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mayor Portland

Portland Mayor Hit With Tear Gas Deployed by Federal Agents – The New York Times

Mayor Ted Wheeler denounced federal officers for an “egregious overreaction.” Some protesters mocked him, recalling the city police’s use of tear gas on demonstrators.

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‘Egregious Overreaction’: Portland Mayor Is Tear Gassed by Federal Officers

Federal officers tear gassed Mayor Ted Wheeler as they sprayed into a crowd of protesters he joined outside the federal courthouse in Portland, Ore.

[coughing] [blast] “I’m not going to lie, it stings. It’s hard to breathe. And I can tell you with 100 percent honesty, I saw nothing which provoked this response. It’s nasty stuff. I’m not afraid, but I am pissed off.” Reporter: “What are you pissed about?” “This, this is an egregious overreaction on the part of the federal officers. There was nothing that I saw here that warranted this reaction. And all it’s doing as you can see, it hasn’t stopped the crowd. They’ve fired munitions, they’ve fired tear gas. All it’s done is piss everybody off even more. Just made people angry. They’ve come in and they’ve kicked a hornet’s nest. This is not a deescalation strategy. This is flat out urban warfare, and it’s being brought on the people of this country by the president of the United States. And it’s got to stop now.” [yelling] “See you out here tomorrow night, huh?” [yelling] “You better be here every night, Ted.”

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Federal officers tear gassed Mayor Ted Wheeler as they sprayed into a crowd of protesters he joined outside the federal courthouse in Portland, Ore.CreditCredit…Mike Baker/The New York Times

Mike Baker

PORTLAND, Ore. — The mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, was left coughing and wincing in the middle of his own city Wednesday night after federal officers deployed tear gas into a crowd of protesters that Mr. Wheeler had joined outside the federal courthouse.

Mr. Wheeler, who scrambled to put on goggles while denouncing what he called the “urban warfare” tactic of the federal agents, said he was outraged by the use of tear gas and that it was only making protesters more angry.

“I’m not going to lie — it stings; it’s hard to breathe,” Mr. Wheeler said. “And I can tell you with 100 percent honesty, I saw nothing which provoked this response.”

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‘They Pushed Portland Too Far’: How Trump’s Crackdown Strengthened Protests

President Trump’s deployment of federal agents is fueling the unrest in Portland, where protests have continued for over 50 consecutive days.

“Hey hey, ho ho, these racist cops have got to go. Hey hey, ho ho, these racist cops have got to go. Hey hey, ho ho.” “I’m here right now because the feds are here, and that’s terrifying to me as a citizen.” President Trump’s deployment of federal agents is fueling the unrest in Portland, where protests have continued for over 50 consecutive days. “This represents a new turning point, and that’s really scary.” Protesters tell us that the presence of federal forces is bringing more people to the streets. “They have no business being here. As soon as they showed up, they pushed Portland too far, and as long as they are hurting innocent citizens — the moms, the dads — everybody’s coming out.” Crowd: “Yes!” “Ahhhh!” Crowd: “Ahhhh!” “Ahhhh!” Crowd: “Ahhhh!” “That’s the sound of frustration.” “I think that people are becoming reinvigorated by seeing how they’re treating us. The energy has definitely changed in the past week, like way more people here the past two nights than I’ve seen since we started. We’re going to continue doing this, and we’re going to continue doing it peacefully.” “There we go, Portland.” “When we are together as a unit, when we are together we’re not afraid. We have each other’s back. When we have each other’s back, we show who the real strength is.” “The biggest thing today that’s changed is that you see people of all ages. You know, this has really been led by a kind of Generation Z feeling, and right now we’re seeing a larger swath of Portland coming together, and my parents’ generation is finally paying attention.” “Say her name!” Crowd: “Breonna Taylor.” “Say her name!” Crowd: “Breonna Taylor!” People initially came out to protest systemic racism and police violence, but say the federal response has raised the stakes. “My friends got tear-gassed, time and time again. And tear gas is internationally banned in war, and they’re using it on our streets, on our young people. This is only my second day. I was scared before, but I’ve had enough.” “Whose lives matter?” Crowd: “Black lives matter!” “We want Black lives to matter just as much as white lives, and we want to protect the children.” “We know they’re out here. It doesn’t matter. We’re still going to be out here protesting.” “Portland, are you scared?” Crowd: “Hell no!” “I ain’t scared!” Crowd: “I ain’t scared!” “I ain’t scared!” Crowd: “I ain’t scared!” “Trump had no business sending people here. We are standing up for what we believe in.”

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President Trump’s deployment of federal agents is fueling the unrest in Portland, where protests have continued for over 50 consecutive days.

He called it an “egregious overreaction” on the part of the federal officers, and not a de-escalation strategy.

“It’s got to stop now,” he declared.

But the Democratic mayor, 57, has also long been the target of Portland protesters infuriated by the city police’s own use of tear gas, which was persistent until a federal judge ordered the city to use it only when there was a safety issue. As Mr. Wheeler went through the crowds on Wednesday, some threw objects in his direction, and others called for his resignation, chanting, “Tear Gas Teddy.”

After a large wave of tear gas sent Mr. Wheeler away from the scene, some protesters mocked him, asking how it felt. Mr. Wheeler said that joining the protesters at the front of the line was just one way he was going to try to rid the city of the federal tactical teams.

“A lot of these people hate my guts,” Mr. Wheeler said in an interview, looking around at the crowd. But he said they were unified in wanting federal officers gone.

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Credit…Mason Trinca for The New York Times

The mayor has called for federal agents to leave the city after they arrived to subdue the city’s long-running unrest. Dressed in camouflage and tactical gear and unleashing tear gas, federal officers have clashed violently with protesters and pulled some people into unmarked vans in what Gov. Kate Brown called “a blatant abuse of power.”

Some protesters called the mayor’s arrival at the protest scene a photo op. Sean Smith, who has been at the protests for weeks, said Mr. Wheeler, who also serves as police commissioner, needs to take more action to control his Police Department and align with protesters.

“He should probably be out here every night,” Mr. Smith said.

By early Thursday morning, with protesters still outside both the federal courthouse and the county justice center across the street, federal officers continued deploying tear gas and the Portland Police Bureau repeatedly warned that city officers might also use it.

The demonstrations, fueled by a wide array of grievances, including against police brutality, have rocked Portland for 55 consecutive nights, persisting even as other protests have waned in many other parts of the country since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

The city has become a target of President Trump, who has embraced a law-and-order message in his re-election campaign. While federal officers were deployed to Portland to purportedly quell unrest and protect federal property, their arrival has only galvanized the movement, with the numbers of protesters each night swelling into the thousands.

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Credit…Octavio Jones for The New York Times

On Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, protesters gathered around a temporary fence that federal officers had erected during the day. They shot fireworks at the building, and some breached the fence. Federal officers, wearing camouflage and tactical gear, emerged to fire tear gas and less-lethal munitions, and to arrest those who breached the fence.

While the Trump administration has labeled the protesters “violent anarchists,” Mr. Wheeler decided to go into the crowd on Wednesday night for what he deemed a “listening session,” and even after people were following and cursing him, he ended up spending three hours there.

At times he was jeered, such as when he told the crowd that he would not promise to abolish the Police Department. Other times, he drew cheers, such as when he demanded that the federal government “stop occupying our city.”

“If they launch the tear gas against you, they are launching the tear gas against me,” Mr. Wheeler said.

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mayor Portland

Portland mayor: Trump administration policing tactics are ‘abhorrent’ – CNN

Washington (CNN)The Democratic mayor of Portland slammed the Trump administration on Sunday for its response to ongoing protests in the city, saying federal agents deployed there are denying protesters due process during arrests.

“The tactics that the Trump administration are using on the streets of Portland are abhorrent,” Mayor Ted Wheeler told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“People are being literally scooped off the street into unmarked vans, rental cars, apparently. They are being denied probable cause. And they are denied due process. They don’t even know who’s pulling them into the vans. The people aren’t identifying themselves. And, as far as I can see, this is completely unconstitutional,” Wheeler said.
Demonstrators in Portland have been protesting racial inequality and police brutality for the past 50 nights, US Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement. Federal authorities have protected the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse and, at times, interaction between protesters and law enforcement has gotten violent. Last weekend, one protester was seriously injured after the man was shot in the head with impact munition.
Recent videos from the scenes of the protests show Department of Homeland Security personnel arresting protesters and putting them in unmarked SUVs. In one such video that was shared on Twitter by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, two masked, camouflaged individuals with generic “police” patches, detain a person dressed in a black outfit and place them in an unmarked van before driving away.
Earlier Sunday, President Donald Trump, who has called for an aggressive federal response to protests around the country, weighed in on his administration’s actions in the city in a tweet, writing: “We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it.”
The New York Times reported on Saturday that federal law enforcement agents who have been deployed to the city “were not specifically trained in riot control or mass demonstrations,” according to an internal DHS memo the newspaper obtained.
The Times said the memo was dated Thursday and was prepared for Chad Wolf, the department’s acting secretary, ahead of a trip he took to the city that day to view the site of the ongoing protests.
“Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies,” the memo reads, according to the Times, which noted that the document appears to anticipate “future encounters with protesters (and federal agents) in other cities.”
The newspaper said some of the agents sent by DHS to Portland “include officials from a group known as BORTAC, the Border Patrol’s equivalent of a S.W.A.T. team, a highly trained group that normally is tasked with investigating drug smuggling organizations, as opposed to protesters in cities.”
The presence of federal agents in Portland has set up a clash between the city’s leaders and Washington, DC. Oregon’s governor, Wheeler and Merkley have all demanded the federal officers be withdrawn.
“We’re demanding that the President remove these additional troops that he sent to our city. It is not helping to contain or de-escalate the situation it’s obviously having exactly the opposite impact,” Wheeler said last week.
When Wolf visited the city last Thursday he defended the actions of his officers, saying in a tweet, “DHS officers were assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals attempting to tear down federal property. 2 officers were injured.”
“Our men and women in uniform are patriots,” he said in another tweet that featured uniformed officers who looked to be similar to the ones shown in the video from last week.

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mayor Seoul

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon found dead amid reported sexual harassment allegations – New York Post

July 9, 2020 | 12:55pm | Updated July 9, 2020 | 3:21pm

The mayor of South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, who vanished amid sexual harassment allegations, has been found dead — hours after his daughter reported that he had left a verbal message that sounded like a will, according to a report.

Police found Park Won-soon dead after they launched a massive search for him in the hills stretching across northern Seoul where his cellphone signal was last detected, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Park, who was long seen as a potential presidential candidate, reportedly faced allegations of sexual misconduct. His daughter said he had left his home after saying what sounded like “last words,” according to Reuters.

She didn’t specify the contents of the message, according to an officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency who was responsible for the search party.

South Korean police officers talk each others as they search for missing Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon
South Korean police officers talk each others as they search for missing Seoul Mayor Park Won-soonAP/Lee Jin-man

Government official Kim Ji-hyeong said Park did not come to work on Thursday for unspecified reasons and had canceled all of his meetings for the day.

The Seoul-based SBS TV network reported that one of the mayor’s secretaries had lodged a complaint with police a day earlier over alleged sexual harassment such as unwanted physical contact that began in 2017.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soonAP

The report, which didn’t cite any source, said the woman told investigators that an unspecified number of other female staffers at City Hall had suffered similar sexual harassment by Park. MBC TV carried a similar report.

Police and the mayor’s office said they couldn’t confirm the reports.

Police spokesman Lee Byeong-seok said Park was last identified by a security camera at 10:53 a.m. at the entrance to the hills, more than six hours before his daughter reported him missing.

Park — a longtime civic activist and human rights lawyer who had been the mayor since 2011 — was seen as a potential presidential hopeful for the liberals during the 2022 presidential elections.

He had established himself as a fierce opponent of former conservative President Park Geun-hye and backed the millions of people who flooded city streets in late 2016 and 2017, calling for her ouster amid a corruption scandal.

Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office in 2017, is serving a long prison term on bribery and other charges.

With Post wires

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mayor White

DC mayor says White House ‘has a lot to answer for’ following week of tension in nation’s capital – CNN

(CNN)Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday night the White House “has a lot to answer for” following a week of increased military presence and tension in the nation’s capital.

“I think I’ve been shocked all week about how the federal government behaved against American citizens,” Bowser told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.”
President Donald Trump declared himself “your president of law and order” last week, and he vowed to return order to American streets using the military if widespread unrest wasn’t otherwise quelled. Demonstrations swelled nationwide in response to the late May police killing of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of a white officer in Minneapolis.
Roughly 5,000 National Guard troops had been called to patrol Washington as protesters flooded the streets to demonstrate against racial injustice and police brutality.
“We were shocked and outraged that they moved the United States Army to threaten Washington, DC, into submission, I was shocked to see unnamed and unidentified federal police in the nation’s capital, all while we’re talking about police and community trust,” she continued. “I think the White House has a lot to answer for.”
Her comments echoed the message she had for the President in a letter Friday, in which she said the additional law enforcement in the city was “inflaming” and “adding to the grievances” of people protesting.
“The protestors have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest. Therefore, I am requesting that you withdraw all extraordinary law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC,” the mayor wrote, adding that she had ended the state of emergency in DC related to the protests.
The President had responded by attacking the mayor in a post on Twitter, warning that if she didn’t treat the service members “well” he would bring in a “different group of men and women.” But by Sunday, Trump tweeted that he had ordered for the National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington.
Trump and Bowser have a history of butting heads. They disagreed over a costly military parade that was planned in 2018 and then eventually canceled, and then again in 2019 over changes in Fourth of July celebrations. Trump remains intent on holding an Independence Day celebration in Washington this year, even as the mayor has said a parade in the nation’s capital had been scrapped.
On Friday, Bowser had the city paint “BLACK LIVES MATTER” in big yellow letters on two blocks of 16th Street NW, a central axis that leads southward straight to the White House.
Additionally, the mayor renamed the area in front of Lafayette Square, steps from the White House, “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

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Blasio mayor

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stands by daughter after protest arrest, disputes media reports – Fox News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted Monday that his 25-year-old daughter was “peacefully protesting” and “not doing anything that would provoke a negative response” when she was arrested late Saturday night during demonstrations against the death of George Floyd.

Chiara de Blasio was taken into custody in Manhattan after allegedly blocking traffic and then refusing to move, law enforcement sources told the New York Post.

NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER ON NIGHT OF VIOLENT RIOTS, LOOTING: ‘IT TURNED DARK AND IT TURNED UGLY’ 

Yet De Blasio said when he and his wife Chirlane asked their daughter to explain the situation, she shared a different story.

“She was very clear that she believed she was following the instructions of police officers and doing what they were asking,” de Blasio told reporters.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his daughter Chiara in 2src15. (Reuters)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his daughter Chiara in 2015. (Reuters)

“Absolutely she was abundantly clear — she was peacefully protesting, not doing anything that would provoke a negative response,” he added.

New York City was hit hard by looters Sunday night who targeted high-end retail stores and left a trail of destruction in their wake.

De Blasio said he wasn’t aware of his daughter’s arrest until a member of the media sent an inquiry to his office seeking his comment.

“It’s a reality that every parent faces — that you never know when your kids become adults, how they are going to go about their lives,” he said. “Sometimes you get surprises.”

LUXURY STORES LOOTED IN NEW YORK CITY PROTESTS 

The mayor said Chiara had participated in a peaceful protest a few nights before her arrest.

“And when I found out she had been arrested, I finally reached her with Chirlane and I asked her recount the whole story and look – I love my daughter deeply, I honor her. She is such a good human being. She only wants to do good in the world,” he continued. “She wants to see a better and more peaceful world. She believes a lot of change is needed. I’m proud of her that she cares so much and that she was willing to go out there and do something about it.”

However, a law enforcement source that spoke to the New York Post described the scene where Ciara was arrested as being a “real hotspot” where police cars were getting burned and “people were throwing and yelling, fighting with cops.”

“There were thousands of people in that area at that time,” the source added, describing how officers declared the scene an unlawful assembly.

RIOTING, LOOTING LINKED TO GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS LEAVES TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION ACROSS AMERICAN CITIES 

People grab items inside a pharmacy that had its windows broken in New York City early Monday. (AP)

People grab items inside a pharmacy that had its windows broken in New York City early Monday. (AP)

Upon arrest, Chiara listed her address as being the mayor’s mansion – but did not tell police that she was de Blasio’s daughter, the sources added.

She was given a desk appearance ticket – and the arrest happened an hour before her father told demonstrators during a late-night press conference to “go home,” the New York Post reports.

The NYPD Sergeant’s Benevolent Association union, which has been a longtime critic of de Blasio, tweeted out Chiara’s arrest report. The tweet reportedly contained her personal information, but Twitter ended up taking it down for violating its terms of service.

“How can the NYPD protect the city of NY from rioting anarchist when the Mayors object throwing daughter is one of them,” the now-deleted tweet read. “Now we know why he is forbidding Mounted units to be mobilized and keeping the NYPD from doing their jobs.”

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De Blasio ripped the tweet Monday as being “unconscionable.”

“Police unions could be part of the change and the improvement in this city and this country,” he said. “They really should re-evaluate what they are doing at this moment in history.”

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Blasio mayor

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defends police after video shows NYPD SUV driving into protesters – NBC News

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the New York City Police Department after a pair of the force’s SUVs drove into a crowd during Saturday’s protest against George Floyd’s death.

De Blasio reacted after videos were posted to social media, which showed protestors moving a yellow barrier in front a police vehicle in Brooklyn. Protestors threw traffic cones and other items at the SUV as a second vehicle arrived and slowly drove through the crowd forming around it.

The first vehicle then drove into the barricade at a higher speed, sending people sprawling. Multiple city officials told NBC News there were no injuries as a result of the incident.

In a news conference late Saturday, de Blasio called the video “upsetting,” but said protestors were wrong to surround the SUVs.

“It is inappropriate for protestors to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” he said. “That’s wrong on its face and that hasn’t happened in the history of protests in this city.”

He added that it was “clear that a different element has come into play here who are trying to hurt police officers and trying to damage their vehicles.”

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While he wished the officers had not driven into the crowd, de Blasio said he “understood they didn’t start the situation,” which he said was “started by a group of protesters converging on a police vehicle.”

However, on Sunday morning, de Blasio had clarified his comments about the video, saying he didn’t like what he saw “one bit.”

“I did not want to ever see something like that I don’t want to ever see it again,” de Blasio said during a Sunday press conference. “And clearly, we need to do a full investigation and look at the actions of those officers and see what was done and why it was done and what could be done differently.”

The mayor said an independent review into the video would be led by Corporation Counsel James Johnson and NYC Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett and their findings would be concluded in June.

De Blasio, a Democrat, has had a troubled relationship with the NYPD, particularly rank-and-file officers. In February, police leaders and unions lashed out at the mayor after a gunman attempted to assassinate one office and injured another.

Edward D. Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, tweeted in February that members of the NYPD were “declaring war” on him.

Last August, the union declared it had “no confidence” in de Blasio, after it claimed that he had “unlawfully interfered” in the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who was seen on video using a chokehold during Eric Garner’s deadly arrest five years ago.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused de Blasio of “making excuses” for the NYPD.

“As mayor, this police department is under your leadership,” the Democrat congresswoman tweeted early Sunday. “This moment demands leadership and accountability from each of us. Defending and making excuses for NYPD running SUVs into crowds was wrong.”

@NYCMayor your comments tonight were unacceptable.

As mayor, this police department is under your leadership.

This moment demands leadership & accountability from each of us. Defending and making excuses for NYPD running SUVs into crowds was wrong.

Make it right. De-escalate.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 31, 2020

The force posted a clip from de Blasio’s news conference of him defending the videos, on its NYPD News Twitter feed.

A senior police official told NBC News that the NYPD had seen the video and been told by “multiple law enforcement officials” that @the vehicle was hit with rocks, bottles, and someone through a lit trash bag on top of the SUV.”

They added that the officers “decided to push the barrier into the crowd instead of confronting the protestors outside the car.”

Officers were concerned they would run over someone if they backed up, they said.

Henry Austin

Henry Austin is a London-based editor and reporter for NBC News Digital.

Image: Suzanne CiechalskiSuzanne Ciechalski

Suzanne Ciechalski is a New York-based reporter for NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team specializing in verification and social discovery. 

Tom Winter

Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

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Atlanta mayor

Atlanta mayor condemns violent protests in fiery speech: ‘If you love this city go home’ | TheHill – The Hill

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms condemned violent protests over the death of George Floyd that erupted in her city on Friday, saying in a fiery speech “this is not a protest … this is chaos.”

“This is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated we didn’t do this to our city. So if you love this city, this city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs and people who care about this city where more than 50 percent of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners, if you care about this city then go home.”

“We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country,” she said. “You’re throwing knives at our police officers. You are burning cars. You have defaced the CNN building.”

“You are disgracing this city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country. We are better than this. We are better than this is a city and we are better than this as a country,” Bottoms said.

“This is not the legacy of civil rights in America. This is chaos and we’re buying into it. This won’t change anything.”

The protest in Atlanta was one of many protests across the country sparked after Floyd’s death, including three consecutive nights of demonstrations in Minneapolis that saw looting and the burning down of a police precinct.

Floyd died Monday during a police arrest, with video showing a Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee to his neck. Floyd could be heard saying “I can’t breathe,” before he eventually lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital 90 minutes later. 

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