|IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
Since he first entered the Australian political scene as a leading proponent of republicanism, Malcolm Turnbulls career has been one long series of disappointments, which involved failing (more or less steadily) upwards. Barring a miracle, his career is now effectively over. In the unlikely event that he survives as PM to the next election, he is assured of electoral defeat and subsequent oblivion.
But, he has one last chance for greatness. Its now clear that many of his Liberal colleagues and, almost certainly, a majority of coalition MPs, want to hand the country over to an overt racist, bigot and climate denialist*. Yet it would only take 75 votes on the floor of the House of Representatives to stop this from happening. A handful of genuine liberals in the Liberal party would be enough*.*
If Turnbull led such a group, he would be reviled by his own side, most of whom hate and/or despise him anyway, but he would finally justify the hopes of millions of Australians (including me) who actually believed he could change politics for the better.
Even if the requisite handful could not be found, Turnbull could resign his seat and recontest it as an independent, or support someone else pledged to oppose Dutton. That would give at least some electors a chance to have their say.
Of course, this is all said in bitter jest. Turnbull has never stood for anything and never will. He will hang on to the last possible moment, then capitulate meekly.
* I mean Dutton, though his puppetmaster Abbott fits the bill also. In his inglorious run as PM, he at least paid lip service to racial equality and climate reality, but that has now gone out the window.
** Somewhere between one and five depending on how the independents and fringe parties went. I assume that any confidence agreements made with Turnbull would lapse.
Today we interrupt your regular market insight for something a little different.
Theres a sinister trend developing in the digital world.
Im starting to think that no one is safe.
At best, it threatens your freedom to obtain information.
At worst, it threatens your freedoms.
For years, The Daily Reckoning Australia has warned that governments around the world were out to limit your personal liberties.
But this growing threat is more powerful than any government could ever hope to be.
Thats because Western governments are elected. To get votes, they must pander to voters. So change is often slow. Freedom-suppressing legislation takes generations to become enshrined in law.
Thats why the real danger lies with private companies.
Im talking about the trillion-dollar tech sector.
The one controlled by a handful of powerful and unelected CEOs.
The internet to the 21st century is what the steam engine was to the industrial age.
It has revolutionised our ability to discover, consume and share information like never before.
A natural extension of the digital age is social media. As our lives moved online, so did our social habits.
Through this, the world had created a forum for people to express their thoughts and find like-minded individuals to interact with.
Yet in less than a decade, this social revolution has morphed into oppression of the masses.
We began to witness this a few years back. Companies like Facebook, Inc. [NYSE:FB] and Instagram became overzealous in policing the pictures of breastfeeding mothers.
Given the prevalence of lewd material on the internet, this policy reeked of double standards.
Facebook and Instagrams insistence of removing such photos and in many cases shutting down peoples profiles was the canary in the coal mine.
About a year ago, Facebook started issuing warnings to people who they felt werent using their real name in their profile. It threatened suspected accounts with closure.
This was seen as a sign that Facebook was pushing to remove anonymity online.
It was also the point at which the canary in the coal mine snuffed it. And yet few were paying attention.
The price we pay is that social media companies now control us.
Engineering public opinion
Two weeks ago, American radio host Alex Jones was cut off from all social media.
If you havent heard of Ale...
The opinion poll prime ministership is a modern Australian disease. Not only does it suggest an ailing in the Westminster system, but a profound contempt for the democratic sensibility on the part of party representatives, hacks and the industry that supports them. Prime Ministers are merely the icing, to be whipped off and replaced on going stale. Little wonder that the Australian politician can never be permitted to be an authentic representative, ever hostage to sentiment and the astrological deceptions of polling.
This conditioning is so total it has even bewitched the journalistic classes, who have also done their best to feed the complex of the short-term prime minister. Twenty-four hour news tends to do that. A veteran ABC journalist let it slip on Monday morning that the elections were about the party strategists, the politicians and the polls. It was easy in such an assessment to avoid the Australian voter, whose relevance has declined as the influence of party brokers has risen.
A canon of politics is that support expressed with fervent enthusiasm in the public domain is bound to reverse behind closed doors. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has the firm support of numerous members of his front bench, expressed publicly. This is exactly why he should be worried. Such enthusiasm could be lethal.
Even potential challenger, the one-dimensional oafish Peter Dutton of the Home Affairs portfolio, has claimed Turnbull has his support, though he has left a tantalising morsel for political observers. If my position changes that is, it gets to a point where I cant accept what the government is proposing or I dont agree then the Westminster system is very clear: you resign your commission, you dont serve in the cabinet.
Finance minister Matthias Cormann has attempted to adopt the nothing to see here approach while giving the Canberra press gallery every reason to presume that something is afoot. He claims to have heard no talk about conservatives pressing Dutton to mount a challenge to Turnbull. This, despite four 5.30 morning walks with Dutton, a fellow hardline conservative with whom he keeps on good terms with. To Sky News, he claimed that, We are both very committed to the success of the Turnbull government and to wining the next election.
Turnbull had done himself no favours. He remains weak but more to the point, has appeared to be weak. He took his party to the last federal election and received a thumping which imperiled his majority. He has been unsuccessful holding the sniping conservatives within his ranks at bay while embarking on an obsessive campaign to wound the opposition leader, Bill Shorten. The latter aspect of this strategy failed to materialise in the last round of by-elections which saw no Coalition gains, notably in the Queensland seat of Longman. As Queensland promi...
Over the fold, my latest regular email. If you would like to receive it, sign up at http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX
As is common for academics of a certain age, Ive been writing lots of book chapters lately, and several of the books have come out recently. They include:
Wrong Way: How Privatisation & Economic Reform Backfired, edited by Damien Cahill and Phillip Toner, which is going to be launched at Gleebooks in Sydney on Friday 21st September. I have contributed chapters on electricity reform and productivity.
The Coal Truth, by David Ritter This isnt an edited volume but a great piece of writing by David, with additional contributions from lots of people including Tara Moss and Berndt Sellheim, Adrian Burragubba, Lesley Hughes ,Hilary Bambrick, Ruchira Talukdar, Geoffrey Cousins and me.
The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, edited by Damien Cahill, Melinda Cooper, Martijn Konings and David Primrose. I have a chapter on Neoliberalism: Rise, Decline and Future Prospects. Given the pricing, this is a book for libraries and academic specialists only.
I hope to be back with more regular mailings once Ive finalised the manuscript of my new book, Economics in Two Lessons.
21st Century Wire
The withdrawal of US coalition support for rebels in Syria, portrayed as a failure to achieve noble and humanitarian goals by Western governments and media, should rather be seen as an admission of guilt. The rescuing of violent militants and White Helmets from Southern Syria by Israeli forces actually marked the failure of the covert project to forcibly replace Syrias legitimate government with one of NATOs choice, regardless of the democratic will and lives of the Syrian people.
Before we can ask what if? about the war on Syria, as Ramesh Thakur does in The Strategist, republished here on P&I, we need to understand what actually happened during the Western-sponsored seven-year long assault on the Syrian state, as seen from the perspective of those on the receiving end of this attack. Now that the Syrian Arab Army and its allies are finally prevailing in their defence of the country and its citizens, it is also time for Western commentators to stop repeating the same vapid accusations against the Syrian President, and instead start making accusations against their own mis-leaders.
Rather it appears that many in the West are entrenching their opposition to the Syrian government at the same time as millions of Syrians are confirming their support for it, and the armies that have fought off their enemies chosen alternative.
Ramesh Thakurs partisan view on the Syrian civil war and the benign nature of the Wests intimate involvement in it is evidently shared by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and one would imagine by many of those in public office who act on its advice. The same innocence could not be assumed for ASPI sponsors, defence contractors Lockheed Martin and Thales who profit from that advice, nor presumably for Australian Intelligen...
Brutal cold snap, Mt. Buller received 30 cm (11.8 inches) of snow overnight, the most in 14 years, Australia Parts of the Australian state of Victoria have woken up to snow on August 19 after shivering through a brutal cold snap. Mt. Buller received 30 cm (11.8...... Read more
Ive been asked to present a talk in Ireland in two weeks, on the topic The Design of Effective Agri-Environment Schemes. In putting the talk together, it struck me that I (with help from colleagues) have developed quite a few resources in this space, so Ive collected them on a new web site to make them easily accessible.
Agri-environmental schemes (or programs or policies) aim to reduce the adverse impacts of agriculture on the environment. There are many such schemes around the world, but often they are not very efficient or effective. We could often do a lot better if we did a smarter job of designing and implementing these schemes.
Not that its easy. There are so many aspects to consider: the effectiveness of different practices at reducing environmental damage, their attractiveness (or otherwise) to farmers, the mechanisms to be used to promote the best practices, the costs and risks of different approaches, which environmental issues are the priorities, and so on. In my view, most designers of agri-environmental schemes dont appreciate what a difficult task they are trying to do, and make do with relatively quick and dirty approaches to the design.
The resources Ive included on the web site address a wide range of relevant issues, including:
It includes journal articles, books, reports, frameworks, computer tools, web sites, and blog posts, plus links to my free online course on Agriculture, Economics and Nature.
Overall, if an organisation wanted to design and deliver an agri-environmental scheme that would really deliver outcomes, they could benefit greatly from the material on this site. The URL is www.resources4aes.net.
Pannell, D.J. (2008). Public benefits, private benefits, and policy intervention for land-use change for environmental benefits, Land Economics 84(2): 225-240....
Send a submission to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) https://nowastedump.good.do/radioactivewastesubmissiontodiis/radwasteDIISsubmission/
The Department is calling for submissions about the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges and says these will be one of the factors the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia may take into account when determining broad community support for the Facility.
The communities of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula and the Flinders Ranges are being asked to participate in a ballot to gauge community sentiment about the NRWMF proposal, although the results are not binding on Minister Canavan. Many affected people are ineligible to vote, including Traditional Owners who live outside the ballot area.
Minister Canavan is hoping to select a site in October if you or others who are interested are not eligible to vote in the community you are still able to make a comment and express your view by sending DIIS a submission..
Heres a list of the politicians who shook hands / hugged / kissed Fraser Anning after his final solution speech calling for an end to Muslim immigration and a return to the White Australia policy.
Minister Mathias Cormann
Minister Bridget McKenzie
Minister Nigel Scullion
Minister Conchetta Fierravanti-Wells
Minister Matt Canavan
Assistant minister James McGrath
Assistant minister Anne Ruston
One Nations Peter Georgiou
Centre Alliances Stirling Griff & Rex Patrick
No Labor/Greens senators congratulated him. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/
Injunction stalls one nuclear waste dump community
people have won a Supreme Court
against the vote in Kimba, with the Hawker ballot
still scheduled to open Monday. By Brooke Fryer
A community vote on whether a nuclear waste facility should be built on
South Australias Eyre Peninsula near Kimba has been stalled,
after a group argued the poll was discriminatory.
NITV News understands a similar legal challenge for Hawker is being considered.
The court heard an example is that a person who owns a property
but lives away from the district would be entitled to vote,
but a person who holds native title rights and lives away would not.
Mr Dare says the Barngarla
people opposed to a nuclear waste dump
stand alongside the Adnyamathanha people who are also
facing the prospect of a waste dump on their land.
Of course we stand behind them in their pursuit
to not let this waste dump go on their country also.
|Siting another reactor at Lucas Heights http://ssec.org.au/our_environment/issues_campaigns/nuclear/info_sheets/1997_oct_1a.htm|
|Even if we assume that Australia does need a third nuclear
reactor, is Lucas Heights the best site?
There are numerous and compelling reasons why it is not.
1. Its not remote
Lucas Heights was selected in 1955, as a site for Australias nuclear industry for the very reason that it was remote from population. Now, 40 years later, it is surrounded by houses, on the edge of Australias largest city. This is no longer in a good site for a nuclear reactor!
2. Its not been the subject of a proper site-selection process
The most recent search for a dump for low and short-lived intermediate level radioactive waste has taken 4 years and has considered criteria such as low rainfall, freedom from flooding, stable hydrology, freedom from cyclones, tectonic, seismic or volcanic activity, as well as socio-economic, ecological and land-use factors.
Selection of a site for a nuclear reactor its production of high, medium and low level waste- should be at least as stringent as that for a low level waste dump!
The McKinnon report said that If a decision were made to construct a new reactor, it would not necessarily best be placed at Lucas Heights. An appropriate site would best be decided after exhaustive search and...
Turnbull dumps emissions from NEG in final act of capitulation, REneweconomy 20 August 2018
Malcolm Turnbull plans more changes to energy policy amid pressure from within Coalition, ABC News, By Jade Macmillan , 20 Aug 18 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has outlined further changes to his national energy policy amid increasing pressure from within his own party.
Pay no attention to that radiological disaster behind the curtains https://globalhibakusha.com/page-2/?permalink=hiding-fukushima-behind-the-curtains-in-official-japan The government of Japan is clearly intending that the 2020 Olympics will function as a public relations win in which the image of Japan, and especially of Northern Japan and Fukushima are cleansed of images of radiological contamination. Even as the Fukushima Daiichi site itself, and the traces where the plumes of its explosions deposited fallout throughout the area remain un-remediated, the public perceptions will be remediated. This is typical of the behavior of governments in the developed world that suffer radiological disasters. The disasters themselves are so difficult to clean up, and take decades to even begin the clean up, that money is allocated for extensive public relations efforts. These become tasks that CAN be completed and CAN be considered successful. They function both to advance the public image agenda of the governments, and also deliver a sense of agency when the overall tone of nuclear disaster remediation is one of lacking effective agency.
Towards that end, the Japanese government is planning to integrate Fukushima sites and perceptions into the upcoming Olympics media fest. The journey of the Olympic torch through every prefecture of Japan...
ETHOS, 14 August 2018 | Robert Farago Nuclear as the solution? There are a number of unresolved problems around nuclear power and questions of whether nuclear energy can grow quickly enough to solve our climate change problem. I will just list some of these problems with a sentence each:
Assuming the above problems can be quickly resolved, despite decades of not resolving them, and we can somehow scale nuclear by an order of magnitude from today, will it be cheap enough?
When I was a child in primary school (in the late 1970s), I read that in the future nuclear energy had the potential to generate electricity that would be too cheap to meter. That future never came and sadly never will.
The economic benefits of a radioactive waste dump proposed for rural South Australia have been exaggerated, a new report warns https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/the-economic-benefits-of-a-radioactive-waste-dump-proposed-for-rural-south-australia-have-been-exaggerated-a-new-report-warns/news-story/34bfd2eba14e0b3a9975dc861315112a Peter Jean, Senior Federal Political Reporter, The Advertiser August 20, 2018
What makes an ethical food future? What kind of agriculture can our planet sustain? How can we reduce demand on global resources? How can you be a change-maker in the unstoppable food movement?
Industrial food systems are key drivers of environmental destruction, from rainforests to reefs, and water supplies to climate change. Farmer and author of Call of the Reed Warbler Charles Massy, US crop scientist and director of the Poison Papers, and farmer, meatsmith, and president of AFSA Tammi Jonas discuss how regenerative agriculture can turn Australias ecologies and economies around, revitalizing rural communities while nourishing land, animals, and people.
Join us in Daylesford on Thursday 30 August for an inspiring and activating evening, or if you cant make it to the central highlands of Victoria, catch Jonathan and Charlie elsewhere on The Food Equation tour of Australia.
The governments debacle over the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has been described in some quarters as an example of the prime ministers inept leadership. If only it was so simple.
Malcolm Turnbulls headache exists because the factions most intent on absolute market liberalisation and big brother style politics, not only continue to have a stranglehold on the Liberal and National parties. They are tightening it.
As their captive and the resulting internal battle, the government is once again caught in a paralysis, where policy transforms into inaction. The most reactionary elements within the parties and fitting.
Although he is part of it, this is not just a Tony Abbott thing.
Speculation about the continuing survival of the prime minister as leader has risen again. His enemies are showing that they might be prepared to cross the floor and vote down the NEG. Through their opposition to the latest modest change, shifting the control over the emissions target from the policy to the minister, they have hung out Malcolm Turnbulls essential weakness for all to see. He is plating into their hands. The reactionaries are also announcing a determination to keep on being the champions of the fossil fuel industry.
At the very least, the way he has handled the affair, has ensured that Malcolm Turnbull has made his own contribution to the governments instability. He is a dead man walking.
There is no room for sentimentality in this vision. Government provision of welfare and other services that even out opportunities to an extent, have no place in this, and must be done away with as far as possible.
They see their rivals in the Liberal and National parties as a barrier against achieving this, and standing for unwarranted government interference in what should be a free cho...
Fukushima tsunami plans to be expedited at stricken N-plant http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004670847 August 19, 2018
The Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. will strengthen its protections against tsunami at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to prevent water contaminated with high levels of radiation from spilling outside the plant, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
During the decommissioning work, contaminated water has accumulated in the basements of the buildings that house the nuclear reactors. If a tsunami were to hit, this water could flow into the sea.
To prevent water from entering the basements, TEPCO will move up the schedule for work to block openings on the surface and the buildings ground floors, as well as add more spots to be blocked.
Mega-quake seen as imminent
The decision to step up tsunami protections was made after the governments Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion released a long-term assessment in December on the possibility of a gigantic earthquake along the Chishima Trench on the Pacific Ocean side of Hokkaido.
The assessment warned that a huge earthquake of magnitude 8.8 or greater was imminent....
Malcolm Bligh Turnbull Harbourside Mansion Sydney Harbour 9 December 2009 While a shadow minister, Tony Abbott, was never afraid of speaking bluntly in a manner that was at odds with Coalition policy. So as I am a humble backbencher I am sure he won't complain if I tell a few...
What Is the Probability of a Mega-quake Striking Japan in the Future?, NHK News, 2 July 18, .. A government panel has released its latest earthquake probability map, which indicates the likelihood of each area being hit in the coming 3 decades by tremors of 6-minus or above on the Japanese intensity scale of zero to 7 about the same level as the one that hit Osaka. A member of the panel says an earthquake of 6-minus could strike anywhere in Japan, and urges people to be prepared.
High probability in the Kanto region and along the Pacific coast. In the Kanto region, the probability of a major quake is highest in Chiba City, at 85 percent. The figure is 82 percent for Yokohama and 81 percent for Mito. Tokyos Shinjuku Ward is located in an area with 48 percent probability.
In the Tokai region, the probability for Shizuoka is 70 percent and Nagoya is 46 percent.
Beware of massive earthquakes that occur in ocean trenches The panel explains that these areas have high probabilities because massive earthquakes centering in the Chishima Trench, Japan Trench and the Nankai Trough have been occurring at intervals of a few decades to a century.
These earthquakes occur around ocean trenches where the oceanic plate is forced underneath the continental plate.
Huge earthquakes have been occurring especially around the Nankai Trough roughly every 100 years. As the last one took place more than 70 years ago, there is a growing probability the next one will happen soon around the Pacific coast of western Japan....
The Nuclear Resister, August 13, 2018 Text of the flyer distributed at the Go West Come West memorial for nuclear victims in Hiroshima, August 6, 2018.
Tokyo as well as Fukushima Is NOT Radiologically Safe. The Government of Japan Is Making Tokyo Olympics Radiating Fields of Athletes and Visitors .
We are Go West Come West, an organization of evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and their supporters. On the 73rd anniversary of the United States atomic bombing, we would like to send greetings of solidarity to all visitors to Hiroshima:
Hiroshima is NOT a story of the past
Even the Japanese governments underestimated data shows that the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster released 168 times the cesium 137 discharged by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which entailed about 168 times the fallout at Hiroshima. Prime-minister Shinzo Abe declared that with regard to health-related problems (of the Fukushima accident), I (Abe) will state in the most emphatic and unequivocal terms that there have been no problems until now, nor are there any at present, nor will there be in the future. This claim is tantamount to saying that Hiroshima atomic bombing caused no human health problems. It is totally groundless and false!
Fukushima nuclear disaster is NOT over
The disaster is still unfolding. High doses of radioactive materials are still leaking from the tops and the bottoms of the reactor buildings every moment of every day. Air, water, soil, ocean and food, all essentials for human life, are still severely contaminated by ra...
18 August 2018 In the wake of
yesterdays adverse Federal Court decision against their challenge
to Adanis ILUA, Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional
Owners say yesterdays judgement merely
confirms the limitations of the native title system, and fails to address their right
as Indigenous people to free, prior and informed consent,
which is at the heart of their action.
Mr Adrian Burragubba, one of five applicants in the case, and
W&J cultural leader says:
We are calling on the Queensland Government to rule out
extinguishing our native title in any part of our land.
Once native title is gone, it is gone forever.
It would be a travesty for the Government to wipe out our title for Adani.
If Queensland can stop them dredging the Reef before Adani has money,
or pull the pin on $1 billion NAIF funding, they can surely protect our rights to our land.
They must not hand a private corporation land title at our expense,
based on discriminatory laws.
The Queensland Government has a clear choice here, and
in no way forces them to proceed to extinguish our native title.
Dont be fooled, it is up to the Government what happens next.
Adani cant be trusted; how can they say they respect
the rights, history, future intentions and requests of the traditional owners?
We are Traditional Owners, we are the people from that land,
and they have never respected our decisions, or our right to free prior informed consent,
or our aspirations to care for our ancestral country.
They split our people for their own ends and then try to claim they care.
They should walk away in shame for all the damage they have done.
Ms Linda Bobongie, another applicant and chairperson of the Traditional Owners Council, says:
While we respect the decisions of the courts, we arent satisfied
by this judgement
and will work with our legal team to prepare an appeal to a higher court.
We know the Queensland Government has no
obligation to act on extinguishment for Adani.
They should wait until all our appeals are exhausted.
We held out hope for this legal avenue, but anticipated a
within the Native Title system, and were prepared for the decision.
Our Council has vowed to continue to defend our lands and waters from Adanis destruction.
We call on Adani to immediately withdraw from this damaging
project on our land.
No administrative decisions that block our rights will stop us standing our ground
to defend and protect Wangan and Jagalingou Country
and our connection to it.
We do not consent to a mine that will destroy our culture and
rob our people of...
Workers hired to decontaminate Fukushima reportedly include migrant workers, asylum seekers and people who are homeless, Tens of thousands of workers have been recruited over the past seven years under the decontamination programme. Japans Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare indicates on its website that 46,386 workers were employed in 2016; and the Radiation Worker 
Victoria Labor government proposes rebates and zero interest loans to encourage another 650,000 homes to install another 2.6GW of rooftop solar. The post Victoria Labor pledges $1.2 billion in rebates, loans for rooftop solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.
Opinion: Its the end of the Earth as we know it. Read all about it! It is hard to get ordinary people engaged, so hats off to the crack team of Earth scientists, led by climate change professor Will Steffen, whose peer-reviewed report on how emissions are driving the Earth into an irreversible 
With talk this morning of a possible leadership challenge to the Prime Minister by Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, Ben Eltham reviews what landed the coalition in trouble in the first place.
Covering federal politics is never the most uplifting of tasks, but the past month has been something else again.
The dog days of winter have revealed a splintering Australian polity and an alarming resurgence of overt racism, a Liberal government that has all but exhausted any claim to the moniker of liberal, policy stasis bordering on dereliction of national duty, and a rightwards drift of conservative thought that should concern all thinking Australians, especially those who identify as conservatives.
I could talk about the racism about the neo-Nazi on national television, or the Senator flourishing a reference to the Final Solution in a maiden speech and in an accompanying article, I will.
But in this article, I want to talk about policy, because there seems to be less and less media coverage of the substance of policy these days. Thats a problem, obviously, because policy is important. Policy is the sum of the things that the government is doing, in many cases to ordinary citizens.
Despite all outward indications, the Turnbull government is still actually making policy.
My Health Debacle
Explaining the My Health Record disaster in detail would require a Senate Inquiry,...
|IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
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