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Insular America

Culture US Insular US Travel

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#41 tennyson

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:47 PM

No its not accurate at all. Retinal scanning technology isn't even used much in high security military or intelligence facilities due to cost and its high error rates and as far as I know thier isn't any kind of organized fingerprinting going on at customs stations.
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#42 Hibblette

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 06:35 PM

Mikoto, on Jul 4 2005, 10:23 PM, said:

Mmmm, interesting topic. I'm glad you brought it up.


America was interesting too,† I don't think I had any real concept of distances until I travelled there for two weeks.† :crazy:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


See that's what our European Ancestors realized when they landed in/on the "new world"-and it was overwhelming to them and amazing.

Edited by Hibblette, 04 July 2005 - 06:35 PM.

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#43 gadfly

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 07:15 PM

Quote

...thier isn't any kind of organized fingerprinting going on at customs stations.

There is but I suspect it may have to do with intent.  My friend came to the U.S. and spent 6 hours in interviews, fingerprinting, and photo sessions but he's here on political asylum from an unfriendly to the U.S. middle eastern country.  He thinks this is normal for everybody coming to the U.S. from another country.  I don't think so but didn't try too hard to convince him otherwise.   I also found it interesting to note that his original departure date from his second home country was September 13, 2001.  He waited 2 years after that before he was approved again and the government told him which city he could go to.  He apparently had no choice other than here or stay in Europe.

#44 Themis

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 08:27 PM

I thought I'd read that fingerprinting was becoming the norm entering the US.

There is plenty of poverty right here in the USofA, although one could argue that some of it is self-induced (dropping out of school, teenagers having children, etc...)  Lack of national medical insurance is a factor.  Some huge percentage of bankruptcies is because of medical bills.  Sure it would be nice if nobody anywhere were poor.  I don't know that forgiving debt would accomplish that for Africa, but I can't imagine that the repayment of that debt is doing a lot for US economy anyway, so that's fine with me.  But I'd just as soon conquer poverty at home.

I feel like most of the US is pretty insular.  I remember reading decades ago that Princeton University dropped foreign languages as a requirementy for a bachelor degree and figured a true liberal arts education was dead in this country... I type up deposition summaries here in Nashville and it seems most of those giving statements have never left their home county (not like a UK county, which is like our states; county is the level of govermnent between a state and a town), let alone the state or the country.  The people I meet in this area are much more insular than those I met when I lived in LA.

Why go to Mexico - they're all coming here!!!  (Couldn't help it - of course there are plenty of things to see in Mexico...)

My father was an engineer and we traveled as much as the military - I lived in England in the equivalent of jr. high (now called middle school) and have been mid-Atlantic ever since.  I got to see a lot of Canada doing publicity for Ice Capades.  I've taken guiided tours (the kind that gave you a lot of free time) and traveled independently in a lot of Western Europe.  I kept my passport current even when I couldn't afford to go anywhere.  I love to travel, my French has remained just about adequate and I like to pick up a few basics for wherever I travel.  But I'm the exception.

Distance is a factor.  Length of flights.  Cost of flights.  Hassle of flights post 9/11.  The state of the US Dollar - dismal.  And the vacation thing - Europeans get a LOT more vacation time.  Standard is two weeks up to maybe five years, then three weeks.  Idiot company I'm with doesn't give a third week until after ten years... It's hardly worth the flights for less than two weeks.  Lack of education and curiosity.  Poor education.  Kids today don't seem to know much about this country, let alone others.  Geographic education is pathetic.  Studying another language led to study of the culture of that languages home countries.  No foreign language study, no culture study.

So I'd agree that a large percentage of the country is pretty insular. for geographic, financial, time and educational reasons.

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#45 eloisel

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 09:27 PM

Hold on Sparky.  There are some things you might not realize about America's Aid to Africa, which isn't dependent on entertainment celebrities to get anyone to pay attention.

The United States has already provided $1.4 billion to Africa this year through the United Nations and separately pledged $15 billion to fight AIDS in Africa over the next decade.

The United States supports debt cancellation and is the world leader in terms of African aid.   U.S. senators from Left to Right are supporting the G-8, and Bush's bid to wipe out some $40 to $56 billion worth of the poorest countries' debts.

Bush also called for the settlement of wars in Africa, and said America would train 40,000 African peacekeepers.

Bush called for a $1.2 billion US effort to cut deaths from malaria in Africa by half over five years.

Bush proposed doubling US spending to $400 million on initiatives to promote the education of girls in Africa and said he wanted Congress to approve $55 million over three years to improve legal protections for women in Africa against violence and sexual abuse.

Bush has already trebled aid to Africa since coming to office, and that will double again by 2010.

And, if you want to blame somebody for Africa's plight, you might start with blaming Africa.

P.S.  I'm glad you liked my pretending to be French story.  When I quit pretending to be French, I met the nicest young man who had  studied in the States and wanted to practice his English.  He showed me around Mexico City and all the great stuff in that area.  If you ever get a chance, Mexico City is an awesome place and the people are quite wonderful.

#46 Cardie

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:48 PM

Yes, they are fingerprinting and photographing all non-US citizens who come into this country from Europe and elsewhere).  A recent development, another part of the fallout from 9/11.

http://canberra.usem...0519/epf408.htm

Quote

Developed in response to a congressional mandate, US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) -- an automated entry/exit system -- requires most foreign visitors traveling to the United States to have two fingers scanned by an inkless device and a digital photograph taken by immigration officials upon entry to the United States. The program collects biometric data, such as fingerscans, and biographic information from visitors at U.S. visa-issuing posts worldwide and upon their arrival at and departure from U.S. air, sea and land ports.

In a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) news release, the agency said more than 25 million visitors have been processed through US-VISIT since January 2004 without causing longer wait times. Over 590 criminals or immigration violators have been denied admission to the United States because of US-VISIT, and the program has led to 39 arrests, according to the release.

Notice that 25 million people have been subjected to this procedure, but only 629 have proven to be "undesirables."

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#47 Shoshana

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 03:48 AM

While I'm working I don't have time to travel (in one job, I took 3 vacation days in 7.5 years - because everytime I asked for time off I was turned down - I missed going to Paris with Gareth because of that. I was Not Amused)

Before and after that we've done some traveling - Mexico and Canada, Australia and the UK. Gareth has been alot more places, mostly because his company has sent him to Brazil and SE Asia.

I'd go to Mexico again, but that's kinda nervewracking for me - to get to Mexico from here you go thru Nuevo Laredo - where the Federal Police just recently arrested the whole local police force for corruption and where there's a big drug war is being waged between 2 drug cartels.

Besides... Texans consider Texas to be a whole 'nother country - so my annual trek to Tulsa OK could be considered 'foreign travel' :) And my trips to NYC and San Francisco are to another galaxy entirely!

'shana

Edited by Shoshana, 05 July 2005 - 03:49 AM.


#48 Kosh

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:55 AM

I was in Canada once, for a few hours. We drove across the US when I was twelve. Three days driving to get to Arizona, went out there on a southern route, and came back by a Northern route, so we ended up passing through a lot of states. I slept through Denver. My folks told me that there were clouds below us in the mountains.
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#49 eechick

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 08:31 AM

Has anyone else gone on vacation and the company still expected one to make calls to a customer in Singapore?  I ended up doing that one time. That's why people in the last company where I worked started taking vacations to places with no cell phone access. :)

Edited by eechick, 05 July 2005 - 08:32 AM.


#50 Enkanowen

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 08:33 AM

eechick, on Jul 5 2005, 09:31 AM, said:

Has anyone else gone on vacation and the company still expects one to make calls to a customer in Singapore?  I ended up doing taht one time. That's why people in the last company where I worked started taking vacations to places with no cell phone access. :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'd conveniently forget my cellphone. My dad's customer *always* call his cell no matter what is going on. it's like they are a bunch of helpless infants without him holding their hands lol So my mom hides his cellphone on a regular basis

#51 D'Monix

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 08:51 AM

Shoshana, on Jul 5 2005, 08:48 AM, said:

Besides... Texans consider Texas to be a whole 'nother country - so my annual trek to Tulsa OK could be considered 'foreign travel' :) And my trips to NYC and San Francisco are to another galaxy entirely!

'shana

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Sorry I missed ya this year darlin.

That's the thing of it, youcan go from one portion of the US to another and find that people are so different from each other that they might as well be a different country.

There's so much history of these places, everything has a story it can tell, every state has a different history, different things to see, different people to meet.  And East Coaster has a different worldview than someone from Oklahoma, for example, we get that a lot with visitors here.

We got every kind of terrain imaginable, and then some. forests? check, beaches? check, mountains? check, oplains? check. oceans, massive lakes, rivers? yep yep and yep.

There's a good deal of Americans that have the mindset that if "you don't need it, then don't buy it."  I'm that way, I see no need for a passport in the foreseeable future, so why get one.

Besides, exploring my own country could take a lifetime or more.

#52 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 09:03 AM

Quote

SparkyCola: Africa ISN'T fighting poverty. Rich countries DO fight internal poverty, salvation army, etc.etc. - but Africa is TOO FREAKING POOR and or corrupt- people in power who wanna stay rich and in power to the detriment of millions of starving, dying people.
First off Eloisel is correct on noting the US already gives a massive amount of aid to Africa.  

Now you have just proven why in most cases why reliving the debt in Africa wonít matter one bit.  These countries are run by dictators and other nasty characters who would never redistribute the money they are saving to the people of the country.  Theyíll pocket all that money to get richer or use it to strengthen their own power base.  The same thing can be applied to the humanitarian relief efforts in terms of supplies and monetary aid.

The basic problem with Africa is that the situation isnít going to change as long as these same people remain in charge in many of these countries.  What needs to be done if you really want to help some of these countries is that we need to go into these countries throw these people out of power, stand between the rival factions and keep the rival factions from fighting.  Then help to setup a government that will help these people.  The irony is that many of the celebrities supporting Live 8 were probably liberals who rallied against the military removal of Saddam.  

Just throwing money, reliving debit, and sending them some supplies might make people feel good about themselves and it might help a few people.  On a larger scale though it wonít do enough to matter until these countries get government that are interest in helping the people.  Another reason exists as to why the United States is wary of getting into Africa.  We tried this type of approach when it came to Somalia.  We signed up to a UN peacekeeping and humanitarian relief effort that worked for awhile until it was set upon by the local strongmen.  For our part in the effort we ended up with the Battle of the Black Sea.  That image on CNN of American soldiers being dragged through the streets is going to stick with the US for some time.
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#53 Delvo

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 09:34 AM

The "don't get it if you don't need it" thing reminds me: if only 30% have a passport now, that doesn't say how many have had one before that is now expired, or will have one later whenever they happen to have a use for it. I had one once myself, but it's expired. (That's how I got to Germany, which is where I learned how Americans are treated there.)

#54 Shoshana

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 11:44 AM

D'Monix, on Jul 5 2005, 07:51 AM, said:

Shoshana, on Jul 5 2005, 08:48 AM, said:


Besides... Texans consider Texas to be a whole 'nother country - so my annual trek to Tulsa OK could be considered 'foreign travel' :) And my trips to NYC and San Francisco are to another galaxy entirely!

'shana

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Sorry I missed ya this year darlin.

That's the thing of it, youcan go from one portion of the US to another and find that people are so different from each other that they might as well be a different country.

<snip>

Besides, exploring my own country could take a lifetime or more.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Me'n The Cameras missed you too {{{D'}}} I was hoping you were ok. Photos will be posted


Yup - I'm still lookin forward to seein Alaska and Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and fall in New England. I've seen most of the rest - from Connecticut to Florida, Florida to California and all of the SE states.

'shana

#55 SparkyCola

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 12:37 PM

Why are people taking what i said in such an odd context? :eh:

I never said America didn't give lots of money to Africa- that was not the point i was trying to make :eh:

And as you seem not to know this- tickets to Live 8 cost 50p. That's VERY VERY VERY cheap, for the incredible acts we had in London, you could have easily got £100 or so - but the objet de l'exercise was deliberately NOT about 'throwing money at Africa'. The main and most important of the 3 things G-8 need to do is to MAKE TRADE FAIR, and that means to stop richer countries undercutting poorer countries using subsidies.

The 30 richest countries in the world subsidise their own agricultural industries by $305 billion, compared to the $50.6 billion they pay in aid to poorer countries.

I'm not saying that America does not give plenty in aid to Africa, though incidentally the implication over here is that RELATIVELY i repeat RELATIVELY the US gives not much, and certainly not as much relatively as many other countries. But that is utterly beside the point and irrelevant.

Just to recap on my original point, i'm not sure i can make it clearer but i feel i have to try and separate it from the idea that the US doesn't give enough aid to Africa :unsure:

My point was all to do with the implication that aid should only be given to Africa if first poverty is dealt with internally and only when that's done, or else Live 8 should focus on Global poverty not just Africa. If this point was missed originally, i would ask that you re-read my last post with this in mind, as it may help you understand where i'm coming from. Please do this rather than try to argue against solely this post with arguments already dealt with in my last one.

CJ- Your solution to Africa is extremely invasive, and actually very ironic. Who are we/you guys to go in there and invade their countries because you disagree with the way it's run? And i say ironic because, the terrorists the US fears so much, well, they want to go into your country and overthrow it because they disagree with the way it's...run. Oh, that seems to be the same thing there... I guess all we can do is try and help the best we can. Which is what we're doing. Making Trade Fair is the longer term solution.

SparkyCola

ps- Delvo- Most other countries have passport holder rates of between 50 and 71% of the population, and they have the same expiry considerations.
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#56 Elara

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 01:11 PM

SparkyCola, on Jul 4 2005, 04:57 PM, said:

Well it's a freakin damn shame you haven't got the vacation time or money and your country is too big to travel to Africa- if you think the poverty suffered in G8 and other rich countries compares in any way with that of Africa.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


~.~ hi SparkyCola,

It may be the way this one paragraph reads. It sounds/reads somewhat sarcastic to me, I cannot speak for others. I don't think you meant it to come across that way.
I also don't think that the comments Natolii made about Live 8 were meant the way you appeared to take it to mean, or at least that was the impression I got from both posts, a mis-communictaion. I  may be wrong?

I do wish something could be one about people in poverty, believe me. I spent a short while living homeless in winter (northern US state), I was lucky. Many live this way all the time, many (I don't have the numbers) freeze to death, starve to death, die of disease, etc... all of this in the US. We don't even help our own citizens, but we do send aid to other countries.

Back on the subject. As many have said, US and Canada are huge, thus there is alot to see right here on our own continent. This does not mean that we would not wish to see other countries, but for the vast majority of us, it's out of the question.
Take my situation, where I work I will not get a paid vacation, so if I want to take any time off, I have to save up for it, but I barely make enough money to pay bills (internet is my cheap travel). So to actually take a vacation is out of the realm of possibilities. I have not been on a vacation in 25 years.
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I want a job in HRC's "shadow" cabinet. Good pay, really easy hours, lots of time off. Can't go wrong.

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#57 SparkyCola

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 01:31 PM

Elara is right, i apologise for sounding sarcastic and uh, somewhat terse in my posts about this- it's something i'm very passionate about and i sometimes get carried away :blush:

I didn't mean it to come across like that though, and thank you to Elara for pointing that out. Sorry Natolii :dontgetit:

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#58 Elara

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 02:25 PM

SparkyCola, on Jul 5 2005, 01:31 PM, said:

Elara is right, i apologise for sounding sarcastic and uh, somewhat terse in my posts about this- it's something i'm very passionate about and i sometimes get carried away :blush:

~.~ Always retain that passion. Just remember that with passion, should also come an open, tempered mind, with both, great things can be accomplished.

Quote

I didn't mean it to come across like that though, and thank you to Elara for pointing that out. Sorry Natolii :dontgetit:

Sparky

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


~.~ You are welcome. :)
El
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I want a job in HRC's "shadow" cabinet. Good pay, really easy hours, lots of time off. Can't go wrong.

"You have a fair and valid point here. I've pointed out, numerous times, that the Left's or Democrats always cry "Racist" whenever someone disagrees with them. I failed to realize that the Right or Republicans do the same thing with "Liberal"." ~ LotS

#59 emsparks

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:49 PM

SparkyCola, on Jul 4 2005, 05:57 PM, said:

Quote

This is a reason I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept of Live 8... Africa is not the ONLY place fighting proverty. If you are going to appeal to the world, then fight it on a global scale, TYVM.

Well it's a freakin damn shame you haven't got the vacation time or money and your country is too big to travel to Africa- if you think the poverty suffered in G8 and other rich countries compares in any way with that of Africa.

It may not be the only place fighting poverty- but- what's fundamentally wrong with that statement? Africa ISN'T fighting poverty. Rich countries DO fight internal poverty, salvation army, etc.etc. - but Africa is TOO FREAKING POOR and or corrupt- people in power who wanna stay rich and in power to the detriment of millions of starving, dying people.

You have shelter, food, internet access, clothes, enough money to get by- If you can't see that to a family of Africans dying of AIDS you are a millionnaire, then i urge you to reconsider your view of today's third world.

If you want to stop ALL poverty- where better to start than in Africa?
I'm having difficulty seeing your POV. I'm not rich either, but i'm certainly not dying from lack of money.

You make it sound as though the prospect of helping and saving millions of people's lives would only appeal to the majority of the world if they said 'oh and if you're a little hard up on cash we'll give you a hand too' - to me that indicates selfishness in the extreme and i fail to see your argument.

I appreciate that there ARE people dying of starvation in G8 countries- but like i say- the point is that not only is that nowhere near the scale of Africa- but that they ARE being helped in a very real sense, whereas Africans are being prevented from making progress due to G8 and other such countries' selfish approach to trade, ergo- it is our fault they cannot move forward out of poverty, at LEAST partly- and it is DEFINITELY our responsibility to look after our own.

I timed this message. In the time it took me to write this message, 360 children died in Africa of preventable diseases. 360. If you have children of your own, appreciate the pain and loss of just ONE child dying, how about one every 3 seconds?

SparkyCola

...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



My daughter Natolii, has a big heart, she would, as I have done share her last bit of food, with a needy soul. With all do respect the relative scale of poverty is irrelevant; the issue is what does it take to put food in oneís stomach in a given environment. I cannot help someone else, as needy as they may be if I do not have the strength to go to work, OR a job to go to.

You talk about fair trade, look around you Africaís economic competitor is not the US but China. As a matter of fact the manufacturing base in the United States Has all but disappeared, and the technologic base is being drained off. So in the United States at least there is no industry to protect.

The middle class is shrinking, to the point where the trade and budget deficits have ballooned out of control. You donít get it The United States of America is all ready a debtor nation, and our standard of living is reducing yearly.

So de facto your getting your wish the poverty in the United States is in fact equalizing out with the poverty in the rest of the world, enjoy the ride, itís coming to a town near you.

Edited by emsparks, 05 July 2005 - 04:57 PM.

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#60 Lin731

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 06:01 PM

Quote

I'm not saying that America does not give plenty in aid to Africa, though incidentally the implication over here is that RELATIVELY i repeat RELATIVELY the US gives not much, and certainly not as much relatively as many other countries. But that is utterly beside the point and irrelevant.

If you're not saying that, why did you just say that? AKA:

Quote

the implication over here is that RELATIVELY i repeat RELATIVELY the US gives not much, and certainly not as much relatively as many other countries. But that is utterly beside the point and irrelevant.

If it was "beside the point and irrelevant" than why did you mention it? These are the kinds of perceptions and subtle attitudes that drive American's nuts, for the same reasons we don't travel overseas....We aren't all rich That seems to be a misconception on the part of many people across the globe, who think to be American is to be rich, most of us aren't. Many of us have watched our jobs and standard of living fall sharply in recent years to countries like China (subsidized wages) and India, so when you say things like that comment above, it's gonna rub many here the wrong way. It leaves many Americans feeling like no matter how much we give, it's never "satisfactory" because afterall Americans are all rich. Sorry about the mini rant but that just hit me the wrong way. Now back to the topic.

I don't travel overseas because I can't afford to and we (Americans) as a rule don't get much time off. I've worked at the same place for 7 years, do you know how much vacation time I get? Two weeks. So there's not enough time to do a trip to Europe in that amount of time. I'd love to have the time and money to see the world (or at least parts of it) but I simply don't. The time, money and hassle involved pretty much negates any enjoyment I'd get from it. SO like many other Americans, my family travels around the US (usually a days worth of travel) to some place fun and relaxing. When you get so little vacation time, you want to relax and have fun. Maybe someday when we retire, we'll actually get to go to Europe (Lord knows there are places I'd love to see).
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