Punjab to check lending of money to farmers

first_imgWith farmers in Punjab falling into debt traps, the State government has notified the establishment of divisional agriculture debt settlement forums in an attempt to streamline the process of moneylending to farmers.The forums, which will be headed by Divisional Commissioners, will implement The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness (Amendment) Act, 2018, within the territorial jurisdiction of such divisions.‘Technical flaws’“The amended law addresses the infirmities and technical flaws in The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Act, 2016. The old legislation was detrimental to the interests of the farmers, the new law is expected to go a long way in mitigating the hardships faced by farmers on account of money lending,” said an official statement.The Act has provisions to fix a limit on the advance on per acre of land, with the rate of interest also to be determined by the government“Divisional Commissioners have been appointed as chairmen. Two representatives, one each from the revenue and the agriculture departments, will be nominated as ex-officio members by way of notification in due course,” added the statement.last_img read more

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Xiaomi launches Mi 5S and Mi 5S Plus with Snapdragon 821 and dual-camera

first_imgXiaomi today has launched not one but two phones in China, Mi 5S and Mi 5S Plus. Both the phones have two RAM variants. Xiaomi has put a starting price of 1,999 Yuan (approx Rs 20,000) for Mi 5S and 2,299 Yuan (approx Rs 23,000) for the Mi 5S Plus base model.Rumours and leaks about the latest Xiaomi phones have again proved to be true. The Mi 5S and Mi 5S Plus smartphones sport an all-metal design, unlike their predecessor Mi 5, which had a glass and metal body.The two phones don’t have many similarities when it comes to features and specifications. The smaller phone, Mi 5S, has a 5.15-inch Full HD display with 1920 X 1080 pixel resolution. The Mi 5S comes in two memory variants: 3GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 64-bit octa-core processor. The Mi 5S carries a 12-megapixel camera on the back with Sony’s IMX378 sensor. It comes with a 4-megapixel camera on the front. The Mi 5S carries an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, which is based on Qualcomm’s Sense ID technology, in place of the home button in Mi 5 smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus has a bigger 5.7-inch QHD display. This phone also has two memory variants: 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.The bigger sibling also packs in the same processor coupled with Adreno 530 GPU for graphics.Xiaomi seems to have take a few pages from Apple’s book. The Mi 5S Plus carries a dual-camera setup on the back, which we saw in iPhone 7 Plus this year. The Xiaomi phone has two 13-megapixel snappers on the back.advertisementThe Xiaomi Mi 5s will be available in dark gray, silver, gold and pink gold colors. The 3GB RAM variant will be sold at 1,999 Yuan (approx 20,000) and the 4GB RAM variant will sell for 2,299 Yuan (approx Rs 23,000).The Mi 5S Plus will be available in pink, gold and silver colours. The base model with 4GB RAM will be available for 2,299 Yuan (approx Rs 23,000) and the 6GB RAM variant will be sold at 2,599 Yuan (approx Rs 26,000). The phone will be sold through a flash sale in China on Sept 29, there is no official word about the phones’ launch in India.last_img read more

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Watch: Hardik Pandya’s helicopter shot that would make MS Dhoni proud

first_imgWatch: Hardik Pandya’s helicopter shot that would make MS Dhoni proudHardik Pandya is back to full-fledged training after recovering from lower back stiffness which caused him to miss the ODI series against Australia.advertisement India Today Web Desk MumbaiMarch 14, 2019UPDATED: March 14, 2019 14:04 IST Hardik Pandya will be crucial for Mumbai Indians in the IPL this season (Mumbai Indians Photo)HIGHLIGHTSHardik resumed training on Tuesday at the pre-season camp of Mumbai IndiansHe was ruled out of the T20Is and ODIs vs Australia due to lower back stiffnessMI will open their IPL campaign vs Delhi Capitals on March 24 at WankhedeIndia all-rounder Hardik Pandya is back on the field and gearing up for the upcoming Indian Premier League season for Mumbai Indians.The 25-year-old resumed his training in Mumbai after recovering from a lower back injury which had ruled out him of the entire five-match ODI series against Australia which India lost 2-3 on Wednesday night.The seam bowling all-rounder along with his T20 specialist elder brother Krunal joined the MI camp at the Reliance Corporate Park cricket ground in Ghansoli where he underwent “strength endurance training”.On Thursday Hardik posted a video of him batting in the nets during which he also played the helicopter shot just like MS Dhoni does.”Guess my inspiration behind this shot?” he wrote on Twitter and seemed in high spirits.Guess my inspiration behind this shot? pic.twitter.com/9mwQ6uNg3ghardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) March 14, 2019Hardik, who has played 11 Tests, 45 ODIs and 38 T20s, had returned to action during the limited-overs series in New Zealand after being handed a provisional suspension for his sexist remarks a TV chat show.Hardik possibly would have played a few matches of the Mushtaq Ali T20 had Baroda qualified for the Super League.Apart from Pandya brothers, the others joined the camp are off-spinner Jayant Yadav, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, pacer Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Mitchell McClenaghan and wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan.It was learnt that the squad will continue its training program at the New Mumbai facility over the weekend and are tentatively scheduled to move to Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from March 17.advertisementLed by Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians will open their campaign against Delhi Capitals on March 24 at the Wankhede stadium.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Hardik PandyaFollow IPL 2019Follow Mumbai IndiansFollow MS DhoniFollow Helicopter shotlast_img read more

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OW Bunker Commences New Operation in Cartagena, Colombia

first_img My location zoom OW Bunker, one of the world’s leading resellers and physical distributors of marine fuel, recently announced the launch of a new operation in Cartagena, Colombia. The move into the Colombian bunker market builds upon OW Bunker’s presence across the region with existing offices in Chile, Uruguay, Panama and Brazil.OW Bunker’s Colombia office is located in Cartagena – the country’s most active port – on the region’s northeast coast along the Caribbean Sea. Providing customers with a full range of high quality products as well as risk management solutions and related services, the office is ideally located as a hub for serving the wider Caribbean marine fuel market as well as vessels transiting the Panama Canal, particularly container vessels, tankers, bulk carriers and cruise ships.The Colombia operation will include experienced OW Bunker employees and the team will be further strengthened with additional recruitment planned for 2014. They will be responsible for ensuring that the company’s best practices and quality standards are replicated in the region, and that customers receive the high quality marine refuelling service that OW Bunker is recognised for worldwide.Pedro Gómez, Regional Manager, OW Bunker Latin America, commented:“With our global network, financial strength and local presence, OW Bunker is well placed to support customers in what is a particularly fragmented and complex bunker market. As an established company within the region with a global benchmark for quality products and services, our experience enables us to work closely with customers as a trusted advisor to deliver competitive fuel solutions that increase operational efficiencies, saving them time and money.”Götz Lehsten, Executive Vice President, OW Bunker, added:“Our expansion into Cartagena further strengthens our services across the Caribbean and the Latin America bunker market as a whole. We have an experienced team on the ground, with  local knowledge and insight, supported by a global infrastructure and network that ensure customers receive the highest quality products and services when and where they need them.” OW Bunker, January 14, 2014 Print  Close 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定last_img read more

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Five First Nations block tarsands highway in the name of Idle No

first_img(Photo courtesy of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation)*This story has been edited to remove sections that were inadvertently copied from a Sun Media article by Vincent McDermott. APTN National News sincerely apologizes and regrets the error.By Noemi LoPinto APTN National News EDMONTON–About 100 people blocked Hwy. 63 north of Fort McMurray, Alta., this afternoon, the main artery that leads to the tarsands.The chief of Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) says people from more than five First Nations in and around the area took part in bringing traffic to a crawl for over two hours.The ACFN and the Mikisew Cree Nation have been at the forefront of the battle over the tarsands for years, and ACFN has repeatedly appealed to the courts to slow down the pace of development on his traditional territory.Adam said the anger in his community has been building for decades, but has taken on a more active form now that Bill C-45 has been passed into law.“Prime Minister Harper can’t just do anything he wants,” said Adam. “If he wants to promote Canada as a country where dictatorship has taken root, he’s going to have a hard time.”Thursday’s protest was also intended to show support for hunger-striking Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation in northeastern Ontario.The protesters used their bodies to block the road, standing in both lanes with signs bearing the Idle No More banner, and shouting their support for Spence.While there was some grumbling by motorists, Adam said the protest was mostly well- received.“Some people flipped us the finger but we just waved back at them, “he said. “They don’t understand what is going on here in Canada all you can do is pray for them to understand what it’s all about.”Adam said he personally was very concerned for the health and well-being of Spence.“God forbid something happens to her. If something happens to her, Stephen Harper will not only have this bill on his hands but the life of the chief. If that happens, this country will erupt.”nlopinto@aptn.calast_img read more

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Rotary International picks Calgary for 2025 Convention

first_imgRotary International has chosen Calgary to host its 2025 Convention, an annual event which usually attracts between 20,000 and 40,000 people.Co-chair of the host organizing committee Mark Starratt said it’s a victory two years in the making.“We were among 11 worldwide cities that were invited to apply for the possibility and over the course of the last six months, we were whittled down to five,” he said, adding Calgary was the only North American city to be shortlisted.The convention involves Rotarians from over 100 countries gathering for fellowships and strategizing local and international strategies.Starratt said Calgary getting the nod is a result of two key factors.“Number one, the fact that we’ve become a world-class destination and that’s shown really clearly through some of our venues,” he said. “But in addition to that, I can’t reiterate enough the partnership and the spirit of volunteerism that we have in Calgary.”Some of the partners he credits include Meetings + Convention Calgary and the Stampede.“This will be the largest convention in Calgary’s history. It is an amazing accomplishment for our city,” Clark Grue, President and CEO, Meetings + Conventions Calgary, said in a release.Starratt said it’s hard to quantify how much of a boost the local economy will get because it’s unclear just how many Rotarians will attend.But with the convention lasting three to five days at the BMO Centre and the Saddledome, along with attendants contributing to hotels, restaurants, rentals, visiting the mountains and attractions like the Calgary Zoo and Heritage Park, the payoff will be huge.“The multi-millions, the tens of millions,” he said.last_img read more

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Japanese boat owners charged with helping smuggle shark fins

first_imgHONOLULU — U.S. prosecutors in Hawaii are accusing the owners and officers of a Japanese fishing boat of helping Indonesian fishermen smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins, worth about $58,000 on the black market.Boat owners Hamada Suisan Co. Ltd. and JF Zengyoren, or Japan Fisheries Cooperatives in English, are charged with aiding and abetting the smuggling. Ten fishermen have been charged with smuggling.A Hamada representative in Japan said Friday that the Indonesian crew members had shark fins without the captain’s knowledge.JF Zengyoren declined to comment, saying it hadn’t seen the complaint.It’s against U.S. law to remove the fins of sharks at sea. Prosecutors say the fishermen harvested fins from some sharks that were still alive and then discarded in the ocean.Fins are a pricey delicacy often used in soups.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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UN food standards body sets new limits for melamine in food

The maximum melamine allowed in baby formula was set at one milligram (mg) per kilogramme (kg) and 2.5 mg/kg in other foods and animal feed, according to a news release issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), which along with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) jointly runs the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission.Melamine is a chemical used in a variety of industrial processes, including the manufacture of plastics used for dishware, kitchenware and can coatings. Traces of it unavoidably get into food by contact without causing health problems, but the substance is toxic at high concentrations.“Establishment of maximum levels will help governments differentiate between low levels of unavoidable melamine occurrence that do not cause health problems, and deliberate adulteration – thereby protecting public health without unnecessary impediments to international trade,” said Martijn Weijtens, chair of the Commission’s committee on contaminants in foods.While not legally binding the new levels allow countries to refuse to allow the importation of products with excessive levels of melamine.The Commission, whose 33rd session in Geneva is being attended by 500 delegates from about 130 countries, also came up with new hygienic measures for safer fresh salads and seafood.The new measures provide specific guidance for production, harvesting, packing, processing, storage, distribution, marketing and consumer education to reduce food safety risks associated with these products. Guidance covers such aspects as the control of irrigation waters, cooling and storage and correct washing of hands by consumers.The Commission also gave specific advice on how to control bacteria in seafood throughout the food chain. In recent years, there has been an increase in reported outbreaks of food-borne disease caused by bacterial species called Vibrio, which are typically associated with the consumption of seafood – especially oysters that are often eaten raw. The new measures will help to minimize the risks.On aflatoxins, the Commission set maximum levels of 10 micrograms/kg for Brazil nuts and 15 micrograms/kg for shelled Brazil nuts, which are intended for further processing, while it also adopted a code of practice to prevent this contamination.Aflatoxins are carcinogenic fungal toxins that can contaminate corn, peanuts and other food crops such as tree nuts under certain conditions.The Commission also adopted new measures on sampling food for inspection and control analysis.The new guidelines will make it possible to run tests to determine if foods are derived from modern biotechnology, to authenticate food varieties such as fish species and to establish the presence of allergens.Agreement on the guidelines marks an important international consensus in the area of biotechnology where the commission has already developed a number of guidelines related to food safety assessments for foods derived from modern biotechnology.The 47-year-old Commission sets international food standards to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade. The results of its work form the Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “food code”), a set of international food safety and quality standards.The standards, when introduced in national legislation, contribute to the safety of foods and to help guide international food trade. 6 July 2010In an effort to help prevent dangerous contamination of food with melamine, a toxic chemical, the United Nations food standards body today set new limits for the amount of the substance that can be present in baby formula, other foods and animal feed without causing health problems. read more

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Leader of banned neoNazi terror group National Action jailed for eight years

He gave a speech at a demonstration in Liverpool known as the White Man March, in in which he claimed: “A war is brewing, it is inevitable. We are not the ones responsible for instigating it but we will be the ones fighting it.”We must be ruthless, if innocent people are cut down in the process then so be it. If we don’t cut out the cancer eating away at the body of our nation, Britain will die. We must abandon this idea of so-called respectability.”Mr Justice Jay sentenced Lythgoe to eight years in prison and Hankinson to six years in prison.He said: “You have been found guilty by the jury of being a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation, namely National Action.”The judge said the Home Secretary was “amply justified” in banning the group, which sought to achieve a “white Britain” by “any means necessary”. Jack Renshaw admitted a plot to kill Rosie Cooper MPCredit:PA The leader of a banned Neo Nazi terror group has been jailed for eight years today.Christopher Lythgoe, 32, was in charge of the white supremacist organisation, National Action, which was outlawed in December 2016 after endorsing the murder of Labour MP, Jo Cox.Lythgoe was accused of granting permission to Jack Renshaw, 23, to carry out the murder of Labour MP Rosie Cooper at a meeting in a Warrington pub on 1 July last year.Renshaw admitted buying a 19-inch ‘Gladius Machete’ in preparation for the murder plot, but jurors cleared Lythgoe of granting him permission to carry out the attack on behalf of National Action. Tweets associated to the group featured a picture of Jo Cox’s killer, Thomas Mair, accompanied with the message “don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain”. As part of their activities, Lythgoe rented a gym close to his Warrington home where members practised boxing and martial arts, in order to “train for for the race war”.Lythgoe was convicted of belonging to a proscribed organisation, along with fellow Neo-Nazi Matthew Hankinson, 24.Hankinson, from Newton Le Willows, Merseyside, was thought to be Lythgoe’s second-in-command, and called for “race traitors” to be hanged from lampposts. National Action was outlawed by the Home Secretary in 2016Credit:PA Addressing Lythgoe, he said: “Although you are not a charismatic individual it was clearly through your effort and ability that the torch of National Action was kept burning after December 2016.”The jury failed to reach verdicts on whether Renshaw, Michal Trubini, 25, and Andrew Clarke, 33, were members of the banned group.Garron Helm, 24, was cleared of belonging to National Action. National Action was outlawed by the Home Secretary in 2016 Lythgoe sent an encrypted email to several high-ranking National Action members on 11 December, five days before the ban, in which he says: ‘It’s going to be a piece of p***… we discard the name and symbolism of National Action…”This operation will look different from the outside. We are just shedding one skin for another.”National Action was outlawed by the then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, for its promotion of the idea that Britain would inevitably see a “race war”. Jack Renshaw admitted a plot to kill Rosie Cooper MP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Blast in St Petersburg metro station kills 9 authorities

By Denis Pinchuk | ST. PETERSBURG, RussiaGeneral view of emergency services attending the scene outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov(Reuters) At least nine people were killed and 20 were injured when an explosion tore through a train carriage in the St. Petersburg metro system on Monday, the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee said.Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying the blast, which occurred when the train was between two stations, was caused by a bomb filled with shrapnel.President Vladimir Putin, who was in the city for a meeting with Belarus’s leader, said he was considering all possible causes for the blast, including terrorism and was consulting with security services.Ambulances and fire engines descended on the concrete-and-glass Sennaya Ploshchad metro station. A helicopter hovered overhead as crowds gathered to observe rescue operations.“I appeal to you citizens of St. Petersburg and guests of our city to be alert, attentive and cautious and to behave in a responsible matter in light of events,” St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said in an address.An injured person is helped by emergency services outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton VaganovAn attack on St Petersburg, Russia’s old imperial capital, would have some symbolic force for any militant group, especially Islamic State or Chechen secessionist rebels. Attacks in the past have largely concentrated on Moscow, including an attack on an airport, a theater and in 2010 a metro train.Video showed injured people lying bleeding on a platform, some being treated by emergency services and fellow passengers. Others ran away from the platform amid clouds of smoke, some screaming or holding their hands to their faces.A huge hole was blown open in the side of a carriage with metal wreckage strewn across the platform. Passengers were seen hammering at the windows of one closed carriage. Russian TV said many had suffered lacerations from glass shards and metal.Russia has been the target of attacks by separatist Islamist Chechen militants in past years. Islamic State, which has drawn recruits from the ranks of Chechen rebels, has also threatened attacks across Russia in retaliation for Russian military intervention in Syria.The Russian air force and special forces have been supporting President Bashar al-Assad in fighting rebel groups and Islamic State fighters now being driven out of their Syrian strongholds.ALL STATIONS CLOSEDMembers of the Emergency services stand outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Igor RussakSt. Petersburg emergency services at first said that there had been two explosions. But a source in the emergency services later said that there had been only one but that the explosion had occurred in a tunnel between stations.The blast occurred at 2.40 p.m., well shy of the evening rush hour.Authorities closed all St. Petersburg metro stations. The Moscow metro said it was taking unspecified additional security measures in case of an attack there.Russia has been on particular alert against Chechen rebels returning from Syria and wary of any attempts to resume attacks that dogged the country several years ago.At least 38 people were killed in 2010 when two female suicide bombers detonated bombs on packed Moscow metro trains.Over 330 people, half of them children, were killed in 2004 when police stormed a school in southern Russia after a hostage taking by Islamist militants. In 2002, 120 hostages were killed when police stormed a Moscow theater to end another hostage-taking.Putin, as prime minister, launched a 1999 campaign to crush a separatist government in the Muslim southern region of Chechnya, and as president continued a hard line in suppressing rebellion.(Editing by Ralph Boulton) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDEADLY TERROR ATTACKS AT BRUSSELS AIRPORT, METRO – at least 28 killed, 130 injuredMarch 22, 2016In “latest news”Mexico pipeline blast kills 73 and injures dozens moreJanuary 20, 2019In “latest news”World Cup fever builds as fans, teams pour into RussiaJune 14, 2018In “Sports” read more

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We are a hard working government that delivers

first_imgPhilip Dalidakis the current Labor upper house member representing the Southern Metropolitan Region, first ‘punched the clock’ at Spring Street in 2014.In little more than a year after his arrival to the joint, Dalidakis got a promotion. He was elevated to one of the most important ministries of the state, taking under his wing the portfolios of Trade and Investment, Innovation and the Digital Economy and Small Businesses.His father was born in Volos, Greece and his mother in Shanghai. She is the daughter of Jewish refugees who managed to escape from Nazi Germany in 1939.He has worked in both the private and government sectors. His professional career started from Deloitte, he then moved on to Centro Properties Group and he was chief executive officer of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries from 2007 to 2011. His entry to the political circles came in 2011 when he became Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Stephen Conroy, who at the time was federal minister for Broadband.His electorate includes some of the richest suburbs of Melbourne, the likes of Balwyn, Brighton, Caulfield, Glen Iris, Hawthorn, Kew, Malvern and South Yarra. Born, bred and living in his predominantly Jewish community electorate, he is well known to his constituents through his community work which includes being treasurer of the Jewish Museum of Australia, treasurer of FKA Children’s Services Inc or Homework Support volunteer with Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council.In August, Dalidakis made national news not in regards to his demanding portfolios, but in relation to his advocacy for multiculturalism and social cohesion. He accused federal minister Peter Dutton of ‘race baiting’ and ‘discriminatory conduct’ due to Dutton’s claims that Melbourne has a serious law and order problem, caused by African gangs, comments for which he was later threatened with legal proceedings.The Southern Metropolitan Region since 2010 elects three Liberal MPs, one Labor and a Green. Dalidakis being first on Labor’s ticket looks into returning to the Victorian parliament but he knows the battle isn’t as easy. Here is why he thinks that the Andrews government and himself should return to power.Which do you think are the most important issues for your constituents?My electorate is very diverse. It has some of the wealthiest areas and some of the most socio-economically disadvantaged suburbs. It has well established families, refugees, newly-arrived migrants and everyone in between.Obviously, key issues include school upgrades, public transport and level crossing removals, hospital and ambulance funding.Maintaining our strong job growth is also critical as we have seen unemployment drop to 4.5 per cent from a high of nearly seven per cent under the previous Liberal government in November 2014.And of course ever present is our need to continue to tackle our number one law and order issue, family violence.What do you offer to the Greek community within you electorate?I would hope voters appreciate that we are a hard working government delivering for our community. Having enjoyed the privilege of serving as Victoria’s Trade Minister too, I look forward to delivering on the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to running a trade mission to Thessaloniki in 2019.Our support for the Greek community at home is evidenced by the largest one-off financial commitment it has ever received of $2.5 million, Labor’s contribution to our Greek community building in the city, increase in funding for Greek language schools and ongoing commitment to the many local Greek community festivals.Greek Australians like me, worry about supporting our parents as they age. As a result we are providing more support to Fronditha to help care for the increased demand of aged care beds and at home support including respite.In terms of supporting our Greek brothers and sisters, you need look no further than our support offered to the Greek government during the tragic bushfires (something we know only too well here in Victoria), and of course our advocacy of the return of the Parthenon marbles, something which remains part of our Greek soul.For what reasons do you think voters should give you their vote?I am immensely proud of my Hellenic background and given my surname, it obviously travels with me wherever I go.I also offer at the highest level of government, representation in Cabinet for both the Greek and wider community. We are the third largest Greek city in the world and I remain proud to have the privilege of serving you. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Geek deals Save 100 on select Acer Predator gaming laptops

first_imgWhile desktop towers dominate the field of high-end gaming PCs, gaming laptops definitely have their place. If you travel frequently, but still want access to your Steam library at a moment’s notice, consider investing in a Predator gaming laptop from Acer. Use today’s coupon code, and you can save a hundred bucks on select 15-inch and 17-inch configurations. Save $100 on select Acer Predator gaming laptops (Coupon code: ZIFFDAVIS) For example, let’s take a look at this Predator 15 G9-591-74KN. It features a sixth generation quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics card (with 4GB of memory), 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB hard drive, a 512GB solid-state drive, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi support, and a 15.6-inch display with a full HD resolution of 1920×1080.Pair that powerful DirectX 12-capable graphics card with the default installation of Windows 10 home, and you have the makings of an incredible powerhouse that works well at home and gaming events. Sure, it weighs about seven and a half pounds, but this beefy laptop is a lot easier to haul around than a monitor and giant tower setup.This configuration lists for $2399.99, but Acer is selling it directly for $2299.99. Enter coupon code “ZIFFDAVIS” during the checkout process, and you’ll save an extra $100 in your cart. Prefer a bigger display? That same code works on select 17-inch Predator models as well, so the choice is yours.Note: Discount works only on select models. Terms, restrictions, and taxes may apply. See the Acer site for details.Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at commerce@ziffdavis.com.For more great deals head over to TechBargains.last_img read more

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ASA Applauds Signing of the Central American Free Trade Agreement

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) today applauded the signing of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. If the United States Senate approves the final agreement, CAFTA will improve and enhance trade opportunities between the United States and the Central American countries of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Exports of U.S. soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil to these countries currently account for more than $260 million in annual sales.”On behalf of U.S. soybean producers, I congratulate the Bush Administration for a job well done,” said ASA President Ron Heck, a soybean producer from Perry, Iowa. “This agreement will solidify our position as the preferred supplier of soybeans and soybean products to these Central American nations, and open new opportunities for exports of U.S. livestock products. For that we are grateful.”CAFTA would immediately eliminate tariffs imposed on the exportation of U.S. soybeans, soybean meal and soybean flour. Tariffs on U.S. exports of soybean oil bound for these countries will be reduced over a 12 to 15 year period. These actions are expected to improve and facilitate the exportation of U.S. soybeans and soybean products to CAFTA countries, which may assist in keeping out competitive soybean products.Duty-free quotas on all pork and pork products will increase each year, and tariffs also will be eliminated. Although it will take 15 years, U.S. pork exports to CAFTA nations will become completely duty-free in 2019. Domestic swine production accounts for 23 percent of all U.S. soybean meal consumption.”Eliminating tariffs and trade barriers that limit U.S. soybean exports is a top priority of the ASA,” Heck said. “CAFTA is good for U.S. soybean farmers, and for the many industries and communities that also benefit economically from soybean production.”Soybeans were planted on 28 percent of the United States’ cropland last year, and are the highest value U.S. agricultural commodity export. Half the value of the $15 billion U.S. soybean crop is exported each year as whole soybeans, processed soymeal and soyoil, or in the form of value-added foods such as pork, poultry, beef, dairy and fish products. The U.S. soybean industry has strongly supported expanding international trade by reducing tariffs and eliminating other trade barriers to increase access and encourage demand for soy and livestock products in global markets.last_img read more

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Prepare for a devastating earthquake this week says researcher

first_imgRepresentational image | ReutersFrank Hoogerbeets is a self-proclaimed seismic researcher who has been predicting earthquakes on his website ‘Ditrianum’. Even though skeptics have continuously dismissed his predictions, some of his claims shockingly turned true, and it has made many people believe that the SSGI (Solar System Geometry Index), the system used by Hoogerbeets to predict potential quakes is authentic.Now, Hoogerbeets has shockingly predicted that a massive earthquake measuring somewhere around 6 to 7 in the Richter scale will happen on this weekend. In a recent post, Hoogerbeets revealed that a rare planetary alignment which will begin on March 15 is the reason behind an increase in seismic activities in the coming days.”Earth’s alignment with Mercury and the Sun early on the 15th may trigger larger seismic activity well into the 6 or even 7 magnitude range, especially because Mercury also just had its alignment with Venus and Saturn. Be on watch in the next few days,” wrote Hoogerbeets on his website.The Dutch researcher revealed that he is making these predictions using the advanced SSGI system which is actually the computation of a dataset for a specific time-frame of values given to specific geometric positions of the planets, the Moon and the Sun.Hoogerbeets strongly believe that certain planetary alignments will result in the movement of tectonic plates on the earth, and as a result, seismic activities will increase drastically. However, experts have a different take on Hoogerbeets’ prediction.As per seismic experts, Hoogerbeets might be making these claims just for the sake of publicity, and they made it clear that no technology is capable of predicting possible tremors with such precision.In the meantime, a section of conspiracy theorists and doomsday mongers believe that earth is going to witness a drastic rise in seismic activities in the coming months. These apocalypse believers claim that a killer planet named Nibiru alias Planet X is now on its collision course toward the earth, and its gravitational pull is moving the tectonic plates on earth.last_img read more

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Your Name to Debut in US Theaters as an Academy Awards Hopeful

first_imgStay on target With Funimation, Sony Will Help Bring Anime to a Wider Audience’Your Name’ Captures Makoto Shinkai at his Least Shinkai Funimation announced back in July that they had acquired the U.S. rights to Your Name (Kimi no Na wa), and have now just revealed that they will be launching a theatrical release for the film ahead of the Academy Awards nominations.Your Name is currently selling out theaters across Japan still, having been at the top of Japanese movie charts for nine consecutive weeks. Having made a total of about $157 million, this film is now the fifth highest grossing film of all time at the Japan box office, having already surpassed even import movies such as Avatar and already surpassing Miyazaki’s Ponyo. The films sales show no signs of stopping in Japan.With the announcement of the film getting a US theatrical release before the end of this year, it’s everyone’s hopes that the film will be able to earn a nomination for this year’s Academy Awards. To qualify, Your Name must be shown a theater in Los Angeles county for a week to be considered.The roaring popularity of the film, combined with the moving story, star-studded cast, and beautiful animation make it a shoe in for the animation category of the Academy Awards.Your Name was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai (Children Who Chase Lost Voices, 5 Centimeters Per Second), with animation by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho Films in Japan. Inspired by a novel of the same name, the anime follows the story about a teen boy and girl who swap bodies in their dreams following an ominous event where a comet falls in Japan. The coming of age tale also features a very detailed look at the Japanese urban landscape and beautiful settings that frame the touching story.Following the theatrical release, Funimation plans to introduce a digital roll out of the film. Hold on to your tissues, because this film is sure to rock the anime world in the US as soon as it’s released.last_img read more

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iRobot Unveils Morphing Blob Robot w Video

first_img Citation: iRobot Unveils Morphing Blob Robot (w/ Video) (2009, October 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-irobot-unveils-morphing-blob-robot.html (PhysOrg.com) — iRobot’s latest robot is unique on many levels. The doughy blob moves by inflating and deflating – a new technique its developers call “jamming.” As the researchers explain in the video below, the jamming mechanism enables the robot to transition from a liquid-like to a solid-like state. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. As a new kind of chemical robot (or chembot), the blob bot has stretchy silicone skin, which is composed of multiple cellular compartments that each contain a “jammable slurry.” When some of these cells are unjammed, and an actuator in the center of the robot is inflated, the robot inflates in the areas of the unjammed cells. By controlling which cells are unjammed, the researchers can change the shape of the robot and make it roll in a specific direction.The new robot is being funded by DARPA, which gave iRobot $3.3 million to work on the chembot last year. The goal is to build a robot that can squeeze through tiny openings smaller than its own dimensions, which could be valuable in a variety of missions. The video shows the robot from about one year ago, and since then the researchers have been working on adding sensors and connecting multiple blob bots together. • Join PhysOrg.com on Facebook!• Follow PhysOrg.com on Twitter!via: IEEE Spectrum© 2009 PhysOrg.com Two Robot Chefs Make Omeletscenter_img Explore further The blob bot uses a jamming mechanism to change its shape and roll, enabling it to squeeze into small spaces. Credit: iRobot. Earlier this week, researchers from iRobot and the University of Chicago presented the new “blob bot” at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. last_img read more

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Google Home Review The Assistant Steps Into Your Living Room

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story originally appeared on Engadget November 3, 2016 The Google Assistant was the big news from the company’s I/O conference earlier this year, but it took months for Google’s true Siri competitor to really arrive. First it was baked into the largely unnecessary Allo chat app, and then it showed up as a flagship feature on the new Pixel phones. Now Google Home is shipping, putting the Assistant a voice command away even when your phone is in your pocket.Its inspiration is obvious: The $129 Home directly takes on the Amazon Echo. Indeed, many of the features here are the same. But Google is betting that the vast amount of data it stores, combined with the vast amount of data it knows about its customers, can make for a more useful product. It’s a reasonable notion, but Home isn’t quite ready to deliver on the promise of “your own personal Google” just yet.SummaryGoogle Home is a great way to show off just how smart Google is, but it doesn’t feel like an essential experience yet. That’s mainly because it lags behind the Echo in terms of support for third-party services. That makes Echo a smarter buy if you want to control smarthome devices — but Home is a perfectly viable option for those who use lots of Google services.HardwareUnlike with a phone you carry every day, or a laptop you type on and stare at for hours, you probably won’t dwell much on the Home’s design. Still, it’s important that it be unobtrusive and inoffensive — otherwise you’re not going to want to put it out in the open, where it’ll work best. Fortunately, Home is small and relatively pleasant to look at, and it offers a few customization options to help you match it to your living space.Much like Google’s OnHub routers, Home is a contoured cylinder that reminds me of a wine bottle or flower vase. Its front is sloped, so you can see the array of LED lights that light up when you’re talking to the device. You can also tap that front panel to pause music, or run your finger around it in a circular pattern to adjust the volume. Or you can hold your finger on it momentarily to make it listen to your voice if you don’t feel like shouting the “OK Google” activation phrase.The upper two-thirds of the device are white, but the bottom contains a changeable “base.” Again, it’s similar to the OnHub, which has different “shells” you can swap out. The Home’s default accent is a gray fabric, but I also had a chance to try out a “marine” blue fabric and a copper metal case. They’re super-simple to pop out (and you get a peek at the internal speaker setup while you’re at it). Of course, you’ll need to shell out extra cash for another Home base. Those start at $20 a pop.Finally, there’s a button that turns off the microphone; the power cord goes into the bottom and is routed through a little opening on the back. All told, Google made a piece of hardware that most people won’t mind having out on a shelf or kitchen counter, and that’s the most important thing here.In useOK Google: What can Google Home actually do? That’s the most important question we need to answer in this review. First you’ll need to set up the device, but that’s a painless process, accomplished with the new Google Home app for iOS or Android. (The app already let you set up and manage your Chromecast devices, but it has since been renamed and expanded to include Google Home.) The software detects that you have a new Home device, connects to it, hooks it up to your local WiFi network and asks you to sign in with your Google ID.Once that’s done, you can start yammering away to your heart’s content. Saying either “OK Google” or “Hey Google” makes the speaker start listening for your query. But what can it do?The most obvious way to get started is by asking it the same sorts of things you might normally ask Google. What’s the weather outside? How about this weekend? You’ll need to say the command phrase every time you want to ask a follow-up question, but Home remembers the context of your conversation, so you can ask “When was Abraham Lincoln born?” and follow up with “When did he die?” and get the right answer.The list of things you can ask the Google Assistant is limited only by your imagination, and that’s one of Home’s biggest strengths. Amazon’s Alexa assistant has gotten smarter, but Amazon still doesn’t have access to the same breadth of information as Google. Alexa doesn’t understand context the way the Assistant does either. By comparison, Home and the Assistant are far more conversational.So you have access to just about everything Google knows — which includes everything Google knows about you. Provided you opt in, of course. But once you have, you can ask Google when your next flight is, or how long it’ll take you to get to work, or what the next appointment on your calendar is. You can ask Home to add things to a shopping list, and that list will then show up in the Google Keep app.There’s a nifty feature where you can ask Home to tell you about your day and it’ll give you commute info, your first appointment, the weather and any reminders you have set before jumping into a news broadcast. You can choose whether or not you want to hear this broadcast and then pick exactly where you want that news to come from. I have NPR and AP Radio news selected, but there are several dozen options, grouped into different categories. If, for instance, you’d rather hear sports and health news or a rundown of the latest in technology news (I should probably sign up for that one), you can.Meet the Google Home appIt’s great that Home can access info in your Google account, but there are a few catches. Even though anyone can shout “OK Google” and start talking to Home, the device can link with only one Google account at a time. So a spouse or roommate is out of luck in terms of getting any personalized information about their day. This presumably will extend to being able to send text messages from Home, a feature that Google has shown off but hasn’t released yet. Also, some things that you’d expect to work right out of the box, like adding appointments to your calendar, surprisingly don’t.Since you can use only one Google account at a time, you’ll potentially need to choose between your home and work accounts. Most of my schedule is contained in my work account, but I use my home account for just about everything else. This means it’s basically impossible to get Home to tell me my next appointment. Hopefully, in the future, Home will let you include multiple Google accounts — either for a single person or so that multiple people in the house can make the most of the device.It’s worth noting, though, that regardless of the use case, Google Home’s voice recognition is excellent. Rarely did it misinterpret what I was asking (though it confused “play U2” with “play YouTube”), and ambient background noise didn’t throw it off. Home reliably woke from sleep and responded to whatever I was saying. I’m not surprised, given how good Google’s voice recognition is on the company’s other products, but it’s particularly important here.Music and entertainmentJust like on the Echo, Google Home’s speaker is good for more than just talking — it’s also a handy way to play music and podcasts. For now, Home works with Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora and Google Play Music. That isn’t a ton of options, but given that Spotify is the market leader (and Apple Music isn’t likely to work with Google Home any time soon), I can’t really complain. You can even use Home with multiple services, but one will have to be set as the default.Once you’re set up, Home recognizes a wide variety of music commands. You can ask it to play specific songs, artists or albums. With both Spotify and Google Play Music, I was able to name playlists in my library and have it play them back; GPM’s stations work just as well. You can simply tell the device to “play some new music” and it’ll select an appropriate playlist, tell you its name and start it up. Genres and even more vague descriptors work — I asked Home to “play me some music good for focusing” and it started up the “Electronic Focus” station from GPM (my default service).Once playback has started, you can ask Home to tell you more info about the song — but, sadly, you can’t ask it to add songs to a playlist or give them a thumbs-up. That’s one missing feature I hope Google can fix, because otherwise new songs I hear and enjoy are just going to float past me into the ether, never to be heard again.The only potential catch here is Home’s speaker quality. It’s loud enough to fill an average-sized living room with sound, but it’s certainly not going to power a party. The speaker isn’t stereo and lacks much of a low end, despite the two passive “radiators” meant to increase bass performance. It mainly seems suited to solo listening, or to have light background music on while entertaining. Initially, I was impressed with the sound quality for such a small device — but that was before I compared it with my Sonos Play:1, which was superior in every way. However, for most people, Home is just as good as an average Bluetooth speaker, which means it’s still useful.While Home may lack the sound quality I crave, it makes up for it with convenience. After a few days of asking Home to play me various albums and playlists, going back to managing my music with the clunky Sonos app felt like a chore. I was almost infuriated I couldn’t ask the speaker to pause for a moment or turn its volume down. And the good news is that Home plays with Google’s ecosystem of Chromecast devices, so if you have a pair of good speakers, you can just add the $35 Chromecast Audio and start telling Home to play music through that rather than its own internal speaker. I’m already dreaming of setting up a few pairs of nice speakers with Chromecast Audio and having a multi-room, voice-connected music system.If you have audio apps on your phone or tablet that work with Google’s Casting technology, you can use Home as a destination speaker and start playing audio there as well. And Home can control video Chromecast devices too, although support for that feature is rather limited as of launch. You can ask Home to start playing cute puppy videos, for example, and it’ll open up YouTube and start a relevant video. But asking it to play TV shows from Netflix, Hulu or even Google Play videos doesn’t work yet. Google says support for third-party Cast apps is coming at some point, but for now it’s far more limited than I had hoped.Smart home/third-party integrationThe last piece of the puzzle is what Google Home can do beyond just accessing Google information. Out of the box, Home can control smart home devices from Nest, Philips Hue and SmartThings, and you can use IFTTT “recipes” to expand Home’s capabilities as well. I unfortunately have a pretty dumb home, though, so I wasn’t able to give this a shot.While Home works with some of the biggest smarthome options out there, it lags behind Echo. The Echo has a distinct advantage in that regard — it’s been on the market for much longer, which means Amazon has had more time to strike deals with more manufacturers. Echo works with WeMo, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon and Ecobee, in addition to Nest and Hue. If you’re looking to have a centralized voice assistant to run your home, Amazon’s option is the better choice right now.It’s a similar story with third-party services (or “skills,” as Amazon calls them). Over the past few years, the developer community has embraced the Echo to a surprising degree, and there are now tons of third-party commands that work on Amazon’s speaker, with more coming every week. It’s something Google can’t match just yet. The company definitely has ambitions to open up the Assistant and let you do things like book restaurant reservations through OpenTable or buy movie tickets on Fandango, but those features aren’t live yet. You can book a car through Uber once you link your account, but that’s about it right now (outside of the aforementioned integration with streaming services like Spotify and TuneIn).The competitionIf you’ve made it this far, it should be obvious who Google Home’s main competition is. Amazon’s Echo devices are time-tested and have a vast amount of third-party support at this point. Google Home undercuts the full-size Echo ($129 vs. $180), but the tiny and excellent Echo Dot only costs $50.It comes down to how invested you are in Google’s ecosystem and how patient you can be. I have no doubt that Home will see expanded third-party support down the line, but right now the selection is limited. Still, Home knows way more about your world than the Echo, thanks to Google’s massive knowledge graph. And on the other hand, if managing a smart home is more interesting to you, Amazon’s Echo has the advantage.Wrap-upGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai wants to “build a personal Google for each and every user,” and the Google Assistant (and therefore Home) are key to that mission. But it’s not there yet. Yes, Google Home knows some basic info about me, but it doesn’t know quite enough to make me feel like it’s my own personal Google. Nor does it have the third-party services that’ll really let me customize the device to fit my home and my needs. If I had some compatible smart-home products and a handful of Chromecast devices, Google Home would be much more appealing.Right now, however, it’s little more than a toy. It’s fun and occasionally very convenient to ask it questions and have it perform simple tasks, but it’s hardly an essential part of my life. But Google Home is worth keeping an eye on — it will almost certainly be more capable in three months (or even three weeks) than it is now. If you’re someone who loves tapping into Google’s mighty store of knowledge, don’t sleep on Google Home. Just as the Echo got smarter and more valuable over time, I expect the same will happen here. And if you’ve already bought into Google’s ecosystem, this might indeed be the home assistant for you. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 14 min read Register Now »last_img read more

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Earn up to 1000 in cash with Sandals biggestever Canadian promo

first_img Share Tuesday, October 16, 2018 TORONTO — Sandals Resorts has launched its largest and longest incentive for Canadian travel agents ever, featuring monthly cash prizes for those booking direct with Unique Vacations Inc.Called ‘Sandals Cash Splash’, the year-long incentive runs from now through Sept. 30, 2019, for travel from now through Dec. 18, 2019.Each new direct booking of three nights or longer to any Sandals or Beaches resort in any room category equals one entry for the monthly cash prizes. Agents will win $500 for each booking in any room category, $750 for each Club category booking, and $1,000 for each Butler category booking.“We’re making a splash and giving away a stack of cash exclusively to Canadian agents,” said Maureen Barnes-Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing, Canada. “It’s just another way of showing our appreciation to our valued travel agent partners in Canada.”There will be multiple prizes awarded each month. Each new direct booking equals one contest entry. There is no limit on the number of entries per person, so more bookings equal more chances to win. Certain restrictions apply; promotion is not valid in Quebec.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJFor more information, call 1-800-545-8283 ext. 1. Earn up to $1,000 in cash with Sandals’ biggest-ever Canadian promo Tags: Sandals Resorts, Unique Vacationscenter_img Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts open new properties in Bangkok

first_imgThailand-based international real estate developer Country Group Development (CGD) and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts today announced plans for a luxury hotel and residential project situated along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.The development, designed to offer a world-class waterfront experience and set a new standard in luxury, will be home to the new Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River and Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River.The Hotel will include more than 300 rooms and suites as well as offer world-class amenities and dining, the Private Residences will consist of more than 350 all-corner luxury units in a 73 story tower offering uninterrupted views of the Bangkok city skyline.CGD chief executive officer Ben Taechaubol, said that Country Group is exceptionally proud to be collaborating with Four Seasons.“To develop one of Bangkok’s most iconic hotel and private residences, demonstrates our long-term commitment to the people of Thailand. Through our collaboration with Four Seasons, our aim is for Chao Phraya Estate to redefine the waterfront experience in Bangkok and Asia,” Mr Taechaubol said.In designing the concept for Chao Phraya Estate, CGD appointed internationally acclaimed masterplan and design consultants Hamiltons International, alongside consulting interior design group BAMO to design an iconic property that maximises the best of waterfront living as a legacy to future generations.Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River and Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River are due for completion at the end of 2018.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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