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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Hezbollah embarrassed in row over Labaki's Cannes success - Arab News
 Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki winning the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her film "Capharnaum" has stirred up a war of words that turned into a cultural clash with Hezbollah.

The story began after Lebanon celebrated the victory of the young female director, who won an important award at an international festival. Her film discusses a sensitive issue through the eyes of Zain, a young Syrian boy who lived a harsh life in Lebanon after he was forcibly displaced by the war in his homeland. The story addresses two of today's most stirring issues in Lebanon and around the world -- asylum and war.

The attack targeting Labaki's victory was an implicit attack against the film and the message it conveys. The character Zain was a victim of the war in which Hezbollah played a key role.  

Lebanon has received close to 2 million Syrian refugees and Hezbollah may fear that Lebanese people may blame them (and their strong support of the Assad regime) for the situation
by Bernard on
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I suspect there are two schools of thought on this within Fine Gael. On the one hand, they could expedite the passage of legislation implementing the referendum result over the summer/early autumn and call an election when the "confidence and supply" agreement runs out after the budget in October and hope to benefit from the reflected glory of the result and a populist budget.

I suspects this would be Fianna Fail's worst nightmare but there is no guarantee that the result would be much different from the current Dail but with Fianna Fail committed to NOT agreeing a new confidence and supply agreement.  Forming a new government in that context would be nigh on impossible without agreeing a coalition with either Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein both of which would be very difficult for different reasons.

Any afterglow from the referendum result would die out very quickly in the government paralysis/stalemate likely to occur in that context.

The alternative strategy would be to drag out the legislative process to the end of the year keeping Fianna Fail divisions in the spotlight and discouraging them from ending the "confidence and supply" agreement any time soon. Then, once the legislation is passed before Xmas, Fine Gael could point to the Brexit negotiations being at an absolutely critical stage before Brexit in March and the "irresponsibility" of forcing an election in the middle of that "national crisis".

Given that public approval ratings of Fine Gael's performance in government on that issue is relatively high, Fianna Fail would also be reluctant to pull the plug at that stage. Then, after March, once Brexit actually happens and we (might possibly actually) know what the post Brexit landscape looks like, Fianna Fail could blame Fine Gael for what I see as a likely no-deal Brexit and subsequent utter chaos, and elections could be called to coincide with the European parliament elections due in May/June.

Then at least, we might have a national debate on competing visions for dealing with the post Brexit situation as it emerges and a government with a mandate to pursue a particular policy line. From a Fine Gael perspective, anything which distracts public attention from their failures in housing, homelessness, health care and sundry public service crises has got to be a good thing.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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"We are saying as a nation that we trust women and that we believe that women should be respected in making the decisions that they make."

by Cat on
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In story: NATO Total War Project

Re: NATO Total War Project
( / )
Family of Torture Victim Sues Syria For Aiding Terrorists
The U.S. government has listed Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1979, including the Islamic State group and its precursors, according to the lawsuit.
Syrian Arab Republic alias, d/b/a AL QUAIDA/ISIL/ISIS/DAESH/ISLAMIC STATE
By 2013, Assad's government was supporting the Islamic State group by buying oil from wells seized from him by the group in eastern Syria. Assad continues to buy about $1 million worth of oil daily from the terror group, the lawsuit says.
[...]
The family is asking for $10 million each for each count in the lawsuit, which includes wrongful death, battery, assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, infliction of emotional distress, conspiracy and aiding and abetting, plus $10 million each for survival damages and unspecified punitive damages.

archived "It's not me."
Iran Hit With Rare Material-Support Suit Over 9/11

Several survivors of the 9/11 attacks and representatives of those killed brought a federal complaint against Saudi Arabia and Iran, alleging that the latter knew about the attacks and helped plan and coordinate them.
9/11 Victims Bill Drives New Suit Against Saudi Arabia
Prior to passage of JASTA last year -- short for the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorist Act -- the kingdom could not be held liable over injuries stemming from an international act of terrorism because it has never officially been designated as a sponsor of terrorism. Now that JASTA allows civil claims against a foreign government, however, numerous Lloyd's syndicates are at the head of a 103-page complaint to hold Saudi Arabia liable.
Twitter Fights Terrorism Liability Appeal in Ninth Circuit
In one of the first cases seeking to hold a social media company liable under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, Tamara Fields sued Twitter in January 2016 for failing to block accounts belonging to users associated with ISIS.
Navy Families Sue Fukushima Operators for Wrongful Death
members or survivors of members of the 7th Fleet who performed humanitarian response from March 11, 2011 until March 14, when the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was moved away from Fukushima due to detection of nuclear radiation in the air and on helicopters returning to the ship.


by Cat on
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Still. Would you agree with me that the next 6 months controversy about execution will feature a parade of "hard cases" until some one is left for dead again?

Weaving restrictions is such a tricky business, yanno.

by Cat on
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Some surprise. I suppose, I know who butters the bread at Guardian.

Here is the language of sovereign people, Thursday, responding to Mr Bolton's unilateral threat.
President Moon vows to "take driver's seat" in facilitating summit revival

On May 25, the Blue House expressed its intention to rekindle the embers of dialogue as it called for direct communication between the leaders of North Korea and the US.
[...]
Blue House was officially notified of cancellation after US press
[...]
"He was speaking of the need for direct and open dialogue between the leaders given the deadlock in North Korea-US talks," explained a senior official at the Blue House. But the Blue House made no comment about what form direct communication between the leaders of North Korea and the US might take. "There is currently no direct hotline between the leaders of North Korea and the US. About the only form of direct communication is open letters," said former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun. ...

Here is the language of psychopathy.
Trump on North Korea: 'Everybody Plays Games'
Fluent speakers are also fond of saying, "We're just alike," to strangers, to people with whom they have no intimate relation, as if to demonstrate their own mastery and knowledge of all things. Some call that flattery until they feel the knife between the shoulder blades.

recap
Trump a Master In Dynamite - A Nobel Prize?

by Cat on
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Also, this puts Fianna Fáil, the only party really split on the referendum and whose core voters voted slightly against it, on the back foot. Fine Gael ministers got out in front in good time and are basking in the reflected glory of the result.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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It'd be a brave government that didn't work out how to do better than "end of the year" ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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The final results are now in and in turns out every one of Ireland's 40 constituencies except Donegal voted for Repeal - and the Donegal vote was a close 48-52% call. The overall result was 66.4% to 33.6% - a resounding 2:1 margin of victory, a complete reversal of the 2:1 margin by which the original amendment was passed in 1983. However the turnout this time around was 64% - a full 10% higher than the 54% turnout in 1983.

The government is now free to legislate for "abortion on demand" up to 12 weeks and afterwards where there is a fatal foetal abnormality or a risk to the health of the mother. It is expected that the legislation will be passed before the end of the year. Technically the government is a minority government and doesn't have the seats in Parliament to pass the legislation on its own. However it would be a brave party or politician who would now block the legislation given the decisiveness of the people's verdict.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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North and South Korean leaders meet as US indicates summit may yet happen  - Guardian
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, met his South Korean counterpart on Saturday, two days after Donald Trump cancelled a planned summit with Kim.

Moon Jae-in crossed into the north at the border village of Panmunjom, where the two met for the first time in April, the South Korean president's office said. The two leaders discussed the potential US-North Korea summit, as well as implementing the joint statement released at the end of their earlier meeting.

The surprise meeting highlighted Moon's efforts to get the historic US-North Korea summit back on track, and showed inter-Korea relations are in a far better state than those between Washington and Pyongyang.

by Bernard on
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Chicken safety fear as chlorine washing fails bacteria tests - Observer
The chlorine washing of food, the controversial "cleaning" technique used by many US poultry producers who want access to the British market post-Brexit, does not remove contaminants, a new study has found.

The investigation, by a team of microbiologists from Southampton University and published in the US journal mBio, found that bacilli such as listeria and salmonella remain completely active after chlorine washing. The process merely makes it impossible to culture them in the lab, giving the false impression that the chlorine washing has been effective.

Apart from a few voluntary codes, the American poultry industry is unregulated compared with that in the EU, allowing for flocks to be kept in far greater densities and leading to a much higher incidence of infection. While chicken farmers in the EU manage contamination through higher welfare standards, smaller flock densities and inoculation, chlorine washing is routinely used in the US right at the end of the process, after slaughter, to clean carcasses. This latest study indicates it simply doesn't work.

by Bernard on
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Savita Halappanavar's father thanks Irish voters for 'historic' abortion vote - Guardian
The father of Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year-old dentist who died of sepsis in 2012 after being denied an abortion during a protracted miscarriage, has said he is "very happy" at the projected result of Ireland's referendum.

Speaking to the Guardian by phone from his home in Karnataka, south-west India, Andanappa Yalagi said: "We've got justice for Savita, and what happened to her will not happen to any other family now.

"I have no words to express my gratitude to the people of Ireland at this historic moment."

by Bernard on
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by Melanchthon on
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At 65 today I am at the exact cut-off age for the divide between people who voted YES and No in this referendum. Having lived through some dark times, particularly the 1980's when the Catholic Church mounted a counter-offensive against what it saw as the secularising and liberalising tendencies then emanating from Europe, I was always a bit worried we could see a return to those days.

Having always felt like a radical or an outsider on the fringe of acceptable debating paradigms it is a little disconcerting to now find yourself at the heart of the mainstream consensus. History doesn't always move in your direction. If only now we could see a re-animation and re-invigoration of the social compact contained in the earlier visions for the European Union we could roll back the reactionary tide of Brexit and Trumpeteers.

Climate change, environmental sustainability, over-population, growing inequalities and the rise of corporate rule are challenges we are only beginning to address, but at least some historical baggage has now been discarded. Onward and upward!

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland

YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland
( / )
The tallies as they open boxes are bearing out the exit polls.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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of incoming results and commentary is Here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland

Re: Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland
( / )
I don't know whether the exit pollsters asked respondents their exact age. or just what age group they belonged to. The latter is the more usual practice, I believe, so a more detailed breakdown may not be possible.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland

Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland
( / )
It's a nice birthday gift, isn't it, Frank!

It would be interesting to break up the "over 65" class of age. I am not sure the 65 to 70 would give the same figures as the whole class.

Slainte!

by Melanchthon on
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In story: YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland

Yes, Yes, Yes. A resounding, emphatic Yes
( / )
Yes, Yes, Yes. A resounding, emphatic Yes
Yes, Yes, Yes. A resounding, emphatic Yes. And what a way to say it - the only way to say it: with conviction and clarity. This massive vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution leaves no doubt. The Irish people have taken ownership of their abortion issue. They have taken it out of the hands of unrepresentative lobby groups and celibate clerics and decided how they want to approach it.

On Friday, with steely assurance, a new generation of all the generations faced down the suffocating old certainties and swept them aside. On Friday, May 25th, 2018, they stood up and were not afraid to be counted. Because those days are gone now.

--snip---

There couldn't have been a better day for a vote. The sun shone on the island, welcoming back the thousands of men and women who traversed the globe and returned to vote. The sight of them arriving at ports and airports with their "Repeal" jumpers and wheelie cases moved the most hard-hearted observers to tears.



by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

Re: Italy's next prime minister
( / )
Yes by all the projected metrics the flat tax is regressive, and the fond hope that it will make people evade taxes less is tenuous at best.
I would expect people (especially Salvini voters) to take a couple of years to figure out they've been shafted.
The real nub is the arm-wrestle between President Mattarella (who wants - and has made conditional to his approval- a committed europhile in the economics ministry, and has the power to veto any choice touted by the parties.
The 82-year old candidate Savona put forward by Salvini (supported by Di Maio) is impeccably credentialed and has extensive institutional experience behind him, making him hard to refuse on that count.
The problematic factor is his extreme prejudice towards the rules of the currency zone with respect to national sovereignty - and deficit spending.
He was an advisor when Italy's plan to join the Euro was hatched, and was highly negative about it so consistency is a strong suit for him.
Where he has trampled convention is with his accusal of Germany establishing an economic Reich to substitute for the failed military one of the 1930's.
Mattarella wants a full throated fan of all things EU, which is his constitutional right to insist on, but clearly would weaken the 2 winning parties stance on reconfiguring Maastricht rules more in S. Europe's favour. So we are back in logjam country again, even after the lucky fudge - or brilliant choice, take your pick! - of President Conte to lead a bipolar government.
As this mud wrestling goes on the spread is rising and EU officials alternate between condescending pablum about respecting Italy's suffering sovereignty and tizzies of tut-tutting and finger-wagging over the high national debt being a millstone and Italy's possible threat to create a plan B to the common currency representing a threat to EU Frankfurt finance control.

I read today that approval of the EU is rising among member states, but Italy is definitely not one of them.
Here rage against France for its draconian usurpation of Schengen rules and Italian territory, (and growing ownership of key Italian industries), and Germany's stubborn insistence on hard money policies that mostly benefit her and her N European neighbours, with no fiscal redistribution EU-wide policies to ensure fair treatment for S.Europe.
These are incongruities Savona has pointed out for decades, predicting the currency's ultimate unsustainability, just as have many commenters here at ET have for years.
Salvini is digging in, making his choice of economics minister a deal-breaker, thus directly challenging Mattarella's constitutional privileges, typical of his brash, entitled attitude to politics in general!
Di Maio is going along with it in exchange for 5* ministerial appointments to the justice ministry, among many others, including his own appointment as minister of work.
On the heels of Brexit, this looming tussle with Italy is not what the EU wants, yet fiscal integration is still far off, notwithstanding Macron and Merkel efforts to paper over the cracks and accelerate further, faster unification.
Savona is explicitly not anti EU, nor anti Euro per se but has correctly in my view assessed Italy's power to be considerable enough to severely rock the EU's boat. For decades Italy has been fairly supine when it comes to challenging EU conceits in exchange for a semi-blind eye to corruption, banking anomalies, and many other peccadillos.
Now with Spain rocked by scandal, Macron's difficulties in getting French approval for more austerity, Trump's erratic behaviour with regard to tariffs and Iranian/Russian sanctions, and Merkel's political power waning,the EU is perceived by Italian politiicians to be vulnerable to added persuasion, which they understandably intend to take maximum advantage of, especially after the cavalier way Italy was treated with regard to immigration these last years, and the growing nationalism EU-wide, especially in Hungary where Orban's attitude is seen as desirable by Salvini.
With the 5*'tempering left-leaning influence, Italy will not go the way of Hungary, perhaps becoming more like Austria, with greater respect for the environment coupled with more hostility to immigrants thanks to Salvini's becoming the new minister for internal affairs.
The Lega is governing northern regions and cities relatively well, so it's not all about Salvini's,  though no one wants to tell him that while he is so flush with electoral victory.
The PD is in total disarray thanks to Renzi's monumental ego, and the right wing alliance on shaky ground due to Berlusconi's.
I expect Salvini to drift towards centre right as the onus -and bonus!- of governing kicks in.
Voters are adamant in rejecting the status quo set in cement for decades, and while Salvini still repels many who didn't vote for him, his support was necessary to avoid leaving Italy in the lurch of a technical government once again. A difficult choice, only time will tell if it was expedient or not.
The EU is right to get its knickers twisted, especially if Savona gets the ministry of the Economy. The Euro pact may be put under the severe pressure -and possible amelioration it deserves.
Austerity is no longer tolerable while the wealth gap grows so rapidly and the 1% are the only ones to profit.  
The Euro could be an unalloyed benefit, but in its current form it is a strait-jacket.
The EU has been a net benefit en large, but unless certain influences like banking lobbies, hell lobbies in general, it may well continue to instigate rebellion with its ranks.
I remember writing here years ago that the EU's fortunes would be made or broken by Italy's punching its weight better in Brussels, if that is true we will see evidence quite soon.
Italy's threat to even consider leaving the Euro should have had more than enough heft to alter the rules, but it is only now that we see that possibility emerging - none too soon...
If things were to continue as they are, a repeat of the Greek fiasco here would be quite possibly the end of the EU.
It's time to drop the pretence that the French-German axis is all that really matters. Italy remains a minor player and yet has every and equal right to its sovereignty as Hungary or Ireland does.
If Hungary et al can brazenly flout EU immigration rules with impunity, the one can reasonably expect Italy to run its debt in order to break the austerity curse and invest in itself properly.
The old guard here could not be trusted to do so, we will see if a more dynamic government symbolising a generational change will make a better fist of it.
The 5* represent the south, the Lega represents the north, this two headed government may well help heal that ancient rift.
All assuming Mattarella doesn't block this democratic rebellion against the sacred cows of the past, that is.
By blocking it he will be seen as an enemy of progress by most Italians, as well as further confirming many Europeans' (mostly media-manufactured) prejudice that Italy can't organise its way out of a paper bag - let alone the complex labyrinth of Europe.
As the UK is discovering...

 

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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In story: YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland

Re: YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed
( / )
Congratulations to the Yes Campaign.  

The size and breadth of the win is truly remarkable.  

by ATinNM on
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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

< wipes tears >
( / )
Max Schrems is back: Facebook, Google hit with GDPR complaint
The complaints, filed on the day Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, take aim at what he describes as Google and Facebook's "forced consent".
The American Way of Life
The four separate filings (all PDFs) are against Google, Facebook and two Facebook-owned businesses, Instagram and WhatsApp.
[...]
The complaints have been launched by Schrems' nonprofit NOYB, which was set up specifically to take advantage of the new provisions under GDPR.
[...]
The complaints have been filed in authorities in different countries - all of which have reputation for strong privacy laws - Google in France, Facebook in Austria, Instagram in Belgium and WhatsApp in Hamburg, Germany - but are broadly similar. ...in Ireland.

archived: pried from cold, dead &tc.
correct
incorrect

by Cat on
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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Facebook's new political ads rules trip up primary candidates before June election
"They pushed us towards this and sold us on the positives of using Facebook. However, they cut our legs off," Rose said. "If I had known Facebook would do this in the final days of our push, I never would have gone this route, I would have used a different strategy."

doorbell? Twitter?

archived:
Social Media Under Microscope in Emotive Irish Abortion Vote
Notice from the Publisher

by Cat on
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by Cat on
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WHich course contains the most conservative possible general advice in order to avoid being sued later. <sigh>
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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Haven't decided yet whether the new law forms a tiniest move towards something representing improvement or whether it will become just another annoying horde for internet users, while the big tech companies just move to the next zero sum.

Interestingly, a certain sense of panic had gripped employees at my workplace the past 2 weeks, and it was even insisted at some point that I should erase as of today my entire database of contacts, which I have painstakingly put together the past 2 years, and thus wipe away instantly nearly two years of essential work. I haven't listened and also insisted on loudly pronouncing I wouldn't listen (and therefore have been frowned upon the past two weeks).

These same people are now slowly coming around that there might have been a few exaggerations doing the round about the implications of the law (ya think?!?) - and I reckon what wasn't helping were the seemingly endless squadrons of far too excited legal advisors who kept insisting online that there was utter DOOOOOOM approaching - unless people would of course sign up for their helpful GDPR-proof courses at 895,95 euro.

by Bjinse on
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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

Re: Victory for abortion rights
( / )
Only an exit poll, but that's 10 times the claimed margin of error  - and we do run referendums regularly enough, so this isn't an unprecedented situation as it was with Brexit.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

Victory for abortion rights
( / )
As the polls suggested, it was close: 68% to 32%.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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In story: 14 - 20 May 2018

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR
"Because two years wasn't enough time to prepare"

::
had a laugh last week with a friend on contract with a very large, multinat developer/sysint corp. about... the minimum viable product for each of four compliance levels, back-end and front-end.

by Cat on
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by Cat on
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News and Views

 14 - 20 May 2018

by Bjinse - May 14, 104 comments

Your take on this week's news

 7 - 13 May 2018

by Bjinse - May 8, 71 comments

Your take on this week's news

 May Open Thread

by Bjinse - May 14, 9 comments

If you would thread something, you must be something

 Open Thread

by Bjinse - Apr 24, 19 comments

Threading is a short parenthesis in a long period

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