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Published on Oct 15, 2014 by Coffee with Sr. Vassa
Subtitles will be available soon. Coffee-mugs are available at www.vassamugs.com. A weekly, brief reflection on the church calendar, hosted by Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin of the University of Vienna, Austria. This episode is on St. Maximus the Confessor (+662).

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Ebola carriers, ISIS recruits - didn't they used to call it ARRIVALS and DEPARTURES?

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Putin-backed Sergei Aksyonov elected head of Crimea

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Published on Oct 9, 2014 by Alfonso Salazar
Crimea’s parliament elected Sergei Aksyonov as head of the annexed peninsula in a unanimous vote today. Aksyonov was one of three candidates nominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin to head the republic.

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Disclaimer: El Gato and La Gata haven’t tried these. YMMV.

From Buzzfeed:

 

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How to read music – Tim Hansen

by 1389 on October 10, 2014

in 1389 (blog admin), music

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Published on Jul 18, 2013 by TED-Ed
Like an actor’s script, a sheet of music instructs a musician on what to play (the pitch) and when to play it (the rhythm). Sheet music may look complicated, but once you’ve gotten the hang of a few simple elements like notes, bars and clefs, you’re ready to rock. Tim Hansen hits the instrumental basics you need to read music.

Lesson by Tim Hansen, animation by Thomas Parrinello.

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Joe Biden actually told the truth in public.

As an Obama Administration minion, he was immediately forced to apologize to all of our supposed “allies” whom he “insulted” when he strayed from the official party line.

Nonetheless, what has been said, cannot be unsaid.

On YouTube:

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Published on Oct 4, 2014 by fastandeffective
US Vice President Joe Biden openly admits at a speech in Harvard University that ISIS terrorists were armed and funded by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE!

(h/t: Money Jihad)

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Why it cannot end well…

David Stockman has the story:

David Stockman

Another humanitarian catastrophe may be just hours away at Kobani. The latter is the Syrian Kurdish town on the border with Turkey that is now surrounded by ISIS tanks and is being pounded day after day by ISIS heavy artillery. Already this lethal phalanx, which fuses 21st century American technology and equipment with 12th century religious fanaticism, has rolled through dozens of Kurdish villages and towns in the region around Kobani, sending 180,000 refugees fleeing for their lives across the border.

Self-evidently the lightly armed Kurdish militias desperately holding out in Kobani are fighting the right enemy—-that is, the Islamic State. So why has Obama’s grand coalition not been able to relieve the siege?  Why haven’t American bombers and cruise missiles, for instance, been able to destroy the American tanks and artillery which a terrifying band of butchers has brought to bear on several hundred thousand innocent Syrian Kurds who have made this enclave their home for more than a century? Why has not NATO ally Turkey, with a 600,000 man military, 3,500 tanks and 1,000 modern aircraft and helicopters, done anything meaningful to help the imperiled Kurds?

Location of Kobani

Let’s see. The US is making perfunctory air strikes. Yet with no boots on the ground in the context of close urban combat in a city of 50,000—–a major air onslaught would result in massive civilian casualties. Although Obama already has much blood on his hands, he is apparently not ready for a Gaza-on-the-Euphrates.

So then why doesn’t Turkey put some infantry and spotters on the ground—-highly trained “boots” that are literally positioned a few kilometers away on its side of the border?

Well, Turkish President Erdogan just explained his government’s reluctance quite succinctly, as reported by Bloomberg on Saturday:

For us, ISIL and the (Kurdish) PKK are the same,” Erdogan said in televised remarks today in Istanbul.

And that’s literally true because from Turkey’s vantage point the Kobani showdown is a case of terrorist-on-terrorist. The Kurdish fighters in Kobani are linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK. The latter has waged a separatist campaign of armed insurrection and terror inside and around Turkey for 30-years and has long been considered Turkey’s top security threat. In fact, Turkey has received untold amounts of US aid, equipment and intelligence over the years to help suppress this uprising. That’s the reason that PKK is officially classified as a “terrorist” group by the U.S. and the government in Ankara.

And, no, the Syrian and Turkish Kurds so classified as terrorists are not some black sheep cousins of the “good guy” Kurds in Erbil and northeastern Iraq that CNN parades every night as America’s heroic ally on the ground. They are all part of the greater Kurdish nation of some 30 million who inhabit southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria and Iraq and western Iran. Taken together, these Kurdish enclaves comprise the single largest ethnic population in the Middle East that does not have its own state, and which has been a source of irredentist conflict and instability for decades.

Map showing the Kurdish inhabited areas on the borders of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Armenia.

As a matter of fact, Erdogan has been pursuing a rapprochement with the Turkish Kurds for the better part of the last decade and had actually made progress in quelling the violence and initiating a political solution. Yet Washington’s two latest campaigns of “regime change” could not have been more inimical to a peaceful resolution of the region’s long-festering Kurdish problem. And, of course, the historic roots of that problem were served up by the West 100 years ago when its strip pants diplomats carved out borders that gave practically every major ethnic group their own nation, except the Kurds.

In that context, the Bush/neocon destruction of Saddam’s dictatorship in Iraq paved the way for fragmentation of the Sykes-Picot borders and the de facto partition of Iraq, including a rump Kurdish state in the northeast. Then Washington’s foolish delusion that it was spending $25 billion to train and equip an “Iraqi army” added fuel to the fire.

The so-called Iraqi army was never a national military arm of the Iraqi state because the latter had already failed owing to the onslaught of the US “liberation” and occupation. Instead, it was a glorified Shiite militia whose members had no interest in dying to protect or hold Sunni lands in the west and north. So the “Iraqi army’s” American arms, abandoned wholesale and then captured by ISIS, literally created the necessity for the Syrian Kurds to mobilize and arm themselves in self defense. Presently, another rump Kurdish state rose along much of Turkey’s 560-mile Syrian border.

The original trigger for that development had actually been Anderson Cooper’s War to liberate the Syrian people from the brutish but secular regime that ruled them in Damascus. It too set off forces of fragmentation and partition that have now come home to roost in Kobani.

Thus, after the Arab spring uprising in 2011, the US ambassador to Syria pulled the equivalent of what we now call a “Yats” or an organized campaign to overthrow the government to which he was accredited; and in short order the R2P ladies aid society in the White House (Susan Rice and Samantha Powers) made the State Department’s maneuvering to undermine Syria’s constitutionally elected government official policy, proclaiming that Bashar Assad “has to go”.

In no time, the Kurdish enclaves in Syria essentially declared their independence, and reached a modus vivendi with Damascus. Namely, they would keep Assad’s main enemy—the majority Sunni Arabs—-out of the Kurdish enclaves on the central and eastern Syrian border with Turkey in return for being left alone and exempt from visitations by the Syrian air force.

Needless to say, that looked to the Turks like collaboration with Assad—whose removal from power ranks far higher on Ankara’s priority scale than making war on ISIS. On the other hand, Turkey’s proposal to staunch the flood of Kurdish and other Syrian refugees across its border by occupying a 20 mile “buffer zone” inside Syria is seen by the Kurds as a plot against them. As Bloomberg explains,

Kurds say the plan is aimed at crushing their nascent autonomous administration, carved out during Syria’s three-year civil war as Assad’s government lost control of their part of the country. Turkey says the Syrian Kurds are collaborating with Assad and should have been fighting him.

Meanwhile, the modern-day George Washington of the Kurdish peoples, Abdullah Ocalan, who has languished in a Turkish prison on an island outside Istanbul since 1999, warns that if Turkey does not come to the aid of Kobani his negotiations with Erdogan might end and the three decade civil war which had resulted in 40,000 Turkish deaths might resume.  Yet as one expert in the region further explained to Bloomberg, coming to the aid of the Kurdish militia affiliated with the PKK would go beyond the pale for Ankara:

It’s “unthinkable” for Turkey to go beyond that and assist PKK-linked groups such as the Syrian Kurds, according to Nihat Ali Ozcan, an analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara.

“No Turkish politician can explain to the public why the government is aiding the PKK and its affiliated groups after fighting against it for 30 years,” he said by phone.

In short, the region’s logical bulwark against ISIS—-the huge, modern, lethal Turkish military—is stymied by a tide of Kurdish irredentism that Washington’s “regime change” policy has elicited all around it and within Turkey’s own borders. In fact, it now has two rump Kurdistan’s on its borders and its huge internal Kurdish population bestirred and mobilized in a pan-Kurdish drama. Rather than progressing toward internal political settlement, the Kurdish political leadership in Ankara—-which has supported Erdogan in return for lavish economic development funds in Kurdish areas—is now openly critical:

“The people of Kobani feel deserted and furious,” Faysal Sariyildiz, another pro-Kurdish legislator, said yesterday.

The current activities of the Turkish military on the border check-by-jowl with the ISIS militants laying siege to Kobani say it all. On the one hand, they are managing the flow of Syrian Kurdish refugees desperately fleeing across the border. At the same time, they are systematically attempting to stop the inflow of native Turkish Kurd fighters streaming toward Kobani to join the defense of their kinsmen. Ankara clearly does not want Turkish Kurds to become battle-trained in urban warfare. So far, however, they have apparently not fired even a single round of artillery at the ISIS-manned American tanks that are within a kilometer of an epic slaughter in Kobani.

Vice-President Biden was right for once. Washington has no real allies in the region because they all have another agenda. Turkey is focused on its near enemy in the Kurdish regions and its far enemy in Damascus, not the ISIS butchers who have laid claim to the Sunni lands of Euphrates valley in parts of what used to be Iraq and Syria. The Qataris want Assad gone and a new government—even one controlled by ISIS—which will grant them a pipeline concession through Syria in order to tap the giant European market for their immense natural gas reserves.

Likewise, the Saudi’s want to destroy the Assad regime because it is allied with their Shiite enemy across the Persian Gulf in Iran and because they fear their own abused Shiite populations which are concentrated in their oilfield regions. Consequently, they see the fight against ISIS as essentially a pretext for escalating their war against Damascus, and are not even interested in bombing the non-ISIS jihadi like the Nusra Front that they see as allies in the campaign against Assad.

Continue reading…

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The ISIS Crisis event flyer

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Orthodox church seized in Turka, Ukraine

Pravoslavie.ru: “PEOPLE WERE HORRIFIED WHEN THEY SAW THE PRIEST, COVERED WITH BLOOD!” – A CHURCH IS FORCIBLY SEIZED NEAR LVOV

As Ukrainian nationalists increasingly try to force members of the canonical Orthodox Church into joining the self-proclaimed “Kiev Patriarchate”, the violence of the 1990’s against Orthodox clergy is being repeated in western Ukraine. As before, the Ukrainian Greek Catholics (Uniates) are involved in what they perceive as a “nationalization” of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. This news of a church in the Lvov region is only one example of a frightening trend that is growing in post-Maidan Ukraine. While English language religious news services have been quick to cover the incidents in eastern Ukraine against Pentecostals or other sects imported from the West, this alarming violence against the only canonical, native Church in the Ukraine is remaining somehow unnoticed.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has addressesd the U.N. and other international agencies concerning the danger, but the uncanonical “Kiev Patriarch” Filaret (Denysenko) has accused Patriarch Kirill of lying.

Turka, Lvov Province, October 2, 2014

In the town of Turka near Lvov, Ukraine, a group of fifty athletic-looking men, with the support of the local police, have forcibly seized the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God, Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, as reported by news agency Interfax-Religion, citing the Russian website National Control.

In the process, the priest of the church was physically injured, the church closed, and the parishioners forbidden to enter their church. According to information published by the agency, some of the attackers were Greek Catholics (Uniates).

The faithful of this parish had received threats as early as last spring. In March of 2014, the rector of the Church Alexei Sloboda was approached by a certain private businessman from the town of Turka, who announced to the priest, “Fr. Alexei, we love and respect you, but you must go over to the Kiev Patriarchate.”

The priest answered that he cannot do this, because he would thereby be committing a gross violation of Church canons. Therefore, as Christ’s faithful pastor, he said he will remain in the bosom of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The businessman then threatened him, saying, “If you do not go over, you will see what will happen to you…”

While Fr. Alexei was performing the church services, supporters of the “Kiev Patriarchate” attacked him and threw him to the floor

Archpriest Alexei Sloboda
Archpriest Alexei Sloboda

On June 29, 2014, when Archpriest Alexei was performing the church services, a group of ten supporters of the “Kiev Patriarchate” broke into the church. The mob was headed by several former militant Communists. The ruffians ran onto the ambo (the raised area just in front of the sanctuary doors), attacked the priest and threw him to the floor. Afterwards, court medical experts recorded bodily injuries to the priest.Again, only recently on September 28, 2014, a group of fifty people (including town businessmen and strong men of athletic appearance) broke into the church’s territory and forcibly seized the property, .

They locked the church and closed all access to the church property. The parishioners were particularly shocked by the fifty-strong police force specially sent to the church.

Instead of defending the faithful and clergy from this criminal attack, the police simply stood by indifferently watching events unfold.

Locked church gates in Turka

The Orthodox parishioners (300 people, mainly old men and women) tried to get through and open their church, but they were met with tough resistance from the usurpers, and… the police. Even more remarkable was how the police stood on the side of the attackers and accused the parishioners of provoking a “conflict”.

No pleas or arguments from the Orthodox citizens to the municipal authorities were of any effect, regardless of the fact that the parishioners had all the necessary legal documentation: the certificate of registration of an Orthodox community, and right of ownership for the property.

The parishioners of the church testify to the fact that the majority of the muscular men had never attended services in that church.

The same evening, when the faithful came once more to their church for evening services, no one was permitted to enter the church territory—neither the parishioners nor the clergy.

They smashed Hieromonk Vladimir’s (Kozanchin) face. People were horrified to see the priest covered with blood.

Hieromonk Vladimir Kozanchin
Hieromonk Vladimir Kozanchin

Further, one of the usurpers raised his arm against the priest and threw at him a bottle filled with water that he had prepared for the attack. As a result, Hieromonk Vladimir’s (Kozanchin) face was smashed. People were horrified to see their priest covered with blood.The Orthodox began writing claims concerning the attacks. Because the attacker smelled of alcohol, the faithful demanded that the police conduct a medical investigation of the ruffian for alcoholic inebriation. The police, however, categorically refused to do so.

Today the situation remains extremely tense, and the seized church is locked. The faithful are not allowed to enter it, and are continually threatened and intimidated.

On October 1, 2014, the parishioners made a complaint to the Lvov Regional Sovereign Administration, but their complaint was not accepted.

Two weeks prior to this incident, arsonists attacked the monastic skete where Hieromonk Vladimir (Kozanchin) lives. One of the buildings was set on fire, and its second floor and roof were burned.

Priest Yaroslav Yavorsky
Priest Yaroslav Yavorsky

The criminals were not hindered by the fact that this skete is being built by the widowed priest Yaroslav Yavorsky, who was left with six children at his wife’s death. Fr. Yaroslav’s wife died of cancer, and he began building the skete with what money he had. According to the latest information, representatives from both the “Kiev Patriarchate” and the Greek Catholic Churches were among the attackers.

Today Orthodox Ukrainians are seriously concerned about the beginning of new persecutions against their Church. This concern arises despite the fact that the new Ukrainian government is trying with all its might to declare its allegiance to Western democracy, tolerance, and support for religious freedom.

But the ironic twist is that almost all the Orthodox priests being subjected to persecutions are themselves native Ukrainians. In accordance with Orthodox Church liturgical practice, priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church pray daily at the services for the civil authorities of Ukraine, and the majority of the parishioners are likewise native Ukrainians. But this does not at all stop the vandals from attacking Orthodox churches and their parishioners.

If these facts of religious discrimination and openly criminal attacks, supported by the authorities and police, become known to the European Union, international defense agencies may be called in to resolve the conflict.

And then, even the European officials loyal to the new Ukraine may unavoidably have to ask unpleasant questions of the authorities in Kiev and Lvov, who are allowing such religious intolerance and openly criminal acts against the faithful, writes National Control.

03 / 10 / 2014

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The departed who lay buried in those mass graves perished because of the actions of the US-backed neofascist puppet regime in Kiev. They died at the hands of either the official Ukrainian troops, or the paramilitary gangs who put the regime into power to begin with. No doubt the Obama regime will do what it can to subvert the investigation so as to deflect the blame from the perpetrators and their backers and somehow pin it on the victims, who have already been smeared as “terrorists.”

RIA Novosti: Washington Supports Full Investigation of Mass Graves in Eastern Ukraine

WASHINGTON, October 2 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The United States supports full investigation into the mass graves discovered in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki has said during a press briefing .

“We would support full and thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the facts,” Psaki said Wednesday.

She also called for the “Russia-supported separatists” to allow access to the site.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed that over 400 bodies had been discovered in mass graves near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Lavrov called the facts horrific and pointing to a war crime.

Last week, several mass graves filled with bodies of massacred civilians and independence supporters were unearthed some 35 kilometers [21 miles] northeast of Donetsk, in the village of Nyzhnia Krynka.

Independence supporters of southeastern Ukraine claim that the killings were carried out by the pro-Kiev National Guard fighters, who had stayed in the area since April, when the Ukrainian government launched its military operation in the region.

Ukrainian authorities have denied the accusation, saying that not a single National Guard fighter was present in the area during that period, adding, though, that some other Ukrainian military units were deployed there at the time.

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Contrasting gatitos: Peace and harmony

Cats leave paw prints on our hearts and we are forever changed...

For those who consider the above photos too sentimental, there’s THIS…but don’t try it at home or school or work or anywhere outside of Photoshop! No cats were harmed in these photos…

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From: Dr. M. Pravica
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2014 10:11 AM

Dear All:

When I saw Scott Taylor’s excellent article, I immediately responded by writing a terse 30 second (literally) comment on the Now Toronto website to thank the magazine for publishing his article because that’s how we get magazines/newspapers/other news outlets to publish more of the same (positive feedback). I had intended to write a longer letter but didn’t manage to because of my extremely busy schedule. Nevertheless, the magazine published my very short comment. We might infer, then, that next to zero letters were written in support of Scott Taylor. And that’s a big shame because much more could and should have been said relating to Western support of Islamic extremism and the subsequent “blowback” that we are all now receiving which is bankrupting the West and bringing us WWIII.

It should, therefore, come as absolutely no surprise why the Serbs have lost so much in the recent wars and why they will continue losing territory to their enemies. No organization, no leadership, and no strategy. But lot’s of “inat.” Some of the most effective activists for the Serbian people (Stella Jatras+, Julia Gorin, Scott Taylor, Ambassador Bissett, Gen. Lewis Mackenzie, David Binder, etc.) aren’t even Serbian. How very sad. Today’s battles are first fought in the minds of people via propaganda, and not on conventional battlefields. Once the battle moves over to the real battlefield (at least for small nations such as Serbia), it is already over – a done deal – due to overwhelming technological superiority of the aggressors (NATO).

Please remember that God helps those who help themselves.

Michael

NOW Toronto Letters to the Editor:

Confronting the beast in Middle East

Thank you for publishing Scott Taylor’s excellent article on the Canadian government’s decision to send troops to fight ISIS in Iraq (NOW, September 18-24).

It’s time for Western leaders to confront the reality of the beast they have created in the Middle East, Kosovo and elsewhere.

Michael Pravica

From nowtoronto.com

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On YouTube:

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Published on Sep 4, 2014 by securefreedom
For more information visit: http://www.securethegrid.com Frank Gaffney, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Acting) and President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, Moderator Michael Maloof, former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, with nearly 30 years of federal service in the U.S. Defense Department and as a specialized trainer for border guards and Special Forces, and author of A Nation Forsaken: EMP: The Escalating Threat of an American Catastrophe. Mr. Maloof will give an overview of the threats posed to the U.S. electric grid and the critical infrastructures that depend upon it. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, former career CIA analyst, member of the staff of the congressionally mandated Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Commission, Executive Director of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security and author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe. Dr. Pry will address the particular danger posed by the Islamic State and similar jihadist groups, the risk of naturally occurring events that could take down the grid and the impediments to the needed corrective actions. Amb. Henry F. Cooper, PhD, is a mechanical engineer who formerly served as the Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Research, Development, and Logistics. In those capacities he oversaw steps taken by the Defense Department to ensure the resiliency of critical weapon systems against EMP effects. Dr. Cooper will explain what can be done to protect the grid against all hazards and the necessity of doing so. Kelly Carlson, an accomplished Hollywood actor who has been active on national and maritime security issues and serves as member of the Secure the Grid Coalition. Ms. Carlson will present several videos aimed at raising the awareness of the American people to the vulnerability of the electric grid and to encourage action by federal and state governments to protect the bulk power distribution system.

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On YouTube:

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Published on Sep 29, 2014 by securefreedom
For more information visit: http://securethegrid.com/

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The ‘new age’ and ‘human potential’ hucksters of the 1970s and beyond have had a field day with this. Real science proves them wrong!

Do I Only Use 10% of My Brain?

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Published on Sep 29, 2014 by SciShow

SciShow debunks the myth that you only use 10 percent of your brain. So, how much do you really use? And how do we know?

Hosted by: Hank Green
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Sources:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-people-only-use-10-percent-of-their-brains/
http://psychology.about.com/od/biopsychology/a/10-percent-of-brain-myth.htm
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/consciousness-and-the-brain/201106/do-we-use-only-10-percent-our-brain
http://bigthink.com/videos/debunking-common-brain-myths
https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/tenper.html
http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/07/24/busting-a-brain-myth#

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