What's New

Streit Council Advisory Board Member Brendan Simms’ new book, Hitler: Only the World Was Enough, reexamines Adolf Hitler’s strategic outlook. Simms argues that his main preoccupation was not, as widely believed, the threat of Bolshevism and the Soviet Union, but that of international capitalism and Anglo-America. These two fears drove both his anti-Semitism and his determination to secure the “living space” necessary to survive in a world dominated by the British Empire and the United States. Hitler's aim was to create a similarly global future for Germany – a country seemingly doomed otherwise not just to irrelevance, but to extinction. His principal concern during the resulting cataclysm was not just what he saw as the clash between German and Jews, or between German and Slav, but above all that between Germans and what he called “Anglo-Saxons.”  (Read More)

Streit Council Board Members Steve H. Hanke and Richard C. Henry Discuss their Proposal for the Elimination of Times Zones on CNN.  
In an interview on CNN’s  GPS program with Fareed Zakaria, Steve H. Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at John Hopkins University, and Richard C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at John Hopkins University, argued for the creation of a single time zone spanning the entire planet. They suggested that all clocks be set to Coordinated Universal Time. (Read More)

Streit Council Advisory Board Member Kenneth Weisbrode, with former Ambassador James Goodby, provide a blueprint for improving U.S.-Russia relations.
"What’s missing here is not the capacity to talk but a political consensus on both sides to reaffirm why both countries still need to cooperate and how to go about finding it." Given the stalling of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, nuclear arms control talks, and other formal arrangements, Weisbrode and Goodby advocate an informal route to forging a new consensus. (Read More)

Streit Council Advisory Board Member John Davenport's latest book - A League of Democracies: Cosmopolitanism, Consolidation Arguments, and Global Public Goods
- makes the case that deepening interdependence is far outstripping the governance capacities of nation-states, even when they try to work together through intergovernmental agreements and organized bureaucracies of specialists. This work defends a cosmopolitan approach to global justice by arguing for new ways to combine the strengths of democratic nations in order to prevent mass atrocities and to secure other global public goods. (Read More)

Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News

Hungary faces EU court for starving migrants
11 October 2019 – EU Observer
The European Commission is threatening to sue Hungary for not feeding migrants and rejected asylum seekers on its border with Serbia. Hungarian authorities began withholding food in August 2018 and had agreed to stop doing so after the European Court of Human Rights intervened. Hungary has one month to respond to the Commission before it is taken to the European Court of Justice.
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EU ministers agree Eurozone budget short of original ambitions
10 October 2019 – Reuters

Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to create a small, 17 billion euro, budget to finance investment and reform in member countries. This falls short of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a budget in the range of hundreds of billions of euros that would be used to stabilize economies. But some officials note the new budget could become a more serious economic instrument in the future.
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Turkey threatens Europe critics with opening border to 3.6m Syrian refugees
10 October 2019 – Euronews

As Turkey launched an offensive into northeastern Syria against Kurdish militia fighters, President Erdogan condemned worldwide criticism of the operation and warned Europe he would unleash 3.6 million Syrian refugees if the military action is labeled an occupation. The dispute comes after U.S. President Trump withdrew troops from the area and abandoned Kurdish forces.
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EU sues Poland over new measures for disciplining judges
10 October 2019 – Reuters

The European Commission is suing Poland’s ruling nationalists over measures introduced for disciplining judges. The country’s ruling Law and Justice (PIS) party has gained widespread support for expanding social spending and highlighting perceived threats from the EU, Germany, migrants, homosexuals and others.
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Eurozone budget closer than ever before – Scholz
9 October 2019 – Reuters

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz recently stated that the Eurozone is close to a deal that would establish a Eurozone budget.  He said: “We’re attempting to find a consensus that brings all members together….We have never been as close to a deal as today. Still you never know for certain if it will work.”
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Germany, France want “massive” markets push after Brexit
9 October 2019 – Reuters

A paper recently published by Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland on the sidelines of an EU finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg called for a “massive” move into financial markets after Brexit. Recognizing that Brexit will shift financial activity from London to the EU, the paper calls for reforms that help consumers turn savings into investments, and the creation of debt, credit and foreign exchange financing tools.
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Philippines & Japan's defense agreement to strengthen ties
7 October 2019 – New Delhi Times

Japan and the Philippines held their inaugural Defense Industry Forum on October 2 in the Philippines, meant to increase their defense cooperation in research, development, and production. The Forum is specifically designed to strengthen joint defense industrial ties for maritime security in the East and South China Sea, and to counter China's heavy presence in both seas.
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Japan and EU sign infrastructure deal to rival China's Belt and Road
30 September 2019 – European Views

Japan and the EU recently signed a mutual agreement on infrastructure, digital, and transportation projects. This partnership comes after the EU released its EU-Asia Connectivity strategy. The purpose of this infrastructure deal is to provide sustainable connectivity in terms of the environment and finance, countering the environmental and financial issues of China's Belt and Road Initiative.
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South Korea's standing effectively downgraded in Japan's annual defense report
27 September 2019 – The Japan Times

In Japan's annual defense report released today, South Korea’s status as a major security cooperation partner was downgraded from second to fourth. The list includes countries other than the U.S. that have close security ties with Japan. South Korea now ranks below Australia, India, and ASEAN. Japan cited past defense issues with South Korea and its withdrawal from the military-sharing pact as reasons for the downgrade.
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EU is reportedly considering tariffs on $4 billion U.S. exports to combat Trump’s dispute

25 September 2019 – CNBC
The EU is considering the imposition of $4 billion of tariffs on U.S. exports, but at least one member opposes the idea. The plan comes in response to President Trump’s threat to place $7 billion of tariffs on EU exports due to allegedly illegal aid to plane maker Airbus. By early next week, the WTO will release the specific amount of trade that the U.S. is permitted to target.   
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U.S. and Japan agree on first stage of new trade agreement Wednesday that eliminates tariffs
25 September 2019 – Associated Press
The U.S. and Japan have signed a limited trade deal that will eliminate tariffs and increase market access to farm, industrial and digital goods. But the deal does not address the main sticking point: autos. "This is a big chunk, but in the fairly near future we're going to be having a lot more comprehensive deals signed with Japan," President Trump said. Trump has sought a trade agreement with Japan since withdrawing from Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after he took office.
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Taiwan leader under pressure as friends turn to Beijing
23 September 2019 – The Australian

Kiribati has become the latest Pacific Island country to sever ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing. Previously, the Solomon Islands also made this switch, leaving only 15 Pacific islands in support of Taiwan while 180 have partnered with China. Taiwan's declining regional economic influence, as well as pro-democratic leader Tsai Ing-wen's leadership, has fed speculation that a "domino effect" will ensue between Taiwan and its remaining Pacific island allies.
(Read More)

Japan agrees to WTO consultation with South Korea amid trade dispute
20 September 2019 – The Japan Times

Japan has agreed to bilateral negotiations with South Korea over Japan's export restrictions, following South Korea's complaint to the WTO. Both countries now have thirty days to establish a settlement date, and sixty days to resolve the dispute, or the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body will review their for up to two years.
(Read More)

U.S. and Chinese trade deputies face off in Washington amid deep differences 
19 September 2019 - CNBC

U.S. and Chinese representatives will resume talks following a two-month standstill. At the forefront of the negotiations will be an agricultural focus, where the United States will propose an increase in Chinese purchases of American soybeans. The goal of these talks is to lower tariffs between the United States and China, thereby improving the overall relationship between the two countries. 
(Read More)

Saudi crown prince seeks South Korea's help to bolster defenses after attacks
18 September 2019 – Reuters

Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, requested support from South Korea to help build up the country's air defense system following recent attacks on Saudi Arabia's crude oil facilities. South Korea's president, Moon Jae-In, expressed condolences and offered assistance. South Korea depends heavily on crude oil and imports about thirty percent of it from Saudi Arabia.
(Read More)

EU creates top post to herd its fragmented defense industry
16 September 2019 – Defense News

A new European Commission directorate for defense industries and space, under former French defense minister Sylvie Goulard, is now set up. She will be tasked with coordinating the EU’s fragmented defense industry on research and development projects. Goulard is expected to pass a nomination hearing in the European Parliament next month and will take up the post on November 1st.
(Read More)

Korea, U.S. gear up to begin negotiations on defense cost-sharing pact
16 September 2019 – Arirang

The U.S. and South Korea are preparing to discuss their defense cost-sharing alliance, the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), in late September. South Korean finance ministers are poised to attend the negotiations, due to directions by the Trump Administration to increase their payment for U.S. troops by 8.2 percent. The U.S. instructed South Korea to increase its share costs of the SMA, which is nearly $5 billion per year.
(Read More)

Hong Kong protests are growing smaller but more violent and ugly 
16 September 2019 - CNN

The number of individuals participating in Hong Kong's anti-government protests is starting to dwindle as it enters its fourth month of demonstrations. But more individuals are being sent to the hospital with injuries resulting from protester-police clashes. There has been a shift in attacks on government officials and buildings to regular citizens on the street expressing pro-police sentiments.
(Read More)

Asean, China, Japan, S. Korea reaffirm their commitment to multilateral trading system
12 September 2019 – The Malaysian Reserve

Economic ministers representing ASEAN, as well as China, Japan, and South Korea, agreed to uphold an inclusive multilateral trading system amid rising protectionism. They also reiterated their support for concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year, which would reduce barriers to trade between 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
(Read More)

Russia’s ruling party loses a third of seats in Moscow election after protests

9 September 2019 – Reuters
According to Russian news agencies citing final polling data, Russia’s ruling United Russia party has lost a third of its seats in the Moscow city assembly. But the party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, retained its majority and its candidates for regional governor won in 16 other parts of the country. Public anger has risen after five years of falling incomes and a hike in the pension age.
(Read More)

Brexit: Ireland will “try” to impose checks away from border in no-deal

4 September 2019 – BBC
Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney clarified Ireland’s position on membership in the EU’s Single Market in the event of a no-deal Brexit. He said: “"We do recognize the reality that Ireland will have a responsibility to protect its own place in the EU single market and that will involve some checks….But I can assure you that we will try to do that in a way that limits the risk, and we will try and do it, obviously, away from the border."
(Read More)

China files another case at WTO over U.S. tariffs
4 September 2019 – Thatsmags 
China's Ministry of Commerce announced it will file a dispute at the WTO against the United States’ increased imposition of tariffs. China's legal decision comes after the U.S. recently increased tariffs by an additional 15% on Chinese imports valued at $300 billion. China claims the move violates a mutual agreement reached at the G20 summit, but the U.S. is standing by its position, stating both countries agreed to reach a decision outside the WTO.
(Read More)

Japan to set up police unit on E China Sea

3 September 2019 – Reuters
Japan is intensifying its control of a string of heavily disputed islets in the East China Sea through the deployment of armed police forces. The islets, known as the Senkakus in Japan, and Diaoyutai in China and Taiwan, will be closely monitored by Japanese officers stationed in Okinawa, and possibly Fukuoka. Japanese officials claim the move is a form of self-defense over the islets, although China sees the act as a security disruption within the East China Sea. 
(Read More)

U.S. seeks “reset” in transatlantic ties as tariff threat looms
2 September 2019 – Bloomberg
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will seek to improve relations with the EU this week as disputes over tariffs, Iran, 5G networks, and climate change remain unresolved. Pompeo will hold talks with the presidents-elect of the European Council and the European Commission, and the EU’s new foreign policy chief.
(Read More)

India, Japan hold annual defense dialogue; resolve to deepen strategic ties
2 September 2019 – Times of India
The defense ministers of India and Japan held discussions and resolved to strengthen bilateral defense and strategic ties. The two discussed security in the Indo-Pacific region, where China’s military buildup is a prominent concern. India, Japan and the U.S. participate in the annual Malabar maritime exercise to improve the interoperability of the three countries’ navies.
(Read More)

Next EU executive won’t let Poland, Hungary off hook on democracy: diplomats

18 June 2019 – Reuters
The next European Commission, under the presidency of Ursula von der Leyen, intends to maintain pressure on Poland and Hungary for their rule of law deficiencies. One option under discussion is to make disbursements from the EU budget contingent on upholding the rule of law – a move that would financially harm Poland and Hungary as they are major recipients.
(Read More)

White House kicks Turkey out of fighter jet project
17 July 2019 – UPI
The U.S. removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program after it received a Russian air defense system last week. “The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House press secretary stated. Further action in the form of sanctions may be forthcoming.
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Iran to boost uranium enrichment level “to any amount that we want”
3 July 2019 - France 24

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to "any amount that we want" beginning on Sunday. Authorities on Monday acknowledged Iran broke through a limit placed on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. An increasing stockpile and higher enrichment closes the estimated one-year window Iran would need to produce enough material for a nuclear bomb, something Iran denies it wants but the nuclear deal sought to prevent.
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China may again buy more advanced Russian jets, ignoring U.S. sanctions
2 July 2019 - Newsweek

According to Russian and Chinese state news, China is considering buying weapons from Russia including additional batches of the Su-35 fighter jets, which is an upgraded version of the Sukhoi Su-27 that Beijing bought two dozen of for about $2.5 billion. China first signed a deal to buy 24 Su-35s in 2015 and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation reported last April that the delivery was complete. In September, the State Department announced it would sanction the Equipment Development Department of China's Central Military Commission over its acquisition of Russia's "Su-35 combat aircraft and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment."
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Ukraine, NATO allies conduct Black Sea drills
2 July 2019 - Associated Press

On Monday, a military drill called Sea Breeze 2019 began in the Black Sea using 3,000 troops from 19 countries including Ukraine, the U.S., a dozen NATO allies, and a few other nations. The exercise will involve 32 warships and 24 aircraft, and is being monitored by Russia. Moscow has voiced concern about previous NATO drills near its borders, saying they threaten its security, while NATO allies have expressed worries about Russian military maneuvers.
(Read More

EU signs landmark trade deal with Vietnam
30 June 2019 – Guardian

The EU has signed a trade deal with Vietnam that will eliminate nearly all tariffs. The agreement still needs the approval of the European Parliament, which could be jeopardized by Vietnam’s human rights record. The EU is Vietnam’s second largest export market after the United States.
(Read More)

Trump suspends new tariffs, U.S. and China to restart trade talks
30 June 2019 – CBS

The U.S. and China have agreed to restart trade talks, and President Donald Trump stated additional tariffs on China will not be levied yet. So far, eleven rounds of talks have failed to resolve what Trump has referred to as unfair terms of trade. As a result, the U.S. imposed 25 percent import tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports and China responded by placing tariffs on $110 billion of imports from the United States.
(Read More)

EU, South America sign historic trade deal after decades of talks
29 June 2019 – France 24

After twenty years of talks, the EU and Mercosur signed a trade deal on Friday. The deal would eliminate 99 percent of all agricultural and industrial tariffs, but it has raised concerns from European farmers concerned about unfair competition and NGOs concerned about climate change. The deal still requires the approval of all EU member states.
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Experts fear “snowball effect” as Iran abandons nuclear deal
26 June 2019 - Associated Press

As Iran prepares to surpass limits set by its 2015 nuclear deal, each step it takes narrows the time the country’s leaders would need to have enough highly enriched uranium for an atomic bomb. According to the UN, Iran has so far respected the deal's terms but by Thursday Iran says it will have over 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of low-enriched uranium in its possession, which would break its commitment to the agreement. European countries that are still a part of the nuclear accord face a July 7th deadline imposed by Tehran to offer a better deal and long-promised relief from U.S. sanctions, or Iran will begin enriching its uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.
(Read More

Ukraine president's party leads poll ahead of July election
26 June 2019 - Reuters

The Ukrainian Servant of the People party, set up by the new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, continues to lead in an opinion poll published on Wednesday ahead of a snap parliamentary election due on July 21th. The survey conducted by research group Reiting from June 20 to June 24 showed Zelenskiy’s party had the support of 37.3% of people who said they would vote. Servant of the People, campaigning on a pro-European, anti-corruption ticket, has no lawmakers in parliament, which was dismissed last month after Zelenskiy came to power.
(Read More

NATO calls on Russia to destroy new missile, warns of response
25 June 2019 - Reuters

NATO urged Russia on Tuesday to destroy a new missile before an August deadline and save the INF treaty that keeps land-based nuclear warheads out of Europe. NATO defense ministers will discuss their next steps if Moscow keeps the missile system that the United States says would allow short-notice nuclear attacks on Europe. Diplomats said defense ministers will consider responding with more flights over Europe by U.S. warplanes capable of carrying nuclear warheads, more military training, and the repositioning U.S. sea-based missiles.
(Read More

Russian lawmakers back Putin on withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty
18 June 2019 - The Hill

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday voted to back President Vladimir Putin's exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Putin signed an executive order exiting the nuclear arms deal in March, and Tuesday's overwhelming vote in the State Duma confirmed that decree. Russia's exit from the 1987 arms treaty follows the U.S. notice on February 1st that it would stop complying with the treaty in six months.
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U.S. to send $250 Million in lethal aid to Ukraine
18 June 2019 - U.S. News and World Report

The U.S. Defense Department confirmed Tuesday that the Trump Administration will deploy $250 million worth of military aid and equipment, some of it lethal, to Ukraine's armed forces as it seeks to deter Russian aggression amid a recent spike in hostile acts. The new equipment will include sniper rifles for Ukraine's special operations forces, as well as grenade launchers, counter-artillery radars, and equipment to detect and protect against electronic warfare. The U.S. will also increase its support to the Ukrainian navy and maritime troops, following last year's crisis at the Kerch Strait.
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EU ministers strike compromise on Macron-backed Eurozone budget
14 June 2019 – France 24

EU ministers have agreed to the broad outline of a Eurozone budget as pushed by France, despite opposition from the Netherlands. The budget, which is officially called the Budgetary Instrument for Competitiveness and Convergence (BICC), will be used to support reforms in Eurozone members. Two sources stated that the fund will amount to 17 billion euros and be tied to the overall EU budget.
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EU steps up pressure over Italy debt, flags stability concerns
13 June 2019 – Reuters

The EU is hardening its stance on Italy’s growing debt, noting its failure to meet budget deficit targets that were already made more lenient. Although Italy’s prime minister and finance minister said they want to comply with EU fiscal rules, the leaders of parties that make up the ruling coalition seek large tax cuts and have called the rules obsolete. The EU could ultimately impose fines on Italy.
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Germany’s far-right AFD becomes strongest party in regional poll
13 June 2019 – Bloomberg
The far-right AFD is now the most popular party in the German region of Saxony, a recent poll published by Bild shows. It now holds 25% support, up from the 9.7% it had in the last election there in 2014. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU fell from 39.4% to 24%. The AFD has drawn most of its support from less economically prosperous East German states.
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Putin backs Moldova’s new government amid political turmoil
13 June 2019 – Washington Post

President Putin gave his support on Thursday to Moldova’s new coalition government, which has been locked in a power struggle with a rival administration in the former Soviet republic. The Russian leader also lashed out at the previous Moldovan government, which has refused to cede power to the new authorities. The new coalition government in Moldova, only announced at the weekend, includes the pro-Russia party of Igor Dodon, the country’s president since late 2016, and the pro-Europe ACUM group.
(Read More) 

Two oil tankers hit by explosion in Gulf of Oman; U.S. blames Iran
13 June 2019 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Two commercial oil tankers were hit by explosions and caught fire in the Gulf of Oman, prompting the evacuation and rescue of dozens of crew members. In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran, citing the type of explosives used and what he said was the sophistication of the attacks, asserting it was part of a campaign to escalate tensions in the region. Earlier at the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. ambassador condemned the attacks and added that Washington was providing assistance.
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Russia staging “significant” military buildup in Crimea: report
12 June 2019 – The Hill

U.S. intelligence officials say that Russian forces are undergoing a "significant" military buildup in the contested Crimean Peninsula, including around Soviet-era military installations. One U.S. official told Defense One on Wednesday that satellite imagery of Russian positions in the region depicted “a deliberate and systematic buildup of their forces on the peninsula,” adding that Russia's buildup meant that the country's ability to strike targets in Eastern Europe now extend as far as the Black Sea.
(Read More

Trump says he’s sending 1,000 more U.S. troops to ally Poland
12 June 2019 - AP News

During a White House news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, President Donald Trump announced that he will send 1,000 more U.S. service members to Poland as part of his broadening security and economic alliance. Trump said the Polish government will pay for the infrastructure to support the additional troops, and praised Poland for increased defense spending to meeting its NATO commitments.
(Read More)

U.S. gives Turkey ultimatum on Russian missiles
9 June 2019 - BBC News

In a letter sent to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan set a deadline of the end of July for Turkey to choose between buying the U.S. F-35 advanced fighter jet or the Russian S-400 missile defense system. The Pentagon believes that if Turkey were to acquire both this state-of-the-art F-35 fighter and Russia's formidable S-400 missile defense system, then Russian technicians would be able to assess the plane's vulnerabilities. The Turkish government has held for months that it will not back down from the S-400 purchase.
(Read More)

End of May, Britain's PM steps down as Conservative leader
7 June 2019 – Reuters

British Prime Minister Theresa May steps down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday, officially triggering a contest to replace her that could see her party embrace a tougher stance on Brexit. She will continue to work as prime minister until her party elects a new leader – a crowded race that will be defined by Brexit and competing approaches on how to deliver Britain’s biggest policy shift in more than 40 years.
(Read More)


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