Article archive

1998 NEWS ARCHIVE

Asia-Pacific Network provides independent journalism on social, political, environmental and development issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The following is a selection of some of the articles. Seek permission from the editor before republication.

Copyright David Robie and the authors. PO Box 78028, Auckland 2, Aotearoa/New Zealand, or c/- Journalism, University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji.


1998

Tahiti-Pacific

  • SOCIETY: NGOs STEP UP PRESSURE OVER SEXUAL ABUSE AND CRIME
    Asia-Pacific Network: 23 November 1998 *Picture

    By David Robie
    Incest, domestic violence and sexual abuse are a growing concern for many South Pacific nations. Pressure is mounting in Fiji and Tahiti and elsewhere for governments to come up with policies that tackle the problems with solutions.

  • MALAYSIA: AN INTERNET-DRIVEN NATIONAL TRANSITION
    The Los Angeles Times: 23 November 1998

    By Robert A. Hooper
    If the Soviet Union was brought down by the fax machine, Malaysia's transition to new leadership will be driven by the Internet. What we are witnessing is the emergence of a modern nation that has outgrown the leadership of its creator. Mahathir is eminently a product of his time and will prove unable to make the transition.

  • ENVIRONMENT: THE CLIMATE PLAN OF INACTION
    The (Fiji) Sunday Times: 22 November 1998

    By Angie Heffernan
    Despite overwhelming evidence of the manifestation of climate change, governments dithered in Argentina over agreement on a concrete work programme for how developed countries will reduce their greenhouse gases. Trade and economics drove the discussions rather than climate - a Greenpeace Pacific perspective.

  • EAST TIMOR: PILGER SAYS DILI MASSACRE PROGRAM VINDICATED
    Pasifik Nius: 21 November 1998

    Independent journalist John Pilger, who made the controversial television documentary The Death of Timor alleging a second massacre of Timorese dissidents at the time of the Dili massacre in 1991, says leaked documents showed former Labour Foreign Minister Gareth Evans was informed of the killings by the Jakarta Embassy in 1994 - days before he wrote to a newspaper to deny it had happened.

  • NEW CALEDONIA: MORE AUTONOMY BUT INDEPENDENCE VOTE DELAYED
    Green-Left Weekly: 18 November 1998

    By Sam Wainwright
    Residents of of New Caledonia have voted almost 72 per cent in favour of a referendum proposal to shift more decision-making powers from Paris to the territory. The result paves the way for the creation of a new assembly and a further referendum on complete independence within 15 to 20 years.
    Check Kanaky Online

  • WEST PAPUA: CHURCH TEAM TO INVESTIGATE BIAK KILLINGS
    Sydney Morning Herald: 17 November 1998

    By Lindsay Murdoch
    Church and human rights groups are arranging to send a team of investigators to the remote island of Biak in Irian Jaya to investigate a massacre and atrocities allegedly committed by Indonesian soldiers.

  • WEST PAPUA: MORNING STAR MASSACRE - FREEDOM DREAM DIES AT DAWN
    Sydney Morning Herald: 14 November 1998 *Photograph

    By Lindsay Murdoch
    Four months after scores of Irian Jaya (West Papua) villagers were allegedly brutalised and murdered by Indonesian troops for raising an independence flag, the stories of the survivors have begun to surface.
    See earlier report

  • Singirok

  • MERCENARIES: BRIGADIER SINGIROK CHARGED WITH SEDITION
    Pasifik Nius: 7 November 1998

    Special Correspondent
    Recently reappointed Papua New Guinea Defence Force commander Jerry Singirok has appeared briefly in court in Port Moresby, charged with sedition. The leader of an army revolt against the former Government under Sir Julius Chan to evict Sandline mercenaries in March 1997, is charged with one count of publishing seditious words over his radio address to the nation.

  • COMMENTARY: FIJI AUDIT REPORT CONTROVERSY AND COALITION PLANS
    Pacific Islands Report: 5 November 1998

    By Sanjay Ramesh
    Audit findings on the Fiji Military Forces stirred controversy during October while the National Federation Party and the SVT made it clear they would form a coalition to fight the next general election, expected to be held on 24 April 1999.

  • MEDIA: THE PRESSURE TO REMAIN SILENT
    Fiji Daily Post: 3 November 1998

    By Ingrid Leary
    Sano Malifa's media freedom case in Samoa reminds journalists in Fiji to keep using the relatively liberal media environment in the pursuit of truth and fairness, and to follow his lead by refusing to self-censor when faced with insidious and social pressures to remain silent.

  • Penang news vendor

  • MEDIA: FROM MONICAGATE TO MAHATHIR
    Wansolwara: 2 November 1998 *Photograph

    By David Robie
    The recent second Commonwealth Editors' Forum in Penang embarrassed the Malaysian Government and some local news media over press freedom as protests over the arrest of dissident political leader Anwar Ibrahim highlighted the "tabu" topic.

  • MEDIA: JOURNALISM EDUCATION AT THE CROSSROADS
    Pacific Journalism Review: November 1998 (Forthcoming)

    By Guy Berger
    The role of journalism education has arguably become more important with the unfolding of the Information Age, and particularly over the democratic significance of the mass media in this epoch. An innovative South African media journalist and professor expresses his views at the Commonwealth Editors' Forum.
    Prof Berger's "The Internet: A Goldmine for Reporters and Editors"
    Rhodes University's New Media Lab

  • MEDIA: THE INTERNET AND JOURNALISM EDUCATION IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
    Pacific Journalism Review: November 1998 (Forthcoming)

    By David Robie
    An information paper presented at the Commonwealth Editors' Forum on the role of the South Pacific universities in developing the Internet as a teaching resource for the region's journalists.

  • MEDIA: SAMOA OBSERVER EDITOR WINS ASTOR AWARD
    Wansolwara: 2 November 1998

    By Susan Kiran
    The editor and publisher of the Samoa Observer, Savea Sano Malifa, has received the Astor Award, the Commonwealth's major press freedom prize, amid his ongoing legal struggle with the Samoan Government.

  • MEDIA: PRESS FREEDOM IN TAHITI
    Pacific Journalism Review: November 1998 (Forthcoming) *Photograph

    By Alex du Prel
    The editor of one of the best news and cultural magazines of the South Pacific, Tahiti-Pacifique, tells of the 18-month "freeze-out" of his publication by the Flosse Government in French Polynesia and how his editorial team finally came in from the cold.

  • BOUGAINVILLE: HYPOCRISY OVER THE MERCENARIES
    Green-Left Weekly: 28 October 1998

    By Max Watts
    Sean Dorney provides many details about the history of the Bougainville war. For "experts" who have followed the events and can see what is missing, it is an interesting, valuable book. But for the unwary or the less informed who do not know the missing "details", this book is an untrustworthy, misleading, and self-censored work.

  • MEDIA: PRESS FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS
    Newsroom: 26 October 1998

    By Don McKinnon
    New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Don McKinnon's speech at the Commonwealth Press Union biennial conference in Kuala Lumpur.

  • POLITICS: NOAM CHOMSKY TO VISIT NEW ZEALAND
    Newsroom: 26 October 1998

    By Michael Pringle
    US author, thinker and anarchist Noam Chomsky is visiting New Zealand for the first time in November. His provocative media film, Manufacturing Consent, will be screened and he will present the Media Peace Awards.

  • MEDIA: SLASHING COSTS AND ENSLAVING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE NEWSROOM
    Asia Pacific Network: 24 October 1998

    By Paul Jansen
    An innovative editor and Internet publisher tells of the Singapore Straits Times methods of working with technology for the advancement of a news organisation.

  • MEDIA: 'PREPARE TO PAY HEAVY PRICE'
    The Star (Malaysia): 23 October 1998

    By Jessinta Tan
    A leading Pakistani woman editor of a news magazine specialising in investigative reports has warned that journalists in the developing world face paying a heavy price for press freedom.

  • MEDIA: 'DON'T FOLLOW NZ PRIVACY ACT'
    New Straits Times: 23 October 1998

    By Shukor Rahman
    A leading New Zealand newspaper editor has appealed to Commonwealth editors not to follow the example of NZ's Privacy Act which has led to "creeping suppression" of information which should belong in the public domain.

  • MEDIA: BEHIND THE FIJI WORK PERMIT CONTROVERSY
    Pacific Journalism Online: 18 October 1998 *Pictures

    By Rosi Tamani
    Politicians said the media pair had breached their work permits. Their employers, the Pacific regional university, defended them. Journalists said it was harassment. When and why did the controversy begin?

  • EDUCATION: 'WE CAN BE DOWN, BUT DEFINITELY NOT OUT'
    Uni Tavur: 16 October 1998 *Photograph

    By Sorariba Nash
    A cloud hangs over the University of Papua New Guinea journalism programme - understaffed, under-resourced and under the thumb of library academics with no knowledge of the media. Here Sorariba Nash presents a case for the "defence".

  • HUMAN RIGHTS: BEHIND THE BIAK MASSACRE
    Asia Pacific Network: 11 October 1998

    By Andrew Kilvert
    What really happened on the West Papua island of Biak in July? A revealing account of the conflicting reports of the death toll and circumstances of a massacre that deserves to be ranked with the Dili massacre in East Timor.

  • BOUGAINVILLE: CHIEF OMBUDSMAN LAUNCHES 'THE SANDLINE AFFAIR'
    The Independent (PNG): 9 October 1998 * Review

    Launching Sean Dorney's book about the 1997 Sandline mercenary affair, Chief Ombudsman Simon Pentanu describes the period as a "dark, scary, tragic, mind-boggling" moment in Papua New Guinea's history.

  • COMMENTARY: LANDOWNER ACTIVISM, FREE SPEECH AND A DROUGHT
    Pacific Islands Report: 8 October 1998

    By Sanjay Ramesh
    Land disputes became a growing problem in the Fiji Islands in September along with media issues, political debate and the ongoing drought.

  • MEDIA: FROM TIN CANS TO INTERNET AS PACIFIC MEDIA DISCOVERS CYBERSPACE
    Agence France-Presse: 6 October 1998

    By Michael Field
    From news delivered in tin cans and the legendary "coconut wireless", media has come a long way in the South Pacific. These days news is flooding into atolls and islands by the Internet.

  • MEDIA: RADICAL POLITICS EMBRACE THE INTERNET
    International Herald-Tribune: 28 September 1998

    By Karine Granier-Deferre
    Radical groups, including the Bougainville Freedom Movement, may have mastered the Internet to bypass traditional media and reach a larger audience, but many have not yet adapted their messages to their new medium.

  • POLITICS: THE TOAST OF PNG TURNS SOUR
    Asia-Pacific Network: 11 September 1998

    By David Robie
    The "independents" bloc in Papua New Guinea was elected on a wave of hope last year in the wake of the Sandline mercenary debacle. Now it is struggling for credibility.

  • POLITICS: FIJI'S CHALLENGE OF CHANGE
    Wansolwara: September 1998

    By Rosi Tamani
    With a six-week-old constitution, "Fiji Islanders" have only six months to familiarise themselves with the new election system known as the "alternative" or preferential voting system.

  • APN logo

  • ACADEMIC AND MEDIA FREEDOM:
  • The story behind the Fiji fuss
  • NZ Association of University Staff summary
  • Background to the issue
  • Public and Nius feedback
  • Café Pacific commentary
  • Pacific Islands Report coverage
  • Pacific Media Watch commentary
  • Protest to Rabuka, Senator Bole
  • Reporters Sans Frontieres statement
  • Updates on the controversy
  • Have your say

  • EDUCATION: FIJI MINISTER BACKS OFF INVESTIGATION CLAIMS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 9 September 1998

    Special Correspondent
    Fiji's Information Minister, Senator Filipe Bole, who launched into a blistering attack in the Senate on two New Zealand journalism lecturers at the regional University of the South Pacific a week ago, has backed off the investigation claims.

  • EDUCATION: TAHITI-PACIFIQUE SUPPORTS NZ JOURNOS IN FIJI
    Tahiti-Pacifique: #89 September 1998

    By Alex DuPrel
    Some Fiji government ministers have threatened freedom of expression over two journalists in spite of the new constitution because of their "crime" of writing and teaching about the media. A French-language perspective.

  • COMMENTARY: THE GAG THREAT TO CAFE PACIFIC
    Asia-Pacific Network: 5 September 1998 *Pictures

    By David Robie
    "Nothing less than democracy and freedom of expression is at stake," says a prominent Pacific journalist. "To suggest that writing columns in local newspapers and on the Internet goes against the description of work permits is ridiculous. You are doing work in your field of expertise. To suggest otherwise is nonsense and I condemn such an act."

  • EDUCATION: 'PERSECUTION' OF JOURNALISM ACADEMICS
    AUS Tertiary Update: No 22, 4 September 1998

    By Michael Gibbs
    The Fiji government is "investigating" alleged work permit irregularities of two New Zealand journalism academics and observers describe it as persecution over what they have written about the media.

  • EDUCATION: NZ OPEN LETTER FOR SENATOR BOLE
    Association of University Staff (NZ): 3 September 1998

    By Rob Crozier
    New Zealand's Association of University Staff has protested to both Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Information Minister Filipe Bole over the harassment of journalism academics David Robie and Ingrid Leary. It has also pointed out that Fiji will be a signatory to the United Nations Recommendation on the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, which guarantees academic research and publication freedom from government interference.

  • EDUCATION: OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR BOLE
    Journalism USP: 1 September 1998

    This letter was hand delivered to Senator Bole after he made criticisms in the Senate about the University of the South Pacific journalism lecturers and work permits.

  • EDUCATION: RSF PROTESTS OVER HARASSMENT
    RSF: 31 August 1998

    Reporters Sans Frontieres, a Paris-based independent organisation for the defence of press freedom worldwide, protests to Fiji against the harassment of two foreign journalists and academics.

  • DEVELOPMENT: SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM AGENDA SPELLS 'DISASTER'
    GATT Watchdog: 25 August 1998

    The South Pacific Forum in the Federated States of Micronesia is promoting a model of development which is already having disastrous consequences for New Zealand's small Pacific neighbours, says the fair trade coalition GATT Watchdog.

  • DEVELOPMENT: 29th FORUM COMMUNIQUE
    Pohnpei: 24-25 August 1998

    The official communiqué of the South Pacific Forum meeting at Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.

  • KANAKY: NEPOUI PLANNED FOR NEW PORT
    AKD/APN: 18 August 1998

    By Jacques Boengkih
    Building plans under way for a new deep water port at the mining town of Nepoui. Construction is expected to start next April.

  • TECHNOLOGY: WRITING SITE OPEN FOR STUDENTS
    South China Morning Post: 11 August 1998

    By Yang Wahn Hew
    In a new Hongkong-based venture, international trainee journalists - including from the South Pacific - have won a chance to display work to a wide readership.

  • MEDIA: THE BLURRING OF PRESS FREEDOM?
    Fiji's Daily Post: 11 August 1998

    By Ingrid Leary
    Media self-regulation is a recent development in Fiji with the formation of the Fiji Media Council by the major print media and broadcasters being in line with the Thomson Foundation Report on media regulation for the country. But political manoeuverings are placing this in jeopardy.

  • BOUGAINVILLE: KABUI STILL SUPPORTS INDEPENDENCE
    Post-Courier (PNG): 10 August 1998

    By Joe Maeva
    Bougainville rebel leader Joseph Kabui still supports the struggle for independence and says the setting up of a reconciliation government later in the year will realise "our ultimate goal''.

  • MEDIA: PACIFIC PRESS FREEDOM ON THE ROCKS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 9 August 1998

    By David Robie
    A feisty newspaper publisher's loss to the Samoan prime minister in a hefty defamation case and manipulation by the Fiji Information Ministry in an attempt to impose legislative curbs have once again put the South Pacific media on the backfoot over freedom of information.

  • MERCENARIES: SANDLINE REPORT DUE LATE AUGUST
    The National (PNG): 5 August 1998

    Staff reporter via Pasifik Nius
    Papua New Guinea's second Sandline Commission of Inquiry into the mercenary affair is due to present its report to Prime Minister Bill Skate at the end of August.

  • EDUCATION: CRISIS OVER RESTRUCTURING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA
    Asia-Pacific Network: 27 July 1998 * Pictures
    Other articles in Pacific Business and Cyber-Times

    By David Robie
    After the teargas and the bitter accusations over the future of the University of Papua New Guinea, the institution is continuing on its controversial path. But the criticisms go on behind the scenes as legislation is being prepared for the changes.

  • POLITICS: FIJI CHIEFS SPLIT OVER QUEEN
    Fiji Daily Post: 23 July 1998

    Staff Reporters
    Tension has risen in Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs meeting as debate has progressed on the head of state controversy.

  • TSUNAMI: VILLAGERS WILL MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND
    The Sydney Morning Herald: 22 July 1998

    By Rohan Sullivan in Vanimo
    Under a tree just a short walk from the beach, Father Paul Mercieca led hymns and prayers yesterday and tried to console homeless and battered victims of Papua New Guinea's tsunami disaster.

  • Sissano Lagoon
    Sissano Lagoon after the
    tsunami. - SMH

  • AITAPE TSUNAMI DISASTER appeals and coverage:

    BBC audiovisual link

    Post-Courier

    The National

    Pasifik Nius

    Dan Jorgensen's disaster page

    Animated background on tsunami

  • HUMAN RIGHTS: NEW ERA FOR FIJI WITH FRESH CONSTITUTION
    Amnesty International: 22 July 1998

    Amnesty media release
    A new era for human rights began in Fiji on 27 July 1998 when a new Constitution formally established the first national Human Rights Commission among Pacific island states.

  • WEST PAPUA: PROTESTERS CALL FOR INDEPENDENCE
    Green Left Weekly: 21 July 1998

    By James Balowski
    Encouraged by the student demonstrations in May which led to the resignation of President Suharto and the political concessions this forced on the new Habibie government, hundreds of pro-independence protesters have been demonstrating in towns and cities across West Papua. Many were shot in a crackdown.

  • Aitape graphic

  • TSUNAMI: 3000 FEARED DEAD IN TIDAL WAVE HORROR
    The National (PNG): 21 July 1998

    By Frank Senge Kolma at Sissano
    Authorities and relief workers in north-western Papua New Guinea count the survivors to determine the number of the dead and missing - victims of a gigantic tidal wave which levelled four major villages occupied by about 6000 people. Officials believe they may never know the full number who perished in the disaster.

  • TSUNAMI: TIDAL WAVE KILLS THOUSANDS
    BBC: 20 July 1998

    Special correspondents
    Around 3000 people are now thought to have been killed in a tsunami - or tidal wave - that devastated northern Papua New Guinea. Hour by hour more bodies are being discovered under the sand or in the lagoons as rescue teams struggle to get relief aid and medical supplies to the area. Audio and video reports.

  • NEW CALEDONIA: REFERENDUM ON PEACE ACCORD
    Agence France-Presse: 9 July 1998

    AFP correspondent
    A referendum will be held in New Caledonia on November 8 on a peace accord struck in May between indigenous Kanak people seeking independence and loyalist settlers.

  • EDUCATION: POLICE FIRE TEARGAS AT UPNG STUDENTS
    Post-Courier: 2 June 1998

    Staff Reporter
    The University of Papua New Guinea is in turmoil with 20 injured when police fire teargas at students protesting over academic restructuring at the troubled institution.

  • MEDIA: BEHIND THE HYPE OF NON NEWS
    Wansolwara: 1 June 1998

    By David Robie
    Media trends on the Internet in the South Pacific and the gap between claims and reality. Also an outline of the accomplishments of the universities.

  • MEDIA: ROW OVER VANUATU FREEDOM AWARDS TO FORMER PMs
    Pasifik Nius: 18 May 1998

    Special Correspondent in Port Vila
    A controversy has erupted over the the presentation of "media freedom" awards to current Vanuatu Prime Minister Donald Kalpokas and three former PMs who pressured the press.

  • MERCENARIES: PROBE SANDLINE MOTIVES FURTHER, SAYS MUSA
    The National (PNG): 18 May 1998

    Revelations that Sandline International was involved in the overthrow of the government of Sierra Leone has justified further inquiries into its role in Papua New Guinea last year, says PNG parliamentarian Stahl Musa.

  • BOUGAINVILLE: PROFILE ON TERMS OF CEASEFIRE
    The Independent (PNG): 16 May 1998

    By Veronica Hatutasi
    Every face tells a story. And so it was in Arawa on the historic occasion which signalled a new day for the strife-torn Bougainville islanders who have endured a bitter war - one which neither side can claim to have won.

  • Tiger graphic

  • MEDIA: NO LIGHT IN FREEDOM DEBATE
    Fiji Daily Post: 5 May 1998

    By Ingrid Leary
    An analysis of the media freedom debate between prominent journalists, media and business people at the University of the South Pacific in Suva marking World Press Freedom Day.
  • MEDIA: UNIVERSITIES VERSUS CADETSHIPS
    Radio Australia: 20 April 1998

    By Geraldine Coutts
    Where is the best place in the Pacific to train journalists - at university, or on the job as cadet reporters? Two leading journalist educators, a prominent Pacific region journalist and a vice-chancellor debate the issue on Pacific Focus.

  • MEDIA: BREEDING BETTER REPORTERS IN THE REGION
    Sunday Times (Fiji): 19 April 1998

    By Arthur McCutchan
    New journalism coordinator at the University of the South Pacific outlines his plans - including use of Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR), Internet publishing and a higher profile for the training newspaper Wansolwara.

  • MEDIA: NEW JOURNALISM WEBSITE AT USP
    Pacific Journalism Online: 5 April 1998

    The journalism program at the University of the South Pacific goes on line with a new Internet website with media resources and samples of student work.

  • MEDIA: NZ JOURNALISTS IN TANGLE OVER FIJI WORK PERMITS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 26 February 1998

    Special Correspondent in Suva
    Two New Zealand journalism educators are still in suspense over their positions at the University of the South Pacific amid controversy over the "politicising" of the appointments by non-academic bodies. Other articles in Pacific Media Watch.

  • Post-courier logo

    National logo

  • MEDIA: THE HOTWIRED PRESS OF THE PACIFIC
    Asia-Pacific Network: 26 January 1998

    By David Robie
    Papua New Guinea's two daily newspapers are leading the way in the response of the South Pacific news media to the challenge of cyberspace. Both websites came of age during the Sandline mercenary crisis, underscoring the value of content on the Internet.
  • BOUGAINVILLE: SKATE PLEADS FOR FORGIVENESS
    Asia-Pacific Network: 26 January 1998

    Asia-Pacific Network
    In the first open apology by a Papua New Guinean prime minister over the nine-year Bougainville civil war, Bill Skate has welcomed the ceasefire agreement and sought forgiveness for the pain and suffering inflicted on Bougainvilleans and Papua New Guineans.

  • RESOURCES: MINERS HEAD UNDERSEA FOR GOLD
    Washington Post/AP: 19 January 1998

    By Peter James Spielmann
    Prospectors and scientists hope to strike it rich by dragging up gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea, mining for names like "Satanic Mills, "Roman ruins" and "Snowcap".

  • MEDIA: INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST UNDER FIRE OVER FIJI COUPS
    Pacific Media Watch & Bushfire Media: 16 January 1998

    By Peter Cronau
    A veteran New Zealand journalist, author and educator offered the post of journalism co-ordinator at the University of the South Pacific (USP), has been attacked by conservative media over his past condemnation of the Fiji coups.

  • MEDIA: BACKGROUND TO A FIJI VENDETTA
    NZ Journalist and Asia Pacific Network: 18 January 1998

    By Harry Stoner
    A decade-old vendetta against a New Zealand journalist by a Fiji-based media group has again resurfaced.

  • MEDIA: OPEN LETTER TO THE FIJI TIMES
    The Fiji Times: 18 January 1998

    By Robert A. Hooper
    A former Fulbright Senior Scholar attached to the University of the South Pacific Media Centre and USP Journalism Programme condemns the Sunday Post for waging a "personal vendetta under the guise of journalism".

  • LAW: THE QUESTIONS OVER SANDLINE
    The National (PNG): 14 January 1998

    By John Nonggorr
    A University of Papua New Guinea law professor examines the complex constitutional and legal issues over the Sandline mercenary affair. He argues that the rule of law must prevail.


  • OTHER ARCHIVE HEADLINES


    22 January 1999

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