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Tech giants face fines or even break-up if they breach new rules: EU's Breton
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Foo Yun Chee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Tech giants that break new EU rules aimed at curbing their powers could face fines, be ordered to change their practices or even be forced to break up their European businesses, the bloc’s digital chief Thierry Breton said on Wednesday. Slideshow ( 2 images )Breton’s comments come two weeks before he is due to present draft rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), which are likely to affect big U.S. players Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. The DSA will force tech companies to explain how their algorithms work, open up their advertising archives to regulators and researchers, and do more to tackle hate speech, harmful content and counterfeit products on their platforms. Forcing companies to break up would be a last resort, said Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner. Big technology companies seeking acquisitions may also be required to inform the European Commission - the EU executive body - of their intentions, Breton said.
Persons: Thierry Breton, ” Breton, , Breton, Organizations: Tech, Digital Services, Markets, Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, DSA, Big, European Commission, European, EU Locations: BRUSSELS, EU
EU seeks to reassure Poland, Hungary use of rule of law link to EU money
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.62   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: EU Commissioner for Budget Johannes Hahn addresses the EU Parliament during a plenary session, in Brussels, Belgium November 11, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool/File PhotoBRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union institutions are seeking to reassure Poland and Hungary on how they would apply the mechanism linking access to EU funds to respecting the rule of law so that the two countries would drop their veto to the EU’s 1.8 trillion financial plan, a senior EU official said. Warsaw and Budapest are under EU investigation for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations. “We are working on a compromise... giving a sound interpretation of how this mechanism would be applied,” European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn told the EconPol conference. “This should give everybody reassurance that there is no arbitrary element in this, but that it is a sound, objective procedure,” Hahn said.
Persons: Johannes Hahn, Yves Herman /, , ” Hahn Organizations: REUTERS, Union, EU, European Court of Justice Locations: Brussels, Belgium, BRUSSELS, Poland, Hungary, Warsaw, Budapest
EU plans to open data to sharing in bid to rival Asia and U.S.
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Marine Strauss | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
“Data should be accessible and the sharing of such data should be secure,” European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager told a news briefing on Wednesday. The Commission proposed a new model based on the neutrality and transparency of so-called “data intermediaries,” which would organise data sharing or pooling, to increase trust. This follows a broader data strategy by the Commission in February to create a single European data market, hoping that pooling industrial expertise will help build technology firms to rival Silicon Valley and state-backed Chinese heavyweights. Having lagged the first wave of digital innovation, particularly in consumer markets such as social media, online shopping and smartphones, the EU sees itself in a battle for industrial data and its potential. The EU said the new measures could increase the annual economic value of data sharing from 7 billion euros ($8.33 billion) up to 11 billion euros by 2028.
Persons: Margrethe Vestager, Thierry Breton Organizations: European Commission, European Union, , Commission, EU Locations: BRUSSELS, U.S, Silicon Valley
EU seeks fast-track bypassing of pharma patents in emergencies
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Francesco Guarascio | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
The EU flag is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. The measure, if ever applied, would effectively allow EU states to produce generic drugs without the consent of the pharmaceutical companies that developed them and still own the intellectual property rights. Ironically, the proposal is part of an EU action plan on intellectual property that is mostly aimed at strengthening the protection of EU companies’ patents against foreign actors. The EU executive has so far refused to invoke the waiver and has struck multibillion-euro deals with drugmakers to secure COVID-19 shots and therapeutics. However, the COVID-19 emergency has led to a reconsideration of existing procedures, which largely fall under the remit of national governments in the EU.
Persons: Dado Ruvic, drugmakers Organizations: European Union, EU, REUTERS, World Trade Organization Locations: BRUSSELS, EU
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is planning tough measures to boost its access to drugs, from sidestepping patents rights in emergencies to taking production to Europe, according to EU documents published on Wednesday. The EU flag is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. The European Union Commission wants faster procedures during crises to produce generic versions of drugs in EU states without the consent of patent holders, an EU document says. However, the COVID-19 emergency has led to a reconsideration of existing procedures, which largely fall under the remit of national governments in the EU. The possible measures are part of a wider EU strategy published on Wednesday.
Persons: Dado Ruvic, drugmakers Organizations: European, EU, REUTERS, European Union Commission, World Trade Organization, Reuters Locations: BRUSSELS, Europe, EU
EU seeks to bypass patents to boost drugs access in crises
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Francesco Guarascio | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +5 min
The EU flag is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. The European Commission wants faster procedures during crises to produce generic versions of drugs in EU states without the consent of patent holders, an EU document says. So-called compulsory licensing is allowed under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules in emergencies as a waiver of normal regulations and could be applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ironically, the proposal is part of an EU action plan on intellectual property that is mostly aimed at strengthening the protection of EU companies’ patents against foreign actors. The move differs from proposals from South Africa and India to pre-emptively waive WTO intellectual property rules during the pandemic - proposals the EU has said are too drastic.
Persons: Dado Ruvic, ” EFPIA, Gilead, drugmakers, Margaritis Schinas Organizations: European, EU, REUTERS, European Commission, World Trade Organization, COVID, emptively, Reuters Locations: BRUSSELS, Europe, EU, United States, South Africa, India, China
European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen speaks during a debate on next EU council and last Brexit development during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium November 25, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERSBRUSSELS (Reuters) - Poland and Hungary should ask the European Union’s top court to assess the link between access to EU money and observing the rule of law, instead of blocking the EU’s 2021-2027 budget and recovery plan, the head of the European Commission said. Speaking to the European Parliament, Von der Leyen stressed that the EU’s rule that the bloc’s funds can only be sent to governments that observe the rule of law would be applied only to protect EU budget funds. “We are talking here about the violations of the rule of law that are threatening the EU budget and only that,” she said. They can go to the European Court of Justice and allow the new rules to be tested there,” von der Leyen said.
Persons: Ursula Von Der Leyen, Olivier Hoslet, Ursula von der Leyen, Von der Leyen, , ” von der Leyen Organizations: REUTERS BRUSSELS, European Commission, European Court of Justice, EU Locations: Brussels, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Warsaw, Budapest, Europe
BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission failed to properly consider conflicts of interest when it appointed a division of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to help develop green banking rules, the European Union watchdog said on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is seen at the BlackRock Japan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, October 20, 2016. A BlackRock spokesman said the Commission had already publicly stated that the technical quality of FMA’s proposal underpinned the contract win. The European Commission said it welcomed the Ombudsman’s findings, which did not find evidence of maladministration, and would study its recommendations in detail. Amid increased scrutiny of existing EU rules, the Ombudsman criticised the Commission last week for granting priority status to gas projects without properly assessing their climate impact.
Persons: Toru Hanai, Emily O’Reilly, O’Reilly, “ FMA, , BlackRock Organizations: LONDON, European Commission, European Union, BlackRock Japan, REUTERS, BlackRock, Advisory, prudential, Change Finance, Commission, Finance, Corporate, Observatory Locations: BRUSSELS, BlackRock, Tokyo, Japan, Brussels
FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen gives a news briefing at the end of a virtual conference with EU leaders about EU government's measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID19) crisis, in Brussels, Belgium, October 29, 2020. “The next days are going to be decisive,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament. But we are not ready to put into question the integrity of our single market,” she said. Negotiators have agreed the outline of a new partnership treaty on goods and services, as well as on transport, she said. In the discussions about state aid, we still have serious issues, for instance when it comes to enforcement,” she said.
Persons: Ursula Von Der Leyen, Olivier Hoslet, , Ursula von der Leyen, Von der Organizations: EU, REUTERS BRUSSELS Locations: Brussels, Belgium, Britain, EU, Union, German
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The head of the European Union’s executive on Wednesday reported “genuine progress” in Brexit talks but said the risk of Britain leaving the EU without a new trade deal on Dec. 31 remained, an outcome she said the bloc was prepared for. “The next days are going to be decisive,” said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. An EU official involved in the negotiations said a deal was possible, but not likely before the weekend at the earliest. In the discussions about state aid, we still have serious issues, for instance when it comes to enforcement,” said von der Leyen. “DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT”A senior UK minister, Michael Gove, said on Tuesday the EU would have to move for there to be a new partnership agreement.
Persons: , , Ursula von der, von der Leyen, Michael Gove Organizations: EU, European, Britain Locations: BRUSSELS, Britain, EU, Union
Britain left the EU in January and a status quo transition period expires at the end of this year. The estranged allies are in a last-ditch effort to agree terms to keep trade flowing without tariffs or quotas. An official involved in the negotiations said a deal was possible, but not likely before the weekend at the earliest. The EU needed to be able to retaliate on trade if Britain undercuts labour or environmental standards, she said. Johnson has repeatedly said he wants a deal with the EU, but only if it respects British sovereignty.
Persons: Ursula von der Leyen, ” Ireland’s Micheal Martin, Martin, Von der Leyen, , von der Leyen, , Boris Johnson, Johnson Organizations: Reuters, European Union, European Commission, EU, Britain Locations: BRUSSELS, DUBLIN, Britain, EU, Brussels, British
EU derivatives decision leaves London in the lurch
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Huw Jones | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
This will mean that branches of EU banks in London face conflicting EU and British requirements on where to trade derivatives. The City of London touts itself as the go-to location globally for trading derivatives - the life blood of financial markets, allowing investors to bet on a swathe of assets and hedge risk. “ESMA acknowledges that this approach creates challenges for some EU counterparties, particularly UK branches of EU investment firms,” the watchdog said. Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said it will not be adjusting its approach to derivatives trading at this time. “Given the rules on trading venues in the EU and UK are virtually identical, we think equivalence is justified and necessary,” Cogan said.
Persons: Brexit, “ ESMA, , Roger Cogan, ISDA’s, ” Cogan Organizations: European Union, Securities and Markets Authority, EU, Authority, , European Commission, Association Locations: European, Britain, Brussels, Paris, EU, United States, London, City
EU tells banks to trade derivatives inside bloc after Brexit
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Huw Jones | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, January 18, 2018. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), set out the EU’s so-called trading obligation for derivatives (DTO) once Britain fully leaves the EU on Dec. 31. This will mean that branches of EU banks in London face conflicting EU and UK requirements on where to trade derivatives. “ESMA acknowledges that this approach creates challenges for some EU counterparties, particularly UK branches of EU investment firms,” the watchdog said. So far, Brussels has not granted equivalence for derivatives trading.
Persons: Francois Lenoir, Banks, “ ESMA, ESMA, ” ESMA Organizations: EU, REUTERS, Francois Lenoir LONDON, European Union, of, European Securities and Markets Authority, European Commission Locations: Brussels, Belgium, European, of London, Britain, EU, United States, London
LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Optimism around vaccine developments and expectations of a strong bounce in corporate confidence and profitability will push European stocks to near record highs next year, as policymakers look set to keep stimulus flowing. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 20, 2020. In the previous quarterly poll, the index was seen reaching only 375 points in December and 410 points a year later. According to the poll, the UK’s top FTSE 100 share index is expected to reach 6,900 points by end 2021, up 8.9% from Monday’s close. Graphic: STOXX poll chart, here(This version of the story corrects attribution of the poll to Reuters in the headline.
Persons: lockdowns, , Tomas Hildebrandt, , Neil Wilson, Germany’s, DAX, Chris Bailey, Raymond James Organizations: REUTERS, Staff, Evli Bank, U.S, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Markets.com, IHS, PMI, Reuters, European Central Bank, London, CAC, IPSOS Locations: MILAN, Frankfurt, Germany, Helsinki, , China, Europe, London, Brussels, European, Monday’s
President-elect Joe Biden has issued Boris Johnson with a further warning about his Brexit plans, saying wants to avoid the emergence of any border between Ireland and the United Kingdom. 'We want to make sure — we've worked too long to get Ireland worked out ... "We want to make sure — we've worked too long to get Ireland worked out," Biden added. "We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit," Biden tweeted on September 16. While Trump was a vocal supporter of Brexit, Biden was firmly opposed to the idea.
Persons: Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, we've, Biden, I've, Ursula von der Leyen, Johnson, Biden's, Trump, Brexit, Tony Blinken Organizations: Democrats, EU, European Commission, U.S Locations: Ireland, United Kingdom, Brussels, London, Wilmington , Delaware, Northern Ireland
The European region accounted for 44% of global new cases and 49% of global new deaths in the past week, according to the latest weekly WHO report, released Tuesday. According to the WHO report, the global acceleration in case incidence has slowed down over the past week, with around 4 million new cases recorded. However, death rates continued to increase, with more than 67,000 new deaths reported across the world. But despite this downward trend, "the European Region remains the largest contributor to new cases and new deaths in the past 7 days," the report said. There were also 15,362 new cases reported in the last day, bringing the total number of cases to 942,442.
Persons: Ursula von der Leyen, Von der Leyen, Robert Koch, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Macron, Dominique Michel, Alexander de Croo Organizations: CNN, World Health Organization, WHO, European, EU, European Commission, Moderna, Robert Koch Institute, Johns Hopkins University, The, Belgian National Crisis Centre Locations: Europe, France, United Kingdom, Brussels, Berlin, Germany, Region, Italy, Americas, United States, German, Poland, Covid, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Covent, London, ICUs, Belgian, Belgium, Belgium's
London (CNN Business) The UK economy is suffering its worst recession in more than 300 years and failing to secure a new trade deal with the European Union will make its recovery even longer and more arduous, according to the country's independent fiscal watchdog. Talks are stuck on fishing rights, government aid for companies and how to settle disputes. Tariffs, export quotas, red tape and other trade barriers that will come into force on January 1 if there's no deal would prolong the United Kingdom's recovery from the coronavirus recession by almost a year, the watchdog said. Unemployment would be an additional percentage point higher, it added. Johnson has little time left to secure a new trade deal with the European Union, but the United Kingdom faces a dire economic situation even if an agreement materializes.
Persons: Boris Johnson, Johnson, Frost Organizations: London, CNN, European Union Locations: Brussels, United Kingdom
Three European officials told Insider that President-elect Joe Biden, when in office, could pressure Germany to drop its Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia. Nord Stream 2, which would transport natural gas from Russia to Western Europe, cost 10 billion euros to build. European security officials and diplomats expect President-elect Joe Biden to kill the existence of Nord Stream 2, the unfinished pipeline that aims to carry natural gas from Russia to northern Germany. Mukran port in Germany, where some Nord Stream 2 pipes are stored. The arrangement surrounding the existing Nord Stream pipeline requires Russia to send natural gas to Western marks via Eastern European pipelines — an act that limits Russia's ability to threaten gas shortages to some nations.
Persons: Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Biden, Ukraine —, Stefan Sauer, Donald Trump, Putin, , Angela Merkel's, Merkel, Getty, Biden's, " Merkel, Andreas Gebert, It's Organizations: EU, Western, Getty, Trump, Nord Locations: Germany, Russia, Nord, Western Europe, Russian, Eastern, Ukraine, German, Eastern Europe, EU, Brussels, Europe, Berlin, Baltic
Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together. When you’re a Times journalist spending Thanksgiving outside the United States, the day isn’t exactly all turkey and football. Improvisation replaces tradition, family is where you find it, and work comes first. A lot of flavorsMotoko Rich, Tokyo bureau chiefA few months after we arrived in Japan in 2016, my husband cooked a turkey. We shopped at a Western-style supermarket for brussels sprouts and imported cranberries, shutting our eyes to the exorbitant price.
Organizations: cranberries Locations: you’re, United States, Tokyo, Japan, brussels
EU needs to move too for Brexit deal- UK's Gove
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.53   time to read: 1 min
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove is seen in Westminster, London, Britain November 10, 2020. REUTERS/John SibleyLONDON (Reuters) - The European Union must move too if there is to be a Brexit deal senior minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday, adding that he hopes it will be possible to reach an agreement with Brussels. “I hope that we will be able to secure a good deal with the European Union,” he said. “The European Union needs to move as well and it needs to acknowledge that we voted to take back control and that’s the most important thing.”
Persons: Lancaster Michael Gove, John Sibley, Michael Gove, , Organizations: REUTERS, John Sibley LONDON, European, European Union Locations: Duchy, Westminster, London, Britain, Brussels
Foreign donors make Afghan aid pledges with tougher conditions
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
REUTERS/Omar SobhaniDozens of nations, international institutions and the European Union combined to pledge billions in aid for Afghanistan at the conference in Geneva. But many, including the United States and Germany, slapped strict conditions on future funding and some committed for just the next year - departing from four-year pledges made in the past. “We’re pleased to pledge today $300 million...with the remaining $300 million available as we review progress in the peace process,” U.S. The United States has contributed roughly $800 million a year in civilian aid in recent years. France pledged 88 million euros ($104.20 million) and Canada 270 million Canadian dollars ($206.66 million).
Persons: Omar Sobhani, “ We’re, David Hale, Hale, , , Josep Borrell Organizations: United, REUTERS, European Union, Diplomats, State, Political, Qatari, Doha, Taliban, Britain Locations: GENEVA, United States, Afghanistan, Kabul, Geneva, Germany, U.S, Bamyan, Brussels, EU, Britain, Canada
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to oust Turkey’s central bank chief this month was made hours after briefings on the fragile state of the economy, a snap judgement that prompted his son-in-law to resign as finance minister, four sources said. FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a meeting with EU Council President Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium March 9, 2020. Their accounts offer important clues to the sudden economic pivot over the weekend of Nov. 6-9. The drop is recorded in public central bank data so cannot have been a surprise, but the sources said the chat convinced Erdogan that Uysal must be replaced. Last week, the central bank under Agbal delivered a 475-point rate hike, its sharpest in more than two years.
Persons: Tayyip Erdogan’s, Turkey’s, Tayyip Erdogan, Charles Michel, Francois Lenoir, Naci Agbal, Erdogan, Murat Uysal, Uysal, Erdogan’s, Berat Albayrak, Albayrak, , Agbal, “ Erdogan, Lutfi, Joe Biden’s, Atilla Yesilada Organizations: EU, REUTERS, AK, AK Party, Reuters, Turkey, GlobalSource Locations: ANKARA, Brussels, Belgium, COVID
DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it has ordered a dozen ultra-cold freezers that can safely store Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, a move aimed at ensuring the U.S. automaker’s workers have access to vaccines when they are rolled out nationally. FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of Ford is seen at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium January 9, 2020. “We’re doing this so that we can make the vaccine available to our employees on a voluntary basis,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said. Details of how Ford will use the freezers, which are expected to be delivered by year end, are still being worked out, she said. “We are taking steps to be prepared to make vaccines available to our employees when the time is right and vaccines are available to us,” GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey said.
Persons: Pfizer Inc’s, Francois Lenoir, ” Ford, Kelli Felker, Ford, Felker, Stirling Ultracold, Helmer, , Patrick Morrissey Organizations: DETROIT, Ford Motor, Pfizer, Pfizer Inc’s COVID, Ford, REUTERS, Moderna Inc, Fisher Scientific Inc, PHC Corp of North, Medical Systems, Stirling, General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, United Auto Workers union, Detroit Locations: Brussels, Belgium, United States, PHC Corp of North America, Michigan
Goldman Sachs to open Paris stocks hub to avoid Brexit disruption
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Huw Jones | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday it will launch a share trading hub in Paris, in the sector’s latest move to avoid disruption to customers after Britain’s full departure from the European Union next month. FILE PHOTO: A sign is displayed in the reception of Goldman Sachs in Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2016. SIGMA X Europe will trade shares listed across 15 European markets, while its existing UK hub will continue to trade UK and European listings. Britain has said it will allow UK investors to continue using share trading platforms based in the bloc from January. Three pan-European share trading platforms in London - CBOE, London Stock Exchange’s Turquoise, and Aquis Exchange - have already obtained regulatory approvals for EU hubs.
Persons: Goldman Sachs, David Gray, Goldman, , Liz Martin Organizations: European Union, REUTERS, London, EU, SIGMA X, Aquis Locations: Paris, Sydney, Australia, Britain, Brussels, London, CBOE, British, Europe
EU says it could be self-sufficient in electric vehicle batteries by 2025
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Kate Abnett | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.94   time to read: +2 min
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its fast-growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO: An electric car is charged from an Iberdrola electric car charging station in central Bilbao, Spain, November 15, 2018. “I am confident that by 2025, the EU will be able to produce enough battery cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry, and even to build our export capacity,” Sefcovic told the online European Conference on Batteries. Sefcovic said by 2025 planned European facilities would produce enough cells to power at least 6 million electric vehicles. With the Commission expecting 13 million low-emission vehicles on Europe’s roads by 2025, further investments will be needed.
Persons: Maros Sefcovic, Vincent West, ” Sefcovic, Sefcovic, , Communications Jesper Wigardt Organizations: European, REUTERS, Batteries, SK Innovation’s, Transport, Environment, Communications Locations: BRUSSELS, Bilbao, Spain, China, Europe, Swedish, Sweden, Germany, Korean, Hungary, Brussels
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