Wikinews Shorts: December 4, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, December 4, 2008.

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On December 2, the Toronto city council voted in favor of banning the sales and distribution of bottled water on city property. The council also agreed to provide public drinking fountains on their properties, as well as on a measure that would make shoppers pay at least five Canadian cents for plastic grocery bags and force business owners to offer reusable bags and carry-out containers.

“Toronto’s decision to ban the bottle and turn on the tap sends a clear message that bottled water’s 15 minutes are up,” said Polaris Institute’s campaign coordinator, Joe Cressy.

All of the city’s facilities should be following the water ban by 2011, while businesses will have to implement their bag fees by 2010. Toronto has become the largest city in the world to ban bottled water on government property.

Related news

  • “Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada” — Wikinews, August 23, 2008


  • “Toronto Bans Bottled Water” — CNW Group, December 3, 2008
  • “Toronto council approves plastic bag charge, bottle ban” — CBC News, December 3, 2008

On Tuesday, American actor, Patrick Swayze, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, denied reports that he was near death. American tabloid National Inquirer reported on November 28 that Swayze’s cancer had spread to his liver and that he was preparing for his death.

“The only thorn in my side being that many tabloids have been consistently reporting lies and false information about me and those close to me,” said Swayze in a statement to the press who also added that he knows he is in “the fight for his life,” but that it is a fight that he “is winning.”

“I’m one of the lucky few that responds well to treatment,” added Swayze.

Swayze has starred in over a dozen films, including the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing.

Related news

  • “Wikinews Shorts: November 28, 2008” — Wikinews, November 28, 2008


  • “Swayze denies ‘deathbed’ rumours” — BBC News Online, December 3, 2008
  • “Patrick Swayze denies reports he is near death” — Reuters, December 2, 2008

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Unlocked Android Phones Are High Tech Performance Phone

Apple has brought out phones that accept marveled anybody about the world, their phones accept been bought in millions because of its adult features, architecture and body quality, alike the abutment offered for the buzz are in affluence for the users to accept from. There are bags of fun applications and utilities for the iPhone. This absolutely is the acute phone. The iphone 4gs is the aboriginal iPhone to abutment Bluetooth 4.0, a low-energy Bluetooth blueprint that allows accessories to accompany via Bluetooth while arresting far beneath ability than acceptable Bluetooth devices. This low-power adaptation of Bluetooth doesn’t abutment articulation — headsets and added articulation accessories still accept to address over one of the higher-power specs — but it does abutment manual of abstracts from added peripherals like affection bulk monitors, watches, and ascribe accessories like keyboards or bold controllers.

Cheap unlocked android phones are still accessible anticipation they are advised absurd to be able with high- tech performance. Apart cellphones can accommodate a huge ambit of benefits. Apart cellphones are advised to assignment with any SIM card. Apart cellphone agency those that can booty any SIM card, which is additionally accepted as GSM corpuscle phones. Many bodies get afflicted back they are set out for a adopted country for their cellphones can not abutment the activity of alive in accession country. However, apart cellphone artlessly break this problem. Buying bargain apart cellphones can save you absolutely a bit of money because there is a amazing bulk of antagonism amid devices. Apart cellphones abide hot in the bazaar and they accept adored the bazaar for accepted adaptable devices.

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What could be added alluring than calling accompany and ancestors from your wrist watch? Downloading abundant music, and blockage your email is additionally accessible with these new gadgets. Additionally a abundant addition, is the actuality that it is absorbed to your wrist! Anybody abhors that moment back they ability abysmal into their abridged or purse to apprehend their cellular buzz is missing in action. Now, it is as accessible as beefcake your corpuscle buzz on at the alpha of anniversary day, and never accepting to anguish about accident it. cell phone watch cellular phones accept several repetitive features, to that of hand-held cellular phones. Although, its accessibility is what seems to be affairs these new articles about the globe. Here are some of the top affairs wrist watch buzz features, out in food today:

The new wrist watch china wholesale phones are actuality awash worldwide, in altered varieties, colors, and captivation altered appearance with anniversary carrier. It’s a claimed alternative as to whether beefcake on or avaricious assimilate your cellular buzz is the appropriate best for you. Although, the apple of technology consistently welcomes new and bigger angles to our accustomed all-important gadgets. Articulation Recorders: Some of these acceptable accessories accommodate a articulation recorder. Did you balloon area you anchored in the capital parking lot? Perhaps you charge to bethink to aces up milk and eggs at the grocery store? At the bang of a button, it is accessible to allege into your wrist watch and almanac a bulletin to be heard by you at a after time or date.

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The new wrist watch china wholesale phones are actuality awash worldwideAuthor: Amy Zhang

Russian commander: Tu-160s penetrate US airspace undetected

Tuesday, April 25, 2006File:Tu 16019.jpg

A senior Russian air force commander has claimed that new, upgraded Tu-160 bomber aircraft were unchallenged by US air defense systems when they penetrated a radar zone near the Canadian coast in US territory during an April training exercise, reports the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Commander of Russia’s long-range strategic bombers, Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said that the bombers successfully carried out four mock Tu-95MS cruise missile launches, 200 mock bombings, and 53 mock sorties during the exercise. The RIA Novosti reported that the United States Air Force is currently investigating how the Tu-160’s escaped detection.

Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said, “They were unable to detect the planes either with radars or visually.”

Khvorov denies any link of the tests to the current US-Iranian tension, saying, “Of course, our exercises did not have anything to do with the situation in Iran, but their organization indirectly echoed in that region.”

The Tupolev Tu-160 is a strategic bomber introduced in 1987. It resembles the North American B-1B Lancer, but is larger and faster, being powered by four NK-32 afterburning turbofans, the largest in any combat aircraft. It is not considered to be a stealth aircraft due to its exposed engine inlets and broad wing gloves.

According to Khvorov over the course of this year, two additional Tu-160s will be commissioned for the long-range strategic bomber fleet with the numerous upgrades, including the ability to launch cruise missiles, aviation bombs, and satellite communication.

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Major explosions at UK oil depot

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A series of large explosions have occurred close to Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire, UK. The source of the explosions has been confirmed as the Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal (HOSL), Hemel Hempstead, known locally as the Buncefield complex. Up to 150 fire fighters are reported to be at the scene with 10 fire appliances and 1 specialist foamer.

The first ‘blast’ was heard near Hemel Hempstead on Sunday 11 Dec at 6 am. Further smaller explosions followed at 6:24am , 6:26am, 6:30am. BBC News 24 reported an additional, fourth large explosion. Hertfordshire Police Constabulary are currently treating the explosion as an accident.

Reports say the explosion, which registered 2.4 on the Richter scale, was heard as far away as Oxford, and Whitehall, Central London which is 60km (38 miles) away. Eyewitness statements report that the explosion was heard from at least 160km (100 miles) away and as far away as France and The Netherlands. Pilots reported noticing the blast from the North Sea and the West Country area of the UK. The M1 motorway which runs close by has been closed in both directions near the blast which is causing travel chaos as other roads become congested.

Malcom Stewart, a BBC News24 eyewitness who is a tanker driver for the site has reported that the site supplies several oil companies and is a joint operation between Total UK and Texaco, it is also used by BP, Shell and the British Pipeline association. The complex is not a refinery but a storage facility for refined petroleum awaiting distribution to airports and filling stations. The eyewitness reports that the depot has approximately 20 tanks which can hold about 3 million gallons (11 million litres or 70,000 barrels) each. Another News24 eyewitness has just reported that he has seen at least 5 of these tanks on fire.

The depot operates on a 24 hour basis and is split into 2 parts – aviation fuel and domestic fuel. A number of eyewitnesses have reported on UK news that the aviation fuel side appears to be the part of the site that has been affected.

Local authorities were not immediately available for comment but there have been reports of casualties.

Some reports on live television state that, “Several other neighbours said they did see a plane go into the depot.” BBC News 24 were also discussing the idea a possible plane crash as the cause of the explosions. Hertfordshire police have now gone on the record to say that there is no plane involved (BBC News24).

The police have issued a contact number 0800 096 0095 and asked that people do not call the emergency services in Hertfordshire directly unless it is an emergency.

In addition to being an oil storage depot, it is a major hub on the UK oil pipeline network with pipelines to Killingholme Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR), Humberside (10 inch), Merseyside (10 and 12 inch), Coryton on the Thames Estuary (14 inch) and Heathrow (6 and 8 inch) and Gatwick airports radiating from it.

The disaster is believed to be the worst explosion at a petrochemical plant in the UK since the Flixborough disaster of 1974.Hertfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said: “This is possibly the largest incident of its kind in peacetime Europe.”

A firefighting press officer said that they are stock piling foam from neighboring regions for a prolonged attach which they hope will stop the spread of the fire, however, the inferno itself will have to burn out which could take between 24 hours and a few days.

Despite the authorities saying that there is no need to panic buy petrol, filling stations have had above average queues since this morning and some small garages have ran out.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has visited the scene.

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Guinea Pig Cages Building Your Own

By Bob Matthews

Guinea pigs are lovable little creatures. They make great pets, are relatively easy to care for and can be very friendly if they are brought up with care and kindness. One very important step in bringing a new guinea pig into the home is providing adequate housing.

Pet store cages are an option that many people choose. They are certainly convenient. All one needs do is choose one and take it home. The major drawback is that most cages are too small and confining to insure a healthy environment for your pig. Larger cages can often be very difficult to find – and even when they are available, they can be extremely costly.

A very viable second option is to build your own cage. You can not only save a bundle of money by building your own cage, but you can get exactly the cage you want by adding any custom features you so desire. Most importantly, you can make your cage large enough so that your pig can get adequate exercise to remain happy and healthy.

The first step will be to design the cage. The most important item to be considered will be the dimensions of the cage. The following approximate de facto standards for minimum cage sizes can be found with a fast search on the internet. Your cage should provide at least the minimum square footage suggested:

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— One guinea pig: 6-7 sq. ft.

— Two guinea pigs: 7.5 sq. ft.

— Three guinea pigs: 10.5 sq. ft.

— Four guinea pigs: 13 sq. ft.

A cage construction technology called C and C (cubes and coroplast) has become popular in recent years. This method uses steel girds to form the walls of the cage (and optionally a top and bottom). A corrugated plastic sheet is used to form the litter pan or litter box on the cage. The grids are joined using either plastic connectors designed for this purpose or tie-wrap (zip tie) fasteners.

The grids are each 14-inches square. So your cage design can be any shape and size that can be formed using 14-inch x 14-inch squares. Many cage design variations are possible including squares, rectangles, triangle – and even multi-level cages with ramps for moving between levels.

From our experience as cage builders and designers, multi-level cages are the most popular. And most guinea pigs seem to love them. And the ramp between levels can provide additional exercise for your pet.

Designing and building a C and C cage for your guinea pig(s) is something that nearly anyone can do. No special skills or tools are necessary. All it takes is a little planning and access to the right materials. As an alternative, you can also buy a C&C cage kit online from a reputable seller. Interested in seeing a C&C cage? Click Now on a link in the resource box below to see some quality innovative C&C cage design kits.

About the Author: We here at Blue Stone Commerce are pet owners as well as pet cage sellers. Visit Our Website

for lots more info on guinea pigs and guinea pig cages. Be sure to Claim Your FREE BONUS GIFT available on the front page. Follow Us on Twitter:


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Wikinews Shorts: April 9, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, April 9, 2007.

The New Zealand Police has reported that a three-year-old boy choked to death on Saturday afternoon, due to what they believe was a piece of candy at his birthday party.

The parents did call New Zealand’s emergency number, 1-1-1, after their son alerted his parents to the fact that he was choking. The paramedics were unable to revive the Napier boy when they arrived at the scene.

The case has been referred to a coroner.


  • Nzpa. “Three year old dies after choking on candy” — Fairfax New Zealand, April 9, 2007
  • “Three-year-old birthday boy chokes to death” — New Zealand Herald, April 9, 2007

Relatively unknown golfer Zach Johnson won the 71st Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Johnson shot 3-under-par 69 in Sunday’s fourth round, to win by 2 strokes over Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen, and Rory Sabbattini.

Johnson won a purse worth US$1,305,000 and a lifetime qualification to the Masters Tournament, held annually at the Augusta National Golf Club.


  • Press Release: Vartan Kupelian. “Johnson Proves His Mettle In Masters Victory” — The Masters Tournament, April 9, 2007
  • Gene Wojciechowski. “Johnson beats Tiger at his own game” —, April 9, 2007
  • “A strange week ends with a green jacket for Johnson” — CBS Sportsline, April 8, 2007

A couple living in New York City have decided to take a taxi all the way to Arizona. Betty and Bob Matas are retiring and leaving the city for good. What started as joke, has become reality, in part to spare their cats from traveling in a jetliner cargo-hold. They have negotiated a US$3,000 flat fee instead of the metered rate, which was estimated at US$5,000.


  • “New York couple taking cab to Arizona retirement” — CNN, April 8, 2007
  • “New York City Couple Hails Cab to Arizona” — Fox News, April 8, 2007

A vocational nurse working for Dr. John Capriotti, a plastic surgeon, was accused of setting the fire that wounded several and killed three people in Houston, Texas on March 28. She was allegedly trying to cover up the fact that she hadn’t completed the paperwork for an upcoming audit.

The fire began in Dr. Capriotti’s office on the fifth floor and quickly spread to the sixth. Arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department, the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been working to determine the source of the fire.


  • Anne Marie Kilday. “Bond set at $330,000 for nurse in fatal fire” — Houston Chronicle, April 8, 2007
  • Associated Press. “Woman afraid of losing job confesses to fatal fire” — The Dallas Morning News, April 8, 2007
  • Kimberly Pina. “Area fire departments evaluate high-rise strategy” — Houston Chronicle, April 6, 2007
  • Joe Stinebaker. “3 dead in Houston office building fire” — Lexington Herald-Leader, March 29, 2007

Iran announced that it has started industrial scale production of nuclear fuel involving hundreds of centrifuges. The announcement comes as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reasserts his nation’s nuclear rights in the face of two rounds of sanctions by the UN Security Council, which is seeking a halt to such work.

The United States denounced the declaration, saying it showed Iran was defying the international community.


  • Parisa Hafezi. “Iran announces “industrial” nuclear fuel work” — Reuters, April 9, 2007
  • Marc Wolfensberger and Patrick Donahue. “Iran Says Nuclear Enrichment Reaches Industrial Scale” — Bloomberg L.P., April 9, 2007
  • “President: Iran to generate nuclear power on schedule” — Islamic Republic News Agency, April 9, 2007

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Australian Govt to lessen numbers of immigrants detained indefinitely

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Australian Government today announced terms of a new class of visa which is aimed at reducing the number of immigration detainees locked up indefinitely, after years of criticism by human rights watchdogs.

The new Return Pending Bridging Visa allows for release of detainees held for over three years and who have exhausted all rights for appeal, but who cannot be removed from Australia. In the community they will be provided income support, Medicare, maternity and child benefits, rent assistance and permission to work, and will be required to periodically report to authorities.

Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs said, “The new Bridging visa will only be granted to a relatively small number of detainees where … it is not reasonably practicable to achieve removal in the short term and where the detainee undertakes to cooperate fully with removal from Australia, once that becomes practicable.”

“The new bridging visa will not be available to detainees with current visa applications, or who are challenging decisions, either through review or courts,” the Minister said.

“The new bridging visa category does not apply to failed asylum seekers on Nauru. Management of that caseload remains completely separate from onshore cases.”

And the visa applies only at the Minister’s discretion.

A recent High Court decision has left it in the Government’s hands to resolve the issue of indefinite detention, maintaining that under the law there was nothing to prevent immigrants who could not be sent to another country and are not accepted by the Australian Government, from being imprisoned forever.

The change is thought to allow release of up to 100 detainees currently held, although it is not a blanket release for all detainees held over three years, for example the longest-serving detainee, Peter Qasim who has been held for seven years, will not be eligible.

Ms Vanstone claims Mr Qasim has not co-operated with the department’s attempts to establish his identity. India will only take him if it can be proven that he is Indian – and without any evidence available except his language, he has been unable to return. But according to Ms Vanstone, all it requires is “further co-operation from Mr Qasim” – therefore he remains in detention.

Qasim wrote in an open letter in September: “I have asked 80 countries to take me but all have refused. I have committed no crime but I have a life sentence. Please give me freedom. I would work hard with a grateful heart. But I cannot live imprisoned forever without hope.”

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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

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Basketball Backboards: Acrylic Vs. Glass Backboards

By Bill Parsons

When watching the game of basketball, spectators probably dont give much thought to what type of backboard is being used. The backboard is in fact one of the most important parts of a basketball system. Though glass backboards have long been thought of as the best backboards, acrylic backboards have many of the same features.

If you are several feet away and look at a backboard you may not be able to tell the difference between an acrylic one and a glass one. They are both clear, they both come in the same sizes, and they both have the outline markings and shooter’s square. When you throw the ball and go for a rebound, that is were the difference comes into view.

Glass backboards are the backboards used by the pros. Professional style backboards are made of inch thick tempered glass. The outline of the backboard and the shooter’s square are fired into the glass so they wont wear away. A regulation size backboard is 42 x 72, but glass backboards come in many different sizes. They are dent and scratch resistant and wont get dusty.

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What is so great about glass? The main reason why professionals love glass is because of the way the ball interacts with the glass. Rebounds bounce off immediately and crisply. There is virtually no reverberation with glass. Glass will not dent so there are no worries about the ball hitting a dent or groove. Players know exactly what to expect with a glass backboard.

One of the only drawbacks of a glass backboard is the possibility of breakage. Though shattering a backboard is not the goal of a slam dunk, it is possible with enough force to shatter a glass backboard. With breakaway goals the likelihood is less, but still possible. There are certain types of glass backboards available that are guaranteed not to shatter. The risk of shattering, however, does not compare to the excellent ball interaction.

Fairly recently, acrylic backboards have come into play. Backboard that are made of cast acrylic are very similar to glass backboards– but more economical. Cast acrylic is one of the strongest forms of acrylic manufactured today. It is virtually dent resistant. Most acrylic backboards come with steel frames for even more stability. This frame is very important for proper ball interaction.

To get a similar feel as a glass backboard, look for an acrylic backboard that is inch thick. If the acrylic is too thick the ball will not respond the same way. Though acrylic backboards are more economical, they will have to be replaced sooner than a glass backboard would. They are also more difficult to keep clean since dirt can get into the grooves.

If you are on a budget an acrylic backboard will definitely get the job done. It has good ball interaction and is durable and sturdy. But, if you are looking for longer durability and more consistency, a glass backboard is the way to go.

About the Author: Author Bill Parsons is the creative author of a variety of online specialty stores that offer both items and information for all your athletic equipment needs. Today, he offers advice on different types of

basketball hoop backboard

material and discusses the differences between acrylic and tempered glass backboards. The type of backboard you want to select depends on where it’s going to be used, Bill says. What you would select for an

outdoor inground basketball hoop

might be different then a

indoor portable system



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Alabama School Bus Crash kills 4

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tragedy struck Huntsville, Alabama Monday morning when a school bus transporting Lee High School students to a local trade school careened over a retaining wall on an elevated part of Interstate 565 at the U.S. highway 231 exit and plummeted 30 feet.

Killed in the initial crash were Nicole Ford, 19, Christine Collier, 16. Tanesha Hill, 17, died later at Huntsville Hospital. A fourth victim, Crystal Renee McCrary, 17, died Tuesday. Anthony Scott, the bus driver, and 14 students remain hospitalized, according to Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman Pam Sparks.

Huntsville Police spokesman Wendell Johnson said a 1990 Toyota Celica apparently hit the Laidlaw Education Services-contracted school bus. The bus driver apparently attempted evasive action, and a reaction sent the right tire climbing up the protective barrier. The buses momentum caused it to teeter on the wall briefly, flipped upside down, careening headlong onto the ground below. It was unclear if the driver jumped or was ejected, though National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Debbie Hersman said the bus driver was found on the overpass, and that, “We are trying to determine why the bus driver was on the overpass.”

Investigating agencies at federal, state and local levels include the NTSB, Alabama State Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Public Safety, and Huntsville Police Department.

Thad Sokolowski, a 17-year-old Lee High School eyewitness said, “The orange car was going to pass the bus. He thought something was wrong with the car, like his tire got blown out because it started fishtailing.” He added that the orange Toyota hit the bus, “but not hard. It was a bump,” adding that the bus “skidded down the rail and it was gone.”

His description of the wreck was given to his mother, Bonnie Sokolowski, and published in the Huntsville Times, because he did not want to speak with reporters.

Police Chief Rex Reynolds said evidence will be presented to a Grand Jury, as is required by state law for fatalities involving minors, and added that charges have not yet been filed against the 17-year old Toyota driver. Chief Reynolds said the bus driver had a clean driving record.

Mass chaos ensued and Crestwood Medical Center and Huntsville Hospital, the two local hospitals, both activated their Mass Casualty action plans. Emergency response personnel from throughout the area were called upon to assist in rescue efforts. Huntsville Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Sherrie Squyres said all off-duty hospital medical and nursing personnel were requested to return to work, and that three trauma surgeons and one neurosurgeon were committed exclusively to accident response.

Among the problems facing hospital and rescue personnel was the absence of personal identification among the victims. Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said that the Lee High School principal had initiated a student ID card program, “but not every student carried the ID.”

Brad Holley, Field Director for Alabama Department of Education, noting the tragedy said “We have not had a student killed while riding a school bus since 1969.” Huntsville’s last school bus related fatality was November 19, 1968 when a bus transporting students from Lee High Chapman Junior High Schools careened off Bankhead Parkway on Monte Sano Mountain above Tollgate Road. Faulty brakes caused that wreck.

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