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Editor’s Note: Here below is a list of the main issues currently under discussion in New Zealand and links to media coverage.

Today’s content

Election
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): The gaping hole at the heart of the 2020 election campaign
Luke Malpass (Stuff): National tries to deal itself in, but Jacinda Ardern has all the momentum
Dan Satherley and Conor Whitten (Newshub): Auckland Central poll puts Labour’s Helen White way out in front
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): New poll results are in for the hotly contested Auckland Central seat, here’s who’s in front
RNZ: Auckland Central poll results out: Who’s in front?
Chris Trotter (Interest): With Auckland Central apparently set to tumble back into Labour’s arms, can the Greens can reach the 5% MMP threshold?
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Newshub Nation – Auckland Central Poll upset – Chloe running 3rd
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Emma Mellow: From humble beginnings to standing for National in Auckland Central
Ensemble: Where Auckland Central candidates like to spend their time (and money)
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub Nation): Shane Jones concedes NZ First can’t rely on Northland seat, vows to kill off Green Party
Dan Satherley (Newshub Nation): Shane Jones voting ‘no’ because the Greens are voting ‘yes’
Denise Piper (Stuff): How poor, rural Northland could decide the election
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Measuring the political pulse of Te Tai Tokerau voters
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Labour and NZ First at war over Wairarapa as Ron Mark calls out ‘cocky’, ‘arrogant’ opponent Kieran McAnulty
Karl du Fresne: Is the public bankrolling Labour’s bid to reclaim Wairarapa? It certainly looks that way
Amelia Wade (Herald): Jacinda Ardern rides shotgun in Labour’s play for Wairarapa
1News: Labour hoping for political upset in Wairarapa electorate
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor calls for line in the sand over foreign ownership
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): ‘F’ words key to economic development in West Coast-Tasman: O’Connor
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Why your vote in Wellington counts
Gavin Ogden (Herald): Local Focus: Which East Coast candidate supports workers and which supports bosses?
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Two valleys, similar needs, shouting to be heard
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Claire Robinson (Guardian): New Zealanders want small parties at the political table, but the system is stacked against them (paywalled)
Newshub: Election delay will benefit National, smaller parties – expert
Newstalk ZB: Election campaign focuses on post-Covid economy
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Week in Politics: Recession fires up the campaign
Brent Edwards (NBR): Fact or Fiction: Deep recession, tax stimulus and Judith Collins’ style (paywalled)
Ben Thomas (Herald): Fiscal prudence takes a back seat in this campaign (paywalled)
Aaron Leaman (Waikato Times): From Waikato to the world: the rise of Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says public ‘difficult to control’ after being accused of breaking distancing rules
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): David Seymour criticises Jacinda Ardern’s lack of social distancing in selfie while on the campaign trail
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Cyclist says National campaigners caused ‘near miss’ at busy roundabout, but MP Alfred Ngaro says there was nothing to worry about
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Simon Collins (Herald): What’s the plan to teach our young people? Education policies compared (paywalled)
Julie Iles (NBR): International students big point of difference for political parties (paywalled)
Emma Russell (Herald): Māori Party’s health policy – Addressing ‘the inconvenient truth’
Simon Wilson (Herald): What that crash on the Harbour Bridge really means (paywalled)
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): Trash talk from the politicians
Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): TOP leader Geoff Simmons chips controversial golf course idea back from the rough
Dave Macpherson: Right-wing party puts more thought into Mental Health Policy than the others….
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Eugene Bingham and Adam Dudding (Stuff): Tick. Tick Podcast: What to expect in Jacinda Ardern v Judith Collins debates
RNZ: The Detail: The drama of the TV election debate
Michael Pulman (RNZ): TVNZ to provide live sign language for major political debates
1News: More than 2,800 places to vote in election, including a Te Reo Māori venue
RNZ: Electoral commission confirms voting place locations
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Electoral Commission releases full candidate, party lists

National
Claire Trevett (Herald): National Party campaign hit by Grant Robertson torpedo (paywalled)
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): The launch that fell down a four-billion-dollar fiscal hole
Jason Walls (Herald): National’s $4 billion error overshadows party’s ‘slick’ virtual campaign launch
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Self-inflicted wound stops National in its tracks (paywalled)
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): National’s fiscal stumble blunts campaign launch
Jo Moir (RNZ): National Party admits $4 billion hole in their promised spending
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Covid-19 alert level decision may spare National some shame
Luke Malpass (Stuff): ‘Fair cop’ – National’s Paul Goldsmith admits to accounting mistake as Labour points out $4b hole
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Is there a $4 billion hole in National’s alternative Budget?
Jason Walls (Herald): New fiscal hole? Labour accuses National of ‘basic error’ in its numbers
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): National’s ‘$4 billion gap’ calls into question if it could run economy – Grant Robertson
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Judith Collins dismisses ‘$4 billion gap’ as ‘entirely inconsequential’, says Jacinda Ardern should apologise
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Paul Goldsmith calls ‘$4 billion gap’ in National’s fiscal plan ‘irritating mistake’
Anna Whyte (1News): National calls $4 billion gap in fiscal plan an ‘irritating mistake’
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Jason Walls (Herald):Judith Collins in ‘bittersweet’ campaign launch, attacks Labour as ‘erratic’ and ‘lazy’
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Judith Collins unleashes in National’s ‘telethon’ campaign launch
Anna Whyte (1News): Collins promises to not ‘sugar-coat things’ in National’s campaign launch
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Judith Collins’ full speech at National’s campaign launch
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Audrey Young (Herald): Time for Judith Collins to reset her leadership (paywalled)
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): National raids the Covid piggy bank to deliver middle class tax cuts
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): National’s 16-month income tax cut could do more to boost high income earners’ bank balances than get people out spending
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Nats find their fiscal sweet spot: the household wallet (paywalled)
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): National’s tax plan so cynical it just might work (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): National tax cuts finally brings some decent meat to the BBQ
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Tax cuts at a cost in Paul Goldsmith’s mother of alternative budgets
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): National takes a gamble on tax
Stuff Editorial: Can tax cuts reverse National’s fortunes?
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Free money for all under National – irresistible or irresponsible?
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): National’s $2.15 billion business tax break policy ‘savvy’, says tax specialist
RNZ: National’s tax cuts: Too much and not enough – critics
Newstalk ZB: Economist Cameron Bagrie on how National’s tax policy stacks up
1News: Q+A: National defends targeting middle-income earners with 16-month tax relief
Jane Patterson (RNZ): National promises $4.7bn in tax cuts in economic and tax policy
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): National’s tax plan: What would it mean for you?
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s promising tax cuts, so how would they affect you?
Zane Small (Newshub): National promises 16-month tax cuts if elected, ‘$3000 into back pockets of average earners’
Anna Whyte (1News): National promises to slash income tax for 16 months to boost spending, if elected
Brent Edwards (NBR): National promises tax relief through lifting thresholds (paywalled)
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): National dangles short-term tax cuts for workers, business (paywalled)
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand National party promises ‘significant’ tax cuts to aid Covid recovery
Newstalk ZB: Judith Collins unleashes her vision for NZ’s economic recovery
Newstalk ZB: Paul Goldsmith: ‘You can’t tax your way out of a recession’
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Jason Walls (Herald): National’s tax cut plan ‘desperate, reckless and ill-thought out’ – Grant Robertson
Jason Walls (Herald): National’s tax cut plan; Ardern says Collins ‘raiding’ Covid fund
1News: Labour disparages National’s tax cut promise as ‘desperate and irresponsible’; minor parties also pile on
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern rubbishes National’s proposed tax cuts as ‘totally irresponsible’
Zane Small (Newshub): Winston Peters thinks National is trying to ‘bribe’ voters with tax cuts
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Paul Goldsmith ‘not surprised’ Labour ‘highly agitated’ over National’s proposed tax cuts
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Deena Coster (Stuff): National to repeal RMA, reverse oil and gas ban, back ‘responsible’ mining as part of ‘pragmatic’ energy policy
RNZ: National unveils energy policy that is ‘better for the environment’
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Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Judith Collins not worried about whether Dr Shane Reti wants her job
Dale Husband (E-Tangata): Harete Hipango: Not a textbook politician
Chris Bishop (Newsroom): Campaign diary no. 2

Labour
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Is the South Island being left behind by the Government
Aaron Leaman and Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): How Labour’s new tax skims cream from Waikato’s fat cats
Amelia Wade (Herald): Labour is promising more sick leave and a pay rise for 85,000 Kiwis if re-elected
Rosie Gordon (Newshub): Labour’s sick days, minimum wage increase promises see pushback from business
Georgia Forrester and Luke Malpass (Stuff): Labour pledges to increase sick leave entitlements to 10 days a year
RNZ: Labour Party promises to double sick leave and raise minimum wage
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Labour promises 10 days’ sick leave, simplified Holidays Act
1News: Labour promises to double sick leave to 10 days
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Labour promises to end tobacco excise tax hikes
Thomas Coughlan and Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour would axe Provincial Growth Fund, promising ‘focused evolution’ of regional development
1News: Labour promises $200m for regions in ‘more focussed’ fund
RNZ: Labour unveils $200m plan to help regional development
RNZ: The Elevator Pitch: Jacinda Ardern reveals who she’d poach from NZ First
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Could innovation save the economy? Jacinda Ardern tries hemp icecream in Palmerston North
Dale Husband (E-Tangata): Kiri Allan: Always raising eyebrows
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): The Sure Things: Ayesha Verrall
Deborah Russell (Newsroom) Campaign diary no. 2

Greens
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Green School previously turned down for Provincial Growth Fund cash
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): The Leaders: A green day
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Recreational fishers applaud Green Party’s fisheries policy
Jason Walls (Herald): Green party promising ‘boldest’ ocean protection plan in decades
RNZ: Green Party wants to protect 30 percent of NZ oceans
1News: Greens announce election pledge to ban bottom trawling, dredging in Hauraki Gulf
Stuff: Green Party announces raft of new ocean protection policies
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): Greens announce plan for ‘Thriving Oceans
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): The great farming divide: why the Greens could become (some) farmers’ new party
Tracy Neal (RNZ): ‘Urban food growing’ important for climate and communities – Greens
Tim Newman (Stuff): Green Party plan for regenerative farming to start from the grassroots
Jennifer Eder (Stuff): Green Party leader James Shaw tackles Marlborough issues on the campaign trail

NZ First
Tagata Pasifika: Winston Peters says mortgage repayments for Māori and Pasifika need to be 30-40% lower
Jason Walls (Herald): Winston Peters slams Labour for ‘abandoning the regions’
1News: Winston Peters storms off after reporter’s ‘defamatory question’ about racing industry donations
Duncan Garner (Newshub): Winston Peters has plummeted to a new low with latest policy
1News: Winston Peters lost for words after being asked if Jacinda Ardern is a Marxist – ‘I was never going to answer that’

ACT
Jamie Searle (Stuff): ACT: Immigration critical to build economy, create jobs for Kiwis
Mike Houlahan (ODT): ‘3 challenges’ for next govt
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): Let’s give it up for hard-working Kiwis

Advance NZ
Jane Nixon (1News): Ministry of Health to investigate new Advance NZ campaign video featuring clip of Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Victor Billot (Newsroom): A poem for .. Billy Te Kahika

New Conservatives
Richard Harman (Politik): Surging into National’s space
RNZ: New Conservatives release party list

Euthanasia  and cannabis referendums
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Why I will be voting no to euthanasia
John Moore (Stuff): We often do death badly. We needn’t.
Graham Adams (The Democracy Project): The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
RNZ: ACT leader Seymour rejects bishops’ euthanasia claims
1News: Experts discuss arguments for and against assisted dying ahead of election referendum
Andrew MacFarlane (1News): Vote Compass: High number of New Zealanders support euthanasia
Doug Lilly (ODT): Those opposing euthanasia are motivated by compassion
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1News: Q+A debate: Should cannabis be legalised?
Matt Burrows (Newshub): How the social harms of weed in NZ compare to alcohol, tobacco, other drugs

Wage subsidy, business
John Anthony (Stuff): ‘Time to tax’ big companies who made windfall off wage subsidy
Newstalk ZB: ‘Ethically wrong’ for profitable companies to not pay back wage subsidy
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Wage subsidy test case proceeds to court
Liu Chen (RNZ): Workers ‘absolutely devastated’ about The Warehouse restructure – union
1News: More job losses at The Warehouse as restructure of dozens of stores confirmed
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Kelvin Davis defends Government’s tourism funding response
Grant Bradley (Herald): Tourism Holdings defends Discover Waitomo Government grant (paywalled)
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Tourism operators keep heads above water through second Covid-19 wave, but hope of trans-Tasman bubble fades
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): More bad news for travellers as STA Travel’s debts surpass $10m

Economy
Rob Stock (Stuff): Economic crunch: Here’s what past recessions can teach us
Tim Hazeldine (BusinessDesk): There is no ‘covid fund’ (paywalled)
Michael Daly (Stuff): Impact of strict border controls ‘indefinitely’ considered by Treasury
Madison Reidy (Newshub): This recession is about more than the GDP drop and debt mountain
Damien Grant (Stuff): Treasury’s pre-election opening of the books tells an ugly story
Steven Joyce (Herald): Covid’s costs are coming home to roost (paywalled)
Jane Phare (Herald): Grey-haired and jobless: When Covid-19 demolishes your retirement plans (paywalled)
Jane Bowron (Stuff): Putting hot dinners on the table for shovel ready men?

Tax
Andrea Black (Interest): What would make the tax system fair, stable & sustainable for the next 50 years?
Scott Mason (ODT): Not many surprises in parties’ tax policies
Laura O’Connell Rapira (Spinoff): The case for tax (more of it, much more)

Coronavirus
Katarina Williams (Stuff): Police admit releasing six people’s Covid status to prospective employers through vetting service
Kim Moodie (Herald): Police shared private health details of Covid-positive people with prospective employers
Anna Whyte (1News): Police disclosing Covid-19 patient info through vetting process was ‘inappropriate’ – report
RNZ: Police apologise for revealing Covid-19 status to prospective employer
Brian Gaynor (BusinessDesk): The big trade-off: Economic activity vs lives (paywalled)
Esther Taunton (Stuff): High economic stakes for every border scenario
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): How new cases of Covid-19 might affect Auckland’s move out of level 2.5
1News: Big decisions expected today about New Zealand’s Covid-19 alert levels
Josephine Franks and Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Returnees should self-isolate after managed isolation, expert says
Kethaki Masilamani (Newshub): Fresh COVID-19 community cases lead to call for border restrictions review
1News: Man tests positive for Covid-19 after completing 14-day isolation stay with two negative tests
Jessica Wang (NewsAu): Trans-Tasman travel bubble on hold till at least March – Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran
RNZ: How far off a trans-Tasman bubble are we now?
1News: Don’t come to hui in Northland, iwi leaders warn those who went to Auckland protest

Education, child poverty
Tom McRae (Newshub): New Zealand’s children neglected by system by going to pre-school hungry – education neuroscientist
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Kindy staff forced to choose which kids get shoes: ‘How do we decide who needs it most?’
Nikki Preston (Herald): Preschool poverty: Kids turning up with no food or shoes
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Financial strain from Covid-19 leaves pupils hungry
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Conspiracy theories, poverty harming attendance in Northland
RNZ: Christchurch Māori immersion school told it will get repair not rebuild
Sela Jane Hopgood (RNZ): Funding boost for Pacific learners in regions hit by Covid-19
RNZ: Early learning centres ‘reluctant to charge any more of a fee to parents than is necessary’
Māori TV: Union urges political parties to extend pay parity to Kōhanga Reo kaiako
Grant Miller (ODT): Educators feeling the heat
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Support for legal challenge to University of Otago medical school admissions
David Farrar: The legal challenge to Otago Medical School
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Ngāti Pōrou protest through University of Waikato after racism claims
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Ngāti Porou hīkoi shows support to Māori at Waikato University

Dilworth School
Isaac Davison (Herald): Dilworth School sex abuse investigation: How the case was blown wide open (paywalled)
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): Suffer the little children as adults experimented

Te reo Māori
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Long fight for compulsory te reo lessons in school
Martin Van Beynen (Press): A word of caution about bilingualism
Carmen Parahi (Stuff): There is no shame in not being able to speak te reo Māori

Health
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Health minister planning to visit Canterbury DHB – but won’t say when
ODT Editorial: Dental health misses out, again
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Breast cancer advocates call for free mammogram age-range to be extended in NZ
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Thousands of children missed vaccinations due to Covid-19
Jehan Casinader (BusinessDesk): People who are struggling won’t always ask for help
RNZ: NZ’s largest ever medical marijuana crop gets the go-ahead

Disability
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): ‘An insult’: disability services provider fumes over tiny rise in funding
Victoria University of Wellington: Sign languages are real languages
Sophie Trigger (Stuff):‘I feel included’: How press briefings with New Zealand Sign Language are making a difference

Housing
Liam Dann (Herald): House prices rising again – that’s nuts right?
Caley Callahan (Newshub): Demand soars for Wellington property, putting pressure on renters
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): Demand for Wellington property sees largest annual increase on record
Carly Gooch (Stuff): Close to Home: Property investment no ‘free ride’

Local government
Tom Dillane (Herald): Waiheke Island ‘full of activists and lunatics’ – former Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay’s microphone blunder
Damian George (Stuff): External consultants called in to review Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme, including its ‘people and culture’
Jane Matthews (Taranaki Daily News): Stratford council to start conversations with iwi after delaying Māori representation decision
Waatea News: Maori spend attack misses mark
Mike Mather (Waikato Times): City council’s desire for diversity irks deputy mayor
Janine Rankin (Manawatū Standard): Palmerston North’s city council might be too big

Media
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Watchdog runs the numbers on Covid death claims
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Mediawatch: School sports streaming stoush still simmering
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Nicky Hager on the Julian Assange case and the NZ media coverage blackout

Telecommunications
Nicholas Pointon (RNZ): Industry body sees the bright side in ComCom’s open letter on telcos
RNZ: ‘Something needs to change’: Telcos ‘on alert’ to drop charges

Environment
Ivan Diaz-Rainey (The Conversation): New Zealand will make big banks, insurers and firms disclose their climate risk. It’s time other countries did too
Tim Hunter (NBR): A bureaucrat’s idea of climate action (paywalled)
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): One Hot Minute: ‘I was living my life like I didn’t believe in climate change’ – scientist Shaun Hendy
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Recyclers call on the Government to ban dumping of electronic waste
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Litter still tangled in the banks of Managore Stream

Justice
RNZ: Saturday Morning: Death, mana and Peter Ellis: lawyer Natalie Coates
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Justice Joe Williams on te reo Māori, and synthesising Aotearoa law

Abuse in State Care inquiry
David Cohen (RNZ): State abuse inquiry makes slow progress
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Abuse in state care: Jack Horton reveals details about his dark childhood

Migration, migrant workers
Lincoln Tan (Herald): Net migrant departures of 111,000 puts economic recovery at risk
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Backpackers with STA Travel visas plead for access to promised jobs
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Hipkins not budging on migrant workers (paywalled)
Tim O’Connell (Stuff): Tied-up fishing boats signal overseas worker crisis for industry

Matariki Awards
Māori TV: S.O.U.L named supreme award recipient at Matariki Awards
Stuff: Protectors of Ihumātao receive supreme award at Matariki Awards
Māori TV: Tā Tipene O’Regan’s lifetime achievement recognised at Matariki Awards
Māori TV: Matariki Awards recipients shine brightly on special evening

Other
Geoffrey Miller (Democracy Project): New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
Tony Burton (Democracy Project): Covid and benefit payments
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern says NZ benefits from refugee community: ‘We are the lucky ones’
RNZ: Samoa resumes repatriation flights from New Zealand
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern urged to ‘hold the Australian government accountable’ for ‘horror’ Christmas Island detention centre
RNZ: More than 2000 Aucklanders report water breaches
Māori TV: Government to provide support for planting of forests on Māori land
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): A front row seat for the gender balance evolution in the public sector
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Has the Govt done anything to close the gender pay gap?
John Gibb (ODT): Alcohol sale controls lowered assaults: study
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Caught in the middle of an alcohol monopoly, some residents say Auckland beachside community in dire need for change
Kerry Howe (Newsroom): Aotearoa: What’s in a name?
Jack Tame (Newstalk ZB): Should we change New Zealand’s name?
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Ōtautahi – the story behind Christchurch’s informal te reo name
1New: Sunday: SPCA staff facing ‘brutal’ online criticism, abuse from the public
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Gulf Livestock 1: ‘Every possibility that they are alive waiting to be rescued’

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