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Trade Pacts Waiting to Happen | Instant News


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Of all the things the United States and Britain possess, perhaps the most important is common law – a legal system that is not imposed from above but emerges from society in the form of cases and precedents. Engraved in common law is the concept of “partnership.” Partnerships allow individuals to work together by sharing knowledge and resources for mutual benefit. They are also voluntary, allowing each member to associate freely, and requiring each to value the welfare of his partner as well as his own.

Partnerships lead to peace, prosperity and productivity. We work together, so we both benefit, and there is no better example of a partnership between a country than the US and UK. No two countries have had more success working together. No two people have done more to expand and defend freedom, and to achieve peace and prosperity.

Economists have known since Adam Smith and David Ricardo that free trade increases prosperity at home and abroad. This brings efficiency, innovation, and better products at lower costs. Between countries with similar worker protection regimes, developed economies, strong legal systems, and common languages ​​- such as the US and UK – general doubts over fair compensation and intellectual property protection disappear. All of these figures show that global free trade has done more to reduce poverty around the world than any other action, including government-led initiatives.

The economic ties between our countries are already strong. In 2019, the goods and services trade relationship between our countries was measured at $ 273 billion; and the US is Britain’s largest single trading partner. Free trade agreements will allow more goods and services to flow more easily between our countries and unlock the potential for expanded commercial partnerships and investment in emerging industries.

The pandemic and current supply chain chaos have confirmed that friends are invaluable in an emergency. Global relations are unstable. Many governments don’t know what the future of their trade relationship will look like.

When uncertainty has swept through the past, the American and British people have joined forces for mutual benefit and the common good. As history shows, the combined power of that partnership has solidified the world through its greatest peril. Now, facing an aggressive and expansionist China, Americans and Brits have another chance to join forces and emerge from this crisis stronger than ever – for the benefit of our country, and of nations around the world.

Free trade and free markets have ensured that we don’t have to wait in line for bread. Our common law, common history and common goals should ensure that we don’t have to wait in line to benefit from free trade agreements. Now is the time for the two governments to exercise good faith and reach an agreement that will benefit both of us.

Mr. Lee, a Republican, is a US senator from Utah. Mr. Duncan Smith, member of the British House of Representatives, serving as secretary of state for employment and retirement, 2010-16.

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appears in the print edition of March 29, 2021.


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‘My pulse shot up to 120 while I was panting to the ER’: Italy resumed the AstraZeneca vaccine, and tightened lockdowns | Instant News

COMO, Italy – The death toll continues to increase.

In the past 24 hours in Italy, there have been 25,735 new cases of COVID-19, with the infection rate stable at 7%, as half of Italy is once again in strict isolation as a designated red zone. one year after the entire country was effectively shut down.

For the first time since the color coding system was introduced last year, Lazio – the region that includes the capital Rome – has been included in the red zone. One in five people in Lombardy are from Como. And we’re back in the red zone. It’s no surprise that Prime Minister Mario Draghi is eager to get Oxford-AstraZeneca

vaccine back in action, despite concerns about adverse reactions.

“I heard an ambulance today, like last year’s soundtrack.”

– Residents of Bergamo, the epicenter of the pandemic in Italy last year

Como, Milan, Bergamo, the city worst hit by COVID-19 last year, and the whole of Lombardy are back in the “red zone”, and are in full lockdown until April 6. On Easter, the lockdown will be extended nationwide, with Sardinia, which has been given “all safe,” returning to join us.

Last time, hairdressers, barbers, lingerie shops and make-up counters remained open – perhaps to lift the morale of the image-conscious Italian – but this time they have all closed. “We will appear like cavemen,” is one reaction to this action, but the government is wary.

On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency said that the benefits of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine “continue to outweigh the risk of side effects” and added that single-use vaccines were “not associated with an increased risk of overall blood clots. ”

Italy is among several European Union countries that announced the resumption of vaccination against the drug after a regulator’s statement.

In an effort to restore confidence in the vaccine, Draghi himself said he would take the AstraZeneca injection. In Rome, Giovanni Rezza, head of prevention at the Italian Ministry of Health, to the Associated Press and another outlet on Friday: “It is clear that lifting the suspension is a huge relief for us as we have to speed up the vaccination campaign.”

That, he added, would be double the 200,000 vaccinations per day the country had achieved before the vaccine was suspended. It’s a race against time. So far, 104,241 people in Italy have died from COVID-19, a 14-day increase of 34%, according to a New York Times tracker. Worldwide, there have been more than 2.7 million deaths.

Vaccinations start here on December 27th. Pfizer

and German partner BioNTech SE
+ 3.80%

+ 1.61%

a two-dose vaccine, and, after a brief interval, the single-dose AstraZeneca vaccine, by booster injection approximately 12 weeks later, is available here.

Alison Fottrell: ‘Last time, hairdressers, barbers, lingerie shops and make-up counters remained open – perhaps to lift the spirit of the image-conscious Italian – but this time it has all closed.’

‘We came, we got stabbed and we left’

Before it was stopped here, AstraZeneca had been given to the teachers in a way that was like a carpet bombing, the speed of the meeting took us all by surprise.

One Saturday morning in early March, I woke up to receive a message to take myself to Milan. Accepting the inevitable fate of inoculation, I jumped out of bed, took the sugar cubes from the bowl on the way out the door for a long time, and went down the highway to the city.

By noon, I’ve been lining up, catching glimpses of coworkers I haven’t seen in person in over a year, and struggling not to run across the yard to hug them. We came, we got stabbed, and we left. At noon, I was in my car heading back to the lake.

Thankfully, my colleagues have managed to get through the storm of fever and chills for 48 hours. I, on the other hand, haven’t.

Shortly after the vaccine was paused, the college website published an announcement that those who had been vaccinated, and who had no serious repercussions, should calm down.

However, there is little advice out there for people who constantly experience side effects.

However, there is little advice out there for people who experience persistent side effects. Meanwhile, me pulse had jumped to 120 as I panted to the emergency room in Como in the early hours of one morning this week.

Ten days after I got the injection, the local hospital was full of patients. I practiced meditation to avoid the sounds of wailing and groaning from other rooms.

Maybe that’s why Dr. Strada, who gently woke me up from my trance, was deeply ingrained in my soul – like a hatching duck who catches a glimpse of her caregiver and clings to the thought for safety. Despite the chaos surrounding him, Dr. Strada was gentle, patient and calm, and made me feel safe.

He was one of the “many outstanding examples” of the “silent protagonist of solidarity” that Draghi praised in his March 18 speech at a funeral in the city of Bergamo, as he laid a wreath on the inscription dedicated to the city’s 3,400 official victims. virus – although other estimates put that figure close to 6,000.

This is the day President Sergio Mattarella is formally designated as “A National Day of Remembrance for all victims of the coronavirus epidemic.” Bergamo has now become a symbol of the suffering of the entire nation, with Draghi’s speech inciting a commitment to care for our parents, to never again leave them alone and unprotected.

In April 2020, a local newspaper reported that it was already there 1,322 more deaths in nursing homes in Bergamo compared to 2019. The city has become a hotbed of the pandemic, with many elderly people being taken to hospitals where no protective procedures have been fully implemented.

Draghi went on to remember the field hospital that was set up in just a few days by Alpini, Civil Defense and volunteers. He concludes by acknowledging the support Italy has received from Europe, likening it to a family that stays by our side.

‘People are angry, they want to know how and why this happened. They felt the government had failed them, and that action was too late. ‘

AFP via Getty Images

‘We feel blind’

Local poet Ernesto Olivero has written poetry for many of the deceased, now carved in stone at cemeteries. The words may be dedicated to his hometown, but they extend to the world. What unites the victims of this pandemic is the solitude, provoked by the forced isolation that has been, and still must, be experienced by loved ones. And the exile that others face in their death.

The poem reads: “You there. I bet you are beside those who die alone, alone, with the occasional glued to a resuscitation glass of grandchildren, hearts, kisses, hello. You were there, close to each of them, you there, by their side as they struggled, you were there and you took their last breath, surrendering love to you … “

Locals initially did not understand the arrival of long poles of military vehicles rolling on the streets in the early days of March last year. It was only gradually that they began to realize that the morgue and crematorium had reached their full capacity and the coffins, which were lined up at the city’s only cemetery, had to be carried elsewhere.

“… You there, you died with them to take them there where you will be forever, forever. You are there, the friend of every friend who died in Bergamo, in Lombardy, in every part of our tormented land. You are there, and it is you who comfort them, who embrace them, who hold their hands, who turn their fear into calm trust. You are there, because you have left no one, you have been abandoned by everyone… ”continues Olivero’s poem.

‘Nobody sings on the balcony here in Bergamo. We are horrified, we are horrified. ‘

People are angry, they want to know how and why this happened. They felt the government had failed them, and that action was too late. “We feel confused, with very little information about what happened,” said one Bergamasco, who has been in self-quarantine since the outbreak. “Nobody sings on the balcony here in Bergamo,” he added quickly. We are horrified, we are horrified.

Hashtag #noenunceremo or #wewilldenounce has been trending since March 2020. His quest for justice, and his mission wholeheartedly – these are people trying to describe their grief. “If someone can act and not, if someone puts their own interests above the lives of thousands of people, they will criminally pay for their actions and be held responsible for their negligence,” the resident, who requested anonymity. , said.

To achieve their goal, they have formed a non-profit committee to collect every complaint and make all their evidence and complaints available to the court so that there will be a thorough examination. investigation and trial. As of April 2020, they already have 50,000 members, which increases to 70,000.

“We are the first to catch the virus, and we will be the last to eradicate it,” continued the resident of Bergamasco. Almost everyone here knows someone who has died. They are still haunted by images of firefighters rescuing seriously ill people from their flats to coax them out of their homes for treatment.

“The lockdown started late, the industrial sector didn’t want to close shop, and no wiping was done at the local Alzano hospital until the situation got out of hand. I still can’t think about it. I still can’t believe it. And I think it can happen again. I heard the sound of an ambulance today, like the soundtrack from last year. “

The Oxford-AstraZeneca medical leaflet has been updated. and the vaccine has been re-released on the Italian market with 200,000 suspended doses to be continued over the next two weeks.

And my side effect? Until now, they haven’t shown any signs of abating. The doctors looked confused and confused about the prognosis. They have no facts. They will report it and send you for tests. And cross their fingers so they can find some answers. As we face this Year 2 Pandemic, we are all walking in new places.

Alison Fottrell is a teacher and writer based in Como, Italy.

This essay is part of the MarketWatch series, ‘Submissions from Pandemic. ‘

AstraZeneca has been re-released on the Italian market with 200,000 deferred doses to be continued over the next two weeks.

AFP via Getty Images


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The European Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight | Instant News

A Red Cross volunteer prepares the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz vaccination center, southwestern France.


Bob Edme / Associated Press

It’s hard to think of a recent failure that could match the EU’s Covid vaccine launch. Protectionism, mercantilism, bureaucratic incompetence, lack of political accountability, crippling security-ism – it’s all here. Keystone Kops in Brussels and European capitals would have been hilarious if the consequences weren’t so serious.

But hospitalizations and deaths increased again in Italy, Germany and France while successful vaccinations reduced illness and death in the US, UK and Israel. To date, the US has administered 34 doses per 100 population, the UK has entered 40 doses, and Israel has 111. Most vaccines require two doses. Compare that to about 12 in France, Germany and Italy.

As the pandemic moves into the reopening phase, Europe’s mistake will cost the entire world economically as the Continent struggles to emerge from lockdown.


Take the latest mistakes first. Various European regulators and politicians have spent this week claiming Oxford /


the vaccine – the only one currently widely available in the EU – may not be safe, just to be rethought and now begging people to start taking it.

This time the concern is that the puncture has caused blood clots or problems with blood platelets in some patients. Some people who receive the vaccine develop blood clots, but the European Medicines Agency (EMA) found the vaccine was not associated with an increased risk overall.

Among the 11 million or more vaccinated in the UK, serious freezing is less common than would be expected in the general population. People can develop clots for a variety of reasons including health conditions and other medications. Covid-19 can also cause clots, so any risk-benefit calculation supports vaccination.

This is part of the peculiar European safety-ism that has followed the vaccine program from the start. The introduction of the AstraZeneca jab was withheld even after the EMA approved it because bureaucrats in Germany claimed there was no evidence that the injection was successful in patients over 65 years of age.

Fewer elderly patients were included in the sample during the vaccine trial phase, but that is the extent of this claim. This was quickly debunked – real-world evidence available even then from Britain showed high efficacy in an older group – but not before French President Emmanuel Macron took up the theme.

Such sloppy talk prevented vulnerable European parents from receiving the vaccine last month. It also changes the priority list. Younger teachers and university professors in Italy received pre-sick injections and the elderly under a scheme developed when officials claimed it would not work for older people.

One problem is that no one appears to be entirely responsible for monitoring safety and efficacy. Nominally, that is the job of EMA, and the agency is handling it with the typical eurocratic self-confidence. The EMA approval process is more bureaucratic, requiring input from all EU member states. Imagine if the FDA consulted all 50 states.

But national governments are also allowed to make their own safety decisions on “emergency” grounds. Great Britain used this option to agree


and AstraZeneca fired quickly despite being a member of the EU late last year.

Other governments are using this policy to slow down vaccine rollouts. EU capitals refuse to follow Britain in authorizing emergency use, apparently out of fear of hurting European solidarity. But some governments are happy to impose unilateral blocks on vaccines, such as the AstraZeneca blood clot riot. European regulators live by the adage “it’s better to be safe than sorry,” but in this they apologize with no added security.

At least now, millions of doses are available for Europeans who want it. This is not always the case, after a procurement negligence has delayed deliveries and nearly sparked several trade wars. Brussels officials last year seized the opportunity to push for the general procurement of vaccines to increase the EU’s credibility with European voters. Buying on behalf of 500 million Europeans should also give the bloc more influence with pharmaceutical companies.

There’s been chaos. The EU bureaucracy has little experience with procurement on this scale, and is also struggling to reach a block-wide agreement for ventilators and protective equipment. Brussels officials signed vaccine contracts months after the US and UK did so last year – and only after several European governments threatened to arrange their own procurement.

Washington and London understand that it is essential for mass procurement to waste large sums of R&D money on many companies in the hope that some will succeed. Brussels focuses on haggling cost-per-dose. Europeans pay a few dollars less per dose but end up near the back of the delivery line.

The EU response – a combination of threatened export restrictions, boisterous commercial clashes with pharmaceutical companies, and delusional efficacy issues – has undermined Europe’s credibility on trade matters. It also risks fueling vaccine nationalism and trade restrictions elsewhere.


Could everything be different? The Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed ​​demonstrates how a major government can use its fiscal resources to fund R&D in a crisis. Britain and Israel have shown that small countries can take advantage of regulatory agility to move forward. But somehow the European Union – a continent-wide political bloc made up of smaller nation-states – managed to get the worst of both worlds. It suffers from sluggish bureaucracy from big governments and quarrelsome inefficiency.

Europeans can debate in their spare time who is to blame for this and how to prevent it from happening again. The whole world can only hope they get their vaccination action soon.

Potomac Watch: Rather than reopening classrooms, the new president continues the work of his predecessors. Image: Oliver Contreras / Zuma Press

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appears in the print edition of March 20, 2021.


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The Nasdaq’s Wish Is A British Command | Instant News

Readers will remember many problems with the Nasdaq’s recent proposal to add board diversity provisions to its listing rules for companies. Now come to England to see the Nasdaq and increase its obligations.

The Nasdaq plan would encourage listed companies to maintain quotas for board members who are women or ethnic or sexual minorities. The US stock market is trying to sweeten this unpopular pill by promising it as an option. The company will hit the quota or explain to shareholders why not.

The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, now wants to make things worse. “As part of our regulations on diversity and inclusion and a listing framework, we will explore whether we should make similar requirements part of our premium listing rules,” FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi said Wednesday of the Nasdaq plan.

The FCA primarily regulates financial companies so any new rules will apply to banks, insurance companies, asset managers and the like. Mr. Rathi suggested the diversity mandate could be incorporated into existing rules by which the FCA checks the suitability of senior leaders in regulated companies. He said this would be appropriate based on research meant to show a diverse board is better at risk management, although such research is debatable.

Rathi also argues that more diverse leadership will help financial institutions better serve minority communities. Expect this point to resonate in Washington, where the Biden Administration and Federal Reserve Jerome Powell say they want to use their regulatory power over the financial system to achieve diversity goals.


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‘There is a haunting silence’: This is life in Italy, one year after a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 | Instant News

COMO, Italy – As Maestro Vanni Moretto walked across the stage, the only sound he could hear was the echo of his footsteps as he took center stage in front of his orchestra. He turned to face the 858 empty seats at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa and awkwardly tilted his head, first left then right, acknowledging the unseen audience. There is silence haunting the empty spaces of the stalls and the highlands. Taking off his mask, he signals the start of the symphony, and the music begins.

Twelve months after Italy began its first lockdown, following the cluster of COVID-19 infections in the northern industrial area, composer Milan, orchestra conductor and violinist Vanni Moretto summed up the situation in one word – sadness. It is grim to say that cinemas remain closed as we enter the second year of the pandemic. Cultural Heritage Minister Dario Franchesini initially had high hopes for the ongoing live stream, but his proposal on ‘Cultural Netflix’ was considered by many in the industry as pure madness or “total madness”.

“We are tired at the moment, and demotivated,” said Moretto. “The initial enthusiasm for reinventing our work via streaming has slowed down. You can’t simply perform a Shostakovich symphony, for example, in an empty theater. That Magic moment the first note, in front of a live audience, has been stripped of both the orchestra and the audience. This is disappointing. ”

‘The magico moment of the first note, in front of a live audience, has been stripped of both the orchestra and the audience.’

– Orchestra conductor and violinist Vanni Moretto

Nearly a year when cinemas, theaters and museums first closed to the public, La Scala in Milan, Teatro Sociale di Como along with many others across the country lit up their buildings in an attempt to highlight the plight of an industry. felt left in the dark. This initiative also serves as a plea to leaders to think about our mental health where, as Gandhi put it, “the culture of a nation resides.”

Government officials, however, had other things on their mind. Former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte felt the need to resign following a dispute over how to allocate the € 209 billion ($ 249 billion) he got from Europe, which is 28% of all EU rescue funds. President Sergio Mattarella has since put his trust in former head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi to help the country emerge from its political and economic crisis.

Vaccinations start here on December 27th. Currently, Pfizer
+ 0.56%

and German partner BioNTech SE
+ 1.10%


two-dose vaccine, and AstraZeneca
+ 1.76%

a single-dose vaccine by booster injection 12 weeks earlier is available here. More than 1.6 million have been fully vaccinated.

As of Monday, more than 3 million Italians have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99,785 people have died from the coronavirus, the sixth highest death toll per country since the pandemic began.

Prime Minister Draghi’s new government was sworn in last month, in what he described as a “difficult moment for Italy.” He not only plans to defeat the pandemic, solve vaccinations, solve citizen problems and rebuild the country, but the agenda is green too. On this front, the pandemic will certainly help given that many of us are now being given clues about the efficiency of online meetings instead of getting on a plane to meet the boss in Naples or Rome.

However, this may not bode well for the world of culture that the Deputy Secretary for Cultural Heritage claims, Lucia Borgonzoni, haven’t read the book for years of pleasure. The priority, perhaps, remains elsewhere as the pandemic continues to penetrate the region. Experts predict that the English variant will become dominant by mid-March, while health official Silvio Brusaferro is optimistic that the Brazilian and South African strains can still be contained.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza also hopes, even though there is a delay in vaccination. Talks have started about vaccine production in Italy, with a projected time frame of four to six months. Authorities hope to achieve herd immunity this summer and then move on to the final phase of shooting in the last quarter of 2021, but according to a weekly index published by the Hume Foundation, we need to vaccinate four times the current rate. for that to happen.

Alison Fottrell: ‘The authorities hope to achieve herd immunity this summer and then move on to the final phase of shooting in the last quarter of 2021, but according to the weekly index published by the Hume Foundation, we need to vaccinate at four o’clock. times the current rate for that to happen. ‘

To speed things up, the Ministry of Health has given the green light for the possibility of skipping a booster vaccine for those who have recently been exposed to the virus. This is based on the assumption that these people have developed certain immunity. It is clear that all options are being examined so that there could be some easing of the boundaries that continue to define our daily existence. Lombardy in the north remains the region with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, with an oscillating infection rate currently at 6.7%.

As a result, restaurants and bars continue to close at 6pm. The 22:00 national curfew, in effect from November 2020, remains in effect. This is the time when the shutters are closed, and the streets are mostly silent until 5 a.m. when they lift.

In order for no curfew, we must have less than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the region, which the government calls the ‘white’ zone. In fact, every part of Italy is periodically colored – the lighter the color, the less casing.

While this color coding idea avoids a national lockdown like the one on 9 March 2020 and provides some areas of respite from the intensity of government action, living with uncertainty can be troubling. It’s like Kaa Rudyard Kipling coming back to life every two weeks to cast her optical spell, turning us from red to orange to yellow and back to an even deeper orange. That’s the number of Como colors since the start of the year. This is enough to make your head spin.

“It looks like Rudyard Kipling’s Kaa comes to life every two weeks to cast its optical spell, turning us from red to orange to yellow and back to even deeper orange. ‘

And the head is not the only thing that starts, as the Italians say, turn. People get frustrated. Over the past year, relatives have died, funerals have been missed, and people in general have been scaled back. Whether COVID is positive or not, physical isolation is real. And for young people, this is very destabilizing. The constant threat of turning red loomed large, and they were under immense psychological stress the longer this lasted.

According to Stefano Vicari, head of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the Bambino Gesù in Rome, the number of incidents of self-harm and attempted suicide among those aged 12 to 18 has risen sharply, especially since the second wave of the pandemic. by October 2020. The recent increase in police patrols on the busy square in Como on Saturday night is further evidence of a growing social malaise that needs to be watched. Street fights have broken out between local youths, and a similar scene has been witnessed in Milan.

With the region’s recent color change, high school students here in Como are returning to their full computer screens, only returning to the classroom on alternate weeks. The longer their virtual course lasts, the higher the dropout rate, with those most disadvantaged economically most at risk. And just as some people can’t wait to get back to normal, there are others who have become accustomed to online interactions, and are genuinely afraid to return to their previous routine.

Back at the Teatro Verdi of Pisa, the show, as it should be, continues. “The damage has been done, to what extent we still can’t understand, but over time I think we’ll see that it’s significant,” repeated Maestro Vanni Moretto. He presided over the orchestra with a rising crescendo of strings, horns, and oboes before marking the end of the symphony. He turned again to face the silence of the empty theater and to recognize the faceless crowd. Swinging back to the musicians, he does the closing gesture of the concert and asks them to bow. He quickly left. As shown by Moretto’s curtain concert and curtain call, there is a sense of hope and uneasiness.

One year after our national lockdown, life here in Italy is neither normal nor new.

Alison Fottrell is a teacher and writer based in Como, Italy.

This essay is part of the MarketWatch series, ‘Deliveries from the pandemic. ‘

‘Cultural Heritage Minister Dario Franchesini initially had high hopes for the ongoing live stream, but his proposal for’ Netflix of Culture ‘was seen by many in the industry as a temple follia or “total madness”. Photo: Seats marked due to social distancing at the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images


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