grammaire anglaise >
prépositions > amid
+ N > différent(e)s
sens / valeurs
en plein (e) + N
dans un contexte / "climat" de
une idée de tension, d'urgence
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suite à / après N
University of Texas Campus
Is Saying About Concealed Guns
AUG. 27, 2016
The New York Times
By DAVE PHILIPPS
AUSTIN, Tex. — As classes began here at the University
of Texas this past week amid a new
law allowing concealed
handguns on college campuses in the state,
an accounting student quietly strapped on a pistol
and headed to class.
What University of Texas Campus Is Saying About Concealed Guns,
AUG. 27, 2016,
Britain 'should not take
more Middle East refugees'
Prime minister maintains hardline position
despite pressure for UK to do more to help
amid outcry over pictures
of drowned refugee child in Turkey
Wednesday 2 September 2015
on Thursday 3 September 2015
David Cameron faced accusations of heartlessness after he
insisted Britain should not take any further refugees from the war-torn Middle
East, as community groups prepared to show that councils in the UK are willing
to take thousands more.
The prime minister knows he and the home secretary, Theresa May, will be
pressured over the migration issue when parliament returns next week, but some
senior Tory backbenchers said they expected Cameron to shift his ground after
distressing pictures of a drowned child, who had been found washed up on a beach
in Turkey, went viral.
Cameron insisted the best solution to the crisis was to bring peace and
stability to the Middle East. During a visit to Northamptonshire, he said: “We
have taken a number of genuine asylum seekers from Syrian refugee camps and we
keep that under review, but we think the most important thing is to try to bring
peace and stability to that part of the world.
“I don’t think there is an answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and
Analysis How many refugees should Britain take?
Yvette Cooper’s call for 10,000 more places for people fleeing the Middle East
is welcome, but the UK has the infrastructure and experience to take many more
But in a sign that the political temperature on the issue was rising, Cameron
faced calls to do more from both the Catholic church and two of the Labour
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales,
said: “This is a disgrace. That we are letting people die and seeing dead bodies
on the beaches, when together, Europe is such a wealthy place. We should be able
to fashion a short-term response, not just a long-term response.
“It is no longer an abstract problem of people on the scrounge. It’s not. It’s
people who are desperate for the sake of their families, their elderly, their
youngsters, their children. And the more we see that the more the opportunity
for a political response that is a bit more generous, is growing. What is
screaming out is the human tragedy of this problem, to which we can be more
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary and Labour leadership candidate,
accused the prime minister of turning his back on the worst migration crisis
since the second world war.
Yvette Cooper: UK should take in 10,000 Middle East refugees
“When mothers are desperately trying to stop their babies from drowning when
their boat has capsized, when people are being left to suffocate in the backs of
lorries by evil gangs of traffickers and when children’s bodies are being washed
to shore, Britain needs to act.
“It is heartbreaking what is happening on our continent. We cannot keep turning
our backs on this. We can – and must – do more. If every area in the UK took
just 10 families, we could offer sanctuary to 10,000 refugees. Let’s not look
back with shame at our inaction.”
Cooper urged May to convene a conference of council leaders to discover how many
refugees local authorities are prepared to take. The task of organising a
conference is being handed to Citizens UK, the community campaign group, and
there are signs that some Conservative-led councils are likely to offer help.
The Conservative leader of Kingston upon Thames council, Kevin Davis, has
already written to 50 Tory-led councils asking them to become involved in a
scheme run by UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to help find private housing for
refugees for a year.
Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary and another Labour leadership
contender has demanded that the government make a Commons statement next week.
He said the response of Cameron and his ministers had veered from the inadequate
to the misjudged and was a stain on the nation’s conscience.
“Many of these refugees are children, fleeing the violence and horrors of war.
The images we have seen of children washed up on beaches will leave no person
unmoved. When Parliament returns next week, MPs must be given an opportunity to
debate the Government’s handling of the crisis and the chance to make a
judgement on whether Britain should accept a share of refugees,” he said.
Cameron does not want to join any Europe-wide resettlement programme for
refugees, believing that if the UK became involved in a large-scale scheme, it
would act as a magnet for other migrants and it would be impossible to
distinguish economic migrants from refugees.
The prime minister said Britain was focused on stabilising and improving the
countries where migrants and refugees came from and highlighted action the
government was taking to improve security at the French port of Calais.
He said: “We are taking action right across the board, helping countries from
which these people are coming, stabilising them and trying to make sure there
are worthwhile jobs and stronger economies there.
“We are obviously taking action at Calais and the Channel, there’s more that we
need to do and we are working together with our European partners as well. These
are big challenges but we will meet them.”
Citizens UK, the community organising group, the Refugee Council and council
leaders – including some from Conservative-run councils – are pressing ahead
with holding a pledging conference about taking refugees fleeing the instability
in the Middle East.
Neil Jameson, executive director of Citizens UK, said: “We are delighted Cooper
has made her intervention, but this should not be a party-political issue. We
think civil society can show there is a generosity in the British people, and
with the help of churches, mosques and synagogues we can identify empty property
in which refugees can be housed. The housing must not be public-sector housing
because that would not be politically tenable.”
Citizens UK had been lobbying the government for more than a year to take more
people under an EU-funded scheme that allowed refugees to be taken from UN camps
and to be housed in the UK for a year.
Cooper has suggested a target of 10,000 refugees being taken by the UK – a
figure endorsed by Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary and her rival for
the Labour leadership. She also won the support of the Welsh first minister,
Carwyn Jones, who said Wales “stands ready to play its full part”.
David Cameron: Britain 'should not take more Middle East
2 September 2015,
For de Blasio,
Amid Tension Over Police
DEC. 20, 2014
The New York Times
By MATT FLEGENHEIMER
It is the sequence that every mayor dreads: the ominous report,
the scramble to the hospital and the confirmation that, yes, an attack against
the police has proved fatal.
But for Mayor Bill de Blasio, the tragedy on Saturday — when two police officers
were shot and killed in an ambush in Brooklyn, according to the authorities —
arrived at a particularly trying moment, amid an already fractious relationship
with the police.
Police union leaders and officers could be seen turning their backs to the mayor
and the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, as they walked past, in a video
taken at the hospital where the two held a news conference on Saturday.
A written message from Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent
Association, addressed the mayor directly. “Mayor de Blasio,” it read in part,
“the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands.”
For weeks, New York City has been the roiling epicenter of a
national reckoning over the police and race, attracting nightly protests since a
Staten Island grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against a white
police officer in the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after a
chokehold in July.
Police union leaders have condemned the mayor for what they have called
insufficient support of the police; they have circulated a letter allowing
officers to request that he not attend their funerals in the event of a
At the news conference on Saturday, at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, the mayor
tried to deflect focus on the recent tensions. He said it was “a time to think
about these families” and not “a time for politics or political analysis.”
Asked on Saturday about the turned backs and union messages, Phil Walzak, the
mayor’s press secretary, said it was “unfortunate that in a time of great
tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and
During the briefing, Mr. de Blasio largely deferred to Mr. Bratton. The mayor
recalled the emotional scene with the families of the officers, Wenjian Liu and
Rafael Ramos, at the hospital. The 13-year-old son of Officer Ramos, the mayor
said gravely, “couldn’t comprehend what had happened to his father.”
The murder of an officer, he said, “is an attack on all of us.”
Even before the shooting, the mayor — who has staked his tenure, in part, on a
pledge to reshape the Police Department, healing rifts between communities and
their officers in the process — had been engaged in a high-wire act of sorts.
He has sought to express sympathy for the protesters, many of whom have placed
their faith in the mayor to turn back what they see as years of overreaching by
the police, and support for the officers, who remain wary, in many circles, of
Amid the protests, Mr. de Blasio had already been forced to confront the specter
of violence against the police. Last Saturday, two police lieutenants were
attacked during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Speaking at a police promotions ceremony on Friday, the mayor seemed to provide
an unwitting preview of his Saturday remarks. “Any act of violence against our
police officers,” he told a packed auditorium at Police Headquarters in Lower
Manhattan, “is an act of violence against our values."
Many lawmakers and protesters expressed sympathy and gratitude for the police on
Saturday. Some advocates noted that mourning the deaths of officers and deaths
at the hands of officers were not mutually exclusive.
Yet by Saturday night, it seemed clear that the dialogue over policing in the
city remained fraught.
Among other grievances, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s
largest police union, has in recent weeks criticized the mayor for invoking his
biracial son, Dante, after the Garner decision. At the time, the mayor described
his experience instructing Dante to “take special care” during any police
encounters. Some union leaders suggested that Mr. de Blasio was conveying that
police officers were to be feared.
Mr. Bratton has defended his boss, and both have taken pains to highlight the
dangers of patrolling the city. “You put that blue uniform on,” he said on
Saturday, “and you become part of that thin blue line between us and anarchy.”
A version of this article appears in print on December 21, 2014, on page A35 of
the New York edition with the headline: For Mayor, Attack Comes Amid Tension
For de Blasio, Attack Comes Amid Tension Over
Amid Police Statements
AUG. 15, 2014
The New York Times
By TANZINA VEGA,
and ERIK ECKHOLM
FERGUSON, Mo. — One day after roiling tensions over the police
shooting of a black teenager here began to subside, emotions flared anew on
Friday as the police identified the officer involved but also released evidence
that the victim was a suspect in a convenience store robbery moments before
The manner in which the police here released the information, which included a
19-page police report on the robbery but no new details about the shooting, led
to the spectacle of dueling police news conferences, one led by a white officer
who seemed ill at ease and defensive, and the other dominated by a charismatic
black officer who expressed solidarity with the crowd even as he pleaded for
The white officer, Thomas Jackson, the police chief in Ferguson, gave a series
of incomplete accounts that sowed confusion about whether the officer who shot
the teenager knew he was a suspect in the robbery. The black officer, Capt.
Ronald S. Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, expressed his
displeasure with how the information had been released.
“I would have liked to have been consulted,” he said pointedly about the pairing
of the shooter’s identity with the robbery accusation.
All week, community members had demanded the name of the officer who killed
Michael Brown, 18, last Saturday, but when it finally came, it was accompanied
by surveillance videotapes that appeared to show Mr. Brown shoving a store clerk
aside as he stole a box of cigarillos.
Mr. Brown’s family, their lawyer and others in the community expressed disgust,
accusing the police of trying to divert attention from the central issue — the
unexplained shooting of an unarmed young man.
“It is smoke and mirrors,” said Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for the Brown
family, of the robbery allegations. “Nothing, based on the facts before us,
justifies the execution-style murder by this police officer in broad daylight.”
The videotapes seemed to contradict the image portrayed by Mr. Brown’s family of
a gentle teenager opposed to violence and on his way to college.
Captain Johnson, who grew up in the area and had been brought in by the governor
on Thursday to restore peace after days of confrontations between demonstrators
and the police in riot gear and military-style vehicles, said he had not been
told that the authorities planned to release the video of the robbery along with
the name of the officer. But he sought to calm people down, saying, “In our
anger, we have to make sure that we don’t burn down our own house.”
Captain Johnson won over many but also faced skepticism over his role along with
anguished questions about who the police really represent and the lack of
educational and economic opportunities in Ferguson.
“I find it utterly disgusting,” one man shouted at him. “What am I supposed to
tell my people? It looks like you’re a figurehead.”
Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, stood next to Captain Johnson at their news
conference and emphasized that the details released Friday were not “the full
picture.” He added, “I think the focal point here remains to figure out how and
why Michael Brown was killed and to get justice as appropriate in that
The day began when Chief Jackson said at a news conference that the officer who
shot Mr. Brown was Darren Wilson, who has served four years in Ferguson and two
in another local department and had no disciplinary charges. Officer Wilson, who
is white, has been placed on leave, and his location is unknown.
But the release of his name was overshadowed by the simultaneous announcement of
the robbery allegations, leading to questions about timing and motives.
In a later news conference, on Friday afternoon at Forestwood Park, a sports
complex in Ferguson, Chief Jackson said that Officer Wilson had not been aware
that Mr. Brown “was a suspect in the case” and instead had stopped him and a
companion “because they were walking down the street blocking traffic.”
But that only highlighted the central issue: How did an officer’s interaction
with an unarmed young man escalate into a deadly shooting?
The videotapes, from an unidentified convenience store, show a tall burly man,
identified by the police as Mr. Brown, shoving aside a clerk as he left the
store with an unpaid-for box of Swisher Sweets cigarillos. According to a police
report, Mr. Brown was accompanied at the store by his friend Dorian Johnson, who
was also with him when he was shot.
Mr. Johnson has admitted being in the convenience store with Mr. Brown and told
investigators from the F.B.I. and St. Louis County that Mr. Brown did “take
cigarillos,” Mr. Johnson’s lawyer, Freeman Bosley Jr., a former mayor of St.
Louis, told MSNBC.
Standing near a store that was vandalized during protests this week, Mark
Jackson, who has participated in the demonstrations, expressed skepticism about
police motives in describing the robbery. “They just want to make the case seem
more reasonable on their side,” he said. “But at the end of the day, the man
didn’t have a gun, so they didn’t have to shoot him.
In his afternoon appearance, Chief Jackson sought to explain why the information
was released on Friday. “All I did was release the videotape because I had to,”
he said. “I had been sitting on it.” He said his hand was forced by requests by
the news media under public records laws. He acknowledged that he had not
alerted the other police departments about the tape. “I should have done that,”
Chief Jackson described Officer Wilson as “a gentle, quiet man” and “a
Greg Kloeppel, a lawyer for the union representing the Ferguson police, said
Officer Wilson received an award for “extraordinary effort in the line of duty”
Continue reading the main story
Document: Ferguson Police Department Incident Report
The police have not released the official report on the shooting because it is
now the subject of federal and local investigations. In the robbery report
released Friday, an officer wrote that “it is worth mentioning that this
incident is related to” the fatal shooting of Mr. Brown.
After seeing Mr. Brown’s body and reviewing the surveillance video, “I was able
to confirm that Brown is the primary suspect” in the robbery, the officer wrote.
Any suggestion that Officer Wilson sought out Mr. Brown and Mr. Johnson because
they were robbery suspects, however, was dispelled by the police chief at the
afternoon news conference. Adding to the day’s confusion, Chief Jackson told The
St. Louis Post-Dispatch later on Friday that while Officer Wilson did not
originally approach the two youths as suspects, he was aware of the nearby store
The officer has said that once he saw cigars in Mr. Brown’s hand, he “realized
that he might be the robber,” Chief Jackson said.
After the revelations of the day, the atmosphere in Ferguson on Friday night
remained peaceful, though boisterous. Cars clogged streets as horns blared and
music played. Hundreds of demonstrators clutched signs and chanted slogans, but
many others danced to music. On one street, six people danced atop a white
The police presence was limited. But among the officers on the street was
Captain Johnson, who walked among the crowds, posing for pictures and shaking
“I’m pleased with how it’s going,” he said.
Tanzina Vega reported from Ferguson, and Timothy Williams and Erik Eckholm from
New York. Serge F. Kovaleski contributed reporting from New York, and Brent
McDonald from Ferguson.
A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2014,
on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Dueling Police Statements
as Anger Rises in Missouri.
Emotions Flare in Missouri Amid Police
Protests in Missouri,
Is Still Withheld
AUG. 13, 2014
The New York
— In the five days since an unarmed young black man was fatally shot by a police
officer here, the selective release of information about the shooting, and
especially the anonymity granted to the officer, has stoked frustrations in this
largely African-American community north of St. Louis, where residents describe
increasingly tense relations with the police.
chief, Thomas Jackson, has repeatedly declined to identify the officer, who has
been put on administrative leave. But on Wednesday, the chief did offer a new
detail about the shooting, which has kindled nights of racial unrest and an
unyielding police response with tear gas, rubber bullets and arrests.
Chief Jackson said that the officer who shot Michael Brown, 18, on Saturday was
struck in the face during the encounter and treated at a hospital. Touching his
own cheek, the chief said that a side of the officer’s face was swollen from
what the police have described as a struggle in which Mr. Brown assaulted the
officer and tried to take his gun — an account disputed by a witness, a friend
of Mr. Brown’s who said his hands were raised when the last of several shots was
Despite persistent and increasingly angry calls from the public to release the
officer’s name, Chief Jackson said the officer required protection after
numerous death threats had been made. Computer hackers, saying they were
outraged by police conduct, now have also joined the fray.
Anonymous, the loosely organized group of international hackers, said on Twitter
that it had broken into Ferguson’s municipal computer system. It released
details about city workers and posted photos of Jon Belmar, the chief of the St.
Louis County police who is conducting the investigation into the shooting, as
well as his wife, son and daughter. It also posted his address and phone number.
The group threatened to bring down city, county and federal networks if the
police overreacted to rallies and protests.
On Wednesday night, scores of police officers in riot gear and in armored trucks
showed up to disperse protesters who had gathered on the streets near the scene
of the shooting. Some officers perched atop the vehicles with their guns trained
on the crowds while protesters chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” A police
spokesman said that some demonstrators had thrown Molotov cocktails at officers
and that some had tried to set fires. The police used tear gas on demonstrators,
and some protesters said rubber bullets had been fired at them. Police said one
officer appeared to have suffered a broken ankle after being hit by a brick.
The police made more than 10 arrests. Among those arrested was Antonio French, a
St. Louis alderman, who had been documenting the protests on social media, his
wife said on Twitter.
Chief Jackson and the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, held
news conferences on Wednesday to try to allay concerns without divulging the
officer’s name or details of the investigation. Neither would say how many times
Mr. Brown had been shot.
Mr. McCulloch promised a thorough investigation but refused to say how long it
would take. “There is no timeline,” he said. But he added that all the evidence
would be made public, whether or not there was an indictment.
Whether to identify an officer in a charged situation like a shooting has been a
continual tug of war around the country, pitting the desire of police
departments to protect their own against the demands of victims’ relatives and
the public for accountability.
“I get why they want to protect him,” said Meko Taylor, 36, of Ferguson, who was
at a protest on Wednesday. “But the people want answers. When we get answers,
things will calm down.”
David A. Harris, an expert on police misconduct and accountability at the
University of Pittsburgh Law School, said: “Police departments do not welcome
disclosure or the input of outsiders. So when you have a problem like this, it’s
hardly surprising to see that they are very reluctant to give out information.”
That reflexive, insular stance is increasingly being questioned in the courts,
said Merrick J. Bobb, a Los Angeles-based consultant on police oversight. “What
is happening is that in a number of jurisdictions, voluntarily or as a result of
a lawsuit, the ability of police to keep the name of the officer secret has been
constrained,” he said.
In Missouri, legal groups citing the state’s sunshine law, which requires
government agencies to release most documents to the public, have joined with
community leaders to press for information about the officer who shot Mr. Brown.
the Missouri office of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote to the Ferguson
and St. Louis County Police Departments requesting unredacted copies of the
“incident reports” describing the death of Mr. Brown. The A.C.L.U. said it had
been told by the St. Louis County police that it would not release an incident
report because the investigation was continuing. Adding to the pressure, the
National Bar Association, an organization of African-American lawyers and
judges, also filed a records request on Wednesday with the Ferguson Police
By law, police departments have three days to comply, but if they choose to
withhold an officer’s name, they could argue that circumstances warrant an
exception. Then the petitioning groups would have to file lawsuits.
There is no federal constitutional right, under the First Amendment, to
information about government activities, including internal police reports, said
Erwin Chemerinsky, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Rather, individual states have disclosure laws with varying degrees of bite, and
the country’s thousands of law enforcement agencies have their own rules and
subcultures regarding disclosures.
The inconsistency in policies, even when a freedom of information law is on the
books, is illustrated in New York City. In most cases, the New York Police
Department refuses to release the names of officers who have shot people, at
least in the days immediately afterward. If a shooting attracts widespread
attention, however, the officer’s name rarely remains a secret for long.
In the July 17 case of Eric Garner, who died after being wrestled down by the
police, including one officer who apparently used a forbidden chokehold, the
department did reveal the name of the officer — but after two days, and only
after wide public viewing of a videotape of the fatal confrontation. By that
time, the news media had already reported the officer’s name based on unnamed
Mr. Harris said that while it was understandable that police officials would try
to protect their officers from threats and unfair accusations, silence also had
its risks. “This case is not being tried yet, but the narrative is being forged
in the public arena,” he said of the Ferguson shooting. “When that goes on,
information is put out selectively and withheld selectively.”
“There is real danger in that,” he said, “because ultimately law enforcement
depends on the trust of the people they serve.”
On Wednesday, the St. Louis County medical examiner’s office said it would take
two to three weeks to complete the autopsy of Mr. Brown, including a toxicology
report, which is standard procedure in such deaths.
Suzanne McCune, a forensic administrator at the office, said that a preliminary
autopsy was completed Monday and found that Mr. Brown had died of gunshot
wounds, but she gave no other details. She added that Mr. Brown’s body had been
released to his family. Ms. McCune said the police department would decide
whether to approve the release of the report once it was complete.
Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer representing the Brown family, said that
arrangements were being made for a private autopsy to be performed in the next
week or so. “The family wants an autopsy done by somebody who is objective and
who does not have a relationship with the Ferguson police,” Mr. Crump said.
Trying to control protests that have sprouted up daily in Ferguson and
intensified after dark, the mayor and the City Council posted a letter on
Wednesday on the city website asking protesters to limit their demonstrations to
The police have made over 50 arrests since Sunday.
“We ask that any groups wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only
during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner,” the letter said.
“Unfortunately, those who wish to co-opt peaceful protests and turn them into
violent demonstrations have been able to do so over the past several days during
the evening hours.”
Chief Jackson said the request did not amount to a curfew.
As to the actions of Anonymous in releasing the names of department personnel,
Chief Jackson said protection had been assigned to some and others had taken
Anonymous also released on Wednesday what it said were county 911 tapes from the
time of the shooting on Saturday. Most initial calls seemed to be about crowd
control, but the tapes also suggested that dispatchers learned from an early
call that a police officer was involved. Chief Jackson said he had not heard the
August 14, 2014
An earlier version of this article misidentified the university
at which Erwin Chemerinsky is a law professor.
It is the University of California, Irvine,
not the University of California, Los Angeles.
Julie Bosman reported from Ferguson,
and Erik Eckholm from New York.
Reporting was contributed by Timothy Williams,
Joseph Goldstein and Serge F. Kovaleski from New York,
and John Schwartz from St. Louis.
A version of this article appears in print on August 14, 2014,
on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Anonymity in Police
Shooting Fuels Frustration.
Amid Protests in Missouri, Officer’s Name Is Still Withheld, NYT, 13.8.2014,
Amid Wave of Pro-Gun Legislation,
Georgia Proposes Sweeping Law
MARCH 24, 2014
The New York Times
By HERBERT BUCHSBAUM
ATLANTA — Pro- and anti-gun forces do not agree on much, but
they do agree on the breathtaking sweep of the Georgia legislation allowing guns
in bars, schools, restaurants, churches and airports that is now awaiting the
signature of Gov. Nathan Deal.
Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the former
Arizona congresswoman who was critically wounded in a mass shooting in 2011,
calls it “the most extreme gun bill in America” and the “guns everywhere”
legislation. The National Rifle Association, which lobbied for the bill, calls
it “the most comprehensive pro-gun” bill in recent state history, and described
the vote at the Capitol on Thursday as “a historic victory for the Second
More than a year after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in
Connecticut elicited a burst of gun-control legislation, the Georgia bill shows
just how far the counterreaction has spread as lawmakers, mainly in
Republican-controlled states in the South and West, pass laws allowing weapons
in all corners of society while strengthening so-called Stand Your Ground laws.
Critics say the victories may come at a price as pro-gun
legislation pushes up against the limits of public opinion.
“I do think they’ve overreached,” said Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney
at the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The Georgia bill,
she said, is “so extreme and people do have such a strong reaction to it. I
don’t think over all it’s a victory for them.”
The bill was opposed not only by gun-control groups, but also by the state’s
police chiefs association and restaurant association, Episcopal and Catholic
churches, and the federal Transportation Security Administration. A majority of
Georgians also opposed it, according to several polls.
Mr. Deal, a Republican, who is expected to sign the bill, is up for re-election
this year, but there is no sign of a political backlash against him or anyone
who voted for the legislation. The governor’s Democratic opponent, State Senator
Jason Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, also voted for the bill.
“I don’t think it will backfire,” said Jerry Henry, director of Georgia Carry,
one of the main local groups that promoted the bill. “You can bet those
politicians who voted for it knew what their constituents wanted.”
What they wanted, in this case, would be a veritable gun-lobby shopping list.
The bill allows people with a weapons permit to carry loaded guns into bars, as
long as they do not consume alcohol — although the bill does not say how that
caveat would be enforced.
It allows guns in public areas of airports and eliminates criminal charges for
permit holders caught with guns at airport security. It authorizes school
districts to appoint staff members to carry guns at schools, ostensibly to
defend students in case of an attack.
It allows felons to claim the Stand Your Ground defense — in which someone who
“reasonably believes” his life is in danger has no duty to walk away and may
instead shoot to kill. And that is just the beginning.
Georgia lawmakers backed off a provision allowing guns on college campuses and
weakened the section allowing guns in churches, permitting them only if a church
expressly decides to do so. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll in January
found that more than 70 percent of voters opposed both measures. The poll did
not ask about guns in bars, but polls in other states have found 70 percent or
more of the public opposed the idea.
Many bar owners said they were taken by surprise.
“I don’t have any problems with people owning guns, but I do have a problem with
guns and alcohol,” said Melissa Swanson, owner of the Rail Pub in downtown
Savannah. “Everybody could be in here having a good time, but all you need is
one bad drunk with a gun and it could be a bad situation.”
Backers of the bill say the aim is not to flood bars with guns.
“This is a private property issue,” said State Representative Rick Jasperse, the
bill’s original sponsor. “We’re not going to decide what goes on inside a bar.
Let the bar owner decide.”
While the Georgia legislation is notable for its breadth, many of its provisions
have been promoted by the National Rifle Association for several years and have
cropped up separately in other states.
In the past year alone, 21 states have passed laws expanding the rights of gun
owners, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Three allow guns in
churches, two allow them on college campuses, four in bars and eight in schools.
Some states have become so eager to be seen as gun-friendly that there are few
limits on matters deemed worthy of legislative attention.
The so-called Pop-Tart Bill, which the Florida House passed last week and is
under consideration in Oklahoma, would shield schoolchildren from being punished
for making a gun out of a breakfast pastry. The Second Amendment threat the bill
seeks to remedy was that of a Maryland second grader who was sent home from
school last year after biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
If the new frontiers prove unpopular, the gun lobby may be a victim of its
success. Every state now allows people to carry guns in some public places, 42
allow assault rifles and no major federal gun control laws have been passed
since 1994. So gun-rights groups have focused on carving out niches to expand
where one can legally carry a gun.
There was a flurry of gun-control legislation after 26 children and educators
were shot to death in Newtown, Conn., by a well-armed, mentally disturbed
20-year-old. But in the 12 months immediately afterward, states passed 39 laws
to tighten gun restrictions and 70 to loosen them.
On Thursday, the day the Georgia bill was passed, a fight broke out in a gray,
windowless shack called Milo’s Bar in Marietta, an Atlanta suburb. As the brawl
spilled into the parking lot, at least three guns were drawn. Shots were fired,
and a bystander was wounded.
It is not clear whether the new law would have changed anything. Milo’s already
had “No Weapons” signs posted. Anyone there with a gun was already violating
existing law as well as the bar’s policy.
“The people you have to worry about are not the ones who have gone to the
trouble to have applied for a license and gotten a background check,” said Mr.
Henry of Georgia Carry. “The ones you have to worry about are the criminals who
are not going to abide by the law anyway.”
Gun control advocates counter that even people authorized to carry weapons can
lose their temper, with potentially deadly results. Two recent cases in Florida
appear to bear out that point: In one case, a man was shot dead in an argument
over texting in a movie theater, and in another, a teenager was killed in a
dispute over loud music.
The issue is a simple one for Barbara Lawson. On Saturday, the 53-year-old Sandy
Springs resident went to Milo’s to tape posters with her son’s picture on the
bar’s exterior, demanding it be closed. Her son, Tekilum Terrell, 34, was killed
there last April. “My son was killed in a bar with a 9-millimeter gun,” she
said. “Without that gun, we’d still have him here. Do we need more guns in bars?
After this? Seriously?”
A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2014,
on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline:
Amid Wave of Pro-Gun Legislation,
Georgia Proposes Sweeping Law.
Amid Wave of Pro-Gun Legislation, Georgia
Proposes Sweeping Law,
Peace in Chopi
Dies at 110
The New York Times
By MARGALIT FOX
her two years in Theresienstadt, through the hunger and cold and death all
around her, through the loss of her mother and husband, Alice Herz-Sommer was
sustained by a Polish man who had died long before. His name was Frédéric
It was Chopin, Mrs. Herz-Sommer averred to the end of her long life, who let her
and her young son survive in the camp, also known as Terezin, which the Nazis
operated in what was then Czechoslovakia from 1941 until the end of the war in
Mrs. Herz-Sommer, who died in London on Sunday at 110, and who was widely
described as the oldest known Holocaust survivor, had been a distinguished
pianist in Europe before the war. But it was only after the Nazi occupation of
her homeland, Czechoslovakia, in 1939 that she began a deep study of Chopin’s
Études, the set of 27 solo pieces that are some of the most technically
demanding and emotionally impassioned works in the piano repertory.
For Mrs. Herz-Sommer, the Études offered a consuming distraction at a time of
constant peril. But they ultimately gave her far more than that — far more,
even, than spiritual sustenance.
“They are very difficult,” Mrs. Herz-Sommer told The Sydney Morning Herald in
2010. “I thought if I learned to play them, they would save my life.”
And so they did.
In recent years, because of her great age; her indomitability; her continued,
ardent involvement with music (she practiced for hours each day until shortly
before she died); and her recollections of her youthful friendships with titans
like Franz Kafka and Gustav Mahler; Mrs. Herz-Sommer became a beacon for
writers, filmmakers and members of the public eager to learn her story.
She was the subject of biographies, including “A Century of Wisdom: Lessons From
the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor”
(2012), by Caroline Stoessinger, who confirmed her death.
Mrs. Herz-Sommer was also profiled in documentary films, one of which, “The Lady
in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” a 38-minute portrait directed by Malcolm
Clarke, is a 2014 Oscar nominee for documentary short subject. The awards take
place on Sunday.
What seemed to draw audiences to Mrs. Herz-Sommer above all, as Mr. Clarke’s
film makes plain, was her evident lack of rancor about her wartime experience.
In the books and films about her, and in a welter of newspaper and magazine
interviews, she expressed her unalloyed joy in making music and, quite simply,
in being alive.
She was discouraged, she said, about just one thing.
“I am by nature an optimist,” Mrs. Herz-Sommer told The Observer, the British
newspaper, in 2010. “But I am pessimistic about future generations’ willingness
to remember and care about what happened to the Jews of Europe, and to us in
Alice Herz was born in Prague on Nov. 26, 1903, one of five children of a
cultured, German-speaking, secular Jewish family. Her father was a prosperous
businessman; her mother moved in the city’s shimmering artistic circles and
numbered Kafka and Mahler among her friends.
As a child, Alice knew both men; Kafka (“a slightly strange man,” she recalled)
attended one of the family’s Passover seders.
Alice began piano lessons at 5 and at 16 embarked on conservatory studies in
Prague; by the time she was an older teenager, she was giving well-received
concerts throughout Europe.
In 1931 she married Leopold Sommer, a businessman and amateur violinist; the
couple had a son, Stepan (also spelled Stephan), in 1937.
In 1939, with the Nazi invasion imminent, some of Mrs. Herz-Sommer’s family fled
Czechoslovakia for Palestine. She remained in Prague to look after her frail
Mrs. Herz-Sommer’s mother was deported to Terezin in 1942 and from there sent to
a death camp, where she was killed.
It was after Mrs. Herz-Sommer escorted her mother to the deportation center in
Prague (“the lowest point of my life,” she said) that she resolved to start work
on Chopin’s Études.
In 1943, Mrs. Herz-Sommer, her husband and their son were dispatched to Terezin.
Part ghetto, part concentration camp, Terezin, northwest of Prague, was promoted
by the Nazis as a model institution: many of its inmates had been among
Czechoslovakia’s foremost figures in the performing arts.
Terezin had an orchestra, drawn from their ranks, whose members quite literally
played for time before audiences of prisoners and their Nazi guards. Mrs.
Herz-Sommer, playing the camp’s broken, out-of-tune piano, joined them.
“It was propaganda,” she later said. “We had to play because the Red Cross came
three times a year.”
But for Mrs. Herz-Sommer, who played more than 100 concerts in Terezin, the
sustaining power of music was no less real.
“These concerts, the people are sitting there — old people, desolated and ill —
and they came to the concerts, and this music was for them our food,” she later
said. “Through making music, we were kept alive.”
Terezin was a transit camp. From there, Jews were deported to forced-labor and
death camps; of some 140,000 Jews who passed through Terezin, nearly 90,000 were
deported to “almost certain death” at such camps, according to the website of
the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Some 33,000 died in Terezin itself.
One of the prisoners transported from Terezin was Leopold Sommer, who in 1944
was sent to Auschwitz, and on to Dachau. He died there, probably of typhus, in
1945, a month before liberation.
Music spared Mrs. Herz-Sommer a similar fate. One night, after she had been in
Terezin for more than a year, she was stopped by a young Nazi officer, as Ms.
Stoessinger’s book recounts.
“Do not be afraid,” he said. “I only want to thank you for your concerts. They
have meant much to me.”
He turned to leave before adding: “One more thing. You and your little son will
not be on any deportation lists. You will stay in Theresienstadt until the war
After the war, Mrs. Herz-Sommer returned with Stepan to Prague but found its
open anti-Semitism intolerable. In 1949, they emigrated to Israel, where she
taught for many years at the Rubin Academy of Music, now the Jerusalem Academy
of Music and Dance.
In the mid-1980s, she moved to London, where her son, an eminent cellist known
since their time in Israel as Raphael Sommer, had made his career.
After her son died of an aneurysm in 2001, at 64, music once again sustained
her. Mrs. Herz-Sommer’s neighbors in her London apartment building, where she
occupied Flat No. 6, knew she had weathered the blow when they heard her
practicing once more.
Mrs. Herz-Sommer’s survivors include two grandchildren.
She was the subject of a BBC television documentary, “Alice Sommer Herz at 106:
Everything Is a Present,” and another biography, “A Garden of Eden in Hell”
(2007; later reissued as “Alice’s Piano”), by Melissa Müller and Reinhard
A few years ago, after advancing age had immobilized one finger on each hand,
Mrs. Herz-Sommer reworked her technique so she could play with eight fingers.
But though her hands were failing, her musical acumen remained sharp. In
November, on Mrs. Herz-Sommer’s 110th birthday, Alex Ross, The New Yorker’s
music critic, wrote in the magazine’s culture blog of having called on her in
London the year before.
Because Mrs. Herz-Sommer could find journalists wearying, Mr. Ross, at the
urging of her biographer Ms. Stoessinger, presented himself as a musician.
“Play something,” Mrs. Herz-Sommer commanded him.
Mr. Ross, at her piano, gamely made his way through some Schubert before Mrs.
Herz-Sommer stopped him.
“Now,” she said, “tell me your real profession.”
A version of
this article appears in print on February 28, 2014,
on page B9 of
the New York edition with the headline:
Herz-Sommer, Who Found Peace In Chopin
Holocaust, Dies at 110.
Alice Herz-Sommer, Who Found Peace in Chopin Amid Holocaust,
Dies at 110, NYT, 27.2.2014,
Tensions Simmer in West Bank
The New York Times
By ETHAN BRONNER
Bank — In this Palestinian village where a mosque was defaced and cars were
burned, young men now patrol nightly against settler intruders. Nearby, Jewish
settlers worry that Palestinian militants buoyed by international support of
their statehood will step up attacks. Settler rapid response teams are
practicing with M-16s; women are learning to shoot handguns.
As the Palestinians seek United Nations membership in New York, the situation on
the ground remains calm. But tensions lie just below the surface. Israel has
stationed thousands more police officers in the West Bank armed with tear gas,
noise machines and putrid liquid to stop possible marches on settlements.
The settlers themselves have no training in such crowd-control techniques, and
they fear for their communities, some of which reject fences for ideological
reasons, arguing that they live in their homeland and will not fence themselves
in. So the risk of their using live fire against Palestinians who might try to
march on their communities is quite real. In more remote outposts, wooden clubs
have been distributed.
“They feel the world is with them, so why not make an innocent march?” asked
Shimon Shomron, a former undercover commando who heads the rapid response team
of Bat Ayin, a fenceless settlement near Bethlehem known for its radicalism. He
stood on a ridge looking at the Palestinian town of Tzurif across the valley, an
M-16 across his shoulder. “But they know we will not meet them with flowers.”
For much of the world, the very presence of more than 300,000 Israeli settlers
in the West Bank amounts to a kind of violent crime. They are holding land
widely considered Palestinian by right, obstructing a two-state solution. And
they are armed and protected by one of the world’s most powerful militaries.
But geopolitics aside, the question facing security forces — both Palestinian
and Israeli — in the coming weeks and months is whether the relative quiet of
the past few years is coming to an end. And a wild card in their calculations,
they say, is the small group of radical, frightened settlers who have recently
attacked both Palestinian villages and an Israeli military base.
“I consider this a major threat,” Police Chief Yohanan Danino, Israel’s national
police chief, said recently of settler violence in announcing a new team of
police officers aimed at tracking radical Jews. “Those events are liable to
produce an escalation, and that is the last thing we need right now.”
The scale of the threat is a matter of controversy. The radicals, who probably
number in the hundreds, promote a policy they call “price tag,” in which they
attack Palestinian property — and occasionally the Israeli military — in
response to army curbs on their building or other activity. The security forces
recently dismantled three of their houses, causing an increase in retaliations.
The settler leadership has fiercely condemned “price tag,” saying it does not
represent the vast majority of their community. In addition, Israelis say that
there are few such episodes, but Palestinians say that they suffer constantly
from such settler violence and that lately it has gotten worse.
“Several times a week they break in and we don’t want them on our land,” said
Abdul Hakim Ahmed, a psychology teacher who lives here in Qusra, a village of
about 5,000 people near Nablus, and who is one of the organizers of the nightly
patrols. He spoke as a dozen young villagers with huge flashlights and
cellphones walked Qusra’s perimeter. “They uproot trees, torch cars, steal
sheep. We are threatened. They want to drag us into violence as an excuse to
take more land.”
Qusra is unusual because it lies outside the jurisdiction of the Palestinian
Authority and relies exclusively on the Israeli military for protection. Its men
have no weapons, and Mr. Ahmed says he wants to keep it that way.
“Any violence coming from the Palestinian side will benefit the government and
the settlers,” Mr. Ahmed said. “We lost thousands of martyrs in the second
intifada and we lost land too. They labeled us terrorists and they benefited. So
now we use different tools — media and diplomacy. We learned this from them.”
Whether things will stay so benign going forward is unclear. Mr. Ahmed added
that the Israeli Army response to the complaints of the villagers has produced
few results: “They come, they take notes, they leave. Nothing ever happens.”
The Israeli authorities acknowledge that few violent settlers have been caught
or prosecuted. They say they, too, are frustrated by that.
“In the government, we are all very worried about this,” said Benny Begin, a
minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government who is on the right
of the Likud party. “These people are scoundrels, but we have not been terribly
successful in catching them.”
The army says it is cracking down on radicals, barring some them from the West
Bank for the coming months.
The settlers contend that they, too, are insufficiently protected by their
military. It is the rising mistrust on both sides and the possibility of their
taking the law into their own hands that seems most perilous.
West of Hebron is the 70-family settlement of Adora, where in 2002 attackers
killed four people, including a 5-year-old girl in her bed. In a recent letter
to a volunteer group that supplies and trains defense teams, the settlement said
it was worried about what would happen “with the Arabs declaring statehood.”
(Settlers rarely use the word “Palestinian,” considering it a term of
The appeal said: “Adora is exposed to many threats, including murderous
terrorist infiltrations, shootings on the nearby road from Arab houses and
passing vehicles and the organized and coordinated obstruction of the road by
the residents of neighboring Arab villages.”
Palestinians call that description a wild exaggeration. But other settlers take
it very seriously.
“We have to urgently resupply the security needs of 140 communities,” said
Yisrael Danziger, director of operations at Mishmeret Yesha, which trains and
supplies the settler response teams beyond what the Israeli military provides.
“But we have a long way to go. Once they are told they have a state, the Arabs
will feel they have been given the keys to the inn and that we are usurpers. The
future is here. What was once terror will now be policy.”
Mr. Danziger is shunned by the settler establishment as a dangerous firebrand,
but the response teams praise him. He raises money abroad, mostly in the United
States, to buy protective vests, helmets, plastic stocks to stabilize handguns
and other equipment that some of the teams say they need because the army has
not provided what it should. His group also hires security men to do additional
training for rapid response teams in anti-terror actions.
At a recent practice on a military training site in central Israel, Mr. Shomron
and the other members of the Bat Ayin security team were taking live target
practice and learning to inspect around corners for intruders.
The dozen young men, some bearded, with large skullcaps on their heads and
prayer fringes hanging from their sides, said they needed to be prepared for
potentially big changes ahead, starting with mass marches by Palestinians.
“If they march, I’m sure they will come with knives or rocks, not with candies,”
said Avraham Levine, a 28-year-old member of the team. “This government lets the
Arabs do whatever they want. But when a man feels unprotected, he takes the law
into his own hands.”
Amid Statehood Bid, Tensions Simmer in West Bank, NYT,
Public Colleges Step Up
The New York Times
By LISA W. FODERARO
legislatures cut back support for higher education, public colleges and
universities across the country are turning to their alumni, hat in hand, as
never before — hiring consultants, hunting down graduates and mobilizing student
phone banks to raise private money in amounts they once thought impossible.
But many find themselves arriving late to the game, particularly in the
Northeast, where state governments have traditionally been generous and a host
of private colleges have dominated the quest for donations.
The rush to catch up has placed public campuses in an awkward stance: cutting
academic programs and instructors at the same time they are expanding
development staffs and investing in a fund-raising infrastructure. And for some,
the challenges run far deeper than honing their sales pitches.
A culture of class reunions and identification with one’s graduating class — the
ethos of belonging and giving back that has been ingrained at many private
colleges for generations — is less developed at most public universities. While
there are exceptions, alumni networks at public universities are not quite as
deep-pocketed as those in the private sphere.
“Rutgers is not a rich kid’s school,” said Richard L. McCormick, the president
of the New Jersey university, which kicked off a $1 billion fund-raising
campaign in October. “Many of our students do very well, don’t get me wrong. But
we don’t have the advantage of as many multimillionaires among our alumni as the
private colleges do.”
Perhaps the biggest task, administrators say, is simply making alumni and other
potential donors aware that public campuses can no longer get by on public
When the State University of New York at Geneseo surveyed its alumni three years
ago as part of a plan to increase fund-raising, the initial response was
heartening. Former students described their time there with words like “love”
and “the best four years.” Then came what one administrator, Michael J.
Catillaz, called “the cold shower.” Asked if they would donate, almost all said
they thought the university was financed entirely by the state. The state’s
contribution was actually 25 percent, and it has been dropping ever since.
“Inviting alumni in large numbers to actively support the college is a foreign
notion,” said Mr. Catillaz, the vice president for college advancement.
Yet there is danger in emphasizing the loss of state support. Fund-raising
experts estimate that at most colleges, more than 90 percent of private
donations come from a small segment of wealthy alumni, in large gifts that are
almost always earmarked for a lofty purpose, like a new academic building or
“Donors do not want to be seen as there to make up a state budget shortfall,”
said John Lippincott, president of the Council for Advancement and Support of
Education. “They want to know that their contributions will make a difference,
and making a difference is not lighting the lights and heating the buildings.”
Despite those hurdles, officials of public institutions say that tapping
philanthropy has become a chief priority. At SUNY, where the state has cut $674
million, or 30 percent, from the system’s operating budget in three years, the
chancellor, Nancy L. Zimpher, recently held what she called a “summit meeting”
in Manhattan for fund-raising officials from the 64 campuses.
The meeting was meant, in part, to celebrate the conclusion of a $3 billion
campaign, actually a collection of individual campus efforts. But it was also a
rallying cry to put some serious muscle into the next drive, yet to be
announced. “Was SUNY late coming to the table? Absolutely,” Dr. Zimpher said.
“But our ambitions are now equal to those of other public universities.”
SUNY, in fact, was prohibited from mounting fund-raising campaigns when it was
created in the early 1960s, to allay fears that the new system would compete
with private colleges, she said. “That is unlike anything I understand about
public education where I come from,” said Dr. Zimpher, who was previously
president of the University of Cincinnati.
Indeed, in parts of the country where public colleges dominate higher education,
large institutions like the University of California at Berkeley, the University
of Washington and the University of Michigan have for decades run big, ambitious
But now smaller public institutions are joining in. Donald M. Fellows, president
of Marts & Lundy, a national firm that advises nonprofit institutions like
hospitals and museums on raising money, said public higher education was the
only field in which his company had not lost business during the recession. “You
have this whole other tier coming on,” Mr. Fellows said. “It’s hard to make the
decision to invest in something like this when you’re cutting your core, but you
do have to invest in that to get the payback.”
San Diego State University has made the gamble. While placing staff members on
furlough and increasing student fees, it is halfway through its first
fund-raising campaign, with a goal of $500 million, and raised $11 million to
open an alumni center a year ago.
“Alumni now have a place to come home to,” said Mary Ruth Carleton, vice
president for university relations and development. “It was a catalyst and
convinced a lot of our alums and board members that we could be successful with
A decade ago, the 23 colleges and professional schools in the City University of
New York were raising $50 million a year collectively. Today, that figure is
$200 million, and officials have set a goal of $3 billion by 2015.
Matthew Goldstein, CUNY’s chancellor, said he had made the presidents’ track
records at gathering money an important part of their annual performance
reviews. “Everybody has gotten the directive that fund-raising needs to be a
fundamental activity,” he said.
In many places, that mission filters down to undergraduates, who cold-call
potential donors. At Stony Brook University, one of SUNY’s four research
universities, alumni meet often with students on the Long Island campus to build
a feeling of community.
“It’s a cultural change,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., president of Stony Brook,
which just wrapped up a $360 million campaign. “We’re trying to build a
tradition among our students. Even if they just give $5 or $10, it’s the concept
that we really rely on giving, even though we’re a state university.”
To that end, institutions are tracking affluent alumni and trumpeting athletic
SUNY Geneseo, the system’s most selective college, held 67 alumni events last
year, up from a few the year before, as part of an effort to raise $25 million.
The college has redesigned its alumni magazine and started five quarterly
newsletters, each with a different focus, like athletics or business education.
Rutgers has hired Marts & Lundy to help gauge the potential donating power of
its 390,000 alumni and has consolidated 19 alumni groups into one. “We decided
that was crazy,” Dr. McCormick said. “And we abolished the dues structure so
that any alumnus gets the magazine.”
Even the University of Connecticut, whose sports prowess has won it a national
profile, began its first big fund-raising campaign only about a decade ago. And
a bruised economy has hurt. A $600 million campaign begun four years ago has so
far raised $250 million rather than a projected $325 million, said John K.
Martin, president of the University of Connecticut Foundation.
Some warn that there is such a thing as too much private money.
“If there is a risk in it, it’s that it will take legislatures off the hook,”
said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and
Higher Education. “They might get the impression that we can make up for the
cuts through philanthropy, and that could make us vulnerable to further cuts.”
Still, Mr. Callan said, fund-raising has become a fact of life, adding,
“Everybody has to do it.”
Amid Cuts, Public Colleges Step Up Appeals to Alumni,
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