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The World and Everything in It - June 3, 2022


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It - June 3, 2022

On Culture Friday, Andrew Walker answers questions from World Journalism Institute students; Collin Garbarino reviews the new Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi; and on Ask the Editor, Paul Butler answers questions about Lawless and the new donor drive. Plus: a septuagenarian graduate, and the Friday morning news.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Good morning!

Today on Culture Friday, questions from our students at World Journalism Institute

NICK EICHER, HOST: John Stonestreet is away today, so WORLD’s Andrew Walker will field the questions.

Also a new story about an old hero from a galaxy far, far away.

And Ask the Editor.

BUTLER: It’s Friday, June 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Paul Butler.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

BUTLER: Time for news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Police: Tulsa gunman targeted surgeon he blamed for pain » The gunman who fatally shot four people at a medical center in Oklahoma on Wednesday specifically targeted the doctor who performed his recent back surgery.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin told reporters…

WENDELL: We have also found a letter on the suspect, which made it clear that he came in with the intent to kill Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way.

He said 45-year-old Michael Louis blamed Dr. Preston Phillips for ongoing pain after his operation.

Wendell said Louis bought a semiautomatic rifle at a local gun store around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. And just a few hours later, he opened fire at the hospital campus, killing Phillips and three others before turning the gun on himself.

Dr. Cliff Robertson, president of Saint Francis Health System, said it’s hard to fathom anyone targeting Phillips.

ROBERTSON: Dr. Phillips was the consummate gentleman. He was — he is a man that we should all strive to emulate.

Buffalo shooting suspect pleads not guilty to terror charge » Meantime, in New York, the white man charged with carrying out a racist mass shooting at a supermarket last month was arraigned in Buffalo on Thursday. Eighteen-year-old Payton Gendron pleaded not guilty to hate-motivated domestic terrorism and other charges.

All 10 people he’s accused of killing were black. Prosecutors say they have “overwhelming proof of the defendant’s guilt.”

Gendron has been held without bail since the shooting and is due back in court next month.

Biden calls for tighter gun laws, House Democrats look to deliver » President Biden addressed the nation last night regarding the latest wave of mass shootings.

BIDEN: My fellow Americans, enough! It’s time for each of us to do our part. It’s time to act, for the children we’ve lost, for the children we can save, for the nation we love. Let’s hear the call on the cry, let’s meet the moment, let us finally do something!

He called on Congress to pass stricter gun limits. And lawmakers in the House may do exactly that.

Members of the Judiciary Panel have spent days crafting a bill that would raise the age limit for buying a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21.

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen:

COHEN: That’s what they want on their 18th birthday is an assault weapon? They got a problem, which means, we got a problem.

The legislation would also make it a federal offense to import, make, or possess large-capacity magazines.

But strong divisions remain on how best to address gun violence. Republican Congressman Jim Jordan said the changes Democrats are pushing would not solve the problem.

JORDAN: No one wants another tragedy. No one wants this to happen again. That’s why it’s regretful that Democrats have rushed to a markup today in what seems more like political theater than a real attempt at improving public safety or finding solutions.

Democrats may well have the needed votes to pass the bill over Republican objections. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote on it next week.

But the real test will be in the Senate, where lawmakers are holding bipartisan talks on possible areas of common ground, including a federal “red flag” law.

Trump election probe grand jury hears from Raffensperger » Brad Raffensperger, the top election official in the state of Georgia, testified on Thursday in a probe of the actions of Donald Trump and others surrounding the 2020 election. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Georgia’s secretary of state answered questions before a special grand jury. It’s part of a Fulton County investigation into whether former President Trump and others illegally tried to meddle in the 2020 election in the state.

Raffensperger arrived at the courthouse in downtown Atlanta Thursday morning.

As he climbed the courthouse steps, a reporter asked how the day would go, Raffensperger replied “hopefully short.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said her investigation includes looking into a January 2021 phone call. In that call, Trump told Raffensperger that he wanted to—quote—“find 11,780 votes” to seal his victory in the state.

Trump largely blamed Raffensberger and Gov. Brian Kemp for his election loss in Georgia. Raffensperger and Kemp both defeated Trump-endorsed challengers in last month's GOP primary.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Fewer Americans apply for unemployment benefits last week » Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week.

The Labor Department says applications for unemployment benefits fell by about 5 percent to 200,000 for the week ending on May 28th.

The week before that, the total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits fell to about 1.3 million, the fewest since 1969.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee kicks off with pomp » AUDIO: [Sound of crowd]

Queen Elizabeth II stepped gingerly onto a balcony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. On the ground below, tens of thousands of Britons waving Union Jack flags cheered for the queen. Her appearance marked the start of four days of celebrations to mark her 70 years on the throne.

A formation of British fighter jets flew over in the shape of the number 70.

AUDIO: [Jets]

Congratulations poured in from around the globe, from Australia to China, and of course, the White House.

BIDEN: Your majesty, congratulations on your platinum jubilee. For 70 years, you’ve inspired people with your selfless service and devotion to the people of the United Kingdom and the commonwealth.

Even North Korea’s Kim Jong Un offered his congratulations.

Elizabeth, who became queen at the age of 25, is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach the milestone of seven decades on the throne.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: questions about culture from student journalists.

Plus, the galactic battle between good and evil.

This is The World and Everything in It.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: It’s Friday, June 3rd, 2022.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Paul Butler.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s Culture Friday.

John Stonestreet is away this week and so we’ll bring in Andrew Walker.

He’s a professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at Southern Seminary and managing editor of WORLD Opinions. Hey there, Andrew, good morning!

ANDREW WALKER: Hey, Nick, it’s good to be with you.

EICHER: This’ll be new to you in the sense that you’ve not fielded culture questions from our student journalists, but not new to you at all in the sense of fielding student questions. You do that all the time.

So we’re on the last day of our annual World Journalism Institute collegiate course. Dordt University has been a terrific host here in beautiful northwest Iowa, in the welcoming town of Sioux Center.

Andrew, I have four students for you today. They’ll introduce themselves and pose their questions and you can just jump in.

Sound good?

WALKER: Absolutely. 

ANNA MANDIN, STUDENT: Hi, my name is Anna Mandin. I study at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and I'm from Canada. My question is, do you think there's an unhealthy relationship between political and religious identities in America?

WALKER: That’s such a good question. I think there’s a lot of various ways to think about the relationship between religion and politics in America. And I'm hesitant to speak categorically that there is just overall an unhealthy relationship between the two. Because I think that can be often in the eye of the beholder, to some extent. But there's a couple of things we should say about that. First is, at the very heart of the American project has been an appreciation for the role of religion in society. We see that from individuals such as John Adams, from our first president, George Washington, and even political philosophers like Alexis de Tocqueville. And so I think we need to recover better understandings of how religion and politics relate to one another. And I think that begins with resisting the tendency to make religion and politics everything, and making religion and politics nothing. And so what I always like to suggest people kind of adopt as a framework is what St. Augustine would refer to as ordering our loves. And what he means here is, it is good to love your country. But he says it's more supreme to love your God. And so when we have those loves, properly ordered, according to the Christian tradition, loving God allows us to actually be better citizens, because we're not making the state, and government and citizenship, the end all be all of our existence. And so how we apply that on the day to day, there are a lot of wisdom and prudential issues involved there. But I think we just need to think about how do we order our loves in such a way that as Chuck Colson once wrote to me, in a book, he said, “Andrew, love your country, but love your God more.”

MADISON GREVEN, STUDENT: Hi, my name is Madison Greven and I graduated from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. In the past few months, Disney has been in the news regarding their agenda to produce more LGBTQ material in their content meant for kids. How should Christian parents choose what movies to show their kids with understanding that every outlet has a worldview or agenda in some way?

WALKER: Oh, yeah, that's such a very important question. And I think it's important to realize, at the outset, that parents need to understand that there always is a world view, there is no such thing as total viewpoint neutrality. God made us habit forming creatures. He made us affective creatures, meaning what we put into our body, by way of media and consumption can impact us. And so I would say to the parents, first off, recognize everyone is trying to say something to your kids. And if you don't catechize your kids, someone else will do so for you. And with greater urgency, and with greater desire, even perhaps. So I would say, without drawing a hard and fast rule for every single parent, parents need to think through what is the maturity level of their individual child involved in this question. They need to think through, how are they going to intervene when something on the screen pops up? Are they just going to kind of turn a blind eye to it, or are they going to pause, discuss the issue, offer Christian truth and then continue it, the movie or are they just going to turn the program off? And I'll tell you what my family does. We were recently watching something on Disney actually, where the show was treating divorce like it was this completely normal and routine thing. And so we paused the movie, and we said to our daughters, hey, you know Disney is presenting that divorce is a normal thing. That's not God's plan for marriage and for family. Divorce happens, is the result of heartbreaking, sinful situations. And so we don't want you to think that this is normal, or natural. And so now that we've talked about that, we can watch more of the movie. But I just want you to hear that from your mom and dad about what we think about this type of issue.

So I think, again, the bigger picture is, we need prudence. But you also have to have a principle of intervention of actually getting involved. And let me say this, as well, there's some material that you simply should not be exposing your children to. And I'll just speak candidly, for myself and my own family. Some of the things we're learning about Disney right now have been so troubling to me that it does make me consider whether we want to continue contributing to Disney's bottom line. And so that's a decision my family will have to make, I can't make that for your family. But just to recognize there are certain thresholds that might be crossed, that you shouldn't be allowing your children to be exposed to.

ALEX ELLISON, STUDENT: Hi, my name is Alex Ellison and I go to the University of Guelph-Humber. My question is, with social media being so prevalent in today's youth culture, how can we as Christians be mediators in protecting youth from the hyper sexualized content on apps like Tiktok and Instagram?

WALKER: So I'll just be very, more precise in my answer here, and to say, I don't think that children should be on Tiktok and Instagram. I think what we're learning by virtue of the social science that has been leaked in such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, is that there are some algorithmic behavioral manipulations built into the very structure of social media that is designed to reconfigure how the brain responds to certain media. And so I think I am on the ultra conservative side on this question, who would say you need to delay the introduction of social media into your children's lives as long as you possibly can, not simply from the vantage point of what they might be consuming, by way of illicit material, but the very fact of how social media forms and shapes how people think, how it impacts their attention spans. And so I just think we need to be delaying social media introductions as much as possible.

LAUREN SHANK, STUDENT: Hi, my name is Lauren Shank. I go to Liberty University, is the importance of getting married in the church. Traditionally, people get married in the church, where the presence of the Lord is. So after all, marriage is a God thing. But with culture nowadays, you can get married anywhere in a barn, you can elope in a national park. And you see this among Christians to where they often get married outside of the church. Is this wrong?

WALKER: Lauren, what a great question. It's a good question to be thinking about as a Christian, and I love the instinct that marriage is a God institution, so it has to be done in the church. So a couple things I would say here. I think this is an issue of, of prudence and wisdom, meaning Christians of good will can disagree on this. As far as the requirements involved my own position is, I don't think it's a particular space that defines where a wedding must be. The Bible in the book of John talks about how Christians worship and spirit and truth, and we don't collapse the divine, into limited spaces. Now, that's not to say that we disregard the importance of architecture and sacred spaces. But it does mean that I don't think that we can elevate this type of issue to the level where we say, one must get married in a church, if they are Christians. I think that there is enough wisdom, and enough Christian freedom, frankly, where if two Christians want to get married on the beach, insofar as the wedding on the beach is a Christian wedding, I think God can be glorified in that venue as well, because God is the creator of the cosmos. Psalm 19 tells us he's the God of creation. And so whether you're inside a church, or you're on a beach, if your motive and your intentionality and your goals are all the same, which is to honor God and honor Christ in your marriage, I think where the wedding occurs is a little less significant.

EICHER: All right, thank you. And thank you to the World Journalism Institute students for excellent questions. Really good, weren't they?

WALKER: Yeah, absolutely. I love these questions. The types of questions I get asked are often indicative of, you know, what students are wrestling with, and the types of questions I just heard demonstrate a lot of great maturity.

EICHER: All right, Andrew Walker. He’s a professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at Southern Seminary and managing editor of WORLD Opinions. Thanks, Andrew!

WALKER: Thanks Nick!

NICK EICHER, HOST: Ted Sams was one of many high school graduates donning a cap and gown at San Gabriel High School in Southern California last Friday.

Receiving a diploma is something many graduates look forward to for years. But in Sams’ case, it was more years than most. Roughly 60 years!

Sams can finally call himself a graduate at the age of 78.

He told TV station KABC that he was actually very close to graduating on time in 1962.

SAMS: When I went back with my grade, they wouldn’t give me my diploma because I owed $4.80 for a book. And so I just walked away and said forget it. And over the years I’ve complained to my kids a number of times about how $4.80 kept me from having my diploma.

But the school did still have his original diploma locked away in an old filing cabinet.

Sams says he plans to hang it on the wall at home.

No word on whether he had to pay off that $4.80 to receive it. Let’s not even get started on what six decades of inflation has done to that balance.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Today is Friday, June 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Paul Butler.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

We’re on the final day today at the World Journalism Institute. So many of our colleagues at WORLD are here with us working with the students—including our friend Brian Basham. How are ya, Bash?

BRIAN BASHAM, WORLD WATCH HOST: I’m glad you could make it up here with all the travel you’ve been doing. So you’ve been traveling everywhere!

EICHER: Listen, if you’ve not had a chance to introduce your family to WORLD Watch, we’ll make it easy and inexpensive. We’re offering two months for four dollars. Very simple. Go to worldwatch.news to redeem the offer, just make sure to enter “radio” at checkout. That’s worldwatch.news and enter promo code “radio” at check out for WORLD Watch!

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a Jedi master returns.

BUTLER: After Disney bought Star Wars in 2012, the company made five new films in five years. The movies made money, but they didn’t satisfy fans or critics.

The studio has now turned from the big screen to the small screen, on Disney+. And it’s had a bit more success.

EICHER: Last week, it released the first two episodes in the series about one of the most popular characters of the franchise. Here’s Arts and Media editor Collin Garbarino.

AUDIO: [Lightsaber hiss]

COLLIN GARBARINO, REVIEWER: Obi-Wan Kenobi is the third live-action Star Wars series filling in the gaps between the franchise’s blockbuster movies. This time actor Ewan McGregor returns as Obi-Wan, the role he played in George Lucas’s prequels 20 years ago.

This series takes place 10 years after the prequels and 10 years before the original Star Wars trilogy. Obi-Wan is on the desert planet of Tatooine, protecting the young Luke Skywalker whom he’s hidden from Darth Vader. But Luke’s uncle doesn’t welcome Obi-Wan’s attentions.

Obi-Wan: He’s my responsibility, Owen.

Owen: Well, I’m his uncle.

Obi-Wan: We talked about this. When the time comes, he must be trained.

Owen: Like you trained his father? Anakin is dead, Ben, and I won’t let you make the same mistake twice. So, leave him on the farm with his family, where he belongs.

Obi-Wan is still plagued by his failure with his former apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. He’s spent 10 years doubting himself and the Jedi Order. We see a hero who’s lost his confidence—crushed under the weight of a cruel galaxy. But the Empire isn’t content to let former Jedi retire. Darth Vader’s force-wielding minions show up to hunt down and destroy any remnant of the Jedi Order.

Grand Inquisitor: You know who we are.

Barman: Inquisitors.

Grand Inquisitor: You know what we do?

Barman: You hunt Jedi.

Grand Inquisitors: In actuality, I would say the Jedi hunt themselves. Do you know the key to hunting Jedi, friend? It is patience.

One inquisitor is obsessed with finding Obi-Wan, and she uses 10-year-old Princess Leia as bait to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding. Obi-Wan will have to set his doubts aside if he’s going to save Leia and face Vader.

Obi-Wan: It’s been 10 years. I’m not who I used to be. Find someone else. She’ll be better off.

Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t a bad series, though it’s not without its problems. McGregor is a good actor, and he brings a measure of weariness and sadness to this version of the character. The inquisitors approach caricature, but they’re appropriately menacing without being too scary for most kids. Actress Vivien Lyra Blair looks a little young for 10, but she plays Leia with an air of curiosity and wisdom beyond her years.

Leia: How can I trust you when I know you’re hiding something? You think the less you say, the less you give away, but really, it’s the opposite.

Obi-Wan: How old are you?

Leia: Ten.

Obi-Wan: You don’t sound like you’re ten.

Leia: Thank you.

The series employs the same special-effects technology pioneered by The Mandalorian. It’s still impressive what they’re able to accomplish by filming actors in front of a giant wrap-around screen. But with this series, I started to see the limits of the technology. Many scenes feel like a stage play in which actors are grouped in a small semicircle doing their thing.

And sometimes the script doesn’t make much sense. For example, in one scene we see inquisitors show up on a street corner to announce they’re looking for Jedi.

Fifth Brother: You know why we are here. There is a Jedi hiding on this planet. We need to know where he is. You’ll be rewarded well.

Third Sister: Or you’ll be punished.

Did you catch that? There’s a Jedi on the planet, so they’re going to berate people on a street corner? Sure, Tatooine might be sparsely populated, but there’s got to be a more effective way of conducting a planet-wide search.

The script also struggles to figure out how to handle Jedi powers. Sometimes these space wizards seem omnipotent, and sometimes, when the plot demands it, they forget they can use the force to do the simplest things.

And shoe-horning the story between the earlier movies feels awkward. Having Obi-Wan go on an adventure with a 10-year-old Leia makes her introduction in the original movie sound odd.

Leia: General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire.

Also, having Darth Vader and Obi-Wan face each other in these intervening years makes this exchange from the original movie sound false.

Darth Vader: The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.

Obi-Wan: Only a master of evil, Darth.

If you want to enjoy the show, don’t try to connect the dots to other Star Wars installments. They don’t sit alongside each other comfortably. Just watch Obi-Wan Kenobi on its own terms.

It is an engaging story—the old washed-up hero needs to come out of retirement and strap on his sword for another adventure. And there’s no confusion about the bad guy. The theme of good versus evil is strong with this one. But life is still complicated, and our protagonist isn’t always sure what his duty is or whether he can fulfill it. There’s something satisfying about watching a hero pursue justice despite his own sense of inadequacy.

AUDIO: [Theme music]

I’m Collin Garbarino.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday June 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. 

Say, Nick, before I get to this month’s "Ask the Editor,"  I’d like to “Ask the Host.”

You already know what I’m going to say, because you and I talked about this before lunch with the students a few days ago. But I do hear from listeners who want some sense of whether the new donor drive succeeded for May.

EICHER: Well, Paul, appreciate the heads-up. It kind of gave me some time to prepare the numbers for you!

So, yeah, it’s a reasonable question because in the new donor drives, we don’t post our online goal the same way that we do for our calendar year-end and fiscal year-end drives.

And in truth we don’t even set an online goal.

What we do instead is we aim for incremental improvement.

So to measure that, we have to start with a baseline. And because these new donor drives go back only to the fall of 2020, we don’t have a long history and we do want to make apples-to-apples comparisons.

So we can compare last November with the previous November, and this past May with the previous May.

So with that as a backdrop, I can tell you we did decline November 2021 vs. November 2020 in terms of new donors—and that gave us reason specifically to pray that God might work to turn that positive in May.

And I’m happy to say God answered that prayer!

He gave us an increase of 18.8 percent this May over last May! That’s almost 20 percent, and a real sign of good health, because the greater the number of individuals helping to carry the funding load, the more sustainable the whole project is. It’s just great news all the way around and it’s great going into the fiscal year-end drive. So thanks for asking!

BUTLER: Well, that sets the table for the first “Ask the Editor” question for this month because I did receive a letter from a listener and WORLD donor who wrote to share her distress with the way we handle donation requests. She says, in her view, that we spend too much time expressing the need.

She also said, and I’ll quote here: “[T]he repeated requests for money make[] me feel frustrated and unappreciated. I believe that you do truly appreciate our gifts, but this is rarely stated during your giving drives.”

So let me start by saying, thank you for your gifts! We are humbled that you have chosen to support our work of Biblically objective journalism. You make our daily program—and all our additional podcasts—possible each and everyday. And any with that last part: Any feeling that any listener has that we don’t appreciate his or her gift—we never want inadvertently to communicate that! We stress this in our staff meetings that we honor your gifts by practicing good stewardship and by working as unto the Lord.

But thanks for writing. It is a useful corrective, I think, to make certain that even as we communicate to you our ongoing financial needs … that you also know if you’ve already given during the course of a drive or have given in the past that we deeply appreciate you.

EICHER: We do, and they are deeply appreciated.

BUTLER: Now, last item: We’ve received a lot of emails this week like this one—

I’ve been waiting to hear an update on Lynn Vincent and the Lawless podcast. I’m concerned about the quick halt to the podcast, which didn’t seem to be planned.

I miss her and hope she’s doing okay.



For those who have been praying for Lynn—thank you! We are all grateful for your support and your concern for her. Lynn is the primary researcher and force behind Lawless so when she had her small stroke a few weeks ago, we knew we had to hit the pause button on the project.

She’s doing well. We talk frequently, but her doctor said she really needed some concentrated rest and anyone who knows Lynn, knows that that prescription brings with it the worst side effects for a driven personality like her!

As far as we can tell, Lynn is now symptom-free. In fact, in a follow-up MRI, doctors could not see even the tiny pixel they saw the first time around. Was it so small they missed it? Or did God answer prayer? We’re not sure, but either way, it’s great news.

In other great news, we are back to writing and producing the final episodes of Lawless Season 1 and will be back with Episode 6 later this month.

Thanks again for the outpouring of love and support for Lynn, Lawless, and the WORLD Radio staff.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And speaking of our staff, time to thank our excellent team. This week, we’ll go in reverse order.

Collin Garbarino, Andrew Walker, Cal Thomas, Kim Henderson, Josh Schumacher, Les Sillars, Elizabeth Russell, Koryn Koch, Onize Ohikere, Whitney Williams, Bonnie Pritchett, Anna Johansen Brown, Kristen Flavin, David Bahnsen, Mary Reichard, Nick Eicher and Kent Covington.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz are the audio engineers who stay up late to get the program to you early! Leigh Jones is managing editor, and Paul Butler is our executive producer.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)

Remember to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ this weekend, and God willing, we’ll meet you right back here on Monday.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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