Game modified to match New Zealand, police investigate
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Game modified to match New Zealand, police investigate



Saturday, April 26, 2008

A New Zealand teenager’s conversion of the popular Grand Theft Auto (GTA) video game is gaining popularity and the New Zealand Police are unhappy at their portrayal. Stacy O’Callaghan talked to Wikinews’ Gabriel Pollard about his mod.

The police cars and the police officers have been given a makeover to resemble the New Zealand versions. The planes were branded Air New Zealand, and ambulances were converted to match the local Wellington scheme, among various other changes.

The Beehive, Te Papa and the Sky Tower are looking to be added to the game also. O’Callaghan says, “We actually have the models for these buildings but haven’t figured out how to import them into the game.

“Theres plenty more to come, but thats our progress so far.”

Despite media reports stating the Police were investigating whether or not the mod breached the law prohibiting the unauthorised use of police insignia, O’Callaghan has not heard from the Police at all. He says that if the Police did contact him with their concerns then he might consider taking the download offline. “If people want to start getting all legal and stuff, then I will just remove it.

“I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t hate NZ Police, I think they are actually one of the best Police forces in the world.”

The 17-year-old has said that his total conversion mod for the San Andreas version of GTA is “fairly popular”. “The mod has been fairly popular considering NZ’s population, and considering NZ’ers aren’t exactly game mod fanatics,” O’Callaghan says. He says the latest version of the mod he uploaded has so far had 466 downloads.

He has made the mod publicly available for any gamer who wants to play the New Zealand-branded version of the game and enjoy the game as much as he now does. O’Callaghan says he doesn’t want to make money off the game change.

The original plan was for the GTA modification to only transform the police cars into New Zealand branded cars but was later extended when O’Callaghan was contacted by other developers. He says, “I originally started with just the police cars back in November last year and left it at that, and then after uploading it people came to me saying they wanted to help out with it and so about a couple of months ago we started making this total conversion.”

O’Callaghan says in the future he would like to join the New Zealand Police and work in computer forensics, failing that he’d like to go into the IT industry.


Neville Chamberlain’s War Diaries go on display
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Neville Chamberlain’s War Diaries go on display



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

File:Arthur-Neville-Chamberlain.jpg

The personal diaries of British wartime Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain are to go on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Beginning on August 20, 2009, a free exhibition, marking the 70th anniversary of the declaration of WWII, will allow visitors to have an unprecedented insight into the mind of the Prime Minister at the helm of the government when war was declared on September 3, 1939. His entry for that day, a note scribbled in pencil reads simply: “War declared.” With the diaries, a letter to his sister detailing the preparations for war, and the declaration letter itself, written by Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax.

The centrepiece at the exhibition will be accompanied by King George IV‘s jacket worn on his television appearance, and other previously unseen memorabilia from the period in the immediate run up to the Second World War.

A book, entitled The World Goes To War, is to be published on August 27, 2009 to accompany the exhibition. Also, a television documentary will be broadcast on UK network ITV1.


Three terrorists gunned down by police in India
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Three terrorists gunned down by police in India



Thursday, June 1, 2006An attack against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur was thwarted by the Maharashtra police early today morning. The militants were driving a white Ambassador car and were armed with AK-47s. They were confronted and killed by security forces as they tried to break through the security cordon surrounding the building.

Nagpur Police Commissioner S.P.S Yadav said that the car was chased by police after it broke through the first barrier about 200 metres away from the headquarters. When confronted, the militants opened fire and were killed after a five-minute shootout. Yadav also said that two policemen had been injured in the incident, one of whose condition was serious. The identities of the three men is yet to be established. A diary was also recovered from the terrorists.

A high level security alert has been declared in Nagpur and other sensitive areas in the vicinity. R.S.S chief Ram Madhav urged the government to take more steps to safeguard the offices of the organisation. This is the second time the police has prevented a major terror attack from taking place in Maharashtra. Last month the Anti-Terrorist Squad had recovered 30 kilograms of RDX, 17 AK-47 rifles and 50 hand-grenades from a jeep in Aurangabad. Eleven suspected militants were also arrested.


Need A New Rug? Choose A Discount Carpet In Charlotte


byAlma Abell

When homeowners decide that they want to install carpet in their home, they look for the best quality carpet at the lowest prices. Their search for Discount Carpet in Charlotte often brings them to the Carpet Discount Warehouse. They have the largest variety of carpets in North Carolina to choose from. The knowledgeable staff can help help the customer pick out the style that is most appropriate for their home. This depends upon the amount of traffic that the area will receive and the functions that the room supports. The customer’s first choice is to determine whether they want wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs.

Because carpets and rugs are so large and visible they play an important role in a home’s decor. It can be overwhelming for a customer to choose from the many different kinds of discount carpeting. These include plush, frieze, Berber, shag or sisal. It can help the staff if the customer brings in some photographs of their rooms and the dimensions of each room. They should also tell the sales associate how much money they would like to spend on a rug or carpet. At that point the customer can review the choices available in their price range.

Outdoor carpeting is also available for patio areas. As people have extended their living spaces outdoors, they have included large barbecue areas, fire pits, dining tables, spas and even televisions. They often add durable and attractive carpeting and area rugs to help define these spaces. Whatever spaces a customer wants to carpet, the staff at Discount Carpet in Charlotte can find a solution. Once the customer has selected a floor covering, the rug company will cut it to fit the area perfectly. Then it will be bound. This ensures that the rug will maintain its shape and look great in the space. Carpeting will be quickly installed. The staff will help the customer pick the perfect mat to put underneath the rug. This will guarantee that the rug sits correctly on the floor and feels good to walk on. When customers choose to shop at the Carpet Warehouse, they get the benefit of 60 years experience in he business.


Rollover on Illinois Route 59 in Naperville injures one
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Rollover on Illinois Route 59 in Naperville injures one



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A motorist was injured during a collision that resulted in a rollover in the city of Naperville, Illinois, United States. The accident occurred at about 8:15 am (13:15 UTC) on the interchange of Illinois Route 59 and Interstate 88.

Naperville police reported that Pavitra Durgam, a 26-year-old from Chicago, was traveling southbound on Route 59 and tried to turn left onto the ramp to Interstate 88. In doing so, she cut in front of a car heading north on Route 59. The other, currently unidentified driver swerved to avoid her, hit a curb, and collided with her car anyway. 

Northbound traffic on Route 59 north of Diehl Road, including the entrance into eastbound Interstate 88, was blocked as crews cleaned up the area of the collision. The unidentified motorist complained of back pain and was thus sent to nearby Edward Hospital. Durgam received a citation for failing to yield to oncoming traffic as she turned. 


Category:Science and technology
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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant
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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant



Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.


Suspect in Oklahoma girl’s murder blogged about depression, “dangerously weird” fantasies
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Suspect in Oklahoma girl’s murder blogged about depression, “dangerously weird” fantasies



Monday, April 17, 2006

Kevin Ray Underwood, the suspect in the murder of 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin of Purcell, Oklahoma, reportedly kept a weblog in which he joked about cannibalism, discussed the effects of not taking his prescribed medicine, and talked about “dangerously weird” fantasies.

Underwood was arrested Friday after investigators searched his apartment and found Jamie’s body in a plastic bin in his bedroom closet. Also reportedly found in his apartment were barbecue skewers and meat tenderizer, which law enforcement officials believe he intended to use to eat the girl’s flesh.

People who knew Underwood reported that he was a relatively unassuming man, seemingly trustworthy. His mother described him as “a wonderful boy” and said of Jamie, “I would like to be able to tell her family how sorry we are. I just feel so terrible.”

In the profile of his blog, entitled “Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K” ([1]), Underwood described himself as “Single, bored, and lonely, but other than that, pretty happy.” Also on his profile page, he poses the question, “If you were a cannibal, what would you wear to dinner?” and answers, “The skin of last night’s main course.”

In an entry dated September 8, 2005, Underwood reportedly described 1998 as “the year that a large part of me died” and “the longest year of my life.” He reported losing contact with most of his friends, making an online acquaintance only to lose her again, and suffering panic attacks from being around people at college. Two of his friends also were involved in a car accident, one fatally injured.

He reported in that entry that in the last year he found himself becoming more and more detached from the world, never leaving his apartment except to go to work or his parents’ apartment. In an entry dated September 24, 2004, he reported that his fantasies were “just getting weirder and weirder. Dangerously weird. If people knew the kinds of things I think about anymore, I’d probably be locked away. No probably about it, I know I would be.”

In an entry dated February 4, 2006, he said that he had hardly left the apartment in almost two months, and that “a week or so ago, I spent my day off sitting here at the computer, barely moving from the chair, for 14 hours.”

His last blog entry was dated Thursday, April 13, 2006, one day after authorities believe Underwood killed Jamie Bolin.


Briton to fly hang glider across the UK
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Briton to fly hang glider across the UK



Friday, September 2, 2005

A man from North London is currently training for an attempt at flying a hang glider across the UK from land’s End to John O’Groats.

Shola Ogunlokun a 41 year old married father of 3 who had never flown a hangglider before taking up this challenge said yesterday “I aim to fulfill a dream offlying, use the challenge as an opportunity to meet the people of Britain andencourage people of similar ethnic backgrounds as me to pursue their dreams”.

Shola is on stage 2 of a 3 stage training programme, and has flown a glider offa 2000ft mountain on completion of stage 1 of his training. He is currentlylooking for sponsors and in talks with a TV production about making adocumentary of his attempt.

The flight attempt is currently planned for around Autumn next year, should takebetween 5-7 days, and Shola would like to spend the night of each flight at thehome of a local in the town he lands. If successful, Shola will be the firstperson to have flown a hang glider across the UK over this distance.

Shola has an online diary charting his progress at http://mbchallenge.blogspot.comFor further details, or to contact Shola, please visit his website:http://www.meet-britain.org.uk


An interview with Jimbo Wales
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An interview with Jimbo Wales



Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Just five years ago, when Jimbo Wales founded Wikipedia, the project’s goal of 100,000 articles [1] seemed ambitious. Yet today, the project, now one of the top 25 websites in the world according to Alexa, is nearing closer 1,000,000 articles in English, and 3.5 million articles across all languages. This week, we interviewed Jimbo Wales.

Color-free version

Wikinews: Raul654 asks: “Recently, there were revelations about organized attempts by US Congressmen to whitewash their articles. What is your take on this, as well as earlier reports of Corporate astroturfing?”

Jimbo Wales: The question is invalid. There were no revelations of organized attempts by US Congressmen to whitewash their articles. Not any evidence of “corporate astroturfing” of which I am aware. There was evidence that some congressional staffers edited Wikipedia in inappropriate ways. But the internal evidence of the type and style of these edits do not suggest “organized attempts”.

WN: Nichalp asks: “Budget permitting, are there any plans to increase the number of Wikipedia servers, specifically into the less developed countries?”

JW: We are always buying new servers. There are no specific plans to add servers in less developed countries, but we have looked into it as a possibility. We are particularly interested in doing so if it helps increase access and reduce costs for those users.

WN: An anonymous reader asks: “How much of a role do you feel the Wikipedia community (and the communities of its sister projects) should have in the running of the Wikimedia Foundation? Do you see an increasing separation of the organization from the projects? If so, do you regard that as beneficial or a potential problem?”

JW: The community has always been and will always be absolutely crucial to the running of the Wikimedia Foundation. We are increasing the community input and activity in the foundation through a new series of committees to delegate things to community members which have traditionally been handled by me or the Board. I do not see any increasing separation of the organization from the projects, quite the opposite. I consider the increasing integration of the community and the foundation as overwhelmingly beneficial.

WN: ALoan asks: “English Wikipedia is approaching 1 million articles, but less than 1 in a thousand are Featured articles. The list of featured articles English Wikipedia should have has few featured articles, and recent surveys of articles chosen at random show that many articles are poorly written. How can we get from here to an encyclopedia of well-written articles? Or should we not worry too much about coverage and content?”

JW: We should be tightly focused on the quality of our coverage and content. The goal of Wikipedia is to create and distribute a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia. The path to that goal will require us to be flexible and thoughtful. The first steps will come soon with the article review system, which will initially be used simply to gather data. After we have data, we can begin to work on how we will focus our attention to improve quality.

WN: GeorgeStepanek asks: “You’ve said that ‘Wikimedia’s mission is to give the world’s knowledge to every single person on the planet in their own language.’ But very few of the wikipedias in the languages of third-world countries are seeing as much activity as the first-world language wikipedias. Do you have any ideas on how this could be turned around?”

JW: I am a believer in outreach. I would like for the Foundation to raise money specifically to pay one or more minority language co-ordinators. The goal would be to reach out in a more organized way to professors and graduate students and expat communities who have good Internet access, to seed projects for languages where the majority of speakers have poor internet access.

WN: Jacoplane asks: “How do you feel we will be able to reach Wikipedia 1.0? The tools currently available for vetting our articles are crude at best. The Featured article process seems too slow, and the article validation feature seems to have died a quiet death. Are you planning a big push on this front?”

JW: Isn’t that the same question as the quality question? The article validation feature has not died a quiet death at all.

WN: Quadell asks: “Most important decisions on Wikimedia projects are handled with consensus. However, we sometimes have to deal with legal issues, especially related to copyright law. For instance, we as a community may need to decide whether to consider a certain use “fair”, or how to deal with conflicting copyright claims. Dealing with this through consensus is problematic, since we can’t do something illegal even if there is widespread misguided support for it. In general, how can we as a community deal with these issues?”

JW: I don’t think there is any real problem with this. The community is strongly in support of following the law. I don’t know of any particular cases of widespread misguided support for something illegal. In particular cases, there can of course be [dis]agreement, but I have never seen anyone in the community argue that we should not listen to the advice of our legal team.

WN: Raul654 asks: “Where do you see Wikipedia in 10 years?”

JW: I don’t know. My favorite answer to this is to say, the real question is: where will the world be after 10 more years of Wikipedia. 🙂 Seriously, I think we’ll eventually see a tapering off of new article creation in the large language wikipedias as more and more “verifiable” topics are covered. At this point, most changes will be expansions and updates and quality improvements to existing articles. But in 10 years, it seems likely to me that many languages which are now quite small will have very large Wikipedia projects. Our community will continue to become more diverse as more and more people worldwide come online.

WN: Kevin Myers asks: “The values reflected in certain Wikipedia policies (anti-censorship, neutral point-of-view) are problematic in cultures where freedom of expression is limited, as the blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China and arguably the Muhammad cartoons controversy attest. As Wikipedia expands internationally, do you foresee Wikipedia becoming increasingly controversial in countries where “Western values” are seen as a potential threat?”

JW: I don’t think that neutrality and objectivity are really controversial among most people of the world. It is true that the leadership in some places does not value these things, and may actually work against these things, but we can not deviate from our goals to accommodate them.

WN: On a similar topic, Vsion asks: “Are there currently any efforts being undertaken by the Foundation to address the People’s Republic of China’s blocking of Wikipedia or to alleviate its effect?”

JW: Beijing-area Wikipedians are working to have the block lifted. Our position is that the block is in error, even given China’s normal policies. Wikipedia is not propaganda, it is basic information. We expect that the block will be lifted.

WN: David.Monniaux asks: “The Foundation receives daily accusations of libel from semi-well-known people who have an entry on Wikipedia or are mentioned in some Wikipedia entry. What do you propose? Would a strict application of the rule of citing controversial claims suffice, in your opinion?”

JW: Yes. I think that our current systems do a good job of addressing these sorts of complaints, although it is very time-consuming for us here in the office. What really works wonders is a very strict application of the rule of citing controversial claims particularly relating to biographies of living persons. The new policy on biographies of living persons is a very strong step in the right direction.

WN: Tony Sidaway asks: “In the past six weeks the number of userboxes on English Wikipedia has risen from 3500 to 6000 and, despite your appeals for restraint, the number pertaining to political beliefs has risen from 45 to 150. Can the problem of unsuitable userboxes still be resolved by debate?”

JW: My only comment on the userbox situation is that the current situation is not acceptable.

WN: Larsinio asks: “How can Wikipedia effectively explain to the public its open-contribution model without simultaneously worrying the public about inaccurate information?”

JW: I think we do a reasonably good job of that. The best thing is to point to our overall quality while at the same time pointing out that we are currently a work in progress. Over time, this answer will change as we move toward ‘1.0’. At that time, we can point to ‘1.0’ for those who are made nervous by the live editing.

WN: Rob Church asks: “Do you consider the encyclopedia to be ‘finished’? Do you think it ever can be?”

JW: Nothing is ever finished. Human knowledge is always growing.

WN: Raul654 and Pavel Vozenilek both asked, “What kind of cool new features/announcements can we expect to see in the next year or two?”

JW: I think this question is too hard for me to answer. I almost never “announce” anything, and features are developed publicly by the community. I think other people have a better idea than I do what will happen in the next year or two. 🙂 Ask Brion [Vibber].

WN: Celestianpower asks: “If you had not founded Wikipedia, and had just been referred to it by a friend, how active a contributor do you think you would be?”

JW: [I] dream fondly of such a scenario. I might actually get to edit articles then. Instead of spend the morning (this morning) documenting transactions and taking phone calls.

WN: OpenToppedBus asks: “The last fundraising drive was less successful than had been anticipated. Do you see a shortage of money holding back Wikipedia/Wikimedia in the short-to-medium-term, and are there any plans to bring in income from sources other than individual donations?”

JW: The last fundraising drive was more successful than had been anticipated, by a long shot. It was the most successful fund drive in our history. [Regarding a quoted goal of $500,000], Mav wrote something like that somewhere, in a scratchpad kind of way. That number was just a placeholder and had nothing to do with me or the official view of the foundation. He’s apologized repeatedly for it.

WN: Thryduulf asks: “What is your single greatest wish for Wikipedia?”

JW: I would have to just point back to our original goal: a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia for every single person on the planet. That’s what I remain focused on daily.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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