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  • Yesterday's News Today

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      Astriedan's News Agency

      The ANA jingle plays as the ANA logo fades out to a presentator in front of images of various diplomats and salesmen shaking hands.

      "-Good morning, in the news today the recent announcements made by His Majesty the Emperor Syra Aïl III concerning the recent deal between @Sunset Sea Islands and @Astriedan to install the high tech surveillance system "Synapse" in our country. This continue His Majesty's work to make our country safer trough surveillance. While some human rights organizations have called the Synapse system an "obvious violation of privacy" and "a useless system", the legislator of the Imperial Internal Security Bureau said he was "very happy about this new system", claiming that it will "not leave a bit of privacy to any potential dangerous person.

      Crowd movement and movement patterns, medical and criminal databases about every astriedanian, and more, this new system will definitely change astriedanian surveillance. The Emperor did not, however, gave the price at which he bought the Synapse system.

       

      In other news, the Imperial Army and the Imperial Guard has announced the deployment of the vehicles bought from @Iverica a few months ago. The price of the transaction was still not declared to the public but the Imperial Army Public Relations Office declared that "a modernization of the equipment was necessary".

       

      Finally, the Noble Houses Eennso and Atria have announced that great change was to come. We still don't know what this change will be about but our best political analysts are currently trying to make predictions.

       

      More infos on all these subjects this evening at 20pm.

      May your day be as joyous as Symis and glory to Astriedan."

      The ANA jingle plays again as the ANA logo appears again.

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      Good evening soccer fans. I'm Bron Urgundy, and this is BS News.

      Our main story tonight: Sunset Sea Islands win UENA World Cup

      The @Sunset Sea Islands triumphed over the @Variotan team after penalties to earn their first World Cup title. We went out on the streets and asked some clueless people what they think about this victory. Here is a random montage.

      • “They’re just lucky that @Fleur de Lys wasn’t good enough to qualify for this World Cup.”
        Mr Jean Debroux, random tourist guy
      • “I was hoping for everyone to shake hands at the end, and they did, so I feel like I won as well.”
        Ms Julie Trevor, Andallan treehugger
      • “Oh, goddamnit, I was rooting for both sides!”
        Mr Peter Sutherland, unemployed loiterer

      Shocking. Absolutely shocking. 

      Meanwhile, after a prolonged disruption in the natural structure of the universe, order has finally been restored: that guy in the office who was always talking about the World Cup is back to having absolutely nothing to do. But all that rises must one day fall, and now instead of spending his lunch breaks explaining what “in the box” means to a rapt group of coworkers hungry for his esoteric knowledge of “The Beautiful Game,” he has returned to the bowels of corporate anonymity from whence he came. Unto dust he has returned, as one day all of us will.

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      SSI win UENA Football World Cup

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      For decades, football did not have the largest fanbase within the Sunset Sea Islands. Sure, there were football bars here and there and the game was popular on beaches or playgrounds, but that was that. One month ago, nobody would have predicted that the SSI Blacksuns would win their very first UENA football world cup. A team of underdogs that qualified rather thanks to a series of fortunate coincidences than actual skill climbed the latter of international competition at light speed and was able to triumph in the end. As our national team's performance increased from game to game, the previously indifferent nation awoke to celebrate every victory of the Blacksuns. Thousands gathered on the beaches for the public viewing of the UENA finals against the Commonwealth of @Variota.

      The aggressive Variotans scored their first goal in the eighteenth minute, followed by Robert Schweitzberger's equalising shot five minutes later. Clearly, the Variotans were under tremendous pressure to win, as the referee was forced to show the yellow card to Variota eight times, compared to one for the SSI. Both teams tried to outperform each other during the second half, however, no goals were scored until extra time.

      When Ibrahim Wu scored the second goal for Variota, all hope seemed lost, however, after seventeen tense minutes, Kevin Thu managed to catch up to the formidable opponents in minute 121. After more than two hours of playing, both teams were visibly exhausted. Both goalkeepers did not manage to protect their goals during the penalty shootout until Aron Bahir managed to hold the fifth and final Variotan shot. The SSI Blacksuns won the shootout 5-4.

      Later that evening, a firework display was executed to celebrate this historic victory. Tens of thousands of fans celebrated this unique victory in the streets and on the beaches of Sunset City. The surprise victory of the SSI underdogs took the hearts of our citizens by storm. With interest in the sport reignited, the people of the Sunset Sea Islands look forward to what the future of football has in store for the SSI Blacksuns.

      Technocratic Constitution introduced in Tenma

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      The test phase of Technocracy in the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands has officially started. Last night, the inaugural meeting of the Administrative Board of Tenma passed the Constitution of the city. The political system is an adapted form of Technocratic models akin to those found in @Synturia or supported by the Technocratic Internationale. Whilst the structure is far less complex than current national models in Technocratic countries, it is designed specifically for single cities.

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      The system consists of a hierarchy of sections and departments subordinated to the Administrative Board. Individual sections are expert groups debating matters regarding their respective topics, for example, construction, education, recreation or law enforcement. Whenever necessary, additional sections can be created as the need arises. Representatives from all sections meet in one of four departments: Industry, Science, Services and Public Security. The heads of these departments form the Tenma Administrative board, the governing body of the city. The Board directly reports to the Central Government of the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands, which supervises its activities closely.

      Depending on the performance of the governing body over the course of the next few months, Technocratic rule could be introduced on a national level following refinement and a democratic referendum. The ideology grew popular with the younger generations following recent national and international developments, for example, the tightening cooperation with the Syndicate State of Synturia. Whilst Prime Minister Theresa Tumbleweed declared that the Radiant Republic is a democratic nation, she acknowledges the potentials of Technocracy and its growing public support.

      Real estate investment boom

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      With the Sunset Sea Islands engaging in several large-scale construction projects, for example, the expansion of Tenma on Solitude Island and the Manamana Canal, the real estate industry currently experiences a boom of previously unknown dimensions. Both private investors and companies pour large sums into construction projects or real estate as new residential buildings continue to sprout out of the ground like mushrooms after the monsoon. Investors hope for long-term profits from rent incomes. Especially apartment complexes are becoming increasingly popular with investors.

      Naturally, Elegy Megacorporation, producers of Synapse System hardware, the ElePhone and inventors of the revolutionary Elegy Superconcrete, got wind of the favourable investment environment. Today, the company unveiled a new corporate subdivision, Elegy Estates. With its growing share in the construction industry, the company now does not only provide its workers with affordable accommodation but expands into leasing self-constructed apartments to everyday citizens as well.

      As more and more investors jump on the real estate hype train, numbers for construction contracts in both Tenma and Manamana City are on the rise. Analysts predict a noticeable increase in the growth speed of both projects.

      Real estate taxes in the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands continue to be amongst the highest in the world, as the nation finances large parts of its free welfare and education system through real estate tax.

      Environmental protection protests reach SSI

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      Following recent protests in the Republic of @Asgeirria, demonstrations protesting the environmental impact of the Manamana Canal project have reached the shores of the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands as well. The demonstrators, often supported by the Bastion Party, currently the largest opposition party in the SSI government, criticise the construction efforts in Manamana for endangering the local and global environment through high emissions.

      Whilst environmental concerns are certainly reasonable, a spokesperson of the Manamana League disagrees: "As the previous bilateral Manamana authority did, the Manamana League is enforcing tight environmental standards on the whole project. We are aware that the construction itself has a strong impact on the adjacent environment, however, we do everything in our power to keep this environmental footprint as small as possible. Leading environmental experts from all member states of the Manamana League work together to protect the local flora and fauna as much as possible. Furthermore, we agree that although naval transport is amongst the most environmentally friendly forms of transport in the world, tighter regulation could and thereby should be introduced. We will forward these concerns to all involved national governments. Lastly, we would like to invite representatives of the protests to Manamana City, to take a look at the construction efforts by themselves and to discuss the project with the League."

      Post offices register rising numbers in written correspondence

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      A tsunami of letters originating from Manamana City has flooded post offices in the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands. With many workers overseas writing to their friends and relatives at home, the national post agency of the Sunset Sea Islands has registered a spike in written correspondence. "These numbers are a direct consequence of the post office in Manamana City opening, there's no doubt about that." a representative explains. "Naturally, we're not complaining. It's been ages since so many written letters have been sent. I'm sure we can all agree that a hand-written letter from a family member working overseas holds much more emotional value than some faceless e-mail."

      The post offices celebrating rising profits are not the only group of people delighted at these developments. The Association of Sunset Sea Islandian Philatelists, (ASSIP), rejoices as sets of new and unique post stamps from Manamana reach Sunset Sea Islandian mailboxes. "These are great! It's like they're from a new country or something! #Manamana #Stamps" "I bet those will be worth millions in 100 years! #ASSIP #PhilatelistsRule" These were some Weets found by our social media department at SSI News.

      OMAHA rocket launch imminent

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      During the recent announcement of increased funding for science and education in the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands, more money for the multilateral Oriental Meteorological Atmospheric Hydrological Administration (OMAHA) has been promised as well. The administration has expressed their satisfaction, as recent investments in expanding the OMAHA satellite system in orbit has drained the pockets of the organisation significantly.

      Meanwhile, the carrier rocket built to transport the additional satellite constellation into Eurth orbit has been brought into position on the SSI Space Exploration Centre launch pad in the North of Solitude Island. The payload is secured and ready to launch. Liftoff is scheduled for the upcoming week. The precise date is unknown as of yet, as the SSISEC waits for favourable weather conditions for the launch.

      OMAHA has provided the greater Oriental Ocean area with detailed weather information, predicting tropical storms and other extreme weather phenomena. The largest contributors to the project are the Commonwealth of @Andalla and the Radiant Republic of the Sunset Sea Islands.

      The SSISEC is located exactly on the equator, thereby creating optimal conditions for rocket launches. Launching on the equator in direction of Eurth's spin reduces fuel consumption. Furthermore, already launching parallel to the equator poses perfect conditions for geostationary satellites, such as the new OMAHA constellation.

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      Vrijpoort, July 19th, 2018

      Today the Ministry of Palace Affairs has announced that Grand Duke Valentinian III will be attending the coronation of Prince Aidan of Seylos.  Word is that he'll be sailing on the royal yacht, the Eos, which makes it unlikely that the Ducal Consort, Lady Elani will be joining him, due to her delicate constitution and discomfort with extended sea voyages.  Attendance at the coronation will mark the first visit of state in recent years for the Grand Duke, who has been very busy with domestic matters.  At this point, further official details are unclear, though it has been announced that Crown Prince Karl will be acting as Head of State Pro Tempo during his father's absence. 

      It is rumored that the Eos will likely be accompanied by the Training cruiser Pallamara as its escort.  This is a rather common practice, usually scarcely deserving of comment, but it should be noted that Princess Hannah, the Grand Duke's youngest daughter, serves aboard the vessel as Anti-Air Warfare Weapons Systems Instructor," making it possible that she'll attend in lieu of the Ducal Consort.  It also feeds rumor about the succession, with regard to which of his two children the Grand Duke actually favors to be next in line to rule Pallamara.  Unlike other monarchies, the reigning head of the House of Oranje chooses their heirs, and while historically, this has always gone to someone who is in the royal house, it hasn't always been handed down along lines of direct descent.  In contrast to Crown Prince Karl, who is very much a public figure, and who also serves as CEO of Oranje, the nation's largest shipping conglomerate, very little is known about Princess Hannah, other than some details of her naval career.  There is a rumor, however, that she is a lesbian, which may create future issues with the line of succession, were she to be the choice for next Grand Duchess, possibly making her a less than satisfactory candidate, thus keeping the rumor mills on the subject running.  At any rate, royal watchers are bound to carefully scrutinize the occasion for any conclusions that may be drawn from it. 

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    • Royal Schelde celegrates Completion of Fulgistani Frigate Order!

       

      Den Helder, July 20th, 2018


      Today, celebrations took place as the final Recurve Class Frigate of the Fulgistani order reached its completed state, with her new crew, taking possession of the vessel.  Specifically designed for ASW operations, the joins two identical vessels of the type, and 6 more General Purpose frigates of similar design built for the Workers Republic of Fulgistani.  Called the Recurve Class, the Fulgistani order are a variation of the Bellona Klasse used by Pallamara's own Rijkzeemacht, though with a very different sensor and armament fit, tailored for the for the specific needs and capabilities of that nation.  


      "The general class is highly modular, and able to accept a wide array of different sensor, armament, and other fittings.  For example, the ASW variant of that the SWR Ganbataar represents carries fewer missiles, shorter VLS cells, and a sensor suite more suited to self defense, than localized area defense, but in return, it boasts a larger sonar array, more elaborate ASW computers and software, extended hangar facilities, and more range, than the standard, General Purpose models, all of which are intended to be more useful for the intended mission.  When hunting submarines, most of the battle is detection, and these ships are designed to do exactly that, detecting the enemy, and sending helos to drop a load of homing torpedoes right over top of them before they realize what has happened.  Of course, veteran ASW crews know that's an ideal scenario, and sometimes, the first warning one has is a salvo of Torpedoes or Klub missiles incoming, and even in those scenarios, the class has the sensors, armamament, and countermeasures to ensure survival even in a surprise situation," Michael Voorman, Director of Shipyard Operations at Royal Schelde went on record as saying.

       
      As for the Fulgistani crews, they seemed to be delighted with their new vessels.  Prior to taking possession of the new frigates, the sailors made the transition from modified "Broadhead Class" frigates, which were former Rijkzeemacht Astarte Klasse that had been transferred to the Fulgistan after being refitted with much the same sensors as the new order navy to act as training vessels, and build up numbers for the Fulgistani fleet.  When asked, about what they thought of the new ships, the younger crew were very happy.  Compared to our old vessels, these are very modern--we almost feel like we've signed up for a luxury cruise in comparison," one crewman opined.  "Well, these Pallamarans, these....monarchists, they are the class enemy, of course--but they build good ship!" the new vessel's political officer ventured, upon inspecting the newest addition.  


      "What Konginklijke Schelde has demonstrated with these vessels is we can build even large orders, 12 frigates in this instance, to order and complete them on time and within budget.  We aren't happy until our customer is, and so far, they've given every indication of being delighted with these frigates, and we're hoping to garner other international orders besides these.  We want to become the world's premier exporter of naval designs, and we feel that they yard is on the way to doing exactly with that, one order at a time.  We reinvested some of the profits we've made from this venture to expand our production facilities and so as to be able to handle even larger, more demanding orders in the future.  Royal Schelde can build anything from OPVs and auxiliary vessels all the way up to aircraft carriers, and we're looking forward to showing the world exactly what we can do!" This was a statement from Damien Van der Roose, Royal Schelde's CEO.  


      From other interviews, it became clear that the yard's involvement with the frigates was far from over with the completion of the last vessel.  There are also servicing and maintenaince contracts for the more complex components of the ships, such as the multifunction, AESA radars they for tracking and engaging aerial targets, that the Worker's Republic at this point lacks the capability of producing domestically.  The end result is more Pallamaran jobs, which most here believe to be a good thing, despite whatever uses the ships might be put to in service with their new masters.  
      All of this came about during a 2012 visit of state between the Grand Duke Valentinian and the new, reformist leader of the Fulgistani Worker's Republic, Tormar Almas.  The pair discussed a number of trade and military related issues, which resulted in large orders of textiles and steel from Fulgistan, and naval vessels from Pallamara, including the transfer of 12 frigates from the Rijkzeemacht to form the core of the modernized surface fleet.  


      Since then, relations between the two nations have grown, and Grand Duke Valentianian III, has indicated that he hopes further economic ties between the two states can be forged.  When asked about military between the two nations, however, he was quick to point out, "Right now, Pallamara has no enemies, nor connections with the existing power blocs, and that gives us freedom to seek out new opportunities unhindered by such structures.  Our ancestors were explorers and traders, always seeking out new markets around the globe, and our present foreign policy can gainfully be centered around emulating that entrepreneurial spirit." 

       

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    • "...Senator Gathan Darok, along with Senators Jovis Vinok and Gileus Levok, announced that the three of them would be financing a 15,000-citizen banquet in Dartha's Forum of Caliax to celebrate the Festival of the Republic (Eitreih'vauthil ch'Rheihhu), a five-day period of civic pride and in honor of the foundation of our glorious state, and its greatest fathers: Tellus and L'Deus. During the festivities, there is a traditional series of arena games hosted in the Orventis. The three Senators have stated that they will be donating half of the costs involved in hosting them, an event usually paid for in full by the Senate-at-large as a gift to the people. This year's games will consist of three days of Ke`veshrek (boxing), a day featuring slaves fighting some of Rihan's most dangerous animals including the Syrinx, and ending with a final day full of Rihannsu nobles combating each other in honorable fencing duels using Vrelnec swords. Several Senators anonymously stated that they are upset over their colleagues' intentions around such an annual festival. The Festival of the Republic will take place between the 15th and 20th of Sharveen (August)..."

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    • David David appointed Foreign Secretary Tuesday.

      Long time Back bench M.P David Davis was announced the new foreign Secretary following the retirement of Sir. Edward Stanley. David Davis was the Defense Secretary during the Heseltine administration and this will be his first cabinet position since. He met with the King who appointed him his role yesterday afternoon.

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      With GBNB I'm Amy Goodman

      Edited by Great Burlington
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    • On the Faramanian Dictator's Birthday

      If you are listening to this broadcast, do not adjust your radio. This is Radio Free Faramount, a service of the People's Republic of Faramount in affiliation with Radio Free Eurth.

      Matthieu Faramount celebrated his ninety-second birthday yesterday. This was his fifty-fifth birthday since he illegally and violently seizing control of the country in 1963. To those of you still living under his tyrannical rule, we can only bring you the best of news -- the end is surely near. His short speech paled in comparison to his droning addresses of the past, making it clear that his health continues to decline. Soon, we will be rid of the butcher of our people. We are confident that when he dies, the Republic of Faramount will be restored.

      The true leader of Faramount -- General Secretary Julie Balconie -- pledged a "new era of resistance to this illegal regime" upon Teroux's death. "We have always fought for the freedom of the Faramanian people, but with Teroux's death, we will have a new opportunity to restore liberty in Faramount. The United Revolutionary Armed Forces of Faramount are biding their time, awaiting the opportunity to undertake new offensives once the present regime collapses. When the time comes, our soldiers will fill the streets, joined by people loyal to the true government of Faramount.

      For Radio Free Faramount, I'm Quentin Lavigne. Stay strong, Faramount. 

      Edited by Faramount
      Redesign of government in exile.
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    • ...and now the latest news from the Hall of State in Dartha, Shi'Ar ?

      Thank you Borak. The Senate will begin debating the annual budget for the military tonight. The proposed allocation is 45 billion Chaks, up 10% from last year's authorization. Traditionally, the monies for the defense of the Republic has largely been uncontroversial as the militant Jardian coalition and several senators from other affiliated parties have joined together to pass such increases in exchange for favors on other pieces of legislation over the rest of the year. While the same arrangement exists and the allocation will most likely pass and be left to the Praetor to oversee its expenditure, the Jol Tan coalition has threatened to filibuster the increase and urge the membership to spend the additional 4.5 billion Chaks into the state educational system. They firmly believe that more resources must be dedicated to further reinforcing the virtues of D'era to the next generation. Jardian's leader, Senator Alidar Jarok has said nothing will be done to prevent the full defense of the Republic. Nej'ahar Senator, Adis Valnor, who happens to be one of the wealthiest in the Senate, echoed Jarok saying that providing more to the military would enable the economy to continue its long, abet cautious recovery since the years of stagnation, through new resource extraction opportunities and allow factories to further employ low-class citizens, at the same time providing them with a modest rise in wages. The Senate is expected to approve the military budget early next week at the conclusion of the debate period.

       

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    • Teroux Birthday Raises Question of Succession

      GUAYARE -- President Matthieu Teroux's brief public appearance at his birthday celebration yesterday drew further attention to the ongoing political contest to succeed the octogenarian dictator.

      President Teroux spoke for just a few minutes at his public birthday celebration, a stark contrast to the 2-3 hour speeches that were his norm just a few years ago. Teroux's short address marked the continuation of an eighteen month period in which he has rarely appeared in public, even more rarely for any substantial period of time. This marks a sharp change from Teroux's younger years -- even in his late eighties, Teroux had regularly maintained a full political schedule.

      Teroux's slow withdrawal from public has sparked a full-scale political battle to succeed him, according to several sources in Teroux's court. Teroux has not designated a successor, and the regime has no vice president, Teroux having abolished the position after fellow coup plot Jean Duverger died of cancer in 2009. Instead, the Minister of State will lead the nation in an interim capacity upon Teroux's death, while a permanent replacement is selected by Parliament. 

      A dozen or so individuals are seeking to gather the political support to win that parliamentary vote, but just three are truly viewed as true contenders:

      • Defense Minister Raymond Fouquet, age 77, is a natural candidate. A former general, Fouquet is widely considered to have been Teroux's protege, both in the military and in the government. He has the strong support of the military, who appreciate his conservative views. Yet Fouquet is relatively old, and what's more, despised by much of the public. He oversaw most of Teroux's major past crackdowns, and while he has maintained the support of the troops, his rough attitude has alienated most other political figures. Controlling the military puts Fouquet in a unique position of power, but he must be careful -- if he is forced to fight for control of the country, he could scare away the foreign investments that are the basis of Faramont's economy.
      • Economy Minister Roland Teroux, age 61, is also a leading contender. Roland is the son-in-law of the president, and made names for taking the president's last name upon marrying Teroux's oldest daughter. Roland jumped in status after joining the president's family, but he was a well-educated, well-respected economist even before becoming effective royalty. Roland, a centrist, has surprisingly built support in the rival uranium mining and precious metals mining industries. Roland has reportedly bought the support of Security Minister Pierre Gardet, giving him a small army with which to fight to power. He will be further aided by monetary donations from the industries that back him.
      • Port Jacqueline Mayor Sophie Teroux, age 57, is an additional possibility. Sophie is the youngest daughter of the president, and the only child of the president with real political authority. More than that, she is the only candidate who is truly popular, thanks to her past work at the Welfare Ministry and her successful work encouraging economic growth in the capital through deregulation. Sophie is strongly supported by the tourism industry, by Port Jacqueline's middle class, and by the public, who appreciate her more moderate positions. Welfare Minister Remi Saint-Yves and State Minister Arthur Durand are both believed to strongly support Sophie. Sophie thus has a natural advantage, as Durand will be interim president when Sophie's father dies, but unlike Fouquet and Roland, she has no armed force to support her.

      These three candidates have more to contend with than just each other. Various resistance groups hope to capitalize upon Teroux's death to gain ground. Any kind of protracted battle amongst Fouquet, Mr. Teroux, and Ms. Teroux would give those dissenters the opportunity to attempt a revolt. The next leader of Faramont thus must not only defeat his rivals -- but must do so quickly, so as to ensure that order is maintained.

      Edited by Faramount
      Corrected clerical errors.
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