Intrnational Agencies News
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East Asia Watch
12.13.04 Scott Peterson given death penalty
At 1:50pm the jury for the Scott Peterson case returned the death penalty verdict in Redwood City, California. Scott Peterson was tried for the murder of his wife, Lacie Peterson, and unborn child. The verdict was made after three days of deliberations. Peterson had dumped his wife's body in San Francisco Bay, near Richmond, California where it floated ashore.
Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writer reports that the FBI has experienced unusual turnover in its management and staff since 9/11. The revolving door has created disorder, he says. Its new intelligence arm, which is to form the core of a transformed FBI, is losing dozens of analysts who are supposed to connect the dots to protect the country from another terrorist attack.
12.13.04 Israeli attack injures Palestinian children, in response to Hamas attack
Children between the ages of 8 and 12 were treated for shrapnel wounds in a hospital in Gaza. Gunfire from Israeli troops killed a seven-year-old girl, Rania Siam, where she was playing near her house in Khan Younis, Gaza. Israeli forces had retaliated against mortar fire some hours previously against the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim. Four people were injured in this attack, including one child. [More>>Pravda.ru]
Editorial note: The Pravda report complains about a cover-up by government and media concerning the wounded children. No other media have reported the incident, as of 11:00am San Francisco time.
QUETTA, Dec. 12 Saleem Shahid reports that the Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Daud, and 10 foreigners were taken into custody in Afghanistan. His convoy was intercepted near the Karar-Gah area and 10 foreign visitors including Qataris and Egyptians and their two Iranian drivers were arrested. The detainees include Shiekh Mohammad Bin Saif Al Tani, Hamid Saeed, Mubarak Hussain, Rashid Saeed, Mohammad Ali Al Mesri of Qatar, Ahmed Saeed and Mohammad Zakaria of Egypt, Ali Mohammad Mohammadi and Hussain Arbabi (Iranian) and Abdullah Mama. The Khan and his Arab guests claimed to have been on a hunting expedition since December 9.
In a separate report, US forces are currently ferreting out Taliban insurgents who are hiding in their winter quarters in Afghanistan. Their operation in south-central Afghanistan called, "Lightning Freedom," has captured the brother of the former Kandahar governor another senior Taliban commander and six militants. [More>>Dawn.com]
12.13.04 Egypt discovers new gas reserves off coast
BEIRUT, Dec. 13 Egypt has made a new offshore natural gas discovery in its deep Mediterranean waters, according to Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy. The find takes Egypt's reserves to 66 trillion cubit feet, nearly double that recorded in 1999. [More>>The Daily Star]
12.13.04 Convention on Climate Change starts in Buenos Aires
1500 experts and politicians from 189 countries are meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina to discuss global warming. The conference will proceed through December 17. This follows the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Russia. The Kyoto Protocol which President George W. Bush refused to sign will take effect February 16, 2005. The United States the worst polluter on earth is being sharply criticized by attendees. Argentina has been experiencing unusual rains as well as increased solar radiation, and in protest of Global Warming. Environmentalists have installed a Noah's Ark in the center of Buenos Aires. Demonstrating against Washington environmentalists scheduled a "singing in the rain" characterization of George W. Bush, reminding Argentineans that most of the heavy rains they are suffering are related to climate change due to global warming. The focus of the conference will be to reduce gas emissions by 60 percent, and support from developing nations will be necessary to achieve that goal. Attendees have complained that efforts to cut pollution by participants in the Kyoto Protocol are undermined by the US. [More>>pravda.ru]
12.13.04 Ex-dictator of Chile, Pinochet, indicted
SANTIAGO, CHILE, Dec. 13 Eduardo Gallardo reports that General Augusto Pinochet was indicted Monday for the kidnapping of nine dissidents and the killing of one of them during his 1973-90 regime, and the former dictator was placed under house arrest. Judge Juan Guzman made the announcement nearly three months after questioning the 89-year-old former ruler and having him examined by doctors to determine whether he can stand trial.
12.13.04 Vladimir Sivkovich commission to investigate Yushchenko poisoning
An ad hoc parliamentary commission to investigate the poisoning of Victor Yuschenko is scheduled to gather in Kiev, Ukraine Tuesday, said the press service of MP Vladimir Sivkovich, the commission chair. [More>>rian.ru]
12.13.04 Prime Minister of Pakistan ministers message of Peace
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 12 Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz of Pakistan addressed Pakistan's religious leaders Sunday, urging them to counter negative propaganda against Islam by reminding Moslems that the foundation of Islam is peace. He called Pakistan the "fortress of Islam" which must defend its faith by spreading the message of peace. [More>>Dawn.com]
12.13.04 Car blows up in Damascus, Syria
DAMASCUS, Dec. 13 An explosion ripped through a car in a diplomatic quarter of the Syrian capital, Damascus, injuring a passer-by. The cause of the explosion, which occurred in the Mazzah neighborhood, has not been determined. [Jang.com] Syria accused Israel of being behind the car bomb that targeted a Palestinian member of Hamas. Speaking to Syrian state-run television, Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan said a bomb placed under the seat of the vehicle exploded minutes after the Palestinian man and his wife stepped out for a dentist's appointment. [More>>haaretzdaily.com]
12.13.04 Chinese workers trapped in Chinese mine
Thirty-six workers have been trapped in a flooded mine in southwestern China's Guizhou province with rescuers pumping water out of the shaft in an effort to save them, officials said.
12.13.04 Horrific bus crash in Iraq
A minibus carrying extra fuel tanks crashed into a car in the city of Baqouba, north-east of Baghdad. Twenty-one passengers, the bus driver, and the occupants of the other vehicle died in the fiery explosion. Extra fuel tanks are common in Iraqi vehicles owing to the shortage of gasoline, where people often wait for hours to refuel.
In a separate incident 13 people were killed at a gate in Baghdad's Green Zone by a suicide bomber. Monday is the first anniversary of the capture of Saddam Hussein. His trial is not expected to begin before 2006. [More>>bignewsnetwork.com; see also theglobeandmail.com/]
LONDON, Dec. 13 "Iran does not represent an imminent nuclear threat," ElBaradei told El Pais newspaper, explaining why the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decided not to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for threatened sanctions over its nuclear program, AFP reported.
12.13.04 Incumbent Chen wins election in Taiwan
Saturday President Chen Shui-bian and his minority party won in Taiwan. Laurence Eyton reports that the Lame Duck President is destined to spend most of the rest of his second term wrestling with the problems of minority government. The election resolved the concerns of Taiwan independence trumpeted by Chen. China can now relax, with the mood now swinging back toward her favor. [More>>atimes.com]
12.13.04 Update, 12.12.04 Hand grenade explodes in Philippines; 15 people killed, 60 wounded
A bomb exploded in a public market in the village of Barangay, south Dadiangas, the island of Mindanao, Philippines about 4:15pm Sunday. 15 people are dead and the nation is on a "Red Alert." 60 others were wounded. The grenade was thrown near a restaurant and police believe the motive for the bombing was a feud among traders and vendors at the site. The bomb had been disguised as a camera. The blast occurred as the government and the Muslim secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were negotiating for the resumption of peace talks. Breakaway factions of the MILF have been blamed for past bomb attacks in strife-torn Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines. [More>>inq7.net; see jang.com.pk for update]
12.13.04 Tunnel explosion injures 11 Israelis, more trapped; Palestinians fire on Israeli settlements
12.13.04 Update. Five soldiers were killed and six wounded in an explosion in a Gaza tunnel Sunday. [More>>Jerusalem Post].
12.12.04 Who poisoned Yushchenko?
12.12.04 Feds are expected to hike rates up for the fifth time this year; won't be enough though
In Tuesday's meeting of the Federal Reserve interest rates are expected to be raised for a fifth time this year. Although the ongoing rhetoric from Greenspan would be expected to be something on the order of "to reduce the possibility of inflation," the real need for the rate hikes is to finance the out-of-control debt under which President Bush has buried this nation. To pay off bond-holders on the US debt, when the bonds are redeemed, the Treasury has to print and sell more bonds. The higher the debt the more bonds needed to be sold in the market. The problem is the debt is so high the size of the lots of bonds offered for sale overwhelms the bond market. The number of buyers of US bonds is limited (half of them being foreign banks, including China, Japan and South Korea). To attract the buyers interest rates on the bonds need to be jacked up. But, Japan is in a recession that has been going on for several years, South Korea is in an economic slump, Japan is cutting off financial aid to China, and China is evaluating what to do with the yuan. Record declines in the US dollar, caused by international fears of excessive US debt and trade imbalance, don't make it more encouraging for buyers to rush to buy American bonds to continue financing failed US policies. Why Greenspan did not at least put a verbal sanction on Bush for his spendthrift economics running a government on a credit card, believing creditors will always be there to loan more money is something historians may ponder for years. Greenspan's lack of diligence with regard to the US economy is the current cause of declining economies around the world. Expect more hikes, for there is no way out of this one for Greenspan except up: higher rates. Can he hike up interest rates enough to offset declines in the value of the dollar? [Click here to view a chart on the US debt; for the report: Reuters]
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer, reports that the Bush administration is beginning a broad review of its Russia policy. They are looking at a more confrontational approach toward Moscow over its treatment of neighboring countries and its own citizens. [More>>latimes.com]
12.12.04 International Space Station (ISS) to be reprovisioned December 24
Food in the ISS will run out by the end of December, and if there is a problem with the December 24 launch of Russia's space vehicle "Progress M-51," the crew will be instructed to abandon the station. In that event the station controls will be switched over to ground control. According to NASA, Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and American Leroy Chiao have been asked to cut out calories equal to three cans of Coke from their daily diet around 10 percent of their daily allowance and an amount that would be little noticed. There is enough water at ISS. There haven't been any emergencies during the 6-year history of the ISS. [More>>khabar.kz]
Sergei Mironov, Speaker of the Federation Council, or the upper Russian parliamentary house, said, "..they [the Iranians] hope their next nuclear power plant, too, will be constructed by Russia." Completing his two-day visit to Iran, Mironov said that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami had called for a multiple increase in bilateral trade. [More>>rian.ru]
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has arrived in China on Sunday. "We shall consider bilateral issues and the situation in hots pots of the world. The purpose of this meeting is to promote Russian-Chinese strategic partnership," the minister said. Mr. Ivanov is to hold talks with Chinese counterparts and participate in the 11th intergovernmental Russian-Chinese commission for military-technical cooperation. [More>>rian.ru]
VERINAG, Dec. 11 Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed expressed confidence that the dialogue going on between Indian and Pakistan to resolve problems would succeed and jammu and Kashmir would again return to the days of its old glory. He said the engagement of the two countries in talks is widely appreciated and even those who otherwise espoused violence to put across their point too have now recognized its imperativeness. [(KT News Service) kashmirtimes.com]
Choi Soung-ah reports, "Shifting its military focus away from the half-century-old Cold War threat of invasion from Russia, Japan's new defense review points to its closest Asian neighbors as main threats and is causing regional concerns for South Korea.
Although diplomatic in wording, Japan's Defense Program Outline mentions China and the DPRK (North Korea) as the only neighbors that pose a threat to it. China has expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the Japanese move. "This is totally groundless and extremely irresponsible," commented Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyueon Friday. China and Japan normalized relations 32 years ago. In addition to the Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed six years later, the two countries agreed to upgrade their relations to partnership in 1998.
CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq Charles Duelfer said in a report that Iraqi former president Saddam Hussein's illegal oil sales generated about $8 billion between the two Iraq wars. Most of the trade was with Syria, Jordan and Turkey. [More>>CRI online]
Perhaps colored by its new defensive strategy, Japan has cut off the free capital cooperation projects with China starting in 2006. The Japanese government is also phasing out low interest credit to China. Last year Japan provided about $50 million in free capital cooperation projects and $920 million in low interest credit to China. [Daily Yomiuri & CRI online]
12.12.04 54 journalists killed in 2004
The BBC reported Saturday that 54 reporters have been killed in 2004, the largest toll in a decade. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that the Iraq War accounted for the deaths of 23 reporters and crew. Most of those killed in Iraq were Iraqi reporters working for US organizations. CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said, "What we've seen this year is the deliberate targeting of Iraqis who work with Westerners." The second most dangerous country was the Philippines, where eight journalists have been killed, the BBC said. The CPJ said the year with the heaviest death toll was 1994, when 66 journalists were killed. [BBC via bignewsnetwork]
12.10.04 Sky Diver commited suicide from 13,000 ft,, ruining hedge and leaving wide crater
From the evidence of a suicide note in his car, a message on his cell phone explaining his suicide, and the fact that his parachute was fully operational, an inquest concluded that an experienced parachutist committed suicide. The soldier, based at Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly where he served with 40 Signals Regiment, was apparently under intense pressure from his regiment, said his wife. She said the pair had recently argued over a new kitchen after which she went to court for possession of the couple's home on Cayman Avenue in Bangor.
12.10.04 Environmentalist Wangari Maathai wins Peace Prize
OSLO (Reuters) Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, received the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. Kenya's deputy environment minister and the first African woman to win the Peace Prize. She campaigned to plant 30 million trees across Africa to slow deforestation and said, "Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system." [More>>reuters.com]
12.10.04 Bomb in Pakistani city Quetta kills 10; another incident in Mosque bombing kills 7
A bomb planted by suspected nationalists exploded in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials said. Ten people were killed and at least 21 injured. The device was strapped to a bicycle in the city's crowded market. The Baluchistan Liberation Army, a self-proclaimed nationalist group, said it carried out the attack. "Our target was the military truck," said Azad Baluch, calling himself the group's spokesman. [More>>Al-Jezeera]
In a separate incident in the city of Jahore, a man shot his way into a Shia Muslim mosque in the Pakistani city of Lahore and detonated explosives attached to his body. Seven people, some of them children, were killed. [More>>al-Jezeera]
A sacked CIA official has sued, alleging he was fired for refusing to fake reports supporting the White House position that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, local media said. Described as a senior CIA official who was sacked in August "for unspecified reasons," the lawsuit appeared to be the first public instance of a CIA agent charging he was pressured to concoct intelligence on Iraq.
12.10.04 Women taking diet pills may have more lesbian and gay children
A new study suggests that women who take amphetamine-based diet pills when pregnant are more likely to have lesbian and gay children. Expectant mothers who have taken thyroid medication are also included, with similar findings.
12.10.04 Feds concerned wheels falling off Dodge vehicles
DaimlerChrysler will recall 600,000 of the most popular vehicles on the road the Dodge Durango SUV and the Dodge Dakota pickup truck due to problems that could lead to the front wheels falling off. [More>>CNN.com]
12.10.04 OPEC to reduce oil production
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut production back to target production levels of 27 million barrels per day from early next year. An OPEC delegate announced at a meeting in Cairo, that the leading oil producers agreed to eliminate 1 million barrels per day of excess supply over the quota limits. [More>>CRIonline]
CAIRO, Dec. 8 Ahmad Aboul Wafa reports that Cairo is being flooded with unnecessary and often frivolous fatwas. In the past, scholars of Islam used to gain prominence by issuing important fatwas (religious edicts) that were characterized by their objectivity and integrity. But things have changed. Today, fatwas in Egypt are issued just about daily to forbid anything from the internet and satellite dishes to mobile phones and yoga.
12.10.04 John the Baptist's cave found
KIBBUTZ TSUBA, Dec. 5 Jacques Pinto (AFP) reports that a British archaeologist has uncovered a cave in the mountains near Jerusalem which he believes conclusively proves that the Biblical figure of John the Baptist existed.
Russia and Spain have fine partnership prospects in many fields, in particular, energy infrastructure development, said President Vladimir Putin. Among priority fields, he highlighted construction, infrastructure, railway transport, highway laying, power industry-in particular, the oil-and-gas sector, and closer capital investment links. Spain's Cabinet and many Spanish-based companies are interested in building up investment in Russian power industry, construction, railway infrastructure and tourism, said Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero of Spain. [More>>rian.ru]
TOKYO: Japan took another step away from its post-World War II pacifism on Friday by ending its decades-old ban on military exports. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet agreed to allow military sales only to the United States and for missile defense a day after it extended Japan's ground-breaking troop deployment in Iraq for another year.
12.10.04 Pacers, 7 Pistons Fans Face Charges
PONTIAC, MICHIGAN, Dec. 9 Pacers players Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, David Harrison and Anthony Johnson were charged Wednesday with single counts of assault and battery, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of about three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Jermaine O'Neal, a three-time NBA All-Star, was charged with two counts of assault and battery for his actions in the brawl at the end of a game last month.
SINGAPORE, Dec. 10 Singapore can be a springboard for oil-rich Iran to expand its business links in Asia, Singapore's, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said Thursday as the city-state emphasized its desire for closer bilateral trade ties.
12.10.04 Asia to be growth juggernaut for vehicle industry
SINGAPORE, Dec. 9 Auto sales in Asia are expected to grow at a world-beating 16 percent each year over the next 15 years as the region becomes critical for the vehicle industry to offset sluggish growth in other key markets, industry experts said on Wednesday.
12.10.04 Yahoo introducing new search engine
Yahoo is introducing a free, high-speed way to search for data on personal computers, challenging Google's U.S. release this fall of a similar product. The product lets users search, not just e-mails and other documents on their hard drives, but also MP3 music files and saved Portable Document Format files, (PDFs), often used to distribute documents. [More>>bignewsnetwork]
12.10.04 Marine charged with desertion
The Lebanese-born U.S. Marine who disappeared from his post in Iraq for nearly three weeks this summer before reappearing in Lebanon, saying he had been captured by enemy fighters, was charged with desertion yesterday.
12.08.04; 12.09.04 Update: Military personnel enlistment is for as long as there is war
American troops volunteer for military duty that is open-ended. The contract they sign says that the term of the contract may be extended indefinitely in times of war. Copy of the contract: enlistment.pdf.
Scott Pelley's report Wednesday, CBS 60 Minutes "Deserters:..," dealt with the issue of about 5,500 American deserters, some of whom are in Canada and filing for asylum. The situation recalls the sequence of the Vietnam War, where soldiers becoming more informed about the war began to object to the war on principals involving "non participation in an illegal war."[More>>]
12.08.04 Planned cut-back in oil supply by OPEC
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi Wednesday questioned the need to cut back oil supplies. Cut-backs were being proposed as a prelude to Friday's ministerial meeting of OPEC oil producers in Cairo. OPEC is concerned about falling prices in crude oil, though the cartel's reference crude price was still above its official target. [More>>The Daily Star]
12.08.04 Rumsfeld says, "You go to war with what you have."
Based upon TV broadcasts Wednesday, apparently the need to go to war in Iraq was so urgent President Bush could not plan on supplying the troops with necessary equipment and resources. The strategy revealed Wednesday in an appearance before our troops at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld now is, "You go to war with what you have." He said this in answer to a soldier's complaint at the briefing, having to do with soldiers still not having armor and forced to raid rusted debris to add armor to their vehicles and equipment. Although March will be the second anniversary of Bush's invasion, troops still don't have proper equipment. Rumsfeld explained that it is a matter of logistics. With reference to supplying armored Humvees Rumsfeld said America can't build them fast enough. Let's face it, the 250 tons of ammunition that came up missing after Bush's army rushed by Saddam Hussein's unguarded armories heading to Baghdad to secure the oil ministry might possibly be the reason why America can't keep up with the demand for armored Humvees.
12.08.04 European Airbus may subcontract subsytems of A350 jetliner to China
Most people, and it is sad to say, most congress persons, are not aware how much American tax dollars go to service the National Debt, which is now pushing $8 trillion. Group A outlays, comprising 13 out of 22 categories of outlays for the government, are about what Bush spends on interest to service the debt each year. The 13 categories of expenditures include: Legislative, Judiciary, Executive Office, International Assistance, Agriculture, Commerce, Civil Defense, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and the State Department. They total 320 billion, one hundred eighty-three thousand dollars ($320.183 billion). Bush is paying bankers (most of them foreign) about the same amount: $321.566 billion. It pays to be a friend of the Bush family. Click here to view the chart.
12.02.04 New meeting for progress in the Middle East and North Africa
US DEBT & ECONOMICS
12.09.04 President Bush rules out hike in payroll tax to fund Social Security
12.05.04 US accused of eliminating witnesses to Iraqi attacks
PALESTINE AND KASHMIR SOLUTION
12.06.04 Prime Minister Blair refuses to mediate Kashmir dispute
12.09.04 Pakistani scientist's link to nuclear technology sales to Iran
12.08.04 US Colin Powell and Russian Sergey Lavrov verbally duke it out over Ukraine conference scuttled
12.09.04 EU looking to lift arms ban to China
12.09.04 North East Asian countries uneasy with Bush administration direction fear another Iraq
This is an ongoing article. We received a response from Senator Diane Fienstein which we cuddled midst a general review of the historic repeat of Deficits from father to son: Bush I to Bush II.
The US deficit, being the source of the declining dollar, perpetuates further debt and increases interest rates and inflation. About half of the US $6 Trillion debt is owned by foreign investors (primarily banks). When investors redeem their bonds in a period when the dollar is declining, as is the case in the two Bush administrations, they lose money on their investment in US bonds. This causes potential buyers of US bonds to back out of the US bond market. When buyers back away from the US bond market, the US has to raise interest rates to draw them back into the market. Following the increase in the prime rate, mortgages and other loan rates increase.
The National Debt is an exponential debt. The adding of interest, plus continued borrowing / sales of US Bonds, compounds the debt. The debt takes on the form of a "J" curve. President Bush claims that he will "halve the debt," presumably in the next four years. The Clinton years, 1993-2000, represented the most fiscally responsible administration since Nixon (see "Running a government with a credit card" below). During Clinton's term Congress had adapted and applied a "pay as you go" process, preventing further borrowing to fund the government and actually paid down the National debt through their diligence. The dedication of Congress and the President during the Clinton years is not present in the current administration of Bush II, and reducing the deficit, let alone the National Debt, would seem improbable. It appears that the National Debt has reached a point of no return, where interest on the debt alone will consume any efforts to retire the debt. The debt from 1974 through 2009 (the data are current as of 11.22.04, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the years 2004 - 2009 are OMB estimates) look like this:
The National Debt data are as follows: US Office of Budget & Management National Debt
A forty-year amortization table on a loan of $5 trillion (double everything for a loan of $10 trillion) at 7% interest:
It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing and not allowed their spendthrift President to get out of hand. Then again, there is hope that Americans will start to pay attention to their accounts and those they elected to manage them. Total receipts estimated in the Federal Budget for 2004 are just short of $2 trillion." Growth in receipts. Total receipts in 2004 are estimated to be $1922.0 billion, an increase of $85.8 billion or 4.7 percent relative to 2003. Receipts are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.0 percent between 2004 and 2008, rising to $2,520.9 billion. This growth in receipts is largely due to assumed increases in incomes resulting from both real economic growth and inflation." [2004 FEDERAL RECEIPTS AND COLLECTIONS, p. 57]
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