Butcher escapes jail after laundering man’s superannuation funds to pay business debts

A South Australian butcher who could not secure a bank loan to repay a large business debt has escaped jail for money laundering a man’s superannuation funds “in desperation”.

Thirty-year-old Michael Kevin Cheney pleaded guilty to knowingly engaging in money laundering after his Paralowie butchery fell into debt in December 2018.

The District Court of South Australia heard he could not repay the debt or secure a bridging loan so he placed an advertisement for a loan on popular buy and sell site, Gumtree.

“You were carrying about $60,000 worth of business debts and, as a result, you could not afford to buy stock,” Judge Paul Slattery said.

A man — who went by the name of Tom — contacted Cheney informing him of a scheme that would allow early access to his superannuation if he opened a self-managed superannuation fund.

Cheney took up the offer and withdrew his superannuation balances, along with that of his wife.

It was paid to him in cash in plastic Ikea bags.

‘Not entitled to receive those funds’

The court heard Cheney did not receive as much money as he was promised, and the people behind the scheme — who have since been arrested — took a 35 per cent cut.

Cheney was later contacted by the same people and asked if he was interested “in making some money” which involved having a sum of money deposited into his self-managed superannuation account, which he would withdraw and pay to the individual in cash.

“You were not entitled to receive those funds and you were involving yourself in the laundering of those funds,” Judge Slattery said.

“You then transferred the entire amount in your personal account and began to withdraw the money.

$50,000 spent on online gambling

The court heard Cheney had a gambling addiction and spent $50,000 of the $117,000 on online gambling in a “futile attempt” to make money.

He then moved interstate and disposed of his mobile phone before the men behind the scheme allegedly tracked him down.

In sentencing, Judge Slattery said only $38,000 of the $117,000 transferred into Cheney’s account could be recovered as the rest had been spent on gambling and paying bills.

“You were not someone who was living an extravagant lifestyle, and your offending occurred as a result of desperation and an ill thought out decision to obtain money.

“You still owe about $15,000 of business debts and you have recently obtained employment at a supermarket.”

Judge Slattery sentenced Cheney to one year and 10 months but suspended that sentence on a two-year good behaviour bond.

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Russia considers cutting government borrowing as oil prices rally — RT Business News

Russia could end up borrowing US$6.8 billion (500 billion Russian rubles) less than planned this year as rising oil prices help its key oil revenues to rise.

The rally in oil prices, which have risen by around 30 percent this year, also coincides with Russia’s economy emerging from the slump during the pandemic.

Last year, Russia’s economy was suffering the consequences of the oil price crash it helped create with the temporary rift with its OPEC+ partner Saudi Arabia in March 2020. The Russian ruble crashed, and Russia’s oil income shrank as a result of the plunge in oil prices during the pandemic.  

In March 2020, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov warned that revenues from oil and gas would be US$40 billion (3 trillion rubles) lower than planned due to the tumbling oil prices. Russia’s economy is not going as well as one would have hoped, the finance minister admitted back then, saying that the oil price factor alone was set to reduce the country’s budget income by nearly US$40 billion compared to earlier estimates.

Also on rt.com
Russia expects oil between $45 and $80 by 2035

The oil price crash, along with the coronavirus-driven global recession, will result in Russia’s economy shrinking in 2020 by six percent, or by the most in 11 years, the World Bank said in its economic report on Russia in August 2020.

Russia was also said to be considering whether to adopt a kind of state oil hedging program, similar to Mexico’s oil hedge, to protect government revenues from oil price crashes in the future.  

This year, the higher oil prices are pushing up Russia’s oil revenues, its key export income, and the government is discussing lower debt issues year, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

READ MORE: Russian economy may recover to pre-pandemic levels by year end, says Central Bank

Officials are considering cutting the borrowing to US$43 billion (3.2 trillion rubles) from US$50 billion (3.7 trillion rubles), according to the sources, one of whom even said that the cut to borrowing in 2021 could double to US$13.5 billion (1 trillion rubles).   

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

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Salt Lake on track for Q1 production

Emerging producer Salt Lake Potash has secured new backing for its Lake Way project near Wiluna, as part of a $US138 million syndicated debt facility.

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Central Geelong business confidence

Councillor Peter Murrihy, Chair, Central Geelong Marketing

Despite the pandemic, new businesses have continued to flourish and are choosing central Geelong because it remains an attractive place to eat, drink, shop and socialise. The rise in new businesses in recent months is a great sign that business confidence has returned, and that further growth is on the horizon.

Through major initiatives such as the City Deal and a range of significant private investments in hotels and apartments, there is a lot of optimism about the future of central Geelong. With more visitors and residents expected to call the city centre home, central Geelong is well placed to see an even greater social and economic rebound in the medium term.


Acting Director Economy, Investment and
Attraction Tim Ellis

The City’s
extensive support measures and continued high-level investment in CBD projects
has helped sustain traders through the tough periods of the pandemic. Our economic
support packages, totalling $16.9 million, have provided direct assistance to
businesses and are aiding in their recovery.

Alongside this,
Central Geelong Marketing have provided extensive promotion for local traders
and have continued to run flagship programs, such as Tastes of Central Geelong
and Sidewalk Sales, that generate further activity for the CBD. The City’s
targeted investment and support has steered Central Geelong businesses through
the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and helped them find new and innovative ways
to trade.


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The small business guide to international expansion

Whether your eCommerce business is 100 years or one month old, there’s one thing that most online store owners agree you should be preparing for from day one: cross-border eCommerce.

When you think about cross-border eCommerce, your mind likely sees the massive opportunity. It’s hard to miss a $4.5 trillion market that’s been on an upward trajectory for the past decade.

Over half (57 per cent) of global online shoppers make purchases from overseas retailers. So, if you’re an eCommerce store owner, you’re likely already selling internationally. This means you may have profited from this global market without even allocating resources, laying out supporting infrastructure, and developing a go-to-market (GTM) strategy.

The opportunity is clearly there.
But the real question is: is your store up for cross-border success? To truly
compete in this massive market, you have to nail the global customer

When should you start planning
for cross-border expansion?

At what stage should businesses
start planning to expand and sell internationally? In my view, there’s
absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be preparing for cross-border commerce from
day one.

Think about it, aside from the obvious upside, the barriers to entry are zero and you can dip your toes to test the market (almost) risk-free.

Now, you may be thinking, “Why should I prepare from day one if I’m not considering expanding cross-border?”

The short answer is because your competitors are. And even if you aren’t in a saturated, local market, the competition will inevitably saturate it. So now that it’s clear that you need to set your e-commerce store up for cross-border success, let’s explore the two approaches you need to have in mind.

How to approach to international expansion

Without proper planning and
testing, expanding cross-border can be an expensive waste of time. You need a
clear plan on how you’re going to dip your toes into the market.

1. Test first, scale second

The biggest mistake you can make

in business is making a significant upfront investment before validating your
product and understanding how your brand resonates with target customers. The
only way to avoid this is through low-cost experimentation.

You need to rigorously test,
distil key learnings, and iterate. That’s the core of a key framework outlined
in the Lean Startup: Test – Learn – Iterate. At every iteration, the most
valuable yield is a key learning.

Lucky for us, the plethora of
tools we have at our disposal have allowed for rapid testing with minimal cost.
For example, you can easily test your products on marketplaces that serve your
target region or country to understand what works before going all in.

The catch here is that the only
way to know if your experiment was a success is to plan and commit for long
enough to collect data that will point you in the right direction.

2. Plan, commit and invest enough to get a clear picture of success

In order for your testing to be
effective, you need to commit and invest enough resources to get a
comprehensive picture of success.

That means you need to have your e-commerce website optimised for international channels by localising currencies, language, and the overall customer experience. But without localising your website, you’ll have skewed data.

You also need accurate data to
tell you to keep doing more of what you’re doing or to stop and test something
new. Once you find out what works, double-down on what you’re doing and devote
80 per cent of your time and resources.

To limit the time and resources
you invest during testing, you need to:

  • Set specific, tangible goals (a singular, numerical value works best).
  • Set a short timeline to bound yourself to artificial time constraints.

Come back from the losses of the
past year and get the ball rolling on your business’ expansion plan now. You’ll
thank yourself later!

Neil Luo, Head of Growth, Airwallex

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Stock Market Rally ‘Mostly Dead’; Boeing Leads As Amazon, Zoom Break Long-Term Support| Investor’s Business Daily

Dow Jones futures were little changed late Wednesday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The Dow Jones fell modestly while the Nasdaq tumbled to fresh lows, but the stock market rally isn’t “all dead” yet.


For real economy stocks, Wednesday was normal or even positive. Boeing (BA), Citigroup (C), Flagstar Bancorp (FBC) and Avient (AVNT) cleared buy points or early entries.

The sell-off in growth stocks continued with the Nasdaq undercutting its Feb. 23 intraday. Stay-at-home plays Amazon.com (AMZN), Zoom Video (ZM), Teladoc Health (TDOC), Datadog (DDOG) and 2U Inc. (TWOU) all broke below long-term support, Tesla (TSLA) retreated to a 2021 closing low while Nvidia (NVDA), Roku (ROKU) and ServiceNow (NOW) tumbled decisively below their 10-week lines.

Marvell Technology (MRVL), Snowflake (SNOW), Okta (OKTA) and Splunk (SPLK) headlined earnings late Wednesday. But all of these tech stocks were breaking down or broken heading into quarterly results, falling sharply on Wednesday.

Marvell earnings were in line and guidance mixed. Snowflake reported strong revenue growth while Okta and Splunk beat views. Okta stock tumbled overnight on a $6.5 billion acquisition. Marvell fell modestly while SNOW stock reversed higher. Splunk stock, which is at 10-month lows, rose solidly.

Tesla stock and Nvidia are on IBD Leaderboard. ServiceNow stock is on IBD Long-Term Leaders list. Tesla and Nvidia stock are on the IBD 50.

Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures were roughly flat vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures edged lower.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.

Join IBD experts as they analyze actionable stocks in the stock market rally on IBD Live.

Coronavirus News

Coronavirus cases worldwide reached 115.72 million. Covid-19 deaths topped 2.57 million.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have hit 29.44 million, with deaths above 531,000.

Stock Market Rally Wednesday

The stock market rally sold off, closing at session lows. Real economy names held up while tech giants retreated and speculative names sold off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% in Wednesday’s stock market trading after being slightly positive for most of the session. Boeing stock was a key Dow winner, but Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) weighed on blue chips. The S&P 500 index slumped 1.3%, back below its 21-day line but holding just above its 50-day. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 2.7%, knifing through its 50-day line and undercutting its Feb. 23 low.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose 6 basis points to 1.47% after pulling back in recent days. The strong uptrend in long-term sovereign bond yields has pressured the stock market rally, especially speculative growth.

Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) skidded 3.5%, while the Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) slumped 3.25%.  The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) retreated 4.1%, with Zoom Video and NOW stock notable components. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) lost 3.15%. NVDA stock is a top SMH holding.

Reflecting more-speculative story stocks, Ark Innovation ETF tumbled 5.9% and Ark Genomics ETF 6.3%. Both undercut recent lows, with ARKK closing below them.

Tesla is the top holding across Ark Investment’s ETFs, including ARKK. Teladoc and Roku stock also are top-five Ark holdings while Ark bought a lot Zoom stock on Tuesday.  Ark also holds sizeable stakes in many smaller, less-liquid names. Those will be hard to exit, especially with Ark Invest disclosing much of its daily buys and sells.

Boeing Stock Briefly Breaks Out

Dow Jones giant Boeing (BA) climbed 2.4% to 228.56. Intraday, shares hit 235.40, breaking out from a 229.71 cup-with-handle buy point on a weekly chart. Citigroup stock rose 3% to 70.38, clearing a 69.52 cup base buy point, according to MarketSmith analysis. But Citi’s breakout comes weeks after Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and even Wells Fargo (WFC).

Avient stock popped 5%, breaking out of a cup base in huge volume. Flagstar stock climbed 3%, rebounding bullishly from its 10-week line as its builds the right side of its flat base. FBC was Wednesday’s IBD Stock Of The Day. Avient stock was Tuesday’s.

Amazon, Zoom Video Break 200-Day

Amazon, Zoom Video, Teladoc, Datadog and TWOU stock fell below their 200-day moving averages. AMZN stock fell 2.9% while the other four retreated 3.75%-9.5%. For Zoom and Datadog stock, it was their first-ever closes below the 200-day.

Amazon stock is one of a handful of trillion-dollar companies.

Zoom stock is perhaps the ultimate coronavirus play, though Amazon, Teladoc also have thrived in the pandemic, along with cloud-based Datadog and 2U. As vaccinations ramp up and Covid restrictions ease, investors are betting richly valued at-home companies will see slower growth.

Teladoc stock, Datadog and 2U broke out to new highs just a few weeks ago.

Tesla stock fell 4.8% to 653.20, the lowest close since Dec. 23 but above last week’s intraday low of 619. Roku stock fell 5.2%, Nvidia 4.5% and ServiceNow 6.1%.

Stock Market Rally ‘Mostly Dead’

Is this a violent stock market rotation out of growth, or the beginning of a tech-led market correction? Strictly looking at the Nasdaq and tech leaders, this looks like a stock market correction. But the Dow Jones and cyclical sectors held up well while the S&P 500 index is still above its 50-day line, barely.

The market rally may be “mostly dead,” to quote Miracle Max from “Princess Bride,” but that’s still “slightly alive.” But where’s Miracle Max to revive the rally? At this point, any more weakness would likely push the “mostly dead” rally to “all dead.” On the flip side, it would take a lot to bring the market rally fully back to life, much like Princess Bride’s Wesley.

This is an important day to read The Big Picture to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

One thing’s for sure, growth, especially speculative growth, is out of favor. This stocks could bounce back quickly or several weeks or months from now, while some may never bounce back.

Don’t focus on 2020 winners like Zoom stock or Datadog if they’re performing poorly now.

Investors should be taking a defensive stance, at least with tech names. If your stocks are losing, either you’re out of sync with the market or the market itself is out of sync. Consider moving more into mining, industrial, agricultural and financial stocks. But if the entire market rolls over decisively, recent relative winners will likely crumble too.

Cash is king in a correction, and holding a lot of it in the current market climate is a wise choice.

Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.


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Treasurer weighs aged care funding options

A Medicare-style levy or tax hike remains on the table as the Morrison government weighs up how to find billions of dollars desperately needed for aged care.

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Business group urges Premier Doug Ford to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Toronto and Peel on ‘grim’ 100-day anniversary

As Toronto and Peel mark 100 days of lockdown, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is pleading with Premier Doug Ford to ease pandemic restrictions.

“Today marks a grim milestone for Toronto and Peel Region small businesses: 100 consecutive days in COVID-19 winter lockdowns — the longest in North America,” the CFIB said Wednesday.

Toronto, Peel, and North Bay-Parry Sound are the last three public health unit regions in Ontario still under provincial “stay-at-home” orders.

That means most services, such as barbershops, hair stylists, nail salons, and gyms are closed, restaurants and bars are limited to takeout service, and all shops except those selling food and alcohol are restricted to curbside pick-up.

Ontario’s other 31 public health units have moved into varying stages of openness, including in York, Durham, and Halton.

Toronto and Peel have been locked down since Nov. 23 and North Bay-Parry Sound since Dec. 26.

“What was supposed to be only a couple of weeks has now extended into a fourth month,” the CFIB said of the Toronto and Peel curbs.

“As each deadline has come and gone, officials have told small business owners to hang on just a little bit longer, only to have the football pulled away at the last minute each time,” said the organization, which represents 110,000 businesses across the country, 42,000 of which are in Ontario.

“Small business owners have had enough. There is no more runway. Every additional day of lockdown increases the odds that we will lose even more local businesses for good,” it said.

“The Ontario government must recommit to reopening Toronto and Peel businesses, and this time, it must move forward. Municipal and local authorities need to support this direction too, as a growing number of Peel Region mayors have done.”

In a membership survey commissioned by the CFIB, 30 per cent of Ontario small businesses said they fear having to close permanently.

“Every business that shutters its doors forever is another blow to Ontario’s recovery.”

Ford is expected to announce Friday that restrictions could be eased slightly as of next week as COVID-19 infection rates remain steady and vaccination numbers rise.

But his Progressive Conservative government, which has distributed $1 billion to businesses in $10,000 to $20,000 grants since the pandemic took hold almost a year ago, is being criticized for doing too little too late.

“The government designed this program for a pandemic that began on December 26, 2020, not one that started last March,” said the CFIB.

“Some business owners in Toronto and Peel region have been closed nearly 80 per cent of the time since the pandemic began. On average, Ontario small businesses have accumulated over $207,000 in COVID-19 related debt — one payment of $10,000 to $20,000 clearly does not cut it.”

On Tuesday, NDP MPP Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale High Park) told the legislature that the grant program is too slow.

“Some are waiting for a decision more than six weeks after applying and others have been denied the grant because of a wrong assessment,” said Karpoche.

“These operational failures are unacceptable for small businesses on the brink of survival,” she said.



Tory MPP Stan Cho (Willowdale), the parliamentary assistant to Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, defended the grant program, insisting “the average waiting time for those applicants … is 12 days.”

“(Small businesses) in Toronto have received over $200 million,” said Cho.

“That is real relief that businesses can put towards weathering the storm.”



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What to watch for when accelerating cloud adoption

The remote working trend has dramatically accelerated over the past 12 months, which means organisations are increasingly looking to the cloud to facilitate daily productivity. Cloud adoption has by no means been slow however, in 2021 and beyond, organisations are likely to look to accelerate their cloud adoption even further. This brings significant opportunities as well as challenges that need to be addressed.

This highlights the growing importance of the cloud for businesses across industries. And, even organisations that were already using the cloud, are highly likely to be accelerating their cloud adoption.

There are seven key areas that organisations must consider as they accelerate their move to the cloud:

1. Cloud assessment and planning

Moving to the cloud is rarely simple and it’s essential to understand the readiness of the organisation’s workloads, data, and systems to move to the cloud. Organisations must understand the risks and benefits of cloud, then develop a roadmap that will de-risk the move to cloud while identifying quick wins and setting the right long-term strategy.

2. Cloud migration and deployment

Migrating to the cloud should be done in a strategic and carefully planned way. Whether the organisation would benefit from a so-called lift-and-shift migration, or rearchitecting to modify and extend code and application functionality, most organisations benefit from partnering with experienced migration services providers. This helps maximise the success of the move to cloud while avoiding costly pitfalls.

3. Infrastructure operations management

Organisations rarely have the technical skills and available resources in-house to manage cloud infrastructure operations. However, without careful management, cloud deployments can become cumbersome, bloated, and expensive. Organisations need to be aware of this risk and implement cloud operations management to maximise efficiency, improve speed and quality, and reduce costs.

4. Monitoring

Moving to the cloud isn’t a set-and-forget exercise. It requires ongoing and careful monitoring to ensure applications and processes are working as anticipated, identify potential bottlenecks or issues, and intelligently respond.

5. Cost optimisation

One of the selling points of cloud is that it can help lower costs; however, this is only true if the organisation puts conscious effort into cost optimisation. With the right tools, organisations can manage their costs, forecast their bills, control their spending, and track spending across teams and projects. This provides control and visibility to help organisations ensure they’re getting maximum return on their investment in the cloud.

6. Security

Remote workforces using the cloud require robust security solutions to combat the increased risk. Most cybersecurity systems are designed around on-premise working. Securing cloud-based working means focusing on identity, which means a zero-trust security model that assumes every access attempt is potentially an attack. It’s important to develop a security architecture that’s appropriate for the organisation’s unique circumstances.

7. Support and operation

Maximising the performance and benefits of a cloud investment requires the allocation of savvy, skilled resources to manage the daily operation of the cloud environment. Doing this via a managed services approach lets organisations’ IT teams focus on core business activities with peace of mind that the cloud environment will be well managed.

Businesses have always stood to benefit significantly from a smart and strategic cloud strategy. Those potential benefits are even more important in the current disrupted environment. Businesses looking to survive and even thrive through this period must leverage the cloud to do so. Working with an experienced and proven partner heightens the chances of success when accelerating cloud adoption.

Jaen Snyman, Practice Manager – Modern Workplace, Empired

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Human remains found on Mollymook beach not connected to missing business woman

Police have confirmed human remains found at Mollymook on the NSW South Coast do not belong to missing Sydney woman Melissa Caddick.

9News has been told police believe that bones found at Culburra and Cunjurong Point – also on the South Coast – could potentially belong to an animal but are awaiting on results for confirmation.

Melissa Caddick vanished from her home in Dover Heights in Sydney.
Melissa Caddick vanished from her home in Dover Heights in Sydney. (Nine)

Police now have a partial DNA sample from the remains found at Mollymook which the missing persons registry will compare to the DNA of the 11 people who went missing last year in NSW and one person this year.

“Further testing including comparative DNA testing will be undertaken to identify the remains,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“The DNA profile will be compared against the missing persons database, which contains the hereditary and genetic mapping of long-term missing people in NSW.”

The revelation comes after a human foot was discovered on a beach in Tathra on the Far South Coast and was confirmed to be those of Ms Caddick.

The body of Melissa Caddick has been found on the NSW South Coast. (James Brickwood)
A bunch of flowers left outside Melissa Caddick's home in Dover Heights.
A bunch of flowers left outside Melissa Caddick’s home in Dover Heights. (Nine)

More remains were discovered washed up on a beach in Mollymook on Friday and again on Warrain Beach in Culburra, about 30km north of Mollymook, on Sunday.

The investigation into Ms Caddick’s disappearance has now returned to Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where she was last seen alive.

It is understood police are planning on searching the waters near her home in Dover Heights.

Criminologist Dr Terry Goldsworthy said if investigators were able to date the foot remains, they should be able to tell how long they have been in the water and decomposing.

Bournda Beach south of Tathra, where Melissa Caddick's decomposing foot was found.
Bournda Beach south of Tathra, where Melissa Caddick’s decomposing foot was found. (Angi High)

“It should give them some idea if they are looking something that occurred in the last week or two months ago,” Dr Goldsworthy told Today.

“They should be able to pick that difference. That will assist them in terms of then determining where they focus their investigation.”

Offshore drift modelling found a body which entered the water near Ms Caddick’s home in Dover Heights could have drifted to the South Coast over time.

The 49-year-old woman disappeared on November 12 last year after leaving her home for what her husband believed was a morning run at 5.30am.

9News App
Click or tap on the banner to find out how to download the 9News app for breaking and localised news alerts. (9News)
Melissa Caddick (NSW Police Force)

She had been under investigation for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme, using millions from investors to make lavish personal purchases.

The Australian Federal Police raided her home as part of an ASIC investigation the day before she disappeared.

A coronial inquest will determine if Ms Caddick died from an accident, foul play or self-harm.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

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