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Open mike 15/03/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 15th, 2021 - 65 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

65 comments on “Open mike 15/03/2021 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Colin Peacock takes Melissa Lee to task here and, in his own way, doesn't hold back.

    So which outlets, programmes or individuals were showing signs of political bias or interference in our media now – or might if new funding comes on-stream?

    “I see it all over the place. It doesn’t happen all the time but you can certainly see when the stories were not fulsome,“ she said.

    Lee declined to tell Mediawatch or give examples – a shame given her Kiwiblog article challenged media to have "the strength to ask the questions."

    Clearly she is keen to raise a lot of questions about the media – though she had few clear answers this week for Mediawatch.

    He reminds us the last time NZ on Air money was used for political interference, it was Melissa Lee herself who did it.

    I have no doubt were she to get her hands on that portfolio she'd not hesitate to use it against her political opponents. Her use of the Dirty Politics outfit, Kiwiblog, to "start a conversation" points directly to this.


    • gsays 1.1

      Thanks for the read.

      I followed the link to Kiwiblog, the comments were enlightening.

      Using Aotearoa causes such conniptions amongst some.

      I shall be sure to use the noun from now on.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    ACT’s resident gun lover MP, Nicole McKee, of COLFO (Council of Licensed Firearm Owners) says the gun laws and confiscations introduced following the Christchurch massacre had no impact on a rise in crimes involving guns.

    The media treatment of this so far reminds, in the incomplete, and I would say dishonest framing, of Sue Bradfords s59 Bill–removing a defence for child assault–was widely portrayed as an anti smacking law. And similarly, after several years Family First and others were claiming that the law change had not stopped children dying…

    In the fire arms instance I would like to know the stats, what type of weapons were used, and who used them. Legal/illegal, hand gun/shot gun/rifle/semi auto. Have the cops been more diligent in recording activity involving firearms? Has “501” friction been a factor?

    ACT seems to want to disparage both the Govt. reaction to the 51 Mosque killings, and score points with the gun nuts using figures that may or may not support what they are saying–when–some investigative work is done beyond the provocative headlines.

  3. Treetop 3

    A person is required to register each car they own and not an individual gun. Both users require a licence.

  4. Grafton Gully 4

    Looks like COVID-19 could be here to stay.

    "If the rampant spread of the virus continues and more critical mutations accumulate, then we may be condemned to chasing after the evolving SARS-CoV-2 continually, as we have long done for influenza virus," Ho says. "Such considerations require that we stop virus transmission as quickly as is feasible, by redoubling our mitigation measures and by expediting vaccine rollout."


    • Treetop 4.1

      Both a vaccine and treatment are required to combat Covid – 19 due to Covid being endemic.

      When I look at how promising antibiotics were as the cure all I think this is what is going to happen with Covid vaccines.

      When it came to the Spanish flu in 1918 was it fatal because people had no immunity when they had the viral form or they got a bacterial infection and there was no treatment for it?

    • weka 4.2

      there's also potential the the vaccine rollout won't happen fast enough/wide enough (and other measures) and the virus will mutate in response to that as well.

  5. Sabine 5

    This just boggles the mind,

    Urgent contact tracing is under way after NSW Health revealed the state's first positive case in 55 days was confirmed as a 47-year-old man who works as a security guard at two Covid-19 hotels for returned travellers.

    The man does shift work at the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney's CBD and the Mantra hotel at Haymarket. He also has a fulltime job in an office.

    As a result of the NSW scare, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia have issued travel alerts in response to the new coronavirus case in NSW.

    On Sunday NSW lost its 55-day streak without any coronavirus cases after a Sydney hotel quarantine worker tested positive to Covid-19.

    NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said contact tracers had spoken to 130 colleagues. Photo / News Ltd

    The 47-year-old man, who received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, tested positive on Saturday night – prompting urgent contact tracing identifying six potential hot spots in the city.


    Are our security guards at our plaque hotels working three jobs? Do they also each have 130 'collegues'. Seriously, it seems that both in OZ and in NZ we have been lucky so many times.

    Any news on the source of the Valentines outbreak in South Auckland? I scan the news but it seems there is / has been no update?

    • arkie 5.1

      Are our security guards at our plaque hotels working three jobs?

      Anecdata but a temporary fill-in security officer at my workplace usually worked at the local MIQ facilities.

  6. Treetop 6

    Australian politicians know how well elimination works when it comes to a single case of community transmission and are learning how essential it is to reduce a person having multiple contact (when a higher risk) to reduce community transmission.

    Australian politicians need to stop pressuring NZ to have a travel bubble with Australia as they shut down their internal state borders because that is what they consider is necessary to do.

    When the time is right for a country to partially or fully open their border it will happen. No country has closed its border to the people who have the right to return?

  7. Jimmy 7

    David Clark actually doing something useful.

    Financial adviser law changes come into effect (msn.com)

  8. Obtrectator 8

    A recent article on this site, dealing with an issue important enough for one to have expected dozens of comments, has so far attracted just six.

    Is this because comments were restricted to women-only, and thus demonstrates how so few women feel safe in venturing to give their opinions here? If so, it's a pretty disgraceful reflection on many of our regular "clientele".

    [Ban accepted in advance …. ]

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Not really. I've thought that I might make my next post on energy issues confined to 'nuclear power advocates only'. I believe it's a crucially important aspect of the climate change discussion, but given how vociferously I get attacked on this topic here at TS, I've decided this is the only way I can feel safe.

      But realistically I don't expect many comments. devil

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        Nice of you to trivialise the murder of Sarah Everard there.

        Do you ever step back from your poor, put-upon engineer schtick?

        • RedLogix

          Are you saying that climate change is a trivial issue? This would surprise me.

          • Muttonbird

            I'm wondering why you make a dreadful tragedy, one which strikes to the very heart of women the world over, all about you.

            • RedLogix

              If authors care deeply about an issue – they are entitled to limit who comments on their posts to specific categories of people. Not only this, but even people from within that category can be expelled if the author disagrees with their views.

              These are established practices here at The Standard. I'm absolutely not quibbling with them, and intend to make more use them myself in future.

              The point is however is that it will likely reduce the number of comments – as Obtrectator was concerned about.

        • I Feel Love

          Irony lost on RL, as usual.

      • gsays 8.1.2

        As a nuclear power advocate, what/how/who needs to sort out the waste linked to Rio Tinto's commercial activities?

        • RedLogix

          I presume you're referring to the ongoing waste issue in Southland. I honestly cannot think how this is directly linked to nuclear power in any fashion – although in a much broader picture I might suggest that a society which had access to abundant, clean and cheap power might well be able to deal with such waste products.

          One of potentials of a hyper-energised society is the opportunity to close the loop on much more of our resource use. But it's not at all clear to me how this ties into your specific question.

          Unless of course I missed the point of it completely. surprise

          • gsays

            Both smelting and generating nuclear energy have an undesirable waste product.

            • McFlock

              [cue diversion about how nuclear tech just around the corner will be completely clean, and how nuclear waste isn't that dangerous if you spread it over thousands of square kilometres]

            • RedLogix

              Yes – but technically they're of a completely different nature.

              As it happens the nuclear waste (which isn't really waste at all, just fuel that current reactor designs can't effectively use) can be safely stored and managed far more safely than many industrial wastes.

              One of the best features of some next generation of designs being worked on, is their ability to take existing stockpiles of nuclear 'waste' and consume it for fuel leaving much smaller volumes of radio-toxic material that becomes completely safe within about 300 years, rather than 100,000's. (Nor are we talking extreme levels of radiation, you can actually walk around such a storage depot for some hours with zero impact. The most intense radiation decays away within a few decades.)

              Or just park it next to your power plant as the current fleet of reactors have done for decades now with very few meaningful problems.

              And quite the opposite of McFlock's assertion about "if you spread it over thousands of square kilometres" – no-one proposes such a nonsense. It's far easier to put it into an underground repository like a deep disused mine shaft in a geologically stable location. There are literally thousands of places this can be done with very high reliability.

              And orders of magnitude safer than the uncountable number of waste heaps from coal burning power plants that are dotted all over the planet.

              • McFlock

                you propose it every time you minimise a nuclear accident that released radioactive material.

                • RedLogix

                  Only one accident released any significant quantity of radiation – Chernobyl. The TMI and Fukushima releases were by comparison tiny and there is no evidence anyone was ever harmed. Over the entire history of nuclear power generation the absolute worst case number of people who have died as a result of radiation might be as high as 10,000. And that's being generous.

                  Yet at the same time air pollution from coal burning power is now understood to kill around that many people per day. Yet you demonstrate exactly zero concern over this.

                  • McFlock

                    Yup, ssdd.

                    • RedLogix

                      The death toll from Chernobyl falls into roughly four categories.

                      Firstly there were a several plant operators killed outright and a group of firemen who were stupidly allowed to run directly into the reactor hall and full view of the open core. About 30 men died almost immediately from acute radiation syndrome in the minutes to months afterwards.

                      Also there is a group of 'liquidators' who heroically exposed themselves to moderately high (but well short of lethal) levels of radiation in order to help clean up the site. There is some evidence of a mild increase in excess deaths in this group, but the numbers are low.

                      Then there is the group of young people who contracted thyroid cancer because the authorities failed to evacuate them or treat with iodine in time. These number several thousand in total, but because it's a highly treatable cancer relatively few died or were seriously harmed.

                      The above three groups we can realistically allocate to radiation harm, and they total to under a few 100 people. At most.

                      All others are projections based on maps of fallout density (invariably at very low levels) across the whole of Europe. They're all based on the now discredited LNT (Linear No Threshold) model that proposes that any level of radiation (even less than background) causes harm. Naturally it produces absurdly high death rates that opponents of nuclear power seized upon and refused to let go of, even when multiple UN reports determined that at the very most maybe 4,000 excess deaths could be accounted theoretically for in this manner. No actual evidence – just modelling based on a contentious and unknowable theory.

                      Yet every single day coal power kills 10,000 people and you still have nothing to say. Every single fucking day. Far from being harmful, by substituting for coal, nuclear power has actually saved many millions of lives – the exact opposite of your fears.

                      This febrile fearmongering has caused us to not implement the one single technology that could have stopped climate change in it's tracks decades ago – and you own it.

                      ssdd for sure

    • Treetop 8.2

      The question I asked @4 on the topic you are commenting about I was not excluding anyone.

      Why do you feel as though you could get a ban?

      Yesterday I made a comment on Open Mike Treetop@7. and I knew it could recieve a negative view. I made it because I felt strongly about how the issue was not being taken as seriously as it needs to be taken.

      • weka 8.2.1

        The post is restricted to women commenting only.

        Open Mike is open to all (within the site rules).

        • Tiger Mountain

          Great post weka “Women and male violence”. Even the dimmest among us might register the UK Police tacit support for “Football Lads” vs. “nasty macho enforcement copper” for the women. It was not “someone” that in error let the ‘filth’ out of their restraints, it was patriarchal revenge, one of their own pinged for extreme violence on a woman. UK like USA Police recruit the worst of the worst.

          Various women that identified as such, have left The Standard as posters and authors over the years, so no corner of society, or online forum seems exempt from the stunningly obvious position of women still. Trawl the archives for evidence if you like. A woman did bring us all into existence, and resentment of that level of power is totally part of misogyny.

          And lastly, if you as a white male are genuinely trying to be an ally to one group or another of exploited and oppressed people–try doing some useful work in the background certainly at first, and earn your place there rather than assume it.

          • weka

            The issue of women at TS is a really good example of how invisible the problem can be when the status quo supports men at the expense of women.

        • Treetop

          I did not see your bold mod. I realised this when you responded to the above.

      • Obtrectator 8.2.2

        "Why do you feel as though you could get a ban?"

        For trying to sneak a comment through the back door, as it were, on a topic where men have specifically been asked to keep away. I've been threatened with a ban in the past (and called an abusive name by one of people meant to be upholding standards here) for much less.

        • Treetop

          When it comes to being called an abusive name, when it occurs call it out, regardless of who says it.

          • Obtrectator

            I did. And much to my surprise got no blowback.

            • weka

              OM is open for a reason. It's where people can talk about whatever they want (within the general rules of the site). The boundaries were around a single post, not site wide.

    • weka 8.3

      It's partly to do with Mondays on TS often being quiet, and TS commenting being quieter than in the past generally. But yes, the problems for women commenting (and writing) on TS generally are an ongoing issue. Thanks for pointing this out.

    • Anne 8.4

      Obrectator@ 8.
      Quite a few people have been put off commenting here, and it includes men and women. Some of the responses I have seen to what seem to me quite reasonable and valid opinions will often receive such rabid replies that it does not surprise me TS has lost a number of authors and commentators. I question my own participation from time to time.

      The problem seems to me there is a lack of tolerance on the part of a number of regular commentators. Well, there were always a few nutjobs around (rwnj mostly) but most of them have now gone.

      In the past most commenters knew how to voice their disagreements without indulging in language bordering on abusive and/or humiliating for some unsuspecting contributor. Perhaps a little more respect would go some way to making people feel "safe" to return to this site.

  9. Lucy 9

    sheesh for gods sake we are talking about people being oppressed and you hijack it to an anti-Trans thing.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 9.1

      I’d rather that particular fight didn’t kick off under that particular post, thanks.

  10. Chris 10

    Ardern is completely wrong here.


    Regardless of the question of whether it should happen or not, the government could easily extend cover for mental injury for those affected by the 15 March event without widening the net to everyone. All it would mean is passing specific legislation. The social welfare system has whole instruments approved for specific groups or those affected by a specific event. Heck, there's even whole Acts passed that relate to one group of person to the exclusion of everyone else.

    If there was the will to do it it would happen. A further, and often convenient, influence is ACC itself. While it shouldn't, ACC holds a lot of sway when it comes to government policy. The legal boffins at ACC would be feeding all this bullshit into the government's ear about how ACC is a unique scheme with its very special set of characteristics, which is of course true. But this does not mean the government cannot introduce legislation (and it would need legislation) to provide cover for mental injury for victims of what happened on 15 March 2019. This has got nothing to do with the nature of the scheme. They can simply pass legislation that says that. There's nothing unusual about this – it's happened often in the past.

    It's surprising Ardern's fallen for this line. She's saying it can't be done without widening the net. This is simply incorrect. She either doesn't want to extend cover for this particular group, has been beaten down by ACC officials, there are darker forces at play, or all three.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Dunno about darker forces, but she's already seen the effect of exceptions for the "deserving" being answered with "isn't everyone deserving?": the covid work subsidy at a higher rate than the dole.

      I don't know the math, but if it was opened up to non-physical injuries, for a start there will be questions about the relative trauma of Mar15 survivors vs Whakaari survivors vs survivors of a bus crash with multiple injuries or deaths. And there's no good and obvious reason to discriminate between different incidents that cause PTSD.

      My impulse would be to say "well, give it to everyone, then". But I don't have to balance the books.

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        how much would 'giving it to everyone' reduce the cost longterm?

        but i agree, anyone looking to J.A. to increase any benefits to all is looking at the wrong person. She ain't gonna do nothing much in that regards until next election time, if by that time she still can be bothered.

        • McFlock

          Dunno about bothered. I suspect the current government have an agenda, and are concerned about it being derailed or interfered with by the budgetary repercussions of decisions like this (i.e. outside of their primary agenda).

          • Sabine

            well its a well hidden agenda then, and a year in they should maybe come public with it? Or are we not worthy knowing the agenda of dear Jacinda and her handmaids?

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              the agenda of dear Jacinda and her handmaids

              On the one hand there's a post about male violence towards women, and then there's this belittling comment about our PM (and her handmaids?)

              And "a year in" to/from what? Genuine question.

              • Sabine

                at the moment handmaid is about the best way of putting it. I would call them 'butler' or 'man' what is the male equivalent for someone who is at the beckon of someone? And i see the set up of the current Labour government the same way as J.Key had his. Him at the helm and all the others at the quick n ready to run and fetch papers. Take this as you like. And if you want to compare this to the killing of a young women – whose body was destroyed to the point of using dental records for identification by a cop no less- to me calling the underlings handmaids. Sure why not. At the end of it its all the same. Right?

                A year into her second term. Well almost a year. At some stage really it would be nice to see what else there is to this labour government, when it comes to poverty reduction, managing homelessness – rather then just dumping them in rubbish motels, increasing benefit levels to the point of livable and so on and so forth. Covid is one thing. But her blunt refusal to do anything more on the 'welfare' then the little she trickled down on the deserving few, be it benefit increases, be it mental health for people who were unlucky enough to be part of a mass shooting but lucky enough to not get shot dead is neither kind, nor gentle, nor polite, nor helpful.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  And if you want to compare this to the killing of a young women – whose body was destroyed to the point of using dental records for identification by a cop no less- to me calling the underlings handmaids. Sure why not. At the end of it its all the same. Right?

                  Both actions seemed (to me) to be on the same side of the ledger (as it were), but of course not comparable in magnitude, just in direction.

                  I think I must be a bit over-sensitive to comments on The Standard that belittle successful women. There was one commenter here, Shadrach, who really didn't like the idea that in just a few years Greta Thunberg had achieved a higher profile with more positive influence than he was likely to achieve in a lifetime. I found his PoV discouraging.

                  Of course I'm hypocritical, since I can't abide Collins and that sometimes comes out in my comments. Forgive.

                  A year into her second term. Well almost a year.

                  Thanks Sabine; current Government was formed on 31 October 2020, so we’re four and a half months in. Hope you forgive my confusion, again.

      • greywarshark 10.1.2

        Good reasoning McFlock. All the same how often do we have massacres in NZ, and of people belonging to a large world religion that feels vulnerable. We would need to do some fast and thoughtful actions if there was an attack on Jewish synagogues in the same dastardly way. We should shift ourselves to be 'kinder and practical' in our sorrowful reaction; pass special legislation to meet the situation and any further ones of similar infamy. Words and actions joined.

      • Chris 10.1.3

        Cover for mental injury is already available if caused by physical injury and without the need for physical injury for accidents at work or as a result of sexual abuse. Sure, these are for specific groups of person rather than a specific event like 15 March, but there's nothing to prevent an approach that's based on extending cover in this way. There are provisions under the Social Security Act that are related to specific events, for example, that have been introduced as events arise.

        Such as approach is vastly cheaper, too, because it's invariably limited to a specific number of people. Sure, it involves a decision on what's 'deserving' and what's not, but so does any 'policy' decision. It's a matter of the government snapping itself out of its black and white way of looking at things, at least when it comes to ACC.

        It's not in fact such a new or novel approach at all. There plenty examples. Every policy decision involves judgement, and extending cover in this way would not be expensive because it's highly likely to be limited to a specific number of people. If they wanted to do it they could. I just don't but Ardern's reasoning.

        • McFlock

          There might also be an issue around how one defines pstd related to Mar15. I suspect there will always be someone mediaworks can dig up who would be a deserving case but who misses out on ACC coverage. But if they get included then the bill for therapy rapidly inflates.

    • RosieLee 10.2

      People whose family members have been killed or who have suffered physical injuries can easily be compensated. People who have suffered mental trauma can be provided with support and counselling and they should be.

      Trying to put a figure on financial compensation for mental distress is a minefield and open to exploitation on all levels. We need to be very wary.

      • Treetop 10.2.1

        Have you ever looked into the guidelines for cover under ACC for a mental injury?

        The way a person is assessed for compensation has so many snags to it. A person could have been sexually assaulted and have PTSD but were they an alcoholic or a drug addict their addiction could be stated as the reason for the PTSD.

        ACC are the ones who exploit the system when it comes to cover for a mental injury. Since the inception of ACC the most severe changes have been for a mental injury. It is time to reclaim what has been taken.

        Do you think that when the government are not acknowleding the person’s PTSD because of not being physically injured that this causes further harm and is a barrier to overcoming the PTSD?

        • Chris

          "The way a person is assessed for compensation has so many snags to it. A person could have been sexually assaulted and have PTSD but were they an alcoholic or a drug addict their addiction could be stated as the reason for the PTSD."

          Classic tactic. It's so easy for ACC to get a lackey specialist to give an opinion that says the injury wasn't caused by the accident so no cover. This happens in an environment that's about finding ways of refusing claimant cover. Then it's up to the claimant to find a specialist to say it was. A claimant has to know how to do this or get independent help. Most don't bother. Even when a claimant does manage to find a specialist it becomes a battle of expert opinion. This is how the process works, and from start to finish ACC is concentrating denying the claimant. Sure, the legislation requires ACC to 'investigate the claim' and claimants have rights of review and appeal, but the way this is done isn't about getting to the truth of a matter. The whole system's a mess and this government's got its head in the sand.

          • Treetop

            If I really need to do a link I attempt it. I looked up Mental Injury Assessments for ACC 27 pages long.

            A person is really in the shit if they do not have a good lawyer. The mental injury assessment is ambiguous.

            When it comes to a settlement for those in state and faith based care is the government not going to acknowledge significant trauma when there was no physical force?

            The government need to apologise for not having cover for a mental injury where there was no physical force. Mental injuries usually linger long after physical injuries, this is what infuriates me the most.

      • RedBaronCV 10.2.2

        Why does it have to be ACC that is being targeted for reparations for this harm? Mental harm can vary vastly between people involved in the same instance and must be difficult to put a figure on. Is there more of a case for enhanced welfare benefits and intervention to deal with the on going stress? But having said that isn't the object to get people functioning as well as possible not leave them brooding on any form of compensation or benefit for lengthy periods? The alternative is presumably a "sue everything in sight" regime.

        And FWIW years ago I dealt with some cases under the old workers compo Act. Basically no treatment or rehabilitation was provided and people where left to rot on a weekly payment until death happened when the surviving spouse received a payout based on the shortened life expectancy. Anything that replicates this even with bigger weekly payments doesn't have a lot to offer long term.

        • Treetop

          The alternative is for ACC to keep doing what has always been done knowing it does not work for some people.

          Partly this is why people become stuck and are left to their own devices which can be counter productive.

          The legislation for a mental injury has not been updated when it comes to what is known that PTSD does physically and on a physiological level.

  11. greywarshark 11

    What do the business minded think about this? Is it a good move? Concentrate on keeping NZ resources under NZ ownership and control – that seems to be what is happening. Or am I mistaken?


    The deal will see the Australian companies – collectively called PowAR – take control of Tilt's four Australian windfarms, while Mercury will buy the four New Zealand farms for $770m.

    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      Well I'm always very happy to see monopoly or oligopoly assets remain in NZ's hands. We have a better chance of regulating them without TPP type interference for the benefit of the country and ultimately to make ourselves richer by removing the monopoly rent and therefore allowing welfare benefits to purchase more for the same amount of taxpayer money. Not that Meridian is signing up for the second half of the deal.

  12. Enough is Enough 12








  13. greywarshark 13

    Stats from 2010 for homicides around the world. :Looking at stats per 100,000, NZ came in at 21st. But we are one of five who have some more women killed than men.

    According to the data given by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, worldwide, 78.7% of homicide victims are men, and in 193 of the 202 listed countries or regions, men were more likely to be killed than women. In two, the ratio was 50:50 (Switzerland and British Virgin Islands), and in the remaining seven –

    Tonga, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Latvia, and Hong Kong – women were slightly more likely to be victims of homicides compared to males.


    We are similar to the Netherlands in ratio per 100,000 but differ in percentage of numbers; (65% men to 35% women for Netherlands, NZ 48.8% men to 51.2% women).

    Luxembourg stands out among the developed nations with no female murdersl Greece is low with 6.5% to 93.4% males Honduras has the highest world rate at 90.4 but mostly males, similar numbers to Greece.

    Perhaps we could ask social anthropologists from the low number nations to look at our stats and comment in what way our culture is different to the countries with low female murder stats . An outside opinion on our results and how to change them downwards could be a good move and better than the constant blame game, which is started when a NZ women is killed anywhere it seems.

  14. greywarshark 14

    How can this be a good move? Costs are going up everywhere.

    Waitomo district to have zero rates increase next financial year


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