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Summary

  1. Guard for Ghana Black Stars makes international debut
  2. EU's Kenya election observers warn against possible violence
  3. Criticism over plans for a new Zambian State House
  4. Dubai firm buys Java coffee chain
  5. Militants on camels 'kill nine' in Niger
  6. Igbo leaders insist on united Nigeria
  7. At least 15 killed in CAR clashes
  8. Today's proverb: All seasons do not yield the same.

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Paul Bakibinga

All times stated are UK

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That's all from us today

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

All seasons do not yield the same.

A Nuer proverb sent by Koang Gatluak Wuol in Gambella, Ethiopia

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this picture from the BBC's fashion watcher, Raissa Ioussouf, at Dakar Fashion Week in Senegal:

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Ghanaian cop-turned-footballer 'grew up with team members'

Samuel Sarfo, a Ghanaian policeman turned footballer
Images Images
Samuel Sarfo ' A dream come true donning the national colours'

Just a year ago Ghanaian policeman Samuel Sarfo was photographed guarding the country's national footballers before an international game. Incredibly, twelve months on, Sarfo has himself made his debut for the Black Stars, coming on as a substitute in Ghana's 2-1 defeat to USA in Connecticut on Saturday.

The 26 year old is also captain of top flight Ghanaian side Liberty Professionals and combines his footballing life with his duties as a police officer.

He told Focus on Africa's sports presenter Nishat Ladha that the secret behind his recent success was that he grew up with the players he had been assigned to guard.

They gave him advice on how best manage himself as a policeman and a player. This is what Samuel Sarfo added:

It was a dream come true. That is the dream of every young chap growing up in Ghana. To don the national colours, I happen to be one of them"

Spanish airline sued over Mali deaths

Alex Duval Smith

BBC News

The High Court in Paris is to hear a case of manslaughter against a Spanish airline over the deaths of 116 passengers and crew who perished in an Air Algerie crash over Mali three years ago.

Flight AH5017 from Ouagadougou crashed close to Gossi in central Mali on 24 July 2014, a short time after taking off for Algiers.

There were no survivors of the Air Algerie flight, operated by the Spanish company, Swiftair.

Victims included 28 Burkinabes, six Algerians, one Nigerian, one Malian and 51 French people.

A preliminary investigation into the crash found that the plane's protection system against icing had not been activated.

It also revealed that Swiftair's Spanish pilot and co-pilot were short of experience and flying hours on the McDonnell Douglas M-83 they were operating.

The case is being brought in France because of the high number of French casualties, including a couple, Bertrand and Véronique Gineste, who died with their three children.

Relatives of the Ginestes have joined the state prosecution as ''civil parties'' - a legal move that allows victims to argue for damages in court. It is not yet known when the court case will begin.

People take part in a silent march on August 3, 2014 in Rouans near Nantes, western France in memory of the seven members of the Ouedraogo family who were aboard the Air Algerie plane that crashed over Mali on July 24
Getty Images
Mourners of a family that perished in the Air Algerie crash marched in France in 2014

Zimbabweans react to Mugabe's donation to AU

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe (C) gives a 1 million USD cheque to the African Union Foundation during the 29th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa
Getty Images

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s $1m (£772,000) donation to the African Union has been both praised and criticised at home.

Last year 60% of the African Union’s budget was foreign funded and here in the capital Harare, some told me it is a unique gesture by one of the AU's founding members to wean itself off that foreign funding:

If that money he is donating is put into proper use, like investing and putting it into countries destroyed by war, it is a good idea - for Africa to be self-sustaining.

But Zimbabwe is in the middle of an economic crisis which critics blame on the 93-year-old leader's misrule.

So some told me they weren't impressed by the gesture:

How can you donate $1m when you are not self-sufficient, your health sector is dying and your economy is dying? Why can't you donate to your own economy and improve the situation of the country?

Read more on the BBC News website.

Mozambique police promise to protect bald men

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Bald head
Getty Images

Police in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia say they are beefing up their operation to crack down on increased murders of bald men.

We reported in June that five bald men had been killed in Milange. Police think witchdocters use a ruse that a bald head contains gold to get clients to take a person's head to them.

Zambezia police spokesman Miguel Caetano said the plan was to focus on the people who are ordering the killings.

"The main criminals are people from neighbouring countries, chiefly Malawi, Tanzania and the Great Lakes region" he said.

Over 70 entries for Juba film festival

South Sudanese filmmakers
BBC

This year's Juba film festival has received 75 entries, Simon Bingo the festival director has announced.

Our desire is to share our own local stories as South Sudanese, tell our own stories our way and build the film industry"

Some 21 local films will compete for a variety of awards from best director to best actor and actress.

As many as 49 films will compete in the best foreign film category and there are five student films.

The Juba Film Festival 2017 will be held from 4 to 9 September.

British PR firm accused of stoking racial tension in South Africa

Andrew Harding

BBC News, Johannesburg

The British public relations company Bell Pottinger has been accused of fomenting racial divisions in South Africa, and has been reported to a professional body for the UK PR industry.

South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) made the complaint in relation to Bell Pottinger’s work for a powerful business family, the Guptas, accusing it of unethical behavior.

For weeks now, Bell Pottinger has been under furious attack on social media by South Africans who believe the public relations company has been involved in a dirty tricks campaign.

Bell Pottinger recently did work for a company linked to the Guptas. It’s alleged the family wields a huge and corrupting influence over the country’s president and cabinet.

Leaked emails appear to link Bell Pottinger to a campaign in support of the Guptas and South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma.

Critics allege that the campaign sought to stoke racial tensions here by focusing on the dominant role of white-owned businesses.

James Henderson, Bell Pottinger’s chief executive, recently said such claims were untrue. Today he told the BBC he was deeply concerned, and has commissioned an external audit of his company’s work to see if the allegations have any merit.

Mugabe says Zimbabwe's gift cows 'moo soprano'

Earlier we reported that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe announced that Zimbabwe has auctioned cattle worth $1m (£770,000) to raise money for the African Union Foundation.

We thought we'd share a particularly curious part of his announcement - that the cows are so good they sing:

Rest assured the cattle that were sold at auction were seen by us and we admired them. We sold the cows that mooed soprano with their lesser ones... lesser ones mooing alto and tenor and the bulls naturally supplying the bass and the protection of the family."

He also presented a massive undated cheque to the AU at its leaders' summit in Ethiopia:

Big cheque
BBC

Sudan's President Bashir invited to Russia

Sudan's foreign ministry says President Omar al Bashir will visit Russia next month, at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. Mr Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, rarely travels outside of Africa and the Middle East.

Russia has often voted in support of Sudan at the United Nations Security Council.

Sudan's international relations have improved dramatically recently. Next week the United States will decide whether to lift economic sanctions.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (C) celebrates on stage with a gathering of supporters in the Green Square in the capital Khartoum on October 11, 2016 following the declaration of an extension of a cease-fire
AFP
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir still wanted by the ICC

Nigerian diocese defies Pope Francis

Pope Francis leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of the Easter Mass on April 16, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican
Getty Images
Pope Francis is still being defied by Nigeria's Ahiara Diocese

A Catholic priest has described the rejection of a Catholic bishop appointed by Pope Francis by members of a diocese in Imo, south-eastern Nigeria as a disgrace, report the Premium Times and Guardian newspapers

Father Philip Jamang, of the Church of Assumption in Jos central Nigeria, is reported to have told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was extremely wrong for some local priests in Ahiara Diocese to support church members opposed to Bishop Peter Okpalaeke whom the Pope Francis appointed.

“Their action is strange; it is an insult never heard of in the Catholic Church,” Fr Jamang is reported to have said.

The papers report that Ahiara Catholic Diocese has been without a bishop since the last bishop died.

Bishop Okpalaeke was then appointed in 2012, however some priests and some members of the laity were opposed to him because of where he came from - the Guardian just says there were "clannish differences".

Two months ago Pope Francis gave the Ahiara Diocese 30 days within which to accept the Bishop. He also told them to apologise for their behaviour or face "sanctions".

The ultimatum expired in July without the Pope's directive being obeyed.

Nigerians 'are the most rescued Med migrants'

Nigerians are now the top nationality rescued after attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea, according to European coast guards.

Ewa Moncure from Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, told Focus on Africa that the second largest nationality that they have been seeing are Bangladeshis who fly in to Libya to make the crossing.

Listen to the full interview:

Most migrants travel on rubber dinghys

'Militia violence shuts gold mine' in east DR Congo

Artisanal miners work at a cassiterite mining site near Numbi in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Getty Images
Eastern Congo is home to dozens of militia groups that exploit its vast mineral resources.

Fighting between the Congolese army and a local militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has forced a gold mine to suspend all operations and temporarily evacuate its staff, Banro Corp told Reuters news agency.

Twenty-three trucks belonging to a contractor of the mine were caught in cross-fire between soldiers and a local self-defence militia - identified by the army as Mai-Mai - near the town of Lulimba, Banro said in a statement.

The drivers of the trucks were all safe but the militiamen have not yet cleared the release of the trucks, Banro said.

Angola's president returns to Spain

Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Reuters

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has returned to Spain today, the President's office has announced, reports news site Angola24horas.

Although the news article just says this is a "private visit", his last visit to Spain was a medical visit and led to speculation that he was severely ill.

The rumours even prompted his daughter Isabel to post on Instagram that he was not dead.

Mr Dos Santos is 74 years old and has been president of Angola since 1979.

He will not be running in the August election.

Charges doubled for key suspects in Tanzania energy scandal

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Key suspects in a Tanzanian energy scandal called the Tegeta Escrow scandal are now facing 12 charges, up from six counts they were charged with previously.

Among other charges, Harbinder Sethi and James Rugemalira are charged with economic sabotage, forgery and money laundering.

The Tegeta Escrow scandal is a multi-million-dollar corruption scandal from 2014 that allegedly saw more than $180m (£139m) siphoned from the Tanzanian central bank and shared among politicians, government officials, some judges and even religious leaders, according to a parliamentary committee.

The scandal prompted the resignation of various top government officials.

The two have not entered a plea as the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter.

They were remanded in custody until 14 July.

Can Sierra Leone sustain a women's league?

Sierra Leone Football Association President Isha Johansen
Other
Isha Johansen is Sierra Leone's first female football president

Sierra Leone is bidding to revitalise women's football in the country with the launch of a first ever league under the leadership of the nation's first ever female football association president, Isha Johansen,

But there are concerns about how the league will be sustained in Sierra Leone

The newest executive member of the Sierra Leone Football Association Foday Turay told the BBC there is one vital missing part: a calendar of matches.

We need to have a well structured league system and a proper calendar. We lack the structure at the moment with no proper calendar and because of all these shortfalls we can't attract sponsors.

Read more on the BBC Sport website.

EU's Kenya election observers warn against possible violence

Kenyan police talk to protestors during clashes between two rival groups due to the results of Kenya's disputed presidential election.
AFP
The 2007 Kenyan election was followed by deadly clashes

The EU has warned of possible violence in Kenya's August elections, reports AFP news agency.

"It is no secret that there are concerns about the possible outbreak of violence. This is not inevitable," head of the EU Election Observation Mission Marietje Schaake told AFP

The warning came as the EU deployed observers ahead of the 8 August vote where President Uhuru Kenyatta is running against his longtime rival Raila Odinga.

The vote is for a president as well as parliamentarians and senators, county governors and assembly members.

AFP adds that advocacy group Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of threats and voter intimidation in Naivasha, a flashpoint town after disputed elections in 2007 led to the deaths of over 1,100 people, while more than 600,000 more were displaced.

The last election, in 2013, was mostly peaceful.

Criticism over plans for a new Zambian State House

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC World Service, Lusaka

Zambian President Edgar Lungu
Getty Images
The new State House would be for Zambian President Edgar Lungu

Plans by the Zambian government to construct a new official residence and offices for the country’s president have been met with disapproval with people questioning their necessity.

Parliament heard last week that Zambia will start constructing the residence next year at a cost of $20m (£15m).

The country’s works and supply minister Matthew Nkhuwa said the current State House, which was constructed in the 1930s, had become a risk to the people living there.

I think that the value of a human being, regardless, is higher than the price we can pay to build another State House."

He added that even though it was not a priority, he asked "where was the President expected to work from?”

But Mike Mulongoti, an opposition leader, says there are other areas where that money can be used such as the health and education sectors.

Other Zambians have taken to social media to condemn the move.

View more on twitter

Dubai firm buys Java coffee chain

Nancy Kacungira

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A coffee barista shows how to pour milk in a coffee in what is commonly known as 'latte art' or 'coffee art' at Dormans cafe in Nairobi on April 25, 2016.
AFP
Coffee shops have recently become popular in East Africa

In a landmark deal in East Africa's consumer market, Dubai-based private-equity fund Abraaj Group has acquired the region's most prominent upmarket coffee chain, Java House Group.

The competition to buy Java House reflects the international private equity firms’ growing interest in East Africa, according to analysts.

Abraaj says it has invested $3.2bn (£2.5bn) in 80 entities across Africa in the last two decades.

Abraaj purchased 100% of Java House Group for an undisclosed amount from the equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), and the company’s founder and chairman, Kevin Ashley.

Java House has 60 outlets in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and roasts coffee for sale to other buyers. It also runs the Planet Yoghurt brand, and a pizzeria outlet called 360 Degrees.

Kenyan university lecturers return to the streets

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Three months after their last strike, Kenya's university lecturers have again taken to the streets in the capital Nairobi today.

The lecturers are protesting at the government's failure to implement an agreement for their pay review.

In March the government entered into an agreement with the university dons after signing a collective bargaining agreement to pay them over $96m (£74m) in salary increments.

The secretary general of the Kenya university staff union said the government had not yet honoured its promise despite the agreement that the pay rise would be effected by 30 June.

The lecturers have vowed to continue with their strike despite Education Minister Fred Matiangi saying that the government was willing to pay.

The lecturers are demanding to be paid in full while the government has proposed paying in installments.

The last time round the lecturers boycotted classes for two months.

Kenyan University lecturers protest in Nairobi
BBC
Kenya university lecturers are demanding payment in full

Leading Kenyan supermarket chain in financial trouble

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Shoppers look at products in the Nakumatt supermarket in Nairobi on June 8, 2015.
AFP
In better days, Nakumatt's shelves were fully stocked

Hundreds of jobs in East Africa are in danger as a leading retail chain faces the threat of liquidation.

Kenyan supermarket chain Nakumatt is struggling to pay its creditors and is now in court to stop debt collectors from seizing its assets.

Nakumatt has a the tag-line "You need it, we’ve got it", but, in recent months, even basic products like bread have been hard to find on its shelves.

Disappointed customers questioned what was happening but, in spite of denials, it soon became clear that the supermarket could no longer pay its suppliers.

And now it’s getting worse; Nakumatt, it appears, cannot afford to pay rent on some of its premises. A week after closing three stores in Uganda, auctioneers seized goods and assets at a Nairobi suburban mall over rent arrears worth nearly half a million dollars.

The supermarket is facing a separate insolvency petition by another supplier over $700,000 (£540,000) in unpaid debts, amid claims it issued bouncing cheques.

The Kenya government has stepped in to mediate between the chain and creditors, in a move aimed at preventing the chain from going under, particularly before August’s elections.

Tanzanian actor Idris Sultan lands Hollywood role

Tanzanian actor Idris Sultan has been cast in a Hollywood film, reports Tanzanian newspaper the Citizen.

Sultan, who was the winner of Big Brother Africa Hotshots in 2014, retweeted the news:

View more on twitter

The Citizen says the film is about a Kenyan who is spotted playing basketball by an American priest who thinks he has a chance in the NBA.

Militants on camels 'kill nine' in Niger

Camels crossing the border in Niger
Getty Images
Nigeria and Niger are separated by the Yobe river

Militants riding on camels killed nine people and kidnapped at least 30 people in southern Niger, the local mayor and a journalist told Reuters news agency.

Reuters adds that the mayor and journalists say the attackers rode camels into the village of Ngalewa, about 50 km (30 miles) north of the border with Nigeria on Sunday night.

Abba Gata Issa, mayor of the district told Reuters that around 40 women and children had been kidnapped.

While it is not confirmed who is behind the attack, the Nigerian Islamist militants Boko Haram launch frequent cross-border raids from its strongholds in northeastern Nigeria.

Zimbabweans donate cattle to AU

Cattle
AFP

Zimbabwean farmers have donated "thousands" of cattle to the African Union (AU) Foundation following an appeal by President Robert Mugabe, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

The donation is intended to help the pan-African body to rely less on foreign donors, it added.

The cattle were auctioned, and Mr Mugabe handed over to the AU a cheque worth $1m (£780,000) on Monday, the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza reports.

Mr Mugabe had this to say:

As a farmer and an African, donating cattle which is a sign of wealth, comes naturally"

The donation comes amid a severe cash and food crisis in Zimbabwe.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Code of conduct planned for migrant rescues

France, Germany and Italy have announced proposals to tackle the migrant crisis from North Africa that's particularly affecting Italy.

Meeting in Paris, their interior ministers said they would produce a code of conduct for charities operating rescue boats in the Mediterranean and seek ways to assist the coast guard in Libya, the main migrant departure point.

They'll also investigate how to help the UN refugee agency set up more camps in Libya.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR warns that people smuggling networks are expanding rapidly in Libya and becoming increasingly professional.

Migrants wait in line as they disembark from the Spanish Guardia Civil Rio Segura Patrol Ship with 1,216 migrants onboard including 256 children and 11 pregnant women, who were rescued in the Mediterranean sea on June 29, 2017, in the port of Salerno
AFP
Migrants are often rescued in the Mediterranean sea

Will the presidential age limit be removed in Uganda?

Britain"s Prime Minister Theresa May meets President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda during the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London, Britain May 11, 2017.
Reuters
President Museveni is currently ineligible to stand for re-election in 2021

A proposal to remove presidential age limits in Uganda have been officially published, the private newspaper Uganda Observer reports.

The paper says that a copy of the Uganda Gazette lists the Constitution (Amendment) Bill as one of the bills that are up for publishing.

Part of Uganda Gazette
Uganda Observer

Uganda's Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire told the Observer that the bill was awaiting publication in the official government paper before it could go to parliament for debate.

The constitution says that a person over 75 years of age is not qualified for election.

But President Museveni will be 76 in 2021, the year of the next election.

On being asked whether he will seek re-election in 2021, Mr Museveni has repeatedly said that he will abide by the constitution.

Somalia has 'worst cholera outbreak in five years'

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

: Men suffering from Tuberculosis lie in beds at the Barawe General Hospital on October 11, 2016 in Barawe, Somalia.
Getty Images

More than 700 people have died from cholera in Somalia in the worst outbreak of the disease in five years, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The council says South Sudan is also reporting an unprecedented number of cases of the disease.

More people - particularly children - are dying from cholera than from war wounds in Somalia.

South Sudan has also recorded more than 160 deaths from the disease, which is unusual during a dry season.

There were no reported cholera deaths the same time last year.

The Norwegian Refugee Council says conflict in the two countries has ruined health sectors and public water and sanitation networks.

The organisation’s Secretary General Jan Egeland says there is need to provide clean water, sanitation services and medicine to stop the spread of the preventable disease, which, he adds, belongs only to history books.

Nigeria's First Lady to visit ailing husband in London

The Buharis
AFP
Mrs Buhari will head to the UK on Tuesday

The wife of ailing Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has left the country to visit him in London, her office told AFP news agency.

Before heading to the UK on Tuesday, Aisha Buhari will go to an African Union leaders' wives meeting in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, first, AFP added.

Mr Buhari has spent most of this year in London receiving treatment for an unspecified medical condition.

The presidency has repeatedly rejected rumours that Buhari is terminally ill or even dead but has refused to disclose his illness or what treatment he is having.

South-east leaders committed to a united Nigeria

Leaders from south-eastern Nigeria have restated their commitment to a united country, the Vanguard newspaper is reporting.

The Igbo leaders were attending a South-East Stakeholders’ meeting in Enugu at the weekend:

South eastern Nigeria leaders
Vanguard Newspaper

Another newspaper Y Naija says the leaders condemned "all hate speech and misconduct from any segment of the country."

The movement for the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) recently reiterated calls for a group of states in south-east Nigeria, which are made up mainly of people from the Igbo ethnic group, to break away to form the independent nation of Biafra.

Police chief 'kidnapped' in DR Congo

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Mai Mai rebel
Getty Images
Mai Mai militia are present in the area

The police commander in Kamandi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, was kidnapped early on Saturday morning, according to DRC's Radio Okapi.

Local authorities say the kidnappers' identity is not known but that the Mai Mai militia operate in the region.

A witness told Radio Okapi that fighters surrounded the Kamandi police commander's house at around 6:30 in the morning.

The fighters also took his two motorcycles, the witness added.

Read more on the DR Congo conflict on the BBC News website.

At least 15 killed in CAR clashes

At least 15 people have been killed in the Central African Republic following an exchange of fire between United Nations peacekeepers and fighters from the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC) rebel group.

The incident took place on Saturday in the remote northern town of Kaga-Bandoro, where there's been a surge in violence in the last month.

A source in MINUSCA the UN mission in the CAR told the AFP news agency that the incident happened when members of the ex-Seleka movement, which is mainly comprised of Muslim fighters, attacked the town to "to settle an old score."

UN peacekeepers from Gabon patrol in the Central African Republic town of Bria on June 12, 2017. After a renewed flare of violence in the region of Bria,
AFP

Guard for Ghana Black Stars makes international debut

The Ghanaian press has been giving its judgement of a policeman who played for the Ghanaian national team this weekend.

In 2016 Samuel Sarfo was one of the policemen deployed to provide security for the Black Stars during the Afcon qualifier against Rwanda in 2016.

But on Saturday he played for the national team against the US in a friendly match.

Sarfo retweeted the pictures to show his rapid transformation:

View more on twitter

The Black Stars lost 2-1 against the US on Saturday.

Despite the loss, the Ghanaian press has been encouraging of his efforts:

The site Ghana Soccer Net says:

His rise from protecting the team to representing them in just under a year is remarkable.

While Ghanaian news site Pulse says:

For the last nine minutes he spent on the pitch, Sarfo showed great composure at the back as he tried to prevent the USA centre-forwards from scoring.

The 26-year-old was an amateur footballer with local amateur side, Liberty Professionals FC.

However, the Sun reports that he joined the team after being called up following the withdrawals of experienced internationals, Alfred Nelson and Daniel Nii Adjei.

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

All seasons do not yield the same.

A Nuer proverb sent by Koang Gatluak Wuol in Gambella, Ethiopia

Click here to send us your African proverbs

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