Colombian peace deal passed by Senate, moves in order to reduce house


People demonstrate on the street when Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos along with Marxist FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, generally known as Timochenko, sign a new serenity accord in Bogota, Colombia Don’t forget national 24, 2016. REUTERS/Felipe Caicedo

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s United states senate approved a new tranquility deal with FARC rebels late on Tuesday, despite objections with former president and after this Senator Alvaro Uribe, who said it was still too lenient within the insurgents who have battled the govt for 52 years.

The agreement was permitted by 75 to zero after institutions the first from Uribe’s Democratic Heart party left the floor of the Senate with protest just before voting started.

The accord moves on Friday to the lower house, where it is expected to be ratified easily.

President Juan Manuel Santos and rebel alpha dog Rodrigo Londono signed the improved accord last week from a sober ceremony after the first deal appeared to be rejected by tens of millions at a plebiscite.

Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Winning prize last month for his or her peace efforts, wants to get the deal in put as quickly as possible to maintain your fragile ceasefire.

In a 12-hour period, Uribe’s supporters asserted that the deal presented too many concessions for the Revolutionary Armed Forces with Colombia (FARC) and did not function as a warning for different groups involved in crime.

“Those who are against and the ones in favor were observed in equal estimate and with respect,” Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo said right after the vote, adding he / she hoped for a continuing “valuable and fruitful conversation that will allow the accords to generally be improved.”

The new arrangement to end Latin America’ersus longest insurgency was build in just over a thirty day period after the original pact – in which allowed the rebels to maintain public office along with skip jail – seemed to be narrowly and unexpectedly defeated in an March. 2 referendum.

The new papers did not alter the provisions, angering many among Colombia’azines largely conservative populace. Opponents are also furious Santos decided to ratify the deal around Congress instead of having another plebiscite.

The government and also FARC worked together during Cuba for four years to barter an end to the region’azines longest-running conflict that has slain more than 220,000 and displaced thousands and thousands in the Andean nation.

The signing and ratification in Institutions the first begin a six-month countdown for the 7,000-strong FARC, which started in ’64 as a rebellion struggling with rural poverty, in order to abandon weapons as well as form a political party.

An end into the war with the FARC most likely to end violence inside Colombia as the lucrative benzoylmethylecgonine business has given go up to criminal gangs and also traffickers.

(Editing by Robin the boy wonder Pomeroy)

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Albanian PM warns Euro against leaving 'vacuum' in the Balkans


Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, addresses attendees during the 70th treatment of the United Nations All round Assembly at You.N. Headquarters throughout New York, October Two, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia and Islamist militants may possibly try to boost their influence in the Balkan nations when the European Union doesn’t bring them in as associates, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama said in an interview written and published on Wednesday.

Rama told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung it was in the EU’ersus interests to try and convey Balkan states into it’s fold.

“If we want to use a secure and consistent European Union and with them a secure Europe, it’ersus not good if there are divots,” Rama told the papers.

“In addition, we shouldn’testosterone levels forget that there are as well other, third, personalities, who are playing their own game and exactly who could profit if your EU leaves vacuum pressure there,” he said.

“I’l talking about Russia, however , I’m also writing about radical Islam,” he extra.

The Balkan countries are sandwiched somewhere between EU members Portugal and Hungary. Croatia and also Slovenia have already joined NATO and the EU, while Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania are all chasing EU membership.

The half a dozen Balkan countries are all on different stages in registering with the EU. Serbia is designed to complete accession talks by way of 2019. However, taking on sign ups has sunk down the list of the EU’s main concerns.

Diplomats from the region own said for some time this Russia is trying to further improve its influence inside countries such as Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia now also Albania.

Rama said his / her country would always move towards Western european accession, but cast doubt on the bloc’s capability to take on new members.

“It’ohydrates not about how extensive we still need, it’verts about how the European Union will continue to develop. In the meantime, we’re also politically in fairly fantastic form, the European Union is not really at present.”

(Writing simply by Caroline Copley)

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China says it all wants smooth armed service ties with Trump


U.S. President-elect Donald Trump signals to the news media as they appears outside the principal clubhouse at Trump Nationalized Golf Club in Bedminster, Nj, U.S., October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Wednesday it all wanted to develop easy military-to-military ties with the brand-new U.S. management of Donald Trump.

While any world’s two greatest economies are frequently at odds over problems like the disputed Southwest China Sea, both have been trying to boost trust between their own armed forces to reduce the potential risk of misunderstanding in any activities.

This month, China as well as the United States staged a three-day humanitarian relief armed service drill as part of this trust-building exercise.

New concern looms by using Trump’s election when U.S. director. He lambasted China on the campaign trail and contains suggested Japan along with South Korea be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

Asked around Trump’s election, Asian Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun claimed it went without saying there was tensions in the armed service relationship and Chinese suppliers hoped the United States would respect its key interests and inquiries.

“China is willing to be effective hard together with the security department of the up coming U.S. federal government to promote the healthier and stable growth of military-to-military relations,” Yang told a monthly news briefing.

Trump will take about as president with January.

(Reporting by means of Ben Blanchard; editing by Robert Birsel)

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Belgium detain six assumed of links to August machete attack


Belgian police officers stand defend outside the main law enforcement officials station after a machete-wielding person injured two woman’s police officers before being hit in Charleroi, Belgium, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian police held six people upon Wednesday suspected with links to a machete breach on two woman’s police officers in June that was claimed through Islamic State.

Federal prosecutors said that for the duration of searches of 7 houses in plus near the city of Charleroi, a number of weapons were taken, some of them similar to the a single used in the episode. A judge was to make a decision later on Wednesday whether they should call hold the six detained people longer.

A machete-wielding Algerian male yelling “Allahu Akbar!” (God is greatest) seriously injured the two policewomen before being fatally shot in Charleroi outside the city’vertisements police headquarters at a Saturday in July.

Islamic State claimed task for the attack via the 33-year-old man a day later. Federal prosecutors are getting rid of the case as terrorism.

Belgium and it is capital Brussels, where you can European Union institutions and also the headquarters of NATO, are currently on a security and safety alert level of about three out of a maximum several, denoting a “serious, probable and probable” threat.

(Coverage by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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Beijing untypically quiet on Taiwan drills in Southern area China Sea


FILE PHOTO – A aerial photo obtained though a goblet window of a Taiwanese army plane shows the scene of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese phone Taiping, at the South Tiongkok Sea, March Twenty-three, 2016. REUTERS/Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout by using Reuters/File Photo

ITU ABA, South China Ocean (Reuters) – Taiwan held rescue tools on Tuesday off the region of its sole outpost from the Spratly Islands of the To the south China Sea, although the biggest claimant in the disputed waters placed uncharacteristically quiet.

China and self-governed Taiwan seldom see eye that will eye, but in giving an answer to Taipei’s latest report of sovereignty over Itu Aba, China has avoided the tough language it often guides at other clients to the busy stream.

China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts as well as all of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars throughout trade passes each year.

Taiwan and China equally suffered setbacks on their claims in August, when an international tribunal dominated that China’s historical boundary, the so-called nine-dash range, was invalid, as well as said Itu Aba was a rock and roll, rather than a self-sustaining island permitted a 200-km economic zone.

Experts say Beijing is essentially content for Taipei to be able to push its claims on Itu Aba, the largest purely natural feature in the Spratlys, simply because China views Taiwan being a breakaway province, to be foreclosed by force 1 day, if necessary.

So, while Chinese ships have faced Malaysian, Philippine and Vietnamese shipwrecks in the area, Taiwan’s ordinary journeys to and from this lonely outcrop have gone unimpeded.

“All of our supply transports never encountered Chinese interference,” Lee Chung-wei, minister with Taiwan’s Coast Defense Administration, told reporters visiting Itu Aba for the recover drills.

In the workouts, coast guard boats and navy copters practised how to retrieve harmed crewmen from a burning vessel and transport them to Itu Aba’s small vent and hospital.


Vietnam, which claims Itu Aba, objected to the exercise routines, saying they broken its sovereignty and uncomfortable peace and harmony in the region, the Vietnamese foreign ministry said in a record late on Tuesday.

Asked for the drills on Itu Aba, as well as whether Taiwan had an obligation to respect China sovereignty there, China’s dangerous ministry underscored its desire for your unified approach.

“Your Nansha Islands, including Taiping Is, are inseparable parts of The far east,” spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing in Beijing, employing China’s terms to the Spratlys and Itu Aba.?

“Chinese people upon sides of the Taiwan Strait experience an obligation to with each other protect this ancestral property.”

China’s Taiwan Extramarital liasons Office added it would be paying “shut down attention” to what Taiwan did in connection with Itu Aba. It did not elaborate.

Drills which include Tuesday’s show Taiwan’azines determination to become a vital player, said Ian Floor, a South Cina Sea scholar from Singapore’s ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, adding this Taiwan officials and authorities had told your pet of frustration on being diplomatically marginalized in the Southern China Sea.

Taiwan treads a fine line between infuriating friendly Southeast Chinese neighbors and the Country, its sole politics ally and arms supplier, by being any proxy for China’s sovereign pursuits, despite the risk of angering Beijing, he added.

“It is just a tricky position meaning they are broadly encouraging of Beijing,” Floor said. “They want to rise above the crowd as pushing their own Chinese claims, instead of Beijing’s, even though they usually are essentially the same.”

Taiwan police officers say President Tsai Ing-wen started off plans for the soccer pratice drills in July, on a monthly basis after Beijing trim official communication routes because Tsai, who brings the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Bash (DPP), refuses to commit to this “one China” principle in which Taiwan is part of the mainland.

To maintain ties, Tsai ought to continue arguing that Itu Aba is an island, not a rock, and is not to be utilized by military allows of other areas, said Wu Shicun, head with the National Institute intended for South China Water Studies.

“Doing so would likely mean that they would threaten China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea,” said Oriental government adviser Wu. “If she steps through these red lines, I believe China will take sensitive action.”

(Additional reporting by Christian Shepherd and Ben Blanchard in China, Greg Torode in HONG KONG, Mai Nguyen in HANOI; Creating by Lincoln Cast; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Philippines ends five-day siege against rebels pledged so that you can Islamic State


Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte gestures a good clenched fist as he check out soldiers in Butig, Lanao delete Sur, southern Malaysia November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

MANILA (Reuters) – Soldiers in the southern Canada retook a disused building with Muslim militants on Wed, ending an intense five-day siege that killed a large number of fighters the experts say had promised allegiance to Islamic State.

The unpleasant incident highlights the challenges experiencing President Rodrigo Duterte in keeping order in the Philippines, particularly in his native southern, riven by nationalist rebellions for decades.

The army stepped up its pungent after the weekend, knocking rebels holed up in a disused local hall with artillery in addition to bombs dropped by aircraft. The internet marketer said 30 safety measures forces were injured and 61 rebels killed in the operation.

The militants belonged to the Maute party, one of several Islamist groups in the country’s restive south.

The duress ended as Duterte stopped at injured soldiers inside Lanao del Sur area, where seven regarding his advance security and safety party were damaged on Tuesday, when believed Maute militias set off a bomb under their pickup.

“The town is empty and the Maute is receiving towards the mountain,” explained military spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla.

“And may decimated. The capability to preserve and get back to your strugle is no longer there.”

The authorities suspects the Maute class in a Sept. Couple of bombing in Duterte’s home city, Davao, which slain 14 people together with wounded more than 80.

Last week Duterte appealed to the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf to disarm and initiate talks. He pushed them to halt piracy as well as kidnapping and not retaliate for civilians for armed service operations to drive this rebels from their island strongholds.

Duterte has recently warned Islamic State might take root in the Malaysia and stressed the requirement to avoid “contamination”, a risk at the same time faced by border Malaysia and Indonesia..

The past mayor, who is inspecting a drugs crackdown that has killed over 2,500 men and women, offered an olive side branch to Maute, questioning why it wanted to carry orders from Islamic Talk about.

“Maute, they are inspired by way of ISIS,” Duterte said in a presentation, using an abbreviation that refers to Islamic State. “I did not want to wage a war against my personal countrymen. Please do not force me.”

But he vowed not to relent.

“When the time comes, it’s gonna be a war versus terrorism and drugs and I will show you now, I will be harsh,” Duterte said. “As tough as I can ever be.”

Separately, two men ended up arrested on Thursday north of the investment, Manila, over the planting of the homemade bomb at the U.S. embassy. The product was detonated safely by way of police, who think the Maute of being behind it.

(Reporting by way of Martin Petty and Red washington Mogato; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Muscle men diamond ring up dollars together with Gaza private security businesses


Palestinian private security guards by Castle Security firm take part in an exercise during a simulation on how to obtain important characters, within Gaza City November 1, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

GAZA (Reuters) – Trained in martial arts plus firearms, their muscled bodies bursting out of snug t-shirts, young men in Gaza tend to be increasingly finding work with private security businesses retained by banking companies, local celebrities as well as international visitors.

Three personal security companies are these days competing in Gaza, featuring protection for high-profile Arab-speaking and Western delegations and also cautious businessmen transferring goods and cash about the fenced-in territory.

While Hamas, the Islamist party that has run Gaza because 2007, has its own equipped units to protect intercontinental visitors, it does not object to competition from personal companies, as long as they put together with the authorities.

Akram Al-Balawi, which runs the Adventure Security Company, proclaimed he had 6,One thousand applicants when he proclaimed he was employing. He snapped up Sixty-five men.

“Our personnel are carefully picked, they are body-built, highly intelligent and with good manners,” reported Balawi, sitting in his company in the heart of Gaza City. “They aren’t affiliated with political groups.”

While Hamas maintains tight the reassurance of Gaza, where around two trillion Palestinians live, there are periodic skirmishes among militant factions plus some criminal activity.

Israel likewise carries out occasional environment strikes in response in order to mortar fire and has struggled several wars using Hamas and other militant groups in recent years.

Balawi said his safeguards only carry pistols when escorting a convoy of clinking coins or foreign ambassadors. Significant missions, like appointments by U.M. officials and mature European figures, are often escorted by Hamas-run security, he was quoted saying.


He lately opened the door to women applicants. Plus, with Gaza unemployment with 43 percent – so that as high as Sixty percent among graduates – there’s no shortage of candidates for that decent paying employment.

Those accepted receive settled training at a system of Gaza’s Hamas-run Insides Ministry. They learn fighting techinques, the use of weapons and the way deal with volatile crowds.

Staff earn between $400 in addition to $600 a month, Balawi said.

Eyad Al-Bozom, the medial side Ministry spokesman, said comes to visit by international delegations are usually coordinated with them along with Hamas’s security clubs are not paid. Not too long ago their units protected a group of Western diplomats inside Gaza, he said.

“(Private security and safety) is still a new expertise but we are eager to pursue that and develop it all so we give a chance to the civil group to be part of this issue,” Bozom said.

At an open space with Gaza, 35 new applicants were put through their paces, carrying out simulations on how to shield clients and get the offending articles from danger. A gun, an AK-47 rifle and a submachine gun were utilized in the drill.

“All of us learnt that working with a weapon is the last measure,” said Islam Salama, 21, a undergraduate in Persia. “Before the weapon arrives the muscle of the language.”

Saeed Youssef, a 25-year-old business graduate student, said he harried to apply because employment in Gaza were consequently scarce.

“We are compelled to cope with the labor market. I needed the project to build a life, possess a future,” he said. “People today view the unemployed mainly because losers, even if these are educated.”

(Writing by simply Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Henry Baker and Phil Heavens)

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Gambia's Jammeh faces rare challenge in Dec 1 poll immediately after 22-years rule


Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh arrives to the opening of the 48th ordinary appointment of ECOWAS Authority involving Head of Suggests and Government throughout Abuja, Nigeria December 16, 2016 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

BANJUL (Reuters) – Gambian Leader Yahya Jammeh will face an uncommon challenge from a nurtured and united weight in an election on Thursday as he searches for to extend his 22-year traction on power from the tiny West Cameras nation.

Jammeh, 51, grabbed power as a youthful army officer in the 1994 coup and features maintained his remedy for Gambia in four next elections despite growing global concern over their government’s deteriorating man rights record.

Election observers have questioned the credibility of recent polls. Regional bloc ECOWAS boycotted the last election in 2016, proclaiming the process was not free or fair and now have also stayed away from that week’s poll.

The Western european said this calendar month that it had been rejected access to monitor.

In the final days of campaigning, a happy Jammeh stared out from the massive billboards positioned every single few hundred yards along the main tracks leading into Banjul, the capital of the nation of 1.6 million people.

“I’m the best president of which Gambians will ever get,” Jammeh, that once said he would rule his state for “a million years”, said on Tuesday. “My presidency and power are in the hands for Allah and only Allah can take the item from me.”

Long known for his eccentricities, including a say they have invented a cure for AIDS and a return decision last year to be able to declare Gambia an Islamic republic, international attention has ever more focused on the repressive characteristics of his guideline.

Jammeh has rejected out of doors criticism and recently announced Gambia’s disengagement from the International Criminal Court, a body he says is usually biased against Africans and which his spokesman dubbed the “Global Caucasian Court”.

This week’s ballot comes at the end of any turbulent year that’s got given hope to level of resistance supporters that change may be on the horizon.

In August, small protests with Banjul calling for electoral reform led to dozens of arrests, together with that of the leader of the main UDP opposition party Ousainu Darboe.

Two UDP members have since died in legal care while others remain in prison, but the almost extraordinary act of defiance has helped galvanize Jammeh’s opponents.

Eight opposition parties have rallied driving businessman Adama Barrow, calling for our rights and the law reforms and a revamping of the stuttering economy that has produced Gambians more likely than any Africans to migrate illegally that will Europe.

Opposition rallies have sketched large crowds within the last few two weeks of campaigning. Hundreds came out to perk Barrow’s motorcade on On the, banging drums because he passed.

“My it’s likely that high to beat any incumbent president Jammeh which has a landslide victory. A new?Gambia shall be born December initially,” he told editors on Tuesday. He has promised to rule only for a three-year transition timeframe.

Still, experts question whether victory is even achievable given Jammeh’s tiny control of state assets, including the military additionally, the police, and his desire not to relinquish power.

A 3 rd candidate, Mamma Kandeh – a former Jammeh friend and member of parliament who’s since formed his personal political party – might also drain votes from your opposition under Gambia’s single-round election system.

“Absolutely suit probably not if he will probably win but because when much and what Jammeh is going to do with that message pertaining to his next mission,” said one Western side diplomat who follows situations in Gambia.

“He has previously said that he will not necessarily accept the result in case he loses plus it’s hard to view who would challenge that.”

(Additional reporting by means of Emma Farge; editing by Ron Boulton; Editing by Person Bavier)

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Indonesia's parliament reappoints scandal-hit speaker


The speaker of Indonesia’s parliament, Setya Novanto, departs an ethics section hearing in Jakarta, Australia in this December Seven, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Garry Lotulung

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’ohydrates parliament on Wednesday reappointed Setya Novanto since it’s speaker, reinstating him irrespective of a scandal last year while he was accused of wanting to extort $1.8 billion connected with shares from the neighborhood unit of Oughout.S. mining giant Freeport McMoran Inc.

Novanto resigned mainly because speaker in 12 after an analysis was launched when the travel of Freeport Indonesia Maroef Sjamsoeddin shared with parliament’s ethics solar panel he secretly taped a meeting with Novanto in addition to alleged the lecturer asked for a spot of 20 percent during the company.

Novanto denied any allegations.

Sjamsoeddin resigned during January for personal motives, a company spokesman mentioned.

The country’s attorney-general later shed an investigation, the constitutional court docket ruled in favor of Novanto, together with parliament’s ethics table has also cleared your pet.

Novanto’s political vocation has continued to thrive despite the scandal, and in May possibly he was known as chairman of Indonesia’ersus second-biggest political party, Golkar.

The location of speaker appeared to be set aside for Golkar since it was previously the main level of resistance party, even though it has recently joined President Joko Widodo’verts coalition.

“A plenary session at this time has decided to make me this speaker of parliament,” Novanto explained. “As a member of some sort of political party, I’ll take good care of this require and this shall be a proof of my perseverance to the nation.”

Indonesia’ersus ranking in Openness International’s corruption opinion index improved last year to 88 from 168 nations, but the watch dog has previously reported parliament as among the most infected institutions in the country.

“(Novanto) isn’t formally charged in the corruption case, although the public knows that he is problematic,” said Dadang Trisasongko, this secretary general in the group’s Indonesian office. “His appointment as the brain of an institution shows the kind of institution he or she leads.”

Freeport Indonesia contracted, in a 2016 memorandum of knowing with the government, to divest a stake involving 30 percent by 2019 in addition to invest in domestic digesting to win an extension of its contract outside of 2021.

The government already has a 9.36 per cent stake, and had expected to take another 13.64 percent stake this year, but negotiations on terms stalled after the organization and the government couldn’capital t agree on a price.

(Confirming by Hidayat Setiaji and Gayatri Suroyo; Touch-ups by Clarence Fernandez)

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France's Fillon to beat The Pen next year utilizing 66 percent connected with vote: Elabe poll


Francois Fillon, member of Les Republicains governmental party and 2017 presidential choice of the French centre-right, comes to fruition at attend the political council of Vos Republicains political party at their headquarters in Venice, France, November Up to 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Francois Fillon will well beat National Entry leader Marine Ce Pen in a presidential political election runoff next Could, taking 66 per-cent of the vote, a new opinion poll showed in Wednesday.

The Elabe poll exhibited free-marketeer conservative Fillon, who protected his Les Republicains celebration nomination on Sunday, remains to be firmly in very first position among several declared or possible candidates, including Le Pen and socialist incumbent Francois Hollande.

Both Fillon and Le Pen, head of the anti-immigrant, anti-EU, Countrywide Front, are expected so it will be to a head-to-head runoff with May 7 following a first round connected with voting in April which will winnow out the field.

In that will runoff, Fillon would likely safeguarded 66 percent of your votes versus 24 percent for The Pen, according to the survey, which was conducted by means of Internet on November. 28 and Up to 29 and involved an agent sample of 941 voters.

The ballot suggested the third-placed applicant at this stage would be Emmanuel Macron, an ancient investment banker and economy minister in Hollande’s government who has decided to run as a possible independent candidate.

The survey showed far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon within fourth place prior to Hollande, who is deeply unpopular and possesses yet to say no matter if he will seek re-election.

(Revealing By Brian Like; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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