mcconnell here is the leader of the republicans in the senate has been pushing back on that and he's been
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pushing for a really a really fall off the senate trial if it comes to that which we expect that it will what do you make of the speed of all of this because the democrats want to get this done before christmas speediest senate trial potentially is this because it's an election year i think so oh there are lots of political forces from both sides that would counsel to get this behind them i'm not sure that. that that's the optimum solution but i'm not a politician. i don't have any opinions on this as a constitutional matter impeachment is so grave so serious that rushing it seems a little untoward. philip bobbitt a former white house lawyer and an associate counsel to president casa thank you for joining us again on al-jazeera mr bobbitt well let's take you back now to capitol hill and remind you of all the developments surrounding the bid to impeach
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u.s. president donald trump well right now the house is holding a procedural debate on the rules governing that voters trump is facing charges of abusing his power and obstructing congress in its investigation that impeachment vote is expected in the next few hours off to some hours of debate as we've seen republicans try to stall those proceedings bring a vote for the house to adjourn but they were defeated by the democratic majority or that republican maneuvering however has meant that the debate on the rules for the impeachment resolutions began about a half an hour a story a full hour later than shadows we'll be bringing you more on that as it happens. well let's take a quick look now at other news in the meantime from across the wild demonstrators have rallied again in new delhi to india's top court postponed hearings on a controversial new citizenship law until january and says it needs more details from the government the law makes it easier if a non muslims from afghanistan bangladesh and pakistan to gain indian citizenship.
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a major merger has been announced in the car industry to create the world's 4th largest manufacturer feared chrysler and p.s.a. who are the owners of peugeot in france have agreed to effect the $4000000000.00 tie up both companies have assured production line workers that no factory closures are planned at least $23.00 civilians have been killed in the latest round of russian attacks on rebel held areas of northwestern syria shelling in as strikes and have escalated in recent weeks president bashar al assad's government appears to be preparing for a ground offensive to secure the main highway linking the capital damascus with the northern city of aleppo. now a stray has experienced its hottest day on record the average temperature across the country on tuesday was nearly $41.00 degrees celsius and that record could be broken on wednesday as it's only the start of the southern hemisphere summer the fearing temperatures have made things worse for crews dealing with more than
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$100.00 bushfires in the eastern state of new south wales ship owners are proposing a $5000000000.00 fund to reception low emission fuels and keana engine designs the industry is under pressure from the united nations to haul of its c o 2 emissions from so-called dirty fuel shipping associations according for a mandatory contribution of $2.00 per ton on fuel band to help to develop a technology a disabled palestinian man has watched israeli demolition crews destroy his home for the 4th time in 20 is. is vowing to rebuild again saying the land in occupied east jerusalem is his rights groups say israeli demolitions have increased this year they estimate a couple of months ago was more than $200.00 palestinians have had their homes flattened. but. this is my land i have the right to live in it and i will rebuild it whether they agree or not i will keep building my home on my land for as long as
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i live. lebanon's former prime minister has announced for the 2nd time that he does not want to lead a new government saad hariri resigned back in october after weeks of anti-government demonstrations on monday the president plan to hold consultations with political parties to decide on a new prime minister that's now been postponed until thursday people have been voicing their anger against corruption and sectarian politics governing their country for decades while returning to the impending impeachment of the us president donald trump how do you feel he looks of the case for and against removing trump from office. it all began to unravel when the us president picked up his phone in july a call to the president of ukraine what was said anough for a whistleblower to file a complaint that made it to congress the allegation was that trump was holding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid meant for ukraine which was fighting off russian aggression intil the ukrainian president promised to
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investigate trump's potential political rival former u.s. vice president joe biden and his son hunter who had worked in ukraine in damage control mode the white house released notes from the call it did more damage because as the notes point out as the ukrainian president is promising to buy more u.s. missiles trump responds i would like you to do us a favor though he goes on to ask for investigations into a debate conspiracy theory about the election and later brings up the biden's the president must be held accountable no one is above the law that's when democrats announced an impeachment inquiry would begin the white house refused to cooperate but several career diplomats came forward anyway they testified under oath that it all really happened colonel alexander vin min listen to the call and later reported it to white house lawyers it was improper for the president of the united states to
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demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and a political opponent the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine testified that she was removed from her position because she wanted to fight corruption so the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani pushed to get her removed and our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power ukrainians who prefer to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me or continues to amaze me. is that they found americans willing to partner with them and working together they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a u.s. ambassador others described a small group of people chosen by the president as running a kind of shadow back channel u.s. policy in ukraine missed it became clear to me that giuliani's efforts to gin up politically motivated investigations were now infecting u.s. engagement with ukraine leveraging president selenski desire for a white house meeting to withhold that systems for no good reason other than help
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with the political campaign made no sense it was it was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. it was illogical it could not be explained it was crazy trumped meeting was going to happen and then came the surprising testimony from ambassador gordon sunland who changed his testimony from what he 1st told congress was there a quid pro quo as i testified previously with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting the answer is yes someone was a donor to the president's inauguration rewarded with an ambassadorship to the european union he was center to the plot and he said everyone was in a suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false the leadership of the state department the national security council and the white house were all informed about the ukraine efforts and another
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state department official testified he heard some land on the phone with the president during the lunch ambassador silane said that he was going to call president trump to give an update master stalin placed a call on his mobile phone i heard of announce himself several times along the lines of courting song and holding for the president i've entered president from ask so he's going to do the investigation. master song replied that he is going to do it adding a president selenski will do anything you ask him to do with that democrats say they've made the case for 2 counts of impeachment one for abuse of power the 2nd for obstruction of congress. the vote out of the committee split down party lines with republicans launching very defenses 2 key facts have not changed that are critical to these impeachment proceedings one ukraine in fact received the aide and 2 there was no investigation into the bidens i have never in my entire life seen
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such an unfair rigged railroad job against the president of the united states and threw it on the president remained defiant it's a witch hunt it's a sham it's a hoax a slight majority of americans polled actually support impeachment and removal but not by much and as of now the vote is expected to be partisan which would leave trump in office that could change of public opinion does during the trial setting up a high stakes gamble that will impact the president the country and the world. al-jazeera washington. well let's try to take you live now back to capitol hill and the u.s. house which is currently voting on the rules that a governing the impeachment resolution has been lots of procedural discussion and votes this morning ahead of the debate and the impeachment vote later on today well in the meantime let's go to clyde wilcox he's a professor of government at georgetown university here in doha thank you for
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joining me in the studio are you played let's begin with the significance of today for americans it is we're going into an election year and what's going to have to make up their mind about who they vote for how closely a people watching the impeachment proceedings this part of it not so much right i mean this is a much more complicated story than nixon or clinton would be in the nixon case of breaking and entering and stealing things and hush money the case is about sex which everyone would like to watch this is a complicated story and most americans are honestly not that familiar with foreign policy if they have a real trial in the senate and i think the public will pay more attention so the $1.00 thing which i'm really curious about is this is happening so there's going to be this impeachment vote today then it presumably goes to the senate trial but the republicans hold a majority in the senate and you need a 2 feds majority in order to remove trump from office so for the democrats this is presumably not actually about removing him from office but having
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a public trial in an election year this actually because he broke the law right to beat at some point everything doesn't have to be about politics this is a pretty serious offense and i think we all know that this is not the only time the trump is used foreign policy for his personal gain right so i don't think the democrats have any choice in this case they had their hand forced nancy pelosi was incredibly reluctant to do this right presumably because it might unite the right hasn't done that well not not so much now i think the one thing we saw though in the clinton trial is that his popularity rose during his trial and i think the public came to think well lying about sex is not that unusual but. in this case these are serious charges and so i think that will be a different that or stay with me that i am going to bring and for that bob us who is a former associate counsel to the office of the president under president casa mr bobbitt you're a former white house joya and you're also an expert on the procedure here we've
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been talking now a little bit about what happens in the senate trial and earlier we were discussing witnesses which could potentially be very damaging and affect the way that people see the president trying to talk us through how that witness process works and just how damaging that testimony could be for him well it could happen in one of at least 3 ways the house managers and the speaker could. pause the process other before a vote or before transmittal to the senate and on the subpoena of the key witnesses who have thus far not appeared that would lead a suspect to a court challenge they would take many weeks but the months because you can have an expedited appeal and get the final well verdict then either way. the key fulcrum which i think your other speakers have done 5 is these 3 or 4 possibly 5 witnesses that would engage the public's attention but i
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think the likelihood of it happening right now is very uncertain. let me bring you back in here around those witnesses how damaging do you think that they could be how much could they shift public opinion if we have for instance mick mulvaney testifying in front of the senate about the the what's going on behind the scenes at the white house i actually think if i were democratic leader in the house i would do exactly what was just suggested because john bolton i think would be the key witness bolton has been going around in closed meetings in washington d.c. claiming to have information about trump dealing with turkey regarding personal finances that would be really damaging right so it's not just ukraine it's not just about biden it's also about finances so i think rushing a vote and rushing the transmittal without fully exploring all the evidence is a mistake for them grabs mr bobbitt let me bring you in here again as well because
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not only would there be witnesses presumably then for the other side that we've been talking about bringing in potentially bolton and malvina but also there would be witnesses that the republicans could call and i know president trump has pushed to have joe biden testify his son hunter biden testify potentially calling nancy pelosi how does that work is it a one witness for the republicans one witness one witness for the democrats know. if the scene moves to the senate then a senate majority does 51 votes the vice president doesn't preside doesn't have a vote in this case could determine the witness list. as to whether or not the republicans will want to call vice president biden or his son or the speaker. there's been some pushback in the republican caucus in the senate about that. so i don't.

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