September 13th, 2009

soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Key Blagojevich player is dead, ex-governor says

Christopher Kelly, 51, was former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's chief fundraiser.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Christopher Kelly, former chief fundraiser for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has died, according to the ex-governor and a hospital official.

"I am deeply saddened to hear that Chris had died," Blagojevich's statement said.

The Cook County, Illinois, medical examiner did not return calls Saturday. However, Kelly, 51, of Burr Ridge, was pronounced dead at Stroger hospital in Cook County at 10:46 a.m. Saturday, hospital spokesman Marcel Bright told CNN.

Bright said Kelly had been treated at another county hospital late Friday before being transported to Stroger early Saturday, though he would not disclose any other details.

"It is now a police investigation," he said.

Cook County authorities did not release any details about Kelly's death. Blagojevich was in New York and declined to comment further.

Earlier this year, Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office, pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges. A federal grand jury in April indicted him on 16 felony counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators.

The indictment also named some of Blagojevich's closest aides, including Kelly; former chief-of-staff, John Harris; and Springfield millionaire William Cellini.

On Tuesday in a separate case, Kelly pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud "as part of a kickback scheme to illegally obtain $8.5 million in work at O'Hare International Airport," the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday in story about his death on the newspaper's Web site.

"At the time, Kelly, 51, said he was under pressure from federal prosecutors to cooperate in their investigation of Blagojevich, but he refused," the Tribune reported.


GK ; Walt Tongue Action!

Glenn Beck Proposes Cap on Nation's IQ

Glenn Beck Proposes Cap on Nation's IQ

Posted: September 12, 2009 02:15 PM

Speaking at a massive rally of his so-called 9/12 Project in Washington, D.C., Fox News host Glenn Beck called today for stricter limits on the nation's IQ.

"Barack Hussein Obama would like to see our country's IQ rise - just like our taxes!" Mr. Beck thundered to the raucous crowd, who stopped drooling long enough to give him an enthusiastic ovation.

The conservative host proposed capping the nation's IQ "somewhere in the low seventies" and putting tight restrictions on the number of multisyllabic words allowed in the country.

Overall, Mr. Beck seemed to revel in the turnout of his 9/12 rally, which he called "The Million Moron March." More here.


Wait, I don't know if this is true. I don't really read the Huffington Post. Or if this is supposed to be satirical...
franklin sherman

Nobel-winning agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug dies "The man who saved a billion lives"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Norman Borlaug, the U.S. agricultural scientist who received the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for developing high-yielding crops to prevent famine in the developing world, has died at age 95, Texas A&M University said.

Borlaug, hailed as a central figure in the "green revolution" that made more food available for the world's hungry, died on Saturday night from cancer complications in Dallas, the university said in a statement.

The "green revolution" -- the development of crops such as wheat that delivered better yields than traditional strains -- is credited with helping avert massive famines that had been predicted in the developing world in the last half of the 20th century.

Borlaug served as a distinguished professor of international agriculture at Texas A&M University, located in College Station, Texas.

Experts have said his crusade to develop high-yielding, disease-resistant crops saved the lives of millions of people worldwide who otherwise may have been doomed to starvation. His efforts to develop new crop varieties helped alleviate food shortages in places such as India and Pakistan, helping make developing countries self-sufficient in food production.

He was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2007, Borlaug also received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor of the United States.

"We all eat at least three times a day in privileged nations, and yet we take food for granted," Borlaug said in a recent interview. "There has been great progress, and food is more equitably distributed. But hunger is commonplace, and famine appears all too often."

In 1944, he was appointed as geneticist and plant pathologist assigned the job of organizing and directing the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program in Mexico.

This joint undertaking of the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation philanthropic organization focused upon scientific research in genetics, plant breeding and related fields. Within two decades, he succeeded in finding a high-yielding disease-resistant wheat.

The Iowa-born scientist then worked to put newly developed cereal strains into extensive production.

"It is the hope of the Borlaug family that his life be an example to all. We would like his life be a model for making a difference in the lives of others and to bring about efforts to end human misery for all mankind," his children said in a statement released by the university.
Oh Come The Fuck On

Wilson won't apologize on the House Floor

Wilson: No second apology for ‘You lie’ words
Democratic leaders are demanding he apologize on the House floor

WASHINGTON - One apology is enough, a digging-in-his heels Rep. Joe Wilson said Sunday, challenging Democratic leaders who want him to say on the House floor that he's sorry for yelling "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's health care speech to Congress.

The leadership plans to propose a resolution of disapproval this week if the South Carolina Republican doesn't publicly apologize to Congress. Such a measure would put lawmakers on the record as condemning those two words, uttered during last Wednesday's prime-time speech, that have become a fundraising boon for the defiant Wilson and his Democratic challenger.

Wilson said a resolution would show that Democrats simply wanted to play politics and divert attention from a health care overhaul that is lagging in Congress.

"I am not going to apologize again. I apologized to the president on Wednesday night. I was advised then that, 'Thank you, now let's get on to a civil discussion of the issues,'" Wilson said. "I've apologized one time. The apology was accepted by the president, by the vice president, who I know. I am not apologizing again."

‘See this matter end’
Wilson spoke with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel after the outburst that drew immediate rebuke from lawmakers, including some fellow Republicans.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he wanted to "see this matter end."

"Joe's a good man. He made a mistake," Graham said. "Don't give up on fighting health care. But what he said was inappropriate. This needs to come to the end for the good of Joe, South Carolina and the country. I'll leave it up to his good counsel as to what to do next."

The White House sought to dodge what has become a fiercely partisan reaction.

"Look, I'm going to let the House figure out how to deal with that," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "The president accepts, as I said, Joe Wilson's apology."

Democratic leaders decided on Thursday they would move forward with a resolution of disapproval unless Wilson — a conservative views who won a 2001 special election to earn a seat in Congress — make a public apology for shouting after Obama said illegal immigrants would not be eligible for low-cost health care.

The Democratic proposals on health explicitly prohibit spending any federal money to help illegal immigrants get health care. Still, Republicans say there aren't sufficient citizenship verification requirements to ensure illegal immigrants are excluded.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Minnesota Republican who might seek the White House in 2012, said Wilson's concern is valid.

"Even if you have language that says illegal immigrants will not be a part of this program, unless you have the enforcement mechanism in place, it doesn't mean much," Pawlenty said. "In Minnesota, we have laws that say illegal immigrants won't get many services, but unless somebody actually checks — guess what — they show up and they get the services."

A spokesman for House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio said it's time to move on.

‘I will not be muzzled’
Wilson said he allowed emotions to get away from him and compared his outburst to the outbursts that dominated coverage of August's town hall meetings, when members of Congress were on the receiving end of screaming and shouting over the health care proposals.

But he added, "I will not be muzzled. I'm going to be speaking on behalf of the American people, but I will be doing it very civilly."

Wilson said his critics want to use the incident to silence opponents of health care reform.

His Democratic challenger, Rob Miller, raised more than $1 million — more money than the roughly $625,000 he spent for a 2008 race he lost with 46 percent of the vote.

Wilson and Graham appeared on "Fox News Sunday." Gibbs spoke with CNN's "State of the Union." Pawlenty was interviewed on ABC's "This Week."


Tattoos land yakuza boss in hot water after visit to public bath

FUKUOKA -- A yakuza boss who bathed at a public bathhouse, displaying his tattoos, has been arrested, police said on Friday.

Yoshiyuki Fujiura, 54, head of a criminal gang from Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, stands accused of trespassing, according to Fukuoka Prefectural Police. Fujiura reportedly admitted to the allegations.

"I wanted to take a bath to relieve my fatigue," Fujiura was quoted as telling police.

Fujiura allegedly bathed at a public bath in Asakura in February, neglecting a signboard that read, "No entry for tattooed customers," and ignoring the bath operator's warning. The exact date of the incident has not been determined, police said.

According to police, the bathhouse operator noticed that Asakura had tattoos on his upper arms and back before warning him against taking a bath, saying, "It will cause trouble for other customers." However, the gang boss did not comply.

After receiving an anonymous report in June that a tattooed man looking like a gangster was bathing at the facility, prefectural police began investigating the case. The bathing facility also filed a damage report with police the following month.

On Thursday, police arrested Fujiura after determining that he had trespassed into a building by ignoring the signboard and the operator's warning. It is extremely unusual to charge a tattooed bather with trespassing, according to police.

Barack Obama

"Peace Express" Killed fly by Barack Obama

The presentation of the new project "Peace Express" took place in the art gallery "Shmatko & sons"

Nicolai Shmatko has presented the international project - the sculptural composition "Peace Express" and also acquainted his guests with new creative works, namely "Three Graces" in marble made by N. Shmatko and "Three Graces" in stone-tinted plaster made by his son Rafael.

N. Shmatko had been working on "Peace Express" for more than one month, but the most difficult thing was to render the idea of this sculpture. The sculptor had to scrutinize thoroughly each of the candidates he wanted to immortalize.

"I decided to make this sculpture in order to evoke a response from these world leaders so that they would pay more attention to the problems of peacekeeping on our planet. I have chosen these politicians surely because they "run the show" in this world" - N. Shmatko said.

The sculptural portraits of the President of the USA - Barack Obama, the President of Russia - Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime-minister of Italy - Silvio Berlusconi, the President of Venezuela - Hugo Chavez and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the President of the People's Republic of China - Hu Jintao are imaged on the tips of the fingers of a hand in the center of which there is a symbolic globe with a fly transfixed by Barack Obama. >>> see all photos >>>

N. Shmatko appealed to the leaders of the 5 countries with the help of mass media with the proposition to Barack Obama to allocate 5 million dollars for the financing of the statue made of marble "Christ's Appearance to the Apostles" and also "to construct a new city in the centre of which this sculptural composition will be set."

The sculptor suggested Dmitry Medvedev "planning a visit to the gallery and providing help in its "extension".

N. Shmatko offered Hu Jintao to organize an exhibition in China where the sculptor is ready to show more than 100 sculptures and more than 300 canvases. During this exhibition the sculptor "is going to fundraise 1 billion dollars" which he promised to pass to "the distressed provinces of China". The host, in its turn, as N. Shmatko proposed, will have to guarantee the transportation of the collection and to allow 3.000 square meters of exhibition area and the presence of mass media.

Silvio Berlusconi was offered "to be responsible for the expenses of the presentation of N. Shmatko in Florence Biennale 2009 and to take part in the inauguration of Biennale" in which N. Shmatko intends to participate.

Hugo Chavez was offered "to realize a project which would symbolize the people of Venezuela. The sculptor also invited the President to visit the art gallery "Shmatko & Sons".

"With our efforts (in the field of sculpture creation), my sons and I are ready to bring beauty to the Venezuelan people and to offer them new opportunities for tourism," - N. Shmatko said.

Information on a source

 © Nicolai Shmatko

 © Nicolai Shmatko


Tina Fey wins Emmy for Sarah Palin portrayal. Palin still winless at playing herself.

Fey wins Emmy for TV Palin spoof

Look at this fierce fucking Emmy winner...
Comedy actress Tina Fey has won an Emmy Award for her satirical portrayal of Republican vice-presidential contender Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live.

Fey was honoured at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmys, which recognise technical and other achievements.
In winning her award, Fey beat two contenders from her own comedy, 30 Rock, which had led the way with 22 nominations.

However, the show was only named winner of two categories - including best comedy, which it scooped last year too.

As Fey collected her trophy, she made reference to Palin, who resigned in July as governor of Alaska less than a year after she was chosen as vice-presidential contender.

"Mrs. Palin is an inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank you, Mrs Palin."

It marked Fey's sixth career win, and she is in contention for two awards at the main ceremony next Sunday, including best comedy actress for 30 Rock

Posted primarily for the (nominally) greater politics focus than the ONTD version, as well as for lulzy quote. Source also has video of The Goddess Fey accepting the award.

Evil Libural Census Demonstrates That Bush's Economy Was a Failure

Closing The Book On The Bush Legacy

Thursday's annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau's principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush.

It's not a record many Republicans are likely to point to with pride.

On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush's two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country's condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton's two terms, often substantially.

The Census' final report card on Bush's record presents an intriguing backdrop to today's economic debate. Bush built his economic strategy around tax cuts, passing large reductions both in 2001 and 2003. Congressional Republicans are insisting that a similar agenda focused on tax cuts offers better prospects of reviving the economy than President Obama's combination of some tax cuts with heavy government spending. But the bleak economic results from Bush's two terms, tarnish, to put it mildly, the idea that tax cuts represent an economic silver bullet.

Economists would cite many reasons why presidential terms are an imperfect frame for tracking economic trends. The business cycle doesn't always follow the electoral cycle. A president's economic record is heavily influenced by factors out of his control. Timing matters and so does good fortune.
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Tim Pawlenty Flip Flops on State's Rights

Pawlenty Backs Off Nullification (VIDEO)

On 'This Week', Minn. Governor Tim Pawlenty backed away from earlier statements suggesting he'd invoke the 10th Amendment to block Obama's health care reforms if they pass the Congress.

On Thursday, Pawlenty argued that Minnesota and other states might move to "nullify" Obama's health care plan.

"Depending on what the federal government comes out with here, asserting the 10th Amendment may be a viable option, but we don't know the details," said Pawlenty.

The Governor also raised the possibility of filing Tenth Amendment lawsuits.

But when I asked about those comments today, Pawlenty said he was suggesting a "political" not a "legal" effort.

After the speech on Thursday night, you suggested perhaps invoking the Tenth Amendment, which reserves powers to the states, if indeed this does pass. What exactly are you saying? There is a movement to actually nullify health care if it passes?

PAWLENTY: Well, George, in the legal sense, I think the courts have addressed these Tenth Amendment issues, but more in the political sense, in the common sense arena, we need to have a clear understanding of what the federal government does well and what should be reserved to the states.

"We have essentially Obamacare that's been deployed in two states in major ways. One is in Tennessee. We have a Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen, said hey, look, we tried this cost savings as a way to fund a major overhaul of health care; it didn't work. He's in the news this morning saying, you know, don't go down that path.

"We have another state, Massachusetts, who tried essentially the same thing. They have the most expensive health care in the country. They have increasing waiting lines, and it's not working."

STEPHANOPOULOS: So just to be clear, are you suggesting that any parts of the plan as the president has laid it out are unconstitutional?

PAWLENTY: Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a legal issue. I was raising it as much as a practical matter, that there are some things that the federal government shouldn't do, doesn't do well, and should leave to the states."
  • scolaro

Brutal police violence at Berlin "Freedom not Fear" demonstration

Brutal police violence at Berlin "Freedom not Fear" demonstration

fALK sez, "This video shows a peaceful protester being beaten by policeman at the 'Freedom not Fear' demonstration that was totally peaceful. The demonstration was attended by 25.000 people and called for by more then 160 groups that are concerned about privacy, censorship and freedom. I personally have been close to the beating and the police acted provocative in the time before hand - encircling one truck that took part at the demonstration and pulling out people harshly - there will likely more videos surface over the coming hours. I hope you help spread the word about this incident and help us find the brutal policemen."

This video has begun to spread through the German internets like wildfire. Some folks out there prepared mug shots of the cops in question, and one of the big online newspapers (Spiegel Online) picked up the story as well.

(For the English speaking people this vid is only interesting up to 1:30 min., where protesters chant "Wir sind friedlich, was seid ihr?!"/"We are peaceful, what are you?!", then it switches to the camera guy and his friend talking ("I didn't even see where [the blow] came from"), the rest seems to be only about getting license plates and more evidence from the scene.)

you could cut ties with all the lies

Surprise! Gingrich supports subsidies to his organization's member companies

Surprise (for MTP viewers)! Gingrich supports subsidies to his organization's member companies

On Meet the Press, after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) suggested paying for health care reform by cutting Medicare Advantage's "multibillion-dollar subsidies to health insurance companies," Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich attacked the proposed cuts as taking "hundreds of billions of dollars out of Medicare" and claimed that "[p]eople who are in Medicare Advantage in rural America are getting a quality of health care they never got before." But neither Gingrich nor host David Gregory noted that Gingrich reportedly profits from his position as head of the Center for Health Transformation, which receives fees from insurance companies that sell Medicare Advantage plans.

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Northern passage opens up to shipping.

Two German merchant ships conquer famed Arctic passage
Climate change is blamed for opening of path.

FRANKFURT - Two German merchant ships have traversed the fabled Northeast Passage after global warming and melting ice opened a route from South Korea along Russia’s Arctic coast to Siberia.

The merchant ships MV Beluga Fraternity and MV Beluga Foresight arrived this week in Yamburg, Siberia, their owner Beluga Shipping GmbH said yesterday.

They traveled from Ulsan, South Korea, in late July to Siberia by way of the Northeast Passage, a sea lane that, in years past, was avoided because of its heavy ice floes.

Now the German-owned ships are poised to complete their journey through the cold waters where icebergs abound, heading for Rotterdam in the Netherlands with 3,500 tons of construction parts.

Scientists report that the Arctic Ocean ice cap has been shrinking to unprecedented levels in recent summers, because of global warming, opening up many passages that were ice-choked in earlier times.

In July, new NASA satellite measurements showed that sea ice in the Arctic was shrinking in area and thinning dramatically.

-Another result of the melt is the many islands being claimed by Canada and Russia, some of which contain previously undiscovered Viking settlements.
Akuma River

She is a woman, let her run.

When someone is raised female and the genes say XY (September 13, 2009 - AP - SETH BORENSTEIN)

WASHINGTON – It's the birth defect people don't talk about. A baby is born not completely male or female. The old term was hermaphrodite, then intersex. Now it's called "disorders of sexual development." Sometimes the person with the problem doesn't even know it and finds out in an all too public way.

That's been the painful plight of a few female athletes through history. And apparently that's the situation for South African track star Caster Semenya.

Two Australian newspapers reported Friday that gender tests show the world champion athlete has no ovaries or uterus and internal testes that produce large amounts of testosterone. The international sports federation that ordered the tests wouldn't confirm the reports.

Experts say Semenya should be allowed to race as a woman and they cringe at how her case is exploding publicly in the news media. They worry about psychological scars. Two years ago, a star female track athlete who tested male attempted suicide.
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(no subject)

Obama's phony pep talk

Jeffrey T. Kuhner

America suffers from an education crisis. Unless it is addressed honestly, forthrightly and courageously, we are doomed to permanent economic decline and the erosion of our civic democracy. A country is only as good as its people -- especially its young people, who form the backbone of the next generation.

By this standard, we are sliding not only into mediocrity but into decay. Our schools have become infested with drugs, sexual promiscuity, out-of-wedlock teenage births and violence. On international tests on subjects such as math, science and reading, American students from kindergarten through 12th grade consistently rank near or at the bottom. Nations such as Finland, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Russia have surpassed us in intellectual rigor and academic achievement. We are losing the educational race -- and with it, our dominant global economic position.

Rather than tackle this, President Obama sought to use his nationwide speech to students on Tuesday as a propaganda vehicle to further his cult of personality. Before the talk, the administration sent out a lesson plan proposing that teachers ask students to write a paper on how to "help the president."


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US Department of Labor Releases List of Slave-Made Goods

Department of Labor Releases List of Slave-Made Goods

by Amanda Kloer

Published September 10, 2009 @ 09:13AM PT

After receiving over 6,200 letters from community members, the Department of Labor released their long-awaited report on goods produced by child labor and forced labor today. Thank you all for urging DOL to release this important tool for consumers!

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  • Current Music
    Amebix - Slave
Akuma River

Ladies and Gents...Alice just got an upgrade in the Red Queen Race

Study explains bacteria's resistance to antibiotics (September 13, 2009)

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A small molecule composed of one atom of oxygen and one of nitrogen plays an important role in helping pathogens resist antibiotics, a new study has found.

The study, led by Evgeny Nudler, professor of biochemistry at New York University Langone Medical Center, and published in Science magazine, provides evidence that nitric oxide (NO) is able to alleviate stress in bacteria caused by many antibiotics and helps it neutralize many antibacterial compounds.

"Developing new medications to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria ... is a huge hurdle, associated with great cost and countless safety issues," Nudler said in a statement.

"Here, we have a short cut, where we don't have to invent new antibiotics. Instead, we can enhance the activity of well established ones, making them more effective at lower doses."
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Akuma River

cadavers can haz secks?

Body Worlds plans cadaver show dedicated to sex (September 11, 2009 - Reuters - ason Rhodes)

ZURICH (Reuters) – German anatomists plan a new show dedicated solely to dead bodies having sex as part of the Body Worlds exhibitions.

Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley show corpses prepared using a technique invented by von Hagens called "plastination," that removes water from specimens and preserves them with silicon rubber or epoxy resin.

"It's not my intention to show certain sexual poses. My goal is really to show the anatomy and the function," Body Worlds creative director Whalley told Reuters in an interview, adding the sex exhibition may open next year.

Body Worlds exhibitions, visited by 27 million people across the world, have been criticized for presenting entire corpses, stripped of skin to reveal the muscles and organs underneath, in lifelike and often theatrical positions.

Von Hagens has already triggered uproar with a new exhibit which shows just two copulating corpses.
German politicians called the current "Cycle of Life" show charting conception to old age "revolting" and "unacceptable" when it showed in Berlin earlier this year because it included copulating cadavers.

The way a plastinate is exhibited can vary from country to country to reflect local sensibilities. A vote of local employees decided that one of the copulating female cadavers should wear fewer clothes in Zurich than was the case in Berlin.

"Switzerland is the first country that already said from the outset that we could show whatever we wanted," said von Hagens.

"Zurich is ready ... but it's maybe not so easy in every other town," he said. "We have discussed whether it is proper to show homosexuality and in what way. This is a very delicate subject."

Von Hagens and Whalley said they both intended to donate their bodies for plastination, but would not leave instructions about how to display them, dismissing this as vanity.

"I find it a great opportunity to give something to others by donating my body, namely self-awareness," said Whalley.

Von Hagens said he and some other body donors even saw plastination as an alternative to burial or cremation, giving them more certainty about would happen to their bodies after death.

"Cremation for me is hell," he said.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

Yahoo: "10 Surprising Minimum-Wage Jobs"

I love that Yahoo! is "surprised" these jobs are minimum wage.


10 Surprising Minimum-Wage Jobs

Bridget Quigg,, Yahoo! HotJobs

The U.S. federal minimum wage recently increased 70 cents from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. Who will be affected by this boost? Cashiers and fast food workers? Yes, but some minimum wage jobs also come with surprisingly hefty responsibilities.

From preschool teachers to hospitals aides, there are many people in critical roles whose salaries don't necessarily reflect the importance of their professional contributions. You may be surprised to find out who's making the bare minimum.

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