Archive for Kevin Shalvey

Portland may boycott goods and services from Texas amid backlash over the state’s restrictive abortion law. The Texas Lt. Gov. responds by calling Portland a ‘dumpster fire.’

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler stands in front of the marble entrance to City Hall in Portland Oregon
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler at City Hall.
  • Portland said it may boycott products from Texas in response to a restrictive abortion law.
  • The boycott would last until "Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban," the city said.
  • Portland said its legal counsel was looking into whether a ban would be legal.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Portland City Council on Wednesday plans to vote on an emergency resolution to ban city purchases of goods and services from Texas amid a backlash over the state's restrictive abortion law.

"The ban will be in effect until the state of Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban on abortion or until it is overturned in court," Mayor Ted Wheeler's office said in a statement posted on Friday.

The Supreme Court last week delivered an unsigned 5-to-4 decision declining to block a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Portland, the biggest city in Oregon, would also ban municipal staff from travelling to Texas on official business if the resolution passes.

"We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government," Portland's announcement said.

The city said its legal counsel was looking into whether a ban would be legal.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Saturday shot back, calling Portland a "dumpster fire."

"It's comical that Portland mayor @tedwheeler is worried about Texas when his city defunded the police and he had to ask citizens to 'take back the city,'" Patrick said on Twitter. "Texas is solidly #prolife and Texans support law enforcement. Meanwhile, Portland is a dumpster fire and Texas is thriving."

Friday's announcement didn't say how much business Portland currently does with Texas. Insider has reached out to the city for additional information.

A quick search of Portland's current three-volume 1,904-page budget returned only one mention of Texas. But that was a reference to a highway improvement project, which included SW Texas Street in Portland.

The Texas economy is the 9th largest in the world, the Texas Economic Development Corporation said in January.

Texas exports about $315.9 billion worth of goods and services to countries outside the US each year, according to the US Trade Representative.

The state's biggest exports are petroleum and coal products, followed by computer and electronic products.

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Portland may boycott goods and services from Texas amid backlash over the state’s restrictive abortion law. The Texas Lt. Gov. responds by calling Portland a ‘dumpster fire.’

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler stands in front of the marble entrance to City Hall in Portland Oregon
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler at City Hall.
  • Portland said it may boycott products from Texas in response to a restrictive abortion law.
  • The boycott would last until "Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban," the city said.
  • Portland said its legal counsel was looking into whether a ban would be legal.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Portland City Council on Wednesday plans to vote on an emergency resolution to ban city purchases of goods and services from Texas amid a backlash over the state's restrictive abortion law.

"The ban will be in effect until the state of Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban on abortion or until it is overturned in court," Mayor Ted Wheeler's office said in a statement posted on Friday.

The Supreme Court last week delivered an unsigned 5-to-4 decision declining to block a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Portland, the biggest city in Oregon, would also ban municipal staff from travelling to Texas on official business if the resolution passes.

"We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government," Portland's announcement said.

The city said its legal counsel was looking into whether a ban would be legal.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Saturday shot back, calling Portland a "dumpster fire."

"It's comical that Portland mayor @tedwheeler is worried about Texas when his city defunded the police and he had to ask citizens to 'take back the city,'" Patrick said on Twitter. "Texas is solidly #prolife and Texans support law enforcement. Meanwhile, Portland is a dumpster fire and Texas is thriving."

Friday's announcement didn't say how much business Portland currently does with Texas. Insider has reached out to the city for additional information.

A quick search of Portland's current three-volume 1,904-page budget returned only one mention of Texas. But that was a reference to a highway improvement project, which included SW Texas Street in Portland.

The Texas economy is the 9th largest in the world, the Texas Economic Development Corporation said in January.

Texas exports about $315.9 billion worth of goods and services to countries outside the US each year, according to the US Trade Representative.

The state's biggest exports are petroleum and coal products, followed by computer and electronic products.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Food Network says it regrets giving a platform to a former host who used a sexist slur to describe women

food network logo
The Food Network show debuted in 2017.
  • The Food Network distanced itself from a former host who used a sexist slur to describe women.
  • Josh Denny hosted "Ginormous Food," a short-lived show that debuted in 2017.
  • "[W]e regret giving him a platform," The Food Network said on Friday.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Food Network on Friday sought to distance itself from a former host after he used a sexist slur to describe women in a tweet discussing abortions.

Josh Denny, a podcaster and former host of "Ginormous Food," said he disagreed with the idea that many women wouldn't know they were pregnant within six weeks of conception. He used the slur to describe women in that situation.

"For those asking: Our working relationship with Josh Denny ended years ago and we removed all episodes he hosted at that time," the Food Network said via Twitter. "His views do not reflect our company values and we regret giving him a platform."

Denny's comment was one of several he posted after the Supreme Court declined to block a restrictive Texas law, which would ban abortions after six weeks. Denny said that he'd been joking and would "NEVER apologize" for his brand of comedy.

Denny on Friday responded to the Food Network, suggesting the network should send him "a check for the 10's of millions of dollars" the show generated for the network, which is a division of Discovery Networks.

"You knew my views and my style of comedy when you hired me," he said on Twitter. "My views represent the beliefs of half of this country."

Insider has reached out to the Food Network for comment.

"Ginormous Food" debuted in January 2017, according to tweets still live on the Food Network Twitter feed. Denny hosted 24 episodes, according to IMDB.

In the show, Denny toured the country, visiting restaurants that were popular for oversized offerings, like a 12-inch-tall burger and a po' boy called the Big Bayou Monster.

The top review on IMDB said: "Calls himself a comedian but has the comedic ability of a trash can. Actually trash can[s] are more funny than this guy."

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AOC says her supporters raised $185,000 in 24 hours to support abortion organizations. It comes amid an uptick in ‘rage giving’ after the Texas law decision.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a blue blazer in front of a House of Representatives seal
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in June.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said her supporters raised $185,000 for abortion organizations.
  • The move came after the Supreme Court declined to block a restrictive Texas law.
  • Time to "roll up your sleeves," Ocasio-Cortez said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday said her supporters raised more than $185,000 for organizations in Texas supporting reproductive rights.

The fundraising effort came after the Supreme Court in a single-paragraph decision said it wouldn't block a restrictive abortion law in Texas.

The decision led to an uptick in "rage giving," MarketWatch reported. One organization, the Texas Equal Access Fund, received about $200,000 in donations in the days following the decision, the report said.

"Let this be your sign," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. "Find an organizing community, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. It feels better to be in the movement."

The Supreme Court's unsigned 5-to-4 decision said the groups opposed to the law hadn't met the legal threshold for a stay or injunction.

The decision left open constitutional questions about the law itself, a move that appeared to indicate the court was open to hearing similar cases in the future.

"In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas's law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts," the decision said.

In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer cited comments made by Planned Parenthood South Texas, which said it was unable to perform abortions under the new law.

"We believe this new law is unconstitutional and that is why we are fighting it in court," Planned Parenthood said.

Democrats from around the country issued statements opposing the Texas law.

"Roe v. Wade has been the law for nearly 50 years and has been upheld in court dozens of times," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. "I remember the days when abortion was illegal and we simply can't return to those times."

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7 airlines, including Southwest and Delta, are trying to dismiss a man’s anti-mask lawsuit, saying he has no authority to sue them in federal court

A Delta Air Lines jet taxis along the runway with snowy mountains in the background
The lawsuit alleged that multiple airlines had violated the Air Carrier Access Act.
  • Airlines responded to a mask-mandate suit, saying the claim should be filed with the government.
  • Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit responded in federal court.
  • There is "no private right of action," lawyers for Frontier and Allegiant wrote.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Seven airlines sought to dismiss a lawsuit over mask requirements for passengers, arguing the plaintiff should have filed an administrative complaint with the government.

Lucas Wall, of Washington DC, in June filed the lawsuit, alleging that the airlines had violated the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). He said he has a medical condition that means he can't wear a mask and should be exempt from the federal mandates and airline requirements.

"The ACAA confers no private right to sue an air carrier," lawyers for Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue Airways wrote in a joint motion to dismiss filed on Monday.

Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air also filed a joint motion in US District Court in Orlando. Spirit Airlines filed separately.

Although they arrived in three filings, the arguments from each of the seven airlines overlapped. They were in agreement that Wall didn't have legal standing to sue them in federal court. As the lawyers for Frontier and Allegiant wrote: "Plaintiff's claims fail as a matter of law because there is no private right of action"

They said Wall should have first filed a complaint with the Dept. of Transportation (DOT). If the DOT hadn't acted on an administrative complaint, then he might have had grounds to sue the airlines, the motion said.

"Yet Plaintiff chose not to pursue that path to judicial review," the airlines said.

In response, Wall claimed the airlines were sidestepping the issue at hand, relying instead on technical arguments to try to dismiss his lawsuit.

"My rebuttal to that is that the DOT is not enforcing the law as it's required to do," he said in a phone interview.

He pointed to an update published by the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, a unit within the DOT's Office of the General Counsel, on February 5. That Notice of Enforcement Policy gave the airlines 45 days to bring their mask requirements into compliance with the ACAA.

That notice said the government would "exercise its prosecutorial discretion" in cases involving ACAA compliance. Wall claimed that showed the government wasn't enforcing the law.

A Southwest spokesperson on Friday said the airline is enforcing the federal mask mandate. The airline said it's telling passengers about the pandemic safety requirements several times before they head to the airport. They included notices during the booking process and in pre-trip emails.

"While we regret any customer inconvenience, federal law requires each person, 2 years of age and older, to wear a mask at all times throughout the air travel journey," a spokesperson said via email.

The airline also said it has posted details on its website for applications for exemptions from mask requirements.

Wall said he plans in September to file an amended complaint against the airlines, which he said will include at least one new charge.

Frontier and Allegiant declined to comment. A lawyer for Delta referred questions to the airline, which also declined to comment. Insider has reached out to the remaining airlines for comment.

In a separate complaint, Wall's also suing the CDC, President Joe Biden, and other federal agencies. The Dept. of Justice said mask mandates weren't unconstitutional.

Wall said the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday to strike down the administration's eviction moratorium gave him hope for his lawsuit.

The decision "is really exciting for my case because the eviction ban is based on the same part of the public health service law that the mask mandate and testing requirement are based on," he said.

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Blue Origin’s lawsuit against the US government is being delayed for a week, partly because the DOJ had trouble converting documents into PDFs

Jeff Bezos looks into distance in front of Blue Origin rocket
Jeff Bezos.
  • Blue Origin's lawsuit against the US government and SpaceX has been delayed over PDF problems.
  • Department of Justice attorneys said the administrative record included more than 7GB of documents.
  • Uploading large batches "brings additional opportunity for the system to crash," DOJ lawyers said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The route to the moon has been temporarily blocked by a stack of troublesome PDFs.

A federal judge on Friday granted a week-long extension in the lawsuit brought by Blue Origin against SpaceX and the US government.

This occurred, in part, because PDFs and other related documents were too large for the court system to handle.

More than 7GB of data were part of the administrative record in the case, the government said in a filing in US Court of Federal Claims on Friday. It said it would have to transfer the documents to DVDs instead of uploading them to the court's filing system.

"Good cause exists to grant this motion," attorneys from the Department of Justice wrote. "The administrative record in this case is extraordinarily voluminous, consisting of hundreds of individual documents and over seven gigabytes of data."

Both Blue Origin and SpaceX agreed to the extension, the government's filing said.

In its request for more time, the government said it was having difficulty with the data and documents for a few reasons. Part of the difficulty was that the US Court of Federal Claims, like other courts, limited the size of files that can be uploaded to its online system to 50 MB.

But it wasn't just the size of the data that would be an issue, the government said.

In their request, the DOJ attorneys said the documents included hundreds of PDFs, along with many other types of files that would be difficult to convert to PDFs. But even if they were able to convert them all into PDFs, they'd then have to upload "several hundred" separate documents to the court system.

Another solution was to combine the individual documents into batches of 50 MB PDFs using Adobe Acrobat software, the DOJ said. That would reduce the number of uploads, but each of those larger uploads "brings additional opportunity for the system to crash," DOJ lawyers said.

"Thus, although Acrobat allows the user to split a PDF into smaller files of a specified size, it cannot combine several hundred files at one time without crashing," the DOJ said. "We have tried several different ways to create 50-megabyte files for more efficient filing, all without success thus far."

Insider reached out to Adobe for comment.

In asking for an extension to file, DOJ attorneys also sought to extend the pause on NASA's moon-lander contract with SpaceX. The work under that $2.9 billion contract had been put on hold in April, then restarted, then put on hold again.

The original schedule, filed on August 19, had marked November 1 as the end of the current pause. Friday's revised schedule omitted the date altogether, although DOJ attorneys had included a proposed November 8 restart in their proposed new schedule.

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A man who is suing the Biden administration over mask mandates dropped a 1,500-page response to officials’ attempts to dismiss the lawsuit

President Joe Biden wears a face mask in front of a blue CDC sign
President Joe Biden.
  • A man suing the US over mask mandates said he'd seek oral arguments in front of a federal judge.
  • Lucas Wall filed a 1,500-page response after Biden's administration sought to dismiss the lawsuit.
  • Wall filed 72 exhibits, including medical studies, news clippings, and blog posts.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Lucas Wall, a frequent flyer who's suing the Biden administration over federal mask mandates, has pushed back on an effort to get his lawsuit dismissed.

On Wednesday, he filed a behemoth legal response, which renewed his argument that mandates were unconstitutional.

"It will take court action to ensure Americans will no longer have to give up their right to breathe freely as a condition of utilizing any mode of public transportation," Wall told Insider.

Wall said he'd next seek oral arguments in front of a federal judge.

The government last week said in a motion seeking to dismiss Wall's lawsuit that CDC medical experts had been put in charge of decisions about mask mandates - not the courts.

The government's response to Wall appeared to be the first lengthy legal defense of the federal mask mandates. Those mandates were put in place following an executive order signed in January by President Joe Biden, who is named as a defendant in Wall's lawsuit.

TSA on Wednesday extended transportation mask mandates through January 18.

Wall, who said he cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, filed his lawsuit in federal court in Florida. He also asked the Supreme Court for an emergency injunction, which Justice Clarence Thomas declined.

Frequent flyer Lucas Wall standing at Brown Station, Antarctica, in a red snowsuit
Lucas Wall at Brown Station, Antarctica.

Wall, of Washington DC, in a 47-page brief filed on Wednesday argued that Congress hadn't delegated the task of deciding to implement mask mandates directly to the CDC.

"Congress has vigorously debated mask mandates but failed to pass a single one. In fact, many lawmakers have pushed to terminate the CDC mandate," he wrote.

The government also said Wall's right to travel wasn't threatened, partly because he could leave Florida at any time. Wall has also sued seven airlines, saying their mandates violate his rights.

"If masks are effective, why have so many TSA workers tested positive for coronavirus?" he wrote in his filing.

Many health officials are in favor of masks. Gerald Harmon, president of the American Medical Association, said the CDC's updated guidance is needed to help curb the spread of COVID-19 - particularly the more contagious Delta variant. The WHO says masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives.

The heft of Wall's response on Wednesday was notable, in part because he's representing himself. Along with a brief, Wall filed 72 exhibits that included medical studies, news clippings, and blog posts. His response totaled more than 1,500 pages, about seven times the length of his original complaint.

In his filing, he wrote: "The government whines about my complaint being long as well as full of facts and exhibits supporting those facts, but there is no inability to comprehend what they have been charged with as evidenced by their thorough arguments in opposition."

But the length of the filing was also integral to Wall's argument. He wrote that he'd attached 115 articles that said masks were ineffective. He noted that the government lawyers had submitted seven articles showing they were effective.

He said "the court must favor the evidence that overwhelmingly discredits CDC's political position it attempts to justify by science."

Last week, Wall spoke with Insider as he prepared his response. He was hunkered down in the spare bedroom at his mother's home in The Villages, Florida, where he said he's been stuck during the pandemic.

"Still at my mom's, indoors in the air conditioning," he said in a phone interview. "Hard to step outside in the heat and humidity of a Florida summer."

He described gathering the material as "enjoyable" but also "a hell of a lot of work," he said, adding: "It's definitely a cause I strongly believe in."

Insider has reached out to the CDC for comment.

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OnlyFans publishes updated policy, which adds specific details about the explicit content that will be banned from October

A screen showing the OnlyFans website
The updated Acceptable Use Policy will go into effect on October 1.
  • OnlyFans updated a user policy, adding details about the sexual conduct that will be banned.
  • The company on Thursday said some sexually explicit content will be banned in October.
  • The ban will included "actual or simulated" masturbation and sex, the policy said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

OnlyFans published a new policy on Friday setting out in detail which types of sexually explicit content will be banned.

The update follows the company's initial announcement on Thursday, which said some sexually explicit content will be banned this year.

The updated Acceptable Use Policy, which will go into effect on October 1, was sent to some content creators on Friday. A bullet-pointed list of prohibited content included masturbation and sex - both simulated and actual. It also included "any exhibition of the anus or genitals of any person which is extreme or offensive."

Content already on the site that would violate the new policy must be removed by December 1, the policy said.

"In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines," the company said in a statement on Thursday, telling Insider it would update its policy within a few days.

"My OnlyFans will be going through a revamp, in order to comply with the new policy, being enforced in October. In the mean time, more explicit content will be posted, until then," a Twitter user said on Saturday, adding, "The price of my OF will be lowered, when this happens, as there will no longer be sexually explicit content posted."

Other creators told Insider they planned to leave OnlyFans.

The company said it had more than 1 million creators and more than 100 million register users.

Read More: OnlyFans is banning sexually explicit content. Here are 7 other platforms sex-work entrepreneurs can use, and the cut they take on each.

OnlyFans wasn't the first platform to reckon with sexually explicit content. Pornhub in December announced changes to its policies, including increasing the size of its moderation team. Reddit in March said it would continue hosting porn. Tumblr in 2018 banned all "adult content."

When announcing its ban, Tumblr said: "There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content. We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community."

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Google seeks dismissal of a Ohio lawsuit, saying its search engine isn’t a public utility just because a lot of people use it

Google headquarters
A Google office.
  • Google Search isn't a public utility just because it's popular, the company told an Ohio court.
  • Ohio's AG in June said Google prioritized its own products and needed to be regulated.
  • States have "no business dictating the online information it wants people to see," Google said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Google on Friday sought dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Ohio's attorney general, saying its search engine wasn't a public utility just because it's popular.

"To claim, as Ohio does, that Google Search is a 'public utility' is to declare it a business that Ohio could acquire, construct, own or operate. But that is absurd," Google said in its filing. "The State could not possibly undertake such a burden for countless reasons, not the least of which is that it has no business dictating the online information it wants people to see."

Ohio AG Dave Yost in June sued Google, saying the company's search function should be regulated like a public utility - the same as water, electricity, and transportation companies.

Google on Friday said the state's request "has no more validity under the law than a request to declare Fox News, the New York times, or Walmart a 'public utility' because most people in a particular town prefer to get their news or groceries from them instead of someone else."

Yost had said the company acted in an anti-competitive manner when it prioritized its own products, like Google Flights, alongside organic search results. Rival products should be offered up as often as Google's products were, the lawsuit said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in a suit raises his arms as he speaks to a crowd
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Google said its results were protected under the First Amendment, since they were editorial decisions.

"The State cannot interfere with this protected expression, let alone try to control what Google must or must not include on its Results Page," Google said.

The company's argument was also technical. The mechanics of how Google Search results end up on an Ohioan's computer were important, the company said. Google cannot be classified as a "common carrier" under Ohio law, in part because it doesn't actually carry anyone or anything. Internet service providers move the data, the company said.

"Google Search is not shipping a commodity product, but constantly working to provide useful information in response to people's unique queries," the company said.

Insider has reached out to Google and Yost's office for comment.

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Elon Musk says SpaceX’s moon lander will probably be ready before 2024, as NASA pays $300 million toward Artemis contract

An illustration of the SpaceX Starship human lander design on the moon.
An illustration of the SpaceX Starship human lander.
  • SpaceX founder Elon Musk said his company's lunar lander is expected to be ready before 2024.
  • "Probably sooner," Musk said on Twitter, when asked about the company's design timeline.
  • NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.89 billion contract to help the agency return humans to the moon.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Saturday said he expects to have the Starship human lander ready for a moon mission before 2024.

"Probably sooner," Musk said on Twitter when asked about the company's design timeline.

NASA has said 2024 was the "most ambitious date possible" for a return to the moon.

Musk's estimate marked the latest in a series of upbeat predictions from the billionaire, who has often said he'll use his fortune to make life "multiplanetary."

Last week, when it was revealed that NASA was behind schedule on spacesuit development, and that they might not be ready until 2025, Musk said: "SpaceX could do it if need be."

SpaceX in April won a $2.89 billion NASA contract to design and build a lunar lander. The company's proposal won over two rival bidders, including a team led by Blue Origin, a private space company founded by Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

Blue Origin protested, and the contract was suspended pending a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

On July 30, the GAO denied Blue Origin's protest. The same day, Musk's SpaceX was handed another $300 million to move its project along, according to records first reported by CNBC's Michael Sheetz on Twitter on Saturday. The tweet by Sheetz started a thread that led to Musk's prediction that SpaceX's lander would be ready before 2024.

NASA on July 30 said the GAO's decision allowed SpaceX and the agency to nail down a timeline for the first crewed mission to the moon in more than 50 years. NASA has said it hopes to test crewed Artemis flights by 2023, with an initial moon landing in 2024.

In its Artemis overview, the agency said "2024 is not an arbitrary date. It is the most ambitious date possible, and our success at the Moon, and later, at Mars, will be grounded in our national goals and robust capabilities."

That would be followed by "sustainable lunar exploration in the mid to late 2020s," the agency said.

The founders of Blue Origin and SpaceX have traded barbs over designs and contracts. Musk last week mocked a photo of a prototype of Blue Moon, the rival company's moon lander.

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