Backed by a wave of Zionist- and US-inspired “terror hysteria” the extreme right wing Australian Coalition Government with the support of the right wing Labor Opposition has passed further draconian additions to already draconian anti-terrorism legislation that makes Australia a secret police state with detention without charge or trial, Australian Intelligence officers (e.g. those of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization, ASIO) having criminal and civil immunity from prosecution, and reportage on any special intelligence operations criminalized with maximum punishments ranging from 5 years' to 10 years' imprisonment.
Australia and the West are in the grip of “terror hysteria” due to responses by US Alliance state terrorism (US state terrorism, UK state terrorism, French state terrorism, Israeli state terrorism, and Australian state terrorism) to the advances of the Sunni rebel group Islamic State (IS) in the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars. This “terror hysteria” has been exacerbated by reported barbarous IS acts (beheading of several Western journalists or aid workers, arbitrary killings of others, mass execution of prisoners and the terrorizing of non-Sunni Muslims and of ethnic and religious minorities) and the fear that “home grown” IS supporters will commit terrorist acts (already tragically realized in Canada) or that “foreign fighters” returning from Syria or Iraq will commit such atrocities.
The Australian “terror hysteria” response has been utterly disproportionate because the “annual empirical probability of an Australian dying from a preventable cause” (1 in 294) is about 370,000 times greater than the “annual empirical probability of an Australian dying in Australia from a terrorist attack (1 in 109 million).
(A) Formerly legislated, (B) recently legislated and (C) soon-to-be legislated draconian Australian anti-terrorism laws and their human rights implications are summarized below.
(A). Existing draconian anti-terrorism laws under the Australian Anti-Terrorism Act 2005.
After the US Government’s 2001 false-flag 9-11 atrocity (3,000 killed; Google “Experts: US did 9-11”) and the illegal, war criminal US, UK and Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003 (2.7 million Iraqi deaths from violence or violently-imposed deprivation; Google “Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”) , Australian anti-terrorism laws were expanded by the extreme right wing Australian Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Government lead by PM John Howard and passed by the Australian Parliament in December 2005, supported by the Australian Labor Party Opposition but opposed in the Senate by the Green and Australian Democrat senators. These draconian laws (that the present Coalition Government now wants to extend for a further decade) involve the following extraordinary human rights abuses as summarized in the Wikipedia entry “Australian Anti-Terrorism Act 2005”, Wikipedia [my amplifying comments are given in square brackets]:
(1). Potential for preventive detention: short term detention for named individuals: without evidence; and without criminal involvement; the detainee may be interrogated by Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO); disclosing that an individual has been so detained or interrogated is, in almost all circumstances a crime [thus telling your spouse or a spouse telling others of such detention is punishable by 5 years in prison; not answering questions in interrogation is also a criminal offence].
(2). Control orders: Potential for almost unlimited restrictions on named individuals: freedom of movement; freedom of association (including one's lawyer); banning the performing of named actions and owning named items, including actions and things necessary to earn a living; unlimited requirements to be, or not to be, at specified places at any or all times of the day and week; wear a tracking device; and including encouragement to submit to re-education. These restrictions are referred to as "control orders", and may be granted for a period of one year before review [these have already been emplaced against some Australians who visited Pakistan and/or Afghanistan].
(3). Significant restrictions on the right of any citizen to express certain opinions: including criticism, or "urging disaffection", of the sovereign, the constitution, the government, the law, or 'different groups'; exemptions may exist where the target of criticism is agreed to be 'in error'; exemptions appear to exist where the claim is that a feature of a group of people is in some way offensive to the mainstream of society; onus of proof of goodwill is on the defendant - the presumption is not of innocence [thus the taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC, the Australian equivalent of the UK BBC, obtained a Queens Counsel’s opinion that outstanding expatriate Australian journalist John Pilger may have violated these provisions and thus been liable to 7 years’ imprisonment for criticism of the invasion Iraq and comparing the Iraqis resisting the illegal US Alliance invasion with the French Resistance in WW2].
(4). It becomes a crime, punishable by life imprisonment, to recklessly provide funds to a potential terrorist: funds include money and equivalents and also assets; it is not necessary that the culprit know the receiver is a terrorist, only that they are reckless about the possibility; it is not even necessary that the receiver is a terrorist, only that the first person is reckless about the possibility that they might be [thus making a donation to a Hamas-run orphanage in Gaza could attract life imprisonment while donations towards the ongoing Palestinian Genocide via the Jewish National Fund (JNF) are tax deductible].
(5). Police can request information from any source about any named person: any information about the person's travel, residence, telephone calls, financial transactions amongst other information; professional privilege does not apply; it can be an offence to disclose that such documents have been obtained.
(6). A legislative provision for 'hoax offences' will create a more serious charge for people who cause chaos for the public and emergency services by dreaming up devastating terrorist-inspired hoaxes.”
(B). New anti-terrorism laws under The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 and the Foreign Fighters Bill (2014).
(B1) New National Security anti-terrorism laws proposed by the extreme right wing Coalition were passed by the Australian Parliament in October 2014 with the support of the extreme right wing Labor Opposition but were opposed by the pro-human rights Greens. These new laws involve the following human rights invasions, as summarized by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC, Australia's equivalent of the UK BBC) (see Emma Griffiths, “Explainer: what do the new anti-terrorism laws involve and how will they be rolled out?”, ABC News, 2014):
(1) allow one warrant to cover a whole computer network, allowing ASIO officers to disrupt the operation of targeted computers and use third party computers to access targeted computers
(2) give ASIO officers criminal and civil immunity from prosecution under a newly defined covert "special intelligence operation" - but the Attorney-General says this will not permit torture
(3) enable Australia’s overseas spy agency ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service) to spy on Australians overseas and to cooperate with ASIO with less executive oversight
(4) increase the penalty for disclosing information about a special intelligence operation to a maximum of five years imprisonment, and 10 years imprisonment if it can be proven the person intended to endanger someone or was "reckless" about whether disclosing the information would endanger someone (this provision has the potential to impact journalists) [even the extreme right wing Murdoch media empire is upset over these laws]
(5) open up ASIO tasks and powers to contractors and public servants seconded from other agencies and make it easier for ASIO employees to work in other parts of the public service” [i.e. a corporate Gestapo].
(B2) New counter-Terrorism laws under a Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill were passed by the Australian Parliament in October 2014. The laws of this “Foreign Fighters Bill” are designed to make it easier to identify charge and prosecute Australians who have been engaged in “terrorist activities overseas” (as perceived and non-legislatively defined and announced by the Government of the day) and will impact Australian human rights as follows as summarized by Emma Griffiths of the ABC:
(1) make it an offence to travel to or remain in a "declared area" designated as being of "terrorist activity" without a valid reason (for example humanitarian or family purposes) - but the Attorney-General says this will not reverse the onus of proof [it is very difficult to prove a negative e.g. “that you are not a terrorist, a spy, a traitor” etc. and furthermore this prevents Syrians and Iraqis and anyone else at the whim of the Australian Government from visiting their homeland]
(2) broaden the application of law from a "terrorism activity" to "terrorism"
(3) make it an offence to "advocate terrorism", including on social media, carrying a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment [this is a massive attack on free speech vital for Australian democracy and indeed Australian security]
(4) expand the definition of terrorist training and "armed hostilities"
(5) lower the threshold for authorities to be granted control orders and preventative detention orders
(6) redefine the definition of an "imminent" terrorist attack to one that will occur within 14 days
(7) allow welfare payments to be cut off for people assessed as a serious threat whose passports have been cancelled [enabling further punitive measures of a Government against people it does not like or agree with]”
(C). Proposed telecommunications and computer data retention legislation (likely to be shortly approved by Parliament in 2014).
The proposed data retention legislation is under development by the Australian Government and will be put to Parliament in 2014. The public discussion has been confused by the distinction between (a) metadata (the record of communications contact between A and B) and (b) what was actually said. According to the ABC these proposed laws will:
(1) require telecommunications companies to retain customer's phone and computer metadata for around two years
(2) include a "statutory definition" of metadata to ensure clarity on what information will be kept
(3) still require security agencies to obtain a warrant before accessing the actual content of messages or conversations [in short, with a record of all the communications of all Australians, the secret police can then get a court order in relation to any persons of particular interest from ordinary citizens to MPs and activists to determine the actual details of all their interactions]”.
Leading Australian law academic Professor George Williams (Anthony Mason Professor of law at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia) has strongly objected to these new laws when they were proposed: “In particular, the government wants to extend the life of three extraordinary regimes until the middle of the next decade. These provide for preventative detention orders, control orders and questioning and detention by ASIO. None of these regimes can now be found in nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Not even Israel allows its domestic spy agency to detain innocent citizens and subject them to jail if they refuse to answer questions. Independent reports have found these three regimes to be unnecessary and ineffective. Each has been recommended for repeal.
The government is ignoring these findings by proposing to extend the regimes under cover of dealing with the foreign fighter problem. It is pushing for this now despite the fact that none of them will expire until the end of next year. The second bill will also allow Australians to be jailed for up to 10 years for entering certain areas. The government could declare any area to be a no-go zone on the basis that a listed terrorist organization is engaging in hostile activity there. Iraq and Syria certainly come to mind, but so do other nations such as Israel, Indonesia and even, given past experience, the United States. A person could escape conviction only by proving that they went to the area solely for a reason identified by the government as legitimate. The Bill says that it is a defense to enter a no-go zone such as to provide humanitarian aid or visit a family member. On the other hand, a person could be jailed if they went there to visit a friend, undertake freelance journalism, for a religious pilgrimage or to conduct business.”
Bill Rowlings (CEO of Civil Liberties Australia) has made the following trenchant criticism of the new laws before they were passed: “ New ASIO spy laws are not designed to combat jihadists: they are so ASIO and its “affiliates” can legally tap the mobile phones and laptops of presidents and prime ministers attending the G20 in Brisbane in November. The laws are slated to be rushed through parliament in this current session. They declare a lot of what's now illegal, legal. They will allow carte blanche for the domestic spooks, ASIO, the overseas spy agency ASIS and their special spy friends –called affiliates –to operate virtually without restraint at the G20. Should Australia monitor the G20's phone and data traffic? What are the ethics and morality of doing so? It's a debate we should have but from next month, you won't be allowed to air the issue, because any “special” ASIO operation may not be discussed… Can you imagine the scenario: I write the first half dozen sentences of this story, and then consult the “prescribed authority”.
Immediately, I'm ordered not to publish. I'm subjected to ASIO and AFP raids, taps are instantly put on my phones and computers, and I'm followed from pillar to post office. Anyone I talk to in person, by phone or computer becomes a leak suspect. And no story gets out. ENDNOTE and disclosure: I don't know for sure that the main reason for the new laws is the G20 [to be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in November 2014] . But it is a reasonable “intelligence” estimate, based on reading the 124 pages of the draft legislation and the 167 pages of the explanatory document which accompanies it, being aware of what's said at parliamentary committee hearings, and reading and listening to the public commentary in and on the media on the laws, and on the G20. Will ASIO similarly disclose for public debate what is the foundation for their “intelligence” estimate of 200 possible returning jihadists potentially threatening Australia , and explain the different US estimate and the vastly different danger assessment of returning jihadists?”
Some further key points can be made
1. Australia shares its intelligence with the “5 eyes” (the US , UK , Australia , Canada and New Zealand ) but no mention is made of the 6th eye, the Apartheid Israelis. According to the Sydney Morning Herald's Phillip Dorling: “The United States National Security Agency routinely shares intelligence data with Israel without first sifting through it to remove information about US citizens or the citizens of close allies including Australia, according to a top-secret agreement disclosed by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden” (Google “US shares raw intelligence on Australians with Israel”).
2. Australian Intelligence is set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars more and more draconian laws violating our human rights from the Coalition – it is on the crest of a foreign-manufactured wave of Islamophobia, anti-Arab anti-Semitism and “terror hysteria” and all on account of the Sunni rebels in Iraq and Syria who are evidently prepared to try to match US Alliance barbarity with barbarity of their own. It is likely that hundreds of ISIS rebels have been blown to bits in disproportionate US “turkey shoot” responses to the awful IS beheadings and there is a clear prospect of tens of thousands more rebels to be thus killed due to an “endless” and disproportionate US Alliance involvement in this civil war that threatens a lucrative non-Russian gas supply for Europe.
3. There is no mention by Australian Intelligence, politicians and media of Australian “foreign fighters” involved in the horrendous war crimes of Apartheid Israeli state terrorism in Gaza, the Occupied Territories and the wider Middle East, not least in the latest Gaza Massacre involving 2,100 killed, 10,000 wounded, 450,000 rendered homeless and 1.8 million people traumatized in response to zero (0) Israeli deaths from Gaza rockets in the previous year.
4. In the last 50 years only 4 Australians have been killed by “terrorists” in Australia, 3 of them in the Hilton Bombing (that many believe was actually due to an operation-gone-wrong of Australian Intelligence) and the other a medical clinic security guard killed by a Right to Life fanatic (none of the “terrorists” were Muslims).
5. In contrast, Australian Intelligence does not deserve more money and powers when it demonstrably fails to protect Australian citizens and their relatives from the actuality of Israeli and dual citizen Australian-Israeli tasering, shooting, bombing, killing, mangling, torturing, kidnapping, robbing, and imprisoning Australians and their relatives, in addition to large-scale Israeli violation of Australian sovereignty through huge passport fraud, spying and subversion of MPs, media and institutions ( a detailed and documented dossier was sent to Australian MPs, media and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) entitled “Racist Zionism and Israeli State Terrorism threats to Australia and Humanity”; for further details Google “ways Australian Intelligence spies”).
6. Freedom of speech is vital for democracy and societal security. Thus rational risk management, that is crucial for societal safety, successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses), and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk. Unfortunately, censorship and lying by Mainstream journalists, editors, politicians and academics already ensures that this science-based protocol is subverted and converted to a spin-based protocol involving (a) lying by commission, lying by omission, censorship and intimidation, (b) anti-science spin involving the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) blame and shame with war and gross human rights abuse as collateral consequences as exampled by the current “terror hysteria” and its outcomes for Australia of illegal war and gross violation of basic human rights.
1. It is estimated that 81,000 Australians die preventably each year, and over 1 million have died thus since the US Government's false-flag 9-11 atrocity (3,000 killed) as compared to only 6 Australian deaths by terrorists (none Muslim) in the last 36 years. Yet the major Australian parties, the currently ruling Coalition and Opposition Labor (aka the Lib-Labs or Liberal-Laborals) have committed $125 billion in terms of long-term accrual cost to the Islamophobic War on Terror and killing 10 million Muslims abroad rather than keeping 1 million Australians alive at home.
2. Australia has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, wars that have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation. The human cost of the Zionist-promoted post-1990 US, UK and Australian War on Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere (Egypt, Syria, Libya, Mali, Palestine) has been 12 million Muslim deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation, the breakdown including 4.6 million Iraqis (1990-2011), 5.5 million Afghans (2001-2014), 2.2 million Somalis (1992-2014), 0.1 million Libyans (2011-2012), and 0.1 million Palestinians (since 1990). Australia is Apartheid Israel 's greatest supporter after the US and in addition to boots on the ground and bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan plays host to US military and is vital in the targeting of war criminal US drone attacks from Africa to South Asia.
3. Australia has been repeatedly involved in the invasion and devastation of Iraq since 1915 i.e. for a century. About 4.6 million Iraqis have been killed by US-UK-Australian state terrorism since 1990, this including 1.7 million Iraqis killed by violence and 2.9 million Iraqis passively murdered through war-imposed deprivation. The average population of Iraq in this period was 25.6 million and accordingly the “empirical annual probability of an Iraqi dying from US state terrorism, UK state terrorism or Australian state terrorism in 1990-2011” was 4.6 million /(22 years x 25.6 million) = 8.2 in 1,000 or 1 in 122, this being 100 million/122 = 820,000 times greater than the annual probability of a US citizen dying from a terrorist attack (1 in 100 million). UK , US and Australian state terrorism indeed.
4. 81,000 Australians die preventably each year, variously from all kinds of preventable causes from smoking, drinking and obesity to homicide and suicide. The present Australian population is 24 million. Accordingly the “empirical annual probability of an Australian dying preventably in Australia ” is 81,000 /24 million = 3.4 per 1,000 or 1 in 294. Since 1978 there have been 6 Australian residents killed by terrorism within Australia (the 3 killed in the 1978 Hilton Bombing that may well have been an Australian Intelligence operation gone wrong, the Sydney Turkish Consul-General and his bodyguard shot in 1980, and a security guard killed by a Right to Life fanatic in Melbourne in July 2001). The average population of Australia in that period was 18.2 million. Accordingly, the “empirical annual probability of Australian being killed by a terrorist within Australia ” is 6 persons /(36 years x 18.2 million ) = 9.2 in 1 billion per year or 1 in 109 million per year. Thus it is 109 million/294 = 0.371 million or about 370,000 times more likely for an Australian resident to die preventably (from smoking, alcohol, obesity, non-terrorist homicide etc.) than to die from a terrorist attack within Australia. The “terror hysteria”-driven diversion from health and education of another $0.6 billion to Australian Intelligence and billions of dollars likely to be consumed by Australia's new Iraq War will kill Australians as surely as deadly armed attacks.
5. Since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (about which the US Government had fore-knowledge), Australia has been extremely tightly linked to the US . Indeed the Whitlam Labor Government, the only Australia Government to have questioned aspects of the US Alliance (the Vietnam War and the Pine Gap spying facility in Central Australia that is now intimately involved in war criminal US drone attacks worldwide ) while not questioning the US Alliance per se, was overthrown in a CIA-linked Coup in 1975. However resolute Mainstream media, academic and bipartisan Coalition and Labor (aka Lib-Lab, Liberal-Laboral) lying in the interests of the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) One Percenters running America does an immense disservice to the American people, 1.5 million of whom die preventably each year, this being linked inescapably to the long-term accrual cost to the US of the War on Terror and of Apartheid Israel totaling $6 trillion and $40 trillion, respectively.
6. The current “terror hysteria” has translated into further anti-Arab anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry in Australia. Indeed the previously existing, new and adumbrated anti-terrorism laws are clearly aimed at Muslims and in support of US state terrorism, UK state terrorism, French state terrorism, Israeli state terrorism, and Australian state terrorism. The Australian Government currently proscribes 19 organizations as “terrorists” with all being Muslim These listings reflect Australia 's role as a slavish lackey of Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-run America – when the US Government says jump, Australia says “how high?” Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization but was elected by an overwhelming majority Palestinian voters in the 2006 elections held under Apartheid Israel guns and is confined to the Gaza Concentration Camp by genocidally racist Apartheid Israel that excludes 93% of Palestinians from voting for the government ruling all of Palestine.
Hezbollah is likewise listed as a terrorist organization but is similarly involved in democracy in Lebanon and in defense against serial war criminal and genocidally racist Apartheid Israel. In contrast, the Zionist terrorist group Irgun, that killed Allied servicemen before, during and after WW2, was de-listed as a terrorist organization by pro-Zionists within the Australian Government. It is clear that the US has variously supported Muslim–origin terrorist groups from Al Qaeda to Islamic State and that Muslim-origin terrorist atrocities assist US imperialism by providing excuses for “shock and awe” high technology US invasions and attendant genocidal atrocities . The US has a long and dirty record of false-flag terrorism. Thus, for example, as described in Philip Agee's book “Inside the Company. CIA Diary” the US ran terrorist groups in Ecuador which would bomb Catholic Churches so that the socialists would be blamed. Terrorism, whether non-state terrorism or state terrorism, is evil – peace is the only way. However with the horrendous reality of a quarter century US-led War on Muslims that has killed 12 million Muslims through violence or war-imposed deprivation from Africa to South Asia , one notes the aphorism that “one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter ”.
7. US lackey Australia ignores US Alliance state terrorism (most notably that involved in the US Government's false-flag 9-11 atrocity” ) and in evident practice adopts the definition that a terrorist is someone the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-backed state terrorists don't like. US state terrorism is a vastly (hundreds of thousand times) greater threat to the lives of Australians and Americans than Muslim-origin non-state terrorists as detailed above.
Impelled by US “terror hysteria” propaganda, the US lackey Australia Coalition Government with Labor Opposition support has extended already draconian Australian anti-terrorism laws. Australians can be detained without charge or trial and face 5 years in prison if they fail to answer all questions or if they report such detention. Australian Intelligence officers have criminal and civil immunity from prosecution, and reportage of any special intelligence operations are criminalized, with maximum punishments ranging from 5 years' to 10 years' imprisonment. The Australian Government has carte blanche to target any ethnic or religious group it doesn’t like (currently Arabs and Muslims). Australia has become a secret police state in which journalists face lengthy imprisonment for informing the public in the public interest. Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste is presently imprisoned for 7 years in the Egyptian military dictatorship just for doing his job. Now Australian journalists can be imprisoned in Australia for 5-10 years just for doing their job.
Australian Intelligence has a very poor record of violating laws and human rights that ranges from helping the US spy on everyone in the world to complicity in US subversion, invasion and genocidal devastation of other countries. However the most fundamental offence is deadly and dangerous malreportage to the Australia Government and people such as that which enabled the illegal and war criminal Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003 with post-invasion Iraqi deaths in the Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide from violence or war-imposed deprivation totaling 2.7 million.
That deadly malreportage by Australian Intelligence is now compounded by new draconian censorship of Australian journalists in relation to intelligence matters. Australian spooks have been given carte blanche to do anything they like. Indeed while they are supposedly prohibited from torturing or raping those secretly detained without trial, Australians actually reporting such horrific abuses face up to 10 years in prison. It is now up to the rest of the world to surmise and assume the worst of Australian Governments and their out-of-control secret police, and to investigate and report all abuses in neo-Nazi Orwellian Australia.
Independent MP and formerly Australian Intelligence employee and Australia Defense Force (ADF) Lieutenant Colonel, Andrew Wilkie, resigned from the Australian Office of National Assessments (ONA) just prior to the illegal Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003, stating that in his expert opinion there was no hard evidence for Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. Andrew Wilkie was subsequently proven to be correct. Andrew Wilkie opposed these latest anti-terrorism laws as a step towards an Australian police state: “"At some point in the future we'll have spies kicking in doors and using force with no police alongside them and that is another step towards a police state:
"Why is the government – with the opposition's support – wanting to overreach like this? I can only assume the government wants to capitalize on and exploit the current security environment. I can only assume that the security agencies are delighted they have been invited to fill in a blank cheque. It is clearly overreach by the security services who have basically been invited to write an open cheque. And the government, which wants to beat its chest and look tough on national security, said, 'We'll sign that'. And the [Labor] opposition, which is desperate to look just as tough on national security, said, 'We'll countersign that cheque too'… This is clamping down on free speech; this is clamping down on oversight of what the security agencies are up to. This is absolutely disgraceful".
Decent people world-wide and in Australia will urge and apply where possible Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all those people, politicians, parties, presstitutes, companies and corporations linked to these gross human rights abuses. Decent Australian voters will reject the mendacious, extreme right wing, war criminal and human rights –abusing Australian Coalition and Labor Right (aka the Lib-Labs or Liberal-Laborals), vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last. People around the world should realize that this can happen to them. Australia – one of the world’s first democracies with universal suffrage – has now adopted draconian laws that make it a police state Australia.
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