TV & Radio
Ｙ染色体、チンパンジーと人で１・７８％の違い （2006年1月3日21時38分 読売新聞）
チンパンジーとヒトに大差、Ｙ染色体の進化早く (日本経済 2006/01/02)
Ｙ染色体の差ゲノムより大 ヒトとチンパンジー比較 2006/01/02 17:58共同
チンパンジーＹ染色体塩基１２７０万個、韓日共同で完全解読…人類進化過程究明期待 (中央日報日本語版 2006/01/02)
チンパンジーのＹ染色体が解読される - TBS
これは、独立行政法人「理化学研究所」を中心とする国際共同研究チームが、イギリスの科学誌「ｎａｔｕｒｅ ｇｅｎｅｔｉｃｓ」のオンライン版 に発表したものです。
Seeing America from Portland perch
Monday, January 02, 2006
When the U.S. military death toll in Iraq reached 2,000, the Hokkaido Shimbun's Washington, D.C.-based correspondent cranked out a news story with facts and figures. But his Portland colleague -- the first Oregon-based staff writer for a Japanese newspaper -- did just what he came to do.
Toshimi Edagawa cut to the quick with a moving story about a Portland woman whose soldier son had died in Iraq, giving Japanese readers an intimate view of American life. Edagawa, a 42-year-old father of two, cried when he interviewed Lynn Bradach, mother of Travis, who was killed last July clearing land mines.
"When we look at their pictures in the newspaper," Edagawa wrote of Americans killed in the war, "they are so young that it makes us absolutely sad. Each of them has a life story."
Edagawa's personal approach, and his self-chosen base in Portland, are highly unusual among Japanese foreign correspondents, who tend to write stories that read like formulaic wire-service translations. He says his editors in Sapporo, Portland's sister city on the northern island of Hokkaido, bucked convention by sending him to a midsize West Coast community so that he could see things through American eyes.
In six months, the trim outgoing reporter, who came from a prestigious Tokyo assignment directing national political coverage, has seen both good and bad in the United States. He noticed, while covering Hurricane Katrina's fallout in New Orleans, that all the police officers at an emergency shelter were white and all the displaced people there were black. He spoke with an African American looter who said the disaster freed him from an oppressive society.
But like a modern-day de Tocqueville, Edagawa is eager as well to report on American innovations and achievements. He admires Oregon for its originality -- assisted suicide and same-sex marriage are stories on his to-do list. He wants to write about strong local governments, even if that means deciphering Portland's quirky commission-style system.
"In Japan, the national government is very powerful, and local governments have no money and no power," Edagawa says. So Japanese reformers face long odds.
Edagawa, who grew up near Tokyo, never expected to become a journalist. He graduated from Hokkaido University with a veterinarian's license but never practiced. "I didn't like blood," he says.
He rose through the reporting ranks, considering himself lucky, in the perverse logic of journalists, to see so many big disasters. Japan's Okushiri Island tsunami, the Kobe earthquake, the Mount Usu eruption, the Indian Ocean tsunami and now Katrina -- he covered them all.
He also worked in the elite press corps covering Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, accompanying him to North Korea and elsewhere. While Edagawa admires Koizumi's populist appeal, he thinks his reforms often benefit big cities at the expense of rural areas.
Edagawa works for a newspaper with a daily circulation of nearly 2 million, almost five times as large as The Sunday Oregonian's. Hokkaido Shimbun has 10 foreign bureaus spread from Moscow to Cairo, Beijing to London and Paris to . . . Portland.
Like many U.S. newspapers, however, the Hokkaido Shimbun's circulation is shrinking, and space devoted to international news is contracting. Japanese editors are searching for new ways to reach and retain readers. That includes arming Edagawa with a video camera to supplement his articles with segments for Japanese television or the Web, a chore that doesn't excite him.
Edagawa had been to the United States only twice, on whirlwind trips with Japanese politicians, before scouting the West Coast for a reporting base last March. He visited Vancouver, B.C., Seattle and Portland. "Portland is the perfect size" and friendly, he says, noting, however, that competing media in Japan say, "Hokkaido Shimbun is crazy," thinking Los Angeles or San Francisco to be more suitable locations for a West Coast bureau.
Working from a RiverPlace apartment in downtown Portland, Edagawa relies on part-time news assistant William Anton, who has lived in Japan, for linguistic and logistical support. He misses his wife, 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, hoping they can leave Sapporo to join him before long.
Over rice, eel and a Sapporo beer in a Japanese restaurant recently, Edagawa told tales of reporting in a territory that extends from Alaska to South America. He consulted an electronic dictionary occasionally to find an English word.
Recently, he traveled to an Alaskan village on the Bering Sea whose residents voted to move their community because of rising sea levels blamed on global warming. He plans to visit the Dominican Republic to write about disenchanted Japanese immigrants there.
In Oregon, Edagawa has interviewed Tillamook farmers, writing about U.S. beef exports to Japan resuming after the mad-cow scare. He visited the southern town of Bly to explore allegations that terrorists planned a training camp nearby.
Until arriving there, he didn't know that the Bly area was also the site of World War II's only mainland-U.S. casualties, six people killed by a balloon bomb carried by the jet stream from Japan. Anxious about how he would be received, Edagawa found townspeople willing to talk and to show him folded-paper cranes sent years later in a gesture by Japanese schoolchildren. He wrote a story for his Japanese readers. But, he says, "Many Oregon people don't know about the balloon bomb. It's amazing."
Edagawa's editors have given him three years abroad, an adventure he regards as his last hurrah. After that, he expects to undergo the Japanese newsman's inevitable metamorphosis from reporter to editor. In the meantime, he says, "I don't want to go to waste even one day in Portland."
Richard Read: 503-294-5135; firstname.lastname@example.org
A few foreign journalists cover the news in and out of Oregon
Monday, January 02, 2006
-- Richard Read
Oregon may not be an international news hub, but the Portland area has attracted a handful of foreign correspondents.
South Korea has a contingent. "We have these Korean events," says Robert Donaldson, honorary consul general of the Republic of Korea, "and a lot of times there'll be three or four journalists elbowing to get the best camera angle."
Seung Yu writes for the Korean Central Daily newspaper. Joon "Jay" Choi writes for The Korea Times, which shows interest in the case of Tigard panty thief Sung Koo Kim, who emigrated from South Korea as a child. But both reporters write primarily for U.S. editions, meaning they might not qualify for top rank in the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Oregon -- if one existed.
Jens Eckhardt is the genuine article, however. He's based in Portland as West Coast correspondent for Handelsblatt, Germany's daily business and financial newspaper. A full-time staff writer, he covers a variety of topics, including the U.S. auto industry.
Eckhardt's predecessor might be considered to be Theodor Kirchhoff, a German journalist who wrote about Oregon in the 1860s. "A mere 20 Germans," Kirchhoff wrote of Corvallis, "yet the place had two excellent breweries, proof that Americans regard the brown nectar of grain as highly as do our countrymen.
"For, no matter how thirsty and how well endowed with Teutonic bibulousness, 20 Germans could not drink the output of two breweries." -- Richard Read
Push to legalise gay marriage
By Erin O'Dwyer
January 1, 2006 Sydney Morning Herald
Home is where the hearts should be joined
GAY rights activists will seize on Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to push for legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
David Scamell, of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, said the organisation would conduct a landmark survey of gay and lesbian couples over the next six months to gauge support for civil unions and same-sex marriages.
The lobby plans to meet federal politicians, capitalising on a swell of support from the Liberal back bench, to urge Australians to follow Britain's lead in recognising same-sex relationships.
Mr Scamell said that, although the community was divided on whether legal recognition of same-sex relationships should be via a civil union or traditional marriage, support for equal legal rights was widespread.
The issue will gain momentum next month, as 10,000 pink hearts are planted in Sydney's Victoria Park ahead of Fair Day on February 19 and the Mardi Gras Parade on March 4.
"We plan on making it a major issue," Mr Scamell said.
Last month Britain became the latest country to allow same-sex civil unions. The laws allowed entertainer Elton John to marry his long-time love David Furnish, and thousands of gay and lesbian couples are expected to follow suit this year.
In Australia, the ACT is expected to legislate for civil unions this year while in Tasmania same-sex couples can register their relationships and access a legal framework of protections.
But Rod Swift, of the Australian Coalition for Equality, said Australia was moving in the opposite direction to Britain and New Zealand - which recognised same-sex civil unions early last year.
Mr Swift said that although progress had been made under state laws - particularly regarding wills and property division - there had been very little advancement regarding federal taxation and superannuation laws.
"The debate comes down to people's real day-to-day lives," Mr Swift said.
"The best solution is to resolve the tension between state and federal laws, and have one unitary system of civil unions where an existing same-sex relationship will be recognised by all states and territories."
Prime Minister John Howard has ruled out recognising gay marriages, despite a push by Liberal backbenchers Warren Entsch, Mal Washer, Judi Moylan and Petro Georgiou.
This puts Australia behind countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa, where same-sex marriages are legal.
Same-sex civil unions are recognised in Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Britain and seven US states.
In NSW same-sex couples have won virtually the same rights as de facto couples. But gay rights activists want equality in areas such as federal workers' compensation, immigration, welfare payments and adoption.
They also want the right to publicly celebrate their love and commitment.
Source: The Sun-Herald
The Times December 31, 2005
Q: How do you pay homage to a towering musical genius? A: With a bra that can play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
From Roger Boyes in Salzburg
GOOD news in time for Mozart’s 250th birthday next month: listening to his music, according to the latest research, boosts IQ, squeezes more milk out of cows and makes rats more loveable.
Judging by the frenzied commerce in the narrow streets of his birthplace, Salzburg, it also makes the cash tills ring.
Austria is gearing up for a year-long celebration of its best-known composer. With 500 events planned for 2006, it hopes to use Mozart to rebrand itself as a serious European player, the place where the big issues of European identity can be hammered out.
“During our EU presidency, starting in January, we want to get to grips with some of the deep reflection about the continent that was neglected in the British stint,” one senior official said. “Mozart Year is the perfect moment.”
One of the first Mozart Year visitors to Salzburg will be Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, who will be attending a brainstorming session entitled The Sound of Europe. Whether the accomplished pianist will be impressed by Salzburg’s avalanche of Mozart kitsch — Mozart knickers are flying off the shelves, as well as a bra that plays a refrain from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik — is another matter. Mozart’s two children died without offspring: there is no family to protect or profit from the Mozart name and so the free market is running wild. There are beer glasses that trill a few notes from The Marriage of Figaro when full, there is a Mozart sausage and Mozart babysuits. You can get drunk on Mozart schnapps and fat on sticky chocolate Mozart Balls, then you can jog it all off in Mozart jogging pants.
By that time, you may be ready to listen to some music. “It will be an artistic feast,” says Inge Brodil, a former set designer who is helping to co-ordinate the programme for the Mozart Year. Salzburg alone will host 260 concerts and 55 masses. “For the first time, all 22 of Mozart’s operas will be staged,” Frau Brodil says.
In line with Austria’s new image, there will be plenty of experimentation during the year. The German director Doris Doerrie has been allowed to take on Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. Critics are already nervous: they still remember how she staged Verdi’s Rigoletto, in the manner of Planet of the Apes.
The tone has been struck by the Texan avant-garde artist Robert Wilson (designer of Death, Destruction and Detroit) who has recast Mozart’s handsome ochre-painted birthplace in the Getreidegasse. A stunted doll of the wigged, dead Mozart has been embedded in a cot, a blue neon halo dangling overhead. A baffled Italian visitor shielded his child’s eyes, saying it was a horror show. “I think it’s just there to frighten children,” said Sandro Brunetti, from Turin.
Austria proposes to “Europeanise” Mozart and Frau Brodil has been networking with other cities, including Prague and London. The country is taking a more distanced view of its local heroes. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born Governor of California, is being disowned by his hometown of Graz. After he signed the death warrant on a reformed murderer, Graz decided to rename its Arnold Schwarzenegger football stadium and find another tourist attraction. There is not much chance that Salzburg will ever banish the name of Mozart.
A LIFE IN MUSIC
Born in Salzburg on January 27, 1756
Mozart mania: Austrians cash in on Amadeus
2006 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the world's great composers and his home town is determined to make the most of it. Ruth Elkins reports from a Salzburg engulfed by a tide of chocolate, cake and kitsch souvenirs
Published: 02 January 2006 The Independent
A British woman is making fast work of Salzburg's Mirabell chocolate shop. A brief respite from the snowstorm outside has turned into a full-blown shopping spree. "Oh look, darling!" she exclaims to her tired-looking husband, grabbing yet another box of gold-wrapped, chocolate nougat Mozart Balls, these ones violin-shaped. "Aren't they lovely souvenirs? We really are in Mozart Land, aren't we?"
Salzburg has always claimed to be the true Mozart city, cashing in on the four million tourists who flock there each year in search of traces of its prodigal son. But this year will be different: 2006 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The year-long birthday bash Austria is planning will be, they say, the biggest ever, with Amadeus featuring in virtually every major Austrian event. The forecasted profits from Mozart Year, combined with Austria taking over the EU presidency in 2006, are expected to run to €50m (£35m). The tourism chiefs are licking their lips. And the kitsch has reached its zenith.
You can drink Mozart milkshakes; eat "Mozartwurst" (the recipe for the pork, beef and pistachio sausage, says the butcher who created it, came to him in a dream); stuff yourself with Mozart cake; and then stock up on Mozart beer and wine. The Mozart knickers and Mozart golf balls are only surpassed by the Mozart bra, which triumphantly plays "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" when it is unfastened. Symposiums and events range from "Meet Amadeus" and "Mozart Deluxe" to "Mozart Waits for You" while Mozart ski holidays include a ticket to the opera in the price.
More cynical visitors can bag seats for the "I Hate Mozart" opera and, if next year's Mozart Mania gets to be too much, you can always buy a Mozart knife.
The organisers of the 2006 "Mozart Year" are struggling to convince the world that it isn't in for Mozart overkill. "For us, celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday is all about celebrating his music and fine art," says Inge Brodil, who is co-ordinating the year's events in Salzburg. "It is a marvellous opportunity to hear some of Mozart's less-performed works." Ms Brodil, 48, a former set designer, clutches nervously at her neck. "Of course, we can't ignore the tatty souvenirs," she says. "But there's nothing we can really do about the kitsch. It's simply the free market." Mozart has been dead too long to profit from royalties each time a CD is sold or a concerto played on the radio: there is a Europe-wide 70-year, post-death limit on that and, in any case, Mozart's descendants died out not long after Wolfgang himself.
Both Mozart's sons, Carl Thomas and Franz Xaver, left the world unmarried and childless. The lucrative Mozart trademark is, to put it politely, an entrepreneurial free-for-all.
Unsurprisingly, the kitsch is nothing new. The Salzburgerland province has been cashing in on Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, as he was christened, since the 1840s. "Mozart festival programmes, Mozart biographies, Mozart concerts, Mozart busts, Mozart models, and Mozart pipes were abundantly displayed in the shops," reported the Salzburg journalist Ludwig Mielichhofer in 1842. "The inns offered Mozart rooms, Mozart bread and Mozart wine - everything was given the Mozart name, which was heard daily, countless times, and everywhere. It was the password of the day."
Some of the most sought-after 19th-century Mozart knickknacks included "Mozart Cake" made by the Hladik Company, which quickly set up premises near the house at Getreidegasse No 9 where Mozart was born and "Mozart Cream", which was regarded as the best shoe polish in the whole of Salzburg.
One in three jobs in Salzburg is, directly or indirectly, dependent on tourism - on Mozart's legacy as the greatest musical genius the world has ever seen. Salzburg airport is named after him; St Gilgen, where Mozart's mother, Anna Maria, was born, brands itself "The Mozart Village on the Lake". The best-known ski area in the province is called "Amadé Sports World". But despite, or perhaps because of, the extent to which the cash registers ring when the holiday-makers roll up, Salzburg's relationship to Mozart remains love-hate. The taxi drivers grumble loudly about the doddering Japanese tourists who come in their thousands and the coaches which block the roads throughout the summer months. And "the locals," sniffs one guidebook, "always try to avoid the Getreidegasse whenever they can."
Nevertheless, Salzburg has dedicated seven years and €7m to preparing for 2006: for the first time, the acclaimed Salzburger Festspiele will stage all 22 of Mozart's operas during its six-week run in the summer and throughout the year, 260 Mozart concerts and 55 masses will be held. More than 500 projects, exhibitions and events will be hosted across the country: even the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, is turning up for the official birthday party marking the actual 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth on 27 January, attending a conference on European identity entitled "The Sound of Europe".
But will it all be too much? "Mozart's music will be as good this year as it was last year and as good as it will be in 2007," said Dr James Kennaway, a British-born musicologist. "But by the end of 2006, we can safely say that most people are going to be a little sick of him."
Karl Harb, the arts and music editor at Salzburg's newspaper, Salzburger Nachrichten, disagrees. "Yes, there is a lot of Mozart on offer," he said. "But the individual must steer their Mozart consumption themselves. Only they can decide what events to attend. You don't have to go to all the concerts, do you?"
You can if you want to, though. The Salzburger Festspiele is offering special Mozart Year subscriptions, if you fancy spending 60 days in July and August pottering around the narrow streets of Salzburg and watching all 22 of Wolfgang's operatic works. It costs €4,995 per person for the best seats in the house. Even single tickets don't come particularly cheap. Although standing room tickets retail at €25, a ticket in the stalls for The Marriage of Figaro starring opera world darling soprano Anna Netrebko will set you back €600.
Many fear that after the huge spurt of investment for 2006, funding and interest will dry up. "Millions of euros of public money have been invested in everything to do with this Mozart Year," says Mr Harb. "Many in the classical music scene are worried about where their money is going to come from in 2007 and, frankly, whether there will be any interest in Mozart after such a sustained focus on him this year." But there are always shock tactics to keep the crowds from getting bored. Bob Wilson, an American artist, has revamped the yellow-fronted, six-storey townhouse where Mozart was born in 1756, a nod to the maxim that every generation must discover Mozart anew and an attempt to keep the stream of tourists steady. The Texan-born avant-garde designer, whose previous works include Death, Destruction and Detroit, claimed he "couldn't discover Mozart anew". But he did the makeover anyway. One critic said that the result was the equivalent of going on a "gaga ghost train" ride.
In the room where Mozart was born, a pale wooden doll lies in a cot. The bewigged Wolfgang stares up at a neon blue halo hanging from the ceiling, an attempt to simultaneously symbolise the birth and the death of the great man. In another room, 19th-century prints hang upside down and a white, papier mâché model of Salzburg has been attached to the ceiling. Another room is covered in small blue geese and in another, a life-sized mechanical model of Mozart's pushy father, Leopold, shoots the family dog, Pimperl - a scene which did not actually happen in real life.
It is all a touch bemusing for the visitors. "They still need time to get their heads round it," sighed Dr Tekle Hanna Feissa, an Ethiopian-born musicologist and guide at the Mozartsgeburtshaus museum. Dr Feissa spends much of his day trying to explain the meaning of Wilson's post-modern oeuvre and stop animal rights campaigners breaking Leopold's arm. "You try to tell them it's not real, that Leopold didn't really shoot the dog, but they don't care," he says, shaking his head. Wilson has not helped matters particularly. When asked why he decided to put small blue geese on the ceiling of the room where Anna Maria Mozart almost died, he replied: "I don't know. You tell me!"
In Vienna, €30m has been invested in the festivities and the opera house revamped. "You will get the feeling that a continual and very lively dialogue [on Mozart] is taking place, not a clichéd jubilee year," promised Peter Marboe, who is co-ordinating events in the Austrian capital.
Plenty of left-field Mozart celebrations are being held, many of which have already started in earnest. At last month's You're Also Mozart, Think About It performance project in Vienna, the audience was treated to the contemporary artist Caroline Heinecke, dressed in brown and gold, depicting how a chocolate Mozartkugel - the most popular of Mozart souvenirs with sales of 90 million a year - is digested.
The point, she said, was to ask the pertinent question: would Mozart have been able to digest the frenzied marketing of his name? Mozart spent much of his 35 years trying to escape the provincial backwaters of Salzburg. He was, in effect, thrown out by the Prince Archbishop Hieronymus in 1777 and the fear remains: would the musical genius be pleased at all the attention? "I absolutely think so," says Ms Brodil. "We're talking about a man who travelled Europe exhaustively to get people to hear his music. I think he'd be thrilled."
And the lucrative kitsch? "Put it this way," says Dr Kennaway, "if this was going on for Beethoven's 250th birthday, he'd be turning in his grave. But Mozart was more down to earth." Mozart was a freelancer, his work entirely driven by money. Experts who have studied the music paper that Mozart used say Wolfgang often started works, but would not finish them until he received a commission. Earning today's equivalent of £26,000 a year, with Constanze, his high-maintenance wife to keep and, it is suspected, a gambling habit, Mozart would probably have been only too pleased to get a look-in on massive profits from the souvenirs bearing his name. He wrote begging letters to friends and left debts when he died of rheumatic fever on 5 December 1791. He was buried in a pauper's grave.
Clinton's Fight Against AIDS
Jan. 1, 2006 CBS 60 minutes
(CBS) What do you do if you’re a former president, besides making millions writing your memoirs? If you’re Jimmy Carter, you help cure river blindness in Africa and build habitats for humanity. And if you’re George Bush and Bill Clinton, you raise money for hurricane and tsunami victims.
Or you try to accomplish something you admit you weren’t able to do in office as well as your successor, and in Mr. Clinton’s case, that’s fighting the world-wide AIDS epidemic.
Former President Bill Clinton talked to Correspondent Dan Rather about the fight against AIDS, his intriguing relationship with the Bush White House, and about his wife’s political future.
60 Minutes traveled with Mr. Clinton deep into China, into an area rarely visited by westerners. The rural area is known as the Golden Triangle, near the borders of Vietnam and Myanmar, which used to be known as Burma. It is a remote agricultural area, is extremely poor, and it has become a breeding ground for AIDS, which has infected a million Chinese citizens. It is estimated that number could rise to ten million in five years.
It is in Yunnan province in southeast China that health officials have documented the largest number of AIDS cases. It’s bad, they say, and getting worse. The area has long been a major drug pipeline and AIDS is spread here mostly through IV drug users and prostitutes, and by migrant workers from the countryside who are streaming by the millions into urban areas.
AIDS is exploding, not only in China but worldwide. But Mr. Clinton is convinced he can make a difference.
"There are over 40 million people that are HIV-positive. So it just seemed to me that this was a problem that cried out for organization and a little entrepreneurial skill, and for a relatively small amount of money we could have a huge impact," says Clinton.
60 Minutes flew with Mr. Clinton by private plane to Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province. It wasn’t Air Force One, but Mr. Clinton was treated like a celebrity when he arrived. From the airport he went directly to a local hospital where, to dramatize the AIDS problem, Mr. Clinton invited in the media and then, with cameras rolling, met with a young woman who is HIV infected.
This woman is the face of AIDS in China, Clinton wanted everyone to know. She says she has never used drugs, never worked in the sex trade and insists her only recent sex partner is her husband.
People in her village don't understand, she said, and some even stop talking to her when they learn she is infected.
"I looked at this kid and I thought, she’s my daughter’s age, you know," says Clinton. "I want people to see her as a human being. And to see that there’s nothing wrong with touching them, people with HIV and AIDS. There’s nothing wrong with embracing them. And there’s everything right with fighting for them to have a normal life."
President Clinton’s foundation is helping to fund an AIDS testing lab in Kunming. A thousand new workers are being trained.
"There are two different tests typically performed. One is the CD4, which shows you know how you’re doing as you go along. And the other is the viral load showing the amount of virus drops in the blood. We have cut the cost of these tests dramatically, by 80, 85 percent," he says.
Mr. Clinton has also used the media to convince China it has an AIDS problem. Two years ago, in Beijing, he hugged a man who was infected, and he did it on Chinese television.
U.N. Undersecretary General Peter Piot, who is in charge of the United Nations AIDS programs, says it was a defining moment. He says President Clinton has been successful in convincing many world leaders they have to deal with the stigma and the reality of AIDS.
"AIDS has to do with sex and drugs. And these are difficult, sensitive issues in any society. I’ve heard it so many times in Asia. You hear it in India. 'We’re different. We’re not like these Africans. We’re not like those Americans or these Europeans. We don’t do these things,' " says Piot. "There’s denial."
Has there been a cover-up of the AIDS problem?
"I think there has been a cover-up in many provinces. The best example, or the worst example, is Henan province," says Piot.
Henan Province is not as remote as Yunnan but AIDS is a problem here, too, less because of drugs and prostitution than because of blood transfusions. Poor farmers sold their blood for cash and in the process were contaminated by the blood of other donors who had AIDS. Local government officials were aware of what was going on, but by most accounts ignored, even covered up, the AIDS problem. Now the disease has been passed on to the farmers’ children. Clinton’s foundation is trying to save them by giving them drugs for free.
But President Clinton was thrown a sudden curve ball in Henan province, about an hour’s flight south of Beijing. He was supposed to meet inside a hospital with some of the 100 kids his foundation has been treating for AIDS, the first program of its kind in this country. But in a last-minute switch, the government, which has been accused of downplaying or even denying the full extent of the spread of AIDS here, told the President he couldn’t meet with the kids inside the hospital, so the whole operation had to be shifted quickly to a hotel.
"I would have preferred to go to the hospital, but I have worked with the Chinese for a long time. And I understand that the inferences that we draw are now as important as whether they are, in fact, committed to this pediatric program. As long as these kids are going to live, I’ll meet with them on the penthouse here. If they wanted to meet me in my suite and drink tea, it’d be fine with me," says Clinton.
It ended up looking a little like a political campaign event. But Clinton seemed pleased and surprised when he met some of the 100 children his foundation is treating. Soon, Clinton’s foundation hopes to be treating nearly 10,000 kids in China.
Clinton says if these children don’t get the medication, they'll all die. "They could all live normal lives. Virtually all of them can be saved," he says.
But not without medication. Clinton’s foundation was able to convince companies in India to sell AIDS drugs very cheaply, for just $230 per child per year. The price surprised 60 Minutes, and when we caught up later with Mr. Clinton in his New York office, we wanted to find out why he can’t negotiate the same price from American companies.
"We’re in Harlem doing this interview. And there’s an AIDS center right around the corner, which I visited. All those people get medicine under the Medicaid program if they can’t afford it, at $10,000 a person a year," says Clinton.
Are the drug companies price-gouging for AIDS medicines?
"Their view is they're protecting their intellectual property," Clinton says. "Well, in my mind, I think they could sell them for a lot less without losing money. I do think that."
American companies do charge less overseas for their drugs, sometimes far less, but so far they have not matched the price Clinton negotiated in India. With lower prices and small staffs, Mr. Clinton says that foundations like his and the one run by Bill Gates can be more efficient and cost-effective fighting AIDS than some government programs. But he also acknowledges that AIDS worldwide spread dramatically while he was president and that President Bush has poured much more money than his administration did into the fight against the disease.
Does he wish he had done more during his presidency?
"Well, I don’t think I could have done more. It was like pulling teeth to get any foreign money out of Congress when I was there. And when they had a president of their own party and they had their core Christian conservative constituents saying, 'Okay, we want to fight this,' then it became much easier. I wish I could have gotten more, but I don’t believe I could have," says Clinton.
Since we were talking about President Bush, we decided to switch gears and ask Mr. Clinton about all the work he’s doing these days for the Republican administration.
Clinton acknowledges his work with Republicans his unusual but says he doesn't think it's strange. "Former President Bush is someone I have admired always, including when I ran against him," says Clinton.
Which is why, Clinton says, he agreed to work on tsunami relief and Katrina hurricane relief with former President Bush.
"In the process of doing this, I spent more time around the current President Bush. And again, I never held it against him for being mad at me for beating his dad. I thought that was a good thing for a son to feel. And I never held it against him that he sees the world very differently than I do and we disagree on a whole raft of things," says Clinton.
Clinton says he doesn't miss the trappings of the presidency. Does he ever think about flying on board Air Force One in the capacity of first husband?
"Well, the answer to that is no," Clinton says, laughing. "I don’t think about that. And I have urged all of Hillary’s supporters not to think about that, because she’s got to run for re-election. And it’s a big hazard for anybody who’s up for re-election to think about anything but re-election."
There already is a woman president on TV, played by Geena Davis. Is America ready for a female commander in chief?
"I don’t know. My gut is, yes, that if a woman came across as strong and seasoned and well prepared, if you said the right things in the right way and you had a good record to back it up, my gut is, yes. But the hard truth is we won’t know until it happens," says Clinton.
For now, Mr. Clinton says he’s concentrating his efforts on AIDS. But globe-trotting can take its toll. In China, the President seemed grayer and thinner than the last time we had seen him.
"I did five cities in China, seven cities in eight days, halfway across the world, and I was truly exhausted. But I want to work hard. I don’t know how much time I’ve got to live, and I want to make as much difference as I can," says Clinton.
But why not try to make a difference on problems closer to home?
"This is our problem," says Clinton. "Eight thousand people die of AIDS in the world every single day. It’s our problem. It’s a big problem. Look, I’m working hard on trying to help the victims of Katrina. I’m working hard on trying to help the victims of the tsunami. But we have a tsunami-like death toll once a month with AIDS."
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Hong Kong gays fight sodomy laws, triggering debate in traditional society
When William Roy Leung made legal history in Hong Kong by successfully challenging antigay laws, the 20-year-old gay man told a crowd outside the courthouse he could finally be in love without living in fear of being thrown in jail. But the legal threat might soon be back in Leung's life. The government is appealing the decision that found sodomy laws discriminatory and unconstitutional. One of the laws demanded a life sentence for gay sex when one or both men are younger than 21.
The appeal surprised Leung, who works for a medical aid group. "We're not asking for anything new. This is about equality, about everybody having the same rights," he told the Associated Press.
But others think differently in this Chinese city—where sex, let alone homosexuality, is a subject almost never brought up in the family. Though Hong Kong does not actively persecute or repress its sexual minorities, few would venture to say the city is open or tolerant about gays and lesbians. The ruling sparked a big controversy. Some predicted that August's court case meant the legal age for gay sex will be lowered from 21 to 16—the same as that for heterosexual intercourse.
In an ensuing city-wide debate over the "appropriate" age for homosexual behavior, everything from "traditional morals" and "Asian culture" to religion have been called upon as defense against the ruling. Hong Kong is more tolerant of homosexuality than Singapore, which bans gay sex and bars gay groups from registering as organizations. Prosecutions of gays are rare in Singapore, which tolerates them as long as they keep a low profile.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Hong Kong 14 years ago, but it is legal only for men 21 years of age or older. Consensual sodomy between men, when one or both are under 21, could mean life imprisonment, and both men would be held criminally liable. The same punishment applies to sodomy between straight couples, but in that case only the man—not the woman if she is under 21—is considered a criminal. There are no corresponding laws for lesbians.
High court judge Michael Hartmann said such differences contradicted the spirit of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, which says all individuals are to be equally protected by the law. He also criticized the laws as "disproportionate punishment" for gay men, who at the time of drafting were probably assumed to be deviant in "choosing" to be gay—in the same way people have a choice over drug addiction.
Gay rights activist Nigel Collett agrees with the judge. "The disparity in the age of consent law sends a message to all gay young men that this society views them as different and somehow criminal. It imposes a stigma," said Collett, a writer and businessman.
Meanwhile, Hartmann's ruling was greeted with bitter resentment by conservative groups. Even Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang—a Catholic who attends Mass daily—felt compelled to speak out. "We must look after the interests of people whom we believe need to be protected," Tsang told reporters. "I think we have to look at not only points of equity—which I fully espouse—but also look at the interests of the minor as well."
The Christian group Society for Truth and Light has been leading a fierce campaign against gay rights, maintaining that teenage boys must be protected from "dangerous activities" and AIDS. Taking out large newspaper ads and staging protests, the group also warned that Hong Kong is in danger of overindulging in equality for homosexuals, which it believes will give gays license to demand more and more—eventually bringing about same-sex marriage.
Many gays in Hong Kong say same-sex marriage is an unrealistic expectation and that they harbor only modest hopes. Some, like Collett, would like to see committed gay couples given legal rights to pensions and hospital visits. (AP)
Gay Chinese a presence but discreet in Hong Kong
2005-12-31 Beijing Time - Shanghai Daily
JERVOIS Street runs through what looks like an ordinary Hong Kong neighborhood with sleepy car repair shops and tiny noodle eateries. But as night falls it gets a makeover, becoming one of the few places in town where the gay community can be seen relaxing and partying in public.
Every weekend, two trendy gay bars — probably the first such establishments in Hong Kong to open on the street front — draw flashy cars, celebrities, designers and masses of men in silk shirts and tight tank tops. As the evening wears on, the surging crowds spill out on the sidewalk, drinking and socializing.
Hong Kong may be among the most cosmopolitan of Asian cities, but its pink economy remains largely underground.
Unlike Jervois Street, most of the sprinkling of openly gay or gay-friendly clubs and karaoke bars are discreetly tucked away in alleyways or upstairs of buildings.
Like the clubs they patronize, most homosexuals in Hong Kong prefer not to draw attention to their sexual preference, despite apparently improving tolerance and emergency of the gay rights movement over the past decade or so.
In the genteel Boris and Matthew bar, many youths leaning against each other and hunching over drinks intimately will have to hide their sexuality from the world. But Herman Au is an exception.
The tanned, fashion-savvy 24-year-old event organizer said he came out to his family a year ago, and has never suffered any discrimination in the workplace.
"My whole company knows. I don't ever have to hide myself," he said, admitting however that his parents are "definitely more open-minded" than most.
Even so, Au said he has had to coax his mother into accepting that she would never have any grandchildren. The family is the single most important unit of society in Chinese culture, and knowledge that their sons will never form a family or fulfill their perceived duty in continuing the family line is immensely difficult for most Chinese parents to accept.
Hankooki.com > The Korea Times > Nation
Sex Genes Make Difference Between Human and Chimp
By Cho Jin-seo Staff Reporter
What most distinguishes humans from apes is their sex-linked genes, according to a joint research team of Korean and Japanese scientists.
The International Consortium of the Chimpanzee Genome Project said that it revealed the complete DNA coding sequence of chimpanzees’ Y chromosomes, which determines the development of sexual characteristics, and compared it with that of humans. The new findings give crucial insight into the evolution of humans, who share a common ancestor with Chimpanzees, the research team said.
According to the team, human Y chromosomes have almost three times more information than that of Chimpanzees, the closest relative to humans among animal species. It also said that the sex chromosome has made more changes within its structure than non-sex chromosomes, meaning that it has most affected the evolution of the human species.
``The difference in Y chromosomes reflects the different behaviors of humans and chimpanzees, such as their sexual culture and the size of their groups,’’ said Prof. Park Hong-seog of the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, ``And the evolutions are still underway in humans.’’
The consortium is composed of 19 scientists from Japan and Korea. The report, named ``comparative analysis of chimpanzee and human y chromosomes unveils complex evolutional pathway,’’ was published in the U.S. science journal Nature Genetics on Monday.
A chromosome is a package of DNA, which carries genetic information of each organism. Humans have 22 pairs of non-sexual chromosomes, or autosomes, and two sexual chromosomes X and Y.
Chimpanzees have 23 pairs of autosomes and two sexual chromosomes X and Y, but their Y chromosomes have only 23 million blocks of genetic information in it while the human has some 60 million blocks in its Y chromosome, meaning that humans are more complicated in sex than chimpanzees.
In 2002, the team found that humans and chimpanzees share 98.77 percent of the same genome sequence. The genetic divergence between man and the chimpanzee is believed to have taken place sometime between the last five and seven million years.
``The Y chromosome has unique characteristics compared with the autosomes or X chromosomes. Compared with humans’, chimpanzees’ Y chromosomes have a very low diversity in their DNA sequences, and this is because of the differences in the two species’ social structure,’’ the team said in a press release.
The consortium has been working on a comparison of human and chimpanzee genes since 2001. Last year it revealed the complete DNA sequence of chimpanzee chromosome 22. For its next step, the team may work on chromosome X of the chimpanzee if the budget allows, Park said.
Researchers Find New Evolution Clues
JANUARY 02, 2006 03:07 - donga.com
More than half of the Y chromosomes of chimpanzees, the closest ape relatives of humans, have been decoded by a collaborative effort between Korean and Japanese researchers.
The success is considered to be a key to gaining further insights into human evolution and how immunity and infectious diseases, or cancer, occur in human and chimpanzees, respectively.
“We worked with a research team headed by Dr. Aso Fujiyama at Japan’s RIKEN research institute. Out of 23 million base pairs of chimpanzee Y chromosomes, we decoded 55 percent, or 12.7 million base pairs. We compared chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes. The comparison sheds light on the evolution of humans and chimpanzees,” said Dr. Park Hong-seok at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology on January 1.
The project received assistance from the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the research results were published in the January 2 issue of the online edition of Nature Genetics, the world’s leading journal on genetics.
Chimpanzees Do Not Inherit Immunity Diseases–
It is known that the human-chimpanzee split occurred about five to six million years ago, and each species went their separate evolutionary way.
In the process, chromosomes of both humans and chimpanzees underwent major changes. In particular, the Y chromosome, whose genes are involved in sex determination, is the chromosome that went through the most fundamental changes.
The joint research team found 19 genes on the Y chromosome of chimpanzees and compared them with the human Y chromosome (which contains 20 genes). The researchers could not locate CD24L4, a gene that is related to immunity and infectious diseases, on chimpanzee Y chromosomes.
“Human CD24L4 genes appear on the surface of cells that have immune and infectious diseases and cancer. Our discovery proves that humans and chimps contract diseases in different ways,” Park explained.
“Chimpanzees do not suffer from AIDS, dementia and malaria. Chimps have certain genes that we don’t have. By looking at them, we may find some clues for treating diseases in humans,” he added.
Different Genes, Different Sexual Behavior–
Most men are monogamous. In contrast, male chimps are polygamous. These different types of sexual behavior have had an impact on the evolution of the Y chromosome.
According to scientists, chimpanzee Y chromosomes differ from one another more widely than human Y chromosomes do. Moreover, chimpanzee Y chromosomes degenerate faster than those of humans.
“Because chimps are polygamous, a number of younger male chimps share the Y chromosomes of their father. Consequently, their Y chromosomes are similar. If a gene disappears from the Y chromosome of a male leader (degeneration), the Y chromosome of the younger generation degenerates faster,” said Park.
In January 2002, the same researchers showed that 98.77 percent of the chromosome sequences of humans and chimps match, and the result was announced in Science. In May 2004, they completely decoded chromosome 22 of chimpanzees and compared it with human chromosome 21, which has the same function as chimpanzee chromosome 22. The study was published in Nature.
JANUARY 02, 2006 03:07 東亜日報日本語版
NEW LAWS GO INTO EFFECT
Clock starts on new laws
Gay rights, meth and sex offender measures among 280 taking effect
By Christi Parsons
Chicago Tribune staff reporter
January 1, 2006
SPRINGFIELD -- The state's new gay rights law takes effect Sunday, making Illinois one of only a handful of states that explicitly bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Human Rights Act goes into effect New Year's Day, along with more than 280 other laws passed by state lawmakers and signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich during 2005. New statutes crack down on identity thieves, sex offenders, illegal drug producers and drunken or reckless drivers.
The gay rights statute outlaws discrimination against gays and lesbians by landlords, real estate agents, employers and lenders, a prohibition mirroring those in 14 other states.
But Illinois is only the sixth state to extend its protections to transgender people, whose gender identities are different from their designated sex at birth.
"This law is a big symbolic step," said Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois and a leading advocate for the new act. "It says the State of Illinois believes all of its citizens should be treated fairly and equitably. This law affirms that gay residents of Illinois are respected and are expected to be treated fairly," he said.
Conservative family groups vow to fight further legislative changes that help gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people fight discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Arguing that this law lays the groundwork for gay marriage and other changes to state law, several groups have promised legal action to challenge the law after it takes effect.
Although authors of the law say it exempts churches from its hiring rules, some conservative leaders fear the change will infringe on their rights to refuse job applicants who do not comply with their churches' teachings against homosexuality.
"It doesn't protect religious liberties or the churches," said Ralph Rivera, legislative chairman of Illinois Family Coalition. "Although the law may exempt the hiring of a minister, it may not exempt a choir director or a secretary at a church who is a cross-dresser," Rivera said. "If there's a church that says, `No, in our religious doctrine, we're opposed to homosexuality or cross-dressing,' [the church] could be in violation of the law."
Both parties back rights law
The law passed the Illinois General Assembly last January with the support of both Democrats and Republicans after years of fighting had prevented it from ever being called for consideration in the state Senate. But senators passed the measure under strong pressure from Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), with many black lawmakers drawing comparisons to the civil rights era.
After passage, Rep. Larry McKeon (D-Chicago), the only openly gay member of the legislature, pronounced his colleagues "on the right side of history." Blagojevich, who had lobbied for the bill with his sister-in-law, gay activist Deborah Mell, signed the measure in short order.
The gay-rights law is likely the most controversial measure to take effect Sunday, but dozens of others also will kick into gear.
Several are designed to protect Illinois residents from identity theft. One anti-identity-theft law will require companies to inform customers if their personal information may have accidentally fallen into the hands of thieves.
Another new law will allow victims of identity theft to impose a "security freeze" on their credit reports so that imposters can't open up new lines of credit in their names.
"Lawmakers are growing more receptive to these kinds of laws now," said Rebecca Stanfield, state director for the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, a supporter of the new statutes. "There's a growing awareness that identity theft is a problem. People are more and more aware of how widespread it is."
Loss of financial records
The threat hit home with policymakers nationwide in early 2005, when a company that compiles personal and financial information on millions of consumers revealed that it had inadvertently released private details about as many as 145,000 people.
The security breach at ChoicePoint inspired several states around the country to consider laws requiring that companies and public agencies inform consumers when the security of their personal information is jeopardized.
Other laws set to take effect Sunday address:
- Sex offenders. Police will begin providing information on juvenile sex offenders to the principals of the schools in which they are enrolled. Under previous law, juvenile offenders had to register with police, but the law did not require notification to local schools.
- Methamphetamine makers. Allergy and cold sufferers will have to show identification and sign a log when purchasing medicines containing the powder form of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used in the manufacture of meth. It is also against the law for anyone younger than 18 to buy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
- Reckless drivers. The law will limit drivers to two court supervisions for moving violations within a single year. Any other violations will result in convictions reported on the driver's permanent record.
In 2004, more than 3,780 drivers got court supervision for more than three offenses, according to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office. Also in 2004, 128 drivers got court supervision more than six times within the year, and one driver received it 14 times.
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Gays, lesbians and transgender individuals protected against bias from landlords, real estate agents, employers and lenders.
Companies must inform customers if personal information is compromised; victims can impose "security freeze" on credit reports.
Drivers limited to two court supervisions for moving violations in a year. Further violations, convictions to appear on driver's record.
Must show ID to buy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
A person's decision to donate organs and tissue after death is now legally binding. Previously, next of kin also had to consent.
'Wasted year' laws take effect
Measures on faxes, video games held up by court decisions
- Lynda Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Sunday, January 1, 2006
Sacramento -- Californians will face a slew of minor legal changes starting today, but two of the biggest laws passed this year will not go into effect. The courts have blocked legislation that would have banned junk faxes and restricted minors' access to video games.
But laws that take effect today will place limits on new drivers, ban pocket bikes from sidewalks and roads and prohibit businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
In a year where lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were at war most of the time, few pieces of significant legislation were passed. State Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, repeatedly called it a "wasted year."
Schwarzenegger vetoed many prominent pieces of legislation, including measures allowing same-sex marriage, increasing the minimum wage and giving illegal immigrants the right to have a driver's license.
"The session was full of acrimony and very little public policy," said Barbara O'Connor, professor of political communication at Cal State Sacramento. "They couldn't get consensus to get anything significant done. Lawmakers and the governor were consumed by the special election."
Schwarzenegger had pledged to work with lawmakers this year, after the defeat of the measures he placed on the special election ballot, and -- at least for now -- legislators appear willing to meet him halfway.
"Hopefully everybody heard the message of voters loud and clear -- they want their representatives in Sacramento to do things," O'Connor said.
Judges have decided that two of California's proposed new laws need further review. The video game law, sponsored by Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would have banned the sale or rental of especially violent video games to children under 18 years old unless parental approval was given.
The video game industry sued, charging that the law is unconstitutional. A federal judge said in December that there is enough evidence to block the law until a full court hearing. Supporters of the law remain optimistic that it will eventually go into effect, despite courts across the country striking down similar measures.
A federal judge also put on hold a state law banning unsolicited fax advertising, or "junk faxes." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a broadcast fax company filed the suit, claiming that California's measure undermines application of a new federal law and interferes with interstate commerce.
Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey (Los Angeles County), said the federal law is insufficient. It allows businesses to send unsolicited fax ads to consumers who have ever shopped for one of its products, without ever having to prove that a business relationship occurred.
Bowen said she was confident the state law will be upheld.
"The new federal law clearly allows states to enact stronger laws to protect people from having their fax machines commandeered by marketers," she said.
A new driving law will affect those under the age of 18. The law, sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Maze, R-Visalia, prohibits those with a provisional license from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Under current law, the prohibition starts at midnight. The bill also expands from six months to one year the amount of time a provisional driver cannot have passengers under the age of 20 unless there is a driver over the age of 25 in the car.
The law takes effect immediately and includes those currently holding a provisional license.
Another new law affecting motorists increases the penalties for intentionally evading or fleeing police officer, doubling the time in county jail from six months to one year. It also increases the penalty for evading a peace officer and causing injury or death.
Owners of pocket bikes -- defined as a two-wheeled motorized device that has a seat or saddle and is not designed for use on streets or highways -- will no longer be able to ride their vehicles on roads, sidewalks, bikeways or hiking trails. Manufacturers of the bikes must affix a sticker on the device stating that such actions are illegal. Anyone caught riding a pocket bike in prohibited areas will be guilty of an infraction and could have the bike seized.
This year the governor vetoed the most prominent bill backed by Equality California, which advocates on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians, when he refused to sign a bill making the marriage laws gender-neutral.
But Schwarzenegger signed three bills into law that expand anti-discrimination codes by including sexual orientation in the law. Another new law allows domestic partners of public employees who retired before Jan. 1, 2005, to receive death benefits if the retiree dies before his or her partner.
Several of the more prominent laws the governor signed this year do not take effect immediately, including measures banning junk food in schools and prohibiting the use of steroids by high school athletes.
A bill by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, prohibits student athletes from participating in high school sports after July 1, 2006, unless the student has signed a pledge not to take anabolic steroids or banned dietary supplements. The new law also prohibits supplement companies from promoting their products at high school athletic events and will require coaches to take a course designed to educate them on steroids and supplements.
As part of an obesity summit this fall, Schwarzenegger signed a bill requiring that by July 1, 2007, all food sold in K-12 schools meet stricter nutritional guidelines. Another bill requires that by July 1, 2009, high schools join middle and elementary schools in banning the sale of sodas during school hours.
And starting Jan. 1, 2007, manufacturers of cosmetic products sold in the state will be required to disclose the product ingredients that could cause cancer. The state will publicize the information and could use it to make changes in regulations regarding a product's use in hair and nail salons.
E-mail Lynda Gledhill at email@example.com.
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