Monday Funnie: Full moon over Aberdeen (now with bonus Incendiary Immigration)

By DeusExMacintosh

A teenager has been arrested and charged in connection with an indecent act which took place during a live BBC Scotland broadcast in Aberdeen.

The 16-year-old was arrested over the incident which took place in St Nicholas graveyard, shortly after the helicopter crash memorial service.

The incident happened just after 1830 BST on Wednesday, 15 April, and was broadcast on Reporting Scotland.

A report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.

BBC News

UPDATE: Posey has complained this wasn’t funny enough, but I didn’t feel the biggest story in Australian news at the moment was particularly amusing either…

PETROL is believed to have been introduced into the bilges of an asylum-seeker boat minutes before it exploded last Thursday, killing five of those on board.

As Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised closer co-operation to stamp out people-smuggling yesterday, senior government sources told The Australian a strong build-up of petrol vapours was emerging as the likely cause of the fatal blast…

Yesterday, senior government sources told The Australian a naval boarding party aboard the doomed vessel, dubbed Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel 36, reported an “agitation” or disturbance on the boat about five minutes before the explosion occurred.

The report is consistent with a statement on Friday by the commanding officer of HMAS Albany, Lieutenant Commander Barry Learoyd, that naval personnel on the vessel had relayed a “high-threat” call five to six minutes after they boarded the boat. It is understood the smell of petrol vapour was detected by those on board.

The Defence Department last night released a 20-second video showing the burning vessel with a navy boat assisting asylum seekers who had been blown into the water. The navy rigid inflatable boat passes around the side of the boat and one of its crew appears to lean over the edge, apparently attempting to haul one of the passengers aboard…

Dozens of injured are now being treated in hospitals in Brisbane, Darwin and Perth. Burns surgeon Michael Muller said the nature of the burns suffered by those on board – so-called “flash burns” – were further indications petrol was the main source of the explosion.

A senior government source said investigators believed petrol was introduced into the boat’s bilges, rather than the deck, as has been widely reported. The bilges are a boat’s lowest compartment situated below the deck, an ideal place for a vapour cloud to form.

“It seems pretty clear it was a petrol explosion,” the source said.

“We believe it was a closed-deck, in-board explosion, possibly deliberate.”

The Australian

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35 Comments

  1. Lang Mack
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Must have been a full moon .

  2. Posey
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Nope, this just ain’t good enough DEM. I mean ffs you’ve made me think of – and agree with – ex-Liberal leader John Hewson in a media discussion just last week on ABC RN when he pointed out the indisputable fact that if you’ve been absent from Australia for even just a couple of weeks you have Buckley’s chance of working out any even major story because of the absence of salient reported media FACTS essential to comprehension.

  3. Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    The bare-faced cheek of it all!

  4. Posted April 20, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    ..he pointed out the indisputable fact that if you’ve been absent from Australia for even just a couple of weeks you have Buckley’s chance of working out any even major story because of the absence of salient reported media FACTS essential to comprehension.

    You still wouldn’t be much worse off than those who stayed. Australian media sources have always been rather light on factual content.

  5. Ken N
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Gotta say, DEM, that I found your voice bubble on the photo offensive.
    You are, of course, entitled to find humour wherever you like but I can’t see it in what was a very sad, horrible event.

  6. Posey
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Federal government departments particularly Defence and Immigration are riddled with Howard-era staff with a political axe to grind.

    Second point: There are possibly huge legal implications arising from the fact that the explosion which killed and/or injured so many people took place *after* the boat was taken into the custody of Australian government authorities.

    This article is disingenuous, unreliable spin.

  7. jc
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Posey’s right. It was Howard’s fault.

  8. Posey
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Why would anonymous “senior government sources” be so quick – and foolhardy, this is a sackable offence after all – to brief, off-the-record, “The Australian” when the government of the day is still properly investigating the whole incident and has refused, quite rightly, to make any premature statements or judgements based on a sequence of events what has yet to be established?

    Some people are playing Machiavellian silly buggers, it’s as plain as day. And yes I do blame Howard for many things including stacking the public service hierarchy with so many brain-dead grey-faced men and women whose loyaltty was to him and his increasingly unrepresentative, corrupt, lazy government, not most Australians.

  9. Posey
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    The Australian’s coverage of all this has been remarkable if consistent with its standards in such circumstances. Despite recent and ongoing staff cuts it still has a sizeable stable of experienced writers and reporters who’ve been assigned to this story and much of the extensive coverage it must be said has been very good.

    Editorially, though, the Murdoch press is torn by its desire to shore up and defend the Howard legacy in relation to refugees, which is indefensible, at the same time as leave unopposed all forms and even the volume of immigration. For the ruling class basically supports unfettered immigration to provide cheap, low-waged, super-exploited wage labour for Australian capital. It salivates at the thought of the potential cost savings of not having to relocate businesses offshore.

    There are so many unanswered or even unasked questions, though, too. Who are the “people smugglers”? How are they organised and paid; how do refugees contact them; what are they told; who crews the boats; how are the “boat-people” selected; why do so many boats that leave Indonesia remain undetected till arrival; how many disappear without a trace? The answers will eventually come, I hope, though I suspect it will be through msm sources such as The Australian, which despite many other drawbacks remain unrivalled in-depth, investigative, professional news sources.

  10. Posted April 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    As I said Ken, I didn’t feel the issue was particularly amusing but there is grim humour to be found in the did they/didn’t they controversy.

    The answers will eventually come, I hope, though I suspect it will be through msm sources such as The Australian, which despite many other drawbacks remain unrivalled in-depth, investigative, professional news sources.

    Thanks, Posey. That’s given me the biggest laugh I’ve had this week. =8-)

  11. jc
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Posey:

    no offense, but what are you smoking or injecting?

    Unfettered immigration? Since when have had open borders.

    I would hardly say we’re looking for cheap labor when the current government reintroduced the award system recently. Meanwhile the the attempt at a freer (not free) labor market under the previous government was short lived and we had years of +120,000 inward migration prior to the introduction of Work Choices and after with no evidence of slave labor rates.

    Incidentally we saw wages growth under workchoices and 450,000 new jobs, so your claim that we are seeking cheap labor simply doesn’t stack up or hasn’t stacked with the evidence.

  12. jc
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Some people are playing Machiavellian silly buggers, it’s as plain as day. And yes I do blame Howard for many things including stacking the public service hierarchy with so many brain-dead grey-faced men and women whose loyaltty was to him and his increasingly unrepresentative, corrupt, lazy government, not most Australians.

    Really? Ken Henry is a Howard man? I would never have “thunk” that.

  13. Posey
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    jc – it is common knowledge that private employers here in building & construction, agriculture, food, and a range of service industries use illegal immigrant or temporary visa’d cheap low-waged labour provided by students, backpackers and friends, relatives or employer assisted immigrants or visitors from Asia and the Pacific region in particular. We don’t know the true numbers involved which is compounded by the fact that many of the jobs are short-term for the individual but readily replaceable.

    We can expect this sector to grow as business demand for cheap – i.e. more highly exploited – labour increases in the recession and as what is predicted to be a global shortage of skilled labour in the developed world kicks in as the babyboomer generation retires.

    If you don’t know that important sections of the ruling class – which by definition reflect economic rather than political interests first and foremost – are strongly in favour of very high levels of immigration for labour related reasons you haven’t been paying attention. Ruling class mouthpieces such as Paul Kelly writing for The Australian reflects this view, as do Libs like Abbott and Costello to mention just a couple of folk.

  14. Lang Mack
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    The Australian, which despite many other drawbacks remain unrivalled in-depth, investigative, professional news sources.’
    Ruling class mouthpieces such as Paul Kelly writing for The Australian reflects this view, as do Libs like Abbott and Costello to mention just a couple of folk’
    My goodness, you have a wonderful sense of humour, or maybe this biting satire. Well done.

  15. Posey
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    DEM, guess you were laughing at me, rather than with me. Sob. But k, I can take it.

    “Unrivalled” was the key word here. On current form blogs in Australia, if that is the alternative news source to the msm ( the best of which is provided by the ABC, The Australian, and the SMH) are simply incapable of reporting news on a daily basis at anything resembling the same level or depth or scope of information provision, written expertise, research, analytical or investigative skill or, very importantly, even the quality of chutzpah. There are honourable exceptions of course with occasional blog posts. But it is like comparing a handful of scattered twigs to a forest of river red gums.

    The vast majority of political posts on blogs are drawn from and reference – to the point of boredom – work drawn from the best of the msm. As a daily newspaper (print version) aficionado since I was about 13 and someone who believes in the social need for a strong journalistic culture and no real signs of the msm’s replacement by anything better thus far, I’m more than happy to give credit where it is due even when it includes the infuriating and yes in many ways degenerating Australian newspaper.

  16. jc
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    jc – it is common knowledge that private employers here in building & construction, agriculture, food, and a range of service industries use illegal immigrant or temporary visa’d cheap low-waged labour provided by students, backpackers and friends, relatives or employer assisted immigrants or visitors from Asia and the Pacific region in particular. We don’t know the true numbers involved which is compounded by the fact that many of the jobs are short-term for the individual but readily replaceable.

    umm so you don’t know the true numbers yet you feel qualified to discuss an industry that’s seen some of the highest wage increases in a generation where even the unskilled brickie’s laborer is earning around 3o bucks and hour. This you refer to as slave labor. Interesting.

    We can expect this sector to grow as business demand for cheap – i.e. more highly exploited – labour increases in the recession and as what is predicted to be a global shortage of skilled labour in the developed world kicks in as the babyboomer generation retires./i

    How about you do away with the typical leftie generalities and give us firm evidence there is slave labor employed ion Australian on a large scale. Specifics please.

    If you don’t know that important sections of the ruling class – which by definition reflect economic rather than political interests first and foremost – are strongly in favour of very high levels of immigration for labour related reasons you haven’t been paying attention.

    Ruling class? Ummm it’s such a retro British term it makes me nostalgic for days of Arthur Scargill in the 70’s.

    Ruling class mouthpieces such as Paul Kelly writing for The Australian reflects this view, as do Libs like Abbott and Costello to mention just a couple of folk.

    Of course, if you tend to believe in open markets etc. that makes you a ruling class mouthpiece.

    Seriously Posey is there much difference between the view you hold and 911 truthers

  17. Posey
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to know how many say Asian visitors are in Australia on short term visas at any one time? That many of these people avail themselves of not only work opportunities in the food industry, e.g but free medical services, e.g. is evidenced by this small but revealing snapshot.

    BreastScreen NSW in Sydney advertised in the Chinese press, employed Chinese interpreters and set up mobile screening vans over a couple of months in heavily Chinese populated areas of Sydney. This was mainly done to boost its numbers because its funding rises with the number of women screened and which remains below target and to increase its screening of a demographic with a low participation rate. A very large proportion of the Chinese women who around two months later were recalled for further tests and who had stated they had been in the paid workforce were no longer living in Australia and had returned home, according to their relatives.

  18. Lang Mack
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    A very large proportion of the Chinese women who around two months later were recalled for further tests and who had stated they had been in the paid workforce were no longer living in Australia and had returned home, according to their relatives.
    From what my wife told me about ‘Ouch’ ,she may have thought doing the same .
    I find it rather odd that a woman who planned on leaving the country within eight weeks would be rushing off the a breast screening, or do they get paid for such, I don’t know.Maybe just taking advantage of a service.

  19. Posey
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Actually, it’s more a retro German term, jc. Those Germans were always great theorists.

    jc, the building industry today is a byword for highly exploitative dangerous unregulated labour-management relations. This was the intention of course following the smashing and then deregulation of the militant Builders Labourers Federation by the neoliberal influenced ALP governments of Hawke and Keating.

    Cleaners get $30 an hour, jc.

    And given that building workers with enormous effort and high risk created much of the value which helped fuel the financial boom that enriched a few at the expense of the many, I wonder that you can seriously argue that they, of all workers, have in any way been properly remunerated.

    You sound like a Bush/Howard throwback.

  20. Posey
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Lang, the vast majority of women who have their breasts scanned do so in the earnest hope, nay belief, that they are ok and do not have cancer. Screening is a device for self- reassurance in that sense

    To my knowledge no Asian country has a free breast screening service.

    These women availed themselves of a service that they may have expected would have been quicker in responding if they were thought to have breast cancer. The thing is, even if they had come back for further tests and had been definitively diagnosed with cancer, they would not have been eligible for free treatment through the public hospital system. Most probably would never have been able to afford the exorbitant costs of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy freely provided though the public health system to Australian citizens. But they didn’t know that either.

  21. jc
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to know how many say Asian visitors are in Australia on short term visas at any one time?

    Yes, it is. However I’m not the one making the claim that there is widespread slave practices being followed in the country, so it’s really incumbent on you to prove that.

    That many of these people avail themselves of not only work opportunities in the food industry, e.g but free medical services, e.g. is evidenced by this small but revealing snapshot.

    Of what, that there’s slave labour practices going on? How extraordinary. Seriously what an astonishing observation you’re making.

    BreastScreen NSW in Sydney advertised in the Chinese press, employed Chinese interpreters and set up mobile screening vans over a couple of months in heavily Chinese populated areas of Sydney.

    And this tells you there’s an enormous pool of slaves… women getting their breasts checked out is a prime marker of slave labour practises? Frankly I’m dazzled.

    This was mainly done to boost its numbers because its funding rises with the number of women screened and which remains below target and to increase its screening of a demographic with a low participation rate. A very large proportion of the Chinese women who around two months later were recalled for further tests and who had stated they had been in the paid workforce were no longer living in Australia and had returned home, according to their relatives.

    Yea, and that’s further evidence? Huh?

    #

    Actually, it’s more a retro German term, jc. Those Germans were always great theorists.

    And they also had some truly rotten one’s too. Frankly I wouldn’t be singing the praises to German theorists seeing they came up with all the isms last century.

    jc, the building industry today is a byword for highly exploitative dangerous unregulated labour-management relations.

    Untrue. Evidence shows the building industry enjoyed some of the highest wage growth rates in the past 15 years. You claim is simply wrong.

    This was the intention of course following the smashing and then deregulation of the militant Builders Labourers Federation by the neoliberal influenced ALP governments of Hawke and Keating.

    Destroying that illegal organization was great thing.

    Cleaners get $30 an hour, jc.

    And that’s a slave labor wage, posey? Ummm. So $62,400 pa. is a slave labour rate. Are you smoking some quality hash?

    And given that building workers with enormous effort and high risk created much of the value which helped fuel the financial boom that enriched a few at the expense of the many, I wonder that you can seriously argue that they, of all workers, have in any way been properly remunerated.

    I’m not arguing anything and I could make a case they did very well, however you’re the one asserting there is slave labour and it’s up to you to show evidence…. Evidence that $62,400 is a slave labour rate.

    You sound like a Bush/Howard throwback.

    And you sound like an Arthur Scargill impersonator.

    To my knowledge no Asian country has a free breast screening service.

    So they scammed the system, right?

    These women availed themselves of a service that they may have expected would have been quicker in responding if they were thought to have breast cancer. The thing is, even if they had come back for further tests and had been definitively diagnosed with cancer, they would not have been eligible for free treatment through the public hospital system.

    Tough titties (no pun). We don’ have a responsibility to outsiders to provide free medical care.

  22. Posey
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    jc, a unskilled builders labourer on a big 100% unionised site in Sydney earned closer to $100,000 in the 70s and early 80s. This was a direct result of the existence of a solid, highly organised and skilled registerered trade union, the BLF which covered this industry. This was the same union that instituted Green bans which in NSW saved much of the historic heritage of Kings Cross, Woolloomooloo, the Rocks and the harbour foreshore from obliteration and sale to often overseas owned and run property developers.

    However this very success provoked a ferocious political campaign by developers backed by employer organisations and to its eternal discredit, the Hawke-Keating ALP government which culminated in the BLF’s deregistration in 1986. Wages and conditions for building workers never fully recovered from the employer-led massacre that followed and they certainly fall short of what is on offer on most non-unionised and even unionised sites today. This has been true for at least a generation, jc.

    You keep referrinng to “slave labour” which by definition is not wage labour either cheap or expensive so you’re like a ferret going down a rabbithole which is not going to get you anywhere useful, jc. Though there does exist, of course, and again the full extent is unknown, virtual slave labour of semi-imprisoned sex workers imported by Asian gangs into Sydney, Melbourne, and elsewhere. Paid sex at very low rates for women has been a growing feature of Australian life for ages, jc and there is no reason to see this declining any time soon.

    The SMH just yesterday had a report of a range of employers’ paying overseas students just $9 an hour and last December the Victorian state government set up a taskforce to investigate the widespread labour and other monetary forms of exploitation of overseas students. As I said, the overall picture is patchy and there are vested interests in preventing us knowing the true figures, but we do know that cheap below-award-conditions labour continues to be employed on an habitual basis across a wide range of industries because reports of it keep surfacing and because there is strong evidence of it happening universally across the international globalised economy among the poorest, most desperate, excluded, vulnerable and transient sectors of society. Even a relatively strong union like the old clothing trades union in a much more militant period of recent Australian labour movement history and in a healthier domestic economy was unable to wipe out piecework and the very low hourly rates and disgusting conditions endured by its predominantly non-English speaking female workforce. And even so, such is the nature of capitalism, this low-waged industry was finally unable to compete at all with the even lower-waged Chinese economy which today is where most of the clothes in shops across the world come from, jc. Capital is never satisfied, jc, it will always seek to maximise the exploitation of labour and of nature too.

  23. Posey
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Since BreastScreen did not ask women if they were Australian citizens and simply invited all Chinese women to come and have a free screen, this hardly constitutes scamming the system, jc.

    If anything, this government funded program was lax perhaps unethical in not disclosing the full ramifications of a diagnosis of breast cancer to a visitor on a temporary visa.

  24. jc
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    You keep referrinng to “slave labour” which by definition is not wage labour either cheap or expensive so you’re like a ferret going down a rabbithole which is not going to get you anywhere useful, jc.

    Actually I keep referring to it because you absurdly suggested it was a widespread issue when clearly it isn’t.

    Capital is never satisfied, jc, it will always seek to maximise the exploitation of labour and of nature too.

    Sorry, Ricardo’s theory has been debunked for the past 150 years…

    Commerce doesn’t make money exploiting labor. That only happens in gulags like North korea.

  25. jc
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    If anything, this government funded program was lax perhaps unethical in not disclosing the full ramifications of a diagnosis of breast cancer to a visitor on a temporary visa.

    Since when does our health system owe any responsibility to foreigners scamming the system for a freebie?

  26. Posey
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    You’re stuttering, jc and thou dost protest too much. Guilty conscience, much?

  27. Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    The choice of boat may go some way to supporting the suggestion that these are not in fact, genuine asylum seekers, but economic migrants planning to slip straight into the black economy (which is what often happens in the UK).

    Australia has such effective geographic isolation, that anyone rocking up at an airport is forced to jump through numerous hoops to prove their identity and confirm their right to enter the country (and support themselves) by showing the appropriate visa stating their intentions. Without that, you wont even get out of the airport.

    For wealthier migrants from “second world” countries that produce convincing false papers (or have established schemes for cheating the student visa system) this isn’t such a problem, but if you’re from the back of beyond in Afghanistan or one of the African basket cases, using a trafficker at least means you get to jump the UNHCR queue. UN refugees tend to be needy families who’ve spent long periods in refugee camps. The ‘doorstep’ asylum seekers who pay traffickers to be smuggled in (by boat in Australia or the back of a lorry in the UK) are overwhelmingly young, able-bodied men of prime working age. Not exclusively I know – there’s at least one family group in this latest load – but overwhelmingly. Why else come to Australia when a shorter and safer trip to Pakistan or India (or even Turkey) would provide work and safety prospects just as good for far less money?

    I think the last Tory UK government had a point when it pointed out that most of those arriving could have found perfectly adequate work and shelter at more than half a dozen countries before they even got NEAR Britain. But as the UK was seen as an admissions ‘soft touch’ with first world wages, there seems to be a certain amount of “asylum shopping” going on. (This is despite the fact that EU rules mean that once you’ve been accepted into any of the member states, you can move anywhere you fancy in about two years).

  28. Richard
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Asylum seekers are a category of unauthorised immigrants that can’t be clearly or categorically distinguished from the ‘’economic migrants” category. There is no black and white distinction between the two at all.

    Government policy may like to appear to be purely concerned with enforcing state control over immigration and maintaining territorial integrity by criminalising unauthorised migrants in the way they do through border protection mechanisms such as detention centres, etc, but the internal appetite in rich countries for the labour provided by both categories suggest other objectives are being served. Such as the construction of “black economy” workers as people who deserve to be worked hard and paid little.

  29. Richard
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    The very existence of large numbers of refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq if considered credible poses a potential threat to the legitimacy of Australian and US foreign policy objectives.

    DEM was quick to to portray this latest batch as not only probable criminals or bogus refugees but of a type that would self-harm in a way that has become a politically constructed stereotype of these countries and their peoples in general. Blatant reactionary propaganda in other words as well as being grossly insensitive to human suffering.

  30. Posted April 25, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Where exactly did I portray them as probable criminals?

    LE asked the question, why do they come by boat rather than plane and I answered with the example as it is often seen in the UK.

    I have no reason to know whether this group are ‘bogus’ refugees or not – they could be perfectly genuine – but as they are mostly young men of prime working age coming from a particularly misogynist Islamic society who have managed to find several thousand dollars to pay a trafficker, I seriously doubt they are amongst the MOST needy of those who would benefit from asylum in Australia (Afghan widows with children, say). So yes, I do suspect an element of “jumping the queue” may well be involved.

    My own definition of an “asylum seeker” is someone seeking refuge in another country because their life is in immediate danger in their country of origin (such as homosexuals in Baghdad at the moment). Like economic migrants, they may also benefit from improved personal circumstances in the west but that’s not their primary reason for leaving.

    I haven’t thought that Australian, US or UK foreign policy has been credible for some time.

  31. Posey
    Posted April 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Today’s SMH reports that the Immigration Department states there are 50,000 people at any one time overstaying their visa with Americans, Chinese, British the largest national categories.

    Surely some people choose to come such long distances to Australia, including by boat, rather than going to Western Europe say because, firstly, it can be, in different ways, just as hard to get in and escape detection there, and the competition for work can be rightly thought to be stiffer. And there may be some association unauthorised immigrants have with Australia, such as relatives/friends/acquaintances already here. Historically, refugees often choose the country with which their home country has been or is still connected to in a major way. Australia’s military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon in the past, must have played some role in the choice of here as a possible destination by some people from these countries.

    The area of Sydney I live in has a sizeable Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese population who have successfully integrated to the extent that they play (particularly the Lebanese) a quite prominent role in local government politics and local business.

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