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President Obama Take Steps to Block Chip Maker Acquisition by Chinese Company

On Friday, President Barrack Obama moved to block a deal by a Chinese company to acquire a German based high-tech business due to national security grounds. This is an unusual step that might make for more tensions between Donald Trump, his successor, and the government of China that is determined to make its capabilities in technology better. The intervention in the bid by the Chinese company to acquire Aixtron a semiconductor company in Germany comes after companies in China have dished out billions of dollars to buy technology both in the U.S.... 
 

GoPro Planning to Cut 200 Jobs

GoPro, the maker of action cameras made to be worn on the body that have become the favorites of thrill-seekers, athletes and anyone who wants to take a video of almost anything, has said that it would eliminate up to 200 jobs in order to keep its costs down. The CFO at GoPro Brian McGee announced during a webcast that the company would cut its overall workforce by approximately 15% or close to 200 of its full time workers and would also reduce the number of contractors it uses. GoPro will eliminate the entertainment unit it has as well. McGee said... 
 

Early Data from Cyber Monday Shows Sales Increasing Over 9%

While a steady stream of customers have been keeping retailers busy for a number of days thanks to discounts from holiday promotions, shoppers still took to Internet in large numbers for Cyber Monday. Early data shows that sales online for Monday November 28 were more than 9% higher than for Cyber Monday of last year. As of early Monday, over $540 million already had been spent for purchases online, according to tracking firm Adobe, whose software operates under many websites of retailers. While this special shopping day had reigned supreme for... 
 

Retailers Anticipating Strong Support for Small Business Saturday

The better known of the two may be Black Friday due to its huge deals but Small Business Saturday is a shopping day that puts its emphasis on community. Sponsored by American Express, Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving and focuses on supporting the small, local businesses in communities around the country. Small businesses that have been regular participants in the event said they have seen sales as well as foot traffic increase every year. Many small retailers around the country expect between 40% and 50%... 
 

Eli Lilly Alzheimer’s Drug Does Not Pass the Test

A large clinical trial for a drug that treats dementia that is caused by Alzheimer’s ended for Eli Lilly in failure after the people receiving the drug did not show significant improvements compared to those who took a placebo. The failure of this drug, which showed great promise in results from earlier studies, is looked at as a big setback, but not an end of the hopes for fighting the disabling disease. U.S. pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly said on Wednesday that its Phase 3 trial of solzanezumab had not progressed as was planned. The company... 
 

Disney to Build Larger Hong Kong Kingdom

Walt Disney Co. will turn to The Avengers and Frozen to revive its theme park – Hong Kong Disneyland. On Tuesday, the U.S. company unveiled its plans for an expansion worth $1.4 billion for the park, which currently is its smallest theme park. New attractions will open almost every year starting in 2018 and through 2023, including areas with Marvel Comics themes, Frozen, a new venue for entertainment and a larger castle. Overall attractions at the park will increase from 110 to over 130 once the complete upgrade has been finished. Disney is... 
 

DraftKings and FanDuel Finally Will Merge

The two giants of daily fantasy sports DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to a merger following a tumultuous year where both saw their market value plunge as a number of attorneys general brought up questions about the legality of the games they promote in their individual states. The merger needs approval of regulators and is one that will take some time. Both companies said they were expecting the deal to close during the second six months of 2017. While waiting for the closing, the two companies will remain operating under their prior brands. This... 
 

European Union Car Sales in October Ended Flat

The new car market across the European Union was flat during October as demand dropped in the two largest countries of the bloc reported the Automobile Manufacturers Association or ACEA on Thursday. Total sales in the EU slightly exceeded 1.1 million, showed a statement released by the trade group that is based in Brussels, Belgium. That figure represented a slight drop of 0.02% in comparison to sales during October of 2015. In Germany, which is the largest car market in all of the EU, sales were down by over 5.6% finishing the month of October... 
 

Vodafone Takes Charge of $5 Billion Due to India Price War

Vodafone the telecoms group posted a net loss for the first six months of 2016 of €5 billion equal to $5.5 billion Tuesday after it wrote down its Indian business by $5 billion because of a price war starting due to a powerful rival entering the market. CEO Vittorio Colao announced that an improvement in markets across Europe was slightly ahead of company expectations with Germany and Italy leading the way, but competition intensified in India and would affect its cash flow there. The three largest telecoms in India’s mobile market are led by... 
 

Regulator in U.S. Opens Audi Investigation

A government regulator in the U.S. started an investigation of Audi, owned by Volkswagen, over the reported discovery of new software designed to cheat emissions, without saying who the source was of their information. A week ago, a weekly paper in Germany said that CARB or the California Air Resources Board had discovered this past summer software designed to cheat in an Audi automatic transmission, which is not related to the software device that triggered a diesel emission scandal last year at Audi parent VW. It was reported that the software... 
 

Disney Net Income Increases 10%, Revenue Falls Due to ESPN

On Thursday, Walt Disney Co posted fourth quarter fiscal net income that increased by 10%, as its gains in the movie business and fewer taxes offset dropping revenue at its consumer products and cable networks units. Net income during the quarter reached $1.8 billion, which was up from one year ago of $1.6 billion. Per share earnings, after making adjustments for certain items reached $1.10, which came up short of the estimated $1.16 by Wall Street analysts. Revenue was down 3% ending the quarter at just over $13.1 billion. Fiscal 2016 resulted... 
 

CVS Says Prescriptions Shifting, Shares Plummet on Warning

The largest drugstore chain in the U.S. warned it could lose over 40 million prescriptions in 2017 as deals have been signed by Walgreens Boot Alliance with other participants that have shut CVS pharmacies out of the drug supply chain. CVS, which pioneered a new business model putting insurance and close to 9,700 pharmacies under one roof, lowered its outlook for profit for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017. CVS shares plunged 13% in early trading on Tuesday. CEO Larry Merlo announced that two partnerships recently signed by Walgreens with health... 
 

Google Capital Has Stake in Snapchat

Google’s parent Alphabet Inc now has a share of Snapchat. Google Capital, one of two venture capital companies of Alphabet quietly added a stake in Snapchat to its investments on Friday. There were few details provided by the company in the way of timing, reasoning or the size of the investment in Snapchat that was made by Google Capital. A spokesperson at Google confirmed Snapchat was one of the companies in the portfolio of Google Capital, but would not comment any further than confirming the stake. A Snapchat spokesperson said the company... 
 

Air France to Launch No-Frills Airline For U.S. and Asia

Air France-KLM the Franco-Dutch carrier operator is planning to launch a medium- and long-haul airline, which could tap into a lucrative market that serves cities across the U.S. as well as Asia to regain market share that was lost to growing low cost competition and carriers in the Middle East. The new low cost airline will begin flying routes into Asia during the winter of 2017 and will take some of the less profitable service of Air France and operate them with lower salaried staff, said the company Thursday. The new business would transfer pilots... 
 

Pfizer Misses Forecasts Net Income Plummets

U.S. based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer saw its profit for the third quarter plummet over 38% as bigger spending and large charges related to its acquisitions were able to more than offset its higher sales. The U.S. drug maker’s mediocre quarterly results missed expectations on Wall Street and it lowered its profit forecast on the top end for 2016. Pfizer also said it would scrap the developing of an experimental drug for cholesterol that has been highly touted. Following the announcement by Pfizer on September 26 that it would split into two separate... 
 

Exxon Issues Warning on Reserves After Posting Drop in Profit

On Friday, Exxon Mobil Corp issued a warning that it could be forced to end close to 20% of its future gas and oil prospects as it yields to the steep decline in energy prices around the world. Under an investigation by New York state and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over accounting practices as well as the impact of future regulations for climate change on its business, Exxon disclosed that close to 4.6 billion barrels of crude in its own reserves, for the most part in Canada, might be too expensive to drill. Exxon faces... 
 

Barclay’s Posts Jump of 35% in Profit

Barclays Plc announced that profit increased by 35% during its third quarter, thanks to revenue in its fixed-income trading surging to the highest it has been in over two years. Profit prior to taxes reached £837 million or $1.02 billion from last year during the same period of £619 million, said the lender based in London via a Thursday prepared statement. Excluding one-off items, profit reached £1.7 billion beating the estimate by analysts of £1.53 billion. These results might help CEO Jes Staley convince bank investors of holding onto an... 
 

Merck Posts Rise in Both Revenue and Profit

Merck & Co posted an increase in both its revenue as well as profit as its closely watched treatment for cancer and its vaccines boosted its results. Shares were up 2.5% during trading before the bell as the company’s results beat expectations on Wall Street. Pharmaceutical revenue during the third quarter was up 5.8% ending at $9.44 billion, boosted from growth in its cardiovascular drugs, oncology, vaccines and acute care in hospitals. Keytruda a drug for cancer posted $356 million in sales during the just ended quarter, in comparison to... 
 

McDonald’s Sales in U.S. Increase Amidst Competition

McDonald’s Corp has kept its turnaround on the right track during its most recent quarter despite an increase in competition across the U.S. The burger chain was aided by its all-day breakfast, its McPick value promotions and its Chicken McNuggets containing simpler ingredients, said company officials on Friday. U.S. restaurant sales at established locations increased 1.3% amidst softness across the industry that was partly blamed by executives on lower prices at the supermarket that helped to encouraged a certain number of diners to cook meals... 
 

Roche Sees Sales Increase Thanks to Cancer Treatments

Roche Holding AG announced that sales increased during its third quarter due to strong growth in several of its immunotherapy and cancer drugs. The healthcare behemoth based in Basel, Switzerland announced revenue had grown by 4.5% for the three-month period ending September 30 to just over 12.48 billion Swiss francs or $12.6 billion. That figure was just less than forecasts by analysts of 12.54 billion francs. Taking into consideration fluctuations in currency, sales were up 3%. Roche does not post figures for profit during its quarterly reporting... 
 

Johnson & Johnson Helped Again by Its Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical business of Johnson & Johnson was able to help the company lift its low end of guidance and post results that were better than had been anticipated for the most recent quarter, as it continues to help the company’s top line. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, now is expecting its earnings per share to be between $6.68 and $6.73 for the year in comparison to its previous annual guidance of $6.63 for the bottom. It confirmed its forecast for revenue of between $71.5 billion and $72.2 billion. CEO Alex Gorsky announced... 
 

U.S. Lifts Limits on Imports of Cuban Alcohol and Cigars

For a number of decades, Cuban cigars have been renowned for their intense flavor and difficulty in being obtained. The decade’s long embargo by the U.S. against Cuba has prevented Americans from returning with Cuban cigars, even if purchased while in other countries. Two years ago, limits were eased, but those returning could only bring back $100 worth of cigars. After the embargo became law in 1962, agents with U.S. customs began seizing cigars they were able to find in bags of travelers, calling it contraband. Some agents went as far as tearing... 
 

Report: Uber Dominates Ride Market in U.S.

Wednesday report indicated that Uber has in effect won the market war across the U.S. for ride-hailing although its biggest competitor Lyft continues to gain more market share. Uber is the dominant force in every city in the U.S. where it is present, said a lead analyst on Wall Street from the company that reviewed purchasing data from credit cards from more than 2.5 million consumers in the U.S. and usage of mobile-apps from over 50 million mobile devices worldwide. In the hometown of the startup, San Francisco, Uber holds a market share of 71%... 
 

Coca Cola Acquiring Former SABMiller Africa Bottling Stake

Coca-Cola Co. on Monday announced that it would be exercising a clause of change of control, which gives it the right to acquire the former interest of SABMiller in Coca-Cola’s largest bottling company in Africa. This move takes place after Anheuser-Busch InBev on Monday closed on its SABMiller acquisition creating a behemoth in the beer industry with a huge footprint in Africa. As of the latter part of August, SABMiller held a stake of 54% in the bottling company Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, which handles 40% of the distribution of Coke volumes... 
 

Theranos Closing Labs and Cutting Jobs

Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes said late on Wednesday that the business would close its labs and its testing centers for Walgreens. The letter, which was posted on the website of the company, was an epitaph for the business that at one time was a celebrated Silicon Valley business that Holmes touted would change  the world though its inexpensive, simple pinprick blood test. In interviews with print publications, appearances on TV and speeches around the globe, Holmes said the Theranos innovation would give consumers power by allowing... 
 

Johnson & Johnson Drug Tops Humira in Psoriasis Study

The experimental drug from Johnson & Johnson for psoriasis met its major goals as well as beat a rival in a final stage study related to psoriasis. That has positioned J&J to grow its line-up of immune-disease medications. The drug, known as guselkumab, was able to clear or almost clear skin of just over 81% of the patients treated after a period of 48 weeks, said the company on Saturday during its research findings summary. That was in comparison to a rate of 55% amongst those who used Humira, from AbbVie, said officials from J&J. Stelara,... 
 

FDA Approves New Insulin Pump

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the sale of a device that is a substantial advance toward an artificial pancreas for patients with Type 1 diabetes. This insulin pump, which has been long awaited, has the goal of taking some guesswork out of controlling the blood-sugar level. The product designed by Medtronic PLC and known as MiniMed 670G is a combination of two devices that are attached to the body of a person. A pump delivers the insulin through a tube that is inserted beneath the skin, and the device’s sensor monitors the... 
 

New Home Sales Plunge in August by 7.6%

New home sales pulled back during August, one month following a surge in sales to their highest level in over 9 years. In each region, activity dropped across the country with the exception of the West. Sales of new homes were down 7.6% in August to an adjusted annualized rate of just over 609,000, said the Commerce Department in a report released on Monday. Those numbers followed a July surge in sales that saw a 13.8% spurt to over 659,000, which was the fastest new home sales pace since October of 2007. Following the surge in July, analysts expected... 
 

General Mills Has Earnings Hit By Weak Sales of Yogurt

General Mills Inc posted sales that fell 7% during its most recent quarter, ending the three-month period at $3.9 million, due to a plunge in the United States of its Yoplait yogurt business as shoppers shift to brands that are Greek-style. General Mills, based in Minneapolis, has been struggling to keep abreast of the rapidly changing habits of eating of its customers, which have hurt brands like Cheerios cereal and cake mixes such as Betty Crocker. CEO Ken Powell recently prioritized the revamping of the cereal business in the U.S., by eliminating... 
 

New CEO at GlaxoSmithKline Joins Small Group of Women

The recent appointment by GlaxoSmithKline of Emma Walmsley as CEO put her on a short list to become the highest profile female in corporate Britain. Walmsley, who is 47, will take the post of CEO in 2017 when Andrew Witty the current CEO will step down March 31. With her move up the corporate ladder the FTSE 100, which is a list of the biggest blue chip companies in Britain by market capitalization, will have seven female CEOs. The current female CEOs run EasyJet, Imperial Brands, Whitbread, Royal Mail, Kingfisher and Severn Trent. However, GSK... 
 

Johnson & Johnson Acquires Eye Surgery Unit from Abbott

Johnson & Johnson have agreed to purchase the eye-surgery equipment business of Abbott Laboratories for the price of $4.33 billion, which moves the giant in healthcare towards its set goal of increasing all three of its core businesses. This deal should close during the first three months of 2017 said each company in separate released statements late last week. The unit, known as Abbott Medical Optics, is the maker of equipment used during surgeries for cataracts and in the Lasik procedures that improve vision, along with eye drops and other... 
 

Europe: YouTube Must Pay Artists More

Europe has started a new battle in its fight against big tech from the U.S., as it announced draft rules that could make YouTube as well as others pay more to the world’s music industry. European Union law is administrated by the European Commission, which has proposed new copyright laws for all of Europe saying it wanted to strengthen the rights of the different artists and to make sure they were compensated fairly with profits made from their work. If these new rules are approved, they will force the different music streaming services like Dailymotion... 
 

Ford Pays $65 Million to Acquire Startup Chariot

Late last week, Ford Motors acquired Chariot a startup shuttle van company in a deal that was all cash. However, the price at the time of the deal was not disclosed, so it was not certain if the deal had been for a distressed startup being sold for a bargain price or if Ford paid a market price for a business that fits into its long term strategic plans. The automaker dished out $65 million for the company plus earn outs so employees who held stock options would be whole. The shuttle van startup raised just one round of funding of $3 million since... 
 

Engineer at Volkswagen Files Guilty Pleas in Emissions Scandal

An engineer at Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to aiding the German automaker’s efforts to cheat emissions tests, thus becoming the first individual convicted criminally in the United States in a scandal that is wide-ranging that to date has cost the auto giant billions of dollars. James Liang, the VW engineer, who has worked with the German automaker since 1983, agreed with U.S. authorities to cooperate in their ongoing investigation, indicated the plea agreement he filed with a federal court. The cooperation suggests that prosecutors will be preparing... 
 

Drop in Prices of Food Pressures Distributors and Grocers

A continual slide in the price of food has put pressure on more U.S. distributors and grocers, weighing down their shares and prompting some to make revisions to their outlooks in earnings for the full year. Sprouts Farmers Market has cut its guidance for the quarter and 2016 due to significant deflation that is ongoing that its announced will likely not let up for a number of months. Shares at Sprouts, which is based in Arizona, fell by 14% to end trading on Wednesday at the price of $19.68, which is the lowest close for the company in over a year. Executives... 
 

Google Asia is Faster as Undersea Cable Reaches Data Center

People online across Asia could be enjoying faster access to some services on Internet starting today as news was released that Google switched on its latest high-speed undersea cable, bringing faster connectivity to its services within the region. In 2014, a consortium of six companies that included Google, China Telecom Global, China Mobile International, KDDI, Singtel and Global Transit unveiled their plans to create an undersea, transpacific cable system 9,000 kms in length. The cable spans from the U.S. state of Oregon on the west coast to... 
 

Campbell Soup Weighed Down by Carrot Business

Campbell Soup Co posted an adjusted profit that was less than had been predicted due to a recalled product and higher costs as well as lower sales of its carrots. The company expects the same issues to dent sales the remainder of 2016. The largest soup maker in the world also released a full-year forecast for adjusted earnings that came up short of estimates on Wall Street, sending shares tumbling by over 6.5% to a low of over six months Thursday. The problems with the company, during the recently ended quarter centered on the Campbell Fresh business.... 
 

Samsung Stops Shipments of Smartphone Galaxy Note 7

South Korea based Samsung Electronics has seen a revival in its mobile sector of late, but all of that was thrown into great doubt as the tech titan stopped all shipments in South Korea of its new  smartphone the Galaxy Note 7. Investors dragged down the market capitalization of the company by $4 billion on Thursday after the company confirmed late on Wednesday the delay in shipping of its waterproof, larger-screen Galaxy Note 7, which was not been in the market for even two weeks. A spokesperson for Samsung said he could not say if the delay also... 
 

Abercrombie & Fitch Posts Drop in Sales for Quarter

Abercrombie & Fitch reported a drop in sales for its most recent quarter as well as releasing a cautious outlook for the rest of the year, as the retailer of apparel struggled to entice shoppers into its locations in malls. Abercrombie shares, which rose by over 20% the past year, dropped 11% in premarket trading on Tuesday. Sales at its locations open a minimum of 13 months will remain challenging during the second six months of the year, said a statement released by the company. In May, Abercrombie expected results to be better after making... 
 

Facebook Changes Trending News to Be More Automated

On Friday, Facebook said it was automating its feature trending stories further, a move that scales back the human input in order to prevent any personal bias from influencing the stories that are highlighted. The giant of social media will have an algorithm it relies on heavily to operate this feature, which lists the news or the events that are hot topics. This will not require people to write out descriptions, said a Friday blog post by Facebook. The feature earlier this year prompted some controversy with critics saying that the new curators... 
 

HP Posts Lower Revenue and Earnings

Revenue as well as earnings at HP Inc contracted during the most recently ended quarter, but the business showed new signs of stabilization in its declining PC business, its largest generator of revenue The company, based in Palo Alto, California said that revenue from personal systems was flat for the quarter following five consecutive quarters of declines, as PC sales in the unit were up 4%. Revenue dropped by 14% for the printing business, which is what generates the majority of profits at HP. This reflected more use of file sharing and email... 
 

Senators Urge EpiPen Scrutiny Over Increase in Price

Two United States Senators have raised concerns about huge increases of price on a drug that is used for emergency conditions when there is a food allergy reaction. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wrote to Mylan the maker of the drug asking them for reasons why the price has been increasing for their EpiPen. The epinephrine auto-injector treats allergy reactions and its price has increased from $57 during 2007 to close to $500 at present. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has requested that the Federal Trade Commission look into the price increase. Grassley... 
 

Just Mayo Maker Under Inquiry

Prominent startup Hampton Creek that is attempting to bring the panache of the tech industry to ranch dressing, mayonnaise and other products is under scrutiny as regulators look into its business practices. A preliminary inquiry was opened by the Securities and Exchange Commission into startup Hampton Creek, says one person who was briefed on this situation, but asked that his name not be used publicly. The inquiry by the SEC came following a report that was recently released that described an organized Hampton Creek effort to buy large numbers... 
 

Target Corp Cuts Annual Forecast for Profit

During the just ended quarter, Target Corp posted sales at same-stores that fell and the retailer is expecting more declines that will hamper its turnaround. On Wednesday, Target Corp announced that its sales at its established locations were down for the first time in over two years while warning there would be additional declines, signs that the turnaround push by CEO Brian Cornell has now stalled. Target lowered its profit target for the year and warned that sales at same-stores would remain flat or drop up to 2% for the current fiscal year. Cornell... 
 

Home Depot Has 9.3% Increase in Profit from Latest Quarter

On Tuesday, Home Depot posted revenue and earnings that were mostly in line with estimates on Wall Street, as the largest retailer for home improvement in the world continued reaping the benefits of a strong U.S. housing market. The retailer reiterated as well its guidance for sales for the full year, while raising its forecast on earnings. Shares of Home Depot were unchanged during early premarket trading Tuesday morning. It is a strong quarter, but does not deliver on the upside that we have seen from the company the past couple of quarters, said... 
 

Report: Lyft Rejects Acquisition Bid by General Motors

General Motors is a minority shareholder of Lyft the riding hailing company but has expressed its interest in acquiring the company. However, that was rejected by Lyft, says a report by an online information site. The acquisition bid by GM suggests that the carmaker hopes to foray further into the sector of ridehailing and combine the carpooling business of Lyft with the autonomous vehicles concept. During an era when it has become far easier for commuters to hail their ride as well as carpool, makers of cars such as GM have struggled to come up... 
 

Michael Kors and Coach Hand Department Stores Another Setback

Department stores are already struggling as they face declining numbers of customers and on Tuesday and Wednesday were hit hard again by two brands that are considered big lures for department store shoppers. On Wednesday, Michael Kors announced it would lower the quantity of merchandise it sends to department stores. Coach, on Tuesday, said it was planning to pull purses and other products of its brand from 250 department stores or about 25% of brick and mortar locations. The two brands announced that the deep discounting that is now common amongst... 
 

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Posts Earnings That Miss

Valeant Pharmaceuticals posted revenue and earnings for the quarter that came up short of expectations on Wall Street on Tuesday, but kept its forecast for the full year as it attempts to restore confidence in its investors after its business practices were highly criticized. Valeant shares jumped over 6% in trading before the bell following the posting of its earnings. The drug maker, based in Canada, over the last year has faced great investor and political scrutiny for the steep increases in its drug prices and the unorthodox method it used a... 
 

Bristol Myers Says Opdivo Did Not Meet Endpoint in Study

The surprise failure of a cancer drug in a clinical trial slashed over $20 billion off the market value of Bristol-Myers Squibb on Friday, and increased the questions about one of the hottest research areas of the industry; drugs that are able to harness the immune system of the body to fight against cancer. Bristol-Myers announced that the drug, known as Opdivo, was not significantly better than was chemotherapy in the study of patients that had been newly diagnosed with lung cancer. The result, which was highly unexpected, sent shares of the drug... 
 

Burger King Owner Same Store Sales Come Up Short

Despite getting a boost in sales from unique new products such as Mac ‘N Cheetos and Chicken Rings, Restaurant Brands International saw its sales in same stores come up short of expectations by analysts. The owner of Tim Hortons and Burger King posted earnings that reached 41 cents with revenue reaching $1.04 billion. The company had been expected by analysts to post earnings for the second quarter of approximately 35 cents per share with revenue reaching $1.05 billion. Revenues missed expectations by analysts for the second quarter primarily... 
 
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