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Daily Archives: July 10, 2017
16 things you didn’t know about The Bahamas, a land of sinkholes and swimming pigs – Telegraph.co.uk
Posted: July 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm
The Bahamas is celebrating 44 years of independence from the UK. Here are a few quirky facts about these fascinating islands.
Many people talk about The Ukraine, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Maldives and The Netherlands. These are all wrong. Only two nations officially start with The. The Bahamas is one (the name means shallow water, FYI). Do you know the other?
Big Major Cay or Pig Beach is renowned for its porcine residents, who spend their time wallowing in the shallows. The porkers are victims of their own cuteness, however. Earlier this year several were found dead, with tourists blamed for overfeeding them.
Telegraph Travel spoke to the astronaut Chris Hadfield, best known for his Bowie rendition on the ISS, in January, and asked him which Earthly place looked most beautiful from his lofty orbit. The Bahamas are gorgeous, he replied. The deep trench in the ocean floor called the Tongue of the Ocean, which comes between the islands, is the most beautiful deep indigo colour.
The Bahamas has a weight problem even more so than the US. Almost 35 per cent of the adult population are considered obese, according to the CIA’s World Factbook. For the US the figure is 33 per cent (in Britain its 27 per cent). Only 12 places are fatter, with American Samoa taking the biscuit (so to speak) on a whopping 74.6 per cent.
Thanks to sprinters like Pauline Davis-Thompson, Tonique Williams-Darling and Shaunae Miller, The Bahamas has won 14 Olympic medals. That works out at 33.9 per million residents only Finland, Sweden and Hungary have a better per capita strike rate.
OK, so The Bahamas might only have around 10 branches. But with a population of 390,000, that works out at more than 26 per million residents. Only three countries, the US, Canada and Monaco, have more Starbucks per capita.
The aquarium at the garish Atlantis Paradise Island resort encompasses 14 lagoons, eight million gallons of water and more than 50,000 aquatic animals from 250 species. Theres even a water slide that runs through the middle of it.
The Bahamas needs you. Almost 20 per cent of its GDP comes from tourism, a higher percentage than all but six places (Macau, Maldives, British Virgin Islands, Aruba, Seychelles and Anguilla). In fact, the country attracts 3.7 overseas visitors each year for every resident, making it one of 51 nations where tourists outnumber locals.
And its named, rather unimaginatively, Pink Sands. Noelle Nicolls, our expert on The Bahamas, says: Some visitors suffer disappointment when they realise the beach is not entirely pink as some doctored photos suggest. A unique mix of coral, broken shells, miniature rocks and calcium carbonate speckles the sand with pink fragments.
Dean’s Blue Hole, off Long Island, is the second deepest salt water sinkhole on Earth, plunging 202 metres. Only Dragon Hole, in the South China Sea, with a depth of 300.89 metres, can top it.
The Bahamas is the third most expensive country in the world to live, according to Numbeo’s annual cost of living survey, which takes into account the price of around 50 items, including a wide variety of accommodation, food and drink from both supermarkets and restaurants, clothing, taxi fares, leisure activities, utility, internet and mobile phone bills. Only Bermuda and Switzerland are costlier.
Its not just piggies. Noelle Nicolls explains: Sandy Cay (also known as White Cay) is an uninhabited island at the southern tip of the Exuma chain. Easily accessible from Long Island, it’s a beautiful sanctuary for critically endangered White Cay Rock Iguanas. When you arrive, the iguanas come crawling out of the native bush to greet you on the beach or along the rocky part of the shoreline. They are harmless and will run away if you step towards them too suddenly.
Pirates, privateers and buccaneers infested the area from the early 1600s to the 1700s, wrote Ben Fogle for The Telegraph in 2015. The shallow waters provided the perfect place for experienced pirates to lure heavily laden merchant ships and Spanish galleons on to the reefs, where they were wrecked and relieved of their cargos.
The most famous pirate was Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, who was appointed magistrate of the self-declared Pirates Republic, a stronghold in Nassau which brought 11 years of havoc to the region.
Learn more at the Pirates of Nassau Museum or on an Islandz Rum Tour.
Thunderball Grotto is an accessible underwater cave that sits in the middle of a little island (probably better categorised as a big rock) in The Exumas, says Noelle Nicolls. It gets its name from the James Bond film Thunderball, which used the cave for underwater battle scenes. When you drop anchor, the entrance to the cave is not readily visible as most of it is underwater. Getting in is intimidating, but once you do, you can swim and breathe on the surface of the water as you snorkel around the hollowed-out chamber.
You cant drive on the Bimini Road, as its underwater and is actually a rock formation. Some believe it to be part of the legendary lost city of Atlantis. They are wrong. It is just a rock formation.
A sombre note to finish on. The Bahamas is one of 58 countries that still have the death penalty. It is, however, considered abolitionist in practice, with the last execution taking place in 2000 (unlike Iran, for example, where more than 977 took place in 2015).
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Posted: at 8:39 pm
Coca-Colas bottling partner in the Bahamas, Caribbean Bottling Company, has announced investment of $1.8 million in a solar installation at its factory in Nassau.
The company has predicted that the panels will lower its overall energy bill by 30%, the equivalent of between $250,000 and $300,000 a year.With that level of saving, the panels will essentially pay for themselves within seven years of being installed.
According to the Bahamas Tribune newspaper, work on the panels will begin this month on a portion of the bottlers 92,000-square-foot roof, in the south east of the capital.
Weve paid a deposit for the equipment and it is now being shipped, Caribbean Bottling Company chief executive Walter Wells was quoted as saying by the Tribune.Im told it is on the way to us now, and I expect them to start installing it on our building later this month.
We hope to complete it before the end of this year. It should hopefully generate between 25-30% of our requirements. It pays for itself in around six-seven years, and has a life expectancy of between 20-25 years. It will also reduce our carbon footprint all those good things.
The panels will generate more than 1,100kW of energy, helping to save almost 25,000 tons of CO2 over the full 25-year life of the installation.
The investment has been helped by a $1 million loan from the Inter-American Investment Corporation.
Its part of a range of measures undertaken by Coca-Cola bottlers worldwide to reduce the soft drinks companys CO2 emissions and increase the proportion of energy used in its manufacturing operations from renewable sources.
In May, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) started sourcing all of the electricity needed for its UK operations from renewable sources.
By making the switch, the bottler claimed it was demonstrating its commitment to sustainable manufacturing across the whole of its UK operations.
The solar farm covers eight hectares and will produce up to 5mW of energy at full capacity. In 2014, a 1 million combined heat and power system was also launched at CCEPs Wakefield site, helping to save 1,500 tons of 2 a year across the factorys operations.
Coca-Cola Femsa had already invested in a sustainable plant in Brazil, which combined technologies for energy efficiency, water treatment and solar power generation.
The factory came complete with a system for the harvesting of rainwater, and was the result of more than $250 millions worth of investment.
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Could Last Week’s Tropical Depression Four Come Back to Life in the Atlantic? Hurricane Hunter Mission Scheduled – The Weather Channel
Posted: at 8:39 pm
The ghost of Tropical Depression Four is expected to track toward the Bahamas and South Florida later this week.
This system has a low chance of becoming a tropical depression again.
A hurricane hunter investigative mission has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
A second disturbance could pass near the Windward Islands late this week but faces obstacles to development.
The remnant of last week’s Tropical Depression Four continues to sproutthunderstorms, and a rebirthas a tropical cyclone can’t be ruled out as it tracks toward the Bahamas and possibly Florida later this week.
(MORE: Hurricane Central)
Located just over 100 miles north of the Virgin Islands, this ghostof what was once T.D. Fourhadflared some healthy convection Monday and throughout the weekend.
This disturbance appears to be in an environment of at least some wind shear, or change in wind direction with height, but in an otherwise sufficiently moist atmosphere with winds spreading apart aloft to support these occasional bursts of thunderstorms.
If thunderstorms were to persist and any low-pressure circulation near the surface is found, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) would then resume advisories on T.D. Four, or if winds are strong enough, Tropical Storm Don.
The NHC has tentatively scheduled a Tuesday afternoon hurricane hunter reconaissance mission into this disturbance to see if it has indeed become a depression or storm.
But, for now, this possibility of redevelopment is low.
Whatever the outcome, the same atmospheric steering wheel as was the case last week exists this week.
The Bermuda-Azores high should keep this disturbance on a general west-northwest track.
This should push the disturbance into the Bahamas starting Wednesday, and may give a boost to the typical showers and thunderstorms over parts of the Florida Peninsula starting Thursday.
(FORECAST: Nassau, Bahamas | Miami)
The disturbance will battle at least some modest wind shear andperhapssome dry airbefore it gets to the Bahamas, so, again, the odds of it redeveloping into a tropical depression appear low.
Beyond that, the disturbance may enter the eastern Gulf of Mexico by the weekend, and would have to be monitored for any developmentthere. If anything, it could lead to another heavy rain threat in parts of the Deep South, where the ground remains soggy from previous heavy rain.
(MORE:Strange Start to the Hurricane Season)
For now, there’s nothing to be alarmed about, but it’s worth checking back with us for any updates to this forecast over the next several days.
(MORE: Why Long-Range Model Forecasts For the Tropics Can’t Often Be Trusted)
Much farther east, another tropical wave in the Atlantic is being monitored.
This one is still more than halfway between the west African coast and the Lesser Antilles, several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
(MORE: Why We Watch the Cabo Verde Islands in Hurricane Season)
As was the case with T.D. Four last week, this east Atlantic system faces a pair of nemeses to develop.
First, dry air is still abundant from the Caribbean Sea to west Africa, visiblein this satellite loop from UW-CIMSS, showing the yellow-, orange- and red-shaded areas pouring southwestward into the strip of the tropics between Africa and the Lesser Antilles.
Secondly, wind shear increases in the Caribbean Sea. Wind shear isthe change in wind speed and/or direction with height that can rip apart a fledgling tropical disturbance by blowing thunderstorms away from developing low pressure.
(MORE: A Typical July in the Atlantic Hurricane Season)
So, assuming the dry air doesn’t stifle this tropical wave before getting to the Windward Islands by Friday, increased Caribbean wind shear may do so.
At any rate, there is plenty of time to monitor this disturbance, so check back with us at weather.com for the latest.
This is a good time to make sure you have a plan in case a hurricane threatens. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has an excellent site that can help you make a hurricane plan.
MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Atlantic Basin Retired Hurricanes and Tropical Storm Names
Posted: at 8:39 pm
VW independent/submitted information
DELPHOS A Delphos couple were injured in a home invasion assault that occurred Saturday morning.
David and Dianna Allemeier of 209 S. Pierce St. in Delphos were both taken to St. Ritas Medical Center in Lima for treatment of injuries received when a man gained entry to their home and reportedly assaulted them.
Delphos Police were first called out at 6:05 a.m. Saturday on a report of a suspicious person in the 300 block of Jackson Street who was knocking on doors and then walking away. However, while en route to that call, officers were informed that a man had been injured and was bleeding in the 200 block of Pierce Street.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found Allemeier bleeding from an injury to his neck. The Delphos resident said he received the injury from a man who had gained entry into his home.
Officers approached the residence and found the back door unlocked and a lot of blood at the scene. The home was secured and a K-9 and Crime Scene Unit sought from the Allen County Sheriffs Office.
Allemeier then said his wife was still in the house and officers then entered and found Mrs. Allemeier, who was also injured, in the bedroom area of the residence.
After the Allemeiers were transported to the hospital, a K-9 search was made of the area, and the house was processed by an Allen County sheriffs deputy.
No information was released on whether items were taken from the Allemeier house.
Police are currently seeking a young, skinny white male with black hair, possibly wearing cutoff shorts. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Delphos Police Department or Allen County Sheriffs Office.
The investigation is continuing, with no further information forthcoming at this time.
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Posted: at 8:39 pm
As offshore wind power becomes ever more of a reality along the East Coast, this week, New Yorkers have opportunities to learn more about how we can scale up the pollution-free technology here, at three public information events on Long Island.
Edison Sub-District Office District 4, United Steel Worker via Flickr
As offshore wind power becomes ever more of a reality along the East Coast, interested New Yorkers have the opportunity to learn more about New York States Offshore Wind Master Plan at three public information sessions on Long Island this week. The Master Plan is the states effort to realize and optimize the significant potential that offshore wind power offers to us all: pollution-free electricity, as well as the climate and public health benefits that come with it; substantial employment opportunities, and much more.
The Master Plan is being drafted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and has been in the works for several years. And as the Empire State takes important steps to help offshore wind power become a thriving industry here, much as it already is in Europe and increasingly in Asia, the benefits are plain to see. Thats why an important and diverse coalition of labor, business, environmental, and Long Island leaders and elected officials, including State Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bayshore), came together at a news conference in Melville this afternoon to support offshore wind power off the Long Island coast.
Under Governor Andrew Cuomos leadership, New York has already committed to offshore wind power, including a pledge that we will get 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. That will play a central role in enabling the state to meet its pivotally important plan to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and will help power 1.25 million homes. But the potential is even bigger in the waters off New York, where we can responsibly site as many as 39 gigawatts of offshore wind power projects15 million homes worth.
Then there are the jobslots of them. A recent report from the nonprofit Workforce Development Institute found there are 74 types of jobs in offshore wind powerranging from riggers, divers, and crane operators, to bookkeepers, paralegals, and electrical engineers. New Yorkers can fill them all, much to our benefit. In fact, a SUNY Stonybrook study found that a single, 250-megawatt offshore wind power project off Long Island could create 2,800 jobs and generate $645 million in local economic output, while a companion study found such a project could be built with essentially no impact on consumers electric rates.
Want to know more? This week on Long Island, you can be among the first to learn about what offshore wind power offers New Yorkers and how we can scale it up, at these events:
Monday, July 10 6:00-7:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A 7:00-8:00 p.m. Open House Long Island Association 300 Broadhollow Road, Melville, NY
Tuesday, July 11 6:00-7:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A 7:00-8:00 p.m. Open House Long Beach Public Library 111 West Park Avenue, Long Beach, NY
Wednesday, July 12 6:00-7:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A 7:00-8:00 p.m. Open House Southampton Inn 91 Hill Street, Southampton, NY
NYSERDA will hold more public information sessions soon, including three slated for New York City in August. These events are good news for all of us: The more we know about the Offshore Wind Master Plan, the sooner we can make offshore wind power and all its benefits a reality for New Yorkers and the Empire State.
Director, Energy & Transportation program
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Posted: at 8:39 pm
Zarar Khan, Associated Press
Graft probe of Pakistan PM finds wealth ‘disparity’
ISLAMABAD (AP) An official investigation into corruption allegations against Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family has found a “significant disparity” between their declared wealth and known sources of income.
Sharif, who has previously denied allegations of abusing his authority to enrich himself, has been under pressure since documents leaked in 2016 from a Panama-based law firm disclosed that his family had offshore accounts.
Sharif and members of his family have appeared before a team appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate their offshore companies. Sharif has faced corruption allegations since coming to power in parliamentary elections in 2013.
“There exists a significant disparity between the wealth declared by the respondents and the means through which the respondents had generated income from known or declared sources,” the report said, according to a partial copy released to reporters.
At one point the report refers to the “irregular movement” of cash gifts and loans from companies based in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Britain to Sharif, his son and companies linked to them.
The report suggests that the courts pursue action based on a 1999 accountability law intended to help stamp out corruption. But the final decision rests with the Supreme Court, which will take up the case next Monday.
A minister from Sharif’s ruling party dismissed the report, saying its findings were “unsubstantiated.”
“The report contains no substance of corruption, tax fraud or any wrongdoing,” said Ahsan Iqbal, the minister for planning and development.
Talal Chaudhry, a party spokesman, denounced the probe as part of a “conspiracy” aimed at removing the premier from office.
The opposition seized on the allegations, however, with cricket legend-turned-opposition leader Imran Khan calling on Sharif to “immediately step down.”
The Supreme Court meanwhile put Pakistan’s leading Jang newspaper group on notice for publishing a front-page story Monday suggesting it was based on content from the report, which had not been made public when the story came out.
The head of the investigation team told judges the paper’s report was false, according to several lawyers who were present at Monday’s court session. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Posted: at 8:39 pm
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla.
Airmen from Patrick Air Force Base helped rescue a father and son after their boat caught fire 500 miles off the coast of Florida.
Five-hundred miles offshore, a speck in the water near a passing oil tanker was a lifeboat with two men aboard. Their boat had sunk in a fire and one was badly burned. They had called the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard called the Air Force.
The 920th Rescue Wing – represented by 80 airmen and four aircraft, pulled off the search and rescue with the help of the Coast Guard. The team worked into the night Friday to rescue the two German citizens.
The tanker crew helped the victims aboard and Air Force medics treated them. Their usual mission is rescuing downed combat pilots.
Anytime you are putting someone out over the Atlantic, its concerning, said Captain Dan Morgese. We train for this, it all worked out just fine. If there was a day to do it, it was today; the weather was perfect.
The 48-year-old and 66-year-old were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center by medical helicopter.
When you actually get to do something you train for; its really satisfying, said Morgese. Excellent communication and planning among all involved, made the mission successful.
How America Can Fight Back Against Hybrid War on the High Seas – The National Interest Online (blog)
Posted: at 8:38 pm
Through the lens of the submarines periscope, the tramp steamer looks like a bathtub toy as it bobs on the waves.
But to the German U-boat captain observing his prey from six feet below the surface of the North Atlantic, its the perfect victim. A lone merchant ship sailing between New York and Liverpool in the summer of 1916, with no destroyers to escort it.
The U-boat skipper briefly considers firing a torpedo at the ship. But why waste a precious tin fish on a helpless rustbucket when his submarine only carries six torpedoes? And so the U-boat rears out of the ocean like a prehistoric sea monster, its crew emerging to man the deck guns. Soon the merchant ship shudders under the impact of a cannon shell. The ship comes to a stop as its crew scrambles to the lifeboats.
Suddenly, panels and hatches on the steamer slide open. Flame and smoke erupt as it fires a broadside of high explosives into the stunned submarine. Its gunners swept off the deck and its hull punctured, the submarine sinks beneath the waves. The unlucky U-boat was the victim of a Q-ship, an armed merchant vessel (or a warship disguised as a merchant ship) that cruises the sea lanes in search of unwary submarines.
Q-ships are gone, and so are U-boats. Any modern submarine skipper who surfaces his boat to sink a target, rather than blasting it with a missile or torpedo from miles away, deserves to be shot out of his own torpedo tube.
And yet, for the newest scourge of the high seas, Q-ships may be the answer.
Hybrid warfarethat witches brew of regular and irregular warfare, covert special forces (like Russias little green men in Crimea), and state-sponsored insurgents and criminal gangsis already a fact of life on land in conflicts such as Ukraine. Now its coming to the water.
Old-fashioned criminal piracy already flourishes off the coast of Africa and in Southeast Asian waters. China has used merchant ships and fishing boats to harass U.S. Navy warships in the South China Sea.
Former U.S. Navy admiral James Stavridis has warned that worse is coming. Nations will employ little blue sailors to conduct hybrid maritime warfare in coastal waters.
Instead of using force directly from identifiable gray hull navy platforms, hybrid warfare will feature the use of both civilian vessels (tramp steamers, large fishing vessels, light coastal tankers, small fast craft, and even low slow skiffs with outboard engines), Stavridis wrote.
Their targets wont be just merchant ships; they will hit oil platforms and mining rigs. They will operate under plausible deniability: go ahead and prove that Russia or China was behind that innocent-looking trawler that blew up a container ship.
And thats where todays Q-ships would come in. Like decoy cops trolling for muggers, these vessels could be disguised as cargo ships or yachts. The concept isnt new. Back in 1675, Englands HMS Kingfisher, camouflaged to resemble a merchantman, was used to trap Algerian pirates in 1681.
The heyday of the Q-ship was World War I, when the British deployed hundreds of ships. Most were merchant vessels with hidden armament, but a few were special-built warships. They werent particularly effective, sinking perhaps ten U-boats at a cost of sixty-one Q-ships.
Yet despite the unfavorable math, the covert sub killers actually helped achieve a decisive result. Strange as it may sound in twenty-first-century naval warfare, Imperial Germany had initially waged its submarine campaign in accordance with maritime law, which held that merchant ships could only be sunk if submarines surfaced to give the crew and passengers adequate warning to abandon ship before sinking them. But the threat of Q-ships induced Germany to switch to unrestricted submarine warfare, where subs remain submerged and torpedo their targets without warning. This meant sinking American ships, which gave President Woodrow Wilson an excuse to enter the war against Germany.
Modern Q-ships probably wont drive off the little blue men. But it might make them a lot more cautious. Imagine their surprise when they discover that beneath the rust are well-trained sailors and commandos with machine guns, rocket launchers and a detachment of commandos. At the very least, theyll be armed with something more than Britney Spears songs.
Of course, this isnt a risk-free option. Q-ships could be sunk by little blue men. And there is always the chance that a nervous Q-ship might accidentally sink an innocent vessel by mistake, generating an embarrassing outcry.
It could also ratchet up the level of violence on the sea as everyone gets a bit more trigger-happy. But thats the point of a Q-shipnot to make life easy for pirates.
Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
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Posted: at 8:37 pm
A blue lagoon paradise, set in the crystal clear waters of French Polynesia, will be up for auction with Concierge Auctions next month.
Motu Tiano, a private island, went on the market Saturday for $11.88 million, but bids at its Aug. 23 auction will start at $6 million, said Cindy Johnson, project sales manager for the property at Concierge Auctions. The secluded island is only a five minute boat ride away from bustling Raiatea, one of the largest Society Islands, with many shops and restaurants, according to the listing.
The 1,800-square-foot main house is fitted with classical Polynesian-style furnishings and amenities. There are three bedrooms, a loft and one bathroom.
More:Read About Island Properties on Mansion Global
The 17-acre sanctuary is ideal for a family thats really into outdoor activities, said Ms. Johnson.
Around the island there are deep waters to accommodate a 40- to 60-foot boat, a shallow reef for snorkeling, and great surfing conditions, she said.
One of the highlights of the property is the outdoor dock, featuring a boat house with gear for water sports.
The island has only had three owners, and the current owner has had the property for 18 years, Ms. Johnson said.
Concierge Auctions did not give the current owners name and its not clear why he or she is selling the island now.
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Posted: at 8:37 pm
Johnny Depps $2-million-a-month spending habit which included a Berlusconi-esque $30,000 a month for wine needs to be sidelined in his ex-mangers ongoing legal battle against him, a judge said Monday.
In response to Depps own $25 million suit against The Management Group which accuses the firm of defrauding him out of tens of millions of dollars owners Joel and Robert Mandel had fired back with an explosive $4.2 million countersuit claiming the star blew his wealth on fancy wine, 14 homes, private islands, and most notably, blasting Hunter S. Thompsons ashes out of a cannon.
But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa Beaudet said Monday that the allegations about Depps cartoonish expense reports are not relevant to the management companys cross complaint.
These allegations, however, could still arise in the future as part of The Management Groups defense of Depps lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the judge did allow the groups counterclaim of promissory fraud to continue.
TMG alleged that Cross-Defendants never intended to abide by their promises and TMG reasonably relied on the alleged false promises by doing the 386 hours of work during those last two weeks of March, Beaudet wrote in her ruliing.
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