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total population: 97.4%
male: 98%
female: 96.8% (1995 est.)

@Barbados:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Barbados

Data code: BB

Government type: parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state
within the Commonwealth

Capital: Bridgetown

Administrative divisions: 11 parishes; Christ Church, Saint Andrew,
Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint
Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
note: the city of Bridgetown may be given parish status

Independence: 30 November 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 30 November (1966)

Constitution: 30 November 1966

Legal system: English common law; no judicial review of legislative
acts

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952),
represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS (since
1 June 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Owen Seymour ARTHUR (since 6
September 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Billie MILLER (since 6
September 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of
the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed
by the monarch; prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate
(21-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of
Assembly (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to
serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 20 January 1999 (next to be
held by January 2004)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - BLP 26, DLP 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature (judges are appointed by
the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Service)

Political parties and leaders: Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen
ARTHUR]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP ; National
Democratic Party or NDP

Political pressure groups and leaders: Barbados Workers Union [Leroy
TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union ; People's
Progressive Movement ; Worker's Party of Barbados [Dr.
George BELLE]

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC,
FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF,
IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, NAM,
OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Courtney N. BLACKMAN
chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (202) 939-9200
consulate(s) general: Miami and New York
consulate(s): Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affairs Roland BULLEN
embassy: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street,
Bridgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown; FPO AA 34055
telephone: (246) 436-4950
FAX: (246) 429-5246

Flag description: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side),
gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold
band; the trident head represents independence and a break with the
past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)

@Barbados:Economy

Economy - overview: Historically, the Barbadian economy had been
dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but
production in recent years has diversified into manufacturing and
tourism. The start of the Port Charles Marina project in Speightstown
helped the tourism industry continue to expand in 1996-99. Offshore
finance and informatics are important foreign exchange earners, and
there is also a light manufacturing sector. The government continues
its efforts to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate,
encourage direct foreign investment, and privatize remaining
state-owned enterprises.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.9 billion (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.4% (1998 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $11,200 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4.9%
industry: 15.6%
services: 79.5% (1997)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (1998)

Labor force: 136,000 (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services 75%, industry 15%, agriculture
10% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 12% (1998 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $725.5 million
expenditures: $750.6 million, including capital expenditures of $126.3
million (FY97/98 est.)

Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly
for export

Industrial production growth rate: 0.8% (1996)

Electricity - production: 672 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 625 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Exports: $211.2 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and
beverages, chemicals, electrical components, clothing

Exports - partners: UK 14.8%, US 11.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.6%,
Venezuela 6.1%, Jamaica 5.8% (1998)

Imports: $1.01 billion (1998)

Imports - commodities: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs,
construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Imports - partners: US 30.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.2%, Japan 8.3%,
UK 7.7%, Canada 2.2% (1998)

Debt - external: $550 million (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $9.1 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Barbadian dollar (Bds$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Barbadian dollars (Bds$) per US$1 - 2.0000 (fixed rate
pegged to the US dollar)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

@Barbados:Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 90,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 4,614 (1995)

Telephone system:
domestic: island-wide automatic telephone system
international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean);
tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 237,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus two cable channels) (1997)

Televisions: 76,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (1999)

@Barbados:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 1,600 km
paved: 1,578 km
unpaved: 22 km (1998 est.)

Ports and harbors: Bridgetown, Speightstown (Port Charles Marina)

Merchant marine:
total: 47 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 654,580 GRT/1,103,780 DWT
ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 29, combination bulk 1, container 1,
petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 2 (1999 est.)
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships of 2 countries:
Canada owns 2 ships, Hong Kong 1 (1998 est.)

Airports: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1999 est.)

@Barbados:Military

Military branches: Royal Barbados Defense Force (includes Ground
Forces and Coast Guard), Royal Barbados Police Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 77,789 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 53,472 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

@Barbados:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: one of many Caribbean transshipment points for
narcotics bound for the US and Europe

______________________________________________________________________



BASSAS DA INDIA

@Bassas da India:Geography

Location: Southern Africa, islands in the southern Mozambique Channel,
about one-half of the way from Madagascar to Mozambique

Geographic coordinates: 21 30 S, 39 50 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 0.2 sq km
land: 0.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about one-third the size of The Mall in
Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 35.2 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical

Terrain: volcanic rock

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 2.4 m

Natural resources: none

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (all rock)

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1993)

Natural hazards: maritime hazard since it is usually under water
during high tide and surrounded by reefs; subject to periodic cyclones

Environment - current issues: NA

@Bassas da India:People

Population: uninhabited (July 2000 est.)

@Bassas da India:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bassas da India

Data code: BS

Dependency status: possession of France; administered by a high
commissioner of the Republic, resident in Reunion

Flag description: the flag of France is used

@Bassas da India:Economy

Economy - overview: no economic activity

@Bassas da India:Transportation

Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only

@Bassas da India:Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France

@Bassas da India:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: claimed by Madagascar

______________________________________________________________________



BELARUS

@Belarus:Introduction

Background: After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR,
Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer
political and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former
Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state
union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic
integration but, to date, neither side has actively sought to
implement the accord.

@Belarus:Geography

Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland

Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area:
total: 207,600 sq km
land: 207,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries:
total: 3,098 km
border countries: Latvia 141 km, Lithuania 502 km, Poland 605 km,
Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between
continental and maritime

Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m

Natural resources: forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and
natural gas

Land use:
arable land: 29%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 34%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: soil pollution from pesticide use;
southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986
nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Sulphur 85, Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Geography - note: landlocked

@Belarus:People

Population: 10,366,719 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 982,959; female 942,062)
15-64 years: 68% (male 3,411,684; female 3,614,453)
65 years and over: 13% (male 466,929; female 948,632) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.17% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 9.27 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 13.96 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.49 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 14.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68 years
male: 61.83 years
female: 74.48 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Belarusian(s)
adjective: Belarusian

Ethnic groups: Byelorussian 77.9%, Russian 13.2%, Polish 4.1%,
Ukrainian 2.9%, other 1.9%

Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic,
Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)

Languages: Byelorussian, Russian, other

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

@Belarus:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Belarus
conventional short form: Belarus
local long form: Respublika Byelarus'
local short form: none
former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: BO

Government type: republic

Capital: Minsk

Administrative divisions: 6 voblastsi (singular - voblasts') and one
municipality* (harady, singular - horad); Brestskaya (Brest),
Homyel'skaya (Homyel'), Horad Minsk*, Hrodzyenskaya (Hrodna),
Mahilyowskaya (Mahilyow), Minskaya, Vitsyebskaya (Vitsyebsk)
note: voblasti have the administrative center name following in
parentheses

Independence: 25 August 1991 (Belarusian Supreme Soviet declaration of
independence from the Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - represents
Minsk liberation from German occupation

Constitution: 30 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24
November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became
effective 27 November 1996

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Sergey LING (acting since 18
November 1996, confirmed 19 February 1997); First Deputy Prime
Minister Vasiliy DOLGOLEV (since 2 December 1998); Deputy Prime
Ministers Vladimir ZAMETALIN (since 15 July 1997), Ural LATYPOV (since
30 December 1997), Gennadiy NOVITSKIY (since 11 February 1997), Leonid
KOZIK (since 4 February 1997), Aleksandr POPKOV (since 10 November
1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term;
election last held 24 June and 10 July 1994 (next to be held NA;
according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been
held in 1999, however LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via the
November 1996 referendum); prime minister and deputy prime ministers
appointed by the president
election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO elected president; percent of
vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 85%, Vyacheslav KEBICH 15%
note: first presidential elections took place in June-July 1994

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Natsionalnoye Sobranie
consists of the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64
seats; eight appointed by the president and 56 indirectly elected by
deputies of local councils for four-year terms) and the Chamber of
Representatives or Palata Pretsaviteley (110 seats; note - present
members came from the former Supreme Soviet which LUKASHENKO disbanded
in November 1996)
elections: last held May and November-December 1995 (two rounds, each
with a run-off; disbanded after the November 1996 referendum; next to
be held NA)
election results: after the November 1996 referendum, seats for the
Chamber of Representatives were filled by former Supreme Soviet
members as follows: PKB 24, Agrarian 14, Party of Peoples Concord 5,
LDPB 1, UPNAZ 1, Green World Party 1, Belarusian Social Sports Party
1, Ecological Party 1, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 1,
independents 61; 58 of the 64 seats in the Council of the Republic
have been appointed/elected

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president;
Constitutional Court, half of the judges appointed by the president
and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives

Political parties and leaders: Agrarian Party [Aleksandr PAVLOV,
acting chairman]; Belarusian Communist Party or KPB [Viktor CHIKIN,
chairman]; Belarusian Green Party or BPZ ;
Belarusian Labor Party or BPP ;
Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR
; Belarusian Popular Front or BNF
; Belarusian Social-Democrat or SDBP
; Belarusian Social-Democratic Party
Hramada ; Belarusian Social Sports
Party or BSSP ; Belarusian
Socialist Party ; Civic Accord Bloc (United
Civic Party) or CAB ; Ecological
Party or BEP ; Liberal-Democratic
Party or LDPB ; Party of All-Belarusian
Unity and Concord or UPNAZ ; Party of
Communists Belarusian or PKB ; Party of
Popular Accord or PPA ; Republican Party of Labor and
Justice or RPPS ; Women's Party Nadezhda
International organization participation: CCC, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD,
ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Inmarsat, Intelsat
(nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM,
OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Valery TSEPAKO
chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: (202) 986-1604
FAX: (202) 986-1805
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel V. SPECKHARD
embassy: Starovilenskaya #46-220002, Minsk
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: (17) 231-5000
FAX: (17) 234-7853

Flag description: red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band
one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the
hoist side bears the Belarusian national ornament in red

@Belarus:Economy

Economy - overview: Belarus has seen little structural reform since
1995, when President LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of
"market socialism." In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO re-imposed
administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and
expanded the state's right to intervene in the management of private
enterprise. In addition to the burdens imposed by high inflation,
businesses have been subject to pressure on the part of central and
local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in regulations, numerous
rigorous inspections, and retroactive application of new business
regulations prohibiting practices that had been legal. Further
economic problems are two consecutive bad harvests, 1998-99, and
persistent trade deficits. Close relations with Russia, possibly
leading to reunion, color the pattern of economic developments. For
the time being, Belarus remains self-isolated from the West and its
open-market economies.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $55.2 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 23%
industry: 28%
services: 49% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: 22% (1995 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.9%
highest 10%: 19.4% (1993)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 295% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 4.3 million (1998)

Labor force - by occupation: industry and construction NA%,
agriculture and forestry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate: 2.3% officially registered unemployed (December
1998); large number of underemployed workers

Budget:
revenues: $4 billion
expenditures: $4.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $180
million (1997 est.)

Industries: metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earth
movers, motorcycles, TV sets, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles,
radios, refrigerators

Industrial production growth rate: 8% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 21.893 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.89%
hydro: 0.11%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 28.66 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 2.3 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 10.6 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets,
flax; beef, milk

Exports: $6 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals,
textiles, foodstuffs

Exports - partners: Russia 66%, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Lithuania
(1998)

Imports: $6.4 billion (c.i.f., 1999)

Imports - commodities: mineral products, machinery and equipment,
metals, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: Russia 54%, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Lithuania
(1998)

Debt - external: $1.1 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $194.3 million (1995)

Currency: Belarusian rubel (BR)

Exchange rates: Belarusian rubels per US$1 - 730,000 (15 December
1999), 139,000 (25 January 1999), 46,080 (2nd qtr 1998), 25,964
(1997), 15,500 (yearend 1996), 11,500 (yearend 1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Belarus:Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 2.537 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 8,000 (1999)

Telephone system: the Ministry of Telecommunications controls all
telecommunications through its carrier (a joint stock company)
Beltelcom which is a monopoly
domestic: local - Minsk has a digital metropolitan network and a
cellular NMT-450 network; waiting lists for telephones are long; local
service outside Minsk is neglected and poor; intercity - Belarus has a
partly developed fiber-optic backbone system presently serving at
least 13 major cities (1998); Belarus's fiber optics form synchronous
digital hierarchy rings through other countries' systems; an
inadequate analog system remains operational
international: Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL),
Trans-Asia-Europe Fiber-Optic Line (TAE) and has access to the
Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); three fiber-optic segments provide
connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service
is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analog
lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations

Radio broadcast stations: AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998)

Radios: 3.02 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 17 (1997)

Televisions: 2.52 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (1999)

@Belarus:Transportation

Railways:
total: 5,563 km
broad gauge: 5,563 km 1.520-m gauge (894 km electrified)

Highways:
total: 63,355 km
paved: 60,567 km
unpaved: 2,788 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: NA km; note - Belarus has extensive and widely used canal
and river systems

Pipelines: crude oil 1,470 km; refined products 1,100 km; natural gas
1,980 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Mazyr

Airports: 118 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 36
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 11 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 82
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 62 (1996 est.)

@Belarus:Military

Military branches: Army, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Interior
Ministry Troops, Border Guards

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,714,420 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 2,126,655 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 82,720 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $156 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.2% (FY98)

@Belarus:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly
for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and
via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe

______________________________________________________________________



BELGIUM

@Belgium:Introduction

Background: Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830
and was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. It has
prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically
advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions
between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the
French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to
constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition
and autonomy.

@Belgium:Geography

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and



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