Barbara Lee chairs a caucus and ESPN's SportsCenter names new co-hosts.
Barbara Lee chairs a caucus and ESPN's SportsCenter names new co-hosts.
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May 15, 2018
Obama Presidential Center Faces Lawsuit, Nydia Velázquez and Yvette Clarke Probe SBA, and CBC Member Suffers a Stroke
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POLL DANCING… Voters in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Oregon, and Idaho head to the polls for primaries. In Pennsylvania, people of color are on the ballot in some competitive races. And in Idaho, the state could surprise the country and put its first Native American woman on the ballot in the general election for Governor. THROWING STONES… The Israeli military killed at least 58 Palestinians and wounded 2,700 others on Monday when protesters tried to cross the border fence with Gaza. Hours later, officials held a festive opening ceremony for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. ON THE MENDFirst Lady Melania Trump underwent kidney surgery, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer on Monday. POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN… Led by Rev. William Barber, the Poor People’s campaign kicked off yesterday, with organizers descending on nearly 40 state capitals. Over a thousand people were arrested, including some of the leaders demonstrating on Capitol Hill. SEE YOU IN COURTThe 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be the first federal appeals court to hear arguments today about Donald Trump’s decision to phase out DACA. The administration aims to show it’s justified in ending the program that has protected some 700,000 people. WANNA BET? The Supreme Court on Monday opened the door to sports betting becoming legal, striking down a federal law that forbade states from authorizing such gambling. THE WAY WE WEREBarbra Streisand will head to Capitol Hill today after she delivers a lecture at NIH on women’s heart health and cardiovascular disease. LOIS LANE... Margot Kidder, who found fame as Lois Lane in the 1978 film Superman, died Sunday at her home in Montana, at the age of 69. SPEAKING OF SUPERHEROES... Donald Trump finally reached out to James Shaw Jr., dubbed the Waffle House hero, who snatched an assault rifle away from a gunman who opened fire at a Tennessee Waffle House and killed four people and injured several others. The president commended his heroic actions and quick thinking. We’re kicking off Tuesday with this...
  • Obama Presidential Center faces a lawsuit.
  • Congressman Anthony Brown (D-MD) is at home recovering from a minor stroke.
  • Congresswomen Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) want to know why the Small Business Administration deleted online resources that previously existed to assist LGBT entrepreneurs.
  • Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-CA) intros a bill to provide cybersecurity scholarships to students at minority-serving institutions.
  • Amazon changes its tune on the “Rooney Rule.”
  • Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) wants to hold drug companies accountable for profiting from America’s opioid epidemic.
  • PBS announces a first-of-its-kind new animated series which features an Alaska Native lead character.
  • Meet the new President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
  • Join Tiffany D. Cross as she co-hosts Keepin It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton at 1:20P. Ch 126 on SiriusXM or check your local listings.
The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr. and host Trevor Noah in a behind the scenes moment with crew on-set last week.
 CNN contributor María Cardona speaking to graduates during the University of California at Merced commencement ceremony this weekend.
Nydia Velázquez and Yvette Clarke Question Small Business Administration Over Missing Resources for LGBT Businesses
House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) want to know why the Small Business Administration (SBA) deleted online resources that previously existed to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs. Shortly after the inauguration, the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Small Business pressed SBA officials over the disappearance of LGBT resource pages on the agency’s website. At the time, Committee staff were reassured that the pages would be reactivated in the near future, yet they remain missing. In their letter to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, Velázquez and Clarke ask for any instructions the SBA may have received from other parts of the administration with regards to the LGBT resource pages. “It has now been over a year since these resources were taken down. Other pages that were also under construction are already up and running. This is deeply troubling and renews our concern that this page’s removal may have been politically or ideologically motivated, rather than simply administrative,” the letter reads. More here.
Pete Aguilar Wants To Provide Cybersecurity Scholarships for Minorities
Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-CA)
introduced a bill last week that would provide cybersecurity scholarships to students at minority-serving institutions. If passed, the Offering Promising Persons Occupations Relevant To Upholding National Interests For Years (OPPORTUNITY) Act would specifically help students attending HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions access the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program. “Cyber warfare is one of the most serious threats to America’s national defense, and we need to do all we can to ensure that we have the most sophisticated cybersecurity capabilities anywhere in the world,” said Aguilar. He continued, “By having the Department of Defense consider a diverse range of students for their cyber scholarship program, we can ensure that talent from these universities will make our cybersecurity forces stronger while providing an opportunity for students who have been historically overlooked by these types of programs.” More here.
Anthony Brown Suffers Minor Stroke 
Congressman Anthony Brown (D-MD)
is recovering at home after suffering a minor stroke over the weekend. Brown’s office released a statement saying that the Congressman experienced dizziness and nausea shortly after returning home from the funeral of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. His wife, Karmen Walker Brown, called 911 and the Congressman was admitted to University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center. “Congressman Brown and his family are grateful for the excellent care he received and the outpouring of support and well wishes,” spokesman Matt Verghese said in a statement. “He is expected to make a full recovery.” Brown was released on Sunday and has not set a definite date for his return to Capitol Hill. More here.

CNN commentator Angela Rye getting ready to deliver the commencement speech this weekend at Southern University and A&M; College.
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) congratulating his districts’ Congressional Art Competition winner, Christine Kim, from Beverly Hills High.
Gabbard Leads House Bill to Hold Drug Companies Accountable Over Opioid Epidemic
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
late last week led co-sponsors Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in introducing new legislation to hold drug companies accountable for profiting from America’s opioid epidemic. The Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of 2018 would prohibit and penalize drug companies for false marketing and distribution of opioids, create criminal liability for top company executives, and require drug companies to reimburse the cost for the negative economic impact of their products; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at more than $78 billion each year. “The time for holding these drug companies and leaders accountable is long overdue. These companies rake in billions of dollars in profit every year on the backs of the American people, and not one of them has been prosecuted or held accountable. ... We cannot allow perpetrators of this epidemic to continue ruining lives in this country. We must hold those responsible accountable for the damage, heartache, and suffering they’ve caused,” said Gabbard. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Senate companion bill in April of this year. More here.

Barbara Lee Tapped to Co-Chair Pro-Choice Caucus
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)
has been tapped to Co-Chair the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus -- a coalition of members of the House of Representatives who are working to preserve, protect and advance women's constitutionally-protected reproductive rights. She will share the duties with Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO). Congresswoman Louise Slaughter had served as Caucus Co-Chair with DeGette until she passed away in March. “For decades, the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus has been an unwavering voice for reproductive justice,” said Lee. “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Diana DeGette to build on this legacy and ensure that all women – including low-income women and women of color – can exercise the full range of their reproductive rights without interference from politicians.” More here.

Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Block Obama Presidential Center
A group of opponents of the development of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to stop what they call a “short con shell game” that, if allowed to proceed, will “destroy the pristine open environment” and “open the door to progressively more intrusive destruction” of the historic park on Chicago’s South Side. The suit by filed by Protect Our Parks, Inc. includes parks activist Charlotte Adelman among the plaintiffs. The group is asking the judge to slap an injunction on the city and park district’s plan to transfer 20 acres of Jackson Park land to the Obama Foundation, the private nonprofit organization that will oversee the construction and operation of the proposed Barack Obama Presidential Center. The suit comes as the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday meets to consider applications for zoning and other approvals needed for the project submitted by the Obama Foundation, Chicago Park District, and Chicago Department of Transportation. An emailed statement from former President Barack Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office reads, “The Obama Presidential Center is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest hundreds of millions of dollars that will create good jobs on the South Side, bring our communities together and honor the legacy of Chicago’s favorite son and daughter. While some choose to stand in the way of progress for the South Side, we are focused on making progress in every community in Chicago.” More here.
President and CEO of UnidosUS Janet Murguía with civil rights lawyer and activist Wade Henderson at the 2018 UnidosUS all-staff retreat.
Chance the Rapper delivering his commencement speech this weekend at Dillard University.
U.S. Conference of Mayors Names New President
Third term Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin (D) became the 76th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors last week succeeding New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D). The 48-year-old University of South Carolina alum, where he earned his BS and completed law school, is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. As President, Benjamin will preside over all official meetings and develop and advocate for the bipartisan agenda adopted by the nation’s mayors. Benjamin announced that his key priorities for his presidency will focus on the “three I’s”: Infrastructure, Innovation, and Inclusion. Responding to the White House’s proposed $60 billion in cuts to the spring spending bill, including $15 billion in social safety-net spending, almost half of which targets the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Benjamin said the move would be “disastrous for cities from coast to coast.” But Benjamin is trying to find a balance between the intense anger many have over the administration’ policy decisions and the pragmatic need to find deals that can be made with the administration. “We need a partner. We need the federal government,” Benjamin said in an interview with Politico. Asked if mayors have that partner, Benjamin’s answer was short and simple: “we do not.” More here.

Elizabeth Warren Names New Speechwriter
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
has hired Christopher Huntley as her new Speechwriter. Christopher was most recently the Communications Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). He also previously worked as the Millennial Communications Director for Hillary for America after serving as a Deputy Press Secretary for the DNC Convention. The 2013 SUNY at Plattsburgh grad began his career as a Deputy Press Assistant and Deputy Speechwriter for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Huntley joins at a good time as Warren is heavily rumored to be considering a White House run. More about Christopher here

American Petroleum Institute Promotes Zoe Cadore to Policy Advisor
The American Petroleum Institute, the largest U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, has promoted Zoe Cadore to Policy Advisor. She previously served at the Institute as a Fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in the office of Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX), where she focused on policies in the oil and natural gas industry while also working on environmental injustices in communities of color. Prior to that, the 2011 Spelman College graduate, who also earned a law degree from the University of Houston in 2015, was a Compliance Contractor for Thorpe Specialty Services Corporation. A descendant of Grenadian and Guyanese immigrants, Cadore clerked for the House Judiciary Committee and the American Wind Energy Association. The Houston native was also crowned Miss Houston in 2013 and Miss Caribbean United States in 2017. More about her here
National Women's March Co-Chairs Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez yesterday at the Poor Peoples Campaign in DC. 
Artist Wynton Marsalis on Monday during his interview with WaPo's Jonathan Capehart.
PBS Announces First Animated Series Featuring Alaskan Native Lead
PBS has announced a new animated series which is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the country to feature an Alaska Native lead character. Molly of Denali will debut nationwide in summer 2019 on PBS stations, the 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms. The series is an action-adventure comedy that follows the adventures of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl. Molly helps her mom and dad run the Denali Trading Post, a general store, bunkhouse, and transport hub in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. Each episode follows Molly, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini on their daily adventures in Alaska, from fishing to building snow forts to delivering a camera to friends on a volcano via dog sled. The series is designed to help kids ages 4-8 develop knowledge and skills for interacting with informational texts through video content, interactive games, and real-world activities. More here.

Meet the New Hosts of SportsCenter
The SC6-era is officially over at ESPN. Sage Steele and Kevin Negandhi have been named hosts of the renewed 6P hour of SportsCenter, which is going back to its original name. Steele, who describes herself as politically conservative, previously hosted SportsCenter on the Road and was the Monday-Thursday anchor for SportsCenter:AM. The Indiana University grad joined ESPN in 2007, served as a regular anchor of SportsCenter until 2013. She also hosted the Scripps National Spelling Bee from 2010-2013. In addition to SportsCenter, she also has contributed to First Take and Mike & Mike. Before that, she covered the sports beat in Indiana, Tampa, and the DC/Baltimore area. Negandhi was Steele’s co-anchor for SportsCenter:AM. In 2017, he joined the ESPN on ABC College Football studio team. In addition to being a part of an Emmy-nominated SportsCenter, the Temple University grad has hosted NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, Outside the Lines, College Football Live, NBA Tonight, the women’s NCAA basketball Final Four and the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. Negandhi joined ESPN in 2006 and is the first Indian American to serve on a national sports network. The show was rebranded as SC6 for Jemele Hill and Michael Smith. More here.
Bloomberg Names New Reporter 
Bloomberg News has hired Catherine Ngai. She most recently worked as a Reporter for Reuters where she covered Wall Street banks, namely Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Before that, she was an energy reporter at Reuters covering the cash crude market as well as oil derivatives. Before joining Reuters, the bilingual reporter who is fluent in English and Chinese, spent three years covering the steel industry for American Metal Market. The 2009 University of Toronto grad, who earned her Masters from Northwestern University in 2011, will cover energy markets for Bloomberg. She started in her new position this week. More here.

CA congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) with his mom and grandmother on Mother’s Day.
FL Gubernatorial candidate Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum with his family on Mother’s Day.
Amazon Changes Its Tune on Rooney Rule
In response to shareholder and employee complaints about the lack of diversity on its Board, Amazon pledged to include "women and minority candidates" in the pool from which the company's board committee selects director candidates in a public filing Monday. The company's committee charter has been updated to include the relevant language as well. “The Amazon Board of Directors has adopted a policy that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee include a slate of diverse candidates, including women and minorities, for all director openings,” the company said in an SEC filing on Monday. “This policy formalizes a practice already in place.” As we told you yesterday, members of the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses also chided Amazon for having initially rejected formally implementing the “Rooney Rule” suggestion. More here.

NIH Launches Project to Diversify Medical Research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) earlier this month launched a massive research initiative to gather the health records and DNA of 1 million people, with a focus on including communities underrepresented in medical research. The All of Us Research Program aims to build the most diverse biomedical data resource of its kind, to help researchers gain better insights into the biological, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence health. The initiative -- which was approved under the Obama administration -- has $1.45 billion over 10 years in congressional funding, and the NIH will start making the data openly available to researchers in 2019. "There are far too many unanswered questions about health disparities that disproportionately affect underrepresented communities," said Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, the NIH's Chief Engagement Officer. "We can begin to chip away at health disparities." The program’s enrollment is open now. More here.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) congratulating Tatianna for winning the district’s Congressional Art Competition.
It’s a Celebrity Big Brother reunion! Marissa Jaret Winokur, Omarosa Manigault Newman, and Metta World Peace on Saturday at the Gradelo Basketball Festival & App Launch in LA.
Former Morgan Stanley Wealth Manager Running for Congress
Lindy Li
will be on the ballot today as a Democrat running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District. The former Wealth Manager with Morgan Stanley says she wants to make sure that everyone has access to the American dream regardless of their gender or race or socioeconomic status. “[M]y time in the financial services industry impressed upon me the need for Dodd Frank. I’ve seen firsthand how greed can get out of hand,” Li said referring to the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law in 2010 by President Barack Obama as a response to the financial crisis of 2007–2008. The 27-year-old first-time candidate supports legalizing marijuana, debt-free college, and has said she would favor Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) over Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for Speaker. The 2012 Princeton University graduate, who was born in China and lived in England for two years before coming to the States when she was 5 years old, currently serves as a trustee of the American Association for Cancer Research. “We are the ones we’re waiting for. We have to get the job done,” she says on her political ambitions. She will face in today’s primary state Rep. Margo Davidson, state Rep. Greg Vitali, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Richard Lazer, Ashley Lunkenheimer, Mary Gay Scanlon, Molly Sheehan, and Theresa Wright. More here.

To Run or Not to Run? That’s the Question for MD Candidate After the Top of the Ticket Dies Unexpectedly 
Maryland gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz died unexpectedly last week of a heart attack. His death adds an uncertainty to a Democratic primary that already was unsettled and flush with undecided voters. Under Maryland state law, Kamenetz’s running mate Valerie Ervin has until May 17th to dissolve the campaign, name someone to take Kamenetz’s place, or to continue the campaign herself. If she runs, Ervin would join Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy advisor to First Lady Michelle Obama, as the second woman to run in the contest in a state where men dominate statewide office and the congressional delegation. And in the June 26th primary, she would face Vignarajah, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, Baltimore Attorney James Shea, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, and MD state Sen. Rich Madaleno. The winner will go on to challenge popular Governor Larry Hogan (R) in the fall. Ervin made a brief run for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District in 2015 but dropped out after struggling to raise money. The University of Maryland grad and former labor organizer has worked at the Center for Working Families and the Working Families Party and began her career in elected office on the Montgomery County Board of Education. She was the first African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Council. We’ll keep you posted. More here.

BLAH BLAH BLOGS
FOMO
Today, 6P: Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies 25th Annual Awards Gala Dinner. Tamlyn Tomita and Sonya Gavankar emcee. Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave N.W. Click here for more information.
Today, 6:30P: MD gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D) will host a fundraising reception. La Vie. 88 District Square S.W., DC. Click here for more information
Today - Thursday, May 17th: Federal Asian Pacific America Council's 33rd National Leadership Training Program. Keynote address by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA. Click here for more information.
Today - Saturday, May 19th: The National Black Child Development Institute hosts National Black Child Development Week: The Movement Continues. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, May 16th, 8A: NAFTA & North American Competitiveness: A U.S-Canada Conversation. Guest speakers include Chief Statistician of Canada Anil Anora and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA). The Newseum, Knight Broadcast Studio. 555 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Click here to register.
Wednesday, May 16th, 12P: The 2018 CAPAC congressional ceremony for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Kennedy Caucus Room, 325 Russell Senate Office Building. Click here to RSVP.
Wednesday, May 16th, 5P: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights hosts the 42nd annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner. This year’s honorees include Tarana Burke, Founder of the #MeToo movement; “Dreamers,” the brave immigrant youth who are inspiring a country; and Cecile Richards, outgoing President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Click here to learn more and buy tickets
Wednesday, May 16th, 5:30P: 2018 Mission Forward Spring Reception: “Building Equity and Breaking Bias,” a powerful conversation on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Speakers include Ed Yong, science writer for The Atlantic, and Liz Neeley, Executive Director of The Story Collider. Mission Partners, 7201 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 780, Bethesda, MD. RSVP here
Wednesday, May 16th: Hadassah hosts the National Women's Health Empowerment Summit. Congressman Raúl Ruíz (D-CA) and Fatima Goss Graves, CEO and President of the National Women's Law Center, serve as keynote speakers. Click here for more info
Thursday, May 17th, 9A: In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosts a Community Leaders Forum, an opportunity to engage with senior level federal officials to discuss issues impacting the AAPI community. U.S. Department of Education, Barnard Auditorium. 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.Click here to learn more and RSVP
Thursday, May 17th, 6:30P: The Faith and Politics Institute hosts a documentary screening and panel discussion of the forthcoming PBS documentary, Exploring Exclusions: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Joie Chen, Director of Medill Washington, will guide Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) and the film’s directors, Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu, in a discussion. Landmark E Street Cinema. 555 11th St N.W. Click here to RSVP.
Monday, May 21st - Tuesday, May 22nd: Common Cause Pennsylvania will host their Democracy Works Summit. The Beat DC's Tiffany D. Cross will be a panelist. Sheraton Downtown Hotel on 201 N. 17th Street in Philadelphia, PA. Click here for more information
Thursday, May 24th 6P: Third Annual Multicultural Media Correspondents’ Dinner. The National Press Club. 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Invite only. 
Wednesday, June 6th - Saturday, June 9th: The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit. Charlotte, NC. More than 1,000 CEOs, investors, and business experts are expected to attend. Click here for more information and to register.
Sunday, June 10th - Tuesday, June 12th: The ACLU Membership Conference. Speakers include Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse CullorsCongressman John Lewis (D-GA), and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL Bryan Stevenson. Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW) and Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. (901 Massachusetts Avenue NW). Click here for more information
Thursday, June 21st - Sunday, June 24th: The Black Millennial Political Convention, which aims to increase engagement of Black millennials in the political sphere and shed a light on policy issues impacting black communities. This year’s theme is The Advocacy of Policy, Pipeline and Power for the People. Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, VA. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Saturday, July 7th - Tuesday, July 10th: The 2018 UnidosUS annual conference, Marriott Marquis Hotel, DC. Click here for more information and to register.
Thursday, July 12th - Friday, July 20th: March On Washington Film Festival. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, July 17th - Wednesday, July 18th: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 2018 National Women’s Conference. Phoenix. Click here for more information and to register.
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
Wednesday, August 1st - Saturday, August 4th: The National Urban League 2018 Annual Conference “Save Our Cities: Powering the Digital Revolution.” Columbus, OH. Click here for more information and to register.
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