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  • Putin says U.S. 'hysteria' over Russia is election ploy 

    Russian President Putin meets Prime Minister Medvedev outside MoscowBy Gleb Stolyarov KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused American politicians of whipping up hysteria about a mythical Russian threat as a ploy to distract voters from their own failings in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. Putin, addressing an audience of foreign policy experts gathered in southern Russia, repeatedly lashed out at the Obama administration, saying it did not keep its word on Syria, did not honour deals, and had falsely accused Moscow of all manner of sins. The U.S. government has formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organisations, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has accused Republican rival Donald Trump of being a Putin "puppet".

  • Putin says Russia does not plan to get militarily involved in Iraq, Libya KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia had no plans to intervene militarily in the Middle East beyond Syria. Asked whether Russia might intervene in Iraq and Libya in the same way as it had in Syria, Putin told a forum in southern Russia: "No, we don't plan this anywhere." (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
  • Into the heart of godlessness, Pope Francis heads for Sweden 

    Pope Francis speaks as he leads the general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the VaticanBy Alistair Scrutton STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Usually feted ecstatically by Catholics across the world, Pope Francis may face a far more muted reception when he arrives next week in Sweden, one the world's most secular nations, with openly gay Lutheran bishops and special cemeteries for atheists. Add to that the fact that Francis will be there to take part in a joint Catholic-Lutheran service in Lund to mark the start of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's anti-Catholic Reformation that led to a bloody schism in Europe. In the first papal visit to the country in nearly 30 years, Francis, who is seen as breathing freshness into traditional Catholic doctrine and reaching out to other religious communities, will also hold a public Mass in Malmo, a gateway for thousands of immigrants who have fled from Middle East wars over the last few years.

  • China holds first anti-terror drills with Saudi Arabia Special forces from China and Saudi Arabia have held their first joint anti-terrorism drills, state media reported on Thursday, China's latest effort to expand security ties with countries in the Middle East and its Muslim neighbors. China says its companies and citizens face a growing threat from terrorism as its global footprint expands, and the government has been getting more involved diplomatically in trouble spots in areas such as the Middle East. President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia early this year, vowing to expand security cooperation and oppose terrorism.
  • French authorities declare the Calais migrant camp empty 

    A man stands next to a burning tent as fires were started in the makeshift migrant camp known as "the jungle" near Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Firefighters have doused several dozen fires set by migrants as they left the makeshift camp where they have been living near the northern French city of Calais. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)CALAIS, France (AP) — The grim camp known as "the jungle," a symbol of Europe's failure to come to grips with its crisis over asylum seekers, is no more.

  • Islamic State holds up Iraqi army south of Mosul 

    A federal police forces member lunches a mortar during an operation against Islamic State militants in Qayyara, south of MosulBy Babak Dehghanpisheh and Saif Hameed QAYYARA/BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters kept up on Wednesday their fierce defense of the southern approaches to Mosul, which has held up Iraqi troops there and forced an elite army unit east of the city to put a more rapid advance on hold. Ten days into what is expected to be the biggest ground offensive in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, army and federal police units aim to dislodge the militants from villages in the region of Shora, 30 km (20 miles) south of Mosul. The frontlines in other areas have moved much closer to the edges of the city, the last major stronghold under control of the militants in Iraq, who have held it since 2014.

  • Clearance of Calais Jungle camp accomplished, French prefect says 

    Smoke rises the sky as migrants and journalists look at burning makeshift shelters and tents in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the "Jungle" in CalaisBy Matthias Blamont CALAIS, France (Reuters) - French authorities said on Wednesday they had finished clearing the "Jungle", a shanty town outside Calais built by migrants who had hoped to cross to Britain but who are now mostly being dispersed around France. The operation passed off peacefully for the most part, though some migrants torched tents and shelters in a last act of defiance as their hopes of a new life in Britain evaporated. "This is the end of the 'Jungle'," Calais regional prefect Fabienne Buccio said.

  • WFP warns of increasing hunger in war-torn Yemen SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The World Food Program has warned of a worsening food crisis in war-wracked Yemen, saying the 19-month conflict has increased hunger and malnutrition.
  • Islamic State-aligned group takes Somali town, say officials By Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A group loyal to Islamic State seized the small port town of Qandala in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday, the first town it has taken since emerging a year ago, officials said. The group, which refers to itself simply as Islamic State, is a rival to the larger al Shabaab force, which is linked to Islamic State's rival al Qaeda and once controlled much of Somalia. "Our soldiers were few and so could not fight longer," district commissioner Jamac Mohamed Khuurshe said.
  • Iran's Foreign Minister to hold talks in Moscow on Friday: RIA 

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to a question during a news conference in AnkaraIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will holds talks in Moscow on Friday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Syria and Iraq, the RIA news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the foreign ministry. RIA said they would discuss closer coordination in the Middle East. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier on Wednesday that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem would also be in Moscow on Friday for talks.

  • Gas tanker attacked near key shipping lane off Yemen By Jonathan Saul LONDON (Reuters) - Unknown assailants attacked a gas tanker off the coast of Yemen close to the Bab al-Mandab waterway in the latest flare up in an area through which much of the world's oil passes, shipping and security officials said on Wednesday. The incident, the first attack on a commercial ship since July, followed missile attacks in recent weeks on military craft, including U.S. navy vessels, which were launched from Yemen that had already raised risks for merchant shipping. Shipping group Teekay said its LNG (liquefied natural gas) tanker Galicia Spirit "experienced a suspected piracy attack whilst off the coast of Yemen" on Oct. 25.
  • Dazed migrants recount ordeal after 'Jungle' blaze 

    People look at smoke rising during the demolition of the Calais "Jungle" camp in northern France on October 25, 2016Huddled under blankets, migrants in the Calais "Jungle" recounted Wednesday how they fled a fire that ripped through tents and shacks in the night after the death knell had sounded for the notorious camp. A French spokesman said desperate migrants had started the blaze, which occurred just hours after the authorities began to demolish the settlement on Tuesday, although camp residents denied the claim. The trio queued outside a registration centre where they hoped to be interviewed later to make their case for being allowed into Britain.

  • US 9/11 law an international legal Pandora's Box 

    Firemen and rescuers work at the base of the World Trade Center in the early morning September 14, 2001, in New YorkIt's a hard scene to imagine, a Saudi Arabian king answering before a New York court for the 9/11 attacks, but a new US law threatens to become a Pandora's Box of diplomatic crises. Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, overcoming President Barack Obama's veto, to help the relatives of victims of the September 2001 outrage seek compensation.

  • Women lawmakers face sexism, violence on job: report By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Women members of parliament (MPs) in all regions face sexism, harassment and violence from male lawmakers and are increasingly targeted by online humiliation campaigns, a report said on Wednesday. Sexist violence and harassment against women lawmakers is "real and widespread", the report said. The findings suggested "that the phenomenon knows no boundaries and exists to different degrees in every country, affecting a significant number of women parliamentarians".
  • Venezuela's congress opens political trial against Maduro 

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a political rally against the opposition-controlled congress, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking Maduro's removal last week, the congress began debating his "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that Maduro is a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress has opened a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for breaking the constitutional order, deepening a standoff triggered by authorities' suspension of a recall referendum against the widely unpopular socialist leader.

  • Economic gender parity nearly two centuries off, WEF finds 

    Wachovia employees listen to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during a news conference at the Wachovia corporate headquarters in CharlotteBy Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi ZURICH (Reuters) - Progress in closing the global workplace gender gap is slowing dramatically, according to a World Economic Forum study, with a notable exception in Rwanda, a country still emerging from the aftermath of genocide that has become the world's leader on equal pay. "Progress towards parity in the key economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap now larger than at any point since 2008," WEF said when releasing its 2016 Global Gender Report on Wednesday. While high-income countries showed the narrowest gender gaps, low-income countries on average performed just as well as their upper-middle-income peers.

  • Maduro, opponents trade 'coup' charges in Venezuela crisis 

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is resisting efforts by the opposition to remove him from power in a volatile political crisis, delivers a speech to supporters in Caracas on October 25, 2016Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the opposition-majority legislature Tuesday of staging a "parliamentary coup" after lawmakers voted to put him on trial amid a tense political and economic crisis. Accused by the legislature of "abandoning his post" and "criminal and political responsibility" for Venezuela's descent into crisis, Maduro fired back by calling a meeting of his National Defense Council on Wednesday -- the same day the opposition plans massive anti-government protests. Lawmakers earlier voted to open a "political and criminal trial" against Maduro over what they themselves have declared a coup: authorities' decision last week to halt their efforts to call a referendum on removing the leftist leader from power.

  • Venezuela lawmakers vote for political trial of president 

    Supporters of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro demonstrate in the streets of Caracas on October 25, 2016Venezuela's opposition-majority legislature voted on Tuesday to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro, who is resisting efforts to remove him from power in a volatile political crisis. A majority of lawmakers in the National Assembly voted in favor of a motion to launch a "political and criminal trial" against Maduro after he blocked their drive for a referendum on removing him. The Supreme Court -- which the opposition claims Maduro controls -- has ruled the National Assembly's decisions invalid.

  • Workers wield sledgehammers to tear down Calais "Jungle" 

    Migrants are seen in silhouette near flames from a burning makeshift shelter on the second day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the "Jungle" in CalaisBy Matthias Blamont CALAIS, France (Reuters) - French workers began demolishing the "Jungle" shanty town in Calais on Tuesday, wielding sledgehammers to tear down makeshift dwellings as their former residents - migrants seeking entry to Britain - were moved out. Police equipped with water cannon stood guard over the demolition, while hundreds of migrants - some of whom have lived in the scrubland on the northern French coast for months or years - waited for buses to take them for resettlement across France. "The migrants have known for a long time this was going to happen," the Calais region's prefect, Fabienne Buccio, told Reuters after arriving at the camp escorted by between 150 and 200 riot police.

  • PM says Italy cannot handle rate of migrant arrivals 

    Italy's PM Renzi talks to the media as he leaves a EU leaders summit in BrusselsItalian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday said that the country cannot handle the same number of migrant arrivals next year that it has seen in 2016, calling on other European countries to do more. In an interview with RAI state television, Renzi repeated a threat to veto the disbursement of European Union funds to countries that refuse to help Italy and Greece, who have taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past three years. "Italy cannot take another year like the one we've just had," Renzi said during the recording of a talk show.

  • Maduro's opponents fan flames of Venezuela birther debate 

    Lawmakers hold an emergency session at Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking the president's removal last week, the opposition-controlled congress began debating Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that he's a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A birther debate is heating up in Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro's opponents seek to push the embattled socialist leader from office at any cost.

  • The Latest: Iraq PM offers new details of assault on town 

    People arrive at a camp for displaced families in Dibaga, near Mosul, Iraq, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. The campaign to retake Mosul comes after months of planning and involves more than 25,000 Iraqi troops, Kurdish forces, Sunni tribal fighters and state-sanctioned Shiite militias. It is expected to take weeks, if not months, to drive Islamic State militants out of Iraq's second largest city, which is still home to more than a million people.(AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on the developments in Iraq where an operation by Iraqi forces and their allies to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is no in its second week (all times local):

  • Factbox: Reaction to UK decision to allow third runway at Heathrow The British government gave Heathrow Airport the green light on Tuesday to build a third runway. Below are some reactions: BORIS JOHNSON, FOREIGN SECRETARY, FORMER LONDON MAYOR "I do think that building a third runway slap bang in the middle of the western suburbs of the greatest city on Earth is not the right thing to do. No other world city would dream of subjecting so many hundreds of thousands of people to more noise pollution in the way that a third runway would.
  • Islamic State claims attack on Pakistan police academy, 59 dead 

    A police cadet injured during the attack on the Police Training Center is wheeled into a hospital in QuettaBy Gul Yusufzai QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Militant group Islamic State said on Tuesday that fighters loyal to its movement attacked a police training college in Quetta in southwest Pakistan in a raid that officials said killed 59 people and wounded more than 100. Pakistani authorities have blamed another militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), for the late-Monday siege, though the Islamic State claim included photographs of three alleged attackers.

  • Factbox: What next after Britain backs Heathrow expansion? By Sarah Young LONDON (Reuters) - The British government gave Heathrow the green light on Tuesday to build a third runway, which will be the first new full-length runway since the 1940s in southeast England, the economic engine of Britain. Heathrow has said the new runway will be open for flights by 2025, but building is not expected to start until 2021, with the project subject to a parliamentary vote and years of consultation processes and planning approvals. A majority of lawmakers back expanding Heathrow, according to a poll of 150 MPs carried out by ComRes for Heathrow in August, but the project has some high-profile political opponents including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening.
  • Threatened in Mosul, Islamic State uses alternative tactics 

    FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 file photo, youths ride bicycles next to a burning oil well in Qayara, about 31 miles (50 km) south of Mosul, Iraq. The Islamic State group has pioneered brutally innovative tactics and launched diversionary attacks that have shocked its opponents, and now many fear it has more surprises in store as Iraqi forces close in on Mosul. Last week’s assault on the northern city of Kirkuk offers a glimpse at the kind of asymmetrical response it might mount as Iraqi forces close in on Mosul, its last major urban bastion in the country. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — Dozens of Islamic State fighters struck at dawn, storming government and security compounds in and around the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk last week, in a coordinated assault more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the front lines of the Mosul offensive.

  • Sepang circuit, government urge end to F1 in Malaysia 

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, upper right, of Britain, and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, lower right, of Germany, celebrate with a team member after Hamilton won the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Formula One could be on its way out of Malaysia after the country's sports minister said "we should stop hosting" the grand prix and the chief of the Sepang International Circuit implied the dominance of Mercedes had stripped the sport of its excitement.

  • Slovak parliament curbs far-right vigilante train patrols Slovakia's parliament on Tuesday acted to curb patrolling of trains by far-right vigilantes who have been accused by rights activists of stirring racial hatred, but the group threatened to extend its patrols to other parts of the country. Members of the People's Party-Our Slovakia, wearing green T-shirts and some carrying legally-held weapons, have been patrolling irregularly on trains since a 21-year old girl was assaulted and robbed in April. The anti-immigration, anti-euro opposition party says the attack showed the inadequacy of the police to ensure passengers safety, but rights groups say their activities are aimed at Slovakia's Roma minority.
  • Some Indonesians 'joining pro-Islamic State groups in Philippines' By Kanupriya Kapoor and Agustinus Beo Da Costa JAKARTA (Reuters) - Islamic State supporters from Indonesia are traveling to join forces with their counterparts in the Philippines, raising concerns about cross-border violence, Indonesian anti-terrorism officials said on Tuesday. Authorities in Southeast Asia have been on heightened alert since a gun-and-bomb attack rocked the Indonesian capital Jakarta in January and stamped Islamic State's presence in the region for the first time. "Some (Indonesian Islamic State supporters) are training in the Philippines," said A. Syamsu of the Indonesian counter-terrorism agency.
  • Malaysia to 'take a break' from F1, citing poor returns 

    High costs combined with falling ticket sales and TV viewership for the Malaysian Grand Prix have dented returns, officials sayMalaysia is planning to take a "temporary break" from Formula One because of mounting losses, officials said on Tuesday, in ominous signs for one of Asia's longest-running grands prix. Officials are due to meet this week to discuss the future of the Malaysian Grand Prix after its current contract expires in 2018. "The locals are not buying the tickets to watch F1," Razlan Razali, chief executive of the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), told AFP.

  • Plunging solar equipment prices fuel trade complaints 

    In this Aug. 21, 2016 photo, a worker performs maintenance work on solar panels at a photovoltaic power station in Songxi county in southeast China's Fujian province. Solar panels are among a series of industries from steel and cement to wind turbines in which Chinese production capacity soared during the past decade's economic boom until it vastly exceeded demand. (Chinatopix via AP)BEIJING (AP) — Use of solar power is soaring, but Europe's biggest solar panel manufacturer, SolarWorld, took the surprise step last month of cutting 500 jobs from its workforce of 3,000.

  • Maduro meets pope as Vatican steps into Venezuela crisis 

    FILE - In this July 21, 2016 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro stands with Spain's former Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, and former Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez, during a photo opportunity after a meeting at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela’s government says Pope Francis met with Maduro at the Vatican on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Monday with Pope Francis as the Vatican took a more active role trying to defuse a tense political standoff in the South American nation.

  • Calais 'Jungle' empties as demolition crews move in 

    French anti-riot police stand next to migrants during the full evacuation of the Calais Jungle campWorkers were set to begin demolishing the notorious Calais "Jungle" camp on Tuesday as hundreds of migrants boarded buses on the second day of a massive operation to clear the squalid settlement. More than 1,900 left the slum on Monday, ahead of work to tear down the makeshift shelters and eateries in the camp that has become a symbol of Europe's refugee crisis. The sprawling shantytown, one of Europe's biggest slums, was rapidly becoming a ghost town.

  • As Syrian deaths mount, world's 'responsibility to protect' takes a hit: experts By Tom Esslemont LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo are battered by air strikes, ground offensives and shelling, what has happened to the world's responsibility to protect populations under threat? The Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Security Council were established after World War Two to maintain peace and protect people in conflict zones.
  • US, Iranian chief diplomats win prize for Iran nuclear deal 

    US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2016US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have won an international diplomatic prize for their part in a historic agreement on Iran's nuclear program, organizers announced Monday. The two officials, who negotiated the deal face-to-face and together with counterparts from the P5+1 powers (the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany) between 2013 and 2015, won the Chatham House Prize "in recognition of their crucial roles" to resolve "one of the most intractable diplomatic stand-offs in international affairs in the 21st century," Britain's Chatham House think-tank said in a statement. The agreement -- aimed at stopping Iran from using its civilian nuclear industry to develop a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against Tehran -- was signed in July 2015 and implemented in January.

  • Migrants stream out of Calais 'Jungle' before demolition 

    A migrant arrives by bus from the Calais Jungle, on October 24, 2016 at the Montlaville castle in ChardonnayAlmost 2,000 migrants rode buses out of the Calais "Jungle" on Monday as French authorities kicked off an operation to dismantle the notorious camp that has become a symbol of Europe's refugee crisis. "Bye Bye, Jungle!" one group of migrants shouted as they hauled luggage through the muddy lanes of the shantytown where thousands of mainly Afghans, Sudanese and Eritreans had holed up, desperate to sneak into Britain. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 1,918 migrants had left Calais on buses bound for 80 reception centres across France under a heavy police presence.

  • Pope grants Venezuela president private audience 

    Pope Francis met Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro in a private capacity, because the pontiff's heart was with the Venezuelan peoplePope Francis on Monday granted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a surprise private audience at the Vatican in the midst of a deep political crisis in the South American country. A statement from the Holy See said Francis had met Maduro because the pontiff's heart was with the Venezuelan people. Maduro is accused by the opposition-majority legislature of committing a coup d'etat by blocking a referendum on removing him from power.

  • Merged Yoox Net-A-Porter aims to be as mobile as shoppers 

    In this Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, photo, Yoox Net-A-Porter CEO Federico Marchetti poses following an interview, in New York. Marchetti is investing in new technology and adding more services like same-day delivery in new markets like Dubai. He says he wants to transform the online company into a mobile-only venture. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)NEW YORK (AP) — The merged luxury group Yoox Net-A-Porter Group is aiming to be as mobile as its shoppers.

  • Church raps Austria's far-right presidential candidate for invoking God 

    Norbert Hofer, Joint Acting President of Austria and Third President of the National Council, speaks during a panel discussion in GenevaAustria's Protestant church criticized the far-right candidate for president on Monday for using the phrase "so help me God" on his campaign posters, saying his party's anti-immigrant stance ran against Christian principles. Norbert Hofer, the anti-immigrant Freedom Party's (FPO)presidential hopeful, uses the line in the hope it will help persuade voters to make him the European Union's first far-right head of state in a run-off election on Dec. 4. The result of a previous run-off in May, which the 45-year-old eurosceptic narrowly lost to former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen, 72, was annulled due to irregularities in counting postal ballots.

  • Venezuelan assembly declares 'coup' by Maduro govt 

    The president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, leads an extraordinary session of the National Assembly, in Caracas on October 23, 2016Venezuela's opposition-majority legislature declared Sunday that President Nicolas Maduro's government had committed a coup d'etat by blocking a referendum on removing him from power, vowing mass protests and international pressure. The measure came during an emergency session on the economic and political crisis gripping the South American oil giant, which briefly descended into chaos when a group of Maduro supporters forced its way past security guards and burst into the National Assembly, causing lawmakers to halt the proceedings for 45 minutes.



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