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Blinded by the speed and pace of change

Blinded by the speed and pace of change

My grandfather was alive Through an amazing period of technological innovation. He witnessed the inventions of the automobile, the plane, and the rocket. He was alive during the advent of the mainframe computer and the atomic age. Although he didn’t live to see the PC, or the impact it would have in my professional life. However, he was there for the creation of much of the technology that is still in use today.

This is something I have been doing for a while. I can still remember working on an IBM PC in the early days. Later, I used a 300-baud modem to access the text-based internet. I can still recall the early days of the World Wide Web.

My first cell phone was a Motorola brick telephone. My first iPhone was the 3. My first iPhone was the 3.

Take a moment to consider that ChatGPT3.5 was a huge success in December. OpenAI released ChatGPT 4 last week while I was away on vacation. This is the “state of the art” version of ChatGPT.

All this is happening at a remarkable pace. It’s almost as if we are at an inflection point. This is similar to what we experienced with the first IBM PC, internet, the web and the iPhone. This moment of change is so fast that we barely have time to process each new twist before the next one comes down the chute.

As with the moments that we witnessed with the advent personal computing, connected computing, and mobile computing, it is clear that something big is happening but it’s not yet clear what. We know at the moment that there is a new technology that can transform the way we interact and use computers. However, we don’t know how it will work out.

Last week, Docker CEO Scott Johnston led a panel where Ilan Rabinovich (SVP of product and community at Datadog) spoke about the similarities between the current internet and the early days.

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John Kasich: Trump is a divisive and will lose if elected in 2024

John Kasich: Trump is a divisive and will lose if elected in 2024

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Fmr. Sec. Johnson on Stormy Daniels Grand Jury Delay: The Wheels of Justice grind slow

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Grassley Blasts Biden Admin For Contempt Toward The Taxpayers In Handling Of 40M Of Afghanistan Aid

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley claims the State Department shows “contempt” towards taxpayers as it slowly addresses complaints from watchdogs about $40 million in questionable aid to Afghanistan over a period of decades.

In a letter to the State Department this week shared with Fox News digital, Grassley revealed that of the $40 million in aid that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) had questioned, the department had only determined that $19,000 was allowable by law. According to the letter, $191,000 of the improperly spent aid was being returned to the government.

“In two years, that’s all you can show the taxpayer; this is unacceptable,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday. “Compliance with rules and regulations is a requirement, not an option, especially when dealing with taxpayer funds.

The State Department is one of many agencies that have been criticized for the billions of taxpayer money spent on Afghanistan reconstruction nearly two decades before the U.S. withdrawal in August 2021. SIGAR has tracked billions of dollars given to contractors or grantees to accomplish projects aimed at helping Afghanistan rebuild. Many of those projects failed or were improperly implemented.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division stand security at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via AP) (Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

Blinken was notified by SIGAR in a March 1 letter that the State Department had significantly delayed its response to the 2019 recommendations. SIGAR reported that the October 2019 report contained “nearly $40M in questioned costs, 20 instances in which laws or regulations were not followed, and 24 deficiencies with internal controls.”

Grassley stated that the list of funds was “extensive, embarrassing, and requires an urgent explanation.”

SIGAR was informed by the State Department that it would not compile responses for all recommendations in one report but would respond to each recommendation separately.

Grassley said that the State Department’s failure to address these recommendations for more than two years is a disgraceful act of contempt toward the taxpayers who paid for your activity.

Grassley asked for regular updates on the efforts to audit questioned costs. He also requested reasons for the delay of two years and records on the department’s efforts to collect the money that was improperly spent.

SIGAR noted in its March 1 letter that the State Department was generally helpful in “closing” old recommendations.

The State Department could be out of compliance with federal law if the 14 recommendations are not addressed.

“If this trend continues, the total questioned cost, instances of noncompliance, and deficiencies will only rise with additional financial audits, which will further magnify our concerns.” Moreover, the State will remain noncompliant with federal law and other requirements, failing to demonstrate sound stewardship of almost $40 million in U.S. reconstruction funds and not keeping commitments with SIGAR to be responsive to our audit recommendations,” SIGAR wrote.

The State Department did not immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

New coronavirus data has rekindled the debate about the virus’s origins (


Tech news ).

This article is part of The Checkup, MIT Technology Review’s weekly biotech newsletter. Sign up here to receive it every Thursday in your inbox.

Coronavirus is back in the news this week. We have seen the revival of a debate that has been raging since the outbreak of the pandemic: Where did the virus that causes covid-19 originate?

The data collected in 2020 and kept secret from the public since then could add weight to the animal theory. It identifies a possible suspect: The raccoon dog. It is not clear how much it adds to your body. The debate has been rekindled by new analyses of the data, which have sparked some serious drama.

The current controversy begins with a February 2022 study that was shared by Chinese scientists. George Gao, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), and his colleagues describe in a preprint (a scientific article that has not yet been peer reviewed or published in a journal) how they collected and analyzed 1,380 samples at the Huanan Seafood Market.

These samples were taken between January 2020 and March 2020, shortly after the market closed. The team stated that coronavirus was not found in the samples, but they also found genetic material from humans.

This market sold more than just seafood, as there were many animals for sale. The Gao paper has a long list of animals, including chickens and ducks, geese as well as doves and badgers, deer, badgers. This list is not complete. There are also reports of other animals being traded there including raccoon dogs. We’ll get back to them later.

Gao and his coworkers reported that they couldn’t find coronavirus among the 18 species of animals they examined. They suggested that the virus was most likely brought to market by humans, which was the epicenter of the outbreak.

Fast forward to March 2023 Florence Debarre (an evolutionary biologist at Sorbonne University, Paris) noticed some genetic data uploaded to GISAID. This website allows researchers to share their genetic data to help them track and study infectious diseases. The data was uploaded in June 2022. It appeared to have been collected by Gao, his colleagues, for their February 2022 study. However, it was not included in the actual paper.

Debarre and her team analyzed the data and found evidence that some of Gao’s samples that were positive for coronavirus had come from areas that housed a variety of animals, including raccoons. The Atlantic published their findings in a report. Debarre and her coworkers have since posted a report detailing their findings at Zenodo’s scientific repository.

“This was a huge deal. It doesn’t prove the presence of infected animals (it doesn’t). It does place animals, including raccoon dogs and other vulnerable species, in the exact spot at which the virus is being sold. “And not with humans,” Angela Rasmussen (a University of Saskatchewan virologist and coauthor of this report), tweeted on March 21.

We now know that raccoon dogs could be infected and spread the virus. The data doesn’t prove that any raccoon dogs on the market were infected with the virus. Even if they did, that doesn’t necessarily mean they were the ones who passed the virus to humans. What does this mean?

Ask a proponent of the laboratory leak theory and they will tell you that it is meaningless. There is no evidence to support the theory that the virus jumped to humans at Huanan Seafood Market or that raccoons were involved.

However, if you ask any of the scientists who believe this marketplace jump from animals is responsible for the coronavirus epidemic in humans, they might say that this strengthens the case. It’s yet another nail in the coffin of the lab leak theory because it provides more convincing evidence that susceptible animals were exposed.

This story has more drama. Debarre and her coworkers claim that they shared their findings with Gao’s team on March 10. Gao’s data vanished from GISAID the next day. Debarre and her colleagues reported their findings to the World Health Organization. The Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) convened two meetings with the WHO to discuss the results of both teams.

SAGO stated in a March 18 statement that although the data does not prove the origin of the virus or the intermediate host, it provides further evidence that susceptible animals were present on the market.

Many are concerned that researchers in China may have hidden their data. Although the preprint shared in 2022 did not mention raccoon dogs however, the data posted to GISAID and photographic evidence suggest that these animals were present on the market before it closed. At a press conference on March 17, Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, WHO director general, stated that Gao’s team’s data could have–and should–been shared three-years ago. “We continue to urge China to share data transparently, conduct investigations and share the results.

Debarre’s group is one of many scientists who publicly ask the CCDC for all their data. Debarre and her coworkers write that the samples were taken at the beginning of 2020, so “an unreasonable amount” of time has passed. Gao and his collaborators are working on a paper which will be submitted to Nature. We might learn more about this paper later.

There’s still drama! Debarre tweeted on March 21 that her access to GISAID had been revoked. This is likely because Debarre and her colleagues shared their analysis of the results from the Chinese team. GISAID released a statement that the Chinese researchers were working on their paper using that data (presumably the Nature one). Any other scientists using this data for their publication would be unfairly “scooping”, the Chinese team. Debarre was granted access again the next day. Debarre asked for an apology from those who “questioned our integrity.”

Rasmussen tweeted, “This isn’t about’scooping.’ It’s about the world’s right to find out how the pandemic which has profoundly disrupted all of our lives began.”

The debate about the origins of covid-19’s virus continues. The US federal agencies aren’t able to agree on their position. While most scientists support the animal theory of the virus, many scientists are open to the possibility that the virus may have escaped from a laboratory.

My money is on an animal leap. It is not only inhumane to keep animals in close contact, but it also creates the perfect environment for spreading disease. It is known that wild animals can be trapped and encroached upon their habitats, increasing the chance of a disease spreading between species. Even if the coronavirus was caused by something else, I hope that we don’t lose sight on the importance of wildlife habitats being protected and the prohibition of trade in wild animals.

You can readListen to it!More from Tech Review’s archive

Antonio Regalado, my colleague, investigated the origins and evolution of the coronavirus that is behind covid-19. In his five-part podcast series, “Curious Coincidence”,

Jane Qiu spoke last year to Shi Zhengli of Wuhan Institute of Virology. Shi, often called “China’s bat lady,” has been at the heart of the controversy surrounding the lab leak theory.

Michael Worobey, University of Arizona, performed the most recent analysis of CCDC data together with Debarre. He signed a letter requesting more investigation into the laboratory leak theory in May 2021. He now believes that the pandemic was caused by a spread of the virus from Huanan Seafood Market animals, as Qiu reported in 2021.

Antonio got the inside scoop from Pfizer about how Paxlovid was developed. An antiviral drug that has been shown to reduce the risk of serious covid cases by 89%.

Others have looked into whether anti-aging drugs could also be used to treat covid. As I reported last year.

From all over the web

Hospitals perform drug tests on pregnant women without their consent. Some have had to miss epidurals and important skin-toskin bonding with newborns due to the results. (New York Magazine)

Can brain stimulation help treat endometriosis pain? Maybe. A small, placebo-controlled study has shown that transcranial current stimulation (tDCS), can reduce the pain perception in people with the disorder. (Pain Medicine)

The internet is flooded with weight-loss injections. However, if all your information comes from influential people, the dangers may not be obvious. (MIT Technology Review)

Marlene Schultz, 47, began to lose her hearing after she was diagnosed with hearing loss. She refused to believe her doctor’s suggestion that loud music was the cause. So, I set out on a quest to find the correct diagnosis. (The Washington Post).

What does a memory look and feel like? Researchers believe that memories could be stored in nucleic acids, and can be read out as a molecular cod. (Neurobiology in Learning and Memory).

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SEC notifies Coinbase and other TC news

woman holding two coins
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Tech news

Darrell Etherington

1 day

Welcome to another episode on The TechCrunch Podcast. We discuss the most important stories in tech news with those who cover it. This week, Taylor Hatmaker and I discuss the testimony of the TikTok CEO before Congress. Jacquelyn Melink joins us to update us on all things crypto, including Do Kwon’s arrest, the SEC’s lawsuit against Tron founder, and many other celebrities.

Use promo code TCPOD for 40% off Founder and Investor passes to Early Stage in Boston on April 20th.

Articles from the episode

  • Do Kwon, Terra creator, was reportedly detained at Montenegro’s airport
  • SEC sues Tron founder, celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jake Paul, for violating crypto securities laws
  • Coinbase executives weigh in on the future of crypto in America amid regulatory scrutiny
  • TikTok CEO testifies in front of Congress
  • TikTok CEO claims it wasn’t spying when ByteDance employees viewed journalists

TechCrunch has more

  • Amazon kills DPReview. The best camera review site on-the-web, DPReview was killed by Amazon
  • In head-to-head comparison, Google’s Bard trails behind Claude and GPT-4.
  • AWS suffers in the latest round of Amazon layoffs
  • Microsoft introduces OpenAI’s DALLE image creator to the new Bing

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House Republicans escalate feud over Manhattan DA’s probe into Trump

The Morning Republican fourth of July
The Morning Republican fourth of July by Library of Congress is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0


The House Republicans are increasing their demands that Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney, turn over a large number of documents and communications relating to the criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump.

Three Republican House committee chairs stated that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office did not provide sufficient reasons for refusing to cooperate with the lawmakers’ initial request in an eight-page letter.

On Monday, Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asked for more than six years’ worth of communications from Mr. Bragg in relation to the investigation by the district attorney into allegations that Mr. Trump paid $130,000 hush money to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, before the 2016 election.

The letter was signed by James Comer, Kentucky Republican, and Bryan Steil, Wisconsin Republican, from the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Leslie Dubeck, general counsel in Mr. Bragg’s office, resisted the lawmakers’ request, calling the congressional probe “an unparalleled inquiry into a pending locale prosecution.”

“The Letter was only issued after Donald Trump created a false expectation of his arrest the next day, and his lawyers reportedly urged us to intervene,” she wrote to lawmakers. She wrote, “Neither fact is a valid basis for congressional inquiry.”

SEE ALSO : Trump team raises $1.5m as indictment looms

On Saturday, the lawmakers responded to the district attorney’s argument by writing a letter in which they stated that the prosecution of the former President is not in the best interests of state and local interest.

According to the lawmakers, if politically motivated prosecutions of local officials became the norm, it would have a profound effect on how presidents exercise their power while in office.

“Furthermore your reported decision to indict an ex-President requires congressional scrutiny over how federal public safety dollars appropriated by Congress are implemented locally by law-enforcement agency and how resources are prioritized,” the letter stated.

Republicans believe that Mr. Bragg is using his office to politically target Mr. Trump who is currently the leading Republican presidential candidate in 2024.

“Notably, your response letter did not dispute central allegations at issue-that you, under pressure from left-wing activists, and former prosecutors in the office, are reportedly planning on using an alleged federal election finance violation, previously declined federal prosecutors, to extend the statute to limitations on an otherwise misdemeanor crime and indict for first time in American history a former President of United States,” the lawmakers wrote.

In anticipation of an impending indictment by a New York grand jury of Bragg, Republicans have intensified their scrutiny of Mr. Bragg.

According to reports, the grand jury is considering charges of falsifying records in order to hide hush money payments.

Trump denied the hush-money charges and claimed that he never had an affair Ms. Daniels. The majority of Democrats support Mr. Bragg’s efforts to prosecute Donald Trump.

The ex-president tweeted last week that his arrest and indictment would take place on Tuesday. He also called on his supporters “protest, protest and protest” to “take back our nation.”

He has not been indicted.

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Women In Politics 2023 Womens Participation In Politics Is Still Far From Equality


The 2023 edition of the Women in Politics Map, created by UN Women and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) since 2005, has been published. The Map shows that more women are participating in politics around the world, but that gender equality has not been achieved.

The Map shows the most recent rankings and distributions of women in executive and national positions as of January 2023. According to the data shared, while the number of women in political leadership roles, both in government and in parliament is increasing worldwide, it remains very low in some countries.

UN Women Executive director Sima Bahous stated: “This data shows that women still make up a minority of Heads and Governments. They are still very underrepresented in government leadership at less than one fourth of Cabinet Ministers. Men continue to dominate key portfolios like energy, defense, and economy. A democracy is only possible if all citizens are included in its processes. Yet, continued violence and threats – online and offline – against women leaders, candidates, and voters blight the potential for their voices and knowledge to bring the change that is so urgently needed for economic and social recovery. The world cannot afford to continue this injustice. We need a paradigm shift that brings true equality.”

IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong stated: “We are seeing continued progress in the number women in politics this calendar year, which is encouraging. However, we still have a long way to go to reach gender equality when we see the current rates of growth. The interconnected crises of climate change and geopolitical tensions, social inequality, and economic instability all require that the world harness the talents of women, and encourage them to get into politics sooner than later.

Data reveals large global inequalities

11.3% of countries had women Heads or State as of January 2023 (17 out of 151 countries, monarchy excluded) and 9.8% had women Heads or Government (19 out 193). This is a significant increase from a decade ago, when figures were 5.3% and 7.3%. Of all the regions, Europe continues to have the highest number of countries led by women. According to the “Women in Politics 2023 Map”, the global proportion of women parliamentarians has increased to 26.5%, compared to 25.5% in 2021. The number of women speakers of Parliament also increased from 20.9% to 22.7% in 2021.

According to recent data, women represent 22.8% of ministerial positions as of 1 January 2023. Europe and North America have the highest proportions of women in ministerial posts (31.6%) and Latin America (31.1%). Central & South Asia and the Pacific Islands are the regions where women are least represented in ministerial positions with 10.1% and 8.1% respectively. In many European countries (13 countries), on the other hand, more than 50% of heads of ministries are held by women.

Although they are underrepresented, women hold ministerial posts on environment (32%), education (30%), public administration (30%), or both. They also hold leadership positions on gender equality and human rights. In contrast, men continue to dominate ministries such as economy, defense, justice, and interior.

The situation in Turkiye according to the “Women in Politics: 2023” Map

Structural barriers to women’s equal participation in political life can only be addressed through temporary special measures with specific targets. One of the most important temporary special measures is gender quotas, which can be in different forms.

These practices are especially important in the context of the upcoming Turkiye parliamentary elections. It is crucial for political parties that more women candidates are included in their lists and that women are placed in winnable positions on the candidate lists. To place women in the winning positions on the lists, gender quotas can be adopted.

Although there are no legislated gender quotas in Turkiye, political parties can apply their own gender quotas for candidate lists as well as all management and decision-making positions to ensure equal participation. Political parties providing financial support to women candidates not only for their nomination fees but also for their campaign work and throughout the election period would also contribute significantly as a temporary special measure.



[1/4]A statue of Pope John Paul II is seen in front of a church, Warsaw, Poland, March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters), March 9, 2009 – The Polish parliament adopted a resolution Thursday to defend the name of John Paul II. A new book claims that the late pope knowingly covered clerical paedophilia allegations when he was archbishop in Krakow.

The allegations against John Paul, the first Polish pope were made in a documentary by TVN24 on Monday. They have sparked fierce debate in one Europe’s most Catholic countries.

Many people believe the allegations should lead us to a reassessment John Paul’s legacy. However, many religious conservatives condemn what is seen as a left-wing plot against a figure who is at core of the nation’s identity.

The uproar was joined by politicians from the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), who proposed a resolution to defend his name. This resolution was passed by the Sejm, the lower chamber of parliament, on Thursday, largely by votes of PiS lawmakers.

“The Sejm strongly condemns this shameful media campaign, based largely upon materials of the Communist apparatus to violence whose object is Saint John Paul II, The Great Pope,” reads the resolution.

“We will not permit the image of a man the whole free world recognizes and honors as a pillar for victory over the Evil Empire be destroyed,” it said, using a term that Ronald Reagan used to describe the Soviet Union.

John Paul, who was declared a saint in Poland by Pope Francis in 2014 is also considered a leader in Poland that contributed to the fall communism in 1989.

The head of the Polish Bishop’s Conference Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki called on “all peoples of good will not destroy the common good and the legacy John Paul II undoubtedly belongs here”.

Gadecki said in a statement that Thursday that “Poles should recall about the blessings Providence gave us through the Pope.”

The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations in the book “Maxima Culpa”, published this week in Polish.


Ekke Overbeek, the author of the book, reminisces about the time that Karol Wojtyla, the future pope, was archbishop in Krakow from 1964-1978. It draws upon the archives of Poland’s communist secret cop and interviews with victims and witnesses to sex abuse.

According to the book, John Paul knew about child abuse in his archdiocese and helped to cover it up by transferring priests from one parish to the next. At least two of these priests were eventually convicted and sentenced to jail for their abuse of minors.

Overbeek said that he found very concrete cases of sex abuse by minors by Roman Catholic priests within the archdiocese Krakow at a time when… John Paul II was in charge.

“He was aware from the beginning of the problem, and that sheds a completely new light on his pontificate.”

The reliability of information obtained from communist secret police documents is being questioned by those who defend the pope.

The Church was a voice for freedom in Poland during the 1980s. Pope John Paul gained iconic status for inspiring people against communist rule. The parish priests provided shelter for anti-government activists, and distributed food and underground newspapers.

According to a Pew Research Centre study however, Poland is the fastest-secularizing country in the world. A growing number of people are leaving the Church partly because of mounting evidence of priest child abuse.

Recent scandals involving clergy sex abuse and allegations of cover-ups have rocked Church in Poland and other countries. John Paul’s successors Pope Benedict, Pope Francis, and others have been accused by critics of being too slow in addressing the issue.

The allegations against John Paul in Poland have prompted politicians from the opposition Left party calling for his name to be removed from public spaces, including many kindergartens and schools named after him.

“It’s time to end the taboo surrounding this topic. Agata DiduszkoZyglewska, a leftist Warsaw councillor, stated that John Paul II must be removed from public space.

Reporting by Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw; Additional reporting by Philip Pullella in Rome; Editing by Frances Kerry, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Spain announces law to promote gender parity in politics, business


MADRID, March 4, (Reuters) – The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Saturday a gender equality law which will allow for more equal representation of women in politics, business, and other spheres.

The Equal Representation Law will apply gender equality measures to electoral lists, boards of directors of large companies, and governing boards for professional associations.

Sanchez made the announcement at a Socialist party rally in advance of International Women’s Day, March 8. It will be approved at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, before being debated in parliament.

He stated that the government was not only making a move in favor of feminism but also in favor of Spanish society in general.

This is the latest in a string of equality measures that the leftist coalition government has announced. In December, lawmakers passed a transgender rights law and a pioneering law covering reproductive health. This was the first time that a European country offered state-funded paid leave to women suffering from painful periods.

Sanchez stated that women must represent half of society if they are to have half the political and economic power.

The Equal Representation law will require that women must make up 40% of the management in any listed company with over 250 employees and a turnover of 50,000,000 euros ($53 million) annually.

The law will require political parties to offer equal numbers for male and female candidates in elections. This is done with the goal of increasing gender parity within parliament. Currently, 44% of Congress is made up of women and 39% of the Senate are women.

It will also require professional associations have at least 40% female directors, as well as juries to any awards funded with public money.

($1=0.9406 euros)

Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing and editing by David Holmes

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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