President Duterte threatens iconic Philippine ‘jeepney’

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329593

File photo : Jeepney//EPA-EFE
File photo : Jeepney//EPA-EFE

 President Duterte threatens iconic Philippine ‘jeepney’

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 15:21

Firebrand Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Tuesday to scrap by next year the “jeepneys” that have become a national symbol, as he became embroiled in a showdown with the mass transport industry.

The flamboyantly-decorated but smoke-belching vehicles were originally converted from surplus World War II US army jeeps but now largely use reconditioned diesel engines from Japan.

Citing pollution and health concerns, Duterte said Tuesday the old jeepneys would have to be switched for modern and less-polluting versions by 2018.

His threat came after a two-day strike by jeepney operators led by the transport group PISTON, which had previously rejected the modernisation scheme.

“You know, you are poisoning the people… one-third of Filipinos are poor and they will die from lung cancer because you do not want to fix your used engines,” Duterte said in a speech to military men, referring to the jeepney operators.

“This is what I will do: either you must modernise next year those jeeps of yours, you must sell them to the junkyard. Next year I do not want to see any single PUJ (public utility jeepney.) All those still operating will be towed off the streets,” he added.

For decades the colourfully decorated jeepney has served as the main form of public transport and a symbol of Filipino creativity.

The government wants them replaced with less polluting vehicles, either with better engines or electrical power and with modern safety measures.

PISTON president George Mateo said Duterte’s threat was unrealistic as it would take more time to replace the 240,000 jeepneys across the archipelago.

While the government had offered programmes to help the jeepney owners replace their old vehicles with new ones, Mateo said the new versions were too expensive and the ownership schemes would displace small operators.

He charged that it was Duterte who had previously challenged them to stage a transport strike, resulting in their protest on Monday and Tuesday which forced the government to call off school classes and shut government offices.

“He is arrogant, anti-poor,” said Mateo.

Despite threats to arrest jeepney operators, Mateo warned of a bigger transport strike if Duterte pushed through with his plan.

“We have no choice but to fight back.”//AFP

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‘Southbound’ visa policy gives Taiwan a tourism boom

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329571

Tourists make their way in the southern city of Kaohsiung during the Double Ten Holiday in this file photo from Oct. 9, 2017.
Tourists make their way in the southern city of Kaohsiung during the Double Ten Holiday in this file photo from Oct. 9, 2017.

‘Southbound’ visa policy gives Taiwan a tourism boom

Breaking News October 18, 2017 11:52

By The China Post
Asia News Network

The number of tourists from countries covered under the Taiwanese government’s New Southbound Policy who visited Taiwan between January and August registered 36-per-cent growth over the same period of last year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday Taiwan saw nearly 1.4 million tourist arrivals from the 18 countries covered by the policy.

Among those, Vietnam was the largest source of visitors, with a 113-per-cent increase from the same period of last year, the report said.

The number of visitors from Thailand and the Philippines also posted growth of more than 70 per cent thanks to a more convenient visa policy introduced by the government for tourists from Southeast Asia, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, trade between Taiwan and countries covered by the policy reached US$82.298 billion between January and September, a 19-per-cent increase from the same period last year.

The ministry said the policy’s effectiveness was becoming more and more apparent, with continuous exchanges increasingly highlighting Taiwan’s role in the Asia-Pacific region.

Foreign Minister David Lee was on Wednesday due to present the report to the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defence Committee.

Countries with the most Unesco world heritage sites

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329568

Countries with the most Unesco world heritage sites

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 10:50

By DataLEADS
Asia News Network
NEW DELHI

Italy has the highest number of Unesco heritage sites in the world.  In Asia, it is China and India that house the most heritage sites.

Founded on November 16, 1945 the U.N. cultural organisation, Unesco was created to promote international collaboration in education, science and culture as a way to contribute towards world peace.

Every two years the Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, holds the convention on conferring the world heritage status on places of immense cultural and physical significance. It is an exercise towards creating an environment of dialogue between civilizations, cultures and people.

As of this year there are a total of 1073 sites, out of which 832 are Cultural sites, 206 are Natural sites and 35 are mixed sites. In Asia it is China and India that house the most heritage sites.

Italy has the highest number of heritage sites in the world. It constitutes around 5 per cent of the total sites in the world. The nation is culturally and geographically rich with 58 sites marked as culturally significant by Unesco.

Spread across various places like Beijing, Xian, Sinchuan, Qufu, Lishan and many others, China is second to Italy with 48 sites marked as culturally and physically significant. Out of these 48 sites 37 are Cultural sites, 8 are Natural heritage sites and 3 are both Natural and Cultural.  The most famous heritage site in China is The Great wall of China followed by Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang: The Forbidden City, Shenyang Imperial Palace.

China’s strong and successful international lobbying for Unesco acclaim is also seen as soft power instrument to showcase the ‘glorious past’ of the nation. While the inscription of sites increases tourism it also renders these place fragile and throws challenges towards preserving them for longer time. The Chinese government has capped the number of tourists at certain sites to preserve the ecology and balance as per the Unesco bid.

Spain has third most number of World Heritage sites. Cities like Toledo, Cordoba and Salamanca possess some of world’s most historical monuments like Great Mosque in Cordoba, Cathedral in Santiago.

France has the fourth most sites with currently 30 different Unesco World Heritage sites. The first French sites were recognised in 1997. Some of these sites are Chartres Cathedral and  Mont-St-Michel. Unesco recognised a large number of historic highlights of Germany´s monuments to be a World Heritage Site bringing it on number fifth. Mexico City is home to various Aztec ruins and beautiful colonial architecture.

India is second in line to China with 35 Heritage sites. It is among the top countries with most number of sites on the heritage list. Out of the 35 sites, 27 are of cultural importance and 8 are Natural sites. From Nalanda University in Bihar, to Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim, Churches and Conventions in Goa, and the famous Taj Mahal in Agra India has marked its presence on the Unesco list.

Indian state is lobbying for more natural sites to be on the list since it believes that the current list reflects the heritage of India in an incomplete manner, with more emphasis on cultural sites and less on natural sites.

More recently Unesco added an ancient temple site in Cambodia to its world heritage list, bringing the number of heritage sites in the Southeast Asian country to three.

US judge blocks latest version of Trump travel ban

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

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US judge blocks latest version of Trump travel ban

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 06:58

By Agence France-Presse
Washington

A US federal judge on Tuesday barred the White House from implementing yet another version of President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration, hours before it was due to go into full effect.

The decision by US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii — which the White House signaled it would appeal — marks the latest blow to Trump’s long-running efforts to restrict entry of travelers from targeted countries into the United States.

Watson said the third rendition of the travel ban — covering people from six mainly Muslim countries, as well as North Korea and some officials from Venezuela — could not be justified under law.

In his decision, Watson wrote the ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specific countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.'”

The ruling means the Trump administration could again ask the Supreme Court to decide whether his immigration orders are legal.

– Legal saga –

The newest order was announced last month to replace an expiring 90-day temporary ban on travelers from the Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The September decree removed Sudan from the list, but added Chad and North Korea for full bans and Venezuela for a ban limited to certain classes of officials.

The White House justified the measure as needed to protect US national security — but critics said it appeared virtually the same as the original order of January 27.

Courts shot that version down saying it targeted Muslims, violating the US constitutional protections for religious freedom.

A second version was only slightly adjusted and was quickly tied up in similar legal wrangling.

In June, the Supreme Court accepted to review the case but let the 90-day ban go mostly into effect in the meantime.

When the ban expired, the court said there was nothing to rule on.

Trump went forward with a new version with no expiry date, tacking on North Korea and Venezuela to the list of targeted countries and implying the updated measure did not simply target Muslim countries.

But Watson — who also issued freezes on the first two attempts — said the order does not improve US security, since individuals who pose risks can already be denied entry under existing law.

The order “plainly discriminates based on nationality” in a manner antithetical to US laws “and the founding principles of this nation,” he wrote.

Watson placed a freeze on the ban on travelers from the six countries, but allowed it to be implemented on North Korea — which sent only a handful of people to the United States last year — and Venezuela, where US sanctions have also already made travel to the United States difficult for many officials.

‘Dangerously flawed’

The White House quickly rejected his argument, calling it “dangerously flawed” and promising to fight the action.

“The entry restrictions in the proclamation apply to countries based on their inability or unwillingness to share critical information necessary to safely vet applications, as well as a threat assessment related to terrorism, instability and other grave national security concerns,” it said.

“We are therefore confident that the judiciary will ultimately uphold the president’s lawful and necessary action and swiftly restore its vital protections for the safety of the American people.”

One of the most controversial changes in the latest version of the White House order was the addition of Chad, whose forces are working with US troops in the battle against Boko Haram extremists.

But the administration appeared to be preparing to back away from this widely-criticized position.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that in recent weeks the Chad government had shown a “clear willingness to work closely with us on these issues.”

She did not give any timeline, but said the US “is committed to working with Chad to address the deficiencies, toward the goal of improving vetting capabilities and lifting visa restrictions.”

Asean edges closer to common market

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329516

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Asean edges closer to common market

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 01:00

By PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WASHINGTON

ASEAN is moving further closer to creating a common market, but member nations are concerned that the normalisation of monetary policy rates in the United States would hinder growth in the region, Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.

Dominguez was in Washington representing the regional bloc in a meeting of International Monetary Fund IMF managing directors with Asean finance ministers and central bank governors.

According to the Philippine Department of Finance, Dominguez told the meeting about the concerns of the Asean finance ministers over the prospect of more developed countries adopting inward-looking policies.

The finance chief said his Asean counterparts were also worried about the possibility of “sharper-than-expected” financial tightening in such an export-oriented region amid the normalisation of US policy rates.

Even then, Dominguez said Asean continued to meet its timetable on economic integration as spelled out in the Asean Economic Blueprint 2025. The Philippines chairs Asean this year.

“The Asean has moved dramatically in its effort to build a region-wide policy framework to enhance trade, economic cooperation and financial flows among the association’s member-countries,” he said.

“We are now moving closer toward achieving the strategic goal of a common regional market.”

Also, Dominguez noted that average growth this year among the Asean countries was expected at 5 per cent, thanks to strong domestic consumption across the region.

Dominguez added that, in some Asean economies, faster growth was inhibited by higher inflation and weaker-than-expected trade flows.

These factors, he said, were “short-term limitations” and could turn for the better once global growth picked up.

“The Asean region is presently one of the fastest and main drivers of global growth,” Dominguez said.

“As a group of export-oriented economies, however, we look with concern at the prospect of more developed countries adopting more inward-looking trade and investment policies,” Dominguez said.

Regarding monetary policy in the US, Dominguez said the period of low interest rates, supplemented by low fuel costs, saw the region’s economies expand rapidly.

“We have [also] achieved progress as well on the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (Amro),” Dominguez added, referring to an initiative with Japan, China and South Korea. “We have finalised the Amro’s Strategic Direction and Medium-term Implementation Plan, [which] seeks to build up Amro towards delivering high quality and original surveillance to member economies supportive of the CMIM,” Dominguez said.

The CMIM – Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation — is a currency swap agreement among the finance ministries and central banks of the Asean+3 economies, aimed at providing financial support for short-term liquidity problems.

Dominguez said further a memorandum of understanding between the Amro and the Asian Development Bank has already been signed, with the Asean looking forward to the conclusion of a similar agreement with the IMF.

Bolaven Plateau brewing as agri-tourism destination in Laos

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329515

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Bolaven Plateau brewing as agri-tourism destination in Laos

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 01:00

By VIENTIANE TIMES
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
VIENTIANE

THE GOVERNMENT is planning to develop coffee-rich Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos as the country’s top agri-business and agri-tourism destination due to its perfect climate and fertile volcanic soils.

A master plan for developing the plateau is being drafted by the National Economic Research Institute to ensure sustainable development in Bolaven.

Officials from the institute told Vientiane Times that zones of the plateau would be identified and allocated according to their suitability for organic crop plantations and tourism activity development.

The Prime Minister’s Office has asked nine ministries to contribute to the plateau’s development; meanwhile the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is in charge of tourism affairs.

Deputy Director of the Champassak Provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department Mala Chanthala told Vientiane Times that “Our province has formulated a strategy to develop the plateau since it has high potential for agriculture production and tourism development.”

Experts said it was critical to attract more investment into organic crop production and tourism development, saying that if the plateau was developed properly, income earned from Bolaven could be assist people across the country.

Formed by an ancient volcano that erupted millions of years ago, the Bolaven Plateau has abundant and productive soils along with a relatively cooler climate perfect for growing organic crops and aromatic coffees.

The US media (CNN) described Bolaven as one of the world’s best coffee-growing regions on Earth.

“It[Bolaven]’s earned a burgeoning reputation not only for the quality of the coffee beans the area produces, but also for its stunning scenery and vibrant ethnic cultures — making the plateau one of the best road trip destinations in Southeast Asia,” CNN said.

Brought to Laos by the French during the colonial period in the early 20th century, coffee has become synonymous with southern Laos as the product has steadily gained in popularity abroad.

The fertile volcanic soils of the Bolaven Plateau, which ranges from 1,000 to 1,350 metres in elevation, are perfect for growing coffee and other crops. The value of coffee exported by Laos is expected to exceed US$112 million in the 2017 fiscal year, an increase of 3 per cent compared to 2016.

The plateau is crossed by several rivers and has many scenic waterfalls. Surrounding the plateau there are also a number of national protected areas, remote hill tribes and dense jungle.

Mala said over 600,000 tourists visited Champassak province last year, of which about 50 per cent of them visited Bolaven Plateau.

“We have planned to attract 700,000 visitors this year, but our main challenge is how to entice tourists to stay longer. The tourism industry not only generates job opportunities for local people but also serves as the main driver for economic growth in the province,” she said.

Busy Cambodia airports boost French operator

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329513

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Busy Cambodia airports boost French operator

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 01:00

By THE PHNOM PENH POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
PHNOM PENH

PASSENGER growth for Vinci Airports, the airport management arm of French conglomerate Vinci, increased by 12.6 per cent during the first nine months of 2017 compared with the same period last year, with its Cambodia operations showing the largest percentage growth for the company.

The operator ferried 112 million passengers during the first nine months of 2017, with Cambodia’s three international airports handling a total of 6.3 million passengers, a 25.7 per cent increase compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, passenger growth in Portugal grew by 17.7 per cent followed by Chile at 10.9 per cent.

Cambodia Airports’ strong growth was attributed to the arrival of new carriers and routes including the launch of an Emirates Airlines flight from Dubai in July, according to Vinci. The report added that passenger growth at Phnom Penh International Airport rose 24.5 per cent during the period, with Siem Reap International Airport increasing 21.8 per cent. Sihanoukville International Airport grew by 162 per cent, albeit from a low base.

Cambodia Airports Communication director Khek Norinda said yesterday that the growth in passengers coming to the Kingdom was due the country’s solid economic growth and increased connectivity.

“There are opportunities and more room for growth in the aviation market as demand for air travel worldwide and in particular in the Asia-Pacific region keeps on increasing,” he said.

Cheav Kirirom, airline production manager for JC International Airlines, a newcomer that launched operations in March of this year, said that the aviation sector has continued to support economic and tourism growth from both international and domestic passengers.

“The aviation market is growing fast and there is a lot of demand, which is why there are a lot of airline companies investing in Cambodia,” he said.

At least five new passenger airlines are preparing to launch Cambodia-based operations within the next year, up from the current level of seven, a fact that Kirirom acknowledged could be problematic.

“It will be challenging to compete with other low-cost carriers, but we have our own strategy for the market,” he said, adding that JC had recently launched new flights to China as well as South Korea.

Chinese bourse seen buying stake in RP exchange

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329511

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Chinese bourse seen buying stake in RP exchange

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 01:00

By PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
MANILA

THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) is in talks with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) to be a cornerstone investor in the former’s 2.5-billion peso follow-on stock offering programme.

In a presentation before the Shareholders Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL) on Monday, PSE president Ramon Monzon mentioned the possibility of forming a tie-up with SZSE to establish a cross-border trading linkage or “Shenzhen Connect.”

Monzon said he was pursuing this tie-up because he was particularly interested in boosting the flow of Chinese investments into the local stock market.

Part of the prospective tie-up is for SZSE to acquire shares in the PSE but this should be no more than 5 per cent as mandated by local securities law as the ownership cap for any single investor in a local bourse, Monzon said.

After the SharePHIL forum, Monzon said talks with SZSE were “very preliminary” but he noted that since 2009, the PSE has had a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SZSE to create a trading linkage.

“Now we want a more concrete partnership with them,” Monzon said. “I’m trying to convince them to subscribe to our follow-on offering because I’d like them to be a shareholder.” The proposed trading linkage may take some time but the prospective equity investment may happen first, he added.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will also have to be involved in the creation of Shenzhen Connect to iron out cross-border payment and settlement issues, Monzon said.

Established in 1990, SZSE is a self-regulated legal entity under the supervision of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Since 2000, SZSE has signed MOUs with 30 major stock exchanges and financial institutions in the world and enhanced cross-border cooperation and communications.

Auto sales slow in Indonesia

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329510

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Auto sales slow in Indonesia

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 01:00

By THE JAKARTA POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
JAKARTA

GROWTH in Indonesia’s automotive industry was slower in September as sales dropped to 87,645 units from 97,256 in August, a 9.88 per cent month-on-month decrease.

According to data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo), car sales in the January-September period grew by 2.72 per cent year-on-year (yoy) to 804,167 units, lower than the 3.79 percent yoy growth from January to August.

However, the higher sales in August was likely supported by the Gaikindo International Auto Show (GIIAS), during which around 21,000 cars were sold.

There was no such an event in September. The low-cost and green cars (LCGC) segment, meanwhile, saw a 13.5 percent yoy increase in sales to 179,768 units from January to September.

The LCGC segment accounted for 22.35 per cent of total cars sold in the period, higher than the 20.23 percent share during the same period last year

AirAsia X eyes larger aircraft in order rethink

Published October 18, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/asean-plus/30329509

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AirAsia X eyes larger aircraft in order rethink

ASEAN+ October 18, 2017 01:00

By THE STAR
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
KUALA LUMPUR

AIRASIA X , the longhaul arm of the region’s biggest budget carrier, is looking at swapping an order for 66 Airbus SE A330neo widebody jets to larger A350s in a bid to boost capacity on its busiest routes, according to a Bloomberg report.

A review of the Kuala Lumpur-based discounter’s fleet requirements is under way and could result in a plan to trade up to the bigger widebody, Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of the AirAsia group, said in an interview yesterday, adding that the Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner will also be considered.

AirAsia X will remain focused on routes within four to eight hours’ flying time and would deploy the A350s on those services just as it had aimed to do with the A330s, Fernandes said, adding that a switch wouldn’t indicate a revival of plans to serve Europe.

For Airbus, an order would shrink the 212plane A330neo backlog while bolstering an A350 programme that has itself suffered recent setbacks.

“Over the last 10 years we’ve been tweaking the model,” the CEO said. “Now that we kind of know what we want to do, we’re looking at the fleet. We’re toying with the A350. If we went A350, we wouldn’t use the A330neo anymore, we’d go all A350.”

The move would mark an about face from previous plans. In 2015, the Malaysian operator began looking at flipping the ten A350s due for delivery from 2021 to A330neos, with the unit’s chief Benyamin Ismail saying the smaller jet was cheaper and just as economical.

While an order rethink could be lucrative for Airbus, with the A350900 having a sticker price of US$311.2mil versus US$290.6mil for the A330neo, the switch would come as a complication given the airline’s status as a launch customer for the plane.

Fernandes said the first jet is due in December 2018, though the date is “slipping” after already being put back amid development issues with RollsRoyce Holdings Plc’s Trent 7000 engine. The company will send representatives to the model’s first flight, scheduled for Oct 18 in Toulouse, he said.

AirAsia X is also exploring the business case for adding Airbus A321neos to serve routes to India and China that might not support bigger planes, Fernandes said. The main AirAsia shorthaul operation already has orders for more |than 400 upgraded Airbus narrowbodies, including 100 A321 variants.

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