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Elon Musk Completes Twitter Acquisition; Iran's Crackdown Intensifies; Young Palestinians Take Up Arms Against Israel; Ukrainians Warned of Longer Power Outages from Russian Strikes; South Korea Claims North Korea Fired Two Missiles; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Husband Attacked at Home. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired October 28, 2022 - 10:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It starts with a flurry of high- level sackings. Plus, in Iran the regime appears to be ramping up its crackdown on anti-government demonstrators and there are fears that it is

about to get worse. And --


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For 20 years, this camp, the Jenin Refugee Camp, has been a hotbed of violent resistance against the

Israelis. It's also been the location for the planning of attacks against civilians inside Israel itself.


ANDERSON: CNN's Sam Kiley joins us with an exclusive report from a highly volatile area in the Middle East.

It's 6:00 p.m. in Abu Dhabi, home to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.

Elon Musk now owns Twitter, one of the world's most influential social media platforms, and he is wasting no time in changing things. Sources say

Musk immediately fired three top executives, including Twitter's CEO. He says more widespread layoffs are coming.

But the biggest question is what he will do about censorship and content on Twitter. Musk is a free speech advocate and has said he thinks it was a

mistake, for example, for Twitter to ban Donald Trump. But in a tweet, he told advertisers, quote, "Twitter cannot become a free-for-all hellscape

where anything can be said with no consequences."

Let's bring in CNN Business senior media reporter Oliver Darcy.

Hey, I love the term you used for that. He's bought the company, at the big question is whether Trump with 88 million followers before being banned in

the wake of the January 6th attack on the Capitol will be allowed back on. But before we talk about that, what happens next at this organization?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well right now, there's a great uncertainty I think over at Twitter. You know, Musk came in

yesterday after this deal closed, and the first thing he did was fire the entire executive team, and so the question really is, who is going to lead

this company? Is it going to be Musk and only Musk? I mean, he needs leadership in those key roles, and so I think that will give us a really

good indication of where he plans to take it.

But like you said, there are all these bigger questions, too, after he hires his team about how he wants to set guidelines for speech. He has

indicated very strongly that people will be permitted back on the platform, people like Trump who were booted for violating the Twitter rules, but how

far will that go? Will people like far-right figures like Alex Jones be permitted back on the platform? That's all up in the air.

And you know, I think this comes at a very key moment for free speech in America. There's been a lot of talk about, you know, limiting

misinformation, curbing hate speech on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and all the rest. And how do you balance that against wanting everyone to

have free speech rights, obviously, on the platform. Musk tends to lean towards the free speech absolutist zone, but he needs his advertisers, and

they're not going to want to have their content appearing next to hate speech. And so it will be very interesting to see how he balances this.

ANDERSON: Is paying a premium for this company, which for a long period of time after he said he was buying it, he didn't want? He avoided a long

drawn out litigation by actually deciding to buy it very recently again. As I say, you know, overpaying in many people's eyes. How do you expect that

this platform that many of us use will change in the immediate and medium term?

DARCY: Yes, well, I think we can expect some of those guidelines regarding misinformation to be eroded. And so, you know, Musk is talking about having

different settings for different people. So maybe some people will have total unfiltered Twitter and others might opt for a more like G rated

Twitter. And maybe there is different settings for that.

It's very unclear. You know, he says yesterday he doesn't want it to be hellscape. And I think a lot of people were already thinking, Twitter is

kind of already a hellscape.


And so, if you erode more of the rules, how do you avoid it descending into chaos, like some of these other smaller platforms? You know, you think of

Gab or Parler, these conservative or right-wing Twitter imitators that have tried to have less rules. They usually descend into chaos and hate speech

very quickly. So how do you take back some of these rules at Twitter without allowing the platform, without losing control of the platform?

I'm not sure how you do it. That's really the million-dollar question. And I'm not really sure Elon Musk knows how he's going to do it. It's going to

be interesting to see. You know, for instance, the latest example was Kanye West, obviously, right. Twitter locked his account after he spewed anti-

Semitic hate on the platform. Is that something that Elon Musk supported? We really don't know.

I asked him, you know, a couple of weeks ago when it happened, he didn't respond, and he never really explained his position on that. So these are

really key issues he's going to have to navigate over on Twitter now.

ANDERSON: We'll, look, he's got a vision to something like quadruple profits in the next -- or certainly revenues in the next few years and

indeed users as well. He's taking this private, so he's got nobody to answer to, no shareholders anyway. So it's going to be really interesting,

isn't it, to find out what happens next at this organization. I'm sure those who work for Twitter would appreciate some visibility and some

transparency because that must be extremely difficult at present.

Thank you for that.

Well, a human rights group says Iran is employing teargas and weapons of war to brutally crack down on anti-government protesters. This, after four

people were killed Thursday in Mahabad, the Kurdish city in Iran. As mourners gathered at the funeral of a slain protester the Norwegian-based

Hengaw Rights Group says special forces stationed on the roofs of government buildings opened fire on demonstrators.

Meanwhile, government supporters marched in several Iranian cities on Friday after the regime called for nationwide rallies to condemn a deadly

attack on a Shia shrine. The government killed 15 people in the city of Shiraz. ISIS has claimed responsibility. Iran says a bomb planted in that

city was defused.

Well, without providing any evidence, the Iranian government says anti- government protesters are complicit in that shrine attack.

CNN's Nada Bashir is tracking the story from London and joins us from there.

Firstly, let's get our viewers the latest details on that attack. 15 killed. What's the government saying?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Becky, the government has of course outlined that they have accused three assailants of this terror

incident as they described it. But crucially they have noted that these three individuals were foreign nationals according to state media, and that

is important considering the timing of course. This is taking place in the context of widespread anti-regime protests and the regime has long held

that these protests or riots as they've categorized them have been encouraged, instigated, and facilitated by people working for foreign

agents as they have termed it, mainly pointing the finger of blame at the United States and Israel.

And there are concerns now that this incident at the Shah Cheragh Shrine in the southern city of Shiraz on Wednesday evening could potentially set the

pretext for the Iranian regime to intensify its already brutal and deadly crackdown on these anti-regime protesters who, according to rights groups,

have of course been largely peaceful. That is the primary concern now. We've already heard from the Iranian armed forces saying that any

protesters taking to the streets are complicit in this violence.

They say that this is all to do with foreign meddling involved in Iran, attempting to create chaos, instability, and unrest in the country. We've

heard from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that the regime will take decisive action in response to that attack. And that has

of course raised concerns that that may be a veiled suggestion that there will be an intensification of that crackdown on protesters.

But as you said there, we've seen pro-government rallies now taking place across the country following Friday prayers. They were called for by the

regime, by the regime's propaganda authority, calling on the Iranian people to show their contempt for that attack in Shiraz. But of course this is all

playing into the government narrative that the unrest that we're seeing, that the protests that are still gaining momentum across the country, are

not anti-regime demonstrations, but rather attempts to create instability in the country by foreign actors.

ANDERSON: Nada Bashir, following the story for you. And you can read more on Iran and other news from the region here on our Web site, including an

exclusive CNN investigation into the death of Nika Shahkarami, the 16-year- old among the many protesters on the street after Mahsa Amini's death. That is


Well, to Ukraine now where many people could face another chilly night without lights or heat. Energy company officials warn of even longer power

outages today after Russian attacks on Ukraine's power sites on Thursday. Ukraine is trying to prevent complete blackouts in Kyiv and the central

regions of the country while repair crews struggle to fix what Vladimir Putin's drones broke. A top Kremlin official Dmitry Medvedev says the

lights might come back on if Kyiv recognizes the regions that Russia claims as annexed.

Let's get you to Kyiv now, and to CNN's Nic Robertson who is there. And we will be speaking to the Ukrainian energy minister in the next hour.

Nic, before that, you've seen the damage to these power sites and substations, and the efforts to repair them first hand. Just how impactful

have these attacks been?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Very. And partly because Russia is targeting those parts of these power plants that are the

most susceptible to being hit, i.e. the bits that are outside of buildings, but they're also the most sensitive because they contain components that

are hard to repair or hard to replace. And thinking about the power generating stations here in Ukraine, the vast majority were built during

the Soviet era, so the components are old and the difficulty for getting the repairs up and running is because some of these power stations are

still under attack.


ROBERTSON (on-camera): The sirens are going off. We've only just arrived at the power plant. Everyone is going into the bunker. We're going to have to

go in, too.

(Voice-over): There's no fuss. Everyone here knows what to do. We've agreed not to show faces or name the power plant for security reasons.

(On-camera): We've been given these safety jackets to wear. Officials here are telling us it's quite normal for them to end up in the bunker several

times a day.

(Voice-over): The coal-fired power plant hit twice since Putin began targeting electrical facilities 17 days ago. Cards, dominoes, messaging

loved ones passes the time. But as this 29- year veteran of the Soviet era plant tells me, every minute in the bunker is time wasted. They need to be

up top repairing the bomb damage. An hour and a half later, the all-clear. Everyone back to work.

(On-camera): One of the first things you notice here is just how quiet it is. No generators thumping away.

(Voice-over): Around the corner, engineers already out of the bunker making repairs. But those cables, the easy bit. Russian cruise missiles and drones

ripped through the hardest part of the plant to repair.

(On-camera): The drone, they say, got tangled up in the high voltage cables up here, ripping equipment apart. All on the ground here, all around,

burnt-out cables. And over here, burnt-out equipment. And the problem, officials say, is that this part of the site was the most sensitive part.

It's been offline since.

(Voice-over): Officials here convinced Putin's power engineers are advising his military how to crash Ukraine's grid.

PAVLO BILODID, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, DTEK GROUP: For sure they know the weak place and actually they hit it three or four times in the

same place.

ROBERTSON: As for how long repairs will take, no one knows.

BILODID: The equipment is quite unique. To produce some of them, we need from eight to 18 months. And actually we don't have so much time.

ROBERTSON: The clock, despite some speedy repairs, ticking in Putin's favor. More than 40 percent of the grid taken offline in less than three


(On-camera): This is where the cruise missile impacted. Two drones came down over there. The pylons here were taken out. They've been repaired

already. But that's the big test right now. Can Ukraine repair faster than Russia can bomb and destroy?


ROBERTSON: And that's what we're learning now from Moscow. This is an intended pressure point. Dmitry Medvedev saying you can have your

electricity back if you agreed to hand over those four illegally annexed regions of Ukraine. Obviously that's a nonstarter with the Ukrainian

government, but this is clearly how Russia sees it, and perhaps as an indication why there is a sort of drip, drip, drip on attacks. You had a

big hit of attacks and then a week later a big hit of attacks again.


And now it's sort of a drip, drip, drip. It's a message from Moscow. We can continue to do this, you're going to have to comply, this is a pressure

point, we hold this over you. The only defense for these plants is to have adequate air defenses across all of these vital infrastructures. They're

not available right now. It's not easy and quick to do so the vulnerability remains, and the pressure point for Putin obviously on the power remains.

ANDERSON: Nic is on the ground in Ukraine, and we will be talking to Ukraine's energy minister an hour from now who is accusing Russia of

committing, and I quote here, "energy genocide" in Ukraine. I'll ask him about that and if his country has considered shutting down a pipeline that

carries Russian gas into Europe.

Just ahead, as violence escalates in the West Bank, CNN gets exclusive access to a Palestinian militant on Israel's most wanted list.


ANDERSON: Violence between Palestinian militants and Israeli security forces has surged to a point not seen in years. The number of dead on both

sides is now at the highest level since 2015. The Palestinian Authority's waning power in the West Bank is reflected in these increased violence. Its

militants stepped up what they call armed resistance.

Well, CNN's Sam Kiley got an exclusive interview with one of the most active militia. It's known as the Jenin Brigades. Have a look at this.


KILEY (on-camera): For 20 years this camp, the Jenin Refugee Camp, has been a hotbed of violent resistance against the Israelis. It's also been the

location for the planning of attacks against civilians inside Israel itself. But now there is a step change in the atmosphere here. As if

something much more violent is to come.

(Voice-over): I'm about to find out why at a clandestine meeting with militants that are at the top of Israel's most wanted list. We meet in a

shrine to the Palestinians who have killed fighting Israel. For Israelis, this memorializes murder. These men are being hunted, they say, because

their armed and they are plotting attacks against Israel. Four militants and a 12-year-old boy were killed in this raid at the end of September.

This man says he survived an Israeli raid on Jenin about a week ago. His comrade was killed.


Like him these are members of the Jenin Brigade. A militant group now posing a danger to the Palestinian Authority as well as to Israel. It's

unheard of them to break cover for an interview, much less admit where they get their guns.

(On-camera): Twenty years ago they had AK-47s. Not they've got M-16s. Even this one has Hebrew written on it. Was it stolen from the Israelis?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Senior Israeli commanders steal their weapons and they sell it on the black market, and our resistant

fighters buy these weapons with their own salaries and money.

KILEY (voice-over): A 2020 report from Israel's legislature found that some 400,000 illegal weapons were in Israel. Many of them stolen from the

Israeli Defense Forces.

(On-camera): So what exactly are your rules of engagement? What are the moral decisions that you take about who you do and who you do not attack?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are the resistance and we defend our people and sacred places. We don't attack.

KILEY (voice-over): This has been the deadliest year for Palestinians and Israelis since 2015. At least 123 Palestinians killed outside Gaza and 21

Israelis in (INAUDIBLE). Gunmen from Jenin and nearby have been involved in at least two major atrocities in which eight people were shot dead in and

near Tel Aviv earlier this year.

The expansion of Israeli Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the dwindling fate that a viable Palestinian state can ever emerge from

Israeli's 55-year occupation of the area has fired more Palestinian anger. Grassroots organizations like this Jenin Brigade are fiercely opposed to

the very existence of Israel and despise the ruling Palestinian Authority for cooperating with the Jewish state.

(On-camera): Does that mean that this is a completely hopeless fight that you are fighting because the Israelis I don't think you can defeat them?

And they're not going to go anywhere. And they have the international community supporting them, and at the same time, there is support for the

idea of a two-state solution for the Palestinians, for an independent Palestinian state. Is this kind of a death grip that you're in now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We always aim for victory, not death. Today the Palestinian people are expecting Jenin Refugee Camp to

spark a regional war. There are extensive meetings with the resistance factions in Gaza and the West Bank, and with our brothers abroad about

starting that fight.

KILEY (voice-over): Many fighters in this group are from the Palestinian Authority's own security forces supposed to stop attacks on Israel. In a

new conflagration, it would be the Palestinian leadership that could be the first to burn.


ANDERSON: Well, Sam Kiley, back from assignment, he's in London and he joins us now.

You describe the atmosphere in Jenin as having changed, Sam, a new chapter of Palestinian resistance. Where is this headed?

KILEY: Well, since I recorded that report there has been at least one major Israeli operation inside Jenin. It was two Palestinians -- I think two,

speaking on the correction there, were killed and others have been killed in operations also in Nablus. Now these operations the Israelis say against

these militant gunman groups. And Nablus is called the lion's den, the group there, and they're outside even of the purview and control of groups

like the Jenin Brigade.

They are a new much more organic movement that is causing deep concern for the Israeli Defense Forces. They say that this is the idea they're seeing a

pattern in the north of the West Bank of more and more of these militant groups. And it's a similar pattern that I've observed in the run-up to the

Second Intifada now a long time ago, some 22 years ago where you had grassroots groups expressing frustration as much almost against their

Palestinian leadership, the official leadership, as against the Israelis.

And of course, it's these Israelis who would be targeted in the first instance but ultimately a great deal of frustration there and then the

issue will be, can the Palestinian leadership control it? It's early days yet and the Israelis have launched a significant operations, a series of

what they say, a pinpoint operation, to try to snuff out these armed opposition groups before it grows too fast, before that conflagration that

the commander there was warning may be coming can ignite -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. You mentioned the expansion of the West Bank settlements, the disillusionment with Palestinian authorities as triggers for this

recent violence amongst some young Palestinians. Do the young in Jenin hold out any hope that a viable Palestinian state can emerge at this point?


KILEY: Jenin is pretty radical camp. It was very active in the Second Intifada. It was the scene a very, very violent clashes back then with

numerous dead on both sides. Particularly in 2002. So I think that that is a hotbed of resistance in a much wider sense in that many people there, and

certainly the militants I spoke to do not believe in a two-state solution, they do not believe in the right of the Jewish state to exist. That's the

Jewish state.

Now that presents of course Israel with an enduring problem because particular on the right in Israel but across the board, when you hear that

kind of comment, people get very anxious about whether or not a viable Palestinian state would be an existential threat to Israel. And if that

can't be overcome, then ultimately the settlement project and the continued perpetuation of this occupation in areas across the West Bank perpetuated

and that will generate inevitably a pushback from particularly more radical groups within the Palestinian community.

But on top of that, there is also the role of the international community, the European Union, spending some $450 billion a year just on the

Palestinian Authority trying to tie it all together, to keep it going effectively -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Sam, thank you.

And a reminder of course Israelis go to the polls again next week. Do you keep an eye on our newsletter. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, written on

the region from the region, an inside look at the bigger stories and trends in this region and what they mean for your world wherever you are watching. is how you can sign up to that. It is a jolly good read,

Coming up, South Korea on edge after it says North Korea fired two ballistic missiles. Officials warn another nuclear test could be on the

way. And --


ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC, PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER: I think he might just have this drive. I want to become better every day, I have a mentality that if I

don't work hard enough I'm not feeling good.


ANDERSON: You're going to hear from a football great Zlatan Ibrahimovic on how he stays motivated at the ripe old age of 41.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi.


You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. The time here is half past 6:00 in the evening.

North Korea has fired two more short-range ballistic missiles off the Korean Peninsula. South Korean military officials call it a serious act of

provocation. This is Pyongyang's 28th launch this year. South Korean and U.S. officials warn North Korea may be preparing for a nuclear test.

Let's bring in CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson who is watching this from Hong Kong. A warning sign of escalating tensions in the

region -- Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, tensions that have been escalating for some time now. North Korea has been on a ballistic

missile launching blitz as you pointed out. This is the 28th such launch just this year. So a surge from the past couple of years. In this case,

short-range ballistic missiles fired about 230 kilometers at around noon local time that's splashed into the sea east of the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. Military said they posed no immediate threat to U.S. personnel or to U.S. allies in the region, but it made the South Korean military unhappy

and we have seen the North and South Koreans in recent weeks firing artillery and warning shots on several occasions across the maritime --

into the maritime buffer zone between these two rivals. And North Korea has said that some of these missile launches are in response to military

exercises being carried out on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone.

We've seen exercises between the U.S. and South Korea and Kapan just this week. The South Koreans were conducting their own amphibious assault

exercises. North Korea does not like these. And it is likely to get angry again next week because the U.S. and South Korean air forces say that they

are going to conduct air force drills for the first time in years involving more than 200 aircraft, including the new F-35 B, a U.S. stealth fighter

jet. All activities that angered Pyongyang and could lead potentially to more ballistic missile launches.

ANDERSON: Ivan Watson on the story for you. Ivan, appreciate it. Thank you.

Well, some developing news we are following here at CNN. Paul Pelosi, the husband of the U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked at the

couple's California home on Friday morning. The speaker's office says Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time.

Let's get you right to CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild.

What we know about Paul Pelosi's condition and the details of this attack?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to the speaker's office, Paul Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery but

certainly a very violent attack. What we're learning is that this assailant used a hammer during this attack. The assailant was able to enter the home

through the back.

Notably making this a little bit easier for police to investigate is the fact that our understanding based on multiple sources is that there is

video that the Capitol Police can access that captured this incident. The Capitol Police is the protected agency for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as

well as other members of leadership, and for the actual physical grounds of the Capitol and other locations throughout the Capitol complex. So they are

basically the police department who is responsible for congressional lawmakers.

In San Francisco where this happened, San Francisco Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation currently taking the lead on the investigatory

aspects that are being generated out of San Francisco. But here's what we know. This happened at around 2:00 in the morning. Again this was a very

violent attack. The assailant using a hammer during this attack, attacking Paul Pelosi, who is 82 years old. Again, the speaker's office saying that

he's expected to make a full recovery.

We're continuing to get more details, but the big question here is who this person is and why it happened. Why it happened will have a giant ripple

effect throughout the country as Capitol Police assesses the threat environment for the lawmakers, especially as we lead into an election

season that all of law enforcement agencies here in Washington and the federal law enforcement agencies including the Department of Homeland

Security believe is a heightened threat environment, something that has persisted since the January 6th, 2021 Capitol attack.

Back to you.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. And as we get more, viewers, we will get it to you. Thank you very much indeed.

Still ahead, Manchester United famous for its star players, but this Brazilian striker has stolen all of the limelight. Certainly in the last

match. We'll tell you why.

And stick around to hear from a true icon of the 21st century football. He played for Man United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic answers the all-important

question, how are we going to go on?



ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. Powerball jackpots has climbed to an astonishing $800 million. After 36 drawings in a row with no grand prize winner, the

prize for Saturday's contest is now the second largest in Powerball history.


If someone is lucky enough to win, the cash value of the prize will be around $383 million. And in case you are wondering, the biggest Powerball

jackpot of all time was $1.5 billion, one in 2016.

Well, if you know football, you know Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish legend of the game has played for many of Europe's big hitters. AC Milan, Inter,

Ajax, Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Man United. At the age of 41, some might say his storied career is all should be coming to a close. But he gave me a

very different answer when I sat down with him recently. Take a listen.


IBRAHIMOVIC: So as long as I can produce results, I will still play. The day I slow down, I want the people around me to be honest and say, you're

slowing down, and then I will be realistic and say then I am done.

ANDERSON: But that isn't now, that's what you are telling me. That isn't now.

IBRAHIMOVIC: We're not there yet. We're not.


ANDERSON: He's not leaving, folks. You can watch that full interview in the next hour. The AC Milan striker told me who his team's biggest title

challengers are this season, his current injuries playing out, and what he does to keeps his elite level going at 41 years of age.

It was an easy win for Man United in their latest Europa League Game. Cristiano Ronaldo low scored again, but they were not talking about him,

they were talking about Ronaldo's Brazilian teammate Antony. Let's have a look at what he is doing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was a manager I would not be --


ANDERSON: "WORLD SPORT's" Amanda Davies, I can hear you giggling as well. It's just a joy to watch really, isn't it?


ANDERSON: So some people weren't happy with this.

DAVIES: That's the thing, not everybody thinks so, Becky. I mean, is it showing his skills or is it showboating? This was not when Manchester

United were 5-0 up. This was in the 37th minute, the game was still goalless. And if you thought it was going to help him win friends and

influence people, the young 22-year-old who moved in the summer from Ajax to Old Trafford, well, he's being dubbed a clown by Paul Scholes, one

United legend.

He's been called embarrassing, but interestingly, he's taken to social media on Friday, and he said he will not stop doing what he does. He said

we are known for our art, I won't stop doing what got me to where I am. So those who don't like it may just have to get used to it -- Becky.

ANDERSON: I love it. Amanda has got "WORLD SPORT" after this short break. We are back with CONNECT THE WORLD after that.