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Archive for February 2nd, 2016

NAACP Highlights Historical Moments for Black History Month

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

A Reintroduction to the groundbreaking work of the NAACP

 

Black History Month acknowledges the rich contributions that African Americans have made to our country’s history. This year, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has produced an online program as a reintroduction of the NAACP that highlights important moments in its 106-year history that helped shaped our modern world.

Each week, a new historical topic will be addressed. Such topics covered will include the NAACP’s Image Awards, lynching, voter empowerment, criminal justice and health.

In 1915, Birth of a Nation, probably the most controversial and racially biased film in the history of the motion picture industry, was released. Although Birth of a Nation is still regarded as a milestone in Hollywood filmmaking, the efforts of the NAACP aided in earning the film the reputation it rightly deserved, making the film’s modern presentation that of a historical snapshot of racism, rather than historical fact. With the upcoming 47th NAACP Image Awards program airing  live on TVOne on Friday, February 5 at 8PM ET, the week of February 1 – 7, visitors to the site, naacp.org, will learn of the NAACP Image Award’s work to combat racial stereotypes and ensure the inclusion, positive representation and recognition of African Americans in the entertainment industry.  This year, with controversy surrounding the lack of diversity in recognizing the contributions of African American artists, actors, musicians and writers throughout the media, this particular topic is even more current and potent.

Anyone looking to learn more about NAACP history, especially teachers, parents and students, should take a moment each week in February and visit the NAACP’s website for highlights on how African Americans not only shaped today’s modern culture, but aided in defining what it truly means to be an American.

About NAACP:

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. The NAACP’s 250,000 adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. In the fall of 2011, the NAACP launched a process to develop its strategic direction and plan, creating a powerful vision for the future, and setting organizational goals that would focus its work for the 21st Century. The six NAACP Game Changers (Economic Sustainability, Education, Health, Public Safety and Criminal Justice, Voting Rights and Political Representation, and expanding Youth Engagement) are the major areas of inequality facing African-Americans that are the focus of the NAACP’s work.

Ken Dunkin’s $500,000 Republican Right-Wing Supporter Opposes Minimum Wage Increase, Obama Policies and Wants Massive Cuts to Chicago Schools

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
 

From: Friends of Juliana Stratton, Democratic candidate for state representative

 

CHICAGO, IL – Ken Dunkin’s latest Republican political patron is an extreme right-wing organization with a record of backing right-wing politicians, fighting against an increase in the minimum wage, opposing the policies of President Obama and calling for unprecedented cuts to social services and education funding. The Illinois Opportunity Project, an extreme organization founded by backers of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, announced Monday that it would give Dunkin $500,000, the largest political donation the group has ever made.

“Republican Bruce Rauner’s right-wing donors are fully in support of Rauner’s Springfield agent Ken Dunkin. By accepting the support of a Republican group that takes such an extreme stand against better wages for our families and health care for those in need, Ken Dunkin has abandoned any illusion that he is still a Democrat,” said Juliana Stratton, Democratic candidate for state representative.

“This group has donated nearly $200,000 to some of Illinois’ most right-wing politicians. The $500,000 they are giving to Ken Dunkin is just another
example of Ken Dunkin turning his back on our families. The people who once trusted Ken Dunkin deserve to know why he is now standing with a group so completely opposed to the values of our community.”

FACT: Dunkin’s political contributor opposes an increase in the minimum wage and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. A March 2015 report from NBC News Chicago indicates that the Illinois Opportunity Project is working against
a minimum wage increase, hurting efforts to put struggling families on a path to a living wage. The group also urged the state to reject President Obama’s landmark health care law, which allows thousands of low-income families in Illinois to access life-saving health care.

FACT: Dunkin’s political contributor supports a plan that would slash funding for local schools. According to its website, the Illinois Opportunity Project is a leading advocate for an education system that would result in massive cuts in public school funding, overcrowded classrooms, and teacher layoffs.

FACT: Dunkin’s political contributor is pushing for extreme budget cuts that would slash $13 billion from critical services for families, medical care for elderly and disabled residents, and public safety. On its website, the Illinois Opportunity Project calls for $13 billion in state spending cuts, a proposal even more severe than the extreme budget proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Such massive cuts would devastate in-home and nursing care for the elderly and disabled, eliminate the Child Care Assistance Program that working families rely on, and endanger public safety.

FACT: The co-founder of the group now backing Dunkin is a Bruce Rauner ally who recently took nearly $2 million from Republican Rauner’s campaign to help support the governor’s favored candidates. The Illinois Opportunity Project was co-founded by right-wing activist Dan Proft, whose political committee recently accepted $1.81 million from Bruce Rauner’s campaign to support candidates who back Rauner’s dangerous agenda.

FACT: The $500,000 donation to Dunkin is the largest political donation in the group’s history. According to the State Board of Elections, the Illinois Opportunity Project has contributed nearly $200,000 to some of the most right-wing politicians in the state. To date, over 95 percent of the group’s partisan donations have been to Republicans. These donations, however, are dwarfed by the half a million dollars provided to Dunkin, the largest reported political donation in the organization’s history.

Disenfranchisement News: Maryland House Votes to Expand Voting Rights to People on Probation and Parole

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

From: The Sentencing Project

 

Maryland

House votes to expand voting rights to people on probation and parole

The House of Delegates recently voted to overturn Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of last year’s House Bill 980.  The legislation would expand voting rights to an estimated 40,000 Marylanders on felony probation or parole.

The Democratic-controlled Senate needs 29 votes to overturn the veto, and is scheduled to vote on February 5th.  According to The Baltimore Sun, the Senate passed two versions of the bill last year. The first vote was 31-15 and the second vote was 29-18. If both chambers approve the override, the bill will become law in 30 days.
Expanding voting rights in Maryland has significant implications for disenfranchisement nationally; thirty-five states continue to impose voting bans on persons living in the community on supervision.

Kentucky

Governor reverses predecessor’s executive order to restore voting rights

In November 2015, outgoing Governor Steve Beshear issued an executive order to automatically restore voting rights to an estimated 100,000 people with non-violent felony convictions who have completed their sentences. Despite supporting voting rights restoration, Kentucky’s new Republican Governor Matt Bevin recently reversed his predecessor’s executive order. “While I have been a vocal supporter of the restoration of rights, it is an issue that must be addressed through the legislature and by the will of the people,” Governor Bevin said in announcing the order.
Individuals with past felony convictions will, once again, have to apply to the governor’s office to seek restoration of their voting rights. According to The Herald-Leader, Governor Bevin’s order will not retroactively affect those with past felony convictions who, since Beshear’s order on November 24th, have received a certificate from the state confirming their restoration of rights.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who has testified before a legislative committee in support of a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights, questioned whether Beshear had the authority to unilaterally change state law. Senator Paul says the order to restore voting rights might have been best carried out by the General Assembly, and hopes to work with Governor Bevin to make it a priority during the next legislative session.

California

Combating misinformation on voting rights restoration

In Probation Journal, David McCahon of the University of California Riverside argues that misinformation around felony disenfranchisement laws and other exclusionary policies prevents many people with felony convictions from participating in civic activities. McCahon conducted 36 interviews with people of varied criminal justice backgrounds who had been released from prison or jail in the last year. All of the people included in the study were to have their rights automatically restored prior to the November 2014 midterm election. He found that a majority of respondents misunderstood how their voting rights had been impacted by their felony conviction.  McCahon says parole and probation agencies should help facilitate civic reintegration by providing accurate, accessible information to people regarding their civil rights. “Informing ex-felons of their postconviction rights is consistent with the rehabilitative mission of correctional departments,” writes McCahon.

Philadelphia Doctor Charged In Scheme To Defraud Social Security

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

PHILADELPHIA – An indictment was unsealed today charging Dr. Frederick Douglas Burton, 67, of Conshohocken, PA, with two counts of mail fraud and attempted mail fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

 

According to the indictment, in November 2013, Dr. Burton met with Dr. Dennis Erik Fluck Von Kiel and agreed to sign and send letters to support what Von Kiel knew would be a fraudulent application for social security disability benefits.  The letters contained representations that Von Kiel was unable to work as a result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Burton was not a psychiatrist, had no specialized mental health training, and did not diagnose Dr. Von Kiel with PTSD or receive a referral from another doctor who had diagnosed Dr. Von Kiel with PTSD.  In order to help Von Kiel file a fraudulent application for social security disability benefits, Burton allegedly signed and mailed two letters, containing false representations, to a law firm that specializes in social security benefit applications.

 

If convicted, Dr. Buton faces a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, a possible fine, and a $200 special assessment.

 

The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff.

 

An Indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

National Urban League Launches Equity and Excellence Education Campaign for Black History Month

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Times Square Electronic Billboard Highlights National Public Awareness Effort

 

NEW YORK –  In conjunction with Black History Month, the lights above Times Square in February will beam the National Urban League’s message that every child deserves an excellent and equitable education.

“A high-quality education is a civil and human right,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “In our continuing fight to prepare every American child for college, work and life, we’re giving special recognition during Black History Month to our Equity and Excellence Project.
In addition to the announcement in world-famous Times Square, we’ll be sharing our message on radio and in magazines to encourage people across the nation to get involved.”

The National Urban League’s Equity and Excellence Project supports national and state advocacy, engagement and education reform efforts throughout the Urban League Affiliate Movement and with other civil rights organizations.

The Urban League’s Equity and Excellence message is being shown on an electronic billboard in Times Square, on 43rd Street and Broadway,  until April 30.  Messages can also be found in USA Today’s Black History Month Special issue, on the websites for News One and Hello Beautiful, and on the following radio programs through February : Tom Joyner Morning Show, Ed Lover Show, Yolanda Adams Show, Russ Parr Morning Show, Al Sharpton’s Keeping It Real, Nightly Spirit Show, and Willie Moore Show.

“The goal of the Equity and Excellence Project is to strengthen the ability of the civil rights community to effectively advocate for educational reform and accountability through engagement in local, state and national education reform efforts,” Morial said. “Ultimately,  we want to see all students succeed.”

The program spotlights seven areas of focus related to the Urban League’s historic mission:

  • Early Childhood Learning & Education
  • Equitable Implementation of College and Career Ready Standards
  • Improved access to high-quality curricula and effective teachers
  • Comprehensive, aligned and transparent education and employment data systems
  • Out-of-school time learning (emphasis on expanded day and summer learning)
  • Equity and Excellence at scale
  • College Completion & Attainment

“Black History Month is not only a time to celebrate the achievements of the past, but to inspire future achievements,” Morial said. “The next generation of leaders is our most precious resource, and we are determined to give them every opportunity to soar.”

The project supports the work of Urban League affiliates in the following cities:

 


Novel About Black Vietnam Soldiers Receives the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

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A Long Way by J. Everett Prewitt

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Northland Publishing Company is pleased to announce that the novel, A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt (available on Amazon.com), has been selected to receive the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.

 
Literary Classics says, Author, J. Everett Prewitts vivid depiction of the horrors of war are compounded when intertwined with the racial injustices perpetrated upon the men whose story Anthony Andrews, a war correspondent for the Washington Post, hopes to reveal. A Long Way Back is a powerful and compelling novel. Recommended for home and school libraries, this book has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

 
When Andrews sees a group of wounded, half-starved, black troops disembark from a helicopter in Cu Chi during the height of the Vietnam War, he senses a story but receives no cooperation from the army or the soldiers.

 
The men, mostly noncombat soldiers, are the remnant of a squad sent on an illegal mission to Cambodia as punishment for their participation in a race riot at Cu Chi base camp. Led by a battle-fatigued sergeant, they fall under enemy fire. Their leader inexplicably disappears, leaving the ill-prepared soldiers to fight the jungle and enemy on their own.

 
Although forced to confront the shock of combat and a deteriorating family life, the reporter pursues the story hoping to uncover the truth about what happened to the soldiers.

 
A Long Way Back is a tense journey merging the lives of the soldiers and the reporter as they struggle to overcome their fear, and face the battles they must fight to survive.

 

About the Author
J. Everett Prewitt is a Vietnam veteran and a former Army officer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science degree in urban studies from Cleveland State University. Prewitt was awarded the title of distinguished alumni at both schools.

 
Prewitts debut novel, Snake Walkers, placed first for fiction in four different literary contests, won the bronze award for general fiction in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year contest, and was also honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

 
Single and living in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Prewitt is the proud father of Lia and Eric. Learn more at his website at www.eprewitt.com

 

About Literary Classics
Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in literature for young readers, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic literature which appeals to youth while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations. To learn more about Literary Classics, you may visit their website at www.clcawards.org or www.childrensliteraryclassics.com

 

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, J. Everett Prewitt

Breaking Down Beliefs of Racial Hierarchy

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Dr. Gail C. Christopher

America’s Wire Writers Group

Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Movement led to a series of laws banning public discrimination. African Americans were no longer barred from certain restaurants, some schools were integrated and fair housing laws created more living options. But today, it’s clear that court rulings and legislation didn’t change the root cause of conscious and unconscious bias – the widespread belief in racial hierarchy still exists.

As a nation, we didn’t understand the power of this belief, this misguided notion that some people are either superior or inferior because of the color of their skin.

This bias manifests in many ways. Unarmed men and women are killed by police and civilians, the justice system seems tilted toward whites, and there remains unequal treatment for children and adults when it comes to health, education, housing and employment. David R. Williams, a sociology professor at Harvard University, cites studies showing that when whites, blacks and Hispanics visited hospital emergency rooms with the same ailment, white patients received pain medication more frequently than people of color.

Does that make the physicians racist?

That may not be the case. With the advancements in neuroscience, we now know much more about the power of the mind. We understand that unconscious beliefs are deeply held, that centuries of this belief system have unconsciously shaped how some of us respond. But now, 21st century technology – YouTube, cell phones, dashboard cameras, body cameras – are leveraged to shape new beliefs about our humanity. They are capturing and exposing vivid samples of people of color abused and dehumanized. We must move beyond the absurd notion that some people have more value than others.

What’s promising is that recent polling data demonstrates a palpable desire for a positive change in how we view one another and how we shape our society to reflect the inherent value of all people. We have carried the burden and the weight of this mythology of a hierarchy of human value, allowing it to weigh our country down for centuries. We must jettison that belief and move forward with the truth of our equal values as a human family.

It’s significant that a polling analysis conducted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in conjunction the Northeastern University School of Journalism has found that a majority of whites now acknowledge that racism still exists, and that it creates bias in structures such as the criminal justice system. Furthermore, a majority of Americans believe more needs to be done to eliminate racism. In a poll last year, 53 percent of whites said more changes needed to be made to give blacks equal rights with whites, up from just 39 percent a year earlier.

Those findings underscore that now is the time for the Truth Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) process, which the Kellogg Foundation launched on Jan. 28. More than 70 diverse organizations and individuals ranging from the National Civic League to the YWCA USA to the NAACP are partners in the TRHT process. This broad coalition seeks to move the nation beyond dialogues about race and ethnicity to unearthing historic and contemporary patterns that are barriers to success, healing those wounds and creating opportunities for all children.

Specifically, the TRHT process will prioritize inclusive, community-based healing activities and policy design that seek to change collective community narratives and broaden the understanding that Americans have for their diverse experiences. TRHT will assemble national and local commissions that will hold public forums on the consequences of racial inequity and work toward mobilizing systems and structures to create more equitable opportunities. In the forums, we will also discuss racial hierarchy and how best to dismantle it.

Clearly, there must be broader knowledge of the harm that comes from the devaluation and from the structures of inequality. They create physical harm, they create mental and emotional harm, and when there’s harm, healing is needed.

When an unarmed black person is killed, I have a bodily reaction to that tragedy. I relive losses of my own, such as when I was a teenager in Cleveland. My first cousin was shot and killed by a white thrill-seeker in our segregated neighborhood. I recall that we buried her that week, while he enlisted in the Navy and left the city. It was the first funeral I ever attended. Despite all the joyful moments my cousin and I shared growing up together, my only lasting recollection is of her body lying in that casket.

All of us must become more cognizant of the cost of violence and the harm. We must be willing to invest in the processes that help to bring about healing.

TRHT will lead this transformation. Other Truth and Reconciliation efforts around the world aim to reconcile. But America’s genesis is this hierarchy. And so we don’t have to come back, we don’t need to reconcile, this nation needs to transform. The TRHT will chart that course.

Dr. Gail C. Christopher is vice president for TRHT and a senior advisor at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

About America’s Wire

America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and supported by the W/K. Kellogg Foundation. Our stories can be republished free of charge by newspapers, websites and other media sources. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com

Photo: Dr. Gail C. Christopher

Munger to Discuss Growing Cost of Budget Impasse at News Conference Today

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Comptroller to outline spending, deficit projections for year

 

CHICAGO, IL – Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger will hold a Chicago news conference Tuesday to discuss the growing cost of the state’s budget impasse and the ramifications for future state payments.

 

Munger will discuss the current bill backlog and spending projections for the remainder of the fiscal year, and then take questions from the media.

 

SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2016:

WHO: Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger
WHAT: News Conference on State Budget Impasse
WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 2, 2016
WHERE: Blue Room, 15th Floor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL

Top 101 + Scholarships and Internships for African American Students for 2016

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

101+ Scholarships and Internships For African Americans

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Students and parents looking for financial aid to help pay for college are rejoicing about the release of a new 67-page book entitled, Get That Money, Honey! Top 101+ Scholarships (and Internships) for African Americans and Other Minority Students (exclusively available at www.ebooksandreports.com). The book complements President Obama’s goal by the year 2020 to increase the number of African American students applying to, persisting in and successfully completing college.

Available for just $4.95 as an e-book that can be downloaded to any computer, smartphone or tablet, this publication features more than 100 scholarship and internship programs that are especially for African Americans and other minorities. Plus, it shows you how you can apply, and very single opportunity listed is real and legit!

Ever year, more than $50 million dollars in scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid are given away to students in need. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid.
Scholarship programs that are listed within the book include:
* The Tom Joyner Foundation “Full Ride Scholarship
* The Bill Gates Scholarship For Minority Students
* Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships For Minority Students
* Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship
* 100 Black Men of America Future Leader Scholarship
* Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarships
* Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund For Low Income Women
* Steve Harvey Foundation/ Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Scholarship Program
* Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship
* Jesse Jacksons PUSH Excel Scholarship Program
* Generation Google Scholarship For Minorities and Women
* and many, many more!

The book also lists tons of minority internship programs such as:
The Oprah Winfrey OWN Internship, President Obama/ White House Internship For African American Students, Essence Magazine Internship, BET Internship, TV One Internship, Explore Microsoft Internship Program For Women and Minorities, and many more. Internships have long been gateways that lead to careers and well-paying jobs, and these internships are specifically looking to help minority students.

For more details and/or to purchase the book, visit www.ebooksandreports.com
Photo: Book Cover
 

Latino Community Comes Together to Make Movies About Their Daily Life

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

‘Adios Vaya Con Dios’ wins award and receives international distribution

CHICAGO, IL – The feature film “Adios Vaya Con Dios” brings together groups often at odds with each other to tell the stories of everyday life in Chicago area communities with Latino gangs. The film was shot in in businesses, homes and churches in Aurora and Joliet with local residents and rival gang members who played major roles in the film and were coached by the professional actors in the movie.

“Adios,” the first film from Chicago-based Ave Fenix Pictures, is now released in major retail stores, on Video on Demand and in the U.S. and Latin America. “Adios” is available at Amazon, iTunes, Best Buy, Walmart, VUDU, HBO, Xfinity/Comcast, Google Play, MGO, Sudden Link and more throughout the months.

A gritty urban thriller inspired by real events, “Adios Vaya Con Dios,” which means “Goodbye, go with God,” is the story of two friends in the world of Latino street gangs in Aurora and Joliet, Illinois, two towns located less than 50 miles from Chicago.

“The parents in the community are happy their kids are doing something creative and off the street,” said Mónica Esmeralda León, who made the film with Ave Fenix Pictures partner Zachary Laoutides. “We will be making more films that deal with real problems with the Latino Chicago area communities and again using people and rival gang members from the area to tell their stories.”

“Adios Vaya Con Dios” debuted in October 2014 at the Bel-Air Film Festival, where it was runner up in the Best Audience Feature Film Award category and was nominated for best screenplay. In addition, Laoutides, who wrote the movie and co-stars in it, received a best actor nomination.

Visit www.avefenixpictures.com and www.facebook.com/goodbyeandgowithgod for more information.

See recent articles: http://www.costaricantimes.com and http://www.theherald-news.com.

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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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