Hillary Clinton calls for U.S. probe of 5,000% drug price hike

Drug’s crazy price hike sparks debate

Hillary Clinton has stepped up her attacks on the company that hiked the price of a pill used by AIDS and cancer patients more than 5,000% — calling for a government investigation.

Clinton wrote to the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission Monday asking that they look at Turing Pharmaceutical’s pricing of Daraprim.

Turing caught flack for raising the price of Daraprim to $750 a pill from $13.50 after it acquired the drug.

The drug is used to treat a parasite known as toxoplasmosis. Turing has said it will use the profits from the higher price to develop a new generation of treatments.

But critics, including Clinton and her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders, have charged that the company is being greedy.

Clinton asked the FDA to allow importation of low price versions of the drug from the U.K. and Canada.

“Patients who rely on this treatment should not have their health and lives put at risk because of an unnecessary anti-competitive market, and the FDA should act through all of its available authorities to remedy this situation as soon as feasible,” she wrote in the FDA letter, which was first reported byReuters.

She acknowledged that the FTC has limited authority to act in the matter but asks the agency to investigate Turing for restricting distribution of the drug.

Turing CEO Martin Shkreli and the company’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Clinton’s letters.

The letters are not the first comment by Clinton about Turing. Her tweet last month accusing the company of “price gouging” helped send the price of biotech stocks tumbling.


America its time for a sweeping change…

AGENDA FOR AMERICA

12 STEPS FORWARD

  1. Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure
  2. Reversing Climate Change
  3. Creating Worker Co-ops
  4. Growing the Trade Union Movement
  5. Raising the Minimum Wage
  6. Pay Equity for Women Workers
  7. Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers
  8. Making College Affordable for All
  9. Taking on Wall Street
  10. Health Care as a Right for All
  11. Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans
  12. Real Tax Reform

Meet Bernie Sanders

Meet Bernie

bernie

Bernie Sanders is a Democratic candidate for President of the United States. In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Senate after 16 years as Vermont’s sole congressman in the House of Representatives. Bernie is now serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended James Madison High School, Brooklyn College, and the University of Chicago. After graduating, he moved to Vermont where he worked as a carpenter and documentary filmmaker. In 1981, he was elected as mayor of Burlington, the state’s largest city, by a mere 10 votes.

As mayor, Bernie’s leadership helped transform Burlington into one of the most exciting and livable small cities in America. Under his administration, the city made major strides in affordable housing, progressive taxation, environmental protection, child care, women’s rights, youth programs and the arts.Bernie and Jane

In Congress, Bernie has fought tirelessly for working families, focusing on the shrinking middle class and growing gap between the rich and everyone else. Bernie has been called a “practical and successful legislator” and he was dubbed the “amendment king” in the House of Representatives for passing more amendments than any other member of Congress. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Bernie worked across the aisle to “bridge Washington’s toxic partisan divide and cut one of the most significant deals in years.” In 2015, Democratic leadership tapped Bernie to serve as the caucus’ ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee.

Bernie lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife Jane. He has four children and seven grandchildren


19 TV shows that have just been canceled

2015 canceled shows hart of dixie mindy project revenge
The CW, ABC, FoxThese TV stars are about to say goodbye.

It’s that time of year when the broadcast networks are bringing down the ax on several of their series.

In order to make room for new series and prepare for May’s presentation to advertisers, executives have been crunching the ratings numbers, checking their pilot inventory, and making both easy and difficult decisions on which shows have to go.

“Revenge” had the dubious honor of becoming the first casualty of the season when ABC officially announced its farewell after the current season, the show’s fourth.

That would be followed by other tough (though expected) goodbyes to Fox’s “The Mindy Project” and The CW’s “Hart of Dixie.”

Defiance 0 canceled 2015-10-16 link
Rookie Blue 0 canceled 2015-10-16 link
Dominion 0 canceled 2015-10-14 link
Extant 0 canceled 2015-10-10 link
Continuum 0 canceled 2015-10-09 link
Graceland 0 canceled 2015-10-01 link
Proof 0 canceled 2015-09-25 link
Under the Dome 0 canceled 2015-09-10 link
Falling Skies 0 canceled 2015-08-30 link
Hannibal 0 canceled 2015-08-29 link
Complications 0 canceled 2015-08-28 link
The Game 0 canceled 2015-07-27 link
The Messengers 0 canceled 2015-07-24 link
Wayward Pines 0 canceled 2015-07-23 link
A.D. The Bible Continues 0 canceled 2015-07-11 link
Community 0 canceled 2015-07-11 link
The McCarthys 0 canceled 2015-07-11 link
Nurse Jackie 0 canceled 2015-06-30 link
The Returned 0 canceled 2015-06-15 link
Battle Creek 0 canceled 2015-05-24 link
The Following 0 canceled 2015-05-18 link
Stalker 0 canceled 2015-05-18 link
Dig 0 canceled 2015-05-12 link
Mulaney 0 canceled 2015-05-12 link
Red Band Society 0 canceled 2015-05-12 link
Backstrom 0 canceled 2015-05-09 link
Constantine 0 canceled 2015-05-09 link
Marry Me 0 canceled 2015-05-09 link
Cristela 0 canceled 2015-05-08 link
Forever 0 canceled 2015-05-08 link
Revenge 0 canceled 2015-05-01 link
Helix 0 canceled 2015-04-29 link
Justified 0 canceled 2015-04-14 link
Cougar Town 0 canceled 2015-03-31 link
Hart of Dixie 0 canceled 2015-03-27 link
Glee 0 canceled 2015-03-20 link
Perception 0 canceled 2015-03-17 link
Ascension 0 canceled 2015-03-11 link
Allegiance 0 canceled 2015-03-06 link
CSI 0 canceled 2015-03-01 link
Intruders 0 canceled 2015-02-27 link
Two And A Half Men 0 canceled 2015-02-19 link
The Mentalist 0 canceled 2015-02-18 link
State of Affairs 0 canceled 2015-02-16 link
Parenthood 0 canceled 2015-01-29 link
Atlantis 0 canceled 2015-01-28 link
Taxi Brooklyn 0 canceled 2015-01-28 link
Resurrection 0 canceled 2015-01-25 link
A to Z 0 canceled 2015-01-22 link
Bad Judge 0 canceled 2015-01-22 link
Covert Affairs 0 canceled 2015-01-06

*Updated as networks announce decisions


Sun Tzu’s 31 Best Pieces Of Leadership Advice


Eric Jackson ,CONTRIBUTOR
I cover the business of technology.
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Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
There was no greater war leader and strategist than Chinese military general Sun Tzu. His philosophy on how to be a great leader and ensure you win in work, management, and life is summed up in these 33 pieces of advice. They can all be applied by you in your job when you go back to work next week:

A leader leads by example, not by force.
You have to believe in yourself.
Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

 

If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
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Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.
Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
1 He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.

2 He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

3 He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.

4 He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.

5 He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.
Know yourself and you will win all battles.
Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.
Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.
All warfare is based on deception.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.


Hillary Clinton Flexes Political Muscle in Key States

 

Image: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives at a campaign event in Davenport

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young JIM YOUNG / Reuters

The list of 120 officials includes all three sitting governors, all five sitting Democratic senators, several House members, numerous Democratic National Committee members, dozens of state lawmakers, some statewide elected officials, former cabinet secretaries, major city mayors and more.

The leadership councils are meant to serve as “the in-state leadership for the campaign” to help with organizing and rapid response, according to the campaign. While most of these endorsements have already been declared, the announcement comes at a time when Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly days away from making a final decision on a presidential run.

Clinton Picks Up The Pace 3:23

History suggests that party insiders play the biggest role in deciding primary elections. While his win was an upset, Barack Obama at this point in the 2008 campaign had already consolidated support from formidable group of Democratic lawmakers and power-brokers. But as Clinton’s leadership council list suggests, there are few endorsements left up for grabs for anyone challenging her.

In her corner are Democrats who offered critical endorsements to Obama’s primary campaign, including Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (Bill Clinton later endorsed Bennet’s primary opponent in apparent retribution). And it includes leaders who are seen as the future of the party and might be eyeing presidential bids themselves were they not supporting Clinton, like Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

The Democratic Party is ascendant in all three states, which each hold their nominating contests on March 1, also known as Super Tuesday, when 17 states hold caucuses or primaries. And Colorado and Virginia are also key general election swing states.

Clinton’s campaign has insisted they are doing nothing to discourage Biden from running, and Clinton herself has said she wants to give the vice president as much time as he needs to make up his mind. The campaign says the timing of the leadership council announcement was always planned for the end of September or early October, and is not meant to coincide with Biden’s final decision.

Regardless, it underscores a challenge Biden would face if he threw his hat in the ring. Even though he is the sitting vice president, there are currently only a handful of Democratic officials who have said they would support him, mostly concentrated in his home state of Delaware and nearby Philadelphia.

Hillary Clinton Slams Benghazi Committee, Unveils Gun Control Plan 2:13

Last week, Rep. Bob Brady, the powerful Democratic Party boss of Philadelphia for 30 years, made waves when he said he would support Biden if the vice president got in.

“I do like Hillary Clinton, but Joe is my friend, my personal friend,” Brady said in a radio interview. He added that “we’d have to” back Biden “absolutely.”

A source close to Brady told msnbc the party chairman speaks for many Democrats in Philadelphia, who feel loyal to Biden after years when he was their go-to source for help in Washington, since Pennsylvania was represented in Senate only by Republicans for a long period.

“It is very difficult for us in Philadelphia not to support Joe Biden for any office that he seeks,” the longtime party source said. “It’s not like we don’t have great respect for President Clinton and Secretary Clinton, but if you look at Joe Biden and his relationship to us, he is an older brother rather than just a friend.” The sourced added that he doubted Biden would run.

But it’s unclear how many big fish in the Democratic Party there are left for Biden to catch, outside his natural power base.

It’s a similar problem to the one faced by Clinton’s current rival for the nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Even though one-in-four Democratic voters back Sanders, zero Democratic members of Congress have endorsed him.

Political scientists say endorsements are the most likely predictor of who will win a primary campaign, though it’s of course possible the historical precedent will prove wrong this year.

On Monday, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Clinton in New Hampshire if she had any advice for Biden as he makes a final decision on a bid. “Once you’re in the political fray, then, you know, everybody begins to ask you questions and you are being pushed and pulled in many different directions,” Clinton said, in what some viewed as a veiled warning to the veep.

A day later, New York magazine reported that the pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, which coordinates directly with the Clinton campaign and conducts opposition research on her Democratic and Republican opponents, has begun compiling research on Biden.


Smugglers Tried to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS: AP Investigation

The latest known case came in February this year, when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium — enough to contaminate several city blocks — and specifically sought a buyer from ISIS.

Criminal organizations, some with ties to the Russian KGB’s successor agency, are driving a thriving black market in nuclear materials in the tiny and impoverished Eastern European country of Moldova, investigators say. The successful busts, however, were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling, AP found.

Moldovan police and judicial authorities shared investigative case files with the AP in an effort to spotlight how dangerous the nuclear black market has become. They say the breakdown in cooperation between Russia and the West means that it has become much harder to know whether smugglers are finding ways to move parts of Russia’s vast store of radioactive materials — an unknown quantity of which has leached into the black market.

“We can expect more of these cases,” said Constantin Malic, a Moldovan police officer who investigated all four cases. “As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it.”

Image: Constantin Malic
Former Moldovan police investigator Constantin Malic holds an award received from the U.S. FBI in Chisinau, Moldova. Vadim Ghirda / AP

In wiretaps, videotaped arrests, photographs of bomb-grade material, documents and interviews, AP found a troubling vulnerability in the anti-smuggling strategy. From the first known Moldovan case in 2010 to the most recent one in February, a pattern has emerged: Authorities pounce on suspects in the early stages of a deal, giving the ringleaders a chance to escape with their nuclear contraband — an indication that the threat from the nuclear black market in the Balkans is far from under control.

Moldovan investigators can’t be sure that the suspects who fled didn’t hold on to the bulk of the nuclear materials. Nor do they know whether the groups, which are pursuing buyers who are enemies of the West, may have succeeded in selling deadly nuclear material to extremists at a time when ISIS has made clear its ambition to use weapons of mass destruction.

The cases involve secret meetings in a high-end nightclub; blueprints for dirty bombs; and a nerve-shattered undercover investigator who slammed vodka shots before heading into meetings with smugglers. Informants and a police officer posing as a connected gangster — complete with a Mercedes Benz provided by the FBI — penetrated the smuggling gangs. The police used a combination of old-fashioned undercover tactics and high-tech gear, from radiation detectors to clothing threaded with recording devices.

The Moldovan operations were built on a partnership between the FBI and a small team of Moldovan investigators — including Malic, who over five years went from near total ignorance of the frightening black market in his backyard to wrapping up four sting operations.

“In the age of [ISIS], it’s especially terrifying to have real smugglers of nuclear bomb material apparently making connections with real buyers,” says Matthew Bunn, a Harvard professor who led a secret study for the Clinton administration on the security of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

The Moldovan investigators were well aware of the lethal consequences of just one slip-up. Posing as a representative’s buyer, Malic was so terrified before meetings that he gulped shots of vodka to steel his nerves. Other cases contained elements of farce: In the cesium deal, an informant held a high-stakes meeting with a seller at an elite dance club filled with young people nibbling on sushi.

In the case of the cesium, investigators said the one vial they ultimately recovered was a less radioactive form of cesium than the smugglers originally had advertised, and not suitable for making a dirty bomb.

The most serious case began in the spring of 2011, with the investigation of a group led by a shadowy Russian named Alexandr Agheenco, “the colonel” to his cohorts, whom Moldovan authorities believe to be an officer with the Russian FSB, previously known as the KGB. A middle man working for the colonel was recorded arranging the sale of bomb-grade uranium, U-235, and blueprints for a dirty bomb to a man from Sudan, according to several officials. The blueprints were discovered in a raid of the middleman’s home, according to police and court documents.

Image: A sample of uranium-235 is tested for radioactivity in Chisinau, Moldova, in 2011
A combination of images provided by the Moldova General Police Inspectorate shows a sample of uranium-235 being tested for radioactivity in Chisinau, Moldova, on June 27, 2011. Moldova General Police Inspectorate, / AP

Wiretapped conversations repeatedly exposed plots that targeted the United States, the Moldovan officials said. At one point the middleman told an informant posing as a buyer that it was essential that the smuggled uranium go to Arabs.

“He said to the informant on a wire: ‘I really want an Islamic buyer because they will bomb the Americans,'” said Malic, the investigator.

As in the other cases, investigators arrested mostly mid-level players after an early exchange of cash and samples of radioactive goods.

The ringleader, the colonel, got away. Police cannot determine whether he had more nuclear material. His partner, who wanted to “annihilate America,” is out of prison.


Have we cured cancer?

  • 1 June 2015
melanoma cell

Have we cured cancer?

The short answer, if you’re in a hurry, is no.

But something truly exciting is happening – the field of immunotherapy is coming of age.

It will not be a universal “cure” but immunotherapy is fast becoming a powerful new weapon alongside chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

Defender

Your immune system is your body’s internal guardian and protector as it purges anything that is not “you”.

It has a series of checks and brakes that prevent the immune system turning on healthy tissue (this is what goes wrong in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis).

But cancer is a corrupted version of healthy tissue and can masquerade as normal to dodge our immune defences.

It performs the chemical equivalent of shouting “move along, nothing to see here”.

And it does this by producing proteins on its surface that perform a “chemical handshake” with immune system cells to switch them off.

The immunotherapy drugs that have got people excited are like an oven-mitt that covers one of the hands, preventing the handshake.

The field has been developing for some time, but the explosion of front page newspaper headlines was triggered by data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

UK-led research showed that 60% of advanced melanoma skin cancers shrank when two immunotherapies were given in combination. The dual treatment stopped some of these deadliest cancers progressing for nearly a year.

Significant advance

The ASCO announcement came two days after another immunotherapy trial showed some lung cancer patients had their life expectancy doubled by immunotherapy drugs.

Smaller trials in a wide range of other cancers have also been presented – suggesting immunotherapy will have a role in many tumour-types.

Exciting? Certainly. A cure? No.

As Prof Karol Sikora, the dean of the University of Buckingham’s medical school, told the BBC: “You would think cancer was being cured tomorrow.

“It’s not the case, we’ve got a lot to learn.”

So what are the words of caution?

For starters, these drugs do not work equally in everyone. Some people do spectacularly well, some do ok, and some do not respond at all.

The reason why is still unclear. Are cancers susceptible during just a short window in their development? Is it down to the type or quantity of proteins the tumours produce on their surface? We don’t yet know.

Also, the therapies are likely to be very expensive, which means targeting the drugs on those who will respond will be key.

Long-term side effects are another a big uncertainty. Will the change to the immune system increase the risk of autoimmune diseases? So far the side effects seem to appear only during treatment, but long-term follow of patients who do respond has not taken place.

The research outside of melanoma and lung cancer is also still at a very early stage.

This is not a sudden breakthrough, or even the first set of really promising immunotherapy data.

The melanoma trial used a combination of two drugs – ipilimumab and nivolumab.

Ipilimumab is already recommended as the primary treatment for advanced melanoma in the UK.

So what we are seeing is a series of advances in a field that holds huge promise for the future.

That’s exciting without throwing in the “cure” word.


Nobel for Chemistry goes to Duke professor, 2 other

STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s Tomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and U.S.-Turkish scientist Aziz Sancar won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for “mechanistic studies of DNA repair.”

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said their work “has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions.” Their findings have been used for the development of new cancer treatments, among other things, the academy said.

Lindahl, 77, is an emeritus group leader at Francis Crick Institute and Emeritus director of Cancer Research UK at Clare Hall Laboratory in Britain.

Modrich, born in 1946, is an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Sancar, 69, is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Tomas Lindahl, says he got into DNA repair from studying properties of DNA, and was surprised to find that DNA “is much more labile than we usually recognize” and gets unavoidably damaged in cells.

Lindahl was speaking by phone on Wednesday at a Nobel news conference after the award was announced. The scientists’ work has been used to develop new cancer treatments.

Lindahl said he hopes that in the long run the work will lead to better treatment and better drugs.

The 8 million Swedish kronor (about $960,000) award will be handed out along with the other Nobel Prizes on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

Last year’s chemistry prize went to Americans Eric Betzig and William Moerner and German scientist Stefan Hell for their work developing new methods that allow microscopes to see finer details than they could before.

This year’s medicine prize went to scientists from Japan, the U.S. and China who discovered drugs to fight malaria and other tropical diseases. Japanese and Canadian scientists won the physics prize for discovering that tiny particles called neutrinos have mass.

The Nobel announcements continue with literature on Thursday, the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and the economics award on Monday.


The High Cost of Cash: ATM Fees on the Rise

 

Getting cash from an automated teller machine not affiliated with your bank has never been so expensive.

Out-of-network fees — the price a consumer must pay for withdrawing from an ATM that’s not in their bank’s network in addition to the fees their own bank may charge — are at an all-time high.

A consumer can face a fee of $4.52 on average per out-of-network ATM withdrawal, according to a Bankrate.com survey released Monday.

That’s a 21 percent increase in just the last five years and 4 percent increase in the last year. And that can add up to almost $500 a year if a person withdraws cash from an out-of-network ATM at least twice a week.

The increase in fees “coincides with these low interest rates we’ve been seeing,” financial expert Stefanie O’Connell said. “In a low-interest environment, banks don’t make as much revenue from lending, so they have to find new ways to generate revenue. … Increasing their fees is a simple way to do that.”

Banks have also blamed the spike on pressure to reduce other fees, such asoverdraft fees. Though banks raked in $34 billion in overall fees in 2014, fewer people are using ATMs than they did a few years ago.

“In today’s world, with more technology and more apps and more ways to pay. … You don’t need as much cash as you used to,” O’Connell said.

To avoid costly fees, she said that consumers should consider online banks that don’t have the same expenses that brick-and-mortar banks do. Some of these online banks also reimburse ATM costs, she noted.

“If you can become a little bit more tech savvy, it actually might serve you well,” O’Connell said.


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