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Archive for May 22nd, 2015

FDLA to Conduct 100 Know Your Rights When Stopped by Police Workshops by June 30

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Englewood, Lawndale Know Your Rights Campaign Vows to Deliver 100 “What to do When Stopped by Police” Workshops by June 30 to Reduce Violence, Police Overreach

First Defense Legal Aid is the only way people in Chicago police custody might access free legal defense 24/7 if someone alerts their pro-bono, on-call lawyers at 1(800) LAW-REP-4.

To promote the hotline and educate Chicagoans about the power of using their rights for a more equitable, accountable, and fair system, FDLA prepares and supports people in disproportionately policed communities to act as peer educators, giving know your rights workshops, conducting street outreach, and canvassing with posters in neighborhood business districts.

FDLA’s Know Your Rights Campaign aims to increase the rate at which people in Chicago police stations access their right to a lawyer. In 2013, only .2% of Chicago Police Department’s arrestees had a lawyer at any point.

Leading up to the summer season and Chicago Public Schools being let out, the group vows to conduct 100 know your rights workshops for people most vulnerable to police overreach

The trainers come from Englewood, North Lawndale and Little Village. They will deliver the free workshops throughout the city’s south and west sides at places of worship, schools, community centers, etc when someone requests a workshop at www.first-defense.org/community

Now through June 30th. Photo, video opportunities: Know Your Rights Open mic event: Fri. May 22nd 2015 at 69th and Emerald; 63rd St. Beach Outreach: May 30, 2015.

“Jurisdictions that have strong know-your-rights grassroots education campaigns & real access to lawyers for people in police custody have seen a decrease in violent crime. This is good for everyone.” Eliza Solowiej, Executive Director and Southside Parent

“Youth of color are targeted by police. Our workshops equip community members to deal with police stops that are an almost unavoidable part of living in Chicago as a person of color.” Marissa Brown, Know Your Rights Educator and Southside Parent

President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Denise Turner Roth as Administrator of the General Services Administration; Other Presidential Nominations Also Sent to the Senate

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Denise Turner Roth as Administrator of the General Services Administration.

President Obama said, “As Acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator, Denise led the General Services Administration to become more efficient, innovative and effective. Denise is a capable leader whose experiences in management will serve our nation well. I thank Denise for agreeing to continue her public service and look forward to working with her in this important position.”

Denise Turner Roth, Nominee for Administrator, General Services Administration

Denise Turner Roth is the Deputy Administrator for the General Services Administration (GSA), a position she has held since March 2014. She has also served as the Acting Administrator of GSA since February 2015.  Ms. Roth served as the City Manager for the City of Greensboro, North Carolina from 2011 to 2014 and as Assistant City Manager from 2008 to 2011.  She was the Vice President of Governmental Affairs at Greensboro Partnership from 2007 to 2008.  Previously, Ms. Roth served as District Liaison for North Carolina Representative Brad Miller from 2003 to 2006 and as his campaign manager in 2006.  Earlier in her career, she worked with Virginia Representative Jim Moran and served as Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs in the office of District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams.  Ms. Roth received a B.A. from George Mason University.

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

Akhil Reed Amar, of Connecticut, to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2020, vice Jamsheed K. Choksy, term expired.

Stephen C. Hedger, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, vice Elizabeth Lee King, resigned.

W. Thomas Reeder, Jr., of Virginia, to be Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, vice Joshua Gotbaum, resigned.

Jessica Rosenworcel, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission for a term of five years from July 1, 2015.  (Reappointment).

Denise Turner Roth, of North Carolina, to be Administrator of General Services, vice Daniel M. Tangherlini, resigned.

Luis A. Viada, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation for a term expiring September 20, 2018, vice John P. Salazar, term expired.

Robert P. Zimmerman, of New York, to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2018, vice Manfredi Piccolomini, resigned.

Department of Justice Proposes Legislation to Improve Access to Voting for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Department of Justice proposed legislation that would require states or localities whose territory includes part or all of an Indian reservation, an Alaska Native village, or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place in a venue selected by the tribal government.

“The Department of Justice is deeply committed to ensuring that every eligible individual is able to exercise his or her fundamental right to vote,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “That’s why, today, I am calling on Congress to help remove the significant and unnecessary barriers that for too long have confronted American Indians and Alaska Natives attempting to cast their ballots.  The legislation we recommend today will make this nation stronger by extending meaningful voting opportunities to native populations, by encouraging full participation in our democratic institutions, and by bringing us closer to our most cherished ideals.”

“As citizens of a nation founded upon the principles of liberty and equality, Native Americans have faced unacceptable barriers to participating in the franchise, a situation aggravated by a history of discrimination, poverty and — significantly — great distances from polling places,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery.  “In spite of many reforms made possible by the Voting Rights Act and other measures, voting rates among Native Americans remain disproportionately low.  The legislation proposed today would address this unacceptable gap and we look forward to working with Congress to see it enacted.”

American Indians and Alaska Natives have faced significant obstacles that have prevented them from enjoying equal access to polling places and equal opportunities to cast a ballot.  In addition to suffering from a long history of discrimination, the distance many American Indian and Alaska Native citizens must travel to reach a polling place presents a substantial and ongoing barrier to full voter participation.  Following formal consultations with Indian tribes, the Department of Justice believes that there is a pressing need for federal legislation to ensure equal access to voting by Native American voters.

Today, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Congress with a legislative proposal, which would ensure that American Indian and Alaska Natives have access to at least one polling place in their communities to cast their ballots and require a number of additional obligations to ensure parity with other polling places.

This legislative proposal, a stand-alone bill, would:

  • Enable Native Americans to vote on or near tribal lands, by requiring any state or local election administrator whose territory includes part or all of an Indian reservation, an Alaska Native village, or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place in a venue selected, and made available for the purpose of conducting elections, by the tribal government.
  • Require states to make voting machines, ballots, and other voting materials and equipment available at these tribally located polling places to the same extent that they are available at other polling places in the state.
  • Require states to provide compensation and other benefits to election officials and poll workers at these polling places to the same extent as at other polling places in the state.
  • Require states to use the same voting procedures at these polling places as at other polling places in the state — potentially including election-day voting, early voting, the hours during which polling places are open, the operation of voting mechanisms or systems, and same-day registration.
  • Allow states to meet their obligations by either creating new polling places or relocating existing ones.
  • Allow tribes with larger populations or land bases to request more than one polling place.
  • Make the states’ obligations contingent on the tribe filing a timely request and certifying that it has arranged for access to, and appropriate staffing for, the polling facility.
  • Require the tribe to ensure that the staffers for the polling place are properly trained.
  • Require the tribe to ensure that the polling place will be open and accessible to all eligible citizens who reside in the precinct, regardless of whether they are Indians or non-Indians.

The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring equal access to voting for Native American voters.  This proposal would address serious voting obstacles faced by citizens who are members of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages; provide equal access to polling places for all eligible citizens, including members of tribes and villages; reinforce our nation’s commitment to the fundamental right to vote; and strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and tribal nations.

In 1975, recognizing the barriers to full participation that Native Americans continued to confront, Congress expressly included American Indians and Alaska Natives as protected groups under the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act prohibited many jurisdictions with large American Indian or Alaska Native populations from changing their voting laws until they could prove that the change would not create new barriers to effective participation.  A number of jurisdictions with large Native American populations that have limited English proficiency — in six states, including Alaska — are also covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires bilingual election materials and assistance.

Despite these reforms, participation rates among American Indians and Alaska Natives continue to lag behind turnout rates among non-Native voters.  For example, in Alaska, turnout among Alaska Natives often falls 15 to 20 or more percentage points below the non-Native turnout rate.  The causes of these disparities are complex, but the reality is that political participation by Native Americans consistently trails that of non-Natives and unequal access to polling places is a significant contributing factor.

Review the legislation at www.justice.gov/tribal/department-justice-proposes-legislation-improve-access-voting-american-indians-and-alaska.

Source: The Department of Justice

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Commends President Obama’s Move to Demilitarize Local Law Enforcement

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – On Monday, President Obama ordered the federal government to stop distributing military equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country. President Obama claims that the equipment makes law enforcement officers seem like an “occupying force” instead of public servants. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus commends President Obama on his latest move to repair the relationship between the government and the people it serves. Black Caucus Chairwoman Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement about President Obama’s latest move:

The over-militarization of public servants who are tasked with protecting and serving our neighborhoods sends the wrong message. The ILBC believes President Obama’s latest move displays his ability to listen to the American people and respond with the appropriate action. When a nations citizens view government as more of an occupational force than protectors of the community an unspoken hostility is unintentionally born. We look forward to further action by President Obama to assist in strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color.

Black College Football Attendance at All Time High

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SIAC football fan attendance once again leads the country

SIAC Football Game

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (S-I-A-C) once again led the NCAA Division II in football attendance last season. The SIAC has now led all NCAA DII conferences in football attendance for twelve consecutive seasons and for twenty-three of the last twenty-five seasons dating back to the 1990 season.

“We take great pride our incredible support our fans provide our member schools and student-athletes. The emotional connections which our schools enjoy with their alumni, fans and the communities which they serve is the primary reason our league has led NCAA Division II football attendance twelve consecutive years and twenty-three of the last twenty-five years,” said Gregory Moore, commissioner of the SIAC. “What is important to also bear in mind is that our robust fan support has also been critically important to helping the SIAC to also rank first in NCAA DII by almost every objective digital and social media metric by a fairly wide margin (Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and monthly unique visitors).”

Since 1990, the SIAC led Division II footballs average attendance twenty-three times, including totaling 300,000 on seventeen occasions. According to the NCAA.com website, seven SIAC schools ranked in the top thirty in attendance leaders led by Tuskegee (2nd), Albany State (5th) and Miles (9th) last season.
About the SIAC
The SIAC is a NCAA athletic conference consisting primarily of historically black colleges and universities with headquarters in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The primary mission and purpose of the SIAC is to leverage intercollegiate athletics to the benefit of our student-athletes and to advance the overarching strategic interests of SIAC member institutions. The SIAC includes 15 member institutions (Albany State University, Benedict College, Central State University, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Paine College, Spring Hill College, Stillman College, Tuskegee University) which are located within a contiguous six-state footprint (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio). The SIAC sponsors seven mens and six womens sports and is a proud member of the NCAA Division II.

For more details, visit www.thesiac.com

BBB Warns of Potential Vacation Scams

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Summertime is travel time and also the season for vacation scams. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns travelers that vacation clubs, free vacation offers, travel points and airline miles are just a few ways that scammers are trying to rip off consumers.

In the latest vacation scheme, scammers are purportedly stating they are from Hilton Hotels. Scammers are calling consumers with “free” vacation offers, and in return taking their personal and credit card information which then sets them up to be ripped-off. In 2014, the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois received 123 complaints about travel agencies and 13 complaints about travel clubs.

“Vacation scams are very common, especially in the summertime,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is important for consumers to do careful research on a company before giving them money or providing them with your personal or financial information.”

Meagan Lizzo of Spring Grove, IL got scammed by a vacation club. She says, “We had just gotten married and the presentation sounded great. We paid $2000 up front and then we were supposed to be able to select different locations where we could stay at a very low cost. There was a $398 annual fee but they said we would only have to pay the fee in years where we used the membership. We tried but were never able to actually get a place and time that were available. They charged us the fee anyway even though we never went anywhere. I even let them know about medical expenses that I had that kept us from paying. They have put us up for collection.”

The BBB recommends the following when planning a vacation:

  • Check for full company details in any ads and on websites. Find the company’s name and address then check that they actually exist.A physical address is one way to determine if it is an established business.
  • Keep an eye out for bad spelling and grammar. This is a common sign of scammers, especially those from overseas.
  • If the company has been recently set-up or changed hands, be suspicious. New businesses or businesses with new names may indicate a lack of finances or established business practices.
  • Don’t be tempted by price. Beware if you are encouraged to pay in cash because they are not accepting credit cards due to high fees. Not accepting credit cards can indicate a shaky financial situation.  It also does not give you any recourse if you wish a refund.
  • Book directly with an established hotel or reputable travel agent.Find an accredited agent at www.bbb.org.
  • Confirm in writing everything offered before payment is made. If you’re not sure whether a website is showing you the total price, call the hotel and ask about a “resort fee” or any other mandatory charge. A resort fee may cover use of fitness facilities or internet access.
  • Pay only by credit card and get refund policies in writing. It gives you more protection than paying by cash or check. If you don’t get what you paid for, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company.
  • Don’t give your account number to any business until you’ve verified its reputation. You can verify its reputation by checking out the BBB rating and customer reviews by using our search.
  • If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For more tips, visit  www.bbb.org/chicago , like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Pinterest.

Tobolski, Preckwinkle Announce New Veteran Business Outreach Initiative

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Military veterans will be encouraged to certify with Cook County as Veterans Business Enterprises (VBEs), a designation which could help them in securing public sector business, under a resolution approved by the Cook County Board.

Spearheaded by Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski, Chair of the County Board’s Veterans Affairs Committee, and supported by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the full Cook County Board of Commissioners, the resolution calls on local elected officials, community organizations and not-for-profits to invite veteran-owned businesses to certify as VBEs with the County.  To qualify, the business must be at least 51% veteran-owned and based in Illinois.

The new program will be supported by the John Marshall Law School’s Veteran’s Clinic.  Brian Clauss, the director of the Veteran’s Clinic, has committed to assist any veteran-owned business, at no cost, with legal assistance in preparing an application for VBE certification document.  The Cook County Office of Contract Compliance, which manages the certification process, has also committed to assist veteran-entrepreneurs who wish to certify.

Currently, Cook County provides a 5 percent veterans preference on County contracts.  Additionally, VBEs certified with Cook County have reciprocal certification with the State of Illinois which also offers a veterans preference and veteran participation goals on all state contracts.  As a bonus, women or minority veterans can certify as a VBE and as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and/or Women Business Enterprise (WBE) on the same application and also at no cost.

“As Chairman of the Veterans Committee, I pledge to find ways that the County can be more supportive of veterans.  The best place to start is to encourage our veteran entrepreneurs to build businesses, certify as VBEs at the County which will then give them a leg-up on County procurement,” Tobolski said.  “The County already has the VBE program and now with our partners at the John Marshall Law School, our vets can get the legal advice they need at no cost and meaningfully participate in an outstanding program.”

“I commend Commissioner Tobolski for his leadership on this issue,” said President Preckwinkle. “Cook County takes its responsibilities to veterans seriously, and it is through programs like this and the efforts of our Department of Veterans Affairs that we can assist and honor the service they have given to our nation.”

Training for lawyers who wish to volunteer with John Marshall will take place in June and an event for veteran entrepreneurs at John Marshall Law School is scheduled for July.  Specific dates for each event will be announced soon.
Attorneys interested in volunteering with John Marshall should contact Eddie Olivieri in Commissioner Tobolski’s office at (312) 603-4735. Veteran business owners interested in certifying their businesses should contact Bill Browne, Cook County Director of Veterans Affairs, at (312) 603-6423.

Hip-Hop Icon Chuck D Stars in YouTube Web Series

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Chuck D of Public Enemy becomes regular cast member on ‘Heights Girl’ Series

Hip-hop icon, Chuck D of the legendary rap group Public Enemy, shows off his acting skills as Dr. Steve in the new YouTube series, “Heights Girl.”

Chuck D Appears in Heights Girl

Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) – Cleveland-based urban production company, HWIC Filmworks, announced that legendary rapper and political activist, Chuck D from Public Enemy, is now an official cast member on their YouTube series, “Heights Girl.”

Chuck has already appeared in three episodes as Dr. Steve, a crisis therapist to the main character, and will continue as a cast member throughout the rest of the season.

“HWIC Filmworks has really stepped to the forefront of making riveting films and they’re one of the few companies that can actually get me to act,” said Chuck D. “As soon as I found out they were doing this project, I wanted to be a part of it.”

“Chuck has played a major role in the success of this series and our company as a whole,” said Johnny Filmworks and David C. Snyder, Co-founders of HWIC. “What people don’t realize is that Chuck is actually a very good actor and he absolutely kills it in the role of Dr. Steve.”

“Heights Girl” is an urban-charged drama about a twenty something black girl from the middle class suburbs of Cleveland and her crazy life with her boyfriend from the rough streets of the inner city.

HWIC has released ten episodes of Heights Girl thus far with Chuck D’s first appearance in episode six.

You can watch all the episodes of the series for free at www.HeightsGirl.com or on HWIC Filmworks YouTube channel.

Photo Caption: Chuck D as Dr. Steve in ‘Heights Girl’

State Senator Cunningham: Report Details Compensation Abuses, Administrative Bloat at State Colleges and Universities

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Months of work by members of the media and the Illinois General Assembly have culminated in a special report detailing costly administrative practices at our state’s public universities and community colleges. The report brings to light growing administrative costs and generous executive compensation packages that have helped fuel tuition increases for Illinois students.

“This report found that many public colleges and universities have been too quick to award lavish benefits to their executives and increase the number of administrative employees they assign to non-instructional post,” State Senator Bill Cunningham said. “While these practices are never welcome, they are particularly troubling during difficult budgetary times and when college tuition rates have grown faster than any other expenses faced by middle class families.”

The initial draft report was issued by Illinois Senator Cunningham, who chairs the Illinois State Senate’s Higher Education Sub-committee on Executive Compensation. According to the report, presidents at public universities in Illinois often receive cash bonuses, country club memberships, and housing and vehicle allowances, this despite enjoying a median salary of nearly $300,000 a year.

“When you look at the numbers in this report, they indicate a trend of bloated administrations at our public universities and community colleges. If the General Assembly is going to invest more in higher education, we want to insure those investments are going directly into the classroom and not to more administration,” Senator Cunningham continued.

The special sub-committee was assembled and began work after a series of media reports detailing questionable contracts and severance packages for administrators at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and at Illinois State University in Normal.

The report covers public higher education institutions across the state and found similar instances of opaque negotiations, contract extensions approved without discussions and issues dealing with pensions, such as excessive sick-day buyouts. The report goes on to explain possible reforms to limit these practices, including reforms to the Open Meetings Act as well as auditing reforms.

“I don’t think we are proposing anything too radical here. I think it’s mostly commonsense reforms that we are seeking here. Over the summer, we will have a series of hearings to take a closer look at the report and discuss proposed reforms,” Senator Cunningham said.

You can go and  read this on Senator Cunningham’s website.

The Women’s Business Development Center Offers June Programs That Support and Accelerate Women’s Business Ownership

Posted by Admin On May - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs
including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance.

CHICAGO, IL – Workshops offered in June by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) include:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

“Starting a Business in Illinois”

Description: Are you considering starting a business in Illinois? Put yourself ahead of the curve and gain the knowledge you need to assist with a successful launch. This interactive workshop will address if business ownership is right for you, the transition from being an employee, volunteer, homemaker and/or independent contractor to business owner and more.

Cost: $10.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door

Location: WBDC, 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

Registration: http://goo.gl/VF7df4

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

“Business Plan Critique Clinic”

Description: WBDC Director of Entrepreneurial Services, Meg Herman, will facilitate this interactive session and lend her expertise on practical strategies in developing your written business plan. As a pre-requisite to this session, please have a draft of your business plan in writing and available for discussion. Prerequisite: You must bring a written draft of your business plan to participate in this session.

Cost: Free

Location: WBDC, 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

Registration: http://goo.gl/OvInTV

Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

“Working on Your Business with Growth Wheel Planning Tools”

Description: In this interactive, hands-on workshop, you’ll receive individual and group support and gain the tools and techniques you need to faster business growth and success. Prerequisite webinar: Finding Your Way When You are Stuck.

Cost: $20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door
Location: WBDC, 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

Registration: http://goo.gl/s8qxo1

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

“Boosting Your Bottom Line: Alternative Sources of Financing”

Description: This interactive workshop will guide participants through the process of starting a business and help them evaluate all the necessary financial components to run a successful business.

Cost: Free

Location: Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628

Registration: http://goo.gl/1LHpZZ

For further information about these or other WBDC workshops, visit http://www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477. Now in its 29th year, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance in Spanish and English. More information is available at www.WBDC.org.

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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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