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  1. #7889
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    Default Gardens by the Bay wins attractions sector 'Oscar'

    Published on Jan 10, 2014
    8:34 AM



    • http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...0_3993533e.jpg
      A Thea Awards statement said: "More than a mere botanical display, Gardens by the Bay is a compelling and iconic experience." -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG






      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../GBTB1002e.jpg
      Singapore's "iconic" Gardens by the Bay wins the 2014 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Botanical Garden, one of 13 awards handed out by the Themed Entertainment Association. The Thea Awards is regarded as the Oscars of the attractions industry. -- FILE PHOTO: BH



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../GBTB1003e.jpg
      Singapore's "iconic" Gardens by the Bay wins the 2014 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Botanical Garden, one of 13 awards handed out by the Themed Entertainment Association. The Thea Awards is regarded as the Oscars of the attractions industry. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../GBTB1004e.jpg
      Singapore's "iconic" Gardens by the Bay wins the 2014 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Botanical Garden, one of 13 awards handed out by the Themed Entertainment Association. The Thea Awards is regarded as the Oscars of the attractions industry. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../GBTB1005e.jpg
      Singapore's "iconic" Gardens by the Bay wins the 2014 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Botanical Garden, one of 13 awards handed out by the Themed Entertainment Association. The Thea Awards is regarded as the Oscars of the attractions industry. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM


      By Priscilla Goy

      Singapore's "iconic" Gardens by the Bay has won an international award for themed entertainment alongside renowned attractions like Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

      The attraction at Marina South won the 2014 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Botanical Garden, one of 13 awards handed out by the Themed Entertainment Association. Walt Disney and Universal Studios clinched their awards in separate categories.

      The Thea Awards, which were first presented in 1994, are regarded as the Oscars of the attractions industry.

      In a statement, the California-based association said: "More than a mere botanical display, Gardens by the Bay is a compelling and iconic experience...

  2. #7890
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    Default New standards for nursing homes to take effect next year

    Health Ministry specifies expectations but lets homes decide how to achieve them




    • By Siau Ming En
      Published: 10 January, 4:03 AM

      SINGAPORE — Nursing homes in Singapore will now have to be more mindful of the use of restraints on residents, ensure a safe physical environment to minimise fall risks and put in place a process for gathering feedback from residents and their families.

      These were among the Enhanced Nursing Home Standards unveiled by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday, which will take effect next year. The 66 nursing homes here will be given a one-year grace period before the standards are enforced in 2016.
      Developed by the Nursing Home Standards Workgroup, the new standards were refined after a series of public consultation sessions last year to be more “outcome-based”, specifying what is expected of nursing homes in three areas: Clinical care, social well-being and organisational management.

      However, homes will have the flexibility to decide how to achieve the requirements, said Senior Minister of State (Health and Manpower) Amy Khor on the sidelines of a visit to St Theresa’s Home.

      For example, while they must provide care that addresses the social needs of residents, the MOH will not mandate that each home must have an in-house social worker.

      “It could be the sharing of services, aggregating of demand ... (Homes) can actually draw on the services of a pool of social workers, either from their affiliates, VWOs (voluntary welfare organisations) or from the MSF (Ministry of Social and Family Development) and so on,” said Dr Khor.

      The new standards emphasise psychosocial care, requiring homes to provide care that preserves the dignity of residents and addresses their psychosocial well-being. For example, restraints should only be used as a last resort when other less restrictive strategies have been unsuccessful.

      Requirements on safe clinical care are also more clearly spelt out. For instance, homes must identify which patients require pain management and have a plan in place to be followed by care staff when needed.
      The enhanced standards will be part of the regulatory framework under the Private Hospital and Medical Clinics Act. An enforcement team from the MOH will make periodic checks on nursing homes to ensure standards are adhered to.

      Dr Khor said that if there are severe breaches, the ministry would look at suspending the admission of patients as well as the suspension or revoking of nursing home licences.

      To help nursing homes achieve these new standards, the MOH will work with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) on support programmes.

      For instance, homes can participate in voluntary baseline assessments to be conducted by the AIC this year. Based on the results, the agency will then develop programmes for them to make improvements. So far, 23 nursing homes have signed up and the AIC plans to complete their assessments within the next three months.

      The AIC has also developed new courses in areas specified by the enhanced standards — such as pain management — for nursing home staff. A guide will be launched in the second quarter of the year with examples of activities and processes homes can adopt to meet the standards.

      Mr Thomas Tan, Chairman of Catholic Welfare Services, which runs St Theresa’s Home, said one challenge in meeting the new standards is training manpower. The home would be keen on the new AIC training courses and hopes to see more of them, he said.

  3. #7891
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    Default More take up Housing Board's Lease Buyback Scheme

    Higher number of seniors used scheme last year after rules were relaxed



    Published on Jan 13, 2014
    8:01 AM


    Choy Mui Leng, 66, (left) and her husband Chow Futt Yeow, 77, consider themselves lucky as they qualified for the Silver Housing Bonus when they bought a three-room BTO flat in Punggol. -- ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH


    By Maryam Mokhtar


    The number of seniors taking up the Housing Board's Lease Buyback Scheme went up last year to 240, after rules were relaxed so more flat owners aged 63 and above could qualify.

    That is up from a total of 471 households over the four years from 2009 - when the scheme was launched - to January last year, said HDB.

    It did not give a yearly breakdown of the scheme's take-up before the enhancement.

    The Lease Buyback Scheme, which helps seniors age in place, is one of several HDB schemes that help retirees monetise their housing assets should they find themselves asset-rich but cash-poor.

  4. #7892
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    Default SMU makes bold plans to expand university

    School of humanities, applied maths degree, residential college in the works



    Published on Jan 13, 2014
    7:00 AM



    The Singapore Management University (SMU) is moving beyond being a business university to a more comprehensive model with new offerings in the humanities and even applied mathematics. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM


    By Sandra Davie Senior Education Correspondent

    The Singapore Management University (SMU) is moving beyond being a business university to a more comprehensive model with new offerings in the humanities and even applied mathematics.

    Its 7,000 undergraduates in business, law, information systems management, accountancy, economics and social science will be able to study subjects in history, literature and philosophy when a school of humanities is set up in the next few years.

    The university will also offer a full degree course in applied mathematics, a field which trains students to apply mathematical knowledge to solve problems in areas from finance to genomics.

    Also on the cards is a short- stay residential college, or "SMU Village", for students to incubate their project ideas.

  5. #7893
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    Default Singapore's first community museum celebrates its first anniversary

    Published on Jan 12, 2014
    8:47 PM







    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...m12012014e.jpg
    Our Museum @ Taman Jurong celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday with an open house for hundreds of residents. -- PHOTO: ZAO BAO






    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...m12012014e.jpg
    Our Museum @ Taman Jurong celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday with an open house for hundreds of residents. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (left), advisor to Taman Jurong Grassroots Organisations, was the guest of honour at the event on Sunday evening. -- PHOTO: ZAO BAO



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...m12012014e.jpg
    Our Museum @ Taman Jurong celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday with an open house for hundreds of residents. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (third from left), advisor to Taman Jurong Grassroots Organisations, was the guest of honour at the event on Sunday evening. -- PHOTO: ZAO BAO


    By Joanna Seow

    Our Museum @ Taman Jurong celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday with an open house for hundreds of residents.

    The community museum, which is housed in containers and located in Yung Sheng Road, showcases national artworks and the history of the area.


    It is managed by the National Heritage Board and community partners like the People's Association, and includes photography exhibitions and multimedia installations. Over 24,000 people have visited in the past year.

    Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, advisor to Taman Jurong Grassroots Organisations, was the guest of honour at the event on Sunday evening. He said in his opening address that the museum is "a very small place but a very special place for us".

  6. #7894
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    Default SMU launches new bond-free scholarships for retiring SAF personnel to continue educat

    Published on Jan 14, 2014
    10:44 AM


    Officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) go through their drills during the Exercise Wallaby 2010, an overseas military exercise held in Rockhampton, Australia. Military personnel leaving the service can now apply for a new bond-free scholarship to continue their education and transit into their next career. -- ST FILE PHOTO: RAJENDRAN NADARAJAN


    By Lee Jian Xuan


    Military personnel leaving the service can now apply for a new bond-free scholarship to continue their education and transit into their next career.

    The first-of-its-kind Warriors Scholarship was the brainchild of professors at the Singapore Management University (SMU), who wanted to help servicemen who ensure peace and stability in Singapore, a role "often taken for granted", said SMU President Arnoud de Meyer on Tuesday morning.

    SAF Chief of Defence Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, also present, thanked SMU for the scholarships and said: "SAF personnel will have much to offer to SMU's programmes as they have a wealth of practical experience and leadership skills honed in training, operations, planning and policy roles. Some even have combat experience in Afghanistan."

    They were speaking at the inaugural scholarship award ceremony, which saw the programme's first five recipients receive their awards. SMU will sponsor up to 20 bond-free postgraduate scholarships, which will cost the university about $1 million annually, over three years. Students can enrol for any of the university's 18 postgraduate programmes.

  7. #7895
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    Default Singapore scientists crack 'sneak tactics' of dengue virus

    Published on Jan 14, 2014
    8:17 AM

    By Linette Lai

    Scientists in Singapore have discovered how the dengue virus manages to slip past the body's immune safeguards.

    A team of researchers, led by Duke-NUS associate professor Ooi Eng Eong, believes its findings will help to develop a "more targeted" vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus.

    There are four types of the dengue virus in Singapore and while catching one type makes you immune to that type, catching another type after that can cause even greater damage.

    Typically, the body protects itself against repeat infections by producing antibodies, which latch on to viruses and mark them for destruction by white blood cells.

  8. #7896
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    Default Singapore now provides one of the world's cheapest home broadband connections

    MyRepublic's new 1Gbps plan lowers cost of each Mbps to 5 cents from 13 cents



    Published on Jan 14, 2014
    8:16 AM


    By Irene Tham Technology Correspondent

    Singapore now provides one of the world's cheapest home broadband connections alongside other Asian technohubs with today's launch of MyRepublic's 1Gbps plan.

    With a monthly fee of $49.99, the cost of each Mbps in MyRepublic's plan is now down to five cents, compared with the previous low of 13.9 cents for each Mbps with SingTel's 500Mbps plan, which costs $69.95 a month.

    That makes MyRepublic's plan currently the cheapest 1Gbps connection available in Singapore.

    The cost for each Mbps is 2.5 cents in South Korea, three cents in Japan and and 3.5 cents in Hong Kong.

  9. #7897
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Historic sites in demand for private events, says Singapore Land Authority

    Interest sparked by SLA's efforts to market them as unusual venues



    Published on Jan 14, 2014
    8:15 AM





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...B_3997311e.jpg
    Fashion brand Hermes organised a sporting event last November at the former International American School in Lorong Chuan for its clients and their families, while culinary company My Private Chef held themed dinners (above) at the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in 2012. -- PHOTOS: DARREN SOH, MY PRIVATE CHEF


    By Melody Zaccheus

    Historic sites such as the defunct Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and former Kallang Airport are being increasingly hired out to host private sector lifestyle events.

    Fashion shows, product launches, exhibitions, pop-up restaurants, plus sport and fund-raising events have all been held using short-term licences from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

    It told The Straits Times that it is issuing 50 per cent more Non-Renewable Temporary Occupation Licences for these than it did in 2010. Around 30 were issued in 2012 alone - 16 for the use of the former railway station.

    They are handed out for one-off events on state properties and land for a fixed duration of no more than 90 days.


    Background story

    OLD-SCHOOL CHARM
    State properties are often rich in history and character and are popular with the public. Where possible, SLA will market these properties for short-term use so that Singaporeans can enjoy events held there and bask in the charm that these properties offer.
    - SLA director of land operations Lee Seng Lai

  10. #7898
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    Default Singapore should adopt stronger measures to protect animal welfare: Shanmugam

    Published on Jan 14, 2014
    10:16 AM



    Singapore needs to adopt tougher measures to protect the welfare of animals, said Law and Foreign Minister K Shanmugam at the opening ceremony of animal welfare conference Asia for Animals on Tuesday morning. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


    By Audrey Tan

    Singapore needs to adopt tougher measures to protect the welfare of animals, said Law and Foreign Minister K Shanmugam at the opening ceremony of animal welfare conference Asia for Animals on Tuesday morning.

    These measures should be undertaken in two areas - penalties for animal abusers and responsible pet ownership, he added.

    Currently, those convicted of cruelty to animals under the Animals and Birds Act are subject to a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to a year, or both.

    Changes will be made to substantially enhance the laws to send a deterrent message to abusers, he said in his speech.

  11. #7899
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    Default Table Tennis: Gao Ning, Li Hu retain men's doubles title at World Tour Grand Finals

    Published on Jan 11, 2014
    11:31 PM



    By May Chen

    Singapore's Gao Ning and Li Hu successfully defended their men's doubles title at the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai, beating Chiang Hung-chieh and Huang Sheng-sheng of Chinese Taipei in a seven-game thriller.

    The Singapore duo, top seeds in the tournament, won the match 6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9.

    But their team-mates Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu failed to retain their title in the women's doubles, when they were booted out of the tournament in their opening match by German duo Zhenqi Barthel and Shan Xiaona.

    They lost 3-11, 11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 5-11, 10-12.


    Table tennis: Lin Ye beats top seed to clinch U-21 title at ITTF World Tour Grand Finals


    Published on Jan 11, 2014
    12:18 AM


    By May Chen

    Singapore paddler Lin Ye clinched the Girls' Under-21 singles title at the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai, beating top seed Ng Wing Nam of Hong Kong late Friday night.

    The 17-year-old avenged her earlier loss to the same opponent in the group stages, taking the match 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6. This is Singapore's first victory in this event since Yu Mengyu's title at the 2009 edition in Macau.

    In other events, Feng Tianwei failed to get the better of nemesis Ding Ning of China in the singles quarter-finals, losing 12-10, 6-11, 15-13, 5-11, 9-11, 8-11.

    This was the Singapore world No. 5's 13th loss to the world No. 2 and top seed in 15 past encounters.

    She will team up with Yu on Saturday in a bid to retain their women's doubles title, while Gao Ning and Yang Zi are also defending champions in the men's doubles. With a prize purse of US$1 million (S$1.27 million), the prestigious season-ender is the most lucrative event on the calendar.

  12. #7900
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    Default They overcome adversity to excel in O levels

    The New Paper (TNP)

    January 14, 2014 - 1:03am

    By: Natasya Ismail





    TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

    Challenging circumstances did not stop two teens from doing well in their O-level exams.

    Janine Khoo, 16, had to plough through her papers with reddish eyes and pain which resulted from a horse-riding accident 10 days earlier. She broke bones in her eye socket and cheek..

    The Methodist Girls’ School student was elated when she got her O-level results yesterday afternoon as she scored As for all eight subjects. To top it off, Janine, a national equestrian rider, clinched a gold medal in last month's South-east Asian Games.

    In the same vein, Pasir Ris Secondary School student Jessie Lim, 16, managed to juggle multiple responsibilities to score six As and two Bs for her O levels.

    Her brother, 19, has a condition which causes pain and swelling of the joints, while her sister, 14, was diagnosed at birth with a liver condition.

    Mature for her age, Jessie was often tasked with household chores and caring for her sister. Although she was also busy with school activities, she never complained .

    Read the full reports in The New Paper on Tuesday (Jan 14).




  13. #7901
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    Default Police officers lauded for solving Sheng Siong kidnap case

    Published on Jan 15, 2014
    10:33 AM


    Mr Teo Chee Hean interacting with police officers who were presented with awards for their role in solving the Sheng Siong kidnap case, on Wednesday morning at New Phoenix Park. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM Jo


    By Yeo Sam Jo

    The efforts of the police officers and teams that were involved in the solving of last week's Hougang kidnap case were acknowledged on Wednesday morning when they were presented with the Minister for Home Affairs Operational Excellence Award.

    A total of 39 individual police officers, two departments and four units received their awards from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean at New Phoenix Park.

    Assistant Director Major Crime Division, Criminal Investigation Department, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Adrian Quek attributed the operation's success to timely reporting by the victim's family, the willingness of the family to trust the police and the close collaboration among the various police units.

    The kidnapping case is Singapore's first since 2003. Madam Ng Lye Poh, the 79-year-old mother of Sheng Siong chief executive officer Lim Hock Chee, was kidnapped on the morning of Jan 8 after a trip to the market in Hougang. She was found at a bus stop along Seletar Aerospace Drive at about midnight the next day after the $2 million ransom was dropped off.

    The two suspects were arrested about an hour later, and the ransom recovered. They have been charged under the Kidnapping Act.

  14. #7902
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    Default Singapore to buy upgrade for its F-16 fighter jets: US

    Published on Jan 15, 2014
    6:12 AM

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - Singapore is ready to invest US$2.43 billion (S$3.08 billion) to modernise its F-16 fighter jets in an arms deal with the United States, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014.

    The Defence Department informed Congress of the planned sale that would involve new radar, navigation systems, missiles and other advanced equipment for Singapore's aging fleet of F-16s.

    The deal would provide new systems that project a display onto a pilot's helmet visor, allowing the F-16 pilot to aim sensors and weapons where he or she is looking.

    The deal also would deliver a number of different precision-guided bombs for testing, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales.

  15. #7903
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    Default Singapore objects to New York Times' editorial on riot in Little India

    Published on Jan 14, 2014
    9:00 PM



    Singapore has objected to a New York Times' editorial headlined "Singapore's angry migrant workers", on the Dec 8 riot in Little India, and the newspaper's repeated refusal to publish the republic's ambassador's response to it. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG


    By Goh Chin Lian

    SINGAPORE has objected to a New York Times editorial headlined "Singapore's angry migrant workers", on the Dec 8 riot in Little India, and the newspaper's repeated refusal to publish the republic's ambassador's response to it.

    The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Tuesday released Ambassador to the United States Ashok Mirpuri's letter and criticised the Times in a hard-hitting statement.

    "The New York Times, like any other newspaper, is entitled to express its own opinions. But when it suppresses rejoinders that express a contrary view, and show that the Times is mistaken, it gives the lie to its claim to champion freedom of speech and the truth," the MCI statement said.

    The editorial was published in The New York Times on Dec 28 and reprinted in its international edition on Dec 30. It linked the riot to foreign workers' frustration over wages and living conditions.

  16. #7904
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    Default Singaporean, Israeli scientists discover way to slow infection

    Singaporean, Israeli scientists discover way to slow infection caused by 'flesh-eating' bacteria

    Scientists discover that leukaemia drug can help slow spread of infection



    Published on Jan 17, 2014
    8:30 AM




    A patient whose right calf was infected with necrotising fasciitis after he suffered a scrape. To save the leg, skin was grafted from his left thigh. -- TNP FILE PHOTO


    By David Ee

    It seems like the stuff of horror movies but is all too real - "flesh-eating" bacteria that indiscriminately destroy body parts and leave victims maimed or dead.

    Five in a million people get infected a year and face a 25 per cent chance of death.
    But Singapore and Israeli scientists believe they have found a way to stop these vicious infections caused by the Streptococcus bacteria.

    A team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that a widely used leukaemia drug called Asparaginase can prevent the flesh-eating bacteria from spreading rapidly in human blood.


    Background story

    MAKING HEADWAY

    It's one step closer to fighting the disease.
    - NUS research fellow Catherine Cheng, on how the finding could offer a new option for treating patients infected with flesh-eating bacteria

  17. #7905
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    Default 40% of poly students qualified for junior college

    Diverse range of courses, practical learning drawing top O-level scorers



    Published on Jan 17, 2014
    8:21 AM


    By Sandra Davie Senior Education Correspondent


    The polytechnics are proving to be a draw for top O-level students, with their diverse offerings of more than 200 courses, ranging from marine science to film-making.

    Of the 34,800 students who were posted to post-secondary institutions last year after the release of the O-level results, close to 59 per cent - or 20,500 - were offered places in the polytechnics.

    But what was significant was that 8,000 - or close to 40 per cent of the students who secured a place in the polytechnics - had qualified for junior college, which requires better results for entry.

    The figure was similar to that of previous years, said the Ministry of Education, which released the numbers in response to queries from The Straits Times.


    Potential polytechnic students at a course counselling session. Students who received their O-level results on Monday have until 4pm today to apply to a post-secondary institution. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN


    Background story

    59% of 34,800 students posted to post-secondary institutions last year were offered places in polytechnics

    33% or 11,500 were posted to junior colleges or Millennia Institute

    8,000 students who secured a place in polytechnics had qualified for junior college, which requires better results for entry

    CONTINUAL ASSESSMENT

    They prefer and thrive in our polytechnic system where we emphasise continual learning and assessments, group projects, internships and attachments throughout the six semesters over three years, instead of a high-stakes graduation exam.

    - Singapore Polytechnic principal Tan Choon Shian, on why students opt for the polytechnics

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