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Max Malins: Saracens full-back out for three months after breaking foot against Exeter

Max Malins made his Sarries debut against Scarlets in January 2017

Saracens full-back Max Malins has had surgery to repair a broken foot, ruling him out for three months.

The 23-year-old former England Under-20 international suffered the injury in Sarries’ 14-7 defeat at Premiership leaders Exeter on 29 December.

He will now begin a rehabilitation programme following Monday’s successful operation but is expected to be out of action until April.

Saracens are bottom of the Premiership table on -7 points.

The reigning champions were docked 35 points and fined £5.36m in November for breaching salary cap regulations.

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Civil partnerships: First mixed-sex unions take place

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan

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Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan took their fight for civil partnerships to the Supreme Court

One of the first mixed-sex couples to become civil partners hailed it as a “unique, special and personal moment”.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who won a legal battle for the right to heterosexual civil partnerships, celebrated at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office in west London.

Previously, the law only allowed same-sex couples to be civil partners.

About 84,000 mixed-sex couples could form civil partnerships next year, the government says.

Introduced for same-sex couples in 2005, civil partnerships offer almost identical rights as marriage, including property, inheritance and tax entitlements.

After Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan won their legal bid at the Supreme Court in 2018 for the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage, the rules were changed to make them available to everyone.

Speaking on the steps of the register office, Ms Steinfeld said their “personal wish” to form a civil partnership came from a “desire to formalise our relationship in a more modern way, with a focus on equality, and mutual respect”.

She said: “So today is a unique, special and personal moment for us, a moment that we’ve been able to affirm our love and commitment to one another in the company of our beautiful children, Eden and Ariel, and close friends.”

Ms Steinfeld said it creates “new, modern possibilities” for thousands of people to express their love and commitment and ends “the unrivalled position of marriage”.

She called for “deeper discussions” on giving legal recognition to other kinds of caring relationships, including those between friends, siblings and co-parents.

Mr Keidan said they succeeded in their legal battle “against all odds” but added that their mental health has suffered under the strain.

Five years after being refused permission to give notice of a heterosexual civil partnership, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan will finally become civil partners today.

Their conscientious objection to marriage and what they saw as its patriarchal associations led to a lengthy legal battle culminating in a unanimous Supreme Court ruling last year that the law was discriminatory and breached their right to a family and private life.

The government changed the law, opening such a union to the majority of the UK’s 3.3 million co-habiting heterosexual couples.

Many believe they are already protected by so-called “common law marriages”, but these do not exist.

As a result, they do not enjoy the same property, inheritance and tax entitlements as married couples and civil partners.

The government estimates as many as 84,000 mixed sex couples could become civil partners this year, giving them greater rights and protections within their relationships, without having to get married.

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Julie Thorpe and Keith Lomax are among thousands of opposite sex couples that are set to enter into a civil partnership

Another couple, Julie Thorpe, 61, and Keith Lomax, 70, said they were looking forward to being among the first mixed-sex people to officially enter a civil partnership – but it would not change their relationship “one jot”.

The couple from near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, have been living together for most of their 37-year relationship and have three children.

They will have a civil partnership ceremony at a register office in Halifax.

Ms Thorpe said: “It won’t change our relationship one jot. It will not make any difference to how we behave towards each other when we get up the next day.

“We have had a very successful relationship for 37 years and a bit of paper is not going to make any difference to that whatsoever. It does give us some legal protection within that relationship.”

Mr Lomax, a human rights lawyer, added: “It is a mutual celebration of all of those and also of the people who actually brought the case to court and changed the law in the first place, because that was a very brave and bold thing to do at considerable financial risk.”

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Croydon stabbing: Man, 60, found injured in street dies

Woodcroft Road

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The victim was found suffering from stab wounds outside a property in Woodcroft Road

A 60-year-old man has been stabbed to death in a residential street in south London.

Police and ambulance crews were called to reports of a stabbing in Woodcroft Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon, at 21:30 GMT on Monday.

The victim was found outside a property with knife injuries and was pronounced dead at 21:49, the Met Police said.

A 50-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and taken into custody.

The suspect became unwell while in custody and was transferred to hospital where he is in a stable condition, police said.

Det Ch Insp Simon Harding said: “The victim was found injured in a residential street. While it is not a heavy footfall location, there may have been members of the public travelling through Woodcroft Road who saw something.

“I urge those people to come forward and speak to my officers without delay.

“No matter how insignificant you think it may be please do make the call.

“We are building the sequence of events leading up to and immediately following this attack which has led to a man’s death, your call could complete the picture.”

Inquiries into the circumstances continue.

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Love Island host Caroline Flack to stand down

Caroline Flack

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Caroline Flack is due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 23 December

Love Island host Caroline Flack has stood down from the show after being charged with assault by beating.

“I feel the best thing I can do is stand down for series six,” she said, describing ITV2’s Love Island as “the best show on telly”.

Police were called to the 40-year-old’s home in Islington, London, last week, where she lives with her partner, tennis player Lewis Burton.

She was bailed and will appear before magistrates on Monday.

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“There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations into my personal life,” she said in her Instagram story on Tuesday.

“While matters were not as have been reported, I am committed to working with the authorities and I can’t comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.”

The star, who was due to present the forthcoming winter edition of the popular ITV2 show – which is expected to start on 12 January – added: “However, Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly.

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PA

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Love Island won a TV Bafta award last year

“In order not to detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is stand down for series six. I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”

Flack began presenting Love Island in summer 2015, having fronted the 12th series of The X Factor alongside Olly Murs, and winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

An ITV spokesperson said: “ITV has a long-standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision.

“We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island.”

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She won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

On Monday, Burton wrote on Instagram that his girlfriend had been subject to a “witch hunt” since being charged, describing her as “the most lovely girl”.

“I’m tired of the lies and abuse aimed at my girlfriend. This is not a witch hunt, this is someone’s life,” he wrote.

The TV star mentioned him personally online, writing: “My boyfriend Lewis… I love you.”

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Flack and boyfriend Lewis Burton


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London Bridge attack victim Saskia Jones ‘was perfect soul’

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Media captionSaskia Jones wanted “to help the world”

A woman who was stabbed to death in the London Bridge attack was a “fearless warrior” determined to do good, friends have said.

Saskia Jones, 23, from Stratford-upon-Avon, was killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, as she attended a prisoner rehabilitation event .

Her friend Sebastian Lefeuvre described the Cambridge University graduate’s death as senseless.

“She was just the most perfect soul and she’s gone,” he said.

Ms Jones and Jack Merritt, 25, who was also killed at the Cambridge University organised conference, are being remembered at a vigil and service in London.

Mr Lefeuvre, who had been friends with Ms Jones since they were teenagers, said he met her at a gym, adding she was as “relentless” with her workouts as she was in other areas of life.

“She had the drive and determination to become something,” he said.

“At 23 years old she had accomplished things that people hadn’t done in their lifetime.”

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Sebastian Lefeuvre said Ms Jones saw the best in people

Ms Jones studied criminology at Anglia Ruskin University before doing a masters at Cambridge University, where she carried out voluntary work with inmates at HMP Grendon.

She was applying to become a police officer.

Colleen Moore, a criminology lecturer at Anglia Ruskin who became her friend, described her as a “lovely woman” who was “fearless and a warrior”.

“She stood out above everyone – partly because she wanted to, she wasn’t afraid to say anything,” she said.

“There was no fooling her. She was really funny, she had a wicked sense of humour, she was cheeky and she was mischievous.”

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Colleen Moore said Ms Jones was passionate about criminology

Mr Lefeuvre said the death of his friend “doesn’t make sense”.

“I just feel really, really sad. Usman Khan got a second chance and Saskia didn’t and that’s it,” he said.

“She hadn’t even entered the real world yet. She was a young women ready to just get out there – and she’s dead.”

Jake Partridge, another friend from Stratford, said Ms Jones was quiet until you “got to know her”.

“She was loud then, she was vibrant,” he said.

“She’d have a joke with you and would put you in your place when you were wrong.”

He said he was “heartbroken”, adding: “It’s not fair, this world has changed.”

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Bloxham School

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Bloxham School, which released this picture of Ms Jones as a pupil, said she would be remembered for her generosity and kindness

Bloxham School near Banbury, where Ms Jones had attended, said it was “deeply shocked and saddened” by her death.

“Saskia was a much loved member of our community and will be remembered fondly for her generosity, kindness of spirit and commitment to serving others,” it said.

Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon held a minute’s silence and has opened a book of condolence.

Rev Patrick Taylor said some of Ms Jones’ friends had visited the church as well as strangers who felt that “something that often feels a long, long way away.. suddenly has an affect on a local community”.

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Flowers were left near the scene of the attack

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Fulham v Derby County – BBC Sport

Aboubakar Kamara scored two goals for Fulham against QPR on Friday as he made his first league start since the opening day of the Championship season
Follow live text coverage from 19:00 GMT on Tuesday

Fulham’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic is available to return for the visit of Derby County after serving a ban.

Aboubakar Kamara, who scored two goals in Friday’s win over QPR while deputising for the Serb, may drop out.

Derby will check on midfielder Graeme Shinnie (hamstring) and forward Mason Bennett (ankle), who were both forced off during their win over Preston.

Matt Clarke, Scott Malone and Tom Huddlestone (all knee) and Ikechi Anya (calf) remain sidelined.

Match facts

  • Fulham have lost just one of their past 14 home league matches against Derby County (W7 D6 L1), a 1-0 defeat in April 1969.
  • Six of the past seven league meetings between Fulham and Derby at Craven Cottage have ended as draws.
  • Fulham have a higher possession figure (66.6%) and high percentage of short passes (90.2%) than any other team in the Championship this season.
  • Derby have not lost four consecutive away league matches since March 2017 under Steve McClaren.
  • Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara has scored doubles in each of his last two Championship starts at Craven Cottage, doing so in January 2018 against Ipswich and in their last home game against QPR.
  • Derby have won none of their past 11 away league visits to London (D7 L4) with their last win in the capital in December 2016 away at QPR.



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Jodie Chesney: Two teens jailed for murder

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Media captionDetective Inspector Perry Benton explains how the Met Police pieced together evidence to catch Jodie’s killers

Two teenagers have been jailed for life for murdering a 17-year-old girl in an east London park.

Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back as she sat with friends in Harold Hill on 1 March.

Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and Arron Isaacs, 17, of Barking, were both convicted earlier this month after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Ong-a-Kwie, of Romford, will serve a minimum of 26 years while Isaacs was detained for at least 18 years.

Explaining the sentences, Judge Wendy Joseph QC told the court she was “satisfied” Svenson had stabbed Jodie while Isaacs was a “willing supporter”.

“When that knife was driven into Jodie, that intention was to kill,” she said.

She added that her death “was part of a series of tit-for-tat attacks” which had been “increasing in ferocity”, and “although the target was not Jodie… there was a degree of planning”.

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Met Police

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Svenson Ong-a-Kwie (l) and Arron Isaacs (r) were both found guilty of Jodie’s murder

During the trial, each of the defendants blamed each other for the attack but a jury took less than six hours to find them both guilty of murder.

In an impact statement read before sentencing, Jodie’s father Peter Chesney said the death of his daughter “has destroyed my life”.

The 39-year-old, who was not in court, described how a year ago he had started a new job as a salesman in the City “and I was about to take over the world in a promising career.

“Now I sit here in the cabin in my garden writing this statement. I have left that job, the relationship with my wife has fallen apart and we are now getting divorced. I must sell my house, and above all, I have lost the most precious human being I will ever know,” he said.

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Met Police

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The 17-year-old was stabbed once in the back while she was socialising with friends in Amy’s Park

Following the stabbing, Jodie collapsed into the arms of her boyfriend Eddie Coyle who told the court he had been “completely changed” by the events of that night.

“I find it hard to sleep most of the time. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD from this, and it keeps me up most nights so I don’t sleep,” he said.

The court had heard drug dealer Ong-a-Kwie and his runner Isaacs had been looking to take revenge on rivals but had killed Jodie by mistake.

The girl scout had been socialising with friends that evening when two figures emerged out of the dark and one plunged a knife in her back.

The two defendants fled in another drug dealer’s car but were arrested together days later as they fled from a house linked to Isaacs, the jury were told.

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Jodie Chesney/Instagram

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Jodie Chesney was a girl scout who was described as “one of our brightest and best” by chief scout Bear Grylls

Ong-a-Kwie had convictions for possessing and supplying drugs and had admitted being in breach of a six-week suspended sentence for handling stolen jewellery.

Two other people – Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Romford, and a 16-year-old boy – were both cleared of murder and manslaughter.

Met Police officer Det Insp Perry Benton described the investigation as “one of the hardest I’ve ever dealt with”, adding that the defendants “have shown no remorse from day one”.

Speaking following the sentencing, Jodie’s uncle Terry Chesney said the family were “happy” with the jail terms and would now “try” to get on with their lives.

“Today was justice. We’ll never get her back, but we’ve got justice,” he said.

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Romford baton arrest: Met officer denies assaulting teen

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Footage of the arrest was widely circulated on social media

A police detective filmed hitting a teenager with his police baton has denied assaulting the boy.

Det Con Kevin Rowley, of Southend, Essex, is accused of attacking the boy while carrying out an arrest in Romford, East London, on 22 April.

He was charged with common assault by beating following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the Met Police said.

Det Con Rowley appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to deny the charge.

He was released on bail ahead of a trial at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on 23 January.

The force said it made a referral to the police watchdog following an arrest of a 17-year-old on suspicion of possession of class B drugs in Heath Park Road.

Footage of the arrest was widely circulated on social media.

Det Con Rowley, based at East Area Command Unit, is currently on restricted duties, the Met added.

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Which MPs are standing down at the election?

MPs standing down

The general election date is set and most MPs are entering campaign mode. Others, however, are clearing out their desk for the last time.

The House of Commons will lose over 1000 years of parliamentary experience with more than 50 incumbents preparing to stand down – and there may be more to come.

Here are the ones we know about so far:

Independents

Ken Clarke, is the longest serving MP in the House of Commons, known as the father of the house, having served his Rushcliffe constituency for almost half a century.

A long-time supporter of the UK’s membership of the EU, he was expelled from the Conservative Party by Boris Johnson, after he rebelled against the government over Brexit.

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Mr Clarke ran three times for Conservative leader

Sir Oliver Letwin, the former Conservative minister and West Dorset MP, who was recently at the forefront of Parliamentary attempts to delay Brexit.

Former Education Secretary and Brexit rebel Justine Greening (Putney), who said she can “achieve more positive change outside Parliament” and will now focus specifically on improving social mobility.

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Greening represents Putney which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU referendum

One-time Conservative leadership candidate and walking enthusiast Rory Stewart (Penrith and the Border), who is focusing on trying to beat Sadiq Khan in next year’s London mayoral election, as an independent candidate.

Former Home, and Work and Pensions, Secretary Amber Rudd, MP for the ultra-marginal Hastings and Rye seat, who resigned from the cabinet and surrendered the Tory whip over Brexit in September. She was not among those who had the whip restored by the PM on Tuesday.

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), another Brexit rebel kept out in the cold by Boris Johnson – and so unable to stand as a Conservative candidate. Likewise Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford).

Conservatives

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Nicky Morgan (Loughborough), the current culture secretary, surprised Westminster watchers by announcing her departure, citing the “clear impact” on her family and “the other sacrifices involved in and the abuse for doing the job of a modern MP”.

Claire Perry (Devizes), a former energy minister and president of COP26, a UN climate change conference.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex), grandson of wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill, who was among those kicked out of the party by Boris Johnson over his opposition to a no-deal Brexit.

He has now been welcomed back into the fold, but is standing down.

Readmitted rebels Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire), Richard Harrington (Watford), Richard Benyon (Newbury).

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Famous family: Sir Nicholas Soames with his grandfather Sir Winston Churchill

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon who has been the MP for Sevenoaks since 1997 and before that MP for Darlington.

Sir David Lidington (Aylesbury) de-facto deputy PM under Theresa May wants to spend more time with his family while he is “still in active and good health”.

Former miner – and former minister – who has been in Parliament for 33 yearsSir Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire Dales).

Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden), who cited “the intensity of abuse arising out of Brexit” in her resignation statement.

Jo Johnson (Orpington), the PM’s brother, who resigned from the cabinet over Brexit.

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UK Parliament

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Jo Johnson resigned as business minister

Other Tory MPs leaving the green benches will be:

  • Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
  • Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)
  • Keith Simpson (Broadland)
  • Nick Hurd (Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
  • Mark Prisk (Hertford and Stortford)
  • Bill Grant (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
  • Sir Hugo Swire (East Devon)
  • David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
  • Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster)
  • Seema Kennedy (South Ribble)
  • Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth)
  • Mims Davies (Eastleigh)
  • Sir Alan Duncan (Melton and Rutland)
  • Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon)
  • Margot James (Stourbridge)
  • Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North)
  • Ross Thomson (Aberdeen South)

Labour

Of the Labour MPs who have announced their intention to step aside, a good number are either Brexiteers or against a second referendum.

Jim Fitzparick (Poplar and Limehouse) and Sir Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) have all voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal at some stage. Veteran trade unionist Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) and Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) backed leave in the 2016 referendum. John Mann (Bassetlaw) has already left and now sits in the House of Lords.

Ex-shadow justice minister Gloria De Piero (Ashfield), who expressed concern over the “lack of tolerance for different viewpoints” within her party in her resignation speech.

One-time leadership challenger Owen Smith (Pontypridd).

Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley), who at 82 is the oldest woman to sit in the House of Commons.

Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) – who quit Labour over anti-Semitism within the party – and Joan Ryan (Enfield North) and Ann Coffey (Stockport) now of Change UK. Suspended ex-Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) is retiring.

Other Labour MPs stepping down are:

  • Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
  • Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby)
  • Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham)
  • Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West)
  • Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead)
  • Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-Under-Lyme)
  • Albert Owen (Ynys Mon)
  • Jim Cunningham (Coventry South)
  • Ian Lucas (Wrexham)
  • Helen Jones (Warrington North)
  • Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)

Liberal Democrats

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Vince Cable was the second politician to appear on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing

Former party leader – and cabinet minister in the coalition government – Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham).

Former coalition government minister Sir Norman Lamb (North Norfolk), who is leaving Westminster to focus on setting up a fund for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

Former Conservative and Change UK MP Heidi Allen (Cambridgeshire South), who only joined the Lib Dems a few weeks ago, said she had suffered “utterly dehumanising abuse” as an MP in a letter to her constituents announcing her future intentions.

The Speaker

In addition to being the House of Commons referee, former Conservative John Bercow is the MP for Buckingham, which he has represented since 1997.

Before he announced his decision to step down, the Conservative Party said it intended to break convention and run a candidate against him at the next election.

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John Bercow served as Speaker for 10 years

More on the election



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