Holy Crap, an Obi-Wan Kenobi Movie Really Is in Development! – It’s as if millions of voices suddenly cried out.


We finally know what the next Star Wars anthology movie will be after Han Solo gets his turn, and it turns out that Disney has been listening to all of our/Ewan McGregor’s pleas; they’re making an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that the project is still early in the works, with Stephen Daldry in talks to head up the project. At such an early stage, there’s not really a lot of solid information to go on, including whether or not McGregor will reprise the role that was one of the bright spots of the prequel trilogy. He’s certainly said he’s open to it enough in the past, though, so we can only hope Disney wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity.

The only way it’d make sense to pass that up would be if the movie focuses on a younger Obi-Wan, but count me among the fans who are more interested in seeing what life was like for the Jedi master in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. He’s already popped up in Star Wars Rebels during that time period, which is considered canon due to Disney’s approach to the franchise, so there’s at least a bit of groundwork there, as well as in the comics.

THR also reports that there are still Yoda and Boba Fett movies under consideration, but I’d take this one over Boba Fett any day.

(via THR, image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

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Jimmy Kimmel Reads Comments From Trump Supporters in an Extra Sad(!) Edition of “Mean Tweets”

Following Donald Trump’s bewildering press conference Tuesday, Jimmy Kimmel opened his show with a message for Trump voters. He starts by telling them that he gets why they supported Trump. He understands the desire to break out of the existing political status quo, to “shake this Etch-a-Sketch hard and start over.” But he doesn’t believe that those voters aren’t at least starting to know, deep down, that they made a huge mistake. Now they have a choice: dig in and double down on their support, or admit their mistake.

Last night, Kimmel read some of the “thoughtful responses” his video accrued on Facebook and Twitter. Now, if you’ve ever read a Trump supporter’s response to facts presented on Facebook or Twitter, “thoughtful” is probably not the word you would use to describe them. “Ignorant,” “hateful,” or maybe “poorly spelled and constructed” all come to mind as more accurate descriptions, all of which apply to these.

Kimmel laughs through the comments, and they deserve to be laughed at. But they’re also incredibly sad, as well as worrisome. Because they represent the feelings of so many very real people. The most troubling, perhaps, is from “James” on Facebook, who pulled out the “[Kimmel] is a racist promoting racism” argument. This argument isn’t new, the “you’re intolerant for not tolerating my intolerance” defense, but after the goddamn president spouted from that playbook in his press conference, it’s become an even faster, or at least more public go-to response for racists. They’re not even just talking about the Antifa movement or anyone proposing meeting violence with violence (a separate, but still bullshit argument), but insisting that any opposition to racism is itself racism against white people*. All white people should be 100% offended by that suggestion.

I’m glad Jimmy Kimmel can laugh at these people. Someone should be able to.

*not a real thing

(image: screengrab)

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Samantha Bee Draws Attention to Extremist-Intervention Group That Lost Federal Funding Under Trump

In our round-up of late night responses to Charlottesville, I included a short clip from Full Frontal With Samantha Bee talking about Life After Hate, “the only organization dedicated to bringing people out of the white supremacist movement.” While the full segment on Life After Hate doesn’t air on Full Frontal until September, Bee and the show’s team shared the segment, recognizing resonance with the current moment and an urgency for the work Life After Hate does.

“Is there literally anyone doing anything?” asks Bee after a clip of the white nationalist chanting in Charlottesville. The host points to helplessness that many people might’ve felt watching the rally, and how anyone with the means to do so can donate to Life After Hate, as the organization is currently in dire need of funding.

The reason, mainly, is that Life After hate was promised a $400,000 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration as a recipient of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Grant Program. However, on Friday, June 23, 2017 they “received notification of its removal from the approved list of funded organizations, without mentioning the specific criteria as to why their grant was rescinded.” It’s a clear example of how Trump’s weakest condemnation of white supremacist extremism (if you can even call it a condemnation and not a disgusting love letter to his fan base), isn’t only completely empty, but contradicted by his policies and actions.

Sammy Rangel, executive director of Life After Hate, says:

“The funding is for the crisis intervention initiatives that help pull violent extremists out of their lifestyles across the United States. This direct service assists people in resisting violent urges, and provides resources to anyone questioning racist ideologies. Our actions are saving lives.”

Bee, who explains to Entertainment Weekly that the group first came to their attention “during a field piece because we learned about the imminent loss of that grant,” says of Trump’s statement:

“We have heard his message. We see who he is. He reveals himself in his actions — and particularly in his inaction. He doesn’t understand how to demonstrate leadership on any level. It’s pathetic. It’s so embarrassing.”

If you have the means, you can support Life After Hate’s efforts here.

(via AV Club, image: screencap)

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Boys Can Like Butterflies: How Policing Little Boys Contributes to a Culture of Male Violence

In the midst of all the horrible things happening in our country right now, there was a Twitter thread I came across a couple of days ago that not only made me sad, but made me very afraid of the ways in which we are all complicit in a culture of male violence. Especially since that male violence seems to be manifesting itself right now in the form of white nationalism.

In a thread that started with the above tweet, a woman who goes by @boguspress on Twitter, who apparently makes a living as a clown and facepainter at children’s parties and events, talked about a heartbreaking moment in which a mother kept her little boy from getting the facepaint he wanted.

You can check out the full thread by clicking on the above tweet, but she recounts the story of a little boy who asked her to paint a butterfly on his face because he likes butterflies, but then his mother chimed in with, “No, he doesn’t want that.” The rest of the conversation went down like this:

@boguspress: “Butterflies are beautiful, he said that’s what he wants, shouldn’t I paint what he wants?”

Mother: “No give him something for boys”

The mother then turns to the dad and asks: “Do you want your son to have a butterfly on his face?”

Dad: “No.”

The mother made @boguspress paint a skull and crossbones on her son’s cheek instead. @boguspress complied, but when she was done, she asked the little boy if he’d also like a little blue butterfly, the boy said yes, but the mother screamed at the facepainter, “You didn’t ask ME.”

@boguspress replied, “Oh I’m sorry, I thought this was for HIM.” But the mom yelled at her that she’s his mother, and so she’s the one that needs to be asked. The facepainter apologized to the kid.

In the thread, @boguspress then connects the incident to bigger issues:

This Twitter thread reminds me of my time as a nanny in NYC. I was caring for a pair of brothers, one was seven, the other four.

We went to McDonald’s, and they both wanted Happy Meals. At the time, there was a Transformers Happy Meal in connection to whichever movie had just come out, and there was an alternative Happy Meal that had cute, pastel-colored animals as toys. I think it might have been a Littlest Pet Shop Happy Meal, but I’m not 100% sure. Let’s just go with that for the sake of the story.

The four year old loved animals, and so he asked me to get him the Happy Meal with the animals in it. The older boy wanted Transformers. Cool, cool. When I ordered, I said to the young woman behind the counter, “I’d like one Transformers Happy Meal, and one Littlest Pet Shop Happy Meal.” She looked at the kids I had with me and said, “Oh, that pet shop one is the girls’ Happy Meal. I can give you two Transformers ones, though!”

As if she were cheerfully saving me from making a huge mistake.

I said, “I didn’t ask for a ‘boys Happy Meal’ or a ‘girls Happy Meal.’ I asked for one Transformers Happy Meal, and one Littlest Pet Shop.”

She repeated again that the Littlest Pet Shop one was the girls’ Happy Meal. We went back and forth several times, including one time where I threatened to talk to a manager, before she finally just gave me the damn Happy Meals I asked for with a look on her face that said that she still thought I was completely bonkers for getting one of each for the two boys I was with.

So, boys not only have their parents to worry about when it comes to blocking their ability to love beautiful things, or feel the full breadth of their emotions, they have the general population to worry about, too. Just as girls are constantly talked to about their looks, or told that they can’t do this or that because it’s a “boy” activity, boys are policed about what they enjoy, too, lest they *gasp* appear too feminine. Because that would be the worst.

Thankfully, the boys in my story have parents who counteract the world’s ignorance with regard to gender. At home, the boys played with their Wonder Woman, Live Wire, or Harley Quinn figures just as easily as they played with Superman, Batman, or Aquaman once I gently informed them that they could. The world had told them that only girls could play with the female heroes (which their parents had bought for them), but all it took were some grown-ups they trusted telling them it was okay for them to play Wonder Woman for them to do it.

They already wanted to. They’d just been told it was wrong.

We also traded off on who got to be Ahsoka Tano whenever we’d play Clone Wars.

We do our boys a huge disservice every single time we force “strength,” “power,” and other hallmarks of stereotypically male gender expression upon them, and in doing so, we do the world a disservice.

Girls and women are obviously getting the short end of the stick with regard to patriarchy, what with not being the patriarchs and all, but our boys and men are so deeply repressed about their wants and needs and feelings that there’s nothing left for them but rage and hurt.

And those things, left unchecked over time, can be dangerous. They turn to things like domestic violence and racist/homophobic/transphobic violence. We teach boys to see anything remotely feminine or soft as a weakness, and are then “surprised” when so many of them do violent things.

We shouldn’t be surprised. As a society, we impose the language of violence and rage upon them. What else can they be expected to use?

Individual boys are as different as snowflakes. Some love action and adventure, others love butterflies and female heroes. It’s time we gave boys the space to like either, or both, so that they can be better balanced as human beings, and be truer to themselves. If you have a child who identifies as a boy, consider letting him express his maleness however he sees fit and try to keep your opinion of what that should look like to yourself. If you’re with someone else’s child who identifies as a boy, don’t take it on as your responsibility to correct his interests or his appearance to “save” him from being “too feminine.”

First, because it’s not your child, so mind your business. Second, because when you police someone’s behavior based on gender, you’re doing the world more harm than good. Stop trying to help.

(image: Fotonegi/Shutterstock)

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Protesters in Durham “Turned Themselves In” to Show Solidarity with Takiyah Thompson

In the days since Charlottesville, cities across the country have taken steps to remove Confederate monuments. Baltimore removed all of theirs in the middle of the night earlier this week. And if you haven’t yet watched the video of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, who refused to wait on their city and toppled a Confederate statue themselves, I recommend doing so. It’s highly cathartic. Here’s a taste:

One woman, Takiyah Thompson (you can see her coming out from behind the statue in the GIF), was arrested for her part in the protest. She’s currently out on bail, but this morning, a group of about 200 people gathered outside the Durham courthouse to oppose her arrest. And many of them (about 50 by some accounts) also went full Spartacus and lined up to turn themselves in to authorities.

The discrepancies in how Thompson’s “crimes” (which include one charge of “inciting a riot”) are approached by law enforcement, versus those that preceded them in Charlottesville, are obvious and disgusting.

From the tweets of organizers and protesters, it sounds like the Durham Sheriff turned people away from turning themselves in for crimes, which seems … problematic.

I know there are a lot of people out there who are feeling helpless and don’t know what they can do about all the violence and injustice they see spreading like racist wildfire. Durham has just set itself up as a strong model for action. And you don’t even have to risk arrest if you’re not willing or able. Listen to these protesters chanting “Thank you, we love you” to those offering themselves up.

Those protesters are necessary voices to tell those spreading hate that “the future is now, and the future is not white supremacist Confederate statues.”

There are protests happening all over the country, but even if you aren’t able to join in person, you can stay informed–

–And you can support those who are there, on the ground.

Thank you to everyone in Durham, and everywhere else, fighting this fight.

(image: screengrab, Twitter)

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Crying Coward Neo-Nazi Used Transphobic Language Against Chelsea Manning

Warning for racist and transphobic language.

Christopher Cantwell talked a big talk in the VICE News footage before Charlottesville, but in the aftermath he’s sniffling and weepy, playing a full hand of victim cards. Videos of him crying and declaring himself “terrified” went viral, but when I watched it I couldn’t find any satisfaction in mocking Cantwell’s tough guy about-face, because of the vicious way he speaks about Chelsea Manning.

First, for context, here’s the pre-Charlottesville protests Cantwell swaggering around, thrilled to be at the gathering of white supremacists and Nazis, and showing off the arsenal of deadly firepower he brought with him to Virginia. The VICE footage is intercut with Cantwell’s later personal video where he cries like a toddler who has had their lollypop taken away. Like so:

“I carry a pistol. I go to the gym. I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence,” says Cantwell the First in VICE’s Charlottesville: Race and Terror, before breaking out the more than four guns he is wearing on his person. He says awful things about black men who have been murdered recently in America.

Cut to: “We have done everything in our power to keep this peaceful,” he whines, days after Charlottesville. Then he openly confesses to having engaged in violence, “in defense of myself and others.”

I had seen supercuts like the one above that highlight Cantwell’s hypocrisy. But it wasn’t until I watched Cantwell’s video in its entirety today that I heard his hateful rhetoric towards Chelsea Manning. Cantwell refers to a tweet Manning sent out during the Charlottesville events, and uses transphobic language and misgendering in discussing her.

(It’s worth noting that Chelsea Manning maintains one of the most relentlessly positive twitter feeds I’ve ever seen, responding to hate with happy, colorful emojis and every day reminding her followers that “we got this.”)

“Chelsea Manning, this tranny fanatic,” Cantwell says in the video, while his face twists in anger. “Has a picture of himself —” Now his expression turns grossly derisive, “—herself—talking about curb-stomping Nazis, with a picture of his boot coming down on somebody.”

This is the tweet that has Cantwell slurring in fury and fear:

I hope that going forward, Christopher Cantwell’s life looks like it does in this video—choking on his own self-righteousness and assumed victimhood, wondering if he’s about to be arrested, despised by people of conscience, and utterly alone.

Chelsea Manning should have the last word here.

(image: screengrab)

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ACLU of California Condemns White Supremacy and ACLU National’s Attempts to Defend It

The ACLU’s California chapters have officially broken ranks from the rest of the ACLU National organization, announcing in a statement that they condemn groups who hide behind the First Amendment as an excuse to incite or engage in violence. They write:

“Our country’s greatest strengths are the diversity of its people and the principles of equal dignity and inclusion that unite us all. There are troubling events planned in our state in the coming weeks. This is an incredibly painful and difficult time for millions of Californians.  For those who are wondering where we stand – the ACLU of California fully supports the freedom of speech and expression, as well as the freedom to peacefully assemble. We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence. If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in activity protected by the United States Constitution. The First Amendment should never be used as a shield or sword to justify violence.”

This move is especially notable as the ACLU’s recent actions have garnered much notoriety for the longstanding organization.

Most recently, the ACLU represented Jason Kessler, who organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, where tensions exploded as white supremacist Nazi demonstrators lashed out at counter-protesters. One such incident resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester who died after James Alex Fields Jr., a white supremacist and supporter of the “alt-right” (i.e., Nazi) movement drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in a narrow city street. Critics have levied some of the blame upon the ACLU for defending Kessler, saying that if Kessler’s permit to demonstrate was revoked (i.e., if the ACLU chose not to defend him), the violence never would have happened and Heyer might still be alive.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero has come out against such accusations, writing in a statement, “The violence of this weekend was not caused by our defense of the First Amendment.”

Before that, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in defense of Milo Yiannopoulos, whose actions have incited harassment against marginalized people. Earlier this year, Yiannopoulos’ recent scheduled appearances at college campuses was met with fierce resistance from numerous student organizations, which many of his supporters labelled censorship and a restriction on free speech—you know, never mind the fact that Yiannopoulos doxed and outed a trans woman at his University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee talk.

ACLU National doesn’t necessarily support or condone Yiannopoulos’ actions, but somehow they fail to see how their defense of such speech leads to such harassment and violence. In a stunning post on their blog, the ACLU equated defending Yiannopoulos’ actions with other cases in which LGBTQIA people have been discriminated against with regards to their presentation or speech, referring to a 2010 case in which a teenager wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom in a tuxedo. The difference between these cases is that one results in a teenager getting to go to prom while the other resulted in a trans woman being forced to withdraw from school or risk harassment from being doxed. That is the kind of “free speech” that ACLU National seeks to protect.

And let’s not fool ourselves here: the ACLU has a long history of defending Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacist provocateurs.

Seeing at least a few chapters of the ACLU break ranks from the rest of the organization and condemn hate speech is heartening, for sure. Moreover, this spotty history doesn’t necessarily undo or eliminate the work they’ve done to actually protect civil rights. But equating hate speech with free speech is a mistake—I’m glad that the ACLU of California recognizes that, at least.

(image: Shutterstock/Hayk_Shalunts)

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Even the Descendants of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson Don’t Want These Racist Monuments

We’ve seen a lot of noteworthy rebukes of the Charlottesville white nationalist rally, but there’s a special kind of power when the people you think are on your side denounce your racism. For instance, one white supremacist Johnny Cash fan who decided to dress for his angry chanting with a shirt bearing the musician’s name was in for a rude awakening when Cash’s children took to social media to call him and the other nationalists “poison in our society, and an insult to every American hero who wore a uniform to fight the Nazis in the second world war.”

It’s a especially powerful thing, then, when the children of the Confederate “heroes” whom the white nationalists idolize and were hell-bent on preserving in statue form go on to publicly criticize their hate speech.

William Jackson Christian and Warren Edmund Christian, great-great-grandsons of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson published an open letter addressed to Richmond Mayer Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission on Slate titled “The Monuments Must Go.” In it, the two native Richmonders write about their disagreement with Stoney’s claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing],” beginning:

“[We] are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.”

The two write about the extensive knowledge about their ancestor—his relationship with his family, his teachings, and most striking, “his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy.” The letter speaks candidly about the violence their great-great-grandfather inflicted, the legacy of that violence, and the ways these statues aim to try and justify that violence. “Jackson, who faces north, supposedly as if to continue the fight,” they state. The entire letter is a great read about two men who’ve decided to confront their racist family history and use that position to try and bring about positive change.

I especially want to highlight this bit of history I was unaware of, and nominate that we replace Jackson’s Richmond monument with something of Laura Jackson Arnold.

In fact, instead of lauding Jackson’s violence, we choose to celebrate Stonewall’s sister—our great-great-grandaunt—Laura Jackson Arnold. As an adult Laura became a staunch Unionist and abolitionist. Though she and Stonewall were incredibly close through childhood, she never spoke to Stonewall after his decision to support the Confederacy. We choose to stand on the right side of history with Laura Jackson Arnold.

Of course, the two point to the ways in which figures like their ancestor and Robert E. Lee have become a “symbol of hate ideology” for white supremacists like the ones the nation saw in Charlottesville. They ask that “other descendants of Confederate generals will stand with us.” It’s significant then, that yesterday, descendants of Lee similarly criticized white nationalism and supported the removal of Confederate statues.

The great-great-grandchildren of the general, Robert E. Lee V and Tracy Lee Crittenberger , said “There’s no place for that hate,” and supported moving these monuments to a museum. While their statement notably doesn’t take the unflinching look at Lee’s own slave ownership and violence that way that the Jackson statement does, it’s still a significant rebuke of the white supremacist movement from those they believed are on their side.

While the debate about how we memorialize figures from our past continues, we the descendants of Robert E. Lee decry in the strongest terms the misuse of his memory by those advancing a message of intolerance and hate. We urge the nation’s leaders as well as local citizens to engage in a civil, respectful and non-hateful conversation.

Like Jessica said, it’s a kind of great irony that a protest against the removal of one statue has lead to the removal of many more.

(image: Eli Christman on Flickr)

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MiC’s Tiffany Watson FINALLY speaks out over Ex Sam Thompson’s CBB romance

It’s all a bit awkward, really…

Sam Thompson is dating Tiff Watson

For a lot of people (us NOT included… *ahem*) a break-up is a time of major stalking.

What are they doing. Who are they with. WHOSE FOOT WAS IN THE VERY CORNER OF THAT SNAPCHAT.

The last one was a joke. We swear.

So anyway, imagine being able to literally watch everything you Ex is getting up to post-split on national TV?

Yup. Sounds like the worst idea and the best idea all in one, right?!

And so, we can imagine things are a lil’ tricky for Made in Chelsea‘s Tiff Watson– who has been able to watch her ex Sam Thompson move on in the Celebrity Big Brother house with fellow housemate Amelia Lily.


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Coke/REX/Shutterstock (8607480ae)

With Sam currently brewing up one hell of a crush on Amelia, having agreed that they will ‘see where things go’ after they both leave the house, Tiff has *finally* spoken out.

See: Did you spot this VERY awkward similarity with CBB’s Sam Thompson’s ex Tiffany Watson and new romance Amelia Lily?

Having split a mere few weeks before Sam entered the house, Tiff has shared with The Sun that she doesn’t think Sam is actually over her.

Tiff explains, ‘Amelia is a nice girl and she’s being respectful and I’m a fan of her. She knows Sam’s not over his last girlfriend. And he’d never get into a showmance’.

The MiC lady then adds, ‘He hates when people are being fake’.

Tiff also shared that those close to her and Sam have doubts that things would work with Amelia outside the house.

She shares, ‘All our friends and family are struggling to picture them being together as we were together so long’.

Well, with only a week left of the show, looks like we’ll have to watch this space…

Alice Perry


The post MiC’s Tiffany Watson FINALLY speaks out over Ex Sam Thompson’s CBB romance appeared first on CelebsNow.

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‘It has been a difficult year’: TOWIE’s Mike Hassini opens up about shock family trauma

Mike Hassini has opened up about his mums health battles.

After his hiatus from the show, Mike Hassini prepares to make his TOWIE return next season- and we’re v. v excited.

Following landing himself in a lil’ hot water with the big ITV bosses in 2016, after becoming caught up with drink driving allegations, Mike has been absent from our screens for almost two years.

However, he’s officially back- and he’s bringing a whole new bangin’ bod with him!

Get a load of this, people…


Yup, that happened.

See: OMG! THIS TOWIE star set to return after shock sacking from the show

However, Mike hasn’t just been getting buff during his time away from the show- and has actually had a pretty horrible time, which he has now opened up about.

Speaking with The Sun, Mike candidly shares: ‘It has been a difficult year. My mum has not been well’.

See: You won’t believe former TOWIE star Mike Hassini’s gym transformation

The 22-year-old then explains, ‘She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, my sister was hospitalised with septicaemia and my Nan passed away. A number of things have gone on’.

Very movingly, the Essex ‘fella continues: ‘I wanted to change my life and focus and be more disciplined in myself and take my training and fitness more seriously. I have been focussing on that’.

And it would seem that Mike has been able to do just that, as a TV insider has also shared with the publication that ‘Mike has come a long way in the last year’.

The insider adds, ‘He had a lot of growing up to do, but he’s focused on himself and has turned over a new leaf’.

Our kind thoughts are with Mike and his family during this tumultuous time- can’t wait to have you (and your abs) back on our screens!

Alice Perry

The post ‘It has been a difficult year’: TOWIE’s Mike Hassini opens up about shock family trauma appeared first on CelebsNow.

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