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Cobblestones

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Well here is a counter point of view on the Syria topic. The author of this article is the editor of the South Asian affairs at Al Arabiya, lost his brother to the Hama massacre and is definitely not a govt proxy. One point that hasn't been mentioned in the article by the author but has been in news programmes is that Al Qaeda have on their website named martyrs who lost their lives for the Syrian cause. Coverage has not been great but to say only anti govt protesters are dying is may be off the mark.


What cannot be overlooked is the closeness of the Syrian govt to Iran. We know the current 'on edge' situation diplomatically there and the Syrian govt is the only nation that has a functioning relationship with Iran in the region.

The most hypocritical organisation that has come out of this issue is the Arab league. A league where Saudi Arabia is the one of the most important voices and preaches reform to Syria.

This is pretty much the view outside of the western media bubble. And you don't need to read Arabic when there's eloquent reporting in English.
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  • Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

    Amsterhammer

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    This year's election really could be the most fun ever! ;D

    Picture this:- Santorum slithers (see what I did there?) his way to the nomination, which leads to The Donald entering the race as a third party independent, which in turn enables Obama to put his feet up and get re-elected without even trying!

    Though I'm still hoping that my dream ticket is in with a shout..... :P
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  • Rock On and keep the Faith

    Cobblestones

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    Oh yeah, I turn on the TV for breakfast, and all the nitwits can talk about is the retarded GOP primary election and birth control. There's a whole world out there and they see nothing but their reflection in the inside of their plastic bubble.
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  • blutto

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    Well here is a counter point of view on the Syria topic. The author of this article is the editor of the South Asian affairs at Al Arabiya, lost his brother to the Hama massacre and is definitely not a govt proxy. One point that hasn't been mentioned in the article by the author but has been in news programmes is that Al Qaeda have on their website named martyrs who lost their lives for the Syrian cause. Coverage has not been great but to say only anti govt protesters are dying is may be off the mark.


    What cannot be overlooked is the closeness of the Syrian govt to Iran. We know the current 'on edge' situation diplomatically there and the Syrian govt is the only nation that has a functioning relationship with Iran in the region.

    The most hypocritical organisation that has come out of this issue is the Arab league. A league where Saudi Arabia is the one of the most important voices and preaches reform to Syria.

    What cannot be overlooked is the closeness of the Syrian govt to Iran. We know the current 'on edge' situation diplomatically there and the Syrian govt is the only nation that has a functioning relationship with Iran in the region.

    ...I would say that the closeness of Syria to Iran is the most thing going on in this mess...think of it as the part of the war against Iran that has already started...

    ...and further note that the other major player( along with the Saudis ) in the fight to bring political justice to Syria is Qatar...now if that isn't hypocracy I really couldn't imagine what is...well the fact that much of the violence is being fostered by fighters from outside the country is close...as is the fact that this little political readjustment is being paid for by the enemies of Iran...

    ...so lets call it for what it is...a war fought in large part by mercenaries for political gain that will inevitably produce another Iraqi style civil war in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people will will be massacred...and this is looking more and more inevitable because the West is only banging the war drums and ( this is a really important part ) at the same time rejecting Russian and Chinese attempts to cease the violence and proceed with negotiations...

    ...one only has to look at Libya and Iraq to see how this will play out...and yes Assad is a very unsavoury character but there are other ways to remove him ( see Russian proposals mentioned above ) that don't include the slaughter of many innocents to accomplish...but then that style of help has been key part of the American plan to help foster democracy, as in, we had to destroy the village to save it...the funny thing that used to be seen as a sick joke, now its seen as simply Standard Operating Procedure that can actually sold by Western media as a reasonable solution...much the same as the White Man's Burden story was sold in days of yore...

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • « Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 21:16 by blutto »

    Ram

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    Cheers all. I'll try and dig out what Waiel Awwad has said about Syria in a few days. He's quite insightful on this topic.
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  • blutto

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    This is pretty much the view outside of the western media bubble. And you don't need to read Arabic when there's eloquent reporting in English.

    ...nice article...Pepe is a good source...

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • python

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    several iran/syria developments and news that jumped at me today... ( i agree, iran and syria are tied together atm)

    - pat buchanan (that bloke always mystified me) said about syria/iran and the us attitude, 'is it better to deal with the devil you know vs the devil you don't know'  ???

    - some reports (not officially verified) indicate that india and china are cutting their purchases of iran's oil by over 10% due to american sanctions impeding thier financial operations. the same reports are clear that both countries  rejected the american sanctions in principal. 

    - japan  is negotiating a waver with washington against the american sanctions as to how much they should cut their purchases of iranian oil to earn the waver (an amazing fact of the national humiliation and subjugation given that mineral poor japan suffers energy shortage after shutting down its nukes following the fukushima disaster)

    - yesterday iran hosted a un (the nuclear arm) delegation. the official (iranian) word was 'the cooperation was at its best'.

    - one of the iranian military brass warned hours ago that iran can execute a per-emptive strike on its enemies just as the enemies threaten iran.

    - the us indicated its tentative support for humanitarian orgs appeals to seize fire in syria to deliver aide. the most significant middle east development in the last 24h, if you ask me.

    .......i probably forgot a bunch of other relevant smaller news i came across today  ::)
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  • blutto

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    ...another factor in this battle against Iran and its influence ( read Syria ) is how the price of oil will affect the US elections...gas prices went up slightly today and the US business news was blathering on about how rising gas prices can negatively affect growth...the political world was equally in a lather as the GOP played on Obama's inability to constructively deal with the economy ( in the US gas prices are stongly tied to a sense of economic well being )...the irony is the GOP also want strong ( read bomb ) action against Iran...

    ...and just to put things into perpective the issue in the US is a rise over the last year of 40 cents per gallon...today we had, in the space of 8 hours a 53 cent swing...

    ...so the bottom line here is that oil prices will definitely have a big effect on the US election and consequently the way the US deals with Iran...and in a very related story I wonder how Israel will play this for maximum advantage...

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • DinZ

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    Oh yeah, I turn on the TV for breakfast, and all the nitwits can talk about is the retarded GOP primary election and birth control. There's a whole world out there and they see nothing but their reflection in the inside of their plastic bubble.

    Australian press is terrible for this. Constantly see serious world news bumped by pathetic local stories

    Sometimes feels like nothing ever happens here. which is a good and bad thing. On one side when something bad happens it all feels a long way away and gives you a feeling of safety but on the other side feels like you are living life with a slight lack of colour if that makes sense

    something several people have noticed coming here. Europeans see it a bit but think people that have moved from places like South Africa and Zambia have noticed it even more.
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  • Auscyclefan

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    Australia's foreign minister, Kevin Rudd has resigned from his portfolio. Big news in Australia and shows that there is major division in the ALP (which is not surprising).
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  • - Australia's greatest sporting moment

    Tuart

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    Or it shows that there's just way too much media scrutiny? MediaWatch should be good next week
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    Auscyclefan

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    Or it shows that there's just way too much media scrutiny? MediaWatch should be good next week

    Don't be naive and just pay attention to an ALPBC's show. Blind freddy can tell you there is major division in the ALP.
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  • Tuart

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    Lol
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  • bicing

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    Australia's foreign minister, Kevin Rudd has resigned from his portfolio. Big news in Australia and shows that there is major division in the ALP (which is not surprising).
    http://australianpolitics.com/downloads/alp/12-02-22_20.40_wayne-swan-on-kevin-rudd.pdf
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    CQ game-breakers: Boom Ciolek DeGendt Steegmans Bertagnolli Blythe Masciarelli Stetina Boeckmans Vaugrenard

    blutto

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    ...is it just me, or do you folks find this odd....

    The evidence is overwhelming: in the months and years after 9/11, the US collaborated closely with Syria, which became an ally in the war on terror and a frequent destination for victims of extraordinary rendition. Syrian torturers worked hand in hand with US interrogators.

    These days, however, US politicians from across the spectrum piously condemn the Syrian regime for its crimes against humanity; two weeks ago, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution condemning Assad for "gross human rights violations" and the use of "torture". Who says Americans don't do irony, eh?

    ....from....   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/19/syria-us-ally-human-rights

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • Straydog

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    Have just read that the brilliant American Sunday times war correspondent Marie Colvin has been killed in Homs. It looks like government forces shelled the make shift media centre she was using. A French photographer also died, and other journalists were seriously injured. Absolutely tragic. She was an extraordinary journalist and an extremely brave woman, who had devoted her life trying to bring the horrors of conflict to readers and viewers across the world. She, her family and all of her colleagues should be in our thoughts today. Apologies if this has already been posted, but I'm on my iPhone and haven't been able to look through whole thread.

    Sadly I wish I had a different sign off, but....

    Peace
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  • « Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 19:38 by Straydog »

    Amsterhammer

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    Have just read that the brilliant American Sunday times war correspondent Marie Colvin has been killed in Homs...........

    Peace

    I was about to post on this - agree with your sentiments entirely.

    By way of a slight rebuttal to the revisionism posted a little earlier here, some excerpts from Marie's last call to CNN, a couple of hours before she was killed.

    Quote
    Anderson Cooper: Do we know how the child died? How he was wounded?

    Marie Colvin: We know there's been constant shelling in the city, so I have to say, it's just one of many stories. His house was hit by a shell. He -- another member of his family -- it's chaos here, but another member of his family arrived later, but after he had died, and said the house had been -- the second floor -- had been hit. This little boy, obviously it was just one piece of shrapnel that caught him right in the chest.

    Anderson Cooper: There are some who will see those images and say we shouldn't show those images, that it's too much. We discuss this all the time. Why is it important, do you think, to see these images? Why is it important for you to be there? Right now you may be one of the only Western journalists in Homs -- our team has just left.

    Marie Colvin: I had a discussion with your people, Anderson. I feel very strongly that they should be shown. Something like that, I think, is actually stronger for an audience, for someone who is not here, for an audience for which the conflict, any conflict, is very far away. That's the reality. These are 28,000 civilians, men, women and children, hiding, being shelled, defenseless. That little baby was one of two children who died today, one of children being injured every day. That baby probably will move more people to think, 'What is going on, and why is no one stopping this murder in Homs that is happening everyday?'

    Anderson Cooper: The regime in Syria claims they're not hitting civilians, that there is no armed conflict, that there is no war inside Syria, that they are basically just going after terrorist gangs.

    Marie Colvin: Every civilian house on this street has been hit. We're talking about a very poor popular neighborhood. The top floor of the building I'm in has been hit, in fact, totally destroyed. There are no military targets here. There is the Free Syrian Army: Heavily outnumbered and out-gunned -- they have only Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades. But they don't have a base. There are more young men being killed, we see a lot of teen-aged young men, but they are going out to just try to get the wounded to some kind of medical treatment. So it's a complete and utter lie that they're only going after terrorists. There are rockets, shells, tank shells, anti-aircraft being fired in parallel lines into the city. The Syrian Army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.

    Anderson Cooper: Thank you for using the word "lie." I think a lot of people will want to thank you, because it's a word we don't often hear, it's not often used, but it's the truth in this case. The Syrian regime and their representatives have continually lied, and they have lied on this program to us directly. Marie, you have covered a lot of conflicts, over a long time. How does this compare?

    Marie Colvin: This is the worst, Anderson, for many reasons. I think the last time we talked was when I was in Misrata. It's partly personal safety, I guess. There's nowhere to run: The Syrian army is holding the perimeter. And there's just far more ordinance being poured into this city and no way of predicting where it's going to land. Plus, there's a lot of snipers on the high buildings surrounding the Baba Amr neighborhood. You can sort of figure out where a sniper is, but you can't figure out where a shell is going to land. And just the terror of the people, and the helplessness of these families hiding on the first floor. All they can do is hope it doesn't hit them. That's very, very difficult to watch.

    more here - http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/22/world/marie-colvin-interview-transcript/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
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  • blutto

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    ...a US election backstory...


    USA Today:
     
    Five wealthy people, led by Dallas industrialist Harold Simmons and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, have donated nearly $1 of every $4 flowing to the super PACs raising unlimited money in this year's presidential race, a USA TODAY analysis shows. Those donations have helped new Republican-leaning outside groups swamp Democratic-friendly super PACs in fundraising — money that is used largely for attack ads. The large sums also have rejuvenated the underfunded campaigns of principal challengers to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the race for the Repulican nomination. "Without the flow of super PAC money, the Republican race would be over," said Anthony Corrado, a campaign-finance expert at Colby College in Maine. "Super PACs have become a vehicle for a very small number of millionaires and billionaires who are willing to spend large sums in pursuit of their political agenda."

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • blutto

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    ...why did our gas prices spike yesterday?...

    Washington - U.S. demand for oil and refined products — including gasoline — is down sharply from last year, so much that United States has actually become a net exporter of gasoline, unable to consume all that it makes.

    ....from....   http://www.truth-out.org/once-again-speculators-behind-sharply-rising-oil-and-gasoline-prices/1329920984

    ...gosh. I just love the magic of the marketplace to death...

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • Straydog

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    I was about to post on this - agree with your sentiments entirely.

    By way of a slight rebuttal to the revisionism posted a little earlier here, some excerpts from Marie's last call to CNN, a couple of hours before she was killed.

    more here - http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/22/world/marie-colvin-interview-transcript/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    Weirdly she was on the BBC last night reporting the same. Talking about watching a two year old die of shrapnel wounds, whilst a doctor could only watch with her, due to the severity of her injuries and the fact that government forces weren't agreeing to a daily ceasefire to allow emergency medical supplies and attention to get to the people who needed them. Seems almost prescient now. Honestly, and this might sound over dramatic, but I'm pretty much in shock. It's seems pretty surreal, and I know War Journalists take these risks, but she really did always go the extra yard. I was reading an obituary about her earlier, where people spoke of her as "Scoop", because of her knack of being in the "right" place at the "right" time. Tragically, her bravery and desire to share the horrors of what is happening at Homs and across Syria, seems to have left her in the "wrong" place at the "wrong" time. They also talked about her absolute, unwavering integrity. The White house has come out pretty unequivocally, almost suggesting she might have been targeted by Assad, which had happened to her previously in Sri Lanka when she lost her eye....The UK...well Cameron proved what an absolute f*cknut he is by wedging the fence post so far up his ass you could see it when he spoke...."...tragic...journalists take risks etc"...oh grow a backbone tory boy!

    Peace

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  • Sizzle

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    Australian press is terrible for this. Constantly see serious world news bumped by pathetic local stories

    Sometimes feels like nothing ever happens here. which is a good and bad thing. On one side when something bad happens it all feels a long way away and gives you a feeling of safety but on the other side feels like you are living life with a slight lack of colour if that makes sense

    something several people have noticed coming here. Europeans see it a bit but think people that have moved from places like South Africa and Zambia have noticed it even more.

    I think this and I have lived in Australia all my life. It's parochial. It's okay for notification of events, eg, an earthquake. It's useless for understanding world affairs or the complexity of important issues. There's a lot of reporting of political or corporate spin and a lot of 'this side said', 'that side said'.

    I try to piece together information from other sources.

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  • Tuart

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    Australian media is a joke but generally because we really are so isolated, culturally we've sort of spawned a bubble to other issues worldwide.
    A link about the media I posted in the shoutbox last night: Link
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  • Arb

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    The Weekend editions of The Oz and AFR probably have the best international coverage, even if it's all affiliate articles.

    It's probably the reason why I don't read the West anymore, absolutely zero international coverage back and front. I'll look at the first few pages for a laugh, likewise the back few, which say how footballer x is primed for an excellent season. Then go inside further to see if there's any mention of international sport/cycling.

    And luckily since the invention of twitter I hardly visit any Australian media websites unless there's something specific.
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  • blutto

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    ...the Syrian situation continues to confound...find below a report about how the death of a French journalist is being manipulated...

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/jacq-j21.shtml

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • Auscyclefan

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    I think this and I have lived in Australia all my life. It's parochial. It's okay for notification of events, eg, an earthquake. It's useless for understanding world affairs or the complexity of important issues. There's a lot of reporting of political or corporate spin and a lot of 'this side said', 'that side said'.

    I try to piece together information from other sources.
    Believe it or not, the media is suppose to say what 'this side said' and 'that side said'. ::)
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  • « Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 02:52 by Auscyclefan »

    Amsterhammer

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17146487

    Thoughts on the practice of extraditing one's own citizens to another country in cases like this? I think this is absolutely appalling.
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  • blutto

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    ...you really cant make stuff like this up...here are some words from the Ayatollah Santorum...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    " During a 2008 “Press & People of Faith in Politics” forum, Rick Santorum described to the Democratic Party as “the party of Woodstock,” and accused lawmakers of “prey upon our most basic primal lusts.”Asked to name a couple of words he’d heard attached to religion and politics in his years in the Senate, Santorum listed “moderate,” “ultra-conservative,” “liberal,” and “zealous” before launching into a full-on tirade against Democrats:
     




    “Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. They prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.”
     

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/santorum-democratic-party-an-orgy-of-sex-and-homosexuality-preying-on-lust/politics/2012/02/21/35088
     



    Of course Santorum will position Republicans as the “anti-homosexuality” party if he wins the nomination and has pledged to to annul all same-sex marriages and personally campaign in every state against marriage equality.
     
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ....and this guy is a legitimate contender for the GOP !?!?!?.... though is he, truth be known, an exceptionally exceptional example of that exceptionalism that so exemplifies the American experience?....

    Cheers

    blutto
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  • « Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 20:30 by blutto »

    blutto

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    ...those cheeky bastards!......first they refuse to play nice with the banks and now this...do these people have no sense of shame?

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120207/bradley-manning-nominated-nobel-peace-prize-2012

     Cheers

    blutto


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  • Balaverde

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    interesting thread.

    reminds of of something...
  • ReplyReply

  • blutto

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    ...and as long as we are in a Santorum love-fest mode here is a very interesting and poignant wee note...an open letter to the august Mr Santorum from none other than evil incarnate himself, the one, the only. Satan his-self...enjoy...

    http://paulbibeau.blogspot.com/2012/02/open-letter-to-rick-santorum-from-satan.html

    Cheers

    blutto
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