This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 8 P.M., Thursday, October 13th, 2016. Condition code is Yellow. DEFCON 3.
Tensions between Russia and the United States have reached levels beyond the cold war in the recent week.
The situation between Russia and the United States is extremely fluid at the moment. In all likelihood as dynamic as at times during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Mainstream media has taken a very serious tone concerning the change from diplomatic to military options between NATO and Russia. CNN stated, â€œIt’s not a new Cold War. It’s not even a deep chill. It’s an outright conflict.â€ On October 10th Former Soviet Premier Gorbachev is quoted as saying, â€œI think the world has reached a dangerous point.â€â€¨â€¨There are signs of a potential growing large scale conflict in nearly every geopolitical hotspot including Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and the Philippines. Syria is seen as one of the trigger points to the renewed tensions between the United States and Russia. The United States has also accused Russia of a cyberattack and meddling with the US Presidential Election. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest promised on Tuesday that the U.S. would deliver a â€œproportionalâ€ response to Russiaâ€™s alleged hacking of American computer systems. The US and Britain are also expected to weigh into Syrian military options on Friday. This could increase tensions between the two superpowers to a greater extent.
Moreover, Houthi rebels on the South Coast of Yemen fired one anti-ship missile at the U.S.S. Mason on Sunday, and another on Wednesday. The Pentagon responded by firing 5 TLAM missiles at radar stations inside Yemen. Around this same time, Iran dispatched a fleet of ships to the area. The U.S.S. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group has also been dispatched to the area.
At this time, the DEFCON Warning System feels that an increase to DEFCON 3 would be a prudent move. The situation is currently fluid with diplomatic ties strained and military threats coming from both sides. Russian media is reportedly telling its citizens to prepare for nuclear war. Russia has recently conducted civil defense drills and completed inspections of underground areas to house government officials and some civilians in the event of nuclear war. This is a very sensitive situation which has the potential to spiral out of control. It is recommended that all citizens learn the steps to be taken in the event of nuclear war. We will continue to bring updated information as we receive it.
The DEFCON Warning System is an analytical reporting organization which focuses on nuclear threats against the United States and offers an alert code to the public based on current events. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.
If this had been an actual attack, the DEFCON Warning System will give radiation readings for areas that are reported to it. Your readings will vary. Official news sources will have radiation readings for your area.
For immediate updates, go to http://www.defconwarningsystem.com. Breaking news and important information can be found on the DEFCON Warning System message board and on the DEFCON Twitter feed DEFCONWS. You may also subscribe to the YouTube channel DefconWarningSystem and the DEFCON Warning System mailing list. Note that Twitter and YouTube updates may be subject to delays. The next scheduled update is 6 P.M. Pacific Time, October 20th, 2016. Additional updates will be made as the situation warrants, with more frequent updates at higher alert levels.
This concludes this broadcast of the DEFCON Warning System.
China’s role in international affairs continues to grow. From the world’s second-largest economy to its military muscle flexing in the Pacific, Beijing’s influence on the world stage cannot be understated.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently sat down for a 40-minute one-on-one interview with Al Jazeera in Beijing to discuss its relationship with the world.
Al Jazeera: After attending the US-Philippines joint military drill in mid-April, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter accused China of militarising the South China Sea and said countries in the Asia Pacific were concerned about China’s land reclamation. Is this a military provocation by the US and Southeast Asian countries against China?
Wang Yi: Your question makes sense. The South China Sea is originally peaceful and stable. As for the disputes left over from history over some specific islands and reefs, China is committed to seeking proper, peaceful settlement through dialogue and consultation even though its own rights and interests had been infringed upon. This process is still under way.
Construction on the islands and reefs is something normal; many littoral states of the South China Sea started it many years ago, including their so-called construction on the Chinese islands and reefs they illegally occupied. China began some necessary construction only very recently. For one thing, China’s construction is meant to improve the living and working conditions of the personnel on the islands and reefs. Harsh natural conditions – the wind and rains – have made such improvements absolutely necessary. At the same time, China, as the largest littoral state of the South China Sea, is willing to provide more public goods by building necessary facilities, which can benefit everyone. For example, we have built light houses which, once in operation, will benefit all vessels that pass by. People think this is a good thing. The ports we built for emergency relief, including medical facilities and meteorological stations, will also serve the public good. What we did does not breach any international law or affect the freedom of navigation.
As for the so-called militarisation you just mentioned, it is common sense that all countries enjoy the right to self-preservation and self-defence under international law. It is therefore perfectly normal that China has some self-defence facilities on its stationed islands and reefs. Other countries have long maintained a large number of military facilities on the islands and reefs around us. We need necessary means and capabilities to defend ourselves, but this has nothing to do with militarisation. If one talks about militarisation, we have seen aircraft carriers coming to the South China Sea, strategic bombers flying over the South China Sea waters, and guided-missile destroyers coming close to China’s islands and reefs, all to exert military pressure on China. I am afraid this is what militarisation really looks like, including large-scale military drills and the construction of military bases of all sorts in the Philippines.
Be it island construction or militarisation, there should be no double standard. It is not fair for one to criticise others on the one hand while doing whatever he likes on the other. I think more and more countries have realised this, and people without prejudice will see clearly the current situation and the root of the problem.
Al Jazeera: I mentioned the United States and Carter’s criticism of China. Yet you didn’t name the US in your answer. Did you do it deliberately to avoid provoking the United States?
Wang Yi: We will articulate our position very clearly when it’s necessary to do so. You asked about the United States several times and I gave a clear answer already. Who is engaging in massive military exercises in this region? Who is sending a lot of advanced weaponry to the South China Sea and building new military bases? The answer is all too clear: the United States.
Al Jazeera: North Korea has unsettled the world with its military policy. As its neighbour and probably the country with the closest relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, how does China view the situation?
Wang Yi: You raised a very important question about the Korean nuclear issue. This issue has attracted growing international attention, and has been in the spotlight after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was reached on the Iranian nuclear issue… It goes without saying that war or chaos serves no one’s interests. So we need to work together to avoid such scenario and jointly uphold peace and stability on the peninsula. As such, it is imperative to resume the six-party talks and bring the nuclear issue on the peninsula back to the track of negotiation… For the DPRK, security is its top concern, so it wants to replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty to ensure its national security. This is understandable, while the United States and other countries, including China, hope that the DPRK will give up its nuclear programme and the denuclearisation of the peninsula can be achieved.
Al Jazeera: The 20th century was the American century. Can we expect the 21st century to be the Chinese century?
Wang Yi: It’s not China’s preference to describe any century as one belonging to a certain country. We believe that affairs of a country should be handled by its own people, and likewise the affairs of the world should be handled through discussion by all countries, instead of being dominated or monopolised by any single country. In this sense, China has all along supported the current international system with the United Nations at its core. The UN is the most authoritative inter-governmental organisation with the broadest representation, whose charter is endorsed by people across the world. In fact, many problems in our world, turbulence, chaos and wars, all result from the failure to fully implement the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the very essence of which is respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes and international cooperation. If all countries, big and small, strong and weak, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the world will be more peaceful and stable, and countries will prosper together. That is the goal and philosophy of China’s diplomacy.
Al Jazeera: The United States is on a path of decline, and such decline will become quite pronounced in the next 10 to 20 years. Is China prepared to lead the world?
Wang Yi: Different countries may not have exactly the same assessment of the status and influence of the US. From what we know about the country, the United States will probably remain the world’s No 1 for a fairly long time to come. But this does not mean that the world can only be led by one country, which, in fact, is simply impossible. We need greater international cooperation to ensure a better future for our planet.
At the summits marking the 70th anniversary of the UN last year, President Xi Jinping laid out a very important vision, calling on countries to work together for a community of shared future for mankind. Given the level of interdependence and integration among the world’s nations, our planet has in fact become a village where no one can prosper in isolation. This requires us to build a community of shared interests, shared responsibilities and shared security.
Al Jazeera: Under President Putin, Russia is again in rivalry with the West. How does China see Russia? Is it a competitor or a partner?
Wang Yi: We hope that all countries are our partners. This is certainly the case with Russia, because it is China’s largest neighbour and we share a long border. As you may know, historically, relationship between the two countries went through ups and downs. There were tensions, confrontations and even conflicts. Later, the two sides learned lessons and built a more normal, friendly relationship… In recent years, China and Russia have worked closely together in various fields, and we do need each other as neighbours.
Al Jazeera:The US has sent several thousand American troops to the Philippines for the joint military exercise. Do you see this as a direct threat to China?
Wang Yi: Such a move, to say the least, has added destabilizing factors to the South China Sea situation, if not further heightening the tensions, and we don’t think it is constructive. China and the Association of South East Asian Nations agreed that specific disputes should be settled through negotiations by parties directly concerned. It is for this reason that China does not approve of, accept or participate in the so-called international arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines… The Philippines also violated a number of bilateral agreements it reached with China, the centerpiece of which is to resolve problems through negotiations. What’s more, the Philippines claimed that it initiated the arbitration because it had exhausted the means of negotiation. That’s not true; or to put it more bluntly, that is a lie. The Philippines had not engaged in any serious bilateral negotiations with China on any of the so-called requests it submitted to the arbitral tribunal. Even till this day, China is still saying to the Philippines that we may sit down and talk, and China’s door for dialogue is open. It is the Philippines who still refuses to negotiate or consult with us. As we see it, what the Philippines did lacks legality and legitimacy from the very beginning.
Al Jazeera: You served as the Chinese ambassador to Japan. The Japanese foreign minister visited China a couple of days ago amid strained relations between China and Japan. How do you see the future of China-Japan relations?
Wang Yi: China and Japan are close neighbours. We certainly want stable, healthy, friendly and good-neighborly relations with Japan. This is our consistent policy. But just as you cannot clap with one hand alone, the two sides need to meet each other half way. We need to see not only what Japan says, but also how it acts. It is important for Japan to view China as a cooperation partner rather than a rival, a friendly neighbour rather than a “threat”.
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A military official has said that Iran successfully launched a ballistic missile in the latest of tests following the implementation of the major nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi as saying on Monday that the test-firing of the precision-guided medium-range missile was carried out two weeks ago.
“We tested a missile with a range of 2,000km and 8m error margin two weeks ago. An 8m error margin means … full accuracy,” Abdollahi was quoted as saying.
The US and some European powers have said other recent tests violated a UN resolution that prohibits Iran from firing any missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Iran has rejected the accusation, saying the missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads, which it does not possess.
In March, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles, with one emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew. The move set off an international outcry.
Washington has imposed new sanctions on Tehran over the recent tests, despite the fact that it lifted nuclear-related separate sanctions in January.
The US move came after Iran implemented the nuclear deal it reached with the so-called P5+1 (namely China, France, Russia, the UK, the US and Germany) last year.
Iran has worked to improve the range and accuracy of its missiles over the past year, which it says will make them a more potent deterrent with conventional warheads against its enemy Israel.
Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in March that missile development was key to Iran’s future, in order to maintain its defensive power and resist threats from its enemies.
China has allegedly tested a weapon of mass destruction capable of hitting London and other major European or American cities in just 30 minutes.
The People’s Republic reportedly fired a nuke called the Dongfeng-41, which has the longest range of any missile in the world.
It can carry up to 10 warheads over a distance of roughly 7,450 miles in just half an hour before hitting several targets at once.
This would mean Beijing could destroy the whole of London – which is slightly more than 5,000 miles from the Chinese capital – or wipe out any city in the West.
Pentagon sources told the Washington Beacon that the nuke had been detected by American satellites.
The development is likely to make American military chiefs extremely nervous.
Previous reports have indicated the Dongfeng-41 could be operational at some point during 2016.
Mark Stokes, an expert on the Chinese military and ex-Pentagon analyst, said: “China and Russia are increasingly coordinating their military forces against the United States and that China’s program of enabling North Korea and Iran to become nuclear missile powers is nearing completion.”
A number of states near China are now armed with weapons of mass destruction.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un now has nuclear weapons – and could soon be able to target America and Japan.
Kim, 33, was recently pictured standing next to what was thought to be a miniaturised weapon.
Miniaturisation is achieved when the nuclear warhead weighs less than 2,200 lb and the diameter of the bomb measures 35 inches or less.
Inside nuclear bunker converted into a HOUSE:
It is feared North Korea now had between eight and 20 miniaturised warheads.
The claims came as the US senate was warned it is only a matter of time before Kim had long-range missiles capable of hitting America and Japan.
General Vincent Brooks told the Armed Services Committee that Kim was determined to build rockets which could target the US.
He said: “Over time, I believe we’re going to see them acquire these capabilities if they’re not stopped.”
Senator John McCain, who chairs the committee, asked how concerned he was about the “immaturity and unpredictability of the rotund ruler in Pyongyang”.
General Brooks replied: “I’m very concerned about the direction he’s going, and it’s evident that he’s not yet deterred from his pursuit.”
The US has 28,500 troops in South Korea. They have kept a military presence there since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The two Koreas technically remain at war, as the conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.
China supported the North in the Korean War but has become increasingly exasperated by the antics of Kim, who came to power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
Pyongyang last week conducted a test of what appeared to be a medium-range missile, but the rocket suffered a catastrophic failure on launch.
Washington and Seoul may deploy the Theater High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD), to protect against ballistic missiles from the North.
South Korea pointed out that it took the US seven years to miniaturise a nuclear warhead in the 1960’s while the Soviet Union took six and China only two years.
North Korea is thought to be planning another nuclear test in the run-up to its Party Congress on May 7. Some experts believe Kim’s missiles have a longer range than previously assessed.
The test this month revealed the KN-08 first stage uses Musudan rather than No Dong engines, along with a more capable fuel.
That means the KN-08 would be able to reach throughout the US, including New York City and Washington, rather than only the Pacific Northwest.
Speaking in the Philippines on Thursday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the US will keep nearly 300 troops, including Air Force commandos in the Philippines through the end of the month, despite completing the joint military drills. He added that US troops will have combat aircraft and helicopters at their disposal.
In addition, Carter pledged an increase in US rotations into the Philippines for training and support of military operations.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his counterpart, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmi, the Pentagon chief said the new measures are not aimed at provoking tensions in the region but rather “to tamp down tensions here.”
Gazmini welcomed the US decision to increase military presence in the Southeast Asian country, saying, “Their presence here will deter uncalled-for actions by the Chinese.”
Speaking at a different occasion at a closing ceremony after a joint military exercise, Carter promised Washington “will continue to stand up for our safety and freedoms” and those of its allies.
“With each Balikatan and each cruise by the Stennis, with each new multilateral exercise and each new defense agreement, we add a stitch to the fabric of the region’s security network,” Carter said in prepared remarks. “This is the network – peaceful, principled, and inclusive – America continues to stand for, and stand with.”
He also announced he will visit the USS John C. Stennis when it sails through the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
Carter’s remarks, once again produced strong criticism in Beijing, which has repeatedly warned against US interference in the region.
“Military exchanges by relevant countries should not target third parties, much less support a few countries in challenging China’s sovereignty and security, inciting regional contradictions and sabotaging regional peace and stability,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement in response to Carter’s announcement, AP reports.
Some 8,000 American and Filipino servicemen participated in the Balikatan military drills aimed at training to ensure maritime security in the region, where China is bolstering its military presence. Last week, the US pledged about $40 million to the Philippines in military assistance for surveillance and naval patrols.
China has territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea, rich in deposits of natural resources, with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. To assure its claim over the disputed territory, Beijing has been rapidly setting up defense installations in the area.
The US Navy is actively opposing the Chinese initiative, deploying additional warships to the disputed zone and conducting maneuvers in near the Chinese artificial islands and flying over them, citing the “freedom of navigation” principle as an excuse.
Official Source: https://www.rt.com/news/339676-carter-carrier-south-china-sea/
“There were numerous reports of the ISF (Israel security forces) killing Palestinians during riots, demonstrations, at checkpoints, and during routine operations; in some cases they did not pose a threat to life,” the report states.
It goes on to say that while 149 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces in 2015, only 77 of those deaths occurred in the course of attacking Israelis.
Those numbers clash with Israeli government figures, which state that some two-thirds of Palestinians killed during a wave of violence in October were in the midst of attempting or carrying out attacks, and that the rest died in clashes with security forces.
The report went on to state that the biggest human rights violations in Israel were terror attacks against civilians, as well as “institutional and societal discrimination” against Arabs, Israelis of Ethiopian extraction, women, non-Orthodox Jews, and migrants.
The document was also critical of Israeli legislation forcing foreign government-funded NGOs to take certain measures, which some say would target groups critical of the government.
The findings come after Secretary of State John Kerry was asked by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and nine other lawmakers in February to probe claims of “gross violations of human rights” by Israel and Egypt. They cited examples of alleged extrajudicial killings by both countries.
In the case of Israel, Leahy and the other lawmakers cited claims by Amnesty International and other human rights groups relating to the deaths of Fadi Aloun, Sa’ad al-Atrash, Hadeel Hashlamoun and Mutaw Awisat. Tel Aviv maintains all four were killed while attacking Israelis, though the claims are disputed.
The request from Leahy and the other signatories, reported in March, prompted an angry response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The IDF and the Israel Police do not engage in executions. Israel’s soldiers and police officers defend themselves and innocent civilians with the highest moral standards against bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them,” Netanyahu said in a statement at the time.
“Where is the concern for the human rights of the many Israelis who’ve been murdered and maimed by these savage terrorists? This letter should have been addressed instead to those who incite youngsters to commit cruel acts of terrorism,” he added.
The State Department’s report also slammed the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas – along with Israeli forces – for “arbitrary arrest and associated torture and abuse, often with impunity.” It also singled out the PA for failing to “condemn incidents of anti-Semitic expression and embracing as ‘martyrs’ individuals who died while carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians.”
It accused Hamas of human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip, including“security forces killing, torturing, arbitrarily detaining, and harassing opponents, including Fatah members, and other Palestinians with impunity.”
“Terrorist organizations and militant factions in the Gaza Strip launched rocket and mortar attacks against civilian targets in Israel, and they did so at or near civilian locations in Gaza,” it added.
It went on to condemn abuses by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Boko Haram, al-Shabab, and the Taliban in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and several African nations.
North Korea, China, Cuba, Sudan and Iran, Russia, Rwanda, Congo, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Uganda, Egypt, and Vietnam were also alleged to have taken repressive steps. Turkey was accused of using anti-terror laws and a law against insulting the president in order to stifle political discourse and investigative journalism.
Speaking of the human rights situation across the globe, Kerry said on Wednesday that “in every part of the world, we see an accelerating trend by both state and non-state actors to close the space for civil society, to stifle media and internet freedom, to marginalize opposition voices, and, in the most extreme cases, to kill people or drive them from their homes.”
Official Source: https://www.rt.com/news/339634-excessive-force-israel-palestinians/
“We act when we need to act, including here across the border, with dozens of strikes meant to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining game-changing weaponry,” Netanyahu said while on a visit to the occupied Golan Heights on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.
The prime minister failed to specify what kind of strikes Israel had conducted in Syria.
Although Israel welcomed a cessation of hostilities in Syria in February, it has indicated that it could still launch attacks there if it sees a threat from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, whose fighters have been allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Israel is officially neutral on Syria’s civil war, but has frequently pledged to prevent shipments of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon. It has, however, stopped short of confirming specific air operations.
Tel Aviv last fought a war with Hezbollah in 2006. That conflict included rocket strikes inside Israel and an Israeli air and ground offensive in Lebanon.
Israeli leaders have stated that since then, Hezbollah has built up and improved the range of rocket arsenal that can now strike deep inside Israel.
Tension has been mounting between Tel Aviv and Hezbollah in recent months, with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatening to hit Israeli chemical and nuclear sites.
Netanyahu’s Monday comments come less than one week after intelligence firm Stratfor revealed satellite images of an area on the northern Lebanese-Syrian border which indicate that Hezbollah has been consolidating positions it gained from Syrian rebels in June 2013.
However, Netanyahu noted that Hezbollah isn’t the only worry facing Israel, citing threats from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, as well as jihadists in Sinai.
He went on to state that “going into battle” is a “possibility that lies ahead,” adding that no one else will defend Israel.
Official Source: https://www.rt.com/news/339237-israel-hezbollah-syria-strikes/
Iran has received a batch of S-300 long-range, surface-to-air missile systems from Russia, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has said.
In a recorded statement broadcast on state television on Monday, Jaber Ansari, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told a news conference that the “first phase of this [delayed] contract has been implemented”.
“The first batch of Russia’s S-300 air defence missile systems has arrived in Iran,” he was quoted as saying.
Ansari was replying to reporters’ questions about videos on social media showing what appeared to be parts of an S-300 missile system on trucks in northern Iran.
In February, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that Moscow planned to soon send its first delivery of S-300 missile systems to Tehran.
That report said the systems would be transported from the southern Russian city of Astrakhan via a direct water route through the Caspian Sea to Iran.
Russia and Iran signed a contract to deliver several S-300 missile systems in 2007, but Moscow cancelled the deal because of United Nations sanctions against supplying weapons to the Islamic republic.
RIA Novosti reported that the deal had been worth about $900m.
Last year, Iran reached an international agreement on regulating its nuclear programme to remove sanctions, and Russian President Vladimir Putin then signed a decree to allow his country to sell weapons to
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Friday warned that the international community must be ready to take military action in Libya to help the unity government, even as Islamic State (ISIS) gains ground in the North African state.
Ayrault spoke after Libya’s UN-backed unity government prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj arrived in the capital city of Tripoli, and hours later on Wednesday the unrecognized militant groups controlling the city demanded that he leave.
“Libya is a concern shared by all the countries of the region and beyond,” Ayrault told a French paper, as cited by The New Arab.
“The chaos which reigns there today aids the rapid development of terrorism. It is a direct threat to the region and to Europe.”
The foreign minister noted that while ISIS terrorists are losing ground in Syria and Iraq thanks to international intervention, the group is gaining in Libya.
“We must be prepared to respond if the national unity government of al-Sarraj asks for help, including on the military front,” he said.
Asked about the likelihood of military intervention, he said, “that will depend on the legal government. To think of launching airstrikes outside of the political process is not an option.”
Al-Sarraj’s arrival in Tripoli led the local militias to demand he leave, but ten Libyan cities that had been controlled by the non-recognized government in Tripoli announced that they have changed sides and now support the UN-backed government.
Libya has been in chaos since the NATO-backed ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 as part of the “Arab Spring.”
Official Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210192#.Vv7CgvkrLx8