August 26, 2002
Miscellaneous Subjects #152: Catching-Up on Some of the Latest
Another big week of catching-up begins for me/us as I'll try to get up to speed with all that is going on. As usual your feedbacks and contributions to this networking service are most welcomed.
All my best to all of you ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. I also recommend to your attention my latest Media Compilation #84: Focussing on the Essential --- Posted at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/Archives2002/MediaCompilation84.htm
1. Grain production critically low from drought, global-warming
2. Death By Doctoring
3. Experts Differ While Children Continue To Suffer Autism
4. MMR Has Strong Association With Autism, Says US Research
5. Bush Seeks Rollback of Ocean Protection
6. The Bush Logging Plan - How the West Was Burned: Wildfires in Western Forests
7. Bush's New Nuclear Threat
8. Yes, We Need a 'Regime Change' in This Rogue State
9. Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush
UK Poll: Half of Britons Oppose Iraq Action
American Support for War Against Iraq Declining, Poll Finds (August 24)
On Ousting Saddam: How Others View It
Editorialists Across The Globe Frown On Bush War Plans
Reagan Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas (August 18)
A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program. (...) Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is repeatedly cited by President Bush and, this week, by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as justification for "regime change" in Iraq. (...) CLIP
November Surprise?, Vacationing Bush Plots End of Iraq (August 23)
All the Facts About Iraq (August 15 - MOST EXCELLENT! A MUST READ)
The author, an esteemed foreign policy expert, wasnt allowed to testify as an expert witness for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- so she submitted this written testimony instead.
Seven Arguments Against Bombing Iraq (August 22)
The key assumptions underlying the planned war are based on dangerous fallacies that undermine the United States' moral and legal obligations as a nation.
The logic of empire - The US is now a threat to the rest of the world by George Monbiot
From: "Mark Graffis" <email@example.com>
Subject: Grain production critically low from drought, global-warming
Higher food prices forecast as drought bites
Thursday, August 22, 2002
WASHINGTON -- Drought on virtually every continent has slashed worldwide grain production, depleted inventories, and drained underground water tables, making higher food prices a certainty, the Earth Policy Institute said Wednesday.
It also raises questions about how well the world will be able to feed itself during the next few decades, said Lester Brown, president of the environmental think tank.
The estimated global grain harvest for 2002 was reduced to 1,821 million tons by the U.S. Agriculture Department last week. With world consumption projected at 1,904 million tons this year, that leaves a shortfall of 83 million tons. This year will mark the third consecutive year of grain production shortfalls. In 2001, there was a 31-million-ton gap, and in 2000 the shortfall was 35 million tons.
Wheat and rice stocks have been depleted, with corn stocks now at the lowest level in the 40 years since record keeping began.
"The world is now facing a challenging situation," Brown said in a new report. "If farmers are faced with even higher temperatures in the years ahead, as projected, they may have difficulty overcoming this year's huge shortfall, rebuilding stocks, and providing for the 3 billion people to be added by 2050," he added.
Futures prices for wheat, corn, and soybeans have soared in recent days on prospects of a smaller harvest.
"As grain prices climb, so too will prices of the products derived from grain, such as bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, and livestock products," Brown said.
Drought this year in the United States, China, and India has sharply reduced wheat, corn, and soybean production. Similarly dry conditions in South Africa, Canada, and Australia have shriveled crops there.
Meanwhile, underground water tables are dropping as farmers use more water to irrigate fields. In China, 70 percent of grain is grown in irrigated fields, Brown said. India has 50 percent of its grain fields irrigated, and the United States has about 20 percent.
The underground water table has dropped by more than 100 feet (30 meters) in some areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, according to USDA data. A similar drop has occurred in China, Brown said.
Although vast amounts of land remain available for planting in Brazil, much of it would require heavy applications of lime and fertilizer to make it productive, he said.
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002
From: Arthur Bond <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Death By Doctoring
I am most grateful for the information that you include in your newsletter. In particular the items on meditation as well as others.
I would like to bring your attention to an article in the current Nexus Magazine, (http://www.nexusmagazine.com), called 'Death By Doctoring' I found this article very disturbing, since it highlights the power of pharmaceutical companies to mislead the public into thinking that they are serious about finding a cure for cancer.When it would appear from this article that the reverse is true.
The item below is from a campaign being run by Dr Rath and can be found on http://www.vitamins-for-all.com
Again it seems the pharmaceuticals are behind the move to ban vitimin therapies.
With all my best wishes
REFERENDUM FOR NATURAL THERAPIES!
Say no to a worldwide ban on vitamin therapies! Go at http://www.vitamins-for-all.com to read and sign this IMPORTANT petition.
Here is a short excerpt:
"It is with great concern that I have learned that, under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, vitamin therapies and other natural treatments are to be banned for millions of people in Europe and throughout the world. To protect the interests of the billion-pound industry in purely symptom-oriented and often dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, my right of access to effective vitamin therapies and natural treatments and also my fundamental right to health and well-being are being seriously violated. The European Commission's "Directive on Dietary Supplements" and the UN's "Codex Alimentarius" plans solely serve the pharmaceutical industry's interest in artificially sustaining its billion-pound markets in now superfluous pharmaceutical drugs. Obviously the pharmaceutical industry lobby does not shy away from the abuse of the highest political bodies in the world in pursuit of its unscrupulous aims. These attacks on the human right to health come at a time when ever more widespread diseases and public health problems can be successfully combated by vitamin therapies and other natural treatments free of side-effects. (...) According to the statistics of the UNO, two billion people suffer worldwide from vitamin deficiency - both in industrialized and in developing countries. In light of these figures it is irresponsible for this same global organization to allow itself to be abused by the pharmaceutical industry lobby in its aim of blocking the dissemination of this vital information. The spurious argument that these censorship laws are to protect consumers from the alleged side-effects of vitamins is a lie. Worldwide, several hundred thousand people die every year from the harmful side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs - but not a single person has ever come to any harm as a result of vitamin therapies."
Experts Differ While Children Continue To Suffer Autism
OVER the past couple of years, we have seen medical authorities and medical correspondents reaching a not guilty verdict on the MMR causing autism. ["MMR" is the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. -- LM] They justify this on the basis of scientific evidence. Maybe it's time the public understood this term. Scientific evidence is 100% evidence. Does the public realise that, by this definition, we cannot be sure that smoking causes lung cancer?
Maybe it's time to note that there are other types of evidence:
First, there is laboratory evidence. For example, there's the fact that our leading cell pathologist has discovered that a virus is causing a new type of ulceration in the bowels of children that regressed into autism, that the offending virus is a measles virus and that the sequenced DNA of this virus is that of the vaccine strain of measles, not wild measles.
There is clinical evidence, that of physicians treating these children. Physicians who, because they recognise and treat the viral, heavy metal, and fungal overloads experienced by these children, are successfully improving these childrens' lives.
Then there is anecdotal evidence. For example, on the Hope Project Helpline, we have heard hundreds of autism onset stories from parents and the vast majority of these implicate the MMR, and others the DPT vaccine in autism.
Lastly, there is the eyewitness evidence of frightened parents who have watched their beautiful children slip away into the quagmire of autism within weeks of the MMR.
It is a sad fact that the only evidence that seems acceptable in this debate (can you call something as lopsided as the MMR controversy in Ireland a debate?) is 100% scientific evidence. Hard and damning laboratory evidence seems to be ignored, clinical evidence is excused, anecdotal evidence ridiculed as scare-mongering and parental eyewitness evidence cannot be accepted by our guardians of drug safety, the Irish Medicines Board.
So what will happen? For the time being, susceptible children and teenagers will continue to develop Autistic Spectrum disorders, bowel disease, eating disorders and bipolar, to name but a few, in ever increasing numbers.
Eventually, the decision will be taken out of the hands of our medical guardians and Minister for Health and Children. A High Court judge will listen to all the types of evidence and he or she will make a legal decision on the balance of probability, 51% that the MMR caused the plaintiff to become autistic.
Following a number of these decisions, a tribunal will be held and we will finally be able to understand how medical authority, money and politics allowed thousands of Irish children to be sacrificed to the requirements of 100% "scientific evidence".
Kathy Sinnott, Hope Project Secretary, St Josephs, Ballinhassig, Co Cork email@example.com
MMR Has Strong Association With Autism, Says US Research (9 August)
New evidence suggesting a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism emerged yesterday from the United States. Scientists at Utah State University found a strong association between the MMR jab and an auto-immune reaction thought to play a role in autism.
The team, led by Dr. Vijendra Singh, analysed blood samples from 125 autistic children and 92 children without the developmental disorder. The researchers found a "significant increase" in the level of MMR antibodies in the autistic children. Part of the measles component of the vaccine caused an unusual anti-measles response in 75 of the autistic children, but not in the normal children.
More than 90 per cent of the autistic samples that showed an immune response to MMR were also positive for antibodies thought to be involved in autism. These antibodies attack the brain by targeting the basic building blocks of myelin, the insulating sheath that covers nerve fibres. Dr. Singh suggested that auto-immune response might be the root cause of autism.
The US scientists, who report their findings in the Journal of Biomedical Science, concluded: "Stemming from this evidence, we suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism."
Dr. Singh published previous work indicating a link between MMR and autism, concentrating on the brain's reaction. He has argued for years that autism can be traced to an auto-immune reaction centred on the brain. MMR fears have been blamed for a dip in the number of children being vaccinated between December and March.
The pressure group Jabs (justice, awareness and basic support), which wants parents to have the option of giving their children single injections, said the research strengthened its case.
Jonathan Harris, its West Midlands spokesman, said: "I really feel there's a very, very strong case now for suspending MMR use while further investigations are carried out. At the moment parents only have the choice of MMR or nothing. We think that's irresponsible of the Department of Health."
Rob Perks The Natural Resources Defense Council -- (NRDC)
Bush Seeks Rollback of Ocean Protection
Wednesday, 14 August, 2002
For over 30 years, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has protected America's natural heritage on land, as well as at sea. Now, the Bush administration is seeking to bar the application of this landmark environmental law to the ocean.
As reported in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/10/politics/10NAVY.html), at a meeting held last week, top officials from the White House, the Defense Department, and the Justice Department took the position that NEPA does not apply beyond the U.S. territorial sea to the nation's so-called Exclusive Economic Zone -- a vast area that extends 200 nautical miles from shore, covering millions of square miles of rich ocean habitat.
The high level administration meeting was prompted by an NRDC lawsuit challenging a Navy program that tests powerful sonar systems responsible for harming whales. In that case, the Justice Department has argued that NEPA does not extend beyond three nautical miles from the nation's shorelines. The Justice Department made this argument over objections from the Council on Environmental Quality and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Securing a NEPA exemption for the Navy would open a Pandora's boxfull of environmental consequences. If the Bush administration officially adopts this major policy change, for example, NEPA would no longer apply to activities within the nation's economic zone, where the U.S. exercises exclusive control over fisheries, endangered species, marine habitat and other natural resources. The economic zone then would be subject to unregulated waste dumping, commercial fishing, oil and gas construction, military maneuvers, and other harmful activities -- all without careful review of environmental impacts, assessment of alternatives, and opportunity for public scrutiny that NEPA currently provides.
The fate of NEPA offshore could be decided in the coming weeks by a federal district court in Los Angeles that is hearing NRDC's case against the Navy over the use of sonar. There also is concern that, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, the White House will decide after its planned follow-up meeting in September to strip NEPA protection from the ocean, perhaps by a presidential executive order.
Although the Bush administration's motives and next steps are unknown at this point, one thing is certain: The attempt to limit the scope of NEPA protection -- as it applies to ocean territory encompassing more area than the entire U.S. landmass -- constitutes the single greatest rollback of environmental policy for our imperiled oceans ever.
NOTE FROM JEAN: In case you missed this news...
Environmental Groups Sue to Stop Global Deployment Of Navy Low Frequency Sonar System (August 7)
Robert Perks - Craig Noble The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
The Bush Logging Plan - How the West Was Burned: Wildfires in Western Forests
21 August, 2002
According to the Los Angeles Times, President Bush tomorrow will announce a plan to log Western forests in the name of fire prevention. (See "Bush to Urge Logging Plan to Help Curb Fires," Aug. 21, www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-forest21aug21.story.)
This development comes against the backdrop of one of the worst U.S. wildfire seasons ever. Unfortunately, the administration is exploiting the fear of fires to push through its pro-logging agenda. Below NRDC summarizes the latest, most credible science and policy issues on wildfires in Western forests.
Thinning large trees: Codeword for taxpayer funded corporate subsidies Rather than concentrating its energies on helping homeowners in need, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress and the timber industry are trying to capitalize on the situation. They are proposing to restore forests by thinning large trees. Unfortunately, "thinning," when large trees are involved, is a codeword for commercial exploitation that is subsidized by taxpayers.
According to the GAO, "Most of the trees that need to be removed to reduce accumulated fuels are small in diameter and have little or no commercial value." But the timber industry and its allies continue to push for logging of large, commercially valuable trees in remote areas in the name of fire suppression. Forest Service officials admit they tend to "(1) focus on areas with high-value commercial timber rather than on areas with high fire hazards or (2) include more large, commercially valuable trees in a timber sale than are necessary to reduce the accumulated fuels." (3)
Thinning of large trees in the backcountry: A recipe for more catastrophic fires The Forest Service is poised to commit another catastrophic mistake by making mechanical thinning the linchpin of its National Fire Plan. Some previously roaded and logged forests do have excessive small trees and brush, but thinning remote backcountry woods, miles from communities, will not prevent wildfires and could make them worse.
* According to Forest Service research, "...timber harvest can sometimes elevate fire hazard by increasing dead-ground fuel, removing larger fire-resistant trees, and leaving an understory of ladder fuels;" and (4)
* Thinning remote areas often results in road construction, which increases the likelihood of manmade fires. (5)
One need look no further than this summer's Rodeo/Chediski fire in Arizona to see how logged areas are vulnerable. The blaze spread throughout a landscape that had been logged and which has a road density among the highest in the nation.
Fanning the Flames of Politics: The folly of politicizing wildfires In its effort to politicize and exploit fire worries, the Bush administration is scapegoating environmental laws and conservationists, claiming that appeals and litigation have blocked efforts to protect communities. For example, as a recent fire burned in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, claims were made that environmentalist appeals stopped projects there that would have reduced fire risk. This is factually wrong and dangerous.
Bush's New Nuclear Threat (August 14)
In the last year alone, the Bush Administration has ushered in new and profoundly reckless nuclear weapons policies that blur the distinction between conventional war and nuclear war, make escalating nuclear proliferation a near certainty, and will revive the arms race and threaten the world for years to come.
Now those policy proposals are working their way into the legislative process.
Congress is debating funding for new "Earth Penetrating" nuclear warheads, while the weapons labs are seeking to build new "mini-nukes." There is still time to stop these destabilizing developments, but this year is absolutely critical. If the new Bush nuclear weapons policies take hold, stopping them will grow increasingly difficult.
The world managed to survive the Cold War and almost fifty years of nuclear confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. While millions of people lost their lives in wars around the world during this period of superpower competition, the ultimate disaster of nuclear war was averted. Now, little more than ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we stand on the brink of a whole new era of nuclear proliferation.
On March 9th, the Los Angeles Times broke the story on the Administration's new "Nuclear Posture Review" which calls for targeting China, Russia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea Libya and Syria for a potential first strike. The Review spells out U.S. plans to "build smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations," even against non-nuclear powers. It says nuclear weapons could be used in three situations: against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons; or "in the event of surprising military developments."
In June, in a commencement address at West Point, President Bush declared that the U.S. must be willing to take pre-emptive military action against any nation perceived as a threat. This policy statement profoundly threatens the foundations of international law. One need only look back at the Clinton Administration's cruise missile attack on Sudan, based on faulty intelligence, to see the peril of this approach.
The result of these new policies is certain to be a rapid increase in the pace of nuclear proliferation. Targeted nations are likely to accelerate weapons programs to deter U.S. attack by ensuring that they can deliver devastating blows to the U.S. - with or without ballistic missiles. China, for example, says it will increase its nuclear arsenal because the U.S. strategy mentions possible interventions in Asia. Such a build-up of Chinese nuclear arms will almost certainly be matched by India, followed by Pakistan. An expanding nuclear arms race in Asia will pose grave new dangers on that continent as well as creating an incentive for other nations to join the "nuclear club."
Congress is currently considering funding for a new nuclear weapon called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP). The RNEP is designed for the express purpose of a first strike against an underground target. Funding for the RNEP will be resolved in the Defense Authorization Conference. The House of Representatives has approved funding for this new, "usable" nuclear weapon; the Senate has not. Contact the California members of the House Armed Services Committees (Ellen Tauscher, Loretta Sanchez, Mike Thompson, Susan Davis, "Buck" McKeon, Duncan Hunter and Ken Calvert) and urge them not to authorize funding for the RNEP. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced House Joint Resolution 97 which calls for an over-all change in US nuclear policy; it includes an end to the development of new nuclear weapons, adoption of a no first use policy, and the destruction of nuclear weapons withdrawn under treaty. Urge your Representative to co-sponsor H.J. Res. 97 today.
The Capitol Hill Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.
The nuclear weapons policies of the Bush Administration are both reckless and profoundly threatening to our security. Targeting other nations for nuclear attack and building new nuclear weapons will bring about a new era of nuclear proliferation.
I am writing to urge you to do two things. First, please do everything in your power to oppose funding for the new "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator." And second, please co-sponsor Representative Markey's bill H.J. Res. 97 and help move the country toward a more sane nuclear policy.
your name & address
Source: California Peace Action
Originally from: http://argument.independent.co.uk/regular_columnists/adrian_hamilton/story.jsp?story=322726
Yes, We Need a 'Regime Change' in This Rogue State...
Its government has no majority. It refuses arms monitoring. Its opponents are locked up without trial.
9 August, 2002
The idea that a pre-emptive strike could save the world a heap of trouble isn't entirely idle. Think, if Genghis Khan could have been taken out when he was still the leader of just a band and not the whole Mongol race, Europe and Asia would have been saved several million dead and the destruction of much of its civilisation. Remove Napoleon from the scene on his return from his ill-fated Egyptian foray and Europe would have been a different place.
The last century doesn't provide such good examples, of course. To have "changed regime" in Berlin in the early Thirties would have meant overturning a democratically elected leader in Hitler. As for the efforts by the allies to stop the course of the Russian revolution with troops after 1918, the results were disastrous despite having well-armed local allies.
Nonetheless George Bush has done something in the last week to set out the parameters to pre-emptive action. "We owe it," he put it in Maine last weekend, "to the future of civilisation not to allow the world's worst leaders to develop and deploy and therefore blackmail free countries with the world's worst weapons." And he went on to define such enemies of the people as regimes intent on building up weapons of mass destruction, oblivious of international law and UN resolutions, governments who imprisoned their opponents without trial and who could not claim democratic legitimacy at home.
Significantly, nowhere in the series of speeches he made this week did Mr Bush actually name these rogue regimes. But it is pretty clear reading the descriptions whom he must have meant. The government which is spending by far the most on weapons of mass destruction, and is now planning to raise its budget by an increase greater than the total defence spending of Europe, is, of course, based in Washington. Not only is it building an arsenal the like of which the world has never seen, it has unilaterally withdrawn from the treaties designed to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, and has refused to accept any kind of international monitoring of its chemical or nuclear weapons facilities.
It has a government in power without the legitimacy of a democratic majority, in the hands of a coterie from a single part of the country and clearly aiming at a dynasty of rule. Its rhetoric is one of violent aggression against anyone seen as its enemies. It opponents are locked up without trial or the right to habeas corpus.
Of course there are those who say the country's threats are greatly exaggerated and the rhetoric of world mastery must not be confused with a real intention of using its weaponry in defiance of international law. True, it has a has a history of interfering with and invading its neighbours Panama, Grenada, Haiti et al. But since the long and debilitating war in Vietnam, it has kept largely to its own region.
Of course it has a peculiarly obnoxious regime, ready to poison its own people with corrupt capitalism and deregulated pollution. But give it time, and pressure from the outside world, and it will pay up its UN dues, rejoin the nuclear proliferation pacts and the Kyoto treaty and start behaving as a responsible member of the community again.
Against this, the hard men of the right would say that time is exactly what the world does not have on its side. Washington has showed itself determined to enforce its hegemony, come what may. It has shown itself ready to use weapons of aerial bombardment that make no discrimination between combatants and civilians, to show precious little remorse when it is guilty of "mistakes".
It is no friend of democracy, having announced its refusal to deal with the only two elected leaders of the Islamic world Khatami in Iran and Yasser Arafat in Palestine, the latter the only Arab leader ever elected with western observers checking the process. The country has armed and succoured state terrorism and assassination by the Israelis. It has installed the worst sort of warlord gangsters in Afghanistan and, according to "intelligence", been party to upsetting (albeit briefly) the elected president of Venezuela. The world cannot afford to await its next move.
The problem remains the practicalities. Whereas in Afghanistan the allies could rely on a local opposition force on the ground, no such scenario can be relied on in this case. The Spanish speaking minority in the south might be induced to rise up. There could be assistance from Minutemen in the mountains. But the democratic opposition is too defeated and divided to provide much help. The answer could be an "inside-out" strategy using special forces to take Washington and a few key nuclear bases. Provided the rest of the country was left to get on with its business, there would probably be little internal opposition to a seizure of the capital.
That leaves the substantial problem of an "exit strategy". There is no point in a repeat of 1812. But the experience of America in Japan after the Second World War could provide a model. A period of occupation of five to 10 years could provide an opportunity to inculcate ideas of true democracy, with a fair electoral system based on absolute majority, abolition of the death penalty, introduction of unions into hi-tech industries and a break-up of the Zaibatsu, the overweening corporations such as Microsoft, Exxon and General Electric.
Given time, this rogue superstate might then be able to take its place once again among the family of peace-loving nations.
Adrian Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush.
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002
From: Larry Morningstar <email@example.com>
Sing along to the tune of Beverly Hillbillies
Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush.
His IQ was zero and his head was up his tush.
He drank like a fish while he drove all about.
But that didn't matter 'cuz his daddy bailed him out.
DUI, that is.
Well, the first thing you know little Georgie goes to Yale.
He can't spell his name but they never let him fail.
He spends all his time hangin' out with student folk.
And that's when he learns how to snort a line of coke.
Blow, that is.
The next thing you know there's a war in Vietnam.
Kin folks say, "George, stay at home with Mom."
Let the common people get maimed and scarred.
We'll buy you a spot in the Texas Air Guard.
Cushy, that is.
Twenty years later George gets a little bored.
He trades in the booze, says that Jesus is his Lord.
He said, "Now the White House is the place I wanna be."
So he called his daddy's friends and they called the GOP.
Gun owners, that is.
Come November 7, the election ran late.
Kin folks said "Jeb, give the boy your state!"
"Don't let those colored folks get into the polls."
So they put up barricades so they couldn't punch their holes.
Chads, that is.
Before the votes were counted five Supremes stepped in.
Told all the voters "Hey, we want George to win."
"Stop counting votes!" was their solemn invocation.
And that's how George finally got his coronation.
Rigged, that is.
No moral authority.
Y'all come vote now.
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