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Coronavirus restrictions: What are the new rules for seeing friends and family?

From Monday, it will be illegal for people in England to meet socially in groups of more than six people, with a few exemptions.

For example, the new law will not apply to those meeting in schools and workplaces.

The legislation has been brought into place to combat the rising number of coronavirus cases in the last week.

Boris Johnson is expected to offer further details about the new rules in a Downing Street conference on Wednesday.

Here’s everything we know so far about the new rules for social gatherings.

What are the new rules for meeting up with friends and family?

As of Monday 14 September, the number of people permitted to meet socially will be reduced from 30 to six in England.

This new rule applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings and to people of all ages.

It means that people will no longer be able to socialise in homes, parks, pubs, and restaurants in groups of more than six.

Currently, it is permitted for up to 30 people from two households to meet socially, or six from various households.

In Wales, you can still meet in a group of up to 30 people outdoors with no limit to the number of households. Additionally, up to four households can form an “extended household” for indoor socialising.

In Scotland, you can meet up to eight people from three other households indoors, so long as you maintain social distancing.

And in Northern Ireland, it’s permitted for six people from two households to meet indoors and up to 15 to meet outdoors with no limit on households.

What are the exemptions?

There are several forms of meetings that will be unaffected by the new rules in England, such as weddings and funerals.

Schools and workplaces will also be unaffected, as will organised team sports.

A full list of exemptions will be published by the government ahead of Monday.

How will the new rules be enforced?

Anyone caught socialising in groups larger than six in England will be fined.

For the first offence, the fine will be £100 and this will double for every additional offence up to the value of £3,200.

Will pubs and restaurants be affected?

Yes, people will not be able to meet in groups larger than six in pubs and restaurants in England.

Anyone who is caught breaking the rules will be fined.

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‘I was horrified’: Family had to rush woman out of Toronto care home struck by COVID-19

Henry Tomaszewski says he had no idea his mother was seriously ill until a nurse practitioner at a Toronto long-term care home called to tell him staff weren’t sure if she was going to survive the day.

“I was shocked actually, ‘cause that was the first time that I got notice that her condition was so bad,” he told CTV News Channel on Tuesday morning.

At the Eatonville Care Centre, 27 people have died of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, and 53 have been confirmed to have the virus, sending ripples of panic through residents and their families.

Tomaszewski said his mother told him over the phone days ago that a few residents were coughing and that there were suspicions that some were sick.

But when staff called him last Thursday, Tomaszewski said he had no idea that anyone at the centre had been confirmed to have the virus.

The nurse practitioner told him that his mother “was at a level where they thought that she wouldn’t survive (for even) a few more hours.

“(I) ended up doing a quick Skype with her,” Tomaszewski said. “And I was horrified by her condition.”

Tomaszewski and his brothers rushed to the care home. What they found was worse than they had expected.

“She was laying in bed, panting, grasping, trying to get as much oxygen in as possible, and she had just a tube of oxygen in her — connected to her nose,” Tomaszewski said. “At that point we realized she wasn’t getting any care that she needed there. So later that evening, had her rushed to the hospital.”

Tomaszewski’s mother is currently at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont., in “grave condition” and he said she is deteriorating fast.

Five minutes before he spoke with CTV News Channel, Tomaszewski had received a call from the hospital recommending he come in.

“(The nurse) actually even suggested if I’d like to come in and possibly say my final goodbyes to (my mother),” Tomaszewski said.

The speed and ferocity of the outbreak within the care home has left many family members struggling to get those crucial final moments with their loved ones.

Terrence van Dyke, whose 85-year-old father was a resident at the care home, missed a series of phone calls from the home on Friday night.

On Saturday, his father died, shortly after van Dyke finally spoke with a doctor. He never got to see his father and say goodbye.

“So I just looked at a picture of him the other day and I just apologized,” van Dyke said. “Just said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’”

Tomaszewski said the communication from the care home has been insufficient. The first official communication from the home letting him know about the extent of the outbreak was a letter sent two days ago, he said — days after he had already moved his mother to the hospital.

“And then yesterday we got another letter stating that there was 25 deaths,” he said. “So the news wasn’t — communication wasn’t all that good.”

Eatonville’s Executive Director, Evelyn MacDonald, said in a statement Tuesday that all of the residents are in self-isolation, meals are being delivered to rooms and both residents and staff are being monitored for symptoms twice a day.

They have also increased testing, and are now awaiting test results on over 70 residents, the statement said.

“From the outset we have been communicating regularly and personally with families [whose] loved ones have been impacted by COVID-19,” MacDonald said in the statement. “In the interest of being open and transparent with all of our families, over the weekend we took steps to share all of the information we have.”

MacDonald added that the care home uses a voicemail messaging system to contact families.

“We erred in the last two days in not recording a personal message as we normally do and instead sent an automated message,” she said. “We sincerely apologize for that.”

Tomaszewski’s mother tested positive for COVID-19 after she was taken to the hospital. He said that apart from a stroke “a number of years ago,” she had no underlying health condition.

“She was wheelchair-bound, but she was healthy and happy,” he said.

Tomaszewski still has one family member at the care home — his aunt, who is 97 years old, and “who, thank God, hasn’t contracted the virus yet.”

Toronto Public Health confirmed Monday that it is working with the long-term care centre to manage the outbreak.

“We are actively investigating this COVID-19 outbreak at Eatonville Long-Term Care Home and these tragic deaths, and we will report on facts related to this matter as soon as the investigations are completed,” it said in a statement. 

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Coronavirus: Family share story of love as hospice faces crisis

Kate and Paddy SloanImage copyright

Image caption

Kate and Paddy Sloan have been together for 35 years

In this world where families send their love through glass divides and locked doors, due to coronavirus, a virtual hug has to be good enough.

Now a family from Northern Ireland are sharing their story, in a bid to boost emergency funds for Marie Curie.

It is one of the biggest charities caring for terminally-ill patients in Northern Ireland.

But it has said it is deeply concerned about the impact coronavirus restrictions will have on its fundraising efforts.

The charity is backing an urgent appeal to the chancellor for financial support.

The toughest part

Kate Sloan, 64, has cancer and is currently in the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast.

She and her husband, Paddy, from Loughinisland, County Down, have been together for 35 years.

Coronavirus has been the toughest part of their hospice journey, said Paddy.

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Kate Sloan’s family reached out to her through glass on Mother’s Day

When coronavirus meant their children and grandchildren would be unable to hug Kate on Mother’s Day, they figured out a way to be there for her – no matter what.

“They just want to see their mummy and nanny, however, they know that what they’re doing by distancing themselves is vital to the health of Kate and other patients,” he said.

But on Mother’s Day, they made “an amazing effort” to make it special.

‘Part of the family’

“Our son, Aidan, and his wife brought their four children down to see their nanny – and although it was looking through a window holding up a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ sign, it most definitely helped make the day that much easier.

“Our daughter, Roisin, also arrived with a little bag of essentials, waving and smiling through the window, and even that little bit of interaction put a big smile on Kate’s face,” he said.

“It’s difficult, and with present circumstances I know that not being able to hug their mum, or just sit at her bedside and hold her hand, is hard on them but they are glad the facilities at the hospice have enabled me to stay with her and be here for her.”

Mr Sloan said Marie Curie had become “an extension of our family” and were there not only for Kate, but for all of them.

“Due to her illness, Kate is unable to eat or speak, but that hasn’t stopped her personality shining through and the care from the Marie Curie nurses has been so good.

“As I’m able to stay with Kate overnight there is no need for me to leave her side, which is the only place I want to be.”

‘Devastating loss of income’

The network of Marie Curie hospices and community nurses rely on donations to cover the £200,000-a-week running costs.

But its ability to generate this money has been seriously compromised by the pandemic.

It is backing an urgent appeal to the chancellor for financial support.

“We are facing a devastating loss of income,” said Ciara Gallagher, head of partnerships and philanthropy.

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Marie Curie is one of the biggest charities caring for terminally ill patients in Northern Ireland

She said the charity has had to make “tough decisions locally” to postpone and cancel a number of fundraising events.

“We estimate this will be a loss of approximately £350,000 from these events alone,” she added.

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The best family board games for Christmas 2019

Peter Jenkinson is the UK’s leading board games journalist. His job takes him all over the world, attending toy fairs and board game expos. His expertise and ability to absorb rule books means that board game publishers often seek his input for their next potential best-seller.

No longer something you drag out of a dusty cupboard to banish Boxing Day boredom, board games are enjoying a mainstream renaissance. This year, we are truly spoilt for choice thanks to continued growth among smaller independent publishers and major innovation from more established board game makers.

Having attended a number of worldwide events devoted to board games over the past 12 months, it’s evident that an entirely new category has arrived on the scene too – shelf-worthy. These board games are so beautifully crafted, you’ll want to keep them on display even when they’re not being played. 

So here’s our new favourite games of 2019 – not too taxing on the grey matter but challenging enough to ensure they deliver on fun. Whether you’re looking for something high-tech, fast-paced or family-friendly, you’ll find it here. 

1. Bank Attack

 £20, Argos

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Church nativity scene depicts Holy Family as caged refugees

CLAREMONT, Calif. (Reuters) – A Methodist church in Southern California has turned a classic Christmas tradition – the Nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus – into a statement about immigration by putting the Holy Family in cages.

A sculpture of Mary, depicted as a refugee in a cage, forms part of a Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church in Claremont, California, U.S. December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

The United Methodist Church in Claremont, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, built the display last weekend to draw attention to the plight of migrants and refugees in the United States.

“We don’t see this as political at all, we see this as theological,” said the church’s pastor, Reverend Karen Clark Ristine. “We know that this infant baby Jesus … grew up to be a Christ who calls us to compassion for our neighbor, compassion for one another.”The Nativity display, which was installed Sunday night, shows the Holy family separated in their own cages each topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in silver Mylar, similar to ones given to migrants at detention centers to use as blankets.

While the church makes no mention of Trump administration policies, some visitors saw it as a slam against the president.

“I think is disgusting. I think it’s political and this is aimed at Trump,” said Tony Papa, who came to the display. “If I were a member of this church, I’d drop out, I really would, it’s very disgusting.”

SANCTUARY STATUTESPresident Donald Trump has made cracking down on immigration a central issue of his 2020 re-election campaign. His administration has worked to restrict asylum access in the United States in an effort to curb the number of mostly Central American families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump and his top officials have argued that most migrants travel to the United States for economic reasons and lack valid claims to protection.

California, which shares a border with Mexico, has adopted “sanctuary” statutes that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement when it comes to rounding up and deporting undocumented immigrants.

Irene Reyes, a tourist from Arizona, stopped by the nativity scene and became emotional as she talked about its message.”That’s what’s actually happening,” she said about the migrant children detained in cages at detention centers along the border earlier this year. “And it’s like it was brought out to the world and then nothing happened.

“And if you think about it now during the holidays, that these kids, sorry, aren’t with their families and what are we going to do about it? … Like we see it and then we close our eyes to it and it’s not right,” Reyes said.

Reporting by Norma Galeana; writing by Bill Tarrant; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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London Bridge: Family of Usman Khan ‘shocked’ by attack

Emergency vehicles in London BridgeImage copyright

The family of London Bridge attacker Usman Khan have said they are “saddened and shocked” by what happened and “totally condemn his actions”.

In a statement, they expressed their condolences to the victims’ families

Khan, who was convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012, killed Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, at a prisoner rehabilitation event on Friday.

Separately, a porter who tried to fight Khan said he was coming to terms with the incident.

Lukasz, who works at the Fishmongers’ Hall venue where Khan began his attack, said he “acted instinctively” by grabbing a pole to try to stop Khan.

Usman Khan’s family said in a statement issued through the Met police: “We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done.

“We totally condemn his actions and we wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured.

“We would like to request privacy for our family at this difficult time.”

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Media captionWhat happened at London Bridge?

Lukasz, who was among those praised for his bravery during the attack, also issued a statement through Scotland Yard.

“When the attack happened, I acted instinctively. I am now coming to terms with the whole traumatic incident and would like the space to do this in privacy, with the support of my family,” he said.

  • ‘Heroes’ praised for confronting bridge attacker

The statement confirmed Lukasz was stabbed by Khan and taken to hospital but has now returned home.

“I would like to express my condolences to the families who have lost precious loved ones. I would like to send my best wishes to them and everyone effected by this sad and pointless attack,” he added.

Lukasz said, contrary to some reports, that he had used a pole to tackle Khan while someone else used a narwhal tusk in an attempt to stop the attack.

Two women were also injured in the attack before Khan was shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge – the women remain in a stable condition in hospital.

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West Midlands Police

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Usman Khan had been jailed in 2012

Khan, 28, was arrested in December 2010 and sentenced in 2012 to indeterminate detention for “public protection” with a minimum jail term of eight years after pleading guilty to preparing terrorist acts.

He had been part of an al-Qaeda inspired group that considered attacks in the UK, including at the London Stock Exchange.

But in 2013 the Court of Appeal quashed the sentence, replacing it with a 16-year-fixed term, and ordered Khan to serve at least half this – eight years – behind bars.

Since his subsequent release in December 2018, Khan had been living in Stafford and was required to wear a GPS police tag.

He was armed with two knives and was wearing a fake suicide vest during the attack at Fishmongers’ Hall on Friday.

He was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

  • London Bridge: What we know
  • What we know about the London Bridge attacker

It comes as Leanne O’Brien, the girlfriend of Cambridge University Mr Merritt who was killed, paid tribute to her partner on Facebook writing: “My love, you are phenomenal and have opened so many doors for those that society turned their backs on.”

Ms O’Brien was seen breaking down in tears as she and Mr Merritt’s family gathered at a vigil in Cambridge on Monday to remember the victims.

Mr Merritt’s father, David, also wrote a piece in the Guardian dedicated to his “absorbingly intelligent” and “fiercely loyal” son.

Also killed was Ms Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, who was a volunteer on the Learning Together programme, which was holding an anniversary event where the event took place.

She has been described as a “lovely, lovely woman” who was “fearless” by her former tutor.

Image copyright
Met Police

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Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were both involved with the Learning Together programme, which was holding an event when the attack took place

Friday’s attack sparked a political row over the release of Khan and a debate over the criminal justice system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused of “trying to exploit” the attack “for political gain”.

He blamed Khan’s release on legislation introduced under “a leftie government”, and called for longer sentences and an end to automatic release.

Mr Johnson denied claims he was politicising the attack, saying he had campaigned against early release for some time, having previously raised the issue during his 2012 campaign to be mayor of London.

He said he felt “a huge amount of sympathy” for the relatives of the victims.

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Harry’s Dunn’s family confront Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab outside election hustings

Harry Dunn (pictured), 19, was killed in August after Anne Sacoolas crashed into his motorbike near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire

Harry Dunn (pictured), 19, was killed in August after Anne Sacoolas crashed into his motorbike near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire

The grieving father of tragic 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn challenged Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab outside a hustings in his home constituency on Monday evening.

Tim Dunn accused Mr Raab of lying to him and his partner and said he has done nothing to help him get justice for his son.

Harry died on August 27 after his motorbike collided with a Volvo XC90 driven by Anne Sacoolas near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

She had been in the UK for just three weeks and was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Sacoolas, 42, returned to the United States with her family shortly after the fatal crash and has claimed diplomatic immunity.

Harry’s parent’s Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles have since begun a legal fight to bring her back to the UK to face justice.

The family have been warned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that if they take action in the courts it will seek legal costs.

Tim Dunn accused Mr Raab of lying to him and his partner and said he has done nothing to help him get justice for his son

Tim Dunn accused Mr Raab of lying to him and his partner and said he has done nothing to help him get justice for his son

Dominic Raab, pictured centre, arriving at the campaign hustings meeting avoids meeting Tim, father of Harry Dunn outside East Moseley Methodist Church in South West London

Dominic Raab, pictured centre, arriving at the campaign hustings meeting avoids meeting Tim, father of Harry Dunn outside East Moseley Methodist Church in South West London

Sacoolas was interviewed in the US by police, who handed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last month.

Today when Mr Raab turned up to a hustings at a Methodist church in East Molesey, Surrey, Mr Dunn pleaded with him for answers but had his pleas rejected by the politician.

Around 100 people were shut out of hustings moments before the father of tragic biker Harry Dunn’s father challenged the foreign secretary.

A crowd of voters stood outside the Methodist Church after organisers shut the doors.

Those eager to get inside were told the venue had reached capacity and they couldn’t be allowed in for safety reasons.

As hustings continued inside the crowd chanted ‘let us in’ and six police officers arrived.

A sign put up at East Molesey Methodist Church where Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, attends a hustings

A sign put up at East Molesey Methodist Church where Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, attends a hustings

In the brief but passionate exchange, the Foreign Secretary told Mr Dunn: ‘I’m very happy to speak to you but I have to go in there.

‘I don’t want to keep the other people waiting but I am very happy to see you any time, you’ve got my number.’

After the foreign secretary disappeared behind wrought iron gates Mr Dunn said: ‘I wanted to ask him why he lied to me.

‘We had a meeting with him on October 9 when he told the family that the diplomatic immunity was still in place and they tried their best with the Americans but they’re not going to waive it and in the meeting he’s asked us ‘is there anything he could do’ and Charlotte has asked him ‘can you put in for another waiver?’

Anne Sacoolas

Harry Dunn

Harry Dunn (right) died on August 27 after his motorbike collided with a Volvo XC90 driven by Anne Sacoolas (left) near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire

‘He says of course I will, a few weeks later when he addressed the House of Commons he said that he knew on October 8 that the immunity had been impertinent and that there was no immunity – the Americans had agreed there was no immunity on October 8.

‘So I just wanted to ask him why he lied and what was his reasoning of not giving us the truth. I’m just getting frustrated.

‘I know he’s got something on but he could have given me a minute. He says I’ve got his number, I don’t have his number he never gave us his number and since that meeting we have had no contact with him at all and he’s not tried to get in contact with us and every time we try to get in contact they just send the same old rubbish letter and no answers.

‘The CPS have had the file now for three weeks. I don’t know what the hold up is, the lady has admitted killing our son – she’s admitted it’s her fault – so I don’t understand why there’s a hold up on this, I really do not.

‘The CPS won’t speak to us, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office won’t speak to us – it’s just unbelievable and I’m just fed up with it now, just really fed up.

‘Our son has died somebody has killed him, left the country, and they would rather protect her than help us.

‘I only wanted one question and I don’t know why he wouldn’t just give me a minute of his time.

‘He’s got ten minutes he could have given us a minute. Its the way it has been since we’ve started.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, Harry's parents, are pictured on This Morning in October earlier this year

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, Harry’s parents, are pictured on This Morning in October earlier this year

‘It’s still a battle and I’m telling you we’re not giving up. We truly believe that Anne Sacoolas didn’t have immunity.

‘We believe they have come to some agreement behind whatever they have done and we will get to the truth – our lawyers believe us and I think the country believes us.

‘Something is not right between this agreement they have done and it needs to come out. No matter how hard they make it we will get there.

‘We want answers if he wants to come and give me answers – but not the same spiel he gave me last time.

‘I just want to ask him why he would do that to us, he can see we’re grieving, he can see we want answers for our son and just sweep it under the carpet. I feel sorry for these people that have got to vote for him.

‘They have got to seriously think to themselves ‘is this the kind of person we want to be our MP’ because if the bloke is just lying to us then who else is he lying to.’


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Royal Family news: Prince William reveals true feelings about uncle Prince Andrew | Royal | News

According to the MailOnline, Prince William has spoken about his unhappiness toward his uncle, a royal source has revealed. The Duke of Cambridge is said to have made the call that Prince Andrew was removed from public life, something that was “the right thing to do,” a source told The Sunday Times. It comes as pressure mounts on Prince Andrew over his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

A source said: “William is becoming more and more involved in decisions about the institution [monarchy] and he’s not a huge fan of his uncle Andrew.”

Prince Andrew released an official statement announcing his withdrawal from royal duty last Wednesday.

The statement read: “It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.

“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.

“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”

The news comes after Prince William and wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, sent Twitter into meltdown as they posted a heartbreaking update about their Royal Family duties.

The couple spent time at the Tusk Awards before explaining how the event had impacted on their lives.

JUST IN: Kate and William send Twitter into meltdown with heartbreaking update

“My generation and those following are acutely aware that we cannot simply carry on as we are.

“We have to move faster and more effectively to find ways to balance our demands on this planet with the nature we share it with.”

Twitter fans were quick to react and share their affection for the Duke and Duchess’ support.

One wrote: “Thank you Your Highness for sharing the #TuskAwards nominees.

“It is both informative and interesting and I believe this helps us come together in the understanding of our world.

“My very best wishes to both you and the Duchess Catherine.”

A second said: “Continue doing amazing things prince William and Duchess Catherine.

“I love you guys.”

A third simply wrote: “Thank you for all that you do.”

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Fredericton-area fire displaces family of 6: Red Cross – Halifax

A family of six from the Fredericton area lost their house and belongings in a fire late Friday night, according to the Red Cross.

In a news release Saturday afternoon, the Canadian Red Cross said the fire occurred in Taymouth, N.B., about 25 kilometres north of Fredericton.

READ MORE: 14 people displaced after rooming house fire in Fredericton: Red Cross

The Red Cross says the couple and their four children, ranging in ages from six to 22, were not injured, but they’re forced to stay with relatives for the time being.

They’re being assisted with emergency purchases of clothing, food and personal-care items.

The cause of the fire is unclear.

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