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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 03rd of July 2020

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.
World Of Finance

The term, closely associated with the work of Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. 

Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that were rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.[1]

The idea that small causes may have large effects in general and in weather specifically was earlier recognized by French mathematician and engineer Henri Poincaré and American mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener. 

Edward Lorenz's work placed the concept of instability of the Earth's atmosphere onto a quantitative base and linked the concept of instability to the properties of large classes of dynamic systems which are undergoing nonlinear dynamics and deterministic chaos.[2]

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06-APR-2020 :: A luminous and Fairy Tale feel
World Of Finance

You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there.You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.”

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"Every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”- '1984,' George Orwell
Law & Politics

"Every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”- '1984,' George Orwell

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Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World
Law & Politics

As I watched the Daily Feed unfold in real time and at viral Speed, the Toppling of Statues of course has been a central theme.

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The Cameroonian waging war against a French war hero’s statue BBC
Law & Politics

Cameroonian activist Andre Blaise Essama has been on a decades-long mission to purge his country of colonial-era symbols, long before the issue came to international prominence in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

His main target has been French World War Two hero Gen Philippe Leclerc in the country's biggest city, Douala.

"I have decapitated Leclerc's head seven times and toppled the statue at least 20 times," Mr Essama told the BBC.

"I use my bare hands... but I make an incantation to the ancestors first," he said.

His aim is to replace them with Cameroonian and other African heroes, but he will make an exception for those who campaigned for "the good of humanity".

He is especially keen on erecting a statue of Diana, the late Princess of Wales.

"Diana was against racism and she stood for humanity. We loved her here in Cameroon," Mr Essama said.

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According to Tom Bower of The Times, in 1986 Ghislaine's father invited her to visit his new yacht in a shipyard in Holland to celebrate its christening in her honor as the Lady Ghislaine.
Law & Politics

In November of 1991, Robert Maxwell’s body was found floating in the sea near the Canary Islands and his luxury yacht the Lady Ghislaine.[16] Immediately following his death, Ghislaine flew to Tenerife, where the yacht was stationed, to attend to his business paperwork.[9]

Though a verdict of death by accidental drowning was recorded, Maxwell has since stated that she believes her father was murdered,[17] commenting in 1997 that "He did not commit suicide. That was just not consistent with his character. I think he was murdered."

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Pandemic almost EXPONENTIAL again (since 5/11) @oli3be

(X^3 -> X^4)

(R_7_14 = 1.24 ▲ since 6/9 ► since 5/9)

"Confirmed Active Cases" = Confirmed Cases - Recoveries - Deaths --- Wordlwide --- Linear vs Polynomial vs Exponential Extrapolation--- #COVID19 #Coronavirus

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I do not think people fully comprehend yet what exponential growth entails. @Marco_Piani

This is the same exponential function, from 0 to 5, starting at a min of 1 & reaching a max of ~150, and from 0 to 10 (double the range), reaching ~22,000

It does not stay small. We *make it* stay small.

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25,000,000 cases before 9/1 ¿ 100,000,000 - 300,000,000 cases before 12/31 ? @oli3be

Total of Cases --- Worldwide --- Exponential  vs POLYNOMIAL Extrapolation [Since May 1 ] --- #COVID19 #Coronavirus

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@GileadSciences announced its Covid-19 therapy drug, remdesivir, will cost private insurers $520 for a single vial, hundreds of times its production cost, which researchers have estimated at 93 cents per dose. @theintercept

The details of the contracts, which were released to the nonprofit advocacy group Knowledge Ecology International, come as another pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, announced pricing for its Covid-19 therapy, remdesivir. 

That drug, which was developed with at least $79 million in federal funding, will cost private insurers $520 for a single vial, hundreds of times its production cost, which researchers at the University of Liverpool have estimated at 93 cents per dose.

But, given its low production cost, Gilead could profit from remdesivir even if it was priced at just $1 a day, according to an analysis by Public Citizen. 

Instead the drug, which was rolled out with the help of the Trump administration, will cost insurers between $3,120 for a five-day course of treatment and $5,720 for a 10-day course.

Public Citizen immediately declared the pricing “offensive.” “It’s outrageous,” said Zain Rizvi, a drug-pricing expert who works for the consumer advocacy group. 

“Even during a pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry can’t help but price gouge.”

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California rejected Chinese company’s push to help with coronavirus testing. Was that the right move? @washingtonpost

As California raced to expand coronavirus testing this spring, advisers to the state noticed one company pitching particularly hard to assist: China’s BGI Group.

The company’s U.S. subsidiary and one of BGI’s partners were approaching city, county and state officials with offers to sell supplies and help set up entire labs, proposing to export a rapid testing model that they said had helped contain China’s outbreak.

In the end, the advisers recommended that California exercise caution about BGI and its U.S. subsidiary, CGI; one of the advisers recommended avoiding them all together. 

But BGI’s efforts to sell testing supplies in a state now facing a new surge of infections underscores a dilemma the United States will face again and again as China’s ambitious technology companies gain prominence globally: Under what circumstances should U.S. officials and businesses engage with the Chinese tech sector?

Bob Kocher, a physician and venture capital executive who volunteers on the state’s coronavirus-testing task force, said in an interview that BGI’s pitching raised red flags for him. 

For one, he was worried about relying on a Chinese company for critical medical supplies, given U.S.-China tensions. 

He was also concerned that allowing a China-headquartered entity to equip U.S. laboratories for coronavirus testing or other future purposes could give China access to sensitive patient data.

Kocher said his concern was sparked in part by a brief and inconclusive U.S. intelligence report cautioning that CGI “may be vulnerable to Chinese influence.” 

Other countries have welcomed BGI to set up high-speed testing labs, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 
The Trump administration has targeted other Chinese companies, restricting trade with more than a dozen it accuses of supplying surveillance gear in the western province of Xinjiang, where U.S. officials and human rights groups say China’s ruling Communist Party is holding Muslims in mass detention camps.

The country and China are competing to develop industries around DNA sequencing and genomics, he said, including “precision-medicine” ventures to deliver treatments tailored to a patient’s genetic profile. 

The quantum revolution is coming, and Chinese scientists are at the forefront

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Genomic surveillance @jleibold and @emiledirks for @ASPI_org

Chinese Government is building the world’s largest police-run DNA database in close cooperation with key industry partners across the globe. 

6 In those minority regions, DNA collection was only one element of an ongoing multimodal biometric surveillance regime, which also includes high-definition photos, voiceprints, fingerprints and iris scans, which are then linked to personal files in police databases. 

Evidence already suggests that this new DNA database is being integrated with other forms of state surveillance and ‘stability maintenance’ social control operations.

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BLS Admits "Survey Error" Continues, Resulting In Artificially Lower Unemployment Rate @zerohedge
World Of Finance

As was the case in March, April, and May, household survey interviewers were instructed to classify employed persons absent from work due to temporary, coronavirus-related business closures as unemployed on temporary layoff. BLS and Census Bureau analyses of the underlying data suggest that this group still included some workers affected by the pandemic who should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. 

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08-JUN-2020 :: Anybody can be decisive during a panic It takes a strong Man to act during a Boom.
World Of Finance

The jobless rate unexpectedly dropped to 13.3% from 14.7% as states began re-opening their economies.

A ‘misclassification error’ made the May unemployment rate look better than it is

When the U.S. government’s official jobs report for May came out on Friday, it included a note at the bottom saying there had been a major “error” indicating that the unemployment rate likely should be higher than the widely reported 13.3 percent rate.

The special note said that if this “misclassification error” had not occurred, the “overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,” meaning the unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May.

The BLS admitted that some people who should have been classified as “temporarily unemployed” during the shutdown were instead misclassified as employed but “absent” from work for “other reasons.”

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Just weeks after the stock market crashed in 1929, President Herbert Hoover assured the country that things were already “back to normal,” Liaquat Ahamed writes in Lords of Finance
World Of Finance

Five months later, in March 1930, Hoover said the worst would be over “during the next 60 days.”

When that period ended, he said, “We have passed the worst.”

Eventually, Ahamed writes, “when the facts refused to obey Hoover’s forecasts, he started to make them up.”

Government agencies were pressed to issue false data. Officials resigned rather than do so, including the chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And we all know how that turned out: The Great Depression.

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Currency Markets At A Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1243

Dollar Index 97.187

Japan Yen 107.47

Swiss Franc 0.9457

Pound 1.2482

Aussie 0.6939

India Rupee 74.9075

South Korea Won 1198.60

Brazil Real 5.3601

Egypt Pound 16.113

South Africa Rand 16.9230

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10-MAY-2020 :: #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment
World Of Finance

We are witnessing a Spill Over into EM and Frontier Geographies

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Sanctioned Billionaire Finds a Haven in Tiny Congolese Bank @business @wildfranz @mjkcongo @WTBClowes

A year ago in June, a group of bankers marched into a U.S. Treasury office in Washington on perhaps the most important mission of their careers: to save a country from financial collapse. 

Among them was Willy Mulamba, Citigroup Inc.’s top executive in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a resource-rich but devastatingly poor nation in central Africa.

Mulamba, a 51-year-old Congolese banker who had returned home after years abroad, was part of a small team desperate to dissuade Treasury officials from cutting the nation off from the U.S. banking system, even though corruption scandals swirling around recently departed President Joseph Kabila had infected several local banks. 

Global firms including ING Groep NV and Commerzbank AG had stopped processing most dollar transactions from Congo out of concern about violating U.S. anti-money-laundering rules or sanctions imposed on generals, government officials and, in December 2017, on one of Kabila’s most important financiers: Dan Gertler. 

The Israeli billionaire, Treasury said, had amassed a fortune “through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals.”

By the time of the meeting, Citigroup was handling more than 80% of Congo’s international dollar transactions, an exposure well beyond the bank’s comfort level

More importantly, Mulamba knew that if Citigroup pulled out, the dollars would stop flowing to Congo. 

That would be tantamount to a death sentence for an economy where 90% of bank deposits and loans are in dollars. 

Congo’s 84 million people would face hyperinflation and financial uncertainty, and its businesses could seize up.

Across the table from Mulamba and his colleagues was Sigal Mandelker, then Treasury undersecretary in charge of the Trump administration’s burgeoning roster of sanctions. 

Mulamba told her the bankers were doing their best to respect the restrictions, even though it exposed them to threats and lawsuits from powerful people in Congo. 

Mandelker promised to work with the group to help them comply, according to six people who attended the meeting. That was enough for the bankers.

Returning to Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, the bankers felt reassured. They held a press conference stating their intention to toughen controls, and Mulamba delivered a clear warning. 

“I ask our banks and our monetary and political authorities to focus on the questions of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing,” he said. 

“We are a strategic sector, and we have to be protected.” To anyone who knew Congolese finance, it was obvious what he was saying: Stop holding suspect money, because one slip up could ruin all of us.

What the bankers didn’t know was that a mile down Kinshasa’s main boulevard from where the press conference took place, in a two-story building with reflecting windows, one bank had made holding suspect money its business model, according to documents provided to Paris-based anti-corruption group Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa, known by its French acronym Pplaaf, and shared with Bloomberg News.

The bank was the Congolese subsidiary of Cameroon’s Afriland First Bank Group

Citigroup wasn’t processing dollar transactions for the unit, but it serviced the parent company — one of only two so-called correspondent banks doing so, according to Afriland’s website.

In January 2018, a few weeks after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Gertler, a family friend named Shlomo Abihassira had walked into Afriland’s Kinshasa headquarters and opened an account for a newly registered company with the unpronounceable name RDHAGD Sarlu, bank documents show. 

Over the next five months, Abihassira, who lives in Israel, made 17 deposits totaling $19 million

How Gertler, Berros, Katsobashvili and others came to have accounts at Afriland is a story that begins in 2006, when the bank opened an office in Congo. 

Afriland’s founder, Paul Fokam, presents himself more as an anti-poverty messiah than a banker, evangelizing about generating wealth through grassroots businesses. 

The bank’s expansion has also made him rich. Forbes says he has a fortune of $900 million, making him the second-wealthiest man in francophone Africa, a region of more than 20 countries.

People familiar with the bank say that until Gertler was sanctioned they couldn’t recall a transfer of more than $500,000 or the subsidiary holding more than $2 million in cash on site. 

But in 2018, Afriland’s total assets more than tripled from a year earlier to $351 million, according to the PwC audit

Income from banking operations more than doubled to $16 million that year, with transfer and foreign-exchange fees making up 80% of the total.

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7 JAN 19 :: V.S. Naipaul, in A Bend in the River wrote “It isn’t that there’s no right and wrong here. There’s no right.”

The DR Congo held a long delayed election in December. Joseph Kabila Kabange who besides sporting a new sartorial look of late has been President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since January 2001 and took office after the assassination of his father, President Laurent-Désiré Kabila. 

Previously very cryptic and not prone to engaging with the press, President Kabila having anointed his preferred successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, was giving ‘’exclusive’’ interviews to the world’s press. 

In one interview he alluded to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous quote ‘’I’ll be back.’’ 

A report I read said he was proposing to remain in the presidential palace and that his dauphin Shadary would be Prime Minister. I have visited the President’s residence. On those premises sits a screen from the era of President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu aka Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, a screen which was headlined the Bourse

du Valuers, which I was asked to rehabilitate and reinvigorate. 

I was a little bit slow on the draw and did not appreciate the ‘’Dan Gertler’’ style of operation, which required ponying up cash up front. I had a plan to turn the defunct Bourse du Valeurs into a Bovespa [which by the way is the only stock market in the world wide which is posting record highs]. 

Congo is enormous- ly rich but since the days of King Leopold through Mobutu through the Kabilas, it has been a country where ‘’L’etat c’est moi’’ applies and citizens have had to exist in a world that Joseph Conrad pronounced as “The horror! The horror!” in his book The Heart of Darkness.

V.S. Naipaul, in A Bend in the River wrote “It isn’t that there’s no right and wrong here. There’s no right.”

'’Early results indicate a win for the opposition after government plans to fix the poll went awry,’’ said Africa Confidential, adding the Bishops’ Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) had organised up to 40,000 election monitors to scrutinise the conduct of the poll and conduct a parallel vote tabulation. 

CENCO did not name the winning candidate publicly, but declared that he had polled over half of the votes in the presidential election. 

Martin Fayulu is the unnamed winning opposition candidate, Africa Confidential’s church sources say. 

If President Kabila’s Man is at only 20%, then we are talking about single digits in reality. 

Therefore, we are actually talking a compelling victory for Martin Fayulu, an open and shut case as it were.

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Ethiopian police fired in the air to prevent mourners entering a stadium for the funeral of singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, whose killing earlier this week sparked two days of protests @ReutersAfrica
Law & Politics

The slain singer’s wife, Santu Demisew Diro, gave a short speech after mourners laid wreaths.

“Haacaaluu is not dead. He will remain in my heart and the hears of millions of Oromo people forever,” she said, referring to Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group. 

“I request a monument erected in his memory in Addis where his blood was spilt.”

The popular Ethiopian singer was shot dead in the capital Addis Ababa on Monday by unknown gunmen and will be laid to rest later at a church in his home town of Ambo, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Addis.

“It is very sad that his body is accompanied by only a few people and security forces are keeping many others away,” one of Haacaaluu’s relatives, who had been allowed to attend the funeral, told Reuters.

One Ambo resident told Reuters he was determined to attend the service because the electricity had gone out in his house so he could not watch it on television.

“He is our hero, we have to pay him our respects,” said lab technician Mamush Dabala by phone as he got ready to go out. 

He could hear gunshots outside, but said he was going anyway.

Haacaaluu’s songs provided a soundtrack to a generation of Oromo protesters whose three years of anti-government demonstrations finally forced the unprecedented resignation of the prime minister in 2018 and the appointment of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

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On the 10-MAY-2020 : Africa was at 56,000 confirmed #COVID19 cases continent

The number of confirmed cases in Africa has been rising by about 30% a week over the past month, but is set to incline steeply now.

There was a lot of FOX News level, mathematically illiterate magical thinking about Africa and how it was going to dodge a ‘’Silver Bullet’’

That thinking is now debunked. Africa is playing ''Whack a Mole'' with a blindfold on

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02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word

We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and multiplicative.

what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world. Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ... then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!

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10-MAY-2020 :: The worrying development is Transmission Hotspots #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment

Kano in Nigeria for example

Western Cape growing at an alarming rate @sugan250388

Someone with close knowledge of the medical profession said it was almost impossible to secure a hospital bed in several cities.

The Aga Khan hospital in Dar es Salaam had a well-equipped ward for 80 coronavirus patients, but several were dying each night, he said.

The Question for SSA is whether these Transmission Hot Spots expand and conflate?

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African countries have lost almost $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, @_AfricanUnion commissioner for infrastructure and energy said @ReutersAfrica

Amani Abou-Zeid told a news conference the economic impact of lockdowns and border closures to curb the spread of the virus would be severe, with the continent’s air industry hit particularly hard.

She said tourism and travel represented almost 10% of the gross domestic product of Africa.

“We have 24 million African families whose livelihood is linked to travel and tourism,” Abou-Zeid said, adding the downturn had come in a year when Africa was expected to see an increase in travel and air transport.

“The blow is very hard, between the economic losses and the job losses,” Abou-Zeid said. 

African airlines have seen a 95% drop in revenues, or about $8 billion, along with other losses such as the deterioration of assets, she said.

“Some airlines in the continent will not make it post-COVID-19,” she said, adding the blow came at a time when some airlines were in the early stages of development, while others, such as South African Airways, were in difficulties even before the pandemic.

Abou-Zeid said more resistant carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines were using the opportunity to acquire smaller struggling companies, but the outbreak had put a halt to the AU’s plan for a single African air transport market.

Prosper Zo’o Minto’o, regional director for the International Civil Aviation Organization, told the news conference that African airlines would need an estimated $20 billion to resume operations.

Ivory Coast’s national airline Air Cote d’Ivoire, which restarted domestic flights on Friday, said it had received 14 billion CFA francs ($24 million) from the government to keep it afloat.

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How to rid East Africa of locusts? Serve them in a kebab or drive them to cannibalism

Eat them, poison them, and use scent to drive them to cannibalism - as a second wave of locusts threatens to devour East Africa’s crops, scientists in a Nairobi lab are experimenting with novel ways to kill them.

Swarms are the worst for three generations, encouraged by unseasonably wet weather and dispersed by a record number of cyclones. 

The destructive pests could cost East Africa and Yemen $8.5 billion this year, the World Bank has said.

Locusts are usually controlled by spraying them with pesticides before they can fly, but the chemicals can damage other insects and the environment.

So scientists at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) are experimenting with biopesticides and the use of locusts as human and animal food as they look for environmentally-friendly extermination methods.

ICIPE researchers were a part of a group that discovered an isolate from a fungus, Metharizium acridum, could kill locusts without harming other creatures. The isolate is now being used across East Africa.

Now researchers are pouring through 500 other fungi and microbes in their bio bank in the hope of discovering another locust poison.

ICIPE scientist Baldwyn Torto’s research has mostly focused on locust smells and pheromones.

Before locusts can fly they have a certain chemistry and therefore a unique smell that allows them to remain in a group, he said. That smell changes as locusts mature.

Disseminating the scent of an adult among the young can help destroy swarms.

“They get disoriented, the group breaks into pieces, they cannibalize each other and they become even more susceptible to biopesticides,” he said.

A lower-tech, but still environmentally-friendly way of combating locusts is eating them.

ICIPE is developing nets and backpack-vacuums to capture large numbers of locusts. 

The protein-rich insects can then be cooked or crushed into meal or oil suitable for animal feed or human consumption.

ICIPE organizes regular events to normalize the consumption of insects.

Researcher Chrysantus Tanga eats the insects himself. In the ICIPE cafe, the heads, legs and wings have been removed.

“They have to make it presentable for a first-timer,” Tanga said motioning towards colourful plates of locust-based meals prepared by ICIPE chefs, ranging from deep fried with tartar sauce, to skewered among vegetables in a kebab.

“For me, I’ll eat 100% of it... whatever is crunchy.”

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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July 2020

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