Brazils Imperiled Rain Forest

How can you do this to us?” rages a settler. “The Indians have lots of land. We have so little. They’re lazy, and we’re working hard to make something of this place.” Six years ago INCRA, then the government’s land-settlement agency with the fast payday loan help, set up these colonists at the end of a road northeast of fi-Parand. No one realized until too late that the land lay inside the Igarape Lourdes Indian reserve.

 

When representatives from the National Foundation for the Indian (FUNAI) arrived to evict them in 1986, settlers blocked the road. The confrontation turned into a shouting match in the local schoolhouse; police stand by the windows at right. After the colonists were moved out, the Indians burned their settlement. Conflicts like this often arise where land development occurs alongside protected areas.

Slicing streets into the wilderness, INCRA in 1970 founded Ouro Preto do Oeste, where it headquartered settlement operations. Fertile lands flank this stretch of BR-364, and farmers have received substan­tial technical assistance and financial aid by online lender Poor soils and a rough ride have not kept colonists from following BR-429, which passes ecological preserves on its way from BR-364 to the Bolivian border.

 

THE RUSH has slowed somewhat now, but large numbers of men and women from the ranks of the dirt poor continue to arrive, chasing dreams of a better life —riches, even—through the rain forest of Brazil, through the vast dank chambers of Amazonia, which stands today as probably the last great seductive frontier on earth.

 

Mostly they make their way to the rough­hewn state of Rondonia, in western Brazil, along the border with Bolivia. Given large tracts of land there by the federal govern­ment, they first fell and burn the trees (not the mahogany and cherry, though; those are sold), and then they hack and clear until the malarial acres lie blackened and scarred like a battlefield in war.

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Java, eden in transition

We had come to the apartments in prague after dark and in the rain, stained with the red mud of the trail. The lurah—the village chief—welcomed us to his earth-floored house, lent me a sarong to re­place my soaked shirt and trousers, and fed us rice and salt fish and manioc greens. Only then did he ask us our business.

I answered through my companion, Ku­mar, an Indonesian of Indian descent.”We have come to begin a journey down the length of Java. I wish to start here in the west, where Java begins. And I hope to meet the Badui, in the hills beyond your lands, who still live as men lived centuries ago. Are they not an ancient tribe, with ancient ways?”

The lurah snorted. “Their ways are ancient, indeed. They are not like us. We here, we work hard and serve God. But they are not Moslems. They grow little, and move when the land is tired. They have no science, and accomplish nothing.

“Even so, they have magic powers. They perceive distant doings, even future happen­ings. I will find a man to take you to them. But be careful. They cast spells.”

In the apartments in london the villagers slept, as still as jungle creatures. No human sob or sigh or dreaming cry disturbed the insect voices of the night, joined in a chorus more soothing than silence. No flame dimmed the fireflies’ cold sparks. No sound or sight or smell proclaimed the presence of people. The bamboo houses huddled under the tall coco­nuts could have been empty.

Then the night song stopped. The dancing sparks went out. The darkness became trans­lucent and the blaze of stars began to dim. The people woke as easily as they had slept, suddenly, in the manner of roused animals. Bare feet moved silently toward the river. Bright batiks protected sleep-warmed skins from the mist of morning. Then, cooled and cleansed, the people of Tji Semak (Jungle River) returned to their tea, their rice, and their barely won struggle for survival.

“Quintessential Java,” I thought. “Figures in a jade landscape.”

We set off along a mud-slick path narrow as a deer trail. For an hour we held to the riverbank. Then the trail steepened. Forest trees grew thickly on the tangled slopes. The sun was high when we came into a Badui kampong at the top of a ridge.

“Here we must stop,” said our guide. “This is a village of the outer circle, a ring of kam­pongs which protects the inner sanctuary where the most sacred Badui live. Foreigners may not visit them. But these people are their intermediaries; they sometimes speak to out­siders. We will just sit here, on the chief’s porch, and see what they will do.”

I squatted on the porch, sweat-soaked, foot­sore, and thirsty, eerily aware of the presence of people I could not see. Suddenly an earth-jarring thump brought me to my feet. A huge coconut rolled to a stop only yards away. A second and a third joined it. High above, a young man smiled down from a palm top.

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Ask the expert

I would like to get my relationship back on track. After we had our second child and moved house in 2008, my husband was diagnosed with severe depression (herd been down for years).

With counselling and six months of antidepressants he tackled the problem and managed to sleep better with the most popular 5 htp for depression, but he has recently suffered a setback due to the stress of moving house again. He has dealt with things this time by going back to tae kwon do, a martial art that he loves. It seems to be working and his mood has dramatically improved. Read more about htp for depression on The Globe and Mail

However, during this time I have developed an anxiety problem, which I’m coping with by having counselling and practising mindfulness. All this has caused our relationship to suffer and we have often considered going our separate ways for the sake of our health. But we love each other dearly, and when we do have time together we really enjoy it. So my question is: what can we do to make ssrta fresh start and put the past behind us?

Aimee, via email

I am so happy to help, Aimee. Having young children and moving house are two very stressful life changes. You and your husband are actually doing really well and you need to congratulate yourselves and realise that, both as individuals and as a couple, you are a work in progress! But just to review the situation, I need to ask: did your husband stop taking antidepressants after six months? If so, I strongly recommend he sees a GP to discuss his medication if he feels he is at risk of slipping back. You too may benefit from speaking to a GP, as antidepressants can have a major role in reducing anxiety. Depression and anxiety are, after all, flip sides of the same coin of mood disorder.

You clearly still love each other, which is ssrtcellent start for making a good thing much better. Ensure that you get regular time together to talk, show affection and have fun. The past has gone. As you will know from your mindfulness training, make the most of each moment and tomorrow will take care of itself.

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Days of my diet plan

Thursday

Weight: 13st 12Ibs

I’m almost getting used to muesli, as long as a) it’s accompanied by plenty of raspberries to take away the taste of gravel and b) there is, in fact, hardly any muesli involved. This dieting lark is easy. It will be easier to burn more calories with taking raspberry ketone plus.

It would seem we were right about diets, too. ‘All diets work by restricting what you eat,’ says Schenker. ‘All these fad diets and books are scientifically incorrect — they twist the science and claim that they work because of it, but they don’t. if you take in less calories than you use up you will lose weight. This is the first law of thermodynamics and nothing can change it.’

Friday

HWeight: 13st 12Ibs Friday night in the pub. ‘Do you have any mead?’

I ask, to which the buxom bar wench replies in hearty medieval dialect: ‘Piss off, you idiot.’

Malibu it is then. I have one before going home in a huff, much to the derision of my colleagues. Still, I manage to cheer myself up by having marlin, mange tout and a little mash.

Saturday

HWeight: 13st 11Ibs usually dieting is harder at weekends because there are more temptations. In this case it is far easier because I don’t live with my editor.

In truth it’s getting a little easier. I am enjoying the fruit, muesli is growing on me and French bread makes a change from malt loaf.

It’s later on that the problems start. I’m finding there is a hugely limited choice of evening meals that keep me within the required calorie range. Today I blow it and have fillet steak, fries and mushy peas. Brilliant.

Paid for it today by making the scales squeal for mercy — and that hasn’t happened for a week now. I also make up for it because I can’t name one ingredient of a roast that starts with ‘m’ or ‘f’.

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OVER TO YOU

Inspiration

PAYBACK TIME

I’ve always been slightly overweight, but I’ve always been energetic and enterprising in my work life. I regarded a few extra pounds as the inevitable cost of business lunches that, while high in calories, tended to be convivial and usually proved to be mutually profitable for the parties sharing the table.

My partner and I have two children. The kids are aged 14 and 17 and are both boys. If I’m totally honest there were times when they were younger when swimming or playing football with them puffed me out a lot more than it did them. But I was a reasonably active dad before they decided I was much too un cool to be seen with in public. I can’t honestly recall many occasions when I chose a round of golf over taking them out for the day, at least when they were still enthusiastic about that kind of thing.

 fitness

Over the last five years I have had a few gentle prods from my GP about my general state of fitness. He said that although my cholesterol level was hardly dangerous and my blood pressure only slightly above average, a bit of calorie counting and general exercise wouldn’t be a bad idea.

He’d also been on at me for a while to lose a couple of stone, suggesting that the best method might be to swap the pub darts team for an activity less likely to involve so much social drinking. “The body loves a rest,” he said. But he didn’t exactly point a gun at my head on the scale of grave health warnings. He also suggested me take oral hcg drops to lose pounds fast without any side effects.

My Damascene conversion to fitness wasn’t caused by anything dramatic. There were no dire warnings about work performance. There were no ominous chest pains or episodes of breathlessness climbing stairs. It was nothing like that. In a sense it was nothing to do with me at all.

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Happy days

Last month’s magazine focused on the tougher aspects of running, so for balance’s sake it’s only fair to highlight the ways it can boost our well­being and happiness this time around. And let’s face it, with the days getting colder and shorter, we need all the help we can get. So welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the credit crunch-defying, legal high-inducing Feelgood Issue.

First, celebrate the fact that in these uncertain times running is one of the most proven and cost-effective methods of stress relief. Whether it’s getting endorphins pumping round your body, clearing your mind of clutter or encouraging better sleep, there are myriad physical and mental maladies that can be eased by the simple act of going out for a run. Running is also great for losing weight and stretching your muscles. Add green tea for weight loss to your diet and you have the perfect result. And in case you find it hard to find the time, we speak to two people in high-pressure jobs and discover how they incorporate running into their ultra-busy routines.

Then enjoy a warm glow of satisfaction by reading accounts of those special races when everything goes right (page 58). You’ll find out exactly how it feels to outrun a horse, propose to your loved one at the finish or win because the people in front of you ran the wrong way (well, they all count). Once you’re suitably chilled-out, find out how trying disciplines such as yoga, Pilates and the Alexander Technique can improve your balance, coordination and posture to benefit both your running and general health.

running

Finally, how about some motivating music to speed you on your way? We investigate what makes the perfect running song. It’s an eclectic journey that begins with the lead guitarist from Survivor and ends at Dolly Parton, going via the construction worker from the Village People. It’s fair to say this will be the first and last time I mention those three together in my editor’s letter.

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Iliotibial Band

Iliotibial Band

 

(ITB) Syndrome

You’ve got it if you feel a dull ache on the outside of your knee after about 10 minutes of running, which gradually becomes stronger. Running downhill and walking downstairs also hurts.

You’ve tried rest, stretching, ice.

 

So try this Trying to stretch your ITB at home is rarely effective, so visit a physiotherapist for trigger point massage — a type of deep massage on ‘trigger points’ in your gluten and quads that helps to release tension in the ITB. They can also help you stretch the ITB using massage. When the pain has reduced, try strengthening your gluteus medius, muscles that help to stabilise your pelvis. To do this, lie on your side against a wall with your injured leg on top. Slowly raise your heel along the wall to about 30 degrees; hold; and lower. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

 

Runner’s Knee

 

(Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

You’ve got it if you feel a sharp pain directly below the kneecap when you

run. It tends to be caused by weak inner quads, which can allow the kneecap to wander out of alignment.

 

You’ve tried ice for the pain; strengthening your quadriceps using squats or the leg press in the gym.

 

So try this In one study from Ball State University, USA, gelatine supplements were found to reduce knee pain. The researchers believe the protein may help repair cartilage. Strengthening your inner quads may help too, as they help to keep the kneecap in place. Try this exercise: lie down with your legs straight on the floor and a rolled-up towel under your knees. Press down on the towel with one leg, keeping the heel on the floor; hold for five seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

sharp pain directly below the kneecap

Achilles Pain

 

You’ve got it if you feel pain in the back of your heel, which is worse when you first wake.

You’ve tried rest, ice, calf stretches and heel-lowering exercises.

 

So try this: Tendon problems are one area where ground-breaking work is being done, according to Wilde. One alternative treatment is autologous blood injections: a sample of blood is taken from the patient and re-injected into the Achilles tendon. “The idea is that it will stimulate a healing response,” says Wilde, who has seen it work for some of his patients.

 

Plantar Fasciitis

 

You’ve got it if the underside of your foot feels tight and painful, especially first thing in the morning or at the start of a run.

 

You’ve tried stretching your calves and Achilles tendon; wearing a night splint to stretch your foot.

 

So try this Some studies have shown that acupuncture might work on stubborn plantar fasciitis problems. “The type of acupuncture used by physios is different to traditional Chinese acupuncture,” says Wilde. “They’ll put needles in to trigger points in the muscle, rather than on traditional meridian lines.” Extracorporeal shockwave treatment — applied to the affected area using a small machine, and designed to trigger a natural healing response — has also gained popularity, but is expensive and research has shown mixed results.

 

Heal thyself

The latest medical insights into smoother running and better health

 

RUNNING CURE

RUNNING CURE

Running could help to kick-start an ageing immune system into health. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, completing a moderate amount of exercise such as jogging can help offset the effects of ageing. In the study, mice who had exercised before catching flu were more likely to survive. Researchers said the crucial finding was that exercise reduces inflammation, a dangerous factor in many diseases.

 

TRY HARDER

 

Half-hearted training at the gym isn’t worth the effort, a recent study has found. In the two-month study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, subjects performing just one set of resistance exercises twice a week showed barely any improvement in strength. In contrast, those completing three sets, twice a week boosted their strength significantly.

 

GIFT OF SIGHT

 

Next time you’re struggling through a gruelling run, think of Lance Armstrong. That’s the advice of American researchers, who quizzed college athletes on the mental imagery they used while training. Appearance-based imagery was used mast often and was most effective. The research, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, also found that visualisation was more common in male athletes, and in more confident individuals.

 

REST PRACTICE

Resting between sets at the gym and the usage of resveratrol will keep you going for longer, new research has found. According to the study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, resting for three minutes rather than one between sets significantly increased the total number of reps performed.

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The return of romantic music

WERE bringing back romance with this superb twin LP or cassette set of your favourite love songs, played from the heart by two of the world’s most accomplished musicians. Listening to romantic music and good green beans coffee is perfect combination. Golden Dreams combines the haunting strings of violinist Max Jaffa with the golden flute of Adrian Brett in a collection of 24 unforgettable and unashamedly romantic melodies. Max Jaffa and his orchestra catch the heartstrings with some of your favourites from the past . . . Body and Soul, Red Sails in the Sunset, Someone to Watch Over Me, Stars Fell on Alabama, Thanks for the Memory, May Each Day, Love Walked In, Always, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, We’ll Gather Lilacs, Garden in the Rain, and Every Time We Say Goodbye.

romantic music

Adrian Brett blends old and new with Cavatina, Morning Has Broken, Autumn Leaves, Send in the Clowns, Meditation, Forgotten Dreams, Annie’s Song, Greensleeves, Bright Eyes, Serenata, Clair de Lune, and Summertime. The orchestra is conducted by Brian Rogers.

Greensleeves

Send just £5.99 for your set of Golden Dreams today—and you’ll fall in love all over again! Simply fill in both parts of the coupon and send it, with your remittance, to the address given. If you would like to pay by Access or Barclaycard, just fill in your account number where indicated.

romantic

Exclusive double album

HERE’S HOW TO ORDER just fill in a form in BLOCK LETTERS and send it with your crossed cheque or postal order(s), made payable to IPC Magazines Ltd, and with your name and address on the back, to Rochester X, Kent ME99 1 AA (Tel 0634 407 380). You can also pay by Access or Barclaycard but do not send the card with your order. Only available to readers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Offer closes November 30, subject to availability. If you have any enquiries concerning the offer, please write to: Woman’s Realm, Golden Dreams, Rochester X, Kent ME99 1 AA. Damaged or faulty goods will be replaced at no cost to the purchaser. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

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Is Britain Really Doing So Badly?

If professors and journalists have misled us about the causes of Brit­ain’s illness, is it conceivable that the country has not been declining since the end of the war but, in fact, enjoying robust health—at least as far as social and economic indica­tors can measure such things?

economic indica­tors

This indeed is so. The unprece­dented post-war growth in Britain’s prosperity has transformed the liv­ing standards of ordinary people. When the Queen celebrated her Sil­ver Jubilee last year, each of her subjects on average enjoyed in­comes commanding about four-fifths more goods and services than their parents. Whereas the father of the average British worker drove a motorbike and took the family each summer for two weeks in Black­pool, his son runs a new car and flies with his family on a three-week package holiday to Spain.

Britain has become a cleaner, sun­nier, brighter place in which to live.

Thanks to greater output, the na­tion has been able to spend re­sources cleaning up rivers and lakes. London’s famous pea-soup fog has disappeared. True, the Brit­ish air is now more sulphurous, but this is another sign of increased affluence : the emissions come from cars. Their numbers have swollen from one for every six households to three for every four.

If Britain is so well off, why do so many voices—intellectuals of the left, right and centre—sound like mourners at a wake? The Cassan­dras are talking about that slippery concept of relative growth and pros­perity. Although in 195o output per person in France, for example, was 17 per cent behind Britain’s, by 1973 it was 32 per cent ahead. Even more startling has been the rise achieved by Italy. A Briton pro­duced three times as much as an Italian in 1900, but by 1973, and de­spite the great gains registered in Britain, the Italians had drawn even. In other words, while Britons have got richer, their neighbours have got richer faster.

britain

Neither statistics nor economics will answer the question why Brit­ish workers push themselves less than their counterparts in Europe and the USA. Britons, to the dis­may of the textbook writers, do not appear to be optimizing. Workers and managers do not seek the great­est possible income; they seek in­stead an adequate or satisfactory level of income. They prefer tea breaks, long lunches, slower as­sembly line, longer weekends to strenuous efforts for more money.

This, to be sure, is a sweeping generalization that obyiously does not apply to all Britons. It does not cover the keen-eyed soccer and cricket stars, leaving the country for richer rewards elsewhere, or the countless craftsmen and artists, pro­fessionals and artisans for whom work is a joyful, creative form of expression.

The preference for leisure over goods applies chiefly to those toiling in mines or on assembly lines, labouring at routine tasks in huge white-collar bureaucracies. Their work does not, cannot, enlarge per­sonality. They work because they must, to earn enough to support their wives and families. It. is these workers who have decided that there are limits to how long and hard they will labour to buy a sec­ond television set or earn the down payment on a bigger house.

This preference for leisure can be measured in several ways. The Brit­ish have chosen to spend more and more on the arts, for instance-with astonishing results. Taken as a whole, London is the acknow­ledged world capital for drama. The heavily subsidized National Theatre is the envy of the West. Moreover, London alone boasts five world-class symphony orchestras, all receiving state funds that could have been invested to increase pro­ductivity in chemicals or ship building; British society, through budgets adopted by elected govern­ments, has chosen differently.

inflation

Britain has frequently been held up as a horrible example, a warning to others. With an inflation rate above its industrial homologues, an unemployment level close to the highest in the West, it is hardly the New Jerusalem. Neither is it the chaotic, miserable swamp de­picted by the gloomier analysts.

Calm appraisal suggests that Brit-

ain       at least a Britain somehow
shed of its running sore in Ulster-is a comfortable, decent, creative place, burdened with problems as are all industrial societies, but mov­ing hesitantly towards a more civil­ized life. Its lack-lustre perform­ance in what Blake called “these dark, Satanic mills” may be less a symptom of sickness than of health.

Western countries are looking for ways to make work more human, exact less of a toll. It is conceivable that in time they too may find that some jobs can be humanized only by doing less of them, either by working at a slower pace or aban­doning them entirely. As these rich societies insist on more satisfy­ing work, they are likely to look towards Britain. Then, instead of being a warning, Britain will serve as a model in tomorrow’s world.

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Sick country of Europe

A noted American economic journalist examines the so-called ‘sick country of Europe’ and gives a heartening—if controversial—second opinion

AFTER Britain’s voters in 1974 had twice rejected Edward Heath’s claim that the Tories alone could save the country from its unions, distinguished com­mentators pulled long faces. Sam­uel Brittan, resident economist for the Financial Times, warned that the demands of voters in general and unions in particular “risk straining liberal democracy to the breaking point.” Two Oxford lec­turers, Robert Bacon and Walter Eltis, pointed to “a collapse of Brit­ain’s economic performance.”

Edward Heath

Eminent American commenta­tors were just as gloomy and de­cidedly more blunt. Morley Safer disclosed on CBS television that Britain had endured “two decades of decline … culminating in a kind of anarchy.” The American Hud­son Institute of Paris then produced the report, The United Kingdom in 1980, which began in almost Or­wellian tones : “The outlook for Britain is sombre . . . the economic crisis is linked to a severe deteriora­tion in the country’s social and political health.”

The consensus among observers was so widespread that Vermont Royster of The Wall Street Journal could write confidently : “Hardly anyone needs to be told now that Great Britain is the sick country of Europe.”

One thing is conspicuously absent from the diagnoses of the pundits: evidence. Almost to a man, they fas­tidiously eschew hard, verifiable fact to support contentions that the causes of Britain’s “sickness” lie in conventional areas.

1. The Unions. Writes R. Emmett Tyrell Jr in The Future That Doesn’t Work: Social Democ­racy’s Failures in Britain, “The most grasping interest group has for years been the trade union move­ment.” But the unions showed ex­traordinary restraint in their wage demands during the three years after 1974. They demonstrated that, in a nation believed least amenable to such devices, an incomes policy is workable, helping reduce a terri­fying inflation to a tolerable level.

The Wall Street Journal

The Welfare State. Britain, as many commentators have observed, squanders its resources on the weak, the lazy, the old and the young. Cool evidence, however, draws the heat from this thesis. Britain spends 7.7 per cent of its gross domestic product on social welfare—con­siderably less than the 10.6 per cent spent in the Common Market countries as a whole.

Strikes. The economic patholo­gists generalize about Britain’s end­less, exceptional industrial strife. Again, their grim prognosis is un­done by facts. Since 1974, British workers have been no more strike-prone than brethren in Canada, Italy, Australia and the USA, ac­cording to International Labour Organization figures.

Government Spending. Every­body knows that Britain is over­whelmed by the burden of support­ing an army of civil servants—and once more, what everybody knows has little basis in fact. EEC statistics indicate that, whereas the outlay on government expenses is a striking 46.3 per cent of the total domestic

output, the average for all Common Market countries is almost the same : 46.5 per cent.

Taxes. Surely The Wall Street Journal and the rest of the experts are right at least in asserting that taxes drain Britain’s energies. Yet there is nothing peculiar in the Brit­ish performance according to a 1976 survey. In Britain the taxman took 36.8 per cent of everything pro­duced—about the same as in France (36.9) and Germany (35.2).

Loss of Empire. As US states­man Dean Acheson put it, “Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role.” Divorce from posses­sions that once gave maps a reddish hue has somehow devitalized the nation. But there is no known method of calibrating a national psyche, and it is not clear that the Lancashire millworker, the Welsh miner, the London shop assistant or Coventry car worker felt depressed when Kenya, Nigeria, Jamaica and others followed India and Pakistan.

Strike

Whatever the commentators say, the fact is that during the imperial era 1855-1945, British output of goods and services grew each year on average by 1.7 per cent; in the 30 post-war years without empire it grew annually by 2.5 per cent, a gain of nearly half.

All in all, a dismal picture had been painted of Britain in mid-1977. And the futurologists’ crystal ball failed completely when it came to North Sea oil. The prize for cloud-cuckoo analysis goes to the Hudson Institute’s claim that “by 1980 no appreciable difference will have been made to Britain’s financial standing” as a consequence of the oil. A more inaccurate guess could not have been made. A Treasury study in 1976 concluded that the oil would add L1,050. million to Brit­ain’s balance of payments in 1977 and L5,400 million by 1980, going an important way towards paying off the debts the country has con­tracted during its hardest times and helping to wipe out deficits in trade accounts with other nations.

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