Ali Cinar: "Journalism is best when it aims to have a lasting impact"

Turk of America Senior Diplomatic Journalist Ali Cinar member of the Association Foreign Press Correspondents (AFPC-USA), gave a live tour from the inside of the White House.Cinar is accredited journalist by White House since 2019.

 “I’m just so happy to be here,” Ali Cinar explained as he set up his tripod in preparation for his interview as a foreign correspondent and member of the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in the USA.

Cinar suggested broadcasting live from the White House so members of the AFPC-USA could see how the press covers the president. He even provided us with an impromptu tour. He has been covering the White House for the Turk of America since 2019. “So I was able to cover the last year of the Trump administration, and this year of the Biden [administration],” he explained. 

He stated that both presidents had different approaches to press covering the White House in regards to COVID-19.  “During the Trump administration, because of the [pandemic], it was strict but not that strict,” he explained. “At the beginning, the Biden administration was much more strict about wearing masks. So I’ve been able to compare and see how their systems work.” 

He started his career in journalism in 2002, after spending some time as a marketing representative for fortune 500 companies in Europe and the Middle East.  “When I was a student doing my master’s degree, I was always writing. I started working with a Fortune 500 company, and I still write for them now. Turk of America magazine.”

Cinar has been with Turk of America since its inception in 2002. It is the first and only Turkish magazine in circulation in the United States. “I was a reporter in the beginning … I was writing articles and became a correspondent. I’ve done special interviews with the United Nations senior officials, the New York City mayor, and so on,” he explained. 

Now, Cinar is regarded as a foreign policy expert. He has been featured on various news networks to speak about Turkish-U.S. relations. And Cinar credited his expertise on the subject to the countless hours of reporting he’s put in over the years. “I am always in the field,” Cinar said. He expressed the importance of in-person reporting. “I’m not just sitting at the office and writing articles. I am in the field … I’m talking and attending press briefings every week,” he recalled.

Additionally, Cinar has been able to sit down for interviews with many different representatives. He explained that interviews are essential for gaining an understanding as a journalist. “I’ve had the chance to interview top admirals, generals, and ambassadors. This is a good reference for me to have good interviews and to cover different stories,” he explained. 

According to Cinar, the connections that journalists can make in the field are arguably the most important of your career. As a foreign correspondent with broadcast and print work, Cinar stressed the importance of making connections. “For journalists, we don’t know what’s going to happen next year,” he said. “I might go work with a different publication or agency, but keeping a good network is very important. You build your network. You meet a lot of people, and they see all the hard work that you do.” 

He continued, “When it comes to foreign policy, I have American colleagues that work for CNN, Fox, and others. When it comes to Turkish news, they come to me for developments.” “So it’s really the number one is networking, and number two is opportunities,” he stated. 

For Cinar, the best thing a journalist can have is the desire to have a lasting impact. 

“Making a difference, I think, is the most important part for the journalist. Be the frontrunner, be the first to share the information with the public,” Cinar advised. 


Future of China-U.S. Relations

Turk of America Journalist and Foreign Policy Expert Ali Cinar asked the future of U.S.-China relationship to two distinguished Chinese experts.

Yun Sun is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center.

On US-China relations under Biden, the competitive nature will intensify although acute crisis may not be as imminent as people have portrayed. US is ramping up unilateral and multilateral efforts to counter China's rise, and there is no sign that either side will back off.

As for whether China is a threat- it depends on what US and NATO's end goal is. If we are ok with power sharing with China as is and acknowledge the legitimacy of its political system and the international order it is trying to shape, as well as respect its domestic and foreign practices such as on human rights issues and foreign coercion, then perhaps China is not as big the threat as we'd like to think. In my view, it all depends on how much we can accommodate China as is and allow for China to shape the world we live in. There are fundamentally incompatible elements between what China represents and the U.S. national interests, as well as NATO's founding principles, which inevitably makes China a threat. But whether China is THE threat is subject to debate.

For NATO countries with close ties with China, such as Germany and Turkey, this unfortunately is the reality of international politics- that the globalized world is intertwined and the complex interdependence makes all countries vulnerable. Clearly the answer is not binary- that we side with China and stay quiet or oppose China and pick a fight. The alignment of economic interests does not equate to alignment of political positions. We still have to stand the ground when we believe our political interests are damaged, regardless of whether it is the fate of the Muslim Uyghur population or political interference in our domestic politics. I do not believe it is a binary choice, that we have to abandon our political principles for the sake of economic interests, or vice versa. Countries collide, and negotiate, and find a mutually acceptable solution. That's the norm.

While they started out rocky, in some sense this is a function of President Biden trying to deal with domestic issues first and foremost (COVID; economic recovery; infrastructure investments) ... Not wanting, distract attention from these issues, China was never scheduled to take priority. This idea as reinforced when the border issues with migrants from Central America emerged ... Therefore, the idea seems to be that the best approach was keep a steady course (which meant keep the same tough policy stances as the previous administration).

Scott Rozelle, PhD

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Helen F. Farnsworth Endowed Professorship & Co-director at Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions

Faculty affiliate at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law Stanford University 

In the longer run, the key to creating a true effective China policy is to work closely with the major economies of the world (the EU, UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada) to renegotiate a set of rules that will produce a fairer, common set of trade, investment and other interactions. China is so big, with the exception of the US, it can impose its will on almost any country with its commercial-diplomacy ("treat me nice, I will reward you; cross me, and I will punish you"). Negotiations will be tough, however, as a common set of policies are needed for the Outside-China side (even though countries do have different demands and desires) AND not make the demands of China too strict (or they will back out and the talks will fail). Then the tough part will begin: make sure everyone abides by the rules, including China (unlike many of the WTO policies that they ignored) AND the Rest of the World (that often will have an incentive to strike side-deals with China).

One big issue now is that the US has lost credibility as a reliable partner/leader--after Trump (and double that up with the possibility that he or his version of the Republican Party could win back power in 2024 or the future) ... So this is not going to be easy.
I think one big problem with US-China (Rest of the World-China) relations is that everyone is overestimating the current status of China (they are already a super-power) and the future of China (they have already established themselves as a soon-to-be world leader). China, in fact, is still a middle-income country (see Khor et al. paper in the China Quarterly); it has one of the highest levels of inequality in the world (see work of Gan Li and Xie Yu); according to an OECD metric of human capital (share of labor force that has been to high school), China has one of the lowest levels of human capital in the middle income world (see my book Invisible China); it is a country in which markets are not being used to make key decisions (see work of Barry Naughton); and there are some very basic questions about its ability to innovate in key industries (like silicon chips).

I am not saying that China will not make it (I hope they do if they begin to play fair in IPR, technology, investment and currency/trade), but, this is a positive probability that China will struggle in the coming years.
I do not believe in the long run, that China can hurt the US in the short run, both countries have incentive to keep trading. In the longer run, I believe both countries will be developing their own key industries, so it will rely on their ability to be able to master the technology probably the biggest issues are in fields such as silicon chip manufacturing.Competition (fair and transparent from both sides) with Collaboration in key areas (climate change; global health; etc.) should be the focus. One good step to reduce inflation and improve both sides would be to remove all of the Trump era tariffs.

Eric Adams Opens Wide Lead in NYC Mayoral Race

According to early official election returns based on in-person votes, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is leading in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary for New York City mayor, and one-time frontrunner Andrew Yang conceded after falling to 4th place. However, the final election results will not be released for several weeks or over a month. 

Here are the results as of now:

Democrats: Eric Adams 31.2%, Maya Wiley 22.1% ,Kathryn Garcia 20%,Andrew Yang 11.7%

Republicans: Curtis Silwa 71%, Fernando Mateo:28.2%

Eric Adams gave a 40 minutes speech and said: “I am going to be your mayor. I want you to believe again. Let’s bring our city back.”

A friend of Turkey:

Eric Adams has been to Turkey many times and a close relationship with Turkish American Community. Our magazine has him on the cover page, and Editor in Chief Cemil Ozyurt interviewed with Eric Adams last year, and the coverage was “Will Eric Adams Be Mayor of New York City in 2021?” 

Full Interview:

Eric Adams Biography

Eric Leroy Adams was born in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn on September 1, 1960, the fourth of six children for his mother Dorothy, a house cleaner and cook, and his father Leroy, a butcher. Growing up in a working-class household in South Jamaica, Queens, Eric showed an early interest in computers, but was drawn to public service at the early age of 15 after he and his brother were beaten badly by police officers; the violent encounter would later motivate him to pursue a career in law enforcement, a decision reinforced by mentors like Reverend Herbert Daughtry and Jitu Weusi.

Following a public school journey capped by his graduation from Bayside High School, Eric went on to earn an Associate in Arts degree in data processing from the New York City College of Technology, a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Marist College. Eric paid his way through his collegiate studies through a number of jobs, including work in the mailroom of an accounting firm, as a mechanic, and as a clerk in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

Eric graduated from the New York City Police Academy in 1984 as one of the highest-ranked students in his class. After initially serving with the New York City Transit Police Department, he was transferred to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) with the merging of the city’s police forces. During the course of his 22-year law enforcement career, Eric served in the 94th Precinct (Greenpoint), 88th Precinct (Clinton Hill and Fort Greene), and the 6th Precinct (Greenwich Village and West Village), where he retired at the rank of captain. As a member of New York’s Finest, Eric made the kind of life-and-death decisions that reflect insight, expertise, and poise under fire, earning him a reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty.

In 1995, Eric co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group that rose to nationwide prominence speaking out against police brutality, racial profiling, and departmental diversity. He also served at one time as president of the Grand Council of Guardians, a statewide fraternal society for African-Americans in law enforcement. Through leadership roles in these organizations, Eric helped raise thousands of dollars for worthy causes across New York City.

Eric was elected to the first of four terms in the New York State Senate in 2006, where he represented a diverse range of neighborhoods across brownstone and central Brooklyn. During his tenure in the State Legislature, he chaired both the Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee and the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. In 2013, Brooklynites elected Eric as the first person of color to serve as their borough president; he is currently serving his second term as Brooklyn’s chief executive.

In 2016, Eric was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Having lost vision in his left eye and suffering from nerve damage in his hands and feet, he went against the initial recommendations of his doctors and pursued a whole-food, plant-based diet. Within three months, Eric reversed his diabetes diagnosis, and he has subsequently been able to impact the health of countless New Yorkers facing chronic diseases, including his own mother.

Eric lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where he has resided for more than 20 years. He enjoys biking through his neighborhood, meditating, and exploring new cultures through travel. Eric is the proud father of Jordan, an aspiring filmmaker and graduate of American University.

Biden and Erdogan agreed on Afghanistan

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed in their meeting in Brussels at the beginning of the week that Turkey should take a leading role in securing Kabul International Airport.

Briefing reporters by phone about Biden's meetings in Europe, Sullivan said that Biden and  Erdogan talked in detail about a possible Turkish mission to ensure the airport's security after the Resolute Support Mission ended, and they agreed that they would work together.

Sullivan said that they are developing a plan to implement Turkey's offer for the Kabul International Airport.

"The clear commitment from the leaders established that Turkey would play a leading role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport, and we are now working through how to execute just that," Sulivan said.

Sullivan pointed out that Washington has a plan B in case Turkey is unable to provide security assistance or the assistance is limited.

Last week, a Taliban spokesperson, referring to the 2020 agreement that calls for the withdrawal of US troops, said that Turkey should also respond to the call.

Sullivan added that Biden and Erdogan did not agree on the S400 issue, which is one of the most severe crises between the two countries.


Biden and Putin Met Face-to-Face for the First Time

In their first face-to-face meeting, President Joe Biden and President of Russia Vladimir Putin agreed to restart arms control negotiations and reassign their ambassadors, whom they both had recalled earlier this year.

The meeting, which was held in Villa La Grange, a lakeside town in the Swiss city of Geneva, lasted less than 4 hours. However, Biden's advisers predicted that the session would last much longer.

After the meeting, both leaders held a press conference.

"We agreed to start a dialogue on arms control."

President Biden said that they discussed the details of the next steps of arms control and emphasized that critical infrastructures should not be exposed to such cyberattacks. He added that they talked about cybersecurity for a long time.

"If Navalny dies, the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia."

Noting that Russia's moves regarding cyberattacks have damaged their reputation in the global arena, Biden said that he asked Putin how he would feel if Russia's oil reservoirs were attacked by ransomware. Biden warned that the consequences of the death of Russian opposition leader Navalny could be devastating for Russia.

A new cold war would not serve anyone's interests.

Stating that the last thing Putin would want is a cold war, President Biden emphasized that it is not in anyone's interest to start a new cold war.

Putin: "We had a pragmatic dialogue."

Stating that it is difficult to say whether relations with the US will improve or not, Putin said that there is a "glimmer of hope" to build mutual trust. There was not an invitation to visit from Moscow or Washington.

"We will start consultations in cybersecurity."

The Russian leader indicated that Washington and Moscow would start consultations in cybersecurity and pointed out that most of the cyberattacks against Russia are carried out by the US.

In addition, it was announced at the press conference that both countries would return their ambassadors to their posts.

Here is the  U.S. Media Headlines after the meeting:

•They continued to argue even while easing the tension.

•There were no winners or losers; everything was the same.

•No noteworthy objectives were announced.

•There could be a reduction in nuclear weapons and cyberattacks.

•Time will show how successful the meeting was.

•They both played to internal politics.

Is the Biden Administration ready for a post-Netanyahu?

Journalist Ali Cinar had an interview with Distinguished Experts on the recent developments in Israel. The speaker of the Israeli parliament notified lawmakers today of the opposition’s announcement of a coalition to unseat veteran premier Benjamin Netanyahu. Per Israeli media,the notification will set in motion preparations for a confidence vote in the new government, which will now likely be held on Wednesday or the following Monday.

Dan Arbell, Scholar in Residence, Center for Israel Studies American University

New Government:

It is a historic opportunity, as this new governing coalition (if approved by Knesset) will include for the first time an Islamist Arab party (Ra'am). This can help in bringing down tensions between Arabs and Jews after violence erupted during the last round of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

U.S-Israel Relations:New Era?

After years of tensions between Netanyahu, Obama and Biden, the new govt. can bring to a reset and improved relations with the Biden Administration, airing out differences (over Iran and the Palestinian issue) in private and not in public.

Israeli -Palestine Conflict and Solution

The conflict will be managed but not resolved. Bennett and Lapid agreed to maintain the status quo which means no annexation, limited settlement activity, no negotiations on a two-state solution, continued security coordination and support for economic projects in the West Bank and assisting international humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Director of the New York City Board of Rabbis

“For many years the state of Israel has had extremely close ties especially under the previous Trump administration. With the new Administration coming in to Israel I still feel that overall net net relations will be strong but perhaps a little shift in American approach on geopolitical matters including more of a supporting role that Washington will play with the Palestinians. “

Dov Zakheim(Senior Advisor at CSIS, Fellow at CAN, Former Pentagon Official)

New Government Efforts and U.S-Israel Relations under Biden Administration

There is definitely a prospect for improving relations with the US. The new Government would not be as nakedly partisan as Netanyahu and his ambassador in Washington, Dermer, were. This will help improve relations with Democrats, who control Congress as well as the Executive Branch. Likewise, the new government will be more cautious about settlement expansion and not be as brazen as the Netanyahu governments were.

The new government is far more acceptable to the majority of Jewish Americans, most of whom also happen to be Democrats. Finally, the new government may oppose a new Iran deal, but will cast its opposition in a far less hysterical way than did Bibi and his minions.

Future of Israel and Palestinians Situation

The new government is so broadly based that movement on the peace process will be difficult. On the other hand, the government depends on Arab Israeli support. That means more resources to improve the lives of ordinary Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Also, the government may not eliminate settlement construction but it will be far more restrained and will probably avoid expelling Arab residents from their homes

Positive Atmosphere in Greece

The Greek and Turkish media reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias was held in a sincere atmosphere and that major problematic issues were discussed.
Turkish Foreign Minister  underlined that the Turkey and Greece agreed to 25 items in areas of cooperation to improve bilateral ties and have begun to work on joint action and cooperation on tangible projects such as health and tourism.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the following statement during the press conference "The purpose of today's meeting was to attempt an initial negotiation process and if possible, a gradual normalization of the situation over time."
Turk of America asked Dr George N. Tzogopoulos who is Senior Research Fellow at CIFE regarding latest developments between Greece and Turkey
"Greece and Turkey are demonstrating a kinetic energy in pushing negotiations forward. The relaunch of exploratory talks, the organization of meetings of defense delegations on confidence building measures and the bilateral and multilateral meetings of foreign ministers Dendias and Cavusoglu show that it is in their mutual interest to talk to each other. 
The forthcoming June meeting between PM Mitsotakis and President Erdogan is expected to be the most important  meeting of the two countries’ leaderships for years. I don’t expect breakthroughs because the two countries disagree on many political issues, and they are both aware. But I am hopeful that the meeting between PM Mitsotakis and Erdogan will help Greece and Turkey to find a liturgical way to cooperate on themes such as tourism, COVID-19, trade, investments, the refugee crisis, culture etc. 
The implementation of a positive agenda will perhaps restore some trust that was absent in the last years. In the interim, as long as Turkey is in the process of recalibrating its relations with both the USA and the EU , Greece envisages new synergies.
 The June NATO Summit to be followed by the EU Council will set the way forward. Beyond the general framework, both countries have to make sure that the 2020 crisis will not be replicated by using new instruments, including NATO deconfliction mechanism"

Wendy Sherman:"Productive Discussion in Ankara"

The Biden administration paid their first high-level visit to Ankara. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman arrived in Ankara. Sherman made a statement to the Turkish media and talked about the Erdogan-Biden meeting expected to be held on June 14th. Sherman said, "I believe this summit is very important in terms of emphasizing the positive aspects. The President will express the concerns, especially Turkey's direction in terms of human rights and democracy. Turkey is a strategic and world-renowned power. We are working very closely. We are working together with Turkey for world order and ensuring that every party abides by the global rules regarding Afghanistan and Libya affairs".

'The purchase of S-400s is causing problems within the NATO alliance.'

The US Deputy Secretary stated, "We have offered alternatives for S-400 sanctions imposed on Turkey. Now it's up to Turkey to decide", and added:
"The purchase of S-400s is causing problems within the NATO alliance. We have offered an alternative. Now, they know well what they must do. I hope we will find a common path. This technical detail is not a big thing; it's not political. Turkey is aware of the situation and knows what actions it must take. We have also discussed how these actions will be taken. This will be Turkey's decision."

'The sole purpose of the relations with YPG is to defeat ISIS.'

Sherman said, "The sole purpose of the US-YPG relations is to defeat ISIS."
Explaining the recent Syrian elections and their expectations for the forthcoming term, Sherman said, "Non-genuine elections are not acceptable. We stated that Russians had no intention to participate in the dialogue. This is for democratic elections, but it's for the best interest of Syrian people."

'Business Leaders are seeking predictability for investment.'

Having also talked about economic relations, Sherman explained Washington's view on Turkey. Sherman emphasized human rights and the rule of law and said, "Everybody is talking about a big potential, but businessmen are seeking predictability for cooperation. These are our main areas of concern."
'It's sad to see you withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.'

US Deputy Secretary of State also talked about Washington's view on Ankara: "President's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention has been quite bad for women's rights. We are very saddened; such incidents create concerns."

In addition to Anitkabir, Wendy Sherman visited Turkey's President's Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey AmCham Board Members, Women, and LGBTQ Associations, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,

"Hutchinson: The future for natural gas and LNG is bright!"

LNG Allies will be organizing a "Virtual Meet-and-Greet Turkey-U.S. LNG Interests" on June 1st. Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed  Fred H. Hutchison President & CEO LNG Allies, (The US LNG Association) on the LNG opportunities between U.S. and Turkey
What is your expectation for your upcoming Turkey-U.S. LNG conference?

The event that LNG Allies has arranged with the Turkish Embassy in Washington on June 1 will introduce our members to key energy and trade officials within the Embassy and the Turkish Consulate in Houston, to be briefed by officials in Ankara on the Turkish natural gas market, and for our companies to be able to interact with Turkish counterparts. It is part of a “virtual meet and greet” seminars series we have organized over the past year in markets of interest to the U.S. LNG industry given the difficulty of travel due to Covid.

How do U.S. based LNG companies work with Turkish business? 

Turkey is an important market for U.S. LNG exporters. Over the past 12 months (through March 2021), Turkey was the eighth largest market for U.S. LNG exports globally and the third largest in Europe. LNG Allies and our companies have met regularly with Turkish government officials, regulators, and the Turkish energy industry to share our experiences and encourage closer collaboration. These relationships are strong and getting stronger.

What is your organization expectation from Turkish companies/Turkey?

We expect demand for natural gas in Turkey to continue to increase given Turkish economic growth, as well as government efforts to address climate change and diversify sources of energy supply. The flexibility, reliability, and price competitiveness of U.S. LNG has been appreciated by Turkish companies. So, we anticipate Turkey will be a growth market for our exports. We hope to see Turkish companies sign long-term contracts with U.S. LNG suppliers to further strengthen this relationship.

Where do you see the LNG business in five years?

The future for natural gas and LNG is bright. Even in 2020 — when energy demand dropped globally due to the pandemic — demand for LNG grew by two percent to reach 360 million metric tons (MMT). In five years, global LNG demand is expected to rise to around 420 MMT, and the United States will become the top LNG exporting nation. LNG improves energy security and can provide reliable, low-carbon electricity, generating important baseload power when combined with renewables. While most LNG demand growth will be in Asia, we see opportunities in Europe as well, in particular in Turkey.

Turkish Airlines launches flights to the city of Newark, USA

THY launched flights to Newark Liberty International Airport located in the state of New Jersey. THY will fly to Newark four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays until June 13, 2021. Flights will be scheduled every weekday after June 13, 2021.

Newark, the largest city of the State of New Jersey and one of the closest cities to New York City, will be an alternative transportation line for passengers traveling to New York with the flights initiated by Turkish Airlines.

Passengers will buy a round-trip ticket to Newark with prices starting from $655, including all taxes.

Yahya Üstün (THY Press), Abdülkadir Çay (deputy chief human resources officer), Cenk Öcal (THY New York General Manager), and Reyhan Özgür (New York Consul General) participated in the opening ceremony in the terminal and celebrated the new THY destination.

Newark Liberty Airport :

It is located about 24km southwest of Midtown Manhattan and 97 km northeast of Philadelphia, serving both metropolitan areas. Newark Airport was the first major airport in the United States. Newark Airport, along with JFK and LaGuardia Airports, combine to create the largest airport system in the United States, the 2nd largest in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and largest in the world in terms of total flight operations. In 2019, EWR Airport served 46,336,452 passengers. The word “Liberty” wasn’t added to the airport’s name until 2002. It was added to honor the United Airlines Flight 93 that left from Newark on September 11, 2001 and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after it was hijacked by terrorists.During WW II, the airport was shut down for commercial use and was instead operated by the U.S. Army Air Corps for logistics operations.Newark Airport is the 3rd-largest hub for United Airlines, after Chicago O’Hare and Houston-Intercontinental airports and it also works as a hub for FedEx Express and United Airlines.There are 30 different airlines that service Newark Airport’s three terminals.There are over 65 restaurants, shops, and kiosks inside of airport terminals.

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