State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Subpoenaed Over Jussie Smollett Case

Kim Foxx, Chicago’s top prosecutor, has just been subpoenaed to appear at a court hearing regarding her handling of the Jussie Smollett “attack.” The State’s Attorney was hit with the subpoena by a retired appellate judge who is seeking the…

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Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Puts Out Op-Ed Regarding Jussie Smollett Case

Actor Jussie Smollett Appears Outside Of Court After It Was Announced That All Charges Have Been Dropped Against Him

Source: Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

The Jussie Smollett case made national headlines after charges against the Empire actor were dropped in the alleged racist and homophobic attack he suffered. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx penned an op-ed that essentially pointed to the Chicago Police Department’s mishandling of the case.

From the Chicago Tribune:

In her letter to the newspaper, Foxx also said she welcomed an independent investigation into the surprise decision Tuesday to drop all 16 felony charges against Smollett, who was charged last month with hiring two acquaintances to stage a racist and homophobic attack on him in order to advance his career.

“Since it seems politically expedient right now to question my motives and actions, and those of my office, let me state publicly and clearly that I welcome an outside, nonpolitical review of how we handled this matter,” Foxx wrote. “I am not perfect, nor is any other prosecutor out there, but ensuring that I and my office have our community’s trust is paramount.”

For the first time, Foxx indicated that the case against Smollett — which has brought worldwide scrutiny to the Cook County criminal justice system — was not as strong as some might have thought.

Read Kim Foxx’s letter to the Chicago Tribune in full here.

Photo: Getty

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Howard Zinn: A People’s History of the United States – Part 1: Bread and Roses – Olivier Azam

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Howard Zinn: A People’s History of the United States – Part 1: Bread and Roses

Olivier Azam

Genre: Documentary

Price: $ 4.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: October 9, 2017


Between 1900 and 1920, like Howard Zinn's parents, more than 14 million immigrants arrived in the United States. They came fleeing poverty or war, racism or religious persecution. They dreamed of a promised land, of wealth, or simply of a better life. The New World opened its arms wide to the poor and huddled masses of the Old: its unwanted, its fugitives, and even a few utopians… After all, the rapidly expanding industries of the time required cheap labor, and immigrant workers – men, women and children – were easy to exploit. But the same period also saw the birth of organized labor, with its strikes and conflicts, and the appearance of great figures like Emma Goldman, Mother Jones, Eugene Debs and the Wobblies.

© © 2015 Les mutins de Pangée

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The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation – Edward Samuel Corwin

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The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation

Edward Samuel Corwin

Genre: Fiction & Literature

Publish Date: June 20, 2006

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated or CONAN) is a publication encompassing the United States Constitution with analysis and interpretation by the Congressional Research Service along with in-text annotations of cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. [1] The centennial edition of the Constitution Annotated was published in 2013 by the 112th Congress, containing more than 2, 300 pages and referencing almost 6, 000 cases.

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Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, North Carolina Narratives, Part 2 – Work Projects Administration

Work Projects Administration - Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, North Carolina Narratives, Part 2  artwork

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, North Carolina Narratives, Part 2

Work Projects Administration

Genre: Fiction & Literature

Publish Date: February 8, 2010

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


The slave narrative is a literary form that grew out of the written accounts of enslaved Africans in Britain and its colonies, including the later United States, Canada and Caribbean nations. Some six thousand former slaves from North America and the Caribbean gave accounts of their lives during the 18th and 19th centuries, with about 150 narratives published as separate books or pamphlets. In the 1930s in the United States, during the Great Depression, more than 2300 additional oral histories on life during slavery were collected by writers sponsored and published by the Works Progress Administration[1] (WPA) of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. Most of the 26 audio-recorded interviews are held by the Library of Congress.

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Why North Korea and the United States are Near War

You might have heard that North Korea and the United States are not getting along. We mock their lack of electricity, they threaten to annihilate us with thermonuclear weapons, that sort of thing.

But why are we enemies?

I’ll sort it all out for you here.

Obviously the largest source of friction is that the United States and North Korea want very different things. And those different things are mutually exclusive. For example, we want to avoid nuclear war and they… okay, they also want to avoid nuclear war. But on most other issues, we want different things.

For example, North Korea doesn’t want the U.S. to invade their country. The United States, on the other hand, wants to invade North Korea about as much as we want rabid porcupines shoved up our asses. I guess you could say we’re on the same page on that too. But that’s only two points of agreement in this whole mess. You have to look at the big picture.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to establish himself as a credible nuclear power, partly for defense, and partly as a vehicle for national pride. So far, they have succeeded on the national pride part. The United States wishes they had not, but we agree it was an impressive achievement. So we’re on the same page about the national pride. They earned it.

Where we differ is that the United States and its ally, South Korea, would like to see a unified Korean peninsula someday, but we realize there is no-way-in-hell it can happen in our lifetimes. North Korea, on the other hand, wants to see a unified Korean peninsula someday, but they realize there is no-way-in-hell it can happen in their lifetimes. If you strip away the magical thinking and hard-wishing, we’re of the same opinion on unification: Nice, but not gonna happen while we’re alive.

Okay, okay, we’re mostly on the same page about all of the stuff I mentioned so far. But consider that North Korea would like to feed its people and grow its economy. The United States would like for them to do that too, so long as they leave us alone. Okay, I guess we’re on the same page there too.

The biggest problem the United States has with North Korea is that Kim Jong Un wants to avoid being killed or deposed and we don’t give a shit about him one way or another so long as he leaves us alone. So I guess we aren’t too far apart on that either, unless we want to be total dicks about it and kill him just for fun. 

One of the biggest sticking points is that the United States has massive military assets in South Korea. North Korea doesn’t like that. Contrast that opinion to the normal citizen in the United States who doesn’t understand why-the-hell we have even one soldier in South Korea. What is the point of it? Are we preparing for the big push to conquer China? (Probably not.) Is South Korea unable to deter an attack from the North? (Not as long as they can afford American weapons systems, and the U.S. still has a navy.) So I guess Kim Jong Un and American voters are mostly on the same side about our presence in South Korea. We all understand that American military presence in South Korea once had a purpose, but not so much in 2017. 

I confess to being under-informed about the situation with North Korea, but it seems to me that the issue boils down to magical thinking about future unification. North Korea wants to be on the winning side of any unification and so does South Korea. The problem is that no one knows how both sides could be the winners

Except for me. This is right in my wheelhouse.

Let me reframe this for you. I won’t change any of the data, just the filter you apply to it.

The situation in North Korea involves a number of what I’d call “real” problems, such as the very real risk of nuclear war, and the very real artillery batteries in North Korea pointed at South Korea. When your security risks are the “real” kind, you hire an experienced military person to deal with it. General Mattis seems to have a good handle on the “real” risks.

Now let’s talk about the stuff that isn’t “real” in any physical sense. The first issue is North Korean national pride. I’m sure any negotiated settlement could keep that intact. For example, having direct talks with the United States would be a point of honor. And one can imagine a negotiated agreement that lets them keep nuclear power for energy while not building any ICBMs. Everyone’s pride stays intact.

But what about all the magical thinking about unification? That requires a magical-thinking solution. That’s where I come in. As a trained persuader, I have a suggested solution. I call it the hundred-year-plan for unification. Both sides would simply agree to work out the details over the next hundred years. The details might include loosening travel, establishing trade, eventual amnesty for leaders, that sort of thing. That way, both sides could claim victory. The victory would be in the imagination of both sides, not in the real world. But it still works, because a change in imagination is all you need to cure magical thinking. And unification in our lifetimes is, for all practical purposes, just magical thinking.

For more details on my 100-year-plan for Korean unification, see this blog post.

For my regular readers, recall that a year ago I was one of the few voices saying Kim Jong Un was rational while most pundits and “experts” were saying he was a total nut job. Today, most “experts” have evolved to my view that Kim Jong Un is a rational player.

Recall also that in 2015 I was one of the first public voices to proclaim candidate Trump was far more than the “clown” the public and pundits widely believed him to be. I mention both cases to bolster my credibility.

In summary, if you have “real” security problems, call General Mattis. But if your problems are in the realm of imagination and magical thinking, call a Master Persuader.

Better yet, elect him president.

Check!

You’re in better hands than you know. 

That doesn’t mean everything will turn out well with North Korea, but it does mean you have the right team in place for the first time, capable of managing both the “real” and the imaginary dimensions. And in Kim Jong Un I suspect we have a negotiating partner who understands all dimensions. 

We are closer to war with North Korea than at any time in recent memory. But we are also closer than we have ever been to a permanent solution. My optimism about North Korea is that for the first time in history we have players on the field who understand the nature of the problem as partly real and partly imaginary, and they have the tools to deal with all of it. I don’t think we’ve had the right people on the job until now.

Have you noticed that our Insulter-in-Chief has been going easy on Kim Jong Un in the verbal sparring? President Trump has been downright respectful.

It isn’t an accident. 

My startup’s app, Approach by WhenHub, is helping hurricane Harvey families and emergency responders in the area locate each other. Our analytics show the app picking up popularity in the flood zone.


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The United States of Vinland: The Landing – Colin Taber

Colin Taber - The United States of Vinland: The Landing  artwork

The United States of Vinland: The Landing

Colin Taber

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: March 7, 2013

Publisher: Thought Stream Creative Services

Seller: Draft2Digital, LLC


What if? What if the descendants of the Vikings who settled Greenland and went on to reach North America around the end of the first millennium had stayed? Five hundred years later, would Christopher Columbus have arrived to the south of an eastern seaboard dotted with centuries old settlements and towns hosting devotees to Thor and Odin? Might the Norse have gone on to build a nation as dominant as the United States of our own world? A thousand years after reaching Greenland, Vinland and Markland, would we still have had two world wars? What might the world look like? Where might the political and religious divides be drawn? This is the New World. *** At the turn of the first millennium: Eskil, orphaned in war, but now a man, is leading his followers to found a settlement dedicated to Asgard’s gods in the newly discovered lands in the west. There, after tests, adventures and challenges, he will leave a legacy that will grow to become the strongest nation the world has ever seen. The Landing is the first book in The United States of Vinland series and is an alternate history that begins the saga with the establishment of the first Markland halls. Welcome to Norse America.

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The Top Ten Most Sleep Deprived States Are Not the Ones You’d Think

Do you feel exhausted? Join the club. Many adults don't get nearly enough sleep (7-8 hours are recommended), and the CDC considers a lack of sleep a real health concern. "Insufficient sleep is associated with…


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Whitey: United States of America V. James J Bulger – Joe Berlinger

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Whitey: United States of America V. James J Bulger

Joe Berlinger

Genre: Independent

Price: $ 6.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: June 27, 2014


From Academy Award®-nominated director Joe Berlinger, WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger is a sweeping and revelatory documentary film that follows the trial of the infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, using the courtroom action as a springboard to examine accusations of multi-faceted corruption within our nation’s law enforcement and legal systems.

© © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc. A TimeWarner Company. All rights reserved.

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Cosby Show Actor States Bill Cosby Is Guilty

Cosby Show actor and 90s posterchild for Black Brooks Brothers everywhere, Joseph C. Phillips is stepping out in front of all his former co-stars and proclaiming that Bill Cosby is indeed guilty as accused.

Although the actor who played Lt. Martin Kendall admits he never actually saw a Cosby violate or drug a victim, it was a first-hand account from a woman (presumably a notable actress) who confirmed what many believe for him personally.

From his blog:

I am also of the opinion that some women who are married to prominent men strike a deal with themselves. They believe that, for men, the act of sex is removed from love. The bargain they make is that as long as their husbands continue to bring home the checks and don’t bring home any babies or diseases, they will overlook any dalliances.

So, in 1989, my attitude was that if Bill was cheating on Camille, I am fairly certain Camille knew. Hey, if everyone who claimed to know actually knew, then certainly Camille knew, and had long ago made her peace with it. At any rate, it was none of my business. I never saw Bill engage in any inappropriate behavior. I certainly never saw him drug anyone. So, all I have is the same gossip as everyone else.

As the accusations began to increase, I became increasingly disturbed. I was fairly certain that some of the women were lying through their teeth, but certainly not all of them. Discovering that the man you idolize may be a serial rapist is a bit traumatic. I don’t imagine it is anything near to the trauma of the alleged victims. Nevertheless, I found it unsettling.

I was particularly shaken the afternoon I bumped into an old friend while shopping. The controversy was at its height. The story of Bill was all over the press. I hadn’t seen this woman for many years. Back in the day, I had asked her out on a few dates, but was relegated to the friend zone so fast it made my ears wiggle. We had kept in touch for a few years, but our lives had taken different paths. Over the years, I had watched with a passive interest as her career grew, so I was excited to see her and catch up a bit.

As we spoke, I recalled that Bill had been her mentor (play father, teacher…something. I couldn’t quite recall what it was). The question popped into my head.

“Hey, do you mind if I ask you something?”

She looked at me and then asked, “Is it going to make me cry?”

I was a bit taken aback. “Well,” I stammered. “I hope it doesn’t make you cry.”

She smiled. “Go ahead and ask your question.”

“Back in the day,” I started. “I remember that you knew Bill – that he was like your mentor or something. Did he ever…”

Before I finished the sentence, she began to cry.

We spent the next two hours sitting on a bench talking. Through tears, she told me her story. She cursed him for violating both her trust and her body. She cursed herself for not being smarter, and for degrading herself in pursuit of success. I listened patiently. As she began to run out of steam, she turned to me. “Do you believe me?”

“Yes.” I said. “I believe you.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because I don’t believe that you are crazy and only a crazy person would sit with me all this time and share a fantasy.”


Given that the story is true, it is all but clear that Cosby never met a woman he didn’t want to think deserved “A Piece of the Action.”

Watch Phillips elaborate on his Cosby stance on the CCN Sunrise Morning TV Talk Show,

H/T: TheWrap


Photo: YouTube

The post Cosby Show Actor States Bill Cosby Is Guilty appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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Because America: Pro-Confederate Flag Rallies Sparked In Southern States

While most sensible Americans were celebrating the bold actions of North Carolina activist Bree Newsome and the take down of the Confederate Flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, others decried the moment. Over the weekend, several pro-Confederate Flag rallies kicked off across the Deep South and don’t look to be letting up anytime soon.

As observed by WIS10 reporter Chad Wills, dozens of individuals decided to gather at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. with the flag of the moment in tow while singing the questionable “I Wish I Was In Dixie” song. There was even an intense conversation between a Black man and some of the flag marchers that immediately made that uncomfortable turn into racist dogma when the White individual told the man to “go back where you came from.”

More of the same took place on the capitol steps in Montgomery, Ala. and in several towns across Florida. Because of the intensity of the debate over the flag, the issue isn’t going to go away quietly in the night.

And despite sensible arguments in favor of the flag’s removal from government structures and the like, supporters are clinging to their right to fly the symbol.

In related news, Seven Scribes writer and NWAP podcast co-host Fivefiths tweeted a similar display of Confederate flag pride happened in his hometown of Rocky Mount, N.C. on Saturday (Jun. 27)

Check out some of the images from the pro-Confederate Flag rallies across the South on the following pages.

[h/t Gawker]

Photo: YouTube

The post Because America: Pro-Confederate Flag Rallies Sparked In Southern States appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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Article: FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup. “We are thrilled to reveal that, for the first time in 21 years, the World Cup will finally return to America, with matches set to kick off today at 5 p.m. local time in Los Angeles,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, smiling broadly before unveiling the tournament’s official logo, a hand-drawn stick figure kicking a soccer ball with “USA 2015!” hastily scribbled in black marker above its head. “With world-class venues in cities across the country and a rapidly growing passion for the sport, the U.S. is the perfect choice—really the only choice—for this summer …





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Article: FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup. “We are thrilled to reveal that, for the first time in 21 years, the World Cup will finally return to America, with matches set to kick off today at 5 p.m. local time in Los Angeles,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, smiling broadly before unveiling the tournament’s official logo, a hand-drawn stick figure kicking a soccer ball with “USA 2015!” hastily scribbled in black marker above its head. “With world-class venues in cities across the country and a rapidly growing passion for the sport, the U.S. is the perfect choice—really the only choice—for this summer …





The Onion

Darren Sharper — Pleading Guilty in Rape Cases in All Four States

4:27 PM PT — TMZ Sports obtained a copy of the warrant … in which his Vegas accusers essentially tell the same story as Sharper’s other accusers — they were drugged and raped.  The women say they met Sharper at Surrender nightclub at the Encore…

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The Two Biggest Problems in the United States are Food and Marriage

Here’s the problem with food:

Broccoli is food.

Cake is food.

Those two things are not the same. Broccoli is good for your body and cake is not. When you have two items that are almost opposites, they probably should not have the same name. Would it make sense to have only one word to cover both criminal and victim?

I know you hate big government, so imagine what follows as a thought experiment. Imagine the government passes a law to label all edibles as one of these two categories:

1. Food, or
2. Entertainment (cake, french fries, junk food, candy)

As a parent, it is hard to tell a kid to avoid unhealthy food. My hypothesis is that it would be far easier for both kids and adults to avoid edibles labeled “entertainment.” This idea is inspired by my hypnosis background and my hobbyist understanding of persuasion and psychology.

In the short term, the day after you change the names of things, nothing much would be different. But over time, the different labels would sink into people’s minds and become a substitute for rational thought. In twenty years the idea of turning to “entertainment” because you are hungry will feel silly.

This sort of label change would destroy the fast-food and traditional supermarket industry in about five years. Today a busy parent will take a kid to McDonald’s because it feels as if the convenience outweighs the cost. But I guarantee that if the sign on the door said “entertainment” instead of some suggestion of “food,” every parent in my neighborhood would feel shamed to be seen there. The peer pressure would be overwhelming. If you doubt that, try telling your neighbor you aren’t into recycling and watch the look of horror on his face as he judges you.

Humans are not rational creatures. Words rewire our brains and turn us into different creatures. Normally we have some control over which words are influencing us, and that is a good thing. At the moment, we are being victimized by the word “food.” Realistically, we won’t be able do an exorcism on that word and remove the “entertainment” part because the food industry uses Congress as finger-puppets. That’s why this is just a thought experiment.

But if it could happen….Imagine a world in which most people are eating healthy food. Suddenly everyone looks better to each other, so our social lives and our sex lives are enlivened. Our health expenses drop, and the quality of our lives zooms. I can tell you from experience that when I evolved from a bad diet to a good one, nearly every part of my life improved. And the difference is huge. My body at age 57 is far superior to my body in my twenties primarily because of an improved diet. And I thought I was in good shape in my twenties. Diet isn’t a small thing in your life. It is the main thing, because it shapes your success in every other realm, from sex to business.

Now let’s talk about marriage.

Divorce is one of the most expensive, horrible, and wasteful things a person can experience. It is terrible for the kids, terrible for finances, good for lawyers, bad for employers, etc. Half of marriages end in divorce. And those people typically remarry and either divorce again or, all too often, live unhappily ever after. The entire process is insanely inefficient. 

Unfortunately, in 2015, marriage is probably the best system we have for raising kids. But as a thought experiment, imagine that the government removes all laws favoring marriage. You get no tax breaks, no nothing. And instead the government encourages people to set up alternative social systems that solve the problems of divorce.

How do you solve the divorce problem? Ask any economist. It is quite easy. I’ll give you a solution in one word: diversification.

In marriage, if something bad happens to one person, or one person becomes a jerk, the system breaks. Any engineer will tell you that is a poorly designed system. But if, for example, you had a small tribe of people cooperating for mutual interest, a bad day for one of them wouldn’t be a death blow for the tribe. If your love interest hates you today, you have three others on call. If you get sick and need childcare, there are ten people ready to help.

Don’t have time to exercise because of driving kids around? That’s no problem if your tribe has some designated after-school drivers. Is it hard to buy and prepare healthy food? No problem if some members of your tribe are great cooks and like cooking in bulk.

I won’t design a full alternative to marriage here because people are different and one solution does not fit all. The main idea is that marriage is perhaps the biggest economic problem in the country that isn’t food-related. Marriage made sense in old-timey days. But with the help of the Internet it would make more sense for people to organize around what works instead of what we know does not.

You will be tempted to point out in the comments that hippy communes didn’t catch on. I’m not talking about poorly-engineered hippy communes. That’s like comparing a Model-T to a Tesla. I think that with some creative thinking, and maybe some experimenting, society could develop modern alternatives to marriage that remove the divorce problem.

I hear whispers that these sorts of arrangements are already happening, but because non-monogamy is shamed, you don’t hear much about it. Marriage will go away eventually, as all bad systems do. Single people recently became the majority in this country. Can we speed it up?

Scott

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Check out the latest news on holograms and teleportation on Paul Worthington’s Top Tech Blog.

See Tamra Reid’s Berkeley Start-up Review blog for the most interesting start-ups coming out of the Berkeley start-up ecosystem (second only to Stanford in number.)

And don’t miss Vivian Giang’s post on the dangers of smiling 🙂

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My book on success: “…the best business book I have read in the last decade.” (Amazon 5-star review Feb 26, 2015)


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North Korea Blames United States for ‘The Interview’ Release, Internet Outages

As the scaled-back release of The Interview packed over 300 indie movie theaters this Christmas, the film continues to fuel a diplomatic schism between North Korea and the United States. “The prevailing situation clearly shows that the U.S. is adding to its crimes by screening the movie The Interview,” a military spokesperson for……
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