The Limits of the ‘FEMA Hold’ Moratorium

first_img in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Previous: For Homeowners, ‘Historically Affordable’ MBS Remain Source of Capital Next: The Industry Pulse: Women’s History Month Edition Home / Commentary / The Limits of the ‘FEMA Hold’ Moratorium Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post FEMA holds Foreclosures Texas 2021-03-08 David Wharton Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles In February 2021, an unprecedented snap of winter weather covered much of Texas in snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Although the winter weather lasted less than one week, the federal declaration of a major disaster in Texas initiated a FEMA Hold that will last 90 days. At a time when many loans already fall under the COVID moratorium, servicers should consider several limits of the FEMA Hold, which suggest it may not apply widely in Texas.Source of the FEMA HoldThe Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act empowers the president to declare a major disaster or emergency, thereby initiating relief efforts coordinated by FEMA (42 U.S.C. 5121–5208). The current version of the Stafford Act does not mention foreclosures or mortgages. What, then, is the source of the FEMA Hold?The FEMA Hold refers to a regulation set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Chapter 14 of the Administration of Insured Home Mortgages Handbook (4330.1). The regulation provides: “All the National Disaster Areas identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be subject to a moratorium on foreclosures following the disaster.” (Handbook 14-2.)Limit 1: FHA-Insured MortgagesTo what types of mortgages does this moratorium apply? The stated purposes of Chapter 14 focus on mortgages insured by the FHA. Chapter 14 regulations aim in part at mitigating “hardships faced by mortgagors with FHA-insured mortgages” and reducing “the impact of the disaster on claims submitted for FHA insurance benefits.” (Handbook 14-1.A.)Furthermore, the Handbook exists to provide “guidelines that must be followed when servicing an FHA/HUD-insured mortgage” (Handbook 1-2). Chapter 14 authorizes FEMA to give temporary mortgage payments assistance to “eligible applicants who, as a result of a major disaster or emergency, have received written notice of dispossession or eviction from their primary residence by foreclosure of any mortgage or lien” [Handbook 14-6, citing 44 CFR 206.101(g)]. The context of the Handbook and the relevant provision of the Code of Federal Regulations, taken together, presuppose that foreclosures may proceed on non-FHA-insured mortgages even under a FEMA Hold. Although borrowers with other types of mortgages may apply to FEMA for financial assistance with loan payments, the moratorium on foreclosures does not apply to those borrowers.Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and VA LoansLike the Handbook, this article focuses on FHA-insured mortgages. Fannie Mae’s Servicing Guide section D1-3-01, entitled “Evaluating the Impact of a Disaster Event and Assisting a Borrower,” addresses servicing loans of borrowers impacted by natural disasters. Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide at chapter 8404 considers “Servicing Mortgages Impacted by a Disaster.” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) encourages servicers to establish a 90-day moratorium and to extend all possible forbearance to borrowers on VA-insured loans impacted by disasters. See VA Guidance on Natural Disasters (citing 38 CFR 36.4311, 4314, 4315, and 4359). These resources provide starting points for exploring the differing rules and guidelines for responding to natural disasters set forth by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the VA.Limit 2: Properties Directly Affected by the DisasterReturning to FHA-insured loans, HUD clearly and emphatically limits the FEMA Hold to properties directly affected by the natural disaster: “The property has to be directly affected by the disaster to be included in the moratorium” (Handbook 14-2). Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana or Hurricanes Matthew and Irma in Florida directly affected many properties by leveling or severely damaging them. The FEMA Hold undoubtedly covered such properties. However, the recent winter weather in Texas had less physical impact on properties.On February 19, 2021, the president declared that a major disaster exists in 77 counties in Texas. FEMA added another 31 counties to the federal disaster area on February 23, 2021. However, the disaster was limited to atypical cold weather including snow and ice and power outages. The snow and ice melted and power was restored to most homes less than a week after the declaration. Although some roofs were damaged under the weight of snow and ice, property damage occurred mainly where water pipes froze and burst, causing water leakage. Because such damage could be immediately mitigated by turning off water sources, relatively few residential homes sustained extensive damage as a direct result of the natural disaster. Therefore Texas’ winter weather affected relatively few homes such that they would fall under the FEMA Hold.Limit 3: ForeclosuresFinally, HUD limits the FEMA Hold “to the initiation of foreclosures and the suspension of all foreclosures already in process” (Handbook 1402.B). HUD omits from the FEMA Hold additional restrictions on mortgagees found in the CARES Act and Regulation X. Specifically, the FEMA Hold does not prohibit mortgagees from moving for a foreclosure judgment or order of sale [see Handbook 1402.B; cf. CARES Act § 4022(c)(2); 12 C.F.R. § 1024.41]. Under a FEMA Hold, then, servicers may continue to prosecute foreclosure actions.ConclusionThe moratorium of the FEMA Hold prohibits only foreclosures of FHA-insured loans on properties directly affected by the declared disaster. Strictly speaking, the FEMA Hold likely applies to few homes in the Texas counties declared to be disaster areas during the winter weather of February 2021. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img About Author: Daniel Van Slyke Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save The Limits of the ‘FEMA Hold’ Moratorium March 8, 2021 4,388 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Daniel G. Van Slyke is a Senior Attorney in the Litigation Department of Mackie, Wolf, Zientz & Mann, P.C. Mackie Wolf represents lenders and servicers throughout the states of Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Van Slyke earned his law degree magna cum laude from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth. Before joining Mackie Wolf, Van Slyke worked under Justice Bob McCoy in the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth. Van Slyke is admitted to the state bars of Texas, California, and Missouri. He can be reached at [email protected] Tagged with: FEMA holds Foreclosures Texas Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

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Orchids: Epitome of Plant Evolution

first_img“Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” said David Roberts [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] and Kingsley Dixon [Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia] in a primer on orchids in Current Biology.1  Yet some of the facts they shared about these amazingly diverse and well-adapted plants are puzzling for evolutionary theory.    First, the superlatives.  “The Orchidaceae comprise over 850 genera and 25,000 species, representing about 10% of the world’s flowering plants and the largest family in species number.”  Darwin, who delighted in the study of orchids and wrote a book on them in 1862, estimated that the entire globe could be carpeted with orchids in three generations if all their offspring lived.  Orchids produce multitudes of tiny seeds that can drift long distances.  Their habitats are extremely varied.  Some survive in deserts, many in the tropics, and some without soil (epiphytes).  Some no longer photosynthesize, relying on their hosts for nutrients.  One species even lives its entire life underground.    Orchids maintain remarkable symbioses with pollinators.  Some reward their pollinators with nectar; but, like fisherman, a third of species “deceive” pollinators with lures but no reward.  The article shows a picture of one species that has a structure on its flower that looks like the female of a wasp.  When the male lands on it, a trigger flips him onto his back, dusting the flower’s pistil with the pollen he has collected.  Orchids also have complex dependencies on fungi and on other plants.  The diversity of sizes, shapes, lifestyles and relationships among this group of plants is remarkable.    Since the diversity in this plant group affords many opportunities to study evolution, one might think a great deal is known about it.  Roberts and Dixon mentioned some difficulties, however:Missing branch on the family tree:  “The relationship of the Orchidaceae to other monocotyledons is poorly resolved,” they said.  Monocots are one of the major groups of flowering plants.The plant without a country:  “Equally confused is the geographical origin of the family.”Fossily paucity:  “To date the only unequivocal orchid fossil that has been found is the recently described orchid pollinia on the back of a bee trapped in amber,” said to be 76-84 million years old – but that may be dated assumptions about when bees evolved.The unfit:  “Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” they said, “but sadly they are among the most threatened of all flowering plants” – a puzzling predicament for organisms that one would think possess the epitome of fitness.Profusion of confusion:  The authors said that “Numerous hypotheses have been put forward to explain why orchids should have such high levels of deception.”  This suggests that Darwinian theory provides no easy explanation of this phenomenon.In short, “While much still remains to be learnt within orchid biology, there is now a mass of literature on their pollination biology and phylogenetic relationship,” they ended.  This volume of literature does not necessarily track with evolutionary explanatory power: “However, much of this has been the description of patterns; what is now needed are studies into the processes that drive diversification in this most remarkable of flowering plant families.”  Sounds like what is needed is work on the “origin of species,” if you’ll pardon Darwin’s expression (that is, his facial one).1.  David L. Roberts and Kingsley W. Dixon, “Primer: Orchids,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 8, 22 April 2008, pages R325-R329, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.026.Much of the variation among these remarkably diverse and complex plants fits with horizontal diversification – i.e., segregation of existing information among populations that become more specialized.  Some of the variation is due to loss of function.  The authors did not provide any clear case of new genetic information arising from nowhere.  What Darwin needs to explain is the origin of orchids.  That relationship to other plants, they admitted, is “poorly resolved.”  Equally unresolved is the origin of a new kind of flowering plant.  They are all still orchids.    Here was a natural testbed for evolutionary theory.  Variation within the kind is not the issue.  Some of the theories behind the observed variations (genetic drift, variable reproductive success, arms races leading to exaggeration of characters, founder events) fit within microevolutionary change.  Darwin himself studied orchids with a passion after writing The Origin, and called the origin of flowering plants an “abominable mystery.”  Here we are 146 years later with evolutionists still moaning there is “much still remains to be learnt”.  As far as observational science is concernt, Darwin has been spurnt, and the court is now adjournt.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Gallery: Bricks and mortar make better schools

first_imgSince 2009, South Africa’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, known as Asidi, has been building, renovating and providing essential water, sanitation and electricity to schools across the country, improving education – particularly for rural children.Middel Qutsa Senior Primary School in the Eastern Cape. (Image: Department of Basic Education)The Asidi initiative was kickstarted by Department of Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga in her first term of office. Motshekga, a former teacher, was concerned about the state of hundreds of schools in rural and underprivileged areas. The solution was Asidi. After rigorous planning and funding approval from the National Treasury, the programme started building and upgrading schools in various provinces in 2010.Dumakude Primary School, newly upgraded.Asidi’s main aim is to ensure all of the country’s schools comply with basic safety norms set out by the education department. This means providing water, sanitation and electricity to schools without these essentials, and reconstructing old schools built by rural communities from the materials they had at hand – the so-called “mud schools” – with bricks and mortar.The new entrance to Kensington High School.Asidi is funded by the Schools Infrastructure Backlog Grant. The programme falls under Integrated Infrastructure Management System, run by National Treasury and the Construction Industry Development Board.New architectural design at Delta Primary School in the Western Cape.Five years into the initiative, Asidi is bearing fruit. Achievements so far include:• Schools: 89 schools completed• Water: 318 schools have water supplies for the first time• Sanitation: 351 schools have installed decent sanitation systems• Electrification: 279 schools have been connected to electricity for the first time.Locals have been so impressed with the quality of their new and upgraded schools, the Asidi team report, that when the new facilities are handed over to communities, the people describe them as “universities”.The stunning interior of Portia Primary School.By province and year, these are the completed and projected targets of the Asidi programme:2012/13: 140 schools target• 29 schools completed in the Eastern Cape• Seven schools completed in the Western Cape• Three schools completed in Mpumalanga• One school completed in Free State• The balance are at different stages of implementation2014/15: 150 schools target• 99 schools in implementation. Framework agreements are in process for the balance.• 78 of 99 schools at design stage in the Eastern Cape.• Nine of 99 schools are at a stage of planning and one of 99 schools is at a stage of design in the Free State.• 11 of 99 schools are at different phases of construction In the Western Cape.Sophumelela Secondary School.The Asidi team is not just a brick-and-mortar initiative. School handovers are the occasion to celebrate success because a school has been completed – a milestone worth marking.The computer centre at an Asidi-upgraded Western Cape primary school.A state-of-the-art school creates new energy in a community that long thought itself ignored by society. It signals a new start for learners and the vast possibilities that go with that beginning – the possibility of better learning, leading to greater access to the gifts of a democratic society. The completion of an Asidi school means the starting line in the race to success is redrawn for underprivileged children. It means democracy is bearing fruit.Upgrades to Loding Primary School in Mpumalanga.last_img read more

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Automotive 2.0: The new road ahead to autonomous vehicles

first_imgWe are witnessing the rebirth of the automobile. It’s quite remarkable if we press pause to think about it. One could argue that much hasn’t changed since the first true gasoline-powered automobile was patented in July 1886 by Karl Benz. Now in the early 21st century, Google (now Waymo), Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, Ford, Volvo among others, are racing to market self-driving vehicles that will redefine our relationship with automobiles and the entire transportation industry as we know it.2021: That’s the year auto manufacturers have promised fully autonomous vehicles on the road. Unless you ask Ford, then that year is 2026. With the increasing level of activity in the autonomous space, and more companies, products, and partnerships expected to enter the fray, mapping the ecosystem proves a complex and ongoing commitment.See also: A pre-CES look at autonomous vehicles in 2017I spent the better part of 2016 and 2017 sifting through the entire ecosystem of self-driving manufacturers, automakers, startups, and investments to get an understanding of the companies and the trends driving the future of self-driving vehicles.The race to 2021 (or 2026) is officially the latest tech gold rush. With the incredible flurry of activity, that date is also ambitious considering the sheer volume of technological, societal and also governmental challenges to solve between now and then. The opportunities for innovation and invention are great for anyone working on those fronts. This is one of the reasons I set out to chart the territory.Among the mammoth challenges I faced in doing so was the process of capturing and organizing a constantly evolving industry of incumbent, new and emerging players. The resulting trend report, “The Race to 2021: The State of Autonomous Vehicles and a ‘Who’s Who’ of Industry Drivers,” tracked close to 80 companies in 11 distinct categories across 19 market applications.2021 or 2026, access to autonomous vehicles by the masses overnight is not as close as it sounds. Initial applications for self-driving cars will be strewn across vertical applications, limited to fixed public transit courses, university and business campuses, warehouses, military applications, construction, farms and fields, and inner-city transportation services where infrastructure and pedestrian laws have been adapted for safety. Over time, self-driving applications will expand as technology advances and prices come down. Initially, we identified 19 applications, but autonomous technology creates a new platform for inventors and entrepreneurs to define new mobile services…not just cars that drive themselves.To get from where we are today to the future, it helps to see the roads clearly. There are some givens but more so, many unknowns on this journey. It takes perspective, imagination and tremendous expertise to pave new roads. There are many challenges and opportunities ahead.Vehicles as Platforms – Opening up new revenue opportunitiesStartups and technology leaders are driving the accelerated innovation in autonomous technology, forcing incumbents to partner, acquire, or ramp up R&D to compete (e.g. BMW and Baidu; Fiat Chrysler and Waymo, an Alphabet company; and GM and Lyft). Toyota, Intel, and Mercedes-Benz have dedicated business units. Automakers are essentially getting into the software/hardware and utility business as future profits will depend less on manufacturing, selling and financing automobiles and more on monetizing driving and the free time passengers will have on their hands (instead of a steering wheel).Progressive automakers are repositioning their future foci away from just “making cars” to becoming mobility services and sharing companies, i.e. BMW, Daimler, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mercedes, Nissan, Tesla, VW, et al. To this trend, ride/hail companies are also attracting investments from traditional automakers to develop next-generation autonomous services.Cities must become smarter While automakers are racing to 2021 for the release of autonomous vehicles, hurdles beyond technology are also tied to the lack of city infrastructure, modernization and policies.Collaboration accelerates innovationIn what’s viewed as an atypical move, several competitive automakers are sharing mapping and environmental data to expedite the arrival of self-driving cars.Without doing so, automakers need to invest in costly third-party or proprietary technology, which requires thorough testing and results in longer development timelines.As Automotive 2.0 approaches, new jobs are being created along the way Leading automakers are struggling to attract and retain expertise and are “acqui-hiring” startups through acquisition, partnership or investment to get talent and accelerate development. Companies are racing to hire those proficient in AI, machine learning, robotics, and deep learning. Since the entire idea of the car is evolving, the design of cockpits, services, and interiors overall are ripe for innovation. This will create a need for designers, UX/UI specialists, and architects to re-imagine passenger experiences.3D mapping literally paves the way to the future of self-driving vehiclesMapping software has emerged as its own category among technology providers in the autonomous space, as 3D terrain mapping is a critical component to the effectiveness and safety of self-driving cars as they navigate their environments. Every curb, lane marking, traffic lights and signs, buildings, intersections, services, must be rendered in 3D to create a digital network and location index. Doing so, gives cars the ability to see the road in all conditions.Cars will become intelligent and create a virtual hive mind to improve transportationUnlike the interoperability conundrum facing the IoT industry, autonomous cars will be able to talk to one another (Vehicle-to-Vehicle aka V2V) to share road and environmental data. For example, cars will be able to report obstacles or hazards to following vehicles to optimize routes and prevent accidents. Additionally, Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) capabilities with allow for the exchange of information between vehicles and infrastructure and application services.Vehicles become data centersEvery aspect of the vehicle and its environment is generating unprecedented levels of data. Its estimated that one car will use 4,000GB of data per day. Machine learning, AI, deep learning, and data science overall, is need to translate everything into value. This will lead to improved or new services, increased safety, new conveniences, better parking, greater fuel efficiency, faster delivery times, cheaper insurance, integrated payment systems, personalized experiences, and disruptive innovation.Most consumers are not ready to give up drivingConsumers are skeptical and even wary of robot cars. Many believe that self-driving cars are inevitable but are content with driving. Concurrently, experts and consumers are concerned about the ethics of artificial intelligence in times of dire need.To help, automakers are ramping up their respective PR machines to introduce a more approachable narrative. New vehicles are also shipping with early driver-assist semi-autonomous features such as emergency braking, lane changing, self-parking, etc., to ease consumers into the future one feature at a time.Self-driving features is not enough to earn consumer trustConsumers are also wary of autonomous cars because they are not human. Consumers cite trust issues, fear, and ethics as reasons they have a hard time embracing the future. Cars become machines rather than traditional representations of status, ownership and pride. Consumers are aware that in certain scenarios, cars are programmed to react in ways that may injure or terminate other human beings. Automakers will need to tame fears and humanize the technologies before fully autonomous vehicle release and adoption is feasible.Social science can help humanize robot cars In addition to data science, social science is also becoming prevalent in autonomous development. Automakers such as Nissan and Audi are hiring anthropologists and social scientists to help build intelligent vehicles that can think and act more human. The aim is to teach self-driving cars to act more human in their control and on-road actions (e.g. honking, signaling other people or vehicles, moving closer to lane marketing before switching lanes). The idea is for vehicles to communicate intent and personality with pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.Autonomous car makers are also becoming data companiesCars are servers on wheels. Carmakers will also become data companies, borrowing cues from Apple, Google, and Facebook to convert data into insights and customize consumer services to deliver value-added experiences. Companies such as BMW iVentures and Toyota Research Institute are already partnering with data startups such as Nauto to share driver data as a means of more rapidly improving autonomous vehicle systems.Automotive 2.0: Redefining the Car for a New Generation of Services and ValueSelf-driving vehicles are coming soon via a self-driving truck (I’m sure). It’s not just about reacting to or living with them. It’s understanding the pieces that make up a new platform for transportation and mobile services.Even though we can neatly see the 11 categories of companies driving us toward a new future and the role they play in doing so, the incredible amount of technology, invention, design, and economies of scale happening under the hood is as or more important than the drivetrain itself. Add to that the incredible amount of innovation still coming to bring capabilities and prices to selast_img read more

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Three Team reps skipping LA board meeting

first_imgView comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC F2 eyes third straight win, take on dangerous Cocolife Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Three representatives of the seven-team group wanting to oust Chito Narvasa as PBA commissioner did not board the Philippine Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles on Friday night.Former chairs Pato Gregorio of TNT KaTropa, Mamerto Mondragon of Rain of Shine and Phoenix Petroleum’s Raymond Zorilla didn’t join the trip that is supposed to be the annual planning session of the board.ADVERTISEMENT Meralco, NLEX, Blackwater and Alaska have also indicated loss of confidence on Narvasa.Representatives of the five teams backing Narvasa—San Miguel Beer, Brgy. Ginebra, Star, Kia and GlobalPort—all boarded the flight with their families.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIncoming chair Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX, who is supposed to arrive in LA on Nov. 13, is also reportedly not going to the planning sessions anymore, although he could join the rest of the current board members for a leisure trip to Las Vegas on Nov. 16. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

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a month agoNoble insists West Ham should be targeting top four

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Noble insists West Ham should be targeting top fourby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham captain Mark Noble insists they should be targeting a top four this season.Noble feels a win against United can show they are serious about playing in Europe next season.He said: “It’s easy to understand why we’re relishing the visit of Manchester United on Sunday. We’ve only lost once in our past nine League matches and been beaten only twice at home in 2019.“There’s a feeling that the chance exists for a change and at least one different club to break into the top six this season. I would even go one step further. I believe there is an opportunity for someone different to actually make it into the top four!“After that, you look at Arsenal, who could easily have lost at Watford last weekend; Chelsea, where Frank Lampard has done incredibly well to play young English players but are banned from signing anyone and have lost Eden Hazard; plus United, who are, let’s say, in transition. Even Wolves, who did so well last season, are finding it tough with their Europa League commitments.” last_img read more

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