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Arrival Cities
being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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What are Startup Cities?

What are Startup Cities? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Today's pace of innovation in law and governance is slow because we do not allow for entrepreneurial innovation in it. Think of it this way: we set up a legal and political system so that markets work and entrepreneurs can solve tons of problems. Entrepreneurs everywhere work in parallel. They try different things from the ground up.  Markets are problem-solving machines, bringing good ideas to life. Millions of people all search through trial-and-error for a solution to a customer's problem. We accept this as natural in most areas of our lives.

But we don't accept this in the most important area: the way we structure communities themselves. We marvel at the problem-solving ability of entrepreneurs. But we’re also always complaining about corruption or poverty in our legal and political systems.

We don’t have progress in law and governance because we don’t allow startup entrepreneurship to bring new solutions to citizens.
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The Mayors Shall Inherit the Earth

The Mayors Shall Inherit the Earth | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Cities may be prideful of their autonomy, but they are fundamentally interconnected. More and more, they even look the same. They fly signage and advertising rather than flags; they are defined by connectivity and hence motion, never by stasis; and they are driven by aspiration, rather than history. They trade in risk and cultivate danger. Mayors don’t talk like presidents and prime ministers about autonomy and sovereignty and self-determination. They are compelled to persuade rather than enact and order, to debate rather than proclaim and pontificate. When they do talk, it is about crime, transportation and jobs; about plowing the snow and picking up the garbage. They focus on common problems rather than distinctive identities. The absence of sovereignty becomes a virtue: Local politicians don’t build walls, they build ports and bridges. They define success by how well they integrate, communicate and network with one another. No wonder New York and Shanghai are willing to share best practices and learn from one another while China and the United States bicker.

 

Cities may already constitute networks of collaboration that influence the global economy and bypass the rules and regulations of states, but they lie within the jurisdiction and sovereignty of superior political bodies. Mayor Bloomberg may have his own army, but let him try to deploy it in Cuba or Washington, D.C., or Albany—or even across the river in Hoboken or up in Yonkers, a few miles north of New York. He can route bikes through Manhattan, but try doing it on the state thruway or elsewhere along the interstate highway system. Unlike corporations, countries are territorial by definition, and cities always sit on land that is part of some nation’s territory. New York may not be looking to Washington, but Washington is paying attention to New York.

 

ddrrnt's insight:

ht @Michael Josefowicz

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L.A. council approves ID cards for city residents

L.A. council approves ID cards for city residents | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Los Angeles City Council members Wednesday gave enthusiastic backing to the creation of a controversial city identification card that could be used by illegal immigrants to open bank accounts, borrow library books and pay utility bills.


Councilman Ed Reyes called it a way for the city's poorest workers to "come out into the light."

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World's Future Prosperity linked to Disaster Resilience, says New Report - UNISDR

World's Future Prosperity linked to Disaster Resilience, says New Report - UNISDR | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A new report by UN-Habitat links the world's future prosperity to the ability of cities to reduce risk and build resilience to adverse forces of nature.


Titled State of the World's Cities 2012/2013 - the Prosperity of Cities, the report identifies soaring unemployment, food shortages and rising prices, strains on financial institutions, insecurity and political instability as challenges to the conventional notion of cities as the home of prosperity.


The wasteful expansion of cities in "endless peripheries" leads to additional risks associated with the provision of water, physical infrastructure, transport and energy, and affects industrial production, local economies, assets and livelihoods, according to the report. (...)


Margareta Wahlström, who heads the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, supports UN-Habitat's approach, which takes equity and good governance into account when assessing a city's prosperity - these elements also help bolster disaster resilience.


"The findings from our own studies on cities show that low socio-economic development need not necessarily limit all resilience-building activities, especially when the central government and multilateral agencies work together to ensure the right people come together to take action," said Wahlström, referring to UNISDR's newest report, "Making Cities Resilient 2012 -- My city is getting ready! A global snapshot of how local governments reduce disaster risk," which was launched in tandem with the UN-Habitat report.

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President Obama's Full Speech 2012 DNC

Here is President Obama's complete speech from the convention.  For a copy of the text, please visit here.


"We don't think government can solve all our problems. But we don't think that government is the source of all our problems- any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles."


Via Michael Charney
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Inner-city residents say presidential campaigns ignoring scourge of gun violence

Inner-city residents say presidential campaigns ignoring scourge of gun violence | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"In a tough Philadelphia neighborhood where an off-duty police officer was shot to death last month, a mother is afraid to walk to the corner store with her two children. In a Chicago area where 23 people have been killed by gunfire so far this year, kids don’t want to go outside. In Harlem, a 26-year-old man worries his family will get hit by crossfire.

 

Residents of inner-city neighborhoods plagued by gun violence say they feel neglected and ignored even in a presidential election year marked by highly publicized shootings at a Colorado movie theater, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and outside the Empire State Building — a year in which Republicans have launched a full-throated defense of gun ownership while Democrats have largely kept quiet about an issue they used to put front and center."

 

@StarveTheSystem asks,

Is it the guns...or is the state of our collective mental health? Poverty, stress, poor health, toxic mindstate (which starts with poor nutrition, air, and water), low literacy, lack of opportunity...what will we do? What can a presidential candidate say? What do we expect of elected officials? How do we as a community hold them accountable?... Let's have these conversations! 


Via Starving the System.com
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RNC Attendee Throws Food at Black Woman, ‘This is How We Feed Animals!’ - COLORLINES

RNC Attendee Throws Food at Black Woman, ‘This is How We Feed Animals!’ - COLORLINES | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Excerpt:

At 8:35pm EST Monday night journalist David Shuster tweeted he had just seen a Republican National Convention (RNC) attendee throw nuts at a black CNN camera woman while yelling “this is how we feed animals.”

 

Shuster’s tweet went viral and in a matter of hours was re-tweeted more than 6,000 times, ultimately leading to CNN releasing an official statement confirming the incident.

 

Talking Points Memo’s Kyle Leighton explains he “generally confirmed” the tweet with a CNN official but the cable news network’s written response does not mention the employees gender or race.

 

CNN’s written statement to Talking Points Memo:

“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

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Assembly bill would OK college aid for illegal immigrants

ALBANY -- Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants would become eligible to receive government financial aid to attend college in New York under a bill that state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced Friday.

 

Under the federal program, immigrants must prove they arrived in the United States before they turned 16, are under 31 years old and lived in the United States at least five years. They also must be in school or graduated or have served in the U.S. military, have no convictions and pose no threat to public safety.

 

''We don't have enough engineers and scientists in this country,'' Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, said in an interview. ''If we have young immigrants, we need to give them the opportunity to a college education that will increase our pool and make New York state business better overall.''

 

The bill would provide access to the Tuition Assistance Program that provides grants to hundreds of thousands of students each year in public and private colleges, according to the bill co-sponsored by Assembly Higher Education Committee Chairwoman Deborah Glick of Manhattan and Assemblyman Francisco Moya of Queens.

 

While the bill would make TAP available for illegal immigrants, TAP was discontinued for graduate students who are legal residents beginning in the 2010-11 state budget as part of spending cuts in a fiscal crisis in a policy that continues today. TAP provides varying grants up to full tuition based on financial need to more than 309,000 students. In the current budget, TAP was increased by $21 million to a total of $930 million.

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The Practice of Bioregionalism

The Practice of Bioregionalism | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Bioregionalism is a concept that can be used to describe any tendency, whether it calls itself "bioregional" or not, that seeks to empower people to live economically self-sufficient and ecologically sustainable lifestyles based in local communities. As such, bioregionalism attempts to articulate in contemporary terms a way of life that has been practiced by humans throughout most of their history—that is, the idea that societies should be organized on the basis of local communities, which attempt to provide for their basic needs on the basis of resources available at the local level.

 

Many indigenous peoples continue to organize their societies in this way and their cultures are increasingly threatened by attempts to exploit their resources (the underlying theme of the movie Avatar, incidentally). There is also an attempt to pull local communities that are relatively self-sufficient at present into the global market by seeing them as a source of cheap labor and markets. While some are no doubt attracted by the idea that they may eventually be able to live the same kind of lifestyles as people in developed countries, there is also a great deal of resistance among those who would prefer to maintain their traditional cultures and lifestyles.

 

Richard Evanoff, professor of environmental ethics at Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, recently wrote the book Bioregionalism and Global Ethics: A Transactional Approach to Achieving Ecological Sustainability, Social Justice, and Human Well-being.

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Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk?

Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Reading Tom Vanderbilt’s series on the crisis in American walking, I noticed something about the cities with the highest “walk scores.” They’re all liberal. New York, San Francisco, and Boston, the top three major cities on Walkscore.com, are three of the most liberal cities in the country. In fact, the top 19 are all in states that voted for Obama in 2008. The lowest-scoring major cities, by comparison, tilt conservative: Three of the bottom four—Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth—went for McCain. What explains the correlation? Don’t conservatives like to walk?

 

You might think it’s a simple matter of size: Big cities lean liberal and also tend to be more walkable. That’s generally true, but it doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon. Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas are among the nation’s ten largest cities, but they’re also among the country’s more conservative big cities, and none cracks the top 20 in walkability. All three trail smaller liberal cities such as Portland, Denver, and Long Beach. And if you expand the data beyond the 50 largest cities, the conservative/liberal polarity only grows. Small liberal cities such as Cambridge, Mass., Berkeley, Ca., and Paterson, N.J. make the top 10, while conservative cities of similar size such as Palm Bay, Fl. and Clarksville, Ten. rank at the bottom.

 

http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/

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Like a Bad Boyfriend, XL Keeps Coming Back

Like a Bad Boyfriend, XL Keeps Coming Back | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The controversy over whether to green-light the building of the Keystone XL pipeline to connect Canada’s tar sands with refiners on the Gulf coast may not be much in the news anymore, but it’s far from gone. 

 

Dan notes: 

 

The article describes why "Jobs don’t justify the Keystone XL pipeline. It will raise fuel prices for Americans. And it further locks us into a future of declining energy quality and increasing cost."

 

There's an amusing video too:

 

http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/1019307-like-a-bad-boyfriend-xl-keeps

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Anchoring Wealth to Sustain Cities and Population Growth

Anchoring Wealth to Sustain Cities and Population Growth | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

To meet the intersecting challenges of population growth and environmental degradation, the U.S. must abandon its “throwaway city” habit, which creates abandoned spaces like this factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Instead, community wealth strategies, like cooperatives, can be used to anchor capital in place.


In Brief There will be at least 100 million more Americans by 2050, and likely 150 million more. Yet the cities that will house them are so spatially and economically unstable that it is impossible to do much beyond superficial sustainability planning.

 

[Dan notes: The full article offers a number of solutions being undertaken in Cleveland.]

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Bill Moyers and Chris Hedges on Capitalism’s ‘Sacrifice Zones’

There are forgotten corners of this country where Americans are trapped in endless cycles of poverty, powerlessness, and despair as a direct result of capitalistic greed. Journalist Chris Hedges calls these places "sacrifice zones," and joins Bill this week on Moyers & Company to explore how areas like Camden, New Jersey; Immokalee, Florida; and parts of West Virginia suffer while the corporations that plundered them thrive.


These are areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. We're talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed," Hedges tells Bill.

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Five steps for a high well-being society

Five steps for a high well-being society | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
It’s now eight years since David Cameron first declared that “it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general well-being” and in that time the UK has become a global leader by measuring national well-being – but we have yet to make the leap from measurement to action.

. . . 

A new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Wellbeing Economics, for which NEF acts as the secretariat, explodes both of these myths. The group, which includes parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, argues that well-being matters more, not less, in difficult economic times:  we care about recessions because we care about unemployment, and we care about unemployment because we care about people’s well-being. And they show that well-being offers a real alternative to business-as-usual policy making, from the way we run the economy to the way we run our schools.

 

The report is based on a nine-month inquiry which explored well-being in relation to four diverse policy areas. In each of these, the evidence threw up both some distinctive policy priorities and some fresh approaches to old problems. The report makes five key recommendations for building a high well-being society:

 

1) Focus on stable jobs, not growth

2) Promote shorter, more flexible working hours

3) More green spaces in our cities

4) Mindfulness training for doctors and teachers

5) Invest in arts and culture


Via Flora Moon
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Walkable Urbanism as Foreign Policy

Walkable Urbanism as Foreign Policy | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, national security scholar Patrick Doherty published a proposal in Foreign Policy magazine for America’s next “grand strategy,” a plan for how the U.S. should reposition itself in a world defined less by threats from communism or terrorism and more by the global challenge of sustainability. His offering is among a crop of such foreign policy tracts all aiming big ideas at the newly re-inaugurated president.


These treatises usually have little to do with the more prosaic problems of cities, with housing or transportation or unemployment. But part of Doherty’s particular argument snagged our attention: He believes a central piece of American security and strength in the 21st century will reside in walkable neighborhoods.


Walkability, as we typically think of it in cities, is deeply connected to sustainability, public health and economic development. But foreign policy? That was a new one even for us.


Doherty’s basic idea is that pent-up demand for such communities could help power a new American economic engine in the same way that suburban housing (and all of the consumption that came with it) made America economically and globally powerful in the Cold War era.


Emily Badger

31 Jan 2013


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In Historic Move, Walmart Workers Across Los Angeles Walk Off the Job - COLORLINES

Workers say the retail giant is retaliating against workers who are trying to organize.

In what labor rights groups are calling a first in Walmart history, workers from multiple stores have walked off the job today. Workers led a one-day work stoppage for nearly a dozen Walmart stores to protest the retail giant’s retaliation for worker’s efforts to organize for better treatment and pay.


At a rally today outside the Pico Rivera Walmart where Luna works, workers will tell their stories of struggling to barely get by on Walmart wages and dealing with reduced hours, safety issues and staffing issues. Among those coming out to support the striking workers are plenty of immigrant, labor and religious organizations who say Walmart workers shouldn’t be forced to rely on public assistance to get by, especially as the corporate behemoth turns around $16 billion a year in profits. Walmart has 1.4 million so-called associates around the country, and is union free in its North American stores. Workers on strike today say they are fighting for all of them.

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Why We Need A Global Environmental Organization

Why We Need A Global Environmental Organization | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

We must invest the time and resources to form a more effective, coherent and focused governance system in order to truly achieve our goals and build a better, sustainable future.

 

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said "without a strengthening of international environmental governance, whatever is potentially agreed in Rio+20 will only contribute to a persistence of the challenges, rather than the delivery of the opportunities and the imperative for a more intelligent and equitable 21st century development."


Via knowledgEnabler, David Hodgson, Steven Putter
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Anti-Agenda 21 Platform Part of Long Property Rights Tradition | Planetizen

While it might seem like the Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists have arisen quite quickly out of the murky backwaters of the Republican party, Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones traces the lengthy enti-environmentalist roots of the movement.


According to Hinkes-Jones, the vocal conspiracy theorists that posit a 1992 United Nations resolution (Agenda 21) that encourages sustainable development is really a global elitist land grab, "are actually part of a longstanding tradition in American politics of grandiose paranoia as political shibboleth against environmentalism. That these theories have now been officially adopted into the GOP platform is less surprising than you might think."


Full Story: The Anti-Environmentalist Roots of the Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theory

Source: The Atlantic Cities, August 29, 2012

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Study Links ‘Racial Resentment’ and Voter ID Support - COLORLINES

Study Links ‘Racial Resentment’ and Voter ID Support - COLORLINES | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A new survey indicates that people who “harbor negative sentiments towards African Americans” are also more likely to support voter ID laws. And the correlation extends beyond party and ideological lines.

...

One map in the study illustrates that in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, driver’s license offices that are open more than twice a week are located largely away from rural black populations. An additional map illustrates that areas with high Latino populations also lack offices that issue IDs that will be considered valid if Texas requires them in the upcoming election.

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Brewer: Young Undocumented Immigrants Are 'Not Our Responsibility'

Brewer: Young Undocumented Immigrants Are 'Not Our Responsibility' | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that her decision to deny benefits to undocumented immigrants was justified, claiming that federal law is at fault in the immigration debate.

 

"I think everybody in Arizona [and] across the country has compassion for those children that have been brought here illegally by their parents," Brewer said. "But it is not our responsibility. It is their parents' responsibility. They need to follow the law."

 

Last week, Brewer signed an executive order denying state and local benefits to undocumented immigrants applying under President Obama's new deferred action program. Brewer's order also barred immigrants from applying for driver's licenses and state-issued identification cards.

 

Brewer's order, signed on the same day that the federal deferred action program went into effect, was immediately met with massive backlash. DREAM Act supporters organized protests at Brewer's office, while organizations like the ACLU blasted the governor for "distorting federal law." However, she was unfazed by the criticism, instead doubling down on her crusade against undocumented immigration.

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Immigration and Skilled Workers

Immigration and Skilled Workers | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Historically, there has been a clear connection between immigration in the U.S. and entrepreneurship, with immigrants creating companies (and jobs) at a disproportionate rate.

 

"...there’s also a missed opportunity for the U.S.: many of these foreign students would prefer to stay and put their skills to work here after they graduate, but they can’t get work visas. What’s more, studies estimate that hundreds of thousands of highly skilled immigrants already working here find themselves stuck in immigration limbo for years, waiting for visa and green-card applications to be approved. These are well-educated, motivated workers who want to play for our side. Yet we’re making it difficult for them to do so."

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Totnes: the town that declared war on global capitalism

Totnes: the town that declared war on global capitalism | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Welcome, then, to another chapter in the ongoing battle between places that pride themselves on their local character, and the great stomping boot of multinational capitalism. That it is happening in Totnes (population: 7,500) is hardly surprising: long renowned as a byword for sustainable living and imaginative local politics, it also the home of the Transition Towns movement, focused not just on the way that people and places use fossil fuels, but how to make local economies more resilient by encouraging independent business, and fighting the kind of big interests that tend to take out more than they put in. Their most famous innovation is the Totnes Pound, a home-grown currency that is accepted by more than 70 local businesses.

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Demand for Foreign-Born Workers Is Spiky

Demand for Foreign-Born Workers Is Spiky | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In the ongoing immigration debates across the United States, a particular target has been the H-1B Immigrant Visa program, which allows American companies to hire skilled foreign workers for three years with the option to extend up to six years. 

 

A new study from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program takes a hard empirical look at the efficacy and geography of the H1B program.

 

By analyzing the demand for H-1B workers at the metropolitan level, the report sheds new light on where skills are most needed, and how existing federal programs can be adjusted to better support economic growth.

 

[The author of this article, Richard Florida, then shares his point of view]

 

I’ve long argued that America’s short-sighted immigration policies are a key threat to its economic competitiveness and prosperity. "Immigrants from foreign countries spearhead innovations and enterprise in everything from steel making to semiconductors and all forms of high tech," I note in The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited. "We need to make this country welcoming to all enterprising, energetic, and ambitious people. This is the biggest no-brainer of them all."

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We’re All Climate-Change Idiots

We’re All Climate-Change Idiots | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

CLIMATE CHANGE is staring us in the face. The science is clear, and the need to reduce planet-warming emissions has grown urgent. So why, collectively, are we doing so little about it?

 

Yes, there are political and economic barriers, as well as some strong ideological opposition, to going green. But researchers in the burgeoning field of climate psychology have identified another obstacle, one rooted in the very ways our brains work.  ... 

 

We have trouble imagining a future drastically different from the present. We block out complex problems that lack simple solutions.

 

... energy monitors that displayed consumption levels in real-time cut energy use by an average of 7 percent, according to a study in the journal Energy in 2010. Telling heavy energy users how much less power their neighbors consumed prompted them to cut their own use, according to a 2007 study in Psychological Science. And trading on our innate laziness, default settings have also conserved resources: when Rutgers University changed its printers’ settings to double-sided, it saved more than seven million sheets of paper in one semester in 2007.

 

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Urban Farming Gets Green Light in SF

Urban Farming Gets Green Light in SF | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The simple act of growing and selling food in cities is often held up by complicated tangles of red tape.

 

In Oakland, author and urban farmer Novella Carpenter is facing fines from the city for selling rabbit meat and growing vegetables without a permit.

 

A similar situation transpired in San Francisco last year when the two women behind Little City Gardens tried to sell their famous spicy salad mix on the up and up. They found that it was actually illegal to sell the greens they grow on a small plot of land in the Outer Mission without a permit that is expensive and time-consuming to acquire.

 

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, inspired by Little City Gardens, passed new laws for urban farming in the city that make it easier for backyard gardeners to sell their produce.

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