IT40 News for 01/18/2019

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#1 Nearly 773 million email accounts have been exposed in a massive data breach. Here’s how to check if you were affected

Video by Newsy

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A massive database containing 772,904,991 unique email addresses and more than 21 million unique passwords were recently posted to an online hacking forum, according to Wired. 

The hack was first reported by Troy Hunt of the hack security site Have I Been Pwned, which lets you check whether your email and passwords have been compromised and which sites your information was leaked from.

The data collection as a whole, called "Collection #1," doesn't appear to originate from a certain source, but is rather an aggregation of 2,000 leaked databases that include passwords that have been cracked, according to Wired. That's to say the protective layer that scrambles, or "hashes," a password to prevent your original password from being visible has been cracked, and the passwords are presented in a usable form on hacking forums.

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#2 Congress to probe report that Trump directed lawyer to lie to Congress

Video by Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Democratic chairmen of two House committees pledged Friday to investigate a report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney to lie to Congress about negotiations over a real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said "we will do what's necessary to find out if it's true." He said the allegation that Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie in his 2017 testimony to Congress "in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date."

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, said directing a subordinate to lie to Congress is a federal crime.

"The @HouseJudiciary Committee's job is to get to the bottom of it, and we will do that work," Nadler tweeted.

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#3 ‘We’re not going to sit idly by’: Freshman Dems look to seize shutdown optics

The start of the new Congress was supposed to be all about the historic freshman class. Instead, it’s been all about the historic government shutdown — and frustrated House Democrats are looking to change that.

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When a handful of new members huddled Tuesday morning to strategize, Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) suggested sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) demanding he reopen the government.

Lawmakers liked the idea, according to members who attended the planning session, but it would take some time to pull it together.

“Why don’t we do something today?” suggested Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.). “Let’s just go over there.”

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#5 Pentagon identifies 3 of 4 Americans killed in Syria bombing claimed by ISIS

The Department of Defense on Friday identified three of the four Americans killed after a suicide bomber triggered a fiery explosion Wednesday at a market in northern Syria, less than a month after President Donald Trump declared victory over Islamic State militants in the region. 

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida; Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York; and DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri were killed in the bombing in Manbij, Syria, according to the DOD.

The fourth victim's name has not yet been released. All three died "as a result of wounds sustained from a suicide improvised explosive device," according to the U.S. military. The bombing incident is still under investigation.

 The attack complicates a messy plan for U.S. withdrawal, a decision Trump's senior advisers disagreed with before offering an evolving timetable for the removal of the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops. The bombing also underscores Pentagon assertions that the Islamic State is still a threat capable of deadly attacks.

"U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today," the military's Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement.

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#6 Sweden gets new government more than four months after election

Sweden’s parliament has voted to give the Social Democrat leader, Stefan Löfven, a second term in office at the head of a new centre-left minority government, ending more than four months of deadlock following an inconclusive election.

The caretaker prime minister will take office on Monday, governing in a coalition with the Green party and with the parliamentary backing of the Centre and Liberal parties, formerly members of the four-party centre-right opposition Alliance.

The 9 September election produced a hung parliament, with the centre-right and centre-left blocs that have dominated Swedish politics for decades each securing about 40% of the vote and separated by a single seat, heralding months of complex coalition talks.

Neither bloc was easily able to form a new government without in some way involving the third-biggest party, the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, with whom all other parties have refused to cooperate at national level.

“More and more governments are becoming reliant on parties with an anti-democratic agenda,” Löfven said after winning the vote in parliament. “But in Sweden we stand up for democracy, for equality. Sweden has chosen a different path.”

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#7 A Favorite Restaurant in Syria Led ISIS to Americans

BEIRUT — For American troops posted in the dusty flatlands of northern Syria, the Palace of the Princes restaurant in Manbij offered a pleasant place to stop for grilled chicken, French fries or its locally renowned shawarma sandwich.

The Americans liked the food so much that they dropped in frequently, often many times a week, residents said. Visiting officials were welcomed to red booths and water pipes; two American senators dined there in July.

“They stop here for chicken and shawarma whenever they have a patrol in the city,” said Jassim al-Khalaf, 37, who sells vegetables nearby. “People here are used to it, so it’s not a new thing to see them.”

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The jihadists of the Islamic State noticed, too, dispatching a suicide bomber who blew himself up at the restaurant on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people, including four Americans: two service members, a Defense Department civilian and a military contractor.

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#8 Pompeo, NKorean official to meet about possible Kim summit

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to meet former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol on Friday for talks aimed at finalizing a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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The State Department announced the late-morning meeting, and other administration officials indicated it likely will be followed by Kim Yong Chol's visit to the White House, where he could meet with Trump. Those officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, talks in Stockholm included North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, said Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Diana Kudhaib, who declined to give further details. Sweden's TT news agency said also attending were U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who was influential in securing the first Trump-Kim summit.

Sweden has had diplomatic relations with Pyongyang since 1973 and is one of only a few Western countries with an embassy there. It provides consular services for the United States. In March, Wallstrom held talks with her North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, in Stockholm, leading to the meeting between Trump and Kim in June in Singapore.

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#9 Rescuers ready to drill tunnel for Spanish boy trapped in well

TOTALAN, Spain (Reuters) - Heavy trucks brought drilling equipment and giant pipes as rescue workers prepared on Friday to dig a tunnel in an effort to reach a two-year-old boy who has been trapped in a deep well in southern Spain since Sunday.

"The priority now is the works on the vertical tunnel," said a spokeswoman for the regional government in Malaga.

Officials said on Thursday they were not losing hope of finding the boy alive, but the operation would take at least a few days.

A second tunnel is also planned after rescuers have erected a platform to remove earth and debris.

The child, Julen, fell into the well which is just 25 cm (10 inches) wide and 100 meters (yards) deep as his family walked through a private estate in Totalan, Malaga.

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#10 Tesla to cut 7% of workforce amid tough profit outlook

Elon Musk's electric car manufacturer Tesla announced Friday it is cutting its workforce by about seven percent in a push to keep its Model 3 affordable for middle-income consumers.

Shares fell sharply following the announcement, which also signaled a tough profit road ahead for Tesla.

The round of job cuts -- which follow an earlier downsizing announced in June -- comes as the envelope-pushing company faces pressure in its home market on prices from the phasing-out of a tax credit for electric car purchases.

Tesla's most affordable offering is currently the Model 3, at $44,000, Musk said in the blog post. Tesla launched Model 3 as an affordable option for consumers who couldn't afford the company's first two luxury-priced autos.

"The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1," when a US tax credit drops by half, making the car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely, said the flamboyant Musk, who also heads SpaceX.

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#11 Woman denied abortion in Dublin despite new legislation

A hospital in Dublin has refused an abortion to a woman with a fatal foetal abnormality, raising questions over Ireland’s recent introduction of abortion services.

The Coombe hospital, a leading maternity facility that has signed up to the service, reportedly declined to terminate the pregnancy because it did not “fall neatly” into a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.

The woman said she planned to travel to England with her partner for an abortion next week, a journey made by generations of Irish women before her, but which was supposed to no longer be necessary. GPs and hospitals started offering abortion services on 1 January six months after Ireland voted in a landslide to lift a constitutional ban.

Two politicians revealed the case in the Dáil, the lower house of the Irish parliament, on Thursday after being contacted by the woman.

“Her words to me were: ‘This is not what I voted for. I have constitutional rights,’” Bríd Smith, of the People Before Profit party, told the chamber. “She is finding it hard to sleep, knowing the condition her much-wanted child is in. She wants a termination. She is entitled to it. This country voted for it. It is the law.”

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#12 Australia heat wave reaches it peak with record temperatures

An extreme heat wave that is breaking records across Australia is expected to peak in many parts of the country Friday, with temperatures forecast to stay above 40 C degrees Celsius (104 F) for the sixth day in a row.

The six days from January 12 to 17 are all within Australia's ten hottest days on record, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.

Marble Bar in northwestern Australia hit the highest temperature during the heat wave at a sweltering 49.1 C (120 F) on Sunday -- a January record for the area. The town had seen more than 20 consecutive days of temperatures above 40 C (104 F).

On Wednesday, the New South Wales broke 14 heat records and eight January records. Conditions are so hot in the state that asphalt roads are starting to melt, CNN affiliate Nine News reported.

Records across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria over the past week include 48.9 C (120 F) in Port Augusta, 47.8 C (118 F) in Andamooka and 46.4 C (115 F) in Griffith.

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#13 Zimbabwe blocks internet as crackdown intensifies

Zimbabwe on Friday imposed a "total shutdown" of the internet as international criticism mounted over a ruthless security crackdown after anti-government protests.

Police and soldiers have been accused of indiscriminately dragging people from their homes and beating them.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and doctors say they have treated scores of victims with serious gunshot injuries.

The United Nations on Friday urged Harare to "stop the crackdown" on protesters, with its human rights office voicing alarm over the security forces' "excessive use of force" which included reports of them using live ammunition.

And it urged Zimbabwe's government "to find ways of engaging with the population about their legitimate grievances".

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#14 Kenya court orders 5 suspects held over Nairobi hotel attack

NAIROBI, Kenya — A Canadian national and four other people suspected of helping extremist gunmen stage a deadly attack in the Kenyan capital this week appeared in court on Friday as prosecutors investigated them for suspected terror offenses.

A judge ordered the five suspects held for 30 days while authorities look into the assault on the dusitD2 hotel complex. The al-Shabab group, which is linked to al-Qaida and based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility. Kenyan authorities say 21 people, including one police officer, were killed by the attackers, one of whom blew himself up beside a restaurant. Another four gunmen died.

Prosecutors suspect the alleged accomplices, including two taxi drivers and an agent for a mobile phone-based money service, of "aiding and betting" the attackers who stormed the Nairobi complex on Tuesday afternoon and were killed by Wednesday morning, according to a court document. Prosecutors said they were pursuing more suspects in and outside Kenya.

The suspects who appeared in court were identified as Joel Nganga Wainaina, Oliver Kanyango Muthee, Gladys Kaari Justus, Guleid Abdihakim and Osman Ibrahim. Abdihakim is a Canadian national, according to prosecutors.

"The investigations into this matter are complex and transnational and would therefore require sufficient time and resources to uncover the entire criminal syndicate," said Noordin Haji, director of public prosecutions. He said he has appointed a team of prosecutors to help ensure that the investigations are "meticulous and fast-tracked."

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#15 Doctor, teenager killed in Sudan protests

A doctor, a teenager and another man were killed on Thursday in ongoing anti-government protests in Sudan, according to the Sudan Doctors' Union and activists.

The demonstrations first began over fuel shortages and a hike in food prices but have now morphed into full-fledged protests calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down. The authoritarian Bashir has ruled Sudan with an iron grip for 30 years.

Thursday's deaths occurred during unrest in the Bahri neighborhood in the north of the capital, Khartoum.

The doctor, Abdel Hamid, died after being shot in the head "while resuscitating other protesters," according to the Sudan Doctors' Union and another protester on the scene who witnessed his death. The witness has asked CNN not to disclose her name for safety reasons.

The Sudan Doctors' Union said a "child" called Mohammed Obeid also died in the protests after being shot in the head. The same eyewitness told CNN she knows the younger victim's family and that he was only 14 years old.

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#16 Devastating quakes are priming the Himalaya for a mega-disaster

Sunrise strikes the Himalayan peaks on November 8, 2018, as seen from Manang, Nepal.

The sun poked through small breaks in Nepal's overcast skies on the brisk spring morning of April 25, 2015. The day started like any other, but at 11:56 a.m. local time, it turned deadly.

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake gripped the region, sending residents scattering as buildings swayed and crumbled with the ground's convulsions. Numerous landslides careened down the rugged terrain — and a deadly avalanche swept down Mount Everest.

The human toll was staggering. The events killed nearly 9,000 people and injured thousands more. The Gorkha earthquake, as it came to be called, left nearby towns and cities in ruins, destroying more than 600,000 houses. Nearly four years out, with billions of dollars already spent, recovery is ongoing.

But a number of studies since then have raised a concerning point: The earthquake likely wasn't the worst the region has in store.

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#17 El Chapo Mistress Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Says He Turned Her Into Drug Trafficker

One of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s long-suffering lovers testified Thursday that he asked her to traffic marijuana less than one year after their first tryst.

“Until today, I’m still confused—because I thought that we were romantically involved,” said Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez, who is taking the stand against the married Guzman under a deal with prosecutors.

Guzman’s self-described gal pal was arrested in 2017 while trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico over alleged involvement in a cocaine conspiracy.

One of the prosecutors trying Guzman on 17 drug trafficking counts in Brooklyn federal court, asked Sanchez who she worked with.

“With Joaquin Guzman Loera — the head, the main leader of the Sinaloa Cartel,” she said.

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#18 New caravan of Honduran migrants crosses into Mexico

By Sofia Menchu

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico (Reuters) - A group of Honduran migrants entered southern Mexico on Friday, joining more than 1,000 people who departed Central America in recent days headed to the United States and putting to the test Mexico's vows to guarantee the safe and orderly flow of people.

The cohort crossed into southern Chiapas state before dawn without needing wrist bands that migration officials the day before told migrants to wear until they could register with authorities, several migrants and an official told Reuters.

"The road today was open ... They didn't give us bracelets or anything, they just let us pass through Mexico migration," said Marco Antonio Cortez, 37, a baker from Honduras traveling with his wife and children, ages 2 and 9.

A migration official at the entry point, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to media, said that at least 1,000 people crossed from Guatemala into Mexico by around 5 a.m., without needing wrist bands.

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#19 Gisele Bundchen fires back at official who calls her ‘bad Brazilian’ for climate activism

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian supermodel turned environmental activist Gisele Bundchen is pushing back against the agricultural minister in her homeland, along the way wading into a growing debate about the future of the Amazon.

The brouhaha began Monday when Minister Tereza Cristina Dias accused Bundchen of tainting the country's image abroad. During a radio interview, Dias called the supermodel a "bad Brazilian" for denouncing deforestation and said the model should be promoting Brazil's agriculture and industries.

Late Wednesday, Bundchen wrote a measured response, saying she would "be happy to announce positive actions" taken toward sustainable development.

In her letter, Bundchen said she was surprised by the derogatory mention. She said her criticisms, which included a series of tweets last year, were based on science and came from a "worried Brazilian citizen."

Citing a 13 percent increase in deforestation in Brazil, Bundchen said those behind illegal land occupations were the "bad Brazilians."

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#20 Same old elite? Macron’s ‘revolution’ fails with fed up French

Jean-Baptiste Moreau, a farmer who splits his time between parliament and his cow sheds, thought he would be part of the solution to France's political problems when he was elected.

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The 41-year-old won a seat in parliament in June 2017 in what some commentators termed a "velvet revolution" led by President Emmanuel Macron, which saw grumpy voters turf out a whole generation of MPs from the country's main political parties.

Macron's victorious centrist movement filled half its parliamentary seats with people who had never held political office before, including Moreau, who posted a picture on Twitter of himself delivering a calf on Christmas Day.

But less than two years after the biggest turnover in political personnel in 60 years, France has faced another anti-elite revolt led by "yellow vest" protesters commanding widespread public support.

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#21 A Star-Studded Soccer Game Was Saudi Arabia’s Latest Attempt to ‘Sportswash’ Rights Abuses. It Didn’t Work

A headed goal from soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo propelled Juventus to 1–0 victory over rivals AC Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Super Cup) Wednesday, but the reluctance of the sport’s top players and clubs to speak out against Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses has prompted accusations they are complicit in ‘sportswashing’ for the Gulf state.

The game took place at Saudi Arabia’s 62,000-capacity King Abdullah Stadium, where a fan-zone featured mock gondoliers and Venetian bridges, soccer stars posed for pre-match photos in traditional Saudi headdresses and fans in the bleachers held aloft cardboard cutouts of the Kingdom’s ruling monarchs. But back in Italy, state broadcaster RAI’s journalists union accused Italy’s elite Serie A league of helping gloss over Riyadh’s strict gender segregation laws, the brutal war in Yemen, and crackdowns on dissident voices – including the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The $8 million that Saudi Arabia is paying for the right to hold each of three Supercoppa games it is scheduled to host over the next five years constitutes “the price of silence in the face of bombs which have been massacring civilians in Yemen for four years, in the face of the enlistment of child soldiers, in the face of the brutal murder [of Khashoggi],” RAI’s journalist union said in a statement issued a couple of days before kickoff. Highlighting the presence of male-only sections in the stadium and the incarceration of women activists, RAI’s union’s accused those involved of being accomplices to delivering “un calcio ai diritti umani” (a kick against human rights).

Read more:Women in Saudi Arabia Can Finally Attend Live Soccer Matches

Serie A’s deal with Riyadh drew scant public opposition when it was announced last June. The Italian season’s traditional opener—now scheduled during its mid-winter break—had in the past been played in the U.S., China, Qatar and Libya. Its temporary home in Saudi Arabia was confirmed the same month reforms overseen by de-facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon (nicknamed MSB) permitted women in the Kingdom to drive, and a year after they were allowed to attend live soccer games in stadiums for the first time.

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#22 Asian Cup: Qatar triumphs over Saudi Arabia

The Asian Cup is no stranger to throwing up clashes between geopolitical adversaries but even to the most seasoned aficionado, Thursday's meeting between Saudi Arabia and Qatar brought with it more than an added hint of intrigue.

While the occasion was ostensibly about football and Qatar's 2-0 victory, the build up to the contest that's been dubbed the "blockade derby" was surrounded by analysis of the politics and diplomatic strife in the region.

This game represented the first time the two had met on the football field since the Saudis were joined by Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in breaking off relations with Qatar in June 2017.

That Thursday's match also took place in Abu Dhabi, in the UAE, added yet another plot twist.

The boycott, the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf Arab states in decades, followed allegations that Qatar was supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.

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#23 Woman Awarded $21M After Being Forced To Work Sundays

A Florida woman was awarded $21.5 million after a jury found that the Miami hotel that employed her did not honor her religious beliefs by continuously scheduling her for Sunday work and then firing her.

Marie Jean Pierre, who used to work as a dishwasher at the Conrad Miami, sued Park Hotels & Resorts for violating the Civil Rights Act in 2017. The 60-year-old claimed the hotel chain, formally called Hilton Worldwide, continued to schedule her for Sundays despite knowing she was a missionary.

“I love God. No work on Sunday, because Sunday I honor God,” Pierre told NBC 6 Miami.

Pierre, a member of the Soldiers of Christ Church, said she told her employer when she started her job in 2006 that she could not work on Sundays because of her religious beliefs, the South Florida Sun Sentinelreported. However, the hotel began to schedule her for work on Sundays in 2009 before accommodating her request again through to 2015.

In 2015, Pierre’s schedule was changed to include Sunday work. She claimed she got a letter from her pastor to explain why she couldn’t work that day.

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#25 Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bodybuilding Son Recreates Dad’s Classic Pose

Those muscles look familiar.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son Joseph Baena posed like Papa in an Instagram photo this week ― and the resemblance was remarkable.

Sure, the 21-year-old needs more mass and definition, but his genes are apparent.

The now-71-year-old Schwarzenegger, a seven-time Mr. Olympia who went on to become an action-film star and governor of California, struck the iconic pose in 1976:

Baena, whose mother is Schwarzenegger’s former housekeeper Mildred Baena, has bonded with his pop in the gym.

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#26 At 17, Amanda Anisimova Bucks the Odds and Knocks Off a SeedAt 17, Amanda Anisimova Bucks the Odds and Knocks Off a Seed

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#27 AG nominee Barr’s obstruction answers scrutinized in wake of BuzzFeed report

By Alex Rogers, CNN

Updated 12:05 PM ET, Fri January 18, 2019

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