21 July 2021 Military News
- Pentagon Admits Taliban Control Half of Afghan District Centers VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Estimates showing the Taliban rapidly taking control of territory across Afghanistan are not an illusion, according to the United States' top-ranking military official, who admits the coming months will be a "test of will and leadership" for the Afghan government.
- Top U.S. Commander Says Taliban Controls Half Of All Afghan District Centers RFE/RL Gandhara 21 Jul 2021 -- The Taliban controls almost half of the roughly 420 district centers in Afghanistan, the top U.S. general has said in the latest indication of the fast-deteriorating security situation in the war-wracked country ahead of the completion of the U.S. forces' self-imposed pullout by the end of August.
- Top US General Says About Half of Afghanistan District Centres Under Taliban Control Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- About half of the district centres in Afghanistan are under the control of the Taliban* movement, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said on Wednesday.
- Afghan Forces Have Capacity to Fight, Defend Country, Milley Says DoD News 21 Jul 2021 -- The Afghan security forces have the capacity and capabilities needed to fight and defend their country, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley said today, and the United States will continue to support those forces.
- US to house Afghan interpreters at bases in Qatar and Kuwait: Reports Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The United States will use military bases in Qatar and Kuwait to temporarily house thousands of Afghan interpreters and translators who assisted the Pentagon during the war and now face retribution from the Taliban.
- Afghanistan: EU warns against Taliban takeover, Russia expresses concern over 'alarming' situation Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The European Union underlines the need for "lasting peace and stability" in Afghanistan, and warns against a "military takeover by the Taliban" militant group while Russia expresses concern about the "alarming" situation in the war-ravaged nation.
- Taliban Want Afghanistan's Issues Resolved Via Dialogue After Doha Talks, Spokesman Says Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- The Taliban* consider last weeks' negotiations with the Afghan government in Doha a "positive" development, hoping to resolve the disagreements through dialogue, Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the radical movement's political office, told Sputnik.
- Nuland: Turkey Forces at Kabul Airport 'Vital' for US Maintaining Diplomatic Presence Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Turkey's intention to keep troops at the Kabul airport is necessary for the United States and its allies to maintain diplomatic presence in Afghanistan after the US pullout, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said in a congressional testimony on Wednesday.
- Erdogan Pushes for Turkish Role in Afghanistan after US Leaves VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Turkey is going ahead with its plans to take over security at the Kabul international airport after the pullout of U.S. troops, despite opposition from the Taliban. Ankara is in negotiations with Washington to secure the airport, which analysts say is key to maintaining stability and an international presence in Afghanistan.
- US Optimistic on Getting 'Security Package' on Kabul Airport, State Dept Says Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- The United States is optimistic that it will get the needed "security package" regarding the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, a senior US State Department official said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
- Taliban Has 'No Will for Peace', Afghan President Ghani Says as Time Ticks for US Troop Pullout Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Over the past few weeks, Taliban* militants have seized significant territories in rural Afghanistan and launched offensives on major cities, amid the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.
- US conducts 1st drone strike under Biden 'against al-Shabab' in Somalia Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The Pentagon says it has conducted an airstrike against the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia, despite limits put in place by the US President Joe Biden administration on attacks outside active war zones.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Secretary of Defense Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley Press Briefing DoD 21 Jul 2021 -- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III; Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley; Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby
- Austin Details Messages He Will Deliver in Indo-Pacific, Discusses Afghanistan DoD News 21 Jul 2021 -- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III previewed his trip to the Indo-Pacific and discussed the situation in Afghanistan during a Pentagon news conference today.
- US deploys more F-16 warplanes to major Saudi air base Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The United States has deployed more F-16 warplanes to Prince Sultan Air Base, south of Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh.
- Could Russia's newly unveiled Checkmate rival China's FC-31 in global market? Global Times 21 Jul 2021 -- Russia's newly unveiled Checkmate stealth fighter jet seems to have good prospects, and it is expected to be competitive against the US F-35 in the international arms market. It may also affect the export of warplanes made by China like the FC-31, though Chinese military observers say the FC-31 still holds an advantage.
- From Su-57 to 'Checkmate': New Russian Fifth-Generation Fighter Makes a Splash in Aerospace Industry Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- On 20 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected a prototype of Sukhoi's new fifth-generation single-engine light tactical aircraft "Checkmate" – the staple of the MAKS-2021 air show. The newly unveiled fighter jet combines innovative solutions and technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) assistance for pilots.
- New Russian Fighter Checkmate May Be in Demand in Middle East and North Africa Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Russia's new single-engine fighter Checkmate, the prototype of which was presented at the MAKS-2021 air show in the Moscow region, may be in demand in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Director Dmitry Shugayev said.
- Russia developing hypersonic arms to confront US, NATO threats: Kremlin Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- Russia says it has been developing hypersonic missiles to counter actions taken by the United States and NATO that damage military "parity" with Moscow.
- Russia in Preliminary Negotiations With Foreign Partners on Su-57 Deliveries Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Russia has started preliminary negotiations with foreign customers on possible deliveries of the Su-57 fighter, Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Director Dmitry Shugayev said.
- China Offensive Threat Growing Faster Than US Projected in 2018, Air Force General Says Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- China is building up its offensive air capabilities far faster than US military planners expected in their National Defense Strategy three years ago, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and Programs Lt. Gen. David Nahom told Congress on Wednesday.
- DRDO successfully flight-tests surface-to-air missile Akash-NG India PIB 21 Jul 2021 -- Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG), a surface-to-air Missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha on July 21, 2021.
- DRDO successfully flight-tests indigenously developed MPATGM for minimum range India PIB 21 Jul 2021 -- In a major boost towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat and strengthening of Indian Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) on July 21, 2021.
- U.S. Official Cites 'Paramount Importance' Of Military Relationship With Ukraine RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- The current U.S. administration is eager to deepen and strengthen ties with Ukraine, as the two countries' military relationship is of "paramount importance" for Kyiv's establishing a closer relationship with NATO, a senior State Department official has told RFE/RL.
- Ballarat adds naval gunfire to Talisman Sabre Australia DOD 21 Jul 2021 -- HMAS Ballarat has added the force of its five-inch gun to a blue-water combat event as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre.
- More Than 30 Turkmen Soldiers Killed In 'Horrible' Traffic Accident RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- More than 30 military personnel have been killed in a traffic accident in Turkmenistan, sources close to the Defense Ministry told RFE/RL on July 21.
- US Resets Ties with Key Arab Ally Jordan After Bumpy Ride VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Jordan's King Abdullah was the first Arab leader to visit the Biden White House and analysts say the visit helped in resetting relations with the kingdom – a key Middle East ally for Washington - shaken during former President Donald Trump's tenure.
- Joint Statement of the United States and Germany on Support for Ukraine, European Energy Security, and our Climate Goals US Dept. of State 21 Jul 2021
- Deputy Secretary Sherman's Meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Kishi US Dept. of State 21 Jul 2021
- Briefing with Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Brian P. McKeon and Afghanistan Task Force Director Ambassador Tracey Jacobson with On-Background Q&A by Senior State Department Officials On Operation Allies Refuge US Dept. of State 21 Jul 2021
- Briefing with Senior State Department Officials On European Energy Security US Dept. of State 21 Jul 2021
- Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Jen Psaki Aboard Air Force One En Route Cincinnati, OH The White House 21 Jul 2021
- 21 July 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 21 Jul 2021
- Britain to permanently deploy two warships in South China Sea Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- Britain has announced the permanent deployment of two warships in the South China Sea amid growing tensions between the United States and China.
- UK warships' S.China Sea tour 'threatens China politically more than militarily' Global Times 21 Jul 2021 -- Despite a COVID-19 outbreak on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, the UK on Tuesday reaffirmed that it will sail the carrier task force through the South China Sea in August in a direct challenge to China and announced it will permanently deploy warships to the region. But leading Chinese military experts said on Wednesday that the move threatens China politically more than militarily, and China is capable of dissolving the threat.
- Philippines: Asia Cannot Afford South China Sea War Radio Free Asia 21 Jul 2021 -- Asia cannot afford to go to war over territorial rivalries in the South China Sea, the Philippines Defense Secretary said Wednesday ahead of a visit by his new U.S. counterpart to Southeast Asia next week.
- Saudi-led coalition receiving heavy blow in Yemen's al-Bayda: Ansarullah Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- A spokesman for Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement says the Saudi-led coalition is receiving a heavy blow in al-Bayda amid territorial gains made by the Yemeni army and allied Popular Committees in the central province.
- Yemeni army forces, allies achieve fresh territorial gains in Bayda Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- Yemeni army forces, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have made more territorial gains in the country's central province of al-Bayda as they continue their joint operations to push members of al-Qaeda and Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of their strongholds there.
- Syria shot down seven of eight Israeli missiles targeting Aleppo: Russia Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The Russian Defense Ministry says Syria's air defenses shot down seven out of eight missiles launched by Israeli warplanes during a recent aggression on the northwestern Syrian province of Aleppo.
- Videos: Syrian Air Defenses Repel 'Aggression' in Sky Over Homs Governorate, State Media Report Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- According to Syrian state television and local reports, Syrian anti-air defenses were engaging hostile targets over the central city of Homs early on Thursday morning, which were identified as Israeli.
- Moscow Paves Way For Russian Passport Holders In Eastern Ukraine To Vote In September Elections RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- Moscow says Russian passport holders in parts of eastern Ukraine that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists will be able to vote online in upcoming Russian parliamentary elections.
- France accuses Erdogan of 'provocation' over Cyprus visit, remarks Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- France has accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "provocation" by pushing for a two-state solution in divided Cyprus during a visit to the small Mediterranean island.
- EU slams Turkish plans for Cyprus as 'unacceptable' Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The European Union (EU) has blasted as "unacceptable" the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "two-state" plan for the resolution of disputes over the divided island of Cyprus.
- Erdogan Says Cyprus Cannot Join NATO Without Turkey's Permission Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Cyprus accession to NATO is conditional upon Turkey's consent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
- Erdogan Touts Change of Varosha Status as Benefiting Both Peoples of Cyprus Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Reopening the Varosha military quarter in the disputed north of Cyprus for potential civilian resettlement will benefit both the Greek and Turkish communities of the island, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
- France Slams Erdogan for 'Provocation' After His Two-State Solution for Cyprus Statement Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- The Turkish president visited Northern Cyprus earlier this week, expressing his support for the breakaway state and raising major concerns in Europe.
- New Scoring System on Entrance Exams Raises Bar For Tibetans Pursuing Native Language Studies Radio Free Asia 21 Jul 2021 -- A new edict reducing the weight of Tibetan language scores on entrance exams for students in Tibetan areas of China has made it more difficult for them to gain admission to top tier secondary schools where they can pursue formal study of their native tongue, according to sources.
- Al-Shabab Threatens to Disrupt Upcoming Somali Elections VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Somali terrorist group al-Shabab has threatened to attack electoral delegates who will be choosing lawmakers in parliamentary elections beginning next week.
- Pelosi Rejects 2 Republican Nominees for Capitol Riot Probe VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rejected two Republican nominees to sit on a committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, suggesting they would harm the integrity of the probe.
- Jan. 6 panel chairman: Trump will be part of inquiry Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- The chairman of the House select committee on Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol said the panel's investigation will include former US President Donald Trump.
- Man Arrested in Connection with Alleged Role in Twitter Hack US Dept. of Justice 21 Jul 2021 -- A citizen of the United Kingdom was arrested today in Estepona, Spain, by Spanish National Police pursuant to a U.S. request for his arrest on multiple charges in connection with the July 2020 hack of Twitter that resulted in the compromise of over 130 Twitter accounts, including those belonging to politicians, celebrities and companies.
- Suspect in 2020 High-profile Twitter Hack Arrested in Spain VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- A person allegedly involved in a high-profile Twitter hack in July 2020 has been arrested.
- U.S. Judge Sentences Notorious Russian Spammer To Time Served RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- A Russian hacker considered to be one of the world's most notorious spammers was sentenced by a U.S. judge on July 20 to time already served in pretrial detention.
- Ukraine's Naftogaz Chief Claims Russia Won't Renew Gas Transit Deal After 2024 Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Yuriy Vitrenko, head of Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz, said Wednesday that Russia intended to stop pumping gas through pipelines that pass through Ukraine after 2024, when the present contract expires.
- Russia, Germany 'satisfied' as Nord Stream-2 pipeline nears completion Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- Russia and Germany have expressed joint "satisfaction" with the near completion of a gas pipeline project favoring both sides that has been heavily frowned upon by the United States.
- U.S., Germany Reach Deal On Nord Steam Pipeline As Congress Voices Opposition RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- The United States and Germany say they have reached an agreement to allow the completion of Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe that opponents say undermines the energy security of Ukraine and other Eastern and Central European countries.
- US Threatens Sanctions if Russia Engages in 'Malign Activities' Over Nord Stream 2 Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- The United States will use sanctions against Russia if Moscow engages in malign activity concerning the Nord Stream 2 project, a senior administration official told reporters on Friday.
- Two Former Members Of Navalny's Team Detained In Moscow As Pressure Continues RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- Police in Moscow have detained two former members of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's team and extended the house arrest of his spokeswoman as a state pressure campaign against civil society groups continues.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on July 21, 2021 PRC MofA 21 Jul 2021
- US Builds Coordinated Approach on China as Top Officials Head to Asia VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats are set to meet Sunday at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.
- Update: Another Apple Daily executive arrested by HK police, three denied bail Global Times 21 Jul 2021 -- The National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) on Wednesday arrested one senior executive of Apple Daily and revoked bail arrangement for three more employees under custody for allegedly colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security, the Global Times learned from the police. The case will be heard on Thursday at a local court.
- Power of national security law obvious to all: security chief of HKSAR gov't People's Daily 21 Jul 2021 -- Chris Tang Ping-keung, secretary for security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said on Tuesday that the power of the national security law in Hong Kong is obvious to all, which has led to a sharp drop in violence.
- Carrie Lam sees Hong Kong, Bohai economic rim complementary in development People's Daily 21 Jul 2021 -- Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said on Tuesday that under the Belt and Road Initiative, the positioning of Hong Kong and the economic zone of the Bohai Rim can be complementary and the two can achieve coordinated development.
- Hong Kong Marks Second Anniversary of Bloody Yuen Long Attacks Radio Free Asia 21 Jul 2021 -- Police were out in force at Yuen Long MTR station on the second anniversary of a mob attack on train passengers there at the height of the 2019 protest movement, as one victim of the attacks told RFA they are still waiting for justice.
- Three Hong Kong Journalists Behind Bars For 'Colluding With Foreign Powers' Radio Free Asia 21 Jul 2021 -- Hong Kong police put three former journalists with the forcibly-closed Apple Daily newspaper behind bars, making one new arrest and revoking bail for two other arrestees.
- The number of newborns, fertility rate in China to continue to decline in 2021: NHC Global Times 21 Jul 2021 -- The number of newborns and fertility rate level in China this year will continue to show a downward trend amid a deepening aging problem, deputy head of China's National Health Commission (NHC) said on Wednesday. He added that the aim of implementing the three-child policy and supporting measures is to prevent further decline in the number of births and promote the appropriate fertility level.
- China unveils details of three-child policy, support measures People's Daily 21 Jul 2021 -- China on Tuesday released a decision allowing a couple to have three children and rolling out a slew of support measures, ranging from tax breaks to more nurseries and flexible work leave to encourage births.
- Henan Residents Hit Out at Lack of Warning of Zhengzhou Flood Horror Radio Free Asia 21 Jul 2021 -- Horrific images of people drowning and being swept away as torrential floods swamped the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou have sparked online anger and questions for the local authorities over the speed of the emergency response and the lack of warning to the city's residents.
- At Least 25 Dead in Massive China Flooding VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- At least 25 people are dead in China's central Henan province after massive floods triggered by several days of heavy rains. Weather forecasters are predicting three more days of rain for the region.
- PLA mobilizes Henan forces to help with disaster relief PLA Daily 21 Jul 2021 -- The People's Liberation Army has mobilized its forces in Henan province to take part in the disaster-relief efforts in the province that has been ravaged by torrential rains.
- PLA deploys 5,700 to aid disaster relief efforts after C China floods PLA Daily 21 Jul 2021 -- The People's Liberation Army has deployed more than 5,700 troops and militiamen in Central China's Henan province as of 3 pm on Wednesday to take part in disaster-relief efforts in the flood-stricken province.
- U.S. senators propose National Guard-Taiwan partnership program CNA 21 Jul 2021 -- A bipartisan group of 13 U.S. senators has introduced a resolution calling for the establishment of a partnership program between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan's defense forces.
- Wendy Sherman: US, Japan, South Korea stand 'shoulder-to-shoulder' against North Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman says the United States, Japan and South Korea stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" when it comes to North Korea, despite recent friction in relations between the two Koreas.
- Death of Two North Korean Prisoners Highlights Starvation Diets Radio Free Asia 21 Jul 2021 -- Two malnourished North Korean prisoners died in recent weeks, one dropping dead at work and the other beaten to death because she was too weak to do labor, said sources in the country who said coronavirus bans on family visits stopped inmates from supplementing meagre diets.
- Iran Says Police Officer Killed In Sixth Night Of Protests Over Water Shortages RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- An Iranian police officer was killed in the southwestern province of Khuzestan during the sixth consecutive night of protests over severe water shortages, raising the official death toll in the unrest to three.
- Iran's Water Shortage Protests Take Sharper Anti-government Tone VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Water shortage protests in drought-plagued southwestern Iran appear to have spread to more cities and taken on a sharper anti-government tone as the unrest extended into a sixth night.
- Veteran Myanmar Politician Nyan Win Dies in Detention of COVID-19 Radio Free Asia 20 Jul 2021 -- Nyan Win, the spokesman for Myanmar's ousted National League for Democracy (NLD), died Tuesday after contracting COVID-19 in prison, prompting condemnation from observers who said the military had killed the veteran politician by detaining him during the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
- Myanmar's Crackdown on Free Press Driving Journalists to Thailand VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- On an early April evening in a thick patch of jungle in eastern Myanmar, Win, a journalist with a local news outlet, waited anxiously for nightfall before slipping across a quiet stretch of border and safely into Thailand.
- Belarus Opposition Leader Tsikhanouskaya Urges US to Impose Sanctions VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya pushed Tuesday for the United States to apply pressure to the government of President Alexander Lukashenko, including through the use of sanctions.
- UK Minister Frost Calls for Change to Brexit Deal Over Northern Ireland Protocol Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- Britain's chief Brexit negotiator David Frost stood before the House of Lords on Wednesday to address issues the UK has been having with the Northern Ireland Protocol.
- London 'Disappointed' Over EU Plans to Send Spanish Police to Gibraltar 'to Perform Border Controls' Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- The issue of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, attached to the Spanish mainland, was left out of the last-minute Brexit deal reached between London and Brussels on 24 December. A separate agreement on Gibraltar's status has yet to be concluded.
- Haiti swears in new prime minister after US-linked assassination of former leader Press TV 21 Jul 2021 -- Haiti has formally appointed Ariel Henry as its new prime minister following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise two weeks ago, which threw the already-troubled Caribbean country into further political chaos.
- Bulgarian Parliament Meets For First Session After Razor-Thin Election Result RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- Bulgaria's parliament has met for the first time since an election earlier this month, with President Rumen Radev expected to formally hand the party There Is Such a People (ITN), led by popular television entertainer Slavi Trifonov, a mandate to form a government.
- Hungary's Orban Calls For Referendum Amid Outrage Over Controversial 'Anti-LGBT' Law RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced plans for a referendum on child-protection issues to gauge support for controversial legislation that the European Union and activists see as discriminatory to LGBT people.
- Tajikistan Misses Big Opportunity To Mend Ties With Kyrgyzstan RFE/RL 21 Jul 2021 -- Relations between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan reached an all-time low at the end of April when the armed forces of the two countries battled over border issues.
- Venezuelan Gold Case at UK Supreme Court Remitted for Decision Sputnik 21 Jul 2021 -- The litigation over the Venezuelan gold reserves held at the Bank of England was remitted for decision on Wednesday after UK Supreme Court judges listened to allegations from both sides requesting access to the bullion worth almost $2 billion.
- Tanzania's Main Opposition Leader Freeman Mbowe Arrested VOA 21 Jul 2021 -- Tanzania's main opposition party, the Party for Democracy and Progress, also known as Chadema, says police have detained their leader Freeman Mbowe. Mbowe was arrested before he was scheduled to speak at a conference to announce demands for constitutional reforms.
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