Quebec human rights body investigating treatment of Inuit kids in group homes

first_imgMONTREAL — Quebec’s human rights commission is launching an investigation into the treatment of Inuit children in the youth protection system.The commission says it has received information suggesting some Inuit children living in Montreal-area group homes were told not to speak Inuktitut and suffered consequences if they did.Furthermore, the commission says some of the children may not have been assigned a social worker when they were transferred from Quebec’s north.The allegations concern the provincially run health and social services centre in the west of Montreal.The commission says it will attempt to verify whether the rights of youth have been violated and take steps to rectify any failings.The health centre linked to the investigation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

TNA calls for immediate action to deal with torture allegations

Sampanthan said if such old practices continued by the investigators, the government would have to answer to the UN Human Rights Council when they meet shortly. Juan E. Mendez, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, who undertook a nine-day fact finding mission to Sri Lanka earlier this month told reporters last week that he had heard testimony that between 16,000 and 22,000 people had gone missing during the conflict and its immediate aftermath and that Sri Lanka’s criminal and terrorism investigators were still resorting to torturing suspects. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called on the Government to take immediate action against investigators who were accused of torturing and sexually abusing suspects.Leader of the opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, told Xinhua that recent findings by UN Human Rights Officials who had visited the country were “disturbing” and it was the responsibility of the government to probe their statements and stop such old practices. “Although the whole system cannot be blamed, there are certain individuals who are responsible for torture. It is necessary for the government to ensure that these practices stop immediately. They should commence an immediate probe,” he said.The Government has pledged to conduct an investigation into the findings of the UN to ensure that there is no room for recurrence. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Annan to continue consultations on Korean nuclear issue

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will continue to consult closely with all parties involved in the “critical” issue of the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), a statement issued by his spokesman said today.“There was a sense of cautious optimism, in the context of the six-party meetings in Beijing, on the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the current impasse,” the statement said of talks Mr. Annan’s Personal Envoy, Maurice F. Strong, had last week in Seoul, capital of the Republic of Korea, about the meeting China hosted on the issue.It noted that Mr. Strong also visited Beijing this week, where he welcomed the holding of the talks and commended China’s important role in convening “this useful forum” bringing together China, Japan, DPRK, ROK, Russia and the United States.“In both Seoul and Beijing, Mr. Strong reaffirmed the active support of the Secretary-General for continuation of the negotiating process towards a comprehensive settlement,” the statement said. “The Secretary-General will continue to consult closely with the parties involved on this critical issue.”Earlier this week, Mr. Annan specifically called on the DRPK to ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty forthwith. The DPRK is one of 12 countries whose ratification is essential for the treaty to enter into force and which have not yet done so. The DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the beginning of the year and has since been reported to have said it would develop nuclear weapons and might carry out tests. read more

Brock Department of Visual Arts presents Focal Point

The Department of Visual Arts, here at Brock, will be presenting a photography exhibit starting on Monday, Feb. 23 and running until March 2.Focal PointWhen: February 23 – March 2Opening reception: February 23, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.Who: A photography exhibition by current and past Visual Arts studentsWhere: Sean O’Sullivan Theatre Lobby, Brock CampusFree community event

Students speak out against Antony Gormley suicide statue placed on roof of

first_imgA spokesman for UEA said: “The Another Time series involves sculptures being placed at different focal points and sightlines, including roof level which are thought provoking and offer both spectacle and surprise.“The locations were chosen in response to the remarkable architecture of the Sir Denys Lasdun university buildings. All staff and students have been made aware of the new art installation on campus, and where the sculptures will be located.” Students have spoken out after their university placed a statue on the edge of the library roof, making it look like it is about to commit suicide.The statue, at the University of East Anglia, is by artist Antony Gormley and has reportedly been mistaken by some students for a real person.A spokesman for UEA defended the work and told the Eastern Daily Press that the statues were “thought-provoking and offer both spectacle and surprise”.One shocked student wrote on Instagram: “Is this some sort of sick joke?”  A lecturer tweeted: “Love his work, & it fits with our other sculptures, but I think it’s potentially a poor choice, especially at dissertation crunch time…”  UEA Graduate Kimberley Davies, 22, told the EDP: “It’s a bit tactless to put a statue on top of a building filled with people on edge during exam season.“Sombreros are a no-no, but making passers-by think someone’s about to commit suicide is art – I’m out.”Aimee tweeted: “No offence UEA, but putting a statue of a human on top of a high building is probably not a good idea??” @DrEsmee Love his work, & it fits with our other sculptures, but I think it’s potentially a poor choice, especially at dissertation crunch time…— Harry T Dyer (@HarryTDyer) April 12, 2017 Antony Gormley is a British sculptor who is best know for creating the Angel of the North. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Analysis New approach brings new hope for Ireland on rocky road to

first_imgFOR A GAME that had somewhat justifiably been seen as the potential end to the Giovanni Trapattoni era, Ireland’s impressive 0-0 draw may go a long way to ushering in a new beginning for both the team and the manager.Because, although it may have ended in that most quintessentially Irish of away results – the proud draw – it was achieved through a very different method than usual.A visible signal of the new departure came as the fourth official put his board up on 77 minutes.At such stages in the past, Trapattoni has often made somewhat surprising substitutions in seeking to hold ground and consolidate the result. Generally, it has combined with a massive retreat back that has run a greater risk of giving up goals rather than just possession.This time, though, the Italian made what must be considered one of the most proactive moves of his tenure. He brought the intriguing — and popular — Wes Hoolahan on for Robbie Keane and changed the dynamic of the game as well as the team.Moreover, rather than try and keep steady at the edge of their box, Ireland were actively looking to keep the ball. It further illustrated a transformation that seems to have taken place right across the team.When Trapattoni first took over the side, after all, it made sense to implement a defence-based side given that most of the squad’s most forceful players, such as Richard Dunne, played at the back. The humiliations of Euro 2012 and Germany, in fact, coincided with a core that was no longer so capable of such rearguard resilience.Given Trapattoni’s reluctance to bring through newer players that looked more and more ready, there were then rightful questions over whether he was the right man to oversee the introduction of a new generation. In Sweden, however, Trapattoni deserved credit for the manner in which so many young players demanded responsibility and also made use.Forward thinkingFrom the front, Shane Long very quickly put Sweden on the back foot with a barging run. Indeed, the only criticism you could really have of Ireland’s performance beyond the odd loose pass was with the finishing.Because, behind the front two, the team also took an impressively proactive approach to causing Sweden problems. In the first 20 minutes, in particular, Ireland produced some of their most pleasing football for some time. Although James McCarthy did play two poor balls early on, they were at odds with a performance that was assured and authoritative. Paul Green, meanwhile, hassled and harried as well as Seamus Coleman introduced the energy many expected.James McClean offered a shift that was in stark contrast to his stuttering club form and Marc Wilson was a model of composure. Indeed, in contrast to the long passes of the past under Trapattoni, many of the side’s best moves began with the Stoke defender’s easy control.Pic: Inpho/ Donall FarmerBehind them all, then, David Forde pulled off the kind of important saves that will ensure people won’t so readily talk about the old Shay Given or the fact the new number-one is at a Championship club. Most importantly, all of that came together to ensure the single most talented individual on the pitch was kept unusually quiet. To be frank, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was only ever on the periphery of the game.The result, though, has ensured that Ireland are most certainly not on the periphery of the group. And the hope, now, is not just that they keep it in terms of results against Austria on Tuesday – but that they do the same as regards this more rousing approach.VIDEO: Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy clashed again after the game tonightlast_img read more

Les bébés apprennent à parler avant même de naitre

first_imgLes bébés apprennent à parler avant même de naitreSelon une étude américano-suédoise, les bébés commenceraient à se familiariser avec leur langue avant même qu’ils naissent. Pour cela, les fœtus se mettraient à écouter leur mère dès la 30e semaine de grossesse.Vous voulez que votre futur enfant parle un anglais impeccable ? Alors commencez à lui apprendre avant même qu’il soit né ! En effet, s’il a été démontré que les bébés comprenaient dès l’âge de 6 mois les mots qu’on leur adresse, l’apprentissage de la langue commencerait bien avant. C’est ce que suggère une étude menée en parallèle par des chercheurs suédois et américains et publiée dans la revue Acta Paediatrica. Selon celle-ci, les bébés seraient capables de distinguer bien avant cela les mots étrangers de ceux appartenant à leur langue maternelle, et pour cause : l’apprentissage de leur langue démarrerait dans le ventre de leur mère. Pour arriver à une telle conclusion, les chercheurs de l’université de Washington et ceux de l’université de Tacoma ont observé, chacun dans leur pays, 40 bébés filles et garçons entre 7 et 75 heures après leur naissance. Plus précisément, ils ont étudié ces jeunes sujets en se servant d’un système de mesure pour le moins inattendu : ils ont connecté les tétines des bébés à un ordinateur qui a mesuré les mouvements et les durées de succion. En effet, il a déjà été observé que les nourrissons avant tendance à sucer plus rapidement leur tétine quand ils entendaient des sons étrangers plutôt que des sons familiers avec lesquels ils étaient plus calmes.Le fœtus écoute sa mère dans les dernières semaines de grossesse  À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?Au cours de l’expérience, les 40 bébés ont ainsi été divisés en deux groupes. Les premiers se sont vu passer des voyelles dans leur langue maternelle tandis que les seconds ont écouté des voyelles en langue étrangère, suédois ou américain en fonction des sujets. Les chercheurs suédois comme américains ont alors constaté que les sujets écoutant la langue étrangère avaient quel que soit leur âge, tous tendance à téter plus intensément que les autres. Un signe selon eux qu’ils distinguent déjà leur langue maternelle d’une étrangère.En vérité, tout commencerait dès la 30e semaine de grossesse lorsque le système auditif du fœtus devient fonctionnel. Grâce à cela, le futur bébé commence à entendre des sons venant du milieu environnant qui sont ensuite interprétés par son cerveau. Durant les dix dernières semaines de grossesse, le foetus entend ainsi sa mère parler et se familiarise avec sa langue. Une fois né, il parvient alors à distinguer ce qu’il connait déjà de ce qui lui est étranger. “Nous savons déjà que nous commençons à apprendre les sons in utero en écoutant la voix de notre mère. Mais il s’agit de la première étude montrant que nous avons conscience des sons spécifiques de notre langue maternelle avant de naître”, explique ainsi le Dr Christine Moon, directrice de l’étude.Le 3 janvier 2013 à 17:36 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Soybean Farmers Honor Sen Mike Johanns with Soy Champion Award

first_imgThe farmers of the American Soybean Association (ASA) honored Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska with the association’s Soy Champion Award this morning in Washington. In a ceremony held during this week’s meeting of the ASA Board of Directors, former ASA President Steve Wellman presented Sen. Johanns with the award, which is given twice yearly to recognize exemplary representation of soybean farmers and soy-related issues by elected officials.“Sen. Johanns has proven himself to be not only a champion of farmers, but an advocate well-versed in the realities of modern agriculture,” Wellman said. “Senator Johanns understands what we do on our farms every day, and he brings that here to Washington to help craft legislation that helps us succeed, compete and excel. We owe a large portion of our success in the recent farm bill to his experience and foresight, and we are grateful to him for the voice he has given our farmers on Capitol Hill.”Sen. Johanns, who will not seek reelection at the end of his term, was recognized officially for his service in the Senate, however also noted were the impacts that the senator had during his tenure as Secretary of Agriculture under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, and as governor of Nebraska from 1999 to 2005.“As senator, Agriculture Secretary, and as governor of a vital agricultural state, Sen. Johanns has brought a wealth of experience to his representation of American farmers, and we cannot thank him enough for his leadership,” added ASA President Ray Gaesser, who farms close to the Nebraska border in southeastern Iowa. “We will miss his leadership and diplomatic touch on agriculture issues, and we wish him all the best as he takes his next step.”last_img read more

Healthcare Information MA Up 21 Percent

first_imgWhile media M&A has slowed to a near standstill, healthcare information and technology may be a bright spot in 2009, according to a recent report from the Jordan, Edmiston Group. In 2008, this category saw 122 transactions worth a combined $7.3 billion, up 21 percent in deals and 83 percent in value, JEGI said. Driving the activity is technology investments, such as electronic medical records; a focus on cutting costs (JEGI cited Elsevier buying MEDai, a predictive analytics company that improves the delivery of healthcare); the need to fill drug pipelines more efficiently; a shortage of medical professionals, particularly nurses; and the need to enhance revenue cycle management. JEGI said several private equity firms have invested in healthcare companies, including ABRY Partners investing in Orion Healthcare; Betram Capital investing in PMG Partners and Austin Ventures investing in Revenue Cycle Solutions. Several traditional publishers have been active in the healthcare category in recent years, including Hearst, which bought Zynx, a company that specializes in clinical decision support; Elsevier Health Sciences, which bought Gold Standard in 2006 and saw revenue and operating profit grow 5 percent and 10 percent respectively, in 2008; Thomson Reuter’s healthcare group, which saw a 4 percent increase in revenue last year; UBM, which has made five healthcare acquisitions in as many years; and Wolter’s Kluwer, which saw a 3 percent drop in revenue in 2008 but recently replaced the leadership in its healthcare division, and last year acquired UpToDate, an evidence-based, peer reviewed information resource.last_img read more

Centre appears pessimistic on economic growth

first_imgThe government has projected the real GDP growth for the year 2019-20 at 7 per cent, on the back of anticipated pickup in the growth of investment and acceleration in the growth of consumption. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Parliament on Thursday which clearly stated that the year 2019-20 has delivered a huge political mandate for the government, which augurs well for the prospects of high economic growth. Also Read – US losing grip on Indo-Pacific region as China surges ahead Advertise With Us Does it really speak so? The April 2019 report of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) of International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India growing into major economy in the world in 2018-19, despite a slight moderation in its GDP growth from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18 to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. This is despite the report projecting a decline in growth of world output and that of Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) by 0.3 and 0.1 percentage points respectively. India continues to remain the fastest growing economy, but growth declined from 3.8 per cent in 2017 to 3.6 per cent in 2018. Also Read – Rahul, Cong barking up the wrong tree Advertise With Us The ES puts the onus on the slowdown in the world economy and Emerging Market and Developing Economies in 2018 which followed the escalation of US-China trade tensions, tighter credit policies in China, and financial tightening alongside the normalisation of monetary policy in the larger advanced economies. On the external front, current account deficit (CAD) increased from 1.9 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 to 2.6 per cent in April-December 2018. The widening of the CAD was largely on account of a higher trade deficit driven by rise in international crude oil prices (Indian basket). Advertise With Us The trade deficit increased from US$ 162.1 billion in 2017-18 to US$ 184 billion 218-19. Merchandise imports reduced from 21.1 per cent to 10.4 per cent. Growth in service exports and imports in US dollar terms declined to 5.5 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively in 2018-19, from 18.8 per cent and 22.6 per cent respectively in 2017-18. Whatever ills are there in the economy, the ES attributes it to only the external influences. Other sectors too project similar pictures. The Economic Survey’s first sentence of Volume-1, Chapter 01 is self-congratulatory (“During the last five years, India’s economy has performed well.”), as former Union Minister, P Chidambaram, has rightly pointed out. What about the outlook for the future? It is in Volume-2, Chapter 01, but there is only a bland statement that “growth of the economy expected to be 7 per cent in 2019-20.” There are no growth projections, sector wise. The closest in terms of describing the outlook for 2019-20 can be found in Volume-2, Chapter 02. The Economic Survey flags (1) slowing growth, (2) shortfall in revenue, (3) finding resources without compromising the fiscal deficit target, (4) impact of oil prices on the current account and (5) recommendations of the Fifteenth FC on Central government finances. None of these is positive or encouraging. It is feared that the government speaking through the Economic Survey, is pessimistic about the economy.last_img read more

BNP candidate sued under Digital Security Act

first_imgBangladesh Nationalist Party’s Kushtia-4 constituency candidate Mehedi Ahmed Rumi. UNB File PhotoA case was filed with a Kushtia court on Tuesday against BNP candidate for Kushtia-4 constituency Mehedi Ahmed Rumi and a Tanti Dal leader under the Digital Security Act for their reported audio clip instigating violence ahead of the upcoming general elections.A local leader of ruling Bangladesh Awami League and also public prosecutor of Kushtia Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal advocate Akram Hasan Dulal filed the case with Kusthia senior judicial magistrate court, reports UNB.Judge M Masuduzzaman of the court took cognisance of the complaint and asked the Kumarkhali police station officer-in-charge to investigate it.Dulal said in the leaked telephonic conversations between Rumi, also BNP chairperson’s adviser and district BNP president, and local Tanti Dal leader Nur Islam, the former was heard instructing the latter to unleash violence.The conversations were aired in television channels DBC News and Channel 71, he said.The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader alleged that the case was filed out of vengeance to keep him away from the election race.last_img read more

Italy motorway bridge collapses dozens feared dead

first_imgThe collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa on 14 August 2018. — Photo: ReutersA motorway bridge collapsed on Tuesday over the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing dozens of people according to the local ambulance service, in what the transport minister said was likely to be “an immense tragedy”.The local fire brigade said the bridge collapsed at around 11:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) during torrential rainfall. Television showed images of the collapsed section of the bridge, built on the A10 toll motorway in the 1960s.The head of the ambulance service said there were “dozens of dead”, according to Italian news agency Adnkronos. At least 10 people were killed and 20 vehicles were involved, local police sources said.An ambulance official told Reuters the service could only confirm two injured people so far, “but we suppose there are unfortunately a lot of dead.”Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016. The highway operator said work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse, adding that the bridge was constantly monitored.The elevated road crumbled over a river, railroad tracks and buildings. The highway is a major artery to the Italian Riviera and to France’s southern coast. Train services around Genoa have been halted.A witness told Sky Italia television he saw “eight or nine” vehicles on the bridge when it collapsed in what he said was an “apocalyptic scene”.Transport minister Danilo Toninelli said in a tweet that he was “following with great apprehension what seems like an immense tragedy”.Shares in Atlantia, the toll road operator which runs the motorway, were suspended after falling 6.3 per cent after news of the collapse.last_img read more

Comics Trailblazer Mindy Newell on Catwoman Marvel and Beyond

first_imgStay on target DC’s ‘Batman Experience’ Pop-Up Exhibition Is Coming to SDCC’Krypton’ Series Season 2 Sneak Peek: Superman’s Home Planet Is at Stake Looking through many of the comics you got to write like Wonder Woman, Amethyst, Catwoman, and Lois Lane. Was that in part because you love those characters, because you’re a woman and people felt that’s what you should be writing, or a mix of both?  Obviously, I have an affinity for women characters, but exactly how much of that comes from my gender, I can’t tell you. It’s more about “am I excited about the character?” For example, if Marvel came to me and said, “We want you to write a Scarlet Witch series,” I’d have to really think about it—she’s never excited me, and I wouldn’t know where to start. On the other hand, I’d fly over the moon if given a chance by DC to weave an Adam Strange tale.  In particular, when Len offered me the Tales of the Green Lantern Story assignment, I never even thought of having a woman as the lead; it was an idea I had of an “anti-hero” in the Hans Solo mold, someone with no interest at all in becoming a Lantern, which excited me.      Bottom line—for me, and for any writer—it’s the connection that matters. Hell, look at J.K. Rowling. The kid’s name isn’t Hannah Potter.   You also did work for First Comics, Marvel, and more. What was it like working for these different publishers?   Cat Yronwode and Dean Mullaney approached me about writing The New Wave for Eclipse Comics. What a failure that was!!!—and entirely on me, not on Lee Weeks (my artist) or Cat and Dean. What can you do, sometimes you strike out. The trick is, moving on—Tom Brevoort would tease me about it once in a while when I was his assistant editor at Marvel…I would try to laugh while “squinging” and say to myself “move on, move on.”   Which brings me to Marvel …   The first time I submitted something to Marvel, it was a “What If?” story. Not sure what year it was, but it was after my entry into the New Talent Program, and after Return of the Jedi had come out—so, late ‘83, ‘ 84? Quite possibly it was even ’85.  Anyway, Return was a pretty big disappointment to me, especially after Empire, and to get the taste of Ewww-oks out of my mouth, I popped in my VHS—remember them?—copy of Empire and as I watched the climactic scene of what I think, im-not-so-ho, is the best of the original trilogy, I got to thinking …“What If…Vader had gotten to Luke as he was hanging from Cloud City before Leia, Lando, and Chewie had gotten there?” After all, in perhaps what is the weakest plot point of Empire, does it really make sense that the Millennium Falcon reached Luke before Vader, or at least one of the TIE fighters on patrol around Cloud City?      Anyway, that was my jumping-off point. I saw in my head Leia, Lando, and Chewie watching in horror from the cockpit of the Falcon as Luke was “rescued” by Vader, and though Leia and Chewie we’re all for going after him, Lando overriding them because the Falcon was being barraged by TIE fighters, and making their escape from Bespin. I sat down and wrote out that scene, and then it led to Leia being driven to go to Dagobah and meeting Yoda—Han and Chewie coming with her—and not only being trained, but learning the truth of her heritage. And then going to rescue Luke, who by this time has been corrupted to the dark side by Vader, not only because of his battered physical and emotional state, but also because, well, after all, Vader is his father, whom Luke has always “hero-worshipped”…  And in the final confrontation, Han dies (because I had read that Harrison Ford had begged Lucas to kill of the character—and aren’t we lucky that he didn’t, because 30 years later …) trying to save Leia who is battling both Vader and Luke, and in the end, Luke cannot bring himself to kill his sister, and from there it pretty much ended like the movie …That’s all from my memory, believe it or not. I no longer have the original synopsis.So I sent it off to Louise Simonson—I believe she was the editor of Marvel’s Star Wars comic in those days—and she either called me or sent a letter, either way, she was incredibly terrific, explaining that although she loved the story, she couldn’t use it because Star Wars was a licensed property and everything had to go through Lucasfilms…and that was my first experience and my first glimpse into the world of licensed products.   Cut to years later, 1989, and I was invited to UKAC (London) thanks to the Catwoman mini-series. I came down to breakfast at the hotel, and Mike Grell was there, whom I knew, and he was sitting with Tom DeFalco, Editor-in-Chief at Marvel.  Mike invited me to join them, Mike introduced me to Tom, and we got to talking, and I remember Mike telling Tom that he should hire me. There was a little bit of talk about it, then we moved on, finished our breakfast, and said, “See ya later.”  UKAC was in September, and in May 1990 Mark Gruenwald—one of the best ever, gone from us waaaay too soon—called and asked me to come in for an interview for an assistant editor spot.  I don’t clearly remember clearly the sequence, but one thing led to another, and I was hired. The weird thing was, I didn’t have an exact position, if I remember right; I shared an office with Kelly Corvese in a small suite of offices that included Marie Javins, Renee Witterstaetter (and Rob Tokar, I think), helping all of them out for a while, and then I became the aforementioned Tom Brevoort’s assistant editor in the “Special Projects” division under Bob Budiansky.      I loved working at Marvel. In reality, I had taken a pretty big pay cut when I came onboard there, but it seemed like the very opposite—as if I had gotten a huge raise. I was just so happy. As Joseph Campbell said, “follow your bliss.”    I worked with Tom on Deathlok and the Marvel trading cards collections and the hardcover editions of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s Kid Cowboys of Boys Ranch. I also wrote a Deathlok story inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” which took place in Serbia during the war there, with Deathlok in the role of the monster, and John Higgins doing the honors as artist. Unfortunately, it never saw print, because that great book by Dwayne McDuffie, Gregory Wright, and Denys Cowan was cancelled. I also edited a collected comics version of the Marvel Heroes trading cards.   The best assignment given me at Marvel was as editor of NFL Pro Action, a licensed kids magazine in conjunction with (duh!) the NFL, which Bob Budiansky always teasingly said he assigned me because “I was the only one in the Special Projects who was as nuts about football as comics.” The best way to describe Pro Action is to say that it was like Sports Illustrated for Kids, only of course it centered on football, while the Marvel side of it contained articles about the company, it’s characters, and its creators; every issue had a self-contained comic within it, as well as Fleer trading cards. The first issue featured a photograph of Troy Aikman going back to pass and Wolverine tearing through the cover about to sack him. (I came up with that idea, very proud of it.) The premiere comic story featured the X-Men and the Los Angeles Raiders’ Howie Long going up against Calistro and the Morlocks. It debuted at the 1994 Dallas Cowboys-Buffalo Bills Super Bowl in Atlanta, where every fan found it on his or her seat at the Georgia Dome along with other “swag.” A nice perk for me: as editor, I got to go the Super Bowl that year. (But there’s a “sidebar” to that story. See below.)   I also wrote a “public service” Daredevil story about the danger of kerosene and fire prevention for the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association, and two Black Widow stories, one for Marvel Comics Presents and one for a Daredevil Annual.   As for my adventures with First Comics … Howard Chaykin called to ask me to dialogue over his scripts on a few issues of American Flagg! and I was glad to help him out. You have mostly been out of the comics scene as a freelancer for over two decades. What led to that decision?  When the greed of Wall Street got the better of Marvel, it led to the near-collapse of not only Marvel, but the entire industry; at Marvel specifically it caused layoffs, and I was one of the casualties. This was, what, 1996? I already knew I was on the list, thanks to “a little birdie,” so I was prepared when it was my turn for the phone to ring.    Which brings me to this: I was told after my own particular axe had fallen that “people” were saying “how maturely and quietly I took the news” and “how surprised they were.” That was what surprised me—I mean, really? People expected me to go nuts and throw chairs and generally go insane (as one person actually did)? Is that what they really thought of me? People with whom I had worked for 5, 6 years?  Many of whom were not only co-workers, but friends?   That hurt. A lot.  And it also brings to mind something else that was told to me in my early days at Marvel. That people were saying that I had been hired because I had slept with Tom DeFalco.     Really? Seriously? (I’d always thought it had to do with that breakfast at UKAC, where Mike Grell had put an idea into Tom’s head.)       The other, more important question, is why? Why would people say that?  Although the comics industry has always been perceived as “He-Man Woman Haters Club”—I reference The Little Rascals for those who don’t get it, go ahead and google it—there have always also been women. Whether it was the Big Two or the independents, there were women. Just to name a few, and in no particular order…the late and beloved Flo Steinberg. Marie Severin and Glynis Oliver. Karen, Marie, Renee, Louise. Amanda Connor and Martha Thomases and Alisa Kwitney. Bobby Chase and Jo Duffy and Ann Nocenti. Dawn Guzzo and Virginia Romita. Trina Robbins. Cat Yronwode. And so many others whose names I cannot think of right now but whose faces I clearly see. But with everything that’s going on right now with the outing of the sexual harassment and misogynist activities of men in the public eye, some obnoxiously obscene, and with my own experiences with The Letter, I do find myself wondering …How many, or did any, of these successful women have their own “The Letter” horror stories? Did any of them ever have to deal with bullshit rumors? Were any of them pegged as “bitches” or “difficult” or whatever?  I have never really paid attention to rumors and gossip—in one ear, out the other, y’know? And what you need to know will be eventually found out—but there was always something about working at Marvel … I’m not saying that anyone was overtly mean to me, but I have to admit that it was at Marvel in the early ‘90’s that I really started becoming aware of how hard it was being a woman in the industry. Though, and I must stress this: I never felt “discounted” in the Special Projects division—Tom B. and Bob were never part of that bullshit; in fact they both went to bat for me more than once—nor by Ralph Macchio, who gave me the two shots at Black Widow. But I often felt “discounted” by many of the editors on the “main line.” Meaning, generally speaking, it sometimes felt as if many on the editorial staff didn’t take any of my creative skills seriously. (Or did they believe that total bullshit about me and Tom DeFalco?) Eventually, I pretty much stopped asking about writing assignments, and just went about my business. But there was one time that it all really did get to me.Remember before, when I said I got to go to the ’94 Super Bowl? It wasn’t because of Marvel. Marvel wouldn’t send me. After all, who was I? Just the Marvel-side editor of the magazine. The magazine that was part of the swag placed on every fan’s seat in the Georgia Dome. The magazine that Howie Long held up to the camera on FOX NFL SUNDAY because inside its cover was a full-length comic book story featuring Howie fighting alongside the X-Men (and which, Howie said on air, impressed his kids more than his football and television career.When the NFL heard about this great dis—more specifically, NFL Properties, Inc., the licensing arm of the football organization with whom I worked putting together NFL Pro Action—well, first they were shocked. Then they did something about it, paying for my entire weekend at the Bowl. Including hosting me at a Michelin five-star dinner, where I sat with writers from Sports Illustrated and other giants of the football and sports journalism world.  And when people from Marvel saw me there in Atlanta…Boy, was their face red.Nope. No way. They ignored me. And there were a few other things that happened, over at DC—this interview is bringing up memories that I had thought I had tossed out—DC didn’t send me to UKAC in 1989. I was invited to be a guest there by the backers of the convention, because the Catwoman mini-series was a huge success in Britain.  That was fine, and I was excited and honored.  But what I remember clearly was the surprise that everyone displayed in seeing me there, though of course I had told them; and even more importantly, I had no invitation to the DC party, a big event—I didn’t even know about it until one of the British creators said to me, “See you tonight, right?” IIRC, this was said in front of Karen, who then got me an invite, without which you could not get in. It was very weird, being feted during the day by fans and by the British creators whom I was meeting, and then being figuratively and literally shut out by people I had known for six years at night. Again, by people I had considered friends. It was, to say the least, upsetting. But I was in London for the first time. So I filed it away—“I’ll think about it tomorrow,” said Scarlett—and, when I wasn’t at the convention, went to the Tower and Buckingham Palace and Kensington Gardens and Piccadilly Square and Harrods, and did all the touristy things one does when in London for the first time. Then, a few months later, at 666 Fifth, I stopped by Julie Schwartz’s office and asked him about the possibility of my doing another story for him. I don’t want to remember this.He said:  “Move on!  Nobody wants you here!”  “It’s not personal, Sonny, it’s business,” said Michael Corleone. But … All of a sudden I was 12 years old again, and the new kid, out of place and all alone and nobody liked me. The depression, which had always sat on my shoulder whispering in my ear, laughed.  “I have you now.”  And things fell apart, but that’s a story for another time (And which, hopefully, you will be reading one of these days).Anyway, I have wandered a lot in answering this question, but the upshot of this is that when I was laid off from Marvel, I wanted to go out with my head held high. It wasn’t the first time in my life that things had fallen apart (and it wouldn’t be the last), but the important thing was, to get up and keep walking. I had a child to take care of.  I had a “me” to take care of. Of course, I was upset. Sad and angry and bitter. But, okay, it was over. If comics didn’t want me, it was their loss. It had been fun while it lasted, but, oh, well … another door would open. The depression could laugh all it wanted. It would not have me this time.  You’re still on the comics scene as a columnist at ComicMix. What led to you going that route in the comics community?Between then and years later, I had nothing to do with comics. I didn’t even read them. Oh, I would occasionally go to my local comics shop and pick one or two up, but I never bought them.     As for paying the bills–eventually, I returned to nursing full-time. It was “eventually” because, after I was laid off from Marvel, I did all sorts of odd jobs, some of them interesting, most of them not. I just wasn’t ready to go back to nursing, a profession in which (like comics, I suppose) your whole heart must be.    In September 2001, I was working for the retired Senator Frank Guarini as his administrative assistant (a retired Senator is never really “retired”—I remember taking calls for him from Karl Rove and Nancy Pelosi) in downtown Jersey City. His office had a gorgeous view of the World Trade Center towers. So I had a bird’s eye view when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower at 8:46 A.M and United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m., 19 minutes later.  It wasn’t as if I had an epiphany at that moment: “I must return to nursing.” But a few days later, I was sitting outside about to have lunch; the roast beef sandwich was on my lap and an unopened, cold can of Diet Pepsi was on the bench next to me when a young, exhausted, dirty fireman, obviously just coming from the site, walked by me.     “Hey,” I said.He just looked at me with a blank stare.  “Take this,” I said, holding out the Diet Pepsi.   “No, that’s okay.”“Take it.”“You sure?”“Yep.”He stepped over, took the Diet Pepsi, and chugged it down in about 5 seconds.  “Thanks.”   “Thank you.”He walked off.  I never saw him again. A few days later I handed in my notice. I told the Senator I was returning to nursing.   “I get it,” said the Senator.But comics seemed to be playing hide-and-seek with me in one way or another. I came home from work one day just two short months later, where my daughter told me, “You’ve got a message from some Brit.”   Curious. The only “Brits” I knew were from my comics days. I played the message. It was from someone named John Higgins. The name seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Anyway, I called him back. He was in New York, and he was inviting me to a “get-together” of DC people. I agreed, mostly I was curious. Who was this guy?   John and I got together that night, and a relationship began which led to marriage. I wasn’t exactly in comics, but I was on the periphery; although John and I did work together on a story for 2001 A.D., “Faces,” my heart wasn’t in it. Writing it was like, as the proverbial saying goes, pulling teeth.      John and I broke up, and again I thought, “That’s it.”But … “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,” said Michael Corleone.    Blame Mike Gold. Or bless him, depending on your viewpoint.   Out of the sky blue a few years later, Mike called me and asked if I would like to go to the MoCCA Festival. I hadn’t seen Mike in a very long time, and I had always liked and admired him, so I agreed. It was fun; more importantly, I had fun again with comics, impressed by the many independent comics creators who so obviously loved the medium, and my heart, which had for so long been frozen, started to melt. Just a little, but there was a thawing.      Mike and I stayed in touch. I started reading the occasional comic. I started browsing the web for comics news. Yeah, I was definitely thawing. And then, one day in the early summer of 2011, he asked me to write for ComicMix. My first column appeared on July 18, 2011, “Back in the Saddle Again.” And I’ve been riding ever since.  Is there any character you’d like to write that you didn’t get a chance to, or one character you’d love to go back to?There is one special thing I would change if I could get into the TARDIS and go back.  It was a mini-series about one of Abigail Arcane’s ancestors that I had proposed to Karen and on which she had given me the go-ahead. It’s one of those “what might have beens,” but it was completely my fuck-up, and I wish it had never happened…but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.There’s a Sue Storm, a.k.a. The Invisible Woman story listed in my “Stories” folder that’s been lying dormant for years. I’d love to get my keyboard on Catwoman again. I’d love to “report” on Lois Lane again. And I’d love to “fly” with Supergirl.  And someone on Facebook recently suggested that I revisit Jenesis, the character that started it all for me. Hmm … (What was that question about my affinity for women characters again? *smile*)Joe: Before we wrap up I have to ask you, what did you think of the Wonder Woman movie?Just as Vivien Leigh seemed to be the living embodiment of Scarlett O’Hara, Gal Gadot walked off the “four-color” page to become the living embodiment of Princess Diana of Themyscira.  Her performance, im-not-so-ho, saved, and will continue to save, the DCCU.Par for the course for a Wonder Woman! Here’s the second and final part of my interview with comics trailblazer, Mindy Newell! If you missed part one you can check it out here. For this final part, we discuss her work on Catwoman, at Marvel Comics, and beyond!You’re also the first woman to write Catwoman. What was that like to you? Did you get to do what you wanted with the character?Mindy: Was I really? I didn’t know that!It was pretty cool. My first swing at her was in Action Comics Weekly #’s 611 – 614, a four-part story, “The Tin Roof Club.” To tell you the truth, I think it’s better than that Catwoman mini-series with my name on it. By the way, I came up with the title of “The Tin Roof Club” because that’s how I’ve always thought of Selina. “What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew … just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can” Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  With that in mind, my biggest disappointment with the Catwoman mini-series is that DC wouldn’t allow Selina to deliberately kill her pimp. I don’t know why. The guy was a fucking pimp, for Christ’s sake! The whole idea of her murdering the bastard was that it would cause Selina to forever remain that “cat on the hot tin roof.” Stuck, y’know? So I had to write it so that it was unclear. Which was total bullshit, of course.I also made a mistake in involving nuns and Selina having a sister who was a sister.  (“My sister, the sister,” as Father Mulcahy would say on M*A*S*H.) It was supposed to be an homage to Frank Miller, not only because of Batman: Year One, but also to his work on Daredevil, in which Matt’s Catholicism played such a strong role. But I think it would have been stronger, and more interesting, if I had stuck to my own roots and made Selina Jewish—after all, “Selina Kyle” could be just a “street name” to disguise her origins.     Basically, I guess what I’m saying is that I wish I could do it all over again—or have another crack at her. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

MP Tourism announces 2nd JalMahotsav

first_imgPreparations for 2nd Jal-Mahotsav Hanuwantiya of Madhya Pradesh has begun. Online booking facility has also been initiated this time with Jal-Mahotsav to be organised from December 15 to January 15. As per the announcement of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the festival will be organised for one month.A new website www.jalmahotsav.com of the Jal-Mahotsav has been launched and information related to Jal-Mahotsav, photographs, video-clips, maps etc, have been uploaded on the website. For packages and rates one should  visit http://jalmahotsav.hanumantiyatapu.com/packages-and-rates.aspx. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfRoad show for the Jal-Mahotsav has already been conducted at Mumbai and Delhi some more will be organised in Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Hyderabad shortly. Information about Madhya Pradesh tourism and Jal-Mahotsav have been provided in the recent ‘World Trade Mart’ held in London.Addressing the Jal Mahotsav road show in Delhi, Hari Ranjan Rao, Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Corporation Limited, said, “It is to be highlighted that Hanuwantia near Indira Sagar Dam at district Khandwa has been developed by the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation as water sports complex.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“Cottages, boat clubs and restaurants have been developed by the corporation here. Attractive decoration has been developed in the entire complex. Due to excessive rainfall this year, the whole place has transformed into a lush green area and has ample water in the reservoir.” “Two Kerala-style houseboats with three cabin spaces at Hanuvantiya will be the main attraction of the second Jal Mahotsav. A sum of around Rs 5 crore has been spent on various development works including Food Zone (Kitchen, Restaurant), separate toilet facility for the tourists and drinking water and water cooler facilities. Also, sports ground for kids and swings are installed,” he added.last_img read more

Stage set for phase 2 as Hills prepare for polls

first_imgDarjeeling: The stage is all set for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, when Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Raigunj will go to polls.There are 1,899 polling stations in the constituency, while the total number of voters in the constituency is 16,00,564. The Darjeeling constituency comprises of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, along with the Chopra sub-division of Uttar Dinajpur district. There are 16 candidates in the fray from Darjeeling constituency. “Owing to the number of candidates, two ballot units will be present in each booth. The first one will feature the 16 candidates, while the second one will have NOTA,” stated Joyoshi Das Gupta, District Election Officer and District Magistrate, Darjeeling. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata2,612 control units, 4,597 ballot units and 2,628 VVPATs will be used in the constituency. 57 companies of CAPF have been deployed in the Darjeeling district, along with 9 companies in Kalimpong. “75 to 80% of the booths will have CAPF deployment. In the other booths, state armed police personnel will be deployed,” added Das Gupta. Along with this there will be micro observers, CCTVs and web casting. 246 booths have been earmarked as critical polling stations. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”We have requested Nepal and Bangladesh to seal the borders. Both the borders will be sealed from 6 pm on Tuesday till 6 pm on Thursday,” stated the District Magistrate. Polling at 64 booths in the Darjeeling district will be conducted by an all-women team. “Out of the 64, 32 booths are in the Hills with 32 in the plains of Darjeeling district. We will try to deploy female CAPF personnel or state armed personnel, wherever possible, in these 64 booths. The female polling personnel are very enthusiastic and have been imparted training to handle any eventuality,” stated Das Gupta. Around 5,000 differently-able voters have been identified in the district. “Out of the 5,000, around 60 need assistance. We will provide wheelchairs, transportation and all the required assistance so that they can vote without any hindrance,” stated the District Election Officer. Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that polling personnel have departed for the P-2 booths in the district. These are booths that are located in remote areas and require more than a day to reach. In some cases, man loads and ponies are used to carry the EVMs and VVPATs. There are 3 such booths in Darjeeling district and 11 in Kalimpong district. The P-2 booths in Darjeeling include Danragaon, Srikhola Primary School and Rammam Forest Village Primary School. “The polling personnel for the 14 P-2 booths departed from Darjeeling and Kalimpong town on Tuesday. They will reach on Wednesday,” added Das Gupta. Vivek Dubey, the Special Police Observer for the state, held a meeting with the election officers in Raigunj on Tuesday. Talking to media persons, he stated that 195 companies of CAPF have been deployed in total at Raigung, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.last_img read more

Group hopes Sac Actun cave system becomes World Heritage site

first_imgTulum, Q.R. – The National Institute of Anthropology and History intends to promote the Sac Actun cave system in Tulum in hopes of it becoming a World Heritage site.The largest flooded cave system in the world, Sac Actun will be promoted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.In a statement, INAH affirmed that the process will take a lot of time, but that the cave system is the “most important submerged archaeological site in the world.”The underground cave system has been measured at 351 kilometers, however, its connections with other neighboring systems is still being investigated. In the flooded system, researchers have discovered human remains as well as references to the first settlers of the American continent associated with the Maya culture.Throughout Sac Actun, 248 cenotes have been found along with 198 archaeological references, of which 138 seem to be linked to the Mayan civilization. Two to skeletal remains have also been discovered, each dating back at least 9,000 years.INAH says that it will be more feasible to apply to have Sac Actun (white cave) registered as Mixed Heritage with UNESCO. They continue to map and record everything discovered in the site.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

State Federal Officials Seal Historic 26B Servicer Settlement

first_img *_Update: The story has been updated to reflect a separate $1-billion settlement with Bank of America_*More than a year’s worth of rumors, negotiations, and reversals concluded Thursday with a $26-billion mega-settlement between government officials and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers.[IMAGE]The size and scope of the settlement makes it the largest endeavor by state and federal officials in U.S. history.Federal officials and 49 state attorneys general closed a deal with “”Ally Financial Corp.””:http://www.ally.com/financial/, “”Bank of America””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/, “”Citigroup””:http://www.citigroup.com/citi/homepage/, “”JPMorgan Chase””:http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/home.htm, and “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ that supplies homeowners in distress with new relief and establishes new servicing standards.Departments involved at the federal level ranged from the “”Justice Department””:http://www.justice.gov/ to “”HUD””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD and the “”Office of the Comptroller of the Currency””:http://www.occ.treas.gov/.””This agreement reflects our commitment ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô at both the federal and state levels ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô to ensure justice, and to recover losses, for victims of reckless and abusive mortgage practices,”” U.S. Attorney General “”Eric Holder””:http://www.justice.gov/ag/ said at a press conference earlier Thursday.The settlement will apportion $17 billion to homeowners who qualify for principal reduction and loan modification programs, $3 billion to those eligible to refinance their underwater mortgages, and $1.5 billion to approximately 750,000 others who lost their homes to faulty foreclosure practices.The historic agreement does not absolve the five servicers of separate or class-action lawsuits brought by homeowners or investors.Holder also said that it would not derail any action under way at the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, which the Obama administration unveiled two weeks ago.In a separate settlement totaling $1 billion, government officials resolved allegations of fraud committed by the Countrywide unit that Bank of America later acquired in 2008. The settlement helped raise settlements Thursday to $26 billion.Not all homeowners were considered equal in the delegation of benefits.[COLUMN_BREAK]Qualifying California homeowners will receive $18 billion in relief from the settlement, testifying to the state’s importance in the foreclosure crisis and the part that politics sometimes played in the process.California Attorney General “”Kamala Harris””:http://oag.ca.gov/, a highly visible advocate for redress, reportedly threatened to pull out of the pact until federal officials and servicers offered her more from the settlement.””This is an historic amount of relief for California homeowners, but it is one piece of a broader focus. We will continue our crackdown on mortgage fraud and quickly move to pass legislation that will simplify, reform and upgrade our broken mortgage system,”” she said in a statement.Of the funds designated for California homeowners, $12 billion will apply to loan principal reductions for those with underwater loans, while about 28,000 others will benefit from an estimated $849 million assigned to refinance programs.Of eligible states, Oklahoma is the only one whose attorney general strayed from the settlement to pursue a separate accord with the servicers. A statement at “”nationalmortgagesettlement.com””:http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com/ said that homeowners from the Sooner State will not benefit from the settlement.Statements from servicers about the settlement seemed generally supportive but guarded.A spokesperson with Chase said that the bank had “”worked very hard”” with officials over the past year to produce the settlement, adding that it “”includes far reaching relief that will help many of our customers and complement our already extensive efforts to improve our borrower assistance efforts and servicing processes.””””Dan Frahm””:http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-frahm/5/64/9b7, a spokesperson with Bank of America, said that the settlement would “”help provide additional support for homeowners who need assistance, [bring] more certainty to the housing market and [align] to our ongoing commitment to help rebuild our neighborhoods and get the housing market on track.””””Mike Heid””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/corporate/executive_officers/heid, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, called the agreement “”a very important step toward restoring confidence in mortgage servicing and stability in the housing market”” and said that the financial institution “”welcomes the establishment of servicing standards as part of this agreement.””Few released their actual contributions in these statements.For its part, Wells Fargo will pay $5.3 billion, reserving $3.4 billion for principal reductions and short sales, $1 billion in unrestricted funds for federal and state governments to resolve the foreclosure crisis, and $900 million for first-lien refinance loans. Citigroup said that it would contribute $2.2 billion to homeowners in three installments that included cash upon settlement, relief payments, and refinancing concessions.Ally offered $310 million, with $110 million in unrestricted funds for state and federal programs and $200 million in homeowner relief. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Citigroup First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage HARP Housing Affordability HUD Investment Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Mortgage-Backed Securities OCC Processing Refinance Service Providers Wells Fargo 2012-02-09 Ryan Schuette in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing State, Federal Officials Seal Historic $26B Servicer Settlementcenter_img February 9, 2012 484 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Penguin Random House canceled Mark Halperins book about the 2016 election after allegations of sexual harassment against Halperin emerged (co-author John Heilemann was collateral damage. but in a "hundreds of men in different fatigues holding weapons walking around in an uninhabitable city with an ancient heritage" sort of way. read more

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