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World News

Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America

Al Jazeera – Brazil’s Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, diagnosing a 61-year-old man in Sao Paulo who returned recently from Italy.

The diagnosis comes during Brazil’s carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revelers throng to major cities for raucous street celebrations.

France Reports First Citizen to Die From Coronavirus

France24 – A 60-year-old man has become the first French victim of the coronavirus in the country, the health ministry announced Wednesday.

The man died overnight after being rushed to a Paris hospital in serious condition on Tuesday evening, bringing the total death toll in the country to two, said the ministry’s deputy head Jerome Salomon.

In a televised statement, Salomon said a 60-year-old French man in a very serious condition was tested at Paris’ Pitie-Salpêtrière hospital late on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately (he) died during the night,” Salomon said.

Pope celebrates Ash Wednesday at Vatican as Masses in Italy canceled over coronavirus fears

Fox – Pope Francis is celebrating Ash Wednesday as usual — even though other Masses in Italy were canceled due to fears of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

In St. Peter’s Square, the leader of the Catholic Church held his general audience Wednesday as thousands of people gathered with face masks to protect against COVID-19.

“I wish, again, to express my closeness to those who are ill with coronavirus and to health-care workers who are caring for them,” the pope said.

Francis prayed for the thousands of victims of the virus affected globally, which includes 300 in Italy, and the medical personnel treating them, before he looped through the square in his popemobile, shaking hands with pilgrims in the front row and kissing at least one baby.

Later in the day, Francis will celebrate an Ash Wednesday Mass at a Rome church, marking the start of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting and prayer leading up to Holy Week and Easter.

Chi-Coms’ Own Scientists Conclude Coronavirus Did Not Originate in Wuhan Seafood Market

NaturalNews – A state-run Chinese media outlet has announced to the world that – big shocker! – the communist regime of China may not be telling the truth about the actual origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19).

The Global Times of China published a story about a new study entitled, “New Chinese study indicates novel coronavirus did not originate in Huanan seafood market,” published in the journal ChinaXiv, that links the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) to something else other than that infamous seafood market.

Patient zero, which the study doesn’t identify, is lurking somewhere out there with the evidence needed to trace the virus back to its true source, the study suggests. But as of right now, nobody knows the identify of patient zero, and may never know, which means the whole thing remains a mystery.

By conducting an analysis of genome-wide data, the researchers involved with the study were able to determine that the official story surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) is questionable, at best. It simply wouldn’t have been possible for tainted seafood to ignite this crisis based on the available evidence, in other words.

“The study believes that patient zero – who has not yet been identified, and whose identity holds the key to unraveling the mystery of the coronavirus source – transmitted the virus to workers or sellers at the Huanan seafood market,” reports Zero Hedge.

“The crowded market facilitated the further transmission of the virus to buyers, which caused a wider spread in early December 2019. According to the researchers, the new coronavirus experienced two sudden population expansions, including one on January 6, 2020, which was related to the Chinese New Year’s Day holiday.”

Community spread of coronavirus was already occurring before it hit the Huanan seafood market

Based on what’s been uncovered, human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) was already occurring as far back as November, and simply sped up by the time it reached the Huanan seafood market, the paper contends.

In countries like Australia, France, Japan and the United States, experts have identified at least two different sources of infection. In the U.S. specifically, there are reportedly at least five different sources of infection.

Because the communist Chinese regime took its time in issuing the appropriate emergency response to the pandemic, and also failed to get the message out quickly to as many Chinese people as possible, the number of cases of the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) increased dramatically.

“While the Chinese report did not go so far as to offer alternative theories where the virus may have originated, we find it amusing that the very first comment to the Global Times article is a rather tongue-in-cheek suggestion of what the real answer may be,” reports Zero Hedge, presumably referring to the following comment:

“Must have started in the top secret bioweapons building round the corner then.”

This is the same alternative theory put forth by the New York Post, which surmised that the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) probably leaked from a Chinese laboratory like its only level-4 biosafety facility, which just so happens to exist in the city of Wuhan.

“China has unleashed a plague on its own people,” the Post concluded. “It’s too early to say how many in China and other countries will ultimately die for the failures of their country’s state-run microbiology labs, but the human cost will be high.”

Germany’s top court scraps ban on assisted suicide, sparking dismay from church groups

Daily Mail – German lawmakers have overturned an earlier ban on assisted suicide in a landmark ruling at the country’s top court.

Church leaders are alarmed at the decision as they fear it will pressure elderly or sick people into accessing assisted suicide services.

The new judgement by the country’s highest court decided a 2015 law banning professional assisted suicide was unconstitutional earlier today.

The milestone decision raised eyebrows by explicitly stating that people have ‘the right to a self-determined death’, and that the right to assisted suicide services should not be limited to the seriously or incurably ill.

Protesters clash with police for a second day at site of planned migrant detention camp

Daily Mail – Riot police on the Greek island of Lesbos today fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters against the creation of a new detention centre for migrants as the latest outburst of unrest entered a second day.

The Athens government infuriated residents of five Aegean islands – all straddling a key route to Europe used by thousands of migrants – by announcing two weeks ago that it would expedite the construction of secured detention centres to replace open-access, severely overcrowded camps.

Locals residents – who are are concerned such an arrangement could become permanent – tried to approach a site earmarked for a new migrant centre and clashed with police on a road winding through a forest.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

CDC Tells Americans to prepare for an outbreak of coronavirus inside the United States

Off Grid Survival – This morning the CDC changed the way they are now talking about Coronavirus and warned businesses, communities, schools, and families to start preparing for the prospect of an American outbreak of coronavirus.

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, said on a conference call Tuesday.

“We want to prepare Americans for the possibility that their lives will be disrupted,” she said.

CDC is preparing for wide-scale community outbreaks in the U.S.

“As time keeps ticking forward, we’re going to be, again, preparing as if this is going to continue, and preparing as if we’re going to see community spread in the near term,” Messonnier said. “But I’m always going to be hopeful that that disease will decline either for the summer or that we’ll be over-prepared or that we won’t see that kind of high-level transmission here in the U.S.”

“I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now,” Messionnier said on Tuesday. “You should think about what you would do for child care if schools or daycares closed.”

Prepare for Serious Issues NOW

In our opinion, as we started highlighting yesterday, the CDC is completely unprepared for this outbreak. In fact, the CDC is still not able to get test kits out to the states and judging from today’s press conference seems to be playing catch up on just about everything.

While we don’t know how deadly or serious the virus may become inside of the United States, we do know most people are grossly unprepared to face a long-term crisis, and that could become an even larger problem than the virus itself.

We are already seeing a run on products and serious supply chain problems throughout the world. We urge you to have at least a 2-4 week supply of food and water on hand at all times, but with that being said you may be looking at a lot longer than that should this thing go bad.

In some areas of China people have been on lockdown for almost 2 months! Could you survive the next 2 months with only the supplies you have in your home? I also urge you to read our article on Pandemics and How to Prepare for a Pandemic Outbreak.

CDC: US Must Expect ‘Significant Disruption’ From Coronavirus

Newsmax – The CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease on Tuesday warned of an imminent coronavirus pandemic and said parents need to prepare for school closures and “significant disruption” in their lives.

Dr. Nancy Messonier also said schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups.

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more, but a question of when this will happen,” Messonier told reporters in a conference call.

Trump To Hold News Conference At 6pmET To Dispel Media’s “Fake News, Panicking” Over Virus Outbreak

ZeroHedge –  Having already urged the American public to ‘buy the dip’, just before another 900 point drop in the Dow, President Trump has decided to take matters into his own hands – the only way he knows how.

In a double tweet this morning, Trump announced he will hold a news conference at 6pmET to put the American people straight.,

“I will be having a News Conference at the White House, on this subject, today at 6:00 P.M. CDC representatives, and others, will be there. Thank you!”

The reason for his sudden need to address the public (aside from the 2000 points drop in the Dow) is that

“Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. “

And responding to Democrats new narrative that The Trump administration is not doing enough, he lashed out:

“Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!”

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned ominously that:

“As more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder. It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses.

…Disruption to everyday life might be severe…

…We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”

In addition, Messonnier warned that it may soon become necessary for schools and businesses to greatly restrict person to person contact…

The CDC outlined what schools and businesses will likely need to do if the COVID-19 virus becomes an epidemic outbreak in the U.S. Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use “internet-based tele-schooling,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call.

“For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” Messonnier said.

Can you ever recall a top CDC official ever making statements this ominous?

Well, it turns out Dr. Nancy Messonnier is the sister of the former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Could she be part of the resistance?

Remember, it was reported that CDC employees cried when Trump was elected.

Harvard Professor Believes Large Sum of World Population Will Be Infected With Coronavirus Within the Year

IRJ – As concerns have increased about a potential pandemic, a Harvard epidemiology professor said he thinks the coronavirus — or COVID-19 — could be headed for a major break out.

In an article titled, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” James Hamblin, a staff writer at The Atlantic, explained the likelihood that the coronavirus will continue to spread rapidly.

Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, told Hamblin that he thinks it is likely that the coronavirus will infect roughly between 40 and 70% of the world’s population within the year.

However, Lipsitch notes that not every case will be fatal or even severe, “It’s likely that many will have mild disease, or may be asymptomatic.”

Hamblin notes that roughly 14% of the world’s population is infected with the flu but is asymptomatic.

Crowd Goes After Bernie For Defending Communism AGAIN During Debate

Daily Wire – A South Carolina crowd booed socialist Bernie Sanders during a CBS News debate on Tuesday night after he again defended his remarks praising the murderous communist regime in Cuba.

Israeli foreign minister slams Sanders ‘horrifying comment’

AP – Israel’s foreign minister denounced Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders on Wednesday for what he called his “horrifying comment” about Jerusalem, saying that those who support Israel would not back Sanders’ presidential candidacy after such remarks.

At a contentious Democratic debate on Tuesday night in South Carolina, Sanders labeled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “reactionary racist” and said he’d consider reversing President Donald Trump’s move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move, following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, outraged the Palestinians and led to a dramatic fallout with the U.S. administration.

In a daring foray into American domestic politics, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said there was a not a Jew in the world who “hasn’t dreamed of Jerusalem” and Sanders words were so severe that he had no choice but to retort.

“We don’t intervene in the internal American electoral process, which is splendid,” Katz told Israel’s Army Radio, before noting that Sanders had a long history of attacking Israel and the things most sacred to its identity and national security.

“Naturally, people who support Israel will not support someone who goes against these things,” he added.

Sanders’ comments at the debate came after he recently announced he would skip an appearance before the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which he called a “platform for bigotry.”

He’s also called for cutting back American foreign aid to Israel and redirecting it to the Palestinians instead. Sanders, who if elected would become America’s first Jewish president, doubled down Tuesday saying: “What you cannot ignore is the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Sanders prefaced his remarks by saying he was “very proud of being Jewish,” and noted how he had volunteered in the 1960s on a socialist Israeli kibbutz, where he honed his leftist leanings. But his harsh criticism of modern-day Israeli policies, and embrace of supporters who have called for a boycott Israel, has raised great concerns in the Jewish state about his surging candidacy. Pro-Israel advocates have accused some of Sanders’ prominent supporters of anti-Semitism.

Drug Deaths Soar in Ohio’s Democrat ‘Sanctuary’ Counties

Washington Sentinel – Ohio’s nine so-called “sanctuary” counties that shield criminal illegal aliens from U.S. immigration officials have found a surge in drug abused, overdoses, and deaths, a report finds.

Nine of Ohio’s 88 counties — all infested by Democrats — have passed rules, policies, laws, and statements claiming to shield criminal illegals. Along with shielding illegals, these counties are subsequently shielding the illegal drug trade and all the crime, murders, and human trafficking that goes along with it. But it also opens wide the spigot for dangerous drugs to pour into their midst killing citizens by the thousands.

In one case, for instance, the overdose death rate has surged so much in Franklin County, home of the state capital Columbus, that the county coroner is asking for a second morgue to be built.

One citizen ringing the alarm bells is Virginia Krieger, whose daughter Tiffany Robinson, died of an overdose of the dreaded drug fentanyl.

Justice Department: 45% of Blacks at Harvard Admitted Through Illegal Race Preferences

PJ Media – Almost half of all blacks and Hispanics who attend Harvard were admitted because of illegal racial preferences in admissions according to a brief just filed by the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice filed the brief in a federal lawsuit filed by Students For Fair Admissions. It says Harvard’s race-based admissions process violates federal law. This filing marks an extreme departure from the Obama Civil Rights Division that spent significant time and resources seeking to expand the use of race in decision making.

The brief says Harvard “considers applicants’ race at virtually every step, from rating applicants to winnowing the field of applicants when attempting to avoid an oversubscribed class.” It notes that forty-five percent of African-Americans and Hispanics at Harvard are there because of racial preferences given to them during the admissions process.

The Justice Department notes that providing blacks racial preferences has created a large class of victim applicants: Asians. The brief:

Harvard’s process imposes a racial penalty by systematically disfavoring Asian-American applicants. It does so in part through the subjective personal rating that admissions officers apply with minimal guidance or supervision. That rating produces consistently poorer scores for Asian Americans.

The Justice Department brief also noted that Harvard employs a consistent racial quota to admit applicants to the class in essentially the same percentages, year after year. “The racial breakdown of Harvard’s admitted classes over time reflects that they are the product of deliberate racial balancing,” the brief notes.

“Race discrimination hurts people and is never benign,” said Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “Unconstitutionally partitioning Americans into racial and ethnic blocs harms all involved by fostering stereotypes, bitterness, and division among the American people. The Department of Justice will continue to fight against illegal race discrimination.”

Arkansas teen concussed after Tik Tok ‘skull breaker challenge’; growing number suffering head injuries

Fox – A viral prank called the “skull breaker challenge,” made popular by the social media platform Tik Tok, is continuing to wreak havoc as more parents warn that their children are sustaining serious head injuries because of it.

An Arkansas teen at Southeast Arkansas Preparatory High School sustained a concussion just last week when his friends decided to pull the prank on him.

“They said all you go to do is jump,” Ke’Avion Hearn told KARK. “I jumped, they kind of kicked me out under my legs so I can’t land. All I remember is being on the floor.”

The challenge, which originated in Spain, involves three people standing next to each other with the two outside persons jumping while the center person remains still. When the person in the middle jumps, the two outside members kick that person’s legs forward, throwing them off-balance where they hit their heads.

Economy & Business

A growing list of US colleges cancel study abroad programs

CNN – A growing list of American universities have canceled study abroad programs as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.

At least five universities have suspended programs in Italy, where the number of confirmed cases has risen to 374, including 12 deaths.

“This was a difficult decision for the university to make, given that these students were already immersed in these important global experiences,” Elon University’s global education dean Woody Pelton said in a news release.

“However, the health and safety of students is our top priority.”

Energy & Environment

Homes in England Evacuated as Rivers Reach Record Levels After Month of Rain – Reports

Sputnik – Police in England have ordered residents to evacuate their homes in the counties of Worcestershire and Shropshire on Wednesday, as floodwaters are expected to rise to record levels during the course of the day after weeks of heavy rainfall, the UK’s ITV broadcaster reported.

Science & Technology

Facial Recognition Is Spreading Faster Than You Realize

Activist Post – The UK is currently witnessing a tug of war over facial recognition. On the streets of London and in South Wales, live systems have been deployed by the police, supported by the UK government. But in the Scottish parliament, the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing is trying to halt use of the technology.

I recently gave evidence to the Scottish sub-committee’s inquiry, highlighting the cost of this technology in terms of its damage to freedom, trust and inclusivity in society. This comes not just from the use of facial recognition but in the ways it is designed and tested as well. And yet the benefits are often exaggerated – or have yet to be proven.

Facial recognition systems have already been tested and deployed across the UK. Investigative journalist Geoff White has created a map to show where systems are being, or have been, used, identifying dozens of sites across the country. Another map for the US shows a similar situation. If you see facial recognition technologies being used somewhere you can let such sites know to add the location and details. The results can be surprising.

Airports are a common place you may see facial recognition used and it is typically found in automatic border control machines. Airlines have also been testing the systems at the gate, expanding the data collection beyond government to private companies. Meanwhile, advertising screens in Piccadilly Circus in London, as well as Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham, reportedly use the technology to target ads according to the age, gender and mood of people in the crowd.

Shopping centres and public spaces such as museums in cities across the UK have used the technology for security purposes. Football matches, airshows, concerts, Notting Hill Carnival and even the Remembrance Sunday service now fall under the invasive eye of facial recognition.

It is not always clear whether facial recognition is used to catch known criminals from a watchlist or simply to add an extra layer of security to public spaces and events. But the South Wales and Metropolitan police forces have admitted they are using it to try to catch elusive criminals. They claim to only use specific watchlists of dangerous individuals, but leaked documents show that they also include “persons where intelligence is required” – which could be just about anyone.

Research shows the UK public largely supports facial recognition, provided it benefits society and has appropriate limits. Yet there is little proof that facial recognition actually provides significant social benefit given the costs to privacy.

Dozens of ancient Egyptian skeletons found in rare clay coffins buried 6,000 years ago

Fox – A staggering 83 unusual ancient Egyptian graves have been discovered, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

The graves surprised archaeologists because instead of the human remains lying in sarcophagi, the deceased have been buried in clay coffins.

The majority of the graves have been dated to the Lower Egypt period, which occurred during the first half of 4,000 BC to 3,000 BC.

Three other graves dating to around 3200 to 3000 BC were also discovered.

This time period is referred to as Naqada III period.

Experts have labeled the clay coffins as unusual because during the time period humans were commonly laid to rest in mud-brick tombs or wooden coffins.

Those who couldn’t afford a traditional burial were put into a shallow hole.

Naqada III culture is extremely old even in terms of Egyptian standards.

It dates to before the start of Egypt’s pharaonic monarchy.

The Naqada III graves contained rare artifacts like oyster shells, handmade pottery and two bowls of kohl.

Kohl was commonly used by the Egyptians as cosmetic makeup for painting around the eyes.

Other remains include the later remains of mud-brick building foundations and found mud-brick burials.

Experts think there could be even more similar graves to find in the region.

Apple and Tesla under fire over software engineer’s fatal Autopilot crash

ZDNet – The National Transportation Safety Board has criticized Tesla, Apple, and road-safety regulators in the report from its nearly two-year investigation into the fatal crash of Apple software engineer 38-year-old Walter Huang.

Huang was driving his Tesla Model X P100D SUV with Autopilot when he crashed into a barrier on March 23, 2018 in Mountain View, California.

The NTSB found that Huang’s vehicle crashed into a damaged safety barrier on US Highway 101 at 71mph after the vehicle’s safety systems failed to detect the barrier and accelerated into it.

It said Huang didn’t attempt to avoid slamming into the barrier, “most likely due to distraction” caused by the gaming app he was playing on his iPhone.

The board says Tesla’s crash-avoidance system was “not designed to, and did not, detect the crash attenuator”. Because of this, Autopilot accelerated the vehicle, and the vehicle failed to provide a crash alert and didn’t activate emergency breaking.

NTSB recommends that partial driving-automation systems must be able to effectively detect potential hazards and warn drivers of them to be safely deployed in high-speed environments.

Health

Sugary Sodas Harm Heart, Increase Stroke Risk

Newsmax – Sugar-sweetened drinks can play havoc with your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, a new study finds.

Specifically, drinking more than 12 ounces (1 standard can) of sugary sodas or fruit drinks a day may not bode well for your cardiovascular health, researchers say.

“Think before you drink. There is accumulating evidence linking sugar-sweetened beverages to adverse health outcomes, and this message is clear,” said lead researcher Nicola McKeown, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Big Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight

Newsmax – Starting the day with a big breakfast and keeping dinner light may help you burn more calories and keep you trimmer, new research suggests.

Eating this way may also keep your blood sugar levels from going too high, the small study found.

“Extensive breakfasting should be preferred over large dinner meals,” said study lead author Juliane Richter, of the University of Lubeck’s Center of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism in Germany.

“This recommendation can be applied to healthy people to prevent metabolic diseases [such as diabetes], as well as to patients with overweight and obesity to reduce body weight,” she added.

How could eating breakfast improve your weight and blood sugar levels?

Richter said the reason isn’t clear yet and more study is needed. But it appears that digestion and metabolism keep pace with the body’s internal clock, she said.

Another reason may be that if you don’t eat enough earlier, you’ll be more hungry throughout the day, Richter said. That could lead to overeating, or to eating the wrong kinds of foods later in the day. She also noted more calories are burned in the morning, so it just makes sense to eat more when calorie-burning is at its peak.

But not everyone is convinced that a big breakfast is a must.

Gut Bacteria Linked to a Type of Lung Disease

Newsmax – A specific collection of gut bacteria may be a culprit in the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a new study shows.

PAH is a chronic disease marked by the narrowing of arteries that supply blood to the lungs. With constant high blood pressure in these arteries, the right side of the heart is forced to work harder, which can result in right-sided heart failure. Symptoms of PAH include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and fatigue

Microbiota, bacteria found in everyone’s gut, aid in digestion. The study showed that having a particular microbiota profile predicted PAH with 83% accuracy.

“We showed for the first time that specific bacteria in the gut are present in people with PAH. While current PAH treatments focus on the lungs, looking at the lung/gut axis could open the door to new therapies centered in the digestive system,” said lead study author Mohan Raizada. He is a distinguished professor in the department of physiology and functional genomics at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville.

Stool samples from 18 PAH patients and 12 people without cardiopulmonary disease history were collected for the study. The unique bacteria found in the stool of PAH patients led to the association.

The findings were published Feb. 24 in the journal Hypertension.

Raizada and his team are eager to learn how this bacteria impacts the lungs of PAH patients.

“We do not know if and how gut bacteria and viruses make their way to the lungs,” Raizada said in a journal news release.

“Some studies have pointed to an increased incidence in intestinal leakage among people with pulmonary hypertension, which may allow some intestinal bacteria to get into the bloodstream and circulate to the lungs where they can cause inflammation and lead to vascular changes,” he pointed out.

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