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Trump says he’ll visit storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Politico

President Donald Trump said Thursday he’ll visit Puerto Rico, adding that the island was “absolutely obliterated" by Hurricane Maria. This week, Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, knocking out 100 percent of electrical power, destroying infrastructure and causing widespread flooding and mudslides. The Category 4 hurricane came as Puerto Rico was recovering from Hurricane Irma, which struck the U.S. territory earlier in September. “Puerto Rico is in very, very tough shape. Their electrical grid is destroyed. It wasn't in good shape to start off with, but their electrical grid is totally destroyed, and so many other things,” Trump said Thursday, speaking at the start of a meeting at the United Nations with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

CNN: Trump may have been part of Manafort wiretapping.
The Daily Caller

CNN correspondent Pamela Brown indicated Monday that the federal government wiretapping of Paul Manafort may have captured his conversations with Donald Trump. A new report revealed today that Manafort’s communications were under government surveillance both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Trump tweeted in March that phones in Trump Tower were wiretapped by President Barack Obama, a claim that was wholly denied by the Justice Department. However, Brown explained why the new report could give Trump’s claims some validation.

Dem. purchases domain from misspelled Roy Moore ad.
Washington Examiner

Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat, capitalized on a bus ad mishap on Thursday, purchasing the domain for a misspelled Republican opponent's website to redirect all traffic to his campaign site. Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump super PAC backing Republican candidate Judge Roy Moore, misspelled the URL for the website supporting Moore on the side of a bus, writing "alabamaderservesmoore.com", versus the correct URL, which is "alabamadeservesmoore.com." Jones campaign seized the opportunity, purchasing the domain and linking it to redirect traffic to "dougjonesforsenate.com."

GOP health bill offers provisions aimed at helping 2 states.
ABC News

Provisions shoehorned into the Republican health care bill dangle extra money for Alaska and Wisconsin, home states of one GOP senator whose vote party leaders desperately need and another who co-sponsored the legislation, according to analysts who've studied the legislation. The 140-page measure, which top Republicans hope to push through the Senate next week, is stuffed with language making some states winners and others losers. Aides say the legislation is still changing as leaders hunt the 50 GOP "yes" votes they'll need to turn this summer's jarring Senate rejection of the party's crusade to erase President Barack Obama's law into an eleventh-hour triumph. Alaska is home to GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who's among a handful of Republicans who've not said how they'll vote. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is one of the bill's co-sponsors and his support is not in question, but the episode suggests the value of helping craft of legislation.

Mexico: Death toll rises as search for survivors goes on.
BBC News

The death toll from Mexico's powerful earthquake has risen to 273, officials say, as rescuers race against the clock to reach trapped survivors.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said that rescuing and attending to those injured by Tuesday's 7.1 magnitude quake would remain "the highest priority". The quake toppled dozens of buildings and left millions without electricity. Rescuers believe that people may still be trapped alive in as many as 10 buildings in Mexico City alone.The new death toll was announced by Mexico's emergency services chief and the president's office.

Hillary’s new — ever lengthening — list of lies.
National Review

I’ve suggested that Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, would be more accurately titled Why I Should Have Won. But if you wanted to position it as a sequel to her earlier memoir, Living History, you could title it Rewriting History, because What Happened is a recycling bin full of evasions, misleading statements, and flat-out whoppers. The biggest lie is the one she has told many times before, on her notorious private email server: “As the FBI had confirmed, none of the emails I sent or received was marked as classified.” She has said this many times before and been called on it many times before. The verdict? “That’s not true,” said then–FBI director James Comey. “False,” said PolitiFact. The Washington Post’s strange fact-checking system initially gave her two Pinocchios, then decided to give her the full four.

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How the GOP persuaded Trump to campaign in Alabama.
Washington Post

President Trump had formally given Sen. Luther Strange his “complete and total endorsement.” But as recently as last week, his advisers were deeply divided on whether the president should risk jetting to Alabama to prop up the Republican, who was trailing in his primary race behind a challenger who had become a darling to Trump’s base.That prompted GOP establishment forces to wage an intense behind-the-scenes campaign to convince Trump that he could carry Strange across the finish line with an appearance in Alabama.

Anti-Cordray for Ohio governor websites pop up despite no word on actual bid.
Housing Wire

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray hasn’t even officially come out with an Ohio gubernatorial bid, and there’s already a growing list of people fighting to make sure he doesn’t win. In fact, he has said practically nothing on a possible run for Ohio governor. But, his silence isn’t a surprise since the decision would force Cordray to give up his role as director of the bureau before his time is slated to end in July 2018.

Philadelphia finds hundreds of illegal voters
Fox News

Dozens of people who are not U.S. citizens were allowed to register to vote due to a glitch in Pennsylvania's electronic driver's license system, a Philadelphia election official said Wednesday.
Al Schmidt, a Republican who sits on Philadelphia's three-member election commission, told reporters that at least 168 noncitizens -- who are legal residents of the U.S. -- had registered to vote in the city through the licensing system. Philly.com reported that 317 such illegal voters have contacted the commission since 2006 to have their registrations canceled. Of those, Schmidt's office said that 220 were registered to vote from 2006 to 2017. Forty-four voted in one election and 46 voted in more than one election.

Professional protestors want feds to dig up an entire landfill and move it to western states despite dangers.
The Missouri Times

New draft documents released by the EPA show unnecessary excavation at the West Lake Landfill will increase risks to Missourians including local workers and add years to the cleanup process at the site. The draft documents, posted by EPA Region 7 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, compare a variety of options to clean-up the site including a permanent cap and partial to full excavation of the landfill near Bridgeton, Mo. The Coalition to Keep Us Safe, an organization of law enforcement, elected officials, farmers and other community leaders have been advocating for a quick and permanent solution to cleaning up the Landfill since 2014. The group has long promoted the cap alternative as the safest and fastest way to clean up the site.

Whole of Puerto Rico without power.
BBC News

Hurricane Maria has knocked out power across the island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5m people, officials have said. Flash flood warnings cover the entire island, which continues to be lashed by heavy rain in the storm's wake. Meanwhile more pictures are emerging of widespread destruction on the small island of Dominica, hit on Monday. Maria, now a category three storm, has been lashing the Dominican Republic further west and heading towards the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is the second devastating storm to hit the Caribbean this hurricane season - the first being category five Irma earlier in September.
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California School Approves Transgender Books For Kindergartners, Disallows Parents To Remove Children From Class
RedState

The school board of Northern California’s Rocklin Academy Gateway voted unanimously to keep a policy that allows books that promote transgenderism to be read to children as young as five, but added a policy that they would warn parents before they did. Despite notifying the parents, however, the school board denied a proposal to give parents the right to pull their children out of classes that would teach the children pro-transgender education, essentially making the notification rule useless. The controversial vote came about after a kindergarten teacher read “I Am Jazz” — a book about a transgender child’s transition to the opposite sex — and then allegedly held something of a “transition ceremony” where a young boy went into a bathroom, and then reemerged dressed in girl’s clothing. The teacher identified the boy as a girl, with a girl’s name.

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Bannon’s Breitbart attacks McMaster.
The Hill

Breitbart News, the media outlet helmed by President Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, published an article on Sunday casting national security adviser H.R. McMaster as soft on Islamist extremism and terrorism. The article came just two days after Bannon's departure from the White House. He returned to Breitbart later on Friday. Bannon's tenure in the White House was often turbulent, and he is said to have frequently feuded with the president's other aides — McMaster in particular. The former chief strategist's exit from the White House on Friday immediately raised questions about the future of Bannon's relationship with Trump, as well as how Breitbart would cover the administration with Bannon at the helm again. In an interview last week on NBC's "Meet the Press," McMaster repeatedly dodged questions about whether he could work with Bannon, saying simply that he is "ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president's agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people." “I get to work together with a broad range of talented people, and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team,” McMaster told the show's host Chuck Todd.

Paul Ryan gives huge fundraising boost to House GOP.
Washington Examiner

Speaker Paul Ryan continued building a campaign war chest for House Republicans ahead a possibly treacherous midterm election, transferring another $1.5 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee in July. The transfer brought the total the Wisconsin Republican has raised for the NRCC to more than $27 million through July 31, and represented an increase of nearly $500,000 over what he gave to the House GOP campaign arm in July of last year. Of the $60 million the NRCC raised through June 30, Ryan was responsible for more than half — $33 million (the committee ended the first six months of the year with $33.7 million in the bank). NRCC figures weren't available for July. "Paul Ryan is driven by a commitment to help House Republicans succeed on both the policy and political fronts," said Zack Roday, a spokesman for the speaker's political operation. The speaker's political team provided the Washington Examiner with his most up-to-date fundraising totals late last week, as Ryan prepared for Monday's prime time town hall meeting, to be cablecast live by CNN from his Southeastern Wisconsin House district. Ryan could face tough questions.

Kasich: No plans to challenge Trump in 2020.
Politico

Ohio Gov. John Kasich sidestepped questions Sunday about whether he thinks President Donald Trump should face a primary challenge in 2020. “I don't have any plans to do anything like that. I'm rooting for him to get it together,” Kasich told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union." “We all are. I mean, we're only, like, seven months into this presidency.” Kasich, who competed against Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries, said he hopes Trump uses his campaign-style rally in Arizona on Tuesday to help the country heal. “You're going to go to Phoenix and make a speech, fine. That's your right. You can go there. He's got free speech just like the rest of us have it,” Kasich said. “But when you go, try to use that as an opportunity to say something that's going to bring people together.”

Trump boosts US Cyber Command.
The Hill

President Trump announced Friday he is boosting U.S. Cyber Command to a full combatant command, triggering a review of whether it should separate from the National Security Agency. Speculation has swirled for months that Trump could elevate the command, a move that was also considered by the Obama administration. It's a sign of the organization's growing significance in an era when cyber warfare has become the norm. The decision comes before Trump travels to Camp David later Friday to meet with his national security team. In a statement, Trump said the move “will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation’s defense.” “The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries,” he said. Defense Secretary James Mattis will lead a review of whether to split Cyber Command from the NSA. A recommendation will be made "at a later date," Trump said.

Syria war: Rocket hits Damascus trade fair.
BBC

A rocket has struck close to the entrance of a trade fair in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syrian media say. The Damascus International Fair is being held for the first time since the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011. Syrian TV said the rocket had caused casualties. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said five people had died. The fair, which has another 10 days to run, had been a key business event before the Syrian conflict broke out. Its general director, Fares al-Kartally, told AFP news agency earlier in the week that holding the fair, which opened on Thursday, reflected "the return of calm and stability in most regions" and would "signal the start of [the country's] reconstruction". State television reported the attack without giving specific casualties. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about a dozen people had been injured in addition to the five dead.

CNN blatantly covers up ‘Antifa’ violence.
RedState

The left has developed an entire public relations campaign in the last week to convince everyone that the lackwit anarcho-marxists of the ‘antifa’ (correctly pronounce an-TEE-fa, I’m told) movement is actually not violent. Put aside the documented fact that every single time this bunch appears violence takes place. Not only are they violent, they are now operating with the full sanction of the mainstream media. A typical apologia was dissected by my colleague Jim Jaritis yesterday. You get guys like Chuck Todd giving the ‘antifa’ and their cheerleaders unfettered access to the airwaves and are not challenging them in any way. As Ben Domenech wrote in The Federalist: The list of protests which turned violent – which, when I shared it, triggered numerous accusations that I was defending Nazis, a white supremacist, and caused a reporter for one magazine where I used to be a columnist to describe me as “alt-right” – includes: Oakland 2009, Akron 2009, Pittsburgh 2009, Santa Cruz 2010, Oakland 2010, Los Angeles 2010, Oakland 2011, Chicago 2012, Anaheim 2012, Brooklyn 2013, Ferguson 2014, New York City 2014, Baltimore 2015, Anaheim 2016, Chicago 2016, St Paul 2016, Milwaukee 2016, Charlotte 2016, Standing Rock 2016, Oakland 2016, Portland 2016, Washington DC 2017, Berkeley 2017, Anaheim 2017, Berkeley (again) 2017, Berkeley (again again) 2017, Olympia 2017, and Portland 2017. This is a list of overwhelmingly leftist protests. But those have a different standard in the press.

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Moore, Strange head to runoff in Alabama GOP Primary.
CNN

President Donald Trump's endorsement and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's money carried their preferred candidate over the first hurdle in Alabama's Senate race Tuesday. ... Sen. Luther Strange, the national Republicans' preferred candidate, topped Rep. Mo Brooks to finish second Tuesday and advance to a runoff against controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. But Moore was the clear first-place finisher, earning 43% of the vote, compared to 32% for Strange and 16% for Brooks, with 80% of precincts' results tallied. Moore and Strange will now face off in a September 26 runoff to determine who will face Doug Jones -- who cruised through Tuesday's Democratic primary -- in the December special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former seat.

Schmitt clears way for Hawley in Missouri senate race.
Real Clear Politics

Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt will not enter the Republican primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill... — a decision that likely clears a path for state Attorney General Josh Hawley to pursue his party’s nomination in the race. “I believe it is time for all of us to unite behind one candidate to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, which is why I am supporting Attorney General Josh Hawley,” Schmitt will say in a statement, obtained by RealClearPolitics. “I am encouraging Josh to run for the U.S. Senate and have offered to help his campaign in any way I can if he chooses to challenge Claire McCaskill.” Reacting to Schmitt’s decision, former Sen. Jim Talent praised him as “a brilliant conservative who will have a tremendous impact for good in public service.” "This act of statesmanship will unify the Party and benefit all the people of Missouri,” Talent said in a statement.

Trump: Are Washington and Jefferson coming down next?
Washington Examiner

President Trump signaled Tuesday that calls to remove Confederate-era symbols could be a slippery slope that leads to the demise of statues depicting Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. "George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So, will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington?" Trump asked reporters during a press conference at Trump Tower in New York City. "How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? OK good. Are we going to take down his statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?" Trump took questions from reporters during an event at Trump Tower, where he announced a new executive order on infrastructure projects. But the president spent most of the impromptu press conference answering questions from reporters about the events in Charlottesville, where white nationalists gathered Saturday to protest the removal of a statue of Civil War general Robert E. Lee.

Tech giants ask SCOTUS to protect cellphone data.
The Hill

Apple, Facebook, Google and other major technology companies asked the Supreme Court late on Monday night to rule that their users’ data should be protected from warantless search and seizure by the government. The companies filed a brief in the case Carpenter v. United States, which the court has taken up to decide whether certain cellphone data is protected under the Fourth Amendment. “Whether email, cloud computing, location-based tracking, or any other digital functionality is at issue, users consider many types of collected electronic data to be private—particularly given the personal details that information can reveal—regardless of whether transmission to a third party has occurred behind the scenes in the creation or processing of that data,” the group argues.

More backlash against CBS story celebrating Iceland’s abortions terminating babies with Down syndrome.
Daily News

The CBS News headline makes it sound as though a medical miracle has been found: Inside the Country Where Down Syndrome is Disappearing. Imagine that! Imagine science finding a way to "disappear" Down syndrome. This is fantastic news coming out of Iceland. How was this accomplished, you ask? Was it through the wonders of DNA research, the miracle of genetic science? Sorry, no. Iceland is "disappearing" Down syndrome the old-fashioned way. Murder. No, really... With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland. Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy. Now, before we get to it, and believe me we are going to get to it, I want to be clear on something. Out of some misguided notion that the handicapped should not be seen as different, I am not one of those who believes we should not do everything science offers to improve the human species. If we are able to use science as a means to cure Down syndrome, deafness, blindness, depression, addiction and a host of other maladies, by all means, go for it.

Texas A&M cancels rally hosted by white supremacists.
RedState

Texas A&M said no way because of the obvious threat to public safety posed by the proposed rally and because A&M rules say that campus space is only available to activities sponsored by a campus organization. On the whole, given what we’ve seen happen the times these groups mix, a prudent move by the university. There was a general sigh of relief in Texas… for the time being. The organizer plans to try again using public space. One of the best responses came from Senator Ted Cruz: “When people do choose to use their free speech rights to advocate hatred and evil, the rest of us are obliged to counter it. Now I don’t think you counter it with censorship. I agree with John Stuart Mill, who talked about the marketplace of ideas, and the best cure for bad speech, for bad ideas, is more speech and better ideas. And so I think that’s the approach we want to have. I will say I’m glad that Spencer and the White Supremacists are not coming to A&M. … I think Texas doesn’t need to listen to their garbage.” That is exactly where I am. Shutting down speech is the worst possible solution because someone gets to decide which speech is shutdown.

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Trump tries to quiet race storm.
The Hill

President Trump sought to quell the storm over his reaction to violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Monday but even some Republicans believe the damage has already been done. “This should never have been a White House story,” said one House GOP aide granted anonymity to speak candidly. “They should have condemned it like everyone else and moved on.” Speaking at the White House on Monday, Trump said, “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” It was the kind of clear-cut statement that politicians across the ideological spectrum said should have come sooner, after white supremacist groups rallied in the Virginia city on Friday and Saturday. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed on Saturday afternoon after being hit by a car allegedly driven by a man with a history of espousing far-right views. The man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with second-degree murder.

Trump calls in support for Luther Strange.
Washington Examiner

President Trump has recorded a robocall for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., which will be used to get out the vote for Strange in the state's special election on Tuesday. "Hi, this is President Donald Trump, and I love the people of Alabama and I hope you go out and vote for Luther Strange for Senate," Trump said in his message to voters. "It is so important that you do. We‘ve fulfilled so many of our promises everything we've wanted to do we're doing. Unemployment is at a record low, jobs are flowing back into the country, we have a great Supreme Court Judge in Justice Gorsuch. We are doing things a lot of people said were impossible, but I need Luther to help us out." "So tomorrow go to the polls, it's August 15th Tuesday, go to those polls and vote for Luther Strange. He is helping me in the Senate and is going to get the tax cuts for us," Trump said. "He's doing a lot of things for the people of Alabama and for the people of the United States." "Thank you very much and go vote for Luther Strange," he concluded.

Tight race in Utah for today’s primary.
KUTV Salt Lake

It’s the home stretch of the Republican race to replace Jason Chaffetz in Congress, and things have tightened considerably. “It’s a tossup, absolutely,” said Bryan Schott, a political expert who works at UtahPolicy.com Tanner Ainge, John Curtis, and Chris Herrod are making a last-minute push to win voters in the special election taking place from Sugar House to Blanding, in Utah’s third district. Indeed, Curtis has at times enjoyed wide advantages over his two rivals in the polls. But after a barrage of negative ads – many from out-of-state super political action committees – that lead has dropped dramatically. “Knowing how much out-of-state money has been targeted at my reputation, it's no surprise that the race has tightened up,” Curtis told 2News Monday evening. Herrod, a former Utah lawmaker, has surged toward Curtis, according to a recent poll. He spent his last night of the campaign wooing voters in southern Utah. "We felt like we had the momentum going into this weekend," said Herrod. "I'm just grateful that people are starting to look at the records. They realize that I have the conservative, proven record." Ainge attended Monday’s “One Utah Rally” at the Utah State Capitol along with Curtis. Ainge declined to talk to 2News about the race.

GOP group launches digital ad blitz on tax reform.
The Hill

The American Action Network (AAN) on Tuesday announced that it is spending $500,000 on digital ads as part of its efforts to generate support for overhauling the tax code. The ads are the latest action by AAN, which is aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to boost Republicans' tax-reform efforts. In recent weeks, the group launched radio and television ads, and also brought mobile billboards to lawmakers' town-hall events. AAN expects to spend $5 million on its tax-reform efforts in August and upwards of $20 million by Thanksgiving. The new digital ads include both video ads and display ads that ask the public to tell their lawmakers to back tax reform that would help the middle class. The ads are slated to run in 31 congressional districts — including those represented by Ryan, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and GOP lawmakers who are likely to be vulnerable in the midterm elections, AAN said. "With this latest effort, across 31 congressional districts, we’re urging Americans to make their voices heard and urge their member of Congress to keep up the fight and make meaningful tax reform a reality,” AAN Executive Director Corry Bliss said in a statement..

North Korea leader briefed on Guam plan, opts to wait.
BBC

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reviewed plans to fire missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam but will hold off, state media said. Although prepared for "the enveloping fire at Guam", the North said it would watch what "the foolish Yankees" do before taking a decision. Last week's threat against Guam escalated the sharp rhetoric being exchanged between the two sides. This latest report points to a pause in the increasingly bitter war of words. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in meanwhile has urged the US not to launch an attack on the Korean peninsula without its consent, saying "no one may decide to take military action without the consent" of the South. The report on state news agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un "examined the plan for a long time" and discussed it with senior military officials. The commander of North Korea's strategic force was now merely waiting for orders "after rounding off the preparations for the enveloping fire at Guam". But, crucially, the report also said that Mr Kim would watch the US before making any decision, signalling an apparent deceleration in the provocative rhetoric.

Ted Cruz schools us all on how to use Twitter.
Washington Examiner

Nevertheless, New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lipton was not impressed, accusing the pair of putting on airs for future political gain. "Sorry to be cynical," Lipton tweeted on Sunday, "but most of all Rubio and Ted Cruz to me seem mostly to be doing a tremendous job of posturing for 2020." Decide for yourself why Lipton interpreted impassioned condemnations of white supremacy from two minority senators as "posturing." For his part, Cruz didn't let the accusation go unchallenged, scorching the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter in a series of tweets. "Gosh, you're right," he responded on Sunday. "Because Nazis & the Klan have such love for Cuban-Americans. If only we worked for a paper that shilled for Stalin...." Cruz continued, "I know it's hard to understand. Too many schools don't teach NYT's shameful history covering up Soviet atrocities," attaching a link to the Wikipedia article on Walter Duranty, a New York Times journalist who ignored the famine suffered under Josef Stalin in his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting from the USSR.

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