Displaying items by tag: Brazil

Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:35

Brazil: who controls the ‘lungs of Earth’?

Those fighting to halt climate change call the Amazon rainforest the ‘lungs of Earth,’ and Brazil's current president has made his country a chain-smoker. A healthy Amazon is crucial for the fight against climate change. Human activity is pumping unsustainable amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, trapping enough heat to warm the planet and profoundly disrupt the climate. Trees, and the soils they grow in, store carbon that might otherwise reach the atmosphere, but cutting down or burning them releases more carbon into the air, making Amazon deforestation a problem for the entire planet. President Jair Bolsonaro has made matters much worse for the remaining 60% of Amazon tree cover. He deprived environmental protection agencies of funding and manpower, allowing farmers to cut and burn trees to open land for farms and cattle ranches. But now Joe Biden’s climate envoy is engaged in an international effort to raise $20 billion for Brazil's environmental protection agency, only to be given if deforestation is reduced.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 03 September 2020 09:54

Covid-19 Pandemic Prayer Update – September 2020

As of 2nd September, the total global figure for people infected by Covid-19 stands at 25.7 million according to Johns Hopkins University. In addition to this, the current death statistic stands above 850,000.

Covid-19 hot spots

The US continues to be the country with the most cases and deaths related to Covid-19 globally with the aforementioned figures currently at over 6,000,000 and 180,000 respectively. Although the rate of infection has reduced over recent days and weeks from the high of 77,000 in a day, the daily case numbers are still slightly above those of the peak of the first spike.

After reserving $346 million in funding to purchase 100 million doses of the vaccine in development by the University of Oxford, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has commented that "no one can force anyone to get a vaccine." Brazil, currently heading towards 4 million cases holding the second highest number in the world after the US, has suffered from a steady average of roughly 1,000 deaths per day of people with the virus.

Coronavirus is similarly prevalent elsewhere in the Americas. Peru, Colombia, and Mexico each have over 600,000 cases a piece, whilst Argentina and Chile have more than 400,000 although these numbers may not tell the whole truth as some areas have a significant lack of testing. For example, Mexico has a test rate of just 10,000 tests per 1 million population compared to Spain where there are fewer cases and a test rate of nearly 200,000 tests per 1 million per population. Another issue infecting Latin America is misinformation related to coronavirus cures and preventative treatments. These home remedies spread on social media by influential figures, such as the use of industrial bleach, are unproven and potential harmful self-medications.

India is currently experiencing the highest rate of new coronavirus cases per day reaching its own 24-hour high of 85 thousand on 26th August. Over the month of August, the country amassed nearly 2 million cases; the most reported in a month for any country in the world since the pandemic began. Despite these record statistics, the government continues to lift restrictions in an attempt to boost the economy after lockdown in March saw millions of jobs lost.

Large areas of Europe have managed to dramatically reduce the prevalence of coronavirus, although they have not managed to completely eradicate it. Spain and France are experiencing new outbreaks with regional lockdowns in place to attempt to cut off the spread. Ukraine has seen continued increases in case numbers after failing to minimise the virus after its first peak and the likes of Germany and the UK are observing gentle increases in daily new cases up to around 1,200.

It is still not well known how severe the situation is in Africa since there is a major lack in testing. The International Rescue Committee have said that they fear the continent is “fighting the epidemic in the dark” with limited data to work from hampering their response to the pandemic. South Africa continues to hold the most cases with around 630,000, followed by Egypt with 100,000 but the dramatic positive test result difference of 17% compared to 73% respectively hints at the reality on the continent. Other countries around the world struggling to contain the virus include Indonesia, the Philippines, and Israel, where the numbers of new cases and deaths remain high.

Has the curve flattened?

In some countries around the world where good social distancing has been practised, masks worn where necessary, efficient testing and quarantining has taken place, and test-and-trace systems have been implemented, the rate of infection has been shown to fall, and in some places, reduce to 0. This has been fully enacted by small countries and island nations and has seen positive results from larger countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan, and Iceland where the virus was once prominent.

In other countries, there has been impatience during lockdown, not waiting long enough for case rates to fall before reopening. This prevents a reduced rate of transmission, which doesn’t work towards the eradication of the virus. Through further restlessness and more easing of lockdown restrictions, the rate of transmission has increased again producing a so-called ‘second spike’ as shown by the recent dramatic increase in cases in the US or Israel.

The efforts that have been put in place by countries all over the world have reduced the impacts of the virus, though. Without the measures such as travel restrictions to and from zones with high case rates and social distancing designed to reduce transmission, the new numbers of cases would likely not have dropped, and the death toll would have been much higher by now.

Vaccine update

Over 165 vaccines are currently being developed by teams all over the world in the race to find a solution to the pandemic. 36 of these are currently in human trials, and at least 90 are in animal trials, to prove that they work as intended and are safe for wide-spread use.

A vaccine produced by the University of Oxford has been shown to trigger an immune response creating neutralising antibodies and T-cells in the recipient after a single dose in 90% of participants, although not without possible side-effects such as fever and headaches. Larger trials are taking place in countries such as Brazil where exposure to Covid-19 is high to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective, and then 47,000 volunteers from around the world will take part in “challenge trials” where they will be deliberately infected with coronavirus to observe the vaccine’s response.

Over 150 countries have pooled efforts and resources to set up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, otherwise known as COVAX. The benefits of this are that all member parties can take advantage of successful vaccines produced from their collective library so that everyone will have access to a working product in the shortest time frame possible. In the event that a country’s own vaccine plans fall through, they will have a backup option in COVAX.

The U.S. has announced it has no plans to participate in the rest of the world’s co-operative effort and instead intends to work on its own to find a solution so that they “will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China," said Judd Deere, spokesman for the White House. If the nation’s own vaccine proves to be unsafe or ineffective, they will be vulnerable to an extended period of infection and unnecessary deaths. This comes after President Trump withdrew the country from the World Health Organisation claiming they "failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms" and also accusing China of receiving favourable treatment to cover up the virus’ origin.

Let’s Pray…
Let us continue to declare that the novel coronavirus is defeated by the blood of Jesus.

We pray for divine intervention and for God's name to be glorified even as each nation and government tries its best to flatten the curve and finally arrest this epidemic. 

We release wisdom, skill, and integrity upon our leaders. 

We pray for protection, wisdom and strength, for those working to bring treatment and comfort to the sick and their families.

We pray special grace and help for the vulnerable population and nations. We pray for refugees and displaced peoples. We pray against domestic violence and other crimes that have become rampant during lockdowns.

We pray for a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine to be released soonest but without including aborted baby cells in its creation or neglecting proper testing protocols.

We continue to release faith, hope, and love over the peoples of the world. May the Church seize this opportune time to manifest Jesus our Lord and Savior to those who are seeking answers and peace.

Pray: Lord God, the One who has Almighty power, we agree according to your promise in Matthew 18:18-20 that this virus will be stopped in its tracks. That the medical researchers will get a download from Heaven on how to quickly develop a vaccine to counteract COVID-19 and a cure for those who have become infected.

We also agree in prayer, asking that the Body of Christ worldwide will rise up in love and boldness, trusting in your blood to cover and protect us and throwing off fear, so that we can be available to serve, bless, and bear witness to those around us who are terrified and depressed at being infected.

Let us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make you known to those without hope in Christ!

Thank you for your promise that surely, you will be with us "always, even to the very end of the age” so that we can carry on with the mission you have given us for our world (Matthew 28:20).

Join in Online Prayers:

World Prayer Centre, Birmingham, UK – Virtual House of Prayer

iHop Kansas Prayer Room

247 Prayer Coronavirus Prayer Room 

Additional Prayer Resources for Coronavirus

God and the Pandemic – Tom Wright
Beyond the Pandemic - Rev Dr Clifford Hill
A coronavirus prayer from Pete Greig

19 Things to Do in response to Coronavirus

Prophecy Today UK’s Responses to Coronavirus

PrayerCast Video and Prayer Briefing
CSM Nigeria Article

Lausanne Resources
Operation World EBook on the impact on Mission

WW11 Veteran Gets 180k Praying

On a lighter note… 50 countries affected by Covid 19 sing Amazing Grace in this video

Reporting from John Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

Further data on Europe and the world: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases

Saturday, 01 August 2020 15:31

Covid-19 Pandemic Prayer Update

A prayer report looking at Covid-19 Hot Spots, Flattening the Curve, and Hopes for a Vaccine with links to resources

As of 30th July, the total global figure for people infected by Covid-19 stands at 16.8 million according to the World Health Organisation. In addition, the current death continues to rise above 660,000.

Covid-19 hot spots

The US remains the worst affected country globally in terms of total numbers of cases and deaths with nearly 4.6 million cases and over 150,000 deaths. A record 78,000 cases were reported in just one day on 24th July with 21 states labelled as ‘red zones’ categorised as by their case rate of more than 100 per 100,000 people in the past week.

Brazil has opened its air borders to tourists despite no sign of new cases decreasing and registering new record case and death numbers in recent days. One particular high-profile case in the country was that of the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a long-term sceptic of the severity of the virus. He has since recovered from illness.

South America as a whole now has more confirmed cases than the US and Canada put together. With poor levels of testing taking place, these case numbers are likely far from the truth. A study in Lima, Peru estimated that a quarter of people in the city may be infected, leading to the suggestion that a similar trend may be taking place in other South American cities. Brazil and Peru, along with Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico, are among the top ten countries in the world for new cases each day.

India has become the third most infected country with 1.6 million confirmed cases. However, the true number is likely much higher since testing is not easily available for all; especially for those living in slums where the likelihood of transmission is increased due to close-quarters living conditions and shared sanitation facilities.

Large areas of Europe have managed to dramatically reduce the prevalence of coronavirus, although they have not managed to completely eradicate it. Russia still has the most new cases and deaths daily by far, followed by Spain and France where there have been recent regional outbreaks. Romania and Ukraine have seen continued increases in case numbers after failing to significantly minimise the virus after its first peak.

It is not well known how severe the situation is in Africa since there is a major lack in testing. The International Rescue Committee have said that they fear the continent is “fighting the epidemic in the dark” with limited data to work from hampering their response to the pandemic. Other countries around the world struggling to contain the virus include Indonesia, South Africa, and Israel, where the numbers of new cases and deaths are rising.

Has the curve flattened?

In some countries around the world where good social distancing has been practised, masks worn where necessary, efficient testing and quarantining has taken place, and test-and-trace systems have been implemented, the rate of infection has been shown to fall and in some places be reduced to 0. This has been fully enacted by small countries and island nations and has seen positive results from larger countries such as New Zealand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Iceland where the virus was once prominent.

In other countries, there has been impatience during lockdown, not waiting long enough for case rates to fall before reopening. This prevents a reduced rate of transmission, which doesn’t work towards the eradication of the virus. Through further restlessness and more easing of lockdown restrictions, the rate of transmission has increased again producing a so-called ‘second spike’ as shown by the recent dramatic increase in cases in the US or Israel.

The efforts that have been put in place by countries all over the world have reduced the impacts of the virus, though. Without the measures such as social distancing designed to reduce transmission, the new numbers of cases would likely not have dropped, and the death toll would have been much higher by now.

Vaccine update

Over 165 vaccines are currently being developed by teams all over the world in the race to find a solution to the pandemic. 27 of these are currently in human trials to prove that they work as intended and are safe for wide-spread use.

A vaccine produced by the University of Oxford has been shown to trigger an immune response creating neutralising antibodies and T-cells in the recipient after a single dose in 90% of participants, although not without possible side-effects such as fever and headaches. Larger trials will take place across several countries to ensure the vaccine is safe and then “challenge trials” will be performed where willing participants are deliberately infected with coronavirus to observe the vaccine’s response.

Let us continue to declare that the novel coronavirus is defeated by the blood of Jesus.

We pray for divine intervention and for God's name to be glorified even as each nation and government tries its best to flatten the curve and finally arrest this epidemic. 

We release wisdom, skill, and integrity upon our leaders. 

We pray for protection, wisdom and strength, for those working to bring treatment and comfort to the sick and their families.

We pray special grace and help for the vulnerable population and nations. We pray for refugees and displaced peoples. We pray against domestic violence and other crimes that have become rampant during lockdowns.

We pray for a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine to be released soonest but without including aborted baby cells in its creation, neglecting proper testing protocols, and without including any digital ID tracing (“health passport”) which could bring about totalitarian control.

We continue to release faith, hope, and love over the peoples of the world. May the Church seize this opportune time to manifest Jesus our Lord and Savior to those who are seeking answers and peace.

Pray: Lord God, the One who has Almighty power, we agree according to your promise in Matthew 18:18-20 that this virus will be stopped in its tracks. That the medical researchers will get a download from Heaven on how to quickly develop a vaccine to counteract COVID-19 and a cure for those who have become infected.

We also agree in prayer, asking that the Body of Christ worldwide will rise up in love and boldness, trusting in your blood to cover and protect us and throwing off fear, so that we can be available to serve, bless, and bear witness to those around us who are terrified and depressed at being infected.

Let us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make you known to those without hope in Christ!

Thank you for your promise that surely, you will be with us "always, even to the very end of the age”  so that we can carry on with the mission you have given us for our world (Matthew 28:20).

Join in Online Prayers:

World Prayer Centre, Birmingham, UK – Virtual House of Prayer

iHop Kansas Prayer Room

247 Prayer Coronavirus Prayer Room 

Additional Prayer Resources for Coronavirus

God and the Pandemic – Tom Wright
A coronavirus prayer from Pete Greig

19 Things to Do in response to Coronavirus

Prophecy Today UK’s Responses to Coronavirus

PrayerCast Video and Prayer Briefing
CSM Nigeria Article 

Lausanne Resources
Operation World EBook on the impact on Mission

WW11 Veteran Gets 180k Praying

On a lighter note… 50 countries affected by Covid 19 sing Amazing Grace in this video

Reporting from John Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

Further data on Europe and the world: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases

Thursday, 02 July 2020 06:15

Covid-19 Pandemic Prayer Update

A prayer report looking at Covid-19 Hot Spots, Flattening the Curve, and Hopes for a Vaccine with links to resources.

As of 1st July, the total global figure for people infected by Covid-19 stands at 10.3 million according to the World Health Organisation. In addition, the current death toll stands at over 500,000.

Covid-19 hot spots

Brazil has been hugely impacted due to a blend of inconsistent and incoherent rules, and economic inequality making access to healthcare difficult for poorer citizens. This has given the country the highest number of deaths globally over recent weeks and second in confirmed cases. To make matters worse, the true number of cases is likely much higher due to their low rate of testing with a study by the University of Sao Paolo Medical School estimating that the true rate of infection is 15 times greater.

Elsewhere in South America Chile, French Guiana, and Peru have recorded among the top 10 countries in the world for confirmed cases per 100,000 population despite stricter lockdown restrictions than Brazil’s.

These statistics may be in part explained by differing test rates between countries making international comparisons difficult. The same issue applies to how deaths are recorded in different countries.

The US has the most confirmed cases in the world, growing to almost 2.6 million as a result of a recent big increase in the rate of infection in southern and western states after many regions loosened lockdown restrictions prematurely.

Over Europe the rate of infection has stabilised to a confirmed case number of 130,000 per week; half of the rate at its peak of the virus. Hotspots on the continent can be found in Russia where the new daily cases remain around 7,000, and with smaller regional outbreaks within the likes of Ukraine, UK, France, and Germany.

Other countries around the world struggling to contain the virus include India, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, where the numbers of new cases and deaths are strongly rising.

Has the curve flattened?

In some countries around the world where good social distancing has been practised, masks worn where necessary, efficient testing and quarantining has taken place, and test-and-trace systems have been implemented, the rate of infection has been shown to fall and in some places be reduced to 0. This has been fully enacted by small countries and island nations and has seen positive results from larger countries such as New Zealand, Taiwan, and Iceland where the virus was once prominent.

In other countries, there has been impatience during lockdown, not waiting long enough for case rates to fall before reopening. This prevents a reduced rate of transmission, which doesn’t work towards the eradication of the virus. Through further restlessness and more easing of lockdown restrictions, the rate of transmission has increased again producing a so-called ‘second spike’ as shown by the recent dramatic increase in cases in the US or Iran.

The efforts that have been put in place by countries all over the world have reduced the impacts of the virus, though. Without the measures such as social distancing designed to reduce transmission, the new numbers of cases would likely not have dropped, and the death toll would have been much higher by now.

Vaccine update

Two drugs have received emergency use authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration for use in clinical trials on patients to test their effectiveness in treating coronavirus. The first of these, hydroxychloroquine, had this authorisation removed after studies showed the drug not to be effective, and the second, remdesivir is awaiting data. It will likely be months before a treatment drug can be proven, and longer before it can be widespread.

Numerous vaccine trials are taking place around the world including one produced by the University of Oxford taking place in Brazil with 5,000 participants, and a smaller trial in Germany generating positive results in its initial phases.

Let us continue to declare that the novel coronavirus is defeated by the blood of Jesus.

We pray for divine intervention and for God's name to be glorified even as each nation and government tries its best to flatten the curve and finally arrest this epidemic. 

We release wisdom, skill, and integrity upon our leaders. 

We pray for protection, wisdom and strength, for those working to bring treatment and comfort to the sick and their families.

We pray special grace and help for the vulnerable population and nations. We pray for refugees and displaced peoples. We pray against domestic violence and other crimes that have become rampant during lockdowns.

We pray for a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine to be released soonest.

We continue to release faith, hope, and love over the peoples of the world. May the Church seize this opportune time to manifest Jesus our Lord and Savior to those who are seeking answers and peace.

Pray: Lord God, the One who has Almighty power, we agree according to your promise in Matthew 18:18-20 that this virus will be stopped in its tracks. That the medical researchers will get a download from Heaven on how to quickly develop a vaccine to counteract COVID-19 and a cure for those who have become infected.

We also agree in prayer, asking that the Body of Christ worldwide will rise up in love and boldness, trusting in your blood to cover and protect us and throwing off fear, so that we can be available to serve, bless, and bear witness to those around us who are terrified and depressed at being infected.

Let us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make you known to those without hope in Christ!

Thank you for your promise that surely, you will be with us "always, even to the very end of the age”  so that we can carry on with the mission you have given us for our world (Matthew 28:20).

Join in Online Prayers:

World Prayer Centre, Birmingham, UK – Virtual House of Prayer

iHop Kansas Prayer Room

247 Prayer Coronavirus Prayer Room 

Additional Prayer Resources for Coronavirus

A coronavirus prayer from Pete Greig

19 Things to Do in response to Coronavirus

Prophecy Today UK’s Responses to Coronavirus

PrayerCast Video and Prayer Briefing
CSM Nigeria Article
Lausanne Resources
Operation World EBook on the impact on Mission

WW11 Veteran Gets 180k Praying

Reporting from John Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

Further data on Europe and the world: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases

Thursday, 30 April 2020 21:13

Brazil: president's troubles

In 2018 Brazilians elected controversial Jair Bolsonaro as president to break up a corrupt political class. But he has antagonised political forces, upset environmentalists by severely damaging the Amazon, dismissed journalists as peddling fake news, and badly mishandled the coronavirus pandemic fearing what shutdowns might do to Brazil's economy. He dismissed the seriousness of the outbreak with self-importance and backed anti-quarantine protests. Then he fired his health minister, who had become more popular than himself. With irregular testing, Brazil reported 5,017 Coronavirus deaths, hundreds more than in China. On 26 April Brazil's supreme court opened an enquiry into Bolsonaro’s son being involved in illegal schemes and fake news rackets, and Brazil's justice minister accused Bolsonaro of meddling in law enforcement and quit. The next day Bolsonaro named a family friend, Alexandre Ramagem, to head the federal police. Today the allegations of improper interference by the outgoing justice minister are triggering impeachment and criminal investigation rumours. See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 02 April 2020 21:51

Brazil: Bolsonaro's ‘deny and defy’ policy

President Bolsonaro's coronavirus strategy of ‘putting economy first' is putting thousands of lives at risk. He calculates that the number of deaths will be less costly than the inevitable recession caused by an economic shutdown. Brazil's poorest communities lack refuse collection, have water shortages and open sewers, and are very densely populated. These are perfect conditions for the virus to proliferate. Bolsonaro's televised national address, calling the virus ‘a little flu’, was condemned by business leaders and politicians. Two of his tweets were removed for ‘violating rules’ and defying international guidelines. Bombastic media appearances, dubbed ‘Brazil can't stop’, encouraging citizens to get back to work and downplaying the virus threat, were quickly taken off air. The majority of Brazil's elderly live with family members or someone else who is not their partner.The ‘deny’ strategy is expected to produce a situation worse than Italy in two or three weeks, and a collapsed health system.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:59

Brazil: 'Gay Jesus' film sparks backlash

A comedy depicting Jesus as a gay man has prompted almost two million Brazilians to sign an online petition calling on Netflix to remove it. Netflix has not yet responded or commented. ‘The First Temptation of Christ’, created by the group Porta dos Fundos, portrays Jesus bringing home his boyfriend Orlando to meet the Holy Family. The petition calls for the 46-minute holiday special to be removed, as it had offended Christians. Porta dos Fundos won an international Emmy for its holiday special last year. Brazil is a deeply religious country, where the Catholic Church and the evangelical Christian movement frequently criticise LGBT+ rights.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 14 November 2019 21:38

Global: mothers speak out on climate change

From the vanishing Solomon Islands to the burning Amazon rainforest, mothers speak up from danger zones. Alice, in Brazil, fears for her two-month-old son: ‘It is hotter than when I was a child, and I don’t know how it will be when he grows up. There is more pollution, he’s already having breathing problems. I am privileged to live in this paradise, but I look around today and fear that we are losing it.’ Baby Rafsan lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the most overpopulated city in the world. His mother said, ‘We fear for our futures but not enough to quit using cars to save the climate'. By 2050 one in seven people will be displaced by rising sea levels - that’s 18 million people. Bangladesh will not exist in 100 years if carbon dioxide emissions remain the same. ‘My baby should not be wearing a mask’, said a mother in Delhi.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 01 August 2019 23:24

South America: nations with high crime rates

Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela have colossal crime rates which undermine growth, threaten human welfare, and impede social development, according to the UN and World Bank. The region registers 40% of the world’s murders despite having only 9% of the global population. One in four Latin Americans was assaulted and robbed in 2018. Wealthy Brazilians have to provide their own security. Pray for the church and the police to bring security and peace to Brazil’s vulnerable population. Massive street marches in Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil protesting against violence have made it difficult for politicians to avoid dealing with the issue and, in many countries, tackling crime is a central theme in political party platforms across the region. Pray for God to raise up strong, wise men and women with God’s anointing to lead the countries back to His purposes.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 05 July 2019 10:19

Brazil: indigenous people under attack

The 1988 Brazilian constitution recognises indigenous peoples' right to pursue traditional ways of life and the permanent, exclusive possession of their ‘traditional lands’, demarcated as Indigenous Territories. When Jair Bolsonaro became president on 1 January, he vowed that not another centimetre of indigenous land would be protected under his leadership, and he would forcibly ‘integrate’ them, adding it was ‘a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians’. Indigenous peoples are fearful. His administration has launched an unprecedented attack on them, with the explicit aim of destroying their way of life and plundering their land. On 28 June 2,000+ people occupied the capital holding banners and arrows, marching to the ministry of health and the ministry of justice. Pray for the restoration of healthcare access to indigenous people; and that they will have more land rights and access to public services. See

Published in Worldwide
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