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Justices to hear challenge to race in college admissions at Harvard, University of North Carolina

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Justices to hear challenge to race in college admissions at Harvard, University of North Carolina

The conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions, adding affirmative action to major cases on abortion, guns, religion and COVID-19 already on the agenda.

The court said it will take up lawsuits claiming that Harvard University, a private institution, and the University of North Carolina, a state school, discriminate against Asian American applicants. A decision against the schools could mean the end of affirmative action in college admissions.

Lower courts rejected the challenges, citing more than 40 years of high court rulings that allow colleges and universities to consider race in admissions decisions. But the colleges and universities must do so in a narrowly tailored way to promote diversity.

The court’s most recent pronouncement was in 2016, in a 4-3 decision upholding the admissions program at the University of Texas against a challenge brought by a white woman. But the composition of the court has changed since then, with the addition of three conservative justices who were appointed by then-President Donald Trump.

Two members of that four-justice majority are gone from the court: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020 and Justice Anthony Kennedy retired in 2018.

The three dissenters in the case, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, remain on the court. Roberts, a moderating influence on some issues, has been a steadfast vote to limit the use of race in public programs, once writing, “It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.”

The court already has heard arguments in cases that could expand gun rights and religious rights and also roll back abortion rights in a direct challenge to the Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973.

The affirmative action case probably will be argued in the fall.

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said the Ivy League institution does not discriminate and vowed to continue defending its admissions plan.

“Considering race as one factor among many in admissions decisions produces a more diverse student body which strengthens the learning environment for all,” Bacow said in a statement.

Blum voiced hope that the high court will order an end to taking account of race in college admissions.

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Giants WR Kadarius Toney underwent minor knee procedure, will be ready for camp: sources

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Giants WR Kadarius Toney underwent minor knee procedure, will be ready for camp: sources

Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney had a minor arthroscopic knee procedure, sources say, which is why he’s been in a red jersey on the side at spring OTA practices.

But he is expected to be fine and ready for training camp.

Toney, 23, was on his feet on the sidelines at Thursday’s open practice. He caught some balls off the JUGS machine before practice with fellow rehabbing wideout Sterling Shepard (Achilles).

Veteran receiver Kenny Golladay also wore red and didn’t practice. Head coach Brian Daboll wouldn’t disclose why but suggested that everyone other than O-linemen Nick Gates (leg fracture) and Matt Peart (ACL) is on track for the start of camp.

“I think everybody is moving in the right direction,” Daboll said. “They’ve done a good job. The training staff has really done a good job… I’d say [Gates] and Matt Peart, they’re rehabbing every single day, getting better each day. So we’ll see where they’re at.”

Wide receivers coach Mike Groh said Thursday that Toney is “not running around full speed right now” but assured “he’ll be ready to go” for real football.

Toney missed a lot of time during his rookie offseason last year due to a contract holdout, COVID and foot and hamstring injuries. Then he dealt with a laundry list of injuries in season: a second COVID positive, the hamstring, and an ankle, thumb, quad, oblique and shoulder.

He had encouraging production against the Saints and Cowboys, but he got thrown out of the Dallas loss for throwing a punch and struggled to stay healthy.

The Giants made calls looking to trade Toney in April — and drafted undersized gadget receiver Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round — but the former first-round pick remains on the team.

Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said Thursday he has enjoyed working with Toney and views him as a playmaker in the Giants’ offense.

“He’s a dynamic player,” Kafka said. “He has play-making ability on the perimeter, inside, downfield, in short area. He’s one of those guys that you look for to make plays for us.”

The team’s offseason program started on April 4. The Daily News reported the team was exploring a trade on April 22. Several outlets confirmed Toney was available. Toney flew into the New York/New Jersey area that weekend and first reported to the facility on April 25.

GM Joe Schoen then said during the NFL Draft that the Giants were not shopping Toney. Now he’s dealing with a minor issue that is not expected to jeopardize his start of camp.

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MN Legislature’s proposed deal eliminates taxes on Social Security

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MN Legislature’s proposed deal eliminates taxes on Social Security

The Minnesota Legislature appears ready to eliminate all taxes on Social Security benefits while boosting credits for renters and slightly lowering the first tax tier rate.

Those are all included in a tentative proposal posted online by the bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate members working to finalize how to divide $4 billion in tax breaks. The deal would stretch over the next three years and tap the state’s budget surplus to pay for the loss in revenue.

Under the tentative plan, the first tier tax rate would fall to 5.1 percent from 5.35 percent. It would impact the first $28,080 in earnings for single filers and $41,050 for couples.

Lowering the rate would reduce revenues by an estimated $272 million next year and about $200 million annually.

The plan also eliminates state income taxes on Social Security. Doing so reduces revenue by about $510 million next year and roughly $550 a year going forward.

Renters would also benefit from increased tax credits worth about $373 million annually.

The tax conference committee met briefly Saturday morning to discuss policy provisions and is expected to reconvene this afternoon to talk about tax breaks.

Lawmakers have until midnight Sunday to finalize $4 billion in tax cuts and $4 billion in supplemental spending. With fewer than two days left, deals appear to be coming together, but so far, none have been completed.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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best disney characters

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Jaq and Gus

30 Best Disney Characters

When life gets hard and daily life seems frustrating, we often find ourselves turning to Disney in hopes of feeling a little bit of the magic it promises. And somehow that binge session always leaves us happier, with a little more faith in friendship and love, and a wide grin that refuses to come off our face.

Whether it is Mickey Mouse giggling about his clubhouse or Winnie the Pooh looking for his honey, whether a sleeping beauty is in need of rescuing or a family in need of saving, Disney has got our cravings covered!

So here’s a list of our favorite characters from all of Disney’s own movies. Let us know which opinions you agree and disagree with!

30. Jaq and Gus

Source: Fandom

Movie: Cinderella

IMDb Rating:7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

One of the most transformative (pun intended) movies of Disney, Cinderella, also featured one of the best rat duos we have ever seen. Fearless and witty Jaq and food-loving, caring Gus have not only helped our beloved heroine, but made us fall in love too. We all wish we had friends who would be as loving and supportive even when we are at our lowest- Jaq and Gus look out for their dearest “Cinderelly” in all their tiny glory.

Jaq and Gus are an entertaining duo- whether it is the retrieval of the pearls or the sewing of an old dress, mice singing voices coupled with the antics of Jaq and Gus are bound to keep us wanting more!

29. Belle

Belle
Source: Disney Princess

Movie: Beauty and The Beast

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

The free spirited and proud bibliophile Belle is not only a classic Disney princess, but she also won our hearts with her eccentric antiques! Being stuck in a castle with a beast never looked more appealing!

Imaginative, intelligent and open-minded- Belle basically taught us we all can be princesses, and gave each dreamer a little more belief in their dream.

28. Sebastian

Sebastian
Source: Screen Rant

Movie: The Little Mermaid

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

There is no Disney fan who doesn’t love the adorable Jamaican-accented red crab poet. One of the distinguished composers of King Triton’s court, Sebastian is undoubtedly our favourite watchguard of all time! His repartee with Ariel is one of the reasons we still go back to watching The Little Mermaid.

Singing Under the Sea with Sebastian is a passage of rite every Disney fan should walk through. Of all the Disney characters who have caught our fancy, Sebastian is among the few who are not a major character- but that doesn’t stop him from being insanely memorable and fun, does it?

27. Stitch

Stitch
Source: Screen rant

Movie: Lilo and Stitch

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

He is one of the franchise’s two title characters, with his human adopter and best friend Lilo Pelekai, and its most prominent protagonist. He is an illegally created, genetically engineered extraterrestrial life-form resembling a blue koala. But most importantly he is the heart of the film, as sweet as he is powerful, and we quickly find ourselves grow incredibly attached to him.

Stitch, after crash landing on earth, proceeds to change his evil tactics and world-destructing plans with help of Lilo and takes us on his journey filled with love and warmth. How can you not fall in love with this story?

Experiment 626 of Jumba Jookiba, Stitch, has successfully managed to become a part of our ohana with his cute, big eyes and pink ears.

26. Baloo

Baloo
Source: Fandom

Movie: The Jungle Book

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Long before Sloths were “in”, Baloo, the sloth bear from The Jungle Book had taken our hearts away with his fun-loving, easy-going characteristics. One of the best friends Mowgli found in the forest, Baloo is by far our most favorite. And did we mention the tremendous job Bill Murray did with voice acting?

Not only is he a true friend, he also keeps the entertainment quotient high at all times! He is big and cuddly and soft and unassuming and a little greedy for honey, but always cute… do we really need to say more?

25. Hades

Hades
Source: Fandom

Movie: Hercules

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

In Disney’s 1997 animated feature picture Hercules, Hades is the evil dude we’re supposed to fear. He is the Underworld’s fast-talking god, infamous for his violent temper and vendetta against his elder brother, Zeus.

The best and um, confusing part of all this? When we watch the film as adults, we sort of see his point?

You know a Disney character has done its job as being skillfully created when a villain makes us consider their stance- and has some of us totally identifying with their moods.

23. Jiminy Cricket

Jiminy Cricket
Source: Wikipedia

Movie: Pinocchio

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Jiminy Cricket is a little cricket that initially debuted as the deuteragonist in Disney’s 1940 animated Pinocchio. Jiminy serves as Pinocchio’s conscience and a wonderful friend. He is intelligent, kind, and courageous. He will go to any length for a friend, even if it means risking his life.

He is the friend who’s always there, the wisdom we have but never put to use. We all need a Jiminy Cricket in our lives. Where to sign up?

22. Raya

Raya
Source: Den Of Geek

Movie: Raya and The Last Dragon

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple TV

Raya is a strong-willed adventurer, mature and smart beyond her years. She is efficient, can easily adapt to changing circumstances and most importantly is a feisty and funny person, who never gives up.

Raya is truly a modern character, a good role model, and one of the most well-done character sketches by Disney in recent times.

21. Merida

Merida
Source: Fandom

Movie: Brave

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

Merida is one of the most unique Disney characters in appearance and character- she is a princess whose tragedy is entirely reliant on her own actions, her story ends with a resolution of her familial problems, and not beside a man she rides off into the sunset with.

With flaming red hair a lot of spirit, Merida openly resists her royal heritage and wishes to be nothing more than a regular girl. She is a natural athlete who loves nothing more than riding her horse Angus and practicing her archery, which she excels at.

20. Jafar

Jafar
Source: Screen Rant

Movie: Aladdin

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, YouTube

Jafar is the favorite character of many Disney fans who stray a little to the dark side. And as much as we love Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, we can sort of see what makes Jafar so impressive.

Firstly, the gravitas in that voice is unparalleled, and when coupled with the characteristic beard and manipulative words, Jafar becomes one of the most striking Disney villains, one who truly adds a hint of unexpectedness and terror to an otherwise dazzling landscape.

The thing about Jafar is, that unlike other Disney villains, he is truly scary and twisted. And this intense quality about him is precisely what lands him on our list.

Well, we suppose being dark and scheming pays off in securing a place among a list of wholesome characters sometimes.

19. Moana

Moana
Source: WBUR

Movie: Moana

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

While she doesn’t have the lavish palace and fancy gown to show for it, Moana is as true a Disney princess as can be. In fact, she totally reconstructs our idea for what a princess can be- she doesn’t need a man to be her happy ending, she can fight for her own!

Moana is a true princess in that she fights for her land, her people- she is truly a daughter of her soil, and a brave, strong one at that.

She is practically a fearless warrior off to be the savior for her island, whatever be the cost, and she teaches us to take destiny into our own hands to craft a better tomorrow.

How could we NOT love her?

18. Cruella De Vil

Cruella De Vil
Source: Screen Rant

Movie: Cruella

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

Cruella De Vil is probably the Disney character most relevant in pop culture, and with that hair and those clothes, how could she not be?

Whether its Emma Stone giving us the sad backstory to this magnanimous, larger-than-life villain, or the animated Cruella in her sneering glory, the character has a presence, that’s all we’ll say.

The wiring in her brain might be an acquired taste- but hey, few are dressed as impeccably. And yes, she is a ruthless heiress hunting down poor animals to make clothes of- but we can’t help feeling just a little intimidated by her.

Cruella isn’t the most morally sound of Disney characters, but she totally has the best hairdo among the studio’s many fashionistas.

17. Olaf

Olaf
Source: CharacTour

Movie: Frozen

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

This is a Disney character who can only be engulfed in a collective ‘Aww!’

Olaf reigns supreme in our minds- and even those with the most frozen of hearts(pun fully intended) are not able to escape the warmth of this sunny snowman. A major character through both the Frozen movies, Olaf is the most adorable creation of Elsa’s ice- but he is more than just the paradoxical little snowman who sunbathes.

He is a kind soul, a reliable friend, possibly the most popular product of Disney’s Frozen, and the only element in the movie that outshines Menzel’s Let It Go.

We would love all the warm hugs Olaf sends our way!

16. Peter Pan and Tinker Bell

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell
Source: Wallpaper Flare

Movie: Peter Pan

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Tinker Bell may be small, but she can be terrifying, especially when Peter Pan is in the mix. So we at Gizmo Story didn’t dare separate the two beating hearts of Neverland!

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell truly embody the magic that Disney brings to our lives, and the childhood we are taken back to, every time we tune into the world of animated Disney characters.

Inspired from folk and Disney-ed up just enough to do Walt Disney proud, Peter Pan and Tinkle Bell stay with us years and years after their stories have unfolded, and however hard we try, we cannot shake off that childhood belief in them coming to steal us away for just one night!

15. The Seven Dwarfs

The Seven Dwarfs
Source: Pinterest

Movie: Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Snow White was the first Disney Princess- and the seven Dwarfs who looked after her the original squad of Disney characters we want to befriend. The most striking aspect to them is how their personalities may be differently interpreted by each viewer.

The seven dwarves are among the most interesting characters brought to us in Disney movies, and we’re definitely not complaining!

14. Timon and Pumbaa

Timon and Pumbaa
Source: Clipart Key

Movie: The Lion King

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Timon and Pumbaa are probably the most chilled out Disney characters to exist- and we’re totally giving them the crowns of Disney’s coolest. A duo we’re not going to separate, Timon and Pumba find in us the dream of a friend group as tight as the lion king and these fun-loving beasts.

They’re the singers of the insanely catchy theme song- Hakuna Matata, and they’re our comic relief. They’re brave and adorable and trustworthy.

As if their epic dance moves weren’t awesome enough to make the list!

13. Pocahontas

Pocahontas
Source: CBR

Movie: Pocahontas

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

The emotional depth exuded by Pocahontas is almost unbelievable in a cartoon character. She is the Disney character that defies our expectations from your average blonde and blue eyes Disney princess, and by God, is she wonderful! Pocahontas takes place among scenic landscapes as the political turmoil ceases to be important in the face of love.

Her love story with John Smith is beautiful, and her struggle to choose between the familiarities of our home and the excitement of the new world is masterfully depicted.

12. Woody

Woody
Source: Fandom

Movie: Toy Story

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

In the Disney–Pixar Toy Story franchise, Woody Pride is a fictitious pull-string cowboy rag doll. Woody is one of the primary protagonists in the films, and he is primarily voiced by Tom Hanks in the Toy Story features, short films, and TV specials.

He is brave, he is chivalrous, he is smart- all we can hope for from our dollhouses’ best Sheriff! Not only that, Woody is also a mighty loyal friend and every kid’s dream top.

11. Bambi

Bambi
Source: SeekPNG

Movie: Bambi

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

We all remember watching Bambi when we were young and bawling our eyes out. Bambi was a film that grasped our hearts- and Bambi was a character who decided to live in those very hearts. The death of Bambi’s mother is one of the saddest cinematic moments of all time, and we’re never not tearing up, just thinking about poor little Bambi.

Arguably the cutest Disney character of all time, this little fawn is one of the most beloved Disney characters of all time, owing to the sheer innocence he embodies.

Those wide eyes and that delicate build perfectly compliments his naïve characteristics- the delicate, fragile nature of the story perfectly manifests in its hero, and we find among a list of Disney characters

10. Maleficent

Maleficent
Source: Screen Rant

Movie: Maleficent

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

This list has mostly been taken up by animated Disney characters, but in Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent we find a live action character who is truly phenomenal as far as Disney characters go- and then a little further.

We hate the evil queen and then love her, she frustrated us and pulls at our heartstrings. This is a Disney film that finds its protagonist in an antihero, with a black costume and horns to match. Yet, the one word to describe Jolie’s character would be heart-wrenching.

She stands against all our notions of Disney fairies and heroes, but we love her all the more for this!

9. Aladdin

Aladdin
Source: Pinterest

Movie: Aladdin

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Aladdin is an Arabian thief with a pet monkey- an unlikely hero, don’t you think? Disney does a good job at sketching out the plight of the poor beyond the castle doors- an angle the studio doesn’t generally venture into.

What is most important about this kind and earnest character, however, is his heart of gold. That, coupled with his ability to find the coolest friends- his entourage is populated by a sassy monkey, a magic carpet, a touchy magic lamp, and a hilarious genie- lands him among the clouds as he soars through the skies with Princess Jasmine, the love of his life.

The Walt Disney Company was able to bring us this sensitive character that is really all about goodness and love, within a story that has evil sorcerers who vie for the throne, glorious castles that shine in gold, and talking caves that close in on themselves. Aladdin is sweet as his story is grand, and this characteristic is what secures his place among the best Disney characters of all time.

8. Eeyore

Eeyore
Source: Fandom

Movie: Winnie The Pooh

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

Eeyore is a sad little cartoon donkey who is friends with Winnie the Pooh, but this depressed Disney character (an anomaly?) has our hearts. He is tired and sad and exhausted, but Eeyore still has a lot of love for his friends, and they in turn, for him!

This group of animal Disney characters is one of the most loved friend groups of all time- and Eeyore a surprisingly tactful character in a kids’ movie.

We will not entertain any Eeyore slander, and neither should you!

7. Simba

Simba
Source: Screen Rant

Movie: The Lion King

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

The Lion King is one of Disney’s most successful films- and with a beloved soundtrack, a fun twist to a Shakespearean tragedy and the most adorable heroic little lion, it isn’t hard to see why. Simba, the lion cub makes us gush, while the grown up lion king finds our support and respect.

We find ourselves way too attached to the coming-of-age story of a cartoon character, that too an animal- but what with that riveting love story with Nala and the philosophical musings about kingship and duty, The Lion King is worth it.

Walt Disney Productions had never expected this great a response to The Lion King, but we’re glad it was made, because Simba really is one of the best Disney characters to reach us!

6. Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse
Source: India.com

Movie: Mickey Mouse (Shorts)- a short film series

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

This is a character that absolutely had to make the list. It is the Mickey Mouse ears that people associate most with Disney and his endearing grin, broad-eyed purity,  and upbeat demeanor are emblematic of optimism.

He’s one of the main reasons the Disney brand carries the warm and welcoming message it does, and we never seem to get enough of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy, Pluto and Goofy prancing about.

5. Bruno

Bruno
Source: Slash Film

Movie: Encanto

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

Fifth on this list of our favorite Disney characters is Bruno from Encanto- and yes we here at Gizmo Story, do talk about Bruno!

This is probably Disney’s darkest character, because Bruno is not a villain or even an antihero by any means, but his own family makes him out to be so. What lies beyond the grieving eyes and the foretold future is a sweet little man who only wants his family to accept him. Many of us are able to identify with Bruno, while others see in him a truly tragic and yet beautiful character.

He also has secured icon level in the roster of Disney character names, so Bruno supremacy for life!

4. Mulan

Mulan
Source: The Nerd Daily

Movie:

IMDb Rating:

Streaming Platform:

Mulan is perhaps the most badass Disney princess to ever exist- she’s got the family sword, and the skills to back it up. Not only is she one of the most popular Disney characters of all time, she is also a great role model for young children.

Mulan is brave and feisty, can stick up for herself, while making sure that her love for family is never compromised. The adorable love story only helps, and in Mulan emerges this character hailed by Disney fans as being a total boss.

Did we mention we love her voice?

3. Flynn Ryder

Flynn Ryder
Source: Fandom

Movie: Tangled

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

Flynn Ryder has been crushed on by so many Disney fans through their childhoods that it is often a bonding moment for many. He’s a thief but he’s a flirt, he’s cute but he’s brave- most importantly he’s in love with Rapunzel, enough to put his life on the line.

We find ourselves falling in love with this character among the lanterns and Zachary Levi’s voice, and how could we not!

It is interesting how this is a character who was crafted almost entirely by female Disney employees in an attempt to paint the ideal man. We think they did a really good job, don’t you?

2. Hector

Hector
Source: Disney News

Movie: Coco

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+, Apple Tv

Coco is not only one of the best Disney films of all time, but also among the greatest animation films to reach us. And in it we find a wonderfully sensitive man, the failed husband and artist, Hector. Why choose him among an array of interesting characters then?

Well, the answer lies in how well Disney has managed to portray the many aspects to him- his story makes us weep and sigh, giggle and gasp, all at once.

He is also given the sweetest songs on the soundtrack and that really, really helps the case of this devastating but lovable character. We remember Hector all too well, don’t we?

1. Genie

Genie
Source: Fandom

Movie: Aladdin

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Streaming Platform: Disney+

At number one on our list we have Aladdin’s genie- he’s magical, blue and super funny. Not to mention his killer dancing skills and that unmatched fashion sense! Robin Williams’ vocal acting for this character was absolutely stunning, and Will Smith in his live action reprise, does quite a good job too.

What’s best about this powerful magical character, however, is his endearing personality and loyal friendship- and we can’t help but celebrate as his dream of being free comes true.

Do let us know what you think of our list- and who your top five Disney characters of all time are!

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