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Summary

  1. Anonymous Africa attack business sites in South Africa
  2. Rate of Nigeria's currency to be market driven
  3. Kenya 'closes' border with Somalia
  4. Pistorius 'should be jailed for at least 15 years'
  5. Kenyan senator in 'brawl' with Nairobi governor
  6. 'Upsurge' in attacks on aid workers in South Sudan
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 15 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

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

A reminder of today's wise words:

Lying is the thief's stronghold"

A Kikuyu proverb sent by Michael Kagumu in Nairobi, Kenya.

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to send in your proverb.

And we leave you with this picture from Dakar in Senegal:

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Why are people talking about Garissa?

students after Garissa attack
EPA
The shooting at a Kenyan university happened in 2015

Following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando city in the US, people have been sharing a BBC news story about an attack in Kenya.

The shooting at Garissa University by the Somali militant group al-Shabab left 148 people dead. 

Some have queried why mainstream media aren't reporting the attack.

The answer is because it happened in 2015.  

It looks like this story has sprung up from an article in Spanish about the difference between the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando targeting gays, and the assault on Garissa University against Christians.   

Read more on the BBC News website.

Can student protests bring about lasting change?

BBC Africa Debate has just been asking if student protests can bring about lasting change. 

The radio is being recorded in South Africa where tomorrow marks 40 years since the Soweto uprising against inferior education for black people.

Here are a few of your thoughts on the topic:

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You will be able to listen to the whole debate on Saturday.

Jobs at risk in Sierra Leone

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

Swiss-based bioenergy firm  Addax plans to lay off of more than 800 workers in Sierra Leone, or more than half of its work force in the West African state, because of tough economic times, company sources have indicated to me. 

An announcement will be made later this month, they added. 

Steenkamp photos not shown

Our reporters in South Africa have seen pictures taken of Reeva Steenkamp after she was shot dead by athlete Oscar Pistorius.

But they explain they will not tweet them, despite a judge lifting the ban on publishing them:

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A leading South African news site has taken the same decision:

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While News 24's editor has asked readers what he should do:

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Nigeria 'bows to pressure to devalue currency'

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

Nigeria has been in the grip of a severe foreign currency shortage. As oil prices plummeted so did the country's oil earnings - meaning there was less cash to pay for imports.

Unlike other major producers - such as Russia - Nigeria refused to devalue its currency. But now following intense pressure it has. 

Naira
AFP

The move will be welcomed by businesses that were forced onto the black market in order to pay for imports of goods and equipment. 

Foreign investors may also be tempted back as they will get more value for their money. 

But the new exchange rate is likely to push up already high inflation. And that could affect tens of millions of Nigerians who live in abject poverty. 

Hackers shut down Gupta family websites

Hackers have shut down websites of businesses linked to South Africa's controversial Gupta family, reports News 24.

By 15:10 South African time, the websites of Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, news channel ANN7, and companies Sahara and Oakbay Investments were offline. 

By 16:00, both media websites were back online, but Sahara and Oakbay were still offline, says the Mail and Guardian.

A Twitter account calling itself Anonymous Africa has claimed they planned the attack:

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The article it links to says that the Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy’s share price plummeted by over 90% today.

Earlier this year President Jacob Zuma was accused of allowing members of the family to wield undue influence over him. He denied the allegation.  

Read more: The Guptas and their links to South Africa's Jacob Zuma

Striking quotes from Pistorius case

Oscar Pistorius (C) is aided as he tries to walk without his prosthetic legs in the courtroom during proceedings on the third day of his sentencing hearing at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, 15 June 2016
EPA

Here are three striking quotes from the final day of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius' sentence hearing:

I don't want to overplay disability, but the time has come that we must just look [at Pistorius] with different eyes.''

That was Pistorius lawyer Barry Roux, as the former Paralympic and Olympic star walked in court without his stumps.

Pity will play no role in the sentence."

That was chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who called for Pistorius to be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

I never ever heard him say that 'I apologise for shooting, murdering Reeva behind that door'."

Kim Martin, a cousin of Steenkamp, who was the last witness to give evidence at the sentence hearing. 

The cult of Dos Santos

Isabel dos Santos
BBC
What was the motive for making Isabel dos Santos the state oil boss?

When the daughter of Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos was appointed the boss of the state oil giant Sonangol recently some people grumbled. 

They saw it as part of an elaborate plan to shore up the Dos Santos dynasty and the powerful elite who have benefited from the oil giant's funds.    

Others pointed out Isabel dos Santos's track record in business. She is, after all, the richest woman in Africa.

But the BBC's Karen Allen links the fact the president, her father Jose Eduardo, promised to stand down from power after next years election.

She says stepping down could seem to indicate a loosening of his grip on power but the appointment of his daughter to a top job, suggests otherwise.

Read more on the Cult of Dos Santos on the BBC News website.

How Nigeria is changing its foreign exchange policy

BBC Africa Business report's Matthew Davis explains that this new foreign exchange interbank trading window is a way of having a currency that’s subject to market forces, but restricting access to it.

So, while Nigeria has abandoned the peg, it hasn’t completely loosened its grip on the foreign exchange market.

This move could possibly allow the naira to devalue, something the president talked to BBC Focus on Africa about back in February:

We won't devalue our currency - Buhari

Pistorius' legal team 'makes an impression'

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (C) walks without his prosthetic legs in the courtroom during proceedings on the third day of his sentencing hearing at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, 15 June 2016
EPA

South Africa's former athletics star Oscar Pistorius has spent all his life fighting misconceptions about disabled people but today, with this fate hanging in the balance, he hobbled in the courtroom before Judge Thokozile Masipa - desperate to show his vulnerability.

Very few people have seen the world-renowned athlete this way. Over the course of his trial, we learned of a self-conscious Pistorius worlds apart from the demi-god celebrated for his sporting prowess.

It is one of those moments that will remain etched on the minds of many - it's beyond doubt that defence lawyer Barry Roux made an impression here. 

But theatrics aside, Gerrie Nel, for the prosecution, reminded the world of the hard facts - Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius at his home on Valentine's Day 2013.

Mr Nel argued that South Africa's high murder rate and seeming leniency of the courts could no longer go unchallenged. He implored the judge to not let this be "business as usual".

Now Judge  Masipa - who, though soft-spoken, sounds authoritative - is faced with the difficult task of imposing a sentence.

Mr Nel wants Pistorius to be jailed for a minimum of 15 years but the former athlete's lawyer Barry Roux said he should not be imprisoned and should instead be made to do community service with children.  

Bogus bomb detectors sold to Niger

A UK businessman serving a 10-year jail sentence for making bogus bomb detectors has been ordered by a court to forfeit cash and assets worth nearly $11m (£8m). 

Jim McCormick made a fortune selling his detectors to countries around the world, including Iraq and Niger. 

During his trial at the Old Bailey in London in 2013 Judge Richard Hone said McCormick's fraud had undoubtedly cost lives. 

Today, the judge ordered that McCormick's assets - including cash, properties in this country and abroad and a luxury motor cruiser - should be taken from him. 

Judge Hone ordered that some of the confiscated money should be paid in compensation to customers who bought the bogus devices.

Pistorius to be sentenced on 6 July

The judge at Oscar Pistorius' hearing in Pretoria has just said he will be sentenced on 6 July.

The South African athlete shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. 

Judge Thokozile Masipa is reconsidering his sentence after a court found him guilty of murdering Ms Steenkamp, overturning an earlier manslaughter verdict.

Naira rate to be market driven

Naira
AFP

Our previous post reports that the Nigerian shares have risen in what is believed to be reaction to the new foreign exchange policy.

Financial news agency Bloomberg explains that the policy will allow the value of the dollar to be decided by the market.

Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele told journalists in Abuja how this would work: 

The Central Bank of Nigeria will select a group of around 10 primary dealers through which the naira will be traded. There will only be one exchange rate and the bank will intervene in the market “as the need arises."

The change will come in on 20 June.     

Nigerian shares up following new foreign exchange policy

Nigerian shares have jumped 3.17%, reports Reuters news agency.

The agency puts the jump down to the central bank's new foreign exchange policy, which it says is designed to increase the availability of dollars. 

Burundi schools investigated

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Nine schools are under investigation in eastern Burundi after photos of President Pierre Nkurunziza were defaced in text books.

More than 230 pupils were suspended on Monday for refusing to own up to the defacement of 27 books at their school.

Pierre Nkurunziza (C) arrives for the celebrations marking the 53rd anniversary of the country's Independence at the Prince Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura on July 1, 2015
AFP
Mr Nkuruziza has been in power for a decade and has resisted calls to step down

Eleven students in other provinces are already being prosecuted for insulting the president by defacing his photo, punishable by five to 10 years in jail.

Burundi has experienced unrest over the last year triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term in office.

'Show photos' of killed Steenkamp

A top South African prosecutor has asked a judge to lift the ban on the media showing photos of the dead body of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius at his home on Valentine's Day 2013.  

Journalists are tweeting from court: 

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Pistorius must be 'punished'

A relative of the late South African model Reeva Steenkamp holds the funeral ceremony program at the crematorium building in Port Elizabeth on February 19, 2013 after Steenkamp, 29, was shot four times in the early hours of February 14, 2013 by a 9mm pistol owned by South African sporting hero Oscar Pistorius
AFP
Three bullets hit Reeva Stenkamp

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel is addressing the court at the sentencing hearing of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius who murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in the capital, Pretoria, in 2013. 

The courtroom is packed with reporters who are tweeting his comments: 

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Your reactions: Call to lift Nigeria's rice import ban

Nasidi Adamu Yahya

BBC Hausa Service, Abuja

Rice field
BBC

Many Nigerians have welcomed the call by the influential Muslim leader, the Sultan of Sokoto, for the government to lift the ban on importing rice through land borders.

More than 900 people have commented on the story on BBC Hausa Facebook page.

Jonam Jordach Jacob says: "The best thing to do is for government to urge farmers to produce enough rice before it proceeds with the ban."

Ibrahim Musa adds "I believe the government banned importation of rice by land borders just to finish us. Otherwise how could a good government ban importation of rice when we are not self-sufficient".

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, told custom officials on Monday that ban, imposed in March, had brought untold hardship to Nigerians and worsened the scarcity of food in the country.

The price of a bag of rice has doubled from 8,000 naira ($25; £18) in January to 15,000 naira presently.

However, some analysts say other factors like foreign exchange policy have also contributed to the situation.

The government said it closed the border because it was losing revenue to smugglers.

Pistorius showed 'no remorse'

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel says South African athlete has shown no remorse for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, as he argues for a minimum sentence of 15 years to be imposed on the former Olympic and Paralympic star. 

Our reporters are tweeting from court:

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Kenya troop 'build-up at Somalia border'

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa

There has been a massive build-up of Kenyan troops along the border with Somalia. 

Kenya has also shut the crossing between the two countries.

The reason for its decision is still unclear. 

An official in Somalia’s neighbouring Gedo region, Yusuf Kanti, said he was shocked by the border's closure. 

The movement of people from both sides of the border has been restricted by the Kenyan military, he told the BBC Somali service. 

Troops are heavily armed with artillery tanks and armoured vehicles, Mr Kanti added.   

Efforts to get comment from Kenyan authorities have been unsuccessful. 

Kenyan troops in Somalia - archive shot
af
Kenyan troops entered Somalia in 2011 to fight militant Islamists

Jail Pistorius in 'public interest'

Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkam
EPA
Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend through a locked door in 2013

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is urging the High Court in South Africa to sentence Paralympic and Olympic star Oscar Pistorius to at least 15 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. 

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Nigerian Olympic athletes 'can't afford entry visas'

Texas" Ashley Miller (5503), UTEP"s Tobi Amusan, center, and Texas" Mobolaji Adeokun, right, compete in the women"s 100-meter hurdles during the Texas Relays, Saturday, April 2, 2016, in Austin, Texas.
AP
Nigerian athletes like hurdler Tobi Amusan, centre, have been breaking records in smaller competitions

Nigerian athletes who plan to compete in the Olympics have so little money that they can't even afford entry visas to South Africa for a preparatory competition, reports Nigeria's Today news site

Nigerian athletes were expected to compete in the African Senior Athletics Championship in the Durban later this week, the site adds. 

However, Today quotes an unnamed official from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria as saying the sports ministry in Abuja has failed to release money for the trip.

The official says Nigeria is hoping to get medals in athletics at the Rio Games in August.  

Your views: Pistorius on stumps

Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa, 15 June 2016
EPA
The Paralympic gold medalist wants to be sentenced to community service

Opinion is divided on the BBC Africa Facebook page about South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, after he walked in court without his prosthetic legs.

A judge is hearing arguments before she sentences him for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.    

Mubita Likando Mundia says: 

This is so sad, troubling a soul that is already suffering emotionally, physically and mentally. The family of Steenkamp must learn to forgive and forget."

George K O Monima takes the opposite view: 

This is truly pathetic. With the antics he and his lawyers have employed, I'm more convinced more than ever that he's guilty. Justice must be served. He must rot in jail."

Read: A fallen idol

Congo-Brazzaville ex-army chief 'arrested'

Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko arrives at his closing rally in Brazzaville on March 18, 2016 ahead of Sunday's presidential elections
AFP
Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko was a former security adviser to the president

A former army chief and defeated presidential candidate in Congo-Brazzaville has been arrested, his party has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

No official reasons have been given for the arrest of General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, but President Denis Sassou Nguesso has previously accused him of plotting a coup. 

"This is clearly a desire to harm the general, who stood up to Sassou during the last presidential election," spokesman for the l'IDC-FROCAD party Guy Romain Kinfouissia said, Reuters reports. 

"It is just another demonstration of force to muzzle the opposition," he added.   

Mr Sassou Nguesso, who has been in power since 1979, was re-elected in March in a poll rejected by the opposition as a sham. 

Jail Pistorius 'for at least 15 years'

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel has called for South African athlete Oscar Pistorius to be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, as our reporters are tweeting from court: 

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Read: My friend Reeva Steenkamp

Has Nigerian teachers job site crashed?

Schoo in Nigeria
Getty Images

We have been looking into reports that a new Nigerian teachers job site has crashed. 

Last week the Nigerian government launched its plan to give at least 500,000 unemployed graduates teaching jobs for two years.

The government said 400,000 people registered on the site in just 36 hours.

But the BBC's Naziru Makailu, who tried and failed to log into the site from Abuja today, says it is unclear how many people have actually been able to submit their applications. 

He explains that there is a difference between registration and application as you need to upload your CV before your application is complete.

And that is the tricky part of the process - which is running very slowly.

Ban on Steenkamp photos 'should be lifted'

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel has been presenting his closing arguments at the sentence hearing of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

And he has been referring to the evidence given in court yesterday by Steenkamp's father:

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Pistorius walks on stumps

paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 15, 2016.
Reuters
Pistorius walked across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has walked in court on his stumps, at the request of his lawyer Barry Roux. 

The move came as Mr Roux wrapped up his argument at the former Paralympic and Olympic star's sentence hearing for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.  

Journalists are tweeting from court:   

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Deadly fighting in Sirte

This Oct. 22, 2011 file photo, shows a general view of buildings ravaged by fighting in Sirte, Libya
AP
Sirte was heavily bombed by Nato forces during the offensive to oust Col Gaddafi in 2011

Nine fighters allied with the UN-backed government in Libya have been killed and 50 others wounded in fighting to dislodge the Islamic State group from its stronghold of Sirte, a hospital spokesman has said, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

The men died either from sniper fire, direct gunfire or in road bomb explosions in fighting earlier this week,  the spokesman added. 

Sirte was the birthplace of Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan ruler who was killed by Nato-backed forces in 2011. 

Read: Why is Libya so lawless? 

Besigye 'must be tried in court'

Kizza Besigye, center, is led into of a magistrate's court in the capital Kampala, Uganda Wednesday, May 18, 2016
AP
Mr Besigye (C) was the president's doctor before the two fell out

A judge has ruled that Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye should be tried in court for treason - and not at the maximum security prison where he is being held.

Mr Besigye appeared briefly in court today and the case was adjourned to 29 June. 

The prosecution asked for the case to be held in prison, citing security concerns.

He was arrested last month and charged with treason for arranging a mock ceremony to inaugurate himself as president. 

He rejected President Yoweri Museveni's fifth-term win in the February poll as fraudulent. 

Pistorius 'should not be imprisoned'

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius should not be jailed for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in the capital, Pretoria, on 14 February 2013, his lawyer Barry Roux has said at his sentence hearing. 

Our reporter is tweeting from court: 

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Nairobi governor 'fended off blow'

Anthony Irungu

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The governor of Kenya's capital Nairobi, Evans Kidero, has denied that senator Mike Sonko's punch landed on him, during their altercation earlier today at a meeting of the Senate's public accounts committee. 

"He never hit me. I just blocked his hand," Mr Kidero told journalists.  

He also denied that he had been rushed to hospital - something that his spokesman  Beryl Okundi had said. 

Finally, Mr Kidero denied the murder allegations that Mr Sonko levelled against him, saying they were "frivolous". 

'Rats' to be used in Kenyan protest

rat
Thinkstock

Demonstrators plan to use 200 live rats in a protest in Nyeri city in central Kenya, reports the Kenyan newspaper the Star.

The Star quotes organising coordinator John Wamagata as saying "we shall bring 200 rats and take them round the town".   

The newspaper adds that the protest, planned for next week, is against a proposal by the county assembly to spend 75 million Kenyan shillings ($740,000; £510,000) to build a health club.

The Nyeri County Assembly Health Club will have a gym, steam bath, massage parlour, swimming pool and sauna, according to the Star.    

Pistorius has 'lost all assets'

South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius attends the third day of his hearing at the Pretoria High Court for sentencing procedures in his murder trial in Pretoria on June 15, 2016
AFP
Pistorius shot his girlfriend at his upmarket home in 2013

Barry Roux - the defence lawyer of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius - says the former Olympic and Paralympic star has suffered heavy losses since the 2013 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp .

Our reporter is tweeting from court: 

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Nairobi governor 'in hospital'

Anthony Irungu

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The governor of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Evans Kidero, has been taken to hospital for a check-up after he was punched by a senator Mike Sonko, his spokesman Beryl Okundi has said. 

Mr Sonko and Mr Kidero got involved in a fight while the governor was being grilled by the Senate's public accounts committee on the misappropriation of funds. 

Pistorius 'not evil'

South African athlete Oscar's Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux is appealing to the court not to impose a 15-year prison sentence on him for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. 

Here are a few tweets from our reporter from court:  

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Pistorius 'trembles'

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius is in court, as his lawyer Barry Roux argues there are compelling reasons not impose the minimum 15-year sentence on him for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. 

Here are a few tweets from journalists at the hearing: 

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US worried about Eritrea-Ethiopia clashes

The US government says it is "gravely concerned" about the clashes on the Ethiopia-Eritrea border on Sunday and Monday.

"As both Ethiopia and Eritrea are party to the 2000 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and there cannot be a military solution, 

Both sides should  exercise restraint and engage in political dialogue, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

We reported at the time that it is not clear why fighting erupted.

But there has been an impasse since a peace agreement in 2000 over the disputed town of Badme.

Tank
Getty Images
The 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea led to the deaths of around 80,000 people

Pistorius lawyer in final argument

The defence is now presenting its final arguments in the sentence hearing of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, after he was convicted of murder. 

It carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison but defence lawyer Barry Roux is appealing for leniency. 

Our reporters are tweeting from the court in Pretoria: 

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