Brits to start break from EU on March 29th….

British PM May moves ahead….

Britain’s government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation.

Britain’s ambassador to the 28-nation EU, Tim Barrow, informed the European Council President Donald Tusk of the timing on Monday morning, the Department for Exiting the European Union said.

The notification of triggering Article 50 of a key EU treaty will come in the form of a letter delivered to Tusk — though it was unclear whether it would come through an actual letter or an electronic missive.

‘‘We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation,’’ Brexit secretary David Davis said. ‘‘The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the UK and indeed for all of Europe – a new, positive partnership between the U.K. and our friends…

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Trump Supreme Court pick Gorsuch starts open job interview hearings before the Senate…

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Neil Gorsuch has began his confirmation hearing before the US Senate for the job of US Supreme Court judge repelcing the the opening on the court from the Anthony Scalia passing….

Judeg Gorsuch will be confirmed barring any major slip-up….

But Democrats will be asking him hard questions ….

Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing for a seat on the Supreme Court began Monday morning, giving President Trump his first chance to make a lasting imprint on the federal judiciary — and Republicans a fresh test to work their will now that they control all of Washington’s levers of power.

Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado, was promoted by conservative legal activists because of his sterling credentials, a decade of right-of-center rulings and his allegiance to the same brand of constitutional interpretation employed by the late justice he would replace, Antonin Scalia.

“Single best thing the president’s done,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a frequent Trump foil who predicted Republican unity on the matter and an easy victory for the president following the string of controversies that Trump has wrought since he took office.

All of that also sets up a stark dilemma for Senate Democrats. Monday brings their newest opportunity since the confirmation hearings of Trump’s Cabinet to take a stand against a young administration that has horrified liberal Americans with efforts to strip away provisions of the Affordable Care Act, impose an entry ban on some immigrants and deeply cut federal agencies.

The left also remains angry about a Supreme Court seat that has been vacant since Scalia died 13 months ago because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) decided to block a hearing for President Barack Obama’s selection for the seat, Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit…..

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NY Atty. General brings on lawyer to probe Trump Admin…

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is staffing up to do investigations against the current United States sitting President in the area’s of….. ‘potential conflicts of interest, and possible violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits anyone holding a federal “office” from accepting payments from foreign entities.’

Schneiderman has hired  at least one of former US Atty. for the Sourthen Dist. Preet Bharara staff members to head his efforts….

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Schneiderman has tapped public-corruption expert Howard McMaster from the office of former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, The Wall Street Journal reported. Bharara was fired by Trump last week even though he was in the middle of a number of investigations, including one allegedly involving stock trades by Trump’s Health And Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Schneiderman spokesman Eric Soufer confirmed McMaster’s hiring, and told the Journal that McMaster will work on a range of “civil and criminal investigations … including public corruption,” and potentially litigation against the Trump administration.

Last month, at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, Schneiderman revealed that his office was discussing strategies and doing research to determine what kind of action could be taken to address concerns about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest, and possible violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits anyone holding a federal “office” from accepting payments from foreign entities.

“Certainly, my office is looking at anything that’s passed on to us and doing our own research,” Schneiderman said. “We’ve had meetings with people discussing these matters already.” But, he added that it was “premature to say one way or another how this is going to proceed.”

Schneiderman emphasized that it is “not sustainable” for Trump to “refuse to divest from all of his vast holdings and refuse to disclose what those holdings are.” Schneiderman called Trump’s situation “so far beyond the bounds of anything that anyone has ever attempted that people are having trouble coming up with a clear legal strategy to address it.”…

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Note….

A good amount of the staff and cabinet people brought on by Trump ARE from New York and have had business ties that a New York Atty. Gen could have investigative authority over….

image…New York Daily News

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A Majority of Young American’s don’t accept Trump as their President…Poll

The man IS the sworn in 45th President of the United States….

But as in the popular vote?

Most Americans ARE NOT happy he’s in the White House…

His daily twitter rants isn’t helping the guy ….

And ALL the polls are showing his approval numbers DROPPING to new lows….

He may be keeping his support among his base…

But everyone else is turning thumbs down on the guy….

Especially Young America....

Jermaine Anderson keeps going back to the same memory of Donald Trump, then a candidate for president of the United States, referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers.

“You can’t be saying that (if) you’re the president,” says Anderson, a 21-year-old student from Coconut Creek, Florida.

That Trump is undeniably the nation’s 45th president doesn’t sit easily with young Americans like Anderson who are the nation’s increasingly diverse electorate of the future, according to a new poll. A majority of young adults — 57 percent — see Trump’s presidency as illegitimate, including about three-quarters of blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asians, the GenForward poll found.

GenForward is a poll of adults age 18 to 30 conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

A slim majority of young whites in the poll, 53 percent, consider Trump a legitimate president, but even among that group 55 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing, according to the survey.

“That’s who we voted for. And obviously America wanted him more than Hillary Clinton,” said Rebecca Gallardo, a 30-year-old nursing student from Kansas City, Missouri, who voted for Trump.

Trump’s legitimacy as president was questioned earlier this year by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.: “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

Trump routinely denies that and says he captured the presidency in large part by winning states such as Michigan and Wisconsin that Clinton may have taken for granted.

Overall, just 22 percent of young adults approve of the job he is doing as president, while 62 percent disapprove….

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FBI Director appears before House Intel Committee…

FBI Director Comey is certain to be asked for information about Trump’s acusation that President Obama ordered his Trump Tower wiretapped…..

(  The first open public acknowledgement that several of Trump’s people WHERE the subject of intercepts has been made by the House chair  Rep. Nunes , something most people who understand how the NSA works knew all along)

He will also asked about investigation’s into Trump & Co. Russian connections…And the 2016 Elections 

Some questions he answer in public…So only in private sessions and one would quess some questions he won’t answer at all…

Above all one would guess he has had visions of his actions last November right before the Presidential election….

The House Intelligence Committee has begun its first public hearing on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, with FBI Director James B. Comey and National Security Agency head Michael S. Rogers set to testify.

The two senior officials will likely face questions about possible collusion between associates of President Trump and the Kremlin.

The hearing comes amid the controversy fired up by Trump two weeks ago when he tweeted, without providing evidence, that President Barack Obama ordered his phones tapped at Trump Tower.

Comey is expected publicly to debunk that allegation, according to the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), following a parade of current and former senior officials who have said there is no evidence of wiretaps on Trump or Trump Tower.

Comey privately told lawmakers last week that there was no basis to the charge.

“The fact that Russia hacked U.S. election-related databases comes as no shock to this committee, which has been closely monitoring Russia’s aggressions for years,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), said in an opening statement.

Nunes said he hoped the hearing would focus on several key question, including what actions did Russia undertake against the U.S. during the 2016 election and did anyone from a political campaign conspire in these activities? He also wants to know if the communications of any campaign officials or associates were subject to any improper surveillance. “Let me be clear,” he said. “We know there was not a wiretap on Trump Tower. However, it’s still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.”…

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Note….

NSA head Michael S. Rogers is also appearing before the House committee  today also….Most of his information will probablem be in closed sessions….

image…CNN screen capture

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Gallup Poll…Trump approval falls BELOW Obama’s…

Keep at it Donald.!….

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President Trump’s approval rating has fallen to a new low of 37% since he took office in January, according to the latest Gallup poll.

While 37% of Americans approve of the job the President is doing, 58% disapprove. His approval rating stood at 45% last week, poll numbers showed.

The daily poll results are based on telephone interviews with 1,500 people nationwide and has a 3% margin of error.

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, consistently polled approval ratings in the low 50s and his disapproval ratings were in the mid-40s all throughout March 2016, according to Gallup.

The latest poll comes after Republicans pitched their proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare. The health care plan could leave 24 million people uninsured by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office….

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Preet Bharara wants to get in front of the camera’s….

The just fired US Attoney for the Southern District of New York has always moved among those in the entertainment world….

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The NY Post also thinks Bharara is looking for a New York higher office to run for after doing a stint with his own investigative TV show….

Bharara — who was dismissed as Manhattan US attorney last weekend when he refused a Trump administration order to ­resign — is angling for a TV gig that could help launch a run for elected office, a source told The Post.

“He’s trying to be a liberal Bill O’Reilly,” the source claimed.

Bharara, 48, could be hoping to land a news show on CNN or MSNBC, “a half-investigative reporting, half Larry King-type show, [where] he can be the special correspondent.”

But in the short-term, Bharara is looking to appear on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” — to prove he’s camera-ready, the source said.

“Preet really wants to do Colbert,” the source said. “He thinks Stephen’s really funny and that it’s a way to audition for a gig, where executives will take notice and say, ‘We should give this guy a show.”

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image…NPR

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Trump and Ryan could lose Trumpcare battle—and still destroy Obamacare

 By Egberto Willies   @  Daily Kos

The Trumpcare bill, which seeks to replace the Affordable Care Act, seems to be hanging by a thread. Public opinion polls now show Obamacare above water and Trumpcare under water. Gambling types would surely bet that the bill—in just about every form—will fail. But that would be nothing more than a short-term gain, and it is important that progressives understand that—right now.

Rejoicing in this likely upcoming win is a fool’s errand. Why? Because for many Americans, specifically those who are not on Medicaid, Obamacare is a financial strain. I am self-employed, and I’m paying about $1,200 a month with a family deductible of $12,000. My plan is an HMO. But in past years a program like this would be considered a “catastrophic” plan. I would have to spend $26,400 before the insurance kicks in. To be fair, the doctor fees are an affordable $40.00 to $100.00, and labs and medicine are discounted.

I understand these costs intellectually, in the context of the corrupt health care system that we have. I understand that the drug companies, the hospitals, and the insurance companies are businesses with shareholders. They all want to show growth, regardless of whether they provide more value or services. That growth consists of an unwarranted increase in health care costs across the board.

University of Houston professor Seth Chandler wrote a piece titled “Republican Stalemate Will Test Whether Obamacare Is Indeed Collapsing” that pointed out a reality about Obamacare. He predicts that we are headed for a stalemate—and progressives should not consider that a win….

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Germany and Japan promote Free Trade vs Trump….

As Trump & Co. look to step out of exisiting free trade agreements to  haggle his own deals?

Other countries are talking about keeping their trade connections and lower trade barriers….

Will Trump’s experiment cost Americans MORE as other countries turn away from Trump’s American markets?

It appears that Gernany’s Merkel is moving along with China to leave America behind in world trade….

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a concerted effort to defend free trade, saying global markets can be both open and fair.

Two days after U.S. President Donald Trump and Merkel held inconclusive talks at the White House, the German and Japanese leaders opened the CeBIT technology show in Hanover, Germany, by advocating a trade accord between Japan and the European Union as a way to underscore the benefits of an interconnected global economy.

“Of course we want fair markets, but we don’t want to put up barriers,” Merkel said in an apparent retort to Trump’s pledge of enacting “America First” economic and trade policies. “At a time when we have to quarrel with many about free trade, open borders and democratic values, it’s a good sign that Germany and Japan aren’t quarreling about that.”

Abe said Japan, having benefited from free trade and investment, “wants to be the champion of upholding open systems alongside Germany,” though “it will be necessary to have rules that are fair and can stand up to democratic appraisal.”…

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Trump Admin follows Obama script in African military policy action…

This should be NO surprise since just about the all the  Trump Admin Pentagon bosses served under President Obama….

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American Special Ops ‘advisors’ are on the ground in more than seven countries and those and other countries have asked more…

The global reach of special operators is widening. During the peak of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 13,000 Special Operations forces were deployed on missions across the globe, but a large majority were assigned to those two countries. Now, more than half of the 8,600 elite troops overseas are posted outside the Middle East or South Asia, operating in 97 countries, according to the Special Operations Command.

Still, about one-third of the 6,000 American troops currently in Iraq and Syria are special operators, many of whom are advising local troops and militias on the front lines. About a quarter of the 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan are special operators.

In Africa, about one-third of the nearly 6,000 overall troops are Special Operations forces. The only permanent American installation on the continent is Camp Lemonnier, a sprawling base of 4,000 United States service members and civilians in Djibouti that serves as a hub for counterterrorism operations and training. The United States Air Force flies surveillance drones from small bases in Niger and Cameroon.

Elsewhere in Africa, the roles of special operators are varied, and their ranks are small, typically measured in the low dozens for specific missions. Between 200 and 300 Navy SEALs and other special operators work with African allies to hunt shadowy Shabab terrorists in Somalia. As many as 100 Special Forces soldiers help African troops pursue the notorious leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. And Navy SEALs are training Nigerian commandos for action in the oil-rich delta.

The United States is building a $50 million drone base in Agadez, Niger, that is likely to open sometime next year to monitor Islamic State insurgents in a vast area on the southern flank of the Sahara that stretches from Senegal to Chad.

Mr. Trump’s tough talk on terrorism has been well received here in Chad, where American Special Operations and military instructors from several Western nations finished an annual three-week counterterrorism training exercise last week.

Many African soldiers and security forces said they would welcome an even larger United States military presence to help combat myriad extremist threats. “Of course we’d like more,” said Hassan Zakari Mahamadou, a police commissioner from Niger. “U.S. forces enhance us.”

The Pentagon has allocated about $250 million over two years to help train the armies and security forces of North, Central and West African countries.

But American aid and training alone — along with occasional secret unilateral strikes — will not be enough to defeat groups like Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State, officials say…..

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image…The Huffington Post

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Sen Warren turns to embrace the media…

Unknown to most progressives that swear by Massachusetts  Democratic Senator  Elizabeth Warren….

She is NOT Media friendly….

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And she HAS issues with support in her state……

(The 2020 presidential talk is just that…Outside Talk)

That was up to now…

Facing a  re-election she has done about face….

Elizabeth Warren’s creative media-dodging habits are a running joke among her home-state press corps. Whenever the senator makes a public appearance, Massachusetts reporters know to keep one eye fixed on the exit doors.

But that might be changing.

In just the last week alone, the notoriously press-averse progressive icon held three open-to-media events back home, followed by lengthy huddles with reporters on a wide range of issues ranging from her Senate votes to Donald Trump’s wiretapping accusations to the 2020 race.

Following her most recent press availability in Worcester, she shook hands with the half-dozen assembled reporters — and even asked if everyone “got what they needed.”

In Boston and Washington, where Warren is known for being as stingy with the media on Capitol Hill as back home, the sudden thaw has political operatives questioning what’s behind the change of heart.

“I always wondered why she wasn’t more accommodating to the press. You can be combative, it can be confrontational, but it’s always a long-term much better strategy to engage with the press,” said Democratic strategist Scott Ferson. “It’s not as if she has to be concerned about engagement with the press. She’s good on her feet.”

Yet you wouldn’t know it from some of Warren’s inventive attempts to evade the media. In addition to standard refusals to answer questions, the senator has bolted out side doors to avoid interviews and gone to great lengths to avoid questions such as who did she vote for in the Democratic presidential primary.

With Warren up for re-election in 2018, the first-term Democratic senator now has plenty of incentive to amp up her media profile back home. The state Republican Party has stepped up its attacks on her over the last year, and it might be leaving a bruise: A January poll sent shockwaves through the state by reporting that 46 percent of respondents said it’s time for someone else to have a shot at the Senate….

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image… csmonitor.com

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House Speaker Ryan admits he has even more changes for Trump/Ryancare Bill to get votes…

He KNOWS he’s in trouble …..

He’s fighting the CBO call that the plan will CUT healthcare insurance for tens of millions of Americans making the plan hard for a LOT of Republicans in the House and Senate to vote for and run for re-election next year….

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he’s seeking changes to the Republican health care bill to provide more assistance to 50-and-60-year-olds.

“We believe we should have even more assistance — and that’s one of the things we’re looking at — for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care costs,” the Wisconsin Republican told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

Ryan’s comments came in the wake of a Congressional Budget Office analysis showing older people could pay higher premiums under the GOP bill. Ryan expressed skepticism about the CBO analysis, but said his leadership team is still looking at more ways to help older people under the new plan.

“The CBO looked at a little piece of the issue, when we know the secretary of HHS will help bring market freedom and regulatory relief to the insurance markets to dramatically lower the price of the plan for the 50-and-60 year olds,” Ryan said. “But even with that, we think, we should be offering more assistance than what the bill currently does.”….

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Chuck Berry the Rock & Roll icon is gone…

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The man who gave birth to the 1960’s Rock & Roll and beyond  will be missed….

Chuck Berry, a music pioneer often called “the Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” died Saturday at his home outside St. Louis, his verified Facebook page said. He was 90.

A post on the St. Charles County police Facebook page said officers responded to a medical emergency at the residence around 12:40 p.m. (1:40 p.m. ET) Saturday and found an unresponsive man inside. Resuscitation efforts failed.
“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.”

A musical legend

Berry wrote and recorded “Johnny B. Goode” and “Sweet Little Sixteen” — songs every garage band and fledgling guitarist had to learn if they wanted to enter the rock ‘n’ roll fellowship.
Berry took all-night hamburger stands, brown-eyed handsome men and V-8 Fords and turned them into the stuff of American poetry. By doing so, he gave rise to followers beyond number, bar-band disciples of the electric guitar, who carried his musical message to the far corners of the Earth…..
image…Black Past.Org
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Trump’s UnPopular numbers Grow…Open Thread for March 18, 2017…

Donald Trump has been in office for about 56 days….

During THAT time he has managed make his support among Americans drop….

Trump is NOT getting the traditional ‘honeymoon bounce’ that American President’s tend to get…

But then Donald J. Trump isn’t ANYTHING like any modern day newly elected President is he?

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Russian investments in Trump properties put at almost $100 Milliion…

…..“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”….

…drip….Drip…DRIP.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump downplayed his business ties with Russia. And since taking office as president, he has been even more emphatic.

“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”

But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.

The buyers include politically connected businessmen, such as a former executive in a Moscow-based state-run construction firm that works on military and intelligence facilities, the founder of a St. Petersburg investment bank and the co-founder of a conglomerate with interests in banking, property and electronics.

People from the second and third tiers of Russian power have invested in the Trump buildings as well. One recently posted a photo of himself with the leader of a Russian motorcycle gang that was sanctioned by the United States for its alleged role in Moscow’s seizure of Crimea….

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Can Trump get support from Senate GOPer’s for Trump/Ryancare?

While things have been touch and go with the Trump/Ryancare Repeal/Replace bill…..

The word is the Senate is a ‘No Go’ for the bill to take down President Obama’s legacy healthcare program…

The Politico piece linked below focuses on Iowa GOP US Senator Joni Ernst and her efforts to make up her mind on voting for/against the House written bill….

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a magnet for attention, has been taking the fight to Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan, warning that House Republicans could get steamrolled in the next election if they vote for it. During his 2014 campaign, the Republican vowed to “start over” on Obamacare — not far off from the advice he’s now offering his House counterparts.

“There’s not a reason to rush. We should get it right,” Cotton said in an interview this week. “I am speaking out for the people I serve in Arkansas. And I just don’t think this bill is going to work for them.”

Such blunt assessments are not Ernst’s style. But people who know her say she’s similarly apprehensive about where Republicans are going on health care.

“The way she’s approaching the future of Obamacare is consistent with the job she’s been doing as a senator since she’s been elected. Thoughtful, deliberate and going her own way,” said Matt Strawn, a former Iowa GOP chairman. “Most of the Republicans I talk to don’t want to be in the business of taking away peoples’ coverage.”

Ernst bobbed and weaved as she was berated over almost any negative comment she made about the health care law at a pair of rollicking town hall meetings on Friday. Constituents shouted at the former lieutentant colonel in the Iowa National Guard to “answer the question!” — particularly about potential cuts to Medicaid — but Ernst she gave away little about which way she’s leaning on perhaps the most consequential decision of her political career.

Ernst she said that she wants an opportunity to amend the House proposal before committing to anything….

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