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Guyana, US Join Efforts to Fight Narcotrafficking

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first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo November 05, 2020 The U.S. government, through U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali agreed on September 18, to deploy joint patrols that will operate in Caribbean airspace to disrupt drug smuggling on Guyana’s border with Venezuela.The agreement was made possible under the reactivated 2001 Shiprider program, where Guyana will designate officials as shipriders on board U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships to be able to authorize U.S. personnel to intercept suspicious vessels and aircraft attempting to flee toward or over Guyana’s territorial sea, the Guyanese news portal Demerara Waves reported on September 16.Security cooperation “will also allow us to improve our technical and human capabilities in monitoring Guyana’s exclusive economic zone,” Ali told the U.S. Department of State. “We also look forward to continued and enhanced assistance in the fields of border control, anti-terrorism, cybersecurity, technology transfer, and anticorruption measures.”The Shiprider program follows the recent donations valued at $200,000 in equipment and repairs for vessels used in interceptions, to strengthen the Guyana Defense Force’s capabilities to patrol its territorial waters, the U.S. Department of State reported on September 16. In addition, “The United States Southern Command has provided $135,000 of personal protective equipment to the various hospitals in Georgetown and Guyana’s interior, and will continue to provide COVID-19 assistance, as needed and requested.” The anti-drug maritime security bilateral agreement took effect on September 21.Seven days before the program was approved, on September 14, Guyanese authorities located an aircraft from Venezuela that had crashed in the Issano area, in the country’s northwest, where they found one person dead and several packages containing an unspecified amount of cocaine, the Guyanese Star Nieuws website reported.“Venezuela is an area where large amounts of cocaine are accumulating, and from where [the drug] is distributed to all the countries of the world,” the Miami-based news portal PanamPost reported on September 23. “A new way to export cocaine was devised in Venezuela. Now fishing vessels do transshipment and distribute the drug in smaller vessels on the high seas.”“The Department of State has helped to train Guyana’s Port Control Unit to deter the trafficking of cocaine and other illicit goods through Guyana,” the institution said. “The United States Coast Guard provides training and mentoring to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) in order to improve port security. And the United States military provides training of Guyana Defense Forces personnel every year, which includes a current student at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy,” the U.S. Department of State added.“We welcome any help that would enhance our security, that would enhance our ability to protect our borders, and importantly, enhance our capability and ability to ensure that we go after criminal elements,” President Ali said during his remarks on September 18.last_img read more

Rocky Point Man Fatally Hit by SUV

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 20-year-old Rocky Point man was fatally struck by an SUV while walking along a roadway in Wading River early Sunday morning.Suffolk County police said Nicholas Pieloch was walking along Route 25A when he was hit by a westbound Ford Explorer near the corner of Randall Road at 3:18 a.m.The SUV, driven by 21-year-old Jesse Feinberg of Shoreham, then crossed over the eastbound lane, struck a tree and overturned.Pieloch was pronounced dead at the scene. Feinberg was not injured.Seventh Squad detectives impounded the truck, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-852-8752.last_img read more

Masterpass: Digital payments for your members that create deeper relationships for you

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first_img 180SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior, Google, 2012 Mastercard Advisors “Embracing Digital Payments to Influence Cardholder Behavior and Issuer Loyalty.” August 2015. Online omnibus study, October 2015 A customized digital payment solutionOffer your members a differentiated digital payment service that you design, own, and operate. With your logo and the ability to weave your services throughout, members always know it’s coming from you. Integrate Masterpass into your existing mobile banking app and online site to enable digital payments for your members without requiring them to create a separate account or even load their existing cards.As trusted as you areMore people are comfortable using a digital wallet offered by their financial institution than by any other provider1. With your branded Masterpass offering, your members can confidently make the move to adopt digital payments. And consumers that make digital payments across channels spend 10x more than those who are not active2.How your members want to shopResearch shows that over 90% of consumers move between their connected devices throughout the day3. And because Masterpass offers a seamless shopping experience across devices and shopping channels, issuers can serve more digital consumers and be there at the moment of payment – whether your customer is shopping online, in-app or in-store.The digital payments partner of financial institutions worldwideFinancial institutions across the globe have already announced their support for Masterpass to provide a superior digital payment service to their customers. It’s time for your credit union to do the same for your members.last_img read more

Arsenal defender David Luiz open to return to Brazil in the future

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first_img Emery reacts to Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield UnitedTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:38FullscreenEmery reacts to Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield Unitedhttps://metro.co.uk/video/emery-reacts-arsenals-1-0-loss-sheffield-united-2032306/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.MORE: David Luiz confident Unai Emery will improve Arsenal’s leaky defenceMORE: David Luiz insists Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title this season Luiz started his playing career in his home country of Brazil (Picture: AP)David Luiz is open to a return to Brazil, but insisted he has no plans to leave Arsenal.The centre-back only joined Arsenal from Chelsea during the summer transfer window, but has hardly been an instant hit with the Emirates faithful.At 32 years old, Luiz is believed to be a short-term solution to Arsenal’s defensive woes and was asked if he had any desire to return to Brazil.‘I, today, have no such plan. I don’t have that as a goal. But we never know, football goes very fast,’ David Luiz told ESPN Brasil.ADVERTISEMENT Coral BarryThursday 24 Oct 2019 1:56 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.9kShares Luiz only joined Arsenal last summer (Picture: Getty)‘What makes me happy is to see the quality of Brazilian football. You see Jorge Jesus with Flamengo, and the great players like Felipe, Rafinha, Gerson, Gabigol, who’s back shining as he always shone at first at Santos.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Then you see Renato’s Grêmio, who have been playing great football for many years.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘So without a doubt, I’m happy for our football,’ he continued.‘I am glad about the ever-growing quality. I’m sincere to say that today I don’t have this idea.‘I have a two-year contract with Arsenal. Advertisement Arsenal defender David Luiz open to return to Brazil in the future Luiz has struggled for consistency at Arsenal (Picture: Reuters)‘I have my ambitions and goals here with Arsenal, so I came here. But we never know in the future.’Luiz started his playing career in Brazil, playing at youth level for Sao Paulo and Vitoria, before joining Benfica in 2007.Arsenal are in the midst of a difficult spell of form after defeat to Sheffield United on Monday, but the Gunners are fifth in the Premier League, just two points off fourth spot. Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Language Is Not a Simple Genetic Matter

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first_imgIt sounds so simple.  The title on an article in PhysOrg announced, in Kipling Just-So Story Format, “How gorilla gestures point to evolution of human language.”  Because gorillas have an extensive repertoire of over 100 gestures, human conversation was only a matter of evolutionary time.  Is this mere storytelling, or do such explanations have scientific validity?  Can the changes necessary for human language be found in the genes?    The FOXP2 gene is often singled out as crucial to the evolution of human language, because mutations in that gene lead to speech defects in humans.  The recently published Neanderthal genome (see National Geographic News) showed that Neanderthals had the same FOXP2 gene we have.  “This gene is involved in linguistic development, suggesting that Neanderthals could talk,” the article said.  No one has shown, however, that FOXP2 is a necessary or sufficient cause for the origin of language – such an inference is hopelessly simplistic (see 05/26/2004, 02/21/2008).  For example, a defective power supply in a radio that renders it inoperable does not explain the communication heard when it works.  Is there more than genetics involved in the origin of our language capacity?  How could we know?Cultural selection and synergy    In an essay in Nature,1 E�rs Szathm�ry and Szabolcs Sz�mad� argued that “Language evolved as part of a uniquely human group of traits, the interdependence of which calls for an integrated approach to the study of brain function.”  It’s more than the ability to recognize words.  Your dog can do that.  They said, “more than any other attribute, language was probably key to the development of the set of traits that makes humans unique.”  These two authors proposed that social factors were much more important than genes in the development of language.  “Cultural evolution has shown us that one word can be worth a thousand genes,” they said.  But how can that explain language in a Darwinian paradigm?  It almost sounds Lamarckian – the discredited hypothesis of inheritance of acquired characteristics.  Here’s how they tied it in to Darwinism:That the genes involved in a cognitive trait affect other traits, and have effects that interact with each other, is business as usual for complex behaviour.  But the result is likely to be a network of interacting effects, in which evolution in one trait builds on an attribute already modified as a by-product of selection acting on another.  The nature of the gene networks underpinning complex behaviour suggests that several genes will have been selected for because they enhanced proficiency in a range of tasks – whether in social, linguistic or tool-use domains.Language emerged, they said, at the same time humans were learning to fish and hunt big game and make stone tools.  It was a by-product of the co-option of existing genes for vocalization being selected for new uses, they suggested.  This all happened at a time when major evolutionary changes were occurring simultaneously:The probable emergence of modern language in the context of these other capacities points to the evolution of a uniquely human set of traits.  We’ve barely begun to probe the architecture of this ‘suite’, but there is little to suggest that each capacity evolved one by one, or that they could be lost independently without harming at least some other traits in the set.But is this explanation helpful for elucidating what actually happened, or does it shield itself from falsification in the noise of complexity?  Creationists would say God designed all these traits to work together.  These evolutionists did appeal to evidence, but then only for the interdependence of the traits, not their origin: “Evidence supporting the close-knit evolution of traits comes, for example, from experiments showing that people who struggle with grammar also have difficulties drawing hierarchical structures, such as a layered arrangement of matches.”  They also said that tool-making and language appear related.  But such linkages do not necessarily point to evolution as the only explanation.    Szathm�ry and Sz�mad� used their hypothesis to weave a seamless story of the transition from genetic evolution to cultural evolution:The evidence strongly suggests that language evolved into its modern form embedded in a group of synergistic traits.  However, language almost certainly holds special status over the other traits in the set.  More than any other attribute, language is likely to have played a key role in driving genetic and cultural human evolution.    Language enables us to pass on cultural information more efficiently than can any other species.  It’s taken about 40 million years, for example, for five agricultural systems to appear in fungus-growing ants.  Human agriculture diversified on a massive scale in just a few thousand years.  Language makes it easier for people to live in large groups and helps drive cumulative cultural evolution – the build-up of complex belief systems, and the establishment of laws and theories over several generations.  It has allowed us to construct a highly altered social and physical world, which has in turn shaped our evolution.  Cultural evolution has shown us that one word can be worth a thousand genes.  Language was the key evolutionary innovation because it built on important cognitive prerequisites and opened the door to so much else.It appears they just said that their own reasoning evolved from cultural evolution which evolved from genetic evolution.  Can those gaps be bridged so easily?  Can one shift the hot potato of explanation between genes and culture as required to keep the story going?Exaptation: Dissing Darwin    Robert Berwick raised questions about this in a commentary in PNAS,2 “What genes can’t learn about language.”  He opened with this very issue: “Human language has long been viewed as a product of both genes and individual external experience or culture, but the key puzzle has always been to assess the relative contribution of each.”  He asked whimsically if language evolution is more like hemline fashions (culture) or the fingers on one’s hand (genetics).  There must be an interplay of both, because we know every child is born ready to learn a language, but those who learn Hindi cannot understand those who speak Mandarin.    Berwick’s solution leaned toward cultural evolution.  The reason is that genetic evolution is too slow to keep up with the rapid changes known to occur in human language.  One finding he cited “runs counter to one popular view that these properties of human language were explicitly selected for,… instead pointing to human language as largely adventitious, an exaptation, with many, perhaps most, details driven by culture.”  (An exaptation means a trait not acquired by natural selection – presumably through a trait that predisposed a creature toward an adaptation).  The upside is that it means the set of genes devoted to language can be greatly reduced.  “There is no need, and more critically no informational space, for the genome to blueprint some intricate set of highly-modular, interrelated components for language, just as the genome does not spell out the precise neuron-to-neuron wiring of the developing brain.”  The downside is that classical Darwinian natural selection had little to do with it.    Berwick recognized the controversy this position is likely to raise: “such a result may prove surprising to Darwinian enthusiasts who see the hand of natural selection everywhere,” he admitted, but he had an even “more startling” ramification to unleash: a convergence between the views of two groups often at variance with one another: cultural evolutionists and theoretical linguists.  Recent models by subsets of these camps can make do with a “minimal human genome for language.”  Is this an evolutionary coup?String Theory and Semantics    One thing remains: explaining the “hallmark of human language,” recursive concatenation.  This is our unique ability to combine words into new entities that can be treated as a single object, then combined again over and over.  This ability, which provides us “an infinity of possible meaningful signs integrated with the human conceptual system,” is lacking in animals.  With it, though, we have “the algebraic closure of a recursive operator over our dictionary.”  We have “infinite use of finite means.”  How could genes or culture explain this capability?  Berwick merely states that it does: “the claim that human language is an exaptation rather than a selected-for adaptation becomes not only much more likely but very nearly inescapable.”  Believe it or not.    Actually, the coup is not over yet.  Berwick ended with two caveats about “What models can’t tell us about language evolution.”  The cultural-evolution model would expect all aspects of human language to rise and fall like hemlines, but “Indeed, as far back as we can discern, human languages have always been just as complicated and fixed along certain dimensions.”  There’s a difference, for example, between a sound and its value.  There is no necessary connection between what our genes allow us to pronounce and what we mean by the sound.  Exaptation merely assumes what it needs to prove: the “promiscuous recursion harnessed to our conceptual dictionary” that makes language so endlessly expressive.Why Confirm What We Already Know?    The second caveat is even more alarming.  Berwick said we can never know how language evolved:Second, there remain inherent restrictions on our ability to ferret out biological adaptation generally and see into the past, more so than is sometimes generally acknowledged, simply because of limits on what we can measure given the signal-to-noise ratio of evolution by natural selection, and similarly constraining what computer simulations like the one in this issue of PNAS can ever tell us.  Since the pioneering study in ref. 11 we know that cultural evolution can sweep through populations as quickly as viral infections.  By comparison, evolution by natural selection is orders of magnitude slower and weaker, its effects on gene frequencies easily swamped by the migration of even a few individuals per generation.  Practically, this means that although we know without a doubt that adaptive selection has been involved in the shaping of certain traits, language being one of them, the data to establish this fact conclusively remains methodologically out of reach simply because it is infeasible to collect the requisite experimental evidence.  To take a far more secure case than language, although we have long known that human blood group differences confer certain reproductive evolutionary advantages, geneticists have estimated we would require the complete age-specific birth and death rate tables for on the order of 50,000 individuals to confirm what must certainly be true.  Given the great costs coupled with the relatively small benefits of confirming what we already know, the pragmatic nature of science wins out and there is simply little enthusiasm in carrying forward the exercise.By portraying language evolution as something “we already know,” Berwick has insulated it from the need for empirical evidence.  Indeed, he generalized this to all cases of evolutionary adaptation, not just language.  If the signal-to-noise ratio of natural selection is so low as to be undetectable, is evolution a science, or a belief?  Notice the phrase “story line” in his ending paragraph:Consequently, it is probably safe to say that neither this nor any other confirmation of adaptive advantage for one or another particular evolutionary story line about human language, no matter how compelling or how internally consistent its computer simulation logic, will be immediately forthcoming.  To be sure, computer simulations can still establish boundary conditions on evolvability via the Balwin�Simpson effect or set directions for further inquiry, and Chater et al. succeed admirably.  Nonetheless, we should remain ever alert that there are always restrictions on restrictions, that neither this study nor others like it can tell us how human language actually evolved.1.  E�rs Szathm�ry and Szabolcs Sz�mad�, “Being Human: Language: a social history of words,” Nature 456, 40-41 (6 November 2008) | doi:10.1038/456040a.2.  Robert C. Berwick, “What genes can’t learn about language,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 10, 2009, 106:6, pp 1685-1686, doi:10.1073/pnas.0812871106.Those last two block quotes are worth reading carefully.  For Darwin skeptics, the evidence could hardly be more clear: evolution is a belief imposed on the evidence, not a belief derived from the evidence.  Since there is no way they could possibly test their belief, evolutionists begin with the assumption of evolution and work everything into their chosen paradigm: fragmentary evidence, elusive hints of signal in a noise (like the FOXP2 gene, inferences from which are as likely to deceive as enlighten), and copious amounts of imagination and storytelling.  Since “we already know” by collective agreement that Darwin reigns and creationism is out, what need have we of proof?, they think.  They have tossed verification out the window.  Like communist dictators behind a wall, they have awarded themselves offices for life and comfy quarters for speculating endlessly without fear of contradiction.  Evidence, like the peasantry, becomes subservient to the State.  Damaging evidence has been filtered out by the State-run press.  The regime is self-promoting, self-serving, and self-perpetuating.Time for a revolution.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, 25 Dec. 2010

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first_imgWe’re always on the lookout for upcoming Web tech events from around world. Know of something taking place that should appear here? Want to get your event included in the calendar? Let us know in the comments below or email us. Tags:#conferences#Events Guide#web ReadWrite Sponsors A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Air Conditioner Basics

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first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img What does a Vermonter know about air conditioning? I live so close to the Canadian border that half of the radio stations are in French. If my house needs cooling, I just let the fire in the wood stove die down.When I first began reporting on air conditioning topics over a decade ago, I felt out of my element. Impelled by the certainty that there’s no such thing as a dumb question, I’ve managed over the years to badger a few air-conditioner experts, all of whom contributed to my education. So now I finally know the difference between an evaporator coil and a condenser coil.In no particular order, here are the answers to a few air-conditioning questions.Divorce decreeQ. What’s a “split” air conditioner?A. A split air conditioner is the typical central air conditioner found in many U.S. homes. It consists of an outdoor unit that sits on a small concrete pad and an indoor coil located in the furnace plenum or the air handler. The term “split air conditioner” distinguishes this type of cooling system from other types of air conditioners, including window units.Two thousand pounds of … I dunnoQ. What’s a ton of cooling?A. In the old days, people used to buy ice to keep cool. A “ton” of cooling capacity is based on the amount of heat absorbed by one ton of ice melting over 24 hours. One ton of cooling capacity is equal to 12,000 Btu/h.Maybe “Dental X-Rays”?Q. What does “DX” stand for?A. DX stands for Direct eXpansion — the standard refrigeration cycle used in most American air conditioners. (There are other refrigeration cycles — for example, the ammonia absorption cycle used in propane-fueled refrigerators.)Calculating efficiencyQ. What’s a SEER rating?A. SEER… last_img read more

The Care and Feeding of Your Pet Dragon

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first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now A dragon doesn’t make for a very good pet. They require care and feeding, and because of their size, their appetite is immense. When feeding a dragon, the one who is providing the food often finds themselves at great risk of being burned. After all, the dragon is, in fact, a dragon, and the one providing the food isn’t too different than the food itself.More still, cleaning up after a dragon isn’t a great joy either. Their messes are awful, and going around behind them trying to take care of destruction they leave in their wake is a never-ending task. It’s also a thankless task, with the dragon showing no appreciation for the work you are doing on its behalf.But hey, you wanted the dragon and worked hard to acquire it. You took the dragon from its prior owner, exerting a lot of effort to wrench it away from them. The dragon is more effort than it is worth, but because you worked so hard to bring it home, it’s embarrassing to admit that the dragon isn’t making that great of a pet.At some point, you realize that a dragon doesn’t make a very good pet. The best thing you can do with a dragon is to unchain yourself from it and release it into the wild where it can take care of itself until it finds someone else foolish enough to believe that a dragon would make a good pet.last_img read more

Resignations hit Congress in Assam

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first_imgA day after the its former Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha Bhubaneswar Kalita joined the BJP, the Congress in Assam suffered a setback with Rajya Sabha member Santiuse Kujur and former Minister Gautam Roy quitting on Saturday. Both are expected to join the BJP in the next few days.“With regret I would like to inform you that I am tendering my resignation from the membership of the party and all other portfolios given by the Congress with immediate effect. This is purely my personal decision,” wrote Mr. Kujur in his resignation letter, addressed to the Congress president.Mr. Roy, often considered the party’s backbone in southern Assam’s Barak Valley, said: “I resigned as I was not happy to see where the Congress has reached today. However, I have no grudge against any leader of the party.”He said he was “impressed” by the BJP’s performance across the country under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.There is speculation that several other Assam Congress stalwarts, including former Lok Sabha members and ex-MLAs, would be joining the BJP.last_img read more

a month agoWest Ham captain Noble impressed by Aston Villa pair clash

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first_imgWest Ham captain Noble impressed by Aston Villa pair clashby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham captain Mark Noble says it was right Anwar El Ghazi was not shown a red card on Monday night after he clashed with Aston Villa team-mate Tyrone Mings.In an extraordinary incident, El Ghazi pushed his head into Mings in what could easily have been construed as violent conduct during the 0-0 draw.“I didn’t know [El Ghazi] headbutted [Mings], but you do not want to see players getting sent off for a coming together with one of their own players,” said Noble.“It would have helped us out but I do not think something like that should be a red card. “It is nice to see that winning mentality and aggression. I like that and I do not want to take that out of the game.“It is in the heat of the moment and about wanting to win. I think it was Tyrone telling him that he was not doing his job. That is what happens in games.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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