City traders have urged UK and European exchanges to cut trading hours to improve work-life balance.
They say the long hours are bad for mental health and are not exactly female-friendly.
“It’s hard to find childcare at five o’clock in the morning,” said April Day, head of equities at the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME).
The idea is for exchanges to open 09:00 to 16:00, instead of 08:00 to 16:30.
The AFME is pushing for the change alongside fellow trader body the Investment Association.
Shorter trading hours would cut pressure on traders and attract a more diverse range of workers, it said.
Stock market trading has traditionally been seen as male-dominated, lagging behind other areas of financial services in terms of attracting women into roles,
The AFME’s Ms Day said her organisation had been lobbying stock exchanges in London, Paris, Germany and the Nordic region.
“A shorter working day would improve flexibility for employees and attract a more diverse range of individuals on to trading floors,” she added.
The London Stock Exchange said it would launch a consultation on the request.
Traders in the UK and elsewhere in Europe normally work for a few hours either side of the current 8.5 trading hours, Ms Day said.
By contrast, US exchanges are open for 6.5 hours and Asian exchanges for 6.
Chris Cumming, chief executive of the Investment Association, says that under the current hours, City traders are beginning work when there is not much action on the market anyway.
“We have been doing a review about how we can make sure that trading on the market is as efficient as possible,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.
“What it means is that investors, pension funds, you and I as savers, we are able to eventually trade at the most efficient time when liquidity is at its best.
“It is cheaper to do and that actually means we get high levels of savings and better pensions, so this has got a real world impact.”
A knock-on effect of having a smaller intake of women in junior positions means that there are relatively few women in senior management positions in investment and banking trading, Ms Day said.
Juggling work and childcare responsibilities can be a challenge for both men and women, she added.
Long hours in a high-pressure job can also exacerbate any mental health difficulties traders may be suffering, Ms Day added.
Galina Dimitrova, director of capital markets at the Investment Association, concurred: “We have heard many deeply moving stories of traders’ mental health and personal life being impacted by their working hours.
“Whilst it is no silver bullet, we hope this European-wide review could start to lead to a step change in more efficient markets to the benefit of savers and those who operate them.”
The London Stock Exchange said it strongly supported improving diversity and workplace culture in the City.
It said the call from the trader associations was “an important suggestion for a European-wide adjustment to trading hours”.
“We intend to consider the request in a formal consultation with London Stock Exchange’s global members and customers,” it added.
One Festival of Homeless Arts brings together works of visual art, theatre, film and photography, all created by artists who are or have been homeless.
The work is being exhibited at the Old Diorama Arts Centre in London.
Three festival artists talk about their work and how their art relates to their experiences of homelessness.
Geraldine Crimmins, from London, discovered her love of art when in prison at the age of 50 as a result of her drug addiction. “I got arrested and it was great because I got detoxed,” she says. “Prison was brilliant, it got my head clear, I cleaned up in there. It saved my life.”
Previously, Geraldine was a businesswoman but says her mental health deteriorated in her late 30s. She lost two businesses and her house to drug addiction by the time she was 40.
She has experienced homelessness, spending two years on the streets around Victoria station in London. When she was mugged, she spent six weeks in hospital and then moved to bed and breakfast accommodation, where she spent a further four years. She now lives in north London.
While in prison, Geraldine attended an art class and started to paint portraits of nude figures. “I’ve always liked the female nude. I’ve developed my artistic eye and I do more abstract figurative work now.”
She submitted a small watercolour painting of a nude to a prison exhibition. Six people wanted to buy the painting. “That gave me such a buzz when I sold it. At the exhibition the next year I sold two more pieces.”
Geraldine is now an art mentor for people with mental health difficulties who have been in a hostel or living on the street.
She also takes a women’s group to the Royal Academy of Arts every two months to see an art exhibition. “There are so few things for women in the homeless arena, I try to give women a voice.
“I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and an anxiety disorder, and I got treatment.
“But I think a lot of mental health conditions of the homeless go untreated. Many homeless people don’t realise that they actually need to see a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.”
As a self-employed artist, Geraldine carries out consultancy work for Cafe Art, a social enterprise that aims to empower people affected by homelessness by supporting their art, photography and entrepreneurship.
“Someone once asked me what my dream would be and I said working with marginalised people and being an artist, [which has] ended up coming around. It’s been amazing.”
Geraldine has submitted a number of paintings to this year’s festival, including the image below called Woman with Purple Hair, drawing inspiration from a book of nude photo portraits.
One Festival of Homeless Arts was founded in 2016 by ex-homeless artist and campaigner David Tovey, seen below with one of his works during the hanging of the exhibition.
Artist Stephen O’Grady submitted three pieces of art to the festival, seen below.
The ink drawings show different places in which a homeless person may find themselves sleeping: a pavement, on a discarded mattress or in a seaside shelter.
“I’ve slept on mattresses I’ve found so many times,” Stephen says. “To someone that’s a discarded bit of rubbish, but at that time that was home to me. I’m trying to get that across in the art – that everything has a value to somebody.”
Stephen found himself homeless in late 2015, following several years of alcohol abuse and the breakdown of his marriage.
He was homeless in Watford, the area in which he grew up, before deciding to travel to the south coast. “If you’re going to be homeless, it’s nice to be beside the seaside, so I went to Brighton.”
The shelter seen in his work, next to the word Belvedere, is a scene from Brighton seafront.
While homeless, Stephen returned to his love of art, which began when he attended Watford School of Art as a teenager.
“I always drew even when I was on the streets, I’d have my sketchpad and pens in my bag. The output wasn’t great.
“But looking back on some of the art is quite eye-opening. It was a diary, like an outlet.”
Stephen found creative inspiration from the people around him. “I’m inspired by people’s faces, expressions and speed of movement.
“When you’re homeless you’ve got the freedom to stare a bit more at people, because you are being ignored, plus you’ve nothing else to look at. Not being looked at really got to me.”
Stephen is now in accommodation in Watford and is nourishing his love of art. “I like the feeling of opening a box of paints, or my art box, and just attacking a bit of paper.”
He recently filled a sketchbook with drawings dedicated to his partner, with every page inspired by her. “She got a feeling of joy when she was given it, saying, ‘No-one’s ever done anything like that for me, that’s amazing.'”
Artist Claire Bastow first experienced homelessness shortly after she moved to London in the 1980s.
“The landlord of the accommodation I was in found out that two of my housemates were gay, and so threw all six of us out,” she says. “I had to sleep on people’s couches. I ended up in a squat for a while. There was no legislation to protect us at that point.”
Later in life, Claire says she was made homeless again as a result of domestic violence.
“When I’ve experienced homelessness it’s been pretty awful, that uncertainty. I’ve had to spend the odd night on the street. Or living on people’s couches.
“I’ve been able to use some of that experience to inspire me creatively. There’ve been some positives from it, that’s how I’ve processed it. All that comes out in my art; a sense of belonging, and not belonging.”
Claire developed her art skills in her late 30s, earning various qualifications, including A-level art. She has fond childhood memories of spending time with her grandfather Basil Bastow, an established watercolour artist who was also president of the Nottingham Arts Council.
“We used to go to art galleries all the time. We queued up for three hours to see the Turner exhibition. Turner was his main inspiration.”
Claire has two portraits in the art festival, both paintings of women who have experienced homelessness, Marianne (below left) and Maiya (below right).
“You can see their stories in the characters of their faces. Marianne is pointing to her eye as though to say, ‘Look at me, I have a story to tell.'”
“When people see my work I hope they get from it the idea that when you first glance at somebody, whoever they are, it’s better to look further. Everyone has got a story.
“Everyone has experienced difficulties in their life. Everyone is valid and has a voice and deserves to be seen and heard, and not hidden away, or stigmatised.”
Interviews and photographs by Matthew Tucker.
Residents on two housing estates where blocks of flats burned down have been left at risk because of fire stopping measures in buildings being “missing or useless”, the BBC has been told.
A block built in Worcester Park in south-west London by the Berkley Group burned down in September.
The BBC has found apparent flaws in two more Berkley Group buildings it is said would allow fire to spread quickly.
The developer said all properties had been “independently signed off”.
Since September’s blaze, the housing association for The Hamptons estate has temporarily changed its “stay put” evacuation policy following advice from London Fire Brigade.
Former resident Stephen Nobrega told the BBC the way the fire spread “was more or less instant. It was like paper”.
Wood is combustible and so fire stopping in timber frame homes is important to prevent the spread of fire.
“You would expect that the materials would contain a fire for a considerable amount of time, but it just didn’t happen,” Mr Nobrega said.
Although there were no injuries, some residents believed they just about escaped in time.
‘Shoddily thrown together’
A number of families lost their homes in the fire while others on the estate said they were concerned their own homes were not safe.
The development has since been on high alert, with security guards patrolling 24 hours-a-day on the lookout for fire.
Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH), the housing association that now manages properties in the Hamptons, said it had “fitted smoke alarms in the electrical cupboards of all our blocks”.
“We are worried about how our homes are built and if they could go up, we want to be evacuated,” a resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.
A large fire would be able to spread quickly at another building on The Hamptons site, two independent surveyors have claimed.
Independent chartered surveyor and fire safety inspector, Arnold Tarling, found a large gap between the fire stopping and the cladding on the outside of a building in the estate, which he said would act as a “chimney through which a fire will spread”.
“What we have here is a form of fire stopping which just won’t do its job,” he said.
Greig Adams, a fire safety expert, told the BBC these breaches had “consequences, including a considerable increased risk to life in the event of a fire”.
“The provision of effective fire barriers is a mandatory requirement, not an element that can be shoddily thrown together or to cut corners on,” Mr Adams said.
A former home owner at the Worcester Park estate has told the BBC she contacted the Berkeley Group nine years ago over safety concerns.
Sheila Majid said she had an independent inspection of her property in 2010 that revealed similar problems with fire stopping and meant “our home did not meet basic fire safety requirements”.
She managed to sell her property back to the Berkeley Group, but remained concerned other Berkeley properties had similar problems.
Two years ago a fire at another Berkeley Group-built property on the Holborough Lakes Estate in Kent destroyed a block of flats.
Mr Tarling inspected a loft space at a property in the estate and found similar fire safety problems to those at the Worcester Park estate.
“There needs to be a full investigation of these properties, not only by the contractor but by the authorities,” he said.
A spokesman for the Berkley Group said “all properties were independently signed off as building control compliant”.
Speaking about the Hamptons fire he said “the police and the fire brigade are still investigating the cause of the fire, which remains unknown” and the group was “making all necessary checks to reassure residents”.
A National House Building Council spokesperson said it was the approved inspector for the Worcester Park development and the organisation had “carried out periodic inspections at key stages of a development’s construction”.
However, they added that “the primary responsibility for achieving compliance with the regulations rests with the builder”.
Housing association MTVH said it had since commissioned surveys of all the buildings it owned and managed.
Geeta Nanda, chief executive of MTVH, said: “It’s our absolute priority to ensure we provide residents with the support and help they need at this difficult time, and making sure that the homes throughout The Hamptons are safe.”
London-based developer Berkley Group has built 19,500 homes in the past five years across the south of England and the Midlands.
A cliff lift, a railway viaduct and a pair of lighthouses have been added to a list of sites at risk of being lost.
Historic England has added 247 sites to its At Risk Register but 310 have been removed as they were regarded as saved.
The 134-year-old Leas Lift in Folkestone, England’s oldest surviving timber trestle railway bridge in Maldon and both Dovercourt Lighthouses in Harwich are on the list.
A well in London, a lead mine and a Georgian warship have been removed.
Historic England praised those who had “lovingly cared for” and “brought back to life” empty buildings and “valued historic places”.
Chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “The message is clear – our heritage needs to be saved and investing in heritage pays.
“There are buildings still on the register that can be rescued and can be brought back to beneficial use and generate an income, contributing to the local community and economy.”
Sites considered saved in the past year included:
- Congregational Chapel in Roxton, Bedfordshire
- Physic Well in Barnet, north London
- Church of St Bride in Fleet Street, central London
- Moseley School of Art in Birmingham
- Potternewton Mansion in Leeds
- HMS Invincible, the wreck of an 18th Century navy ship, off Horse and Dean Sand in The Solent
- Former Providence Chapel in Charlwood, Surrey
- Carrshield lead mines and ore works, North Pennines
- St Andrew’s Church in Sunderland
- Hooton Hangars, RAF hangars in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
2,375Grade I and II* listed buildings and places of worship
102 Parks and gardens
6Battlefields and wreck sites
Source: Historic England
New sites at risk included:
The Dovercourt lighthouses and causeway, Harwich
Believed to be unique examples of 19th century prefabricated lighthouses, the two towers off the Essex coast are a “well-regarded” feature of the deep water harbour but they are deteriorating.
A survey was carried out in 2018 with a view to repair work commencing over the next two years.
Wickham Bishops railway viaduct, Maldon
The oldest surviving timber trestle railway bridge in England, the structure at Wickham Bishops, also in Essex, comprises two adjoining viaducts and was part of the Braintree to Maldon branch line between 1848 and 1966.
Despite extensive repairs in the 1990s, many timbers are suffering from rot and decay caused by damp, lack of maintenance and heavy tree growth.
Leas Lift, Folkestone
The Grade II* listed funicular railway in Kent was built in 1885 and is one of only three remaining water-balanced lifts in the UK.
It closed in January 2017 because of safety issues with the braking system, since when the building, tracks and machinery have degraded further.
A trust has been formed to manage the building with the hope of reopening the lift in 2023.
Former Weedon Barracks, Weedon Bec
The military complex was constructed as a major depot for arms and ammunition during the Napoleonic Wars and included barracks and a military prison.
It would have served as a refuge for the king and government if Napoleon had invaded and remained a main supplier of arms and clothing to the British Army until the 1960s.
Part of the site in Northamptonshire has been refurbished and Historic England has funded a survey to see what can be done with the rest.
Beckford’s Tower, Bath
This “much-loved landmark” was built in 1827 for writer William Beckford to house his collection of art, books and furniture.
He was buried at the tower and the surrounding Lansdown Cemetery has also been put on the register because of the poor condition of some of its main features.
The Bath Preservation Trust acquired the tower in 1993 and carried out extensive repairs, opening the building to the public in 2001. It is now preparing for another phase of major repairs, which is dependent on fundraising.
Grand Quarter, Leeds
This area was the first to be developed beyond Leeds’ medieval boundaries in the 1600s and was transformed by cloth merchant John Harrison, who also funded the construction of St John’s Church, the oldest church in the city centre, in 1630.
Buildings from each following century remain today, including the Victorian Grand Theatre, but heavy traffic, empty shops and loss of architectural details have left it looking “down at heel”, Historic England said.
The Grand Quarter has recently been chosen as a High Street Heritage Action Zone with Historic England funding due to help revive and improve the area’s “special character”.
Police investigating what they say is the UK’s biggest ever drugs conspiracy have charged 13 men.
The charges of conspiracy to import drugs follow a National Crime Agency investigation into the alleged smuggling of billions of pounds of cocaine, heroin and cannabis.
The NCA said the men were suspected of being members of an international organised crime group.
The men, aged 34 to 59, will appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court later.
It comes after they were arrested in dawn raids on Tuesday in London, Manchester, Stockport, St Helens, Warrington, Bolton, Dewsbury, and Leeds.
The NCA said seven men have now been charged with four counts of conspiracy to import class A drugs and four counts of conspiracy to import class B drugs.
They are Paul Green, 54, of Eccleston, St Helens; Sohail Quereshi, 59, of Wood Crescent, White City, London; Mohammed Ovais, 41, of Bournlee Avenue, Burnage, Manchester; Ghazanfar Mahmood, 48, of Green Lane, Bolton; Ifthikar Hussain, 46, of Upland Grove, Leeds, West Yorkshire; Vojtech Dano, 38, of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and Ivan Turtak, 34, of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
A further six men have all been charged with two counts of conspiracy to import class A drugs and two counts of conspiracy to import class B drugs.
They are Khaleed Vazeer, 56, of Westwood Avenue, Timperley, Manchester; Steven Martin, 48, of Chorley Old Road, Bolton; Andrew Reilly, 37, of Grange Park Road, St Helens; Mark Peers, 55, of Norbeck Close, Warrington; Paul Ruane, 58, of Bewsey Rd, Warrington and Oliver Penter, 37, of Gladstone Street, Stockport.
Four men and two women from the Netherlands – who were arrested in April by the Dutch National Police on European Arrest Warrants – are currently awaiting extradition to the UK.
A man stabbed to death at a London Underground station was a football fan on his way to a match, the BBC has been told.
The Arsenal supporter was killed in a “unprovoked attacked” on the platform at Hillingdon station on Tuesday.
He had been on his way to the Emirates Stadium to see the Gunners face Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup, a source said.
It is the third murder investigation on the Tube network this year.
No arrests have been made over the attack, which Det Supt Gary Richardson described as “a shocking act of violence”.
He said the British Transport Police (BTP) investigation was in its “early stages”.
“We believe a group of young men were involved in an altercation on the platform before one of the men received a fatal stab wound,” he said.
Police were called to the station in west London shortly before 16:00 BST and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Danielle Foster, who was driving past Hillingdon station at the time of the stabbing, said upon “hearing so many sirens, I knew something terrible had happened”.
“Lots of people were being turned away from the station as it had been closed,” she said, adding: “Then the police helicopter began circling the scene.”
Hillingdon station was closed by Transport for London (TfL) while police searched the area.
The station has since re-opened.
So far in 2019 more than 110 murder investigations have been launched across London by the Metropolitan Police and BTP.
Commuters have been told not to travel from London Waterloo during the rush hour after a fire closed nine platforms.
The lineside blaze damaged cabling outside the station, meaning trains cannot use platforms 16-24.
Network Rail said “significant damage” had been caused to equipment, meaning trains will be delayed or cancelled.
Disruption is expected for the rest of the day while the Thursday morning rush hour may also be affected.
Network Rail said its engineers would be working through the night to fix the damage.
Waterloo is the busiest and largest railway station in the UK.
The platforms which are closed are normally used by trains serving Windsor, Reading, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.
However, services from other platforms are also being affected because trains have to be diverted or revised.
- Circular services via Hounslow, Richmond, Strawberry Hill and Kingston have been cancelled
- Trains between Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside are diverted via Kingston
- Trains between Waterloo and Exeter/Salisbury are terminated and will restart from Basingstoke
Passengers were warned that services on other routes may also be subject to short-notice cancellations or delays.
In a joint statement, Network Rail and South Western Railway said commuters were “strongly advised to use alternative routes where possible and check their journeys before travelling at southwesternrailway.com for ticket acceptance and service details”.
Some passengers took to social media to express their frustration at the travel disruption.
One Twitter user described the situation as an “absolute shambles”, while others complained about being given the wrong or no information at all by train station staff.
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (day two):|
|Middlesex 384 Malan 166; Carey 4-54 & 189-5 Robson 73*, Simpson 56|
|Glamorgan 171 Lloyd 67; Helm 5-53, Roland-Jones 4-45|
|Middlesex (7 pts) lead Glamorgan (3 pts) by 402 runs|
Middlesex have a formidable lead of 402 over Glamorgan at 189-5 in their second innings, going into day three in Cardiff.
Sam Robson (73*) and John Simpson (56) have strengthened the visitors’ grip.
Toby Roland-Jones (4-45) made the most of a helpful pitch as Glamorgan were hustled out for an inadequate 171.
David Lloyd’s 67 was the top home score, while Tom Helm (5-53) wrapped up the innings with his fifth wicket after his first-evening purple patch.
Lloyd shared half-century stands with Billy Root and Chris Cooke before the visitors’ seamers re-established control, as Glamorgan’s last five wickets mustered just 28 runs.
A lead of 213 runs was not enough to persuade Dawid Malan to enforce the follow-on, wanting to avoid batting last on the most bowler-friendly Championship pitch of the season in Cardiff.
Although Middlesex slumped to 85-4, they were never under pressure thanks to their first-innings lead, and the Robson-Simpson century partnership blossomed in the evening sunshine to grind down Glamorgan hopes of avoiding a first defeat of the campaign.
Glamorgan vice-captain David Lloyd told BBC Sport Wales:
“A very difficult day, they hit their lengths more regularly than we did, then we started well with the ball in the second dig but it’s always tough when you’re chasing the game.
“It’s a wicket where you have to be positive and get forward because it’s starting to go more up and down- it’s about looking to score rather than sit there and wait for things to happen.
“We’ve showed in previous games that we can battle draws out so you never know, we’ll have to try to bat the rest of the game and we can do it if we get our mindsets right.”
Middlesex bowler Tom Helm told BBC Radio London:
“It took a bit longer to get the fifth one than I had in my head last night, but Toby had four and I’m very happy with it.
“If you get the ball in the right area, the odd one zips through and it changed a bit from day one.
“There’s so long left in this game, we can bat for as long as we want and it’ll be interesting to see how the morning goes, they’ll come out fired up but we’ll see how we go.”
A woman riding an electric scooter has been killed in a crash with a lorry in south-west London.
The 35-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene at the Queen Circus roundabout, Battersea following the crash at about 08:30 BST.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said her next of kin had yet to be informed and no arrests had been made.
In July last year a cyclist was killed at the roundabout after being hit by a bin lorry.
A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We sent an advanced paramedic, two ambulance crews, an incident response officer and two medics in cars to the scene, with the first of our medics arriving in under four minutes.
“Sadly, despite the extensive efforts of medics, a woman died at the scene.”
Transport for London and Wandsworth Council redesigned the roundabout in 2015, which trialled the use of raised kerbs and separate traffic lights to keep cyclists and vehicles segregated at junctions.
Concerns had been raised that the new layout was too complicated.
While the cause of the crash is unknown, e-scooters are illegal to ride on public roads, including in cycle lanes or on the pavement.
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to all those involved in this tragic incident, and fully support the police as they carry out their investigations.
“Safety is at the heart of all our road laws and it is important that retailers continue to remind people at the point of sale that it is illegal to ride e-scooters on public roads.”
An electric scooter, or e-scooter, is similar to a traditional children’s scooter but has a motorised engine attached.
An engineering train has derailed in south London causing the closure of the Gatwick Express service.
The train partly left the tracks at low speed outside Victoria station at about 03:00 BST.
No Gatwick Express trains are running, while Southern warned its services would be “severely reduced”.
The train has moved and the track will now be “assessed for damage” and repaired if necessary through the night, according to Southern.
Disruption is expected to last throughout Tuesday but Gatwick Express and Southern said a normal service was expected on Wednesday.
The train was stuck across a number of tracks meaning platforms nine to 13 at Victoria were blocked, while services were not able to use the “slow/stopping” lines to and from Clapham Junction.
Some trains were also unable to leave the Battersea depot – further reducing the number of services that could run.
Recovery teams cut the 50-tonne train from its two wagons and lifted it back on to the track using hydraulic jacks.
Trains running through Gatwick Airport were also disrupted by a separate signalling fault and a passenger who was injured as they left a carriage, which led to one platform becoming blocked.
Some commuters took to social media as they found their trains had been cancelled.
Other stations, including London Bridge, also became congested as people tried to find alternative routes.
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A Network Rail spokesperson said passengers should travel “via London Bridge or London Blackfriars as trains will be delayed, diverted or cancelled”.
Train tickets for Southern and Gatwick Express services have been accepted for reasonable routes on other services.
Train services affected:
- Gatwick Express services are completely suspended
- Services to Sutton, Epsom Downs and Epsom to and from London Victoria are reduced
- Some mainline services will be diverted to London Bridge instead of London Victoria
- Southern services between London Victoria and Reigate are cancelled and passengers are advised to use Thameslink to and from Redhill and then Great Western Railway between Reigate and Redhill
- Services between London Victoria and East Grinstead will call additionally at Selhurst and Streatham Common
- Services between Milton Keynes and East Croydon will call additionally at Wandsworth Common when not already booked to do so
- Services between London Victoria and Horsham via Sutton will call additionally at Ewell East
- Southern trains from Sutton to London Bridge via Wimbledon will be cancelled. Thameslink will be running as normal
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