BREAKING: 19 DEAD, 50 INJURED AFTER EXPLOSION AT U.K. CONCERT. TERROR SUSPECTED, SAY POLICE

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — An explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England late Monday has resulted in at least 19 fatalities and 50 injuries, say police.

Sources close to the case say law enforcement officials have are treating the incident as a “terrorist incident.”

British Transport Police say an initial explosion occurred in the foyer of Manchester Arena at approximately 10:30 p.m. Although it police have yet to confirm, eyewitnesses to the event say additional explosions occurred shortly after.

Concert goer Sasina Akhtar told the Manchester Evening News that Grande had just finished her final song of the concert when “there was an explosion behind us at the back of the arena. We saw young girls with blood on them, everyone was screaming and people were running. There was lots of smoke.”

David Richardson, who had brought his 13-year-old daughter to see the show, said he heard two explosions just after the show.

“It was about 40 feet behind us near one of the exits. We just thought it was people messing about then it happened again. Another explosion sounded. Then we saw the smoke. Everyone just fled.”

A video that was uploaded to social media shortly after the event shows the outside of the arena and the sound of an explosion could be heard coming from inside.

So far, no terrorists groups have claimed credit for the bloodshed, but an unconfirmed report suggests that the act may have been carried out by a suicide bomber.

…STORY DEVELOPING

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BREAKING: PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO PROBE TIES TO RUSSIA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday released a brief statement in response to the Department of Justice’s announcement that it had appointed a special prosecutor to investigate what, if any, ties the president has to Russia and what role Russia may have played in the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” said the president. “I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”

The announcement comes on the heels of revelations by recently fired former FBI director James Comey that the president had asked him to pull back on his investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who was removed from his position after it was discovered that he had not been forthcoming with the Trump administration on his communications with a Russian diplomat.

…STORY DEVELOPING

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DID HE KNOW TOO MUCH? INVESTIGATOR SAYS SLAIN DNC STAFFER SETH RICH SOURCE OF DNC LEAK

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rod Wheeler, a retired Washington homicide detective hired to investigate the still unsolved murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, has come forward with allegations that Rich may have been the source who leaked a wealth of DNC documents to Wikileaks just months before last November’s election.

Rich, who was employed as the Voter Expansion Data Director for the Democrat National Committee, was found murdered in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. on July 10, 2016. Although police officials called the murder the probable result of a robbery gone bad, Rich’s personal items including wallet, credit cards, watch and cell phone were never stolen.

Since Rich’s murder, speculation has run rampant that his death may have been tied to the leaked documents, which many blame for the downfall of the campaign of then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Now, just two months shy of the one-year anniversary of Rich’s death, revelations by Wheeler, who says he believes that there has been a massive cover up into the DNC staffer’s murder, may just prove that speculation correct.

“The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” Wheeler told Fox News D.C. affiliate Fox 5 (http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/254852337-story). “They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”

When asked if Wheeler’s sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, Wheeler replied, “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”

“I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you,’” Wheeler continued. “Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out [Tuesday].”

According to a federal source close to the investigation, An FBI forensic report of Rich’s computer — generated within 96 hours after the polling expert’s murder — showed the staffer made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and agent of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.

“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the source confirmed.

On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s murder, WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that appeared to show that lead party officials had conspired to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont from becoming the party’s presidential nominee. The fall out from the controversy resulted in Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigning as DNC chairperson.

Later in the campaign, a series of more sinister emails released by Wikileaks revealed a series of bizarre, cult like activities partaken in by some of the DNC’s highest ranking members including the attendance of so called “spirit cooking” dinners where guests were urged to bring human urine, blood and breast milk to the event. The emails were a devastating and humiliating blow to the Hillary Clinton campaign and Clinton, herself, blamed the emails in part for her presidential loss.

The federal source says the emails are now in possession of the FBI, but that the investigation into Rich’s death is being “stalled” by the Washington Police Department.

In response to Wheeler’s comments, a spokesperson for Rich’s family has come forward with denials that the slain DNC staffer was the source behind the leak. Brad Bauman, who says that Wheeler is not authorized to speak for the Rich family, called Wheeler’s allegations “unsubstantiated.”

Calls for statement to a DNC spokesperson resulted in “no comment”.

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ARMING THE ENEMY? UN AIDS ROGUE STATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NERVE GAS

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — Over the course of the last year, the United Nations has aided North Korea in developing a patent application for production of sodium cyanide — a chemical used in the development of nerve gas, says a bombshell report.

In an exclusive reveal, Fox News reported on Monday that the rogue state began the international patent process on Nov. 1, 2015 — just two months prior to its fourth nuclear test.

Sodium cyanide, which has been on a list of materials banned from shipment to that country by the U.N. Security Council since 2006, is used to make Tabun, a deadly nerve agent.

Hugh Griffiths, coordinator of the international U.N. expert team, told Fox News that a panel of experts officially “opened an investigation into this matter” based upon a report obtained from the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, website (https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf;jsessionid=47851DD954DCB23C0999B064BEC3119B.wapp1nB?docId=WO2016199944&recNum=3&office=&queryString=%28ANID%3AKP*+AND+CTR%3AWO%29&prevFilte=&sortOption=Pub+Date+Desc&maxRec=45).

“This is a disturbing development that should be of great concern to the U.S. administration and to Congress, as well as the U.S. Representative to the U.N.,” William Newcomb, a former member of the U.N. Panel of Experts told Fox News.
“It undermines sanctions to have this going on. The U.N. agencies involved should have been much more alert to checking these programs out.”

The revelation comes just days after North Korean leaders announced that they had fired off a long range missile capable of carrying a “heavy nuclear warhead” and hitting U.S. targets.

The United Nations receives $8 billion from the United States each year. The funds are supposed to go toward humanitarian projects but inside sources say the funds are being funneled to mostly anti-American tyrannical regimes around the globe.

Last week, tensions between the United States and North Korea reached a fever pitch after North Korean officials claimed the CIA and South Korea’s National Intelligence Service conspired to assassinate Kim Jong Un with a biochemical weapon.

U.S. intelligence officials called North Korea’s claims “baseless”.

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‘YOU’D BE IN JAIL’: COMEY FIRING COULD BE PART OF TRUMP’S PLAN TO LOCK HILLARY UP, SAY SOURCES

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During one of the most famous moments during the now historic 2016 presidential campaign, then Republican candidate Donald Trump told Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that if he were president, she’d be in jail and, according to sources, the new president may soon be keeping his word.

Trump, who vowed to prosecute the former Secretary of State for storing classified emails on an unauthorized server and a series of what he called other “horrible acts”, warned the former first lady during a the final presidential candidate debate in 2016 what her fate might hold.

About 20 minutes into the debate, which was aired live on nearly every major network in America, Donald Trump turned to Hillary Clinton and promised, “If I win, I’m going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception.”

“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Mrs. Clinton responded.

“Because,” Mr. Trump replied, “you’d be in jail.”

Now, sources say that Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, who declined to recommend prosecution of Clinton despite what many FBI agents described as a wealth of evidence against her, may be part of a plan to make Trump’s promise come true.

“The president knows the dirty details of the Clinton corruption,” said one Trump administration insider who agreed to talk off the record. “The email scandal was just the tip of the iceberg and bringing Hillary and her cronies down is an opportunity that he’s been patiently waiting for.”

According to a report published on Thursday by Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/11/comey-firing-could-spur-new-review-clinton-case-immunity-deals-ex-agent-says.html), Comey’s departure may bring opportunity for a new review of Clinton’s case and with it, the possibility of a criminal indictment against her.

Brian Weidner, a veteran former FBI agent, says both the case against Clinton and any possible immunity deals that were struck during the course of the investigation against her could be reconsidered.

“I would be surprised if they did not review all the investigations regarding HRC and come up with [a] conclusion regarding prosecution. The statute of limitations hasn’t come into play yet,” said Weiner. “A new AG and new director may take a good look at the entire case, and if anyone who received immunity did not live up to their agreement, like Huma [Abedin] with the classified documents on her computer, the deal is off and they are potential targets again.”

Regardless of how this plays out, you can be certain Clinton is ready for it, warns my source.

“Hillary is anything but stupid. She knew that Trump wasn’t going to let her slide away unscathed with all he knows on her. You can bet your life she’s got the best legal team in the nation on standby for the fate that she knows eventually awaits her.”

Calls for statement were met with “no comment” from both the White House and a Clinton spokesperson.

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IS SPICER NEXT TO GO? WHITE HOUSE SOURCES SAY PRESS SECRETARY PRESIDENT’S LATEST TARGET AS TRUMP ATTEMPTS TO DRAIN THE SWAMP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — White House press secretary Sean Spicer may be the next to go as president Donald Trump attempts to rid his cabinet of “establishment” high rollers.

According to a report published by Infowars on Thursday, Spicer could be fired as early as next week as Trump carries out his campaign promise to “drain the swamp”.

The report comes just days after the ultra conservative White House spokesman was reportedly sent to the sidelines amid concerns by Trump that he had become overwhelmed by his high pressure role.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, has been called in to step in for Spicer as the president is said to be contemplating his next move. Officially, the White House says Spicer is absent due to a previously scheduled assignment related to his Navy Reserve duty at the Pentagon (http://www.thewrap.com/sean-spicer-skip-comey-press-briefing-sarah-huckabee-sanders-white-house/), but sources say the interim departure couldn’t have come at a better time.

Spicer has come under fire in recent weeks after a series of contentious encounters with members of the left leaning press press left him shaken and visibly angry. During one occasion in early May, the press secretary made headlines after walking out on a scheduled press conference where he refused to answer, or even acknowledge, certain members of the media (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/reporters-erupt-when-spicer-ends-press-conference-without-taking-questions/article/2621911).

On other occasions, Spicer allowed his anger to get the best of him and engaged in a series of back and forth banters with members of the White House press corps. During one heated exchange in March with American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan, Spicer, borrowing from his Trump’s attack on “fake news”, quipped “I appreciate your agenda here. … At some point, report the facts”. The blow up came after Ryan attempted to corner Spicer on the ongoing allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 election.

According to the Infowars report, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who Trump previously considered for the role as White House spokesperson, is among Trump’s top picks to replace Spicer.

Despite the innuendo that Spicer’s career may be the next to follow the fate of former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump earlier this week, a White House spokesperson says the recent speculation about Spicer’s future is baseless.

“Sean has always taken his Navy duties very seriously,” said a White House spokesperson when reached for comment. “So when he says he’s on duty, he’s on duty. There’s nothing more to it than that.”

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REPUBLICANS PASS EMBATTLED HEALTH CARE BILL BY NARROW VOTE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republicans on Thursday narrowly passed their beleaguered health care bill by a 217-213 vote not six weeks after a similar bill was defeated for lack of support.

The revised American Health Care Act heads next to the Senate where, if approved, it will replace the Affordable Care Act put into law by the previous Obama administration.

In the end, 20 Republicans voted against the bill, as did all Democrats on record Thursday afternoon. As voting came to an end, House Democrats broke out into a chorus of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”, but Republicans eventually got their way.

Upon hearing the news of the vote, President Trump invited Republican lawmakers to the White House for a celebratory press conference.

“Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare,” said Vice President Mike Pence, who credited “the determination, the perseverance and the leadership of Donald Trump” for the passage of the bill.

“What a great group of people, and they’re not even doing it for the party, they’re doing it for the country,” president Trump said as he stood with fellow Republicans in the Rose Garden. “Yes, premiums will be coming down, deductibles will be coming down.”

As Republicans cheered, the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbying group was more aloof in their response to the House’s passage of the bill.

“Ensuring patients have access to the medicines they need is our top priority. As Congress considers reforms to our health care system, we look forward to continuing to work with them to enhance the competitive market, ensure patients have access to affordable health care and foster the continued development of new innovative medicines,” the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said in a statement.

Democrats, however, were quick to berate the Republicans’ triumph.

“The “health care” bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster,” former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted after the announcement of the bill’s passage.

“Here are the white men who just made domestic violence, sexual assault, C-sections and postpartum depression pre-existing conditions. #AHCA,” tweeted Amy Siskind, President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, an advocacy group for women’s and LGBTQ rights.

“This disastrous bill has been condemned by almost everyone,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday during a press conference after the vote. Pelosi said latest version is “worse” than the original and scoffed at claims that it would protect those with pre-existing conditions.

“This is a scar that they will carry,” she said of those who voted yes to pass the bill.

But Republicans seemed unfettered by their Democratic colleagues’ bitter response.
“We want to brag about the plan,” Trump said during the post-vote celebration. “Hey, I’m president!”

The bill effectively eliminates tax penalties put into place by ObamaCare, and removes tax increases that higher income earners health industries were hit with under the Affordable Care Act. The bill also allows states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

If passed into law, the bill will also retain the ObamaCare mandate that family policies cover grown children until the age of 26.

Critics say states could get federal waivers freeing insurers from other Obama coverage requirements and, with waivers, insurers could charge people with pre-existing illnesses at higher rates than healthy customers, boost prices for older consumers to whatever they determine to be fair and ignore the mandate that they cover specified services such as obstetrics and mental health care.

The bill would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood for a period of at least 12 months, a fact that is considered in and of itself a victory by many pro-life Republicans.

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‘GOD BLESS AMERICA’: TRUMP STRIKES BACK AGAINST WAR ON FAITH; SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a move to restore religious freedoms in the U.S., president Donald Trump signed on Thursday an executive order to protect churches from sanctions by the IRS.

In his introduction of the president during a National Day of Prayer event inside the Rose Garden, Vice President Mike Pence said the National Day of Prayer is a time to reaffirm “the vital role people of faith play in American society” and praised Trump for marking the importance of the day.

“Our President is a believer. He loves his family and he loves his country with an unshakeable faith in God,” said Pence.

After thanking the Vice-president, Trump took to the podium and declared that the war on Christianity by the government is over.

“We’re a nation of believers. Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation,” Trump said as religious leaders and members of his staff looked on. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”

After a word of prayer with attending clergy, the president signed the executive action which effectively reverses the ban on political speech from the pulpit that was introduced in 1954 by then-Democratic Sen. Lyndon Johnson. Johnson’s bill, which was approved by Congress, gave the IRS the authority to punish tax-exempt religious organizations, including churches, for making political endorsements or participating in political campaigns.

“We are giving our churches their voices back,” Trump said.

“You are great, great people,” the president continues, pointing to the religious leaders in attendance. “No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.”

“God bless you, and God bless America,” he concluded.

The order, “to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty”, was met with welcome praise by religious leaders from around the country.

“The first freedom in the Bill of Rights is religious freedom. America was born on the foundation of religious freedom and it is one of our most cherished liberties. There could be no better day to sign an executive order on religious freedom than the National Day of Prayer,” Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said of the executive action.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, also praised the order.

“The open season on Christians and other people of faith is coming to a close in America and we look forward to assisting the Trump administration in fully restoring America’s First Freedom,” Perkins said in a released statement,

However, critics of the president were quick to categorize the order as an attack on the LGBT community.

In a statement, (https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-statement-reports-impending-religious-freedom-executive-order) Louise Melling, ACLU’s deputy legal director said of the order: “The ACLU fights every day to defend religious freedom, but religious freedom does not mean the right to discriminate against or harm others. If President Trump signs an executive order that attempts to provide a license to discriminate against women or LGBT people, we will see him in court.”

When reached for statement on the ACLU’s response, a White House spokesperson said the president had, “no comment” on the organization’s threat.

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EMAILGATE EXPLODES: FBI DIRECTOR CONFIRMS CLINTON FORWARDED CLASSIFIED EMAILS TO ANTHONY WEINER

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was the subject of an FBI probe amid reports that she stored and sent classified emails from her home computer, allegedly sent some of the highly sensitive emails in question to Anthony Weiner, FBI director James Comey testified on Wednesday.

Clinton, who served as Secretary of State at the time, allegedly stored thousands of government emails and documents on a secret server kept on site at her upstate New York home. How these documents wound up on Weiner’s computer remains a subject of debate, said Comey. The receipt of these emails is of major concern because Weiner, who was married to vice chair of Clinton’s campaign at the time, Huma Abedin, did not have classified clearance to receive such information.

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said. “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the Secretary of State.”

“Really the central problem we had with the whole email investigation was proving people… had some sense they were doing something unlawful. That was our burden and we were unable to meet it,’’ he said of the FBI’s decision not to charge Clinton in the matter.

“Why did you conclude that neither of them committed a crime?” Sen. John Kennedy, (R)-La., asked Comey during his testimony Wednesday at a Senate judiciary committee hearing.

“Because with respect to Ms. Abedin in particular, we didn’t have any indication that she had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law, couldn’t prove any sort of criminal intent,” Comey answered.

Comey also defended his decision to announce that he had reopened the investigation into the Clinton email scandal just days before the election, saying he was forced to choose “between really bad and catastrophic.’’

“The team also told me we cannot finish this work before the election and then they worked night after night after night and they found thousands of new emails, they found classified info on Anthony Weiner,” Comey said while responding to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill. “Having repeatedly told this Congress we are done and there’s nothing there … To re-start in a hugely significant way, potentially finding the emails that would reflect on her intent from the beginning, and not speak about it would require an act of concealment in my view.”

Meanwhile, as a result of a Freedom of Information request, 29 previously undisclosed email exchanges including classified information were released, part of a total of 317 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to turn over to the State Department, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday (http://freebeacon.com/national-security/comey-thousands-clinton-emails-forwarded-anthony-weiner/).

“These new emails show Hillary Clinton is a serial violator of various laws concerning the handling of classified material,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch told the Beacon in response to the revelation.

Clinton, speaking at a Womens’ conference on Tuesday, blamed Comey, among others, for her loss to Donald Trump, her Republican rival in the 2016 presidential election. “If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

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PUTIN STEPS IN: U.S. AND RUSSIA PLEDGE TO ‘WORK TOGETHER’ TO STOP NORTH KOREA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After weeks of escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin have agreed to put their differences aside to work on a much bigger issue; North Korea.

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House confirmed that the two leaders had spoken by phone and agreed they must work together to help quash the “very dangerous” situation in North Korea.

The Kremlin also confirmed the call, and announced that Putin and Trump have agreed to schedule a face-to-face meeting in Germany in July – possibly coinciding with the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg.

Although they did not elaborate on the exact details, the Kremlin also confirmed that the pair discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria, which has been a sore spot in U.S., Russia relations since a chemical attack took the lives of dozens of Syrian civilians last month. The White House said that the two leaders are in agreement that “all parties must do all they can to end the violence” in the war torn country, which is in it’s sixth year of a civil war.

“The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons” said a White House spokesperson.

The phone conference was the first known discussion between the two leaders since Trump ordered US missile strikes against a Syrian government, who counts Russia as one of it’s staunchest allies.

Meanwhile, China, who has pledged to help play mediator between president Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, on Tuesday urged the United States and North Korea to make contact “as soon as possible” in an effort to cool nuclear tensions.

The plea came from Geng Shuang, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry in response to Trump’s comments this week that he would be willing to meet with Jong Un to discuss their differences “if appropriate.”

“Both sides should reach a political resolution as soon as possible,” Mr Geng said. “The most effective way of attaining an improvement is to seek ways to re- establish dialogue and contact.”

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea again reached a fever pitch this week after North Korean military officials threatened to sink a US nuclear submarine deployed in South Korean waters.

“The moment the USS Michigan tries to budge even a little, it will be doomed to face the miserable fate of becoming an underwater ghost without being able to come to the surface,” read a statement from the North’s propaganda website Urminzokkiri.
“The urgent fielding of the nuclear submarine in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, timed to coincide with the deployment of the super aircraft carrier strike group, is intended to further intensify military threats toward our republic. Whether it’s a nuclear aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine, they will be turned into a mass of scrap metal in front of our invincible military power centred on the self-defence nuclear deterrence.”

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