Triumph Of The Blogs’ Print Editions – Nation News Shamed Into Reporting Fraud Allegations Against Barbados Flyover Contractor, But Their Carefully Managed Story Still Communicates A Lie

Nation News Held Story For At Least Eleven Days – Then Still Engaged In Damage Control For The Government!

After hiding a story of corruption allegations from the Barbados public for at least eleven days, the Nation News today finally printed Fraud Claim – concerning fraud and kickback allegations against the President of the company building Barbados’ way-over-budget and controversial highway and flyover project. We presume that other island media might pick up the story – but even that is not a given. At the time of this writing (12:30pm Barbados Time, Friday, September 14, 2007) neither the Barbados Advocate nor the CBC has reported the scandal.

As Barbados Free Press said last week…

Barbados News Media Again Proves It Cannot Be Trusted

On Tuesday, September 4, 2007, two local blogs – Barbados Underground and Barbados Free Press – published news stories about how Jonathan Lazlo Danos, President of Barbados flyover contractor 3S Structural Steel Solutions, is being sued for fraud and secret kickbacks on another government highway bridge project in Jamaica.

This Is A Huge And Important Story That Should Have Been Covered Immediately By The Barbados News Media

The fact that the President of the company that is building Barbados’ controversial highway and flyover bridges should be sued for fraud and secret kickbacks in relation to a similar bridge project for another Caribbean government is a HUGE news story. The Barbados highway and flyover bridge project is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and was awarded by the Barbados government behind closed doors under circumstances that have even the most jaded government supporters shaking their heads…

… This joint refusal of ALL the Barbados news media to cover a story of national importance about allegations of fraud and secret kickbacks by a man who is in charge of our national highway and bridge project is unforgivable.

At best, it shows that there is no freedom of the press in Barbados. At worst, it shows a conspiracy by all the major Barbados news media to hush up what should be a crisis of credibility for the Barbados Government…

… from BFP’s TELL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS: Barbados Media Hides 3S Fraud Scandal From Bajan Citizens

INSIDE SOURCE: Barbados Blogs’ Print Editions Embarrassed The Nation Newspaper Into Covering The Scandal

According to our sources, the story published in the Nation News today had been ready to go for a week, but the Nation News held the story back pending permission of the government! Even after Barbados Free Press launched a printed edition on Monday, September 10, 2007, senior management at The Nation dithered because the story was likely to embarrass the government. (ed: Disgusting)

When Barbados Underground published a highly comprehensive flyover article in their printed edition (link here) on Tuesday, September 11, 2007, that was the final straw for many of the journalists at The Nation News. A staff rebellion had already been brewing since the blogs broke the story online on September 4th and taunted The Nation and other Barbados media for failing to cover such important news. The tension was heightened on Wednesday morning when several Nation News staff members brought copies of the blogs’ printed editions into work. At least one of the journalists said that they had not printed the blog paper themselves but was given it by someone else.

According to one of our sources, this proof that the two Barbados blog newspapers were in actual circulation sent the newsroom and senior management into a frenzy, yet senior management met late Wednesday morning and still no decision was made to run with the story that had already broken in print on the streets of Bridgetown!

Senior Management At The Nation News Consulted With Government Before Printing The Story!!!

And here comes the best part, my friends…

Our sources each independently confirm that after Wednesday’s meeting, the Senior Management at the Nation News consulted with various government personnel as to how to handle this news story. “We’ll get back to you” was all they could get from anyone in government. By the end of Wednesday no definitive answer had been received from the government and the journalist rebellion was gaining momentum. According to one source, “By Thursday morning the tension (between staff and management) was like to be cut with a knife” …

… and still no decision on how and when to print the news!

On Thursday morning senior management again met to discuss their problem – they couldn’t get anyone from the government to either comment on the story for the record or to provide a blessing for running “at least something” to stop the embarrassment for the newspaper. By Thursday afternoon a series of “door closers” (meetings) had still failed to produce a decision and with the mood in the newsroom described as “ugly as sin” the decision was made to “print something, anything – just don’t use the work ‘kickbacks’…”.

Lies Of Omission, Twists Of Truth

That decision on Thursday afternoon resulted in the article found in today’s Nation News – which is devoid of the word “kickback” or any comments from opposition parties or anyone who might cause readers to ask how we know such kickbacks are not part of our flyover project.

The failure after 11 days to have anyone in government comment upon the story is concealed by falsely implying to the Nation’s readers that this is a “just breaking” story. Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke was “unavailable for comment yesterday” (Thursday) as he was “convalescing in the United States”. Acting Minister of Public Works, Senator Tyrone Barker said he couldn’t speak on such matters “off the cuff”.

After all – this is a just breaking story, don’t ya know?

And what about the Prime Minister, or Deputy Prime Minister? One would think that someone senior in government could have been contacted for such an important story where the Nation News took ELEVEN DAYS to write a few paragraphs.

Why wasn’t the Prime Minister asked to comment on fraud and kickback allegations against the contractor of our half a billion dollar highway project?

Ah…. Now there is another story…

Why Has Government Been Unable To Comment On This Important Story?

Our sources tell us that Prime Minister Owen Arthur has been “unavailable” for most of the week.

Which is also why no one in government dared to make a decision for The Nation News about when and how they should present their 11 day old “breaking story”.

There is much, much more to this entire story. We’re working on it and Barbados Free Press readers will hear more when we have sufficiently confirmed what we are hearing from various sources.

Meanwhile, you might want to write to the Nation News and ask them why they sat on a story of national interest for 11 days.

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41 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Blogging, Business, Business & Banking, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

41 responses to “Triumph Of The Blogs’ Print Editions – Nation News Shamed Into Reporting Fraud Allegations Against Barbados Flyover Contractor, But Their Carefully Managed Story Still Communicates A Lie

  1. Adrian Hinds

    This is all so obvious to me, and i live all de way in Rhode Island U.S.A.. I attribute it to linking tit-bits of info from various sources to build a likely scenario for certain actions and inactions.

    Here is what i wrote at BU earlier today.

    —————————————————————
    Adrian Hinds, on September 14th, 2007 at 1:25 pm Said:
    I think the readership of the blogs and forums, in addition to what has taken place in the US and elsewhere has demonstrated to the Bajan mainstream media that they are progressing towards a similar demise. Everything todate from the advocate, nation, and vob has centered around the fact that their are first foremost a business, and the threat of libel and large litigation payouts, in addition to the lost of revenue from being continually denied a tv and other potential communications licences to my mind is the core focus of their approach on what to report on and how to report it. In the past they only had to pander to and or contend with one end of the string, the end that has a vested interest in with-holding news and information, now they must pander and contend with other end of the string that is demanding the news and information that is being withheld. This end of the string represent their core and most loyal revenue stream, the people, and any business that intends to manage the up and down cycles of business, and to build-out and progress in the long run have got to secure their core, via loyalty activity on the business part and in it’s many forms, in order to profit , to build out and to progress. The blogs are a direct threat to their very existence, and the flyer’s would have demonstrated in a much more tangible way how this is so than the viewership of the online spaces can. Bigger media house have fall to the blogs, they can too.

    http://bajan.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/nation-newspaper-finally-awakes-from-a-deep-slumber-by-publishing-the-3s-barbados-srl-jonthos-danos-story-can-they-stay-awake/#comment-6619

  2. Andrew

    Tut Tut

    This government seems to have the news media in its hip pocket.

    Then the PM will say we are a developing nation.

    More like a Banana Republic if you ask me.

    One has to wonder if the press is going to sit back and let this fair land become another Zimbabwe, without even a whimper.

    BFP, you will know how to frame your next print edition to really shame their tails

  3. Wishing in Vain

    All I will say is thank god for BFP and BU if it were not for them we would be living in the dark ages devoid of any news.
    The other amazing issue here is we are supposed to have an effective gov’t running the affairs of this island but when the short runt is out of the island there is no one with a voice to say anything on any subject, this sounds more like a dictatorship than a democracy to me, why is the title DPM bestowed on Mottley if she is unable to issue a statement on any subject at all?
    Why would the Nation or any other media house have to seek permission to from the gov’t on the printing of this story are they lapdogs of the ruling party or do they need the dictators permission to say what they ought to say.

  4. Adrian Hinds

    What BFP and BU needs to do now is to contrast the time and date you broke this story with the time and date the Nationnews did it, then use this contrast to further drive the recognition of the Blogs among the very core of the mainstream media in Barbados, their subscribers. Let us all use our creativity to develop a good marketing package that is short, easy, and on point with this message. Let us submit them to BFP and BU for their concideration to be sent out ahead of the next set of news flyers.

  5. Past de dutchie on the left hand side

    I want the head of starcom on my desk tomorrow this time. I listened in to see if anything would be said. But for the whole so and so progarm nothing. Just the beginning part with ellis talking something about it. The high part of the program though was the guy asking ellis about the horse racing. This striked me as government trying to derail the show.

  6. Wishing in Vain

    Catching up on another scandal that this lot are part of is the court case in Alaska with VECO see link below.
    http://community.adn.com/adn/node/110605

  7. YUM YUM I like it!

    Past de dutchie on the left hand side

    I listened to ‘Down to Brass Tacks’ (with David Ellis) yesterday for the first time in ages. I had to force myself to listen all the way through – it was PAINFUL!!

    Here are my main criticisms:
    1) Ellis is arrogant and bullying
    2) Ellis ALWAYS has to have the last word (cutting people off then continuing to speak)
    3) Ellis never once mentioned the blogs (although he constantly hinted at them saying ‘certain writers…..’
    4) Nearly every caller was incoherent and muddled
    5) Discussion topics were poorly organised

    Plainly, the radio call-in show is a dying format, if this pile of plop is anything to go by! Blogs are much more fun and are far more intelligently run – no patronising host who is in love with the sound of his own voice!

    Long live BU and BFP!

  8. Adrian Hinds

    Wishing in Vain
    September 14th, 2007 at 8:16 pm
    this sounds more like a dictatorship than a democracy to me, why is the title DPM bestowed on Mottley if she is unable to issue a statement on any subject at all?
    Why would the Nation or any other media house have to seek permission to from the gov’t on the printing of this story are they lapdogs of the ruling party or do they need the dictators permission to say what they ought to say.
    —————————————————————-
    If has been proven time and time again that these caribbean island’s partial and unchanged implimentation of Westminister does gaurantee us an elected dictator.

    We can never get away from the many drawbacks of our system no matter how we try.

  9. reality check

    well if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its probably a duck

    the writing has been on the wall for some time except for the willfully blind

    he who pays the piper calls the tune

    The piper is Owen

    get it!

    You are not living in a democracy by any stretch of the imagination

  10. Yardbroom

    The print media in Barbados have
    operated in a certain way for many years, they have never had to think on their feet in a changing news situation, they have therefore become moribund.

    A new situation has arisen and no one seems able to take charge and be a real investigative journalist. Do I blame them all? no! circumstances have inculcated a certain mindset, and they seem incapable of breaking free.

  11. Pogo

    BFP we would like to see more paper printouts. They were supergood.

    So many people not internet types saw the paper and wanted more. The people are squarely with you and will help.

    Since so many government idiots attacking all day why don’t you turn off comments for all but three hours a day which is more than enough for the intelligent contributors to be there for you?

    Maybe then the morons at government who are attacking can be put to more useful work like getting their jobs done. We already know how pathetic and desparate these attacks are.

    If the attacks continue why not give us the addresses back to them because we can do much more damage to them than they are doing to you.

  12. Hants

    The Nation beat you to it BFP

    MP in court over national insurance
    Published on: 9/14/07.

    MARSHALL CHARGED. Member of Parliament Rommell Marshall was in court yesterday to answer charges brought against him by the National Insurance Department. He was accused, among other things, of failing or neglecting to pay contributions due from the Delmar Group, of which he is a director, on behalf of people employed by him. Here, Marshall (right), leaving the District “A” Magistrates’ Court with his attorney Michael Yearwood yesterday.

  13. sacrificial smallfry lamb

    Hants

    the sacrificial petty theft lamb has been charged

    not that he shouldn’t necessarily be ( don’t know the circumstances ) but what about the real big-up “tiefs”

    They will point to Marshall and say “you see justice is being done” The non-independent judiciary probably manipulated the prosecutors to focus on him to keep him in line or bolt from the party and start blabbing. How many other NIS non contributors have been charged who are way over due?

    Not paying your NIS is nothing compared to conspiring to loot the National Treasury by a pack of good old boys looking after everyone but the Barbadian taxpayer. Rommell is chicken feed.

  14. Anonymous

    Has the Barbados Advocate or VOB carried the story as yet?

  15. Lady Anon

    I know that I said I wasn’t going to post for a while, but I couldn’t help it.

    As a Member of Parliament knowing the laws of Barbados Rommel Marshall SHOULD BE MADE TO RESIGN for disregarding the laws of the land.

  16. J. Payne

    The NationNews is based in Port-of-Spain. What’s soo “Barbadian” about it?

  17. Straight talk

    Yardfowl:

    With respect to all your previous well thought out posts, on this occasion I am forced to disagree.

    Professional journalists are not nimble on their feet?

    Rubbish!

    Their whole raison d,etre is the clever use of words.

    If their facility with vocabulary falls below your high standards, it is because of outside influence.

    This is where we vary, for a medium to compromise its implicit contract with its readership, i.e. to provide them with up to the minute informed news and analysis, is a very serious assault on democracy.

    Ordinary Bajans pay OCM up to $500 p.a. to be kept factually informed.

    On this week’s performance The Nation has broken this contract on the altar of political expediency or preferential financial considerations.

    Whichever it has destroyed its reputation for impartiality and factual reporting.

    We rely on our media as the first bulwark in the defence of free speech.
    But when they so easily succumb to the almighty dollar in their editorial policy they shame their fellow professionals all around the world, and bring calumny upon this Barbados.

    I do not wish to be represented as a mushroom.

    I demand respect as a free citizen in a democracy.

    It saddens me, Yardbroom, that you can so easily excuse this compliant behaviour.

  18. Hants

    Anyone listening to VOB recently will notice that David Ellis in particular has been quietly asking questions about the serious issues that have been raised on this blog.

    Listen to VOB tonight at midnight.

    Just like this blog, call in programs give the average Bajan a chance to raise issues.

    Yes they are dominated by partisan callers but at least you get to hear people other than politicians.

  19. IN accordance with what this country’s independence stands for, BARBADIANS will fearlessly and freely state THEIR opinions on LOCAL matters.

    Just like or fellow citizens, Mr.Owen Arthur and the BLP government.

    —————————————————————
    FREEDOM OF SPEECH A MUST
    Web Posted – Thu Apr 10 2003
    IN accordance with what this country’s independence stands for, the Barbadian government will fearlessly and freely state its opinion on international matters.
    This was the firm statement made by Prime Minister Owen Arthur as he spoke during “The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation: A Caribbean Dialogue”, hosted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the Government of Barbados.
    “The acceptance of the notion that we should not express ourselves freely or seriously on a matter which concerns our sovereign interest, or which affects the outcome of the world in which we live, would be a fundamental and shameful betrayal on the very nature upon which our independence was fought for,” Arthur stated.
    He continued: “And should there be any doubt, please let me assert, the government of Barbados believes that its opinion is of value because that opinion is not for hire nor for sale.”
    Saying that it is essential that the Caribbean does not lose its self-respect in the international world, he noted that the many challenges developing countries face with globalisation must be overcome effectively to prevent the misfortune of their citizens.
    The minister explained, “On the one hand the human race unquestionably possesses the technological capabilities, the productive capacity and the financial means to create the material prosperity to support sustainable livelihoods all across the world,” but added that this was contradictory to the inequalities being experienced by developing countries. “The most dangerous social disparity in social society is the unrelenting acceptance of the status quo, which holds that true development is best made for only a few select countries and that the rest of us are condemned to inferior unsatisfactory permanent status of being a developing or least developed society,” Arthur said.
    The Minister of Finance said that there is a need to “civilise” globalisation, and noted that one of the real and present dangers was that of new forms of marginalisation and the exploitation of groups.
    Conveying that globalisation gives persons the opportunity to place more national and regional development efforts on equality of social capital, he stressed that a strategic focus must be to build on this capital.
    He stated that the entire Caribbean would welcome the establishment of the World Commission on the social dimension of globalisation as a necessary view by which an international consensus can be revised, so that regional countries would benefit as well as their international counterparts.
    “We need to assert the right to full, true independent development, because the philosophical and ideological forces which underpin globalisation left by themselves will succeed only in ensuring and enforcing the denial of such a right across a wide cross section of the global society,” he said.

  20. Wishing in Vain

    Lady Anon
    As a Member of Parliament knowing the laws of Barbados Rommel Marshall SHOULD BE MADE TO RESIGN for disregarding the laws of the land.
    This is my point exactly this is exactly what I asked earlier this evening, in much the same way that it reported that the woman Sixxt erected chains across the road in St.Jame to block locals from getting to the beach and then we hear that Miller has her as the consul to Germany but she is breaking the law in the land that is her adopted home this is so wrong and should not go unpunished.

  21. bajejun

    The nation’s article is a good example why we shouldn’t believe everything that company prints, if it was not for BFP and BU we would have been gobbling up this garbage as total truth. Thank you BFP and BU for the other side. I have now started to tell everyone I speak to about looking up Barbados Free Press so far I have told about 30 persons, now it’s on to the printed version.

  22. bajejun

    I now hope the opposition has the guts to loudly call for the resignation of Rommel Marshall, and not let this be quitely swept under the carpet. These people have been doing as they please for far to long . Imagine a member of parliment an elected official cheating the treasury of much needed revenue. Shameful, shameful, shameful.

  23. Rumplestilskin

    The events of the past few weeks at least, if the events of the past year did not, should enlighten those that were doubtful, that anyone who seeks to limit ‘reasonable’ freedom of the press and refuses to answer appropriate questions probably has a reason of their own for such control and limitation.

    I would suggest that the Government owned media house CBC should not be under the direct control of any Minister, but instead under the control of an appointed Board, the appointment committee being made up of a cross-section of persons from business, labour, Government, Opposition, professional organisations and media professionals.

    Independence of media is one of the cornerstones of a fair society.

    As it is, we know that the two newspapers are owned or managed by Government-sympathetic individuals, thus independence is doubtful, witness for example the delay in reporting of the latest story and the manner of reporting, very carefully crafted.

    Peace.

  24. Wishing in Vain

    bajejun
    They have stopped short of the mark as they shouldhave charged him a long time ago with corruption against the state for that scam he was allowed to pull with the insurance for the Transport board to the tune of $ 500,000.00 but I guess the rampant manner in which they are stealing now this should considered small change.

  25. our judiciary

    speaking of good reporters doing their job

    do you think that the lawyers in our fair land from the Chief Justice on down have paid VAT on all their legal bills as required by law. Think again

    They submit bills of cost to the courts for taxation in the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars for which they never pay their VAT nor in many cases have they been paid by their clients.

    The taxation process is used by those in charge to exert pressure and extract monies from those little people in the country who do not fall into line. See keltruth.com

    Maybe an astute reporter should go over to the Supreme Court Registry and get a list of taxed costs and then check with the Tax department to see which lawyers have paid their VAT and which have not.

    Rommell will pale into insignificance.

    We have permitted a culture where there are rules for the little guy and no rules for those in charge. The legal profession has protected and encouraged this behaviour for years.

    The foxes have been in charge of the hen house for some time now.

    This can only happen in a country without a truly free press has been muzzled

  26. Eye-wonder

    I wonder… you must be…

    Tired?

    Sleepy?

    Go and sleep, do.

    Cuhdear… you could always come back and delete everything in an hour or so.

    I wonder if you realise that we will NEVER stop until we fck you up real good?

    You better hope and pray that we never find your family… there are a lot of wicked crazy people out there. Criminal minded psychos….

    Heheheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

  27. YUM YUM I like it!

    Good morning good people

    I notice this morning that both the Nation and Advocate websites are off-line.

    Wonder why?

  28. Yardbroom

    Straight Talk
    You unfortunately failed to grasp the “essence” of my post, I wrote:

    ” A new situation has arisen and no one seems able to take charge, and be a real investigative journalist. Do I blame them all? No!”

    My statement meant that there are jourlalists who would like to be investigative – perhaps not a majority – but I am sure there are some, however they are constrained by a variety of factors. Their employers, Government interference, and powerful people who have influence with the aforementioned, they have not got the freedom to do as they wish.

    Furthermore Barbados is a small island with limited opportunities for journalists, the threat of being unemployed hangs over them, and that is a concern and disincentive to being proactive.

    I have always tried to have balance in what I write – because that is the way I think – and I try to see the whole picture. I am mindful of what I want, and what could or should be done, but I also take cognizance of the other person’s perspective as well. This means at times others will disagree with my opinion, but if you are an “independent spirit” you have to expect that.

    I am not a journalist whose job is on the line in Barbados, and have to operate by the principle:

    “If you want a place in the aviary you have to cheep the right tune”.

    My family and my livelihood are not at stake, therefore I can write what I please.

    Now to the “meat” of the matter, to have a modicum of understanding for an individual journalist, is a different matter to excusing the editorial policy or politics driven agenda of a publishing house, which acts to the disadvantage of the citizens of a country. This is the problem in Barbados and has been for some time.

    Politicians are not held to account by being interviewed in the way they should be, by the print and news media and if they are – as in a recent case eg Mr David Ellis – they leave the studio. You see Straight Talk, all journalist are not the same, they are constrained by circumstances, and it would be disingenuous – and unfair – of us not to understand that.

    Of less concern is that someone disagrees with my point of view, it does not alarm me, neither should they be alarmed that I disagree with them. That is the true test of “freedom of speech” from your post what both of us seek of the Barbados media.

  29. YUM YUM I like it!

    Yes, we know!

    To stifle free speech!!!!!!

  30. YUM YUM I like it!

    Then we’ll all move somewhere else.

    You can’t stop free speech on the internet.

    Even in China people find a way!

  31. Reality Bytes

    The following is a post to another website by A.H which shows how some people speak out of both sides of their mouths.

    “So why aren’t you telling neighbours? are you so partisan that you will be a good and faithfull party servant and withhold information that should be in the public domain? I think you are right about BFP in fact i have conclusive evidence of who they are and their relationships with certain DLP people, but i will not be divulging anything beyond that because there is a dire need for this kind of expose in Barbados, and i will take it from whomever. BU on the other hand i think is sincere and more intune with my position (Anti-political party) as an eternal oppositionist, becuase we see the flaws in our system of governance as the real culprit for the level of curruption that we have. “

  32. Adrian Hinds

    Reality Bytes
    September 15th, 2007 at 11:24 am
    The following is a post to another website by A.H which shows how some people speak out of both sides of their mouths.

    …..Don’t think for a minute that i don’t know who you are.

    ….My views of BFP are lengendary and have not changed. I still believe that they are “related” to the DLP. Yet i embrace what they are doing as it needs to be done. You are not bringing any tales out of school.

  33. Yardbroom

    In reference to the spam I saw on this site earlier:
    You can whip a people, you can shackle them to horses, but providing their minds are free, and they are able to think, freedom will ultimately be theirs.

    They said BFP was insignificant, that no one took any notice of them, and yet they have devoted mice and men to seek them out to destroy them. So many hours of effort to destroy a source of information they said was insignificant.

    I say take the high ground, do not go into swear words or name calling, just stick to the naked unvarnished truth, speak to and for the people, truth will not be blunted by lies and threats.

    We are an island people we have “all” come a long way to be here. We must think of that indomitable spirit and what binds us together. We must be prepared to reach out to all our people, and that includes those without internet access, they have a voice and must be heard.

    Let them be received from the villages, along the lanes and the alleys, and from where ever their feet touch our precious soil. Let justice and freedom ring their echoes across our land, and thus call our people to righteousness and justice that is theirs by right.

  34. Backra Johnny

    Yardbroom
    I really enjoy reading your submissions ..
    I have you penciled in as the speechwriter for the new political party that I foresee may evolve from these blogs ” The Barbados Free Party ”

    To all serious bloggers out there, keep up the pressure, we WILL win back our country …

  35. Straight talk

    Yardfowl:

    I apologise for not grasping the essence of your post.

    To me, a mere mortal, it stank of pragmatism.

    By your analysis, if a member of the RBPF cannot make ends meet, then the hell with it, take a bribe its the system’s fault.

    Not good enough.

    Please ellucidate.

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