The World and Everything in It - March 7, 2022
On Legal Docket, a Supreme Court case about double jeopardy; on the Monday Moneybeat, the latest economic news; and on History Book, significant events from the past. Plus: the Monday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
A conflict between tribal law and federal law comes before the U.S. Supreme Court.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.
Also, today the Monday Moneybeat: more on the effectiveness of Western sanctions against Russia and David Bahnsen’s economic takeaways from the president’s State of the Union address.
Plus, the WORLD History Book. Today, the anniversary of a famous presidential speech.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, March 7th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: U.S., European allies could send more war planes to Ukraine » Russia renewed its shelling in the port city of Mariupol on Sunday, breaking a ceasefire agreement with Ukraine and halting efforts to evacuate civilians.
Food, water, medicine, and other supplies are in desperately short supply in Mariupol. The two sides negotiated a humanitarian corridor out of the city, but Russian attacks quickly shut that down.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova said Sunday…
MARKAROVA: It’s evident, clear to us that what they’re doing is illegal and it’s war crimes. I mean, they are targeting hospitals. They are targeting schools. They are targeting civilians.
The UN says the number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country has now topped 1.5 million. In many cases, they are divided families with women and children moved to safety as able-bodied men stay behind to fight.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a televised address, again urged the West to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
But that would require Western powers to potentially shoot down Russian aircraft. And US Secretary of State Tony Blinken explained …
BLINKEN: The president also has a responsibility to not get us into a direct conflict, a direct war with Russia, a nuclear power, and risk a war that expands.
But the West may grant two other requests of Zelenskyy’s: First to cut off Russian oil imports. Blinken said the United States is now in “very active discussions” with European partners to do just that.
And second, to send more warplanes to Ukraine’s military.
BLINKEN: We're talking very actively about this, looking at what we could do to backfill Poland, if it chooses to send the MiGs and the SU planes that it has to Ukraine, how we can help by backfilling what they're giving to the Ukrainians.
MiGs and SU planes are fighter jets that the Ukrainian military knows how to fly. If Poland sends those planes to Ukraine, the United States could make up for it by sending jets like F-35s to Poland.
At least 7 people killed as tornadoes touch down in Iowa » At least seven people are dead, including two children, after several tornadoes swept through central Iowa over the weekend.
Severe thunderstorms spawned the twisters, and at least one touched down in an area southwest of Des Moines.
What was estimated to be an EF-3 tornado destroyed buildings and ripped down trees and power lines near the town of Winterset.
Madison County Emergency Management director Diogenes Ayala told reporters…
AYALA: We’re going to rebuild. We’re definitely going to rebuild. We just need the time to get together and to heal.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Madison County, which frees up resources for response and recovery efforts.
Alex Krull with the National Weather Service said it was somewhat unusual that this storm hit in the month of March.
KRULL: Typically, violent supercells with tornadoes are more common in the Midwest in the months of April and May. I wouldn’t necessarily call it rare, though, because we can point to other events that have happened in March.
The storm was the worst to slam the state since 2008 when a tornado destroyed nearly 300 homes and killed nine people in northern Iowa.
U.S. gas prices top $4 per gallon, could soon shatter record » U.S. gas prices just saw the biggest jump since Hurricane Katrina. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has that story.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: For the first time in 14 years, American drivers are now paying $4 per gallon for regular unleaded.
The national average has soared about 40 cents per gallon over the past couple weeks, since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
And analysts say there’s a very good chance that we’ll soon be paying the highest price ever for gas in the United States. The record is $4.11 per gallon. The record dates back to 2008 as Hurricane Katrina disrupted the oil and gas industry.
The lowest average price right now, according to AAA, is in Missouri: $3.60 per gallon.
The highest average price? California at five dollars and 29 cents.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
The Batman soars into first place at weekend box office » AUDIO: [The Batman trailer]
At the weekend box office, The Batman soared into first place with a blockbuster opening.
TRAILER: The Riddler, he’s asking for you. The killer left this for the Batman.
The newest Batman reboot hauled in an estimated $129 million domestically over the weekend. That’s the second-best total opening of the pandemic era, trailing only Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Uncharted finished second with another $11 million in ticket sales. The treasure-hunt action-adventure has now cracked the $100 million mark since its release two weekends ago.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Legal Docket.
Plus, the premier of a historic musical.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Monday the 7th day of March, 2022. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. It’s time now for Legal Docket. And today, legal correspondent Jenny Rough is here. Hi, Jenny!
JENNY ROUGH, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you both.
REICHARD: I’ll say here at the top that Jenny and I have been hard at work on Season 3 of the Legal Docket Podcast.
ROUGH: That’s right. We’ve got some fascinating episodes in the lineup, and the podcast is slated to air this summer.
REICHARD: We’ve been busy with that, and you’ve been busy covering the Supreme Court’s doings from last week.
ROUGH: Yes, four opinions handed down.
First, the high court ruled 8-1 that Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, may defend an abortion restriction. The lower courts had struck it down as unconstitutional. This decision will help attorneys general to defend laws when a state official from an opposing party doesn’t want to.
Next, a 6-3 ruling that reinstates the death penalty for one of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Back in 20-13, two brothers set off bombs near the finish line of the race. One brother was killed a few days later. The younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and put on trial. During the jury selection process, Tsarnaev’s attorneys wanted to ask prospective jurors: What facts had they learned about the case from the media? The trial court judge didn’t allow that question.
REICHARD: Right, and then at his sentencing, Tsarnaev’s attorneys wanted to introduce evidence of prior crimes committed by the older brother. That, to show he was the mastermind of the bombings. But the judge didn’t allow that either.
The jury found Tsarnaev guilty on multiple counts and imposed the death penalty. But the appeals court threw that out, holding the lower court abused its discretion in not allowing in the evidence.
The Supreme Court disagreed with the appeals court and held that the trial court acted reasonably in these matters. Bottom line? Death penalty reinstated.
ROUGH: The next case involves FBI surveillance. A group of Muslim individuals sued the FBI for illegally spying on them. They claimed the FBI targeted them because of their religious beliefs. The FBI argued that to mount a defense against the religious freedom claim, it would have to reveal information that would threaten national security. It invoked what’s known as the state secrets privilege.
The trial court agreed the privilege applied and dismissed the claims. But the court of appeals allowed the claims to go forward. It said a provision in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act displaced the state secrets privilege. But in a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court disagreed with the court of appeals. And it sent the case back to the lower courts for further proceedings.
REICHARD: The fourth and final opinion also involves claims about government misconduct. Back in 2002, the CIA subjected a suspected terrorist to enhanced interrogation techniques—waterboarding, sleep deprivation, cramped quarters. He sued over the alleged mistreatment. During litigation, his lawyers requested that the government turn over documents related to the detention. The government again invoked the state secrets privilege, saying it didn’t have to turn over the information because of national security. The Supreme Court agreed and said the case should be dismissed.
Now, onto oral argument. Today, two cases that fall under the umbrella of Native American law.
ROUGH: First up: A case that involves a crime committed on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation in Colorado. And please be advised some of the details of this case may not be suitable for younger listeners. Parents with small children may want to hit pause.
The background here involves two cases. One: The United States of America v. Merle Denezpi. Two: The United States of America v. Merle Denezpi. You heard that right:
Different cases. Same parties. Same crime.
The defendant Denezpi says he ought not be prosecuted for the same crime twice. That’s his double jeopardy claim under the Fifth Amendment of the U-S Constitution.
The crime happened in 2017. Denezpi and a woman named Valcita Yellowhorse traveled together to the Reservation. That night, they arrived at a residence located within the reservation. There, Yellowhorse says Denezpi barricaded the front door and ordered her to disrobe. He threatened to hurt her—or even kill her—if she didn’t. She says Denezpi then raped her.
REICHARD: After the assault, Denezpi fell asleep. Yellowhorse escaped. And Denezpi was eventually arrested.
Now, when it comes to a crime committed in Indian country, here’s what can happen: The tribe can prosecute a defendant in tribal court for breaking tribal law. And the federal government can prosecute the defendant in federal court for breaking federal law. That’s allowed. Because the tribal government and the federal government are two separate sovereign entities, a double jeopardy defense would fail.
ROUGH: It might help to picture two circles. One circle is the tribal government. The second circle is the federal government. Two distinct sovereigns. Both have independent authority to bring charges even though that might very well mean a defendant is prosecuted twice.
But Denezpi argues that here, there’s no tribal government and federal government pursuing charges. Instead, there’s only one circle—the United States federal government—trying to prosecute him twice.
REICHARD: That’s because the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe doesn’t have a tribal court. Not all tribes do. Sometimes a tribe is too small. Or a tribe can’t afford its own judicial system. So some tribes instead rely on a Court of Indian Offenses. Those courts are established by a U.S. federal agency under the Code of Federal Regulations, so they’re called CFR courts. That’s what the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe has done here. Elected to use a CFR court.
ROUGH: Denezpi was first prosecuted in the CFR court. He pleaded guilty and served time. Then he was prosecuted in federal district court. And federal prosecutors obtained a second conviction.
The question boils down to whether CFR courts are federal or tribal courts.
REICHARD: Arguing on behalf of Denezpi was Michael Kimberly. He argued this does violate the double jeopardy clause. After all, the CFR prosecutor derives his power from the United States government.
MICHAEL KIMBERLY: The prosecutor in the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe CFR court is a federal officer answerable to federal authorities. He is not a tribal officer answerable to tribal authorities. He draws his authority in the CFR to prosecute, and the CFR court draws its authority to punish, from the Code of Federal Regulations and from the United States Code authorizing the promulgation of those regulations.
REICHARD: Ergo, federal prosecutors cannot then have a second bite at the apple in federal district court.
ROUGH: But Justice Elena Kagan brought up a sticky point for Denezpi. She noted that the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe isn’t a party to the case. Remember: The United States is the named plaintiff in both cases. But the tribe did file a friend of the court brief in support of the federal government. It argued that the CFR court operates as if it were a tribal court.
JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN: The tribe seems to think of these courts as very tribal. You know, I mean, there's a tribal brief, and the tribal brief is on the government's side. And it says these are our courts. I mean, they believe these are their courts.
Denezpi’s lawyer argued that that doesn’t change the fact that the CFR court is a federal entity.
Erica Ross argued for the government. She pointed out Denezpi was prosecuted under two different laws.
ERICA ROSS: Petitioner's violent sexual assault violated the laws of both the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the federal government. Petitioner thus committed two offenses, and the Double Jeopardy Clause poses no bar to two prosecutions.
But Chief Justice John Roberts said, not so fast. The inquiry depends not only on the source of the law, but who is enforcing it. Here, the federal government—both times. So what about the danger that the first prosecution would be a dress rehearsal, or dry run, for the second?
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: There's a lot at stake here. You want to make sure you have as effective a prosecution as you can, so, you know, run a prosecution through the CFR court, see what evidence they have, whatever, and then take a much stronger case when there's more at stake.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor followed up on that.
JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR: And, here, we have a hybrid situation and we're being asked to figure out who's enforcing the law? The tribe or the federal prosecutor? And, here, let's not forget that the federal prosecutor charged this as a federal crime, the U.S. versus this defendant. He didn't charge it as the tribe versus the defendant.
Ross emphasized the way the tribe does have control in the first prosecution.
ROSS: I think one important point here is that this tribe actually used to have its own tribally operated court. It chose to opt into the Court of Indian Offenses. It could equally choose tomorrow to opt out of the Court of Indian Offenses.
There’s definitely a gap in the law here. Justice Kagan described the case as being in a halfway house. Hopefully the court’s decision will solve the ambiguity.
The second case takes us from Colorado to Texas. The Lone Star state is attempting to prohibit Indian tribes from operating the game bingo on tribal lands. But the state does allow bingo in other venues in certain circumstances, like for charity purposes. Whether the tribes can engage in bingo will depend on the interpretation of a statute. Does the text flatly prohibit or merely regulate the game?
Here’s an exchange between Chief Justice Roberts and the tribes’ attorney Brant Martin:
JUSTICE ROBERTS: If you had, under Texas law, you can have bingo games sort of up to $100 at stake, okay, and then what's happening is the tribe is having bingo games up to $1,000. Now, if you told somebody that, that they have games up to $1,000, it would be perfectly natural for that person to say, well, that's prohibited because there's a $100 cap.
BRANT MARTIN: Your Honor, those are the exact type of restrictions that this Court analyzed and determined to be regulatory.
Well, we will soon find out which side can yell “Bingo!” in this contest.
And that’s it for this week’s Legal Docket. I’m Jenny Rough.
NICK EICHER, HOST: You remember that Beatles song We All Live In a Yellow Submarine? Well, someone in southwest Florida appeared to be driving in one last week.
Drivers in southwest Florida spotted the strange vehicle on US Hwy 41.
And State Trooper Ken Watson Told TV station WBBH it created an unsafe situation.
WATSON: As a trooper, I would most certainly stop that vehicle, putting yourself in a very dangerous situation.
Dangerous because, even though it was bright yellow with a red flashing light, it’s still small and low enough to the ground that drivers might not see it.
That’s because the strange submarine-like vehicle is actually an enclosed recumbent bicycle.
Florida law allows cyclists on the road, but it doesn’t allow them to hold up traffic or create a dangerous situation.
Police say it’s probably best to drive yellow submarines on less busy roads.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: the Monday Moneybeat.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Time now for our regular conversation on business, markets, and the economy. Financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen is here. Morning, David.
DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Well, good morning, Nick, good to be with you.
EICHER: Let’s just begin with the economic sanctions against Russia. How effective so far, obviously, just the early going right now.
BAHNSEN: Well, yeah, I mean, militarily, of course, the whole world is sort of watching how it’s shaking out. But there's no question that it has been devastating to Russia already. And I think we are in early innings. There's a lot of these sanctions that are designed to sort of strip them away from global financial markets over time. So I spoke, I think it was a couple weeks ago about how Russia had $640 billion of foreign exchange reserves, and that gave them about $450 billion, maybe 400 billion, of an advantage over what they've had in past distress events. Once you factor in the central bank's lack of access to Forex reserves that are held on deposit with other central banks, they're down to 190 billion. So they can run through that quite quickly. So effectively, they've cut them off from about 70% of their global capital.
They haven't exactly pulled the plug on everything so far; there are still some banks that are on the SWIFT system, they gave their central bank some time for certain transactions. But you saw with the ruble collapsing as much as any major currency has ever collapsed in a single day, and the fact that Russia felt the need to close their stock market entirely, that oligarchs are scrambling all over the world to try to sell major assets. So this is certainly in the early innings of what will be an incredible toll on Russia economically.
EICHER: I want to pick up on what you said there, they haven’t pulled the plug on everything so far. You’re saying there’s still an economic weapon available to the West, the United States.
BAHNSEN: Well, yeah, the one sanction still on the table that is being avoided thus far, is being avoided not to avoid putting too much pain on Russia, but to avoid putting too much pain on counterparty nations. And that's a ban on the imports of Russian oil and gas. And so that would be further devastating to Russia. As much as the banking steps taken so far are a somewhat nuclear action, this would be the nuclear action of trade.
But it has been resisted to some degree, because of the short term cost it would impose on Europe. The argument or politically for the Biden ministration to avoid it is it escalates the global cost of oil and gas, and further exacerbates the heat he's taking for high oil and gas prices. But I think that that damage is already done politically, I think it's very baked in, there's a frustration about high elevated commodity prices. And so at this point, you may as well get the leverage out of it that you are desiring geopolitically.
And of course, as I've spoken with you about before, and I think many people both left and certainly right are pointing out now, the fact that it would be damaging, to some degree, in the price levels in the U.S. is entirely a self-imposed problem we're dealing with. The fact that we do have constrictions on our own production that would serve to offset some of that. So that's the remaining sanction on the table that could further drive some sort of punitive impact.
But imposing costs on Russia via sanctions, doesn't necessarily mean, ‘Okay, the next day, let's put down the guns and the bombs.’ Ultimately, I think they intended, they assumed that he was going to take care of Kyiv by now, and that the sanctions would be meant to be a sort of slow drip punishment for doing so, and kind of hurt them to a point where they have to back off as a pariah on the world stage. But right now, we're in too-early innings of the way this is going militarily to be able to unpack more of the economic impact.
EICHER: President Biden’s State of the Union address was this past week. I wonder what are your economic takeaways from the president’s message.
BAHNSEN: Yeah, there were two things in the State of the Union that I've chosen to focus on this week. Just anecdotally, announcing that he will release 30 million barrels from the strategic reserves. I just want listeners to understand that Americans consumed 17 million barrels per day. So by releasing 30 million barrels he gave us you know, less than two days worth of oil supplies.
But when he talked about inflation, and referred to the pressure they're going to put on companies to lower prices, of course, unless you're talking about their aspirations for minimum wage, where they want to put pressure on companies to raise prices, I do get confused sometimes as to whether or not prices are supposed to be going lower or higher in the governmental edict.
But this is an economic fallacy more than a political fallacy, more than a governmental overreach. Of all the different problems people listening may have with the idea of a head of state and saying we want to tell people what prices ought to be. Fundamentally, I hope all of us understand and remember that prices are not something that can be imposed. Prices are something that must be discovered, because prices are signals of information that organically flow out of human action. That when in a market, which is when a producer and consumer get together to do something, a price comes out of that transaction and that price becomes a signal to other market actors, and is a signal of information. A state can force a market clearing transaction level, but they can't change the price of what is organically set in the market.
And so it becomes what we would call a distortion. It does not become anti-inflationary, and so ultimately talk of government imposition of prices is not merely government overreach and big government and excessive and totalitarian or authoritarian, all of those things, many of which I totally agree it describes. But far more basic than that, it's economic ignorance prices are to be discovered, not imposed.
EICHER: All right, David Bahnsen, financial analyst and advisor, head of the financial planning firm The Bahnsen Group.
You can catch David’s daily writing at DividendCafe.com. Sign up there for his daily email newsletter on markets and the economy. David, thanks again!
BAHNSEN: Thanks for having me, Nick.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, March 7th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming up next: the WORLD History Book. Katie Gaultney is on a two-month sabbatical, so we’ll hear from a few other correspondents in the weeks ahead. Today, Associate Correspondent Harrison Waters comes with a trifecta of premieres.
HARRISON WATTERS, CORRESPONDENT: On March 11th, 1702, English printer Elizabeth Mallet published the first issue of the Daily Courant—the first daily British Newspaper. Courant is French for “running”—as in a courier.
Mallet’s was the first daily newspaper in London and it featured a single page of international news stories, with advertisements on the reverse side. Here is Scott Allsop, host of the History Pod, explaining Mallet’s goal.
HISTORY POD CLIP: Mallet herself claimed to ‘give news daily and impartially’ while promising ‘Nor will [the Author] take it upon himself to give any Comments or Conjectures of his own, but will relate only Matter of Fact.
Freedom of the press was still a very new thing. Until 1695, print was strictly regulated by the Stationer’s Company: a guild that reviewed all books and pamphlets before licensing their printing. That meant anything printed other than the official message from the crown was all but illegal in England.
But after English nobles replaced James II with his daughter Mary and son-in-law William of Orange, the Licensing Act was allowed to expire—along with many restraints on a free press.
Mallet ran the Daily Courant for only 40 days before selling it. Within 25 years, there were dozens of daily newspapers in England for people of all classes to read.
From papers to speeches.
SPEECH: “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan (applause).”
On March 8th, 1983, Ronald Reagan addresses the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida.
REAGAN: Well, I'm pleased to be here today with you who are keeping America great by keeping her good…
The day before, Reagan met with his cabinet to discuss a nuclear freeze resolution. Some Americans wanted to ban further weapon deployments in Europe. Reagan believed it would hamstring America’s ability to defend liberty and democracy. His cabinet encouraged him to use his “bully pulpit” to build support outside Washington.
So before speaking to the NAE in Orlando, Reagan added a couple paragraphs to the end of his speech. After talking about abortion on demand and school prayer for 20 minutes, Reagan surprised his audience of church leaders by talking about the Soviet Union.
REAGAN: Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.
Reagan labeled the USSR the “evil empire.” The speech appalled Reagan’s opponents in Washington, who thought it would slam the door on diplomacy.
The Soviets in response called the Americans evil imperialists. But Reagan’s commitment to challenging Soviet ideology and backing it up with his Strategic Defense Initiative ultimately led to the end of the Cold War.
After Reagan’s death in 2004, Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher praised her long-time friend and ally’s success.
THATCHER: Others hoped at best for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union. He won the Cold War not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends.
And finally, we end today with the American debut of one of London’s best musicals.
Thirty-five years ago this week, Les Miserables opened on Broadway. But it all started as a French concept album in 1980. Here’s Fox News broadcaster Neal Sean in a 2013 ITV documentary about the musical.
SEAN: The writers and lyricists of the wonderful concept album were allegedly inspired by another British phenomenon, that of Lionel Bart's Oliver! - the record-breaking musical. Apparently they sat down watching it in a theater and particularly taking interest in the Artful Dodger.
The expert pickpocket in Charles Dickens’ classic novel reminded the producer of another fictional character: Gavroche—the French street urchin caught up in the fervor of the barricades from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel Les Miserables. The story of an escaped convict’s redemption and fatherly love for an orphan girl had the potential for a great musical. But even with a compelling story and songs, some, like actress Frances Ruffelle, were worried that the French title wouldn’t work for English audiences.
RUFFELLE: …I don't know if that name is going to work, and so we called it “The Glums.” And now you know Les Miserables is the name that everybody knows worldwide and even if you don't speak French you know the name.
When Les Mis opened on Broadway on March 12, 1987, the show that cost $4.5 million to produce had already made $4 million in advance sales. In 2003, demand was still so high that Broadway delayed the show’s closing for two months, and later ran a revival in 2008. Since the original concept album, Les Miserables with its catchy songs and gripping story has left audiences wanting more. Just one day more.
That’s today’s History Book, I’m Harrison Watters.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: teacher shortages. Schools across the country are feeling the pinch of educators leaving the classroom. We’ll find out how that’s particularly affecting Christian schools.
And, oil imports. We’ll talk about bipartisan support for cutting off Russia’s access to the global energy market and go into the reasons the Biden administration is opposing it.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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