tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN May 13, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PDT
are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and all around the world. just ahead -- >> cnn can exclusively reveal that this man, alexander, is the commander responsible for this. >> it is the result of the very drastic change in our security environment after the russian aggression against ukraine. >> clearly have relevant testimony, they need to do their duty, they need to uphold their
oath and come in voluntarily. >> we mark a tragic milestone here in the united states. 1 million covid deaths. 1 million empty chairs around the family dinner table. each irreplaceable. >> live from london, this is "cnn newsroom" with max foster. >> it is friday, may 13th, 9:00 a.m. here in london, 11:00 a.m. across ukraine. and we begin with a cnn exclusive. new evidence that russian forces may be holding off a counter offensive from ukrainian soldiers. a destruction of three bridges vital to ukraine's advance in the kharkiv region. ukrainian forces have been regaining ground in the area, but this development could stall their momentum. meanwhile military leaders describe intense shelling along
the front lines in the luhansk region. satellite images show plumes of sneak from fighting along a key river separating ukrainian and russian forces. far north, three were reportedly killed and 12 wounded by russian attacks on two schools. moscow says it was targeting military command posts and ammunition depots. russia is reacting to finland's announcement that it hopes to join nato with threats of retaliation. former president medvedev warns russia would seriously strengthen its defenses on the western flank. foreign ministry called it a radical change in policy and treaty violation that will bring consequences. finland declared neutrality at the end of world war ii, but the war in ukraine has shattered stability leaving many feeling vulnerable. >> invasion of ukraine has altered the european and finnish
security environment, however finland is not facing an immediate military threat. maintaining national rule and freedom of choice remain integral parts of our defense policy. >> in 1939 it was known as the winter war. countries signed a pact treaty in moscow less than four months later. we'll hear more from the defense ministry still ahead this hour. correspondents are across the region covering the conflict from every angle. nada bashir in london, nick rob bett nic robertson is in helsinki. nada, let's talk about the meeting coming up today. so many things to consider, not least economic. >> yes, one of the key issues on that economic front is the exports of grain from ukraine
being blocked. we've seen according to the german foreign ministry some 25 million tons of grain locked up. and so there are significant concerns around that and the leaders have to figure out how to tackle that. on the one front you have warships and mine and there are concerns if that is unblocked, it could allow the russian forces to further their invasion of ukraine. and on the logistical front, eu is aware of a major backlog on their borders, so they are working to sort this out as well. of course there are concerns. we've heard from the world program chief, he appealed directly to president putin and warned that millions could die because they supply africa and middle east where they are highly dependent on this. >> in terms of military support that the g7 can give ukraine, they are giving a lot. what about the defenses on the
sort of nato side of things as it were. >> we are seeing defenses being stepped up. and what is interesting, they have invited ukrainian foreign ministry to take part in this session. and that is because of course he has been repeatedly calling for military support from europe, from nato allies to be stepped up. we've heard already from the european foreign affairs chief as he made his way into today's session, he said that they will be stepping up their support. take a listen. >> the recipe is clear. more of the same. i mean more support to ukraine including military support. i will announce that we at the european union, we will provide a new tranche of 500 more millions to support military ukraine. >> we also heard from the
british foreign secretary and she has said previously that the g7 foreign ministers, nato allies, need to go further and faster when it comes to military support. she wants to see ukraine supplied with nato standard equipment and that has been echoed by other members of this alliance. we've heard from the ukrainian foreign minister, he wants the support to be maintained if not boosted as the threat continues. >> nada, thank you and we'll be back with you as the meetings take place. the u.s. has reached 1 million deaths from covid. for a comparison, that is more than the total number of casualties the u.s. has had in all the wars you see there combined. president biden spoke about the horrific death toll at a virtual covid summit with other world leaders on thursday and he said each victim has left behind many loved ones who will never see them again. >> there is still so much left to do. it will pandemic isn't over.
today we mark a tragic milestone here in the united states, 1 million covid deaths. 1 million empty chairs around the family dinner table. each irreplaceable losses, each leaving behind a family, a community, forever changed because of this pandemic. >> we now want to show you the names and faces of some of those whose lives were cut short by the deadly virus. sanjay gupta has that story. ♪ >> reporter: few of us imagine the overwhelming scope of this tragedy, more than 1 million lives lost. far surpassing the 1918 flu pandemic or even america's deadliest conflict, the civil war. across the nation, the time of remembrance. in los angeles, maria devote
dwed her life to caring for others at a hospital. just last year she travelled to central america on her last medical mission. she leaves behind her husband and teenage son. and in virginia, theresa's parents remember their daughter as an avid reader, smart, beautiful, loving. always open to taking care of others. at hill point elementary, the 10-year-old was known to bandage her classmates' cuts and scrapes. similar heartaches reverberating across the country and in communities of all creeds and color. in new york, a hispanic community hit hard. two congregations united in grief after losing more than 100 members. >> translator: there are moments we can't explain, we have to walk in faith, feel our own vulnerability to care for ourselves and others. >> reporter: and in a border county in texas, more 3500 deaths in the county of less
than a million. >> i'm not sure that everyone has slowed down enough to really understand who is missing and what is missing. >> now, the u.s. house committee investigating the january 6 riot at the capitol is getting fed up with republicans rejecting requests for voluntary testimony. so now the panel has taken the extraordinary step of sending subpoenas to these five lawmakers. among them the top republican in the house. ryan nobles has the details. >> reporter: this is by any measure an unprecedented step, the january 6 select committee issuing subpoenas for five members of congress asking them to sit for depositions and comply with their investigation. included in this list, a big name, house minority leader kevin mccarthy. they are also asking representative scott perry of pennsylvania to comply, as well as andy biggs of arizona, mo brooks of alabama and then of
course jim jordan of ohio. eve one of these individuals has already been asked by the committee to participate voluntarily and they have all turned down the request. but what the committee is saying is that they have come across information in their investigation in which there are gaps, gaps that they believe these members can fill and also answer for the role that they may have played in the days leading up to january 6 or on january 6 itself. for instance, kevin mccarthy spoke to donald trump on that day, could have spoke to him multiple times. representative pete aguilar wants to know what was part of that conversation. >> we feel that the substance of those conversations is important to our overall investigation. but i would also say with respect to kevin mccarthy, you know, we're not sure which version of the story to believe. so i think he has come down a couple times in a couple different places on this, so i think that he has an obligation to come forward to share. >> reporter: now, at this point these republican members have yet to say how they plan to comply if they plan to comply at
all. they have already attacked the committee, they believe that it is not partisan despite the fact that there are two republican members that are a part of it, all said that they need to read the subpoena to see what the committee was asking for. but what is interesting is mo brooks of alabama said he would be willing to comply if it involved a public hearing. the committee wants the interview to be behind closed doors. the chairman bennie thompson said that that could lead to a potential public hearing as part of the marathon hearings that will take place in the month of june, but jamie raskin told me that it will certainly not be part of their negotiations, he said this is not a game, they are not playing checkers. this is a aand the question is what happens if they possible war crimes are found everywhere across ukraine.
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horror as russian artillery has devastating ukrainian cities and lives. the u.s. and international community have accused russia of war crimes in ukraine, but what is difficult is tying specific generals to specific crimes. the key to actually carrying out war crimes prosecutions. in kharkiv, cnn has seen the aftermath of attacks using indiscriminate cluster munitions, a war crime. in a two month long investigation, cnn can reveal the commander responsible for these attacks. and the string of atrocities he has committed not just in russia's latest war in ukraine, but also in the 2014 war this donbas and in syria. here is this ridiculous report. >> reporter: devastation of civilian home and lives. throughout the last two months, we have witnessed atrocities in
ukraine. more mortar strikes very close, they want us to start moving. while we know these are russian actions, it has been difficult to draw a direct line from individual atrocities to a specific russian commander. until now. cnn can exclusively reveal that this man, colonel general alexander commander of the western military district is the commander responsible for this. munitions targeting civilians in the city of kharkiv east ukraine. a war crime under international law. >> you can see more artillery rockets fired towards the territory i would say around kharkiv. i don't know if you can hear it right now. >> reporter: this is the start of the war. cnn's senior international correspondent fred pleitgen witnessed artillery being fired towards the city of kharkiv. sam kiley was this kharkiv and could hear the shelling moments later. >> you can feel the concussion
against the glass. >> reporter: we soon learned from experts these were smurge rockets. built at the end of the soviet era, this multiple rocket launch system scorching the earth as it fires is a pride and joy of russia's armaments as seen here in this propaganda documentary. this is what they are capable of delivering. cluster bombs. one smerch rocket releasing many smaller explosives, amplifying the devastation. these attacks captured on social media both in kharkiv and both from the same day are a clear example of their indiscriminate nature. when used in this fashion against civilians, it is considered a war crime. the use of smerch rockets are key in our findings of who is
responsible because they are unique to one unit here, one commander. after months of forensic work, we can reveal the trail of evidence. using social media evidence, we return to some of the scenes of the attacks focusing on february 27th when three civilian targets were hit and eight more on february 28th. we start in the neighborhood of kharkiv. this is shrapnel from those missiles that fell on our neighborhood, this lady tells us. this was found in one of the rooms. lydia takes us to see a smerch rocket that fell 200 yards from her apartment block in this once affluent area. i remember the whistling sounds of the missiles, i know that the missiles were flying and that they were accompanied by fighter planes or drones. you can see the whole that it came through, you can see the way that the rocket buckled when it hit the car, you can also
very clearly see that this is a smerch. it is not the only rocket coming from this direction on this day. less than a half mile down the road, another hit. this kiosk, that water cooler, they are key landmarks. the bodies landed here down this road. those blue doors is where the cluster embedded. this video filmed moments after the attack where four people including a child were killed. another smerch launching luster bombs. we know this because one was found only 280 yards away. notice the date, 20219. russia stopped sell arms to ukraine in 2014. that confirms it is a russian cluster bomb. one and a half miles away, more suffering and no sign of any
legitimate military targets. people were cuing for food and something just hit, people started running here, she says. this is the exact moment of impact. look at it again. frame by frame, you can see the scale of the rocket and proximity to innocent civilians. we are here in kharkiv. notice the five hits along this line from the 28th. they are pretty much in align, apart from three here, which line up with the hits from february 27th. we can trace these lines 24 miles to a point of convergence here across the border in russia well within the range of a smerch rocket. where we have a satellite image from the 27th showing the launching position, notice the plume of smoke and the tell tale burn marks of a s mmsmrerch bur
marks. and the brigade borders ukraine and is under the command of the general. according to open source information, military experts and intelligence sourpces, they are the only unit equipped to launch smerch in this district and only commander has the ability to order the launch of the rockets. and this was just in the two days that we analyzed. these still shared by prosecutors show the armaments raining death, among them many smerch remnants. experts say this is among some of the heaviest bombardments in recent history. and the commander is no stranger to these brutal tactics.
atrocities targeting civilians. they are very similar to what we saw in syria in 2016. so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he also led russian troops during the siege of allepo. he is the architect of the devastation you see here. for leveling allepo, he was awarded the highest honor granted to russian officers, hero of the russian federation. yet syrians have documented his war crimes. despite the direct line from the impunity the world afforded russia in syria to the atrocities suffered by civilians here today, the question remains what will the world do to stop this cycle. >> we have asked the russian ministry of defense for comment as well as the kremlin, but yet to receive a response.
cnn shared a statement noting the lack of action taken against the colonel there and other russian generals. they would not comment on the specific acts or any other information reviewed but said that they continue to track and assess war crimes, reports of ongoing violations of rights. this guy is not on the sanctions list, but we can assume that all the authorities in the west know who he is? >> after the siege of allepo, he was publicly congratulated and awarded the highest russian military honor. so there is absolutely no way specifically for his role in besieging allepo, so no way that the world was not aware. the question is did the world car. and i think that is the question that so many of the prosecutors and sources that we've been talking to in ukraine are grappling with. if it has been known for so long that russia was perfecting what the colonel general called at the time ingenuity and expertise
in atrocities, our word, not the russian word, how have they been allowed to operate with impunity for so long and whose responsibility is it. and the same people who are now saying we want war crimes prosecutions and that is what we're hearing from human rights lawyers and activists. if you had had prosecutions for what happened in syria, perhaps you would not see what is happening in ukraine. >> thank you very much. after seeing what moscow has done to ukraine, helsinki is ready to tell nato that they want in. plus, we'll head to helsinki with reaction from the chairman of the finnish parliament defense committee.
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. the kremlin is furious that finland is now taking steps to join nato. dmitry medvedev warned that russia will greatly boost its military presence in the region in response. the invasion of ukraine has alarmed capitals across europe. full membership would probably take months to actually happen. in ukraine, officials were quick to point out that helsinki seems to be getting special treatment while kyiv's desire to join nato goes nowhere. >> we are very happy for our friends in finland.
and of course it is absolutely logical steps. but at the same time, it shows the double standard of the alliance because all the world now see how long period of time ukraine decided to go to the alliance but we still have not any concrete answer. >> the finnish people seen largely on board. as nic robertson reports from helsinki. >> reporter: in helsinki, calm as leaders move the nation ever closer to nato membership, a momentous announcement delivered without fanfare by the prime minister and president, a two paragraph joint statement.
finland would strengthen nato and nato would strengthen finland. finland must apply without delay. on the eve of the historic announcement, finland's president explaining why it is not a threat to russia but russia is to blame. >> we in being our security and we do not take it away from anybody. >> reporter: the kremlin's response, this doesn't make the world any safer. russia's foreign ministry doubling down saying that they will take military action if their national security is under threat. in parliament where the historic vote will happen, routine business continues. but it calls for speed. >> joining to nato should be as short as possible. >> reporter: when the moment comes, likely early next week, a member of the pm's party is sure
the vote to join will carry easily. >> the results may be around 180 out of 200 in favor of membership. >> reporter: politicians and public now for the most part in lockstep wanting to join nato. >> people of course support especially when russia have attacked ukraine. >> reporter: not just the invasion of ukraine, but a m history of rocky relations with russia spurring many here to reassess decades of neutrality. >> i have a very old father, he is 96, so he was here when we had our wars in finland with russia. and he has been talking about, you know, the russians could come anytime. the fact that you are back -- you need to take it easy. no, no, you never know with the russians. they always come. and i say take it easy and now i have to say you were right. >> reporter: in a way finland has been preparing for this
moment for more than a generation. they have been involved in plenty of nato and other international military operations, from iran to afghanistan to cobosnia. just last week, finnish troops were training here with other nato soldiers. finland's joining is expected to be fast tracked. but the nordic nation pressing it case with allies mindful russia is watching. >> solid democratic credentials that meet nato's membership criteria and has a strong and credible national defense. >> reporter: no panic here and according to officials, no new russian threat either. the starting gun though clearly fired in a massive geopolitical shift.
nic robertson, cnn, helsinki, finland. joining me from helsinki now is the chairman of the defense committee in the finnish parliament. thank you so much for joining us. no moves have actually been made yet. i know your prime minister and president have said that they want to expedite this membership. it has to go through the parliament first. so are you confident that the parliament will next week approve this application to nato? >> yes, because we have statement statements from the president and the prime minister. next president and prime minister approve for the proposal of nato members probably on sunday. the parliament will discuss the matter and vote on it on monday or tuesday. when we can hopefully send our membership application to nato headquarters in brussels. >> so when would you be a member of nato, would it be a matter of
months as opposed to years? >> i hope it is a matter ofmont. i hope the process will be very fast. >> it is seen as a very provocative move by moscow, head deaf promising to boost military in the region, foreign ministry saying that it is a radical change in policy. is that reaction that you expected? undoubtedly it is a radical change in policy from your formerly neutral status which many people would argue was a defense in its own right. >> first i want to say that finland has not been neutral. we joined the european union in 1995. during the cold war, we had to be neutral in a pragmatic way. we have not been part of military alliance, but we have been part of the political
alliance, the eu, we have belonged to the west for 25 years. in russia's eyes, we are already part of western and that is what we also think ourselves. we have also had deep cooperation with nato and united states and uk before. >> so in terms of what medvedev is saying, increasing military assets in the region, could your strategy backfire because it is seen as a more provocative stance joining nato, doubling the border between nato and russia and therefore as a result of that moscow sending more military assets to the region, therefore potentially creating a greater threat to you? >> yes, russia has constantly threatened finland and sweden like its other neighbors. they have stated about military
tactical measures. i believe that they would be near border, however their arms are now stuck in ukraine. but they could also launch cyberattacks and disinformation as well as hyper attacks, weaponizing immigration. but i want to say that we are not afraid. we are prepared and ready for everything. i don't think that they can launch an invasion, we are very strong, own army and own defense, because we have never dropped the ball when it comes to defense. we are a nation that is ready to defend itself fiercely and russia knows it. and when it comes to our long border, we will take our share. >> there is some frustration in kyiv at the moment because they aren't able to apply to nato
currently because they are in a conflict. you're no longer in a conflict so you can apply to nato. are you concerned that the russians may invade in a small way and therefore prevent you applying to nato? that might be their response. >> i'm sure that there will be their response, but as i told, we are not afraid, we are well prepared. and there is not much that they can do new. we know almost all the threats. and it is difficult to see what new they can do against us. but as i say, we are ready. >> okay. thank you very much indeed for joining us from helsinki. >> thank you so much. still ahead, the journalist killed bile covering an israeli raid in the west bank will soon be laid to rest.
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. the funeral for an al jazeera journalist will be held in the coming hours. shireen abu akleh was basically shot while reporting on an israeli military raid in the west bank city of jenin on wednesday. palestinian leaders say israeli forces are solely responsible and are demanding justice. joining us now is atika shubert live in jerusalem. >> reporter: that's right, we're actually at st. joseph's hospital and this is where shireen abu akleh's body has been prepared for the funeral. it is actually in the building just behind me, you can see wreathes there, a palestinian flag also draped there. we know that the funeral will take place later today at the church in the old city. and then there will be a funeral procession to bring her body to
the mount ciazion cemetery wher she will be buried. yesterday thousands came out to mourn her. it was an outpouring of grief and i do think that we are likely to see many people coming out today as well. i think what is important to remember here is that shireen abu akleh was more than just a veteran journalist, for so many people she was almost like a member of their families because for so many palestinians, she was reporting on their daily lives, chronicling what palestinian life was like israeli occupation. and so many people knew her, felt like they knew her personally. and i think that is why her death has hit so many people so hard here. >> and we'll be back with you as the day unfolds. this just in, the south
korean foreign minister and secretary of state antony blinken are discussing ways to help send covid aid to north korea. both top diplomats condemned south korea's recent -- or north korea's recent missile launch but are open to providing humanitarian relief. the president of south korea has already offered medical supplies and vaccines to north korea. the reclusive nation reported 18,000 so-called feeder cases on thursday and six deaths. so far the country has identified more than 350,000 what it calls fever cases and more than 187,000 people are being isolated. kim jung-un has ordered all cities into lockdown calling it the most important challenge facing the ruling party. coming up on "cnn newsroom," extreme drought plaguing much of the southwest, creating ideal conditions for wildfires. we'll have the latest in the weather just ahead. mizes airflow to fill your space with lasting fragrance
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caused a shutdown of several flights, a brief shelter-in-place order and even mandatory evacuation orders for at least 500 nearby homes. sheriff spokesperson says the deputy was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle when the car became stuck in the grassy area and the fire started when the deputy tried to get out. no deputies were injured thankfully. temperatures and weather conditions are providing little relief for firefighters in new mexico. experts say the continued heat, low humidity and breezy conditions will likely aggravate fires now combined as one. and so far nearly 260,000 acres have been scorched and the blaze is less than 30% contained. evacuation orders remain in place in coastal california, about 15% of it is contained. dozens of homes have been affected as firefighters try to get the flames under control.
no official cause has been reported. but the power company southern california edison says electrical circuit activity was occurring close to the time when the fire was reported. it provided no details beyond that. joining me now is meteorologist derek van dam. the way these fires are starting really shows how sensitive the area is right now, how dry it is. >> yeah, 100%. in factor spoke on the phone a few moments ago with the cal fire chief of communications, and he talked to me about the dry conditions that are in place, talking about the long-standing drought and impacts that climate change is having on his state. and that is evident here with the fuel that is the vegetation that is extremely dry across the coastal areas of california hence the coastal fire that you were mentioning. and it is not just california, it is other parts of the west. this is a picture from space of the hermits peak canyon fire
that is combined into what is now edging towards new mexico's largest wildfire in its state's history. you can see it has already scorched about 260,000 acres, largest fire just shy of 300,000 acres. and so california has some serious problems. 100% of the state is in drought. we've been talking about that, 41% of it in extreme drought category. but if we're going back to the coastal fire that you saw a moment ago with max, we looked at an area known as long beach very close to this region, and they have only received a little over an inch of rain to date and on average they receive over 8 inches. now we're exiting out of the rainy season, so only 14% of average and this is usually the time when the taps from the sky tart to run out. so you can see the result. the coastal fire and smoke and the blaze that was on the ground there.
unfortunately, climate prediction center going forward the next 10 to 15 dares calls for below average conditions in terms of precipitation from the great basin all the way to the west coast. on top of that, you add the heat. 200 record high temperatures tied or shattered within the next week basically across texas, the deep south all the way into new mexico. we had high temperatures for many locations into south dakota where we had severe weather that caused severe problems with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour. that is equivalent to a category 2 atlantic hurricane. and it created some serious problems known as a haboob. and i want to show you this video, it is incredible what happened in this area. this is the advancing line of dust that covered and darkened the skies. >> thank you very much indeed. and now astronomers have given us our first look at the super massive black hole, what they call the beating heart of
the center of our swirling galaxy. it is 27,000 light years from earth and astronomers say this black hole is 4 million times more massive than our sun. black holes themselves don't emit light, so what are you seeing is the glow of light by its crushing gravity. >> all of these telescopes work together like a team and everybody looked at that ese sources at the same time and everybody worked together to create the earth-sized telescope so that we could create such an incredibly high resolution image. >> even though it is massive, it is cosmically puny, 1,000 times charger than m-87 which is seen
here on the left. that was the first black hole we actually imaged. the miami heat are moving on to the next round of the nba playoffs. jimmy butler led the way with 32 points in the win over philadelphia. the heat are the top seed in the east and will face the winner of the bucks/celtics series. in the west, the dallas mavericks are proving -- not going down without a fight. they tied the series at three games a piece. luka doncic led the mavericks with 32 points and 11 rebounds. game seven is set for sunday in phoenix. kentucky derby winner rich strike won't race in next weekend's preakness in baltimore. that means that there is no possibility that the colt can achieve a triple crown. the owner says that the plan was always to enter the horse in either the kentucky derby or the
preakness, but not both. rich strike came into churchill downs an 80:1 long shot and scored one of the most thrilling upsets in derby history. he is tentatively expected to run in the belmont stakes in new york on june 11th. two starbucks owners in california have become the first in the state to unionize. more than a dozen others will likely follow suit. wednesday's vote in santa cruz came after workers in buffalo, new york won the right to unionize in november. next comes the challenge of negotiating a contract though. in a statement starbucks said that it is still philosophically opposed to unions but will respect the employees' decision. new york lottery is trying to make things right after a mega mistake. during tuesday's drawing, the announcer incorrectly called the mega ball a 6 when it was actually a 9. >> now for the gold mega ball that is 6. again, winning numbers are 15,
19, 70 -- >> and some people with that wrong number 6 still got paid though. the mixup caused lottery officials to temporarily suspend all payouts. they have since resumed. the estimated jackpot for the drawing later today has reached $99 million. nearly three dozen german shepherds have been rescued from the war in ukraine. a california trainer traveled alone to ukraine to rescue the dogs which are police and military trained k-9s. chris jimenez raised around $55,000 to charter a plane and bring them all back to san diego county. >> now the dogs need to go through extensive rehab. they have been shoved in a car for hours, shoved on a plane. they were in bad condition when i showed up. >> jimenez is trying to find homes for the dogs but says that they might be the right fit. i'm max foster in london.
with no line activation fees or term contracts... saving you up to $500 a year. and it's only available to comcast business internet customers. so boost your bottom line by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities.™ it is friday? it is friday. welcome to our view he iers in united states and awround the world. >> and we begin with the story so many parents are talking about, they are desperate for answers on this nationwide shortage of baby formula. and they are not getting much guidance. parents found enl