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Top News Stories

Southern drought relents but not over, despite recent rains
ATLANTA (AP) — Recent showers and storms across much of the South have eased the severe drought in the region, but experts say it wasn't enough to make up for months of dry conditions before the rain finally fell.
12/08/2016 - 04:41 AM


Global stocks, euro push higher as ECB stimulus plan looms

A man looks at an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in TokyoWorld shares climbed to a near three-month high on Thursday as encouraging China data and a record high Wall Street kept traders upbeat ahead of an expected extension of the European Central Bank's already generous stimulus program. Asia had shares hustled to one-month highs after Wall Street strode to another record and European stocks made it four gains on the bounce and the euro neared month highs as the prospect of ECB support loomed.

12/08/2016 - 04:40 AM


The Latest: Assad: Aleppo win 'big gain' but not end of war

The Latest: Assad: Aleppo win 'big gain' but not end of warThe Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 11:30 a.m. Syrian President Bashar Assad says victory in the battle for Aleppo will be a "big gain" for his government but that it will ...

12/08/2016 - 04:40 AM


Aid groups descend on Indonesia quake zone; deaths reach 102

Acehnese men walk amid the rubble as they survey the damage at an Islamic boarding school badly hit by Wednesday's earthquake in Pidie Jaya, Aceh province, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of the devastated town early Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts. (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — Humanitarian organizations descended on Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday as the government promised tons of emergency aid and officials raced to assess the full extent of damage from an earthquake that killed more than 100 people.

12/08/2016 - 04:39 AM


Keaton Jennings century puts England in command against India

England's Keaton Jennings celebrates after reaching his century on the first day of the fourth Test against India in Mumbai on December 8, 2016South African-born batsman Keaton Jennings scored a century on his debut as England made a strong start Thursday to their must-win fourth Test against India, reaching 196-2 at tea. The left-hander, who switched allegiance to England to further his international career, was batting on 103 when the break was called in Mumbai, sharing the crease with Moeen Ali on 25. Jennings was almost caught on zero runs and took until the 12th ball to get off the mark, but when he did there was no stopping the tall opener.

12/08/2016 - 04:38 AM


Senate joins House to pass sweeping new health bill

Manni Baez takes some of his daily antiviral medications for HIV at the National Institutes of Health in BethesdaThe U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to support sweeping legislation that will reshape the way the Food and Drug Administration approves new medicines. It will also provide funding for cancer and Alzheimer's research, help fight the opioid epidemic, expand access to mental health treatment and advance research into precision medicine. Two years in the making, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed last week by the House of Representatives and will now go to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

12/08/2016 - 04:33 AM


Koch Industries takes aim at House Republican tax reform plan

koch_comboBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Koch Industries, the private conglomerate owned by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch, warned on Wednesday that a Republican tax reform proposal meant to encourage U.S. exports could have devastating effects on the economy and consumers. The proposal, known as border adjustability, is part of a larger tax reform plan backed by Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Speaker Paul Ryan. It has attracted the attention of advisers to President-elect Donald Trump as a potential tool for creating manufacturing jobs for blue-collar Americans.

12/08/2016 - 04:32 AM


Rollback of truck safety rules may be just the beginning

Truck driver Bill Varnado of Dallas, Ga., talks at a truck stop along Interstate 81 in Hagerstown, Md., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. He says he opposes Congress suspending a requirement for truckers to take two nights off to rest after a work week of up to 75 hours. He says the rule ensures that drivers get needed sleep. (AP Photo/David Dishneau)HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The trucking industry scored a victory this week when Republican lawmakers effectively blocked Obama administration safety rules aimed at keeping tired truckers off the highway. But there's more coming down the road.

12/08/2016 - 04:31 AM


Japan's Abe may not be first sitting PM to visit Pearl Harbor: spokesman

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe gestures during a press conference in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaPrime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor this month may not be the first by a sitting Japanese premier but will be the first with a U.S. president, his top government spokesman said on Thursday, trying to clarify confusion over the trip. Abe announced on Monday he would join President Barack Obama on a Dec. 26-27 visit to the site of the Japanese surprise attack 75 years ago that drew the United States into World War Two. A foreign ministry official said on Monday that Abe would be the first incumbent Japanese leader to visit.

12/08/2016 - 04:30 AM


Oil steady around $50 on doubts over OPEC output cuts

OPEC logo is seen at its headquarters in ViennaBy Christopher Johnson LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied around $50 a barrel on Thursday, close to the week's lows, on doubts proposed OPEC production cuts would be sufficient to balance the market, although a weaker dollar supported sentiment. North Sea Brent crude was up 25 cents at $53.25 a barrel by 0908 GMT. OPEC members and oil producers outside the group will meet again this weekend in Vienna to discuss details of last week's deal, which aims at an overall reduction in output of around 1.5 million barrels a day.

12/08/2016 - 04:30 AM


House to clear stopgap spending, water projects measures

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 file photo, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump introduces retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his appointed secretary of defense while speaking to supporters during a rally in Fayetteville, N.C. The GOP-controlled House is advancing hard-fought legislation to help Flint, Michigan fix its lead-tainted water system and speed the confirmation path for Mattis as Trump’s secretary of defense. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is advancing hard-fought legislation to help Flint, Michigan, fix its lead-tainted water system and speed next year's confirmation for retired Gen. James Mattis as President-elect Donald Trump's defense secretary.

12/08/2016 - 04:30 AM


Pakistan plane issued Mayday call before deadly crash

Pakistani soldiers and volunteers search for victims from the wreckage of the crashed PIA passenger plane, flight PK661, near the village of Saddha Batolni, in the Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on December 7, 2016A Pakistani aircraft carrying 47 people issued a Mayday call before losing radar contact and crashing into a mountain, killing everyone on board, authorities said, as they began collecting DNA Thursday to identify victims. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight smashed into a hillside in the country's north after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from the city of Chitral to the capital Islamabad. The pilot of the ATR-42 turboprop aircraft contacted ground authorities after one engine failed and issued a Mayday call at 4:14 pm (1114 GMT), Azam Saigol, the airline's chairman, told a news conference Wednesday in Islamabad.

12/08/2016 - 04:21 AM


The Latest: Australia offers help with Aceh quake response

A man surveys a damaged mosque after Wednesday's earthquake in Meureudu, Aceh province, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Thousands of people in the Indonesian province of Aceh took refuge for the night in mosques and temporary shelters after the strong earthquake killed a large number of people and destroyed dozens of buildings. (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a magnitude-6.5 earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday (all times local):

12/08/2016 - 04:16 AM


Pakistan mourns 47 killed in air crash, as investigators seek answers

Rescue workers survey the site of a plane crashed a day earlier near the village of Saddha Batolni, near Abbotabad, PakistanBy Asad Hashim ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan on Thursday mourned the 47 victims of its deadliest plane crash in four years, among them a famed rockstar-turned-Muslim evangelist, two infants and three foreigners, as officials sought to pinpoint the cause of the disaster. Engine trouble was initially believed responsible, but many questions remain, stirring new worries about the safety record of money-losing state carrier Pakistani International Airlines. The ATR-42 aircraft involved in the crash had undergone regular maintenance, including an "A-check" certification in October, said airline chairman Muhammad Azam Saigol.

12/08/2016 - 04:14 AM


Nearly 150 patients evacuated from east Aleppo: ICRC
Nearly 150 civilians, most disabled or in need of medical care, were evacuated overnight from a hospital in Aleppo's Old City, the first major evacuation from the eastern sector, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday. "These patients and civilians had been trapped in the area for days because of heavy clashes nearby and as the front line kept drawing closer," said the head of the ICRC delegation in Syria, Marianne Gasser, who is in the city. Among those evacuated from Dar Al-Safaa hospital in the Old City - reclaimed by Syrian government forces on Tuesday - 118 patients were taken to three hospitals in the west of Aleppo and 30 people were taken to shelters, also in the west of the city, the ICRC said in a statement.
12/08/2016 - 04:13 AM


Pakistan opens probe into deadly plane crash that killed 47

CORRECTS NAME OF THE VILLAGE - Pakistani investigators examine the wreckage of a passenger plane crashed in the village of Gug, Pakistan Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. A Pakistani aviation spokesman says authorities have opened a probe into the plane crash in the country's northwest the previous day. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)GUG, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani military helicopters on Thursday ferried remains of plane crash victims to the capital, Islamabad, as aviation authorities said they opened a probe into the crash that killed 47 passengers and crew the day before in the country's northwest.

12/08/2016 - 04:01 AM


Gimme a hundred: Red Sox-Brewers trade contains $100 clause

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, left, and Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski answer questions from the media during Major League Baseball's winter meetings, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — A hundred dollars can still go a long way in baseball.

12/08/2016 - 03:58 AM


Global stocks advance ahead of ECB decision

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, an American flag flies in front of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks are mixed early Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, as large drugmakers take losses and most other industries move slightly higher. Bond yields are falling, and investors are buying stocks that pay large dividends. That's leading to gains for real estate investment trusts, utilities and phone companies. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global shares rose on Thursday following upbeat trade data from China. Investors were looking ahead to a meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day.

12/08/2016 - 03:45 AM


China exports snap losing streak on weaker yuan

China is the world's biggest trader in goods, and its performance affects partners from Australia to ZambiaChinese exports beat expectations in November, a positive sign for the global economy, but analysts warned on Thursday of an uncertain outlook as US President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, with Beijing's trade policy in his sights. The advance broke a seven-month losing streak and marks a sharp turnaround from the previous month helped by a plunging yuan, which made the country's goods cheaper for overseas buyers. China is the world's biggest trader in goods, and its performance affects partners from Australia to Zambia, which have been battered as its expansion has slowed to levels not seen in a quarter of a century.

12/08/2016 - 03:39 AM


Police urge no rush to judgment in shooting of Reno student

Reno police officer Tim Broadway briefs reporters outside Hug High School on the north side of Reno, Nev., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 after a Washoe County School District police officer shot a student following a disturbance at the school. The student was taken to a Reno hospital where there was no immediate word on the student's condition. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)RENO, Nev. (AP) — Social media postings about a school district police officer shooting a Nevada high school student waving a knife toward classmates drew an immediate plea from authorities not to rush to conclusions about the on-campus incident.

12/08/2016 - 03:28 AM


College roommates among Oakland warehouse fire victims

This undated photo provided by Devin Askounis shows Ben Runnels and Nicole Renae Siegrist, also known as "Denalda," in Oakland, Calif. Both died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that started in Oakland on Dec. 2, 2016. (Photo Courtesy Devin Askounis/Mixtape via AP)OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A fun-loving computer science graduate and 21-year-old college roommates were among the 36 people killed when fire engulfed a dance party inside an Oakland warehouse.

12/08/2016 - 03:27 AM


General strike in Greece over new budget cuts

Civil servants, bank staff, merchant seamen, railway workers and state-employed doctors were among professionals taking part in the 24-hour strike in Greece in protest over planned new pay cuts and taxesGreece's leading unions launched Thursday a general strike that shut down several key sectors in protest over planned new pay cuts and taxes called for by international creditors. The country's international creditors -- fellow EU states and the International Monetary Fund -- want Greece to overhaul its labour legislation to make crippling strikes less likely while also facilitating layoffs.

12/08/2016 - 03:26 AM


Iran minister says in U.S. interest to stay committed to nuclear pact

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida attend a joint news conference in TokyoBy Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday it was in the interest of the United States to remain committed to a multilateral nuclear treaty. The U.S. Senate voted last week to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years, and Iran vowed to retaliate, saying it violated last year's agreement with six major powers to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions. A diplomatic thaw between the United States and Iran over the past two years appears in jeopardy with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump taking office next month.

12/08/2016 - 03:22 AM


Iraqi official: Anti-IS airstrike killed, wounded civilians

An Iraqi Special Forces member stands near the main road from Erbil to Mosul with his unit, in the village of Bartala, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. A senior Iraqi commander says special forces captured a new neighborhood from Islamic State militants in eastern Mosul, the latest gain in a massive government military operation now in its seventh week. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament speaker said an airstrike targeting the Islamic State-held town of Qaim in western Iraq near the Syrian border killed and wounded "dozens" of civilians, and that he is holding the Iraqi government responsible.

12/08/2016 - 03:20 AM


APNewsBreak: Military targets handling of misconduct cases

FILE - In this June 30, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. Top military leaders are trying to fix the lengthy, inconsistent process for investigating senior officers accused of misconduct, The Associated Press has learned. They are seeking to change a hodgepodge system in which investigations can drag on for years while taxpayers pay six-figure salaries for senior officers relegated to mid-level administrative posts. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Military leaders are trying to fix the lengthy, inconsistent process for investigating senior officers accused of misconduct, The Associated Press has learned. They are seeking to change a hodgepodge system in which investigations can drag on for years while taxpayers pay six-figure salaries to officers relegated to mid-level administrative posts.

12/08/2016 - 03:16 AM


Trump's choice for top China diplomat has long ties to Xi

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2012 file-pool photo, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad raise their glasses at the beginning of a formal dinner in the rotunda at the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. Branstad, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for U.S. ambassador to China, can boast a 30-year relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, especially amid escalating talk of a trade war with the U.S.’s largest trading partner? (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Andrea Melendez, Pool, File)DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It may seem odd for the governor of a lightly populated agricultural state to be chosen as U.S. ambassador to China, especially amid escalating talk of a trade war with the major U.S. trading partner.

12/08/2016 - 03:15 AM


Investigators to look at electrical system in Oakland fire
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Federal officials investigating a fire that killed 36 people during a party at an Oakland warehouse plan to bring in engineers to examine the building's electrical system, as they try to pinpoint the cause of a blaze that has cast a spotlight on similar artists' colonies around the country that offer cheap housing but unsafe living conditions.
12/08/2016 - 03:15 AM


Orioles plan to pass on Bautista because fans don't like him
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Jose Bautista has long been booed whenever he's played in Baltimore. Now, the free agent slugger wants the Orioles to consider signing him, and the team isn't having any part of that.
12/08/2016 - 03:15 AM


You're Hired? Inside the interviews as Trump picks Cabinet

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump stands with BET founder Robert Johnson at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J.. Johnson is one of dozens of people who have paraded into Trump’s properties in New York and New Jersey in recent weeks for job interviews and other consultations with the Republican. Several described the meetings as serious, yet conversational, with the president-elect leading the discussion and asking questions extemporaneously, without consulting notes. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — When Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, arrived to a recent meeting with Donald Trump, the president-elect greeted him with a blunt question.

12/08/2016 - 03:13 AM


Trumps taps retired Marine general for homeland security

In this photo taken Jan. 8, 2016, Gen. John Kelly speaks to reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon. President-elect Donald Trump is tapping another four-star military officer for his administration. He has picked Kelly to lead the Homeland Security Department, according to people close to the transition. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly carved out a reputation as a highly respected, but often outspoken commander who could roil debate with blunt assessments or unpopular directives on issues ranging from women in combat to the treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

12/08/2016 - 03:13 AM


Obama and Trump hurled insults, now trade pleasantries

Obama and Trump hurled insults, now trade pleasantriesDid anyone see it coming, the apparent new rapport between President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump? Just a few months ago they were regularly flinging insults back and forth. Today they're ...

12/08/2016 - 03:11 AM


Trump chooses former WWE exec McMahon for small business

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2016 file photo, Linda McMahon talks with reporters after a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York. President-elect Donald Trump will nominate wrestling executive Linda McMahon to serve as administrator of the Small Business Administration, a Cabinet-level position. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is adding former wrestling executive Linda McMahon to his Cabinet as leader of the Small Business Administration.

12/08/2016 - 03:11 AM


Trump's new tone on immigrant kids divides GOP

In this Dec. 6, 2016, photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally in Fayetteville, N.C. Trump’s promise to “work something out” for immigrants brought here illegally as kids is dividing fellow Republicans, underscoring how difficult it will be for Congress to take any action on immigration, whether it’s building a wall or dealing with immigrant youths. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's promise to "work something out" for immigrants brought here illegally as kids is dividing fellow Republicans, underscoring how difficult it will be for Congress to take any action on immigration, whether it's building a wall or dealing with immigrant youths.

12/08/2016 - 03:09 AM


Ellison says he'll resign from Congress if elected DNC chair

FILE - In a Dec. 2, 2016 file photo, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., listens with Jamie Harrison, back, chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, as Ray Buckley, chair of the party in New Hampshire, speaks during a forum on the future of the Democratic Party, in Denver. Ellison said Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, that he'll resign his seat in Congress if he’s picked as chairman by DNC members at the late February elections. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Aides and supporters of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are searching for an alternative to Rep. Keith Ellison, the early favorite in the race to head the Democratic National Committee, amid growing resistance to his bid.

12/08/2016 - 03:08 AM


Surgeon General calls youth vaping a public health threat

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2014, photo, U.S. Surgeon General appointee Vivek Murthy appears on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation's youth. In a report being released Thursday, Murthy acknowledges a need for more research into the health effects of "vaping," but says e-cigarettes aren't harmless and too many teens are using them. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation's youth.

12/08/2016 - 03:07 AM


LEADING OFF: What to watch at the baseball winter meetings

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2016, file photo, Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis throws during a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The World Series champion Chicago Cubs have acquired star closer Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Jorge Soler. The trade was announced Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, at the winter meetings. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)A look at what's happening today at the baseball winter meetings in Oxon Hill, Maryland:

12/08/2016 - 03:06 AM


Trump to meet with victims of OSU attack, resume road show

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump talks to media as he stands with retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J. Trump is tapping another four-star military officer for his administration. He has picked Kelly to lead the Homeland Security Department, according to people close to the transition. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump is going to try to show a more sensitive side Thursday, meeting with victims of last week's Ohio State University attack, before taking his "thank you" road show to three more states that supported him in the election.

12/08/2016 - 03:05 AM


Pizza shop gunman's life showed recent signs of turbulence

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, N.C., surrenders to police Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Washington. Welch, who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place, fired an assault rifle inside the restaurant on Sunday injuring no one, police and news reports said. (Sathi Soma via AP)SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) — The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a Washington restaurant appears to have lived an aimless life that became turbulent in the weeks before he was drawn to the nation's capital by a fake news story.

12/08/2016 - 03:05 AM


Rosneft shares soar on Glencore, Qatar deal

A security guard walks past the entrance of Russia's state-controlled oil giant Rosneft headquarters in MoscowShares in Russian oil giant Rosneft leapt over five percent Thursday after the Kremlin announced the 10.5 billion euro ($11.3 billion) sale of a stake to commodities trader Glencore and Qatar's sovereign fund. President Vladimir Putin late Wednesday hailed the deal for 19.5 percent of the state-controlled firm as the largest in the global energy sector for 2016, a major fillip for the authorities as they seek to plug the country's growing deficit. Rosneft stock was up some 5.43 percent by 0730 GMT on the Moscow Exchange to 375.6 rubles ($5.9, 5.5 euros), hiking the company's overall valuation to some 58 billion euros.

12/08/2016 - 03:03 AM


AP source: Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016, file photo, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians, in Chicago. Chapman reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday, Dec. 7, with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen — a very rich spot, too.

12/08/2016 - 02:56 AM



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