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URUK Net 14 July, 2009

Last updated: Friday, July 17, 2009 9:54

‘Get up you ape’ – video reveals abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British soldier
Richard Norton-Taylor
A British soldier screamed at hooded Iraqi prisoners, calling them “apes”, and others made Iraqis cry out in an “orchestrated choir” and forced one detainee to dance “in the style of Michael Jackson”, the public inquiry into the death in military custody of Baha Mousa heard today…Elias said the detainees claimed the abuse started almost immediately after they were arrested by British troops at the hotel on the night of 13 September 2003. The soldiers believed “former regime loyalists” and “Iranian insurgents” were staying there. He told the inquiry: “The detainees were hooded with hessian sandbags, placed in stress positions, subjected to shouting. There was also evidence that they were not fed or watered properly.” Some claimed they were urinated on and forced to lie face down over a hole in the ground filled with excrement. Others said their hands were burned with scalding water, or their heads were flushed in a toilet…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56006

Unliveable
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
A deluge of timed explosive car bombs have assailed Baghdad. The deadliest was an organized orchestrated spate of bombs that targeted 8 churches (not 5 as reported in the media) – 8 houses of God, 7 in Baghdad and 1 in Mosul. Christian neighborhoods in Mosul have been under curfew since yesterday. A Zebari, a highly placed “army officer” – not to be confused with H.Zebari, the kurdish “minister” of Foreign Affairs, most likely one of his relatives though, said in a public statement that he was expecting violence to continue in Iraq for at least 3 to 4 years. Maliki affirmed the same thing, so did zionist Biden. So who is behind this deluge of terror ?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55996

Is Obama Continuing the Bush/Cheney Assassination Program?
Jeremy Scahill
…Beyond the Cheney assassination program, what is really worthy of Congressional investigation right now is the legality of Obama’s current policy of assassination. In 1976, President Gerald Ford issued an executive order banning assassinations. “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination,” states Executive Order 11905. White House lawyers—with their seemingly infinite legal creativity—would likely say that the drone strikes are not assassinations, but rather part of war. That putting poison in a cigar of a foreign leader is different than launching missiles at a funeral where an “enemy” is believed to be among the mourners. While the implications of the U.S. assassinating heads of state or foreign officials are grave, it could be argued that, on some levels, the drone attacks are worse in the sense that they kill many more civilians. Moreover, these drone attacks largely take place is Pakistan, which is a sovereign nation. There is no legal or Congressional declaration of war against Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56002

Afghanistan War Resister to “Put the War on Trial”
Dahr Jamail
US Army Specialist Victor Agosto served a 13-month deployment in Iraq with the 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. “What I did there, I know I contributed to death and human suffering,” Agosto told Truthout from Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas, in May, “It’s hard to quantify how much I caused, but I know I contributed to it.” His experience in Iraq, coupled with educating himself about US foreign policy and international law, has led Agosto to refuse to deploy to Afghanistan. “It’s a matter of what I’m willing to live with,” he said of his recent decision, “I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56012

U.S. national anti-war assembly calls for freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and Palestinian prisoners
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
The July 10-12, 2009 national conference of the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations unanimously approved a historic resolution in support of freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners. Over 250 anti-war and progressive activists attended the conference in Pittsburgh, PA, representing dozens of organizations and groups across the country. The National Assembly includes trade unionists, veterans, students, local antiwar coalitions, women’s organizations, national leaders of the major antiwar coalitions, immigrant rights activists, racial justice activists and organizations, and many others…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55993

For Humanity
Hussin Ramadan
Palestinians identify with one another through not only our mutual identity, but also through our common experiences, ?for example, our situation under occupation, our economic conditions, our lives as refugees, the lives and conditions of our prisoners. When we go to sleep, we are unable to do so like ‘normal people’, undisturbed by these realities. We do not live in ‘normal conditions’ for human beings. Every family in Palestine has at least one member in prison, or a former prisoner; imprisonment is one of those experiences shared among our people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55994

Press Advisory from Viva Palestina
Viva Palestina
The Viva Palestina US caravan has received a permit to allow the group passage through the Rafah gate and into Gaza after spending 10 days in Cairo trying to overcome a series of bureaucratic delays. The American convoy is mobilizing to carry busloads of supplies to the people of Gaza on Wednesday, July 15, and expects no further delays to their humanitarian mission because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already confirmed that all 200 delegates have satisfied all technical requirements required for travel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56018

Prisoners’ club: Hadarim slashes bread ration to Palestinian prisoners
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli prison authority (IPA) in Hadarim has reduced by two thirds the ration of bread provided for the Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian prisoners’ club said on Tuesday. The club quoted prisoner Sidki Tamimi, who is serving a 35-year sentence, as saying that the jailers were supplying one loaf of bread for three prisoners while it used to supply one loaf for each prisoner…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56016

Iraq Suffers as the Euphrates River Dwindles
CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Throughout the marshes, the reed gatherers, standing on land they once floated over, cry out to visitors in a passing boat. “Maaku mai!” they shout, holding up their rusty sickles. “There is no water!” The Euphrates is drying up. Strangled by the water policies of Iraq’s neighbors, Turkey and Syria; a two-year drought; and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the river is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago. Some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now. The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, has left fishermen impoverished and has depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56004

Cheney’s Secret CIA Program
Worse Than Foreign Assassinations?
Hullabaloo
…Why would the Bush White House not be afraid to argue that we can torture suspects in the war on terror but terrified to explain that we can take out Al Qaeda safe houses with targeted strikes, the way that the Clinton Administration clearly did in the past? Why would it be so radioactive that Leon Panetta couldn’t hear about it for six months after being made CIA Director? The second thing that bothers me about this is the lightning quickness with which the program has been explained to the press, mostly through unnamed sources. You’d almost think that some members of the Bush Administration wanted to convince the public that their secret program only dealt with killing bad guys. And when I say some members, I mean Dick Cheney…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56008

Normality
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
I’m reading about the 3 Israeli tanks and 2 military bulldozers which invaded Beit Hanoun land earlier today, Israeli soldiers razing land and burning 5 dunums of farmland, according to local witnesses. Meanwhile, I’m vaguely aware of the hum of Israeli warplanes that have been polluting Gaza’s skies for the last 10? 20 minutes…? I don’t know exactly, at some point awareness of them occurs, then fades away…all is normal. An explosion. Distant attack or sonic boom? People outside continue as before, so it is a sonic boom.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56000

The Palestinian Struggle for East Jerusalem: Families in Sheikh Jarrah Face Imminent Eviction, Imprisonment
The Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, composed of 28 Palestinian families, held a press conference yesterday (13 July 2009) appealing to the international community to help save their homes of over fifty years. Speakers included affected families, community leaders, International Solidarity Movement activists, Sheikhh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Consul-General of Great Britain, Richard Makepeace. The event was held at the tent of Um Kamel al-Kurd, who was violently evicted from her home in Sheikh Jarrah in November, 2008. Solidarity tents were erected in front of Israeli Consulates and Embassies all over the world yesterday in support of East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah—in Glasgow, London, Egypt, Sweden, Demark, Spain, the Netherlands, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=56003

In month’s turmoil, Iran death toll still unknown
By LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writer
Several dozen families camp outside Iran’s daunting Evin prison, trying to learn the fate of loved ones who vanished in post-election turmoil. A month into the government crackdown, the number of killed and arrested remains unknown, but human rights groups believe the death toll is far higher than the official figure of 20. Many of at least 500 known to have been arrested have disappeared in prisons, held in secret locations and barred from contact with families. Rights groups say perhaps dozens of others have not been heard of since the protests and their relatives still cannot determine whether they are now locked in a cell or dead…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55998

Israel to hold missile test in US
Aljazeera.net
Israel is set to hold a missile test on a US missile range in the Pacific Ocean in an exercise that will also see the US test three missile defence systems, a senior US general has said. The test site will allow Israel to measure its Arrow interceptor missile system against a target at a range of more than 1,000km, Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, said on Tuesday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55997

Pro-War Left in Germany?
Yossi Bartal
On this coming Thursday (16 July 2009), the leader of the left-wing party in Berlin, Klaus Lederer, will speak at the offices of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Tel Aviv under the title “Berlin—A City for Us All? Progressive Urbanization Processes and Social Alternatives.” The topic of the lecture raises serious questions concerning the functioning of the “Left Party” within the Berlin Municipality and the manner in which it is using their representatives in the processes of gentrification in recent years through the promotion of commercial projects in residential neighborhoods such as Kreuzberg, in addition to its policy regarding social projects and centers throughout the city. However, these are not the only interesting subjects in the discussion with Lederer; particularly during his visit to Tel Aviv, it is appropriate to speak about his participation earlier this year in a Berlin demonstration in favor of the Israeli military attacks on Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55995

Iran hangs ‘Sunni rebels’
Aljaeera.net
Iran has hanged 13 members of a Sunni Muslim armed group known as Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, after they were convicted of carrying out a number of bombings and other attacks in the south of the country. The executions were carried out on Tuesday in a prison in the city of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province, rather than in a public park as had originally been planned, state media said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55992

Study: Taliban’s influence on the rise in Afghanistan
Mohit Joshi
The influence of the Taliban in Aghanistan is growing among its traditional Pashtun population while the radical Islamist grouping increasingly appeals to non-Pashtuns too, according to the findings of a study released Tuesday. Mounting anger over the conduct of foreign troops had contributed to the convergence of the groups that had previously supported the international engagement in the country, according to the study published by the independent Afghan Analysis Network.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55978

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee
The Taliban Rope-a-Dope
By FRANKLIN SPINNEY
…Without explicitly saying so, the Times report makes it clear that the Taliban’s strategic target is the mind of their adversary. Its operational schwerpunkt (i.e., main military effort to which all other efforts are subordinated) is also directly aimed at the mind of their adversaries, both in the field or in London and Washington. It is also pretty clear, that the Taliban’s operational schwerpunckt is to use an omnipresent physical menace (manifesting itself through a welter of large and small attacks, and when faced with opposition, running away to fight another day, as well as mine warfare, terror, etc.) is to undermine mental and moral stability of their adversaries. This focus on the mind is a way of war that is entirely consistent with the thinking expressed in the first book ever written on the art war by the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, as well as their modern incarnation in the guerrilla theories of Mao Zedong…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55986

Death squads and US democracy
Bill Van Auken
The revelation that the CIA initiated a covert program, apparently involving assassinations, and kept it secret from the US Congress on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney marks a deepening of the crisis in the American state apparatus and an indication of the degeneration of democratic processes within the US. Last April, under the pressure of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama was compelled to make public a series of previously classified memos issued by the Bush Justice Department which authorized acts of torture in chilling detail. The administration attempted to portray the public airing of these documents exposing crimes of the Bush administration as a signal of the new “openness” and “transparency” of the Obama White House…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55983

US commander in Afghanistan lobbies for more troops
By James Cogan
Less than six months after Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional American soldiers to Afghanistan, and barely two weeks into the first major offensive by the reinforcements, General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed US commander, has launched a lobbying drive for a substantial further increase in troop numbers. The military is using the US media as the conduit for its demands. On Friday, the Washington Post published a report in which unnamed Defense Department officials and military officers essentially spelt out what McChrystal will recommend when he delivers an operational review of the Afghan war to the Obama administration at the end of August. The basic thrust of his assessment is being thoroughly leaked in order to prepare public opinion for another escalation of the conflict…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55985

Viva Palestina: Navigating Egypt’s Obstacle Course
By Soozy Duncan, Viva Palestina
The Viva Palestina U.S. convoy has been facing barrier after barrier in recent days despite having initially hoped to cross into the Gaza Strip this morning. The Egyptian government, collaborator in Israel’s severe blockade for the past 2 years, has set up a course of administrative obstacles which will delay the group’s entry into Gaza… Convoy members Barron and Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Representative and 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate, will be contacting President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tomorrow to pressure the Egyptian government to allow additional vehicles through the border and a longer stay in Gaza for convoy members. Additionally, Viva Palestina is calling for supporters to organize demonstrations at Egyptian consulates in the U.S…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55970

Guantánamo And The Courts (Part One): Exposing The Bush Administration’s Lies
Andy Worthington
Eric Holder and Barack ObamaIn recent months, those who have been studying Guantánamo closely have come to the disturbing conclusion that the biggest obstacle to President Obama’s pledge to close Guantánamo by January 2010 comes not from the fearmongering and opportunistic politicians who recently voted to prohibit the use of any funds to release or to transfer prisoners to the United States, and who also authorized legislation that “requires the President to report periodically to Congress on the status of Guantánamo Bay detainees and plans for their transfer,” but from the administration’s own Justice Department…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55981

Will Gaza residents succumb to the same fate as the residents of Basra?
Part 2
Peter Eyre, The Palestine Telegraph.
We can see in this picture some of the heavier bombs that were dropped on Gaza but didn’t go off. Was this a blessing or had the contamination of Gaza already taken place? We know that many weapons contain Depleted Uranium but we do not know what is contained in these bigger munitions of war. As we have previously reported in my last article some of the larger bombs dropped in Lebanon were “Dirty Bombs” that contain Enriched Uranium. The question is where are these bombs now? Have they been removed by the UN and hidden or is Hamas still holding them somewhere? Either way we have to have these large weapons analysed and tested. There would also be more evidence lying somewhere in Gaza that will provide more substantial proof that the IDF were and still are using illegal weapons on the Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55989

Pipeline deal is sweet music for Iran
By M K Bhadrakumar
…Clearly, Iran is gearing up as the transit corridor for Turkmen gas that will go into Nabucco. Iran has a swap arrangement with Turkmenistan. Moscow had calculated that Nabucco wouldn’t materialize since it would entail the construction of a pipeline from Turkmenistan along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, which, as a littoral state, it could easily veto in alliance with Iran. Evidently, Turkmenistan and Tehran have another idea: transport Turkmen gas to Europe via existing Iranian pipelines to Turkey. No doubt, Tehran has decided that come what may, Nabucco offers a fantastic means of entering into a strategic partnership with Europe in a near-term scenario…All in all, Russia suffers a setback from several angles. Europe making headway in diversifying its energy supplies in any significant measure means reducing its dependence on Russian gas. Europe’s success, therefore, becomes Russia’s loss, which is why the latter keenly promotes the South Stream project as a rival to Nabucco…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55979

Iran says ready to send 10 bln cubic meters gas to Nabucco
ISNA
Iran’s embassy in Turkey issued a statement saying it can export 10 billion cubic meters of gas for Nabucco gas pipeline project. Iran’s business envoy in the embassy, Ahmad Nouri said “we benefit from sending our gas to Europe and we want to join Nabucco project.” The Managing Director of Nabucco pipeline Reinhard Mitschek said the initial gas needs for the project will be provided by Azerbaijan and Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55980

2 U.S. Marines Killed in Southern Afghanistan
Newsroom America –
Two U.S. Marines were killed in a “hostile incident” in southern Afghanistan, in a region where a white transport helicopter also crashed, military officials said Tuesday. The two Marines were killed in the southern Helmand province on Monday, said U.S. military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias, who did not provide further details…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55968

Italian soldier killed in Afghanistan
Reuters
An Italian soldier was killed and three others wounded in Afghanistan when their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb near the western Farah province, the Italian military said in a statement on Tuesday. The Taliban have stepped up their attacks against foreign troops since the launch of a major offensive by U.S. marines, NATO and Afghan forces in Helmand province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55969

Ex-CIA agent: Zubaydah waterboarded before DoJ memos approved
By Stephen C. Webster
A former U.S. intelligence agent said in a report published Monday that terror suspect Abu Zubaydah was subjected to simulated drowning months before the Bush administration’s Department of Justice had written memos approving the use of waterboarding. The claim strikes a serious blow to repeated Bush administration arguments that no laws were broken in the torture of prisoners because legal guidelines had been closely followed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55982

Helicopter crash kills “at least 6" in Afghanistan
By Ismail Sameem, Reuters
A helicopter supplying the NATO-led force in southern Afghanistan, scene of a massive operation by U.S. Marines, crashed on Tuesday killing at least six foreigners, alliance officials said. The Taliban, leading the insurgency against foreign troops and the Afghan government, said it had shot down a Chinook helicopter in southern Helmand province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55967

Israeli tanks invades northern Gaza and open fire at residents homes
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC
Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded on Tuesday midday farm lands located in the northern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said that the Israeli tanks rolled into farm lands in Bit Hanon town and opened fire at residents’ homes then bulldozers destroyed farm lands…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55984

GI Special 7G10: A Potential Ally [ 14 July 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
U.S. combat forces pulled out of Iraqi cities June 30, marking what the top commander there called a significant milestone. For now, while combat troops are no longer in Iraq’s cities, a number of forces still remain to train, advise and work with Iraqi security forces, Odierno [Gen. Ray Odierno, commanding general of Multi?National Force-Iraq] said. He declined to say how many troops remain in the cities, saying only that it is a “significantly smaller” number than before and that the number changes daily based on how much “training, how much advising, how much coordination is required.” “Outside the cities, U.S. forces will continue to conduct full spectrum and stability operations by, with and through our Iraqi security force partners,” he said.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55988

Tents as powerful symbols of Palestinians’ fates
Palestine Monitor
In Jerusalem, but also in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and elsewhere, the State of Israel continues its policy of house demolitions. Evictions of Arab families are a common occurrence. They are taking place under the cover of claims, such as security, the building of the apartheid wall, the expansion of settlements in the West Bank or the creation of national parks. Since 1967 and the beginning of the occupation Israel has attempted to empty the territory of its Arab population as the desire to make Jewish state of Israel a ‘fact on the ground’. Today, in several places around the world, tents will be spread up all around cities-including West Jerusalem, as a show of solidarity with the Palestinians’ collective struggle…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55990

Pentagon Prepares to Maintain Iraq Troop Levels Through Early 2010

Jason Ditz
In a press release today, the Pentagon has announced troops rotations for the Iraq War starting in the fall and continuing through early 2010. The rotations consist of three division headquarters units and eight combat brigades, roughly 30,000 troops. The announcement points out that, despite repeated administration promises of an eventual pullout, the Pentagon is operating under the assumption that they will maintain the current level of troops through at least the beginning of next year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55991

People’s Organization
Amir K., Khiaban No. 22, via Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
…Those wisps of illusion that had forced many into sweet thoughts of step-by-step change have been blown away, and the flames of awakening have spread across the rooftops in the country. In their fight against the coup regime, people have come to see the deep contradiction between a system based on velayat-e faqih [guardianship/rule of religious jurist] and a popular system based on people’s will…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55964

Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian farmland near Nablus
Ma’an News
Israeli military bulldozers razed more than 18,000 square meters of farm land belonging to the village of Urif, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, according to Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank. Daghlas told Ma’an via telephone, “Since this morning, Israeli bulldozers razed 8,000 square meters in Khallat Az-Zeit south of Urif, and 10,000 more west of the village in Maris Asira.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55966

Citizen’s refusal to sell his house ends with its demolition in Silwan
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) continued to demolish Palestinian homes and real estate in the holy city of occupied Jerusalem, where it bulldozed on Monday the house of citizen Jamil Hamdan in Silwan town after he had refused to sell his house to Zionist settlement societies. Hamdan said that his house was built 100 years ago and accommodates his family composed of 17 individuals, adding that he was surprised by the Israeli decision to demolish his house despite he paid all the fines imposed on him by the IOA…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55976

Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccine Alert
Stephen Lendman
On July 13, a World Health Organization (WHO) Global Alert headlined, “WHO recommendations on pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccinations” suggest that universally mandated ones are coming. It stated that on July 7, the pharmaceutical industry-dominated Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization held an “extraordinary meeting in Geneva to discuss issues and make recommendations related to vaccine for the pandemic (H1N1) 2009.”

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=55977

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