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International News

  • With asylum grant, did the US just reward hate speech?

    When Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, passed away in 2015, 16-year-old Amos Yee made an obscenity-filled YouTube video denouncing the late leader as a “tyrant.” That and other postings earned him a four-week jail sentence for “wounding religious feelings and obscenity.” Not long after, he earned another six-week sentence for derogatory comments on Islam and Christianity. On Friday, US Immigration Judge Samuel B. Cole granted asylum to Mr. Yee, now 18, who flew to Chicago in December. “His prosecution, detention, and general maltreatment at the hands of the Singapore authorities constitute persecution,” Judge Cole ruled.

    Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:07:44 -0400
  • Airstrikes in Mosul kill civilians: Are US rules of engagement getting slacker?

    Residents of the Iraqi city of Mosul say a series of airstrikes carried out there in recent weeks by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State could have killed as many as 200 civilians, in what would be the highest civilian death toll in a US-led air campaign since the peak of the Iraq war. Iraqi rescue workers Saturday were combing through the rubble of a building where residents say as many as 137 civilians were killed in a single airstrike last week, in a part of the city now under coalition control, reported the Washington Post. Iraqi Brig. Gen. Mohammed Mahmoud, Mosul’s civil defense chief, told the Washington Post that the building was clearly hit by an airstrike.

    Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:27:58 -0400
  • Erdogan's tussle with Europe, The shame of the world, Regional support for Venezuela is vital, Scotland's place in the United Kingdom, US reengagement in the Middle East

    “It is a matter of grave concern that, according to a UN estimate, twenty million people are facing starvation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria...," states an editorial. "It is indeed disturbing to note that man-made disasters like war and famine continue to bleed nations while international politics fails to come to a consensus on how to reach a stasis in parts of the Middle East, Northeast Nigeria and vast swathes of Somalia.... We urge the international community to infuse immediate aid to these four war-torn and famine ravaged countries.... It is indeed appalling that in this era of globalisation and scientific breakthroughs, fellow human beings should die of hunger.... The shame is on us all.

    Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:00:03 -0400
  • Readers write: Immigration path, talent at home, science knowledge

    Regarding the Feb. 22 editorial, “Trump’s mixed message on immigration: An opening for a deal?” ( Three cheers for the Monitor editorial staff. Immigration was not my priority issue. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

    Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:00:02 -0400
  • Rep. Nunes' charge of Trump team surveillance – why it's key

    A number of former top National Security Agency (NSA) officials were standing around Friday, chatting prior to an academic conference in Washington. Talk turned to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R) of California, whose panel has been investigating Russian interference in the US election, and his charge this week that President Trump’s transition team had been subject to surveillance by US intelligence. The charge, and the fact that Representative Nunes conveyed that information to Mr. Trump before making it available to his panel, caused a sensation after a drumbeat of testimony that there was no evidence to support Trump’s explosive accusation that he had been subjected to wiretapping at the direction of his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:38:22 -0400
  • How Washington, D.C., is using social media to bring back missing children

    On Tuesday, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D) Louisiana, who is the Congressional Black Caucus chairman, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) of the District of Columbia sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey. While the number of missing youths in the District hasn’t dramatically increased, local police Commander Chanel Dickerson has become more vocal about the cases when they occur, increasingly using social media to spread the word when kids go missing – an important first step toward getting them back.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:35:49 -0400
  • Tillerson's week: How top US diplomat’s ‘big reveal’ offered little clarity

    The event was billed as a counter-ISIS conference, but for Rex Tillerson it was more like a coming-out party – with him starring as the diplomatic debutante. With all eyes on the new secretary of state with no formal diplomatic experience, the former ExxonMobil CEO offered the high-level representatives of the 68 countries in the US-led counter-ISIS coalition a bit of insight into his global philosophy and his approach to his new gig.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:53:42 -0400
  • Hopeful combo: World economy grows, carbon emissions stay flat

    Recommended: Climate change: Is your opinion informed by science? No sooner had the IEA trumpeted its latest findings on CO2 emissions last week than it came up with a new study warning that meeting the 2 degree target will take “an energy transition of exceptional depth, scope and speed” unlike anything we have ever seen. Flattening energy-related emissions (which make up two-thirds of all human-generated greenhouse gases) is “very, very good news,” says Laura Cozzi, an IEA official, because they have leveled out even as the world economy grew by 3.1 percent.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:08:18 -0400
  • 'Snooki' inspired bill could cap N.J. college speaker fees: How much is too much?

    The reality show “Jersey Shore” hasn’t been on the air in nearly five years. A bill capping payments for guest speakers at the state's universities to $10,000 passed 74-0 in the Democrat-controlled Assembly on Thursday, after the state Senate also gave it a unanimous green light.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:35:40 -0400
  • Trump says Keystone XL will bring thousands of jobs. Promise or pipe dream?

    President Trump formally revived the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, signing the presidential permit that granted TransCanada Corp. the right to cross-border construction on a project with symbolic weight for the future of US climate policy. At a White House event attended by TransCanada chief executive officer Russell Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions, Mr. Trump heralded what he called “a new era of American energy policy” that he said would lower costs for US consumers, reduce reliance on foreign oil sources, and create thousands of jobs.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:26:00 -0400
  • Samantha Ponder to host 'Sunday NFL Countdown,' despite backlash from internet trolls

    TV networks bringing on female sports reporters seems a natural progression considering the large numbers of women who are fans of various professional male sports leagues, with women making up 45 percent of National Football League fans, according to a recent statement by the league.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:50:53 -0400
  • Can judiciary recover from political battles over Supreme Court seat?

    Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia over a year ago, the empty seat on the US Supreme Court has been one of the most contentious political footballs in Washington. The debate has only gained greater intensity and gravity as the months have worn on, featuring two nominees, record-breaking congressional obstruction by Republicans, talks of an unprecedented filibuster by Democrats, tens of millions of dollars from outside groups on both sides of the political spectrum, and a president casually attacking federal judges. The filibuster is looming, but most expect that Judge Neil Gorsuch – who was subject to 20 hours of questioning from the Senate Judiciary Committee this week – will eventually fill the vacancy and end the conflict.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:36:30 -0400
  • Estonia's lessons for fighting Russian disinformation

    This fall, a few weeks after Donald Trump won the election, news surfaced on Russian websites that the newly elected president lashed out at the leaders of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, telling them to "shut up" and slammed down the telephone in outrage. An online Russian news portal 4esnok that initially published the story cited a CNN interview about the phone call with President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, but links within the article to the original source revealed nothing about the irate exchange.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:41:48 -0400
  • What does ‘multispeed’ Europe really mean?

    The Treaty of Rome, which gave rise to the European Union, is marking its 60th anniversary. One idea to boost the postwar project is the notion of a “multispeed” Europe.Q: What is a multispeed Europe? This idea, which is not new, got new life ahead of an EU summit in Rome March 25, where leaders were expected to sign a declaration on the future of Europe post-“Brexit.” In a white paper ahead of the summit, multispeed Europe was one of five scenarios proposed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:25:39 -0400
  • For US visa hopefuls, screening hurdles grow. Shades of 'extreme vetting'?

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has issued four cables to US diplomatic posts abroad over the past two weeks that recommend additional steps consular officers should take when vetting visa applicants, in the first glimpse of the “extreme vetting” promised by President Trump on the campaign trail. "What this language effectively does is give the consular posts permission to step away from the focused factors they have spent years developing and revising, and instead broaden the search to large groups based on gross factors such as nationality and religion," he added.

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:11:08 -0400
  • Hawaii’s Beth Fukumoto is quitting the GOP. Whose defection is it?

    A few years ago, a rattled Republican party was convinced it had to remake itself in the image of younger, ethnically diverse voters, and Beth Fukumoto, a representative in Hawaii’s House, emerged as a rising star in the party. The state’s youngest-ever House minority leader – having ascended to the position before she’d hit 30 – the Republican National Committee tapped Representative Fukumoto to help recruit female candidates. National media hailed her as a centrist, new-American antidote to the GOP’s diversity problem.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:28:24 -0400
  • From caricature to man of character: How time and art change image of Bush

    Last July, when former President George W. Bush began to smile and sway to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” holding hands with both his wife and former first lady Michelle Obama during the closing moments of a memorial service for five Dallas police officers, many of his long-time detractors could only look and mock. On traditional and social media, Mr. Bush, making a rare public appearance at the time, was once again the president of the malaprop, seemingly lacking in seriousness and curiosity, the smirking architect of a disastrous and unnecessary war.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:46:00 -0400
  • 15 under 15: Rising stars in cybersecurity

    Everything in their lives is captured in silicon chips and chronicled on Facebook. Turns out, CyFi had unearthed a new class of previously undisclosed security weaknesses, otherwise known as zero days, spanning across all mobile devices.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:43:48 -0400
  • Help North Koreans ‘live in the truth’

    North Korea tested its first nuclear device in 2006 and may soon test a missile capable of reaching an American city with such a weapon. The US and its allies remain frustrated that their main option, a tightening of economic sanctions, has not curbed the North’s nuclear threat. The regime may be worried that the North Korean people, despite living under tight censorship, are learning that the world is standing up for their human rights.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:26:10 -0400
  • Delay on GOP health care vote: Bill 'too conservative' and 'not conservative enough'

    House Speaker Paul Ryan thought he had found the “sweet spot” in the Republican health care plan – a bill that would appeal to both GOP conservatives and moderates. Despite intense coordination with the White House and the president’s personal involvement on the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, the speaker was forced to delay the bill for lack of Republican votes. If Speaker Ryan is unable to forge a compromise that will bring him to victory, it will be a huge blow to the Republican agenda, to his speakership, and to President Trump.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:13:21 -0400
  • Responsible fatherhood: He’s been a key voice in the national conversation

    While the certificate represents the end of a 17-year drug addiction marked by countless court appearances and several stints behind bars, it is also emblematic of the type of progress and improvement that he works to bring out in others who live in Baltimore. Jones is founder and president of the Center for Urban Families (CFUF), established in 1999 with the objective of empowering low-income families through programs designed to help wage earners contribute to their families and to help men fulfill their roles as fathers. There are dozens of outstanding warrants, high rates of reentry among those released from correctional facilities, and a tally of more than $26 million in collective child-support arrears, he notes.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:44:43 -0400
  • Who's the greatest leader in the world? Chicago Cubs's Theo Epstein

    For readers who don’t follow the Sox or the Cubs – which both recently claimed their first World Series wins in living memory under Mr. Epstein’s watch – Fortune’s decision will likely come as a surprise.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:24:31 -0400
  • Russia set to unveil the world's newest print encyclopedia – and its last?

    Initiated by a decree of Vladimir Putin in 2003, the massive 36-volume Great Russian Encyclopedia (GRE) was intended – as encyclopedias tend to be – as a compendium of all fundamental knowledge, a benchmark of truth, and, more subtly, a repudiation of the ideologically-tinged world view of its famous predecessor, The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Recommended: Sochi, Soviets, and czars: How much do you know about Russia? "Russia needed a new encyclopedia that reflects modern society and consciousness, so this one is not a continuation of its Soviet predecessor," Mr. Kravets says.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:51 -0400
  • Former Russian lawmaker and Moscow critic gunned down in Ukraine

    A former member of the Russian Duma who had moved to Ukraine was shot and killed in Kiev on Thursday, sparking allegations that the murder was politically motivated. Denis Voronenkov was shot dead outside the upscale Premier Palace hotel in the Ukrainian capital. Ukraine is currently investigating the incident.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:31:25 -0400
  • Why has Jackson, Miss., been labeled 'the fattest city' in the US?

    According to personal finance website WalletHub, Jackson, Miss., is the fattest city in America. WalletHub released its ranking of the 2017 Fattest Cities in America list on Wednesday. The list was based on analysis of the 100 most populous cities in the United States with regard to various weight-related factors to create the rankings.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:07:21 -0400
  • Martin McGuinness leaves behind a complicated legacy, uncertain future

    Martin McGuinness, a former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader and politician, will be laid to rest on Thursday in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Among them were many dignitaries, including former US President Bill Clinton. Recommended: Forget Irish cliches: How much do you really know about Ireland?

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:31:54 -0400
  • US-Israeli teen arrested in connection with threats to Jewish community centers

    Three months after Jewish community centers began receiving bomb threats, police have arrested the man they say is behind the hoax. On Thursday, police in Israel arrested a man they believe threatened Jewish institutions in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as within Israel. The teenage suspect, who is reported to be Jewish, holds dual US and Israeli citizenship and was found unfit for compulsory military service in Israel.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:57:17 -0400
  • UN urges Sri Lanka to investigate civil war atrocities

    Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reported on the situation in Sri Lanka still dealing with the aftermath of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:41:52 -0400
  • London attack: how Europe has overcome terror campaigns before

    The attack outside the Houses of Parliament, which left four people dead and dozens injured, was the latest in a string of low-tech, high-profile terrorist incidents in Europe. Good police and intelligence work can head off such incidents and save lives, as Europe’s recent history has shown. The graver threat – that terrorist attacks undermine Western societies by spurring anti-Muslim hatred and divisions – is harder, though not impossible, to confront.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:10:00 -0400
  • In Exxon climate change probe, how will the ‘lost emails’ be recovered?

    A New York state judge has ordered ExxonMobil to work with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to recover lost emails, part of an ongoing climate change probe of the company. According to the attorney general, the account was actually an email alias for Rex Tillerson, then the chief executive of the corporation (Mr. Tillerson's middle name is Wayne). Currently, Tillerson is the US secretary of State, a fact which has raised the stakes of the investigation considerably.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:57:13 -0400
  • Rick Perry questions win of first openly gay student president at Texas A&M

    Earlier this month, Texas A&M student Bobby Brooks was elected student body president, making him the first openly gay student to hold the position. At a school that has historically been one of the most LGBT-unfriendly schools in the nation, Mr. Brooks’s election gave some a reason to celebrate. One of Brooks's rivals, Robert McIntosh, had the lead when the votes were first counted.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:05:00 -0400
  • In swift response to London terror attack, eight suspects arrested as Parliament resumes

    As Londoners seek to resume business as usual, a police investigation of Wednesday’s attack continues. In the attack, a man driving an SUV plowed into a crowd of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring approximately 30, police indicated. The attacker then fatally stabbed a police officer on Parliament’s grounds before being shot by police.

    Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:59:54 -0400
  • Tim Allen, conservatives in Hollywood, and Nazi Germany

    Tim Allen feels it’s so tough to be a conservative in Hollywood, it’s like living in Nazi Germany. “Tim, have you lost your mind?” Steven Goldstein, the executive director of organization, said in a statement.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:07:49 -0400
  • Can you tally up world progress?

    When the cold war ended a quarter century ago, and with it the division of the world into two “camps,” the United Nations decided to start measuring the progress of humanity as a whole. The hope behind such alternative indicators is that an attempt to measure something might help reveal what causes it or could push it along.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:28:54 -0400
  • After ISIS: For Iraqis, reconciliation in Mosul will be challenging, and vital

    The colonel is a quintessential Iraqi military man: shaved head, bushy black mustache, and very proud of how the Iraqi Army has rebuilt and “proved it is professional” in the fight to oust the Islamic State from Mosul. Like many in Iraq, the colonel is wary that the challenges of reconciliation and winning the peace in Mosul and across the complex ethnic mosaic of Nineveh Province will be harder than winning the war. Recommended: How much do you know about the Islamic State?

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:17:50 -0400
  • ‘Dare to be tender’: One year after attack, Belgian king urges kindness

    Brussels on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of suicide bombings that killed 32 people at the airport and subway, with ceremonies timed with the blasts and the dedication of a new memorial. Recommended: How much do you know about Islam and violence? "Above all, let us dare to be tender," he said, at the unveiling of a new monument to all the victims near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels’ European Quarter.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:48:57 -0400
  • What we know about Trump team Russia links – and why that matters

    Paul Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manager for months in 2016. Mr. Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday at his daily briefing. Ditto longtime Trump associate Roger Stone and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:29:51 -0400
  • Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort received millions to promote Putin

    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned in August, amid swirling rumors of his connections to foreign governments, including Russia. A new Associated Press investigation uncovered ties between Mr. Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska dating back to 2005. In a confidential strategy plan, Manafort told Mr. Deripaska that he could influence politics, business, and media across the United States, Europe, and former Soviet states for the benefit of Russia.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:04:10 -0400
  • In unanimous decision, Supreme Court raises bar for special education

    On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of two parents of an autistic son, finding that his Colorado school district had failed to provide him with a "free and appropriate public education."

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:03:01 -0400
  • Calif. class action suit alleges 'unfair competition' with Ivanka Trump brand

    A small, San Francisco boutique almost 3,000 miles away from Ivanka Trump’s office in the White House might not seem like a business that would find itself entangled with the first daughter’s multi-million dollar fashion brand. In a class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court last week, the 40-year-old, family-owned Modern Appealing Clothing argues that unethical promotion of the Ivanka Trump brand by the current administration has violated the US Constitution and a California statute protecting businesses against unfair competition.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:26:48 -0400
  • Data didn't change tech's frat-boy culture. Will storytelling?

    An engineer at Lever – a recruitment software startup in San Francisco – her role includes reaching out to co-workers about life in the tech industry. Now, firms like Lever are turning to anecdotes and personal exchanges as bases for developing empathy – and building inclusive cultures from the ground up.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:02:32 -0400
  • Supreme Court tightens restrictions on presidential appointments

    When the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that SW General, Inc. had violated federal labor law, the Scottsdale, Ariz., ambulance firm questioned whether the NLRB’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, had authority to handle the case. On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court sided with SW General, ruling 6-2 that Mr. Solomon’s 2011 nomination by then-President Barack Obama violated the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act, rendering Solomon’s actions against SW General null and void. Legal analysts agree that this ruling could narrow the president’s nominating authority.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:53:47 -0400
  • What is known so far about terrorist attack outside London's Parliament

    At least 20 people were injured and at least four people killed in what officials are saying was a terrorist attack that took place near the British Parliament building in London Wednesday afternoon. Others reported that a vehicle was seen on the nearby Westminster Bridge running over several pedestrians. A woman was also reportedly taken out of the river near the Westminster bridge, injured but alive.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:45:21 -0400
  • Germany set to deport native-born potential terrorists

    In a move without precedent in German history, the country will soon deport two German-born men accused of having discussed terrorist activity. On Tuesday, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig threw out a case saying that the men, one an Algerian national and the other a Nigerian citizen, should not be deported because there was no proof they had committed a serious offense. In so doing, it cleared the way for deportations that the state government of Lower Saxony ordered last month, when it described the pair as a threat to national security.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:38:32 -0400
  • US infant mortality rate declines, but disparities remain

    The rate of infant deaths in the United States has improved, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a study released on Tuesday. The infant mortality rate dropped 15 percent over the past decade, from a record high 6.86 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 5.82 in 2014, data show. While the new report indicates a promising development in the country’s public health, commentators say the United States has a long way to go to catch up peer nations. "I think there was a public health push in the past decade to figure out ways to lower this rate, and it has made an impact," report author T.J. Mathews, a demographer at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, told CNN on Tuesday.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:48:45 -0400
  • Gorsuch hearings: Should agencies – or courts – decide the law?

    There are several elephants in the room where senators are grilling Judge Neil Gorsuch this week. One of those proverbial pachyderms was present courtesy of the aspiring Supreme Court justice. “There’s an elephant in the room with us today,” Judge Gorsuch wrote in a 2016 concurrence that featured prominently in 11 hours of questioning Tuesday from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:00:01 -0400
  • What is Facebook's responsibility when people broadcast crimes?

    The apparent sexual assault of a Chicago teenager, broadcast on Facebook Live, has reignited debate about the feature and Facebook’s responsibility to address crimes. It was not until Monday, however, that her family learned that an apparent sexual assault on the girl had been broadcast on Facebook Live. None of the 40 viewers had reported the incident through Facebook’s content-review system, but a teenager mentioned the video to Reginald King, one of the girl’s relatives.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:11:03 -0400
  • North Korea missile launch toward S. Korea failed. How often does that happen?

    The missile, launched from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan, “[appeared] to have exploded within seconds of launch,” the US Pacific Command said in a statement. American officials had been aware of the planned launch for several days, as they observed a rocket being moved and VIP seating being assembled in Wonsan, they told the Associated Press on Tuesday. The launch failure comes as the United States and South Korea engage in their annual “Foal Eagle” joint military exercises, which typically provoke a strong response from the North.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:29:36 -0400
  • How Washington evaluates software vulnerabilities

    In August, the National Security Agency (NSA) found itself scrambling to figure out how a group dubbed the Shadow Brokers obtained the agency’s alleged hacking tools, some of which they posted online and others they offered to the highest bidder. The startling breach not only revealed that the NSA seemed to rely on previously unknown security vulnerabilities – called zero-days – in Cisco and Fortinet commercial software to carry out digital espionage campaigns, it also exposed NSA tactics to foreign adversaries. It remains unclear whether the NSA used these tools for surveillance operations, but it appears the agency kept the flaws from the software vendors, depriving them of a chance to patch their systems.

    Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:07:32 -0400
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