2.24.2014

Miss Rwanda 2014



Miss Rwanda 2014 Colombe Akiwacu (C) poses with second runner-up
Marlene Umutoniwase (L) and first runner-up 
Carmen Akineza  

Colombe Akiwacu was crowned Miss Rwanda 2014 in a glamorous ceremony held on Saturday night at Petit Stade in Remera, Kigali.  The teary 19-year old could not believe it as the crowd chanted her name amid ululations.  Akiwacu beat 14 others to the crown and walked away with a grand prize that included a brand new car, a return air ticket to France or Spain and a cash prize of Rwf2 million. It is not known if Akiwacu will compete internationally, but rumor has it that she might be qualified to compete in Miss World 2014 in London in November. If would be the first time that Rwanda will be competing in the world's biggest pageant.

Akiwacu in Umushanana traditional wear

Source: newtimes.co.rw, 2/24/2014


CB Loves Samantha Dahlborg, Miss Maine USA 2014!



You won Miss Maine USA on your first try. How did that happen?

Yes, this was my first pageant ever and I believe that because I had no prior experience, I wasn't stressed about what was to come. I was full of excitement and was purely myself all weekend. 

Name three pet peeves.


-When people don't use their manners
-Animal cruelty
-When people don't wash their hands after using the bathroom! 

What makes Maine stand out from the other states?

Maine is a state to stand out for many reasons:
-It is the only state with one syllable
-Maine gets all four seasons
-Maine has mountains, beaches, fields and woodlands
-Maine only borders one other state (New Hampshire)
-Joshua L. Chamberlain born in Brewer, Maine received the only battlefield promotion to General during the Civil War. He was also the last Civil War soldier to die of wounds incurred in the War.
-Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country making it the single largest producer of blueberries in the United States.
-Maine lobsters have won international fame for their flavor and contribution to the culinary world.
-Many celebrities are from or reside in Maine such as Anna Kendrick, John Travolta, Liv Tyler, Martha Stewart Tom Cruise and Patrick Dempsey!


What do you think is your strength, and your weakness?

My greatest strength is knowing who I am as an individual. For years I wanted to fit in and be that cookie-cutter girl that everyone wanted to friends with. But overcoming struggles in school/work/over the computer I was able gain self-confidence. Now, I'm not afraid to be an individual. In fact, I've created great relationships with people from simply being myself and I won my first pageant! (Which is a great feeling knowing that someone likes you for you!) Having self-confidence and remaining positive in every aspect of my life are definitely my strengths! 

Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills. I recently bought a planner and now I'm obsessed with making lists and being on time for things. (And it's a lot less stressful!) 

If you had $1 million dollars, what one singular thing would you do with it?

If I could do ONE thing with $1 million dollars, I would donate it to an organization that is close to my heart, The Dream Factory Organization, allowing the Dream Factory to make a number of dreams come true for children with terminal illnesses.


Do you think women are depicted in movies and TV in a positive way?

I believe that women are depicted in multiple ways in movies and on television. Women play "characters" in movies and on TV which teach lessons and cue society to think differently about social behavior and gender roles. Both men and women have the ability to be depicted in different ways (both positive and negative) but it's what society does about it that makes the difference. 

If you could make a difference in the life of one person, who would it be and why?

I'm not sure who the "one" person would be, but I've seen the quote, "I want to inspire people. I want to be the person someone looks at and says, 'Because of you, I didn't give up.'" and that's the difference I want to make. I want to inspire people to follow their dreams and encourage people to be themselves and love themselves. 

What one thing in the world would you get rid of or eliminate?

I've thought about this question for awhile and my immediate reaction is, "negativity." But then I think about how there is no good without the bad. It would be very difficult to appreciate positivity without knowing what negativity is. 

What is your definition of traditional family values?

Well being from a super loving and supportive family, traditional values consist of but are not limited to: respect, honesty, compassion and trust.

Would you consider yourself to be a optimist, pessimist, or realist?

I'm a mixture of optimistic and realistic! I love to dream. I'm always imagining myself doing things I've dreamed about, but then the realistic side of me kicks in and reminds me that I'm not going to get where I want to go by wishing for it, I must work for it. I think it's great to have a little mixture of both and to make sure that there is no sign of pessimism in sight! 

For a person you loved deeply, would you be willing to move to a distant country knowing there would be little chance of seeing your friends or family again?

Yes. Love is powerful. My family and friends should know that I love them all and should trust me and support my decisions as I would if they were in the same situation. 

What is the one thing you simply will not tolerate?

Bullying. All kinds. 

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

I want to be the next Miss USA because I want society to have someone to look up to who is 100% real. Real - meaning I am relatable, I'm not perfect, I will make mistakes (we all do, because we are human) but the way I handle them and present myself should be what society looks up to. I want to be that older sister or best friend for those who need. As Miss USA I can be taken seriously about my close relationship with bullying and share my story with the country. I want to be able to communicate the dangers of low self esteem to a larger audience as well as empowering young people to follow their dreams and live their lives with confidence, love and positivity. Our country needs more confident and positive people and I believe with the title of Miss USA, I can help inspire people of all ages to live their lives in a more positive manner. 



FLAG OF MAINE


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2.23.2014

CB Loves Brittney Palmer, Miss South Dakota USA 2014!






How did you get involved in pageants? 

Since a very young age, I’ve  always dreamed of  competing at the Miss USA pageant. Growing up, I  imagined one day that would be me in that sequined evening gown walking on stage. I have learned and improved from each pageant experience  I've had and was fortunate to capture the Miss South Dakota USA crown this year.

Name three adjectives that you don't want your friends to describe you. 

Three adjectives that I wouldn't want my friends to describe me are: messy, unorganized, and greedy. 

How would you promote South Dakota to a visitor?

I would tell them that South Dakota is a beautiful grassland state with four distinct seasons. Visitors can enjoy the majestic view of the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Wind Cave National Park and Deadwood. It is also the home of the Sioux Native American tribes.

What makes you happy? What makes you sad?

What truly makes me happy is being outdoors, horseback riding and tending my barn.
What makes me sad is people that discriminate against others based on race, sex,  gender or sexual orientation.

What do you think about Donald Trump possibly running for President in 2016?

I think its a great idea. He is a phenomenal businessman and with his innovative ideas can lead the country in a positive direction.



In what way could you be a role model for the youth of today? 

I’ve overcome many hardships and negative situations  in my life, but I’ve never let them become a hindrance to accomplishing my goals. I would like to inspire youth to aim high, fight hard, and reach for their dreams. Most importantly, never give up!

Do you think today’s women are more aggressive than they used to be?

I believe today’s women are leaders in many different specialties. I do not believe that they are aggressive, but more focused and determined to succeed.

What would you respond to critics who claim that pageants exploit women? 

I would tell critics that say that pageants exploit women that they are absolutely wrong. Pageants are a great forum for women to gain self-confidence, self-assuredness, and make inter-personal connections with individuals  from many different professional arenas.



How would you balance our country's freedom of the press versus the need to stop security leaks that threaten the country?

I think our government has every  right to protect its citizens. We live in a volatile world, and our safety is of utmost importance, so measures should be in place for our overall well-being and security.

How do we encourage people and get them excited about volunteerism? 

I like to make volunteerism fun. When I have volunteers come and help out with my charity-“Horses for the Handicapped”,  I always like to make it enjoyable, challenging, and exciting for them. I believe if  individuals that volunteer would see the significant impact they have in the lives of others, and how rewarding it feels to give back to their communities, they would be more inclined to volunteer.

In what way do you see yourself as being difficult to live with? 

I’m the pickiest eater. I’m quite particular and selective about the foods I  eat. After all, you are what you eat!


WITH HER BEST FRIEND JAYNE

What is your opinion on cosmetic surgery? Would you consider submitting to it some day?

I believe if having plastic surgery to enhance your physical attributes and  will help you feel more confident as a person, I have no objections to it.  I'm not opposed to having plastic surgery in the near future.

If the person you were engaged to marry had an accident and became a paraplegic, would you go through with the marriage or back out of it? 

If the person I was engaged to had an accident and became paraplegic, I would definitely go through with the marriage.  If you truly love someone for who they spiritually and emotionally, then their physical state would not be of any consequence. Yes, it might be difficult at first, but true love can overcome any obstacles. 

If you were judging a pageant, what would be the most important quality that you would look for in the winner? 

If I were judging a pageant, I  would make sure that the winner was genuine, relatable, and had personal integrity. 

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA? 

I want to be the next Miss USA to be an advocate for children with disabilities, be it autism, or other social, mental, or physical handicaps. I also want to continue to promote and bring awareness to breast and ovarian cancer. Finally, I want to inspire, motivate, and encourage other young women to pursue their educational objectives and aspire to be successful. Lastly, I want to proudly represent the USA at the Miss Universe Pageant.





FLAG OF SOUTH DAKOTA

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2.22.2014

Miss Indonesia 2014


Maria Rahajeng, representing Sulawesi Barat (West Sulawesi), was crowned Miss Indonesia 2014 at the conclusion of the pageant held on 17th February, 2014 at the Hall D2 in the Jakarta International Expo, Jakarta, Indonesia. She will represent Indonesia in the Miss World 2014 pageant to be held in London in November. The first runner-up was Ellen Rachel Aragay of West Papua and the second runner-up was Hanna Sugialam of East Java. Miss World 2013 Megan Young (left) assisted in the coronation of the new queen.



CB Loves Chelsea Reardon, Miss Mississippi USA 2014!



PHOTOGRAPHY BY FADIL BERISHA

What got you interested in pageants?

I started pageants when I was three years old. I won my first competition, and I loved being on stage, so my mom entered me in more. I competed until I was eight years old, and then I decided I wanted to play basketball. I am extremely competitive, so I excelled in both pageantry and basketball. When I was seventeen, I decided I wanted to get back into pageantry to help pay my way through college. I fell in love with it all over again, and I decided to not stop until I made it onto the Miss USA stage!

Some people perceive Mississippi as a backward state full of ignorant inhabitants blinded by racism and controlled by poverty. How do you change their negative perception?

I think it would be safe to assume that most of those people have never visited Mississippi because if they had, this question would not have any relevance. I have traveled all over the world and have interacted with numerous types of people, and I can honestly say that I have met some of my favorite people in Mississippi. These people show true southern hospitality at all times. The state is rich with history, good food and beautiful weather.  Every state, region and country has issues and negative reputations, but Mississippi is taking strides to rid itself of these negative views. I am more than proud to say that I am a Mississippian.

How would a good friend describe you?

The first word my best friend would use to describe me would be loyal. I am passionately loyal, almost to a fault. I will stand by the people I love and care about no matter what. She would also say I am funny, sensitive and that I can whip out some pretty impressive dance moves when asked! 

What do you stand for?

I stand for people who have a hard time standing for themselves. I am an advocate by trade, and I was recently chosen to be a celebrity spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Assault and the No More campaign, which helps people who have been victims of sexual or physical assault. I have been very involved with this cause for years, and I love being a light in the darkness for young women to look up to who have been victims.




Name one cause that you strongly support.

As previously stated, I strongly support causes that help young women who have been victims of sexual or physical assault. This issue is almost taboo to mention in our society, which is quite unfortunate. 1 in 4 college aged women are sexually assaulted each year, but only 60% of those assaults are reported to police. Out of the attacks that are reported to police, 97% of those attackers will not spend a day in jail. These statistics startle me, and they should make everyone feel uneasy. I helped plan a “Take Back the Night” event at my college, and I have worked with victims of these assaults through different shelters. I believe that our society has such a warped view on what assault truly is, and my main mission in my fight for this cause is to change the minds of people to help them see what assault truly is, how frequently it happens and how to protect yourself.

How do you react when people mess with you?

As easy and popular as it would be to say that others words do not hurt me, I would be lying to say that was true. It is never an enjoyable experience to have people mess with you, but your true character shows in how you handle it. I let the person know that I have no room for negative people in my life, and I move on. I firmly believe that the people you surround yourself with determine who you are.

What do you absolutely hate?

I hate when people make grammar mistakes. I hate chipped toe nail polish, chronic laziness, and when Sonic puts whipped cream on my Oreo Blast after I politely ask five times for it to be left off! 


What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear at this point in my life is not living a fulfilling life. I believe God has a purpose for each of us, and my goal is to strive toward fulfilling that every single day. Some days I will take large leaps toward my ultimate goal and some days I will only take baby steps, but as long as I am continually progressing, I will get there.

What are the things in life that you think are worth living for?

I feel so blessed to be 22 years old and know exactly what I want out of life. In my life, I want to honor God and my family, have a successful career that betters life for others and making a difference in the fight to end violence against women. My solitary prayer is that I strive towards this goal everyday.

What is the one thing you simply will not tolerate?

I will absolutely not tolerate someone not showing another human being simple respect and kindness. There is no excuse for that.

Describe your idea of bliss.

Ahhhhhh…bliss! Well, I have two ideas of bliss: a more realistic idea of bliss and a far-fetched one as well. I will share both! First, my realistic idea of bliss would be hitting snooze as many times as I would like on my alarm, having alone time to drink my coffee and read the newspaper, and then spending the day talking with my closest friends and family. My far-fetched idea of bliss would be traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures and ways of life without having a worry in the world. (No bills, no e-mails, and no appointments!)

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HAROLD STUDIOS

What is your opinion on same-sex marriage?

At the end of the day, I believe in love. I do not think a human being should be told that the love they feel for another person is not real.

So many titleholders today are professional women with advanced degrees. How do you feel about being a more traditional woman/wife/homemaker?

I would like to turn the tables and ask a male CEO at a large company the same question. I don’t like the word traditional because we are all evolving every day. What is traditional anymore, anyway? I think women and men who have professional careers and a family are heroes. I believe being able to balance both successfully is an amazing feat.

If you were to run for public office, what issues would be the focus of your campaign?

I would focus on getting back to the basics. What made this country so great for so many years? I think the people of our country these days want to take, take, take from the government instead of holding themselves accountable and working hard. Personally, I am constantly trying to achieve the American Dream, and I would want to encourage others to chase after that as well. Having a heart of service, I would want to do a better job of taking care of the elderly, protect military benefits and create jobs for the middle class. I think if we get back to our founding values, we can reclaim our position of power.

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

I think the individual qualities that each Miss USA possesses and the tools they bring to the table each year is what makes this program what it is in the eyes of many men and women. My skills and qualities that I could bring to the table are independence, genuineness, creativity, business mindedness, and respect to name a few. I want to be a glimmer of hope to young women who have been sexually or physically assaulted. I want to show young women paying for their own college education that hard work and independence will pay off. This will, in turn, show the world that there is a new type of businesswoman in the workforce, which is a savvy, personable, professional and determined woman who can be a beauty queen and a powerful business woman all in one.




FLAG OF MISSISSIPPI


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2.20.2014

CB Loves Kadie Latimer, Miss Montana USA 2014!






How did you get involved in pageants?

I was approached by someone who I now call my “Paggy Mom” to enter the pageant because she believed I could be the girl to break the 50 year curse of not making the top 15 at Miss USA. After a lot of convincing I entered the Miss MT USA pageant, set goals for myself and took it as a challenge to become a better version of myself throughout this journey. Her confidence in me gave me the strength to jump out of my comfort zone and compete in my first pageant.

Tell us - what is so great about Montana and what makes it unique from the other states?

Montana is nicknamed treasure state for a reason. This is because of our natural resources like our crystal clear lakes, pristine mountains and breathtaking sunsets! In Montana the elk, deer, and antelope populations outnumber the humans, and no, we do not ride our horses to school! Most of all everyone here is friendly and waves when they drive by!

Name three things that irritate you and why.

1. I can’t stand when people leave the sink running while brushing their teeth.
2. Waking up five minutes before my alarm goes off
3. I have road rage, so when people drive slow in the fast lane




Which of the "Sex And The City" girls do you identify with the most and why?

I think I am a little mixture of Carrie and Samantha. I consider myself a bit of a fashionista like Carrie and always tend to spend my paycheck on clothes….whoops! My personality reminds me of Samantha, I’m a very open person and comfortable with myself and can start up a conversation with basically anyone and I’m a very independent person.

Name one cause that you strongly support.

Drinking and driving awareness. My best friend passed away from a drinking and driving accident. She wasn’t wearing her seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. It had a huge impact on me and I make sure I am always available to drive someone home if they’ve been out drinking.

Would you ever pose nude for Playboy?

No, I believe I don’t have to pose nude to get the attention and credit that I deserve. I would however, love to meet Hugh Hefner and get a tour of the mansion!




If you were to come back as a fruit in the next life, what would you be and why?

I would have to be a coconut, because coconut everything is delicious and after somebody cracks me open, I can be made into a coconut bra.

What is your greatest fear? Have you had to face it?

My greatest fear is breaking off my front tooth. And yes, it has happened quite a few times. It’s not a very cool story considering I broke it in half by a water bottle. The second time was on the Fourth of July when all the dentists just so happened to be all closed, so I walked around all day with half a tooth looking like a hillbilly. I also fear paper cuts. I’ll just leave it at that.

What are the things in life that you think are worth living for?

My family and the future with them, I have to look forward to. When the day comes I can’t wait to have kids of my own.  I already have my kids' names picked out.




What is the one thing you simply will not tolerate?

One thing I will not tolerate is making EXCUSES! I’ve played sports all my life and one thing I cannot stand is when someone makes up an excuse to get out of doing something that is challenging for them. Every excuse is a choice to fail.

What advice would you give to a little girl who has low self-esteem?

I would tell her to never compare herself on the inside with someone else’s outside, and to surround herself with positive people who make her better.

What is your opinion on same-sex marriage?

I believe everyone deserves to be happy and love does not have limits. I am all for same sex marriage!

Where do you see yourself in life five years from now?

I see myself having a stable job, but still making time for myself to travel and enjoy my 20’s.

If you were to run for public office, what issues would be the focus of your campaign?

I would focus on more one on one help in schools. I would like to lower the number of student to teacher ratio by hiring more teachers. Growing up, I always had a rough time in school when it came to taking tests and I would have loved to have more one on one help.

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

I want to be a leader, someone that can interact and be approachable to others around me. Being Miss USA is so much more than a crown on your head. The title represents countless things that give you the power to express what you are passionate about and be the example everyone is looking up to.




FLAG OF MONTANA

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Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona, 22, fatally shot in head during protest



EL CARABOBENO/HANDOUT/EPA


A Venezuelan beauty queen and student demonstrator was fatally shot in the head during a political protest, making the fifth fatality from the country's ongoing political turmoil.

Genesis Carmona (above), 22, was photographed lying limp in the arms of a man riding a motorcycle after gunfire broke out at Tuesday's protest in the city of Valencia.

She was pronounced dead at a hospital Wednesday afternoon.

"How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?" a relative, who asked not to be named, said. "She only needed one more semester to graduate."

Carmona, a stunning brunette who had been studying tourism before her death, according to the relative, had served as 2013 Miss Turismo for her state of Carabobo.


Venezuelan beauty queen and student demonstrator Genesis Carmona is seen being evacuated on a motorcycle after being shot in the head during a protest in Valencia Tuesday. 

MAURICIO CENTENO-NOTITARDE/REUTERS


Tuesday's demonstration was part of a rally outside the imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez, a Harvard-educated economist who has spearheaded three weeks of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Since the political strife three people have been shot dead in Caracas and another person was run over by a car during a demonstration in the coastal town of Carupano.

While behind bars Wednesday, one day after his surrender to authorities, Lopez urged supporters to keep fighting for the departure of the socialist government.

In a tragic twist, Carmona's death is the second murder of a Venezuelan beauty queen this year.

In January, former 2004 Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her ex-husband Henry Berry were fatally shot in a highway robbery that miraculously spared their 5-year-old daughter.

The girl named Maya suffered a leg wound that she has since recovered from.



Source: NY Daily News, 2/19/2014


2.18.2014

CB Loves Bridget Brunet, Miss New Hampshire USA 2014!


PHOTOGRAPHY BY TODD WARD

How does it feel being Miss New Hampshire USA?

It honestly hasn’t set in yet. I’m pretty sure I’ve never won anything in my life! I worked so hard to prepare for Miss New Hampshire USA and to have that hard work pay off feels so rewarding.

How would your friends describe you?

They would describe me as a jokester, extremely loyal and a great listener.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?

I’ve been told that I’m a very real person. I am myself 100% of the time.

What do you think is your strength, and your weakness?

I believe my greatest strength is that I am patient and a great listener. My greatest weakness is that I am a perfectionist and have a hard time delegating tasks, especially when it comes to my company. I want every event that I am involved in to go perfectly which means I feel the need to be involved with every detail. It is extremely time consuming so I hope in the future I can learn to pass on duties to my capable employees. 

If women were to rule the world by 2050, how different would the world be?

I think woman have always ruled the world. Haven’t you heard Beyoncé’s song? “Who Run The World? Girls.” Haha! We all know that the world would be a kinder, more patient place. I believe there would be a heavy focus on family and community and things would be a lot more organized :) Oh, and no more boring suit and tie combos!


 What is a socially responsible entrepreneur?

A socially responsible entrepreneur is someone who gives back to the community through the success of their business. Whether it be a portion of their profits that gets donated to a cause close to their heart or donating their time or services to help a charity or group. I believe businesses that are socially responsible create good karma.

Should plastic surgery be allowed in beauty contests?
I think the modern beauty contest is judged more upon how a woman carries herself and how she radiates her personal sense of beauty. If she feels she needs plastic surgery to feel more beautiful, by all means she should do it and it should be allowed. 

What do you tell people who think that you're not intelligent because you're beautiful?

I would love to meet the person that came up with this theory. How do these things have anything to do with each other? Beauty has no bearing on how intelligent a person is. I would also show them my college degree and tell them how I started a company by myself from the ground up using what I learned in my college courses.

What three qualities are you looking for in a gay husband? (lol)

A shopping partner in crime that convinces me to spend way more than I should because I look fabulous. If he can do my hair, that’s a huge bonus because I am terrible at making my hair look good. And last, but certainly not least, must watch romantic comedies and eat take out simultaneously. Ahhh… the perfect man! :) 


Who do you think is the sexiest man alive today?

David Beckham is gorgeous. I have a soft spot for professional athletes. And he seems like such a great dad. Oh, and the accent doesn’t hurt.

Why are manhole covers round rather than square?

Manhole covers are heavy! Can you imagine trying to maneuver that thing if you had to fit it into a certain shape. Much easier as a circle.

Do you think that television and movies display too much violence and, if so, do you feel that violence can influence a student’s behavior?

It’s strange to say but, as a culture, we have a fascination with violence. The entertainment industry is simply giving our culture what we want to see. It is clear that violent movies and video games have had an influence on some of the tragic events in our country, but I don’t believe we can blame these actions solely on that influence.


If you could spend the day with anyone (living or deceased), who would it be and what would you do with that person?

Martha Stewart! First of all, because we would probably have the most fabulous meals. I am such a foodie! I also aspire to be the next domestic goddess so I would love to spend the day in her kitchen prepping for a dinner party, setting a gorgeous tablescape and making flower arrangements using flowers from her garden. Over dinner we would talk about how she created her empire and how she successfully oversees her various brands.

Where do you see yourself in life three years from now?

I see myself as the head of a thriving event planning company, working with my newly hired employees and working on opening an event space.

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

I want to give today’s youth a real woman to look up to. Someone who isn’t stick thin and six feet tall. Someone who would rather live in yoga pants and t-shirts than sexy cocktail dresses. Also, someone who worked hard to achieve her goals. I have worked so hard to create a life that I am proud of. I have worked hard to be a successful business woman. I am proof that with hard work and a little risk taking, anything is possible. I want the youth to have someone to look up to other than someone who is rich and famous for being on a salacious reality TV show. I want them to look up to a woman who has a college degree and is an entrepreneur. I am really proud of the woman I have become and I want to share her with the world.




FLAG OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
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