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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Explosions at a Syrian military airport close to DamascusExplosions at a Syrian military airport close to Damascus Explosions rocked a Syrian military airport near the capital Damascus late Saturday, with an NGO saying it was a “possible Israeli missile” but state media blaming a technical issue at a munitions depot.

    The military airport of Mazze, in the west suburbs of Damascus, was hit by a “possible Israeli missile, which hit a munitions store setting off successive explosions,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahmane told AFP.

    The airport houses Syrian Air Force intelligence, and in early 2017 the Syrian regime accused neighbouring Israel of bombing the base.

    A Syrian military source said that “the Mazze airport was not the target of Israeli aggression,” according to a Saturday report by the official Sana news agency.

    “The explosions heard were due to an explosion at a munitions deposit close to the airport which was due to an electrical short circuit,” the source said.

    Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes in Syria to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weaponry to its Lebanese enemy Hezbollah.

    It has also pledged to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and a series of strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel.

    Earlier this week, Israel reiterated its threat to hit Iranian military targets in Syria.

    “The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

    In July, Syria accused Israel of bombing a military post in the northern province of Aleppo, where the Observatory reported at least nine pro-regime fighters died.

    More than seven years since the conflict began, regime forces have managed to retake entire regions from rebels and jihadists and now control nearly two-thirds of the country.

    Syrian troops are supported military by their Russian and Iranian allies, as well as by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan militiamen.


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    Pentagon moves to scrap Pakistan aidPentagon moves to scrap Pakistan aidSays Islamabad does not support American interests Saying the country is not doing enough to control and bring to book extremists, the US is now looking at cutting aid to Pakistan. The US military plans to cancel US$300 million in aid to Pakistan due to Islamabad's lack of “decisive actions” in support of American strategy in the region, the Pentagon said Saturday.

    The US has been pushing Pakistan to crack down on militant safe havens in the country, and announced a freeze on aid at the beginning of the year that an official said could be worth almost US$2 billion.

    The defence department has sought to cut aid by US$300 million “due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy,” Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said in an email to AFP.

    “We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups,” Faulkner said, adding that the latest aid cut request was pending Congressional approval.

    Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown militant groups, and says it has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

    But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups, which attack Afghanistan from safe havens along the border between the two countries.

    The White House believes that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency and other military bodies have long helped fund and arm the Taliban for ideological reasons, but also to counter rising Indian influence in Afghanistan.

    It also believes that a Pakistani crackdown could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the long-running war in Afghanistan.

    US frustration has boiled over before: President Donald Trump's predecessor Barack Obama authorised drone strikes on Pakistani safe havens and sent US commandos to kill jihadist kingpin Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout.

    But Trump's aggressive language has especially angered Pakistani officials.

    “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the beginning of the year.

    “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

    Pakistani leaders disputed the US$33 billion figure, insisting that around half of the money relates to reimbursements, and the prime minister's office accused Trump of ignoring the great sacrifices the country has made to fight extremism.

    In March, a senior US official said that Pakistan has “done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests”, and concerns over a lack of action by Islamabad against militant groups still persist.

    The announcement came weeks after Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan took office amid concerns he would remain tolerant of terror groups including the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani network.

    Khan has repeatedly blamed Pakistan's participation in the US-led anti-terror campaign for the surge in terrorism on home soil over the last decade and has vowed to rebalance Islamabad's relationship with Washington.

    He has also shown a willingness to hold talks with militant groups and sought support from religious hardliners in the run-up to elections last July – moves that prompted critics to christen him “Taliban


    Some analysts warn there may be no real way to pressure Islamabad and say a suspension in aid could see the US lose crucial influence over Pakistan which will instead look to other countries for support, particularly its longtime ally China.

    Despite the provocations, the US does not want to completely rupture its relationship with Pakistan, where anti-American sentiment already runs high.

    Washington's footprint in Afghanistan is much smaller than it was at the height of the war, but it needs access to Pakistan's supply lines and airspace.

    Pakistan is still believed to have the strongest influence over the Taliban, making its cooperation necessary for peace



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    From street kid to pro playerFrom street kid to pro playerNigerian-born player joins NFL team Nige Obada began working as a security guard and at age 22 began playing American football. NAMPA/AFP

    Nigerian-born defensive end Efe Obada, once a homeless child on the streets of London, made NFL history on Saturday by being named to the 53-man roster of the Carolina Panthers.

    The 26-year-old defender became the first player in the NFL's International Pathway Programme, launched last year to help develop global talent, to make a team roster.

    “All the suffering paid off,” Obada said in a posting on the team website. “I've lost a lot to get here. I've had to sacrifice a lot. I've been through a lot. I want to make those people who believed in me proud.”

    It's an epic journey that began in 2002 when, at age 10, a friend of his mother brought Obada and his sister to England but left them homeless to fend for themselves.

    “This lady just left us out on the streets,” Obada told NFL UK. “It was scary and we were lonely.”

    A friendly security guard and a woman with five other children helped Obada and his sister survive for five years before social services took over, leaving Obada hopping from house to house as a teen.

    A coach in the British league helped bring Obada to the attention of NFL scouts, but he could never grab a roster spot in attempts to join the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.

    When the international programme began in 2017, the Panthers were given an extra practice squad spot for an non-US player and used it on Obada, giving him a chance to learn and develop under the watchful eyes of NFL personnel.

    That made Saturday, the NFL deadline for final roster cuts ahead of the season that starts Thursday, a crucial day for Obada, who nervously walked into the Panthers' headquarters.

    “Walking in and getting released is what I'm used to,” Obada said. “I was walking in and making eye contact with everyone. No one spoke to me. I didn't say anything to nobody. I made it to my locker and they still hadn't stopped me or said anything.”

    Still not believing he had finally made an NFL roster, Obada asked Panthers coach Ron Rivera, “Is it real?” The answer was yes.

    “I'm grateful,” Obada said. “You know when you really want something and you get it and you're like, 'Oh my goodness.'

    “I'm so happy. I'm going to enjoy this. I've been working very hard just to feel this.”

    Obada, who made a quarterback sack for the Panthers in a pre-season contest, knows that getting the job is one major feat but keeping it quite another.

    “This has changed my life. But I know that this is just the beginning,” Obada said.

    Panthers defensive coordinator Eric Washington has already warned Obada that there is plenty more work to come.

    “Coach E told me it's going to be harder to hold onto it than it was to obtain it. And I know how hard I worked to obtain it,” Obada


    “I know that because of the training here and the environment I've been in, I can go anywhere and survive. This has instilled the belief in myself that I needed.”

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    IMF supports South African land reformIMF supports South African land reform The International Monetary Fund gave its full backing to South Africa’s land reform plan on Thursday, as long as the highly contentious process is transparent and based on the constitution.

    The Fund’s senior resident representative in South Africa Montfort Mlachila told Reuters that the reform must not damage farm output to ensure South Africans continue to have reliable food supplies.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the ruling African National Congress (ANC) plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as most of it is still owned by members of the white minority.

    “We are in full support of the need to undertake land reforms in order to address the issues of inequality,” Mlachila said in an interview.

    Nearly a quarter century after the end of apartheid, the country remains racially divided and unequal, and the ANC plan aims to improve the lives of the many poor black South Africans.

    The debate erupted again last week when US President Donald Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African “land and farm seizures” and the “killing of farmers”. South Africa accused Trump of stoking racial divisions.

    Speaking at his office in Pretoria, Mlachila said the IMF was not an expert on land reform. However, he said: “There is need to have a transparent, rules-based, and constitutional process that leads to desirable outcomes. It is particularly important not to undermine agricultural production and food security.”

    Ramaphosa has said any measures would not hit economic growth or food security. No land has been “seized” since the ANC resolved to expropriate land without compensation at a party conference in December.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has also supported the programme, provided it is carried out legally.

    Commenting on the South African economy, Mlachila said the IMF was unlikely to revise its growth forecast upwards. Last month the Fund kept its prediction of 2018 growth at 1.5%.

    “Given the weaknesses in growth indicators in the second quarter of 2018, I don’t see us revising upwards,” he said, although he added that it was too early to say for definite.

    Ramaphosa’s election in February initially buoyed investors’ confidence but poor economic data, including the worst quarterly GDP contraction in nine years in the first quarter, have eroded some of the enthusiasm.

    Mlachila said South Africa was not expected to seek IMF financial support due to its deep domestic financial markets and access to international markets for financing its balance of payments and fiscal deficits.

    “We really don’t see much need for recourse to financing from the IMF,” Mlachila said.


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    Trump ready to ratchet up China trade warTrump ready to ratchet up China trade war More tariffs on way US President Donald Trump is prepared to quickly ramp up a trade war with China. So-called hardline, pressure-exerting methods of the US side won’t work on China and are not helpful to resolving the problem- Hua Chunying, Spokeswoman, Chinese foreign ministry Trump has told aides he is ready to impose tariffs on US$200 billion more in Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends next week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

    The White House declined comment on the Bloomberg report, which cited six unidentified sources, and deflated markets. The S&P hit session lows, and the US dollar, Chinese yuan and US Treasury yields also fell.

    Trump has credited his electoral success to his hard line on trade, which he has argued hurts US workers and favors foreign competitors. Washington is demanding Beijing improve market access and intellectual property protections for US companies, cut industrial subsidies and slash a US$375 billion trade gap.

    The world’s two largest economies have already applied tariffs to US$50 billion of each other’s goods in a tit-for-tat trade war. Talks aimed at easing tensions ended last week without major breakthroughs.

    “So-called hardline, pressure-exerting methods of the US side won’t work on China and are not helpful to resolving the problem,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday when asked about the report.

    China’s position is to resolve the issue via pragmatic talks on an equal basis, which is what the international community wants to see, she added.

    Washington’s new proposed 25% tariffs would affect consumer products including home building supplies, technology products, bicycles and apparel.

    A public comment period on the proposal is set to end on September 6, and Trump plans to impose the tariffs after that deadline, Bloomberg said.

    Some sources said Trump had not made his final decision, the Bloomberg report said. Trump administration officials have been divided over how hard to push Beijing.

    Trump, who has threatened to impose duties on virtually all of the more than US$500 billion of Chinese goods exported to the United States each year, told Reuters in an interview earlier this month that resolving the trade war with China would “take time” and that he had “no time frame” for ending it.

    The report on Trump’s China stance coincides with US negotiators pushing to hammer out a deal with Canadian counterparts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.


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    Oompangela dheyambulepo lyoZambezi River BasinOompangela dheyambulepo lyoZambezi River Basin Oompangela dha nuninwa okuyambulapo eyandjakaneko lyomeya moshitopolwa shaZambezi River Basin otaku tengenekwa tadhi ka manithwa okuya petameko lyomvula twa taalela.

    Opoloyeka ndjoka oya nuninwa okuhulitha po oluhepo moZambezi River Basin mUumbgantu waAfrika.

    Oshitopolwa shoka, shoZambezi River Basin oshi li egumbo kaantu ya thika poomiliyoan 40 na otaku tengenekwa omwaalu ngoka tagu ka londa sigo oopomiliyona 51 okuya momvula yo 2025.

    “Omolwa omwaalu gwakwashigwana ngoka taku tengenekwa kutya otagu ka londa pombanda, ompumbwe yoompangela ndhoka oyi li pombanda noonkondo,” oZambezi Watercourse Commission (Zamcom) ya holola.

    Zamcom ehangano enene hali ungaunga noontondokelo dhomeya gomomilonga muAfrika. Olya totwa po momvula yo 2014 komapangelo giilongo opo ku vule okweetapamwe omapangelo ga tumbulwa kutya Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia oshowo Zimbabwe.

    Pahapu dhaZamcom, oompangela ndhoka odha nuninwa omapungulo ngoka taga ka kandula po omaimbo agehe ngoka taga yi moshipala omayambulepo.

    Ehangano ndyoka olya holola kutya iilongo mbyoka yi li mehangano ndyoka, oyi na oompangela dhomayambulepo dhoka tadhi pangelle okwaadha omalalakano okupitila moonzo dhomeya.

    “Shimwe shoka tashi kaadhitha omalalakano ngoka okutula miilonga oopoloyeka ndhoka dhi li mondjila na odha longekidhwa nawa dhi na omauwanawa taga kwatha oshigwana nopondondo yaamboka ye li pomudhingoloko ngoka.”

    Shimwe shomomauwanawa ngoka moZambezi River basin, okuyambulapo egameno lyiikwankondo, okuyambulapo egameno lyoondya, okuhumitha pombanda omauwanawa gopaliko, oompangela dhomapungulo, okuyambulapo oompito dhiilonga, okukalekapo uundjolowele wopamudhingoloko oshowo eyambulepo lyokugandja omayakulo gongushu.Pauyelele mboka natango wa gandjwa koZamcom opo ku vule okwaadhika omalalakano ngoka, iilongo mbyoka oya tula miilonga ompangela dhoka dha pumbwa okutalika meendelelo.

    Monena iitopolwa iyali yomiitopolwa itatu mbyoka ya nuninwa omayambulepo oya manithwa nale. Shoka osha kwatelamo oInception Report and the Situation Analysis ndjoka ya li oshitopolwa shotango. Kohi yoshitopolwa oshitiyali omu na oBasin Development and Infrastructure Inventory oshowo Basin Development Scenarios ndhoka adhihe dha manithwa nale.

    Shoka natango okwa tegelelwa shi manithwe, oshitopolwa oshititatu shoBasin Investment Scenarios, Draft Strategic Plan, Final Strategic Plan and the On-line Monitoring oshowo Implementation Tool.

    Oshitopolwa oshititatu otashi manithwa nuumvo pehulilo na okwa tegelelwa shi ka gandjee kelelo lyoominista dhiilongo pethimbo lyomutumba ngoka tagu ningwa momwedhi omutiyali komvula twa taalela.


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    Geingob tuulike okomitiye yokukandula po iikolokosha mOndongaGeingob tuulike okomitiye yokukandula po iikolokosha mOndongaOmukwaniilwa ta pataneke etokolo opo a ka gandje uumbangi mohofa Omupresidende Hage Geingob ota pangele okuulika okomitiye ya nuninwa okuhulitha po iikolokosha nomananathano melelo lyoshilongo shaNdonga. Mokomitiye ndjoka otamu kwatelwa aalandulwa ye omukokoli presidende, Sam Nujoma oshowo omupresidende nale Hifikepunye Pohamba.

    Shoka osha hololwa polweela sha landula oombaapila ndhoka dha gandjwa mOmpangulilo yOpombanda mOshakati moka Omukwaniilwa gwaNdonga Immanuel Kauluma Elifas oshowo, Elia Shikongo, ya pataneke etokolo ndyoka lya Ii lya ningwa kOmpangu ndjoka, opo omukwaniilwa a ka gandje uumbangi mompangu.

    Ompangu otayi kwatele komeho epwaakeno lyoshipotha shoka, moka ookansela nale yelelo lyaNdonga taya pataneke etidho lyawo miilonga, muJuli gwomvula ya za ko.

    Etokolo opo omukwaniilwa a ka gandje uumbangi olya etitha eidhopo mo lyaNujoma oshowo Geingob, mboka ya ningi oonkundwa noombinga mbali dhelelo lyaNdonga ndhoka tadhi nanathana.

    Momukanda gwompangu ngoka a gandja, Shikongo okwa popi kutya Geingob ota longekidha opo iidhopemo moshikumungu shoka pakuulika okomitiye ye gandjo lyomayele komupresidende ndjoka tayi ka pewa oshinakugwanithwa shokuhulitha po omananathano ngoka. Momasiku 9 gaAguste, Omupanguli, Maphios Cheda okwa ningi etokolo opo Elifas a ye kompangu a ka gandje uumbangi we wopakana ngele oye tuu shili a tidha ookansela mboka. Shikongo ngashiingeyi ota pataneke etokolo ndyoka ta popi kutya nali kalekwe manga sigo epataneko lyawo ndyoka ya ningi lya pu okupulakenwa.Elifas pamwe nookansela ye aape mboka ayehe ye li aayamukuli moshipotha shoka, ka ya li ko kompangu pethimbo kwa ningwa eindilo lyepataneko ndyoka.

    Shikongo okwa pula ompangu yi kuthe mo oshipotha shoka momusholondondo gwiipotha mbyoka tayi pulakenwa mompangu, nenge shi undulilwe komeho opo omukwaniilwa a vule okupula uuthemba we.

    Shikongo okwa yeleke kutya oshipotha osha pumbwa manga okukalekwa omolwa omupresidende ngoka a hala okuya pokati koongundu ndhoka opo ku kuthwepo iikolokosha nomananathanao ngoka ga yi sigo okompangu. Ta gwedha po kutya omupresidende okwa yelitha kutya ina hala okuya moshipala iilonga yompangu ihe okwa hala owala okuhulitha po omananathanao ngoka ge li po.

    “Pethimbo lyomutumba, omupresidende okwa gandja omayele kutya otaka ulika okomitiye yegandjo lyomayele ndjoka tayi ka kwatela mo aaleli nale yoshilongo, Sam Nujoma oshowo Hifikepunye Pohamba, opo ya kandule po iikolokosha mbyoka nokwaahauvathana. Shoka inashi manithwa natango.”

    Ookansela mboka ya tidhwa miilonga okupitila momukalelipo gwawo gwopaveta, Elize Angula, oya yamukula kutya Shikongo ota longitha pambambo ompangu, paku enditha kashona oshipotha shoka.

    “Etokolo lyompangu itali vulu okukalekwa. Omukwaniilwa oye omukomeho gwoshigwana na okwa pumbwa okugandja uumbangi kombinga yetokolo lye nomaihumbato ge ngoka ga e ta etopoko nuutondwe mokati kaakwashigwana yaNdonga. Aakwaniilwa yakwawo yalwe oya gandja omaumbangi mompangulilo nale, na ye ke li pombanda yompango. Shikongo na yelithe owala kutya omukwaniilwa ita vulu okugandja uumbangi mompangu ihe ina kala ta gandja omaipopilo ogendji paku pataneka omatokolo gompangu opo iinima yuundulilwe komeho. Ngame otandi pataneke eundulilo komeho lyoshipotha neundulilo ndyoka tandi ka popila oondyoka owala tali utha kutya omukwaniilwa ote ya okugandja uumbangi uunake.”

    Cheda okwa gandja efudho komukwaniilwa meindilo ndyoka na okwa tothamo esiku moka ngele oshipotha shoka tashi ka tsikila mOmpangu yoPombandambanda moshilongo.

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  • 09/02/18--15:00: Japanese golden girl
  • Japanese golden girlJapanese golden girl Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee became the first female athlete to be named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at an Asian Games on Sunday after the teenager scooped an unprecedented six gold medals in the Jakarta pool.

    Only North Korean shooter So Gin-man, who won seven golds and a silver at New Delhi in 1982, has won more titles at one Asian Games but the 18-year-old Ikee also picked up two relay silvers to match his record tally of eight medals.

    All six golds were achieved in Games record times and her achievement was made all the more remarkable as she arrived in Jakarta immediately after the Pan Pacific championships, where she won a gold, two silvers and a bronze.

    Ikee, whose gold medal haul is the most for a female athlete at a single Games, was the unanimous choice for the most valuable player award, the Olympic Council of Asia said on the final day of the multi-sport event on Sunday.

    “I had heard that for a while there was no MVP award and I felt very sad about that, but there was a re-evaluation and I am very honoured to be able to receive such a wonderful award,” Ikee said after picking up her trophy and a cheque for $50,000.

    “Actually after the swimming competitions, I went back to Japan. I didn't think I had to come back to Indonesia again.

    This has been a place with lot of good memories.”

    Ikee became the fourth Japanese athlete to win the award since its inception at the 1998 Bangkok Games and can now be expected to shoulder a huge burden of expectations when Tokyo hosts the Olympics in two years' time.


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    Netball is improving: MutendaNetball is improving: MutendaMen urged to take up the sport The Netball Namibia president is happy with the development of the sport in Namibia but says people are still seeing it as a women's game. NAMPA

    Netball Namibia president Lydia Mutenda says the sport is improving at a steady rate.

    She was speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the 2018 Debmarine Senior Regional Netball Championship at the Tamariskia Sports Field in Swakopmund on Saturday.

    “Look at how this tournament has improved from last year for example. The umpires have improved their officiating, the logistical arrangements also improved and definitely the standard of play has improved,” she said.

    She added that the umpires and coaches were trained during The Namibian Newspaper Cup tournament which took place in the Zambezi Region earlier this year.

    Mutenda also lauded government for availing transport to all the regions who are taking part in the tournament, saying everyone had travelled safely.

    “If you have trained coaches, they will definitely produce a quality team, which will in turn display quality netball. The umpires are just complementing the growth of the sport.”

    She regretted the absence of the //Karas Region, whose team failed to make it for the tournament for unknown reasons after having confirmed their participation.

    She added that NN had set themselves targets to improve the sport code, and so far, everything was pointing in the right direction.

    “When we took over, we set ourselves goals to revive and strengthen regional structures. That we have achieved. We also wanted to hold regular competitions, we are also getting there. We wanted to get better ratings in Africa, that is also looking good.”

    She said these are some of the targets which prove that the sport is heading in the right direction in claiming its position as an elite code in the country.

    Her views were echoed by Connie Samaria, the public relations officer of NN, who said the tournament would be used to select a national shadow team, whose aim would be to give competition to the current squad.

    Samaria further applauded this year's competition for featuring male teams, noting that netball is a sport for everybody.

    “It's a stereotype that requires a lot of work. As a country we need to grow.

    Every time when males penetrate a field that is dominated by females, there is that perception or notion that they are gay. That's not the case,” explained

    Samaria. He added that in neighbouring South Africa, there is a fully-fledged professional men's netball league, and called on Namibia to follow suit.

    Samaria said Kenya has the best male netball team in Africa and wished for Namibia to emulate them.

    Four regions - Zambezi, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Khomas - had male netball teams participating at this year's Debmarine Namibia Senior Regional Netball Championships.

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  • 09/02/18--15:00: Old Mutual H1 profit flat
  • Old Mutual H1 profit flatOld Mutual H1 profit flatDeclares dividend Old Mutual reported no growth in half-year profit on Friday. This comes after higher taxes and unemployment hit consumer spending, but the No.2 insurer in South Africa declared an interim dividend of 45 cents per share and a special dividend of 100 cents per share.

    Adjusted headline earnings per share, the widely watched profit gauge in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items, came in at 122.3 cents, unchanged from the prior year.

    Old Mutual, alongside rivals such Sanlam, Liberty Holdings and Discovery Ltd, have witnessed a profit squeeze in recent years as cash-strapped consumers put off buying insurance or cancelled their existing policies.

    The company largely wrapped up a radical break up aimed at disentagling its costly conglemerate structure with a primary listing in Johannesburg in June.

    Old Mutual, which traces its roots back to the mid-19th century as South Africa’s first mutual aid society with 166 members, said it was on track to spin off part of its 53% interest in South Africa’s fourth largest lender, Nedbank, later this year.


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    Kenya's approves retaining interest rate cap against IMF wishesKenya's approves retaining interest rate cap against IMF wishes The Kenyan parliament voted on Thursday to retain the cap on commercial interest rates which the International Monetary Fund has insisted must be scrapped or modified in return for a new standby arrangement.

    Lawmakers also voted to delay a proposed 16% tax on petroleum products for two more years, citing the high cost of living — a move that will be a blow to government efforts to raise revenues through higher taxes.

    The rate cap, introduced in September 2016, was aimed at helping small traders access capital at affordable rates, but has had the opposite effect, with banks saying they cannot price risk to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) properly while the cap is in place. As a result lending to the private sector fell from 9.3% in 2016 to 2.4% last year.

    “Many thousands of Kenyans have been unable to access bank lending and have turned to more expensive borrowing,” said Aly Khan Satchu, a Nairobi-based independent trader and analyst.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta said in April that he recognised the limitation of the law and hoped that the finance bill will remove the cap that he said had ended up hurting the financial sector

    Some bank stocks at the Nairobi Securities Exchange edged lower on Thursday, after the Finance Bill was passed.

    “It was not widely expected, people were banking on repealing of the interest cap,” said Sheema Shah, equities dealer at Apex Africa. “It’s still a buy, the current sell-off is temporary...mostly its the foreign investors who are heavy on that particular stock who are selling off.”

    In June, Finance Minister Henry Rotich proposed repealing the interest rate cap, a move cheered by bankers. But lawmakers have continued to insist they are not ready to remove the upper limit of commercial lending rates at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate. Lawmakers did, however, remove the minimum deposit rate of 70% of the central bank rate.

    The IMF has demanded the cap be repealed as a condition for Kenya to access its balance of payments support.

    Kenya secured a six-month extension for its stand-by credit arrangement of US$989.8 million from the fund in March, and is seeking another extension when it expires in mid-September.

    Jibran Qureishi, an economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank, said the decision threw open the question of how discussion with the IMF would now proceed.

    “On the IMF, with the VAT on fuel being postponed, with most of the tax measures not approved, this means the fiscal deficit is likely to remain higher than projected,” Qureishi said. “The odds of the (IMF) facility being retained are quite slim, but we have to see what will happen.”

    The legislation, known as the Finance Bill 2018, still needs to secure presidential assent before its proposal can come into effect.

    It was not clear what line Kenyatta would now take.

    “The president will have to crack the whip and hard because notwithstanding some bravado chatter, it would not make sense to lose the support of the IMF at a time when the markets are so skittish and our debt-to-GDP ratio is nudging 60%,” Satchu said.

    Kenya’s legislature also rejected a “Robin Hood” tax of 0.05% on bank transfers of over 500 000 shillings (US$5 000) during Thursday’s session and an employee contribution scheme towards the national housing development fund.

    The rejected tax hikes were designed to fund a range of government development goals including universal healthcare and affordable housing.


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  • 09/02/18--15:00: TUN to demonstrate
  • TUN to demonstrateTUN to demonstrate Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) adult education practitioners will hold a peaceful demonstration on Thursday to raise their concerns about unanswered demands submitted to the education ministry.

    TUN secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuha said in July 2018, TUN wrote a letter to the education permanent secretary Sanet Steenkamp on issues affecting the duties of the practitioners and Adult Literacy Education as a whole.

    He emphasised that issues raised, amongst others, such as overtime, salary grading, curriculum and the updating of policies went answered by Steenkamp in her response on 1 August.

    She however responded that the contract of the promoters must run for 12 months in contrary to the 10 months which is currently been practised, he said.

    He added that: “As a result we have requested the permanent secretary without delay to instruct all regional directors to extend the current contract to run until next year February.”

    She also responded that all education officers are entitled to overtime and if there are some who are having outstanding overtime payments, they should contact the TUN office for ease of facilitation.

    Furthermore, he noted that due to the slow pace in which both the Office of the Prime Minister and the education ministry are handling the matter, TUN's members will also not attend the annual literacy week celebration scheduled for today to Wednesday, and will be carrying out their normal teaching activities.

    “There is no seriousness from the side of the permanent secretary in handling the issues of our members. We are going to demonstrate in order for our demands to be responded to timely,” said Kavihuha.

    Kavihuha stressed that members cannot celebrate events meant for them if they are not happy.

    He added that there are over 600 adult education practitioners countrywide, of which 70% are TUN members.


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    Simwanza denies culpable homicideSimwanza denies culpable homicide The man accused of killing Junias Smith, 23, two years ago in a hit-and-run accident in Robert Mugabe Avenue, last week denied guilt on culpable homicide and reckless or negligent driving in the Magistrate's Court in Windhoek.

    The 28-year-old Lesley Simwanza, however, pleaded guilty to the charges of failing to ascertain injuries sustained at the accident, and failing to stop the motor vehicle involved in the accident immediately, and failing to report the accident to a police officer or to the nearest police station.

    Simwanza, through his lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff, in his not guilty plea on the culpable homicide explanation told the court that at no point could he foresee that Smith would run into the road causing the accident.

    “At no point in time did I conduct myself in a reckless or negligent manner when I was driving the vehicle, and I did not foresee that a person would run into the road,” Simwanza explained on his not guilty plea on a count of reckless or negligent driving.

    He further explained that he indeed did not comply with the provisions of the law to ascertain injuries at the scene, did not stop the motor vehicle nor did he report the accident to the authorities.

    Simwanza, in September 2016, blamed shock and confusion on his decision to flee and said he had decided to ask his parents for advice once they returned to Windhoek. He was arrested before their return, he said.

    “I do not believe that he was in shock,” Sergeant Kasjaan Kayanga, the investigating officer, said early in September 2016 in testimony. “In my experience, I believe he fled because he was avoiding arrest while being under the influence of alcohol.”

    The state is alleging that Simwanza on 26 August 2017 killed Smith with a red BMW on Robert Mugabe Avenue and then fled the scene of the deadly crash. He was arrested around four days later.

    He was allegedly sourcing car parts to fix his battered red BMW when the police tracked him down and arrested him. Kayanga testified in court in 2016 that in his view the “accused would not have availed himself to the police”, had they not set a trap to arrest him four days after the incident.

    He explained that a tip-off from a police informant notified the investigating team about Simwanza's alleged attempts to buy parts to repair his battered red BMW that is alleged to have killed Smith.

    Posing as a potential car parts seller, the police claim that they lured Simwanza to his house where he was placed under arrest.

    Kayanga said had Simwanza managed to repair the car before police traced him, lack of sufficient evidence could have prevented an arrest.

    Simwanza at the time disputed this version, claiming that he had willingly surrendered after police contacted him at work and asked him whether he knew what the call was about.

    He is currently out on N$10 000 bail. The trial continues before Magistrate Vanessa Stanley with Marcus Angula prosecuting.


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  • 09/02/18--15:00: Lion dies during capture
  • Lion dies during captureLion dies during captureMinistry to observe behavioural changes in pride The environment ministry has removed problem lions from Erongo and will observe their behaviour before releasing them into one of the national parks. The environment ministry has confirmed that a male lion died due to capture stress during a recent translocation of lions from the Erongo to the Khomas Region.

    However two lionesses and three cubs were successfully trans-located to a 9 500-hectare farm belonging to the N/a'an ku sê Foundation northwest of Windhoek.

    The translocation of the lions follows after a pride of three were continuously reported and observed to be causing problems in the the Daures area in the Erongo Region.

    Spokesperson for the ministry, Romeo Muyunda, said that continued livestock losses have also been reported by communities particularly near the White Lady Lodge.

    He added that prior to the relocation, the ministry had intervened by capturing and releasing the lions into the Skeleton Coast Park twice, however they still retuned to the area.

    “We have noticed a strange behaviour in the lions which made us believe that the lions were fed by the people in the vicinity of the lodge. With this behaviour the lions could come very close to people. This is a practice that we strongly discourage and condemn,” said Muyunda.

    According to him the lions were close to the lodge most of the time and as a result caused more livestock losses to communities.

    Based on this, a decision was taken to capture and translocate the lions where they will not cause any problems.

    Two lionesses and three cubs were trans-located to the farm belonging to the foundation. “Unfortunately during the process of capture one male lion died from capture stress,” said Muyunda.

    According to him the trans-located lions remain state property and will be relocated to a national park once the ministry is satisfied with their behaviour.

    Muyunda added that human-wildlife conflict prevention and mitigation interventions were also put in place and lions were collared for monitoring purposes.

    “The ministry's decisions are made in the best interest of conservation in the country, contrary to the claims that suggest otherwise,” he said. This translocation is also in line with the Revised National Policy on Human Wildlife Conflict Management.

    “We appeal to members of the public and interested parties to ignore and shun advocacies that are aimed at tarnishing our reputable conservation.”


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    Air Namibia defends suspensionsAir Namibia defends suspensionsSays it is committed to growth at home The airline says the suspended trade union leaders are its employees before anything else. Air Namibia has yet to explain the suspensions of two of its employees who criticised the airline's intention to recruit foreign pilots, saying the matter is still under investigation.

    Willem Christiaan and Reginald Kock, respectively the president and legal advisor of the Namibia Cabin Crew Union (NCCU), were suspended on Thursday pending an investigation into alleged misconduct.

    The two maintain that they made their remarks in their capacity as representatives of the NCCU.

    But Air Namibia spokesperson Paulus Nakawa said on Friday that Christiaan and Kock were the airline's employees before they were union members. Nakawa also said that Christiaan and Kock had been asked to make representations as to why they should not be suspended before acting managing director Mandy Samson could exercise her discretion regarding the matter, but that they had not done so.

    The union leaders, on the other hand, claimed that they were never allowed to make such representations.

    The NCCU and the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) gave Air Namibia 24 hours to withdraw the suspension, threatening mass demonstrations at the airline's head office in this week.Nakawa said some news outlets continued to mislead the public and create wrong impressions about the use of foreign pilots.

    “The issue of the foreign ad hoc pilots is not new to Air Namibia and it is not strange either,” Nakawa said.

    He said the airline currently employs 105 pilots, only 11 of whom are ad hoc (foreign) pilots who are used when needed.

    He reiterated that over 90% of Air Namibia's pilots are Namibians trained by the airline, and that the airline spends close to N$30 million yearly on training local pilots. Nakawa said Air Namibia would continue to do so because it believes in growth at home.

    “The intention is to eventually replace all ad hoc pilots with Namibians possessing the necessary skills and qualifications,” Nakawa said.

    He added: “With the expansion of the airline's operations due to travel growth and demand in Africa, Air Namibia will continue training more and in the meantime hire more foreign pilots until such time that the demand has been zeroed. With the current expansion of routes and implementation of the strategic plan, Air Namibia will need approximately 50 pilots on all fleets and these positions will be advertised locally in due course.”

    Nakawa said Namibia has a general shortage of pilots, let alone skilled ones or type-rated pilots.

    “Air Namibia remains committed to train more pilots to promote local skills,” he said, adding that the airline encourages Namibians to pursue a career in aviation and “come fly with the national carrier”.


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    Former treason accused sue for N$156mFormer treason accused sue for N$156m Five men acquitted of treason charges in 2015 are suing the government for unlawful arrest, prosecution and detention.

    They are claiming damages totalling N$156 343 284.

    Gabriel Mwilima, John Samati Yalubbi, Robert Lifasi Chelezo, Gabriel Nyambe Ntelamo and Eugene Milunga Ngalaule were acquitted of 200 charges, including high treason and murder, in September 2015.

    Mwilima is claiming damages of N$75 000 000 while Yalubbi is suing for N$18 097 486, Chelezo for N$19 223 597, Ntelamo for N$24 418 053 and Ngalaule for N$19 604 147.

    Deputy Judge President Petrus Damaseb last week postponed the matter to 4 December.

    The claimants allege that they suffered general damages including loss of income and degradation, injury to self-esteem and to their reputations, deliberate and offensive deprivation of their freedoms including freedom of movement, and discomfort and inconvenience.

    The former treason accused were each detained for 5 889 days from 2 August 1999 until 14 September 2015, when they were not found guilty and released from prison.

    The applicants are now before the High Court in Windhoek suing the government, the minister of safety and security, the inspector-general of the Namibian police and the prosecutor-general.

    Mwilima in his case alleged that the prosecutor-general and her employees wrongfully and maliciously continued to prosecute as from 11 October 2007.

    This, he alleges, was done knowing the testimonies of all the witnesses and all the evidence which could have been presented for the purpose attempting to implicate him regarding the commission of any of the charges were completed by 11 October 2007.

    “Despite the facts and circumstances the prosecutor-general and her personnel continued to prosecute me until 14 September 2015,” he alleges.

    He added that they ought to have stopped the prosecution in terms of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act on 11 October 2007 or within a reasonable time thereafter.

    As a result of their conduct he was detained during the period of 2 August 1999 until 14 September 2015 in various prisons and correctional facilities throughout the country.

    Mwilima claims that he was arrested on 2 August 1999 at Katima Mulilo without a warrant of arrest after the police wrongfully and maliciously laid false charges.

    They allegedly gave false information that he was arrested on over 200 charges including high treason and murder.

    He argues that the police had no reasonable or probable cause for doing so, nor did they have any reasonable belief in truth of the information given.According to him, the prosecutor-general and her employees wrongfully and maliciously set the law in motion against him and continued to do so by prosecuting him on the 200 charges.

    This was allegedly done while they did not have probable cause and without sufficient information which substantiated such charges or justified his prosecution of such charges. He alternatively states that they did not have any reasonable belief in the truth of any information given to them which could have implicated him in the commission of high treason or any of the other serious charges. The matter is still in case management at the High Court.


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  • 09/02/18--15:00: Simpson seizes PGA lead
  • Simpson seizes PGA leadSimpson seizes PGA lead NAMPA /AFP

    Webb Simpson closed with an eagle from 70 feet to seize a one-stroke lead over England's Justin Rose and Tyrrell Hatton after Saturday's second round of the PGA Dell Technologies Championship.

    The 33-year-old American, seeking his second title in seven seasons at TPC Boston, rolled in his dramatic third shot at the par-5 18th to complete a bogey-free eight-under par 63 to stand on 11-under 131 after 36 holes.

    “To eagle the last was exciting and you just kind of laugh at those, because you're not trying to make them, you're just trying to get them close,” Simpson said.

    “Those moments are always fun on the last hole. Honestly, it brings back 2011, making a couple of putts when I won. Just a great atmosphere out there.”

    Hatton, who also fired a 63, was level with Rose, who shot 67, on 132 with England's Tommy Fleetwood fourth on 134 and Australia's Cameron Smith and Mexican Abraham Ancer another stroke adrift.

    Simpson, who birdied the first playoff hole in 2011 at TPC Boston to beat Chez Reavie and collect his second PGA title, also fired a 63 in the second round of the Players Championship in May on his way to winning his fifth career PGA title.

    World number 17 Simpson was the last of eight qualifiers on points for a spot on the US Ryder Cup squad that will defend the trophy against Europe later this month in France.

    Battling the top English trio for victory could be a taste of the Ryder Cup showdown coming September 28-30 at Le Golf National.

    Since clinching his spot at the PGA Championship, Simpson has finished second at Greensboro and shot a final-round 62 last week in New Jersey, a sign he hopes of more success to come.

    “I don't want to just have a couple of good years and have it go away for two years,” Simpson said.

    “There are a few guys that are always top-10 in the world. I want to do that.”

    Hatton uses a putter his Scottish-born caddie, Mark Crane, bought last week in New Jersey. Hatton supervised the purchase by social media, admitting he was embarrassed to visit a sports store.

    “Mark was in store buying it and I was on 'What's App', a video, with him, because I was too embarrassed to go into the store to buy a putter,” Hatton said.

    “He made a good choice. But it's just one of those things. It's not obviously normal that this happens.”

    Fleetwood birdied six of his first 10 holes to shoot 65.

    “It was a story today of a few more putts dropping,” he said. “I holed a few putts and that's it. I think I had five or six lip-outs yesterday. The game is about making a score and today I did it better than yesterday.”

    Tiger Woods was confident after a bogey-free 66 to share 21st on 138. His five birdies included a 25-foot gem of a putt at the 14th.

    “Absolutely, I played well,” Woods said. “I hit it well. I really rolled it on my lines. A couple didn't go in, but it was a good solid day all around.”

    Phil Mickelson, expected to join Woods in being named Tuesday to the US Ryder Cup squad by captain Jim Furyk, fired a 72 to make the cut on the number. Missing the cut by a shot was England's Ian Poutler, who is expected to be named a European captain's pick by Thomas Bjorn on Wednesday. But he is in jeopardy of missing the top-60 season points cutoff for US PGA playoff event, the BMW Championship.

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    Freeman's clutch hit rallies Braves over PiratesFreeman's clutch hit rallies Braves over Pirates NAMPA /REUTERS

    Freddie Freeman's double drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run, eighth-inning rally to help the Atlanta Braves beat the visiting Pittsburgh

    Pirates 5-3 on Saturday at SunTrust Park and snap a three-game losing streak.

    The inning began when Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer to left, his 14th, on a ball that just cleared the left field fence. Pinch hitter Lucas Duda followed with a double, and pinch runner Lane Adams advanced to third base on a flyball and scored on a strikeout-wild pitch, allowing Ender Inciarte to reach first.

    Inciarte stole second base and scored the go-ahead run when Freeman lined an opposite-field double to left field. Freeman took third on a bloop single by Nick Markakis and scored on Johan Camargo's sacrifice fly to right field.

    Atlanta (75-60) extended its lead in the National League East to three games over Philadelphia and 7 1/2 over Washington.

    It was a rare poor appearance by Pittsburgh's Keone Kela (3-4), who had been scored upon only once in his first 14 games since joining the team. In one-third of an inning, Kela was tagged for four runs on three hits.

    The winning pitcher was Jonny Venters (3-1), who retired the last two batters in the eighth inning. A.J. Minter earned his 12th save by pitching a perfect ninth inning.

    Pittsburgh starter Chris Archer didn't allow a hit until Swanson led off the sixth inning with a double. In six innings pitched, Archer allowed one run on two hits and one walk. Archer struck out five.

    Atlanta starter Kevin Gausman allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits in six innings, striking out four. Gausman had a 19-inning scoreless streak end when he allowed a run in the fifth.

    The Pirates scored two runs in the top of the fifth. Starling Marte's 24thdouble drove in Colin Moran and Kevin Newman.

    Pittsburgh added a run in the sixth on Gregory Polanco's 22nd homer, a solo shot to centre.

    Atlanta scored in the bottom of the sixth when Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in Swanson with a single to right.

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    NNOC calls on coaches to register for coaching forumNNOC calls on coaches to register for coaching forum NAMPA

    The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) is calling on local coaches to register for the second coaching forum that will be held in Windhoek on 8 September.

    The NNOC and the Commonwealth Games Association (CGA), in conjunction with Olympic Solidarity, will host the coaching forum at Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) from 08:00 to 17:00.

    The one-day event will focus on the importance of coaching as well as preparation of athletes from grassroots level to elite


    Addressing the media on Wednesday, NNOC president Abner Xoagub said the maiden edition of the forum was successful and they were now looking at improving


    “We have experts who will be leading the sessions, that's why it's important to have as many coaches as possible attending this event. We want all our coaches to learn from these experts and improve the way we do things going forward.”

    He added that the NNOC and CGA made provision to accommodate coaches from all the regions in Namibia at this exciting coach education and sports science event.

    “The coaching forum is free of charge, therefore coaches have to just get transport to Windhoek and we will cover their two-night accommodation for Friday and Saturday,” Xoagub said.

    He stated that coaches attending the forum should bring their sportswear with for the practical sessions that will be


    Activities that will be covered at the event are presentation on coaching at grassroots level, demonstration on chiropractic, physiotherapy, biokinetics and sports nutrition.

    Coaches and athletes will also be trained on warm-up sessions, general skills and techniques that illustrate the relation amongst all different sports and how coaches from different sport codes could work together. Coaches will also be taught the different cool down


    Interested coaches are requested to contact Marja Woortman on 085 128 4765 or email woortman@iway.na or Annatjie Geleni on 081 122 6060 or info@olympic.org.na to register for the


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  • 09/02/18--15:00: Chiefs crash out of MTN8
  • Chiefs crash out of MTN8 Chiefs crash out of MTN8 SuperSport United shine Chiefs were struggling to penetrate the SuperSport defence and their first shot at goal took 28 minutes to arrive, with Leonardo Castro's long-range effort providing an easy save for Ronwen Williams. NAMPA/ANA

    Giovanni Solinas's first shot at silverware as Kaizer Chiefs coach disappeared into the Soweto air on Saturday night after his team were beaten 1-0 by SuperSport United in a second leg MTN8 semi-final encounter at the FNB Stadium.

    Saturday's victory, secured via a 58th minute Bradley Grobler strike, brought about a 3-2 aggregate win for the Tshwane side after last weekend's 2-2 draw and was probably a fair reflection of a game in which Amakhosi struggled to find much spark up front.

    The first half was a lively affair with good chances for both sides to score, starting when SuperSport defender Clayton Daniels struck the post with a 14th minute header from an Aubrey Modiba free kick.

    The visitors had another decent opportunity in the 26th minute when the ball fell kindly for Evans Rusike just inside the box, but he scuffed his shot into the ground.

    Amakhosi did, however, grow stronger in the 10 minutes leading up to the break and they were nearly ahead in the 41st minute when Castro pulled the ball back for Willard Katsande, whose first time shot whistled narrowly wide of the far post.

    Matsatsantsa took the lead 13 minutes into the second stanza after Reneilwe Letsholonyane went on a storming run and then squared the ball for Grobler, who did superbly to go past Chiefs defender Teenage Hadebe before finishing sharply with an angled half-volley to take his tally to three goals over the two-legged semi-final.

    It took some heroic defending six minutes later for SuperSport to keep their lead intact after Williams made a superb reflex save on a close range shot from Ramahlwe Mphahlele, which he followed up with a point-blank stop on Katsande before Rusike cleared the rebound off the line.

    The Glamour Boys continued to press for a goal and more chances followed, but Dumisani Zuma miscued from inside the box before Siphelele Ntshangase flashed an effort marginally wide with 12 minutes to play.

    The closing stages of the game saw Chiefs camped around the SuperSport box. But some resolute defending from Kaitano Tembo's men got them through to the finish line without much issue as they remain on track to defend their MTN8 title. Amakhosi's record this season now stands at one win from eight matches in league and cup.

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