Review Category : Top Stories

Americans Think Obama, Kennedy, Reagan Gave Best Inaugural Addresses

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly drawing inspiration for the first draft of his inaugural speech from presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan — which may serve him well with the American people who believe those presidents’ inaugural addresses were among the best.

Together with our partners at SSRS survey research firm, we asked Americans which U.S. president has given the best inaugural speech. The top choice among respondents was outgoing President Barack Obama, followed by presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Asked if they plan to tune in to watch Trump’s inaugural address on Friday, Jan. 20, forty-one percent of Americans said no, 38 percent said yes and 21 percent said they are unsure if they will watch.

Americans are also divided on how they feel about Trump’s taking office. Asked what one word best describes how they feel about the upcoming inauguration, respondents said “excited,” “hopeful,” “scared” and “sad.”

The ABC News/SSRS Poll was conducted using the SSRS Probability Panel. Interviews were conducted online from January 12 – January 13, 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 267 respondents age 18 and older. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-7.7% at the 95% confidence level. Design effect is 1.63. The SSRS Probability Panel is a probability-based, online panel of adults recruited from random digit dialed landline and cell phone numbers. For more information, visit

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At Least Six Weather-Related Deaths in the Midwest Since Friday

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Six deaths have been reported in parts of the Midwest as below-freezing weather and ice created havoc this weekend for travelers.

Five of the six deaths were vehicle-related. Two of the vehicle-related deaths occurred in Kansas, one of them took place in Oklahoma, and two more took place in Missouri, according to authorities in those states.

The sixth death took place in Missouri, and was called simply “weather related” by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Weather conditions also prompted the NFL to switch the AFC divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs to Sunday evening in an effort to allow more time to treat roads and parking lots at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

The game was scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. but now will start at 8:20 p.m ET, ESPN reported.

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Woman Meets Biological Parents 18 Years After She Was Kidnapped as a Newborn

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office(WALTERBORO, S.C.) — Eighteen years after she was kidnapped as a baby, Kamiyah Mobley has reunited with her biological parents, while the woman she believed to be her mother remains behind bars.

Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, revealed Friday they had found Mobley in Walterboro, South Carolina, after a tip led authorities to Gloria Williams, 51, and DNA testing proved Mobley’s identity.

Mobley’s biological father Craig Aiken said on Saturday he was grateful he could reunite with his daughter.

“First meeting was beautiful, wonderful,” he said. “Couldn’t have gone no better.”

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Gloria Williams allegedly posed as a nurse at a Jacksonville hospital to kidnap Mobley eight hours after she was on born on July 10, 1998. She has raised Mobley as “Alexis Manigo” since she was abducted, according to police.

At Williams’ bond hearing on Friday, Mobley showed support for Williams, calling herself “her daughter, Alexis,” and told her she loved her and was “praying for her.”

Williams remains in Colleton County Jail in South Carolina without bond and is expected to be extradited to Jacksonville, which could take up to 20 days.

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Slain Orlando Sergeant Remembered as Search for Suspect Continues

Orlando Police Department(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Thousands gathered in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday to mourn the death of a veteran police officer killed in a shooting this week as officials continue to search for her killer.

Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, who was posthumously promoted to lieutenant by Orlando Police Chief John Mina, was a wife and mother who served on the force for 17 years. She was gunned down while on duty Monday morning by a suspect accused of murdering a pregnant woman, police said.

Mina saluted her life’s “work to help our youth and make this a better place to live.” He added that Clayton last year was one of 10 out of 80 sergeants promoted to master sergeant.

“You exhibited the best in policing,” he said. “You set an example not just for officers but for all people.”

Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for help capturing suspect Markeith Loyd, 41, but officials have said they believe people are harboring the suspect, which is considered a felony.

“We’re not going to stop looking for them, either,” Mina said earlier this week of those helping Loyd. “If people know of people who are harboring Markeith Loyd … they need to call 911.”

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Activists Led by Al Sharpton Brave Cold, Rain for Civil Rights March in DC

Alex Wong/Getty Images)(WASHINGTON) — Ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in less than a week, thousands led by Rev. Al Sharpton gathered in Washington, D.C. for a rally organizers said was to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and protect President Obama’s legacy.

In the “We Shall Not Be Moved” civil rights march organized by Sharpton’s National Action Network, demonstrators marched in the snow and rain from Washington Monument to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Sharpton told attendees that “talking loud, saying nothing, tweeting in the middle of the night” does not “make you great,” in an apparent reference to Trump’s Twitter comments about civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Lewis said Friday on NBC he did not consider Trump to be a “legitimate president.”

“Great is when you can look hate in the face and refuse to hate and become like the haters,” Sharpton said.

He also called on Democrats and “moderate Republicans to get some backbone.”

“You may switch presidents, but we just going to switch legs and keep on marching,” Sharpton said. “We won’t be back down. We won’t be trumped.”

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Mississippi City Under Fire For Referring to MLK Day as ‘Great Americans Day’

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A tweet posted by the city of Biloxi, Mississippi, Friday night referred to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as “Great Americans Day” — in an apparent attempt to also honor the birth of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

“Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed on Monday in observance of Great Americans Day,” read the tweet.

A backlash immediately ensued, with thousands of angry individuals taking to the city’s social media accounts to question why the Gulf Coast city didn’t refer to Monday as the federally-observed holiday named in honor of the iconic civil rights leader.

The city later edited a similarly-worded Facebook post, to describe “Great Americans Day” as “a state-named holiday.”

But that assertion isn’t exactly the case: The list of state holidays on the government of Mississippi’s website does not list either Martin Luther King, Jr. Day nor “Great Americans Day.” It does, however, cite the state’s observance of both King and Lee’s birthdays on the third Monday of January — without explicitly naming the day.

In fact, the genesis of “Great Americans Day” appears to stem from the municipal level. ABC affiliate WLOX reports that the name change was introduced to city council on Dec. 23, 1985, and approved on Dec. 31, 1985.

The city of Biloxi echoed that sentiment in a written statement following the backlash:

“Biloxi Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich, responding to a flurry of comments about a city tweet today referring to Monday as ‘Great Americans Day,’ believes the Biloxi City Council on Tuesday should take steps to update the city’s Code of Ordinances to reflect the official federal name of the holiday, ‘Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,’ commonly known as ‘Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” read the statement.

Gilich says in the statement, “In my opinion that is the appropriate step to take, for the holiday to have the same name as the federal holiday. This city’s longstanding support of our annual MLK celebrations speaks volumes about our support for this holiday. In fact, we’ve always celebrated this day as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

The city’s statement also acknowledges that the city council did indeed pass a motion to honor other notable Americans. “The issue arose this afternoon when the city tweeted a one-line sentence that said non-emergency city offices would be closed on Monday ‘in observance of Great Americans Day,” reads the statement.

It continues, “The name has since been traced back to a City Council on Dec. 23, 1985 to proclaim the third Monday of every January ‘to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other great Americans who have made important contributions to the birth, growth and evolution of this country.'”

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Emotional Senate Hearing Finds Complicit in Underage Sex Trafficking as Victim’s Families Testify

Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — “Those children were sold, and they simply tried to sanitize it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of evil”, said Sen. Claire McCaskill, glaring at the five company executives sitting in front of her.

Jan. 10 was a day of reckoning on Capitol Hill for the controversial classified site, as the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a new report saying that Backpage had knowingly facilitated underage trafficking on its site by actively editing ads posted in the “adult services” section. The website’s top executives were subpoenaed to attend a hearing where the Subcommittee, led by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and McCaskill, D-Missouri, laid out their findings, which were based on over a million pages of internal company documents.

For parents Tom and Nacole, this was a day they dreamed would come. Their daughter, who ABC News is calling “Natalie,” was repeatedly sold for sex on when she was only 15 years old.

“They took everything from my little girl,” said Tom, who asked that ABC News not use his family’s surname. Tom and Nacole traveled halfway across the country to testify at this Senate hearing, hoping that sharing their story may lead to Backpage being held accountable.

Based in Dallas, is a basic classifieds ad website where people can sell cars, furniture and other items, but the vast majority of their revenue comes from their racy adult section, with categories like “escorts” and “body rubs” — technically legal services that law enforcement describes as a thinly veiled code for prostitution.

For over a year, ABC News “Nightline” has been conducting an investigation into the problem of underage sex trafficking through ads on and the efforts to stop it. “Nightline” first met Tom, Nacole and their daughter Natalie last spring. Natalie ran away from home at age 15, and ended up falling into the hands of a pimp. She says she was forced into prostitution over 100 times, and believes that made it possible for her pimp to sell her for sex over and over again.

“It’s simple. It’s too simple” she said. “[Backpage] asks if you’re eighteen or older. I mean a simple yes click was about as far as that went.”

The U.S. Senate has been investigating underage trafficking on Backpage for years and this week, the hearing marked a major breakthrough.

The Subcommittee found that Backpage wasn’t just hosting adult ads people posted on their site, it was actively editing them — erasing words that would indicate underage trafficking. Through their automatic word filtering system, the site would erase terms like “Lolita, “Little Girl” and even “Amber Alert” from ads posted in the ‘adult’ section. They would then post the “cleaned up” ads to the site anyway.

“The fact that these terms were stripped out through this screening process does not mean that that girls age was magically changed,” Sen. Portman told Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer during the hearing. “In fact, what you have done, of course, is to cover up the fact that many underage girls were sold on your site, making it harder for law enforcement, parents and committed aid groups to find those kids who need help.”

One by one, Ferrer, co-founders Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey, and other Backpage executives refused to testify at the hearing. On their social media accounts, Backpage called the Senate investigation a violation of their First Amendment rights.

Backpage’s argument is based on a law called the Communications Decency Act, or CDA. The law protects all internet hosting companies, including Backpage, from being held legally responsible for what users post on their websites.

“[The law] protects freedom of speech on the internet,” explained ABC News senior legal correspondent Sunny Hostin. “If you have someone selling a stolen car on your website and you don’t know that the car is stolen, you are not responsible for the selling of a stolen vehicle.”

In the past, many underage girls who say they were trafficked on Backpage have tried suing the site. But so far, nearly every lawsuit has been dismissed under the CDA. However, many believe the Senate’s findings could mean that Backpage would no longer be protected by this law because they engaged in actively changing content.

“I think it potentially means liability,” Hostin said. “When you proactively, and actively decide to filter out certain terms, that’s a game changer because you’re talking about active participation.”

Just hours before the hearing, Backpage shut down its entire adult services section, replacing the pages with a banner saying, “The government has unconstitutionally censored this content.”

“In terms of their action last night to shut down their adult section… obviously that was a vindication of our report. And it was not censorship. No one told them to do that,” Portman told “Nightline.”

Backpage has repeatedly claimed that they are part of the solution, not the problem. The company told ABC News in a previous statement that it employs moderators who diligently screen ads to stop underage trafficking on its site. They added that they have voluntarily undertaken a multi-tiered “policing system to prohibit and report attempts at human exploitation and the advertisement of prostitution” that screens for words and phrases that might “suggest illegal activity.”

The company also said it actively cooperates with law enforcement and reports suspicious ads to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC.

In 2012, their attorney Liz McDougall told “Nightline,” that “online human trafficking exists… and the best tools to fight it are online, and is currently one of the very best tools to fight it.”

But NCMEC Senior Counsel Yiota Souras takes issue with Backpage’s claim. “I don’t think you can be in the business of providing basically an online bazaar for escort ads that includes the purchase and sale of children for sex, and say that you are online to help fight the problem” she said.

Backpage, which was owned by Village Voice media until 2012, was sold to an “unnamed Dutch holding company” in December 2014, according to news articles at the time. It was later revealed that this mysterious holding company was owned by Ferrer. “Nightline” discovered that he seemed to be running several similar websites from Amsterdam, like and “Nightline” also discovered he was running a site called “Cracker” that was extremely similar to Backpage and available almost everywhere except the United States.

Ferrer has declined “Nightline’s” repeated requests for interview, and when we tracked Ferrer to a classified ad industry conference in Amsterdam last year, he again refused to speak with us.

One former Backpage employee agreed to speak with “Nightline” under the condition that her identity not be revealed. Her account echoed the testimony of other employees interviewed for the Senate report. Her job was to moderate ads to make sure they didn’t contain pictures or certain terms indicating prostitution or underage trafficking.

“The way they described the job as a moderating is that we would be monitoring ads that came through the site for our adult content section,” she said. “The ads were basically, ‘Hey come have a good time with honey… ‘no rain coats,’ would be code word for ‘no condoms… ‘in town for one night only, come see me.’”

“And these ads would be so cheap that they would post them constantly,” she continued. “So if the ad did get deleted, they would take $5 and post five more ads of the same one. So it becomes really frustrating because you know you just deleted this ad and 10 minutes later, you’re seeing it again.”

At the Senate hearing, both Tom and Nacole took the witness stand to tell their story. “I can only tell you that when we finally got Natalie back for good, months later, the young girl we found wasn’t the same Natalie that had left our home months earlier,” Nacole testified.

“In my mind, it’s simple” Tom said. “What happened to my daughter on is criminal.”

At the hearing, Souras told “Nightline” that the hearing was “a game changer.” “I think it lays bare [Backpage’s] level of knowledge about what they were dealing with. And how they chose to deal with criminal acts– the selling of children for sex,” she said.

As far as Backpage’s self-imposed shutdown, Souras is skeptical. “Who knows what that means, who knows if they’ll be back up tomorrow,” she said.

In fact, “Nightline” discovered that very quickly after Backpage’s adult section was shuttered, ads began springing up in the ‘men seeking women’ dating section of the site that looked very similar to the ads that were usually posted in the escort section.

Some sex trafficking groups have spoken out against Backpage’s shutdown. Dr, Lois Lee, the founder and president of Children of the Night, said in a statement that Backpage “was a critical investigative took depended on by America’s vice detectives and agents in the field to locate and recover missing children.”

Other groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation take exception to the Senate going after the website’s hosting operations, saying the “invasive inquiry into’s editorial practices… creates an intense chilling effect… for any website operator seeking to define their own… moderation procedures for the third-party content they host.”

Legal questions may still be up for debate. The Senate Subcommittee is considering referring the case to the Department of Justice.

“Even under current law, I believe that this evidence of illegality should lead to a successful prosecution,” Sen. Portman said.

Last October, the California Attorney General charged Carl Ferrer, James Larkin, and Mike Lacey with pimping — charges which were later dismissed due to the Communications Decency Act. They have now filed new charges against Backpage, citing new evidence. The site’s attorneys say they will fight these charges.

As for Tom, Nacole, and their daughter Natalie, they’re also waiting for their day in court. Natalie is part of a civil lawsuit against Backpage, one that focuses on the claim that Backpage was editing ads. Her lawyers hope that the revelations in the new Senate report could help them to win her case.

After the hearing, Tom told “Nightline” their fight against Backpage is far from over. “Not until they’re indicted and go to jail,” he said.

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Three Cleveland Police Officers Facing Administrative Charges in Tamir Rice Case

Courtesy Rice Family(CLEVELAND) — Three Cleveland police officers are facing administrative charges following an internal investigation into the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by police while carrying a toy gun in November 2014.

The charges were brought against Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann, Frank Garmback and William Cunningham, who were all on the scene when Rice was shot, city officials said in a press conference Friday afternoon. The city’s Quality Control Office, Integrity Control Section and Critical Incident Review Committee reviewed the case and recommended administrative charges, the mayor’s office said in a press release.

In December 2015, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced that the review would be conducted, saying, “People are upset, and legitimately and rightfully so.”

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams reviewed the findings of the report and referred them to the Department of Public Safety for a final determination on the appropriate disciplinary action.

DPS Director Michael McGrath will hold disciplinary hearings for the three officers, who face discipline ranging from 11 days suspension to termination, according to the mayor’s office.

The DPS Quality Control Office also conducted an investigation into the hiring of Loehmann, specifically his application documents, the mayor’s office said. Administrative charges against a fourth officer are expected, according to the mayor’s office.

In November 2014, Loehmann shot Rice as he was holding a toy gun at a Cleveland playground. The boy’s sister ran to the gazebo where he was shot in a state of panic, and Cunningham and Garmback restrained her before handcuffing her and placing her in the back of the patrol car, according to a report by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It was Officer Cunningham’s idea to place her in the back of the car since she would not calm down,” the report from the prosecutor’s office stated.

An Ohio grand jury declined to indict Loehmann or his partner, Garmback, in the boy’s death. The prosecutor at the time, Timothy McGinty, who recommended no charges be filed, said Loehmann “had reason to fear for his life” and that it was “indisputable” from video evidence that Rice was reaching for the gun, though he called the shooting a “tragedy.”

The City of Cleveland settled a $6 million wrongful death suit by the boy’s family in the case, although there was no admission of wrongdoing.

After the shooting, Loehmann and Garmback had been placed on restricted duties, which is a paid administrative position, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association told ABC News in 2015. The group did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

It is not clear whether Cunningham was placed on restricted duties after the shooting.

The Critical Incident Review Committee was created in February 2016 to “conduct a thorough review administrative review of the actions of all employees and officers involved” in the incident, according to a press release from the city of Cleveland. It consists of members of the Cleveland Division of Police Command Staff, Integrity Control Section and Training Section, along with members of the City of Cleveland Law Department.

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Bystander Says Good Samaritan Was Right to Shoot Trooper’s Assailant

iStock/Thinkstock(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — A Scottsdale, Arizona former medic who helped a trooper ambushed during a traffic stop said a Good Samaritan who shot and killed the officer’s assailant “did what we had to do.”

A dramatic scene unfolded during the confrontation when the Good Samaritan told the assailant to stop assaulting the officer and then shot and killed the attacker, according to police.

The Department of Public Safety identified Friday the officer as 27-year veteran state Trooper Ed Andersson.

The medic, Brian Schober, is the man heard calling for help on the trooper’s radio, saying “Officer down. … Officer down.”

“I am glad that he was there and did what he did,” Schober said about the Good Samaritan.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the incident started around 4 a.m. when Andersson responded to a call about gunfire in the area.

Department Director Ralph Milstead said the driver had called police to report being shot at while driving along Interstate 10.

As the trooper arrived in the general vicinity where the caller had reported being shot at, the trooper spotted a rollover car wreck, where a woman had been ejected. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

It was unclear if the person who fired at the vehicle is the suspect who shot the trooper.

As Andersson was blocking off lanes and setting up flares, the assailant shot the trooper in the chest and then proceeded to physically attack him, Milstead said. Police said they believe that the man who shot and assaulted the trooper was the driver of the vehicle that crashed.

A Good Samaritan who noticed the altercation pulled over and asked the officer whether he needed help, to which he said yes. According to authorities Friday, the Good Samaritan’s fiance also called 911. The motorist then retrieved a gun from his car and fatally shot the suspect.

Authorities said Friday that Andersson underwent surgery Thursday and was doing well. They also said the motorist who shot the suspect did not want to be interviewed by the media.

“My trooper would not be alive without his assistance,” Milstead said of the motorist.

Schober told ABC News recently that he knew right away something was wrong when he saw the trooper’s car on the side of the highway and said the Good Samaritan had waved him over.

“I got out of my car and assessed the situation,” he said.

He said the Good Samaritan’s fiance helped him administer first aid to the officer. He said he also called for help using the trooper’s radio.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “We did what we had to do. … God put us at the right place at the right time.”

Schober said there was no doubt the Good Samaritan saved the trooper’s life. According to Schober, the suspect was bashing the trooper’s head into the concrete, leaving him with severe cuts on the back and side of his head.

Officials had not yet confirmed the suspect’s identity or the deceased occupant of the vehicle, Milstead added.

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Woman Abducted 18 Years Ago as a Newborn Found Living in Another State

ABC News(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Authorities have found and identified a woman in South Carolina who was abducted from a Florida hospital more than 18 years ago as a newborn baby.

The woman, named Kamiyah Mobley at birth, was kidnapped on July 10, 1998, just hours after she was born at a Jacksonville hospital, according to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams.

She was abducted by a woman, now identified as Gloria Williams, who had posed as a nurse and told Mobley’s mother that the baby had a fever and she needed to take her away, Mike Williams said at a news conference Friday.

Gloria Williams, now 51, was able to walk out of the hospital with Mobley and was never caught — until now. She has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, officials said at the news conference.

Mobley grew up in Walterboro, South Carolina, thinking that Gloria Williams was her biological mother, according to the sheriff. He said that she now appears to be a normal 18-year-old woman in good health.

The sheriff added that Mobley has been living under a different name for the past 18 years. Officials are not releasing her current name in the interest of reducing any further trauma.

Mobley began to suspect a few months ago that she may have been involved in the reported 1998 abduction case, the sheriff said. She recently submitted a DNA sample to authorities and the sample came back positive this past Thursday night, he said.

Mobley’s biological mother, father, grandmother and a couple of close family friends have been notified and they are extremely excited, the sheriff said.

Craig Aiken, Mobley’s biological father, told ABC News Friday he has spoken with Mobley over the phone and on Skype, along with her biological mother.

“It was like the end of a nightmare,” Aiken said. “I can’t even explain it.”

Aiken said that he and Mobley’s biological mother would celebrate her birthday every year and would imagine “how it would be if she were here” and “what we would do if she came came back.”

He added that he expects Mobley to visit her place of birth very soon and that the they would take it “day by day” to slowly “transition back to a happy family.”

Mobley’s biological grandmother, Velma Aiken, told ABC News that the family cried “tears of joy” when they were informed by police that her granddaughter had been found. Velma Aiken said it felt like they had known each other all along.

Although she was “bitter and empty” toward Williams for “stealing” her “grandbaby,” Velma Aiken said she is grateful that Williams was “willing to raise her right.”

Williams was charged with kidnapping at a bond hearing on Friday in South Carolina. Bail was denied and another bond hearing will be held once she is extradited to Jacksonville, Florida, according to the sheriff’s office.

Mobley, who identified herself as “Alexis” in court, began to cry when her mother was denied bond. She told Williams that she is “praying for her.”

“Mama, I love you,” she said.

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