How the financial crisis took the shine off the Dutch pensions system

first_imgThe Dutch pensions system has lost part of its attractiveness since the financial crisis, which hurt its large capital-funded second pillar, according to a pensions law professor.Yves Stevens, professor of pensions law at the Catholic University of Leuven in the Belgium, argued in an interview with IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro that the Netherlands’ generous state pension (AOW) was the best feature of the system.He said that it would be very difficult to “export” the second pillar to other European countries because of the current low interest rates and the increasing individualisation of the labour market.Stevens is also a member of the European High Level Expert Group on pensions, which is to advise the European Commission about the improvement of second and third pillar pensions by the end of this year. Yves StevensThe professor argued that the financial crisis had changed the governments’ approach to the so-called ‘Aaron Condition’, which reflects whether supporting pay-as-you-go or capital-funded pension provision is more efficient.If the real interest rate is lower than economic growth, pay-as-you-go is more attractive, he said.“Until the crisis, the Aaron Condition had always favoured capital-funding,” Stevens explained. “However, the low interest rates and [low] return assumptions have made pay-as-you-go more favourable.”According to the professor, the individualisation of the labour market – also known as the ’gig economy’ – had led to a greater variety of types of employment, with fewer fixed contracts and waning trade union power.“As a consequence, the second pillar has come under pressure from the first and third pillars all over Europe,” he explained. “Some countries, including Poland, Romania and Hungary, are reducing their second pillar.”Poland, for example, removed its own government bonds from the second pillar in 2014, transferring them into the first pillar to help fund the state pension.Stevens noted that, where capital-funded plans are being set up, the trend in many countries was towards auto-enrolment, with the option of opting out – as is the case in the UK, Ireland, Poland and Turkey.“But this is all about an individual approach and not about collective labour conditions.”In Stevens’s opinion, the Netherlands should be proud of its state pension arrangement, which is available to all citizens, regardless of their labour history. The only other country where this applied was Iceland, he said.Stevens: “Moreover, the AOW benefits are much higher than in many other countries, including Belgium.“This is a really strong foundation of the Dutch pensions system. As a consequence, there is hardly poverty among the elderly in the Netherlands.” According to Stevens, the perception of capital-funded pensions has changed since the crisis. In Belgium, for example, the Dutch system was no longer viewed as a good example.“Although many sector schemes have been established in Belgium since 2003, they never raised their premiums from 1-2% to the envisaged 4-6%, as the crisis has dented confidence,” he said.“Companies opted for salary and bonuses, rather than investing in a pension fund. As in Belgium, a pension is more considered as salary than as social provision, this choice was easier here.”‘Pay as you go’ versus ‘capital funded’last_img read more

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MBB : Syracuse ranked No. 1 in AP, ESPN/USA Today polls

first_imgSyracuse rose to the No. 1 ranking in both the Associated Press Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll on Monday, marking the first time SU has ascended to the top spot since the final week of the 2009-10 regular season.Following losses by Kentucky and Ohio State — the top two teams in last week’s polls — this past weekend, SU jumped two spots in each poll from the No. 3 ranking. Syracuse (10-0) received 51 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll and 28 of 30 first-place votes in the coaches’ poll.The Orange defeated George Washington 85-50 on Saturday, while the Wildcats fell to Indiana and the Buckeyes lost to Kansas.Following SU’s win over GW, Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine said he saw Ohio State lost earlier in the day and watched a little of the Kentucky game. But even with the speculation SU would assume the top spot, he didn’t get too hyped over the notoriety.‘For us, it don’t matter,’ Jardine said after the game. ‘No. 3, No. 2, No. 1, it’s still the same.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOhio State ranked second behind SU in both polls, garnering seven first-place votes in the AP Top 25 and two first-place votes in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll. In the AP, Kentucky, Louisville and North Carolina round out the top 5. Kentucky, Louisville and Duke complete the top 5 for the ESPN/USA Today poll.The Orange’s next game is Saturday at North Carolina State (6-3), and it’s SU’s first true road game of the season.The last time Syracuse held the No. 1 ranking, it lost in its first week as the top team, falling at Louisville. Orange junior guard Brandon Triche stressed SU will be able to remain focused and ‘humbled,’ even as the No. 1 team, because of the constant competition for playing time.‘We just got to treat it like we’re the underdog,’ Triche said after the GW game. ‘We have to get better, and I think this year more than anything we have a lot of guys who are humbled. It’s so much competition even just being on the bench, everybody wants to play, so it’s not going to be a letdown for us.’[email protected]  Published on December 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

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Kyrie Irving is ‘misunderstood,’ Nets’ Joe Harris says

first_imgThe Nets also added star Kevin Durant and center DeAndre Jordan this offseason. They sent D’Angelo Russell to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade, as well.Harris poured in a career-high 13.7 points per game and shot 47.4% from 3-point range for Brooklyn in 2018-19. D’Angelo Russell discusses uncertain future with Warriors, playing with Stephen Curry Kyrie Irving will be a strong locker room presence for the Nets, according to Joe Harris.Harris and Irving were teammates with the Cavaliers and will be reunited once again after the star announced he was heading to Brooklyn this summer. Harris said he enjoyed his time playing with Irving and was looking forward to sharing the court with him again.“None of us are perfect all the time,” Harris said. “We’re all going to have ups and downs throughout the course of the season. …  For him, unfortunately, he’s just in one of these scenarios where there’s so much more attention on him and people are paying much more attention to when he does have an off day.“I have off days all the time, too, but nobody really cares when I have an off day. People care when Kyrie does.”Irving averaged 23.8 points and 6.9 assists for the Celtics last season. He has made six All-Star teams during his eight-year career and won a championship with Cleveland in 2015-16.“He’s one of these guys where he’s very much must-see,” Harris said. “We all know the talent, but I got to see it for a year and a half every day. … He really is that talented. He’s a top-10 talent.” NBA free agency: Hornets explain decision to add Terry Rozier on significant contract Kevin Durant’s move to Nets ‘never directly tied’ to Kyrie Irving, report says [email protected] is home. pic.twitter.com/usvbxqkyZA— Roc Nation Sports (@RocNationSports) July 1, 2019Irving will be joining the Nets after a rough stint in Boston, where he was reportedly unhappy and had issues with teammates as well as the coaching staff. Harris, however, defended Irving during a recent interview with the New York Post.“Kyrie, he’s got a big personality,” Harris said. “He’s one of these guys that’s misunderstood. The way that he’s construed in the media is probably going to paint him in a light that is not necessarily true. I’d say you could ask a lot of people that played with him and they’d all say that he’s a great teammate and a good guy to be around.” Related Newslast_img read more

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The community is invited to attend a Lacey Museum open house

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 For additional information, please contact Lori Flemm, Parks and Recreation Director, at (360) 491- 0857, or email at [email protected] LACEY, WA, July 22, 2013:  The community is invited to attend a Lacey Museum open house on Monday, August 5, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The Lacey Museum is located at 829 Lacey Street SE in the historic neighborhood of Lacey. During individualized tours, guests will have the opportunity to view local heritage and Lacey historical artifacts. The Lacey Museum is located in a historic structure that was originally built in the later 1920s by Fred Russell as a private residence. In the late 1940s, the building was used by the Lacey Volunteer Fire Department. After Lacey incorporated as a city in 1966, it became the first city hall. In 1979, the decision was made to create a local museum on land donated by the Lacey Women’s Club. The building was moved from Pacific Avenue to its current location on Lacey Street. In 1981, the Lacey Museum opened to the public. The museum, typically open Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., is opening its doors on a special day for this event. The Lacey Historical Commission will hold their August monthly meeting following the open house at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are usually held in Lacey City Hall Council Chambers.last_img read more

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Is This Frog Marrow Really 10 Million Years Old?

first_imgLiveScience reported finding intact bone marrow from fossils of frogs and salamanders.  Without blinking an eye, reporter Ker Than croaked that the marrow is ten million years old.  He compared it with the intact soft tissue and blood cells found in a T. rex specimen last year (see 02/22/2006, 06/03/2005, 03/24/2005), and said,The discovery raises hopes for finding soft tissue in other regions and from other animals, including mammals, [Maria] McNamara [University College, Dublin] says, because the amphibian bone marrow was discovered in an environment vastly different form the one in which the T. rex soft tissue was found.The article also surmises that many more examples of soft tissue and marrow may lie undetected in museum specimens.  See also the report on National Geographic News which says the marrow is organically preserved and even maintains the original color.Never question what the scientists say; that’s how symbiosis between the media and the Gurus of Knowledge is maintained.  It helps preserve the social order.  Imagine the chaos that might ensue if unbelievers started finding soft tissue in fossils from different environments all over the world; it might throw the whole evolutionary dating scheme into a cocked hat and start a revolution.  Enforced conformity may subvert freedom of thought, but it keeps the peace.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Khulisa reinvents lives

first_imgKhulisa works with inmates to facilitate their re-integration into society.(Image: National Digital Repository) Dynamic Khulisa founder Lesley Ann van Selm has won awards for her organisation and in her personal capacity for her uplifting programmes.(Image: Khulisa Social Solutions) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lesley Ann van Selm  MD, Khulisa Social Solutions  +27 11 788 8237 or +27 82 601 2299 RELATED ARTICLES • SA marks first steps to democracy • Mandela prison anniversary marked • Values, heritage can be learned here • Concourt art tells SA’s story • SA’s gallows now instrument of healing Lucille DavieKhulisa means “to nurture” in Zulu. And plenty of nurturing has been going on across the country over the past 16 years in Khulisa Social Solutions, a multi-layered intervention and upliftment programme with the slogan Reinventing lives.“We work with a variety of role-players including corporations, NGOs and the government to co-ordinate and facilitate projects that engage poverty alleviation, crime reduction, victim empowerment, enterprise development and community upliftment,” indicates the website.Founder and MD Lesley Ann van Selm established the NGO in 1997 and today it has 31 offices nationwide, employing 250. It works in 100 rural areas, and has reached 493 046 people through its multiple programmes in the past year.Khulisa has won and been shortlisted for numerous social awards, including the Silver Impumelelo Award in 2007; the National Reintegration Award from the South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders in 2000; and in 2006, the Gauteng Service Provider of the Year Award from the Department of Correctional Services.Khulisa has also set up shop in the UK, where it went originally to create a base from which to access funding, but the organisation’s Silence the Violence programme was identified as something that didn’t exist in that country. Khulisa is now an independent entity in the UK, and has been operating as such since 2008. Inspired to make a differenceVan Selm, who has a marketing and public relations background, has personally won the 2010 Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year award in the Good Neighbour Category and the 2009 Pinnacle Award as a leading social entrepreneur in Southern Africa. She was shortlisted for the 2012 Annual Reconciliation Award from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.In 2001 she was elected an Ashoka Fellow, a prestigious accolade. Ashoka is a global organisation that supports leading social entrepreneurs, individuals who are making a large-scale impact on society.In the troubled 1980s Van Selm worked as an entrepreneur in the townships, but in 1986 she went bankrupt. She says of the experience: “I think this is a lesson that every entrepreneur needs to go through because it gives you a gut feeling about things that you never lose.”After dabbling in advertising, educational television programmes and films, she became involved in storytelling and tied up with the Department of Education in training teachers in the art. This fizzled out but she took the idea to Leeuwkop Prison in north Johannesburg – the concept was to help rehabilitate inmates through storytelling. She says: “That is the day I knew my life would never be the same”.Van Selm was introduced to 20 young inmates, whom she describes as “the most beautiful young people who responded to the opportunity to listen to a story, to tell their story, to participate, to be creative, to be honest about what had happened and they were so hungry and thirsty – they were hopeless because they had never been given a chance to tell their stories or be creative.”She says after running the pilot programme in the prison for a week, “it was unthinkable that we wouldn’t come back”.Van Selm admits to becoming obsessed with her young charges. “The first year I worked with them I came back from my holiday with my entire boot filled with Oros bottles and sea water.” She was requested to bring back sea water because of traditional beliefs that it has healing qualities.And so Khulisa was born. Originally called Khulisa Crime Prevention Initiative, it has broadened its scope to wider societal issues, changing its name to Khulisa Social Solutions. Vision and missionKhulisa’s vision is to provide a “safer, healthier and more prosperous South Africa, where all people, especially youth, have access to the information, skills and opportunities they need to contribute to equitable local and national development”.This will be done by addressing “social vulnerabilities and inequalities by providing support and developmental know-how, through key partnerships, for initiatives at a community level that quantifiably demonstrate social impact”, according to the website.Over the past year Khulisa has partnered with 188 entities around the country, including the departments of Justice, Correctional Services, Education, Foreign Affairs, Health, Social Development, Community Safety, Housing and Labour.These departments help fund Khulisa, which is also supported financially by the EU, the Danish, Finnish, American and British governments, the Open Society Foundation, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the US Agency for International Development. Local sponsors are Anglo American, Harmony Gold, Goldfields, BHP Billiton, Liberty Life, Investec Bank, Carlson Wagonlit and DHL, among others.“Our proven, award-winning programmes provide the intellectual, moral and emotional development that is absent in the lives of many. These interventions effectively break the cycle of violence and crime and result in reinvented individuals becoming part of a ‘pay-it-forward’ social enterprise or community development initiative,” indicates the website. Fostering self-relianceKhulisa works through three inter-connected business units that focus on crime prevention and access to justice, community and leadership development, and business skills and enterprise development. “By targeting all three areas, Khulisa reinforces behaviour change, primarily by the youth, with opportunities for self-reliance, sustainability and an improved community environment.”These business units collectively run nine programmes: Offender rehabilitation; Justice and Restoration; Make it Better youth capacity building and development; diversion programmes; Silence the Violence; Speak up/tug of war; social enterprise programmes in schools; training of master trainers; and the puppet project.Once they’ve gone through the Khulisa programmes, graduates who demonstrate aptitude are assisted in setting up their micro enterprises, which are developed in partnership with Khulisa or other NGOs working in those particular fields.Offender rehabilitationOffender rehabilitation has three arms: HIV/Aids peer education, conducted in various prisons around the country; offender rehabilitation; and Gateways offender reintegration.Over the past five years, Khulisa has worked in 60 prisons across the country with its HIV/Aids peer education programme, rolling it out to 5 763 offenders. By June 2012 the programme had been introduced to 11 Southern African Development Community countries, by training psychiatrists, medical doctors, human resource practitioners and prison management officers.Over the past five years only 18% of 287 offenders who have completed the programme have been reincarcerated. The national relapse rate is 85%.Through the Gateways programme, 66 ex-offenders were given job-shadowing opportunities in 2009, with 83% completing it, and 14% employed full-time by the City of Johannesburg. A survey six months later revealed that 81% of 36 respondents either were employed or studying or volunteering. Justice and restoration: The Justice and Restoration programme or JARP is “a holistic and integrated programme that combines Khulisa’s community development, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes with restorative justice, peacemaking and conflict resolution processes”.The programme has dealt mainly with serious, violent crime and targeted incarcerated, pre- and post-release offenders. The recidivism rate in the country is around 80% while Khulisa’s rate is less than 20%.A case study done in Phoenix in Durban between 2007 and 2009 revealed that 2 000 cases were successfully mediated by Khulisa, the National Prosecuting Authority and the justice department, leading to a reduction in the court backlog of up to 50%, with 93% of victims saying they would rather go the alternative justice route.Another case study, done between 2010 and 2012 over six urban, peri-urban and rural sites, saw 88 438 people being reached on the basis of one victim, one perpetrator, with common assault being the most common crime. Across the six sites, 84% of cases were successfully mediated. Make it Better: The Make it Better (MIB) programme aims to skill youth community leaders. Over 13 years 53 MIB programmes were introduced in seven provinces, training more than 600 people. Over a two-year period each MIB group influenced the lives of around 5 000 young children through peer drug and HIV/Aids education, multiple life skills, sports and recreation, and leadership, among others. Diversion programme: This programme aims to divert young adults who have committed petty offences out of the criminal justice system, thereby giving them a second chance. This involves apologising to the victims, and getting involved in community outreach programmes, called Ubuntu in Action.Between 2010 and 2012, of 6 829 children under 18 years across the country who were involved in petty crime, 4 961 or 73% were diverted away from crime. Silence the Violence: Amazing results have been achieved in this programme – from a group of 164 maximum sentence offenders in four correctional facilities, none of them re-offended during a four-year period after participation in the programme. Some 119 became HIV/Aids and Substance Abuse Peer Educators in their correctional facilities, and 23 of them were released and are giving peer education programmes in schools and their communities. Speak up/tug of war programme: The aim of this programme is to reduce alcohol-related problems among young people, thus empowering them to speak up around substance abuse in their schools and communities. It involves a systemic approach in addressing problems, empowering young people, educators and parents in alcohol-related problems in their communities and schools. Social enterprise programmes: These programmes have been conducted in schools. In 2012 17 young people from three Soweto schools who participated in the programme over a six-month period, demonstrated a personal growth of 85%. Training of master trainers: In 2012 over 600 social workers benefited from Khulisa training developed by the organisation for the department of social development’s crime prevention directorate. The overall rating of Khulisa’s service delivery as a result was 85%. Puppet project: Over a six-month period 27 345 children participated and benefited from puppet shows in 66 schools. This resulted in job creation, where NGOs were established that specialise in communication via puppetry. Human rights awareness was raised among children and their parents, which led to “significant referrals to alternative sources”. Receptive to new ideasDr Martin Wright, a respected restorative justice scholar and writer based in the UK, says that while he thinks Khulisa is not perfect, he did form “the impression of a very lively organisation, receptive to new ideas: it makes connections, observing the backgrounds and ramifications of the problems it is trying to tackle; and it has a business-like approach – its board members come from business backgrounds”.Wright was invited to South Africa in November 2011 by Khulisa to exchange experiences over a two-week period.last_img read more

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Best New Royalty Free Music: Folk, Rock & Electro Tracks

first_imgWe’ve been busy adding to our team of world-class composers! Check out some of the best new tracks to hit our royalty free music library.We’re always expanding our composer lineup, bringing you the best royalty free music you can’t find anywhere else. We’ve recently gone through the newest additions to the PremiumBeat royalty free music library and pulled out some of our favorites. Take a listen below.Need a trendy, electro-pop track to inject your project with energy? The new Liam Aidan and Reaktor Productions tracks really bring it. Maybe your project requires something more peaceful and laid back? Max Brodie’s Touches is a new favorite – warm folk rock with a nostalgic, Americana vibe.You’ve asked for music with lyrics and we’ve delivered. Check out some of our newest composers and their tracks with vocal versions (starred below). Be on the lookout for more royalty free music with lyrics in the future.If there is a particular style or mood track you’re looking for get in touch! We’re happy to help you locate it in our library…or we’ll add it to our ‘wish list’ for future library additions.last_img read more

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Video: Michigan Musical Theater Grads Sang An Amazing Version Of “The Victors” During A Graduation Party

first_imgMichiganmusical theatre grads gather to sing a song.Michigan The VictorsMichigan’s “The Victors” is one of the most recognizable fight songs in college football, but we’re not sure if it’s ever been performed quite like this. This video emerged over the weekend, and it features 22 Michigan musical theatre grads doing their own rendition of “The Victors” at a graduation party. The footage was posted by Scott Orr yesterday. This version of the song is very different, and pretty impressive.  Listen to this! What happens when 22 talented UMich musical theatre grads sing their version of the University of Michigan fight song at their graduation party. Awesome!Posted by Scott Orr on Sunday, May 3, 2015last_img

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In last 2 months 27 robberies reported in unregistered cabs

first_imgGurugram: Commuters beware if the lack of effective public transportation has caused to you take the cab when you are at risk. The official data by Gurugram police reveals that in the last two months only there have been 27 robberies that have taken place. In the latest case, a man from Delhi who had taken a lift was threatened by the drivers that his kidney will be taken out if he does not take out money from the ATM. Eventually, the robbers were able to steal Rs 50,000 from the debit cards of the ATM. Worryingly, not even women travellers are spared. A woman traveller on the pretext of being physically harmed was a robber of her earrings and other valuables in one of the crimes. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsEven as there is a strict law against the movement of the illegal vehicle in the city lack of effective public transportation system has resulted in most of the commuters being dependent on these modes of transportation. Further many of these modes of public transportation provide a much reasonable rate to commute as compared to other means of transportation. A large number of these vehicles can be seen moving in areas along National Highway-8, Manesar, Gurugram- Faridabad road, Golf course road and MG road and Sohna road. While the autos are still the most popular form of public transport for movement of commuters within the city, the cabs are preferred for commuting to Faridabad, Noida and Delhi. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderLast year more than twenty thousand autos went- off the city roads after a massive crackdown on the Gurugram Police on the autos operating without legal permits. Later after negotiations, the services resumed. The Gurugram Police also claims that strict action is also being taken on the illegal cabs. If caught these vehicles need to pay a fine Rs 2,000 as per law, however, there are reports of most of the drivers also getting away by paying a bribe of Rs 100-300 to the Police official. Most of the cabs provide transportation services in city MNC’s, BPO’s and even individual owners. The need to earn a quick buck from the commuters has resulted in most of the drivers allowing the vehicles to also provide cab services to commuters. On their part, most of the drivers claim that they are being harassed by the Police and public officials. Lack of providing correct information, usage of black tinted glasses and usage of wrong number plates are some of the major complaints that mainly registered against these vehicles.last_img read more

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Will keep a telescopic view on Rahuls income in election nomination BJP

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP on Sunday said it will keep a “telescopic view” on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s election affidavit, a day after the saffron party alleged a rise in his income between 2004 and 2014.There has been a “huge jump” in the income of the Congress leader, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged at a press conference, but did not provide any evidence or document to substantiate his claim. Patra challenged Gandhi to file a defamation case against him, claiming that he is stating facts with evidence. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’There was no immediate response from the Congress on the charges levelled by the BJP. “The people this time in the country and the BJP in particular will keep a telescopic view on the nomination of Rahul Gandhi… Where ever he contests elections,” Patra told reporters. Gandhi’s income has risen from over Rs 55 lakh in 2004 to Rs 9 crore in 2014 as per his election affidavits, he alleged, asking “how can an MP, who is not a professional, witness such a jump in his income”. Patra went on to allege that the rise in Gandhi’s income “by and large, is profiteering from scams, dubious deals” and charged him with hiding facts from his election affidavits. The BJP leader said that the party will hold a series of such press conferences in the coming days to expose the “corruption of Rahul Gandhi”. He alleged Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had a 4.69-acre farmhouse in Delhi that was rented out to a firm that had been issued show-cause notice for violations and alleged financial irregularities. On Saturday, Union minister Ravi Shanker Prasad had said, “In his (Rahul Gandhi) election affidavit in 2004, his income was Rs 55,38,123 while in 2009, it rose to Rs 2 crore and in 2014 it rose to Rs 9 crore.last_img read more

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