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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  June 16, 2021 4:30am-5:01am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: us presidentjoe biden has arrived in geneva — ahead of wednesday's summit with president vladimir putin of russia. relations between the two countries are at their lowest point in decades — and mr biden has already said he will lay down america's �*red lines�* during the talks. israel says it has attacked hamas armed compounds in the gaza strip — the first such attack since a ceasefire last month ended 11 days of cross—border fighting. the israeli military said the air strikes were in response to incendiary balloons launched from the palestinian territory. a court in france has fined ikea $1.2 million for illegally spying on some of its employees. the case concerns surveillance of staff from 2009—2012. prosecutors said ikea used a private detective agency.
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now on bbc news, it's hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i am stephen sackur. joe biden prepared for his geneva summit with vladimir putin by reassuring his partners in nato that america is back in the saddle, committed to the defence of european allies and determined to leave the alliances response to evolving geographical and technological threats. but how convincing is all of these reassurance? my guess is nato secretary general jens stoltenberg. is rhetoric being used to paper over nato�*s cracks?
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jens stoltenberg, at nato headquarters in brussels, welcome to hardtalk. thank you so much for _ welcome to hardtalk. thank you so much for having _ welcome to hardtalk. thank you so much for having me. - welcome to hardtalk. thank you so much for having me. mr - so much for having me. mr secretary _ so much for having me. mr secretary general, the just finished nato summit had plenty of talk about challenges coming from russia but also challenge coming from china. it left some people a little bit confused about your strategic vision. you tell me, as you sit at headquarters right now, what is perceived to be nato's number one threat?— perceived to be nato's number one threat? nato's number one task is to _ one threat? nato's number one task is to do — one threat? nato's number one task is to do exactly _ one threat? nato's number one task is to do exactly the - one threat? nato's number one task is to do exactly the same l task is to do exactly the same today as we have done for more than 70 years, and that is to
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protect and defend all allies against any potential threat. but the threats we face, they shift, and during the cold war it was one well—defined threat, that was the soviet union, it was dangerous but it was in a way, clear. now we live in a much more unpredictable are much more unpredictable are much more unpredictable are much more complex world, where we see aggressive actions of russia, we seek terrorism and with the cyber threats and within a security consequences of the rise of china. this is a more predict that unpredictable world from challenges from every direction is what nato has to respond to but in a way we have been doing exactly the same as we have done in 70 years to protect all allies. your name hasn't changed, you are still be north atlantic treaty 0rganisation so i dare say people would see it as logical and right now, day after day, vladimir putin and his ambitions for his own
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region, his only assertiveness, beyond his own borders, surely that remains your number one threat, as a regional collective security organisation? collective security or: anisation? . ., collective security oruanisation? . ., ., organisation? that we do not rank the threats. _ organisation? that we do not rank the threats. we - organisation? that we do not rank the threats. we face - organisation? that we do not i rank the threats. we face much more complex and many different threats at the same time. and we need to be prepared for them at the same time. the only time we evoked article five without after terrorist attacks in the united states, organised from afghanistan. so i think it reminds us that we face many different threats and we have to be prepared for all of them. yes, nato remains the alliance of north america and europe, but this region faces global threats. from a more aggressive russia but also from cyber and many other directions. we need to identify one specific threat being the number one, is wrong, we are prepared for many surprises are many different
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threats and we need to be prepared for unforeseen and thatis prepared for unforeseen and that is exactly what nato is, and what we did on monday is we agreed on a forward looking and ambitious agenda for nato to adapt and modernise nato in a more competitive world. sting ou ut more competitive world. sting you put it _ more competitive world. sting you put it in — more competitive world. sting you put it in terms _ more competitive world. sting you put it in terms of - more competitive world. sting you put it in terms of a - more competitive world. sting you put it in terms of a global| you put it in terms of a global perspective, notjust regional. let's now look at what is right at the heart of the day today challenge, and it is russia, and we speak asjoe biden is preparing for a face—to—face meeting in geneva with vladimir putin. you have been top dog at nato, secretary general, for the last seven years. you took overjust the last seven years. you took over just after the last seven years. you took overjust after vladimir putin and his forces had annexed crimea and moved into east ukraine to back the separatists there. would you acknowledge that over seven years, you have done nothing to actually change vladimir putin's approach to
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his region?— his region? no. i would not auree his region? no. i would not agree to — his region? no. i would not agree to that. _ his region? no. i would not agree to that. nato - his region? no. i would not agree to that. nato has - agree to that. nato has actually triggered by the legal annexation by crimea implemented the biggest reinforcement of collective defence in a generation. for the first time in our history, we are backing groups in the eastern part of the alliance, we are bringing in the readiness fourth and we have allies investing since the end of the cold war. this is important changes of how nato is responding to the aggressive actions of russia against ukraine, georgia and other countries. ukraine, georgia and other countries-— countries. but look at your record over _ countries. but look at your record over the _ countries. but look at your record over the last - countries. but look at your record over the last seven | record over the last seven years, mr secretary general. vladimir putin's forces still in ukraine, vladimir putin is backing the belarusian campaign
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despite all the pressures that the west is trying to bring to bear on that situation, vladimir putin is ramping up military deployments in the arctic. nothing that nato has donein arctic. nothing that nato has done in terms of deterrence have changed vladimir putin's strategy. have changed vladimir putin's strate: . ~ ., strategy. well, the main purpose _ strategy. well, the main purpose of _ strategy. well, the main purpose of nato - strategy. well, the main purpose of nato is - strategy. well, the main purpose of nato is to - strategy. well, the main i purpose of nato is to make strategy. well, the main - purpose of nato is to make sure that no nato ally suffers the same kind of aggressive actions that we have seen against the ukraine and georgia. we have been unable to protect, preserve and protect piece and since 2014, when we saw the legal annexation of crimea. that is the success of nato. we prevent anything similar happening to a nato country as we seen happening to other countries in the neighbourhood of russia. ,, , ., , of russia. surely that is the minimum — of russia. surely that is the minimum threshold - of russia. surely that is the minimum threshold of - of russia. surely that is the minimum threshold of what of russia. surely that is the - minimum threshold of what you at nato hope to achieve over
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the last seven years? for example, even before you took over as secretary general, nato had committed, long—term, to seeing ukraine become a member of your organisation. 0ver seeing ukraine become a member of your organisation. over the seven years you have been in charge, nothing has been done to progress ukrainian membership, and when president zelensky of ukraine on the eve of this latest summit, he tweeted and he was hoping to put pressure on you, saying that in effect, we have now got the green light for membership action plan and that was quickly dismissed by all of the nato members, and yourself! ukraine does not have a membership action plan and there is no sign that you want ukraine to be a member of nato. first of all, it is not a small thing to prevent any allies from being attacked by russia orany from being attacked by russia or any other potential adverse areas. that is not a small
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minimum, this is actually extremely important to preserve peace for all nato allies. secondly, we do also support ukraine, we give them political support for territorial integrity and sovereignty, and allies are providing practical support for ukraine. with different types of training capacity building, i spoke for several hours during the summit so we are ready to step up and supporting ukraine because we, the ukraine is a close partner, and we help them implement reforms because the way to move towards nato membership is to organise and mobilise reform defence and security institutions so they can meet nato standards one day. the oint nato standards one day. the point is. _ nato standards one day. the point is. jens _ nato standards one day. the point is, jens stoltenberg, those members of nato who are arguably most vulnerable to russian aggression, for example, poland and the baltic states, they all say that ukraine should be given the roadmap to membership now. in
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fact, it is a vital signal to send you vladimir putin that the ukraine and georgia be given that green now. why won't you do it? given that green now. why won't oudoit?�* ,, given that green now. why won't oudoit?�* , ., given that green now. why won't you do it?— you do it? because to make that decision we _ you do it? because to make that decision we need _ you do it? because to make that decision we need 30 _ you do it? because to make that decision we need 30 allies - you do it? because to make that decision we need 30 allies to - decision we need 30 allies to agree that ukraine is ready for membership. we all agree that we should support ukraine efforts to move towards membership. we help them to mobilise, to train, to increase standards and not least we work with them to fight corruption. corruption is continuing to become a big problem in the ukraine and undermines the strength of their security and defence institutions. they agree with us that they need to focus on these reforms. these reforms have value in themselves and make ukraine less vulnerable for russian interference, aggression, but also helps to move ukraine towards nato membership. i will not give you a date and when
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that will happen but i will say that will happen but i will say that we will continue to support them on that path quite would be regarded as a personal failure, if, by the time you leave your post next year, that ukraine and georgia have not be given a membership action plan status. ~ ., , given a membership action plan status. ~ . , ., ., status. will that be a failure authority — status. will that be a failure authority are _ status. will that be a failure authority are concerned? i status. will that be a failure l authority are concerned? that is not the _ authority are concerned? that is not the way _ authority are concerned? that is not the way i _ authority are concerned? that is not the way i work. - authority are concerned? trisgt is not the way i work. that is not the way nato works. for us, it is a question of whether ukraine meets the nato standards and then we make the decision. this is not a specific day. i approve of my tenure as secretary general that nato's door is open. 0ver my time as secretary general, we have emerged with two new member states, montenegro and macedonia, so it proves that nato doors remain open but it is a decision by 30 allies to decide when a country is ready for membership. russia does not
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have a say. russia does not have a say. russia does not have the right to try to veto membership of any country. it is a principle that all the other nations have the right to decide their own part, including what sort of security arrangement they want to be part of and that also applies for georgia.— for georgia. not long ago president _ for georgia. not long ago president biden - for georgia. not long ago| president biden described vladimir putin as a killer. is that the way you see him as well? ., “ well? so, i worked with president _ well? so, i worked with president putin - well? so, i worked with president putin over . well? so, i worked with i president putin over many well? so, i worked with - president putin over many years my previous capacity as minister as norway. i know that of course russia is responsible for aggressive actions. we have seen how they poison people trying to oppose their regime in moscow, how they crackdown on democratic protests. and how there is a response of aggressive actions on nato territory as is the alexander's
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scrabble case. the author agreements under russia with president putin and therefore the decision to extend the new nuclear arms agreement, control agreement, and i know it from my own experiences, areas of the barents sea and energy agreements, it is possible to sit and talk with president putin and with russia. we both realise the aggressive actions... . , . ., actions... . deterrence and dialogue — actions... . deterrence and dialogue is— actions... . deterrence and dialogue is the _ actions... . deterrence and dialogue is the phrase - actions... . deterrence and dialogue is the phrase you | actions... . deterrence and i dialogue is the phrase you are often use. i wonder if you think vladimir putin takes nato and membership seriously because we talk about deterrence, joe biden uses words like killer, but at the same time we know that many important members states actually are looking to very strong economic ties with russia. germany for example, has just completed the first branch of its pipeline, the nord stream two, bringing russian gas right into germany and say this notion that at the
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same time we can talk tough with vladimir putin and getting away from any regional aggression but at the same time have a warm dialogue and economic ties with him, it really seems like an incoherent set of signals to moscow? ida. set of signals to moscow? no. all me, dialogue _ set of signals to moscow? no. all me, dialogue is _ set of signals to moscow? no. all me, dialogue is not - set of signals to moscow? firm all me, dialogue is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. as long as we are strong and united, and as we do exactly what we do now in nature, we reinforce collective defence, we can talk to russia. we need to talk to russia. russia is our neighbour. we need to strive for a better relationship but even without a better relationship in the foreseeable future, we need to manage a difficult relationship. in one way, it is even more important to help to them now when tensions are high, and with the more military presence around the borders, to prevent incidents and access. we need transparency and risk reduction to prevent dangerous accidents from happening and if they
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happen, prevent them from spiralling out of control and creating dangerous situations. and then we need to talk with russia on issues like arms control, extension of the long—range weapons agreement, this is extremely important but this is extremely important but this is extremely important but this is just a first step. we need to include more weapons systems, new technologies in future arms control, and i'm absolutely confident that that will be one of the important conversations between president biden and president putin and all nato ally leaders will welcome the opportunity to sit down with president biden before the meeting with president putin to consult with these issues, which are important for all of us. shift focus to wider _ important for all of us. shift focus to wider issues - important for all of us. shift focus to wider issues that l important for all of us. shiftl focus to wider issues that we spoke about beginning. why did the nato summits communicate present china is, quote, a systemic challenge to the rules based international order? because we see that china does not share our values and we see
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that there is a push back against russia and china. 50 against russia and china. so does turkey right now represent your values? does turkey right now represent yourvalues? does does turkey right now represent your values? does hungry represent your values? does nato have a coherent set of values? firstly it is meaningless to compare hungry turkey and china when it comes to democratic values. second, there are concerns that have been raised, i raised them myself in meetings in and kara and i think nato is an important platform to discuss theseissues important platform to discuss these issues when there are concerns about to what extent they are living our values. but that is a very _ they are living our values. emit that is a very different thing to address the authoritarian regime in beijing where they are using violence in cracking down on democratic protest in hong kong, where they are
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persecuting ethnic and religious minorities, as we see against the uighurs and also the corrosive behaviour they have demonstrated in the south china sea or the way they treat countries such as canada or australia when they do not behave the way beijing likes. and then you have to understand... and then you have to understand. . .- and then you have to understand... ., . . , understand... you have raised so many _ understand... you have raised so many issues _ understand... you have raised so many issues there. - understand... you have raised so many issues there. that. understand... you have raised i so many issues there. that stop for a second to think about it. some in europe think that when you start to take a stand against china as you have just done with me, you are doing the bidding ofjoe biden because there is no question that for america china is a long—term strategic afraid and this is what emmanuel macron said after the summit. he said that nato is an organisation that concerns the north atlantic and china has little to do with the north atlantic. it is very important, said president macron, that we do not scatter
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ourselves and we do not bias ourselves and we do not bias our future relationship with china. i our future relationship with china. . . . china. i reflect what all allies agree _ china. i reflect what all allies agree and - china. i reflect what all allies agree and one i china. i reflect what all allies agree and one of| china. i reflect what all. allies agree and one of the important decisions we made at the summit was that we agreed on a unified clear position on china. all allies agreed to that. secondly, yes, nato is a north atlantic alliance but we are affected by global threats and challenges including china. forgive me but macron's point is that we're nato have many serious challenges close to home, not least with vladimir putin and we must not, to quote macron, distract ourselves by getting involved on the level you have with china. firstly, we agree on the message from the summitand we agree on the message from the summit and you just quoted from that statement, the communique. second, nato does not have the luxury of choosing
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one threat or another. we need to address aggressive actions and we also need to address the security consequences of the rise of china. we cannot choose. we do not have that luxury. secondly, this is not about moving nato to asia. this is about in this region we are faced with the challenges that the rise of china poses to us. we see them coming closer to us at home, trying to control critical infrastructure such as the sg critical infrastructure such as the 5g networks and investing heavily in infrastructure. we see them in africa and the arctic, we see them in cyberspace and we need to respond to that in the main message from the summit on monday is that we should do that together as an alliance because no country, no conflict can manage this alone. we need to do this together because around 50% of the economic might and that makes a big
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difference. do not think it is possible, mr secretary general, that in beijing you they are listening to you talk about nato's need to be truly global and then they look at the reality of nato. for example in afghanistan where you are now pulling out because of the american decision to get all us forces out by september this year. nato is following suit and basically leaving afghanistan in a terrible mess. surely that tells beijing that despite all of your words about globalised commitments and dealing with threats wherever they may be, you are not serious. you could not sustain a mission in afghanistan. mata a mission in afghanistan. nato was not going _ a mission in afghanistan. nato was not going to _ a mission in afghanistan. nato was not going to be _ a mission in afghanistan. nato was not going to be a - a mission in afghanistan. ijsgtfr was not going to be a global alliance but we had to deal with global threats and challenges. they are different things. challenges. they are different thins. .. challenges. they are different thins, ., ., challenges. they are different thins. ., . things. you saw a specific threat in _ things. you saw a specific threat in afghanistan - things. you saw a specific threat in afghanistan tied | things. you saw a specific i threat in afghanistan tied to the taliban and tired to the fear of it being a hotbed of international terror and you
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have been there off the back of the us intervention for the best part of two decades and now you are leaving because the americans are leaving but nobody in the world believes that the threat from both the teller man and possibly international terror groups as well has gone away. in fact it may well get worse once you have gone. in may well get worse once you have gone-— may well get worse once you have gone. in afghanistan it is correct that — have gone. in afghanistan it is correct that we _ have gone. in afghanistan it is correct that we have _ have gone. in afghanistan it is correct that we have decided l have gone. in afghanistan it is| correct that we have decided to end our military mission after two decades. i have been open and clear about the risks that that decision entails. at the same time, the intention was to never be there for ever. 0ver never be there for ever. over the last years we have reduced our presence from over 100,000 in combat operation to now the mission. but we are not ending our support for afghans. we will continue to provide
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funding for afghan security forces, which we have trained and built from almost nothing to now around 300,000 professional security forces. secondly, we will work on how we can provide out of country training for afghan forces and, thirdly, we are looking into how we can now maintain critical infrastructure such as airports and medical facilities and the rest to support the continued civilian presence in afghanistan. but there are risks. absolutely. and there is a very difficult situation in afghanistan but to continue an open—ended mission in afghanistan, we have also had lists of fighting in casualty and even a need for increased nato presence. so after a broad consultation between all allies and ministerial meetings, many meetings with ambassadors, we made a decision together, not
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an easy decision but there are no easy options in afghanistan. you are leaving your post in roughly one year from now. you have big ambitions for the strategic vision of nato, mentioning everything from taking on china to cyberspace and even spaces a new frontier for nato and yet nato is still not financing itself in terms of commitments from its member states. most member states are still not meeting the threshold that nato requires for defence spending. ambition is one thing, reality is another, isn't it?— isn't it? our allies are delivering. _ isn't it? our allies are delivering. we - isn't it? our allies are delivering. we made l isn't it? our allies are i delivering. we made the commitment in 2014 to increase defence spending and since then we have had seven consecutive years of increased defence spending across europe and canada and that has really changed the trend because before that we had a reduction in defence spending and that we have seven consecutive years of increased spending.— increased spending. two-thirds of our increased spending. two-thirds of your members _ increased spending. two-thirds of your members are _ increased spending. two-thirds of your members are still - increased spending. two-thirds of your members are still not . of your members are still not meeting the requirement in my
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point is your ambition seems to be getting of a wider full there is a disconnect there. mr; there is a disconnect there. my ambition there is a disconnect there. ii ambition is there is a disconnect there. ii1: ambition is as there is a disconnect there. ii1 ambition is as it has always been for nato, that we need to protect our allies. we need to do that in a different way than we did tell 20 years ago. that is obvious. so it is exactly the same but the environment and threats we are faced with are different. secondly, analysts added 260 billion extra us dollars and for me that demonstrates a commitment to not only transatlantic unity it is also in deeds, notjust words or rhetoric. it enables us to invest in new military capability. when you made a decision only 3% another are ten allies and they are not yet at 2%. that was the aim we
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agreed in 2014. we are on a good track and the summit this week demonstrated unity and opens a new chapter now in the transatlantic alliance. i opens a new chapter now in the transatlantic alliance.— transatlantic alliance. i thank ou ve transatlantic alliance. i thank you very much _ transatlantic alliance. i thank you very much indeed - transatlantic alliance. i thank you very much indeed for - you very much indeed for joining me on hardtalk. thank you. joining me on hardtalk. thank ou. ., ~' joining me on hardtalk. thank ou. ., ~ 1 ., joining me on hardtalk. thank ou. . ~ ,, , hello again. tuesday was another very warm day across england and wales. temperatures peaked at 27 degrees celsius. that's just two down from the hottest day of the year, which was at the start of the week on monday. and as i say, england and wales enjoyed a lot of sunshine. scotland and northern ireland,
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a different story. we had rain, and that band of rain continues to push its way eastwards over the next few hours whilst weakening, so the rain will become lighter and patchier. across the board, temperatures staying up into double figures as we head into the first part of wednesday morning. now, this front is a cold front, and it's an important one. very weak, it will bring just a few patches of rain across north—west england and north—west wales. sunny spells for scotland and northern ireland, a few isolated showers. dry picture for east wales and most of england with lots of sunshine. but it's this front that separates the fresh air in the north—west from the increasingly humid air across east wales and england. and big temperature contrasts, too. perhaps 18 degrees across the north—west of the uk. across east wales and into the heart of england, temperatures well up into the mid—20s, the high 20s in places. but as we head into wednesday night, the atmosphere will become very volatile and will go bang. yes, the first batch of thunderstorms, the first batch of quite a few thunderstorms, will be working in on wednesday night, pushing in perhaps across east wales, certainly getting parts of england.
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and those storms will tend to clear north—eastwards as we go through thursday, with the weather settling down to a degree. still fresh air across the north—west, still quite humid across parts of eastern england. some uncertainty with the temperatures. depends, really, how much sunshine we get through some of that highest cloud across eastern areas, but it could potentially be a bit warmer than that. 0n into friday, well, another batch of storms is going to be heading in from france. again, it's mainly targeting england. that will tend to push its way northwards as we go through friday night, with the weather again settling down, calming down to a degree as we head into saturday. and then we do it all again. saturday night sees another batch of storms come through. this area of storms is probably going to be a little bit more widespread as it works its way northwards, joining forces with an atlantic weather front in the west. and that area of rain, thundery at times, will push northwards on sunday. so, we've got several bouts of thunderstorms coming our way
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over the next few days. the biggest of those could bring, well, nearly a month's worth of rain in just a few hours. flash flooding is possible.
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this is bbc news. i'm sally bundock with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. ready to meet face—to—face — joe biden and vladimir putin prepare for their first presidential summit in geneva. israel launches airstrikes against hamas targets on the gaza strip — the first major flare—up since last month's ceasefire. as iran prepares to head to the polls, we meet the voters who've become disenchanted with this election. music. and, machine music — the new composition that's partly the creation of artificial intelligence.

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