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A life snuffed short: 49 years ago a brilliant young med student by the name of Aron Katz drowned in the Whiteshell in the course of saving his own younger sister herself from drowning

Left: 21-year-old med student Aron
Katz Right: 18-year old St. John’s
High graduate Aron Katz in the 1969
St. John’s yearbook, “The Torch”

By BERNIE BELLAN On July 21 I received an interesting email from someone by the name of Reid Linney that immediately aroused my interest.
Here is what Reid wrote: “Hi, I’m a member of St. John’s High School’s Class of 1969. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of our graduation in 2019 and embarked upon a fundraising effort for an annual scholarship. The scholarship honors our classmate, Aron Katz.

“In 1973 he gave his life while saving his sister from drowning.
“Aron was in med school at the time.
“Our class, and members of Aron’s family, raised enough money to fund an annual scholarship of $2,500.
“It’s awarded to a graduating student who shows academic promise and exhibits both personal courage and empathy for others.
“On Tuesday, August 16, at 9:00 am we’ll be meeting at the school to install a memorial plaque on the Alumni Wall.
“If you have any interest in joining us, please feel free to do so…
“Reid Linney”

Reid’s email intrigued me. I admit though that I had never heard of Aron Katz, although he would have been only two years older than me at the time of his death. I responded to Reid:
“Hi Reid,
“This is a very poignant story. It reminds me of another story – also about a St. John’s student who died tragically around the same time (in 1971). Her name was Rebbie Victor. (She was shot by accident by another student in a prank gone terribly wrong because no one realized they were playing with a loaded gun.)
“I wrote about her in 2020 and that story really resonated with readers…
“Bernie Bellan
“The Jewish Post & News”

Attached to Reid’s email was the text of the plaque that will be dedicated on August 16:
Graduating Class of 1969
Aron was an exceptional young man of great intellect and even greater courage, who in the summer of 1973 was about to begin his third year of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He gave his life while saving his younger sister from drowning during a camping trip in the Whiteshell and was posthumously honoured for his heroism with Canada’s second highest award for bravery—The Star of Courage.
Incredibly bright, unselfish, kind and humble, Aron was the second youngest of seven children who grew up under very modest circumstances in an old wooden clapboard house on Alfred Avenue. He had an exceptional thirst for knowledge and was a valued member of St. John’s High School’s “Reach for the Top” team, a televised, academic quiz show in which the best and brightest from Winnipeg high schools competed. Aron made friends easily, loved sports and was a huge Jimi Hendrix fan. He dreamt of being a doctor one day in order to help others and had just completed the first half of his medical degree.
At their fiftieth anniversary reunion, Aron’s fellow graduating classmates from 1969 (Room 333 – The Theatre Room) decided to honour him in perpetuity with an annual scholarship in his name, recognizing a graduating student each year who best demonstrates academic promise and exhibits empathy for others; in particular, one who has shown extreme courage when faced with a significant challenge in their life. Donations were made by twenty-six members of that class, together with Aron’s five surviving siblings
Aron Katz left this world much too soon. May his memory and legacy last forever. God bless him.

Reach for the Top edited 1

The above  photo from the 1969 St. John’s yearbook shows Aron Katz (seated, second from left), with the other members of the school’s Reach for the Top team, along with their two coaches.
The caption in the yearbook only gave first names and, while I recognized two of Aron’s teammates: Lenny Leven (seated to Aron’s left) and Ricky Kraut, along with Bernie Melman (standing, right), who went on to become vice-principal of Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, I wasn’t sure who the “Harvey” in the photo was. After running an OCR program on the St. John’s yearbook, I discovered that Harvey was Harvey Koffman – who was the only Grade 10 student on the team.
I was also pretty sure that the “Mr. Carr” in the photo must have been Alex Carr, brother of Jim and Robert, but it was only after I confirmed that with Fern (Zamick) Carr, Alex’s wife, that I could write with assurance that it was indeed Alex Carr.
Interestingly, after I emailed Fern Carr, asking her about the photo, she responded with her own story about herself having been on the Gordon Bell provincial champion Reach for the Top team.
Here is what Fern wrote:
“Al taught at St. John’s from 1967 – 1999, and besides being Aron’s coach, was his chemistry teacher. I showed him the photo and it really brought back memories – thanks.
“You know, I was on the RFTT team (as a student from Gordon Bell) while Al was the St. John’s coach. We probably unknowingly were at the same tournaments together. Another coincidence is that Al’s Baba Leibe lived directly across the street from my baba and zaida on St. Anthony. We both visited our respective grandparents every Sunday, again though, before we knew each other.”


Reid Linney had also attached a brief clipping from the Canadian Press about Aron’s death:
“PINAWA, Man. (CP) – Aron Katz, 19 (Ed. note: he was actually 21), of Winnipeg, saved his 14-year-old sister Marian (Ed. note: her name was Miriam) from drowning Tuesday in Big Whiteshell Lake but lost his own life. RCMP said when the girl ran into trouble swimming, the youth pushed her to several other swimmers, then drowned.”

Once I finished reading Reid’s email, along with a couple of the attachments he sent, I set out about trying to learn as much as I could about Aron Katz. I’ve noted before that nothing resonates more with readers than learning of a young life – full of promise – snuffed out suddenly and totally unexpectedly.

Subsequently, I was able to find Aron’s obituary on
“On July 10, 1973 accidentally in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Aron Katz, aged 21 years, dearly beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. I. Katz of 497 Alfred Ave, and precious brother of Shirley, Dr. Saul, Matylda, Ann, Ronia (Mrs. Larry Epstein) and Miriam. Services were held July 11 at the Chesed Shel Emes and interment in the Hebrew Sick Benefit Cemetery. Aron was a third year student at the University of Manitoba Medical School. In lieu of flowers, contributions to a memorial fund may be sent to the University of Manitoba Medical School.”

I was also told that two of Aron Katz’s good friends were David Manusow and Gerald (Yosel) Minuk – both of whom had been schoolmates of Aron’s at St. John’s, also colleagues of his in medical school.

David Manusow told me that he had written a tribute to Aron on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his St. John’s graduating class’s reunion. David sent me the text of his tribute:

Aron Katz
(1951 – 1973)
Written and delivered by David Manusow on Saturday, August 17, 2019

“This is dedicated to the memory of our dear classmate and friend, Aron Katz, who died accidentally in the Whiteshell on July 10, 1973 while saving his younger sister from drowning.
“It would be remiss of me to try to improve upon the eloquent tribute to Aron written by his sister Shirley that Danny (Bronstein) just read, but I would like to elaborate on some points, as well as share some personal reminiscences.
“Aron was the second youngest of 7 children, all academic stars, who grew up under very modest circumstances in an old, white 2-1/2 storey wooden clapboard house on Alfred Ave. (Many years later, I still recall Aron complaining that the sound of mice scurrying about in its walls interfered with his studying!)
“As you his classmates know, Aron was extremely intelligent, unselfish, kind and humble. He had a thirst for knowledge and acquitted himself well as a member of the Grade 12 ‘Reach for the Top’ team. He was also a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix and Cream.
“While we were friendly in high school, we didn’t really become close until university. We shared the same aspirations and took most of our pre-Med courses together. I can remember studying Organic Chemistry through the night with him out at the Fort Garry Campus, as well as a frigid winter evening in Kildonan Park triangulating stars for our Astronomy course. Because I didn’t have a car, Aron would pick me up in his family’s huge black 1955 Buick Roadmaster to write our exams.
“After we were both accepted into Medicine in the fall of 1971, we became even closer. We sat beside each other in lectures, and took all of our labs and spares together. We also car-pooled together that first year (along with Yosel (Minuk) and Morley Shatsky). At the end of that year, Aron bought a brand new Datsun 510 4-door sedan (navy on white) for the then-princely sum of $2,300.00. He was immensely proud of that car and loved driving it.
“With the demise of that car pool after first-year, Aron and I decided to ‘go it alone.’ “Always considerate and never one to complain, Aron travelled at least 2 miles out of his way in the opposite direction each day to take me to and from school. I have fond memories of spending the occasional Friday afternoon at the Balmoral Hotel bar with Aron, reviewing our ‘surface anatomy.’
“I can also recall when Aron and I, and his longtime sweetheart Lorraine Shapiro, celebrated after the Xmas ‘Comprehensive’ in 2nd year by going to the old downtown Met to see the movie, ‘The Stewardesses’ (in 3D, no less!). Unbeknownst to us, and much to our collective embarrassment, it turned out to be an X-rated pornographic movie that was subsequently banned. Incidentally, at least a third of our 2nd year Med School class happened to be there as well that evening, celebrating!
“Aron was an extremely good student, and at the age of 21, had just completed his 2nd year in the U of M’s Faculty of Medicine. He had spent his first and was just starting his second summer in the Medical Microbiology Dept. working on the Australia antigen/Hepatitis B virus. He enjoyed medicine and was looking forward to beginning his 3rd year in September, 1973.
“Always an avid camper, in early July Aron took his little sister Miriam camping at Big Whiteshell Lake and well, now you know all the rest. I received a call that evening from Morley Shatsky (who lived across from Aron) informing me that Aron had drowned. The next day, Aron’s only brother Saul contacted me, requesting that I be a pallbearer. It was the saddest, most emotional funeral I have ever attended.
“And thus it all ended. I would now ask that you all rise for a minute of silence to remember our dear friend and classmate, Aron Katz, a young man of great intellect and even greater courage, who left this world much too soon.
“May his memory and legacy last forever.
“Thank you.”

I also heard from Gerald (Yosel) Minuk, who told me that he had only a few things to add to what I had already gathered:
“Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to your story on Aron Katz (z”L) but I’m going to disappoint you. I’m afraid that over the past 50 years since his passing, only three of my memories remain.
“The first was as his classmate at St John’s high school where I remember being amazed (and somewhat envious) of the wide breadth and depth of his knowledge. That impression, which was shared by his classmates and the entire school, was supported by the fact that the success of the school’s ‘Reach for the Top’ team largely rested on Aron’s shoulders.
“The second memory was as a member of his university carpool where Aron would often recount with much pride the various accomplishments of his family (but never himself). “Aron was particularly proud of his older brother who I believe was in medical school at the time and went on to become a highly regarded emergency physician out east.
“Finally, as mutual members of the medical school’s Class of 75, I recall how sad it was to learn of Aron’s passing. Not only for his family but also for the discipline of Medicine itself. Aron was one of those fortunate individuals who had been gifted with both exceptional knowledge and compassion, attributes that are essential to becoming an exceptional physician.
“In closing, I might also point out the serendipity as to how Dr Eadie’s account of a drowning came to Reid’s attention. Shortly after my wife and I had purchased our cottage at Big Whiteshell lake in the early 1990’s, an elderly lady was going door to door selling an anniversary book of the lake that contained stories submitted by lake cottagers. I purchased a copy and it sat on our bookshelf for several years until my wife decided to thumb through it. On reading Dr Eadie’s submission, she asked if the story could be about my friend the medical student who had drowned while saving his sister that I had once told her about. My initial reaction was that it couldn’t be as I was under the impression that Aron had drowned at Winnipeg Beach or perhaps Gimli but on reading the story, I realized it might be Aron. So when Reid decided to pay tribute to Aron by establishing the Aron Katz Memorial Scholarship at St. John’s High School, I sent Dr. Edie’s story to Reid.” (Ed. note: Subsequent to publishing this story in the August 3 issue of The Jewish Post & News, Reid Linney was able to get in touch with Dr. Eadie’s daughter, Sheelagh. Sheelagh said that, while the story of Aron Katz’s drowning was eerily similar to the drowning about which her father wrote, it is almost certain that Dr. Eadie wrote about a drowning that occurred in 1975, not 1973.)

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Hamas Official Says Terror Group ‘Would Do Oct. 7 Attack Again’ if Possible to Go Back in Time

An aerial view shows the bodies of victims of an attack following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip lying on the ground in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, Oct. 10, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg

Hamas would carry out its brutal Oct. 7 invasion of and massacre across southern Israel again if it could travel back in time, according to the Palestinian terrorist group’s representative in Lebanon.

“We would do it again!” Ahmad Abd Al-Hadi said with a smile in an interview last week with Lebanon’s Annahar newspaper when asked whether Hamas would repeat its onslaught. “If we could go back in time, we would do it again, because the justifications still exist.”

The interview was flagged by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which translated and posted Al-Hadi’s comments.

“Why am I saying that we would do it again? Because what made us do it is very important and strategic,” the Hamas official explained. “It is not something that we could remain silent about … The Palestinian cause was about to be eliminated, by means of normalizing of relations at the expense of the Palestinian rights.”

Al-Hadi appeared to be referring to the idea of Israel and Saudi Arabia normalizing relations.

Before Oct. 7, the prospect of reaching a historic peace deal between the two longtime foes appeared possible. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in an interview in September, weeks before the onslaught and ensuing war in Hamas-ruled Gaza, that “every day we get closer” to a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. As part of the process, Bin Salman hoped to “ease the life of the Palestinians” and seemed willing to shelve the issue of Palestinian statehood in favor of an agreement with the US on the use of nuclear material and a weapons deal.

While such conversations have reportedly resumed in recent weeks, Saudi officials have said a normalization deal must now include an “irreversible path” to Palestinian statehood, fearing backlash. According to reports, Bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, fears being branded a “traitor” to the Palestinian cause amid Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, potentially undermining the kingdom’s legitimacy as the leader of the Islamic world.

Many analysts have argued that Iran, which backs Hamas and is its chief international sponsor, intentionally torpedoed the Israel-Saudi normalization process with the Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state. Leaders of both Iran and Hamas have repeatedly said they seek Israel’s destruction.

Beyond preventing normalization, Al-Hadi also accused Israel of planning a “preemptive” military strike in Gaza without providing evidence.

“They saw the resistance in Gaza, and … they planned to launch a preemptive strike against it, so that it would not interfere with these plans of theirs, and in particular the plan that is connected to Gaza: the Ben Gurion Canal project,” he said.

The Ben Gurion Canal project is an ambitious proposal conceived by some Israelis in the 1960s to construct a canal connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, thereby giving Israel more control over key shipping lanes. There is no evidence that the Israeli government intends to build the canal, especially through Gaza. However, critics of Israel, especially in Arab media, have hurled the accusation at the Jewish state to undermine the Israeli military campaign against Hamas, portraying it as a decision for economic gain rather than security reasons following Oct. 7.

Al-Hadi is not the first member of Hamas to publicly call for more Oct. 7-style attacks on Israel.

Less than three weeks after the atrocities, a Hamas official promised that the Palestinian terrorist group will repeat its massacre of Israelis “again and again” to bring about the Jewish state’s “annihilation.”

Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau and a spokesman for the Iran-backed terror organization, told Lebanon’s LBC TV in an Arabic language interview on Oct. 24 that Israel “must be finished.”

“We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again,” Hamad said. “[The Oct. 7 massacre] is just the first time and there will be a second, a third, a fourth … the occupation must come to an end.”

Asked if by ending “the occupation” he meant the “annihilation” of Israel, Hamad replied, “Yes, of course.”

On Oct. 7, Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped over 250 others as hostages during their surprise invasion of the Jewish state. It was the biggest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Mounting evidence has revealed that the terrorists perpetrated systematic sexual violence against the Israeli people, including mass rape and torture.

The post Hamas Official Says Terror Group ‘Would Do Oct. 7 Attack Again’ if Possible to Go Back in Time first appeared on

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The Role of Certified Translators in Literary Translation

Literary translation is a nuanced art that bridges cultural divides and brings diverse voices to a global audience. At the heart of this intricate process are certified translators, professionals whose expertise and precision ensure that the essence and beauty of literary works are faithfully conveyed across languages. As a diverse and multicultural city, Vancouver’s need for these experts is unending – and that’s why understanding their critical role in the literary world highlights their importance in preserving the integrity and impact of literature.

What is a Literary Translator?

A literary translator is a professional who specializes in translating written works, such as novels, poems, plays, and essays, from one language into another. They not only convert the words and phrases but also capture the nuances, tone, and cultural context of the original text. This requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages, as well as an appreciation for the literary and cultural nuances involved.

Literary translators aim to preserve the author’s voice and intent, making the work resonate with readers in a different linguistic and cultural setting, while maintaining the artistic integrity of the original piece. A perfect example of this is Languages in Motion in Vancouver, who focus on making sure that everyone, no matter which language they speak, is able to have their material accessible, and vice versa.

Preserving the Author’s Voice

One of the foremost challenges here is maintaining the author’s unique voice and style. Every author has a distinct way of expressing ideas, emotions, and narratives. Certified translators possess the skills necessary to capture these subtleties, ensuring that the text resonates with the same tone and rhythm as the original. This requires not only a deep understanding of both the source and target languages but also a keen sensitivity to literary nuances.

These professionals are trained to recognize and reproduce literary devices such as metaphors, similes, idiomatic expressions, and cultural references. Their expertise ensures that the work retains the original’s artistic qualities, offering readers an authentic experience that is true to the author’s intent.

Cultural Sensitivity and Context

Literary works are deeply rooted in their cultural contexts, reflecting the traditions, beliefs, and societal norms of their time and place. Certified translators play a crucial role in bridging cultural gaps, making literature accessible to a broader audience while preserving its cultural essence. They are adept at navigating cultural nuances and ensuring that the text is culturally appropriate and relatable to the target audience.

This cultural sensitivity involves more than just language proficiency; it requires an intimate knowledge of both the source and target cultures. These experts are equipped to handle cultural references and idiomatic expressions that may not have direct equivalents in the target language. By doing so, they preserve the cultural richness of the original work, providing readers with a deeper understanding of different cultures.

Accuracy and Faithfulness

Accuracy is paramount in literary assets. Certified translators are trained to provide precise and faithful documentations, ensuring that the meaning of the original text is accurately conveyed. This is particularly important in literature, where even slight deviations can alter the intended message or emotional impact.

Such professionals also adhere to high standards of quality and accuracy, often undergoing rigorous certification processes that test their proficiency and skills. Their commitment to excellence ensures that the work maintains the integrity of the original, offering readers a true representation of the author’s vision.

Ethical Considerations

Literary experts often face ethical dilemmas, such as how to handle sensitive content or culturally specific elements that may not resonate with the target audience. Certified translators are guided by a code of ethics that emphasizes the importance of fidelity to the original text, transparency, and respect for both the author and the readers.

These ethical standards ensure that translators make informed decisions about how to handle challenging aspects of the text, balancing the need for accuracy with cultural sensitivity. By adhering to these principles, these professionals uphold the integrity of literary works and foster trust with both authors and readers.

Contribution to Literary Diversity

Certified translators play a vital role in promoting literary diversity, enabling works from different cultures and languages to reach a global audience. As a result of working on literary pieces, they open up new worlds for readers, fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. This contribution to literary diversity enriches the global literary landscape, providing a platform for voices that might otherwise remain unheard.

Find a Literary Translator in Vancouver

The role of certified translators in Vancouver – especially those who specialize in literary materials is indispensable. Their expertise ensures that literary works are accurately and authentically conveyed across languages, preserving the author’s voice, cultural context, and artistic integrity. Through their dedication and skill, these experts make significant contributions to the promotion of literary diversity and cross-cultural understanding.

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How Live Casino Dealers Enhance Your Gaming Experience

In the booming online gaming world, live casino dealers stand out as the bridge between the virtual and the real. They bring the physical casino’s authenticity and excitement to your screen, creating a more immersive and engaging experience. But how exactly do live casino dealers enhance your gaming experience?

From fostering a social atmosphere to increasing trust in online games, these professionals make gaming sessions more enjoyable and genuine.

Real-time Interaction

Real-time interaction revolutionizes the online gaming industry, particularly in live casinos. By leveraging advanced streaming technology, live casino dealers can engage with players just as they would in a traditional casino environment.

This dynamic interaction enhances the gaming experience by fostering a sense of presence and camaraderie. Through chat features and live video feeds, players can communicate with the dealer and even with other participants, creating an immersive and social atmosphere.

The role of the live dealer is crucial, as their real-time responses and professional demeanour elevate the authenticity and enjoyment of the game. This interactive experience makes the games more exciting. It instills greater trust and transparency, replicating the feel of a brick-and-mortar casino from the comfort of home.

Enhanced Trust and Transparency

Trust is essential in online casinos as it dramatically impacts players’ peace of mind. Gamblers look for confidence that their selected platform is dependable, safe, and runs transparently and fairly.

Online casinos build trust and transparency by acquiring proper licensing, offering secure transactions, ensuring fair play, and providing high-quality customer service. Moreover, other online casinos introduce live casino games with live dealers to enhance trust and transparency.

In addition to real-time interactions, live dealers can interact with the players like in brick-and-mortar casinos. Players can ask questions, make comments, and receive immediate responses, fostering a sense of community and reliability.

This interaction mimics the social aspects of land-based casinos, where players can gauge the dealer’s demeanour and professionalism, thus bolstering their confidence in the game’s integrity.

Additionally, live dealer games are often overseen by regulatory bodies and broadcast from high-quality, secured studios, adding another level of accountability. Multiple camera angles and advanced streaming technology ensure every action is visible and transparent, diminishing potential fraud concerns.

Professional and Entertaining Conduct

Professional conduct is the backbone of any successful live casino. Dealers who are well-trained in the game’s rules, adept at handling cards or other gaming equipment, and capable of managing the game flow efficiently create a seamless gaming experience.

They also uphold the principles of fairness and transparency, providing players with peace of mind that the game is being conducted properly.

Beyond professionalism, a dealer’s entertainment ability sets a live casino apart from its online counterparts. Engaging dealers who interact with players, share witty banter, and maintain a lively atmosphere can transform a simple game into a memorable event.

Their charisma and energy help to foster a social environment, encouraging interaction between players and setting the stage for a more immersive experience.

The best live casino dealers master the delicate balance between professionalism and entertainment. They effortlessly shift from explaining complex game rules to keeping the mood light and engaging. This balance ensures players feel respected and entertained, enhancing their satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits.

Varied Game Options

The success of online casinos heavily depends on the calibre and diversity of their game offerings. In the fiercely competitive online gambling industry, casinos must provide a wide range of top-notch games to draw in and keep their players engaged.

One essential reason online casinos need a diverse game selection is to keep players interested and entertained. Another advantage of offering a wide range of games is that it meets players’ diverse preferences. Gamblers have unique tastes, motivations, and gaming styles.

That said, live casino dealers are trained to handle multiple game types, ensuring players enjoy various gaming options.

Their professionalism and capability allow seamless transitions between games, keeping the gaming environment dynamic and engaging. This variety caters to seasoned gamblers seeking depth and strategy and welcomes newcomers eager to explore and learn.

Moreover, live dealers often introduce unique game variants and themed events that you might not find in a traditional online casino. These unique offerings can include everything from high-stakes poker tournaments to themed game nights featuring popular TV shows or movie franchises, enhancing the gaming experience.

Personalized Gaming Experience

Another key benefit of having live casino dealers is the personalized gaming experience they provide. Dealers are trained to cater to each player’s unique preferences and behaviours, making adjustments and offering insights that make each session feel exclusive.

Their friendly demeanour and professional approach ensure that the games run smoothly and that players feel valued and entertained.

Moreover, the live casino setup often includes multiple camera angles and high-definition streaming, ensuring players don’t miss a moment of the action. This level of engagement and transparency boosts player confidence and trust in the game’s fairness, further enriching the overall experience.


Live casino dealers significantly enhance the online gaming experience by bringing authenticity, interaction, trust, and entertainment. With varied game options and the ability for personalization, players can enjoy a casino experience that closely mirrors the excitement of playing in a physical casino.

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