United Nations: Global Partnerships Pledge Improved Coordination for Water Security

The five ‘multi-stakeholder’ water partnerships include a rich assortment of public-private partnerships that will give global corporations direct access to this precious resource of life. The UN predicts a 40% shortfall of water availability by 2030, even though the same amount of water has existed sine the creation of the earth. In order to insure Technocracy, shortages must be created to drive the investment. ⁃ TN Editor

Five global, multi-stakeholder water partnerships – the World Bank Water Global Practice, the 2030 Water Resources Group, the Global Water Partnership, the World Water Council, and the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate – announced plans to cooperate on water security. Their commitment follows the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) forecast of a potential 40% shortfall in water availability by 2030. The five partnerships, which represent business, governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and civil society organizations, plan to convene a series of discussions between their leaders, with a view to accelerating progress on the international water agenda. They will organize their discussions starting August 2018.

The groups announced their commitment following their endorsement of the HLPW report titled, ‘Making Every Drop Count – An Agenda for Water Action.’ The UN Secretary-General and the World Bank President convened the HLPW in 2016 to champion better management of water resources worldwide. The HLPW report, released on 15 March 2018, calls for doubling water infrastructure investment over the next five years.

The five groups also recognized the value of SDG 17 on partnerships as an important means of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The collaboration will also progress achievement of SDGs and targets under: SDG 2 on zero hunger; SDG 3 on good health and well-being; SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation; SDG 7 on sustainable energy; SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities; and on water-related and land-based ecosystems under SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land).

They announced their partnership on World Water Day on 22 March, as the Eighth World Water Forum (WWF8) drew to a close.

Press release:

Stark Global Water Report Triggers New Collaboration Among Global Partnerships

In the face of profound global water challenges, on World Water Day 2018 five global multi-stakeholder partnerships representing business, governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and civil society organizations announced a new collaboration effort designed to accelerate progress toward ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation around the world. (Full statement at right.)
The partnership was catalyzed by the discussions at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, including the Citizens Forum and Sustainability Focus Group, and the High-Level Panel on Water report, “Making Every Drop Count”. The report says if the world continues on its current path, it may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030. Health, food security, energy sustainability, jobs, cities, and ecosystems are increasingly at risk due to exacerbating natural variability of the water cycle and growing water stress.The World Bank Water Global Practice, 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Water Partnership, World Water Council, and UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate announced their commitment to coordinate a set of actions toward increased water security. Water security underpins economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

The organizations agreed to:

  • Take into account the outcomes of the 8th World Water Forum, proposed by the various political, thematic, regional, citizen, and sustainability processes
  • Endorse the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) “Making Every Drop Count”
  • Recognize the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 17) that promotes partnerships as a key means of implementation of the 2030 development agenda – in particular for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals calling for a Water Secure World (SDG6)
  • Commit to convene a series of discussions between the leaders of the organizations, starting in August 2018
  • Explore and agree on pathways towards improving global coordination and collaboration among these and other organizations, in view of accelerating progress towards a water-secure world

 Oyun Sanjaasuren, the Chair of Global Water Partnership, said, “The Global Water Partnership is prepared to offer its on-the-ground multi-stakeholder networks to advance better water governance.” Echoing GWP’s “Act on SDG 6” campaign, launched during the 8th World Water Forum, Sanjaasuren added, “It is time for policy makers to make SDG6 implementation a top priority.”

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Highway construction

Trump Talks Public-Private Partnerships To Rebuild Infrastructure

Public-Private Partnerships are a core doctrine of the UN’s Sustainable Development, which is Technocracy. Trump is talking with Technocrats like Elon Musk to provide financing. Newly appointed Cabinet members, Elaine Chou (Sec’y of Transportation) and Rick Perry (Sec’y of Energy) joined the likes of Lynn Scarlett (Managing Director of Nature Conservancy). This is indication that the influence of Technocracy and the UN is alive and well within the new Administration.  TN Editor

U.S. President Donald Trump met with business leaders on Wednesday including Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk and real estate developers, as the administration seeks partnerships with the private sector to boost infrastructure spending.

During his presidential campaign, Trump said he would push for a $1 trillion infrastructure program to rebuild roads, bridges, airports and other public works projects, but he has not presented a specific plan.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said “strong public-private partnerships” would be key to rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges and airports.

“Infrastructure used to be a point of American pride, but now an overbearing, ineffective regulatory system can keep projects in limbo for years,” Spicer said. “The government has wasted too much of the taxpayers’ money on inefficient and misguided projects.”

The White House sees infrastructure as a potential large job creator but officials have said the federal government cannot shoulder the entire burden. The administration is looking at toll roads, tax credits and other ways to spur private investment.

Major real estate and private equity executives attended the meeting, including developer Richard LeFrak, Vornado Realty Trust Chief Executive Officer Steve Roth, and Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris, the White House said.

LeFrak and Roth have been tapped to lead an infrastructure council that Trump plans to create, a spokesman for LeFrak had previously said.

The lunch with the CEOs follows his meeting on Tuesday with AFL-CIO union President Rich Trumka to talk infrastructure and other issues. The White House held a meeting of 15 federal agencies last Thursday to begin work on the administration’s infrastructure plan.

Last month, Trump touted the infrastructure plan in an address to Congress.

“To launch our national rebuilding,” he said, “I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure of the United States – financed through both public and private capital – creating millions of new jobs.”

Edward Mortimer, a transportation expert at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told a Senate panel on Wednesday that without action, the federal highway trust fund would face a serious shortfall starting in 2020, and policymakers would need to come up with $150 billion over six years to maintain current spending.

“This shortfall will likely result in significant uncertainty, with states possibly delaying major transportation projects,” he said.

Wednesday’s meeting included Vice President Mike Pence, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, as well as General Atlantic CEO Bill Ford, McKinsey & Co partner Tyler Duvall and Nature Conservancy Managing Director Lynn Scarlett, the White House said.

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World Bank Seeks Global Water Dominance By Privatization Of Municipal Systems

TN Note: A key tenet of Technocracy is to place all natural resources into “trust” for the common good, but it is an outrageous deception. When global corporations lock up water resources, they hardly represent the “common good”, and in many cases, they end up wrecking local water systems altogether.

The practice of the World Bank both advising countries on water and investing in private water companies presents a concerning conflict of interest, said Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., in a letter addressed to World Bank head Jim Kim. In it, Moore urges the Bank to immediately “cease promoting privatization of water resources until there has been a robust outside evaluation.”

“I am increasingly uneasy with water resource privatization in developing countries and do not believe that the current ring-fencing policies separating the investment and advising functions of the [International Finance Corporation] are adequate,” she writes. “I would respectfully urge the WBG and IFC to cease promoting and funding privatization of water resources, including so-called ‘public-private partnerships’ in the water sector, until there has been a robust outside evaluation.”

Moore serves as the ranking member of the monetary policy and trade subcommittee of the House financial services committee, the body in the federal government tasked with overseeing the World Bank. Her concerns stem from the activities carried out by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector lending arm of the World Bank. She and other advocates say that the IFC is making profit-driven investments in private water companies at the same time that the World Bank is advising countries to work with the private sector to improve access to clean water.

The letter cites the example of Manila, Philippines, where the country started working with two private water companies in 1997, based on IFC advice. The IFC then went on to invest in the Manila Water Corporation, one of the two companies, which has yielded a $43 million profit thanks to rate hikes nearing 850 percent. Attempts to increase prices further were stopped by regulators, but the company is pursuing the ability to raise rates through various appeals.

“I would be less troubled with the structure of the Manila deal and the subsequent arbitration if I had full confidence that both were not products of the improper mingling of the advisory and investment functions,” Moore said.

There does not seem to be agreement on this issue. The investment in the Manila Water Corporation is touted by the IFC as a success story for public-private partnerships. It is labeled as an inclusive business model that helped reach more than 1.7 million people and provide uninterrupted water access for 99 percent of customers. The water operation is also held up for transforming from a money-losing to a money-making business.

When asked to comment on Moore’s letter, communications officer Geoffrey Keele said that the IFC is working on a formal response to the Congresswoman first before making public comments. He directed Humanosphere to a page on the IFC website that addresses some of the concerns about its work on public-private partnerships in the water sector. It says that governments are not required to privatize water supplies in order to gain access to loans.

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Public-Private Partnerships Key To Advancing Financial Inclusion

TN Note: Public-Private Partnerships are a core part of Technocracy, representing a bonding of corporate and governance interests, yet creating an phenomenon that is neither pure corporation or government. This is the technique that led to Fascism under Mussolini during WWII.

A greater emphasis on Public-Private Partnership (PPP)-led financial inclusion efforts is needed to drive economic and social development across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), experts concluded at MasterCard’s second Prepaid and Government Conference that took place in Dubai today.

The conference brought together around 150 high-profile delegates and industry leaders from the government and financial sectors who shared key insights to further the cause of financial inclusion in the region. Sessions explored best practices and the innovative payment solutions that can be used to address social issues and drive economies.

Speaking at the conference were a number of senior MasterCard officials, including Michael Fiore, EVP – Global Prepaid Head; Alan King, Managing Director – Prepaid Management Services and Tara Nathan, EVP, Public-Private Partnerships. External speakers Dr. Lance S Mambondiani, CEO, Steward Bank and Anant Patel, EMEA Managing Director, First Performance shared case studies and successes with delegates.

Commenting on the conference, Raghu Malhotra, President, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard, said: “When public-private partnerships are directed and well organized, we can spur positive change that impacts citizens and governments alike. We need the public sector to help with regulations and create a good business climate. On the other hand, we need the private sector to bring distribution, innovation, efficiencies, and the capacity to execute. If private players can join hands with governments and the civil society at large, all of us stand a better chance of being successful together.”

With two billion adults around the world still financially excluded, the conference called for greater financial empowerment through payment innovations to allow individuals to be integrated into the financial ecosystem through technologies like prepaid cards, ID cards, biometric security payment cards and alternative delivery channels like m-commerce and e-commerce.

“Prepaid cards have proven to be an ideal entry point for financial inclusion. With the ability to control spending and all the benefits of cashless payments, it is the building block of many of our Financial Inclusion initiatives,” Malhotra added.

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The Public-Private Partnership Trap

TN Note: Here is an economist who hits on some significant pitfalls and problems of Public-Private-Partnerships, which are a key tool of Sustainable Development.

A trend recently in economic development circles has been to encourage public-private partnerships. In this kind of partnership, the government partners with a private business to pursue some sort of project.

Typically, the government gives taxpayer money directly to the business as a subsidy to pursue the project or they guarantee a loan to help finance the project. To the politician and business, this kind of partnership is a great idea — the politician gets to take credit for “creating” jobs, and the business has some protection from losing money.

I have four concerns we should consider before pursuing a public-private partnership. First, we have to ask ourselves on what would the taxpayer voluntarily choose to spend their money instead of this project? With public-private partnerships, we see taxpayer money being spent on a new project, but what we don’t see is data on what taxpayers in aggregate would have spent that money if they had been allowed to keep it.

This is important because politicians want to take credit for creating jobs. What we must remember is that all they are doing is creating jobs in one area at the expense of jobs being created in a different area. They are merely shifting jobs around instead of creating new jobs.

Second, we must recognize that we live in a world of scarcity in which there are not enough resources available for everyone to have everything they want. Because of this, we must decide which projects to pursue and, just as important, which projects not to pursue.

In a market economy, we have profits and losses telling businesses and banks which projects to pursue and to which projects to loan money. When a project is profitable, people voluntarily spend their money and tell the business they like what they are doing. If the business is losing money, then people are telling them to stop wasting scarce resources creating things we don’t want.

How do politicians know that a project is one that the people want? The political process, unlike the marketplace, does not provide a good way for people to give feedback. The voting booth is our primary means to hold a politician accountable when we don’t like what he or she did with our money.

But we only get to vote once every year, two years, four years or six years depending on the office. Even in the best case, when we can vote every year, the fact that you don’t vote for someone doesn’t tell them why you didn’t vote for them. It may not be obvious that they lost votes because of the public-private partnership project instead of some other issue.

Third, public-private partnerships can discourage productive behavior. Businesses begin spending a lot of resources trying to get taxpayer money instead of on productive activity. Society as a whole is worse off because many of those companies that spend scarce resources to get taxpayer money will not actually get the money.

These companies and society would have been better off with their energy focused on doing their job better and providing a better quality product at a better price.

The public-private partnership model creates an environment of competing for government money that hurts the economy.

Finally, I have a moral concern. When politicians spend money, they are always spending other people’s money. In the case of public-private partnerships, the government is using the power of taxation to take money from a relatively poor person and give it to a relatively wealthy person.

Instead of forcing people to pay for projects through taxation we should let people keep their money and voluntarily choose to spend it on what they want. Only then will we have true economic development.

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John Kessler is an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation and head of the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Center for Economic Education and also an economics instructor. 




High-Powered Public-Private Partnerships Essential To Expediting Renewable Energy

TN Note: Public-Private Partnerships (PPP, or P3) are a key component in the implementation of Sustainable Development, facilitating the Fascist-like binding of a public to private entity. The public entity cannot make a profit, but can supply assets, funding, labor, and tax breaks. The private entity can and always does seek to make a profit from the arrangement.

The Paris climate talks focused attention on the climate issue, increased international understanding of the nature and extent of the problem and will have a profound impact going forward. The climate deal made by 195 countries shows that the transition to a renewable and sustainable economy has become a priority worldwide. Globally, nations volunteered greenhouse gas reduction targets in anticipation of the Paris meetings and COP21 served to codify what many local, state, provincial and regional governments are already doing. Now that the talks are over, the spotlight will hopefully shift from talks and promises to real-world solutions for addressing climate change.

One of the best ways to meet the commitments laid out in the climate deal and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be to gradually replace fossil fuels with other forms of energy that are renewable and do not damage the environment. To do this, we need to dramatically increase investment in basic and applied renewable energy research. The goal of this work is to make renewable energy commercially viable. We need breakthroughs in solar cell and energy storage technology that make renewable energy less expensive and more convenient than it is today. The batteries in electric cars need a range of 1,000 miles rather than a few hundred. Home energy storage systems and solar cells must become smaller and less expensive. The technology must be so attractive that it drives fossil fuels from the marketplace.

One of the most significant moments for clean energy in the past few weeks was announced even before the Paris talks began: Bill Gates, along with more than 20 other billionaires, established the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a private sector group committed to investing in renewable energy technologies. Promising more than a billion dollars of investment, this is the largest clean energy fund ever created. According to Coalition investor and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “progress towards a sustainable energy system is too slow and the current system doesn’t encourage the kind of innovation that will get us there faster.” I couldn’t agree more.

While the private sector has the resources and cash to invest in renewable energy technologies, it can’t do it alone. Joining Gates’ effort, twenty countries, including major carbon emitters like the U.S., India and China, pledged to double their investment in renewable energy technology by 2020. This public-private partnership “will be a critical step toward limiting global warming,” the White House said.

Public-private partnerships have been around since the start of the U.S. and exist at all levels of government. Basic science and technology has historically been funded by the U.S. government and taken place in national and university laboratories. When the technologies matured, some were released for commercial use. Perhaps the best example is the personal computer, which has shrunk significantly in size since the 1970s and has dramatically increased in computing power. A product used by billions of people worldwide began as an investment by the U.S. federal government, in order to develop better missile guidance systems for the U.S. Department of Defense and smaller on-board computers for NASA’s space program.

Local government interest in sourcing renewable energy in the U.S. is clear. Many cities, including New York City, have made pledges to increase their renewable energy use and this week San Diego became the largest American city to legally commit to 100 percent renewable energy.

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Germans Take Over 14 Greek Airports In Privatization Deal

 
TN Note: Nobody disputes Greece’s excessive social programs that led to its economic downfall, but the international community stepped in to force Greece to sell key assets to private firms. This process is called “privatization” and in Greece’s case, it is quite ruthless, including islands, key utilities, airports, etc. In the end, Greece will appear to be a colonial province of corporate giants.
Greece has signed its first major privatization deal granting control of over a dozen regional airports to a German company. The agreement is part of international creditors’ demands to privatize state assets to secure €86 billion in bailout funds for Athens.

The €1.23 billion contract gives a 40-year lease to the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport. The German firm could upgrade and operate a cluster of airports, including those on the popular tourist islands of Corfu, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini.

Fraport chief executive, Stefan Schulte called the deal a “win-win” for “Greece and its people.”

“The project underscores the extensive know-how that Fraport will be able to provide at these 14 aviation gateways which are vital for Greece’s economy and, in particular, its huge international tourism sector,” Schulte said.

 “It’s a very significant development and a strong message, in all directions, that the Greek economy is winning the trust of markets and entering the road toward growth,” said Stergios Pitsiorlas, the head of Greece’s privatization agency.

The privatization deal with Fraport was agreed last year but final negotiations were frozen when Syriza came to power in January. It goes against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ pre-election promise not to privatize the country’s infrastructure. The idea was strongly opposed by Syriza’s left platform which accused the coalition of “surrendering” public assets.

Around €3 billion in revenue has been raised in Greece through privatizations over the last six years. In terms of the current bailout program, the Greek government has to raise an additional €6.2 billion from selling or awarding management contracts for state-owned assets in the next three years. The measure aims at reducing national debt and increasing investment.

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Public-Private Partnerships Seen As Key To Economy

TN Note: Public-Private Partnerships are hailed as the economic driver of sustainable development. Historically, this is seen as fascism, where corporations bond to government entities to create an alien form of government that milks taxpayers for private gain.

Increasing the number of public-private partnerships will be a key factor in developing the economy, a senior official of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said.

Hüseyin Özhan, who took up the post as the new head of the EBRD’s Ankara office on Monday, told Anadolu Agency Tuesday that developing Turkey’s infrastructure would depend on attracting private capital to new partnerships. “Having been a banker for many years, I can say Turkey has the chance to create the conditions in which private investment can find real opportunities for returns in these partnerships,” Özhan said.

A good example, he noted, is the construction and operation of a new domestic terminal at Dalaman Airport in the southwestern province of Muğla under a public-private partnership scheme.

The bank has lent $186.6 million to YDA Havalimani Yapım ve İşletme, a special-purpose vehicle established by the construction and infrastructure company YDA İnşaat, which was awarded the concession contract last year. “To increase the development of PPPs [public-private partnerships], the right regulatory and legal conditions are required so that businesses see risk-controlled opportunities for safe returns,” he said. “We work in close cooperation with the Turkish government to help evolve these conditions.”

Özhan said one of the European bank’s goals is to increase economic inclusion in Turkey, where youth unemployment is high, and the number of women in the workforce is still relatively low. “We will help financial institutions extend opportunities to women and youth who are often shut out of access to funding and loans,” he said. “This is critical to Turkey’s development; bringing in Turkey’s burgeoning young population into economic activity will go far to boost growth in the country.”

As head of the Ankara office, Özhan will lead the European bank’s cooperation with the government, Ankara-based international financial institutions, diplomatic missions and civil society organizations. He will also oversee the bank’s business in Ankara and the central Anatolia regions, the bank said in a statement Monday.

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Privatization Pushes Greek Dock Workers To Walk Out

TN Note: Greece has been forced to privatize (sell off) key national assets as conditions to receive bailout financing from the EU. The workers are vehemently against the deal, because they will lose control over port operation.

Greek dock workers walked out on Thursday in protest at the planned privatizations of the country’s two biggest ports, a condition of a multi-billion euro bailout from international lenders.

Setting a date to submit binding bids for Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports is one of the actions that Athens needs to conclude its first bailout review and unlock more funds for its 86 billion euro bailout.

Shipping ministry officials said the industrial action did not appear to be disrupting traffic at the ports.

A statement from the dock workers’ labor union vowed to avert privatizations and accused the government of attempting to sell out to “foreign owned monopolies”.

“Ports should be developed by utilizing own capital, through credit facilities and tapping European Union funds,” it said. Mission chiefs of lenders are in Athens to assess compliance with bailout terms.

China’s Cosco Group, Danish container terminal operator APM Terminals and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services , which were shortlisted in an expression of interest process, have until Oct. 30 to submit binding bids for a 51 percent stake in OLP.

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Government Privatization Can Be Costly To Taxpayers

TN Note: A major tenet of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 is the privatization of government assets. This could be a water system, office buildings, a utility company or a service such as the private operation of a prison. The experience around the world is that Privatization invariable raises costs to the citizen-consumer while providing significant profits for the commercial operator. In many countries, privatization has been banned after repeated abuse.

Four years ago, Lee County began outsourcing some of its landscaping and maintenance work to private companies. It was touted as a cost-saving measure, much like all privatizing of government services are characterized.

But privatization of low-skilled and low-paying jobs has significant monetary and social costs and offers no benefit to the taxpayers. And indeed, costs the taxpayers more money than they save.

In a recent “Tell Mel” column by Melanie Payne, a Lee County spokesman said that over the past two fiscal years, county taxpayers saved $1.5 million by allowing private contractors to do the work the county once paid its own employees to do using county-owned equipment.

We contend the money didn’t go back in taxpayers’ pockets. Instead, the “savings” of privatizing will be an ongoing cost to taxpayers as workers whose jobs were outsourced are forced to access government programs and services to survive on a less than living wage.

Prior to privatization, workers who maintained vegetation on county roads received a living wage. They received paid days off for illness and holidays. They had paid vacations. They had health insurance. And they saved for retirement.

The contractors who bid on the county work couldn’t possibly offer the same level of pay and benefits to their workers that Lee County did. Instead, as workers contend in the Tell Mel column, they were paid just above minimum wage and often in cash. There were no benefits. And if they didn’t show up for some legitimate reason – if they were sick, for example — they weren’t paid.

So who’s supplementing the difference in wages earned by workers who cut grass for the county and those cut grass for the company who has the county contract? The answer: Taxpayers.

As an example, let’s start with health insurance. Suppose one of the contractor’s workers gets the flu.  He feels it coming on but doesn’t want to miss work because he doesn’t have paid sick days. So he drags into work, does a poor job and infects his coworkers. After a day in the hot sun, he becomes dehydrated and goes to the emergency room of Lee Memorial where he gets IV fluids, gets better and leaves with a bill for $1,500.

If he had been a county worker, the illness could have been treated for a few dollars and couple of days in bed. Sure, we taxpayers would be paying $150 a day or so for him to lay around at home. But isn’t that better than the taxpayer-supported hospital getting stuck with a bill that will never be paid?

Unfortunately, the worker for the contractor is not the only one without health insurance. His kids don’t have it either as they would have had if their father’s grass-cutting job was a government job.

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