Author Archive: Brian Sanchez

SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Sky Solar Holdings, Ltd. – SKYS

NEW YORK, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Pomerantz LLP is investigating claims on behalf of investors of Sky Solar Holdings, Ltd. (“Sky Solar” or the “Company”)

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 Such investors are advised to contact Robert S. Willoughby at or 888-476-6529, ext. 9980.

The investigation concerns whether Sky Solar and certain of its officers and/or directors have engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices. 

[Click here to join a class action]

On June 13, 2017, Sky revealed that the Company’s Management Committee plans to recommend that the board of directors form a committee to investigate the conduct of Weili Su, Sky’s former Chief Executive Officer.  Following this news, Sky stock ceased trading.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See

CONTACT:Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP

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SOURCE Pomerantz LLP

Copyright (C) 2017 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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California firms up marijuana rules, will allow deliveries

California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries under legislation set to be considered by lawmakers Thursday as the state prepares for next year’s start of legal marijuana sales.

Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration are working to merge California’s new voter-approved recreational pot law with the state’s longstanding medical marijuana program. They have settled on an array of regulations to protect consumers and public safety while ensuring taxes are collected.

The provisions were tucked into the state budget agreement between Brown and top legislative Democrats announced this week following months of negotiations with businesses operating illegally or in the legal medical marijuana field and investors who want to enter the nation’s largest legal marijuana market.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is taking a multi-billion-dollar industry out of the dark and now into the light,” said Sen. Mike McGuire, a Democrat whose district includes much of Northern California’s prime marijuana growing region.

By 2018, state officials must have crafted regulations and rules governing the emerging legal marijuana market with an estimated annual sales value of $7 billion — ranging from where and how plants can be grown to setting guidelines to track the buds from fields to stores. Full legal sales are expected to roll out later in the year.

In general, the state will treat cannabis like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow six marijuana plants at home.

The budget agreement includes $118 million to pay for startup costs for the newly regulated industry, including technology and staff to work on regulations and issue licenses. The state will open a tax office in the remote region north of San Francisco so marijuana businesses can pay their taxes in cash without having to drive long distances with thousands of dollars.

Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, pot businesses generally cannot open bank accounts, conduct credit card transactions or otherwise use the federally regulated banking system.

The legislation outlines baseline rules for marijuana businesses and was crafted to promote a new artisanal industry in a state that has embraced craft beer and small wineries.

It would require state regulators to come up with rules for marijuana producers to call their goods organic — an important designation for California consumers that cannot be used on pot under federal rules. The state would also create standards for official marijuana varietals and growing regions, known as appellations, so craft producers can distinguish their products based on the unique strain and growing conditions like winemakers do.

With temporary licenses from the state, businesses would be allowed to sell pot and provide samples at county fairs, regional agricultural associations and cannabis festivals.

Growers would be allowed to form agricultural cooperatives without running afoul of antitrust laws. Businesses would be able to legally grow, distribute and sell their own product, though firms performing safety tests will have to be independent, with no financial ties to growers or retailers.

Keeping an open container of marijuana in a vehicle would be illegal like it is for alcohol in California, except for people with a medical card or doctor’s note.

Brown and lawmakers agreed to allow sellers with no public storefronts to deliver marijuana directly to customers.

“There are thousands of businesses currently engaged in this type of commerce,” Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association. “The more of them that can get licensed, the better off the state is going to be, the faster we’ll be able to get rid of the criminal element and the faster we’ll be able to make sure the product is safe and tested.”

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There’s a new NYC law that eliminates your least favorite interview question — and Wall Street isn’t happy

Published 7:52 am, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

commuters in nycNick Starichenko/Shutterstock

Don’t tell Wall Street executives how to pay their people.

At least that’s what the two chairmen of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit membership organization made up of top business leaders in New York City, told the mayor’s representatives, The New York Times reports.

The two men — Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group, and Michael Corbat, the CEO of Citigroup — are among a growing chorus of Wall Street executives complaining to Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor who oversees housing and economic development, about a new law that will change the way Wall Street firms negotiate compensation packages.


Their biggest concern?

That the recently passed New York City law, which bars public and private employers from asking job candidates about their current or previous salary, will make recruiting and paying top talent more challenging, according to The Times.

Letitia James, New York’s public advocate, who introduced the legislation, begs to differ. She argues that discussing previous salary information increases wage discrimination.

“Being underpaid once should not condemn one to a lifetime of inequity,” James said in a press release when the bill was passed in April. “We will never close the wage gap unless we continue to enact proactive policies that promote economic justice and equity.”

The stakes are high for Wall Street firms — in 2016, employee compensation contributed nearly $24 billion to New York’s economy, according to The Times.

One argument The Times mentioned opposing the new law contended that the law may actually decrease pay for men and fail to increase pay for women, which would negatively affect New York City’s tax revenue.

But Glen says she expects the law to have a positive impact. She told The Times:

“We have to break the cycle of pay discrimination. Every firm is grappling with how to retain and promote more women into their senior leadership — this is part of the solution. Having spent more than a decade on Wall Street, I fundamentally believe this industry will be stronger when women up and down the ladder are compensated fairly.”

Read the full article on The New York Times »

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A financial planner explains why starting a new job is the best time to negotiate salary

See Also:

SEE ALSO: A new law in New York City will eliminate everyone’s least-favorite interview question

DON’T MISS: An employment attorney breaks down the NYC law that just eliminated everyone’s least-favorite interview question

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Investors who recovered losses in recent months after Brokers recommended LINN or BreitBurn praise Mark Tepper Law firm

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A retired Broward school teacher who recently recovered losses in BreitBurn Energy Partners LP. [OTC: BBEPQ] has praised the Mark Tepper law firm for its work in representing his claim for damages against Merrill Lynch. (Learn More at

The claim, filed on his behalf by the Mark Tepper law firm, was upheld by a FINRA arbitrator. According to the allegations in the successful claim, Merrill Lynch broker Edward M. Cahill, CRD# 1159741, had recommended BreitBurn Energy Partners LP. [OTC: BBEPQ], to retired teacher Andrew Greene.

The FINRA arbitrator awarded Greene compensatory damages, pre-judgment interest, expert fees, attorney’s fees to be court determined, and filing fee reimbursement. “I was delighted when my attorney Mark Tepper told me that we had won my claim. If I hadn’t found him to represent me, I’d have nothing,” Greene said.  

A FINRA Arbitrator also recently awarded compensatory damages, interest, and filing fee reimbursement, to an army veteran in a claim against Raymond James

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following investment losses in LINN Energy LLC

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“Attorney Mark A. Tepper is a true protector of investors by winning the fight for recovery in my arbitration claim against Raymond James,” Army veteran, Jim Struble said.

The successful claim, filed by the Mark Tepper law firm against Raymond James, alleged that Raymond James broker, John S. MacGowan, CRD# 315901, “kept pushing LINN as the right alternative to a CD.”

“We’re very pleased with the finding by FINRA’s arbitrators in favor of our clients whose brokers recommended LINN Energy or BreitBurn investments,” Mr. Tepper, a former New York Assistant Attorney General and Chief Trial Counsel at the Bureau of Investor Protection and Securities, said.

The Mark A. Tepper law firm is continuing its investigation into alleged claims against brokerage firms for recommending BreitBurn Energy Partners LP and/or LINN Energy LLC, LINNCo LLC. For a free case evaluation from the Mark A. Tepper law firm, email attorney Mark Tepper at or telephone 954-961-0096.

A member of the Florida, New York and California Bars, Mr. Tepper is peer-reviewed for 17 consecutive years as AV PREEMINENT® for ethical standards and legal ability. It’s the highest rating of lawyers in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.

Mark Hopkinson, NewsMark Public Relations

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SOURCE Mark A. Tepper, P.A.

Copyright (C) 2017 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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Regulating M&As: The intent of the law

Section 40(c)(2) of the Tax Code embodies the provisions on tax-free exchanges. It states that no gain or loss shall be recognized if, pursuant to a merger or consolidation, an exchange between the parties occurs. The exchange may consist of either: the property or securities of one entity for shares of stock of another, or a share-swap.

If qualified, these exchanges will be tax-free where no gain or loss shall be recognized. As pointed out by the Supreme Court, the purpose of the law in treating these exchanges as tax-free is to “encourage corporations in pooling, combining, or expanding their resources conducive to the economic development of our country.” The previous imposition of taxes on corporate combinations and expansions discouraged M&As to the detriment of economic progress. Thus, an incentive was provided by our legislators to encourage these transactions.

M&As, however, can also be used by firms to carry out a harmful purpose. Thus, the Philippine Competition Act (RA No. 10667) was passed. By regulating M&As, the Act intends to promote and protect competitive markets, preserve the efficiency of competition, and protect the well-being of consumers. M&As that substantially prevent, restrict, or lessen the relevant market, are prohibited. Under the Act and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) may, on its own or upon notification, review M&As having a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on trade, industry, or commerce. Section 3, Rule 4 of the IRR also provides specific instances where compulsory notification becomes mandatory (i.e. upon reaching the indicated threshold).

From the laws cited above, it is clear that M&As are not mere business transactions. These are transactions imbued with public interest. They may either be helpful or ruinous to domestic markets and the local economy.

While the Tax Code and the Philippine Competition Act are different laws written for distinct purposes, both recognize the importance of M&As. One intends to provide a benefit, while the other seeks to regulate. As it stands, however, claiming the benefits of a tax-free exchange is much more tedious for taxpayers as compared to seeking the PCC approval regarding an M&A transaction.

In order to claim the benefits of a tax-free exchange, taxpayers are required to first secure a tax-free ruling from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) despite the Tax Code itself not imposing this requirement. Under BIR rules, taxpayers who do not file the required ruling application will not be able to obtain a Certificate Authorizing Registration/Tax Clearance (CAR/TCL) for shares or property transferred. This poses a problem because there are no assurances that taxpayers seeking to claim the benefits of a tax-free exchange would have their applications decided upon in a timely manner.

The BIR rules do not contain a “deemed approved” provision where a taxpayer’s ruling application would be considered approved after the lapse of a certain period. As a result, due to the long amount of time it takes for ruling requests to be processed and issued (some taking multiple years before they are concluded), taxpayers are left in limbo because they are unable to obtain a CAR/TCL.

On the other hand, under the Competition Act, if upon the expiration of 90 days, a decision has not been reached by the Commission concerning a merger or consolidation qualified for compulsory notification, it shall be deemed approved and the parties shall be allowed to consummate the transaction. This rigid deadline forces the Commission to act promptly and expeditiously. The deadline provides a safeguard for parties such that their M&A transactions would not be unduly restricted due to the government’s inaction. Moreover, big mergers that could significantly impact the economy in a positive way are given a chance to come into fruition without facing the problem of unnecessary bureaucracy.

It seems ironic that the Competition Act, the law enacted for the noble purpose of regulating M&A transactions for the protection of local consumers and market players, provides some assurance to businesses that their transactions will not be prejudiced by the government’s inaction. On the other hand, the BIR rules on tax-free exchanges do not contain any such assurance despite the purpose of the legislature in crafting Section 40(c)(2) of the Tax Code.

Notably, the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has recently ruled that “there is nothing explicitly requiring a party, in exchanging property for shares of stocks, to first secure a BIR confirmatory certification or tax-free ruling before it can avail itself of tax exemption” under Section 40 (c) (2). This case is somewhat parallel to the much publicized 2013 Supreme Court case of Deutsche Bank where the Supreme Court struck down the BIR’s requirement of filing a Tax Treaty Relief Application (TTRA) before a taxpayer can enjoy treaty benefits. Four years since the promulgation of the Deutsche Bank case, the BIR has begun to show signs that it recognizes this jurisprudence, albeit in a somewhat limited manner, with a new issuance which no longer requires a TTRA for certain types of income payments. It has yet to be seen, however, whether or not the BIR would adopt the CTA decision on tax-free exchange rulings.

To be clear, the Tax Code indeed does not require the filing of a tax-free ruling application in order for taxpayers to claim the benefits of Section 40(c)(2). However, in trying to make a case for the administrative requirement of obtaining a tax-free ruling, one may argue that there may be a real need to regulate these transactions in order to prevent unscrupulous parties from entering into schemes for purposes of escaping taxation. After all, the Tax Code itself provides that in order to be regarded as tax-free, the transaction must be undertaken for a bona fide business purpose and not solely for the purpose of escaping the burden of taxation. As it stands, however, the current practice of obtaining a tax-free ruling pursuant to a merger or consolidation is too cumbersome for taxpayers due to the indefinite amount of time it takes to be completed, not to mention the numerous documentary submissions required.

The current practice brings about an effect opposite to what Section 40 (c) (2) originally intended, which was to create a business environment conducive to the economic development of the country. At the very least, in the interest of continuous policy improvements, the BIR could perhaps take a cue from the Competition Act and adopt a “deemed approved” period. This would at least give businesses some assurance that their commercial transactions will not be forestalled by the government’s inaction. Taxpayers would be able to claim benefits provided by the law without unnecessary restrictions. Most importantly, making the incentive readily accessible would be more consistent with the law’s intention of encouraging the pooling, combining, and expansion of resources by the different market players.

The views or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Isla Lipana & Co. The firm will not accept any liability arising from the article.

Mats E. Lucero is a senior consultant at the Tax Services Department of Isla Lipana & Co., the Philippine member firm of the PwC network.

(02) 845-2728

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Gibraltar-Based Firms Fail In UK Gambling Tax Challenge

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

14 June 2017

Gibraltar has lost its legal challenge against the UK’s tax on remote gambling operators who provide services to UK consumers.

The Finance Act 2014 introduced a new gambling tax regime requiring the payment of a 15 percent tax on profits by overseas gambling services providers to UK customers.

The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) argued that the tax charge discriminated against non-UK bookmakers and breached EU law.

However, the European Court of Justice said that due to the legal between the UK and Gibraltar (an overseas territory of the UK), a supply of services by a Gibraltar-based business to a UK consumer is equal to the supply of services within the same EU state, nullifying the Association’s contention that EU rules on the freedom to provide services apply.

In its June 13 ruling, the Court ruled: “Article 355(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in conjunction with Article 56 TFEU, is to be interpreted as meaning that the provision of services by operators established in Gibraltar to persons established in the United Kingdom constitutes, as a matter of EU law, a situation confined in all respects within a single Member State.”

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Racist post fines on social media firms illegal

Critic­s said the govern­ment was rushin­g throug­h legisl­ation that could damage free speech­

Critics said the government was rushing through legislation that could damage free speech. CREATIVE COMMONS

Critics said the government was rushing through legislation that could damage free speech. CREATIVE COMMONS

BERLIN: A draft law approved by the German government allowing social network companies to be fined if they failed to remove racist posts and fake news quickly infringes on the constitutional right to freedom of expression, a parliamentary body has found.

Politicians fear that a proliferation of such posts directed at the more than one million Muslim migrants who have entered Germany in the last two years might sway public opinion in the September election. Critics said the government was rushing through legislation that could damage free speech.

The proposal known as the “Facebook Law” had not clearly defined what constituted a punishable offence, the Wissenschaftlicher Dienst said in a non-binding opinion.

Man gets death penalty over blasphemy on social media

“The draft law doesn’t specify guidelines, examples or reference points to define criminal or punishable content,” it said. “It would have been extremely useful to provide data as well as studies to help make a proper assessment of the danger posed by the dissemination of punishable hateful content and fake news and the assumed destructive effect they have.”

Under the law, Facebook, Twitter and Google-parent Alphabet Inc would face up to 50 million euros ($56 million) in fines for not removing posts promptly.

Bahawalpur court hands down death sentence to man for blasphemous Facebook posts

Martin Ott, Facebook’s chief in Germany, told Handelsblatt newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday that the draft law was problematic because it shifted the legal responsibility from the courts to companies.

“We don’t think the law meets its aim as a private company should not decide what is legal or illegal,” he said. “This is the job of courts.”

A justice ministry spokesperson said the research body’s reservations would be taken into consideration and any proposed amendments would be debated by parliamentary committees.

The draft law would give social networks 24 hours to delete or block obviously criminal content and seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases, with an obligation to report back to the person who filed the complaint about how they handled the case.

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Private firms must cough up ‘stolen’ state cash – Occupy Ghana  

It seems private companies who have unlawfully siphoned monies belonging to the state will not get off the hook this time around , following an order by the Supreme Court for the Auditor General to retrieve those monies.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Auditor General to, with immediate effect, begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.

The order was made following a suit filed by Pressure Group, Occupy Ghana in June 2016.

Occupy Ghana was seeking an order directing the Auditor-General to issue disallowances and surcharges to and in respect of all persons and entities found in successive audit reports to have misappropriated state funds.

Occupy Ghana had explained that it sued the Auditor General for refusing to surcharge persons who are said to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state to the tune of over GHc40 billion.

Speaking to Citi News, a leading member of Occupy Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford explained that the order by the Supreme Court also gives away private firms who have illegally benefited from monies belonging to the state.

Casely-Hayford whose pressure group has pursued the case against the Auditor General since 2014 said the Supreme Court was“very emphatic in granting all our reliefs that, the Auditor General must apply the disallowance and surcharges [powers], collect all monies owed to the government under his authority and this extends not only to government officials, it also extends to people in the private sector who have been found culpable in collecting the money.”

“Every year the Auditor General does its audit and then produces a report. It was through that report that we were able to pick up the SADA, GYEEDA and all other corruption issues that have come up. In the past, all of these have been left because he just presents his report but now he is under legal obligation to prosecute all the officials involved in any of such activities. So in the case of GYEEDA, he would have to go to all those private sector people who were given contracts and never delivered the contracts and collect the monies that have been dissipated… He will refer all that to the Attorney General and the Attorney General must prosecute within the law,” he added.


A number of corruption scandals have been recorded in the country in the last few years which involved public officials and private companies benefiting from state monies for less or no work done.

Some of the scandals include the monies lost to Subah Info Solutions deal, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA,  the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the GHc3.6 million bus branding saga.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/
Follow @AlloteyGodwin

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Sacramento Law Firm Launches Social Media Sweepstakes Promoting Physical Activity

For the very first time, the Demas Law Group launches bicycle giveaway via Instagram

Like this photo on Instagram!

Like this photo on Instagram!

SACRAMENTO, Calif.June 13, 2017PRLog — With summer in full swing, there’s no better way to enjoy the vast outdoors in Sacramento and the surrounding area than on two wheels. Plus, there’s no denying that an enjoyable bike ride is a great way to burn calories. That’s why the Demas Law Group is happy to announce its first ever bicycle giveaway. According to the firm’s founder, his office hopes to promote physical activity.

“At our firm, we are passionate about biking and getting exercise outside of the office. We know that the benefits of cycling go hand in hand with living a long healthy life, and we want to share this passion with all of Sacramento,” stated personal injury attorney, John N. Demas.

According to health experts, cyclists can burn up to 600 calories an hour, helping to reduce their risk for obesity. Currently in California, more than seven million adults and adolescents are obese based on a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. For Demas and his talented team of attorneys, his firm’s bike giveaway is just one small way to help curb the problem.

“There’s no secret that obesity leads to diabetes, cardiovascular problems and even increases the chances of some cancers,” stated Demas. “With Sacramento’s unlimited nature trails along the many rivers and lakes, there’s no excuse to not be active when we have such amazing scenery to take in.”

Taking part in the firm’s bicycle giveaway is simple. All participants have to do is follow the Demas Law Group on Instagram ( and tag a friend in this photo (…) in the comment’s section. The firm will randomly select a winner of a brand new bicycle on June 22nd.

“We look forward to crowning our winner,” stated Demas.

About The Demas Law Group: Our firm didn’t become one of Sacramento’s leading personal injury law firms overnight. For almost 25 years, our skill at practicing law, our dedication to our clients, and our commitment to the Sacramento area community have earned us respect and recognition from our peers, numerous professional organizations and most importantly, our clients.

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Financial firms sign on for new Manhattan office space

Major financial firms are taking new office spaces in Manhattan, according to the New York Post.

Mizuho Americas completed a lease for 148,000 square feet at Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Sixth Ave., the former Time-Life Building, while Silver Lake, a private equity firm, has completed a lease for 56,000 square feet at Related Cos.’ 55 Hudson Yards.

Mizuho Americas, a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, plans to consolidate its staff from several Manhattan locations including its trading operations at 320 Park Ave. Rockefeller Group is spending $600 million to redesign 1271 Sixth. The tower’s makeover is expected to be completed by summer 2019. Asking rent for the Mizuho space was in the low $80s.

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Silver Lake is relocating to Hudson Yards from Sheldon Solow’s 9 W. 57th St. The firm will be joining Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, law firms Milbank and Boies Schiller Flexner and other firms that recently signed up to take space at the upcoming 1.3 million-square-foot, 51-story tower.

Separately, financial services firm Robert W. Baird is ditching 610 Fifth Ave. for space at 1155 Sixth Ave.

More real estate news

Macklowe set to score $850M JPMorgan loan for 1 Wall St. (The Real Deal)

‘Boutique’ law firm subleases office space from Simpson Thacher (New York Post)

Nonprofit files suit to stop L+M from buying East Harlem building (The Real Deal)

New hotline allows NYC tenants to report illegal Airbnb rentals (Daily News)

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