Amtrak train thought to be going twice as fast as it should have been

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(CNN)How do all seven cars and the engine of an Amtrak train jump the rails, sending passengers, luggage, laptops and more flying?

One possibility loomed over all others Wednesday: speed.

Authorities haven't said what caused the derailment of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, but Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter had harsh words for the train's engineer.

"Clearly it was reckless in terms of the driving by the engineer. There's no way in the world he should have been going that fast into the curve," Nutter told CNN's "The Situation Room."

Preliminary data show the train's speed exceeded 100 mph before the derailment. That would be more than twice the 50 mph speed limit for the curve it was in.

"I don't know what was going on with him (the engineer). I don't know what was going on in the cab, but there's really no excuse that can be offered, literally, unless he had a heart attack," Nutter said.

NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt immediately slammed the mayor's comments as inflammatory.

"You're not going to hear the NTSB making comments like that. We want to get the facts before we start making judgments," Sumwalt said.

The engineer operating the train, identified to CNN as 32-year-old Brandon Bostian from New York, applied full emergency brakes "just moments" before the train derailed, according to Sumwalt. The train was traveling about 106 mph as it headed into a left turn. The speed limit immediately before the curve was 80 mph.

An official with direct knowledge of the investigation earlier said that authorities were focusing on speed as a possible cause, given the angles of the wreckage and type of damage to the cars. The recorder, or "black box," discovered at the scene could be pivotal by showing just that, former NTSB official John Goglia said.

Peter Goelz, once a top NTSB figure and now a CNN analyst, predicted that a definitive conclusion could come soon.

"I'm afraid that this train might be going too fast for this turn," he said.

Sumwalt has said only that his team will examine things such as the condition of the track and the train, how the signals operated and "human performance."

Even if it's determined the train was going too fast, that could be because of the engineer or a mechanical issue, such as faulty brakes.

"You have a lot of questions, we have a lot of questions," Sumwalt told reporters. "We intend to answer many of those questions in the next 24 to 48 hours."

Midshipman, AP staffer among the 7 dead

Some 238 passengers and five crew members were on the train when it crashed around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said that at least seven people were killed.

One of those who died was Jim Gaines, a father of two who worked as a video software architect for The Associated Press, his company said.

His family asked for privacy, saying: "Jim was more precious to us than we can adequately express."

Another was a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman in full uniform heading home to New York on leave from the Annapolis, Maryland, school. A family member described 20-year-old Justin Zemser as a great person and genius whose death has left his parents "beside themselves."

Dr. Derrick Griffith, dean of student affairs for City University of New York Medgar Evers College, was also among the fatalities, according to Jamilah Fraser, a spokeswoman for the university. He lived in Brooklyn.

Hospitals have treated more than 200 others, many of whom have been released. That figure included eight in critical condition at Temple University Hospital — the closest trauma center to the crash site — according to Herb Cushing, the hospital's medical director.

Cushing said many passengers were injured when other passengers or objects fell on them. One of those hurt is the train's engineer, who received medical treatment and was interviewed by police, Mayor Nutter said.

Bostian, the engineer, initially told Philadelphia police he could not recall his speed, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation.

Detectives have since tried to interview the engineer of the train further. They brought him in Wednesday, but he refused to be interviewed, and left with a lawyer, according to a police official.

Police are in the process of getting a search warrant for the engineer's phone records so they can determine whether he was distracted at the time of the crash, the law enforcement official said.

Determining Bostian's blood-alcohol level immediately after the crash would be a normal part of the investigation, according to Sumwalt. Regulations require Amtrak to take a blood sample.

"It should have been done, and I have no reason to believe it was not done," Sumwalt said.

According to Bostian's LinkedIn profile, he has been an engineer for Amtrak since 2010, and was a conductor for four years before that. Prior to Amtrak, Bostian worked as a cashier at Target.

CNN spoke to a neighbor of the engineer near his home in Forest Hills, New York, who last saw him two weeks ago. Moresh Koya described Bostian as responsible and happy with his job.

Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of more victims at the crash site. Nutter noted that not everyone on Amtrak's manifest has been accounted for. He didn't specify a number.

"We are heartbroken by what we've experienced here," the mayor said early Wednesday. "We have not experienced anything like this in modern times."

'A lot of questions'

The miracle may be how some escaped relatively unscathed, given the severity of the derailment. A U.S. Department of Transportation representative told CNN that the engine and two cars were left standing upright, three cars were tipped on their sides, and one was nearly flipped over on its roof. The seventh one was "leaning hard."

"It is amazing," Nutter said. "I saw some people last night literally walking off that train. I don't know how they did it."

The Washington-New York corridor is the busiest stretch for Amtrak nationwide. Hundreds of trains, carrying thousands of passengers, have made that trip in recent years, most of them rolling seamlessly from start to finish on a roughly 3½-hour journey.

That's what seemed to be happening Tuesday night, passenger Daniel Wetrin said.

"Everything was normal," he said. "Then it was just chaos."

Jeremy Wladis was in the very last car, eating, when he noticed the train starting to do "funny things. And it gradually starts getting worse and worse."

Things started flying — phones, laptops. "Then people."

"There were two people in the luggage rack above my head. Two women, catapulted (there)."

As she read a book in the second-to-last car, Janna D'Ambrisi said, she "felt like we were going a little too fast around a curve. The car she was in started to tip, and she was thrown onto another woman.

"People started to fall on us," she said. "I just held on to her leg and sort of bowed my head and I was kind of praying, 'Please make it stop.' "

Fortunately, D'Ambrisi's train car didn't tip over and she made it out safely. She credited many people — including one fellow passenger who guided people with his shoes off — for stepping up.

"Everyone was just trying to help the people who were injured, who had blood coming out of their head, their noses, to help them sit down in the dirt away from the rails," she said.

'Heavily used stretch of track'

The locomotive was built by Siemens and delivered to Amtrak in 2014 specifically for its Northeast Corridor service, a Siemens official said. That makes it fairly new, which doesn't rule out the train's condition playing a role in the crash but seemingly makes it less likely.

The stretch of track where the train derailed was not equipped with an automated speed control system called positive train control, NTSB board member Sumwalt said.

He told reporters: "We feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred."

Another factor that can't be discounted is where the crash happened.

"It's an extremely heavily used stretch of track," transportation analyst Matthew L. Wald said of the area. "They have trouble keeping it in a state of good repair."

The crash threw northeast travel into turmoil Wednesday, as a delay on the line where the train derailed is a major disruption for the region. Passengers scrambled to make other arrangements with buses and commercial airlines picking up some of the slack.

The derailment was Amtrak's ninth this year, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, and while its cause has not yet been determined, some, like Wald, are already discussing the nation's aging rail infrastructure.

Noting President Barack Obama's commitment to upgrading the country's infrastructure, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration is "hard at work" trying to figure out what caused the crash, and that their thoughts and prayers are with the families of everyone affected.

"Along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak is a way of life for many," the President said later in a statement. "From Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, this is a tragedy that touches us all."

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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ISIS No. 2 leader al-Afri killed in airstrike, Iraq says

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 (CNN)The Iraqi military said Wednesday that ISIS' No. 2 leader has been killed in a coalition airstrike — a claim that the Pentagon said it does not corroborate.

The airstrike struck northern Iraq's Tal Afar city, killing ISIS deputy Abu Alaa al-Afri and a senior ISIS security figure named Akram Qirbash, also known as the "Judge of Judges," the Iraqi Defense Ministry said.

The Defense Ministry did not say when the men were killed. A senior Iraqi security official who did not want to be named discussing sensitive intelligence told CNN the strike happened Tuesday.

U.S. Defense Department spokesman Col. Steve Warren told CNN that the United States cannot independently confirm that high-value ISIS targets were killed in Iraq.

U.S. Central Command said coalition aircraft "did not strike a mosque as some of the press reporting has alleged," a statement said.

"We have significant mitigation measures in place within the targeting process and during the conduct of operations to reduce the potential risks of collateral damage and civilian casualties," Central Command said.

ISIS has not made any comment.

Who is Abu Alaa al-Afri?

Hisham al-Hashimi, an adviser to the Iraqi government, has said that al-Afri also went by the name Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli — a name that was added to the U.S. Rewards for Justice list just last week. The U.S. State Department offered a $7 million reward for information on him — the highest for any ISIS leader apart from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is valued at $10 million.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, which designated him as a "specially designated global terrorist" exactly a year ago, the man known as al-Qaduli was born in the Iraqi city of Mosul in either 1957 or 1959.

CNN cannot independently confirm that al-Afri is one and the same as al-Qaduli, but the U.S. government has said that one of al-Qaduli's aliases is Abu Ala. According to the State Department, al-Qaduli joined al Qaeda in Iraq — the predecessor group to ISIS — in 2004 and served as the group's deputy leader and its commander in Mosul.

In February 2006, he traveled to Pakistan on behalf of then-al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to conduct an interview.

Al-Qaduli was captured in Iraq and jailed but released in 2012 and was said to have joined ISIS, spending part of 2012 in Syria, according to the U.S. Treasury.

Al-Afri is reputed to have a background as a physics teacher and to have been Osama bin Laden's favorite candidate for the top job after Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq, as it was then called, was killed in a joint operation by U.S. and Iraqi forces north of Baghdad in 2010.

Analysts who track ISIS say al-Afri is from Tal Afar, a town held by ISIS in the north of Iraq and a crucial gateway for the transit of jihadis to and from Mosul. He is one of several ethnic Turkmens at the top of the ISIS hierarchy.

One theory for why he was passed over for the top job is that unlike ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he was not from a family that could claim direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed.

Some analysts believe there were signs al-Afri may have been maneuvering to lay claim to the top job should al-Baghdadi have become incapacitated.

CNN contributor Michael Weiss, the co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror," says his understanding is that al-Afri delivered the sermon at Friday prayers in Mosul's al Zangi mosque last week, the same mosque Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced himself last July as the new "caliph."

According to an analyst in touch with jihadi sources in Syria and Iraq, al-Afri was attempting to repaint his family history to claim lineage to the Prophet Mohammed.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Puppy Rapist Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison

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An 8 month old pit bull puppy in Daytona Beach, Florida, is finally saved after her rapist owner is sent to state prison for 5 years. And a tough 5 years it will be. James Guy Bull, 62, has plead guilty to raping his dog after neighbors complained to police and they launched an investigation. Bull is guilty of 2 felony counts of Cruelty to Animals, and 2 misdemeanor counts of Sexual Activity with an Animal and Animal Cruelty.
      Bull was reportedly seen by a neighbor committing the sexual act with the 8 month old female puppy. Bull, 62, then dropped his dog and pulled up his pants. Other neighbors say that they saw James Guy Bull on multiple times fondling his dog’s private area. Right out there on his front porch!
       Florida State Atty. RJ Larizza said after Bull got sentenced, “The facts of this case are incomprehensible and vile. The defendant’s abuse of the helpless dog shocks the collective conscience of the citizens of the 7th Court and beyond.” He said that exactly right.
      When police came to Bull’s house they found the puppy chained to the front porch with no way to move, no water, no food, no shelter and “clearly emaciated,” according to the affidavit. The only 8 month old puppy whined and cried and was “obviously skittish and afraid.” The police found actual signs of sexual abuse on the puppy. Bull was arrested and sentenced to 5 years down state. It is clear that when the things Bull did to that puppy are found out by the convicts those same things will probably be happening to him. For a long, long time.
       The puppy now renamed Rose has been adopted by a rescue shelter and is now known to be recovering and doing well. Thankfully, Rose the dog lives the good life now.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Brain-dead woman delivers baby boy

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A brain-dead woman in the United States has given birth to a baby boy, after doctors prolonged her life for 54 days so she could make the delivery.

The mother, 22-year old Karla Perez, died two days after the delivery and the new born, Angel weighed just 1.2kg at birth.

According to the hospital, a team of more than 100 doctors, nurses and staff kept Perez just long enough to deliver the baby via cesarean section.

In a statement, Sue Korth, vice president and Chief Operating Officer of Methodist Women's Hospital said,

"Our team took a giant leap of faith, we were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do."

Reports say Perez collapsed in her home in Waterloo, Nebraska, on February 8th after complaining of severe headaches. Doctors later determined she had suffered a brain bleed.

At the time, her baby was just 22 weeks and too young to survive outside the womb, said Dr Andrew Robertson at the Methodist Women's Hospital.

Doctor's had hoped to sustain her long enough to deliver her baby at 32 weeks, but her condition deteriorated 2 weeks shy of the target date so Angel was delivered on April 4th, placed in an incubator and fed through a tube

Also speaking on the incredible delivery, neonatologist Dr. Brady Kerrthe hospital group said the hospital group was "cautiously optimistic"

The baby is still in NICU surrounded by his family and his mom's things, with the hope that her scent will keep the baby comfortable.

Meanwhile, Perez's organs helped save 3 people who were waiting for a transplant.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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25-yr-old woman charged for trying to sell her baby for $500

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Elizabeth Gayton, 25, and her partner Corryaune Paige made two attempts at getting rid of little Annabel, Cleveland police claim.

While bartering, mother-of-four Gayton allegedly left her two-year-old with a stranger she had met the day before.

Police were contacted after she returned for a second time to the west side of the Ohio city to pester relatives to buy the baby.

Annabel is now in the care of her grandmother, Sally Gayton, who has helped raise 11 children, 33 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.

Sally Gayton told the station her granddaughter has demonstrated multiple times that she is incapable of raising children.

"It makes me mad to think of what this little kid had to go through for her mother to treat her like that," she told Foxin an interview.

"They don't deserve to have any kids if they were going to do that. I would have had them."

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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USA: Man rapes, murders girlfriend, before eating her organs

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A sick Indiana, USA man, Joseph Oberhansley, has been arrested on charges ranging from rape, sexual assault, murder and cannibalism after he allegedly killed his girlfriend after raping her, and went ahead to eat her internal organs, the Indiana police report.

The 34-year-old Oberhansley was charged with murder and abuse of a corpse in the murder 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton after he reportedly confessed to the police that he broke into his girlfriend’s house, killed her and then ate her organs.

Since his arrest, Oberhansley has been held in a maximum security cell 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.

When Oberhansley was informed of the latest rape charge, he denied the allegations, saying in court that he has too much honor and integrity and is also too handsome to have sexually assaulted his former girlfriend.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Clinton: That Police Are Intentionally Killing Black Men is ‘Unmistakable and Undeniable’

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Read Time:1 Minute, 17 Second

In the latest leftist effort to provoke race riots, Hillary Clinton accused cops across the country of purposely targeting and killing blacks.

In her speech at Columbia University on Wednesday, Clinton stated:

“There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts. There is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes.”

“From Ferguson to Staten Island to Baltimore, the patterns have become unmistakable and undeniable.” “Walter Scott shot in the back in Charleston, South Carolina … Tamir Rice, shot in a park in Cleveland, Ohio … Eric Garner, choked to death after being stopped for selling cigarettes.”

“Yet again the family of a young black men is grieving a life cut short. Yet again the streets of an American city are marred by violence, by shattered glass, and shouts of anger and shows of force. Yet again a community is reeling, its fault lines laid bare.”

“My heart breaks for these young men and their families,” Clinton said of the victims of police brutality. “We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America. There is something profoundly wrong when African American men are far more likely” to be stopped, searched and to receive long prison sentences.”

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About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Angry man shoots malfunctioning computer

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An angry man, Lucas Hinch in Colorado Springs, United States got so frustrated with his malfunctioning computer that he  took it outside and shot it eight times.

He however  faces police action and was briefly detained for discharging a firearm within the city.

Reports say he did not realise he was breaking the law when he did the shooting.

A judge is due to decide what penalty he will receive.

According to police spokesman Jeff Strossner, the man "got tired of fighting with his computer for the last several months"

Local paper, Colorado Springs Gazette said he angrily shot the computer  when ctrl+alt+delete – the traditional method used to re-boot computers – "consistently did not work" expectedly causing irreparable damage to the system.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Embryonic twin with bone, hair, teeth discovered in a woman’s brain

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Read Time:1 Minute, 40 Second

A woman in the state of Indiana in United States was shocked when she was told by her doctor that an embryonic twin was removed from her brain, as against what they thought was a tumor.

Embryonic development is the series of changes an embryo undergoes as it grows toward a mature organism.  Generally, in humans this stage of embryonic development is from up to about eight weeks where the baby is then called a fetus.

Yamini Karanam, a Ph.D student at the Indiana University, said since September 2015, she had been having difficulties comprehending what she read.

"Problems with reading comprehension, listening comprehension. If a couple people were talking in a room, I wouldn't understand what was happening," Karanam told NBC4 News on Tuesday, April 21.

The 26-year-old said she became more frustrated when her doctors gave her conflicting reports about what was wrong with her. But her research led her to Dr. Hrayr Shahinian at the Skullbase Institute in Los Angeles, where her rare case was uncovered.

"Unlike traditional brain surgery where you open the skull and use metal retractors and you bring a microscope to see in the depths of the brain, what we're doing is keyhole surgery," Shahinian said.

The method uses fiber-optic technology with digital imagery. A half-inch incision into the brain allows for an endoscope to reach in and slowly and very delicately chisel away at the tumor.

After the surgery, Karanam was relieved that what had troubled her for many years was finally gone. She referred to the ‘twin’ as the "evil twin sister who's been torturing me for the past 26 years."

According to the doctor, Karanam is expected to make full recovery in three weeks.

The case has been described as a rarity in modern medicine, with the twin having complete bone, hair and teeth.

Watch Karanam speak about her rare condition.

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About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Man calls police after realising he’s babysitting a kidnapped child

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Read Time:1 Minute, 24 Second

Another strange kidnapping story is in the news, this time not from Nigeria, but from Washington, USA. But the good part is that the 2-year-old at the center of it is safe and sound. Beyond that, things get weird; a man babysitting the boy called 911 to report his whereabouts after seeing an Amber Alert. The key developments:

The kidnapping: On Tuesday, police say that Alyssa Chang, 46, and Vien Nguyen, 65, kidnapped toddler Ronnie Tran and his mother from their home in Des Moines, Wash. Chang is the girlfriend of the boy’s father, and Nguyen is his paternal grandmother, reports ABC News.

The babysitter: After the boy’s mother was tasered and tied up in a garage (she would eventually escape on her own, the Seattle Times reports), police say Chang brought the boy to her brother’s home in Renton and innocently asked him to babysit.

The brother, John Truong, tells KOMO-TV that he didn’t know anything was amiss until the next morning when he saw the Amber Alert.

The surprise: “I’m eating my breakfast, I’m checking my Facebook, all of a sudden I see this Amber Alert for this child,” he says. “And it looks like this child in my bed, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God! What’s going on?'” He called police, who soon tracked down his sister and Nguyen. Both face felony charges.

The bottom line: “There’s a lot of family dynamics involved,” says a police official. “As far as why, we can only speculate.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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