RAMSTEIN VIGIL AT GERMAN CONSULATE 871 UN Plaza, NYC

NEW YORK – A vigil imploring the German government to order the immediate closure of the United States drone satellite relay station at Ramstein Air Base will be held at 11:30 am, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at the German Consulate, 871 U.N. Plaza.

The Ramstein relay station, according to an April 17, 2015 article in The Intercept, is essential to U.S. drone attacks because it “enables drone operators in the American Southwest to communicate with their remote aircraft in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other targeted countries.” 

The vigil will mark the opening of a court case in Cologne, Germany on May 27, 2015 on behalf of Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Yemen who lost his brother-in-law and a nephew to a U.S. drone attack in 2012.  His suit seeks to force the German government act to close the Ramstein relay station under a provision of German law that allows people to seek redress if they have suffered harm from activities generated on German soil, in this case drone execution without due process.

“This is an extremely important case not only because it has the potential for stopping U.S. drone attacks but because it may expose much about the U.S. drone program that has been kept secret from the American public and the world,” said Nick Mottern, Director of KnowDrones.com

The vigil will include music by the Raging Grannies singing group and display of a large model of the MQ-9 Reaper, the world’s most numerous and deadly drone.  The event is being organized by: KnowDrones.com, the Granny Peace Brigade and World Can’t Wait.

Finally! Some climate crisis honesty: Forget About a 2 Future; It Will be 4˚-6˚C Degrees, and Soon

By Dave Lindorff

 

            A tectonic shift is occurring suddenly in the debate over climate change.

 

Talk Nation Radio: David Segal on Ending Mass Surveillance, Keeping the Internet Free

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-david-segal-on-ending-mass-surveillance-keeping-the-internet-free/

David Segal is the Executive Director of Demand Progress. He discusses the current struggles to end mass surveillance by the U.S. government and to keep the internet free and open. Segal is a former Democratic Rhode Island State Representative, and served on the Providence City Council as a member of the Green Party. During his eight years as an elected official he oversaw the passage of legislation promoting economic justice, renewable energy and open space, banking reform, affordable housing, LGBT rights, criminal justice reform, and a variety of other progressive causes. He recently ran in the Democratic primary for Rhode Island’s first Congressional seat, supported by much of the netroots and organized labor. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, and in a variety of online publications. He has a degree in mathematics from Columbia University. See:

http://demandprogress.org

http://sunsetthepatriotact.org

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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Engelhardt: Tomorrow's News Today

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 19, 2015


Defense memo to Hillary Clinton within hours of the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack said it was planned at least 10 days in advance - The Daily Caller


Statement: Defense Documents Reveal Obama Administration Knew that Qaeda Had Planned Benghazi Attack 10 Days in Advance - Judicial Watch


Text of the Defense memo to Clinton saying the Benghazi attack was planned at least 10 days in advance - Judicial Watch


Post-Benghazi Memo to Hillary Blamed Muslim Brotherhood and Qaeda Linked Militia - frontpagemag.com


Military intel memos in 2012 detailed arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria rebels, predicted rise of ISIS  - Fox News


VIDEO: US Intel knew about weapons going from Benghazi to Syria rebels - Fox News


Text of the Defense memo detailing arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria - Judicial Watch


Text of the Defense memo reporting on the growing threat posed in Syria and Iraq by what is now known as the Islamic State - Judicial Watch


YouTube and Google win lawsuit in free speech battle over anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors - The Guardian


ARCHIVE: Gregory Hicks: I briefed Hillary on Benghazi that night, attackers were clearly al Sharia terrorists not protestors, Clinton continued to blame anti-Muslim video - Twitchy


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Gregory Hicks: Islamist group February 17 Martrys Brigade in charge of security of the Benghazi US compounds was complicit in the attack by Ansar al-Shariah - YouTube


ARCHIVE: Gregory Hicks Connects Outsourcing of Security to Muslim Terrorists in Benghazi to Company that had Congressman's Wife as Vice Chairman on its Board of Directors - Walid Shoebat


ARCHIVE VIDEO: State Dept Whistle Blower Claim Obama Admin Threats Over Benghazi - YouTube


ARCHIVE: The “Benghazi Brief”, summary of events surrounding the two years leading up to the Benghazi Libya attack on 9/11/12 - theconservativetreehouse


Paul: Benghazi should ‘forever preclude’ Hillary from presidency - TheHill


Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton will have to answer for Libya invasion - Washington Times


Rand Paul in His Forthcoming Book: Iraq War Architects Shouldn't Get To Keep Going On Sunday Shows - BuzzFeed News


Hillary Clinton supported Iraq War -- before she opposed it - Washington Times


Blog: Hillary Clinton was pretty sure Hussein had WMDs - americanthinker.com


POLL: Voters Care About Candidate's View on Iraq - newsmax.com


--------------------------------------------------------

Groups backing trade promotion authority paid Hillary Clinton $2.5M in speaking fees - CBS News


VIDEO: Groups backing trade promotion authority paid Hillary Clinton $2.5M in speaking fees - CBS News


Bernie Sanders criticizes Hillary Clinton for remaining silent on a major trade deal - Washington Times


Hillary Clinton's GMO support and Monsanto ties spark backlash in Iowa, agribusiness has been a big donor to her Foundation - Washington Times


Hillary Clinton was paid millions by tech industry for speeches months before launching a White House bid - The Washington Post


Bill and Hillary Clinton made roughly $25 million in speeches since 2014 - POLITICO


Hillary Clinton healthcare speech earnings - MedCity News


Clinton Family Continues Raking In Personal Cash From Firms That Lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department - ibtimes.com


Hillary Clinton personally took money from companies that sought to influence her, speaking fees not going to charity - Vox


Clinton Foundation donors include dozens of media organizations, individuals - POLITICO.com


The Conservative Media Figures Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation - Media Matters for America


Did Stephanopoulos go wrong? Of course he did. He failed to mention that he himself had given $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation - WashingtonExaminer.com


Stephanopoulos, ABC have not fully disclosed Clinton ties: Schweizer - usatoday.com


Unions Pour Millions into Clinton Foundation - Washington Free Beacon


Jeb Bush-Owned Education Company Paid Hillary $225K for Speech - Mediaite


‘Hillary Clinton Sold Her Soul When They Accepted That Money’, The king of Morocco, the Clintons and a problem that just won’t go away - POLITICO Magazine


How did $17 million disappear from Clinton Foundation? - wnd.com


Hillary Clinton's brothers Tony and Hugh Rodham could be a problem for her presidential campaign - Business Insider


Numerous Errors In Clinton Cash Have Been Removed On Kindle - Media Matters for America


State Department won't release Hillary Clinton's emails until January 2016 - POLITICO


Hillary Clinton’s consigliere Cheryl Mills covers up her email scandals - New York Post


This NY Post Op-Ed Attacking Clinton Aide Cheryl D. Mills Is Riddled With Inaccuracies - Media Matters for America


The Mystery Of Hillary's Second Email Address - The Daily Caller


Ex-CIA Deputy Director: Foreign Nations Have Clinton's Emails - newsmax.com


Clinton's super PAC fundraising irks progressives - CNNPolitics.com


Hillary Clinton backers defend link to super PAC - POLITICO


Clinton, Supporters Find Creative Spending Model Amid Super PAC Madness - newsweek.com


Celebrities Who Have Already Endorsed Hillary Clinton for President (PHOTOS) - NationalJournal.com


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The Vietnam War: After 40 Years

Today, 40 years after the American war in Vietnam ended in ignominious defeat, the traces of that terrible conflict are disappearing.

Former Acting CIA Director Still Acting, Specifically Acting Innocent

At 41:00 in the above video, Sam Husseini asks Michael Morrell, former CIA Deputy and Acting Director 2010-13 about the WMD lies and gets the claim that there weren't any. It would have been nice to have about 10 follow ups. But Husseini shifts to torture, and Morrell claims nobody tortured, and claims that Egypt didn't torture al Libi for the U.S., that the U.S. never asked Egypt to torture him. Then Andrew Kreig asks if McCain met Baghdadi, and Morrell declares with all the wisdom of the CIA "I have no idea."

An Old Man Cries

As I have said before, I am trying to learn Arabic.  It is very difficult but I have been having fun learning and practicing.  I spend a lot of my time down in the suk (market) talking to people and trying to listen to people speak in Arabic.  Some of the guys I have met in the market can speak English so it has been really helpful for me because they can translate things and I can repeat it back to them in Arabic.  So one day, I was in a friend’s shop and of course he invited me to have a cup of tea.  The Palestinian hospitality instilled in each of these guys would never allow me to walk away without them inviting me for a cup of tea or coffee.

Sneaking into Jerusalem

I bought a hiking book that has several hikes around the West Bank.  With everything going on, and all the intensity I need to make sure that I am staying grounded and have a release.  The way I do that best is by hitting the trails.  This weekend I got one of the guys I met at the market to drive me to a trail.  I figured I would give him the money rather than some random taxi.  I was planning on hiking alone but I think he was worried about me so he ended up just taking the day off and coming with me.  At the beginning of the hike, you walk down the mountain towards some train tracks.  On one side of the train tracks (where I started) is a Palestinian village.  On the other side of the tracks, there is no one but the Israelis control it.

Four Years of Waiting

I share with you just one story.  This is just one story. One story, from one person. I meet people every day and hear story after story.  Every day, people who have lived through their own personal trauma.  Like yesterday, the taxi driver.

Teenage Prisoner

 I want to learn Arabic so I study from a book and make flash cards in my free time....which is good.  I don't have a huge social life here but I am slowly meeting people and feeling people out.  So when I have nothing to do, I study!  And then when I am bored with studying, I walk around the old city to the shops and practice my Arabic with people.  The hospitality here is incredible.  Everyone is welcoming me in and inviting me for tea or coffee.  Arabs are famous for their hospitality.  But as I meet people, I hear their stories.  Every day I hear stories about how it is to live here with the occupation. The topic of conversation is always the struggle they live with.  It is hard to deal with.  There is so much pain and suffering here.  I can feel it in the energy and see it in people's eyes when I talk to them.

Crossing the Checkpoint and that Damn Wall

I am not really traveling anymore.

Stories from Behind the Wall-Introduction

My mother suggested writing a book.

Nick Turse: One Boy, One Rifle, and One Morning in Malakal

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Nick Turse continues his eye-opening reportage on American policy toward Africa today with a piece about the Obama administration and child soldiers. I just wanted to remind you of one thing: his new Dispatch Book on the U.S.

'Tis the Season to Fete War Criminals

William & Mary Honors War Criminal

Exclusive: Condoleezza Rice has crossed the threshold into esteemed celebrity – a welcomed speaker at this year’s College of William and Mary commencement – despite her record as the liar who sold the illegal war in Iraq and choreographed the torture techniques for use at CIA “black sites."

By Ray McGovern

Nothing better illustrates the extent to which the United States has turned its back on the rule of law than when the likes of Condoleezza Rice are asked to address graduates and receive doctoral degrees honoris causa at university commencements. Ms. Rice – in my view a war criminal – was accorded those honors Saturday by the College of William and Mary, the second-oldest college in the U.S.

Give to TSA Watch

The fundraising drive at TSA Watch has been stuck at $6,921 for weeks. The TSA is sexually assaulting people at airports in this country every day. We and many other organizations have been documenting it for years. I don’t know what else people need to know in order to care.

Democracy American Style - Macedonia

Macedonia is about to experience Democracy American Style. The nation’s misfortune is simple. It occupies strategic territory of keen interest to the United States and Russia.

“Russia's Stroitransgaz said on Thursday it will build a gas pipeline across Macedonia, which could eventually be used as part of a route to supply Europe with Russian gas via Turkey”. Reuters, Mar 12

18 May: International Museum Day: The Advancement of Learning and Culture

By Rene Wadlow

         18 May has been designated by UNESCO as the International Day of Museums to highlight the role that museums play in preserving beauty, culture, and history. Museums come in all sizes and are often related to institutions of learning and libraries. Increasingly, churches and centers of worship have taken on the character of museums as people visit them for their artistic value even if they do not share the faith of those who built them.

         Museums are important agents of intellectual growth and of cultural understanding. They are part of the common heritage of humanity, and thus require special protection in times of armed conflict. Many were horrified at the looting of the National Museum of Baghdad when some of the oldest objects of civilization were stolen or destroyed. Fortunately many items were later found and restored, but the American forces had provided inadequate protection at a time when wide-spread looting was predicted and, in fact, was going on. More recently, we have seen the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage in the museum of Mosul by ISIS factions. Today, there is deep concern for Palmyra as ISIS and government troops battle near Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The US needs the Iceland option: If ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’’ Means Too-Big-To-Jail’ It Should Mean ‘Too-Big-to-Be’

By Dave Lindorff

 

            In a couple of days, the so-called US Justice Department will be announcing an “agreement” reached with five large banks, including two of the largest in the US -- JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, the holding companies for Chase and Citibank -- under which these banks or bank holding companies will plead guilty to felonies involving the manipulation of international currency markets.

Someone Should Challenge Former CIA Chief Michael Morell About This

The Phony 'Bad Intel' Defense on Iraq

Editor Note: Jeb Bush’s stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington’s favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq – that it was just a case of “bad intelligence.” But that isn’t what the real history shows. NO WAY was the intelligence "mistaken."  Far worse -- it was out-and-out FRAUD.

By Ray McGovern

Presidential aspirant Jeb Bush this week may have damaged his chances by flubbing the answer to an entirely predictable question about his big brother’s decision to attack Iraq.

Ukraine/Russia News - May 16, 2015


Ukraine Recession Deepens as Economy Shrinks 17.6% in the First Quarter, Conflict with Russia-Backed Separatists Slashes Industrial Output - WSJ


Shadow economy in Ukraine in 2014 up to record high since 2007, to 42% of GDP: Trade Ministry - interfax.com


Due to worsening of the balance of payment Ukraine to hold WTO consultations on additional import tax on June 11 - interfax.com


Ukraine eyes strategic investors in sell-off of state-owned assets - The Economic Times


Ukraine says creditors must accept debt proposals - Reuters


Ukraine minister Natalie Jaresko says ‘all options on the table’ for debt (VIDEO) - FT.com


VIDEO: Natalie Jaresko on Ukraine Debt Restructuring - YouTube


Military confrontation in Eastern Ukraine costs state coffers $5-7 mln a day: Finance Minister Jaresko - interfax.com


The battle with the country's creditors threatening to wreck a bailout plan constructed by the International Monetary Fund - Worldbulletin News


IMF calls deadline for Ukrainian state debt restructuring by June - Ukrinform


IMF mission commences work in Ukraine: Finance Ministry - TASS


Russia would not take part in the "debt operation" of the Ukraine’s debt restructuring and awaits the next repayment installments in June - Tass


Russia-Ukraine conflict overshadows EBRD meeting - Business New Europe


EBRD To Invest More In Central Europe, Ex-Soviet Union, But Not Russia - rferl.org


Russia votes against EBRD financial plan for 2016-2020 - TASS


Gas purchases from EU to account for at least half of all imports: Yatseniuk - interfax.com


Yatseniuk hopes for cut in price of EU gas after Paris talks - interfax.com


Kiev insists on revision of gas transit agreement with Russia: Ukraine’s PM - TASS

 

---------------------------------------------------

Ukraine president enacts controversial laws banning Soviet symbols - digitaljournal.com


Ukraine’s law honors nationalist groups who helped the Nazis carried out the Holocaust while also killing 100,000 Polish civilians - Reuters


Ukraine has lost control of more than 400km of its Russian border in the east of the country - uatoday.tv


Ukraine navy left high and dry after Crimea losses - Yahoo News


US House of Representatives allocates USD 300 million to Ukraine in defense bill to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine - uatoday.tv


US Senator McCain turns down Ukraine advisor role - Yahoo News

 

---------------------------------------------------

At Foreign Ministers Meeting EU and Nato vow to step up cooperation to counter Russian 'hybrid warfare' - ibtimes


Russia hopes NATO will stop attempts of absorbing Georgia, Ukraine: envoy - TASS


Russia Says Ukraine Attendance at NATO Spring Session Puts Minsk Commitment Into Question - Sputnik International


Russia says to boost military presence in Crimea in response to NATO E. Europe expansion - RT News


Russia Says It Can Deploy Nuclear Arms to Crimea - Washington Free Beacon


Russia backs legislation to force out ′undesirable′ foreign groups - DW.DE


Evidence Mounts That Russia Supplied Buk Missiles To Ukraine Separatists - rferl.org


VIDEO: A 60 Minutes Australia Exclusive This Sunday: Who shot down MH17? - amp.twimg.com 


Russia: More than 200 Russian Soldiers Killed in Ukraine, Says Nemtsov Report - occrp.org


Russian Defense Ministry Dismisses Claim of Russian Troops in Ukraine - Russian peacekeeper


Top Russian Detective Removed From Nemtsov Murder Case - rferl.org


PayPal Blocks Russian Account For Nemtsov Report On Ukraine War - rferl.org


Facebook Is Pro-Russia, Senior Aide To Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko Says - ibtimes.com


Facebook’s Zuckerberg Responds to Ukrainians’ Complaints, But Is His Answer Enough? - Global Voices Advocacy


Russia’s First GDP Slump Since 2009 Signals Milder Recession, Russia’s economy fares better than forecast by all analysts - Bloomberg

 

Putin Buying Dollars Again Shows Worst of Crisis Is Over - Bloomberg Business


Ruble Up Against U.S. Dollar, Despite Central Bank Forex Purchases - The Moscow Times


France offers Russia 785 mn euros to ditch warship deal: report - Yahoo News


Russia remains EU’s third biggest trade partner: Foreign Ministry review - TASS

 

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Top 10 Activist Errors

The number one error, engaged in by the majority of people, is failing to be an activist. The world's going to hell, countless situations can be easily improved, lives can be saved, and most people just sit there and do nothing. Others actively work to make matters worse. So, if you're working for peace and justice, you're among the tiny minority that's pretty much got the big stuff right. If constructive criticism drives you into despair, please stop reading this article right now and just continue what you're doing with your life. You have my gratitude.

If you're open to hearing some suggestions, for whatever they may be worth (and yes, of course, this list of errors will exclude those that I am myself guilty and unaware of), read on:

1. ELECTIONISM. We need elections but do not now have them in the United States, not at the federal level. Working for election reforms is one of the most important things anyone can do. But taking time off from activism to focus on elections is the biggest waste of resources we engage in. Election reform will come through creative nonviolent activism, education, organizing, media, disruption, resistance, and protest. It won't come through elections. Registering voters is not activism. Creating automatic registration, as just done in Oregon, is activism. Please stifle your compulsion to ask me who I'm voting for. You don't ask me if I want to win the lottery. (I do, but I will not buy a ticket or devote my life to staring at one.)

2. OBAMANISM. As bad as taking a break from activism every election cycle, is thinking and acting like a voter and a campaigner rather than an activist every day of every year, cheerleading for a team of corrupt officials rather than for policies, reforms, and actions that you support. "The nationalist," said Orwell, "not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." Nationalism is a huge problem, and its language, which has peace activists using the word "we" in saying "We are bombing Afghanistan," may contribute to identification with crimes. But the problem of managing not to even hear about them applies to partisanship as well. If a Republican were picking men, women, and children to murder on Tuesdays, you'd see protests.

3. TOKENISM. "Black people are dumb." "Muslims are violent." These are understood to be ignorant hate speech. But "Women make better presidents" is not frowned on quite so much, despite its exactly equal idiocy. The problem is not the demographic characteristics of the president. The problem is having a single individual with the powers of a god, in debt to sociopathic billionaires, in a system dominated by militarism and corruption. We won't change it with a female or gay or Latina corporatist warmonger.

4. STRATEGISM. Winning a first and a second and a third step down a path to peace or justice is not best achieved through the means that many activists think of as "strategic." If you tell someone that they should halt one war so that the military can be better prepared for other wars, you weaken your argument against the one war, and you provide an argument for future wars. If you oppose the weapons that don't work, you give legitimacy to the far worse weapons that do work. If you object to a gimmick that boosts weapons spending over a mandated limit by transferring funds from a war budget, you shouldn't do so in a way that suggests either budget is acceptable at all, or in a way that suggests war spending is preferable to non-war-spending or budget trickery. Pre-compromising doesn't get you a compromise result; it gets you incoherence and lack of believability. A young woman pointing out to Jeb Bush that his brother (and Hillary and a few hundred others) created ISIS does a lot more to move people against war than do the strategies coming out of DC peace groups. War is counterproductive on its own terms, immoral, illegal, and catastrophic. Its funding should be eliminated. Our job is to demand that. A small reduction is a first step toward our goal.

5. IMPOTENTISM. The most pervasive and powerful propaganda is that of powerlessness. Telling yourself and each other that you are powerless is no different than Judith Miller repeating CIA lies about WMDs. It's exactly as ridiculous and exactly as damaging. We are not powerless. We quite easily have an impact frequently and could quite easily have a much bigger one. Expecting fairness won't help. We have to work uphill, but it's perfectly doable. Being impatient won't help. We have to keep working however long it takes and however few help out. Self-flagellation won't help. The money is against you and money is powerful. It's not your fault you haven't saved the world, but it might be thanks to you that your grandchildren save it.

6. PAROCHIALISM. We have to form uncomfortably large coalitions, and we really don't want to. I'm not advocating what I critiqued above as strategism. Don't sell your soul. Don't promote destructive ideologies for short-term gain. But don't be scared of guilt-by-association. Be willing to stand with people on an issue whose views and actions you deeply oppose on other issues.

7. LOCALISM. It's far more satisfying to find peace in your heart or sustainability in your backyard than to take on the military industrial complex. But if the earth dies, so will you. There are local and hyper-local angles that contribute to the greater cause. Cities and states can change nations. But individual action alone is not enough. Even small group action aimed too near is not enough. If everybody with solar panels on their roofs had put half the money into a movement to create public solar arrays, we'd have them.

8. FREUDISM. In a popular, simplistic notion of nonviolent communication, one never persuades anyone through rational argument. This is a claim, by the way, that comes out of an ideology supposedly dedicated to respecting people and their "needs." Apparently among those needs is not the need for a good reason to believe something. It would of course be equally simplistic to assert that all one ever needs are facts, or to ignore the age-old wisdom that it is hard to get someone to believe something they are paid not to. But when I tell people that college is free in other countries, their jaws drop, and it's not 30 seconds before they're saying it should be that way in the U.S. When I talk to non-self-selected groups about ending war, the majority say at the end that they have been moved toward believing that war can and should be ended. Facts are not enough, but they are one of the main things the corporate media deprives us of, and one of the key components of activism. They do nothing to help us see another's point of view if we're unwilling to look. They do nothing to alleviate high levels of fear. But it would be a mistake for us to become inversions of Edward Bernays working to manipulate people in a kinder, gentler manner.

9. FETISHISM. Here's a little secret. The people who speak the viewpoints that serve big money are not smarter, wittier, pithier, or better at framing a topic. They're on the air because they speak the viewpoints that serve big money. They may be more eloquent than you. They may be less so. But trying to think and sound like them in general is a quite risky proposition and completely unnecessary. There is nothing we need more than better media and better use of existing media by its readers, listeners, and viewers. There is no smarter place to invest as activists. But what we lack is not spokespeople. What we lack is microphones.

10. PINKERISM. "But haven't you heard? War is going away on its own? I heard it from someone who read a review of a book by Steven Pinker." War is not going to go away on its own. It is not even going away with our help. But it could go away if we really get our act together.

Speaking Events

2015

August 27, Chicago

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