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Statement by PLP Leader Marc Bean: The Premier Can't Hide From Questions Forever.

It is clear by his actions that Premier Cannonier has no regard for the rules of the House of Assembly, the rulings of the Speaker, and by extension the people of Bermuda.

This morning, in the House of Assembly, Premier Cannonier was asked the following questions:

  1. Will the Honourable Premier please inform this Honourable House if he and any of the Principals of Landow & CO. Builders (Bethesda, MD) have met, spoken via telephone, or corresponded via email, since his Personal Explanation given to this Honourable House on May 31, 2013. 
  2. Will the Honourable Premier please confirm to this Honourable House if the “Exchange of Information” trip to Washington DC, detailed in his Personal Explanation of May 31, 2013, was the first time the Honourable Premier had met any of the Principals of Landow & CO. Builders (Bethesda, MD). 


After being directed by the Speaker of the House to answer these questions Yes or No, Premier Cannonier refused to do so, under the grounds of refusing to prejudice himself.

This is not accountability, transparency, or openness. It is cowardice, arrogance, and contempt for the people of Bermuda at the highest level. 

The Premier may fear incriminating himself, but no matter how much he attempts to hide the truth it will inevitably be revealed.

 

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PLP Reply to the 2014 Budget

Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt, delivered the PLP's reply to the 2014/15 Budget in Parliament on Friday, February 28. Read the full response here.

Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt, delivered the PLP's reply to the 2014/15 Budget in Parliament on Friday, February 28. In that response he outlined the PLP's alternate budget proposal that would make signifigant investments in education, training, and alternative energy. He also laid of the PLP's ideas for diversifying the economy, creating addtional jobs in Bermuda, and reforming immigration.

The full document is available for download here. If you have feedback, MP David Burt can be contacted on dburt@plp.bm

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Statement by Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert

The contradiction between Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell' s account of the events surrounding JetGate and the claims made by the Premier have created more questions than answers about the Premier's relationship with the investor Nathan Landow, 

Statement by Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert 

The contradiction between Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell' s account of the events surrounding JetGate and the claims made by the Premier have created more questions than answers about the Premier's relationship with the investor Nathan Landow, and the reason for the divergent accounts.

The Premier was not upfront with the people of Bermuda about the junket taken by he and his colleagues in violation of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.  Were it not for this story being leaked by an OBA insider, the public might never have known that this dubious action was taken by key members of the OBA government.

The Premier was not upfront with the people of Bermuda when, once the JetGate 3 were caught violating the Ministerial Code yet  he failed to reveal that the business manager of his private enterprise was also on that private jet.

The Premier's claims that his business manager was simply, "bumming a lift," have now been contradicted by the Premier's own Tourism Minister who claimed last week on Magic 102.7's The Sherri Simmons Show that the Premier's business manager not only attended the secret meetings with the developer but also made presentations at the meetings.  

This chain of events paints a very disturbing picture of a Premier, who prior to the December 2012 election, preached transparency, openness and accountability, yet now seems more focused on cover-ups and potentially making backroom deals than in being honest with the people of Bermuda.  

In the interest of transparency, openness and accountability, we call on Premier Cannonier to come clean with the details surrounding this entire trip and to be accountable to the people for he and his Minister's actions.

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PLP Stands Strong Behind Leader Marc Bean and MP David Burt

The Premier has gone on record stating that his business manager, Mr. Stephen Dacosta, was only “bumming a ride” with him when he, along with Ministers Crockwell and Pettingill traveled to Washington DC last year.

We in the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party are standing strong for our Leader , the Hon. Marc Bean and the Shadow Minister of Finance, David Burt and we are here today to show our collective support for them.


We were extremely disturbed that during the Motion to Adjourn in the House of Parliament, on Friday, December 13, 2013, Premier Craig Cannonier and Minister Shawn Crockwell and Attorney General Mark Pettingill leveled serious allegations on our leader regarding a telephone conversation that was held between the Opposition Leader and the Premier.


Needless to say, we found it unacceptable that such allegations would be leveled at a time when the Opposition leader was not in the chamber as he was attending to family matters.


It is our opinion that Parliamentary protocol requires that accusations such as those made by the Premier should have waited until our Leader was present in Parliament, to look his accusers in the face and provide his own response.


We therefore believe that our Leader had no choice but to respond to those allegations in a parliamentary “Personal Explanation” as his reputation was sullied when those three Honorable Members alleged that the Opposition leader threatened to undermine the referendum on gaming.


Moreover, our faith in the integrity of our Parliament was severely tested when Minister Crockwell and AG Pettingill taunted that they overhead the telephone conversation between the Premier and the Opposition Leader, as the Premier admitted to sharing this conversation with his Ministers via speakerphone, without the decency of informing the Opposition Leader of this circumstance.


These actions were conducted in bad faith and reflect the character of the individuals involved.


We consider the actions of the Premier and his colleagues to be a willful intent to solidify their political position through deceit.


We further consider the assertion offered by the Shadow Finance Minister, David Burt, that the Premier offered IT consulting work on the absentee balloting system to his private IT company with the money saved from abandoning the referendum equally disturbing. The Premier admitted on February 14 to having discussed absentee balloting in the meeting that he had with MP Burt on December 10, 2013.


Why would the Premier need to discuss this matter with MP Burt when he has the entire Government IT Department at his disposal.


The Premier’s deflections do not add up! I have always found MP Burt to be a man of integrity and I am confident that my Parliamentary colleagues agree.


As I stated in Parliament on Friday, February 14, 2014, Premier Cannonier also asked to meet with me on December 11, and during that meeting he suggested to me that I use my influence to convince the PLP Caucus to support the OBA effort to bypass the referendum process.


Needless to say, I informed the Premier that he should be having that conversation with the Leader of the Opposition, not the Deputy Leader.


The Premier also denied the meeting ever took place and said that “I had no need to call any of the opposition members for anything”.


The Premier has gone on record stating that his business manager, Mr. Stephen Dacosta, was only “bumming a ride” with him when he, along with Ministers Crockwell and Pettingill traveled to Washington DC last year.


However, yesterday on the Sherri Simmons talk show, Minister Crockwell told the public that Mr. Dacosta was there because of his “expertise” on golf, and he also revealed that Mr. DaCosta was an active participant in the official exchange of information meetings.


There are now two conflicting versions of what happened in Washington DC, one by the Premier and one in contradiction by Minister Crockwell.


We would like to make it very clear; our members will not be silenced by legal threats or any legal action in order to suppress the truth.


And the Premier cannot hide behind legal threats as his own version of events has been challenged by his own Cabinet Minister.


Ultimately, Bermudians must decide who spoke the truth, as the integrity of our whole system of governance is being tested in a manner that this country has never witnessed before.


The truth must prevail and the Premier must stop ducking the questions and reveal to the country the nature of his relationship with Mr. Nathan Landow.


Any potential development is far too important to the future of this country.


We need jobs for our people and the Premier is putting this at risk by his refusal to speak to a relationship with a potential developer.


There is an RFP process underway, and improper contact can derail this process and delay any development.


Our country cannot afford that outcome and that is why it is important for the Premier to explain the nature of his relationship with Mr. Nathan Landow.

 

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PLP Calls on Premier to Come Clean on Ties to Developer

Premier Craig Cannonier’s deafening silence in response to the serious allegations made against him is very troubling. If the Premier has nothing to hide, he should then immediately come clean with the full and complete nature of his relationship, and the relationship of his private business partner, with Mr. Nathan Landow.

Premier Craig Cannonier’s deafening silence in response to the serious allegations made against him is very troubling. If the Premier has nothing to hide, he should then immediately come clean with the full and complete nature of his relationship, and the relationship of his private business partner, with Mr. Nathan Landow.

The Premier's continued refusal to reveal the nature of his relationship to this potential casino developer is eroding investor confidence in Bermuda. This issue is important, because for investors to have confidence in Bermuda they must have confidence that the Government is ethical and forthright in their dealings. The government must be an honest broker if not Bermudians will lose as investors, not just in hotels – but in other industries, will stay away.

Bermuda’s economic situation is too delicate for our future to be put at risk by members of the government seeking to profit from any new Integrated Resort Development.

 If the process is tainted, then any potential development can be derailed by lengthy legal challenges – and that mean that ALL Bermudians, PLP and OBA will be the losers.

The PLP will continue to press for answers to legitimate questions to ensure that the people's business in being conducted in an ethical manner that will benefit all Bermudians and will not put our future at risk. The Premier, Attorney General, and Minister of Tourism must come clean to ensure that Bermuda’s reputation remains intact.

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Statement by Shadow Finance Minister David Burt

This behaviour is a manifestation of the anti-Bermudian and anti-labour attitudes that continue to divide us into two Bermudas.  

During the labour march yesterday, the behavior of Ms. Joanne McPhee, Executive Director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, was highly unacceptable.  It has no place in a diverse and civil society where we must have respect for the right of workers to organize and participate in peaceful protest.  

This behaviour is a manifestation of the anti-Bermudian and anti-labour attitudes that continue to divide us into two Bermudas.  Healing this divide requires concrete action not apologies after being caught. As a former director of the Chamber of Commerce I am appalled that the Executive Director of an organisation that claims to be politically neutral would incite Bermudians engaged in a peaceful march in support of worker's rights. 

The leadership of the Chamber of Commerce has an opportunity to send a strong message to Bermudians that there is zero tolerance for this behavior from within their ranks.  We call on the members of the Chamber of Commerce to make their feelings known about this reprehensible behavior to their President Mr. Ronnie Viera.  We expect that the majority of members of the Chamber will require that she resign or their President take the appropriate and required action to deal with this unfortunate situation.

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Statement by Acting PLP Leader Derrick Burgess

With his inexperience, and lack of political maturity, one can easily expect or excuse the Premier's breakdown in the House of Assembly. 

The words spoken by the Premier in the House of Assembly, on Saturday December 14, 2013 were the words of a man obviously under a great deal of pressure. It could appear as if he is seemingly crumbling under the weight of that pressure.

With his inexperience, and lack of political maturity, one can easily expect or excuse the Premier's breakdown in the House of Assembly. Yet we shouldn't expect or excuse the use of threatening and dangerous words.

With Statements such as;

“No one’s gotten any one brother, but if you want to be gotten and I
could let it happen for sure. For sure, for sure.”

“As I said before, the Premier of this country, I’m privy to a lot.
So, just hold it, okay.”

It appears as if the Premier is now endorsing the politics of personal destruction and political payback. Threatening to use his privileged position to damage reputations and ruin livelihoods. Forgetting the old adage that people in glass houses, should not throw stones.

This seems to hearken back to the days of the UBP. When persons who expressed views that differed from them suffered;

Sudden job loss
Business contracts cancelled
Home mortgages pulled.

We encourage the Premier to start conducting himself in a more statesman like manner. He must learn to focus on issues, not individuals. We would like to remind him that our constitution and
democracy does not give way to a “One party mentality.”

It is vital that every citizen of this nation is allowed to express themselves without fear of “Big Brother” watching them or threatening them. These “dictator and bully” like statements have been read and heard globally. Coupled with revoking Bermudian’s right to a referendum, this will no doubt cast the image of Bermudian democracy in a negative light.

Many Bermudians are rightfully concerned.

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Statement by PLP Leader Marc Bean on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a leader, a freedom fighter, an African and an inspiration to us all.

Statement by PLP Leader Marc Bean on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party joins with people across the globe in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela. His commitment to freedom, justice and equality as well as his resolute determination to build one South African people out of the ashes of Apartheid, will be an inspiration for generations to come.

On behalf of the Bermuda Progresive Labour Party, I extend condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela. Those who have known and loved him most, have borne the heaviest burden and have sacrificed much to support the work of this great man. Over the years he was falsely reviled as a terrorist, unjustly imprisoned on Robben Island, elected President of a free South Africa and became a global figure of honour and integrity. His family's sacrifice and support of this icon, allowed not just South Africa, but the world to benefit, grow and progress.

Nelson Mandela was a leader, a freedom fighter, an African and an inspiration to us all. The Father of his nation has become a father to EVERYONE who believes in a world with opportunity for all and special privilege for none.

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Freedom to Do For Self

The Progressive Labour Party Leader delivered a call to Bermudians to do for self of the occasion of the Progressive Labour Party's 50th Anniversary. The leader called for the next generation of leaders to  to "step up and contribute in the shaping of our island's destiny."

If you were not able to attend the banquet, read the entire speech here. 

Good evening

Tonight, we celebrate 50 years of struggle, tragedy, and triumph. From 30 years of wandering in the political wilderness, as what often seemed like Bermuda's sole voice for freedom, justice and equality......to finally earning the trust and support of the masses in 1998, to serving as the first government in our history to stand for the poor, the downtrodden, and the homeless. The first government of, and for, all Bermudians.
Yet, through our own actions, our own decisions, and our own behaviour, we lost touch with the people who put their faith in us.... the people who hoped that the new Bermuda we offered in 1998, would represent empowerment and freedom.

It is from that failure that we have been cast into the political wilderness yet again......Yet, the time we spend in political exile, can be spent aimlessly wandering, senselessly infighting, and foolishly devoid of vision and purpose, OR, we can move purposefully back to the values on which we were founded.

At our best, the PLP has brought Bermudians together and moved Bermuda away from the darkness of injustice, oppression, and crony capitalism.
The Progressive Labour Party was born in a Bermuda where the people had grown, in the words of Martin Luther King, "tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression....tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair...tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life's July, and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November."
Crony and vulture capitalism, practised by a wicked oligarchy determined to cling to their power and influence by any means necessary, was the Bermuda the PLP was born into, and there were consequences for standing up to them. Our founders faced economic terrorism in the form of pulled mortgages, being blackballed from jobs, and having their good names smeared. Yet they stood up for us, they fought for us, and yes, they founded the PLP for us.

They believed as we still believe today, that Bermudians are entitled to freedom, justice, and equality in their own country, and for that noble goal, no sacrifice is too great, no burden too heavy, and no opponent is too powerful.

Our founders had a very clear goal. They sought social and economic equality through the application of political power....beginning as a protest movement, shifting to power via democratic majority rule, and all culminating in victory at the polls on November 9th, 1998.

We stand on the shoulders of greatness. We honour them when we fight for the people who have no voice; when we stand up for capable, willing, qualified Bermudians, who are denied employment opportunities in our own country. We honour our founders when we continue to identify and tear down obstacles to opportunity, and when we stand against greed, injustice and inequity.

Today's PLP, and tomorrow's PLP, must never take for granted the real sacrifice that our fore parents have paid for us to celebrate 50 years, let alone to have the opportunities of education and employment, to which we now enjoy.

Having gained and now lost political power, we must ask ourselves; what grade would our founding fathers give us? What would they think of us? Have we met their expectations?

Some may feel that in losing political power, the movement towards social and economic equality has taken one step forward, and two steps backwards, with the last 50 years having come to nought.

Which leads to the very pressing question...what must we do to ensure that we celebrate the next 50 years as an institution, and what direction, what new objective, must be set in order for us to effectively serve our supreme interest, the Beautiful People of Bermuda?

My position is that there is no need for a new objective. The goal of our founding fathers was social and economic equality and justice, but that wasn't their final Objective!

Social and Economic equality and justice was the goal, the means to an end, but their objective, the culmination point, the real ends, was the highest ideal and aspiration of man, that of Freedom and Liberty.... and by extension, the creation of a Free Society.

Today, the Free Society dreamed of by our founding fathers remains the objective, and as they did 50 years ago, we must overcome our doubts and our fears, adjust and adept to the conditions of today, and fulfil their dream.

The Free Society we seek is one where the vestiges of our history......of slavery... of colonialism.... of racism, classism, and discrimination, are eradicated. We must seek to usher in a period of stability, peace, material and spiritual progress, so that true social harmony may manifest in Bermuda.

Make no mistake, the attitudes that gave and continue to give life to these scars on our psyche, are equally destructive to all, regardless if you are black, white, Bermudian or foreign. Every society has among them, those who hold extremist beliefs, and who are a drag upon the well being of our country.

The rest of us, the overwhelming majority, regardless of race or history, desire the same things out of life. These desires today represent unlocked potential to create tangible cooperation, unity, and progress.

Today, after 50 years of existence, and 14 years of political power, we see a Bermuda in a downward spiral, our people out of work, our families and communities trapped in a cycle of dependency and hopelessness.....and our children locked into a fratricidal cycle of death and destruction.

Is this the legacy of our founder's goal of social and economic equality and justice? I dare say not!

In order for us to give due respect to our founders and elders, and true regard for future generations, we are going to have to adjust our thinking, and our actions.

It is time to embrace the principles of freedom, and recognise that true cultural and economic empowerment is the path towards real freedom, with its ancillary benefits of peace, stability, and the elevation of our collective standard of living.

Political power has, and will continue, to fail to usher in this new day, as quite frankly, a Good Government should have its focus on benefiting all the people equally. It should not be directed by special interest in any shape or form.

Thus, it is informative to note, that the way forward has less to do with who wields political power, and more to do with how we, as individuals, relate to each other as people.

As I have stated previously, Governments can only cultivate the conditions where jobs can be created, and that can only happen when we face the truth, and take decisive action. It is the private sector, you and your neighbours, that can create jobs.

In fact, in order for the optimum conditions for job growth to occur, Government must get out of the way, and depart from the long held notion that politicians and the State, can manage an economy.

As a Party, our future depends on cultivating a spirit within the people that encourages a willingness to do for self. This ethos demands a shift in mentality from one that depends on government to provide for our every need, and towards a spirit of creativity, entrepreneurship, self improvement, and self knowledge.

This must have as its basis, the need for personal responsibility, and becoming the masters of our own destiny. In educating our children, we must re-educate ourselves to recognise our innate talents, in order to fulfil our life's purpose.

No longer can we blame others for our conditions. We must learn anew, the value of savings, and living within our means. We must reverse the trend of becoming slaves to debt, and sacrifice current, frivolous consumption, while increasing savings and thrift.... the real way to create wealth and prosperity. Those of us who have savings must use part of it to invest in themselves, and more importantly, invest in others.

As a Party, we must be prepared to reduce the burden of government, and reduce our people's dependency on government. Like it or not, we also must pursue policies that reduce our public debt, reduce government spending, and put Bermuda on a trajectory towards having a balanced budget in the future.

Fiscal responsibility applies to our public life, as it does to our private, individual lives. Those who inherit the Party in 50 years deserve nothing less. Those who reside in this country in 50 years, deserve nothing less.

As we are today, we are in danger of becoming an obsolete people of no use to business, no use to our society, and no use to ourselves. The business community is struggling to employ their own friends and families, so we can no longer look exclusively to them to solve our problems, provide employment for us, or give us a livelihood.

Now is the time for us to adjust our thinking, become innovative, and begin to look at ways to create opportunities for OURSELVES. We must change the consciousness of our people, from one that says "government must," "IB must," to one that says, "I must, and I will, do for self"!

Bermudians must become more productive, and more competitive, in order to be full participants in, and contributors to, the global economy. We cannot afford to be bystanders any longer. The feelings of complaint in the people, must be, like alchemy, transmuted into the willingness to compete and cooperate with one another.

Co-operating and competing, reinforces the principal that a man respects you, when you respect yourself. Combine this with the golden rule of loving thy neighbour as thyself, long standing issues like race, which influence much in society, and are the stumbling blocks towards true social harmony and cooperation, will finally recede into the dustbin of history.

Not all of us want, or have it within us, to be entrepreneurs. But what we do have within us is the capacity to provide the highest level of service to those who have taken the risk, invested in themselves, and have created a job for you to fill. If you do not seek to employ yourself and others, than be someone worthy of being hired. Invest in yourself, educate yourself, and give your employer a full day's work, for a full day's pay.

These changes within minds, as individuals, and as a community of people who understand the power of doing for self, will transform Bermuda and Bermudians, irrevocably for the better.

We stand on a foundation bound together by the spirits of a group of average Bermudian men, sitting in a garage 50 years ago.....men seeking a way for all Bermudians to have a voice, a chance, and a role in the country of our birth.

We are bound together by the memory of Hon. Walter Robinson, the shaper of our island's constitution.

We are bound together and inspired by the example of Dame Lois Browne Evans; first in law, first in leadership, and first in championing the rights of the people.

We are bound together and inspired by the legacy of Hon L. Frederick Wade, our political Moses, who led us through the political wilderness, but was unable to complete the journey to government with us.

We are bound together and inspired by the vision of Dame Jennifer Smith, who brought One Man, One Vote of Equal Value to our people.

We are bound together by the idea of Hon. William Alexander Scott, that Bermuda should be a place where the haves continue to have, and the have nots, have more.

We are bound together by the work of Dr Hon.Ewart F. Brown, the man who made the UBP change brands, and reminded us of the need to "just get it done".

We are bound together by the legacy of Hon. Paula A. Cox, who called upon each of us to Stand Strong for Bermudians, and do it with class and dignity.

Now, the generation that our parents sacrificed to feed, clothe, and educate, must step up and contribute in the shaping of our island's destiny. Instructed and mentored by our elders, respectful and knowledgeable of our history, our heritage, and of those who came before us, we owe our country so very much.

Let us give those who came before us the confidence that our island's fate is in good hands.

Let us give those who come behind us hope, that tomorrow will be filled with greater opportunity, success, and prosperity, than we have today.

May Almighty God, bless the Progressive Labour Party, and may he bless the people of Bermuda.

Thank you

 

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Annual Conference Starts Tomorrow

The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party 2013 Conference begins on Wednesday, October 23rd at 5:30pm at BIU Headquarters.Under the theme, “Empowerment through Economic – Entrepreneurship and Employment through Education,” 

PLP Conference Begins Tomorrow "Empowerment through Economic Entrepreneurship and Employment through Education"


The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party 2013 Conference begins on Wednesday, October 23rd at 5:30pm at BIU Headquarters.Under the theme, “Empowerment through Economic – Entrepreneurship and Employment through Education,” PLP delegates will meet over the week to elect officers and discuss topics of importance to Party Members.

"The PLP Conference represents an opportunity for our members and supporters to have their say on the direction of their Party. In this, our 50th year, the input of our members in shaping the modernization of our Party is invaluable and appreciated," said PLP Chairman Maynard Dill.

"With new leadership, a new vision and new people bringing new ideas, the PLP is committed to building a 21st century movement to meet the needs of 21st Century Bermudians," The Chairman added.

PLP Leader Marc Bean said, "We enter the 2013 PLP Conference a stronger, more unified and more focused Party. We have listened to the people, grown from the lesson learned in December 2012 and humbled ourselves. We are reconnecting with the people, our values and promoting a new vision of economic and cultural empowerment."

Mr. Bean continued, "for 50 years, the PLP have driven positive change and been at the forefront of bringing Bermuda out of the dark ages of oppression, injustice and inequity. To those who have and continue to support us, I thank you. To those who lost faith with us, we encourage you to weigh both our words and actions as we continue to modernize our policies, our vision and our team. To those who have never supported us, we will continue to fight for a fairer Bermuda, where obstacles to opportunity are removed and where honesty and hard work are rewarded."

The PLP Conference will be held BIU Headquarters on October 23rd beginning at 5:30 pm. On October 24th at 8:30am the conference moves to Devonshire Rec. All PLP Members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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