‘The American’ takes top spot by a nose

'The American' takes top spot by a nose

George Clooney squeaks by a relatively unknown star in this weekend’s box office race.

In the battle of the box office assassins, A-lister George Clooney barely mustered more firepower with his new chart-topper “The American” than the relatively unknown star of “Machete,” as the summer moviegoing season wrapped feebly during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“The American,” in which Clooney plays a laconic gunslinger holed up in a picturesque Italian village, earned $16.4 million across the United States and Canada during the four days beginning September 3, distributor Focus Features said on Monday.

“Machete,” a violent fantasy starring character actor Danny Trejo as a Mexican hitman with a penchant for sharp objects, came in at No. 2 with $14.0 million, said 20th Century Fox.

Both studios said they were happy with the openings, which exceeded modest expectations, even if the movies are not destined for box office greatness. Clooney’s movies, for example, usually end up in the $30 million to $40 million range, and Focus doubted the new one would buck that trend.

'The American' takes top spot by a nose

The top 10 boasted one other newcomer, the optimistically titled Drew Barrymore romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” which stalled at the outset. It came in at No. 5 with a disappointing $8.6 million, said Warner Bros. Pictures.

Both “Machete” and “Going the Distance” opened on Friday, while “The American” got a two-day head start and has earned $19.5 million to date.

Last weekend’s champion, the Sony Pictures heist thriller “Takers,” slipped to No. 3 with $13.5 million; its 11-day haul rose to $40 million.

Sales for the top-12 films fell to their lowest level in almost a year, a fitting coda to a summer lineup whose weak performance was obscured by the 3D boom.

While sales from the first weekend in May through Monday are projected to break last year’s record, the increase comes solely from higher ticket prices. The number of tickets sold — a better gauge of Hollywood’s health — hit its lowest level since 1997.

'The American' takes top spot by a nose

Tracking firm Hollywood.com Box-Office predicted summer attendance would come in at 552 million tickets sold, a 2.6 percent drop from last year, and the lowest since 1997 when 540 million were sold. It forecast summer receipts of $4.35 billion, up 2.4 percent from last summer’s record levels. Final tallies will be released on Tuesday.

Movies released in 3D, such as “Toy Story 3,” “Cats & Dogs,” “Despicable Me,” and “The Last Airbender,” allowed movie theaters to charge an average premium of $3 per ticket. In some markets, this pushed the ticket price to almost $20. The average ticket price for all movies was $7.88, according to Hollywood.com Box-Office.

Sales are expected to remain weak for the next few weeks as the studios dump their under-performers so that they can focus on prestige pictures catering to awards voters and on holiday-season crowd-pleasers.

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Wisdom from the Indian Ancestors

Wisdom from the Indian Ancestors

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

Chief Tecumseh (Crouching Tiger) Shawnee Nation 1768 – 1813

“When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.”

Chief Joseph Lower Nez Perces band of the Wallowa Valley 1840 – 1904

“These (sacred) ceremonies do not belong to Indians alone, they can be done by all who have the right attitude…and who are honest and sincere about their beliefs in Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit) and follow the rules.”

“Survival of the world depends on our sharing what we have, and working together. If we don’t the whole world will die. First the planet, and next the people.”

Ceremonial Chief Frank Fools Crow Teton Souix 1890 – 1989

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Beyoncé’s wildest hairstyles

Beyoncé's wildest hairstyles

Beyonce Knowles has had many looks over the years, from a frizzy mane to braids and beyond.

Beyonce’s mirror apparently has two faces: Beyonce Knowles and Sasha Fierce. In honor of the singer’s 29th birthday, InStyle takes a look at the many styles the pop star has rocked through the years.

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Samsung unveils its iPad challenger

Samsung unveils its iPad challenger

Galaxy Tab Has Smaller Screen, Similar Features to Apple’s Device; Likely Cost Is $200-$300.

Samsung Electronics on Thursday unveiled the Galaxy Tab, its take on Apple’s iPad, as more technology companies trickle into the nascent tablet market. Tablets represent a potential new source of revenue for Samsung, which is making up for lost ground in the intensely competitive smartphone business.

Rather than sell it directly to consumers, Samsung will rely on its carrier partners to sell the Galaxy Tab, which runs on Google’s Android software, comes with a cellular connection, and features a seven-inch screen. The tablet will debut in Italy, moving to other markets as Samsung locks in more carrier deals.

Vodafone Group, the world’s biggest mobile operator, said it would start selling the Galaxy Tab in most of its European markets and a number of its other markets worldwide in October.

It is expected to launch in the U.S. over the next few months, but the company would only say it was in talks with multiple carriers. The Galaxy Tab is essentially an enlarged version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S smartphone, which was originally available through AT&T and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, and more recently Sprint Nextel Corp.

While a price hasn’t been set, Samsung product executive Hankil Yoon said in an interview that it would likely retail for between $200 and $300, although the final price would vary depending on different carrier subsidies.

Mr. Yoon expects to ship 10 million units and take a third of the global tablet market next year.

But it’s unclear if any tablet beyond the iPad will prove to be a hit. Samsung follows Dell which launched its Streak through AT&T last month. More tablets are expected for the holiday selling season.

While many companies are devoting resources toward building a worthy iPad competitor, history shows that Apple often enjoys a lengthy lead with its products, said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at iSuppli.

The iPad, which sold 3 million units after 80 days in the market, is expected to control three-quarters of the tablet market this year, with its share only slipping to 62% by 2012, according to iSuppli.

Like the iPad, the Galaxy Tab customizes core applications, such as email and contacts, to take advantage of the larger screen, offers Wi-Fi capabilities, and provides a hub for reading magazines, books and newspapers. It also lacks a removable battery and requires a proprietary dock to connect to a PC.

The Tab sets itself apart on size. The 7-inch screen allows for a slimmer profile than the iPad, which packs a 9.7-inch screen. Also, the Samsung device supports the latest version of Adobe Flash–something the iPad doesn’t do–enabling the Tab to show more video found on the Internet.

It features a camera on each side of the device, as well as a slot for expandable memory. It also has the capability to make phone calls, but carriers will decide whether that capability will be offered. Mr. Yoon said Samsung plans to support the device with two major software updates a year.

The Tab will run on Android 2.2, the latest version, and will have access to the Android Marketplace for a number of applications. But Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said she was concerned about how many apps will be designed specifically for the device. The iPad already benefits from a number of third-party apps that utilize its larger screen.

Samsung is exploring the possibility of a tablet with a 10-inch or 6-inch screen, and Mr. Yoon said the company plans to eventually launch a family of Galaxy Tab devices. Samsung has invested $200 million in advertising the Galaxy S phone around the world. The company plans to spend less promoting the Galaxy Tab, because it feels the product appeals to more of a niche audience than the more mainstream smartphone, said Samsung mobile marketing executive Younghee Lee.

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All About Green Day 21st Century Breakdown

All About Green Day 21st Century Breakdown

21st Century Breakdown is the eighth studio album by the American punk rock band Green Day. It is the band’s second rock opera, following American Idiot (2004), and their first album to be produced by Butch Vig. Green Day commenced work on the record in January 2006 and forty-five songs were written by vocalist / guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong by October 2007, but the band members did not enter studio work until January 2008.

The album was released May 15, 2009 through Reprise Records. Armstrong has described the album as a “snapshot of the era in which we live as we question and try to make sense of the selfish manipulation going on around us, whether it be the government, religion, media or frankly any form of authority”. The singles “Know Your Enemy” and “21 Guns” exemplify the themes of alienation and politically motivated anger present in the record.

Critical response to 21st Century Breakdown was generally positive. The record achieved Green Day’s best chart performance to date, reaching number one on the album charts of various countries, including the United States Billboard 200, the European Top 100 Albums, and the United Kingdom Albums Chart. It was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards held on January 31, 2010. As of December 2010, 21st Century Breakdown has sold 1,005,000 copies in the United States[8] and more than 4 million worldwide.

Track listing

1. “Song of the Century” 0:57
2. “21st Century Breakdown” 5:09
3. “Know Your Enemy” 3:11
4. “¡Viva la Gloria!” 3:31
5. “Before the Lobotomy” 4:37
6. “Christian’s Inferno” 3:07
7. “Last Night on Earth” 3:57
8. “East Jesus Nowhere” 4:35
9. “Peacemaker” 3:24
10. “Last of the American Girls” 3:51
11. “Murder City” 2:54
12. “¿Viva la Gloria? (Little Girl)” 3:48
13. “Restless Heart Syndrome” 4:21
14. “Horseshoes and Handgrenades” 3:14
15. “The Static Age” 4:17
16. “21 Guns” 5:21
17. “American Eulogy” (A. “Mass Hysteria” / B. “Modern World”) 4:26
18. “See the Light” 4:36

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All About Green Day Punk Rock Band

All About Green Day Punk Rock Band

Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1986 by vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt. For much of the group’s career, the band has been a trio with drummer Tré Cool, who replaced former drummer John Kiffmeyer in 1990 prior to the recording of the band’s second studio album, Kerplunk (1992). In 2012, guitarist Jason White became a full-time member after having performed with the band as a session and touring member since 1999.

Green Day was originally part of the punk scene at the DIY 924 Gilman Street club in Berkeley, California. The band’s early releases were with the independent record label Lookout! Records. In 1994, its major label debut Dookie (released through Reprise Records) became a breakout success and eventually shipped over 10 million copies in the U.S. Green Day was widely credited, alongside fellow California punk bands Sublime, Bad Religion, The Offspring and Rancid, with popularizing and reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the United States.

Green Day’s three follow-up albums, Insomniac (1995), Nimrod (1997), and Warning (2000) did not achieve the massive success of Dookie, though they were still successful, with Insomniac and Nimrod reaching double platinum and Warning achieving gold status. The band’s rock opera, American Idiot (2004), reignited the band’s popularity with a younger generation, selling six million copies in the U.S. The band’s eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, was released in 2009 and achieved the band’s best chart performance to date. 21st Century Breakdown was followed up by a trilogy of albums called ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!, which were released in September, November and December 2012 respectively.

Green Day has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. The group has won five Grammy Awards: Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, Record of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, Best Rock Album for the second time for 21st Century Breakdown and Best Musical Show Album for American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.

In 2010, a stage adaptation of American Idiot debuted on Broadway. The musical was nominated for three Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design, losing only the first. Also in 2010, Green Day was ranked no. 91 in the VH1 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. On April 18, 2015, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of the 2015 class, in the band’s first year of eligibility.

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Young Hollywood embraces hippie style

Young Hollywood embraces hippie style

Whether she likes it or not, Nicole Richie has become the poster child for boho chic. Inspired by the flower child styles of the late 1960s, it’s fairly easy to capture the earthy, free-spirited look, which is an eclectic mix of hippie, ethnic, and vintage elements. While the style has become synonymous with many other celebs such as the Olsen twins and Sienna Miller, nobody seems to rock it better than Richie. Even while pregnant, the former “Simple Life” star managed to incorporate Bohemian bits into her maternity wardrobe. She simply glowed in her vibrant flowing frocks and pretty headbands.

Now, the groovy fashions are being embraced by a new generation of stars who are attempting to put their spin on a fairly old trend. Let’s see how they compare to Ms. Richie.

Although Miley Cyrus was born about 23 years after Woodstock, she definitely digs hippie chic. From maxi dresses to big boho bags to suede boots, she even has a habit of flashing peace signs at the paparazzi.

Vanessa Hudgens, 21, also considers herself to be somewhat of a hippie chick. As far back as 2007, the “High School Musical” starlet described her personal style to Seventeen as being Bohemian. “I love earthy tones, I love funky things,” she said. “I love it when I see things that are different and funky. That’s really what inspires me.” More recently, the actress, who is often snapped wearing floppy hats, noted that her style alternates between “Bohemian chic” and “rocker chic.”

While Vanessa’s former Disney co-star, Ashley Tisdale, isn’t necessarily known for her flower child flair, she likes to experiment. The 25-year-old told Nylon in April that her style is “all over the place. It’s different every day.” We found a photo of the “Hellcats” actress out and about in LA on an afternoon when she must have been feeling groovy. Love her embroidered peasant top and the funky fringe bag!

Although “Transformers” hottie Isabel Lucas admits she’s a little bit “quirky” when it comes to her style and everything else, she is a nature girl at heart. She told Details that she likes to hike in LA’s Griffith Park because of the “energy of the trees and air,” so it’s no surprise the 25-year-old Aussie has a hippie vibe going on in her closet. From headbands to eyelet shirts like the one in this photo, the free-spirited style really works for her.

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Stephen Hawking changes his view on God

Stephen Hawking changes his view on God

God did not create the universe and the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In “The Grand Design,” co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” Hawking writes.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

Hawking, 68, who won global recognition with his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time,” an account of the origins of the universe, is renowned for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity.

Since 1974, the scientist has worked on marrying the two cornerstones of modern physics — Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which concerns gravity and large-scale phenomena, and quantum theory, which covers subatomic particles.

His latest comments suggest he has broken away from previous views he has expressed on religion. Previously, he wrote that the laws of physics meant it was simply not necessary to believe that God had intervened in the Big Bang.

He wrote in A Brief History … “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.”

In his latest book, he said the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God.

“That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions — the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings,” he writes.

Hawking, who is only able to speak through a computer-generated voice synthesizer, has a neuro muscular dystrophy that has progressed over the years and left him almost completely paralyzed.

He began suffering the disease in his early 20s but went on to establish himself as one of the world’s leading scientific authorities, and has also made guest appearances in “Star Trek” and the cartoons “Futurama” and “The Simpsons.”

Last year he announced he was stepping down as Cambridge University’s Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Newton and one he had held since 1979.

“The Grand Design” is due to go on sale next week.

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Debate over ‘The Last Exorcism’ ending

Debate over 'The Last Exorcism' ending

Some moviegoers are audibly annoyed by the horror film’s final scene. Director’s defense (spoiler alert).

Though the faux-umentary horror flick “The Last Exorcism” raked in a healthy $21 million this past weekend — landing it a hair’s breadth from winning the weekend box office — the movie seems to have royally ticked off a lot of viewers.

“Exorcism” got a strong start on Friday, but apparent toxic word of mouth led to a striking 24% drop in ticket sales by Saturday night. According to the market research firm CinemaScore, audience members gave the “The Last Exorcism” a D.

So what was the problem? Perhaps it’s the film’s jarringly abrupt ending. John Young from EW.com reported that when he saw “Exorcism,” the audience was audibly annoyed when the credits rolled, shouting profanities at the screen.

So what was it about the ending that ticked off so many people? WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS COMING.

The film centers on Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a jaded preacher who does one last exorcism for a documentary crew. The victim, Nell Sweetzer (a very limber Ashley Bell), is either actually possessed by the devil or is suffering from profound psychological issues, which, judging from her rough, remote, and rigid upbringing, wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe.

“Exorcism” starts to get weird during the last ten minutes when Marcus and the documentary crew returns to the Sweetzer farm unannounced. They stumble onto a sort of bizarre ceremony before a massive bonfire. It turns out that the seemingly pious Pastor Manley (Tom Bentley) is actually a Satanist. Laying in front of the congregation, Nell gives birth to a red, spikey demonic creature that the Pastor immediately pitches into the fire.

As Cotton walks towards the fire with cross in hand, the camera crew is discovered. While the producer gets axed, the cameraman, with the camera still rolling, sprints into the woods. Soon enough, however, Nell’s brother and fellow Satanist, Caleb (Caleb Landry Jones) catches and beheads him. The end.

The “Rosemary’s Baby” meets “Blair Witch” ending was so out of left field that a lot of audience members felt blindsided. Many felt that dramatic tension centering on whether Nell was possessed or just crazy imploded in the film’s final ten minutes in a shaky-cam jumble of blood and pentagrams.

“Ultimately it’s not clear what the movie wants to say about the way religious thinking makes people easy prey for hucksters and scam artists,” writes Eugene Novikov of Cinmatical. “I’m also not sure the movie ultimately makes sense.”

But where some saw muddled confusion, others saw admirable ambiguity. “The last thing ‘The Last Exorcism’ needed was a tacked-on denouement that tidied up the plot,” wrote John Young of EW.com. “I left a satisfied customer.”

The director, Daniel Stamm, is unapologetic about the untidiness of his film’s final minutes. “People found the ending too abrupt, but you can’t tie the story up neatly if your photographer is killed. If you and I walked into a devil worshiper mass, we wouldn’t know what was going on. We wouldn’t understand where to point the camera, and who the big boss is. We would never understand it. That to me is the meaning of the ending.”

Related Link: The Last Exorcism on Movies Central

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Paris Hilton arrested on drug charge

Paris Hilton arrested on drug charge

The heiress is taken into custody after police find what they say is a controlled substance.

Smoke wafting from a Cadillac Escalade on the Las Vegas Strip ignited Paris Hilton’s latest legal troubles late Friday, when a motorcycle officer who suspected the smell was marijuana stopped the vehicle and police say a bag of cocaine fell out of the 29-year-old socialite’s purse.

It’s the second time this year Hilton has been arrested on drug possession allegations, although authorities in South Africa dropped marijuana charges earlier this summer. In 2007, Hilton pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

This time, the hotel heiress was with her boyfriend, Las Vegas nightclub mogul Cy Waits, who manages a club inside the Wynn Las Vegas and was driving the black SUV that the officer stopped nearby at 11:22 p.m. Friday.

The officer “followed the vapor trail and the odor of marijuana to the Escalade,” police Sgt. John Sheahan said.

As other police arrived and a crowd gathered on the busy neon-lit Strip, Hilton asked to go into the Wynn resort for privacy, Sheahan said.

“Miss Hilton pulled out a tube of lip balm,” Sheahan said. “At the same time … a bindle of cocaine in a plastic bag came out of her purse” in plain view of police in the room.

Police Officer Marcus Martin characterized the cocaine as a “small amount,” or a package of the size usually associated with personal use. Police would not specify the weight of the cocaine or whether any marijuana was confiscated.

Hilton was arrested on suspicion of felony cocaine possession. If convicted of the low-grade felony, she would get probation, but any violation of that probation would be punishable by up to one to four years in Nevada state prison.

Waits, 34, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in county jail. Police said he owned the 2009 Cadillac.

Hilton and Waits were booked into the Clark County jail, where Sheahan said Hilton was kept handcuffed on a booking room bench, fingerprinted, photographed and released without bail about 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Waits’ lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, said Waits posted $2,000 bail Saturday. Waits was released Saturday afternoon.

Sheahan said Hilton was not taken to a cell and received no special treatment on a busy Friday night and Saturday morning at the jail. He said release without bail was common in such cases.

Hilton, a prolific tweeter, didn’t mention the arrest on her Twitter site, although less than an hour after she was released her account was updated with a posting that said the actress was in bed watching the television show “Family Guy.”

It was unclear if the tweets came from her, were posted by time-release or were sent by someone else. Hilton spokeswoman Dawn Miller wouldn’t comment when reached by an Associated Press reporter Saturday afternoon.

Hilton’s attorney, David Chesnoff, told The Associated Press on Saturday morning that he was still gathering facts about the arrest. “This matter will be dealt with in the courts not in the media and I encourage people not to rush to judgment until all of the facts have been dealt with in a court of law,” Chesnoff said later in a statement. “There will be no interviews and no more comments at this time.”

Schonfeld said he was “troubled by the circumstances” leading to the arrest, but declined to specify his concerns. “As the case proceeds, a lot of facts are going to come to light that will ultimately lead to exoneration,” Schonfeld said.

Court dates for Hilton and Waits were not immediately available. Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined to comment Saturday about the case.

A spokeswoman for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Waits and his twin brother, Jesse, are managing partners of the Tryst Nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas, Drai’s after hours club at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, and XS The Nightclub at Wynn’s Encore resort. A spokeswoman for Harrah’s resorts declined immediate comment.

Earlier this week, Hilton was in the news when a 31-year-old man allegedly tried to break into her Los Angeles home. Authorities have said that someone carrying two big knives banged on Hilton’s window Tuesday. She posted a photo of the arrest on Twitter and described it as “scary.” Nathan Lee Parada faces a felony burglary charge.

Hilton was arrested this summer after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was then dropped at a midnight court hearing.

Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told CNN host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted “to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.”

While most famous for her tabloid exploits and reality TV series “The Simple Life,” Hilton has appeared in the films “Bottoms Up,” “The Hottie & the Nottie” and “House of Wax.”

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