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Monday 27th of September 2021
 
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Africa


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Hagia Sophia could be a mosque/church [I second that]
Misc.



However, it is not just Muslims but also Orthodox Christians who yearn for a free Hagia Sophia in which they can worship their Lord.

Both religions, after all, have a long history here: Hagia Sophia served Christians from 360 A.D., when it was built by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine II, to 1453, when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. 

The latter converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque, and it served Muslims for the next five centuries.
Therefore, I argue, today both religions should have Hagia Sophia back. 

The magnificent temple, in other words, should be shared by Christians and Muslims, both with regards to space and time.

But now we need a time of peace, tolerance and pluralism.

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― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
Misc.



“I dream that I have found us both again,
With spring so many strangers' lives away,
And we, so free,
Out walking by the sea,
With someone else's paper words to say....

They took us at the gates of green return,
Too lost by then to stop, and ask them why-
Do children meet again?
Does any trace remain,
Along the superhighways of July?”

― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

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As they stroll through the last golden rays, their days as mother and cub are numbered and coming to an end soon when Mama Kaboso kicks out the cub from her territory. This is nothing to feel sad about. @pareetcheka
Misc.



As they stroll through the last golden rays, their days as mother and cub are numbered and coming to an end soon when Mama Kaboso kicks out the cub from her territory. This is nothing to feel sad about. This is just how leopards live, and prevents inbreeding

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Xi Jinping speech at Central Party School suggests more "wolf warrior" diplomacy: @neilthomas123 @neilthomas123
Law & Politics


"We must..not budge an inch or yield an inch of ground on matters of principle, and protect national sovereignty, security and development interests with an unprecedented quality of willpower."

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Remote Indian Ocean atoll key for U.K., U.S. Indo-Pacific push @NikkeiAsia
Law & Politics


A U.K.-U.S. military outpost on a remote atoll in the Indian Ocean is gaining increased strategic significance as the two allies seek to increase their engagement in the Indo-Pacific through initiatives such as the new AUKUS security pact.
Diego Garcia sits in the middle of the ocean, roughly 1,770 km east of the main island of the Seychelles. 

With a land area of around 44 sq. km, the atoll is the largest and most southerly of the 58 islands in the Chagos Archipelago, known as the British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT).
With no permanent population, only people linked to the military facility, which dates back to the 1970s, or to the territory's administration can access the island.
"Diego Garcia operates as the glue keeping the Western Indian Ocean linked, operationally, to the Eastern part of the Indian Ocean region," Alessio Patalano, a professor of War & Strategy in East Asia at the Department of War Studies at King's College London, told Nikkei Asia.
The logistics support base has been used to support a multitude of operations, namely "counternarcotic efforts, anti-human trafficking efforts, and efforts to counter illegal fishing," according to the BIOT government's website. 

It was used as a platform for disaster responses for the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines. 

It was also used to support the West's military campaigns such as in Afghanistan.

In a recent interview with Nikkei, Tony Radakin, the professional head of Britain's Royal Navy, said increased engagement with the Indo-Pacific means utilizing the Diego Garcia base. 

Radakin was speaking days before the U.S., Australia and the U.K. unveiled a new Indo-Pacific security alliance.

"When I look at it through a Navy lens," he said, "we want to have the ships that are operating much more strongly with Oman, with India, using Diego Garcia and operating down the east coast of Africa."
Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said Diego Garcia gives a vantage point to "some of the world's most critical sea lines of communications plying between the Indian and Pacific oceans." 

These include energy supplies from the Middle East and North Africa region to countries in Asia, including China, he pointed out.
As part of strengthening its network in the region, the British government last year announced an additional investment of 23.8 million pounds ($32.8 million) into a British logistics hub at Duqm port in Oman, to triple the size of the base there. 

This will "help facilitate Royal Navy deployments to the Indian Ocean," according to a U.K. government news release.
Patalano of King's College said that "one of the interesting aspects about the future of Diego Garcia is going to be how activities conducted from there will be coordinated with the developing U.K. base in Duqm."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made clear that naval power is important to his government. 

The Royal Navy was the largest in the world at the outset of World War II, and has significantly downsized since, along with the dismantling of the British Empire. 

Now, the U.S., China, and Russia all surpass the U.K. in terms of fleet size.
In a recent major review of defense and foreign policy, the government pledged to deploy "more of our naval assets across the world" in order to protect shipping lanes and uphold freedom of navigation.
The Royal Navy has two aircraft carriers, six destroyers, 13 frigates, and 11 submarines, including ballistic missile submarines, 25 patrol and coastal combatants, as well as amphibious, logistics and support, and mine warfare and countermeasure vessels, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies' 2021 Military Balance.

"We've got a shipbuilding program, and the government will take decisions about whether or not the additional ships that we're going to have, where are those going to operate around the world," Admiral Radakin said.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is leading a carrier strike group in the Indo-Pacific on its maiden deployment. 

In early September, two River-class Offshore Patrol Vessels left the U.K. for deployment to the Indo-Pacific, set to last at least five years.
Beginning in 2023, the U.K. is planning to deploy a Littoral Response Group containing dedicated shipping, helicopters and boats to the region, with Type 31 frigates to follow later in the decade, according to the Defense Command Paper published in March.
"A persistent engagement in the Indo-Pacific will enable the U.K. to add a security provider layer to its relevance in the region, whilst allowing to better identify how to advance partnerships and cooperation with allies -- as much as a better understanding of the challenges facing the region," Patalano said.
While the U.K. has announced a "tilt" to the Indo-Pacific, it is not the sole strategic area of importance to the U.K., Koh pointed out.
"The Royal Navy does have to contend with limited fleet capacity, hence its permanent deployment to the Pacific would have to be seen in the broader context of London's wide-ranging commitments across the globe, chiefly of all being its neighborhood in Europe, where there's a Russian challenge to meet, and also the Middle East and Africa region which is critical insofar as energy security is concerned," he said.
Admiral Radakin said that increased engagement with the Indo-Pacific was less about basing more personnel, and more about increasing activity with partners in the region, such as exercises, and discussing and supporting trade.
The BIOT is administered from London by a commissioner but Diego Garcia is leased to the U.S., which maintains a naval base there. 

The British are able to use the base for logistical support.
However, the eviction of the islands' entire population between 1968 and 1973 to make way for the U.S. military base has damaged the U.K.'s reputation. 

After almost 20 years of legal action by former inhabitants, a British government minister admitted in 2016 that their removal had been "wrong." 

The government also announced a 40-million pound (about $55 million) compensation package for the Chagossians.
Sovereignty disputes between London and Mauritius are also ongoing. The Chagos Archipelago was separated from Mauritius and made into the BIOT in 1965 when it was still a British colony. 

Mauritius was paid 3 million pounds; it gained independence from the U.K. in 1968.
The British government has committed to ceding the islands to Mauritius when they are no longer needed for defense purposes, though Mauritius has been demanding the U.K. leave the islands to "complete decolonization." Mauritius has offered the U.S. a 99-year lease.
In January, a United Nations court acknowledged Mauritius' sovereignty over the Islands. 

The U.K. government responded to the ruling, saying, 

"The U.K. has no doubt as to our sovereignty over the territory of the British Indian Ocean Territory, which has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814. Mauritius has never held sovereignty over the BIOT, and the U.K. does not recognize its claim."

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August 19 2013 I have no doubt that the Indian Ocean is set to regain its glory days
Law & Politics



Professor Felipe Fernández-Armesto explains why ‘The precocity of the Indian Ocean as a zone of long-range navigation and cultural exchange is one of the glaring facts of history’, made possible by the ‘reversible escalator’ of the monsoon.’
I have no doubt that the Indian Ocean is set to regain its glory days. 

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The voyagers spend several days in Melinde on the east coast of Africa, and at the king’s request Vasco da Gama relates the entire history of Portugal from its origins to the inception of their great voyage (Cantos III, IV, and V).
Law & Politics



These cantos contain some of the most beautiful passages in the poem: the murder of Inês de Castro, who becomes a symbol of death for the sake of love; the battle of Aljubarrota; the vision of King Manuel I; the description of St. Elmo’s fire and the waterspout; and the story of Adamastor, the giant of classical parentage who, as the Cape of Good Hope, tells da Gama he will lie in wait to destroy the fleets coming back from India.

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The Lotos-eaters BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Misc.




"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land, 

"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon." 




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Latest @WHO #COVID19 Sit Rep @mvankerkhove
Misc.



Conclusions

Lowest weekly count for 9 weeks. 



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Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 21 September 2021 @WHO
Misc.


The numbers of weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths globally continued to decline this week, with over 3.6 million cases and just under 60 000 deaths reported between 13-19 September. 

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19-JUL-2021 :: COVID-19
Misc.


The Virus remains unresolved.

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Nations w/ fast COVID19 avg 2wk case/day increase. @jmlukens
Misc.


Singapore: 263%
Romania: 220%
Slovakia: 147%
Ukraine: 125%
Brazil: 108%
Poland: 77%
Moldova: 75%
Egypt: 74%
Lithuania: 67%
Croatia: 47%

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Russia's #COVID19 data are hilariously doctored ("can't have more than 815 deaths / day"). There's several PhD theses in researching how different countries manipulate their data @LChittka
Misc.


Russia's #COVID19 data are hilariously doctored ("can't have more than 815 deaths / day").  UK not much better of course: ("it ain't #coronavirus if it takes you more than 4 weeks to die"). There's several PhD theses in researching how different countries manipulate their data

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What happens next depends not only on vaccination, but also on how the virus might mutate. @derspiegel
Misc.



"This virus keeps surprising us," agrees Mary Bushman, a mathematician and population biologist at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

"No one expected such large jumps in contagiousness.”

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04-JAN-2021 :: Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19.
Misc.



Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 

Those who have chosen to propagate this narrative are above the radar and in plain sight and need to be called to account. 

The Utter Failure to call these 5th columnists to Account is the clearest Signal that there is no exte

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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19
Misc.



“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”

“There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1707
Dollar Index 93.32
Japan Yen 110.72
Swiss Franc 0.9270
Pound 1.3668
Aussie 0.7273
India Rupee 73.6435
South Korea Won 1177.24
Brazil Real 5.37
Egypt Pound 15.7363
South Africa Rand 14.8838

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Epidemic dynamics South Africa @Tuliodna
Africa





The Delta variant was imported to South Africa primarily from India, spread rapidly in all provinces, and became dominant within 3 months of introduction. Associated with a resurgence in community transmission and a 3rd wave which was associated with a high number of deaths



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We estimated a growth advantage for the Delta variant in South Africa of 0.089 per day which corresponds to a transmission advantage of 46% compared to the Beta variant. @Tuliodna
Africa


We estimated a growth advantage for the Delta variant in South Africa of 0.089 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.084-0.093) per day which corresponds to a transmission advantage of 46% (95% CI 44-48) compared to the Beta variant.

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As the second wave decreased, Beta disappears (in green) and as Delta increased prevalence (in red) the third wave starts in South Africa. @Tuliodna
Africa



As the second wave decreased, Beta disappears (in green) and as Delta increased prevalence (in red) the third wave starts in South Africa. We also mapped a new lineage, the C.1.2 (yellow) in time and space in South Africa.

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Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Delta variant with 5602 SARS-CoV-2 Delta sequences from South Africa. @Tuliodna
Africa



Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Delta variant with 5602 SARS-CoV-2 Delta sequences from South Africa. We identifying a very large monophyletic cluster and inference of viral introduction events Spatiotemporal reconstruction of the spread of Delta in South Africa.

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In conclusion, the Delta variant rapidly replaced the Beta variant in South Africa and fueled a 3rd wave which was associated with a high number of deaths. @Tuliodna
Africa



In conclusion, the Delta variant rapidly replaced the Beta variant in South Africa and fueled a 3rd wave which was associated with a high number of deaths. This again highlights the importance of strengthening genomic surveillance to support the ongoing pandemic response.

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Turning to Africa
Africa



Democracy has been shredded.
We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point
“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''
Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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@SPGlobalRatings pushes Ethiopia's ratings into junk territory on delayed debt restructuring @Reuters
Africa



Ratings agency S&P Global cut Ethiopia’s sovereign rating to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-’ on Friday, citing heightened political instability and delays to debt restructuring.

War broke out 10 months ago between Ethiopia’s federal troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which controls Tigray, and spread into the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar in July. 

Fighting in those two regions has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and made about 1.7 million dependent on food aid.
"The escalation of the Tigray conflict, which broke out in November 2020, threatens the government's transformative reform agenda," S&P said in its statement. 
Last week, the Ethiopian government requested a new extended credit facility from the International Monetary Fund to replace an expired component of an existing lending program.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s creditors’ committee held its first meeting on Sept. 16 in a bid to restructure its debts under the joint G20’s common framework and help create stable economic fundamentals.
S&P expects the country’s domestic markets to play an increasingly dominant role in financing Ethiopia’s budget deficit over the agency’s forecast through 2024.
The agency maintained its outlook for Ethiopia at negative, which reflects potential inclusion of commercial creditors in debt restructur

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Ethiopia's dollar bond now trades at around 86 cents Reuters
Africa


"We have been assuring them (Eurobond investors) strongly that the government has no solvency issues," Eyob said.

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The Rise and Rise of Fascism in Ethiopia @africaarguments
Africa


“No land in Ethiopia must create and sustain a weed like them. We must ensure that people like them are not born. Just like the devil, they must be banished forever.” Daniel Kibret, advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and prominent Deacon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. 

Since November 4, 2020, Ethiopia is embroiled in a horrific civil war bearing the hallmarks of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and man-made famine. Underneath this grisly reality lies an appalling politics of hate that was deployed in full-scale and is currently permeating the social, political and cultural facets of the country. 

Jason Stanley’s book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them also offers an illuminating examination of the birth and rise of fascism in societies. 

Drawing on historical research of the early 20th century, he argues that fascist ideology exhibits the characteristics of a mythical past, ultra-nationalism of some variety (ethnic, religious, racial or cultural), an “Us” versus “Them” rhetoric, victimhood, propaganda and the promise of law and order.

The “us” casts itself as the righteous citizens and the “them”, by contrast, as the enemy – a criminal collective whose behaviour poses an existential threat to “us”. 

As the fear of “them” grows, “us” becomes to represent everything that is virtuous.
Secondly, fascism finds its genesis in a mythical and romantic past that it seeks to restore. It laments the tragic loss of a glorious history and harnesses feelings of nostalgia. 

According to this mythology, such a glorious past is free from any dark moments and has been lost due to the humiliation brought on by the current politics of the “others”. 

It extols national identity above all other identities. Ultra-nationalism of the “us” represented by the state and draped in national symbols is fervently deployed.
Third, violence is intrinsic to fascist politics. It is used both discursively and physically to pursue the project of cleansing politics and people of the perceived enemy. 

Significant resources are spent on incessant use of propaganda to influence perceptions of reality and ultimately shape the course of violent events on the ground. 

Using propaganda and conspiracy theories against segments of the population, the state seeks to limit the capacity for empathy among other citizens, paving the way for the execution and justification of mass atrocities, concentration camps and imprisonment, expulsion and in extreme cases, mass extermination.
And finally, fascist politics has a vocal proponent at the helm of the state and society. It is led by an authoritarian figure regarded by followers as singularly trustworthy leader. A master in exercising self-delusion. 

History tells us that fascist politicians convince citizens that they are in pursuit of a noble cause, conveying the message that they are representatives of the common good. 

None illustrates such delusion more than Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Final Solution, who said: “I did no wrong. I was only trying to save a country that I loved.”
 As a result, his popularity rose and a full-blown “Abiymania” gripped the nation, with some referring to him as “Moses” and a divinely ordained Messiah. 

The international community followed suit, crowning him with the coveted Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. 

Abiy not only basked in such adulation, he claimed it was prophetic. In a speech to members of parliament, he claimed he always knew he would one day become the 7th king of Ethiopia.

He dubbed his military move in Tigray as “rule of law” and “surgical operation” on the “criminal clique” of the TPLF.
Nothing proved further from the truth.
The “operation” unleashed a monstrous evil on the civilian population in Tigray fuelling fears of genocide. 

To win the war, Abiy deployed his federal forces and recruited the help of Tigray’s historical adversaries. Eritrea, led by the despot President Isayas Afeworki and neighbouring Amhara regional militias, and having a historical land dispute with Tigray, descended into Tigray with a carte blanche to conduct a revenge war. 

A scorched earth military campaign saw widespread war crimes committed. Civilians were deliberately targeted for massacres. Military jets bombed busy markets. Industries and essential infrastructure were decimated.

In his rhetoric, Abiy led a campaign of vilifying his political opponents. He aptly played the blame-game, putting all the evils befalling Ethiopia on the TPLF, recasting the period prior to his appointment as one of darkness and manipulating people’s genuine grievance for his own political ends. 

Conveniently erasing his active role in the service and sustenance of the intelligence apparatus of the EPRDF/TPLF, he effectively plays into people’s amnesia to portray himself as distinct from his predecessors. 

He routinely uses incendiary language like “traitors”, “satans”, “daytime hyenas”, “cancer”, “weeds”, “tumour”, and “backstabbers” to refer to his Tigrayan adversaries. 

True to fascist politics, Abiy’s violent crusade is sold to Ethiopians as a law-and-order operation with the noble mission to “Save Ethiopia” or a campaign for the “Survival of Ethiopia”. 

Human and material sacrifices vanish in the name of Ethiopian patriotism and the promise of renewal. European fascism of the early 20th century tells no different story in war ravaged countries.

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The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Africa


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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‘The genie out of the bottle’ @AfricanBizMag
Africa


It’s impossible for the state to manage a guerrilla war up there and at the same time manage to control the rest of the country.

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9-JUL-2021 :: The Contagion will surely boomerang and destabilise the Horn of Africa for the forseeable future.
Africa


If I could I would be limit short the Ethiopian Birr [It trades at 60 to the $ on the black market]

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Still the currency lost ground, and the street rate is now at 580 to the dollar, compared with an official rate of about 413 this week.
Africa



Emefiele may have to accept that the root cause of the naira’s precipitous decline may not be the unscrupulous actions of traders.
It may instead be the dire state of the Nigerian economy.

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The President did it 23RD SEPTEMBER 2021 @Africa_Conf
Africa




The trial of 19 state officials and ruling party members accused of corruptly benefiting from the US$2 billion hidden loans scandal continues to grip the country and embarrass President Filipe Nyusi, as he is implicated by witness after witness. 

Anxiety about the disastrous effect of the trial on the popularity of the ruling Frelimo is growing in its leading circles.

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EQUATORIAL GUINEA Paying back the money – one tiny prick at a time @thecontinent_
Africa



Millions of dollars seized from Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue will be spent on vaccines in his home country, US authorities have decided. 

The money comes from the sale of seized assets in the US, like a mansion and Michael Jackson memorabilia. 

He is the son of longtime president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has ruled for over four decades. Its wealth has gone to the president’s family and friends – with little left over to invest in vital things like vaccines.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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September 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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