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Today: 67 articles and 237 comments as of 15:46.
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Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Opinion        Politix   
ISIS counter-attack pushes Syrian forces out of Raqqa province
Today's Headlines
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Heroic Huey pilot to receive Medal of Honor five decades later
[USA Today] WASHINGTON — The details of the heroism that will see Charles Kettles awarded the Medal of Honor at the White House come back clearly and quickly even five decades later.

The White House announced Tuesday afternoon that Kettles would receive the award from President Obama on July 18.

Kettles, 86, recalls the events of May 15, 1967: flying his UH-1 helicopter time after time after time into dizzying, withering fire to save the lives of dozens of soldiers ambushed by North Vietnamese troops in the Song Tau Cau river valley; nursing the shot-up, overloaded bird out of harm’s way with the final eight soldiers who’d been mistakenly left behind.

“With complete disregard for his own safety …” the official narrative of that day reads. “Without gunship, artillery, or tactical aircraft support, the enemy concentrated all firepower on his lone aircraft … Without his courageous actions and superior flying skills, the last group of soldiers and his crew would never have made it off the battlefield.”

Kettles, born and bred and retired in Ypsilanti, Mich., remembers how he felt after he touched down nearly 50 years ago for the last time, finally safe. Unrattled and hungry.

“I just walked away from the helicopter believing that’s what war is,” Kettles told USA TODAY. “It probably matched some of the movies I’d seen as a youngster. So be it. Let’s go have dinner."
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Like to know the guy. Crew with him...not so much..

Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 06/22/2016 7:53 Comments || Top||


-Land of the Free
Non-entitlement TV anchor fired after crime comments files discrimination lawsuit
[WAPO] In March, a white award-winning broadcast news anchor in Pittsburgh posted on her professional Facebook page what she claimed was a heartfelt call to action on the perceived black-on-black crime epidemic in the United States, particularly in the city she’d covered for almost 20 years.

The post came two weeks after she covered a mass shooting at a backyard barbecue that left four people injured and six dead, including a pregnant woman, in Wilkinsburg, a majority black borough. The district attorney called the heinous crime calculated, planned and one of the "most brutal" he had seen in his 18-year tenure.

Police did not immediately release names or descriptions of the suspects. When WTAE-TV anchor Wendy Bell took to Facebook, there had been no arrests.

Yet the veteran journalist drew her own conclusions about the perpetrators anyway, comments that were decried as racist and demeaning -- and that eventually cost her her job.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 02:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good for her. I hope she wins... BIG.
Posted by: Eltoroverde || 06/22/2016 8:29 Comments || Top||

#2  She violated the #1 rule of Politics and Journalism:

Thou shat not ever attempt to actually solve the problem. Doing so would not only remove an issue a pol can run on; but damage ratings for the news station. The problem must continue at all costs!

(See War on Drugs, War on Poverty, War on Racism, etc...)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/22/2016 9:54 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation' is on fire
[IOL] Pretoria - The hotel is located among embassy buildings in suburban Arcadia - and it was in this three-storey establishment that the plan to render the capital city ungovernable was finalised.

The Pretoria News can reveal that hours after ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte named Thoko Didiza as the Tshwane mayoral candidate at Luthuli House on Monday morning, at least 12 people met at the Court Classique Hotel to hatch the unrest.

The meeting was co-ordinated and chaired by a senior ANC official and attended by branch leaders and ward councillors and candidates for the August 3 elections.

Under the command of the official, whose identity is known to the Pretoria News, the faction that was unhappy with Didiza's [a Zulu] appointment came up with a four-point resolution.

The plan was to turn the city into a battlefield if "Sputla" - mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa - was not back in for another term.

Dubbed the "Court Classique Resolutions", the group vowed to torch all government and city properties, close exits and entry points of all zones, burn the ANC regional office and disrupt all political activities.

Tribalism and Marxism are dangerous combinations of the same toxin. Tribalism being the patriarch. Events in distant Pretoria are little more than a foretelling.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 09:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Some inside-baseball:

Some years ago, ANC leaders mooted the idea of putting the cream of its leadership crop in local councils, because it was this level of government that could make the biggest difference to people's lives. That seemed like a great plan for the country, at least while mayors were deployed from a national level. Then came 2007, when populist sentiment in the ANC swept former president Thabo Mbeki and his centralist grip on things out of power. Instead of national appointing them, mayoral candidates for the ANC would now be nominated by the party's regions, just like premiers would be nominated by the provincial executive committees. Majoritarian democracy like this always seems to break down when there are two more or less equal factions not agreeing on things, and where the party’s grip on power is weakening.

In at least two such municipalities, there is evidence that the party wants to put its best foot forward to lure back straying voters.A recent opinion poll showed that the party could yet lose its grip on the metro in the August 3 local elections, whereas previously it pulled through with the help of trade unions like the National Union of Metalworkers. But these are no longer on board the tripartite alliance ship, and ANC leaders knew an urgent intervention was needed. Efforts to appoint a compromise candidate, who rose above the fierce local faction fighting, resulted in the disaster that was the aged Ben Fihla, before well-known soccer boss Danny Jordaan was roped in.

Former minister and bright star Thoko Didiza, with her 14 years' experience in national government, seems a good choice too for Tshwane. She's a high-level import into the metro, and could lure sceptical voters. Unlike Jordaan, she actually sits on the ANC's national executive committee and serves in a local branch, which could indicate that she's in touch with the issues. Unlike Jordaan, she wasn't born in the city where she hopes to govern, but she has lived there for a while.

But why her? The story amongst analysts in the party is that Gauteng brought her in with an eye on the ANC's 2017 elective congress. Didiza – who resigned from government when Mbeki resigned, and who only made her comeback to politics four years later – was brought in by the province, more specifically by provincial ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile. Mashatile is a vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma. Mashatile needs someone, like Didiza, who will strengthen his hand ahead of 2017, party analysts say. His chosen candidate for Johannesburg, Parks Tau, is already in place, which means he has a grip on two of the three metros in the province.

Given divisions in the ANC in the region, would it have been better to leave it at the choice of the branches without muddling? Would it have prevented Tshwane from burning this week anyway?

If the decision to nominate Didiza stands, and if she wins the city for the ANC, she would have to rise above what is good only for the party – appeasing the factions by showering them with resources and deployments – and do what is good for the country, by governing the city by the book. These demands can be in conflict with each other. On the other hand, should her candidature not bring the ANC back into power in the metro, and should it slip into opposition hands, who knows if the ANC will do what's best for the city and capitulate. Or will the disgruntled ones at the bottom do what seems to be good for the ANC, but what is really catastrophic for everyone, and push the self-destruct button?
Posted by: Pappy || 06/22/2016 11:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Excellent summation Pappy. I might also add, the ANC wants no part of a break-away Afrikaner Freistat (White Free State) in the Cape. The Freistat movement is growing. The ANC is shipping in their cadre of enforcers. The drain continues to swirl. Meanwhile, much like our urban crime problem, the western media remains silent.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 12:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Al Qaeda training camps have been reported in South Africa, which makes it likely ISIS is there or will appear there, too. Orthogonal to this discussion, I realize.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/22/2016 14:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Q: What's the difference between South Africa and Zimbabwe?
A: About 10 years.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/22/2016 14:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Actually about twenty years, but that's quibbling.

An aside: Ramokgopa, besides being the current and mediocre mayor, is also a regional party chairman and still has ANC protection. But he didn't get nominated and the local party interests picked his assistant instead. It's the local party interests that are sponsoring the rioting.

As far as Freistat: yes, it's growing. The ANC is also concerned about the 'Asian' and mixed race groups as well.

Tribalism, indeed.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/22/2016 15:21 Comments || Top||

#6  BLM2RSA4ANC


Think the Chicago Boyz would have fun?
Posted by: AlanC || 06/22/2016 15:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Like my late exploration geologist friend said of many parts of Africa that he visited: Africa after the Queen left.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 06/22/2016 16:26 Comments || Top||

#8  Pappy: your synopsis was a great bit of learning of the situation. Thank you for posting it.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 06/22/2016 16:27 Comments || Top||

#9  Indeed, thanks Mr. B. And Pappy. Where would this theoretical FreiStat be located?
Posted by: Shipman || 06/22/2016 17:26 Comments || Top||

#10  Please think 'snowball's chance in hell.'

Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 17:29 Comments || Top||

#11  My favorite rainbow color is right between "told-you-so" and "not-at-all-surprised".
Posted by: Cloger Thavish4010 || 06/22/2016 17:29 Comments || Top||

#12  Hope they take DNA sample's of every animal in the country for future cloning. Poaching is about to get popular again.
Posted by: Charles || 06/22/2016 20:01 Comments || Top||

#13  Al Qaeda training camps have been reported in South Africa, which makes it likely ISIS is there or will appear there, too.

I postulated that this would happen some years back (it's probably in a Burg comment somewhere.)

The conditions have been and are ideal: a relatively advanced infrastructure. A long-residing Arab/Muslim population. A nation far enough away from Western nations with access to all of Africa, and the ability to interfere with maritime traffic.

And - run by a political movement sympathetic to the Islamist cause.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/22/2016 20:05 Comments || Top||

#14  All that's missing is a religion that tells them they will go to paradise if they kill people.

But that seems to be in progress.
Posted by: phil_b || 06/22/2016 20:28 Comments || Top||

#15  AI? Where's Lotp whe you need her?
Posted by: Shipman || 06/22/2016 20:54 Comments || Top||


Former Congo Leader Sentenced For Heading Rape, Murder Spree
[NEWSWEEK] Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
on Tuesday for heading a 2002-03 campaign of rape and murder in neighboring Central African Republic.

Bemba, a former Democratic Republic of the Congo
...formerly the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, and who knows what else, not to be confused with the Brazzaville Congo aka Republic of Congo, which is much smaller and much more (for Africa) stable. DRC gave the world Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Mobutu, followed by years of tedious civil war. Its principle industry seems to be the production of corpses. With a population of about 74 million it has lots of raw material...
vice-president, is the first person that the global war crimes court has held directly responsible for his subordinates' crimes.

Judge Sylvia Steiner said troops from the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), which Bemba directed, had acted with "particular cruelty" when they rampaged through the neighboring country in support of then-president Ange-Felix Patasse.
Posted by: Fred || 06/22/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  heading...a...campaign of rape and murder

Hopefully setting a precedent for the Clinton retirement.
Posted by: Skidmark || 06/22/2016 9:33 Comments || Top||


Arabia
50 Saudis detained over 'un-Islamic' necklaces, haircuts
[DAWN] Fifty young men have been jugged
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
in Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
for haircuts, necklaces and other adornments considered un-Islamic.

The suspects were detained during a Ramazan crackdown in Makkah, according to Saudi news website Sabq.

"They were handed over to the department of criminal investigations," said Sabq, which accompanied Sherlocks during their visits to shopping areas in the city.

Officers noticed "a number of offences like strange haircuts, chains that are hung upon the chest or arms, head wraps and short clothes and immodest ones ─ for both men and women", reported Sabq, which is close to the authorities.

The law enforcement team, which included women, advised citizens against "habits and traditions that are against religious teachings".

Saudi Arabia, an absolute Islamic monarchy, is a highly conservative country.

Women dress from head to toe in black and are not allowed to drive or mingle with unrelated men.

But more than half of Saudi citizens are under the age of 25, an Internet-savvy generation that spends much of its life online away from official strictures.

Posted by: Fred || 06/22/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Saudi Arabia


Britain
Billionaire Open Borders Funder Soros Tells Britain To Stay In EU ‐ Or Else
[Breitbart] George Soros, the billionaire who earned fame by betting against the pound in 1992, said that a British vote on Thursday to leave the European Union would trigger a bigger and more disruptive sterling devaluation than the fall on Black Wednesday.

Soros used Quantum Fund in 1992 to bet successfully that sterling was overvalued against the Deutsche Mark, forcing then-Prime Minister John Major to pull the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

Soros, in an opinion piece in the Guardian newspaper, said that in the event of a British exit, or Brexit, the pound would fall by at least 15 percent, and possibly more than 20 percent, to below $1.15 from its current level of around $1.46.
That's not a prediction, that's a plan of operation...
"The value of the pound would decline precipitously. It would also have an immediate and dramatic impact on financial markets, investment, prices and jobs," Soros, who is 85, said in the Guardian.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 02:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder how much he's betting this time?
Posted by: Raj || 06/22/2016 11:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Straight from the Oligarch's mouth.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/22/2016 11:43 Comments || Top||

#3  So if he ever sets foot in Britain they should arrest him and charge him with blackmail.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/22/2016 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Reason enough to support Brexit.
Posted by: Thravimp Lover of the Antelope7006 || 06/22/2016 12:12 Comments || Top||

#5  I was for the exit... now I'm ecstatic about it.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/22/2016 12:23 Comments || Top||

#6  You know, if the SAS picked up their old anti-IRA habit of making people attacking England 'vanish', the world would be a better place.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 06/22/2016 14:23 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Senate committee declares forced conversions as un-Islamic
[DAWN] ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs on Tuesday declared the conversion of Hindu girls to Islam as un-Islamic and also expressed concern
...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended...
over the practice.

"Forced conversion of girls to Islam is against the teachings of Islam and also a violation of law in the country," stated Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs’ Hafiz Hamdullah.

"The girls are being across the country on a daily basis which is a dilemma of the society."

The chairman of the committee added religion is a personal matter of every individual, and said an individual can not be converted by force.

Leader of House in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq also stated that compelling anyone to convert is against the teachings of Islam.

"We are already under observation from human rights
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
organizations due to growing incidents of force conversions," Haq added.

Senator Gian Chand informed the committee that Hindu girls in Sindh are the victims of force conversions and incidents of force conversions in Sindh are alarming.

Chand was of the opinion that police and local administration do not help the victims or their families in cases of forced conversions.

"Police does not take action fearing the reaction of the Moslem community," added Chand.

The standing committee urged the government to adopt a comprehensive mechanism for the protection of women belonging to minority communities. The committee also directed the federal and provincial governments to draft legislation which would curb the practice.

Last year, a move to criminalise forced religious conversions and to prevent misuse of the blasphemy law was endorsed by the members of the Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights.

Posted by: Fred || 06/22/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Government
Dems sit on their arses on House floor to protest lack of gun legislation
[Wash Examiner] House Democrats blocked the House from doing its work Wednesday by staging a sit-in on the House floor to protest the lack of any votes on gun control legislation this week.
Featuring the clssic John Lewis 'bowel blockage scowl.' Seething, angry Dems. Sorry folks, that's the only kind we have.
Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., gathered Democrats around him, and encouraged the symbolic protest shortly before noon, a time reserved for short speeches but no legislative work.

"We will occupy this floor!" Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., bellowed as Democrats sat on the floor.
Please think 'outside of the box.' Seppuku is also on option.
"After the worst mass shooting in modern history, it's time for Speaker Ryan to bring a bill to the floor," said the office of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "House Democrats will continue to demand: no bill, no break."
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 15:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Symbolic? Symbolic of what, petulant infants wailing for the teat? Oh, alright, that explains it.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/22/2016 15:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Hit the nail right on the head there, Besoeker.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/22/2016 15:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Did they stomp their feet, throw themselves on the ground and flail their arms and legs around in toddler fury too?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/22/2016 15:45 Comments || Top||

#4  This after they fillibusteted two Republican proposals that had bi-partisan support.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/22/2016 15:56 Comments || Top||

#5  I would love to be there... with a couple of fire extinguishers.
Posted by: Raj || 06/22/2016 16:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Petulent juvenile, pr!cks.
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/22/2016 17:08 Comments || Top||

#7  No doubt reliving their lost youth of sit-ins and "sticking it to the Man". It would be a kindness to send in the pepper spray and Blue Meanies so they can relive the full experience one more time.
Posted by: Angong Hitler4915 || 06/22/2016 18:39 Comments || Top||

#8  Really, can you take anything they say seriously after this little snowflake temper tantrum> This is just silly bullsh*t and deserves to be laughed at for the pretentious adolescence it displays.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 06/22/2016 18:43 Comments || Top||

#9  The picture looks like it's from "60's kids: where are they now" movie.
Posted by: Charles || 06/22/2016 19:55 Comments || Top||

#10  Carrier cold Chs.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/22/2016 20:56 Comments || Top||

#11  Virtue signaling over the gun issue and a distraction to give Trump's attacks on Hillary time to fade.
Posted by: gorb || 06/22/2016 23:25 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Harvard University Study Reveals Astonishing Link Between Firearms, Crime and Gun Control
h/t Donald Sensing
According to a study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which cites the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Nations International Study on Firearms Regulation, the more guns a nation has, the less criminal activity.

In other words, more firearms, less crime, concludes the virtually unpublicized research report by attorney Don B. Kates and Dr. Gary Mauser. But the key is firearms in the hands of private citizens.

"The study was overlooked when it first came out in 2007," writes Michael Snyder, "but it was recently re-discovered and while the findings may not surprise some, the place where the study was undertaken is a bit surprising. The study came from the Harvard Journal of Law, that bastion of extreme, Ivy League liberalism. Titled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?, the report "found some surprising things."

Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark, which have high rates of gun ownership, have low murder rates. On the other hand, in Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, the murder rate is nine times higher than Germany. Their source of information? The United Nations' International Study on Firearms Regulation, published by the UN's Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Commission on Crime-Prevention and Criminal Justice.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/22/2016 06:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  http://www.snopes.com/harvard-flaw-review/
Posted by: Eltoroverde || 06/22/2016 9:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Source here.
CDC summary: "The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes."

And Jesus was married.
Posted by: Skidmark || 06/22/2016 9:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Considering the areas in the US which have the highest murder rates also are in deep blue areas with strict gun control, I would say the study is pretty much spot on.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/22/2016 10:15 Comments || Top||

#4  And if it was true, who would report it?

Who would fund a study that would be reported? The NRA doesn't have a chance.
Posted by: Bobby || 06/22/2016 13:47 Comments || Top||

#5  Missed Switzerland
Posted by: KBK || 06/22/2016 22:52 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
27[untagged]
18Islamic State
4Taliban
4Ansarullah Bangla Team
2Houthis
2Govt of Pakistan
2Govt of Pakistain Proxies
1Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh
1Govt of Syria
1Sublime Porte
1Haqqani Network
1Govt of Iraq
1Hizb-i-Islami-Hekmatyar
1Govt of Saudi Arabia
1Arab Spring

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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
tu3031
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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2016-06-22
  ISIS counter-attack pushes Syrian forces out of Raqqa province
Tue 2016-06-21
  IS group launches counterattacks on US-backed forces and Syrian army
Mon 2016-06-20
  Syrian forces advance on IS-held Taqba air base
Sun 2016-06-19
  Iraqi army seizes hospital, jails as military ops continue in Fallujah
Sat 2016-06-18
  Reports: 'Fierce Clashes' between Hizbullah, Regime Forces in Aleppo
Fri 2016-06-17
  Seven killed in latest Kashmir fighting
Thu 2016-06-16
  British Labour Mp Jo Cox Dead: Fatally Stabbed And Gunned Down Outside Birstall Library
Wed 2016-06-15
  Bodies of 42 fishermen kidnapped by Boko Haram found in lake
Tue 2016-06-14
  Man ‘claiming IS allegiance’ kills cop, woman in Paris
Mon 2016-06-13
  Orlando Terrorist Worked For Firm with DHS Contracts
Sun 2016-06-12
  Approx 20 50 dead inside Florida gay nightclub after mass shooting - possible Islamic connection
Sat 2016-06-11
  Libya unity forces bombard ISIS in bastion Sirte
Fri 2016-06-10
  Rumour: Iraqi news site indicates IS supremo may have been hit by coalition force strike
Thu 2016-06-09
  Daesh blows up ancient monuments in Iraq
Wed 2016-06-08
  Five dead, eleven maimed in Karbala kaboom

Better than the average link...



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