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Archive for July 30th, 2014

White House Announces New Executive Secretary/Chief of Staff for the National Security Council Staff

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on White House Announces New Executive Secretary/Chief of Staff for the National Security Council Staff

National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice announced that Suzy George will be named Deputy Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council staff.  Ms. George will succeed Brian McKeon, who will soon depart the White House to become the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense.

Ambassador Rice said, “Suzy George brings a wealth of foreign policy, government and management experience to this position, through her long service at the Department of State and as a principal with the Albright Stonebridge Group.  Her service at the highest levels of the State Department, where she engaged with senior leaders across the U.S. government and with foreign partners, gives me great confidence in her ability to lead the National Security Council staff.”

Ms. George has served as a principal at the Albright Stonebridge Group LLC, an international strategic consulting firm, and previously with The Albright Group LLC, since 2001.  From 1997-2001, Ms. George served as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Department of State, overseeing the management and coordination of travel and meetings, as a liaison to the White House and other Cabinet departments, and working across the Department on a range of foreign policy initiatives for Secretary Madeleine  Albright.

Ms. George has a BA from Mount Holyoke College, and a JD from the George Washington University Law School.

Kirk Calls for Tougher Sanctions Against Putin

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Kirk Calls for Tougher Sanctions Against Putin
Administration Announced New Round of Sanctions Against Russia

Need to Sanction Russia Like Iran to Separate From Global Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement in reaction to the announcement by President Obama regarding additional sanctions against Russia. Since Russia’s occupation of Crimea in March and its ongoing efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine, Senator Kirk has been one of the leading voices in the Senate calling for increased sanctions on the Russian economy that would force President Putin to put an end to Russian-sponsored terrorism in Ukraine and the continued violation of Ukrainian sovereignty:

“Today’s actions by the President and the Europeans are welcome, but we must move quickly to deter Putin,” Senator Kirk said. “Following the attack of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 by Russian-sponsored terrorists, and the confirmed shelling of Ukrainian territory by Russian armed forces, we stand on the cusp of the most serious armed conflict in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

“The Obama Administration and our EU partners now need to follow the successful path of 2011-2013 that delivered tough sanctions on Iran, which isolated Tehran from the global financial system and brought the mullahs to the negotiating table. The international community must send a message to Putin that if his government continues to act as a state-sponsor of terror, the civilized world will respond swiftly and decisively.”


  • Senator Kirk and 37 GOP sent a letter to President Obama on March 26, 2014 requesting that any plans to share sensitive missile and defense information be canceled effective immediately, which can be read here.
  • Russia, like Iran, is a petrostate heavily dependent on energy revenues to prop up its economy.
  • In 2012, 52% of Russia’s budget was represented by oil and gas revenues.
  • On May 14, 2014, Senator Kirk penned an op-ed in the Chicago Sun Times calling for more aggressive sanctions against the Russian government, similiar to sanctions that had been placed against the Iranian regime.
  • As part of the Russian Aggression Prevention Act, S. 2277, which Senator Kirk cosponsored, Republicans already outlined the next steps, which should include:
    • Cut all senior Russian officials, their companies, and their supporters off from the world’s financial system.
    • Target any Russian entities owned by the Russian government or sanctioned individuals across the arms, defense, energy, financial services, metals, or mining sectors in Russia.
    • Ban Russian banks from the U.S. banking system.

Collins: New Laws Hold Charter Schools Accountable

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Collins: New Laws Hold Charter Schools Accountable
CHICAGO, IL — Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) proudly looked on last Thursday as Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law stricter rules governing the way charter schools conduct their admissions lotteries and spend public money.

Collins sponsored the legislation, House Bill 3232, in response to high-profile charter school scandals that left families and taxpayers concerned about transparency and accountability in charter education.

“I was pleased to work with educators, school districts and people of goodwill in the charter community who agree that high standards are absolutely necessary whenever public money is being spent,” Collins said.

Earlier this summer, the governor signed another law Collins sponsored on educational choice. House Bill 4591 ensures that state funding stays with students whenever they transfer from a charter school back to a traditional public school operated by a school district, and vice-versa.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Freeman/IOCI and the Office of the Governor

Federal prosecutors will seek to bar evidence of sexual and physical torture in politically motivated deportation case of Palestinian American community leader

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Federal prosecutors will seek to bar evidence of sexual and physical torture in politically motivated deportation case of Palestinian American community leader

(From U.S. Palestinian Community Network)

“Replace judge who donated millions to defendant’s torturers,” say Rasmea Odeh’s lawyers and supporters, while prosecutors push for 10-year jail sentence.

A support rally will be held Thursday, July 31st.  at 2 PM Eastern Standard Time (hearing begins at 3 PM EST), at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., in Detroit, Michigan

DETROIT, MI -  Defense and prosecution attorneys will square off in Detroit federal court on Thursday, July 31, for what is expected to be a heated status hearing in the politically motivated deportation case against Chicago Palestinian-American community leader Rasmea Odeh. Supporters are gathering from across the Midwest to attend the hearing.

Defense attorneys have demanded the removal for bias of the judge in the case, who with his wife and family has donated millions of dollars to support Israel, which tortured and imprisoned Odeh before she emigrated to the United States. They argue that Judge Paul D. Borman, a life-long supporter of Israel, cannot play the “neutral and detached” role that the law requires. Prosecutors, on the other hand, are expected to fight to keep Borman on the case and move to quash any details around Odeh’s bogus conviction — including extensive evidence of her sexual and physical torture at the hands of the Israelis.

The Department of Homeland Security arrested Odeh on October 22, 2013, and charged her with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, for allegedly failing to disclose that she had been imprisoned by the Israelis in Palestine over 45 years ago. The feds charge that she failed to mention, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine and tried in an Israeli military court that “convicts” 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it.

Her conviction by Israel came in the wake of vicious physical and sexual torture by the Israelis. Odeh recently rejected an unusual federal plea deal that would have seen her serve only six months of a possible 10-year sentence, and allowed her to remain in the U.S. for another six months before being deported. She has instead chosen to fight the U.S. charge. The full trial is set to begin on September 8.

“Clearly, one who has been a life-long supporter and promoter of Israel and has deep ties to the State of Israel spanning over 50 years, who no doubts believes that Israel is a great democracy and protector of human rights, cannot be ‘reasonably’ said to be impartial when these claims of torture and illegality are raised by a Palestinian defendant,” argue Odeh’s attorneys, Michael Deutsch and James Fennerty, in their brief.

Odeh’s supporters and her legal team are demanding that federal authorities drop the charges against her. They plan to fill the courtroom and gather outside to show their support for her on Thursday. More information on Odeh’s case can be found at uspcn.org and stopfbi.net.

The National Rasmea Defense Committee includes United States Palestinian Community Network, Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), Coalition to Protect People’s Rights (CPPR), 8th Day Center for Justice, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Chicago, American Muslims for Palestine, Anti-War Committee (AWC)-Chicago, AWC-Minneapolis, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Committee Against Political Repression, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago, CAIR-Michigan, Friends of Sabeel-North America, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, International League of Peoples’ Struggle-U.S., Jewish Voice for Peace, Lifta Society, National Lawyers Guild (NLG), National Students for Justice in Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, Palestinian Youth Movement-USA Branch, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, United National Antiwar Coalition, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and Women Against Military Madness.

President Obama and Senator Kirk Praise Bob McDonald’s Confirmation as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama and Senator Kirk Praise Bob McDonald’s Confirmation as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

President Barack Obama’s Statement on McDonald’s Confirmation:

“I applaud the overwhelming, bipartisan confirmation of Bob McDonald as our next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  As a veteran himself and a proud member of a military family, Bob is deeply committed to serving our veterans and their families.  And as an executive with decades of private-sector experience, he is uniquely equipped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to help change the way the VA does business.  As a country, we have a solemn duty to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.  I know Bob will help us honor that commitment and make sure every veteran gets the care they deserve, the benefits they’ve earned, and the chance to pursue the American Dream they’ve risked so much to protect.”

Kirk Praises McDonald’s Confirmation as VA Secretary; Requests Visit to IL’s 5 VA Hospitals

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement following Robert McDonald’s confirmation as Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Earlier this month, Senator Kirk and McDonald met to discuss his priorities at the VA, if confirmed, and what can be done to eliminate the culture of corruption and abuse that has permeated the agency, in particular at Illinois VA Hospitals like Hines VA in Maywood.

Last Friday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors met with Senator Kirk, federal elected officials and Hines VA staff, including Director Joan Ricard to discuss the ongoing corruption at Hines, and to continue the push for necessary reforms within the VA. At Senator Kirk’s urging, Nabors met with several whistleblowers and VA patient Michael Swan, to further discuss their frustration with the agency, and in Swan’s case, how his health had suffered dramatically due to the inadequacy of care during two years of waiting for appointments.

“I spoke to Robert McDonald personally about the corrupt behavior perpetrated by the leadership at Hines which I heard about first hand: leadership handing out $16.6 million in bonuses while vets were put on secret wait lists, vets waiting for appointments for years, tests going unread, cases of eggregious malpractice going unnoticed and cases of wrongful death due to untimely care,” Senator Kirk said.  “After our conversation, I was assured that Robert has the private sector experience, leadership acumen and courage needed to reform the agency that has contributed to the abuse of Illinois veterans – especially at the Hines VA, where Director Joan Ricard has perpetuated this culture of corruption.  I look forward to having Robert McDonald visit Illinois’ five VA hospitals as Secretary, and will continue to hold VA officials and employees accountable for the care our nation’s heroes are receiving.”

Chicago Palestine Solidarity Activists Demand the City Council Drop Boeing from Air and Water Show!

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on Chicago Palestine Solidarity Activists Demand the City Council Drop Boeing from Air and Water Show!

Chicago activists demand accountability for all those involved in continuing the current siege of Gaza. As human rights continue to be trampled in occupied Palestine, it is imperative that the global community refuse to reward this campaign of terror and destruction.

Solitary Activist allege that Boeing weaponry is responsible for many of the over 1000 dead and more than 6000 seriously wounded Palestinians in Gaza in the past three weeks. The dead are mostly civilians, including over 200 children. Israel’s F15 fighter jets and Apache helicopters are made by Boeing. Boeing has made billions from the sale of weapons for use in Israel’s attacks, as part of its eight year old siege of Gaza.

In light of Boeing’s complicity with and profit from the inhumane and illegal siege of Gaza, the City of Chicago should drop Boeing from the sponsors of the Air and Water Show. Boeing is a major sponsor of Chicago’s annual Air and Water Show, which will take place later this summer. Many people come to the lake shore every year to see displays of jets and other aircraft, but this experience should not implicate event participants and the City of Chicago in the ongoing crusade of bloodshed and dehumanization of the Palestinian people. No company that makes profit from the slaughter of civilians should be included in city events and programming.

To this end, the organizers of this event will be hosting a Press Conference & Die-in on Wednesday, July 30, 9:30 a.m. at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., 2nd Floor. This action is intended to draw attention to Boeing’s role in the ongoing human rights abuses in Gaza, as well as to the City Council’s responsibility to keep City events free of corporations who profit from civilian death. The die-in will dramatize the deaths of Palestinian civilians who have been killed in the past few weeks.

This action is organized by Anti-War Committee – Chicago, Jews for Justice in Palestine, U.S. Palestinian Community Network and 8th Day Center for Justice, and is endorsed by a dozen other Chicago-based social justice groups.

No Slow Down In Job Opportunity Rip-Offs, Says The Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on No Slow Down In Job Opportunity Rip-Offs, Says The Better Business Bureau

CHICAGO, IL – Thousands of individuals across northern Illinois are still unemployed. With prospects for getting a job remaining somewhat bleak, job seekers bite at any opportunity they feel may land them work. Given that scenario, the environment is ripe for scammers. Reports of “job opportunity” scams continue to come into the Better Business Bureau (BBB) from people seeking employment and who are at best left disappointed when the job turns out to be a hoax.

The types of scams vary; offers are usually found on Craigslist, ads in local newspapers or contacts made online.

Tonya Thomas of Chicago responded to an offer that she found on Craigslist advertising a well-paying position as a security guard with Sky Security Opportunity, located at 500 N. Michigan Ave Suite 600 in Chicago. This location is a “virtual office” which can also be described as a “mail drop”. “They called me in for an interview and told me to bring $160 in cash for a background check.  When I went into their office it looked kind of odd and empty but they told me that I was guaranteed a job after the background check so I gave them the money. I never heard back from them.”

During her job search Arianne Clarke of Rockford, IL says she contacted IllinoisJobLink.com, a legitimate online job search tool of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. “After I made that contact I received an email from hiringmanager001@outlook.com signed by Deborah Shepherd who said she was from IllinoisJobLink.com and was scheduling interviews to be done via yahoo messenger.” Following instructions, Ms. Clarke set up an IM account, an interview was done and she was hired. “I was then told I would need to purchase special software to do the job and they would forward a check to pay for it. I did some online checking and found the check that would be sent to me was bogus and would bounce.”

“The outlook.com email address used in Ms. Clarke’s case is from a free service often used by scam artists because it is fairly anonymous and would be difficult for law enforcement to trace.” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Had she not been vigilant and done some investigation, Ms. Clarke could have lost hundreds of dollars.”

In another job scam, Miranda Lynn Neuohr of Ottawa, IL says she saw an ad in the Times Newspaper advertising an opportunity for a personal assistant job for an 80 year old man. “I sent a letter of interest and received a reply from ‘the son’ stating they needed someone honest and with a good sense of humor.” The ad also stated that the man was a veteran of the United States, he liked to travel the world and was currently hospitalized in Delhi, India. “I told him (the son) a little about myself and I got the job. But, he wanted to ship a motorized wheelchair to my house. I responded saying it was in my best interest to decline. I googled the email address and saw the job was listed in both the Ottawa area and Macomb County paper.”

Bernas notes, “When something doesn’t feel right to you, the best thing to do is listen to your gut feeling, as it seldom steers you wrong.”

No matter where the job opportunity comes from there are essential things individuals should do to protect themselves. The BBB recommends:

  • Investigate – Check out the business that posted the job. Learn as much about them as possible. Visit www.bbb.org
  • Be suspicious – Be wary of online-only interviews and when a position is offered after just a few brief questions.
  • Check the location – Verify the business is located where they say they are.
  • Advanced payment – Be suspicious of any advanced payments, whether they are to be received by you or a payment you are requested to make.
  • Great Salary – A position that pays extremely well for little work and little experience is suspect.
  • Protect your accounts – Do not provide any credit card or banking information.
  • Poorly written ad – If you notice a number of typos, the ad reads as if it were translated or isn’t clear what the job entails it’s a scam, you could be at risk of being scammed.

For more information, visit bbb.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

African American Cartoon Series Puts a “Ninja” Spin on Slavery – And a Video Game is Also in the Works!

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on African American Cartoon Series Puts a “Ninja” Spin on Slavery – And a Video Game is Also in the Works!

Berlin, NJ — (BlackNews.com) — There was Roots, then 12 Years a Slave, and now in development is a cartoon series called Mortolkosbei. Picture two runaway slaves who are fighting for their freedom by becoming cyborg ninjas. They must enslave their future descendants named Mortolkosbei.

Created by cartoonist Justin Serrette Jr, who also backed Aaron McGruder (creator of Boondocks) on his movie Uncle Ruckus. Mortolkosbei is also being developed into a fighting video game called Mortolkosbei Mugen. Similar to Mortal Kombat, players will be able to choose a wide list of characters, combos, and finishing moves.

Mortolkosbei will take place in the 1600’s then fast forward to early 1900’s during the renaissance of Black Wall Street. In Black Wall Street, the slaves will befriend a scientist, chemist, and engineer to help build and rebuild them into the ultimate killing machines.

The characters will feature a wide range of fighting styles ranging from Jeet Kung Do, Jiu Jitsu, Greco Roman Wresting, and so on. The character MortolKosbei first appeared in another cartoon Serrette created called Alienz Wit’ Afros receiving over a million YouTube views.

Serrette Jr, comments, “When I first read a book on Black Wall Street it shook me to the core. They wont teach this in history class. In Mortolkosbei, you’ll learn a lot.”

Serrette is also the mastermind behind Crazyafroanimation, a business where he produces African American cartoons and has an obscene clothing line. He currently produces with Riley Martin, who does radio on the Howard Stern Channel as well as voices on the Cartoon Network. They have also taken his book The Coming of Tan, and produced it into a cartoon series.

Screen shots for both the video game and cartoon are available at www.Crazyafroanimation.com.

Photo Caption: Benny, the slave turned cyborg

The PrivateBank and the Cook County Land Bank Announce $10 million in Financing For Neighborhood Stabilization

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on The PrivateBank and the Cook County Land Bank Announce $10 million in Financing For Neighborhood Stabilization
Matching individuals with vacant homes, working capital for rehabs and affordable mortgages

Chicago, IL – The PrivateBank and the Cook County Land Bank (CCLBA) announced today the creation of a new partnership to help eligible participants realize the dream of homeownership by investing in rehabbing vacant homes in Cook County.

The PrivateBank will provide up to $10 million in financing to support the purchase and rehab of homes owned by the CCLBA. Buyers will be selected by local housing nonprofits that will identify and prepare home buyers. The PrivateBank and the CCLBA will work with a pre-qualified pool of contractors to ensure the homes are move-in ready.

“Creating stability in our communities is an important part of The PrivateBank’s mission,” said Larry D. Richman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The PrivateBank. “Partnering with the CCLBA to improve access to quality, affordable housing is a critical step in strengthening our neighborhoods.”

“This innovative new program directly addresses the difficulty that many prospective homeowners face when trying to find financing for homes in distressed communities that require extensive rehab because they are vacant and abandoned. By removing challenges faced by communities when tackling neighborhood abandonment and vacancy we can help revitalize our neighborhoods” Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President.

“This partnership is a great example of public and private sectors coming together to make a difference at the neighborhood level. This program will not only fuel economic growth and neighborhood revitalization by connecting future homeowners with vacant homes and affordable mortgages but will get more homes back on the tax rolls,” said Bridget Gainer, Cook County Commissioner and Chairman of the Cook County Land Bank.

“Reinvesting in neighborhoods that were devastated by the foreclosure crisis not only helps get individual families back on track but serves to shore up the community at large,” said Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General. “This funding will go a long way toward moving these hardest hit communities forward on the path to recovery.”

The PrivateBank/CCLBA partnership will require all homeowners complete housing counseling prior to closing. The CCLBA will continue to partner with the National Community Stabilization Trust, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, banks, and other public and private entities to acquire homes for the program.

July 30 Hiring Event to Maximize Veterans’ Non-Profit Job Opportunities

Posted by Admin On July - 30 - 2014 Comments Off on July 30 Hiring Event to Maximize Veterans’ Non-Profit Job Opportunities

IDVA, IDES and U.S. Chamber Partner in first-of-kind event

CHICAGO, IL – The Hiring Our Heroes event, one of the largest efforts to help Veterans, military service members and their family members to find employment, returns to Chicago on Wednesday, July 30. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) are primary sponsors. The event is from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the University of Chicago, Ida Noyes Hall 1212 East 59th Street, Chicago.

The Non-profit Hiring Fair for Veterans also is sponsored by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which is dedicated to increasing the number of Veterans working in the philanthropic and non-profit employment sector. An employment workshop aimed at helping Veterans and transitioning service members leverage military experience to achieve civilian career goals will begin at 11:00 a.m.

More than 30 Chicago-area non-profit and charity organizations, many with outlets throughout Illinois and the Midwest, have positions ready to be filled and will have positions to offer at the event. Because Veterans from the recent conflict have a greater propensity to serve or volunteer in the non-profit sector, this is a great match of skills, interest, needs and opportunities.

To be considered, Veterans and others are encouraged to pre-register for this event at Hiringourheroes.org This pre-registration allows employers to review resumes, work experience and job skills prior to the event. Last year, this approach led employers to conduct 577 on-site interviews and make 152 job offers after outreach efforts by IDES, IDVA and other agencies. IDES called more than 20,000 Veterans to make sure that they were aware of this opportunity, while IDVA engaged the veteran community with newsletter information, Public Service Announcements, and social media announcements.

Veterans also should register with Illinoisjoblink.com, the state’s hiring board operated by IDES. It uses the same matching philosophy as the Hiring Our Heroes events. Further, employers can meet federal and state hiring requirements by using Illinoisjoblink.com. Job seekers can build multiple resumes to emphasize different skills and experiences. Business owners can use keyword matching technology to search resumes and find the best candidate. Illinoisjoblink.com is free and compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars. No-cost HR recruitment services for employers and workers are available at the website and at (877) 342-7533.

Veterans are sought-after employees for non-profits and charities due to their service training, soft skills and experiences which include respect for authority, embracing responsibility and success in a team-based environment. Veterans and service members also have advanced training in fields ranging from technology and manufacturing to construction and logistics.

A state income tax credit of up to $5,000 is available to businesses for each qualified Veteran who is hired. Employers also might qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $9,600 through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Other sponsors include the U.S. Department of Labor, the American Legion and Student Veterans of America.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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