Saturday, December 31, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 30 December 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Order of Canada recipients announced


Sixty-six notable Canadians are being inducted to or promoted within the Order of Canada, including hockey coach Scotty Bowman, sportscaster Brian Williams and former prime minister Paul Martin. Also among those receiving honours, former Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, retired chief of defence staff Rick Hillier and storyteller Stuart McLean. Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, who commanded NATO's military mission in Libya, has received a promotion to Officer of the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Chosen by an independent panel based on nominations from the public, the order has three levels of membership -- companion, officer and member.



Whistler ski patroller killed in B.C. avalanche


A backcountry skier who died after an avalanche near Pemberton in the Pacific coast province of British Columbia has been identified as 30-year-old Duncan MacKenzie, a ski patroller at the Whistler-Blackcomb resort. Described as an avid outdoorsman, Mr. MacKenzie was among four skiers making their final descent when they were caught up in the slide. The avalanche hit late Thursday afternoon and darkness fell before he could be evacuated from the Casper Creek area. The deadly snow slide came amid warnings from the Canadian Avalanche Centre, that the risk of avalanches is high across most of B-C.



Ottawa allows Agent Orange compensation


The federal government has changed its mind about refusing compensation for dozens of Canadians sickened by Agent Orange. The Canadian Press reports that some 30 soldiers exposed to the defoliant in the 1960s, or their families, will now receive compensation. Several families have gone public in recent weeks about the bureaucratic battles they've fought over the issue. That prompted a review of the rules which are now being revised to also allow compensation for primary caregivers, like the spouses of soldiers who died in nursing homes.



Family treated for carbon monoxide poisoning


Canadians are being reminded to make sure their home is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors after a Quebec family was sent to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning early Friday morning. Officials say two adults and two children were experiencing headaches, but were conscious when emergency crews arrived at their home in the city of Gatineau. Tests detected a significant amount of carbon monoxide inside their house but firefighters have yet to identify the source of the leak. Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas that is often linked to gas-powered tools, heaters and cooking equipment. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, lightheadedness and confusion. Exposure to the gas can be deadly.



Weather clears, stranded ferry passengers finally leave N.S. port


Passengers who've been stranded aboard a Marine Atlantic ferry for more than two days finally set sail on Friday afternoon. High winds and rough seas had prevented the ferry Blue Puttees from leaving North Sydney, Nova Scotia for Newfoundland since Wednesday night. Marine Atlantic's other ferries, including ones scheduled to depart Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, were also delayed.





International

Russian firefighters extinguish sub fire


Firefighters extinguished a massive fire aboard a docked Russian nuclear submarine as some crew members remained inside. Officials are assuring that there was no radiation leak and that the vessel's nuclear-tipped missiles were not on board when the fire began on Thursday. Military prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether safety regulations were breached and President Dmitry Medvedev has demanded punishment for anyone found responsible. The fire broke out at an Arctic shipyard outside the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk where the submarine Yekaterinburg was in dry-dock. Seven members of the submarine crew were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous carbon monoxide fumes from the fire.



China: Fishermen sue oil giant


A Chinese court has agreed to hear a lawsuit brought against the U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips by a group of fishermen. The lawsuit is a result of an oil spill last June that released more than 3,000 barrels of oil near Tianjin. Lawyers for a group of 29 fishermen filed the lawsuit with the Tianjin Maritime Court. It claims the oil leak, from a field operated by ConocoPhillips, killed many of their clams and sea cucumbers, a form of seafood. There were no details on the amount of compensation being sought.



Kurds mistakenly killed in Turkish airstrike laid to rest


Thousands of angry KurdsFriday buried 35 civilians who were accidentally killed in a Turkish airstrike onThursday. The mourners accompanied the coffins of victims of the raid to the cemetery in Gulyazi village, near the Iraqi border. Many of the mourners called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a murderer. For his part, Mr. Erdogan offered his condolences to the families of the victims for what he called an unfortunate incident. He said the attack was to have been carried out against separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party who had used the same route to bring weapons into Turkey to mount attacks. The Workers Party took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984. That led to a conflict that has so far claimed about 45,000 lives. The Party is labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community.



Somalia: Wounded aid worker dies


An aid worker shot at the Doctors Without Borders compound in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Thursday, has died of his wounds. 44-year-old Andrias Karel Keiluhu, a doctor from Indonesia, died in hospital after surgery. Another victim of the shooting incident, 53-year-old Philippe Havet of Belgium died on the spot. The two men were gunned down by a Somali employee of Doctors Without Borders who'd been fired the day before, for theft.



The United States denounces statement by Venezuela's President


The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is denouncing Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for allegedly questioning whether the United States might be behind a series of cancer cases among Latin American leaders. U.S. officials say Mr. Chavez'scomments were horrific and reprehensible and not worthy of further response. Mr. Chavez has often questioned whether the U.S. government could be plotting to oust him. But earlier this week he went far beyond that, saying it was very strange that he and the leaders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have struggled with cancer. He said he was not accusing the U.S. and does not have any proof.





Financial

Market highlights


Stocks:

S&P/TSX Composite Index -- 11,955.09, up 113.40 points

TSX Venture Exchange -- 1,484.66, up 23.11 points

TSX 60 -- 680.87, up 7.80 points

Dow -- 12,217.56, down 69.48 points

S&P 500 -- 1,257.60, down 5.42 points

Nasdaq -- 2,605.15, down 8.59 points

Currencies:

Cdn -- 98.33 cents US, up 0.37 of a cent

Pound -- C$1.5798, up 0.58 of a cent

Euro -- C$1.3190, down 0.41 of a cent

Euro -- US$1.2970, up 0.09 of a cent

Oil futures:

(February) $98.83, down $0.82

Gold Futures:

(February) $1,566.80, up $25.90



CNRail merger


Canada's biggest railway is about to complete the merger of three of its U.S. subsidiaries. The new unit of the Canadian National Railway Company will be known as Wisconsin Central Ltd. CN says the merger will simplify its corporate structure and operations. The merger, which will be finalized tomorrow (Saturday), combines the operations of Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Co., Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway Co. and Wisconsin Central. CN is one of North America's largest rail companies, with operations across Canada and into the U.S. Midwest down to the Gulf of Mexico.



Teddy bear recall


Canadian children who received a Build-A-Bear teddy bear from Santa this Christmas, may need to get a new one. The toy-maker is recalling some of its teddy bears because they might present a choking hazard. The recall covers about 300-thousand "Colourful Hearts Teddy" bears, more than 13-thousand of which were sold in Canada. Build-A-Bear says certain production runs of the bear used substandard fabric which can tear around the eye and cause the eye to fall out. Consumers who return their teddy to a Build-A-Bear store, will receive a coupon for any available stuffed animal of their choice.



B.C. Taxes set to rise


British Columbians may not enjoy the distinction of paying some of the lowest taxes in Canada for much longer. Residents of the Pacific coast province will be paying more in the coming year, for health care, electricity, car insurance and gasoline. The increases are coming under fire from critics who complain that the hikes hit lower-income tax-payers at the same rates as wealthier ones. The chief economist with B.C.'s Central 1 Credit Union, Helmut Pastrick, says taxes and fees in the province appear to be rising faster than incomes, but he says it's a complicated balancing act between keeping taxes low and ensuring government services are properly funded.





Sports

Sports


The Grey Cup champion B-C Lions are The Canadian Press 'Team of the Year' after a vote by Canadian sports editors and broadcasters. B-C opened the football season with five straight losses before winning 12 of 13 and eventually the Grey Cup. The Vancouver Canucks were a distant second in the vote.

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Canada's junior team spent Friday preparing for their final prelimimary-round game of the world junior hockey championship against the United States on New Year's eve. The Canadian team has won its first three games at the event.

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NHL action Friday: The Calgary Flames play the Senators in Ottawa.

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Basketball: The Toronto Raptors visit the N-B-A champion Mavericks in Dallas .





Weather

Weather


Here is Canada's weather for Saturdday, December 31. British Columbia will have a cloudy New Year's Eve. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 6 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: sunny. Whitehorse, minus 8. Northwest Territories: clearing. Yellowknife, minus 23. Nunavut: flurries. Iqaluit, minus 21. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, minus 4. Saskatchewan: flurries. Regina, minus 5. Manitoba: snow. Winnipeg, 1. Ontario: a mix of sun and cloud. Toronto: 8. Ottawa, minus 5. Quebec: snow. Montreal, minus 1. New Brunswick: snow. Fredericton, 2. Nova Scotia: rain. Halifax, 7. Prince Edward Island: snow. Charlottetown, 4. Newfoundland and Labrador: mainly sunny in Newfoundland. St. John's, minus 2. Sunny in Labrador: Happy Valley-Goose Bay, minus 18.





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Friday, December 30, 2011

Radio Prague Today 12.30.2011

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Czechs wax sentimental over Václav Havel's legacy

As the shock of Václav Havel's death slowly wears off, Czechs are considering the best possible ways to honour his memory and uphold his legacy for future generations. Proposals range from the sentimental – a heart of wax melted from the thousands of candles people lit for their hero –to the stately - a law stating his contribution to freedom and democracy.

Business News 30.12.2011

In Business news this week: Czech crown falls to its lowest to the dollar since July 2010; Česká spořitelna withdraws from legal battle over bankrupt lottery firm Sazka; Czech foreign debt reaches 49 percent of GDP; sales of alcoholic beverages took another slump this year; and Czech Republic's Vietnamese community launches its own discount website.

How the Velvet Revolution overturned the literary landscape

Writers were at the forefront of the Velvet Revolution. But when the dust settled on the political changes they found a fast changing publishing revolution underway that left some of them sidelined. We look at the changes in the publishing and literary world over the last two decades.

NEWS /www.nrcu.gov.ua/

Dear subscriber!

We offer you most recent news by this moment on air at National radio company of
Ukraine. To read these news items in full, please, refer to our site
www.nrcu.gov.ua.

Sincerely yours, administrator.
webadm@nrcu.gov.ua
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2011-12-30 15:29:00
January 22 to be marked as Day of Unity and Freedom of Ukraine.
The relevant decree was signed by President Viktor Yanukovych.Previously,
according to the decree of 2005 of the then President of Ukraine Viktor
Yushchenko, Freedom Day was celebrated separately on November22.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160569

2011-12-30 15:03:00
Russian Premier raises issue of gas discount in case of Russian-Ukrainian gas
transportation consortium creation.
The matter was discussed during a meeting of the Russian Premier Vladimir Putin
with "GazProm" CEO Olexey Miller. Vladimir Putin also inquired about the amount
of this discount.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160566

2011-12-30 14:43:00
Gradual increase of pensions expected in Ukraine in 2012.
A lot of benefits guaranteed to the Ukrainians by the state depend on the size
of the social standards forming the basis of the 2012 state budget bill already
signed into law by the President.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160563

2011-12-30 14:39:00
Christmas morning parties held in Ukraine for children.
Thousands of children come to palaces of culture to see holiday performances.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160562

2011-12-30 14:26:00
GDP growth could reach 5% in 2012.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov says that Ukraine has all possibilities to ensure
gross domestic product growth of at least 5% in 2012. He made this statement in
a program at the First National TV Channel.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160558

2011-12-30 14:15:00
Tymoshenko convoyed to penal prisoner.
Ukraine's former Prime Minister, leader of the opposition Batkivshchyna Party,
Yulia Tymoshenko has been moved from Kyiv's pre-trial detention center to a
penal colony in Kharkiv region.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160556

2011-12-30 14:02:00
Ukraine able to endure 'absurd' gas price even in 2012.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said he is convinced that the 2009 gas contract
does not meet the level of strategic partnership between Ukraine and the Russian
Federation, narrowing the bilateral relations to a purely economic aspect
speaking on the First National Channel. .
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160555

2011-12-30 13:58:00
Ukrspecexport's receipts in 2012 first exceed USD 1bn.
Total revenues from the activity of the state-controlled arms exporter
Ukrspecexport and its subsidiaries in 2011 have exceeded USD 1 billion,
Ukroboronprom State Concern Director General Dmytro Salamatinsaid.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160554

2011-12-30 13:50:00
Starting January 1 Ukraine to buy almost twofold less Russian natural gas.
"Our economy can not withstand such gas prices, and we will move to our own
energy resources", Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Yuriy Boiko
told Channel 5.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160553

2011-12-30 13:26:00
Flowers laid to building of bank outlet attacked in Donetsk.
This is what the Donetsk residents are paying their tribute to the tragedy, in
the memory of the bank employees. According to the local police department,
five people were killed in the brazen robbery. Four of them are the young bank
employees and a securityguard.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=160550


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RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 December 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Grenada police officers questioned in death of Canadian


There were developments Thursday in the death of a Canadian man in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada. Authorities there have detained two policemen and reassigned all the officers who were at the police station where 39-year-old Oscar Bartholomew of Toronto allegedly was beaten to death. His family alleges that Mr. Bartholomew was beaten into a coma after he mistook a plainclothes femail police officer for a friend and hugged her. They accuse police of leaving him in a cell bleeding for several hours before calling for an amublance.



Family fears for Canadian held in Congo


A young Canadian reportedly is among dozens of people picked up off the streets of the Congolese capital, Kinshasa last week. 24-year-old Fabien Shambuyi Kalala of Ottawa had been working as a volunteer on the campaign to oust President Joseph Kabila following last month's disputed election in the Central African country. Family members say they fear for Kalala's safety because of his ties to opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi. A spokesman for Canada's Minister of Consular Affairs Diane Abolonczy says "Canadian officials in Kinshasa are providing consular assistance to a Canadian who was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo and officials in Ottawa are in contact with his family".



Hong Kong investigates the death of a Canadian man


Preliminary autopsy results suggest that the 25-year-old Canadian student found dead in a public washroom in Hong Kong last week, might have died of a drug overdose. Joseph Basha of Newfoundland and Labrador had been studying international and public affairs at the University of Hong Kong since 2008. He was also the lead singer in a rock band called, Milkteeth. The Basha family is raising questions about how Hong Kong authorities handled the case. They're especially bewildered that the city morgue was not checked for several days. His mother says Mr. Basha's remains will be cremated in Hong Kong and then flown back to his hometown of St. John's.



Ex-girlfriend arrested in Poker Champ robbery


A former girlfriend is among the 4 people arrested in the beating and robbery of former world poker champion Jonathan Duhamel. Three of the suspects made court appearances Wednesday, including 20-year-old Bianca Rojas-Latraverse who dated Duhamel briefly a few months ago. The fourth suspect was arrested Thursday and faces similar charges. Mr. Duhamel was robbed of his World Series of Poker championship bracelet, a Rolex watch and cash during a home invasion on December 21rst. The poker champ was tied up and severely beaten in the attack. His watch has been recovered but his coveted championship bracelet has yet to be found.



More Honour Houses for returning Canadian soldiers


Canada's returning Afghan veterans soon will have a home away from home. The British Columbia man who established the so-called Honour House near Vancouver, wants to build similar centres across the country. Allan DeGenovasays Canadian soldiers facing physical and psychological challenges need to have a place to rest while they receive treatment. He says Canada's top soldier, Chief of Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk has requested an Honour House in every province, and Mr. DeGenova says he intends to do everything possible to make it happen.



More women as Canadian Premiers


Women's groups in Canada are saying that next month's meeting of the country's Premiers in the Pacific coast Province of British Columbia will have a different look.

For the first time, there will be four women at the table representing the Provinces of Newfoundland, Alberta, British Columbia and the territory of Nunavut.

Nancy Peckford of Equal Voice says having four female premiers and territorial leaders is important. But she notes that women are still very under-represented in politics.

She hopes the success of Alberta's Alison Redford, B-C's Christy Clark, Newfoundland's Kathy Dunderdale and Nunavut's Eva Aariak will inspire other women.





International

Turkish airstrikes mistakenly kill civilians


Turkish warplanes have killed 35 civilians in an apparent case of mistaken identity. The victims were thought to be Kurdish rebels hiding in Iraq. Instead, authorities now believe they were cigarette smugglers. A spokesman for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says most of the victims were youngsters from an extended family that has helped Turkish troops in their fight against rebels. He also suggested Turkey was prepared to compensate the victims' families. The killings sparked angry demonstrations in Istanbul and several cities in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast.



Aid worker killed in Somalia


Two international workers from Doctors Without Borders have been shot at the aid group's compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. A security guard there says the gunman was a Somali employee who was fired from his job on Wednesday. He returned Thursday and shot two aid workers, killing one. The victims' nationalities are not immediately known, but the person killed is believed to be French.



Horrific year for elephants


Wildlife experts say 2011 has been a horrible year for elephants. The wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC says large seizures of elephant tusks make this year the worst on record since ivory sales were banned in 1989. The group estimates as many as 3,000 elephants were killed by poachers in the past year. It says most cases involve ivory being smuggled from Africa into Asia, where growing wealth has fed the desire for ivory ornaments and for rhino horn.



Syria


The Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on dissent continues despite the presence of Arab League monitors. Security forces opened fire Thursday, on tens of thousands of people protesting outside a mosque near Damascus suburb where the monitors' cars were parked. At least 4 people were killed there and some 22 others were killed nationwide after troops fired live ammunition and tear gas to break up huge rallies. Syria's Local Coordination Committees network says it has documented the names of 130 people, including six children, who have died since the Arab League monitors arrived in Syria Monday night.



Russian nuclear submarine engulfed in flame


Russian officials insist no radiation leaked when a massive fire engulfed a nuclear submarine at an Arctic shipyard Thursday. The Yekaterinburg was undergoing repairs at the Roslyakovo shipyard in the Murmansk region when fire broke out in the wooden scaffolding. Authorities say the flames engulfed the submarine's outer hull but there was no danger of it spreading inside the vessel. The Yekaterinburg is a Delta-IV-class nuclear-powered submarine that normally carries 16 nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. A Russian Defence Ministry spokesman says all the weapons had been off-loaded from the sub and its reactor had been sutdown prior to the repairs.



North Korea declares Kim Jong-un Supreme Leader


North Korea has declared Kim Jong-un the country's supreme leader. The declaration was made Thursday during a massive memorial service for his father, Kim Jong-il, who died December 17th of a heart attack at the age of 69. There are concerns worldwide about Kim Jong-un's youth and whether he can lead a nation with a nuclear program and a number of other problems such as famine.





Financial

Market highlights


Stocks: S&P/TSX Composite Index -- 11,841.70, up 113.29 points;Dow -- 12,287.04, up 135.63 points; S&P 500 -- 1,263.02, up 13.38 points; Nasdaq -- 2,613.74, up 23.76 points

Currencies: Cdn -- 97.96 cents US, up 0.32 of a cent; Pound -- C$1.5740, down 0.84 of a cent; Euro -- C$1.3231, down 0.21 of a cent; Euro -- US$1.2961, up 0.22 of a cent

Oil futures: (February) $99.65, up $0.29

Gold futures: (February) $1,540.90, down $23.20



Bombardier Aerospace wins big order


The Montreal-based aircraft maker Bombardier Aerospace says it has a multi-million dollar deal to build five Challenger 850's for an undisclosed customer. The order is worth a total of US$156 million. Challenger 850 business jets have a range of more than 5,000 kilometres and are used around the world. Bombardier Aerospace is part of Bombardier Inc., a multi-national with revenues of nearly $18 billion in its last fiscal year.



Keystone XL


The Canadian company that's looking to build a $7 billion pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to refineries in Texas, has been given an official map of the environmentally sensitive areas it'll have to avoid in Nebraska. Calgary-based TransCanada agreed last month to draw up a new route for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to avoid Nebraska's ecologically delicate Sandhills region. The underground pipeline would snake through the U.S. states of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. But, environmentalists worry that it will foul underground and surface water supplies, increase air pollution around refineries and harm wildlife.



Housing stats


The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says housing is still a major pillar of the Canadian economy. The federal agency says spending related to homes rose by 7.1 per cent to about $330 billion last year, and now accounts for over 20 per cent of Canada's economy. The CMHC also says it expects the aging baby boom generation will fuel demand for more condominiums and renovations.





Sports

Sports


Freestyle skier Jennifer Heil is the recipient of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as The Canadian Press female athlete of the year. Ms. Heil retired after sweeping the moguls and dual moguls gold medals at the world championships and finished ahead of speedskater Christine Nesbitt in the voting.

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Mark Visentin is back in goaltonight (Thursday) when Canada faces off against Denmark at the world junior hockey tournament. Scott Wedgewood got the shutout in a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic last night. Visentin played in Canada's tournament-opening 8-1 victory over Finland.

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The Vancouver Canucks continue their swing through California. The Canucks are in Anaheim tonight (Thursday)after earning a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose Wednesday night. In other NHL action, Montreal faces Tampa Bay, Toronto is at Carolina, Edmonton plays at Minnesota and Winnipeg hosts L-A.





Weather

Weather


Here is Canada's weather for Friday, December 30. British Columbia will be rainy. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 8 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly cloudy. Whitehorse, minus 11. Northwest Territories: mainly cloudy. Yellowknife, minus 19. Nunavut: clear skies. Iqaluit, minus 26. Alberta: a mix of sun and cloud. Edmonton, minus 2. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, minus 1. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, minus 4. Ontario: a mixed bag of rain and flurries. Toronto: 6. Ottawa, minus 7. Quebec: flurries. Montreal, minus 7. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, minus 7. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, minus 1. Prince Edward Island: flurries. Charlottetown, minus 7. Newfoundland and Labrador: flurries in Newfoundland. St. John's, 0. Clearing skies in Labrador: Happy Valley-Goose Bay, minus 10.





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