Howard Dean, American in Paris, talks election results

first_imgBy James Dwinell. Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and former chair of the Democrat National Committee traveled to Paris earlier this week to share his conclusions on the 2010 mid-term elections. Billed as Vermont’s six-term governor, Dean followed Ms Anita Dunn, former White House communications director.Dean said, in part, ‘The data from these mid-term elections is interesting. There were fewer voters: fewer young people than in 2008, fewer people of color than in 2008, and consequently more white people. In exit polls, had this group of voters been the voters in 2008, their vote for president would have been evenly split between Senator McCain and President Obama. Another significant bit of information, forty-five of the newly elected Republican representatives were elected in districts which McCain won in 2008. The districts were really never Democratic districts. And most surprising, sixty-five percent of the voters would have voted to throw out all 535 representatives and senators if allowed to do so. Though an interesting election, do not think that this was a watershed election.‘This margin of victory for Republicans will not hold. In 2008 for the first time in modern electoral history, more people 18-35 year old voted than senior citizens. Obama, though not of this generation, is the first president of this generation. There is more difference than commonality in this group. The ideological ‘bandwidth’ is narrow. And lastly, though people in my generation worked for civil rights, we did not live with people of color, people of different sexual orientation, and people from different nationalities. The 18-35 demographic live in this diverse world and they date each other!!‘The tea party phenomenon was about saying that ordinary people matter.  I like that. Part of the tea party unease is that the ‘diverse’ Obama is in charge. This makes them uncomfortable. Part of the GOP anger is anti-immigrant and anti-gay. The tea party, being well out of the growing youth vote age range, will not be able to be as influential in the future.‘In 2012, the 18-35 age voting group will be the 18-39 year old group; in 2016 it will be the 18-43 year old group. As such, they, though with their diverse lifestyle, will be the largest voting block and will determine our leaders in the near future.‘Even with the energy of the tea party and the dozens of new GOP congressional seats, they will not attack the deficit which I think is a more serious problem than terrorism. We simply do not have the political will to attack it. We will not raise taxes; we will not cut the entitlements.’James Dwinell lives in Norwich. He attended the International Association of Political Consultants in Paris at which Dean was a featured speaker.last_img read more

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Go Outside and Play in Loudon County, Tenn.

first_imgCheese-sampling at Sweetwater Valley Farm, photo courtesy Visit Loudon County Hidden GemLoudon County is home to Tennessee Valley Winery, one of the oldest operating family-owned wineries in Tennessee. Day Two Day One MorningStart your morning off with sunrise at the Million Dollar View over Fort Loudoun Lake. Loudon County, known as the Lakeway to the Smokies, offers a multitude of water and nature activities. Bring your fishing gear and explore the natural, scenic areas around Lenoir City Park and Tellico Dam or venture out to the East Lakeshore Trail, a system of nine hiking trails that feature incredible lake views.  Enjoying a morning round at Tanasi Golf Course, photo courtesy Visit Loudon County AfternoonEnjoy lunch at the Seed to Sandwich Café, located at Sweetwater Valley Farm in Philadelphia, a working, family dairy farm that produces a variety of delicious farmstead, cheddar-based cheeses for visitors to sample and purchase. If they’re making cheese when you visit, you’ll get to watch the process through a viewing window and enjoy some fresh cheese curds. In a state full of fall color and made for road trips, Loudon County, in east Tennessee, is golden. With the Smoky Mountains creating a backdrop for hiking, kayaking, boating, and fishing on Tellico Lake or the Tennessee River, visitors can enjoy scenic drives, stunning sunsets, and trademark misty mornings. VisitLoudonCounty.com Cover Photo: Canoeing on Tellico Lake, photo courtesy Visit Loudon County AfternoonTake a break for lunch on the deck at Calhoun’s at Fort Loudon Marina and spend the afternoon canoeing or kayaking on Fort Loudoun Lake. Fuel up with an afternoon coffee at the Ugly Mug and take a self-guided walking tour through downtown Lenoir City. History buffs can check out the Lenoir City Museum and explore two of Loudon County’s six Civil War Trails sites. EveningGet ready for a feast at The Burgers. Be sure and start with a basket of fried pickles and get homemade banana pudding for dessert. End the night on target at East Tennessee Axe Throwing, a family-friendly ax throwing venue. MorningHit the links for a round of golf at one of the area’s top-rated golf courses, Rarity Bay, Landmark Club at Avalon, WindRiver Golf Course, or one of the three exclusive courses at Tellico Village which offer public play—Toqua Golf Course, Tanasi Golf Course, and The Links at Kahite Golf Course.  EveningStroll through downtown Loudon and explore the Stimpson Seashell Museum—one of the world’s largest seashell collections. Make two selfie stops at the mural in Veteran’s Park and in the courtyard beside the Historic Loudon Theatre, where live music is featured most weekends. Enjoy a relaxing dinner at the historic Carmichael Inn and continue the fun at Kinfolk Farms where you can choose from one of four unique-themed cabins and play giant outdoor chess with the family. last_img read more

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U.S. Navy Presents New Weapons against Drug Trafficking

first_img In addition, Rear Adm. Harris stated that according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently one million less cocaine users in the United States. “Can we do more? Should we do more? The answer to both questions is yes,” he said. Unlike the Puma, which is a radio-controlled aircraft with a 2.8-meter wingspan and weighs less than 15 pounds, the TIF-25K Aerostat is a 23-meter long helium-filled balloon. Surrounded by journalists, and before stepping aboard the Swift, a grey catamaran that has been docked for more than a week in Key West, at the extreme end of the Florida Peninsula, Harris addressed the recent cuts in the U.S. Military budget. He said that taking advantage of existing technologies to do more with less resources constitutes a way to demonstrate the strong commitment that the U.S. has in the fight against illicit trafficking. The recorded images also provide evidence that might help prevent legal cases from falling apart once they get to court, so that the criminals can be duely punished. These include the TIF-25K Tethered Aerostat blimp, and the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Puma, both of which have already proven positive in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, but are now being tested by the U.S. Navy to decide if in working together as one system, they can play a leading role in other missions. This commitment is headed by the Joint Interagency Task Force – South (JIATF-S), a component of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). In January 2012, JIATF-S initiated a multinational operation against drug trafficking on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Central America, including efforts and resources from countries in the Western Hemisphere and Europe. After arriving from a trip to South America, Rear Adm. Harris said that the partner nations in the Western Hemisphere might also benefit from using these tools. “I just arrived from Colombia, one of our strongest partners in the fight against drug trafficking, and I mentioned to them what we are doing because I think it might be useful for them.” Early in 2013, U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, SOUTHCOM commander, warned the U.S. Congress that the budget cuts would imply that the frigates USS Gary and USS Thach that were deployed at sea in support of Operation Martillo would cease plowing the Caribbean in search of go-fasts, aircraft and evasive semisubmersibles. Standing on the Swift’s platform, Rear Adm. Harris received instructions to launch the Puma. “It is very easy,” the flight instructor assured him, while trying to squeeze in a few minutes all his experience with hundreds of launches. Harris held the plane with both hands, took a step to build momentum and launched it with its tip pointing to the blue sky in the Florida Strait. Seeing through the eyes of the Puma also offers a clear advantage for the U.S. Coast Guard personnel on the Swift. “Mainly, what we like is that based on the images we receive, we can mitigate risks,” U.S. Coast Guard First Class Petty Officer Kenneth Christian stated. In coming days, the Swift will depart Key West on a three-week mission in support of Operation Martillo in Caribbean waters. The proposed “hunting grounds for illicit trafficking” would include Belize, Guatemala and northern Honduras. The catamaran will carry two new weapons against drug traffickers that will continue to be tested, this time in a real scenario. The U.S. Navy is planning to use the blimp and the UAV together to persistently cover an area much wider than the one covered by the Swift without support from a plane or helicopter. The goal? To catch more drug traffickers with fewer resources. center_img Tethered to the boat by a fiber optic cable, the impressive white blimp rises over the Swift’s flight deck. In better financial times, surveillance aircraft would land and take off on that same platform. And although at first glance it is a balloon like so many others, the modern radar that spins constantly below the Aerostat’s belly and its powerful built-in camera make it a key tool in detecting maritime targets. The Raven Vista 50 KW radar considerably widens the range to detect vessels that are beyond the horizon. That “vision” reaches its peak when the balloon is floating at 2,000 feet. Drug traffickers that prowl around in the waters of the Caribbean might soon be the target of two new weapons that the U.S Navy is testing to determine if their functionality as future platforms to conduct counter drug operations in the maritime and littoral environments. It also became known that the flight hours of P-3 Orion airplanes and surveillance helicopters, which are key during drug interdictions, might be drastically cut as well. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris, U.S. Navy 4th Fleet commander, stated during a technology demonstration aboard the High Speed Vessel HSV 2 Swift. During the first year of Operation Martillo, drug trafficking received heavy blows when the transport of hundreds of tons of cocaine aimed at the U.S. market were interdicted followed by hundreds of arrests. “We know we have to attack the drug supply and demand at the same time. Last year, we were able to confiscate between 152 and 200 metric tons of cocaine in the sea,” he said, adding that over 67% of seizures were done with partner nations, a significant increase. And if the “eyes” of the steerable cannot provide a clear image of the suspicious vessel, the UAV Puma would come into action. At the end of the day, when journalists and other participants left the demonstration aboard the Swift, the crew started preparing for what will be their last military mission. By Dialogo May 02, 2013 I welcome everything that is done to help drug control, even though some authorities in the area don’t provide facilities for this work. Good for the USA, who are always the ones introducing innovations. It is obvious that, in order to control and decrease the illicit traffic of drugs and other wrongs that affect Central America, it is necessary to use the surprise effect of new technologies. I boarded the Swift in the summer of 2011 in the Guatemalan Pacific and it is without a doubt a ship of great efficiency, even when the technologies that we’re shown here are the ones on board of the Swift, regardless of its route on air and sea space. Congratulations on that attempt to minimize, with provable results, the problems affecting the region.last_img read more

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The Colombian Navy Captures an Alleged FARC Semisubmersible

first_img“The security forces are improving their capabilities of maritime intervention and strengthening the international cooperation in judicial matters,” Gálvez said. “We have made significant progress in the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia, and drug manufacturing has been declining in the country.” The semisubmersible, allegedly constructed by members of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), would have had the capacity to transport up to six tons of cocaine if it had been completed. Seizure of vessel hampers FARC’s ability to transport drugs: security analyst “The connection and the critical financial ties between the guerrillas and organized crime are well established, as is the fact that they operate internationally,” said Chávez Villao. “Several of these episodes in the last few years have involved citizens of several nationalities, as well as drugs that were in the process of crossing borders.” Seizure of vessel hampers FARC’s ability to transport drugs: security analyst That progress has international consequences, because the FARC allegedly collaborates with large drug trafficking groups, such as the Clan Úsuga, to transport cocaine out of Colombia. “Most are made of fiberglass and wood, with single or twin diesel engines, but the building materials account for only a fraction of the price tag. The most expensive investment criminals make in these operations is keeping 10 or 15 workers for 30 to 45 days in a secret location, and the silence of these workers can be very costly.” But with support from the Colombian Air Force, Navy land and sea units with the Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking discovered the vehicle’s workshop in a remote area of Nariño on October 22nd. Nearby, they also found a clandestine lab used to produce cocaine paste; there, they seized more than two thousand gallons of liquid chemicals used to process the drugs, as well as a 9mm machine gun and ammunition. “The main sources of financing (for the FARC) are still cocaine traffic and illegal mining, which is why the authorities are in a permanent fight against them,” said Yadira Gálvez González, a security analyst from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “Most are made of fiberglass and wood, with single or twin diesel engines, but the building materials account for only a fraction of the price tag. The most expensive investment criminals make in these operations is keeping 10 or 15 workers for 30 to 45 days in a secret location, and the silence of these workers can be very costly.” By Dialogo November 20, 2014 “The semisubmersible was made of fiberglass and had a length of 18 meters long and 4 meters wide. It was found along with a diesel engine, propellers, rudder and related equipment,” the Navy reported. Semisubmersible seized in Tumaco The Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking is not the first team of Colombian security forces which has seized a semisubmersible tied to drug traffickers: since 1993, they’ve seized 84 illegal semisubmersibles or semisubmarines which were allegedly used by drug traffickers. “The connection and the critical financial ties between the guerrillas and organized crime are well established, as is the fact that they operate internationally,” said Chávez Villao. “Several of these episodes in the last few years have involved citizens of several nationalities, as well as drugs that were in the process of crossing borders.” The FARC won’t agree to submit to the conditions for peace sought by President Santos. The drug business gives them huge profits. I can’t imagine the members of that armed group sitting behind a desk waiting to be paid every two weeks to survive This so-called peace is a deception by President Santos, in complicity with the Attorney General who was the one who made him president. Congratulations to the military forces. This is how to honor our country and show that we really have heroes in spite of the bad elements that make it into and infiltrate but we have to put an end to them no matter what. Congratulations to the Colombian Armed Forces for their efforts and effectiveness, This is my beautiful country that’s how you do it, with courage. It’s good they’re taking the weapons from the criminals. I hope the things they seize are used for the good of the Colombians and they don’t let them rot. The money they seize should be used for the good of those most in need. What a good day to play That progress has international consequences, because the FARC allegedly collaborates with large drug trafficking groups, such as the Clan Úsuga, to transport cocaine out of Colombia. “The main sources of financing (for the FARC) are still cocaine traffic and illegal mining, which is why the authorities are in a permanent fight against them,” said Yadira Gálvez González, a security analyst from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The vessel’s seizure hampers the FARC’s ability to transport drugs – and it relies on drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises to purchase weapons, construct bombs, and fund other components of its terrorist operations. The semisubmersible, allegedly constructed by members of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), would have had the capacity to transport up to six tons of cocaine if it had been completed. “The returns, though, are huge. A kilogram of cocaine goes from $1,800 in Colombia to $9,000 in Mexico and up to $20,000 or $25,000 in the United States. “The returns, though, are huge. A kilogram of cocaine goes from $1,800 in Colombia to $9,000 in Mexico and up to $20,000 or $25,000 in the United States. In a joint operation, the Colombian Navy and Air Force recently seized a submersible vessel that terrorists were constructing in the Department of Nariño. But with support from the Colombian Air Force, Navy land and sea units with the Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking discovered the vehicle’s workshop in a remote area of Nariño on October 22nd. Nearby, they also found a clandestine lab used to produce cocaine paste; there, they seized more than two thousand gallons of liquid chemicals used to process the drugs, as well as a 9mm machine gun and ammunition. “The semisubmersible was made of fiberglass and had a length of 18 meters long and 4 meters wide. It was found along with a diesel engine, propellers, rudder and related equipment,” the Navy reported. When Colombian security forces seize a narcosemisubmersible, the financial impacts are significant. They cost between US $500,000 and $1 million (USD) to build, depending on the materials and the engine power, according to Héctor Chávez Villao, security expert and researcher from the University of Guayaquil. Drug trafficking organizations usually build semisubmersibles rather than semisubmarines, because they are less expensive to construct. Unlike semisubmarines, semisubmersibles cannot dive into the water; typically, the cockpit and exhaust gas pipes of semisubmersibles remain above the surface. However, some drug trafficking groups have constructed semisubmarines, which can dive deep into the water and are built to evade detection by radar, sonar, and infrared security systems. Drug trafficking organizations usually build semisubmersibles rather than semisubmarines, because they are less expensive to construct. Unlike semisubmarines, semisubmersibles cannot dive into the water; typically, the cockpit and exhaust gas pipes of semisubmersibles remain above the surface. However, some drug trafficking groups have constructed semisubmarines, which can dive deep into the water and are built to evade detection by radar, sonar, and infrared security systems. In a joint operation, the Colombian Navy and Air Force recently seized a submersible vessel that terrorists were constructing in the Department of Nariño. The Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking is not the first team of Colombian security forces which has seized a semisubmersible tied to drug traffickers: since 1993, they’ve seized 84 illegal semisubmersibles or semisubmarines which were allegedly used by drug traffickers. Semisubmersible seized in Tumaco When Colombian security forces seize a narcosemisubmersible, the financial impacts are significant. They cost between US $500,000 and $1 million (USD) to build, depending on the materials and the engine power, according to Héctor Chávez Villao, security expert and researcher from the University of Guayaquil. “The security forces are improving their capabilities of maritime intervention and strengthening the international cooperation in judicial matters,” Gálvez said. “We have made significant progress in the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia, and drug manufacturing has been declining in the country.” The vessel’s seizure hampers the FARC’s ability to transport drugs – and it relies on drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises to purchase weapons, construct bombs, and fund other components of its terrorist operations. last_img read more

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Whicker: Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez is finding his usual form at the plate

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> The Dodgers have their next first baseman all picked out. Cody Bellinger can pick it, throw it, rake it. He had 30 home runs at Rancho Cucamonga last year, 15 at Tulsa this year. He has an ex-MLB dad and exudes “makeup.”The Dodgers can also tell their next first baseman to take his time.• PHOTOS: Dodgers rip Red Sox The current one is Adrian Gonzalez, their offensive redeemer ever since he came from Boston with Hanley Ramirez and Josh Beckett, on that wild weekend in 2012.He is now 34. It has taken him longer than usual to turn the offensive crank, but he has assualted August like a plate of ribs. On Sunday he slammed the 300th home run of his career, and also doubled and singled, and the Dodgers took a wearying but rewarding 8-5 win over the Red Sox. They are perched one game behind San Francisco in the National League West.Gonzalez had three hits on Saturday, too. He has nine hits in a month that just started last Monday. He hit .315 in July after he hit .223 in June, but he has only 10 home runs, after seasons of 22, 27 and 28. His OPS is .766, amost 100 points off his career figure. But he has almost two months to progress to the mean.“My brother came up the last couple of days,” Gonzalez said, “and we looked at some things. I had been trying to figure it out. We tried a couple of little things to let me stay behind the ball a little better. It paid off.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Edgar Gonzalez played for the Padres and for seven other MLB organizations, as well as the Yomiuri Giants. He managed the Mexican team in the World Baseball Classic’s qualifying round three years ago.You have to be massively trusted and credentialed to earn Gonzalez’s ear. In his mind, hitting is a given, at least when he is given health. There are no slumps, no pitchers who have his number, nothing that can’t be solved by more at-bats and the percentages. Career .290 hitters think like that, but Gonzalez said he is always “tweaking” something to stay current. This year’s slow start and slow middle happened, he said, because of “herniations” in his back and his neck that were gumming up the engine.“We were trying to work on stability stuff,” Gonzalez said. “I had to figure out a way to get over the hump. We decided we had to focus on the big muscles, maybe working on heavier weights. That was the training staff, everybody. Typically that’s not something you’re going to advise during the season, but my body reacted to it.“I’ve felt pretty good since late June, early July. You never second-guess yourself. You just trust the process and know that the at-bats are going to come. All I have to do is figure out a way to swing at the right pitches.”But until his majestic home run gave the Dodgers a two-run lead in the seventh, Gonzalez was just living in Rob Segedin’s world, like everyone else at Dodger Stadium. Segedin is a 27-year-old, seven-year minor leaguer whom the Yankees traded to L.A. in January. When New York dropped him to Double-A last summer, Segedin demanded his release and didn’t get it. He wound up in Oklahoma City, where he hit three homers in a game, participated in the Pacific Coast League home run derby, and worked on his MBA, through Indiana’s online curriculum. He’s also a Tulane grad, as is Dodger personnel boss Andrew Friedman.Segedin got two bases-loaded opportunities against David Price, a limousine left-hander who had taken a 2-0 lead. He drove in four runs. No Dodger has ever done that in his debut appearance.He came out of the game during a triple-switch dictated by manager Dave Roberts and the big crowd came to its feet … to cheer Boston’s David Ortiz, who was stepping in as a pinch-hitter.Nevertheless, Segedin joins the Dodgers’ Spartacus-sized 2016 cast. At the end, the lineup card was sitting on Segedin’s clubhouse chair, suitable for framing.Any Red Sox game has a file cabinet full of footnotes. Here, there were Brandon McCarthy’s alarmingly wild pitches, some severe infield butchery by Boston’s Xander Bogaerts and Travis Shaw, and Joe Blanton’s called strike three on Jackie Bradley Jr. with two out in the fifth, and two on, the Dodgers leading by one.Successive homers by Gonzalez and Kike Hernandez relieved that tightness, and they were overdue. After all, Rob Segedin is only one [email protected] @MWhicker03LANG on Twitterlast_img read more

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Lakers decline Jordan Hill’s team option

first_imgWhat started out with elation soon turned into dread.• Video: Nance talks about reaction to old tweetThe Lakers drafted Wyoming senior power forward Larry Nance. Jr on Thursday with the 27th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. But as he processed all that excitement, Nance Jr. estimated it took only two minutes before a tweet he posted three years ago about Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault charge in 2003 went viral. Nance Jr. soon admitted “it was definitely something I wish I could take back.”“I thought I was about to throw up,” Nance Jr. said on Monday at his introductory press conference at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I felt sick to my stomach. I embarrassed myself and felt so bad about what I said. I wanted to apologize to him right away.”So Nance Jr. tracked Bryant’s phone number and wrote out a formal apology addressing him as “sir” and “Mr. Bryant.” Nance Jr. delivered the apology to Bryant on Friday. Nance Jr. then recalled Bryant offering a similar response to what he said on Saturday with ESPN’s Jemele Hill at the BET Experience at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Then, Bryant called the incident “water under the bridge.”“I immediately felt my stomach release,” Nance Jr. said. “It was definitely something I’ll learn from.”That helped Nance Jr. “sleep like a rock” over the weekend, something that starkly contrasted to his feelings on what Bryant’s reaction would entail.“Terrified. You hear all the stories about how Kobe, or Mr. Bryant, is so intense and just always on edge,” Nance Jr. said. “I was nervous to send him a long message and then just get an, ‘Okay,’ or not a response at all. I’m just so glad he handled that in the manner he did.” Second, the Lakers currently have four power forwards on their roster, including Julius Randle, Larry Nance. Jr, Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly. That does not account for Ed Davis, who has declined his $1.1 million player option for a longer deal. The Lakers want to retain Davis, but that depends on what offers he receives elsewhere. Should the Lakers strike out with any of those big-name free agents, the Lakers could still re-sign Hill as a free agent at a much lower price tag. But it remains to be seen whether that will happen.Despite Hill posting career highs in points (12), rebounds (7.9), starts (57) and minutes (26.8), the Lakers became frustrated with his inconsistency. The Lakers and Hill both attributed those struggles to adapting to heavy playing time and struggles with his diet.The Lakers acquired Hill from the Houston Rockets in 2012 as part of a mid-season trade involving Derek Fisher.Apology accepted With one more day awaiting before free agency begins, the Lakers made one move that frees up cap space to pursue a coveted star.The Lakers declined to pick up a $9 million team option to retain Jordan Hill for the 2015-16 season, according to league sources familiar with the situation. The Lakers have leaned that way for numerous reasons since the 2014-15 season ended.First, the Lakers will prioritize targeting front-court players in free agency, including Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Detroit’s Greg Monroe. Hill’s departure gives the Lakers about $23 million in spending power to fill out their roster.• Video: Analyzing 2015 draft and possible free agents center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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