Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Laughing at Justice! Ceri Daniel Speaks Out...

A violent lout did an ‘Irish jig’ outside court after being spared jail for beating his girlfriend.

Michael Brown, 27, boasted that he ‘didn't even get community service’ after his trial. But his victim has accused the ‘soft’ judge who let him walk free of ruining people’s lives.

Her comments will heap further pressure on Judge George Moorhouse, who has already been accused of misconduct by three police and crime commissioners.

They have highlighted a number of cases in which he has failed to send domestic abusers to prison, claiming that such decisions can force victims into hiding.

Ceri Daniel, 24, suffered head injuries and cuts all over her upper body after being punched and kicked by Brown in January.

The terrified victim said the judge’s failure to jail the attacker after the trial in July left her with no choice but to flee her home town, as she was so petrified of meeting him.

She said: ‘Judge Moorhouse ruins people’s lives without even knowing he is doing it. He should not be a judge at all. He makes the victims prisoners, not the perpetrators.’

Miss Daniel was beaten after inviting her former partner of seven years to her house. During the attack, he also assaulted two of her friends.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and was given a three-month suspended sentence, put on a domestic violence programme and told to pay £550 compensation to his victims.

Miss Daniel said the judge’s failure to jail the attacker after the trial in July left her with no choice but to flee her home town, as she was so petrified of meeting him.

But Miss Daniel said her ex, the father of her two children, had been left thinking ‘the justice system is a laugh’. She added: ‘There is no justice, no deterrent.

‘My life has been turned upside down, while Michael’s has carried on as normal.’

Judge George Moorhouse, who has been criticised by victims for the ‘soft sentences’ he imposes

Speaking about her decision to leave her home town of Middlesbrough, she said: ‘He lived close by and I was petrified of bumping into him. I became a prisoner in my own home.’

The case is one of a number of trials in which it is alleged that Judge Moorhouse, who sits at Teesside Crown Court, has ‘failed to deliver justice for the public’.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird and fellow commissioners Barry Coppinger and Ron Hogg in Cleveland and Durham have compiled a dossier of suspect cases.

The trio have called for the judge to be investigated and written to the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman to complain.

They were driven to act following the trial of Anthony Bruce, 34, who was given a mere 12-month suspended sentence after beating his wife, holding a knife to her throat and shooting her in the foot with a pellet gun.

Their accusations were initially rejected by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, which said there was no evidence of misconduct and that it could not look at sentencing issues.

Beaten Up by a Woman... The Courage of Paul Kirkpatrick

A woman who hit her partner with a hammer and pole, and slashed him with a broken glass bottle has been jailed for eight years.

Gemma Hollings, 37, was jailed for two counts of grievous bodily harm, and two of assault, in 'one of the worst cases of domestic violence' police had ever seen.

Paul Kirkpatrick, 30, had his neck slashed with a bottle, suffered a cut above his eye, and had a bone in his face broken after a vicious attack in May.

Police found the victim lying in the street after he ran away from the home he shared with his partner in Darwen, Lancashire. He told officers that she had caused the wounds after an argument over her hair straighteners.

Speaking after the hearing at Preston Crown Court, DC Jenny Berry, said: 'The victim suffered very traumatic injuries. They could have potentially been fatal.

'This was a nasty attack. It is certainly one of the most serious cases of domestic violence I have ever come across. It was a relentless assault. 'Justice has now been done for the victim and he just wants to forget about the whole thing and move on with his life.'

She added: 'The bottle had been used to cause the injury to his neck. When the victim was found, he did not really understand the significance of his injuries. 'Since the attack, he has been able to move on. He has moved away and is not living in Darwen anymore. He has made a fresh start now that Hollings is in prison and the further away from her he is, the better.'

The officer said cases of domestic violence against men were not reported to police as often as those against women. She added: 'We do not hear of many cases of domestic violence against men because they are very much under-reported. 'This is the first domestic violence case I have dealt with which has involved a man.

'Tackling the issue is one of our main priorities and I would urge anyone, male of female, who is experiencing it to come forward.'

Wendy Chappell, senior prosecutor, said: 'Gemma Hollings carried out a series of violent attacks on her partner over two days using her bare hands and several weapons.
'He received extremely serious injuries resulting in him requiring hospital treatment.

'Everyone has the right to feel safe and be safe in their personal relationships, therefore, the CPS and police take all cases of domestic violence extremely seriously regardless of whether the victim is male or female. 'Bringing the perpetrators of such offences to justice remains a high priority.

'I would like to encourage anyone who has been a victim of such offences to come forward and report it to the police and we will support you in every possible way.'

Rachel Horman, a solicitor specialising in domestic violence, at Watson Ramsbottom, said men often felt too embarrassed to tell the authorities.

She said: 'It is harder for men to come forward because of ideas of masculinity and that men should be tough. Some men feel ashamed, but I would urge them to get help from the police or domestic violence charities. 'They should not be embarrassed because every specialist will have dealt with men before.'

According to Home Office statistics, 2.7 million men have experienced some form of domestic abuse in their lifetimes, with 700,000 victims reported in 2012/13 alone.

A spokeswoman from the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Domestic Violence Team said they often saw cases of domestic violence against men, but that there were still more women who came forward.

She said: “Regardless of gender, if you are feeling frightened or want someone to talk to about something going on in the home, give us a call and we can support you. 'Gender does not matter, everybody is treated as an individual.'

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner, said: 'Domestic abuse is a problem which affects all sections of society, and is one which I take very seriously.
'It is vitally important all victims - whether they are male or female - feel they are able to come forward. The courage and bravery displayed by the victim in this case is to be commended.

'Abuse is never the fault of the victim.'

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Reward for an All-Star Image...

Out of the media and public obsession with O.J. Simpson, the only thing we know for sure is that there was domestic violence. And that violence, all other allegations aside, cuts across all racial and ethnic lines.

In the case of O.J. Simpson, who was skillfully packaged, merchandised and sold by handlers, it probably was easy to escape dealing with internal concerns because he reaped such high rewards for his all-star image.

No, I'm not relieving Simpson of the responsibility for dealing with his internal problems. But if an athlete or movie star or media star is put on a pedestal by an admiring public, it becomes easier to avoid confronting problems and dealing with him or herself.

Men such as Simpson, who appear to have achieved so much, are particularly at risk to the dangers of self-delusion. According to the information that has emerged so far, Simpson never faced the emotional difficulties behind his wife battering and didn't get the counseling he needed.

After an incident in 1989 that eventually landed him in court, he was described as being arrogant, saying  when police arrived at his home: "This is a family affair."

Later sentenced to community service, he said he'd already done more community service than most people in the courtroom.

Since he was not willing to look within, it was not too difficult for his "cruel inner voice" to bring him down. Failing to deal with character issues makes us deaf to this voice.

To see the Simpson case only in terns of an alleged heinous crime by a famous man, only in terms of the fickleness of fame, is to veil the mirror it presents for us to take a deeper look at our society - and ourselves.

Dorothy Gilliam
President of the National Association of Black Journalists
Ebony Magazine

Monday, 7 July 2014

Read the Words and Blame the Victim!

O.J. Simpson is selling a videotape that he claims reveals "his side" of his murder case - and it's sparking a storm of controversy around America.

Simpson's pushing the tape for $29.95. But here for ENQUIRER readers are key word-for-word excerpts from what O.J. has to say on the tape - and an analysis of evidence that refutes his claims.

Questioned by interviewer Ross Becker at O.J.'s Rockingham home, the convicted wife-beater actually denies that Nicole Simpson was terrified when she made the now famous 911 call in 1993 - after O.J. broke down her door. The former football great even claims HE was the battered spouse.

O.J.: "That is a problem that when I am free to speak, I plan to speak to women's groups. Battery is just not a one-way street. I think it is more an attitude than anything. Just because it doesn't hurt when someone hits you, when someone slaps you in front of people, it is abusive to you - all that constitutes battery."

This is a "ridiculous" comment frequently made by abusers, said Dr. Lynn M. Appleton, associate professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University and an expert on domestic violence.

"It distorts the reality of violence between men and women in a very serious way. In our culture men learn how to be violent.
"Batterers generally believe that the victim had it coming. That is what O.J. is doing - it's very common behaviour to blame the battering on the battered person."

O.J., staring straight into the camera, also states: "Go to all the people who ever lived with Nicole and I. Go to all her friends. Go to Nicole's words."

All right, let's go to Nicole's words, O.J.

In her secret diary - revealed in The ENQUIRER last October, Nicole catalogs numerous incidents of abuse at the hands of Simpson, writing:
"Beat me so bad...  Smashed my car w/ Baseball bat... Ripped all clothes off me... Called Mother Whore hit me while F----- me... Beat me on bed kept hitting me until police came... threw me against wall threw me on floor..."

The National Enquirer
March 5 1996

Nicole Brown Simpson... The Story Continues!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Out of the Shadows, a 911 Call and the Fear of Nicole Brown Simpson...

The voice is, by turns angry, exasperated, terrified and, finally resigned. It is her second 911 call within 10 minutes.

In the background, a man is screaming - about children, tabloids, an old boyfriend. The words are only semi-audible, but his rage needs no amplification.

"Could you get someone over here now, to 325 Gretna Green. He's back. Please", asks Nicole Simpson.

"What does he look like?" asks the operator.

"He's O.J. Simpson. I think you know his record", she says with a tremor of panic. Simpson she explains, had broken down the back door of her house.

"Is he threatening you?"

She begins to sob. "He's fucking going nuts."

The Simpson case continued to obsess the nation last week.

Details of Nicole Simpson's troubled and violent marriage also emerged in sharper relief last week. 

One friend told NEWSWEEK of an ugly incident at daughter Sydney's school around the time of the 1992 divorce in which  O.J. stormed up to his wife and yanked her arm so hard that she nearly fell.

Accounts of her last days suggest a woman bent on making a clean break from the volatile Simpson.

Denise Brown told The New York Times her sister had broken up with Simpson a week and a half before she died. She also put her $625,000 town house up for lease in early June, just five months after she'd bought it.

"Drop-dead gorgeous New York style townhouse in heart of Brentwood" for $4,800 a month, said a description listed by her real-estate agent.

But whatever her plans, whatever her fears, time ran out on the evening of June 12.

Newsweek Magazine
July 4 1994


Although advocacy groups are already claiming that Nicole Simpson's case can do for spousal abuse what Rock Hudson did for AIDS and Anita Hill did for sexual harassment, that may be more rhetoric than reality; there is great ambivalence about family violence... 

...The unwritten code that a man's home is his castle and what happens inside should stay there.

So many look away because they don't know what constitutes domestic violence.
Who's a victim? Who's an abuser?

Newsweek Magazine
July 4 1994

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Nicole, a Model Victim of Abuse...

"I'm afraid he's going to kill me!" 
That's what Nicole Simpson told her therapist Susan Forward about her terrifying fear of O.J. Simpson.

And just days before the football great's ex-wife was brutally murdered, she spurned O.J.'s pleas for a reconciliation and echoed the same fear to a friend: "I'm really afraid one day he'll go too far and kill me!"

"O.J. constantly battered her," said Forward, the therapist who counseled Nicole when she was going through her divorce from the star in 1992. 

"She was terrified of him. He constantly threatened her life. She told me, 'O.J. is so insanely possessive and jealous that there's no telling what he might do. He gets so angry I know he could kill me someday.'"

Nicole was a typical battered wife - and O.J., 46, had a "classic case of obsession," said Forward, author of the book "Obsessive Love: When It Hurts Too Much To Let Go."

"After they separated, O.J. kept pursuing her," Forward told The ENQUIRER... She was living in terror. he was always accusing her of seeing other men. If she went to a gas station to get gas for her car; O.J. would demand to know if she was seeing the gas station attendant and there'd be a big fight!

"When she was seeing me, Nicole still had a lot of loving feelings for O.J. She kept seeking the love of the man who beat her.

"Nicole would lie curled up on my couch in a fetal position, crying, with no make-up, torn jeans and stringy hair. She looked like a helpless waif.

"She was trembling in fear when she told me, 'I'm trying to get my life together. But it's on my mind every minute - what is O.J. going to do next?'"...

The National Enquirer
June 28 1994

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Football Association Gives the Red Card to Domestic Abuse...

The Football Association has backed Women’s Aid's campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence and battle the sexist attitudes that underpin abuse against women.

Working alongside a number of football clubs, organisations, players and fans – Women’s Aid will encourage the football community to speak out publicly against domestic violence in society in order to make football a place where perpetrators of domestic abuse are not welcome.

In backing the campaign, FA general secretary Alex Horne said football has a key role to play in tackling such a serious problem.

“At The FA we know what enormous power the footballing community has to make positive change and we welcome this important campaign,” he said.

“Domestic violence affects all of our society and football, especially as the World Cup approaches, has the potential to reach a huge proportion of the public.

“We can all make a difference by signing up to the Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign - clubs, fans and players - to bring domestic violence out from behind closed doors.”

Women’s Aid is asking clubs to get involved by signing the Football United Club Pledge to send a clear message that domestic violence is completely unacceptable.

The pledge also encourages clubs to help break the silence that allows domestic violence to continue and provide positive role models of younger people in the community.

Another advocate of the campaign is former England goalkeeper David James, who said the world of football must play its part.

He said: “All forms of domestic violence are completely unacceptable, and it is shocking to think that there is a rise in reporting following England games.

“I wholeheartedly support the Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign, and hope that clubs get involved and work with Women’s Aid to help raise awareness with their supporters.”

The FA has backed a number of initiatives and Horne added that the organisation is delighted to be part of another worthy campaign.

He added: “We are keen to promote social change through football and our new Inclusion Advisory Board already supports well known campaigns such as Kick It Out and Football v Homophobia; we are proud to now add Football United Against Domestic Violence to that list.”

Women's Aid Speaks Out Against Domestic Abuse and the World Cup...

The World Cup has kicked off in Brazil, and the media is awash with questions over the connection between sporting events and domestic violence and abuse.

At the same time, our sisters in Women’s Aid England have launched  their Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign, urging football clubs and supporters to pledge to send a clear message that domestic violence is always unacceptable and will not be tolerated in silence. 

It is a positive sign that we as a society are speaking openly about domestic violence, and that football clubs and supporters are standing with women and demanding zero tolerance to domestic abuse.

In Northern Ireland, Women’s Aid frequently sees a spike in the reporting of domestic violence during major sporting events like the World Cup, similar to the increase in reports of violence witnessed by other Women’s Aid organisations across the UK.

In our experience, the combination of risen tensions when watching matches and excessive alcohol consumption create an environment where perpetrators of abuse are more likely to commit extreme acts of physical violence.

This doesn’t mean that football causes domestic violence – in the vast majority of cases, domestic violence will already be present in the relationship, whether that is in the form of psychological, financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. What events like the World Cup do is act as an excuse for perpetrators to commit physical violence, and lower their inhibitions so that the violence is more extreme.

There is a growing awareness in Northern Ireland of the horror that is domestic violence, and we are increasingly becoming a society that demands zero tolerance to this heinous crime. Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland calls on the the PSNI to vigorously prosecute anyone who perpetrates domestic violence during the World Cup, or at any other time, and bring perpetrators to justice.

Our message to anyone suffering domestic abuse is that help is out there.
The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all women and men affected by domestic or sexual violence. You can call our confidential helpline on 0808 802 1414, email 24hrsupport@dvhelpline.org or text support to 07797 805 839.

Our Women’s Aid network can also provide women and their children with refuge and outreach support in their local area and help with safety planning and rebuilding your life after domestic violence.

The Ugly Face of England's Beautiful Game...

With the World Cup nearly upon us, Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid, explains why the charity is dedicated to changing football culture and working with the Premier League, in spite of Richard Scudamore's sexist comments.

Football is core to the nation’s identity, but it certainly isn't one that offers equal voice and opportunity to men and women. It is largely dominated by male players, male managers and big organisations such as the Premier League which are headed up by male chief executives such as Richard Scudamore.

At Women’s Aid, we were appalled by the sexist and derogatory language which was used in several of Scudamore's leaked emails, as we had just started to work with the Premier League to campaign against domestic violence and the sexist attitudes that underpin violence against women. So, does this mean we stop working with the Premier League? No, it means the opposite. It means we have some serious work to do.

With the World Cup only a few weeks away, Women’s Aid is launching a full-on campaign with the football community to coincide with the beginning of the tournament. Our partnership will focus on combatting domestic violence - which we know is a significant problem after games.

It is very easy to dismiss sexist comments as japes or as comments which have been taken out of context, but they can have a significant impact on our culture. Within football, sexist attitudes can stop women feeling welcome at football grounds, no matter how much female fans they love the game. Casual comments on Twitter with the hashtag #evertonwivesrunforyourlives and ‘jokes’ about convicted rapist Ched Evans, the former Sheffield United and Wales striker, coming back “to rape your defences” only serve to trivialise violence against women, which affects at least one in four women at some point in their lifetime.

We believe that these voices come from a minority and that many people would never dream of being sexist or abusive. The footballing community is of course a massive cross-section of society, made up of both the good and the bad.
However, we also know that it is often the minority that we hear the loudest, and this is why it is so important that everyone else speaks out.

This is why we are currently working with a number of partners within football, including the Premier League, to, excuse the pun, tackle abusive behaviour and attitudes towards women, both within the context of the footballing world and in society more generally. 

We have thought long and hard about continuing the partnership, and we have come to the conclusion that walking away won’t achieve anything. We will work with the Premier League to develop workplace policies that directly address sexism and violence against women, and we are aiming to have real long-term impact in the football community through our campaigning work.

We hope the widespread criticism of the comments made in Scudamore’s email conversations mean that calling out sexism is becoming less of a minority sport.

Women's Aid is the national domestic violence charity that co-ordinates and supports an England-wide network of over 250 local services working to end domestic violence against women and children. For more information, or help if you’re experiencing domestic violence, visit www.womensaid.org.uk

Time to 'Kick Off' AGAINST Domestic Abuse!

Police are issuing personal warnings to men and women with a record of domestic violence in the runup to England's first World Cup game, acting on evidence that abuse against wives, girlfriends and partners spikes dramatically in the aftermath of matches – whether the team wins or loses.

The most detailed research into the links between the football World Cup and domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won.

The research, by Lancaster University criminologist Dr Stuart Kirby, a former police officer, monitored police reports of domestic violence during the last three World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

While domestic violence rose after each England game, incidents also increased in frequency at each new tournament, raising fears that the forthcoming competition in Brazil – where England's first game is against Italy on Saturday 14 June – could see the highest ever World Cup-related rises in domestic violence across the UK.

Separate national research examining the 2010 World Cup echoed the Kirby findings – with domestic abuse reports up 27.7% when the England team won a game, and 31.5% when they lost.

The research is being used by some police forces to try to prevent attacks.

In Essex, police are putting on extra patrols during and after England's first match and placing domestic violence intelligence teams in police control rooms.

In the past few weeks, officers have drawn up a list of 117 high-risk and high-frequency perpetrators – 110 men and seven women – using intelligence drawn from domestic abuse data, risk assessments and football violence data.

The individuals will be visited at home by officers and warned not to vent their feelings on their partners. Essex police are also running a high-profile social media and advertising campaign – informed by interviews with victims of domestic abuse – to raise awareness of the crime's prevalence, highlight that victims can be male, female, gay or straight, and call on the public to stand together to fight it.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "These trends are well established and the worrying thing is there is an increase from tournament to tournament. We have to ask – are perpetrators becoming increasingly confident? Are we seeing intergenerational abusers?

"One of the things that we are looking at is around learned behaviour and this is causing us concern. Are there now people who have seen their parent behave in this way during tournaments who now think it is acceptable for them to do the same?

"There's a mixture of factors that come together during a World Cup tournament; many people drink, there is the emotional stress of the game, and there is a whole issue around competitiveness and testosterone levels. Most people will watch the game and will never do anything violent but a small minority will become deeply aggressive and unpleasant.

"What we are trying to do is predict some of this. We are taking a forthright approach, we know who the high-risk perpetrators are and we are visiting them to say effectively: We know who you are, we know where you are and we know what you are capable of.

"I cannot guarantee we won't have a tragedy during the World Cup but we are working with victims, targeting perpetrators, working with partners to share information more effectively and try to better protect victims."

Kavanagh expects incidents of domestic violence to rise from an average of 85 calls a day by up to 22 more reports if the England team wins and up to 35 more if the team loses. His officers will wear body cameras to improve evidence-gathering and take the pressure off victims by providing independent evidence of violence. The force has seen a 30% increase in guilty pleas relating to domestic violence since using the equipment.

Other forces are also running billboard awareness-raising campaigns in an attempt to combat the expected rise of violence against women during England games.

In Lancashire – where during the 2010 tournament domestic abuse rose by 25% – billboards in Blackpool, Blackburn and Preston will tell domestic abuse offenders to: "Leave the striking to the players."

Bus shelter posters will urge victims, friends and family to: "Blow the whistle on domestic abuse."

Kirby said: "If you are a violent individual who commits domestic violence, then you are more likely to do it over the next couple of weeks.

"But because the tournament increases the causative factors for domestic abuse, there will be people who get involved in domestic abuse for the first time during England games."

He said high-profile campaigns by police forces and other agencies could reduce the violence, adding: "You can be deterred from committing the crime if someone increases your risk of detection – both by visiting perpetrators as Essex are doing and by putting information out there, flashing it across the screen, putting it on billboards, raising awareness among the public.

"The offender needs to know there are ramifications and having the message out there can deter offending and make victims less vulnerable because they know other people are in the same situation and they know they can call for help."

• This article was amended on 9 June, 2014, to give add Stuart Kirby's current position at Lancaster University

Taking a Strike Against Domestic Abuse...

Police forces across the country have set up initiatives aimed at preventing violence in the home during England’s World Cup matches after research found that there is a significant rise in the number of domestic violence cases when the national team play in the tournament.

According to the study published this week by Lancaster University, it was found that incidents of domestic abuse rose by 38 per cent when the England team played and lost when compared with the days that England did not play.

The study also reported that there was a carry-over effect, with an 11 per cent rise in cases of domestic abuse the day after a match.

To combat these increases in domestic violence rates, forces in Essex, Manchester and Northumbria have all set up their own World Cup task forces to ensure that fans can enjoy England’s matches orderly and safely throughout the World Cup.

Essex Police has said that they had planned carefully to ensure that they had the right number of police working at key stages of the World Cup and will deploy 75 extra officers specifically tonight’s game.

Chief superintendent Andy Prophet said: "I hope everyone enjoys the World Cup but experience tells us we need to plan for the minority who spoil things. Very often drinking too much alcohol is at the root of the problem.”

"Anyone who does overstep the mark, spoiling the match for everyone else, will be dealt with promptly and professionally by officers. Where appropriate, that will include pursuing matters through the court system."

Northumbria police launched their Kick Off campaign this week to coincide with the start of the tournament.

The campaign will see dedicated vehicles on standby to respond to calls of domestic violence when England are playing in the tournament.

Greater Manchester Police has said that they will also be deploying a specialist unit to tackle domestic violence during the football.

During the last World Cup in 2010 the police recorded 353 incidents of domestic abuse on the day England were knocked out by Germany.

In addition to this, almost 6,000 calls were made to police - a 43 per cent increase on the average number over a 24-hour period for a typical Sunday in June.

North West Ambulance Service observed a similar spike, with a 34 per cent increase in the number of assaults after England were eliminated.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Nicole Brown Simpson Remembered...

“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that's why we have to keep trying. 

We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. 

A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that's why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”

Alysha Speer

‘Death Ends a Life, Not a Relationship’
Never Forgotten!

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