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A minister has failed to apologise after he was ca

first_imgA minister has failed to apologise after he was caught misleading an influential committee of MPs about the impact of his government’s cuts on disabled people.Justin Tomlinson, a former minister for disabled people, was being questioned by the Commons work and pensions committee (pictured) about the impact of his government’s benefits freeze, which is due to last until next year.He told the committee (10.21amon the recording) that “disability benefits were exempt from the benefitsfreeze”.But that isnot true, a fact repeatedly pointed out to Tory ministers and his party.Last summer,the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, who resigned earlier thismonth, made the same inaccurate claim in a House of Commons debate.Disabilityliving allowance, personal independence payment and the employment and supportallowance (ESA) support group top-up are exempt from the benefits freeze, whichis set to last to 2020 and was first introduced in 2016.But there isno exemption for the main component of ESA or the top-up paid to those in theESA work-related activity group, which continue to be frozen.This meansthat every disabled person receiving ESA, the main out-of-work disabilitybenefit, has been and will be hit financially by the freeze until at least nextyear.Aspokesperson in Tomlinson’s Commons office said it was a “matter for hisministerial portfolio” and so any comment should come from DWP.DWP had notresponded to requests for a comment by noon today (Thursday).Earlier inthe evidence session, the committee’s chair, the independent MP Frank Field,said that he and fellow committee member Heidi Allen, another independent, hadbeen in Chester recently and were told by an advice worker: “We now do not meetanybody who is not hungry and cold.”Field saidthe country now had a social security system which “is not providing a safetynet” but is designed to “push people into destitution: hungry and cold”.He askedTomlinson how many people were receiving no universal credit at all because ofdeductions made in their monthly payments due to being sanctioned or having topay back debts, for example to utility companies.He toldTomlinson that he wanted to know the numbers because he would be “haunted” bythem if he was a minister required to put the government’s policies intoeffect.NeilCouling, director general of the universal credit programme, said no-one shouldhave more than 40 per cent of their payments deducted.But Fieldtold him: “So those constituents coming to us saying they are getting nothingunder universal credit are mistaken?”Tomlinsonappeared to accept that some people were receiving nothing through universalcredit because of sanctions and debt repayments, but he said this was probably dueto “a breakdown in their relationship with their individual [jobcentre] workcoach”.He said: “Itis clear that in some cases, for whatever reason, that claimant doesn’t feel inthe position to have that conversation, and that’s where more work needs to bedone.”But Fieldtold him he was living in a “fantasy world”, and added: “If I was a claimant I wouldn’tknow the hell what your rules are.”Tomlinsonsuggested that the situation should improve through guidance for work coaches, the “universal support” scheme that will be provided by CitizensAdvice to universal credit claimants on behalf of DWP from next month, andstronger partnerships with local organisations such as food banks.Coulingeventually admitted that if a single claimant had 40 per cent of their paymentdeducted, they would be left with about £42 a week to live on.But LabourMP Steve McCabe said some claimants could face a shortfall in their rent if itwas not being covered by the housing costs element of universal credit, “soleaving them with almost nothing” if they had to use much of their £42 to coverthat gap.Field saidthe committee was considering asking every MP how many people were turning up totheir constituency surgeries saying they were receiving nothing throughuniversal credit.Tomlinson said: “We have got to make sure everybody, particularly vulnerable people, are getting the money that they are entitled to as quick as possible and that is where we have got to focus a huge amount of work.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Labours deputy leader Tom Watson has withdrawn hi

first_imgLabour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has withdrawn his motion for an independent complaints process at the meeting of the party’s national executive committee today, LabourList can reveal.If passed, Labour’s ruling body would have committed to bringing forward rule changes at this year’s conference that established an independent process to deal with disciplinary matters involving all forms of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia or transphobia.It also would have endorsed the idea of automatically excluding a member from the party where there was “irrefutable evidence of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia or transphobia”.But the motion signed by Tom Watson, James Asser, Nick Forbes, George Howarth and Alice Perry was withdrawn as there was not enough support for its proposals among NEC members.Instead, the NEC decided to support Jeremy Corbyn’s own proposal for reform, which he brought to the meeting after getting shadow cabinet approval yesterday. The ruling body agreed with “the general principle of improving processes and giving an NEC body the power to expel people”, as one NEC member put it.NEC members were not given the specific two options that were presented to the shadow cabinet on Monday. LabourList understands that their agreement could apply to either option put forward by Corbyn, both of which empowers the NEC.Under the Labour leader’s preferred option, the “most serious” cases of antisemitism would be referred to special panels that include the party general secretary Jennie Formby and NEC officers (other than politicians), rather than the usual antisemitism panels made up of three or five NEC members.The power to expel members would no longer be reserved for Labour’s highest disciplinary body, the national constitutional committee (NCC), but be extended to the NEC. ‘Option 2’, as it is known, reads:“Any complaint that met the criteria for the most serious of cases, would be referred to a special panel consisting of the general secretary plus NEC Officers. “If that panel was satisfied that the criteria were met, they would have the power to expel the member. This option would allow for more rapid expulsion in the most serious of cases.”The shadow cabinet yesterday backed the “summary exclusion” idea and added support for “independent oversight of our processes”. It is not yet clear what this introduction of “independent oversight” would mean in practice and the commitment was not clarified during the NEC meeting.Following the NEC meeting, a Labour spokesperson said: “The NEC endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to reform our procedures to allow fast-track expulsions in the most serious cases. This proposal will be further developed so that the NEC can finalise the details of a rule change that is fair and legally robust, ahead of conference. Changes to the party’s rules must be agreed at annual conference, the party’s sovereign, democratic decision making body.“The vast majority of Labour members are motivated by equality, justice and fairness, and despise antisemitism. As the data released yesterday shows, antisemitism complaints relate to a small minority of members, but one antisemite is one too many. The party is taking decisive and robust action against antisemitism and the rate at which antisemitism cases are dealt with has increased more than four-fold since Jennie Formby became general secretary.”It is understood that NEC members from across the political spectrum, including Margaret Beckett, voiced concerns about the idea of implementing an independent disciplinary process.A Labour source commented: “No other political party or trade union has outsourced its complaints process. It is unclear how it could logistically work and comply with our responsibilities under data protection legislation. It could threaten the jobs of hardworking staff who have taken swift and robust action on cases.“What’s important is that we are transparent about the way in which we are handling cases to build confidence and trust. That’s why we have published the data on disciplinary cases and are seeking to bring forward proposals for independent oversight of our processes.”LabourList understands that Tom Watson left the NEC meeting early, before delivering his deputy leader’s report. A number of NEC members were angered, and one told LabourList: “Didn’t even provide a written one. Just left despite Jennie [Formby] being unwell and tired and doing her report.”The NEC source added: “He doesn’t want the questions about why he attacked Jennie probably. People very angry at him.” But another said: “A number of the MPs left as they had to get back to parliament. This is normal.”Tags:Tom Watson /Labour /Antisemitism /last_img read more

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Mission Girls Release Feminist Song Video

first_imgThe track is a collaboration between the nonprofit program Mission Girls and Future Youth Records, a label that produces and promotes songs with a message.  Sarahi, Eliseana and Ana were coached through the experience by professional recording studio staff, but also by A-Plus and former American Idol competitor Thia Megia.When it came time for the “agony” of picking a handful of the dozens of young women the nonprofit serves every day, Rojas said these girls stood out. Sarahi, Rojas said, came to her after the release of Nicki Minaj’s highly suggestive music video for the song “Anaconda”. The 11-year-old was appalled. “What happened to her? She’s talented. Did she forget that she’s a woman too?” Rojas remembered Sarahi asking.So the focus of the Mission Girls song came together around the reactions that the Mission Girls had to mainstream songs and videos. “We’re not asking people to stop listening to music. We’re asking people to be conscious of what they’re hearing,” Rojas said.Though the girls were recorded and filmed professionally, they weren’t airbrushed. They came to the shoot in their own makeup or lack thereof, the clothes they felt comfortable in, on a set that consisted of the block of 24th Street that houses Mission Girls. The music video, which includes some animations that interact with the girls, was originally intended to turn the girls themselves into cartoons. Justin Herman, who produced the video, said he scrapped that idea in favor of letting the girls stand for themselves. Though the murals that served as the backdrop for the video take on a life of their own in the animated world of “We Are the Women,” Herman said it was the neighborhood coming alive that brought the video together. “This community, the Mission, is a rare, rare thing,” he said. “This is the life that needs to show up on screen.”Not just on screen – the girls’ influence was evident behind the scenes too. Jason Wall, Executive Director of Future Youth Records, said he and others working on the project had originally presented one idea for the project to the girls, only to be soundly rejected. To educator and Mission neighbor Patricia Barraza, that was part of the key. She emphasized the significance of co-producer and mentor Alejandra Rodriguez “to be able to tell professionals to go back to the drawing board, and to have them respect that.”“I’m speechless” said audience member Stacey Flathers. “I wish there had been something like this when I was growing up.”Barraza said seeing the success of the girls and their project made her look ahead to her next day with new enthusiasm. “I better kick ass in the morning,” she said.The video and song are available at missiongirls.media. Tags: Music • youth Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img At 11, 13, and 15 years old, Sarahi Yannacone, Eliseana Hernandez and Ana Diosdado didn’t expect to be releasing a single, let alone star in a visionary music video condemning popular music’s degradation of women. Sarahi’s musical experience ended with her practice of the violin in fourth grade. Eliseana’s singing experience was limited to the shower. Ana just “doesn’t rap.” But here they are. Ana and Sarahi are spitting verse alongside pro hip hop artist Adam “A-Plus” Carter (of Hieroglyphics fame), carried by Eliseana’s smooth vocals. They come together in “We Are the Women,” a song  Alejandra Rodriguez, a veteran Mission Girl, co-produced.   No matter that, by her account, she doesn’t write or sing, and doesn’t even talk unless she can avoid it. “We’re giving a voice to young girls who never ever had any kind of studio experience but they have a lot to say,” said Mission Girls director Susana Rojas. last_img read more

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David Ireland House is PayWhatYouCan on Sunday

first_imgThe home of conceptual artist David Ireland at the corner of Capp and 20th streets has been booked solid since its opening night. But for one special day, on Sunday March 20th, the former home and now museum will be open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on a pay-what-you-wish basis.From cement sundaes to animal skulls to quirky altered furniture, visitors can view the exhibits at their own pace, first come, first served – though the last admittance will be at 4:30 p.m. Mission Local got a sneak peek a few days before the opening and also visited that first night to offer you a glimpse into the exhibit that is now on view.The David Ireland House’s next exhibition, The Sound of Blue, will open April 8, 2016. Tags: arts • Events • history • Multimedia • video Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%last_img read more

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In SF real estate murder sometimes means a better price and plenty

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter The group traveled downstairs, past the small yard that the three-unit building shares, and into the basement room, advertised as an “exclusive-use bonus room” in the disclosure packet. It’s also where former tenant Margaret Rose Mamer’s remains were found, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The disclosure document says, simply, “death on property in 2018,” and includes a link to a San Francisco Examiner article about the murder.“I am very excited to look up the address when we get in the car,” said one prospective buyer to his friends as they walked back upstairs. The remodeled condominium — bright, with lots of windows —  is for sale some six months after longtime tenant Lisa Gonzales, 47, allegedly killed her roommate, Mamer, 61. Gonzales allegedly dismembered Mamer’s body and stored it in the basement room sometime between May 15 and June 2. Gonzales was arrested on June 2,  charged with murder and plead not guilty. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for February 2. No matter. Couples, young professionals and families meandered through the open house Sunday. Many prospective buyers who were unaware of the murder went downstairs to look at the basement and brainstorm how they could use the nonconventional room. A possible yoga studio, suggested one man while a woman motioned to the wall and explained, “it’s where you put your surfboard and bike.” The revamped condominium doesn’t look anything like the original unit, according to a San Francisco realtor who is very familiar with the property but doesn’t want to be named.“The kitchen is new and reconfigured, baths are refreshed, new floors, new lighting, new windows, and new finishing in the storage unit,” he said.Although the condominium was transformed, the murder still looms as part of its recent history and must be disclosed to any potential buyer under California law because the death occurred less than three years ago. John Waechter, 33, lives around the corner on Natoma Street and wandered into the open house a few weeks ago. When he realized he was viewing the condominium where the murder happened, he had some questions. The realtors were “very forthcoming about everything,” he said.Gonzales’ family had lived in the unit since the 1960s, according to the San Francisco Examiner, long before the building was separated into condominiums. She paid $600 a month for her room and had a lifelong lease. She initially lived in the unit with her mother and daughter and, in 2017, she asked Mamer to move in. Nima Gabbay, a real-estate investor, agreed to buy the condominium off-market for $400,000 in April of last year, but did not officially buy it until August, 2018, according to the realtor familiar with the property. When Gonzales was arrested and moved out, Gabbay remodeled the unit and put it on the market at $985,000. That price is about eight percent lower than Zillow’s estimated value for the unit. One expert in such properties estimated that they can sell for anywhere from 15 to 25 percent below market value.“I think that when something violent happens in a home or a community or a neighborhood, I think it could have an impact on your buyer pool,” said Jane Jones, a broker at Coldwell Banker who has been selling real estate in San Francisco for the past two decades. ”There are certainly groups of people that are very superstitious if there has been a death on the property, whether it was natural or other causes.”The murder did come up a couple times during the open house, but a stream of interested people consistently walked through the door.  “I think the cost of the unit is extremely affordable, considering the space of the unit, the size of the unit, what is being offered,” Waechter said.”I do think it’s being offered at a price below market because of what has happened there.”Others think that most people have most likely forgotten about the murder already. “People forget about things that have happened at a property or in a community. It’s the beginning of the spring season and people are looking to buy,” Jones said.But Kate Werner, a hair and makeup stylist visiting from New York, checked out the apartment after hearing about the murder on the news last summer. ”I’ll go and look at the murder house for a second,” she said chuckling. “I think it’s a good deal.” Nevertheless, she added, “If you know such a violent crime happened, you would have to be pretty brave to live there.” Waechter, the nearby neighbor, however, wasn’t deterred.  If he buys it, he said, he would honor Mamer, the roommate who was murdered.“I would be sure to have something to dedicate to her,” he said. “A small trinket, a picture, a painting, or something to hang on the wall.” In a tight housing market, murder might also be an advantage — offering a slight price adjustment, but hardly putting off potential buyers. At least, that’s what one realtor is discovering as she shows the inner-Mission apartment where a gruesome murder happened last May or June. Staged with succulents, vintage tchotchkes and cowhide rugs, 255 14th St. is on the market for just $985,000, and buyers are showing interest. Another 3-bedroom, 2-bath place on 15th Street with slightly more square footage is going for $1.299 million. So, yes, murder probably does temper the price.“Google the address if you want to know more; if you don’t, don’t Google the address,” a realtor said to a group of prospective buyers. center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

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CHRIS Flannery is looking for a strong finish to t

first_imgCHRIS Flannery is looking for a strong finish to the season now he is free from injury.The 31-year-old State of Origin star has missed eight games this year through niggling problems with his quad, hamstring and calf, but has made a welcome return in the last two weeks.“It’s good to be back playing again,” he said. “I’ve spent too long on the sidelines and it’s now all about getting back to match fitness.“I was out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring and played in the Featherstone game but took a knock on my calf I didn’t think was too serious. But then it went in the Huddersfield game warm up and put it me back a month.“I’m back now and it’s good.”He continues: “The last two defeats have been disappointing. We were poor against Wigan and we wanted to bounceback against Warrington. We did that in a way although we didn’t get the win. We can take a lot of positives from it as they are a tough side and in form. We came back from 18 points down and got in front, but lapses in concentration cost us the game.“We showed that against Wigan – we were in it for 20 minutes and then clocked off and we were 20 points down. Against Warrington we had five off and they put points on us. We have to look at that.“With the team and coach we have here no one is talking about a transitional period. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform and defeats aren’t acceptable and we now have to bounceback against Hull.“I can’t remember when we last faced three losses in a row and that makes this match huge. But if we take the intensity we showed in the game at Warrington into this match and we’ll do some big things in both competitions.”last_img read more

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REVENGE isnt on the menu when Saints line up to f

first_imgREVENGE isn’t on the menu when Saints line up to face Catalan Dragons on Friday according to Francis Meli.The 33-year-old, who has bagged 121 tries for the club, says his teammates are much more focussed on going over there and getting the points rather than worrying about past matches.“Revenge after that last gasp win? Not really,” he said. “We have set on our mind on getting the job done and getting the two points. We got beat in last second and have learnt from that. We know what we did wrong and we know we shouldn’t have let them back into the game.“But it’s a long time since that happened and we’ve worked on what we needed to do.”He continued: “It will be warm playing over there and we have to go mentally prepared to expect those conditions. They have built their success on how well they are playing at home and it is a fortress. It makes it a big task for us.“To travel over there and get a win would be fantastic, considering where we both are sitting in the table. We want to finish in the top two and to beat them would be a major thing.“They are going well under Trent Robinson and have brought in experienced players too. They are going in the right direction.”Saints take on Catalan on Friday and you can enjoy the action live from the new Red Vee Café Bar at Langtree Park.Wish FM will be coming live from the venue in the afternoon and the club shop will be open until 7pm – an ideal opportunity to renew your season ticket before the big match.And, Saints Gold will be on sale at just £2 a pint.To find out more, click here.last_img read more

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ENGLAND Rugby League have named a revised 28man E

first_imgENGLAND Rugby League have named a revised 28-man Elite Training Squad, which will form the nucleus of the side that will compete in this autumn’s Triangular tournament against France and Wales.England coach Steve McNamara has kept faith with the majority of players that were selected in his initial squad back in March – and that means call ups for James Roby, Jon Wilkin and Jonny Lomax.Warrington Wolves’ Ryan Atkins and Hull FC’s Danny Tickle are included after featuring in the International Origin series against the Exiles earlier this summer.“With the Rugby League World Cup just over 12 months away our planning and preparation will step up over the year ahead to make sure we are competitive and ready to make a huge impact on the tournament,” said McNamara. “Ultimately, my ambition is to have a squad capable of winning the World Cup for the first time since 1972 and we are heading in the right direction.“Every opportunity with the players’ I have is vital. We have some exciting plans that will make us the best prepared side to come from these shores in history.”From the squad selected in March, five players have missed out – Ryan Bailey (Leeds Rhinos), Warrington centre Chris Bridge, Ian Henderson (Catalan Dragons) and East Yorkshire pair Kris Welham (Hull KR) and Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC).Full details of where England will play in the Triangular tournament, including dates and kick off times, will be announced in due course.England Elite Training Squad:Carl Ablett, Ryan Atkins, Tom Briscoe, Danny Brough, Rob Burrow, Garreth Carvell, Josh Charnley, Rangi Chase, Eorl Crabtree, Leroy Cudjoe, Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker, Gareth Hock, Ben Jones-Bishop, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jonny Lomax, Danny McGuire, Michael McIlorum, Adrian Morley, Lee Mossop, Sean O’Loughlin, James Roby, Kevin Sinfield, Danny Tickle, Sam Tomkins, Kallum Watkins, Ben Westwood, Jon Wilkin.last_img read more

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SAINTS have named their 19man squad for Sundays

first_imgSAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Sunday’s Magic Weekend fixture with Huddersfield Giants in Newcastle.Jordan Turner, Shannon McDonnell and Calvin Wellington have all been called up into the side.Dom Peyroux and Mark Percival miss out with knocks suffered in the win over Salford.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 16. Andre Savelio, 19. Theo Fages, 21. Matty Dawson, 22. Jack Owens, 23. Shannon McDonnell, 27. Jack Ashworth, 28. Morgan Knowles, 30. Calvin Wellington.Paul Anderson will welcome back Scott Grix to his side alongside new signing Sebastine Ikahihifo.He will choose his 17 from:1. Scott Grix, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 4. Joe Wardle, 5. Aaron Murphy, 6. Danny Brough, 7. Jamie Ellis, 8. Eorl Crabtree, 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 12. Michael Lawrence, 15. Kyle Wood, 16. Sam Rapira, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 18. Jake Connor, 19. Josh Johnson, 21. Nathan Mason, 22. Oliver Roberts, 34. Ryan Brierley, 36. Sebastine Ikahihifo.The game kicks off at 3.15pm and the referee is Ben Thaler.Ticket details are here.last_img read more

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First Team Match

first_imgSaints head into round eight on the back of seven straight wins and will be hoping to continue our 100% start to the season when we face Tim Sheen’s men on Friday.Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 20. Jack Ashworth, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Rovers welcome back Ben Crooks, Kane Linnett and Mitch Garbutt, but according to their website, they could be without the services of half-back Danny McGuire (groin) who will be assessed after their captain’s run on Thursday, whilst prop Robbie Mulhern (back) is not expected to be fit for the game.Hull KR 19-man squad:Craig Hall, Ben Crooks, Jimmy Keinhorst, Ryan Shaw, Shaun Lunt, Mose Masoe, Joel Tomkins, Weller Hauraki, Mitch Garbutt, Tommy Lee, Chris Atkin, Junior Vaivai, Danny Addy, George Lawler, Kane Linnett, Josh Drinkwater, Will Oakes, Adam Rooks, Harry Bardle.Tickets for the game are still available from the Club Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455052 or by clicking here.,1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 20. Jack Ashworth, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote.last_img read more

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