Happy Easter 2018!
Celebrate this Easter with a heart filled with love and peace. Have a blessed and wonderful Easter!
Happy Easter 2018!
Celebrate this Easter with a heart filled with love and peace. Have a blessed and wonderful Easter!
On the 12 Days of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…
Tis the season to be jolly
Merry Christmas from RobertChaen.com Team XOXO ❤
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Sawatdee Pii Mai (Laos New Year),
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Thingyan (Myanmar New Year),
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Happy Songkran Day (Thailand Lunar New Year),
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Vishu (Tamil Hindu New Year),
and Good Friday!
5 common myths about the Christmas story, from where and when Jesus was born to who wrote Away in a Manger
Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, but scholars have cast doubt on several parts of the Nativity story, from the number of wise men to the presence of animals at the birth – and authorship of a favourite carol
Jesus is the reason for the season, they say. But despite what Nativity plays and film epics would have us believe, the story of the birth of Jesus is more complicated than many people think.
Between the difficulty in reconciling different versions of the tale and the 2,000 years of popular interpretation and culture layered on top of them, much of what people commonly know about the story of Jesus’ birth, from the date to where it took place, is wildly different from what the Gospels have to say. Here are five common myths about the Nativity.
1. Jesus was born on December 25
The overwhelming majority of Christians mark the birth of Jesus on December 25. But there’s no biblical reason to celebrate Christmas on this particular day.
According to the Gospel of Luke, shepherds were watching their flocks at night at the time Jesus was born. This detail – the only clue in the Gospels about the timing of the birth – suggests that Jesus’ birthday was not in the winter, as shepherds would have been watching their flocks only during the lambing season in the spring. In the colder months, the sheep probably would have been corralled.
As late as the 3rd century, Christians didn’t celebrate the birth of Jesus. The earliest discussion of the birthday is found in the 3rd-century writings of Clement of Alexandria, who raises seven potential dates – none of which correspond to December 25.
The first record of a celebration of the birth of Jesus on December 25 comes from a 4th-century edition of a Roman almanac known as the Philokalia. Alongside the deaths of martyrs, it notes that on December 25, “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea”.
Some have argued that the date of Jesus’ birth was selected to supplant pagan festivals that were held at the same time. But while Pope Julius I set the date of Christmas (for Western Christians) in the 4th century, Christians did not deliberately adapt pagan rituals until the 7th century, when Pope Gregory the Great instructed bishops to celebrate saints’ feast days on the days of pagan festivals.
The real reason for the selection of December 25 seems to have been that it is exactly nine months after March 25, the traditional date of Jesus’ crucifixion (which can be inferred from other dates given in the New Testament). As Christians developed the theological idea that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same date, they set the date of his birth nine months later.
2: Jesus was born in a stable
As depicted in Nativity creches and Renaissance paintings such as Giotto di Bondone’s Nativity scenes and Sandro Botticelli’s The Mystical Nativity, Jesus was born in a simple stable.
Generations of pastors and priests have used this notion as evidence that Jesus had a humble birth. As a theological argument, that’s true, but this particular detail of the story isn’t in the Bible.
Luke 2:7 states that Mary gave birth to Jesus and “laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them at the inn”. This makes it sound as if they couldn’t get a room at a Holiday Inn, but the Greek word kataluma, which is commonly translated as “inn”, doesn’t mean a hotel in any modern sense. (Greek has a different word for a hostel, pandocheion, which Luke uses elsewhere in the parable of the Good Samaritan.)
Clearly, if Luke had wanted to say that Mary and Joseph were turned away from a hotel, he had the vocabulary to do so.
The more likely interpretation, as New Testament scholar Stephen Carlson has argued, is that Joseph and Mary intended to stay with his relatives in Bethlehem and that there wasn’t enough room in the guest quarters, typically located in the upper level of a house, to accommodate an imminent delivery.
So Mary had to give birth elsewhere, most likely in the main room of the house, on the lower floor. There’s no mention of animals being present, but the mention of the manger seems to be what has led to the image of a stable – and many live Nativity scenes featuring farm animals.
3: “Manger” is another word for “stable”
When people talk about a manger scene, or Jesus being born in a manger, or a star shining down on the manger, it’s not clear they always understand that “manger” refers not to a barn but to Jesus’ makeshift crib.
A manger is a trough used to feed animals. The word is derived from the French verb manger, meaning “to eat”. In first-century Judean houses, mangers were found both outside and inside the home, sometimes separating an interior space for people from a space where animals were kept. Thus, in the Nativity story, Mary may have had one at her disposal, despite not being in the immediate vicinity of a stable.
4: Away in a Manger was written by Martin Luther
One of the most well-known Christmas songs is Away in a Manger. It is often considered to be a Protestant carol, because of its traditional attribution to the German reformer Martin Luther.
The first two verses were initially published in the November 1883 issue of the Sailor’s Magazine and Seamen’s Friend under the title Luther’s Cradle Song. The following year a Boston periodical, the Myrtle, also claimed that Luther “composed the … hymn for his children”.
But even though Luther did pen Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her (From heaven above to Earth I come) for his son Hans, there are no texts in Luther’s writings that correspond to Away in a Manger, and there are no documented German versions of the song until 1934.
The carol’s actual origins are probably in 19th-century America. In an exhaustive study published in 1945, musical scholar Richard Hill argued that Away in a Manger might have been composed for a children’s play about Luther celebrating Christmas with his children.
The earliest adaptation of the hymn Hill could find was in the 1885 Little Children’s Book, which mentions neither Luther nor any other author for the song. All of which suggests that the composer of one of the most popular Christmas carols was an anonymous American.
5: Three wise men attended Jesus’ birth
According to the Christmas creche on display in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City, the best-dressed attendees at the birth of Jesus were the three wise men. Often mistaken for kings – think of the Christmas carol We Three Kings – these visitors from the east are described in the Gospel of Matthew with the Greek word magoi, or wise men.
Nothing about the story’s language suggests that these visitors were monarchs or even that they were three in number. People commonly think there were three because of the gifts enumerated in the Gospel of Matthew: we are told that they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, but there could as easily have been two, four or eight wise men as three.
There’s also no indication that the wise men visited Jesus as he lay in the manger, as is often shown on Christmas cards.
When King Herod anxiously meets them in Matthew 2:16, he thinks his reign might be threatened by the child they’ve come to visit, so he orders all boys two years old and younger slain. Thus Jesus could have been as old as two – a walking, talking toddler – when the wise men arrived.
The Washington Post
This is an excerpt from Professor James Chin (University of Tasmania) shocking, eye-opening insights in his article which our readers should know:
Malaysia: Clear and present danger from the Islamic State
“Two weeks ago, an internal Malaysian police memo was leaked to the media. The leak came after Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he and several other Malaysian leaders were on the IS hit list. The memo gave details of a November 15th meeting between the militant groups Abu Sayyaf, the Islamic State (IS), and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in Sulu, the southern Muslim-majority part of the Philippines.
Attendees passed several resolutions at the meeting, including regarding mounting attacks in Malaysia, in particular Kuala Lumpur and Sabah in eastern Malaysia. The report mentioned that 8 Abu Sayyaf and IS suicide bombers were already on the ground in Sabah, while another 10 were in Kuala Lumpur.
While the news shocked many Malaysians and foreigners living in Malaysia, for Malaysia watchers, it was nothing new. There is general consensus in Malaysian security and intelligence circles that IS and home-grown Islamic radicals are planning a terrorist attack in Malaysia.
For the past two years, in fact, Malaysia’s security services managed to disrupt at least 4 major bombing attempts. Their targets are mainly symbolic, such as beer factories and government buildings. Others were senior political figures and tycoons to be held for ransom and propaganda. IS regards the Malaysian government (and neighboring Indonesia) as un-Islamic and a pawn of the West.
While the Malaysian government is lucky that its intelligence services are on top of the situation, there are recent signs that they may be overwhelmed by the scale of the threat and the number of operatives involved.
Malaysia has a population of about 31 million, and 60% are Sunni Muslims. There are approximately 200-250 IS fighters from Malaysia in the Middle East. Contrast this with Indonesia, with a Muslim population of 300 million, and yet there are less than 400 IS fighters from Indonesia. This imbalance alone gives a clear indication of the scale of the problem Malaysia faces.
Even so, at the top of the Malaysian government, other than occasional statements condemning IS terrorism, officials do not seem to be able or willing to confront the root causes of the rise of IS in Malaysia.
In an influential essay published in April this year, Brookings scholar Joseph Liow laid out clearly the reasons for the rise of IS in Malaysia: the politicization of Islam by the state. In particular, both the ruling UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) party and its main opponent, PAS (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) use political Islam as their weapon of choice.
The use of political Islam is a deliberate move by a group of committed Islamists hidden in the highest level of the Malaysian state and bureaucracy to create a Malay-Islamic state, not a mere theocratic state. This ideology is unique and separate from the caliphate project pursued by IS.
In the Malaysian version of the Malay-Islamic state, Sunni Islam’s supremacy is indivisible from ethnicity, i.e. the Malay race. In other words, the unique Malaysian brand of Sunni Islamic supremacy is fused with intolerant Malay nationalism. This highly committed group is trying to build the world’s only Islamic state where Islam and one particular ethnic group are one and the same.
Outsiders, including Muslims from other parts of the Sunni world, will find this development hard to understand as orthodox Islam rejects the notion of race or racism.
In Malaysia, according to the proponents of ethno-religious nationalism, the Malaysian brand of Sunni Islam is unique. An example of these exclusion tactics is the issue over the usage of ‘Allah’. Despite clear and unequivocal evidence that the word ‘Allah’ can be used freely by all, the Malaysian religious establishment has claimed exclusive copyright over the word ‘Allah’ and codified into law a proscription that only Muslims can use ‘Allah’ and another half-a-dozen words.
Who are members of this group pushing for the Malay-Islamic state? The obvious candidates are JAKIM (Malaysian Islamic Development Department), a department under the prime minister’s office, and its state-level version. JAKIM is a government department tasked with defining, to the minuscule detail, what being a Sunni Muslim means in Malaysia, not only in theological terms but also in practical terms, like how to dress and what types of behavior are halal (permissible) or haram.
JAKIM, established during the era of Mahathir, prime minister from 1981 to 2003, is so powerful now that even senior UMNO leaders do not dare to confront it. Anyone who questions JAKIM is threatened with sedition. JAKIM threatened a former MP from UMNO with sedition. The son of a deputy prime minister, he had called for the departmental group to be disbanded. Police investigated a well-known lawyer for sedition after he tweeted, “Jakim is promoting extremism every Friday. Govt needs to address that if serious about extremism in Malaysia.” JAKIM writes all Friday sermons for delivery nationwide, and in recent years these sermons have tried to demonize Shiites, Christians and Jews.
JAKIM’s annual budget is about MYR 1 billion, paid for by Muslim and non-Muslim taxpayers. Yet JAKIM is largely unaccountable to anyone.
Progressive Malaysian Muslims fear the label of being branded anti-Islamic for questioning the work of JAKIM. Others shy away from criticizing JAKIM for fear of being charged with sedition.
Another government department promoting ethno-religious hate and intolerance is Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau, or simply BTN). Like JAKIM, BTN is also under the authority of the PM’s office. Officially, BTN is supposed to nurture the spirit of patriotism. While many of its programs do promote patriotism among Malaysian youth, others promote racism toward non-Malays and filter their message to selected groups of Malay participants.
The BTN teaches these Malay participants that the Malaysian Chinese (and non-Malays generally) are like “Jews” and that Malays must be politically supreme at all times. A recent exposé of internal BTN documents showed that BTN trainers were told to teach that racism is “good” if it promotes Malay unity. It even suggested that racism originated from the Islamic concept of asabiyyah, a positive idea that centered on brotherhood and formed social solidarity in historical Muslim civilizations.
While it is obvious that JAKIM, BTN, and similar bodies, do not officially support IS’s caliphate project or its murderous ideology, their promotion of a uniquely narrow Malay-Islamic worldview indirectly supports and complements the IS brand of intolerance.
Many young Malays at the primary and high school level in the Malaysian school system are steeped in a view of Malay Islam that resonates with the IS worldview that there is an “us-versus-them” world order. Malaysian Muslims find IS’s ideology easy to accept, having grown up with a state-sanctioned view of intolerance towards non-Malay Muslims.
Is it any wonder that in a recent PEW poll, 11% of Malaysian Muslims had a “favorable” view of IS? What is even more interesting is that in Southeast Asia, Malaysian Muslims are more likely than Indonesian Muslims to consider suicide bombing justifiable (18% versus 7%).
If we make inferences from this context, there are two clear conclusions. First, there is going to be an IS attack in Malaysia – not if, but WHEN. The number of IS supporters in Malaysia has reached a critical mass: a Malaysian minister (Minister Liow Tiong) revealed a few days ago there are approximately 50,000 IS supporters in Malaysia (based on police intelligence estimates). Coupled with returning IS fighters from Syria and Iraq, this broad-based support means that one of their attacks will succeed.
Second, support for IS and intolerant Islam is growing in Malaysia due to the deliberate policies of government bodies such as JAKIM and BTN, whose worldview is increasingly becoming even more influential than that promulgated by elected political leaders. The situation can only get worse until the top UMNO leaders rein in JAKIM and similar bodies.
If the government waits for a successful attack before undertaking any serious action, it will simply be too late.”
Excerpt by Professor James Chin, Director, Asia Institute, University of Tasmania
Opinion | December 16, 2015
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Share this if you care about the FUTURE of Malaysia, and the World.
The World is watching.
I had the honor to interact and hear Professor James Chin’s insightful talks at the 13th General Election Conference organized by UNIRAZAK on 8 & 9 June 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.
The authorities who have little integrity and political will, are too caught up in fighting for their survival, with their self-destructive, selfish interests. Meanwhile professional Malaysia observers, Transparency International, and the media heads from around the world can see through and are deeply alarmed that unchecked islamofascism, IS, intolerant Islam, extremism, hypocrisy, corruption, tyranny, the destruction of check and balance, religious and racial disharmony are slipping through the huge cracks in the very foundation pillars of the Malaysian society.
Islamofascism and IS are also used as a distraction from the corruption and the recent US Department of Justice forfeiture suits, observers say. “Malaysians have been defrauded on a massive scale” said Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the FBI.
Even President Obama felt the need to pay an unprecedented two visits to Malaysia in 2014 and 2015, the first serving American leader to visit since 1966, for bilateral talks and to directly check on the worsening situations and to have face-to-face town hall sessions to instill direct and indirect positive messages. This has invariably brought the world’s attention on Malaysia.
The good news is this indicates how important is Malaysia to the World, and for Malaysia to reform back to local and international stability.
“In 2014, the Global Terrorism Index reported that the main driver of terrorism was religious extremism”, according to Mariam Mokhtar. “In 2013, deaths from terrorist activity, rose by 60 percent to 18,000. The report blamed the killings on the rise of Islamist groups like Islamic State (IS), Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda in countries like Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Our leaders have failed to show leadership. They don’t condemn the radicalisation of Muslim youths. In the home state of the PM, the Pahang mufti, Abdul Rahman Osman, has urged Muslims to slay ‘kafir harbi’”, said Mariam.
The estimated 50,000 IS supporters is a big Wake Up call for Malaysia.
But Malaysia is still in deep denial.
Even though more are choosing not to ignore the ballooning elephant in the room.
On 12.08.2014, I had a premonition. I had a vision that there will be 3 terrorist attacks in Malaysia – not one. I’ve been praying for Malaysia ever since.
Be the positive change you want to see in the world.
Let’s pray for Malaysia, and the World.
As much as progressive people like our international readers try to bring awareness about the dangers of extremist & intolerant Islam, but will a Wake-up Call prevent KARMA from taking its course.
Will Karma bring this and other countries down to their knees.
Share this if you care about the FUTURE of Malaysia, and the World.
The World is watching.
Please complete this international survey POLL:
This poll is mainly for local or overseas Malaysians, and non-Malaysians are welcome to vote too.
By Robert Chaen
fb.com/ Saving 72 Virgins
Thank you for completing the Poll.
A Message to Local Malaysians:
To those who voted that they want to leave Malaysia in the next 3 years, let me share with you that…
The grass is not necessary greener on the other side.
Even though the grass always seem to LOOK greener on the other side.
I have first hand experience as I’m an overseas Malaysian. I’ve studied, lived and worked in Australia, Hong Kong, China, and USA. The rental of a 400 sq. ft. apartment in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong is HK$16,000 pm. The home and office carpark rents can be more than half of the apartment rent. The rental in HK is already half of your salary.
Yes, there are quite a few ugly, intolerant extremist Malaysians and keyboard trolls who threaten to kill you, your mother, your children, who will rudely insult you to go back to China (so far there are already 10+ censored vulgar insults at me, and all sorts of intolerant name calling from this Facebook article posting alone!). Have a great sense of humor. Don’t waste your time to respond, or let such racist comments from online strangers bother you.
“When you speak the TRUTH and LOVE, there’s absolutely nothing to fear!
You are protected by Angels. The Truth will be in the head and mind of your haters.
Eventually the Truth will set them free.” ~ Whisperer Robert Chaen
Similar to the late Lee Kuan Yew, a fourth-generation Singaporean of Hakka and Chinese Peranakan descent, my proud Hakka and Chinese Peranakan ancestry lineage in Malaysia is longer than say Tun Dr. Mahathir’s Kerala Mamak lineage – originated from the bygone “Tsang Sing” Village in old Guangzhou, China.
Of course, if you’ve never worked overseas, I would encourage you to expose your experience by working for a MNCs and also by travelling internationally. I’m grateful that my passion and businesses allow me to travel internationally, and last month I have coached in Maldives (a 100% Muslim audience) and Philippines (a 100% Christian audience) with rave reviews – so you can’t accuse me of being islamophobic or christophobic.
If you are a poor Malaysian as someone commented in the poll, the opportunities are actually better now than say 20 years ago in 1996. Make a decision today. Decisions are the biggest agents of change. Focus on the positive, trust the Universe, be open, and you’ll attract great opportunities beyond your imagination.
A Message to Overseas Malaysians:
To those who voted to come back to Malaysia within the next 3-5 years, or who want to retire in Malaysia, I give you an advance warm welcome.
I acknowledge the initial results of the above poll indicate an overwhelming 92% have a general pessimistic view of Malaysia for the next 3 years, while 8% have a general optimistic view of Malaysia.
This widespread pessimism is not new for the longest time as we all know the policies are biased and unfair, but we’ve learnt to live around it as a minority race.
The truth is like many families, my realistic working-class parents (my mum was a housewife) advised me not to return to Malaysia because they saw “no future” in Malaysia. Two of my brothers studied overseas and are living in overseas. One other brother who is mentally challenged lives with my Mum. My Dad crossed over last year.
After a successful and lucrative career overseas, against the advice of my peers, I came back to Malaysia to open a Branch. I wanted to give back to Malaysia and transfer my expertise. As you grow older, some values are much more important than status, money, comfort, and freedom in living overseas. Values of compassion, truth, love, integrity, giving back, and knowledge transfer are the most important to me.
To the 1 million+ Malaysians who choose to live overseas, I inspire you to give back to Malaysia somehow. At least make sure you vote from overseas. Your contribution and vote really matters for the future of Malaysia.
A Message to Jihadists, Extremists and Potential Terrorists:
To those 3 who voted in this poll that they support islamofascism, extremism, and intolerance as justifiable in defense of islam, the 18% of Malaysian Muslims who consider suicide bombing justifiable, the 50,000 Malaysian Muslim IS supporters , and potential terrorists, I pray that one day something will touch your heart to shift you from judgment and intolerance to acceptance, and come out of your Dark Side negative mindset.
Talk to us. You are actually our cousins so to speak DNA-wise.
We have families and loved ones like you.
Don’t try to change others and governments through violence, revenge, and hatredness, and forcing your religion onto others.
Religion comes from the HEART.
If you must force, then it is not a religion from the heart.
“If you must kill, control, punish, police, and force your religion onto others, then
you are blinded from your religion, truth, love, free will, and God.”
You and I want the same thing.
We want to live a peaceful life in our own birthplace with dreams,
opportunities, equality, fairness, respect, and community harmony.
We are not your enemy.
Your enemy and our enemies are poverty, sickness, bias, intolerance,
extremism, destruction, corruption, crime, violence, rape, killing, war, evil…
We want to live. We don’t want to die.
If you want to die, kill, or harm, please get help NOW.
Talk to someone, or Befrienders.org
“If you want to be a suicide bomber, my words and I will be constantly be inside your head and mind.
Because you know deep down in your heart what love and truth is.”
~ Robert Chaen
But we hope you’ll live side by side and build Malaysia with us – in love, not war.
To L-I-V-E is to live opposite of E-V-I-L and to transform your Dark Side.
Change start with you and me.
Be the solution, not the problem.
You can ACCEPT anyone even if you don’t AGREE with them, or their faith.
Judgment is when you think the other is wrong.
Judgment is the biggest social problem in the world today (think about it).
Peace and love to you, our Muslim bro & sis. 🙂
There is no such thing as 100% Pure Race.
We are all COUSINS!
Watch this truly inspiring video about “You probably have some % of your Ethnicity DNA Genes of the RACE & RELIGION you hate! The DNA Journey > https://robertchaen.com/2016/07/12/18619/
Brenda, the Love Angel whispered to me to write this direct message – that someone reading this will change his heart from the Dark Side of a Jihadist and turn to The Light, God.
If one Lost Sheep, a Lost Soul gets enlightened, the Angels will rejoice!
Published on 7 July 2016.
Updated on 9 September 2017.
The views, opinions, conclusions and recommendations of any RobertChaen.com publication are solely those of its author(s), and do not reflect the views of this website or companies associated with Robert Chaen, its management, the global ChangeU Alumni, or its other consultants and associates.
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If I learned one lesson from my time with the CIA, it is this: Everybody believes they are the good guy
Watch very interesting video >
AMARYLLIS FOX – FORMER UNDERCOVER CIA OFFICER
Lessons from life undercover
“I was an officer with the CIA Clandestine Service and worked undercover on counterterrorism and intelligence all around the world for almost 10 years. The conversation that’s going on in the United States right now about ISIS and about the United States overseas is more oversimplified than ever.
Ask most American whether ISIS poses an existential threat to this country and they’ll say yes. That’s where the conversation stops. If you’re walking down the street in Iraq or Syria and ask anybody why America dropped bomb, you get: “They were waging war on Islam.”
And you walk in America and you ask why were we attacked on 9/11, and you get:”They hate us because we’re free.”
Those are stories, manufactured by a really small number of people on both sides who amass a great deal of power and wealth by convincing the rest of us to keep killing each other. I think the question we need to be asking, as Americans examining our foreign policy, is whether or not we’re pouring kerosene on a candle.
The only real way to disarm your enemy is to listen to them. If you hear them out, if you’re brave enough to really listen to their story, you can see that more often than not, you might have made some of the same choices, if you’d lived their life instead of yours.
An Al Qaeda fighter made a point once during a debriefing. He said all these movies that America makes, like Independence Day and Hunger Games and Star Wars, they’re all about a small, scrappy band of rebels who will do anything in their power with the limited resources available to them to expel an outside, technologically advanced invader.
And what you don’t realize, he said, is that to us, to the rest of the world, you are the empire, and we are Luke and Han. You are the aliens and we are Will Smith.
But the truth is when you talk to the people who are really fighting on the ground, on both sides, and ask them why they’re there, they answer with hopes for their children, specific policies that they think are cruel or unfair.
And while it may be easier to dismiss your enemy as evil, hearing them out on policy concerns is actually an amazing thing. Because as long as your enemy is a subhuman psychopath that’s going to attack you no matter what you do, this never ends. But if your enemy is a policy, however complicated, that we can work with.
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