tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN May 6, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT
lives. that's our only hope moving forward. >> and to learn about all the ways that michelle and her organization are working to combat asian hate, go to cnnheroes.com and while there, you can nominate a hero in your life. alex, it has been so fun hanging out with you for a couple of days here. and cnn's coverage continues right now. very good friday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm erica hill. >> we begin with breaking news this morning. the u.s. economy added 428,000 jobs in april, nearly half a million. that number slightly better than expected. it marks the 12th straight month that the u.s. added 400,000 jobs or more. >> cnn chief business correspondent christine romans joining us now. so we look at this, these numbers are great, as you said to me in the break. this would be the biggest thing
ever. in normal times, right? what do they tell us now about the state of the economic recovery? >> they tell us that companies are still hiring aggressively. another 428,000. when you look over the past year, hiring has slowed a tiny bit from where it was earlier this year, but these are still strong numbers. the unemployment rate 3.6%. 3.5% was the level this was before this crisis began. whether you look at a chart of the unemployment rate, you see how dramatically this has changed. it has come down from the peak of 15%. and now down to 3.6%. that is a good level. and i saw hiring across the board here. leisure and hospitality, you saw banking, financial -- the financial sector, employment in the financial sector is bigger today than it was before the crisis began. that is one area that has more than recovered, manufacturing, transportation, ware housing, moving stuff, trying to figure out how to get oil out of the
ground, quite frankly, and move goods because the american consumer is aggressively buying things. and that is moving this economy along. just to give you a quick note on wages, 5.5% was the wage growth year over year. that's in normal times an unbelievable paycheck, you know, paycheck, pop in your paycheck. we know inflation is a problem. after inflation those wages don't feel so great. >> there is an asterisk on everything. >> christine romans, folks at home, i'm one of them, right, might say how do i square the circle, because the job market remains really strong, yet inflation is up. interest rates are going up because of that stock market had one of its worst days in weeks yesterday. i suppose the question is which is more lasting. is the inflation problem more lasting, or is the inherent strength of the economy as shown by the job market more lasting? >> the job market, i think, a lot of economists including mark zandi told me you want to see
the job growth slow here. you don't want the job market to be so strong and wages rising so quickly that that actually adds to the inflation picture. so it would be -- it would be a welcome relief actually to see the job market slow here, just a little bit. it is still very robust. 11 million open jobs in this country right now. that's really something. the number of open jobs. the fed raising interest rates, jim, because the fed is trying to cool off a very strong american economy. so they can try to tamp down on inflation. a lot of different cross currents here. what is really important is that the fed gets this right, it continues to raise interest rates at a pace that will slow down inflation here, and not tip the american economy into a recession. so these are really -- i would say dangerous cross currents right now in the american economy. it has been a very strong couple of years, and now we have a lot to face including inflation, the war in ukraine, the shutdowns, covid shutdowns in china, all of this playing into a picture here
that is a global picture of inflation that is hard to break the back of. >> hard for the fed to reach that goldilocks standard on all this. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> let's turn to the ongoing war in ukraine. there is lots of news this morning. right now desperate attempts still under way to get hundreds of civilians still stranded in mariupol to safety. this morning officials say the next stage of the evacuation of the azovstal steel plant is under way. this after more than 300 evacuees from the mariupol area, not just from the steel plant, but from the area as a whole, arrived in the city of zaporizhzhia wednesday. this while ukraine is intensifying its push to get civilians out, the ukrainian president zelenskyy says the shelling of the steel plant is not stopping and you see evidence of that in the pictures we're showing you right now. remember, under that plant, hundreds of women and children still sheltering. >> meantime, in the east, and the south, ukrainian military reported fewer russian ground
attacks in the last 24 hours. though did say there have been persistent shelling in many places along the front lines. as all of this is unfolding, we're also learning new details this morning about how the u.s. is helping ukraine. sources tell cnn the u.s. helped confirm the identity of russia's prized warship before ukraine successfully targeted it with anti-ship cruise missiles last month. we should note the pentagon denied providing any specific targeting information. i want to begin with cnn's senior correspondent sara sidner joining us from ukraine. as we look at what's happening, there is so much focus on mariupol because it has been a weeks long effort to get people out to safety. where do we stand on the possibility of evacuations today? >> reporter: yeah, erica and jj jim, all eyes are on mariupol. it is because of the intense fighting that continues there, bloody battles acording to commanders there are unfolding on an hourly basis there as
ukrainian forces try to repel russian forces, who, by the way, had said just a day ago that they were going to have a cease-fire to allow those hundreds of people who were stuck under that maze of dark, dang bunkers underneath the steel plant, allow them safe passage. that clearly has not happened. and the commander talking about more lies being told by russia and putting these civilians in danger who have been there for weeks on end, and the worst kinds of conditions with little food, little water. dang conditions underneath there that are dark. we're hearing also from those who have survived all of this. you heard jim talking about the 300 people who have finally been rescued, taken out with the help of the u.n., the international red cross, and ukrainian officials. and they are telling some really dire stories about what it is like as they think they're going to die on a regular basis because the bombardments are so
incredibly intense, those bombardments from russia have not stopped. the fighting by the ukrainian forces has been fierce and at some point, russians were able to gain access inside of that steel plant. the fear is unimaginable in that plant for those civilians whose children are also with them, some of them at least 30 children were in there, according to the mayor of mariupol. it is a terrible situation for the civilians, and frankly for the soldiers trying to repel the russians as they focus much of their attention on that area and on that plant in mariupol. >> and we should note, russia had multiple opportunities over the last several weeks to allow the civilians up, both the steel plant and mariupol. they have not allowed that. that appears to be part of the plan to help squeeze that city, something we should be conscious of. thank you so much. so as russia attempts to expand its offensive in southern ukraine, the east as well, we are getting new details on what life is like for ukrainians now living in areas occupied by the
russian military. cnn international security editor nick peyton wall sunshine in nick paton walsh has more. >> reporter: in ukraine's south multiple areas held by the russians, some for a matter of months. we have seen people emerging in large numbers out of kherson. there are gaps in the russian control of checkpoints. some days it is impossible and the cars queue for tens of miles. other days they're waved through. in kherson, we just heard that officials, ukrainian officials are concerned that those trying to leave are indeed being abused. this is increasingly hard to get out and increasing signs of russian elements and daily life there. the internet taken down now, locals saying you may need to get a russian passport to get a russian sim card to operate on future cell phone services there. and also too the russian ruble having been in evidence as a
currency since the weekend. too in the heavily besieged city of mariupol, where still intense fire fights happening around the azovstal steel plant and the areas the russians do control, they appear according to sources there to be trying to restore monuments of soviet glory, clinched fists with the flame coming from it symbolizing the soviet fight against the nazis and a russian flag set to be flying over a key hospital there. these bids it seems by russia to stamp its mark on territories it has taken in ukraine, possibly ahead of sunday's key -- monday's key victory day parade. unclear what this is doing for local populations since being part of ukraine, but certainly a bid by moscow to suggest it has got some sort of progress in these months of war. >> nick paton walsh with the latest for us, thank you. joining us now it discuss, retired army general wesley clark, former supreme allied commander of nato. good to have you back. i wonder when we have you on i
like to ask you big picture questions first about the state of the war and instruct me on my most recent trip there that there is sort of a static kind of quality that characterizes the battle in the east now, those blinds aren't moving significantly in either direction, lots of fire going back and forth. do you see that as something that will last some time now or see the ukrainians able to push back, russians able to push through? >> still a logistics battle, reconstitution battle, and an effort to obtain superiority bit russians, sufficient to make the breakthrough cut off the ukrainian forces and seize donbas. they just haven't been able to do it. ukraine defense has been effective. they have been flexible, agile, come in and in some places on the flanks behind the russian columns, they cut them off. artillery fire from ukraine has been pretty good, even though
they have been outnumbered. the russians fall back on artillery and when they get resistance, they just fire the artillery and soak it. and i think they eliminated the ukrainians. so it is a back and forth, every day battle, every day, and at any time there could be a breakthrough. just -- it is just a tough fight. >> i also want to ask you about this intelligence. u.s. intelligence has been in the headlines a lot this week. cnn reporting that in fact u.s. intel did provide specific targeting information to the ukrainians to sink russia's flagship the "moskva." that was denied. john kirby on this morning with brianna keilar wouldn't confirm the reporting saying only the intel is legal and lawful. what i found interesting too is that he said hashing this out in public isn't helpful. i'm curious from your per spent i perspective, is that a spokesperson talk point, we're not going to talk about this,
you're making it worse, or based on your experience is that a legitimate concern in this battle? >> i think that in this case, and in the battle of the ship, i think what the united states is saying is that they did confirm that it was a russianship. i think it is only common sense the ukrainians went with their sources and said we detected a large combatant off shore, we want to confirm what it is before we target it, for destruction. and i think that made a lot of sense. there is obviously some sharing of intelligence back and forth. how much we don't know. the pentagon says they're doing more now, but there has always been a concern about revealing sources and methods to the ukrainians that could be shipped out to the russians by the ukrainian organization and so forth. so it is a very touching sensitive area. and it is something that the ukrainians need, the more we can give intel, real time, actual
intelligence to them, the more effective their resistance to the russian invasion will be and think about this, on the 24th of february, russia, led by putin, invaded a completely innocent country that was just there, no provocation, and now they're trying to eradicate ukraine. it is the most outrageous thing in the 21st century to see this going on. and reported every day, and the world can't stop it. >> it is an important remind, each of these steps, illegal under international law, no question about that. general wesley clark, stay with us. we do also want to talk about explosive excerpts from a new book by former defense secretary mark esper. he's pulling back the curtain on his dealings with trump. and he says trump once suggested launching missiles, u.s. missiles, at drug cartels in mexico. plus, another emotional day of testimony. amber heard leveling new abuse allegations against johnny depp.
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neutrogena® beach defense® the suncare brand used most by dermatologists and their families, neutrogena® for people with skin. mark esper says then president donald trump wanted to bomb drug cartels in mexico. new york times just published stunning revelations from esper's new book explaining how trump proposed firing missiles at drug labs in mexico to attempt to stop drugs from flowing into the u.s. that's right. firing missiles at a u.s. neighbor and ally, mexico.
>> when esper pushed back, he recounts president trump saying we could just shoot some patriot missiles, take out the labs quietly adding no one would know it was us. joining us is ron brownstein senior editor for "the atlantic." there is the craziness of the missile coaccount as we know. what stood out to me, from this in the new york times is esper warning his subordinates to be on high alert for unusual calls from the white house in the leadup to the election. given where we are at this point, with all the revelations that we have heard, with all the accounts that have come out, since donald trump left office, do they still shock at nothis point and what is the purpose they're serving for us? >> they should shock and they do shock. this isn't the only revelation in the book that the president urged him to have the u.s.
military shoot demonstrators on the streets of american cities. that the president behaves so erratically in one meeting that a senior military officer felt compelled to research the 25th amendment regarding the removal of the president unfit and incapable of serving. it was striking to me that these revelations came out only a couple of days after a conservative scholar wrote an opinion piece this week saying everything else about trump's behavior was acceptable. it was okay, it was justifiable, because he appointed the justices who would overturn roe v. wade. this gives you an indication, a measuring stick of how much risk so many in the republican party have been willing to expose the country and the world to, because they believe trump has picked the lock on the electoral college and is able to turn out a coalition that will give them the power to do everything else they want.
>> the timing of this, we faced this before, general clark, esper told our colleague jake tapper last year, he wrote this book so the american people deserve a full and unvarnished history of the presidency. but a year and a half late, not while he was in office, not before the second impeachment trial, john bolton did the same thing, refused to testify on the first impeachment trial but published a book, is that dereliction of duty ? >> i think he should have stood up and reported this and helped the american people. that is his responsibility. remember, these are men who are approved by the united states senate, they're confirmed. they're not just an average government employee. they are political appointees, but the truth is that they can only serve the country by being
honest, having integrity, and speaking out. and i think anybody by january would have understood exactly how this situation was, and didn't have to wait for a book to be published. that having been said, i think mark esper did a good job while he was in office and blocking these things, i just wish he had been more forth coming to communicate with the american public. and fulfill responsibilities reporting to the congress on -- while he was still in office and could make a difference. >> ron, what do you think that -- bigger picture, right, what is that impact moving forward for that lack, right, of saying something at the time. esper said he felt this real act of service was staying in this post to ensure such things didn't come to pass. but as general clark points out, not going to congress, not saying anything, what does that set up in terms of norms if you will? >> yeah, look, i agree with general clark.
it is kind of astonishing that the defense secretary for all the other admirable actions that was detailed in this book was allowing to let the american public decide to give donald trump four nor years as commander in chief without offering any of this shocking information about how he exercised the power in the first place. look, i think this -- i can imagine there are going to be weeks now in which republican senators and house members and kevin mccarthy maybe at the front of the line are going to tell reporters they vice president had time to read the book, they haven't seen the quotes or don't know, don't ask, don't ask, don't tell, because they don't want to confront the implications of all of the information that is coming out. susan collins famously said donald trump learned a pretty big lesson from his first impeachment and you see in this book that secretary esper says the lesson he learned was to become even more erratic and willful. so i do think the question here is whether we saw evidence again
this week in the ohio primary that donald trump remains the dominant figure in the republican primary, his coalition is the majority of the party. but certainly anyone looking at the revelations that have come out, not only in this book, but others, have to have serious doubts about entrusting him with the power of the commander in chief. and are there any republicans not named kinzinger or cheney who acknowledge that or acknowledge hearing about this in the weeks ahead. >> another line from esper's book, straight out, he's not -- he's not capable of or worthy of the office. one quick final thing, esper's book also details an episode and this one from trump's former senior adviser steven miller who still also maintains enormous power within the party that he suggested taking the former isis leader's head, dipping it in pig's blood and parading it around to warn other terrorists. you fought a lot of tough wars. you've been very forward leaning about the need to attack and
confront isis. tell me what that would have done to u.s. interests in the region. >> that would not have helped us at all. but i want to come back, jim, and erica, to one point you make about esper. he's listed all these episodes, but you have to ask was there any single one episode that would have been so egregious by the president that he should have resigned over it? and i guess in his view, as he looked at it, he adds it up after he's come out of offices and said this guy shouldn't have been president, can't trust him. there wasn't a single triggering event. this is the case -- this is what happens to people who have been in uniform, who have a concept of duty, other things. i'm not trying to excuse everything. but i do think that you have to explain exactly why someone comes out with a memoir like this, with all these episodes and people are, like, how could you work like that? you know it is sort of crazy and
bizarre and you think i'm going to -- next time he does something, i'll get out of there. but then he -- it is not quite at the level that is treason. it is a tough thing. he has -- he's warned the american people about what happens. let's see if they listen. >> for some, we heard the tapes, even for kevin mccarthy, they were considering the january 6th was that moment and pulled back. thanks so much. still to come this hour, while amber heard testified, nothing she did could make her ex-husband johnny depp stop hitting her, his team says the looming cross examination will be very revealing. we'll have more on her emotional testimony next. it's there. it's everywhere. but for someone to be able to work from here, there has to be someone here making sure everything is safe. secure. consistent. so log in from here. or here. assured that someone is here ready to fix anything.
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heading me. nothing. he had me by the neck. and he felt like he was on top of me. and i'm looking at -- in his eyes, and i don't see him anymore. i don't see him anymore. it wasn't him. it was black. i've never been so scared in my life. it was black. i couldn't see him. >> her testimony is expected to resume on monday, may 16th. joining us now, criminal defense attorney sarah azore to discuss. when we look at and listen to what we have heard from amber heard, it has been emotional, at times extremely graphic. it is also, i think if we step back for a minute, she is describing a cycle of abuse that i think many would recognize as classic cases of domestic abuse, of domestic violence. if we're just pulling back for a
minute and looking at this, what are you hearing in that testimony? >> well, erica, look, yes, it is horrific, it is violent, it is awful, domestic violence is awful. but it has to be true. and her testimony just doesn't ring true. neither in form or substance. let me start by saying when you start adding stories and facts and getting more detailed over time, that indicates fabrication. secondly, this was a woman who was very good at photographing everything. she even taped angry johnny in his kitchen throwing things around. but she didn't take photos of some very serious injuries that she's alleging and testifying to on the stand. that should raise an eyebrow. and -- >> but why -- let me stop you, why should that raise an eyebrow, he didn't take photos of her own injuries, why? >> it is not just the photos. you have to pair it with the other evidence. she never sought medical care, right? we're not talking about swelling
and bruising, which she testified to, we're talking about being sexually assaulted with a bottle and they offered to take her to the emergency room and she said, no, she doesn't need any medical care. you look at the totality of the evidence, yes, her testimony can just be taken as true. but it is not ringing true. the less true it is ringing, then you need corroboration. and when you look at the corroboration in this case, the witnesses have testified to things that are completely in stark contrast to what she is testifying to. and then the -- >> can i ask you one question, as we look at this, as i look at this, there is this fascination that this country with this trial. i'm sure part of this comes from the celebrities that are involved. part of it from the horrific details we have heard from both of them, both johnny depp and amber heard. there are also these classic moments frankly we hear about in domestic violence cases and domestic abuse, one of them would be you're likely not going to go to the emergency room or call the police on someone if
you're hoping that maybe this is going to resolve itself. and i wonder as we look at all of this, we're still in the trial phase, still in the testimony phase, do you think it can lead to a more substantive and important conversation in the country about the state of these toxic relationships and domestic violence issues? >> i agree with you, erica, but when you have witnesses and i've had many because i represent accused and victims, you know, countless, in these cases, and the problem with witnesses who come forward with false stories or fabricated stories is that they discredit the real victims. and that's what's dangerous about this to me. coming and taking the stand with very selective memory, you don't know whether the bottle was broken that penetrated you, how could you not know that? how could you not remember that you threw a broken bottle at johnny depp that severed his finger, but you remember the type of flooring that you were dragged across?
that it was parkay or beautiful, et cetera, et cetera. i'm all about protecting women. i represented victims, but you have to tell the truth because when you don't, you are actually doing disservice to people who need the help, who are true victims of domestic violence. and so this is a credibility call, erica. i think that credibility lies with johnny depp. and she is her best witness. she's the second person testifying in her case. and this is what we're getting. >> we will -- testimony resumes a week after next week, resumes on the 16th. we'll be hearing more and we will see ultimately what the jury finds to be true in this case. sarah, good to have you with us. thank you. >> so good to see you. still ahead, new ways to go after russian money. how the eu is targeting vladimir putin's reported long time girlfriend and the new strategies the doj is using to target oligarchs. that's coming up .
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new this morning, the woman who is rumored to be vladimir putin's girlfriend is a new target in the latest round of eu sanctions against russia. this according to two european diplomatic sources. alina kabaeva was linked to putin when she was a medal winning gymnast. he continues to deny any relationship with her. this comes at the same time as the doj is also announcing its own new push, targeting a wider web of russian money and
oligarchs. kara scannell has been following the story for us. there have been deliberate hesitation to go after someone so close to putin, the risk of escalation were greater than any financial penalty against them. that appears to be changing here and what is the u.s. approach? >> the u.s. is -- i spoke with the head of the justice department's kleptocapture task force yesterday and skied him is everyone on the sanctions list a target? he said, yes, they are. the biggest target is vladimir putin. the question here in the hurdle which he acknowledged is having to trace all of these -- all the money flows through shell companies, across jurisdictions, that is the big challenge. and that remains to be seen of how far they can get, how close they can get to the kremlin and to the inner circle of putin, his children on the sanctions list. and with the eu now possibly moving to put his girlfriend on there. so, you know, they're working to do that and trying to unravel the money they seized yesterday with the help of the authorities in fiji a $300 million superyacht that belongs to a
russian oligarch close to putin, someone who made his fortune in gold. that yacht will be brought back to the u.s. and kept here until they can ultimately sell it. so they're making these steps and they're going beyond that. they're looking at real estate. all of the big luxurious apartments in new york and miami, those are top targets. also looking at accounts here. there is a lot of russian money that can be in hedge funds, that can have private investment accounts. they say that is all on the table, all areas they're looking at. >> apartments in new york city even perhaps, we know there are many in london. kara scannell, thank you so much. joining to discuss, the former president of ukraine, petro poroshenko, on the front lines throughout the war. thank you for joining us this morning. >> it is a pleasure. thank you. >> first, i want to ask you about these financial sanctions. does vladimir putin care if he and his close friends lose a lot of money? does that move him in ukraine?
>> definitely the sanction and embargo is one of the key instrument to stop the war, to punish the aggressor, and i think that every single day, when putin demonstrate the crimes in bucha, in irpin, the crimes in mariupol, if putin do not understand that, we definitely should introduce new sanctions. for the personal sanction, we talking about the sanction where the definitely the pocket money of putin is -- it is important that uk, european union a introduce the sanctions but these take some time for the united states. we definitely need the sanction against so-called -- russian
orthodox church, the blessing of the killing of ukrainians throughout the country, who blessing the attack and being aggressor and who is have a lot of property in europe and in the united states. and definitely we should need to do that. and we definitely need to continue the embargo, including the oil sanction and help european union to keep unity with the oil embargo. this is important thing to demonstrate the leadership of the united states in the world, in the sanction matter. >> mr. poroshenko, you've been visiting the front lines there. is it a significant loss for ukrainian forces, for russia to take the stay of marcity of mariupol? >> i was yesterday in the south. on the border between the kherson and mykolaiv region and if you want to command the situation on mariupol, this is the heroic ukrainian soldiers
from ukrainian marine and ukrainian national guard battalion who now doing their best to reach two results. first result is to tie division more than 20,000 russian soldiers for more than 70 days, to help ukrainian soldiers on other part of the front, to consolidate. this is the great and important role. and point number two, they're saving ukrainian civilians, ukrainian victims, and absolutely confident that the military crime of the russian soldiers in bucha, by the way, are still insist the whole world, including the united states should introduce bucha list or mariupol list with military criminals where we definitely need to introduce the
sanction, maybe with the participation of the american fbi expert to deliver the evidence and to demonstrate the transparency. >> okay. >> and point number three for mariupol, definitely we need the assistance of the whole world. we are very much welcome the steps undertaken by the secretary of general of united nations, mr. goo tareguterres be need the world to help civilian to evacuate people from mariupol, to create humanitarian corridor because this is a vital thing. >> mr. president, you, of course, preceded volodymyr zelenskyy as president of ukraine. you've been critical at times of his leadership. do you think he's been a strong leader for ukraine through this war? have you been impressed, surprised by his leadership? >> i'm impressed by the ukrainian armed forces. i'm impressed by ukrainian people.
and we don't have president leader of the opposition, we are united now, all of us are soldiers. and with this situation, you don't listen from me any critical words because the situation before the 24th of february and after 24th of february, this is the complete difference. and we surprise mr. putin, not allow him to undermine the stability and unity of ukraine, and which we definitely can't and i'm impressed solidarity of -- with ukraine of the whole world. and with this situation we -- i do my best to make zelenskyy stronger. i do my best to make ukrainian armed forces stronger. i do my best to make ukrainian diplomacy stronger because we have only one enemy. and the name of this enemy is putin. >> former ukrainian president
petro poroshenko, thank you for joining us this morning. >> it is a pleasure. thank you. still to come, strict new limits on johnson & johnson's covid-19 vaccine. why the fda is making changes now and what it is advising against. that's next. [sound of helicopter blades] ugh... they found me. ♪ ♪ nice suits, you guys blend right in. thworld needs you back. i'm retid greg, you know this. people have their money just sitting around doing nothing... that's bad, they shouldn do that. they're getting crusd by inflation. well, i feel for them.
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syndrome. >> what specifically is the fda advising here, jacqueline? >> the fda is limiting the use for certain adult groups. this applies to the booster shot as well. the fda says the certain groups who can still use the vaccine are those for whom the other vaccine options are not appropriate. this includes someone who may have had a severe allergic reaction to the mrna vaccines. of course the question remains about what about those who have already received the johnson & johnson vaccine? have a listen. >> what if you've already had the vaccine? all of those side effects appear in the first two to three weeks
from the vaccine. if you're beyond that time period, you really have nothing to kwor worry about. >> reporter: you probably remember last year in april a safety warning label was applied to the j & j vaccine. >> three out of a million. something intdoctors are taking seriously but still very small. >> coming up, we'll be live in ukraine where we hear the remarkable story of a soldier who survived r russian captivit. i di
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