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Europe’s Metacrisis Just Got Worse

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The latest conflict between Iran and Israel just made Europe’s already precarious energy and economic situation a lot worse.

Many analysts and politicians are celebrating Europe’s resilience after losing its natural gas supply from Russia.

“Two years on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, trade in energy products between Russia and the European Union has largely disappeared. The EU has adapted remarkably well to a decoupling that many would have considered impossible.”

Bruegel

There is some truth here but it misses the larger picture. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world has witnessed a major shift in its geopolitical, economic, and social order. These changes have had a particularly large effect in Europe. Events in the Middle East make things even worse.

The Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020 resulted in a re-arrangement of supply chains and trade dependencies, prompting countries to consider the vulnerabilities inherent in globalized production networks. The era of unipolar dominance by the United States has given way to a more multipolar world. The traditional alliances and partnerships that underpinned the post-World War II order are unraveling.

Just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China and Russia issued a joint statement declaring that their partnership had “no limits” in opposing NATO expansion. They further stated their intention to reshape the global governance system to be more representative of the changing global landscape, challenging the current US-dominated world order.

In early 2024, the BRICS group of emerging-market nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa–expanded to include Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Egypt. These countries now hold a dominant position on more than half of the global oil exports, with major implications for oil prices and energy geopolitics…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are France & The UK Plotting A Ukrainian Power Play Right Under Germany’s Nose?

Are France & The UK Plotting A Ukrainian Power Play Right Under Germany’s Nose?

There are indeed plans for a conventional Western intervention in Ukraine despite their leaders’ denials over the past two weeks, but they’ve yet to fully form and their execution can’t be taken for granted, but they also can’t be ruled out either.

The debate that French President Macron provoked over whether NATO should conventionally intervene in Ukraine exposed the existence of two distinct schools of thought on this issue inside of Europe. France, the Baltic States, and Poland appear to be in favor of “non-combat deployments” there for demining and training missions, which could be carried out through a “coalition of the willing”, while the rest of the bloc supports Germany’s stance that this shouldn’t happen under any circumstances.

Scholz’s Slip Of The Tongue Spilled The Beans On Ukraine’s Worst-Kept Secret”, however, since he inadvertently revealed that there are already British and French troops there helping Ukraine with “target control”. The subsequently leaked Bundeswehr recording about bombing the Crimean Bridge confirmed that the Americans are there too. Nevertheless, what’s being proposed by Paris is a formalization of these deployments along with their gradual expansion in a “non-combat” capacity.

Nobody should be fooled into thinking that France and the other four that appear to be in favor of this scenario are solely interested in demining and training missions. Rather, their intent seems to be to prepare these on-the-ground forces for surging eastward in the event that the worst-case scenario from Kiev’s perspective materializes whereby the frontline collapses and Russia starts steamrolling westward. These NATO members would then try to draw a red line in the sand as far as possible to save Ukraine.

Germany’s approach is altogether different in that it prefers to formally stay out of the fray in order to focus on building “Fortress Europe”…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

What the Western Press Didn’t Say About the Leaked Luftwaffe Conversation


What if a conversation between Russian officials discussing the explosion of a bridge in Germany had been revealed? Would Western press coverage also treat the leak as something more serious than threats of military attack?

On March 1, the editor-in-chief of the Rossiya Segodnya group, journalist Margarita Simonyan, revealed, on her Telegram channel, a 38-minute audio in which officers from the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) discussed the possibility of sending missiles long-range Taurus to Ukraine and whether they would be able to reach the Crimean bridge in the Kerch Strait, which connects the peninsula to the mainland and is Russian territory.

The Russian press, naturally, made much of the revelation. This forced the mainstream Western media – especially German ones – to report the leak. But whoever thought that a miracle would happen, that is, that the Western press would finally raise the issue of NATO’s military threats against Russia… well, those people are simply very naive.

The Western mass media, as always, tried to manipulate the news and hide the main issue.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, The Guardian, Die Welt and Der Spiegel published 39 articles on the topic on their respective websites between the time the news was revealed and the evening of March 6th (when I write these lines).

The two North American newspapers did not want to highlight the matter. The Post published two reports and the Times only one. The three expressed concern about the fragility of German intelligence security systems in the face of Russian espionage.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Endgame, Part I

The Endgame, Part I

The Russo-Ukrainian war and geopolitics of Europe

In early February, I posted a poll on X asking whether I should write a geopolitical piece on the Russo-Ukrainian war, adding to my series mapping a worst-case scenario for the war. While the vote count for this particular poll was not very high, an overwhelming majority supported this notion.

Before conducting the poll, developments in Ukraine in December and January had led me to ponder the outcome, or endgame, of the war. In September 2022, I had established an alternative to the western narrative of the war, spewed relentlessly by our media. In it, I argued that

  • Ukrainian losses are massive, passing Russian losses possibly 5-10 times.
  • The Russian army has not collapsed, but it may have become the strongest it has been since WWII.
  • The West (NATO) is fighting a proxy-war in Ukraine with the possible aim of regime change in Russia.
  • Russia is about to create a war-machine not seen in Europe for a very long time, which it could use to unleash a devastating attack against Ukrainian (NATO) forces during the winter.

In late-October 2022, I also noted that:

The massive force Russia is amassing and the all-but-halted progress of Ukrainian forces, tells me that we are most likely approaching a turning point in the war. In the worst case, this implies that Ukraine has already lost. Even in the best case (excluding peace) this means that the war will drag on and become a resource race between NATO and Russia.

Now, essentially all of this, except the Russian winter-offensive (2022/23) have been proven true. Ukraine has effectively lost the war, or a least she cannot win it in any plausible scenario. Just a few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron attempted a game-changer, by “not ruling out” NATO boots in Ukraine…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

NATO Chief Shocks With Prediction Of ‘Decades-Long Confrontation’ With Russia

NATO Chief Shocks With Prediction Of ‘Decades-Long Confrontation’ With Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued some shocking words over the weekend which the Kremlin will likely take as a threat. “NATO is not looking for war with Russia. But we have to prepare ourselves for a confrontation that could last decades,” he told German daily Welt am Sonntag on Saturday. His words also reflect a new emphasis and drive among NATO planners for European countries to urgently invest more heavily in defense and domestic weapons production, as is happening for example in Germany and France.

So far, defense leaders and officials from NATO countries have tended to speak about a time frame of the conflict lasting “years” – but to hear Stoltenberg tell the West it must brace for a war going on for “decades” is somewhat unprecedented.

If Putin wins in Ukrainethere is no guarantee that Russian aggression will not spread to other countries,” Stoltenberg continued, echoing an assumption that’s been a persistent talking point out of Zelensky and his Western backers.

EPA via Shutterstock

He urged that to prevent this future scenario, the allies must ramp up support to Ukraine and member states must invest in NATO military infrastructure. “Deterrence only works if it is credible. As long as we invest in our own security and remain united, we will continue to deter any form of aggression,” Stoltenberg said.

Interestingly the words followed on the heels of the Tucker Carlson interview with Vladimir Putin wherein the Russian leader appeared to appeal directly to the US government saying he is ‘ready’ for sincere talks to end the war. “We are willing to negotiate,” Putin had told Carlson and said in reference to the Biden administration: “You should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to the negotiating table.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

“One Of The Most Brilliant Explanations Of The Modern World”: Russell Brand Sits With Tucker Carlson For Explosive Interview

“One Of The Most Brilliant Explanations Of The Modern World”: Russell Brand Sits With Tucker Carlson For Explosive Interview

Russell Brand flew too close to the sun, it would seem. Just as the popular British comedian was gaining massive attention for confronting global authoritarianism, he was hit with an onslaught of sexual allegations by anonymous accusers, which were amplified throughout the mainstream media.

Brand, known for his left-leaning ideology, articulate critique of the war in Ukraine, and the history of NATO leading up to said war, drew a clandestine ‘shadow campaign’ against him, which according to Tucker Carlson, “began with governments, not private organizations, but governments, their Intel services and their policy makers.” Brand was even attacked “as a Chinese propagandist” for his views on Ukraine.

I’ve never been to China. I don’t purport to understand China, certainly don’t advocate for Chinese policy,” Brand told Carlson, who suggested that the ‘Chinese propagandist’ allegations were nothing more than “the early seeds of a very deceptive plant that flowered more than a year later, in September, when you were accused of these crimes,” referring to the sexual assault allegations.

“You were making kind of a remarkable case against the Ukrainian people and certainly not in favor of Russia,” Carlson noted, to which Brand replied: “All we’ve essentially done is listen to brilliant academics talking about the history of NATO and the coup in 2014, in Ukraine, and Putin’s explicit declaration that he would prefer, let’s put it mildly, that Ukraine were not invited into NATO, the sum of the regional disputes, how they’re escalating tensions. This is information that, because of independent media, is available.

Brand was also attacked after Moderna ‘tracked his content’ during the pandemic, and thinks that we’re at a major inflection point for independent voices.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The West Is Inching Closer to More Insanity in the Baltic Sea

The West Is Inching Closer to More Insanity in the Baltic Sea

In the Baltic Sea – home of the twisted wreckage of the Nord Stream pipelines – another pipeline was recently damaged along with telecommunications cables. Western officials are making escalatory statements and are again floating the idea of closing the “NATO lake” to Russian ships, which would likely be viewed by Moscow as an act of war. Onshore, Finland is rapidly militarizing its border with Russia. And a notable Chinese cargo ship is now at the center of the firestorm.

The Newnew Polar Bear

Over the weekend of October 8th there was an unusual drop in pressure in the Finnish-Estonian Balticconnector gas pipeline. By the morning of October 10th, an investigation had found that the pipeline had ruptured. Telecom cables linking Finland, Estonia and Sweden had also been damaged, as had a Russian telecom cable in the Gulf of Finland.

By October 20th, Finland and Estonia were pointing the finger at the Newnew Polar Bear – a Chinese vessel. The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation produced a large anchor found near the damaged pipeline, which it believes belonged to the 169-meter-long ship and likely broke off as it was dragged across the sea floor. Investigators have not explained a theory for how exactly the anchor damaged telecom cables on opposite sides of the pipeline and broke off at the Balticconector.

I haven’t been able to track down an exact distance between the Balticconnector and the telecom cables, but Finnish telecom operator Elisa told Reuters that the distance between the two was “significant.”

Nonetheless, speculation is that damaging the pipeline and cables would have been hard to do without knowing. According to Insurance Marine News:

It seemed unlikely-to-impossible that the crew could have been unaware of this incident, as the event would have slowed the ship dramatically and involuntarily…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Jeffrey Sachs: NATO Expansion & Ukraine’s Destruction

Jeffrey Sachs: NATO Expansion & Ukraine’s Destruction

Ukraine is being destroyed by U.S. arrogance, proving again Henry Kissinger’s adage that to be America’s enemy is dangerous, while to be its friend is fatal.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the European Parliament on Sept. 7. (NATO, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

During the disastrous Vietnam War, it was said that the U.S. government treated the public like a mushroom farm: keeping it in the dark and feeding it with manure. The heroic Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers documenting the unrelenting U.S. government lying about the war in order to protect politicians who would be embarrassed by the truth. A half century later, during the Ukraine War, the manure is piled even higher.

According to the U.S. government and the ever-obsequious New York Times, the Ukraine war was “unprovoked,” the Times’ favorite adjective to describe the war. Putin, allegedly mistaking himself for Peter the Great, invaded Ukraine to recreate the Russian Empire. Yet last week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg committed a Washington gaffe, meaning that he accidentally blurted out the truth.

In testimony to the European Union Parliament, Stoltenberg made clear that it was America’s relentless push to enlarge NATO to Ukraine that was the real cause of the war and why it continues today. Here are Stoltenberg’s revealing words:

“The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition to not invade Ukraine. Of course, we didn’t sign that.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Zelensky Threatens “Russia May Be Left Without Ships” Amid Emerging Battle At Sea

Zelensky Threatens “Russia May Be Left Without Ships” Amid Emerging Battle At Sea

Last week witnessed two major Ukrainian strikes on Russian ships at sea in merely two days, which resulted in severe damage to a warship (seen listing as it was towed to port), and damage to an oil tanker known to supply fuel to Russia’s military in Syria.

This emerging “battle at sea” also comes as Russia has stepped up major assaults of Ukrainian ports, including on the Black Sea and in the Danube, across from NATO member Romania.

The Olenegorsky Gornyak, a Russian Navy landing ship, tugged to shore – apparently listing – after it was attacked last Friday. via Reuters

Kiev and Washington have accused President Vladimir Putin of ‘weaponizing food’ – while the Kremlin has blamed Ukraine and its NATO backers for making Black Sea transit routes dangerous, given the sea drone attacks and release of sea mines.

In new statements, President Volodymyr Zelensky has signaled there will be more attacks on Russian ships to come, which is likely to see the conflict slide further toward “unlimited war” – where any and all targets, including civilian, are taken out.

Zelensky said in a fresh interview with the Latin American publication La Nacion that Ukraine forces will turn the ongoing blockade of Ukrainian ports back on Russia.

If Russia continues to dominate the Black Sea and block it with missiles, then Ukraine will do the same, which is a fair defense of our capabilities,” he said. And significantly, he added:

“If they continue to shoot, we don’t have many weapons, but if they continue to shoot, they may be left without ships until the end of the war. And this is what we want to show them.”

“Therefore, Ukraine will definitely respond to any attacks on the civilian population and grain corridors,” Zelensky emphasized.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Storm clouds gathering in the Black Sea

Storm clouds gathering in the Black Sea

Turkish President Recep Erdogan (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) with President Biden & NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (C), NATO Summit, Vilnius,July 11, 2023

The NATO Summit in Vilnius (July 11-12) signalled that there is absolutely no possibility of talks to settle the Ukraine war in a foreseeable future. The war will only intensify, as the US and its allies still hope to inflict a military defeat on Russia although that is clearly beyond their capability. 

On July 14, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of US joint chiefs of staff said that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is “far from a failure” but the fight ahead will be “long” and “bloody”. Milley has a reputation for speaking what the White House wants to hear, no matter his professional judgment. 

Indeed, on July 19, the Biden administration announced additional security assistance of about $1.3 billion for Ukraine. The Pentagon said in a statement that the announcement “represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine.” That is to say, the US will be using funds in its Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative program, which allows the administration to buy weapons from industry rather than pull from US weapons stocks. 

According to the Pentagon, the latest package includes four National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and munitions; 152 mm artillery rounds; mine clearing equipment; and drones. 

Meanwhile, in an ominous development, no sooner than Russia let the UN-brokered grain deal expire on July 17, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky disclosed that he had sent official letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan suggesting to continue the grain deal without Russia’s participation. 

On the very next day, Kiev followed up with an official letter to the UN’s International Maritime Organization spelling out a new maritime corridor passing through Romania’s territorial waters and exclusive maritime economic zone in the north-western part of the Black Sea. 

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Failures of an Economic Hitman in Turkey: Erdogan Re-elected

Failures of an Economic Hitman in Turkey: Erdogan Re-elected

President Erdogan’s re-election in Turkey is a monumental failure of Western pressure. Because of it, it’s time to take our eyes off Ukraine and look at a different theater of World War III with equal if not bigger implications.

Turkey is another in a now long string of failed Economic Hitman operations cum Color Revolutions. The last big one to fail was in Belarus in 2020 following the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko.

Turkey has been the subject of a seven-year campaign to be rid of Erdogan, beginning with the 2016 coup attempt organized out of the NATO airbase at Incerlik. Turkey’s been through a persistent five-year brutal devaluation of its currency, the lira, seeing it drop from less than 2 versus the US dollar to nearly 21 this week in the wake of Erdogan’s victory.

I’ve covered this story in detail (see my Turkey archives here) being one of the lone voices out there trying to parse Erdogan’s monetary policy actions which I’ve argued sought to de-dollarize Turkey’s foreign exchange liabilities and forge an independent path.

Erdogan, wily as a fox, has been deftly playing the US and Russia/China off each other for years, positioning Turkey simultaneously as a member of NATO, the gatekeeper to the Black Sea, and the financial and trade crossroads linking East and West.

The West’s campaign to overthrow President Assad in Syria beginning in 2011 couldn’t have gone forward without Erdogan’s help. He went along with it very willingly having been promised Turkey claiming Idlib province in the West and taking most of the north. Vladimir Putin accepting Assad’s invitation for assistance in fighting ISIS and Erdogan’s pets in Idlib (Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham or HTS) began the unraveling of those plans.

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The 10 Rules of Propaganda

The 10 Rules of Propaganda

Lord Arthur Ponsonby was a British diplomat and politician, dates 1871–1946.

This keen and cagey fellow pinpointed 10 rules of propaganda. They are these:

1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.

3. Our adversary’s leader is evil and looks evil.

4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest.

5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes.

6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons.

7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big.

8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause.

9. Our cause is sacred.

10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.

Just Look at the News

A daily scan of the newswires calls to mind three or more of these propaganda rules. On some days, six or seven. On others still, all 10.

We refer specifically to the conflict presently arage in the eastern European nation of Ukraine.

Let us now consider these rules. We will not take up each of them since some rules relate closely to others. We will instead weld these together. To proceed…

1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.

On how many occasions have you read or heard condemnations of Mr. Putin’s “unprovoked” act of aggression?

To phrase it differently, when has it not been described as unprovoked?

Yet a man can argue very persuasively that Mr. Putin’s war was indeed provoked.

The Russian autocrat warned on several occasions that NATO expansion into Ukraine was a “red line.”

Russia would not abide the NATO dagger pressing against its vitals (parts of Ukraine actually lie east of Moscow).

Yet the NATO alliance had announced its intentions to incorporate Ukraine — despite Vladimir’s moans and grimaces.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The stage is set for Hybrid World War III

The stage is set for Hybrid World War III

A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you’re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by selected stops and enlightening conversations, crystallizing disparate vectors one year after the start of the accelerated phase of the proxy war between US/NATO and Russia.

That’s how Moscow welcomes you: the undisputed capital of the 21st century multipolar world.

A long, walking meditation impregnates on us how President Putin’s address – rather, a civilizational speech – last week was a game-changer when it comes to the demarcation of the civilizational red lines we are all now facing. It acted like a powerful drill perforating the less than short, actually zero term memory of the Collective West. No wonder it exercised a somewhat sobering effect contrasting the non-stop Russophobia binge of the NATOstan space.

Alexey Dobrinin, Director of the Foreign Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia, has correctly described

Putin’s address as “a methodological basis for understanding, describing and constructing multipolarity.”

For years some of us have been showing how the emerging multipolar world is defined – but goes way beyond – high speed interconnectivity, physical and geoeconomic. Now, as we reach the next stage, it’s as if Putin and Xi Jinping, each in their own way, are conceptualizing the two key civilizational vectors of multipolarity. That’s the deeper meaning of the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership, invisible to the naked eye.

Metaphorically, it also speaks volumes that Russia’s pivot to the East, towards the rising sun, now irreversible, was the only logical path to follow as, to quote Dylan, darkness dawns at the break of noon across the West.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Russia Tells UN That Ukraine Crisis Is A “War With The West For Survival”

Russia Tells UN That Ukraine Crisis Is A “War With The West For Survival”

In two days of United Nations special sessions this week related to Ukraine as well as the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage, Russia mounted a robust defense, arguing that it sees its ongoing military action in Ukraine is a matter of “survival”.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya voiced the stark perspective on Wednesday, casting the war as one against the collective West. “As for our country, we see all of this as a war with the West for survival, for the future of our country, for our children, for our identity,” he said.

He stated that “Ukraine is nothing but a bargaining chip in this plot” – part of a broader plan which was long in implementation, going back to 2014.

Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vasily Nebenzya, via AP

The Russian diplomat’s words followed a surprise admission by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who in a Feb.14 press conference in Brussels described that “the war didn’t start in February last year. The war started in 2014.”

The day prior to Nebenzya’s remarks, the UN Security Council had convened at the urging of permanent member Russia to consider fresh allegations surrounding the Nord Stream sabotage. Nebenzia during that session called for establishing an independent investigation.

He specifically invoked Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s bombshell report which said the pipelines were bombed as part of an elaborate covert CIA operation involving the US Navy and help from the Norwegians:

“This journalist is telling the truth,” Nebenzia said at the meeting. “This is more than just a smoking gun that detectives love in Hollywood blockbusters. It’s a basic principle of justice; everything is in your hands, and we can resolve this today.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

 

Will Nuclear War, Debt Collapse or Energy Depletion Finish the World?

WILL NUCLEAR WAR, DEBT COLLAPSE OR ENERGY DEPLETION FINISH THE WORLD?

Fragility has probably never been greater in history. Just three words encapsulate the destiny of the world.

The THREE words are: WAR, DEBT, ENERGY

A FOURTH word will financially save the ones who understand its significance. It will also play a major role in the world’s future monetary system. The word is obviously GOLD. As the world moves from a fragile debt based Western system to a commodity and energy based system in the East and South, gold will assume a strategic role in the monetary system.

WAR – WWIII

War is obviously a potentially catastrophic threat since the sheer existence of the world and mankind is now at maximum risk. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Since the beginning of mankind there have probably been over 100,000 important wars and conflicts.

Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Most wars end in major fatalities and injuries and a massive human and financial cost. And at the end of the war, the situation is often worse than when it started, like in for example Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq and Libya which countries the US invaded unprovoked. The same will most probably be the case in Ukraine.

There are always two sides to a war. I learnt many years ago that before we judge someone, we must walk three moon laps in his moccasins.

So let us first walk in Putin’s moccasins.

The whole West hates Russia and have personalised it to Putin. Few realise that many of the people behind Putin are extreme hardliners and much more dangerous. Historically, Ukraine (like many European countries) has had a motley existence. Since the late 1700s to 1991 Ukraine was part of Russia / Soviet Union with a brief interruption after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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