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8 Jun 2011 : Column WA129



8 Jun 2011 : Column WA129

Written Answers

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Armed Forces: Commemoration

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): I refer the noble Lord to the response I gave on 14 December (Official Report, col. WA 154). In terms of the commemoration of service personnel, other than the official commemoration to mark an individual's final resting place, it has been a long-standing policy of successive UK Governments that the cost of erecting memorials and associated projects is not usually met from public funds but from private donations or public subscription.

The Police Roll of Honour Trust charity maintains the National Roll of Honour of fallen police officers which records the names and deaths of police personnel killed in what is now the Republic of Ireland between 1916 and 1923. Full details of the police officers' deaths are contained on the roll, which is published on the trust website-www.policememorial.org.uk-and is free for relatives to consult. The trust is currently working with other police organisations to create a new police officers' memorial to be located in the National Memorial Arboretum, on which the names of all police officers killed on duty will be carved in stone. No discussions regarding the Irish National War Memorial Gardens have taken place with the Government of the Republic of Ireland.

Armed Forces: Scotland

Questions

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): There are approximately 6,300 personnel employed at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde. This includes service personnel, Ministry of Defence civilian personnel and contractors. Many more people and companies provide support to the activities at the base and thereby generate economic benefits to the Scottish economy. However, the department

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does not collect data on the economic benefits deriving from the activities at HMNB Clyde, and information could only be gathered at disproportionate cost.

Asked by Lord Moonie

Lord Astor of Hever: The three principal Royal Air Force bases in Scotland are RAF Kinloss, RAF Lossiemouth, and RAF Leuchars. Together, they employ approximately 4,150 service personnel and 900 civilian personnel. Many more people and companies support the activities at the bases and thereby generate economic benefits to the Scottish economy. The department does not collect data on the economic benefits deriving from the activities of the bases, and such information could only be gathered at disproportionate cost.

As part of the ongoing estate and basing review, however, the Ministry of Defence has received and taken note of the submissions from the Moray Task Force on the local impacts of RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Kinloss, and from the Leuchars community campaign on the impacts in Fife of RAF Leuchars.

Asylum Seekers

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government made representations to the United States of America Government seeking the release to the UK from Guantanamo Bay of British nationals, and, exceptionally, former legal UK residents, including Binyam Mohamed. However, it would not be appropriate to make representations regarding the judicial decisions made in the cases named in this Question.

Bahrain

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are concerned by the resignation of 18 members of the Bahraini parliament. We urge the Bahraini Government to create

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the environment in which a dialogue can take place and we call on all sides, including the political Opposition, to engage. It is only through collaboration, dialogue and a continuation of the political reform process that long-term stability can be achieved in Bahrain.

Bank of England

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Treasury Select Committee is currently carrying out an inquiry into the accountability of the Bank of England, including the role of its court. The Government await the findings of the committee's work.

Banking: Bonuses

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The banks, in which the Government are a shareholder, are managed on an arm's-length and commercial basis by UK Financial Investments (UKFI). UKFI engages with the banks, as a shareholder, on their approach to remuneration. Both the Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland have awarded deferred share-based bonuses to their executive directors and used stringent deferral and clawback conditions throughout their banks.

Should the remuneration committee of either bank conclude there may be reason to claw back awards, UKFI will work with the company on the outcome of that process as an active and engaged shareholder to ensure that remuneration rewards long-term sustainable performance and does not incentivise excessive risk-taking.

Asked by Lord Myners



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Lord Sassoon: The banks, in which the Government are a shareholder, are managed on an arm's-length and commercial basis by UK Financial Investments (UKFI). UKFI votes all its voting shares wherever it is eligible to do so.

UKFI has disclosed on its website that it voted in favour of all resolutions at the annual general meeting of Lloyds Banking Group on 18 May 2011, including the resolution on the director's remuneration report for the year ended 31 December 2010.

Banking: European Central Bank

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The capital of the European Central Bank (ECB) comes from the national central banks (NCBs) of all EU member states, including from the Bank of England.

Banking: Royal Bank of Scotland

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): On 25 May, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) announced the terms of reference for the independent review of the report by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into the failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The FSA will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the review team has access to such documents and persons as it considers necessary to undertake this review. The FSA will provide the reviewers with reasonable resources and bear the cost of employing such advisers as the reviewers may require and any other incidental expenses. Remuneration of the review team is a matter for the TSC.

BBC Trust: Welsh Member

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Conwy

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport recommends appointments to the BBC Trust.

There is no statutory requirement to obtain the agreement of the Welsh Government before making a recommendation for the appointment to the BBC Trust of the ordinary member who will hold the post of trust member for Wales.

It is my understanding, however, that on previous occasions informal consultation has taken place with the Welsh Government as part of the appointment process.

There are no current plans to propose a legislative change.

Donkeys

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Army does not own any donkeys. It does, however keep one mule and two pack ponies at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray which are used for a pack animal course to ensure that some personnel know how to pack an animal in the event that there is ever a requirement to do so.

The department takes very seriously its duty of care towards the animals which serve alongside its service personnel. All animals owned and used by the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces are subject to United Kingdom animal welfare regulations.

Egypt and Tunisia

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The UK has not provided debt relief to Tunisia or Egypt since January 2011 or participated in any new grants or loans to them since January 2011.



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Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) travel advice for Tunisia, which can be read in full at http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/Tunisia, advises against all but essential travel to areas of Tunisia within 40 kilometres of the border with Libya; there are no travel restrictions in the travel advice for other areas of Tunisia, including the main tourist resorts.

The FCO's travel advice for Egypt, which can be read in full at http://www.fco.gov/uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/Egypt, contains no travel restrictions.

All our travel advice is based on objective assessments of the risks to British nationals, whose safety is our main concern.

We review travel advice following any incident that might affect Britons travelling or living in the country affected; in a crisis it can be updated several times a day. We also routinely review all the travel advice on a monthly basis. It is revised and reissued at least every three months.

EU: Membership

Question

Asked by Lord Trefgarne

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): There is no legal requirement in the EU treaties for EU member states to be parties to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and therefore no legal requirement in the EU treaties for them to adhere to all the articles of the ECHR, to the extent that those articles do not also separately form general principles of EU law. Indeed, EU member states have at times derogated from some of the articles of the ECHR and have not been subject to infraction proceedings under EU law for doing so. Similarly, it is a matter for each of the 47 contracting parties to the ECHR to decide for itself whether to ratify the optional protocols to the ECHR, though all those contracting parties that are also EU member states have ratified Protocols 1 and 6.

However, the EU treaties are clear that any state wishing to become a member of the EU must be committed to promoting the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities (Article 2 TEU).



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For current EU member states, Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union provides that fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the ECHR and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the member states, constitute general principles of EU law. In addition, the Charter of Fundamental Rights has the same legal value as the EU treaties and brings together a number of existing rights and principles, including those enunciated in the ECHR. In practice, therefore, membership of the EU (for applicants and current member states alike) requires adherence to the ECHR, when acting within the scope of EU law.

Furthermore, where the European Council determines the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a member state of the values in Article 2 TEU, the procedures in Article 7 TEU may apply for a decision on suspension of rights deriving from the application of the treaties to that member state. The values referred to in Article 2 TEU include respect for human rights.

European Commission: Expenditure

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Funding levels for the EU to communicate its work publicly, as for all other EU activities, will be decided within the negotiations on the EU 2012 Budget.

Within these negotiations, the Government aim to achieve a 2012 EU budget far below what the Commission has proposed, including by cutting wasteful, low added-value EU expenditure and tackling chronic overbudgeting.

The European Council will come to a first reading position on the 2012 budget in July 2011.

G20

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The UK continues to support the G20 commitment to open, transparent and merit-based selection of the heads and senior leadership of international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).



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On 20 May, the IMF executive board set out a selection process to appoint the fund's next managing director: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2011/pr11191.htm.

The international community needs a strong IMF as an anchor of global economic stability and prosperity. That is why the UK believes it is important to support the strongest candidate for the next managing director, irrespective of nationality. On the basis of merit, the UK believes that Christine Lagarde is the outstanding candidate. She has shown real international leadership as chair of the G20 Finance Ministers this year and has been a strong advocate for countries tackling high budget deficits and living within their means.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are clear that the situation in Gaza is both a tragedy and unsustainable. Working closely with the EU and quartet, we will continue to call on Israel to ease restrictions on access and enable a return to economic normality.

At present, only cooking gas is imported through the Kerem Shalom crossing which is supplied for the commercial sector; all other forms of fuel are imported through the tunnels. We are clear that more needs to be done, including on easing restrictions on exports, construction material imports and the movement of people.

We were encouraged by the Israeli Government's decision to facilitate exports out of Gaza, without which there is little hope of any semblance of normality returning to the lives of Gazans. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development have had talks with Israel about the type and level of exports they hope to achieve in 2011. It is important that this now translates into real changes on the ground.

Government: Expenditure

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham



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Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Government are committed to increasing transparency in all areas of public spending and as such have considered the most efficient way to report on central government spending to the voluntary and community sector.

Going forward, this information will be collated and reported through departmental business plans across central government departments. Initial baseline levels of spend to the sector in 2009-10 are reported in the updated business plans, published in May 2011.

HMS "Ark Royal"

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): In accordance with the Ministry of Defence's disposal policy a competition is currently being held to sell HMS "Ark Royal" for use by a private commercial enterprise or for recycling. Bids will be received in the coming weeks and following tender evaluations, it is hoped to select a preferred bidder by the autumn and award a contract by the end of the year.

Identity Assurance

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The purpose of identity (ID) assurance is to provide people with a secure log-in to access digital public services. Details of the design have not been decided, including how the national insurance number might or might not be used. The programme is working across departments to ensure that the design contributes to reducing online fraud and costs overall.

An indication of the capital and annual running costs will not be clear until the initial design is agreed in October 2011. However, overall the programme will reduce costs for government by helping to put more services online.

Iran

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The sentence of blinding is barbaric and breaches international human rights norms. We have made this clear publicly, and have called on the Iranian authorities to commute the sentence and to cease the practice of corporal and capital punishment.

NHS: Refurbishment

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department does not hold this information in the format requested.

However, a list, provided by the London Strategic Health Authority, of London hospitals, which would fit either one or both of these criteria, can be found in the following table. The noble Lord may wish to contact the chair of NHS London, who will be happy to respond to further questions in relation to hospital refurbishment and major building works in London.



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London SectorTrust NameOrganisation TypeFoundation StatusSite Name

INEL

Barts and The London NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel

INEL

Barts and The London NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

St Bartholomew's Hospital

INEL

Newham University Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

Newham General Hospital

INEL

Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Medium

Yes

Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust

INEL

Tower Hamlets PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

Mile End Hospital

INEL

Barts and The London NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

The London Chest Hospital

INEL

East London NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

Newham Centre For Mental Health

NC

Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

Royal Free Hospital

NC

Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Trust

Acute - Specialist

No

Great Ormond Street Hospital - Main Site

NC

University College London NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

New University College Hospital

NC

The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

The Whittington Hospital

NC

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Chase Farm Hospital

NC

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Barnet General Hospital

NC

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

NC

University College London NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

Aggregate Site

NC

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Specialist

No

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (Stanmore)

NC

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Specialist

Yes

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust

NC

Barnet PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

Edgware Community Hospital

NC

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

St Ann's Hospital

NC

University College London NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

National Hospital Neurology/Neurosurgery

NC

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

Chase Farm Hospital

NC

Camden PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

St Pancras Hospital

NC

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

Edgware Community Hospital

NC

University College London NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

The Heart Hospital

NC

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

Queen Charlotte's Hospital

NC

Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital

NC

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Care Trust

Yes

Highgate Hospital

NW

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

Charing Cross Hospital

NW

North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Northwick Park & St Mark's Hospitals

NW

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

St Mary's Hospital

NW

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust

NW

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

Hammersmith Hospital

NW

West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

Broadmoor Hospital

NW

West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

St Bernard's Wing

NW

North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Central Middlesex Hospital

NW

Ealing Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Small

No

Ealing Hospital NHS Trust

NW

The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Multi-Service

No

Mount Vernon Hospital

NW

The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Multi-Service

No

The Hillingdon Hospital

NW

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Specialist

No

Royal Brompton Hospital

NW

West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Small

No

West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

NW

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Specialist

No

Harefield Hospital

NW

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

St Charles Hospital

NW

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

St Charles MHU

ONEL

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Queen's Hospital

ONEL

Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

Whipps Cross University Hospital

ONEL

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

King George Hospital

ONEL

North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

Goodmayes Hospital

ONEL

Havering PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

St George's Hospital

ONEL

North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

Mascalls Park

SE

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

St Thomas' Hospital

SE

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

Guy's Hospital

SE

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Teaching

Yes

King's College Hospital

SE

The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust

SE

South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich

SE

South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Princess Royal University Hospital

SE

South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup

SE

South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Orpington Hospital

SE

Southwark PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

Dulwich Hospital

SW

St George's Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Teaching

No

St George's Hospital

SW

Kingston Hospital NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

Kingston Hospital

SW

Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust

Acute - Medium

No

Mayday University Hospital

SW

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

St Helier Hospital

SW

South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

Springfield University Hospital

SW

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

Bethlem Royal Hospital

SW

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Epsom General Hospital

SW

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Specialist

Yes

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton

SW

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

Maudsley Hospital

SW

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Acute - Specialist

Yes

Royal Marsden Hospital, Chelsea

SW

Wandsworth Teaching PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

Queen Mary's Hospital (SLG)

SW

South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

No

Tolworth Hospital

SW

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health and Learning Disability

Yes

Lambeth Hospital

SW

Sutton and Merton PCT

Primary Care Trust

No

Orchard Hill Hospital

SW

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute - Large

No

Sutton Hospital (RVR)

Source: NHS London: Capital and Investment Unit

Office of the European High Representative

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The high representative's office has played an important part in orchestrating EU responses to Iran's nuclear programme, and to political unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The office oversaw the opening of an EU office in Benghazi, and played a helpful role co-ordinating the EU's response to the Pakistan floods. The EAS has not contributed to a reduction in the costs of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as the role of the EAS is to supplement and complement, not replace national diplomatic services. As a result of lobbying by the UK, the council decision establishing the EAS committed the service to achieving budget neutrality over the long term.

Palestine

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We believe the priority is a return to negotiations. We are pressing both the Israelis and the Palestinians to return to the table further to President Obama's speech of 19 May 2011, making clear that negotiations should be on the basis of 1967 borders with swaps.

As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister made clear in his joint press conference with President Obama, we do not feel the time is right yet for a decision on the question of recognition.

Public Sector: Terms and Conditions

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The number of military personnel in the UK regular Armed Forces who died in service during each of the past 10 years is published on the Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) website at www.dasa.mod.uk.

Information in the form requested for the wider public sector is not held centrally and could only be collated at disproportionate cost.

Yemen: British Embassy

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Ensuring the safety of our staff is our utmost priority. We constantly keep under review the security situation in Sana'a, and take steps as the situation requires. The siege of the United Arab Emirates ambassador's residence on 22 May was disgraceful. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), made a public statement on 24 May condemning the Yemeni Government's failure to ensure the protection of diplomats and diplomatic missions, while calling also on all sides to exercise restraint. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right honourable Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), also announced on 26 May the temporary withdrawal of a further four members of staff because of heightened security concerns.


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