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Tadej Pogacar snatches Tour de France win from Primoz Roglic, Richie Porte on podium

In an incredible climax to the Tour de France, Tadej Pogacar crushed fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic in the last stage Saturday before the finish in Paris, snatching away his race lead to all but guarantee that he’ll win cycling’s showpiece event at his first attempt.

Australian veteran Richie Porte will complete the podium in third, a triumph that he described as feeling “like a victory”.

Set, at one day shy of 22, to become the youngest post-World War II champion, Pogacar flew on the penultimate stage, a lung-burning uphill time trial, and devoured the 57-second lead that had made Roglic look impregnable before the showdown in the mountains of eastern France.

Equally amazing: This is Pogacar’s first Tour. Among others who pulled off the feat of winning at their first attempt: the great Eddy Merckx. The Belgian also won his next four Tours after his first in 1969. Given his young age and breathtaking talent, Pogacar’s first also looks unlikely to be his last.

“Unbelievable, unbelievable,” Pogacar said. “My head will explode.”

Tadej Pogacar reacts after his time trial win in the Tour de France, which elevated him to first place. (AP)

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Pogacar was sensational, not only ripping the iconic race leader’s yellow jersey from Roglic, but comfortably winning the time trial, too. He gobbled through the 36km, slicing through the air in an aerodynamic tuck on a slick time-trial bike and then switching to a road bike for the sharp finishing ascent to the Planches des Belles Filles ski station.

Roglic laboured in comparison, looking taut where Pogacar glided fluidly. He, too, hopped onto a road bike for the climb, his with yellow tape on the handlebars to match the jersey that he was in the process of losing.

As Roglic ascended, what was left of his lead melted away. It then became a yawning deficit to Pogacar, who’d been second overall going into the time trial, which amply lived up to its nickname: “The race of truth.”

The 30-year-old Roglic managed no better than fifth, a whopping 1 minute, 56 seconds slower than his younger and clearly fresher countryman. At the top, he sat slumped on the tarmac, the enormity of his collapse sinking in.

“I will cry. Or I did, already,” Roglic said. “I struggled with everything, eh? Just not enough power.”

“I would want it to be a little different, but I cannot change it,” he added. “It is how it is.”

Primoz Roglic rides during the time trial in the penultimate stage of the Tour de France. (AP)

Not since British riders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished 1-2 at the 2012 Tour has one nation taken the top two spots.

But almost everyone — even Pogacar — had expected that Roglic would roll into Paris with the yellow jersey on his shoulders, sipping Champagne in the saddle on the processional ride, on his way to becoming Slovenia’s first winner. Roglic had taken the race lead on Stage 9 and held it all the way to Saturday, Stage 20, the worst day to lose it. He now trails Pogacar by 59 seconds overall.

“I cannot believe how hard it must be for him,” Pogacar said. “He must be devastated. But that’s bike racing.”

Only a major mishap Sunday — highly unlikely — will prevent Pogacar from taking over from 2019 winner Egan Bernal, who was 22, as the youngest post-war champion. So sure is his victory that he was already introduced at the race organizers’ press conference Saturday evening as the Tour winner.

“I can’t wait to cross the line in Paris,” Pogacar said.

Tadej Pogacar grimaces during the time trial in the penultimate stage of the Tour de France. (AP)

Australian Richie Porte will complete the podium, after he time-trialed brilliantly to hoist himself from fourth to third overall. Porte is a veteran of 10 Tours, but he’d only once finished in the top 10 — a fifth place in 2016 — in a career sometimes dogged by ill-fortune.

Aged 35, Porte wanted a picture of himself on the Tour podium before his career ends. He’ll get that Sunday.

“It really does feel like a victory,” Porte said.

He, too, said he felt for Roglic.

“It’s kind of brutal what happened,” he said.

Porte reacts to Tour de France podium

Richie Porte rides during the time trial in the penultimate stage of the Tour de France. (AP)

The high drama was reminiscent of Frenchman Laurent Fignon’s collapse in 1989. He had a lead of 50 seconds over Greg LeMond before the final stage, also a time trial, from Versailles to Paris. Fignon ended up losing to the American by just eight seconds — the smallest ever margin of victory.

Pogacar, who finished third at last year’s Spanish Vuelta won by Roglic, might have had an even bigger lead by now had he not suffered a major setback in the first week of the three-week marathon, raced over more than 3,400km and all five of France’s mountain ranges.

On Stage 7, Pogacar plummeted from third to 16th overall, when he was caught out in crosswinds. But he shook off his disappointment and set about clawing his way back.

A win on Stage 9 ahead of Roglic in the Pyrenees soon followed and helped put him back in contention. In hindsight, Roglic may well rue that he and his Jumbo-Visma teammates didn’t pay closer attention and allowed his friend and rival from the UAE Team Emirates squad so much leash.

Pogacar followed up with another victory on Stage 15 and had been in second place overall for the past week.

While Roglic was surrounded at the Tour by powerful support riders who labored tirelessly to protect his race lead, Pogacar had no such luxuries. Beating Roglic in the man-to-man time trial, the two of them alone against the clock, was a fitting tribute to the way in which Pogacar has often relied on his own formidable resources, the brightest prodigy in an exciting crop of young riders who lit up the Tour.

Even Roglic, at the finish, gave him a thumbs-up.

“He definitely deserves his win,” he said. “Obviously, a really, really super-talented guy.”

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Commentary: Flights to nowhere raise bigger questions about Singapore Airlines’ future

SINGAPORE: When I first read Singapore Airlines (SIA) is considering launching “flights to nowhere”, I thought it was a bad joke. Surely, if you get on a plane, you want to get somewhere, right?

To be fair, SIA is not the first airline to come up with this idea. Taiwan’s EVA Airlines offered something similar on a Hello Kitty-themed plane earlier in August, to satisfy pent-up demand from grounded travellers.  

The SIA Group – comprising SIA, SilkAir and Scoot – is facing an unprecedented crunch, and could clearly use some help in keeping afloat. It’s currently operating at 8 per cent of its capacity compared to pre-COVID times, and has cut about 4,300 positions across the three airlines.

LISTEN: Rethinking the role of national carriers while saving Singapore Airlines

READ: Commentary: The outlook for Singapore Airlines has gone from bad to worse

There are also some basic facts we cannot ignore. Planes cannot be grounded in hot and humid Singapore for too long – their engines must be run at least once every few months, and some must be stored in deserts overseas.

According to Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) guidelines, pilots need to perform three take-offs and landings every 90 days for the specific type of aircraft they are licensed to fly. However, pilots may also meet this requirement by using a flight simulator.

Given these, some may argue flights to nowhere kill two birds in one stone by keeping planes and pilots in tip-top shape, while generating profit from travel-starved passengers.

READ: COVID-19 grounded thousands of planes. Here’s what happens to them

But there’s no denying the spotlight this episode has shone on how flights in general generate unnecessary carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and these flights to nowhere are only a plaster for the structural threats facing SIA and the global aviation industry.

UNNECESSARY EMISSIONS IN A WARMING WORLD

Let’s look at the environmental impact of a flight.

SIA’s flights to nowhere are expected to be two to three hours long. Since the amount of carbon emissions will differ with the type of aircraft used, how wide, new and packed they are, our best guess is to take a composite figure based on an illustrative route.

For example, flying from Singapore to Bangkok takes about 2.5 hours. And the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s CO2 calculator estimates a figure of 105kg of CO2 per passenger.

LISTEN: When it comes to climate change, why is CO2 public enemy number one?

File photo of Thai Airways planes parked at the tarmac of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

But looking at a flight’s carbon footprint only doesn’t take into account the other warming effects air traffic has on the planet. Planes also produce water vapour, aerosols and nitrogen oxides, as well as heat-trapping cirrus clouds.

Non-CO2 aircraft emissions are not well-understood, but a 1999 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report estimated aviation’s total contribution to global warming to be two to four times higher than that of its carbon emissions alone.

In any case, the amount of CO2 emissions produced by a flight to nowhere works out to about 70 bottles of wine. At least the latter sounds more enjoyable than a cramped economy-class seat – and will go a long way, far longer than two to three hours.

Then again, I’m 1.85m tall and I get tipsy after two glasses, so your mileage may vary.

READ: Commentary: Can China produce grape wine as fine as the French?

What isn’t subjective, however, is that reducing unnecessary flights can and must be part of our approach to limit CO2 emissions between now and 2050, if we are to restrict the temperature rise of our planet within 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

This is the temperature level the world’s nations came together to set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. And the UN Environment Programme’s Emission Gap Report 2019 indicates we have to reduce global GHG emissions from 55 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2-equivalent in 2018 to between 25 and 41 GtCO2e by 2030.

Though COVID-19 has certainly put a dent in global GHG emissions, a May study published in science journal Nature found that global emissions would only fall by 7.5 per cent at most, if current restrictions are maintained until the end of the year.

READ: Commentary: Will COVID-19 dim Singapore’s love affair with cars?

LONG-TERM CHALLENGES FACING AIR TRAVEL

The pandemic has shown there are new ways of doing our day-to-day tasks.

Working from home is becoming in norm for many desk jobs. Flying to conferences and meetings have been replaced by the ubiquitous Zoom.

When we do come out of the long and harrowing tunnel that is COVID-19, we will find that we can spend less time travelling and commuting.

READ: Commentary: Singapore’s almost in our new normal. Don’t be the dud who jeopardises that

An artist’s impression of a KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) station. (Photo: MyHSR) 

Though some level of rebound will happen for the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for airlines, forecasted in June that if COVID-19 related restrictions are maintained until the end of the year, it would take another four years for passenger traffic to return to 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed railway, if and when completed, will be the first stage in an overland high-speed railway network covering most of our ASEAN neighbours.

If the experience in Western Europe and North Asia is instructive – along with the flight shaming movement gaining momentum in Europe – then high-speed rail may overtake short-haul intra-ASEAN flights in the future.

It may be worth SIA and Changi Airport rethinking their response to this long-term challenge in addition to battling the economic impact of COVID-19, including how Changi Airport Terminal 5 and having two civil airports (Seletar Airport being the other one) fit in.

Could land currently owned by Changi Airport be used to cultivate mangroves instead, to build a coastal defence against soil erosion and rising sea levels? Could SIA be better served focusing on intercontinental routes, even providing through-ticketing to high-speed rail in the future?

READ: How Singapore’s mangroves can contribute in the battle against climate change

READ: Airlines were tackling their greatest environmental challenges, then they were grounded by COVID-19

GREEN SOLUTIONS FOR SIA

At the end of the day, there will still be some demand for flights, especially intercontinental and long-haul flights, when COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

Flying, for many, still represents the freedom from boundaries and the gateway to new experiences and opportunities. Flights to nowhere are also an experience some may crave, and perhaps would utilise planes that would have been flown anyway for maintenance purposes.

But the environmental cost of a flight to nowhere is still outweighed by that of air travel as a whole. There must be long-term green solutions when SIA’s business picks up again.

SilkAir, Singapore Airlines and Scoot planes sit on the tarmac at Changi Airport in Singapore. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

First, SIA should offset its CO2 and GHG emissions from all its flights ahead of its committed 2021 timeline to join the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme.

British budget carrier EasyJet committed in October 2019 to offset CO2 emissions across its entire flight network. In January, British Airways announced it will offset all emissions of its domestic flights. Lufthansa also launched CO2-neutral flights for corporate customers travelling within Europe.

READ: Commentary: Green offsets let polluting airlines off the hook

READ: Commentary: Can you really fly sustainably? And do these carbon offsets work?

SIA can purchase carbon offsets in bulk which adhere to reputable standards, such as Gold Standard and Verra, which ensure that carbon-offsetting projects do achieve the avoidance and reduction of emissions they claim to.

A quick look at the former’s retail website shows carbon credits can be purchased from as low as US$11 per tonne of CO2 from the Climate+ Portfolio composite offset. Given that SIA’s market positioning is in the premium full-service sector, the price of each ticket is unlikely to increase appreciably to customers, even if costs are passed to them.

Balance this against the added brand value of becoming one of the world’s pioneering net-zero airlines, and the benefits start to outweigh the costs.

Carbon offsets may seem like an unnecessary financial burden in tough times, but SIA has received substantial state assistance to help it tide over the COVID-19 crisis.

The Government announced S$750 million of support for the aviation sector in March, and an additional S$187 million later in August. 

SIA also plans to raise up to S$15 billion through issuing new shares and convertible bonds, with the support of Temasek.

As a recipient of public funds, SIA should consider its social and environmental responsibilities.

READ: Commentary: Singapore’s steady seven-month plan to get the economy back on track

READ: Commentary: Singapore’s aviation and tourism recovery will be very slow after COVID-19 but long-term outlook remains bright

ALTERNATIVES TO FLIGHTS TO NOWHERE?

Beyond thinking long-term, SIA should consider greener alternatives to flights to nowhere. A group of young sustainability advocates has launched a #SaveSingaporeAirlines initiative to gather more eco-friendly ideas for SIA to generate business.

Some suggestions include offering dining experiences inside grounded planes, or behind-the-scenes tours into airport and flight operations.

Campaigns such as these reflect that SIA’s future clients are climate-conscious, and that the world, airlines included, is moving towards sustainability. Despite ongoing financial pressures, SIA is still an esteemed national carrier worthy of leading the aviation industry on this march.

Eric Bea is a researcher in environmental law at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. This article is written in the author’s personal capacity.

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Daily Covid-19 update: Recovery rate at nearly 90% as Level 1 awaits

The official recovery rate in South Africa from Covid-19 infections now stands at 89,4% as the country prepares to enter Lockdown Level 1 at midnight on Sunday.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that 2,029 new cases were added to the national tally, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 659,656. In total, 589,434 recoveries have been recorded.

This means that the official death toll now stands at 15,940 after another 83 fatalities were recorded since Friday.

Of these deaths, 52 were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, four in the Eastern Cape, five in Gauteng, and 18 in the Limpopo province.

With South Africa passing the four million test mark on Friday, another 21,069 tests were conducted in the reporting period.

Covid-19 statistics, 19 September 2020.

Coronavirus: latest global developments

– More than 953,000 dead –

The pandemic has killed at least 953,025 people in the world since emerging in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Saturday based on official sources.

More than 30.5 million people have been infected.

The United States has the most deaths with 198,597, followed by Brazil with 135,793, India with 85,619, Mexico 72,803 and Britain 41,732.

– Germany cases highest since April –

Germany records its highest daily number of new cases since April, with 2,297 new infections, according to the Robert Koch Institute for disease control.

– Iran deaths top 24,000 –

The death toll in Iran from the virus reaches 24,118, the health ministry says, blaming reduced use of face masks by the public.

Since late February, the Islamic Republic has been battling the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak of Covid-19 and infections and deaths have been on a rising trajectory this month.

– Canada opposition leader tests positive –

Canada’s conservative opposition leader Erin O’Toole tests positive for the virus, his office announces, a day after another federal party leader did too. According to statements both O’Toole and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet are “feeling well”.

– Rio football fans -authorise

Rio de Janeiro says it will authorise football fans to return to stadiums from October 4, after a six-month hiatus for the pandemic. Fans will be required to wear face masks and undergo temperature checks at the entrance, and ticket sales will be online.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella says the city will allow up to 20,000 fans at the first match, to be played at the legendary Maracana stadium between Flamengo and Athletico Paranaense, but the decision still needs a green light from the Brazilian Football Confederation.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

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Homes burned as winds push California fire into desert floor

Photo: The Canadian Press

Members of a Los Angeles County Fire crew make a stand to protect a home from the advancing Bobcat Fire Friday.

Strong winds pushed a wildfire burning for nearly two weeks in mountains northeast of Los Angeles onto the desert floor and spread it rapidly in several directions, causing it to explode in size and destroy homes, officials said Saturday.

Meanwhile, officials were investigating the death of a firefighter on the lines of another Southern California wildfire that erupted earlier this month from a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender.

The death occurred Thursday in San Bernardino National Forest as crews battled the El Dorado Fire about 120 kilometres east of Los Angeles, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.

In northern Los Angeles County, erratic winds pushed the Bobcat Fire onto the Mojave Desert community of Juniper Hills on Friday after churning all the way across the San Gabriel Mountains. The winds and thick smoke over the area grounded water-dropping aircraft most of the day. Meanwhile, crews on the ground shifted from attacking the blaze to protecting homes because they were “outflanked” by the flames, fire spokeswoman Kerry Gillibrand said.

The fire grew by nearly 20,000 acres to 368 square kilometres.

Some residents in Juniper Hills fled as blowing embers sparked spot fires, hitting some homes but sparing others. Bridget Lensing said she feared her family’s house was lost after seeing on Twitter that a neighbour’s house three doors down went up in flames.

“The past year, I poured my heart and soul into improving this home,” Lensing said. “And it could be ripped away so quickly.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how many homes were burned in the area about 80 kilometres northeast of downtown LA. A crew will assess damages once the area is cleared of danger, said fire spokesman Sky Cornell. No injuries were reported.

He said crews will take advantage of slightly cooler temperatures to make headway on Saturday. However, winds were expected to remain strong with possible gusts of up to 40 km/h.

On the south side of the blaze, firefighters continued to protect Mount Wilson, which overlooks greater Los Angeles and has a historic observatory founded more than a century ago and numerous broadcast antennas serving Southern California.

The fire that started Sept. 6 had already doubled in size over the last week. It is 15% contained.

Officials said the fire has been challenging because it is burning in areas that have not burned in decades, and because the firestorms across California have limited resources. There were about 1,660 firefighters on the lines.

The name of the firefighter killed in the nearby El Dorado Fire was being withheld until family members are notified.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time,” Forest Service spokesperson Zach Behrens said in the statement.

No other information was released about the firefighter, the agency the firefighter worked for, or the circumstances of the death. The body was escorted down the mountain in a procession of first-responder vehicles.

A statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said it was the 26th death involving wildfires besieging the state.

A new blaze sparked by a vehicle that caught fire was growing in wilderness outside Palm Springs.

To the north, a fire burning for nearly a month in Sequoia National Forest roared to life again Friday and prompted evacuation orders for the central California mountain communities of Silver City and Mineral King.

More than 7,900 wildfires have burned more than 14,164 square kilometres in California this year, including many since a mid-August barrage of dry lightning ignited parched vegetation.

The El Dorado Fire has burned more than 89 square kilometres and was 59% contained, with 10 buildings destroyed and six damaged.

Cal Fire said earlier this month that the El Dorado Fire was ignited Sept. 5 when a couple, their young children and someone there to record video staged the baby gender reveal at El Dorado Ranch Park at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains.

The device was set off in a field and quickly ignited dry grass. The couple frantically tried to use bottled water to extinguish the flames and called 911.

Authorities have not released the identities of the couple, who could face criminal charges and be held liable for the cost of fighting the fire.

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Valley transmission rate among world’s best | News | pentictonherald.ca

A mid-month rise in COVID-19 cases can be traced back to British Columbians getting a little too close to one another over the Labour Day weekend, health officials say.

Another 139 cases, only three of which were in the region served by Interior Health, were announced province-wide between Thursday and Friday.

Since Sept. 15, the average number of new daily cases has been 153.

In the first two weeks of the month, the average daily number of new cases was 108.

“The cases we are seeing today are a direct result of how we spent our Labour Day long weekend. Let’s break the chain of transmission and turn this trend around,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a joint Friday statement.

“No one intends to pass the virus onto friends or family, but it is very easy to do. It can take up to two weeks for symptoms of COVID-19 to develop and, in that time, we can inadvertently spread it to others.”

As of Friday, there were 1,803 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and another 3,075 who are under active public health monitoring because of their identified exposure to someone known to be infected.

Hospitalizations rose two, to 59, and 20 of them are in intensive care.

Across the province, 7,842 British Columbians have now been infected since the start of the pandemic, including 492 in the Interior Health region.

A total of 220 people have died in B.C. from COVID-19; two of those deaths occurred in the region served by Interior Health.

B.C. vs. Canada

A total of 330 people across the Okanagan have been infected by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, new figures from the government indicate.

That number represents 0.08 per cent of the region’s population of 377,000 people.

In the past two weeks, 13 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Okanagan.

The rate of transmission in the Valley is now among the province’s lowest, behind the West Kootenays and northwest B.C., and far below the rates being experienced in Vancouver and Surrey.

Every Thursday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control produces a surveillance report covering a variety of COVID-19 data with infection statistics broken down by geography, patient age and likelihood of hospitalization.

The most recent report provides some context to the scope and effect of the pandemic beyond the daily case counts provided by Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

What often attracts the most media and public attention is the rising number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

Between Sept. 11 and Sept. 17, 833 new cases were confirmed provincewide, compared to 789 in the previous one-week period.

And the number of active COVID-19 cases across the province also rose in the past two weeks, from 1,412 to 1,705.

That number has been rising steadily since mid-July, and is now more than three times higher than active case counts in March, before the start of near-lockdown provisions ordered by the government.

But the surveillance reports also contain information that, while perhaps not reassuring exactly, give a fuller picture of how the pandemic is affecting British Columbians.

Here are some other highlights from this week’s COVID-19 surveillance report, with numbers accurate to Thursday:

— Cases have surged among people aged between 20 and 40, with that group now accounting for 44 per cent of all COVID-19 infections in B.C.

But only 10 per cent of British Columbians who’ve been hospitalized for the disease have been between 20 and 40, and no one in this age range has died of the disease.

Those numbers reflect the fact that reasonably healthy young people are simply much less likely to become seriously ill if they catch COVID-19.

— There are almost one million children and teenagers under 19 in B.C., but only 605 of them have caught COVID-19. That represents 0.06 per cent of the population group. Of the 605 children or teens who were infected, only five were hospitalized, none were treated in intensive care, and all have recovered.

— Of the 219 British Columbians who died of COVID-19 from the onset of the pandemic until this past Thursday, 28 per cent were over the age of 90, 69 per cent were over age 80, and 88 per cent were over age 70.

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Kegs tapped in Munich pubs for mini-Oktoberfest in shadow of COVID-19

MUNICH (Reuters) – Innkeepers in Munich tapped their barrels on Saturday for revellers determined to make the most of a scaled-down Oktoberfest after the world’s biggest beer festival was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The specially brewed beer started flowing at midday at 54 pubs with locals in traditional lederhosen and dirndls sitting at spread out tables and, where possible, outside.

“It is a great alternative because at last we can celebrate the Oktoberfest a bit. It’s not the same as usual, but still,” said Christine Bachmeier, smiling at a table laden with litre glasses of beer at the famous Hofbraeuhaus.

However, it is a far cry from the six million visitors from all over the world who usually flock to the Bavarian capital to squeeze into tents with long wooden tables and benches to swig beer and sing and sway to catchy oompah band tunes.

Each year, the partygoers consume more than 7 million litres of beer, more than 100 oxen and half a million chickens.

The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 in honour of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage and now it typically brings Munich some 1.2 billion euros in annual revenues, though not this year.

Still, in the pubs and sun-drenched gardens hosting the mini-Oktoberfest, guests put on a brave face.

“It’s the best we can do in corona times,” said visitor Harald Posler.

A spike in infections in Munich has increased worries about the coronavirus.

Although Germany has kept the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths lower than many of its European neighbours, the number of infections rose on Saturday by 2,297, the highest daily increase since the end of April, the Robert Koch Institute said.

That brings Germany’s total tally of cases to 270,070, with 9,384 deaths, including six new fatalities reported on Saturday.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Gareth Jones

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13 Rugby World Cup winners, 32 Boks in total to feature in Springbok Showdown

  • A draft squad of 93 players has been named for the Springbok Showdown set for Newlands on 3 October.
  • The squad will be trimmed to 50 players next week.
  • 13 Springboks who featured in the Rugby World Cup, including captain Siya Kolisi will feature in the unique event.

SA Rugby has released the name of the players that will form part of the draft squad for the upcoming Springbok Showdown set for Newlands in Cape Town on 3 October. 

From this initial 93-player draft squad, which includes 32 capped Springboks, 13 of whom played in the Rugby World Cup in 2019, 50 players will be picked for the encounter to form part of the Green and Gold teams.

The draft squad also includes a number of Blitzboks as well as Junior Boks.

The Green team will be coached by Mzwandile Stick, with Rassie Erasmus as team commissioner, while Deon Davids and Jacques Nienaber will be in charge of the Gold squad.

The players, all of whom are based in South Africa, will be drafted into two squads of 25 each by the respective team commissioners and coaches, with equal representation amongst all positions.

Furthermore, each squad will be augmented by seven rookies, all of whom will return to their provinces the day before the match if they are not required to step into either squad as replacements.

The draft picks will take place live on SuperSport on Friday, 25 September, and the squads will gather in Cape Town on Sunday, 27 September.

“We’ve cast the net very wide for this match, which is a very exciting prospect – as Springbok coaches, we can’t wait to start working with the players,” said Erasmus.

“To make this a meaningful exercise, the match-day squads will be only 25 players, but we’ve decided to increase each squad with the seven young guns for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, we have to make provision should squad members pick up injuries or become ill and have to be replaced, in line with Covid-19 regulations.

“This match also provides us with a great opportunity for our younger players to rub shoulders with more experienced Springboks, especially since many of them missed out on Junior Springbok representation this year.”

The younger players on the list have been part of SA Rugby’s Elite Player Development (EPD) programme in the last couple of years while Erasmus explained that the others were identified during Super Rugby and the PRO14 earlier in the year, and last year’s Currie Cup,  

A total of 32 players featured for the Junior Springboks between 2016 and 2019, which Erasmus was particularly pleased about.

“Even if they don’t make the final squads, it shows that our pathway from junior to senior level – as part of the EPD programme – works very well and it was especially exciting to see many of these players getting opportunities at franchise level in the last two seasons,” said Erasmus.

A number of players who are currently injured were not considered for the match, including World Rugby and SA Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit, as well as RWC-winner Sbu Nkosi and Aphelele Fassi, both of whom were in good form for the Cell C Sharks earlier in the year.

Erasmus added: “This draft list is very dynamic and we’re working closely with the unions to determine players’ availability, so it’s not impossible that the names can still change before Friday, when we do the actual picks.”

Springbok Showdown draft squad:

Props: Frans Malherbe*, Thomas du Toit*, Steven Kitshoff*, Trevor Nyakane*, Lizo Gqoboka^, Ox Nche^, Marcel van der Merwe^, Ruan Dreyer^, Dylan Smith, Carlu Sadie, Gerhard Steenekamp, Luan de Bruin, Sti Sithole, Nathan McBeth, Mzamo Majola, Johannes Jonker, John-Hubert Meyer.

Hookers:  Bongi Mbonambi*, Scarra Ntubeni^, Dylan Richardson, Johan Grobbelaar, Schalk Erasmus, Fez Mbatha, Dan Jooste.

Locks:  Jason Jenkins^, Marvin Orie^, Oupa Mohoje^, JD Schickerling, Emile van Heerden, Le Roux Roets, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Salmaan Moerat, Sintu Manjezi, Walt Steenkamp, Reinhard Nothnagel, Ruan Vermaak, Ruben Schoeman.

Looseforwards:  Siya Kolisi*, Duane Vermeulen*, Sikhumbuzo Notshe^, Arno Botha^, Marco van Staden^, Nizaam Carr^, Jaco Kriel^, Ernst van Rhyn, Celimpilo Gumede, Jaco Coetzee, James Venter, Junior Pokomela, Phepsi Buthelezi, Thembelani Bholi, Vincent Tshituka, Elrigh Louw, Jeandré Rudolph, Juarno Augustus, Muller Uys, Len Massyn.

Scrumhalves:  Herschel Jantjies*, Embrose Papier^, Ivan van Zyl^, Jaden Hendrikse, Sanele Nohamba.

Flyhalves:  Elton Jantjies*, Damian Willemse*, Curwin Bosch^, George Whitehead, Kade Wolhuter, Manie Libbok.

Centres:  Frans Steyn*, Lukhanyo Am*, Burger Odendaal, Jeremy Ward, Clinton Swart, Manuel Rass, Marius Louw, Rikus Pretorius, Wandisile Simelane, Werner Kok, Dan du Plessis, Ruhan Nel.

Outside backs:  Warrick Gelant*, Travis Ismaiel^, Cornal Hendricks^, Courtnall Skosan^, Rabz Maxwane, Rosko Specman, Seabelo Senatla, Sergeal Petersen, Yaw Penxe, David Kriel, Gianni Lombard, Malcolm Jaer.

denotes Springbok RWC squad members

^ denotes capped Springbok Test players

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Why ‘NCIS’ Season 18 Will Be a Little More Unique Than You Believe

Television is up and running again, and we couldn’t be more fired up. After production was closed down back in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, fans of the long-running police procedural program NCIS were left missing 4 episodes of the 17 th season. Now, six months later on, the show’s cast and crew are finally back to filming their 18 th season, which is expected to get right where they ended.

The cast and team of NCIS have more to be thrilled about than just returning after a 6-month hiatus. The program’s 18 th season will also consist of the 400 th episode– a huge turning point! Here’s what we understand to get you pumped for the upcoming season.

Pauley Perrette and David McCallum|Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

NCIS is one of the longest-running programs of all time

Following closely behind Law & Order: Special Victims System, NCIS is currently the second-longest-running non-animated primetime television series on the air. With 17 years under its belt and still running strong, the police procedural drama follows a group of special representatives with the Naval Wrongdoer Investigative Service, led by Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon), while they solve criminal activities.

Even though NCIS has been on for 17 years, the show’s scores have still held strong the entire time. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, audiences have actually been able to see re-runs on CBS but, now that recording has actually finally begun up again, we ideally just have to wait a couple of more months to see brand-new episodes.

NCIS will air its 400 th episode this season

RELATED: ‘NCIS’ Season 18: Cote de Pablo Supposedly Isn’t Returning, However Here’s Why Fans Might See More of Ziva David

Now heading into its 18 th season, NCIS will strike a milestone early on. The second episode of season 18 will be the program’s 400 th episode. And while it technically must have happened already (thanks to the shut-downs), the cast and crew couldn’t be more excited to hit such a huge milestone.

TELEVISION Expert reports that the 400 th episode will be a huge one. Reported to be focused around a Gibbs and Ducky (played by David McCallum) origin story of sorts, something that fans have longed to see given that the show’s beginnings.

What do we understand about NCIS season 18?

Cast member Wilmer Valderrama shared a picture on his Instagram page of the cast’s very first table read for season18 While done essentially, he shared that the table read seemed like “the beginning of a roadway to progression, as we get closer to bringing our show back to your homes.” As the tv and movie industries continue to navigate this uncharted scenario, we’re eagerly anticipating seeing the innovative solutions they come up with to make the program go on.

One thing we know about the upcoming season is that star Maria Bello, who plays forensic psychologist Jack Sloane, is set to leave the series after eight episodes. Bello has actually been on NCIS because2017

Very little else has been released about the show’s upcoming 18 th season, but fans are demanding information. Recording started on September 9th and the program is anticipated to return with new episodes airing beginning in November. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for a safe and healthy production schedule.

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Em Flor do Caribe, Cassiano é abatido em pleno voo: ‘É para o chão que vamos’

Cassino (Henri Castelli) escapará das minas de dom Rafael (César Troncoso) em grande estilo em Flor do Caribe. O militar roubará um avião, mas o pai de Cristal (Moro Anghileri) acertará o tanque da aeronave com um tiro certeiro– o irmão de Taís (Débora Nascimento) será obrigado a fazer um pouso forçado em um pântano.

A esta altura, o personagem de Henri Castelli já terá se pirulitado pelas inúmeras passagens no garimpo de pedras preciosas. “Como escaparam? Esse grupo se espalha na mata e esse outro vem comigo. Fechem o cerco. Daqui só há uma maneira de escaparem, de avião”, exigirá o marido de Amparo (Martha Nieto).

A primary ideia do filho de Olívia (Bete Mendes), aliás, será colocar as suas mãos no jato particular do vilão. Ele mostrará um mapa ao colega de cárcere com a localização exata da pista clandestina que o bandido mantém no meio da floresta.

Os dois vão caminhar por horas a fio dentro dos bosques até finalmente darem de cara com o meio de transporte nas cenas que serão exibidas a partir do próximo dia19 “Olha o nosso bichinho ali, e nada dos gorilas. Vamos”, celebrará o aeronauta.

Rasteira do destino

Cassiano terá pace apenas para ligar o avião antes que Rafael e seus capangas surjam armados até os dentes. Eles não terão a menor dó de atirar contra o aeroplano. “Se acontecer alguma coisa, Duque, você já foi o melhor amigo que eu já tive”, dirá o rapaz prestes a decolar.

” Meu Deus, estou com um brasileiro completamente louco”, comentará o malandro interpretado por Jean Pierre Noher, afundado em sua poltrona. O filho de Olívia (Bete Mendes), porém, fará o trapaceiro pagar a língua ao conseguir desviar dos bandidos e partir pelos ares.

Já nas alturas, porém, ele perceberá que há algo de errado. “Acertaram o motor? Isso significa que nós vamos descer?”, se assustará o avô de Amaralina (Sthefany Brito). “Não tenha dúvida, é para o chão que nós vamos. Mas em grande estilo”, assegurará o “ás dos ares” na produção.

Com a estreia de Nos Tempos do Imperador adiada para 2021, a Globo definiu a reprise de Flor do Caribe como substituta da reapresentação de Novo Mundo. Além dos spoilers, o Notícias da TV publica diariamente o resumo da novela das seis que a Globo reprisa devido à pandemia de coronavírus (Covid-19).

© 2020 Notícias da TV

Streaming in Canada on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Crave, Disney+ and Netflix [September 14-20]

Every week, MobileSyrup goes over some of the most notable movies and TV shows that recently hit Canadian streaming platforms.

Our ‘Streaming in Canada’ column typically focuses on new content from Amazon Prime Video Canada, Crave and Netflix Canada, but other services like Apple TV+ and Disney+ will be mentioned when relevant.

We’ll also highlight shows or movies that are made in Canada, involve notable Canadian cast or crew and/or are filmed in Canada.

Finally, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing movies to hit digital platforms much sooner than planned, we’ll make note of any major films that fall into this category when applicable.


Amazon Prime Video

Golden Girls (full series)

The Golden Girls Were Shady As Hell // Streaming now on @PrimeVideoCA pic.twitter.com/TvDbWELuKP

— BuzzFeed Canada (@BuzzFeedCanada) September 14, 2020

To celebrate The Golden Girls‘ 35th anniversary, Amazon Prime Video Canada is now streaming all seven seasons of the acclaimed sitcom.

The series follows elderly friends who live together in Miami, Florida.

The Golden Girls was created by Susan Harris (Soap) and stars Bea Arthur (Maude), Betty White (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Rue McClanahan (Maude) and Estelle Getty (Nurses).

Original TV broadcast run: September 1985 to May 1992
Amazon Prime Video Canada release date:
September 14th, 2020
Genre: Sitcom
Runtime: 180 episodes (around 22 to 24 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream all episodes of The Golden Girls here.

Amazon Prime Video is included at no additional cost in a $79 CAD/year Amazon Prime subscription.

The full list of movies and shows that are coming to Amazon Prime Video Canada this month can be found here.


Apple TV+

Long Way Up [Apple Original]

Ewan McGregor (Fargo) and his friend Charley Boorman (Long Way Down) reunite for another road trip. This time, they travel across South and Central America on prototype electric Harley Davidsons.

Apple TV+ Canada release date: September 18th, 2020 (first three episodes, new episodes every Friday)
Genre: Reality
Runtime: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream Long Way Up here.

An Apple TV+ subscription costs $5.99/month in Canada.


Crave

And the Birds Rained Down

A group of seniors reside in the wilderness until their lives are upended by a forest fire and death of their leader.

Adapted by Clair, New Brunswick’s Jocelyne Saucier’s book of the same name, And the Birds Rained Down was directed by Montreal’s Louise Archambault (Gabrielle) and stars Jonquière, Quebec’s Rémy Girard (Incendies), Montreal’s Gilbert Sicotte (The Salesman) and Montreal’s Andrée Lachapelle (Don’t Let the Angels Fall).

It’s worth noting that the film was shot around Quebec.

Original theatrical release: September 2019
Crave release date: September 14th, 2020
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 2 hours, 7 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88 percent (based on 17 reviews)

Stream And the Birds Rained Down here. Note that a $19.98/month Crave + Movies + HBO subscription is required.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Season 5)

In the fifth season of Arrowverse’s wackiest superhero show, the time-travelling Legends must save the universe from The Fates and the villainous historical figures they’re resurrecting.

Based on characters from DC comic books, Legends of Tomorrow was created by Arrow’s Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg with Phil Klemmer (The Tomorrow People) and features an ensemble cast that includes Caity Lotz (Mad Men), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), Nick Zano (2 Broke Girls), Tala Ashe (Smash) and Matt Ryan (Constantine).

It’s worth noting the series is filmed in Vancouver alongside fellow Arrowverse shows Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Batwoman.

It’s important to keep in mind that “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the big Arrowverse crossover event which heavily ties into Arrow Season 8, was spread across several DC shows. Therefore, you won’t be able to watch all of ‘Crisis’ through Crave.

For context:

  • Part 1: Supergirl (not yet on Netflix Canada)
  • Part 2: Batwoman (not streaming in Canada)
  • Part 3: Flash (streaming on Netflix Canada)
  • Part 4: Arrow (streaming on Crave)
  • Part 5: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (now on Crave)

Original TV broadcast run: January to June 2020
Crave release date: September 18th, 2020
Genre: Superhero
Runtime: 15 episodes (about 43 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent (based on 13 reviews)

Stream DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Season 5) here.

Sailor Moon (full series)

Fighting evil by moonlight.#SailorMoon is now streaming on Crave. pic.twitter.com/CgKl1OnXN4

— Crave (@CraveCanada) September 18, 2020

Crave isn’t really known for anime, but — seemingly out of nowhere — it’s now streaming all of the (uncut) episodes of one of the most iconic Japanese animation series — Sailor Moon.

The show follows a clumsy but kindhearted teenage girl who transforms into a powerful hero named Sailor Moon and teams up with other Sailor Guardians to protect the universe from evil.

Note that Crave only supports Viz Media’s English dub, which includes the voices of Stephanie Sheh (Your Name), Michelle Ruff (Sword Art Online) and Robbie Daymond (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure).

Original TV broadcast run: March 1992 to February 1997
Crave release date: September 18th, 2020
Genre: Anime
Runtime: 200 episodes (about 24 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream Sailor Moon here.

Spies in Disguise

A super spy gets accidentally turned into a pigeon by a scientist, forcing them to work together to stop a cyberterrorist and return the agent to his human form.

Spies in Disguise was directed by Troy Quane (Osmosis Jones) and Nick Bruno (Ice Age franchise) and features the voices of Will Smith (Ali) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Far From Home).

Original theatrical release date: December 25th, 2019
Crave release date: September 18th, 2020
Genre: Animation
Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes score: 75 percent (based on 118 reviews)

Stream Spies in Disguise here. Note that a $19.98/month Crave + Movies + HBO subscription is required.

The Third Day

A man and woman make separate journeys to a mysterious island off of Britain’s coast.

The Third Day was created by Dennis Kelly (Matilda the Musical) and Felix Barrett (artistic director of the Punchdrunk theatre company) and stars Jude Law (The New Pope), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts franchise).

Crave/HBO Canada release date: September 14th, 2020 (first episode, new episodes every Monday at 9pm ET)
Genre: Drama
Runtime: Six episodes (about one hour each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 74 percent (based on 34 reviews)

Stream The Third Day here. Note that a $19.98/month Crave + Movies + HBO subscription is required.

We Are Who We Are

Two American teenagers try to discover themselves while living on a military base in a seaside town in Italy.

We Are Who We Are was co-created, written and directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and stars Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!), Jordan Kristine Seamón (debut role), Chloë Sevigny (American Horror Story) and Alice Braga (Queen of the South).

Crave/HBO Canada release date: September 14th, 2020 (first episode, new episodes every Monday at 10pm ET)
Genre: Drama
Runtime: Eight episodes (about one hour each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 85 percent (based on 26 reviews)

Stream We Are Who We Are here. Note that a $19.98/month Crave + Movies + HBO subscription is required.

A standard Crave subscription costs $9.99/month, with Starz adding another $5.99/month and HBO an additional $9.99/month.

The full list of movies and shows that are coming to Crave this month can be found here.


Disney+

Becoming [Disney+ Original]

From executive producer and NBA superstar LeBron James comes this docuseries about the origin stories of entertainers and athletes, as told by them.

Some of the featured stars include Julianne Hough (Dancing With the Stars), Caleb McLoughlin (Stranger Things), Adam DeVine (Workaholics) and Ashley Tisdale (High School Music).

Disney+ Canada release date: September 18th, 2020 (all episodes)
Genre: Docuseries
Runtime: 10 episodes (around 25 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream Becoming here.

A Disney+ subscription costs $8.99/month or $89.99/year in Canada.

The full list of movies and shows that are coming to Disney+ Canada this month can be found here.

While not a new Disney+ series this week, it’s also worth noting that Regina’s own Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) was cast this week as She-Hulk, the lead in Marvel’s TV series of the same name for Disney+, tentatively set to premiere in 2022.


Netflix

Close Enough [Netflix Original]

While many HBO Max series go to Crave in Canada through Warner Media’s exclusive deal with Bell, the U.S.-only streaming service’s Close Enough is now on Netflix Canada.

The series is centred around a millennial couple who live with their five-year-old daughter and their divorced friends in Los Angeles.

Close Enough was created by J. G. Quintel (The Regular Show) and features the voices of Quintel, Gabrielle Walsh (Shameless), Jessica DiCicco (Adventure Time) and Jason Mantzoukas (Big Mouth).

HBO Max premiere date: July 9th, 2020 (U.S. only)
Netflix Canada release date:
September 14th, 2020
Genre: Docuseries
Runtime: Eight episodes (22 to 24 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent (based on 13 reviews)

Stream Close Enough here.

Criminal: UK (Season 2) [Netflix Original]

The second season of Netflix’s international anthology crime series features a new set of investigators and criminals, this time starring Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda).

Criminal: UK was created by George Kay (Killing Eve) and Jim Field Smith (Butter).

Netflix Canada release date: September 16th, 2020
Genre: Police procedural
Runtime: Four episodes (42 to 48 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream Criminal: UK (Season 2) here.

The Devil All The Time [Netflix Original]

A group of disturbed people deal with the damage war has brought upon them in a town filled with corruption and brutality.

Based on Donald Ray Pollock’s 2011 book of the same name, The Devil All The Time was co-written and directed by Antonio Campos (Christine) and features an ensemble cast that includes Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: Civil War), Bill Skarsgård (It) and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland).

Netflix Canada release date: September 16th, 2020
Genre: Psychological thriller
Runtime: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes score: 66 percent (based on 114 reviews)

Stream The Devil All The Time here.

Dragon’s Dogma [Netflix Original]

A resurrected warrior sets out to kill the Dragon that took his heart, but his humanity starts to further slip away throughout his journey.

Dragon’s Dogma is based on Capcom’s 2012 action role-playing game of the same name and features both English and Japanese voiceover.

Netflix Canada release date: September 17th, 2020
Genre: Anime
Runtime: Seven episodes (19 to 32 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream Dragon’s Dogma here.

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous

This animated series is set during the events of Jurassic World and follows six teenagers who are stranded on Isla Nuba with multiple dinosaurs.

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous was created by Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class) and features the voices of Paul-Mikél Williams (Sydney to the Max), Jenna Ortega (You), Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6) and Jameela Jamil (The Good Place).

Netflix Canada release date: September 18th, 2020
Genre: Animation
Runtime: Eight episodes (24 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Stream Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous here.

Ratched [Netflix Original]

Ratched chronicles the dark origins of the nurse character of the same name from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

The series was created by Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) and Evan Romansky (first project) and stars Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story), Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story) and Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives).

Netflix Canada release date: September 18th, 2020
Genre: Psychological thriller
Runtime: Eight episodes (46 to 59 minutes each)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 61 percent (based on 56 reviews)

Stream Ratched here.

A ‘Basic’ Netflix subscription costs $9.99/month, a ‘Standard’ subscription (HD-supported) costs $13.99/month and a ‘Premium’ membership is priced at $16.99/month (4K-supported).

The full list of movies and shows that are coming to Netflix Canada this month can be found here.


What are you looking to stream this week? Let us know in the comments.

For more recommendations, check out last week’s Streaming in Canada column here.

Image credit: Netflix

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