Washington Post Publishes Article of Yemen’s Houthi Leader

Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi

Washington Post Publishes Article of Yemen’s Houthi Leader

November 10, 2018

The Washington Post published on Friday the first article of the head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi.

“Houthi leader: We Want Peace for Yemen, But Saudi Airstrikes Must Stop”

The continued escalation of attacks against the port city of Hodeida in Yemen by the U.S.-Saudi-Emirati coalition confirms that the American calls for a cease-fire are nothing but empty talk. The recent statements are trying to mislead the world. Saudi leaders are reckless and have no interest in diplomacy. The United States has the clout to bring an end to the conflict — but it has decided to protect a corrupt ally.

Any observer of the crimes committed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia — a campaign that has been accompanied by disinformation and a blockade of journalists trying to cover the war — can offer an account of the indiscriminate killing thousands of civilians, mostly through airstrikes. Their attacks have led to the greatest humanitarian crisis on earth.

The brutality of the Saudi regime was reflected in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And it can be seen in the military escalation and airstrikes in Hodeida and other cities, in  defiance of all international warnings.

The blockade of the port city is meant to bring the Yemeni people to their knees. The coalition is using famine and cholera as weapons of war. It is also extorting the United Nations by threatening to cut their funds, as if it were a charity and not a responsibility required under international law and Security Council resolutions.

The United States wants to be viewed as an honest mediator — but it is in fact participating and sometimes leading the aggression on Yemen.

We are defending ourselves — but we don’t have warplanes like the ones that bomb Yemenis with banned ammunition. We can’t lift the blockade imposed on Yemeni imports and exports. We cannot cancel the air embargo and allow daily flights, or end the ban of importing basic commodities, medicines and medical equipment from any place other than the United Arab Emirates, as it is imposing on Yemeni business executives.

And the list goes on. These repressive practices are killing and destroying Yemen.

Yemen was not the one who declared the war in the first place. Even Jamal Benomar, the former United Nations envoy to Yemen, said we were close to a power-sharing deal in 2015 that was disrupted by the coalition airstrikes. We are ready to stop the missiles if the Saudi-led coalition stops its airstrikes.

But the United States’ calling to stop the war on Yemen is nothing but a way to save face after the humiliation caused by Saudi Arabia and its spoiled leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has ignored Washington’s pleas to clarify Khashoggi’s murder.

Moreover, Trump and his administration clearly prefer to continue this devastating war because of the economic returns it produces — they drool over those arms sales profits.

We love peace — the kind of honorable peace defended by our revolution’s leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi. We are ready for peace, the peace of the brave. God willing, Yemenis will remain the callers of peace and lovers of peace.

SourceWashington Post

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French MP Asks Macron: How Many People Should Die to Stop Saudi Criminality?

November 2, 2018

French MP Bastian La Chaux lashed out at President Emanuel Macron’s foreign policy regarding supporting the Saudi regime in its (43-month) war on Yemen and the various crimes it commits elsewhere.

“How many people should die to stop those crimes?” La Chaux asked Macron.

La Chaux considered that Macron’s policy stigmatizes France which prefers the Saudi billions of dollars to its own honor, stressing that Saudi has committed hundreds of war crimes in Yemen.

The French MP also stressed that Saudi has spread the dark thought across the various countries, condemning Macron’s invitation to the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to visit Paris on November 11 and considering that the latter purchases France’s silence via the weaponry deals.

La Chaux also disapprovingly stressed that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered (October 2 in Saudi consulate in Istanbul) by a group of criminals sent by the Saudi regime which is supported by France.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

Declan Walsh

Chest heaving and eyes fluttering, the 3-year-old boy lay silently on a hospital bed in the highland town of Hajjah, a bag of bones fighting for breath.

His father, Ali al-Hajaji, stood anxiously over him. Mr. Hajaji had already lost one son three weeks earlier to the epidemic of hunger sweeping across Yemen. Now he feared that a second was slipping away.

It wasn’t for a lack of food in the area: The stores outside the hospital gate were filled with goods and the markets were bustling. But Mr. Hajaji couldn’t afford any of it because prices were rising too fast.

“I can barely buy a piece of stale bread,” he said. “That’s why my children are dying before my eyes.”

The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere. The harshest criticism of the Saudi-led war has focused on the airstrikes that have killed thousands of civilians at weddings, funerals and on school buses, aided by American-supplied bombs and intelligence.

But aid experts and United Nations officials say a more insidious form of warfare is also being waged in Yemen, an economic war that is exacting a far greater toll on civilians and now risks tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions.

Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni allies have imposed a raft of punitive economic measures aimed at undercutting the Ansarullah revolutionaries. But these actions — including periodic blockades, stringent import restrictions and withholding the salaries of about a million civil servants — have landed on the backs of civilians, laying the economy to waste and driving millions deeper into poverty.

Those measures have inflicted a slow-burn toll: infrastructure destroyed, jobs lost, a weakening currency and soaring prices. But in recent weeks the economic collapse has gathered pace at alarming speed, causing top United Nations officials to revise their predictions of famine.

“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great, big famine engulfing Yemen,” Mark Lowcock, the undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, told the Security Council on Tuesday. Eight million Yemenis already depend on emergency food aid to survive, he said, a figure that could soon rise to 14 million, or half Yemen’s population.

“People think famine is just a lack of food,” said Alex de Waal, author of “Mass Starvation” which analyzes recent man-made famines. “But in Yemen it’s about a war on the economy.”

The signs are everywhere, cutting across boundaries of class, tribe and region. Unpaid university professors issue desperate appeals for help on social media. Doctors and teachers are forced to sell their gold, land or cars to feed their families. On the streets of the capital, Sana, an elderly woman begs for alms with a loudspeaker.

“Help me,” the woman, Zahra Bajali, calls out. “I have a sick husband. I have a house for rent. Help.”

And in the hushed hunger wards, ailing infants hover between life and death. Of nearly two million malnourished children in Yemen, 400,000 are considered critically ill — a figure projected to rise by one quarter in the coming months.

“We are being crushed,” said Dr. Mekkia Mahdi at the health clinic in Aslam, an impoverished northwestern town that has been swamped with refugees fleeing the fighting in Hudaydah, an embattled port city 90 miles to the south.

Flitting between the beds at her spartan clinic, she cajoled mothers, dispensed orders to medics and spoon-fed milk to sickly infants. For some it was too late: the night before, an 11-month old boy had died. He weighed five and a half pounds.

Looking around her, Dr. Mahdi could not fathom the Western obsession with the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

“We’re surprised the Khashoggi case is getting so much attention while millions of Yemeni children are suffering,” she said. “Nobody gives a damn about them.”

She tugged on the flaccid skin of a drowsy 7-year-old girl with stick-like arms. “Look,” she said. “No meat. Only bones.”

The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington did not respond to questions about the country’s policies in Yemen. But Saudi officials have defended their actions, citing rockets fired across their border by the Ansarullah…

The Saudis point out that they, along with the United Arab Emirates, are among the most “generous donors” to Yemen’s humanitarian relief effort. Last spring, the two allies pledged $1 billion in aid to Yemen. In January, Saudi Arabia deposited $2 billion in Yemen’s central bank to prop up its currency.

But those efforts have been overshadowed by the coalition’s attacks on Yemen’s economy, including the denial of salaries to civil servants, a partial blockade that has driven up food prices, and the printing of vast amounts of bank notes, which caused the currency to plunge.

And the offensive to capture Hudaydah, which started in June, has endangered the main lifeline for imports to northern Yemen, displaced 570,000 people and edged many more closer to starvation.

A famine here, Mr. Lowcock warned, would be “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives.”

When Ali Hajaji’s son fell ill with diarrhea and vomiting, the desperate father turned to extreme measures. Following the advice of village elders, he pushed the red-hot tip of a burning stick into Shaher’s chest, a folk remedy to drain the “black blood” from his son.

“People said burn him in the body and it will be OK,” Mr. Hajaji said. “When you have no money, and your son is sick, you’ll believe anything.”

The burns were a mark of the rudimentary nature of life in Juberia, a cluster of mud-walled houses perched on a rocky ridge. To reach it, you cross a landscape of sandy pastures, camels and beehives, strewn with giant, rust-colored boulders, where women in black cloaks and yellow straw boaters toil in the fields.

In the past, the men of the village worked as migrant laborers in Saudi Arabia, whose border is 80 miles away. They were often treated with disdain by their wealthy Saudi employers but they earned a wage. Mr. Hajaji worked on a suburban construction site in Mecca, the holy city visited by millions of Muslim pilgrims every year.

When the war broke out in 2015, the border closed.

The fighting never reached Juberia, but it still took a toll there.

Last year a young woman died of cholera, part of an epidemic that infected 1.1 million Yemenis. In April, a coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in the district, killing 33 people, including the bride. A local boy who went to fight for the Houthis was killed in an airstrike.

But for Mr. Hajaji, who had five sons under age 7, the deadliest blow was economic.

He watched in dismay as the riyal lost half its value in the past year, causing prices to soar. Suddenly, groceries cost twice as much as they had before the war. Other villagers sold their assets, such as camels or land, to get money for food.

But Mr. Hajaji, whose family lived in a one-room, mud-walled hut, had nothing to sell.

At first he relied on the generosity of neighbors. Then he pared back the family diet, until it consisted only of bread, tea and halas, a vine leaf that had always been a source of food but now occupied a central place in every meal.

Soon his first son to fall ill, Shaadi, was vomiting and had diarrhea, classic symptoms of malnutrition. Mr. Hajaji wanted to take the ailing 4-year-old to the hospital, but that was out of the question: fuel prices had risen by 50 percent over the previous year.

One morning in late September, Mr. Hajaji walked into his house to find Shaadi silent and immobile, with a yellow tinge to his skin. “I knew he was gone,” he said. He kissed his son on the forehead, bundled him up in his arms, and walked along a winding hill path to the village mosque.

That evening, after prayers, the village gathered to bury Shaadi. His grave, marked by a single broken rock, stood under a grove of Sidr trees that, in better times, were famous for their honey.

Shaadi was the first in the village to die from hunger.

A few weeks later, when Shaher took ill, Mr. Hajaji was determined to do something. When burning didn’t work, he carried his son down the stony path to a health clinic, which was ill-equipped for the task. Half of Yemen’s health facilities are closed because of the war.

So his family borrowed $16 for the journey to the hospital in Hajjah.

“All the big countries say they are fighting each other in Yemen,” Mr. Hajaji said. “But it feels to us like they are fighting the poor people.”

Yemen’s economic crisis was not some unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of the fighting…

At the Sabeen hospital in Sana, Dr. Huda Rajumi treats the country’s most severely malnourished children. But her own family is suffering, too, as she falls out of Yemen’s vanishing middle class.

In the past year, she has received only a single month’s salary. Her husband, a retired soldier, is no longer getting his pension, and Dr. Rajumi has started to skimp on everyday pleasures, like fruit, meat and taxi rides, to make ends meet.

“We get by because people help each other out,” she said. “But it’s getting hard.”

Economic warfare takes other forms, too. In a recent paper, Martha Mundy, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, analyzed coalition airstrikes in Yemen, finding that their attacks on bridges, factories, fishing boats and even fields suggested that they aimed to destroy food production and distribution in Ansarullah-controlled areas.

Saudi Arabia’s tight control over all air and sea movements into northern Yemen has effectively made the area a prison for those who live there. In September, the World Health Organization brokered the establishment of a humanitarian air bridge to allow the sickest Yemenis — cancer patients and others with life-threatening conditions — to fly to Egypt.

Among those on the waiting list is Maimoona Naji, a 16-year-old girl with a melon-size tumor on her left leg. At a hostel in Sana, her father, Ali Naji, said they had obtained visas and money to travel to India for emergency treatment. Their hopes soared in September when his daughter was told she would be on the first plane out of Sana once the airlift started.

But the agreement has stalled, blocked by the Yemeni government, according to the senior Western official. Maimoona and dozens of other patients have been left stranded, the clock ticking on their illnesses.

“First they told us ‘next week, next week,’” said Mr. Naji, shuffling through reams of documents as tears welled up in his eyes. “Then they said no. Where is the humanity in that? What did we do to deserve this?”

Only two famines have been officially declared by the United Nations in the past 20 years, in Somalia and South Sudan. A United Nations-led assessment due in mid-November will determine how close Yemen is to becoming the third.

To stave it off, aid workers are not appealing for shipments of relief aid but for urgent measures to rescue the battered economy.

“This is an income famine,” said Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. “The key to stopping it is to ensure that people have enough money to buy what they need to survive.”

The priority should be to stabilize the falling currency, she said, and to ensure that traders and shipping companies can import the food that Yemenis need.

Above all, she added, “the fighting has to stop.”

One hope for Yemenis is that the international fallout from the death of the Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, which has damaged Prince Mohammed’s international standing, might force him to relent in his unyielding prosecution of the war.

Peter Salisbury, a Yemen specialist at Chatham House, said that was unlikely.

“I think the Saudis have learned what they can get away with in Yemen — that western tolerance for pretty bad behavior is quite high,” he said. “If the Khashoggi murder tells us anything, it’s just how reluctant people are to rein the Saudis in.”

Source: NYT, Edited by website team

 

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Mohammad bin Salman’s Days Are Numbered: The Times

September 14, 2018

MBS

“Hopes that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would be a reformer who could heal the region have come to nothing,” wrote Michael Burleigh in his article published by the UK newspaper The Times.

“First came the hype, with millions spread around like muck by western PR companies and lobbyists to trumpet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s world tour last March. He was the coming Saudi strongman, you will recall, all at the age of 32.”

The writer went on to say that six months on, the realities of his soaring ascent look more uncertain, with even his father, King Salman, beginning to show signs of doubt, adding that all the media campaign launched to highlight bin Salman’s alleged economic reforms does not match the facts.

Burleigh pointed out that the Saudi war on Yemen costs $5-6 billion, adding that it has been involving KSA in a quagmire for three years.

The writer also stressed that bin Salma’s attempt to impose isolation on Qatar has failed, noting that this policy led to the destruction of the Gulf Cooperation Council in favor of the duo, Saudi and Emirates.

The slogan of modernization raised by bin Salman has almost faded away in light of the ongoing oppression against the Shia Muslims in the east of the country.

Source: The Times

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Saudi Royal: King, Heir Apparent Responsible for Yemen War

Saudi Royal: King, Heir Apparent Responsible for Yemen War

Local Editor

Saudi prince has told protesters in Britain’s capital that the wider royal family ought not to be blamed for what is happening in the region, pointing the finger instead at the “king and his heir apparent”.

The comments can be heard in a video that captured an encounter outside an unnamed London location between Prince Ahmed bin Abdelaziz – one of the few remaining sons of the founder of Saudi Arabia – and a group of activists chanting slogans such “down, down, the Al Saud” and “criminal family Al Saud”.

In the footage, which was posted on social media earlier this week, the prince approaches the activists and answers some of their questions on the situation in Yemen and Bahrain.

“There are specific people that are responsible. Don’t blame the entire family,” the prince said. “In Yemen and elsewhere, our hope is that the war ends today before tomorrow.”

Asked who these individuals were, the prince said it “was the king and his heir apparent”, in reference to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS.

The conflict in Yemen has escalated dramatically since March 2015, when Saudi-led forces launched a military aggression.

Campaigners have accused MBS, who also serves as defense minister, of being the “chief architect” of the Yemen war, which has led to what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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The Hour When Children Die: What Is Going on in Yemen?

The Hour When Children Die: What Is Going on in Yemen?

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 17.08.2018

The Hour When Children Die: What Is Going on in Yemen?

Vijay PRASHAD

A busload of young boys are on a field trip. They are excited – their summer session of school is over, and this is to be the outing to celebrate. The boys jostle on the bus. It is noisy. One of them covers his ears. They are all laughing.

One of their friends is taking a video (which will later be shown on Yemen’s al-Massira television). The video shows the universal joy of being an adolescent, of being filled with anticipation at the field trip.

Along the way, the bus stops at a crowded market in the town of Dahyan, in the Saada governorate in Yemen’s north, on the border with Saudi Arabia. This governorate, or province, is largely in support of the Ansarullah insurgency and is the center of regular aerial bombings by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The teachers with the young boys make the stop to pick up supplies for the trip: snacks and water. The excitement on the bus does not abate.

It is just then, in this crowded market, that Saudi aircraft fire on the bus. It is a direct strike, according to witnesses.

The Red Cross now says that 50 children died in the strike (11 adults were killed). Among the 79 wounded, 56 are children – many fighting for their lives.

report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)  this year suggested that this kind of violence is not unusual. Five children have been killed or injured in Yemen each day since the start of the Saudi-UAE war on the rebel-held areas of that country in March 2015.

The numbers are shocking, but also numbing – nearly every child in those parts of Yemen (11 million of them) needs humanitarian assistance, with millions of children acutely malnourished, with no safe drinking water or sanitation, with few schools, with cholera and acute diarrhea as normal features of life and with regular bombings and shootings around them.

Funerals in places of war and occupation are not sober affairs. They are heightened by the anger at the manner of death, but more so they are political rallies of great emotion.

The children’s bodies arrived in cars wrapped in green. The coffins, wooden boxes, had a picture of each child on them. They were carried along the road to a simple graveyard. Their coffins were carried by boys from the Yemeni Scouts and Guides Association, their motto on their shirts reading kun musta’idan, or “be prepared.”

Bomb strikes are routine; Saudi and Emirati planes might have struck this funeral as they did in 2016, when they killed about 155 people in the al-Kubra Hall in Sanaa. Chants against Saudi Arabia rent the air. They were mingled with chants against the United States. No one in Yemen is unaware of the US complicity in this war.

‘War can’t be a clean operation’

Remorse is not forthcoming from either Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Both governments insist that the raid was “legitimate” and that “war can’t be a clean operation unfortunately” (as UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash put it in Dubai). The Saudis, like the Israeli government when it arrests and kills children, said it was the Yemenis who were “responsible for recruiting and training young children.”

There is barely remorse in the United States, from which the weapons of death go to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It was a US-made plane that fired US-made bombs on these Yemeni children. Yemeni journalist Nasser Arrabyee took a picture of part of the 500-pound (227-kilogram) Mark 82 bomb used to kill the children.

This bomb was made by General Dynamics at its plant in Garland, Texas. In 2017, bombs from this factory made their way to resupply the arsenal of Saudi Arabia, whose free-fall bombs were getting low as a result of the war on Yemen. General Dynamics made millions of dollars on this sale. This same type of bomb was used in the Saudi strike on the funeral in Sanaa in 2016. US weapons firms have made hundreds of billions of dollars selling weaponry to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he had sent a three-star general to lead an internal investigation into “what happened.”

But what happened is well known and has been well known for a very long time.

Last November, a 30-year veteran of the US Central Intelligence Agency, Bruce Riedel, described Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen as a “quagmire.” He said it had become the “worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world” and that if the Saudi blockade continued, “50,000 children could die in Yemen.”

A year before that, Riedel pointed his finger directly at Washington and London. In April 2016, he said frankly, “If the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman [of Saudi Arabia] that this war [on Yemen] has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American and British support.”

In other words, any war crime committed in Yemen by the Saudis and the Emiratis is a war crime committed by the governments in London and Washington, which continue to supply these monarchies with billions of dollars’ worth of deadly weaponry that can be used to kill children on a school trip.

Exit from this war?

On September 6, the various parties to this war will go to Geneva to try to restart impossible talks. The contending Yemeni parties have said they will come to the table. It is obvious that this war is seen by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as a way to weaken Iran, although Iran’s actual role in Yemen is dubious. Nonetheless, Iran has said it awaits an invitation from the UN to come to Geneva. It would like to hold face-to-face talks with its adversaries, with the UN as arbiter.

Iran has submitted a four-point plan to give the talks some heft, including an end to the aerial bombardments and an immediate ceasefire. But there is no stomach in Saudi Arabia to take Iran’s offer seriously.

In a recent article, Riedel says this war in Yemen is the “signature foreign-policy initiative” of King Salman and his son, Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman. “The crown prince,” Riedel writes bluntly, “has blemished his reputation by the reckless decision to intervene in Yemen and the humanitarian catastrophe it created.”

It is unlikely that Saudi Arabia, absent serious external pressure, will stop this war. The integrity of the current king and his son – and in many ways the monarchy itself – is enveloped in this war.

Pressure will not come from the US government. It is happy enough to see its weapons dealers make enormous profits – the kind of “Made in America” that pleases President Donald Trump. In the United Nations Security Council, the US pressured the members not to demand an independent inquiry. All that was asked for was a “credible” investigation. That means there will be no real investigation, as there was none for the Sanaa funeral bombing in 2016.

Staff members at UNICEF, meanwhile, have been heartbroken. The children had UNICEF backpacks, part of the aid that keeps the country from total breakdown. “There’s obviously a war on children,” said Juliette Touma of UNICEF.

This is the hour when children die. This is the hour when adults fail them, the hour of bombings and impossible negotiations.

atimes.com

Yemeni Naval Force Targets Saudi Warship off Western Coast: Al Masirah TV

Yemeni Naval Force Targets Saudi Warship off Western Coast

July 25, 2018

rocket warship

Yemen’s naval force hit on Wednesday a Saudi warship off the western coast, Al-Massirah news network reported.

The Yemeni TV channel quoted military sources as saying that the “Naval force in the Yemeni Army hit Saudi warship Al-Dammam of the western coast.”

The Saudi-led aggression, which has been launching brutal aggression against the impoverished Arab country since March 2015, did not report the Yemeni retaliatory attack.

“Al-Dammam” is the most developed Saudi warships to be hit by the Yemeni naval force, Al-Massirah reported, adding that the warship belongs to the Saudi Royal Navy.

Targeting the Saudi warship on Wednesday comes after Yemen’s Naval Force carried out 23 qualitative operations against Emirati forces in Mokha port, in which heavy losses were inflicted upon the aggression forces.

Earlier last month an Emirati ship was hit by two Yemen rockets in a failed naval drop attempt.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led Coalition, in a bid to restore control to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is Riyadh’s ally.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and injured in the strikes launched by the coalition, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia and UAE: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, has been also imposing a harsh blockade against Yemenis.

Source: Al-Massirah

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