Wal-Mart Wants Suppliers to Eliminate a Gigaton of Greenhouse Gases by 2030

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., long known for squeezing its suppliers on prices, is now pressuring companies including Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive Co. to help the world’s biggest retailer remove a billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030.

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Amazon’s On-Demand Manufacturing Sends Tremors Through Supply Chain

If Amazon’s latest clothing manufacturing plans become a reality, air cargo companies could stand to lose billions in revenues. Last week, the e-commerce giant was awarded a patent for a localized manufacturing setup that eliminates much of the traditional supply chain, bringing manufacturing closer to consumers than ever before.

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Innovative twists on sweetening dairy products

Milk’s nutrient profile makes dairy products attractive foods for providing sustained energy and curbing appetite. By manipulating sweeteners, which are vital to taste and texture, it is possible to reduce added sugars and lower calories, making the foods even more attractive to label-reading consumers.

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Alphabet’s Self-Driving Cars to Get Their First Real Riders

After almost a decade of research, Google’s autonomous car project is close to becoming a real service.

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Amazon to Deploy Hydrogen-Powered Forklifts

Internet retailer Amazon.com has committed to deploy forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells from Plug Power Inc. at some of its fulfillment centers and will work with the Latham, N.Y.-based company to develop new applications for hydrogen fuel systems.

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The Electric Car Revolution Now Faces Its Biggest Test

Are electric cars ready to stand on their own?

If you took a spin down to the New York International Auto Show last week and saw the $37,500 Chevy Bolt (electric) parked next to the strikingly similar $17,000 Chevy Cruze (gasoline), the answer is probably a hard no. The Bolt is arguably a better car than the Cruze—but not $20,000 better.

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How e-commerce logistics is changing cities

Previously undesirable warehouse spaces are now in demand thanks to the growth of delivery services, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

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Where All That Retail Spending Went

Retail is in trouble. Sales declined for the second month in a row in the U.S. in March, and there’s talk that perhaps traditional retail has passed a tipping point, with lots of store closings, layoffs and bankruptcies to come.

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Why retailers are trying on showrooms

Retail is going through a monumental transition period, to say the least.

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Online giant expands its supply network in New Jersey

Amazon’s distribution fleet is once again bolstering its breadth.

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Fashion retailer closing all stores

It’s curtain time for Bebe Stores — or at least its brick-and-mortar operations.

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Retail volatility shakes up the Top 1000

2016 was another one for the record books in e-commerce, as shoppers shifted more of their retail spending to the web.

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Amazon Plays Hardball with Electronics Distributors

Since launching in April 2015, Amazon’s new business-to-business (B2B) marketplace has been doing some tidy business. Inside a year, Amazon Business has topped $1 billion in sales and hit a month-over-month growth rate of 20%.

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GPC Subsidiaries Motion Industries, EIS Post Solid Q1 Sales Growth

Genuine Parts Company — the parent company of ID Big 50 List distributors Motion Industries (No. 8) and EIS Inc. (No. 22) — on Wednesday reported its fiscal performance for its first quarter of 2017.

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New $2M chocolate spa in Hershey will open this fall

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. is spending $2 million on a new chocolate spa in downtown Hershey.

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Pepsi: The choice of the Kraft Heinz generation?

Some analysts are predicting Kraft Heinz could consider Pepsi as its next acquisition target to take some of the sting out of failing to land Unilever earlier this year. With rumors also swirling that AB InBev is looking at possibly making a move on Coke, it’s possible the two soda giants could no longer be standalone companies within a few years.

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General Mills increases spending on food safety

General Mills raised its spending on food safety to $16 million in 2016, an increase of $3 million from 2015, according to Food Business News.

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Amazon heads Down Under

The Australian retail marketplace is in for a huge shake-up.

Amazon is preparing to operate an online store in Australia, offering the country’s consumers access to more categories. Amazon already sells Kindle e-books and readers, Audible audiobooks, and online shoppers can also download apps, but this move will bring “a retail offering to Australia,” according to the e-retailer.

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AAR Reports Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending April 15, 2017

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 15, 2017.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 519,318 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.9 percent compared with the same week last year.

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Against the Grain, Traders Go Gluten Free in Hunt for Profit

Margins for handling the big grain crops have sunk as farmers grew more than the world needs for four years. That’s led firms like Germany’s BayWa AG to seek out niches such as tomatoes and organic grains where returns are higher. Others turned to costlier processed food ingredients or gluten-free products.

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Here’s some co-branding that makes sense: Michaels and Pinterest

Michaels and Pinterest have formed a partnership to create and sell “Make it Kits” from some of the trending crafts on the social media app.

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Q&A: Bringing Sustainability to Supply Chains

For Meyer, bringing sustainability to supply chains means setting a higher bar for responsible sourcing and supplier codes of conduct. He will be sharing how to do this at the 2017 Environmental Leader Conference in June. We recently caught up with him to get his insights on driving supply chain transparency.

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Toyota to test hydrogen cargo truck at Port of Los Angeles

Toyota plans to test a heavy-duty truck powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell system at the Port of Los Angeles as part of a feasibility study beginning this summer.

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Will Chewy.com help PetSmart gobble up the online pet market?

PetSmart announced yesterday that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the online pet products retailer, Chewy.com. In making the deal, PetSmart, which operates 1,500 stores, acquires a major online player that has achieved significant growth since its founding in 2011.

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Retailers look past apps to the next frontier of digital shopping: Chatbots

Artificial intelligence is being touted as a tool for addressing some of humanity’s most pressing problems, including climate change and cancer.

But starting this week, you can put it to work for something a little more prosaic: ordering a hoagie.

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Amazon’s delivery drones to drop packages via parachute

Amazon has said its drones are coming soon — but don’t necessarily expect them to land in your yard.

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The Best Way To Get Cheap Solar: Shop Around

If you’re thinking about getting solar panels for your roof, here’s two pieces of advice, free of charge. One, shop around. And, two, don’t be afraid to consider smaller, local installers. Bigger national brands may have the marketing muscle and marketplace presence, but they could be more expensive.

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Where All That Retail Spending Went

Retail is in trouble. Sales declined for the second month in a row in the U.S. in March, and there’s talk that perhaps traditional retail has passed a tipping point, with lots of store closings, layoffs and bankruptcies to come.

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Tesla says it will unveil an electric truck this year

Electric car manufacturer Tesla is seemingly entering the trucking game later this year, according to an announcement by company co-founder Elon Musk on Twitter last week. Musk calls the truck “seriously next level.”

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GM adding 1,100 jobs in Calif. at Cruise Automation unit

General Motors Co. said on Thursday it will add more than 1,100 jobs in California over five years at its Cruise Automation unit to boost self-driving efforts after receiving $8 million in state tax credits.

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Consumer Prices in U.S. Fall 0.3%, First Decline in a Year

The cost of living in the U.S. declined in March for the first time since February 2016, showing inflation is moving up only gradually, a Labor Department report showed Friday.

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Amazon Invests In Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Retail giant Amazon made waves with its recent forays into the entertainment field. And now it looks like the sprawling enterprise is about to pull the rug out from under hydrogen fuel cell skeptics.

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Nearly every American spent money at Wal-Mart last year

When it comes to where Americans like to shop, one thing is immediately clear: They’re after value.

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Survey: Digitization essential for next-generation supply chains

The “Next-Generation Supply Chain” has three distinct characteristics: digital, on-demand and always-on, according to the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, developed jointly by Deloitte and the Materials Handling Institute.

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Tesla briefly tops GM as America’s most valuable automaker, amazing analysts

For a time on Monday, Tesla edged out GM in market capitalization to become the most valuable U.S. automaker, even though Tesla is on track to lose almost a billion dollars this year while GM is expected to make a $9 billion profit.

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Trucking employment rallied again in March

The for-hire trucking industry added 4,700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in March, according to the Department of Labor. The gain follows a big boost in February, in which the industry added nearly 10,000 jobs.

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Convenience store giant makes $3.3 billion acquisition

7-Eleven has accelerated its U.S. expansion by entering into the largest acquisition in its history.

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Department store retailer enters new market

Von Maur has opened its first location in Wisconsin.

The family-owned company opened a 150,000-sq.-ft. store at The Corners of Brookfield in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

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Target initiates new forest products sourcing policy

Target announced its newest sustainability initiative of sourcing all forest and forest-derived products responsibly, a company press release reported.

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Where in the world is this food from? Traceability initiatives let consumers know

Today’s consumers want to know where their food came from, how it was produced, and be able to follow a product’s journey from farm to fork.

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Trucking Companies Using New Recruitment Strategies to Attract Younger Truck Drivers

As the trucking industry continues to struggle with a growing shortage of drivers, transportation companies are using more tech-oriented recruitment strategies to attract younger drivers.

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Logistically Minded: Slower production in March just a common cold?

Supply chains are constantly changing as new rules, technologies, resources and market trends transform operations. Here’s a skim of the week’s indexes, technology announcements, expansions and M&As from around the web.

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Online retail giant in big part-time worker push

Amazon continues its hiring spree.

The company announced Thursday that it plans to add more than 30,000 part-time positions in the United States over the next year. The new positions are on top of the previously announced 100,000 full-time U.S. jobs Amazon will add during the next 18 months.

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Amazon sets up exclusive social influencer market

Amazon is getting into the influencer marketing space with an Amazon Influencer Program, now in beta, TechCrunch reported. The program is similar to Amazon Affiliates but requires influencers to apply to be vetted and accepted by the company.

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Preparing the market for the Easter bunny’s chocolate rush

With more than 120 million pounds of Easter candy expected to be sold during the upcoming holiday, 70 percent will be chocolate. Equally as interesting, companies will manufacture 16 billion jelly beans and 90 million chocolate bunnies.

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Luggage e-retailer purchased by iconic travel brand

eBags is about to embark on a new journey.

The online luggage retailer is being acquired by Samsonite International. The deal, which is valued at $105 million, is part of Samsonite’s ongoing strategy to accelerate the growth of its direct-to-consumer, e-commerce business, and strengthen its existing digital capabilities, the company reported.

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H&M Tries on Multiple Personalities to Keep Growing

At the H&M store on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, teens comb racks packed with velour tank tops as tourists load up on cheap jeans to a soundtrack of bouncy pop music. While the bustle and bargains once appealed to Pierrick Beringer, at age 35 he prefers quality to quantity, so these days he’s more likely to turn the corner to a store called COS, where the pace is far calmer. “I like the shape,” the hairstylist says, pulling a thick-cotton T-shirt from a display. “And it’s less well-known, so you don’t see it everywhere.”

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Mexico auto output, exports surge in Q1

Mexico’s booming auto industry set records across the board in the first quarter, with production jumping 17 percent, exports surging 14 percent and local light-vehicle sales rising 8.9 percent vs. the year-ago period.

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Trucking adds 4,700 jobs, sets record high in March

Big gains in the number of trucking jobs in February and March have more than made up for a surprising loss in January, bringing the for-hire jobs total a record high.

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Software Robots Are Disrupting Businesses, Optimizing Supply Chains

Robotic process automation has the potential to transform organizations by helping to optimize back-office and repetitive functions. It can increase productivity and quality while reducing costs, and in many cases it requires minimal investment. In fact, organizations are finding that it can pay for itself in less than a year.

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Retail layoffs are far from over as more store closures loom

The retail industry’s pain is being felt by its massive workforce.

Barely a quarter into 2017, year-to-date store closings have already topped the historical high of 2008, a Credit Suisse report said Thursday. About 2,880 stores have closed year to date, compared with 1,153 at the same time last year.

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Tracking trends affecting trucking’s future

More change has occurred in the last 20 years than at any time in human history, according to Scott Perry, chief technology and procurement officer for Ryder System Inc., and that lightning-fast pace is being acutely felt in the trucking industry right now, especially in terms of connectivity, the ongoing development of alternative fuels, and the deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology.

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Consumer confidence is up, though sentiment has changed

When it comes to consumer spending, it seems that happy times are indeed here again.

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Caterpillar plant closures prompt global changes in supply pattern

Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar is closing plants in the US and Europe with a combined loss of around 2,800 jobs, in reaction to a drop in demand in the construction, mining and energy industries.

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Pioneering Technology Corp’s Smartburner boosted by latest HD Supply deal

Pioneering Technology Corp’s (CVE:PTE) fire prevention technology has been further boosted as it struck a new distribution deal for the USA with Atlanta – based HD Supply Corp.

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The holiday is over: Amazon will collect sales taxes nationwide on April 1

Amazon, the online merchandise juggernaut, will collect sales taxes from all states with a sales tax starting April 1.

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Lowe’s shares could rise 20 percent on strong outlook: Barron’s

Shares of home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc (LOW.N) could rise by 20 percent or more, helped by better projected earnings growth this year and greater room for margin improvement, Barron’s said on Sunday.

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Easter Spending Expected to Beat Last Year’s Record

With Easter Sunday only three weeks away, many people may be looking forward to a basket filled with chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs.

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Shamrock Farms invests $40m in plant expansion to double production capacity

Shamrock Farms is expanding its August County, Virginia, milk manufacturing facility, which will more than double its production capacity, and create 70 new jobs in the area, reaching 120 employees once the project is completed by late 2018.

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Mars to up investments in United States

Mars Chocolate North America has unveiled plans to reinvest $70 million in its U.S. supply chain, building on the company’s earlier commitment to invest $1 billion in U.S manufacturing operations over the past five years. As part of its latest pledge, Mars said it plans to add approximately 250 new jobs to sites across the United States, ensuring that more than 95% of Mars’ chocolate products for the United States are made in this country.

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Strategic Sourcing in a New Economy

Procurement departments have spent the last 20 years perfecting procurement by automating procurement systems and standardizing highly competitive Request for Proposal processes. This works well when buying commodities and transactions, but falls short for organizations looking for collaborative supplier relationships where flexibility and innovation are essential. Today’s progressive procurement organizations are re-evaluating their approaches and are making a conscious shift along the sourcing continuum.

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There’s a new member of the Big 3 in America’s auto industry

Tesla on Tuesday was on the verge of becoming the largest automaker in the US by market capitalization.

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Thinking inside the box: Water gets a new container

Bottled water surpassed carbonated soft drinks in 2016 to become the largest beverage category by volume in the U.S., according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. Health advocates are cheering, but some environmentalists give pause.

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TJ Maxx, Marshalls Parent TJX Taps Mindshare as Media AOR

TJX Cos., parent to Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post, has hired WPP media agency Mindshare as its media agency of record for all brands in the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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No credit card, no debit card? No problem, says Amazon.

Amazon has launched a new way for customers to shop its site without using a bank card or credit card.

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Report upbeat about retail industry

A just-released analysis of the U.S. retail sector offers positive news for an industry that has been subject to some gloomy assessments in recent times.

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How brands rebuild trust through authentic action

Trust is in short supply these days. Across government, business, media and NGOs, we are witnessing one of the largest drops in trust in recent years — a trend verified by the annual Trust Barometer published by my employer, the global communications marketing firm Edelman.

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How we can turn railroads into a climate solution

Railroads have become a nexus of controversy in recent years due to their role in transporting climate-twisting fossil fuels. But they could become a locomotive driving the growth of clean energy. That is the aim of a new proposal to electrify railroads, run them on renewable energy, and use rail corridors as electricity superhighways to carry power from remote solar and wind installations to population centers.

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Waze gets into the order-ahead business with Dunkin’ Donuts

Waze’s traffic navigation app already shows ads prodding drivers to swing by fast-food joints like Dunkin’ Donuts and Taco Bell. Now it’s adding a new item to its menu — the ability to place orders at some shops.

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Study: Kellogg and Hershey show grrrreat social engagement

Engagement Labs’ first-ever TotalSocial rankings named Kellogg and Hershey as its top companies when it comes to the most important drivers of brand performance through social media and word-of-mouth conversations for U.S. food brands, according to Convenience Store News.

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Walmart debuts updated Neighborhood Market format

Walmart is going on the offense as German grocery giant Lidl prepares to enter the United States this summer.

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The race to put more zero-emission cars on the road

California has led the charge for electric vehicles with an ambitious strategy to put 1.5 million zero‐emission vehicles on the road by 2025 (Executive Order B‐16‐2012) with the ultimate goal of transitioning virtually all personal transportation in the state to zero‐emission cars by 2050. This leadership has paid off ― California continues to make up for about half of the growth of electric vehicles in the United States.

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Transparency is the fourth supply chain success metric

Ten years ago, the management directive to corporate supply-chain executives was to focus on cost, quality and on-time delivery. Throughout the recent recession and recovery, executives responsible for supply chain operations have been directed to squeeze out costs while creating more resilience across their supply chains.

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Amazon debuts grocery pick-up concept

Amazon has opened its latest grocery initiative, which takes a direct hit at the “click and collect” pickup services that more and more supermarket retailers are offering.

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Supply chain visibility shapes customer loyalty and expectations

Enhanced supply chain visibility is an increasingly pivotal component for brand awareness and loyalty, with experts predicting that by 2020, the supply chain will be fully oriented toward customer expectations, Supply Chain Brain reported.

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