OKC Thunder to retire Nick Collison’s No. 4

first_imgFILE – In this Wednesday, April 11, 2018 file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, addresses the crowd with teammate Nick Collison, right, before an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City. Collison announced Thursday, May 10, 2018, that is retiring after 15 years with the Thunder. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder will retire Nick Collison’s No. 4 in March.The team made the announcement in a news release on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT The ceremony will take place when the Thunder hosts the Toronto Raptors on March 20. The crowd favorite’s number will be the first the franchise retires since moving from Seattle to Oklahoma City before the 2008-09 season.Collison announced his retirement last May after spending all 15 years of his career with the Thunder franchise, which was the Seattle SuperSonics when he was drafted 12th overall in 2003. He appeared in 910 regular season games with 177 starts and posted career averages of 5.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 20.4 minutes per game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissCollison joins Russell Westbrook as the only players to spend the first 10 years of the Thunder era all with the team. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’center_img Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Blake Griffin has 44 points in return against Clipperslast_img read more

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Liberia Quarantined?

first_imgSome members of the international community are now closing their respective doors on Ebola-affected, Liberia, as many international airliners suspend flights to Liberia.Since the second wave of Ebola outbreak in the country early July, many international airlines ranging from US-owned Delta to Air France and Kenya Airways, have all suspended service to the West African nation.The latest of them was Liberia’s long standing airline partner, Brussels Airlines which until Tuesday,  August 26, was indefinitely suspended its Liberia flights. Yesterday stranded travelers breathed a great sigh of relief, welcoming the news that the airline would resume flights on Thursday,  August 28.”The Management of Brussels Airlines has the pleasure to inform its esteemed guests that we have resumed flight operations,” a statement from the airliner read. “All passengers originally scheduled to travel on Sunday the 24th and Monday the 25th of August are now rescheduled to fly out of Monrovia on Thursday, the 28th of August.”Passengers are advised to direct any enquiries to the head office of the airline.Monrovia is now left with only two commercial airlines to and from the country. The other, Royal Air Maroc, is basically unable to address Liberia’s “lightly busy” air traffic.Although the Moroccan airline is still flying to and from Monrovia, the North African state is reportedly denying passengers from Monrovia, a piece of information this paper could not independently verify.Brussels’ near departure clearly indicates that the situation is gradually getting worse for the Liberian government and its people, and this latest move by the European nation speaks to the fact that the nation’s economy is being badly hit by the disease, a political analyst said.The suspension of flights to Liberia by other international carriers means that due to Ebola, members of the international community have decided to “quarantine Liberia” in order to prevent the spread of Ebola beyond the Liberia, the political analyst asserted.Even flights from other African nations that frequented Liberia now suspended:Arik Airways – suspended flights indefinitely from July 28Air Ivoire – suspended flights indefinitely from August 11Asky – changed flight routes on 2 AugustBritish Airways – suspended flights until 31 August, 2014, but later suspended flights indefinitelyEagle Airlines – flights suspendedGambia Bird – suspended flights indefinitelyKenya airways – suspended from midnight, Tuesday August 19, no re-initiation date announced.Liberia is only open to the waters and there are a precious few vessels coming to Monrovia currently.Before the Ebola outbreak, Liberia was faced with three consecutive budget shortfalls, leading to what appeared to be a near total collapse of the economy.An economy already affected by revenue downturn is now embattled by the killer disease, Ebola. Over the last two months, the Liberian government has struggled to contain and eradicate the virus; but from all indications, the battle remains an uphill task for the government and its people.Nonetheless, Liberian officials say they had hoped that its African neighbors at the very least would stand in solidarity with them  while taking every precaution to keep their populations safe.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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EU to Finance Post-Ebola Reconstruction

first_imgThe Chairman of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Kadré Désire Ouédraogo, has disclosed that the European Union (EU) is considering financing post-Ebola reconstruction initiatives in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three worst affected countries.  Buttressing comments from the ECOWAS Regional Supervisor on Response and Eradication of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of Togo, Commissioner  Ouedraogo disclosed that upon meeting with ECOWAS partners in Accra recently, the EU had consented to host a high-level meeting in Brussels, Belgium on March 3, to help the three countries in the post-Ebola development drive.  Commissioner Ouedraogo made the disclosure last Friday when he and the Togolese President paid a one-day solidarity visit to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Liberian people. He was one of the three who addressed a press stakeout following the meeting with President Sirleaf.  The ECOWAS Commission boss also disclosed that under the leadership of President Gnassingbe, a high-level meeting in Accra, Ghana, with all ECOWAS partners, was convened on January 16.   High on the agenda were pleas for the re-opening of all borders and the resumption of air services to and from Ebola affected countries; the establishment of a coordination mechanism at the level of ECOWAS in order to institute a more efficient response to the epidemic; and consideration for post-Ebola reconstruction needs of the worst affected countries.“As the President of Togo has mentioned, he convened a high-level meeting with partners of ECOWAS on January 16 in Ghana in the presence of the regional body Chairman, President John Dramani Mahama.”  Main items on the agenda, Commissioner Ouedraogo said, were the plea for the reopening of borders, the resumption of flight services to Ebola affected countries; establishing a coordination mechanism at the level of ECOWAS to have a more efficient response to the epidemic; and lastly consideration of the post-Ebola reconstruction needs of these countries which we are beginning to receive positive results.  Earlier, the Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe renewed his solidarity and support to President Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia and on behalf of the ECOWAS Chairman, John Mahama, expressed how proud they all are of the Liberian President.“We would like to thank you for your leadership in steering this Ebola crisis,” the Togolese leader added.  He also paid tribute to the vision and leadership of President Sirleaf and commended the Government and people of Liberia for the heroic and successful fight against Ebola, which led to the positive results the country is now observing.  He commended the Liberian Government officials as well as the entire population who joined hands together to fight the Ebola virus disease (EVD).President Gnassingbe also thanked the international community, most especially ECOWAS member states, which sent health workers and volunteers to the three worst affected countries that had made the difference.  He finally praised all those who survived the Ebola virus disease.   Everybody, he said, knows that no sector of the economy was spared in this Ebola attack and experience has shown that in order to rise up, everyone has to get up very early and work hard.  “We would like to say that in a period such as this, we have to get up early and work late so that all our efforts are combined to ensure that the reconstruction process is more efficient and effective,” he said.  The Togolese President noted that though much had been achieved in the fight against Ebola, Liberians must be vigilant and not become complacent.  He assured the Liberian Government that ECOWAS would leave no stone unturned in getting rid of Ebola. The Organization will also pursue efforts to help the country to return to normalcy.  President Gnassingbe was asked to supervise the process following the endorsement of the Regional Integrated Operational Plan for the response to the EVD by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government during a regional summit in Accra, Ghana on November 6, 2014.  As supervisor of ECOWAS’ efforts, President Gnassingbe was also due to visit Guinea and Sierra Leone upon leaving Liberia.  Earlier, on behalf of the people and Government of Liberia, President Sirleaf welcomed the two visiting dignitaries and expressed delight at their being in the country to work with her and to demonstrate solidarity to the Government and people of Liberia.  She asked them to convey to the ECOWAS Chairman, Ghanaian President Mahama her deep appreciation for all that ECOWAS countries had done to support Liberia, while also promising the Togolese President her fullest support in ensuring that his mandate will be carried out successfully.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Phase 3 Ebola Vaccines Clinical Study Conference Opens in Conakry

first_imgA two-day regional conference aimed at exploring the possibility of expanding the Phase 3 component of the ongoing Ebola Vaccines Clinical study in Liberia to Sierra Leone and Guinea opened yesterday, June 11, in Conakry, Guinea. A delegation of Liberian physicians, scientists, and clinical researchers will meet with their counterparts from Sierra Leone and Guinea to seek collaboration and cooperation on vaccines and therapeutic clinical trials against the deadly Ebola Virus through a multi-country regional strategy.The Liberian delegation is headed by Dr. Moses B. F. Massaquoi, Chair, National Case Management, Ministry of Health and Liberian Principal Investigator for the ZMapp clinical trial. The delegation also includes Drs. Stephen Kennedy and Fatorma Bolay, Co-Principal Investigators for (PREVAIL I), the Liberian Ebola vaccine clinical study; Dr. Eugene Dolopei, Chief Medical Officer for SOS Hospital and member of the technical team for the Liberia-U.S Clinical Research Partnership (PREVAIL); and Mrs. Wissedi Sio-Njoh, Director of Operations for PREVAIL. “This strategy creates an opportunity for current and future collaborations in transferring and/or sharing technologies on prevention, treatment and research among others to eliminate the Ebola Virus Disease and other related epidemics from within the Mano River Basin,” noted Dr. Kennedy.Representatives from the Ministries of Health of the participating countries, as well as partners from the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research (INSERM), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC); and pharmaceutical manufacturers Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) and Merck/NewLink, are expected to be in attendance.“There appears to be a consensus that the window of opportunity is closing for potential answers to research questions regarding effective vaccines and therapeutic options,” said Dr. Massaquoi. “We believe that the development of effective vaccines and treatments for Ebola can be achieved through this sort of regional partnership and multi-country research collaboration.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Religious leaders should lead by example

first_imgDear Editor,The recent news captioned: “Rosignol Pastor gets 40 years for raping minor’’ was very shocking and disturbing since the rise and fall of our so-called pope among other religious leaders in the Christian community reminds me of the Jim Jones who killed 918 innocent souls in the name of God.The current news of a pastor getting a 40-year sentence for raping a minor sets a bad example for the Christian community, as well as other religious communities. As a reverend and religious leader myself, I wish to admonish all religious leaders from every religion to be very watchful; also political leaders and leaders of Government and private institutions.When I attended Bible College or seminary, I was taught a course called “Ministerial Ethics” and over a dozen courses on the “principles of leadership”. I was taught about the three principles or weapons used by Satan to destroy men – power, sex, and money – as stated in the Bible.From the “Ministerial Ethics” course I did, I learn that a minister of religion should not counsel a woman alone, be alone with a woman in a closed office, have a woman alone in his car, eat with a woman alone at a restaurant and same goes for female ministers of religion.Ministers of religion need to set a better example to the church, community, society and nation. Even today we have a lot of “so called” pastors and church leaders who never went through any Ministry training but call themselves Apostles, Prophets, Bishops; many of whom can barely read at a very competent level.What is important in Ministry and every capacity of leadership is our morality, character, integrity and respect for others. It’s not how nice we dress, it’s how morally upright we must be. Good character is the leadership quality that distinguishes great leadership. It is the quality that most people admire. Leaders of good character have integrity, courage and compassion. They are careful and prudent.Ministers must see their own daughter in a next man’s daughter they must see the mothers, sisters, aunts as their own because they must have the love of God in their hearts and don’t see members of the opposite sex as sex objects and rape objects because we will reap what we sow.Our words contain our life – that’s our character and attitude. Life is sowing and reaping.Ministers of religion are not angels and no man or woman is perfect and no sin is too big for God to forgive. We can learn from our mistakes. My heart is broken when I read the bad news pieces in the press.To live in harmony with the people of all religions, races, castes and nations may be added to the characteristics of high character. Character is a God given principle, given by God to man from His holy books.Sincerely,Rev Gideon Cecillast_img read more

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Commissioner Benn needs an evidential basis for his cry

first_imgDear Editor,A few years ago, on the eve of the determination of Gocool Boodoo’s contract as the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) took to the media accusing the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Commissioners of targeting Indo-Guyanese for dismissal. On that occasion, I was forced to break my silence. I made it known publicly that it was Gocool Boodoo who initiated and insisted on the dismissal of two Indo-Guyanese senior staffers of GECOM.On that occasion, the PPP’s resort to ethnic politics, to have Boodoo retained by GECOM, did not work. Boodoo’s contract was not renewed and GECOM no longer had to contend with a CEO who on two occasions, 2006 and 2011, personally presented and vowed for the wrong results of those elections.Now, on the eve of the determination of Vishnu Persaud’s retention by GECOM, the PPP in the person of spin-doctor Roger Luncheon has once again employed the said approach by going to the media and purporting to have been informed that the PNC Commissioners are “Giving low to zero scores to candidates of Indian origin” and “Finding extraneous reasons for eliminating top rank candidates of Indian origin.”There are two issues at hand, here. Firstly, there is no such thing as party commissioners, although that is the exact way that the Commissioners appointed by Jagdeo allow themselves to be described. In fact, they act as party representatives rather than constitutional officers nominated by the Leader of the Opposition. They even turn-up at Jagdeo’s political press conferences to take partisan positions on matters pertaining to GECOM.Secondly, since when is Desmond Trotman a PNC or its representative? Trotman, of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), was appointed by the President after consultations with his coalition partners. It is important to note that Trotman was nominated to be a Commissioner after his party had publicly indicated that it would not support or condone rigging of the elections. It is my understanding that Trotman was one of the persons who crafted the WPA’s statement prior to its release. To label Trotman as a PNC can only be an attempt to mobilise support on the usual anti-PNC and associated ethnic politics of the PPP.I will not be drawn into the unethical behaviour of discussing the Vishnu Persaud matter in public since it is still, as I write this letter, to be determined by the Commission.However, it would be remiss of me if I did not disclose that the granting of high and low scores, including perfect scores, is a precedent created by a PPP nominated Commissioner. Luncheon must be judging others by the known standards of his colleagues.To date, three potential employees have been identified by GECOM. Of the three – one, who has been identified to fill the most critical of the positions is an Indo-Guyanese. This position has been the source of much controversy in the past, yet the so-called PNC Commissioners also gave the nod to the Indo-Guyanese.If Commissioner Benn, who is the main protagonist of the ethnic balance mantra, is serious, he needs to come up with an evidential basis for his cry and provide concrete solutions in support of his proposition, rather than providing fodder for the politicians.Yours truly,Vincent AlexanderGECOM Commissionerlast_img read more

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Unprecedented for Govt to walk out on Opposition

first_imgDear Editor,The coalition Government (APNU/AFC) qualifies for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the first Government to boycott itself in Parliament– first time that a Government in any part of the world has walked out on (boycott) itself (its own parliamentary sitting). The Government Members of Parliament (MPs) walked out when Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, the main PPP respondent in the ongoing budget debate, delivered his contribution. The Government asked for the sitting and it asked for the debate. Therefore, it behooved the Government to participate in its own proceedings. For the Government to walk out in its own debate suggests they don’t understand Parliamentary affairs or they don’t care what the opposition says. It is unparliamentary.While the Government may feel that the walk out, or boycott, would embarrass the Opposition Leader, it has embarrassed the Government as the international community is laughing at them. The walkout made news internationally, putting the Government in bad light. In Trinidad where I attended the weekend Hindu Conference, several former and current MPs expressed their shock that the Government boycotted the opposition in parliament. This is a new action. It is unheard of in the parliamentary system. The opposite happened in many countries and is an acceptable act from an opposition– walking out as a form of protest against the Government.A boycott or walkout is an appropriate form of protest; it was used effectively against colonial rule in India by Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters; by Dr King in the US to protest racism against Blavks, against apartheid rule in South Africa, and by us in Guyana during the period of the dictatorship, etc, students boycotted or walked out of classes at UG and at schools during the 1980s to protest against rigged elections, national service, repressive rule, etc. I helped organise a boycott of classes at the Corentyne High School in 1977 when three of my teachers were victimised for guiding us to form a student society.International community pays attention to that form of protest. This form of protest is generally utilised by opposition figures, not the Government in a legislature. So it is unprecedented that the APNU/AFC coalition Government would employ that tactic. In effect, the Government protested and behaved as though it is the opposition and not in charge of the country. It reminds me of a protest that the Helmut Kohl Government in Germany in early 1990s undertook to protest against skin head attacks on immigrants. The same seems to be the case in Guyana when the Government boycotted the Opposition Leader’s response to the budget.It is a matter of principle that the Government listen to the other side in a budget debate. The Opposition Leader and MPs were present in Parliament when the Finance Minister presented the proposed budget. Parliamentary decorum dictates that the Finance Minister listen to the response of all members, particularly the Opposition Leader as he is the main spokesperson for the official opposition. He is not speaking as Jagdeo, but as the representative of the opposition. Parliamentary convention dictates that the Opposition Leader be given equal time as the Finance Minister in responding to the budget and the Government accords respect to the office. To do otherwise, and to not listen to the Opposition Leader, is an insult to the MPs, Parliament, as well as to the nation. The Government owes nation an apology.Yours faithfully,Dr Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

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33 constitutes the majority

first_imgDear Editor,The debate about establishing a majority in the National Assembly of 65 members resulted in invoking a mathematical formula. The formula used is: ½ (65) + 1 with rounding up (which is incorrect in this case) then add 1 to produce 34. The assumption here is that the number representing members of the National Assembly constitutes a continuous variable, which is false.For the sake of argument, let us accept it. Half of 65 is 32.5 which is exactly half-way between the whole numbers 32 and 33. If we are rounding to the nearest whole number among the set of whole numbers, the result is 32 and not 33 since on a continuous scale the rounding is to the even whole number.In rounding a number that sits exactly half-way between two whole numbers rounding is to the even whole number. This convention for rounding a number on a continuous scale is to avoid errors resulting from rounding up all the time. This methodology reduces errors inherent in rounding numbers upwards all the time. The mathematics curriculum for secondary schools in Guyana has accepted this convention.So ½ of 65 = 32.5 and to the nearest whole number is 32.When 1 is added to 32 you have 33.Therefore, majority is 33 out of 65.Another approach in determining majority in the National Assembly is to recognise that data is on a nominal scale. The majority can be established in the following manner:If the composition of the National Assembly is an odd number, N, then the majority is determined by the formula below:Majority= (N+1)/2 which is (65+1)/2=33So, the number, 33, constitutes the majority.On the other hand, if the composition of the National Assembly is an even number, say 64, then the following formula applies:Majority= N/2+1 which is 64/2+1=33Again, the number, 33, constitutes the majority.It is worth noting that in these alternative formulae for calculation on categorical data, there is no resulting fraction.Respectfully,Mohandatt Goolsarranlast_img read more

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NGSA results expected next Tuesday

first_imgCome two months after 14,500 students wrote the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examination at schools across the country, the anticipation of those student as well as their parents will soon end as the Education Ministry is scheduled to release the results next Tuesday (July 5).According to a statement from the Ministry, the marking of all NGSA papers has been completed and the examination scripts are currently being processed nationally. The Ministry assured that all systems are in place to guarantee the release of the results on that day.Some 14,500 students from across Guyana wrote the NGSA on April 27 and 28, this year, more than three weeks later than previous years.The Education Ministry had explained that the dates were extended to allow teachers sufficient time to complete the Grade Six curriculum and give students additional time within which to prepare for their final assessment.NGSA is a placement examination offered at the end of the primary education cycle to determine which secondary school students will be allotted.During the two-day examinations period, the students were assessed in four subject areas: English Language, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.On the first day, English Language and Science were written, while student wrote Mathematics and Social Studies on the second day. Each subject had two papers. Paper Two was the first paper written and consisted of essay-type questions, while Paper One consisted of multiple choice questions.However, prior to this, students had to write the National Grades Two and Four Assessments, back in 2012 and 2014 respectively. A percentage of the marks from all three assessments will be calculated to determine the overall performance of each student.Last year, some 15,225 students wrote the NGSA examination. Their overall performances were calculated by adding five per cent of each candidate’s Grade Two scores in Mathematics and English, and 10 per cent of the Grade Four score in the same subjects. This was then added to a further 85 per cent of each candidate’s score in those subjects at the Grade Six Assessment.The combined scores in Mathematics and English were then added to the scores gained in Science and Social Studies.The 2015 NGSA top student was Solomon Cherai, of Success Elementary, who topped the country after he secured a total of 530 marks out of 535. Meanwhile, his classmate Shania Eastman came in second with 529 marks.last_img read more

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Several Lindeners fined for traffic violations

first_imgA number of Lindeners who appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Linden Magistrate’s Court last week for traffic violations were fined.The offences ranged from careless driving to driving uncertified motor vehicles. Thirty-five-year-old Orrin John, of 96 Half Mile, Wismar, Linden, was fined a total of $20,000 for the offences of dangerous driving and crossing continuous double lines along the Washer Pond Road, Mackenzie, Linden on September 12. Failure to pay the fines means an alternative sentence of two weeks and one week in prison respectively.Then, 42-year-old Earl Bowlin, of 16 Half Mile, Wismar, Linden, was fined a total of $50,000 for the offences of driving an uninsured motor vehicle and driving an uncertified and unlicensed motor vehicle, which resulted in two separate fines of $15,000 with two weeks in prison as  the alternative sentences.The fines were handed down after Bowlin was found guilty of the offences committed while using motorcycle CH 5944 along the Washer Pond Road on September 12. The first offence usually carries a fine of $20,000 or four weeks in prison.Finally, 22-year-old Brentnol Adolph, of 499 Wismar Housing Scheme, was fined a total of $20,000 on charges of obscured identification mark on the front of his vehicle and driving an uncertified motor vehicle. The court heard that he rode motorcycle CF 1965 along the Washer Pond Road on September 12 under the said conditions.He pleaded guilty to both charges. Failure to pay the fines will result in a sentence of one week in prison.last_img read more

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