Spain eases curbs on children as daily toll drops

    1. Italy records lowest daily death toll for over a month

      Italy has seen its lowest daily death toll since 14 March, with the Civil Protection Agency recording another 260 deaths. It brings the total number of fatalities to 26,644, second only to the USA.

      Today’s figures marked the third successive daily fall in deaths and were sharply down from 415 yesterday.

    2. Are we going outside less?

      Reality Check

      Prof Stephen Powis, the national medical director for NHS England, has said there is a “hint” of a small increase in people driving during the lockdown.

      The government statistics show that the use of transport has plummeted since the end of February. For instance, London bus usage has dropped by around 85%, while the use of the Tube and National Rail is down by 95%.

      However, motor vehicle usage has been creeping up slowly – in the first week of the lockdown this was down 64% but is now only down 59%.

      Similarly, visits to parks and grocery stores have also seen small upticks, according to the latest analysis from Google.

      However, the Google data also shows a significant further decline in visits to workplaces.

      Graph showing decline in travel in the UK
  1. Children enjoy the outdoors again in Spain

    Children in Spain have been enjoying the outdoors on Sunday after being allowed out of their homes for the first time in six weeks.

    Spain has relaxed lockdown rules to allow under-14s to leave their homes each day for a total of one hour between 9am and 9pm.

    They had been banned from leaving their homes completely from 14 March.

    Some restrictions remain, however, preventing the children visiting public parks or venturing more than 1km.

    Children play with parents
    Boy plays with kite
    Child plays at beach
    Family read books outdoors
  2. Could the UK really see another 100,000 deaths?

    Science editor, BBC News

    A new estimate that more than 100,000 people could die of Covid-19 in the UK later this year has made headlines.

    It comes from a modelling study by scientists at Imperial College London and it assesses the risk of one particular scenario.

    The researchers assessed what might happen if everyone was released from lockdown apart from the most vulnerable. Only the elderly and people with underlying health conditions would remain shielded.

    According to Prof Neil Ferguson from Imperial, in an interview with the UnHerd website, these people were most at risk and were also those who most need support, therefore needing to have some interactions with their carers.

    Even if there could be an 80% reduction in the infection risk for that group, his study suggests that would still mean more than 100,000 dying.

    It’s worth pointing out that at the moment, the UK government is giving no indication of how or when any lockdown restrictions might be relaxed. And the study itself has yet to be released – that may happen in the coming days.

    Whatever its conclusions – and these will be hotly debated – the work provides another reminder of the threat from the virus and the extreme difficulty of judging how best to ease the measures to tackle it.

  3. Experts mull options to ease UK lockdown

    Victoria Gill

    Science reporter, BBC News

    Woman walks past a sign thanking NHS staff in London
    Image caption: The UK went into lockdown to prevent the NHS becoming overloaded

    Lockdown was an emergency stop – the only immediately available measure to put the brakes on a virus that outpaced our ability to contain it.

    And it has worked. The best estimates are that the rate of infection in the UK is now at a point where the number of new infections is decreasing. To keep it there, though, the next step has to be a very careful one.

    Prof Neil Ferguson, one of the government’s key scientific advisers, explained in a podcast called UnHerd how taking the brakes off too abruptly would drive that infection rate back up and cost thousands more lives.

    Closed school in Nottingham

    What he and other scientists will do now is create models of different scenarios as we enter a new lockdown phase.

    With the best data they have on this very new disease, they will calculate the impact – on that all-important infection rate – of reopening schools, of easing travel restrictions and of opening up certain types of businesses.

    The post-lockdown restrictions on our lives – and there will be many – will be guided by those careful calculations.

    But it will be down to the government to weigh the risks and the benefits and to tell us what the next phase in our “new normality” will look like.

  4. Paris police seize 140,000 face masks destined for black market

    Two people take a picture while wearing a mask

    Police in France say they have seized 140,000 face masks that were destined for sale on the black market.

    Officers say they discovered the haul when they spotted a businessman unloading the masks from a lorry into a house in St Denis, north of Paris.

    France requisitioned all stocks and production of face masks to equip health workers.

    There have been several seizures of masks in the Paris region since the pandemic began.

  5. What exactly is the UK 100,000 testing target?

    Reality Check

    As the UK government struggles to reach its target to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April, it has started to emphasise the capacity to do tests.

    At today’s news conference, Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We have been ramping up our capacity to do those tests – it currently stands at over 50,000 a day.”

    But the latest daily number of tests actually done is just 29,058 – a minuscule increase on the figure given yesterday.

    In a previous briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was confident that the government’s coronavirus testing target of 100,000 by the end of the April “will be met in terms of capacity”.

    But when the target was first announced by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock on 2 April it was clearly intended to mean 100,000 tests actually being done a day.

    Graph showing daily number of tests carried out in UK
  6. Analysis: UK lockdown talks going on behind the scenes

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson could possibly lead the daily news conference on Monday but, if not then, it will be pretty soon afterwards.

    As far as I understand, he will be getting briefed by his Downing St team early tomorrow morning and then he will be chairing the Covid-19 meeting, which is a smaller group of cabinet ministers. That is what he used to do before he was off sick.

    Chairing Monday’s meeting is a measure of him saying, “I’m back in charge”.

    From what I’ve been told, and the conversations I’ve had with people in Whitehall and Downing St, the prime minister will proceed with caution when it comes to dealing with the lockdown.

    We would expect an announcement on 7 May, when all this is being reviewed again, and I do think at that stage he will take his foot off the brake ever so slightly.

    But he will move cautiously because he will not want to fuel a second wave of infections.

    Although they haven’t yet set a clear route map out of lockdown, not in the same way as the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, those discussions are most certainly going on behind the scenes. Talks involving the prime minister have taken place from his country residence Chequers with senior Cabinet ministers.

  7. Woman gang-raped while in unofficial quarantine

    Police in India have arrested three men who are accused of gang-raping a woman who had been unofficially quarantined.

    The woman, a low wage worker, was trying to walk more than 100km (62 miles) to her home in Jaipur, Rajasthan, when she got lost.

    Police spotted her and told her to spend the night in a deserted school building, away from other people just in case she had the virus.

    But she was gang-raped there after dark.

    India’s lockdown was imposed last month leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs. Some have walked for days in desperation to reach their homes.

    Read more about the situation in India.

  8. How sport might look under eased restrictions

    With most of the world’s sport currently on hold, many fans are wondering what their favourite competitions will look like when they are allowed to safely resume.

    Perhaps these pictures from Nicaragua provide a clue.

    Authorities in the Central American country have allowed sporting events to continue during the coronavirus pandemic – but a boxing event held on Saturday looked very different.

    The boxers wore masks during the ring walk and at a pre-bout face off, although they were allowed to remove them in the ring. Referees, judges, the media, fans and ring girls also wore masks.

    Fans had to sit two seats apart and had their temperature checked before entering the arena in the capital Managua.

    Boxers in Nicaragua wear face masks as they prepare for their bout
    Spectators at a Nicaraguan boxing event sat apart to stay socially distant
  9. What we learned from the UK briefing

    • More staff are back at UK supermarkets as absence from illness and self-isolation has more than halved. But there are only a third of the usual number of migrant workers available to pick fresh fruit and vegetables – prompting the government to encourage furloughed workers to help with harvests
    • UK test capacity has reached 50,000 a day – but much of that capacity is still going unused, with only 29,058 tests conducted in the last 24-hour period
    • The environment secretary said “no decisions” had been taken about increasing restrictions on international travellers arriving in the UK, adding that at this stage of the pandemic they are “only a tiny proportion” of the infections
  10. Brad Pitt plays Dr Fauci on Saturday Night Live

    View more on twitter

    Long-running US comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live (SNL) tapped Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt to play top disease expert Anthony Fauci – a mainstay of many White House coronavirus briefings.

    In the opening sketch, Pitt fact-checks Trump’s claims about the virus.

    “Yes, the president has taken some liberties with our guidelines,” Pitt said. “So tonight, I would like to explain what the president was trying to say.”

    The episode was the second recorded from the comedians’ homes rather than live from New York City’s Rockefeller Center.

    Earlier this month the 79-year-old director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that he would want Pitt to portray him if he was ever lampooned by SNL.

    At the end of the routine, Pitt removes his silver wig and personally thanks Fauci for his “calm and clarity in this unnerving time”.

  11. US social distancing ‘to continue through the summer’

    Dr Birx listens to Trump speak on Thursday at a coronavirus briefing
    Image caption: Dr Birx listens to Trump speak on Thursday at a coronavirus briefing

    Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus taskforce co-ordinator, has said in a series of US media interviews that social distancing will remain the norm for the next several months.

    “Social distancing will be with us through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases,” Birx told NBC on Sunday, referring to the three stages of reopening that the federal government has outlined.

    Her comments come after Vice-President Mike Pence said the virus would be largely “behind us” by the 25 May Memorial Day holiday, which signals the unofficial start of summertime in the US.

    On Saturday, Birx told Fox News that new cases and deaths “will be dramatically decreased by the end of May”.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Doctors dismantle Trump’s treatment comments

    Birx on Sunday also criticised the media for its coverage of Trump’s suggestion on Thursday that disinfectants or UV light could be injected to fight off the virus – a comment that he later claimed was “sarcastic”.

    She told CNN that it “bothers” her that “this is still in the news cycle”.

    “I think I’ve made it clear that this was a musing, as you described. But I want us to move on to be able to give information to American people that can help them protect each other,” she added.

  12. Refugees still stranded at sea

    A boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar has been turned away from Malaysia, with the government citing fears over coronavirus.

    One survivor estimated between 20 and 50 refugees died before Bangladeshi coastguards rescued the boat, with witnesses saying they saw bodies “thrown into the sea”.

    It is believed hundreds of refugees are still stranded at sea, while it is unclear if Bangladesh will accept them.

    The refugees, who originally fled persecution in Myanmar, left camps in Bangladesh, according to some accounts.

    Video content

    Video caption: Rohingya crisis: Hundreds of refugees stranded in boats at sea
  13. Daily UK government briefing ends

    Environment Secretary George Eustice has ended the daily briefing which he presented with Prof Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England.

  14. ‘Conscious decision’ by UK not to close borders

    Asked about reports that the government might introduce quarantine for international travellers arriving in the UK, Mr Eustice says “no decisions” have been made.

    He says that as the UK moves to a new phase, at some point in the future “international travel could become a more significant risk to manage”.

    So far there have been few additional measures at airports because international travel represents “only a tiny proportion” of cases, Mr Eustice says.

    The government had “taken a conscious decision not to close our borders” to “keep trade flowing”.

  15. Furloughed workers asked to help farmers

    Environment Secretary George Eustice says there is no serious disruption to the international flow of food.

    But he says only about a third of the usual number of migrant workers is in the UK to pick fresh fruit and vegetables. He says the government is working with industry to encourage furloughed workers to help with harvests in June.

  16. Delighted’ PM is back but ‘too early’ to review lockdown

    Mr Eustice is asked if when the prime minister is back at work he will follow the first ministers of Scotland and Wales in publishing a lockdown exit plan.

    He says Mr Johnson “has been in all of our thoughts as he faced a very difficult encounter with the virus” and they are “delighted he is back at the helm”.

    But he said it is “too early” to review social distancing, saying the evidence will be examined at the regular three-week review.

    Prof Powis says it is “a continually evolving approach based on emerging science”.

  17. Contact tracing ‘easier with fewer infections’

    On contact tracing, Prof Powis says it will be at its most effective when the infection rate is as low as possible. He says contact tracing is a “tried and tested” way of managing outbreaks but the lower the number of cases, the easier it is to do.

  18. UK test capacity is at 50,000 a day – Eustice

    Mr Eustice is asked about concerns from care homes, which say they still have difficulty obtaining tests – even for residents who have Covid-19 symptoms.

    But the environment secretary says the capacity for testing has now risen to 50,000 a day. He says that “significant numbers” of people in care homes are obtaining tests.

Coronavirus Live Updates: As Economic Toll Rises, Lawmakers Weigh $1 Trillion Relief Plan

The $1 trillion package from the White House proposes payments of $1,000 for adults and $500 for children. Lawmakers urge remote voting for Congress, and doctors and nurses plead for protective gear.

RIGHT NOW

As U.S. cases soared past 10,000, President Trump said that the government had approved “compassionate use” for the virus, which is the approval for ill patients to use a drug that has not yet been F.D.A.-approved for coronavirus.

Video

The White House coronavirus task force is sharing the latest updates on the virus and its impact on the country.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

China reports no domestic cases of coronavirus for first time since outbreak began

Medical staff drafted in from Yunnan province to tackle the coronavirus outbreak pose for a photo at Wuhan airport.
 Medical staff drafted in from Yunnan province to tackle the coronavirus outbreak pose for a photo at Wuhan airport. Photograph: Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak started, China has reported no new domestic transmissions of Covid-19, a major milestone in the country’s fight against the pandemic.

China’s national health commission said on Thursday there were 34 new cases, but all were recent overseas arrivals. In Hubei, the Chinese province where the outbreak began, there were no new cases of any kind during Wednesday.

On Wednesday officials in Hubei’s Wuhan city, where the pandemic began late last year, loosened restrictions further, allowing people in residential compounds deemed “virus free” to leave their homes to conduct individual “personal activities” in staggered groups within the grounds, at certain times of the day. In areas that have been without infections for seven consecutive days, residents can go out freely as long as they do not gather in groups. Officials said 5,600 residential areas, or 78% of the residential areas in the city, are virus-free.

While the Asian nations that were first affected appeared to have come through the worst of it, there are now concerns about a second wave of infections, driven by people returning from overseas.

The good news from China came as Australia and New Zealand both announced they would close their borders to all non-residents and non-citizens. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s borders would shut from 9pm on Friday, while his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern said the move would happen on Thursday evening.

Morrison said the decision had been reached because about 80% of Australia’s cases were the result of someone either contracting the virus overseas or being in direct contact with someone who had.

Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg, speaking after the Reserve bank cuts its interest rate again, to 0.25%, said: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”

Hours earlier, the island state of Tasmania announced a state of emergency and effectively closed itself off from the rest of the country.

People deliver food to residents over a barrier set up to prevent people from entering or leaving a residential community in Wuhan.
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 People deliver food to residents over a barrier set up to prevent people from entering or leaving a residential community in Wuhan. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

The country’s flagship airline Qantas also said it would suspend all international flights from the end of the month and would be standing down two thirds of its 30,000-strong workforce without pay. The government also put restrictions on purchases of over-the-counter medicine, as people continued to buy multiple items despite advice and instructions not to unnecessarily hoard.

Despite continued criticism of China for its initial suppression of information and slow response to the virus, Beijing is now setting itself up as a leader in tackling it, offering assistance to other affected nations.

Late on Thursday, China’s top disciplinary body found that police acted “inappropriately” in the case of a whistle-blowing doctor who was reprimanded for trying to raise the alarm about coronavirus.

Li Wenliang, 34, was one of several doctors detained by police in Wuhan on 3 January for “spreading false rumours”. His death from the virus in February prompted a national outpouring of grief as well as anger at the government’s handling of the crisis.

In its daily briefing on Thursday, China’s national health commission said there were no new domestic cases in the country. Once there have been no new cases for 14 days, the lockdown on Wuhan may lift, the China Daily reported.

There were eight more deaths – all in Hubei – bringing the country’s total to 3,245, according to the commission.

It said that of the more than 81,000 cases reported in China since the outbreak began, just 7,263 remained ill.

However the commission reported a spike in infections among people who had arrived from overseas. A total of 39 people who had recently arrived were confirmed to have Covid-19 on Wednesday, bringing that cohort to 189.

On 23 January, Wuhan and three other cities – Huanggang, Ezhou and Chiba – were put under extraordinary lockdown, as authorities rushed to catch up on their virus response. An estimated 5 million people left the cities before the deadline arrived. Under the restrictions, travel in and out, for any reason, was banned. Authorities suspended public transport and banned most private cars, and eventually began house-to-house inspections and enforced quarantine.

Only supermarkets and pharmacies remained open, and schools and universities did not come back after the Lunar New Year break.

In early March some restrictions were lifted, allowing Wuhan’s public transport workers and those producing daily necessities and medical supplies to return to work. Earlier this week travel restrictions were further lifted, allowing some employees in satellite cities to be bussed into Wuhan to return to work.

As more countries have closed borders or announced mandatory quarantine periods for arrivals, thousands of people have rushed home, creating fears is of a second wave of cases in places such as mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, incoming flights from places such as Australia were full on Wednesday, as people sought to get back before the start of government-mandated home quarantine for all arrivals on Thursday. New arrivals must wear electronic wristbands that track their movements.

The special autonomous region has reported just 192 cases after early action and a strong community response. However it has reported record high daily totals in recent days, mostly or entirely among people who recently arrived from overseas.

“If we do not impose tougher measures at this stage, our previous efforts to prevent the disease from spreading throughout these two months could be completely wasted,” said Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam.

In Singapore on Wednesday, 47 new infections were reported, of which 33 were imported.

As the number of cases worldwide passed 200,000, the head of the WHO described the virus as an “enemy against humanity”.

“This coronavirus is presenting us with an unprecedented threat,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, calling for countries to come together as one, and for Africa – currently the least affected region – to “wake up”.

“In other countries, we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point, so the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst, and prepare today,” he said.

The burden of cases has moved to Europe, where about 250 million people are affected by tightening lockdowns and the US, which has reported more than 7,000 cases.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the pandemic was “the biggest challenge since the second world war”. On Wednesday Italy recorded its deadliest day of the outbreak, with 475 people dying of the virus in 24 hours. The country’s death toll now sits at 2,978, with almost 36,000 reported cases. About 4,000 people have recovered there, and 2,250 are in intensive care.

In the US, California governor Gavin Newsom warned that modelling suggested about 60,000 homeless people could fall ill with Covid-19 in the next eight weeks. The state, which saw a 21% daily increase in cases with 598 reported on Wednesday, is likely to need 19,500 additional hospital beds and is looking at bringing a navy vessel to serve as a floating hospital.

At the federal level, a democrat bill was passed and approved by Donald Trump to expand Medicaid and unemployment benefits, mandate paid sick leave and childcare leave for certain employees, and order free coronavirus testing.

Personal loans for bad credit

Personal loans, sometimes also called signature loans or unsecured loans, are loans given to people to fulfill some short term money requirements like a wedding, educational expenses, luxury purchase, or payment of an existing debt running at a higher interest rate. See here personal loans for bad credit and good credit available from banks, credit unions, or smaller financial institutions. Personal loans for bad credit – click to investigate.

People applying for a personal loan need to be very cautious in deciding who to take the loan from. A number of factors, such as interest rate, disbursal charges, prepayment penalties, payment period, and rollover rules, need to be compared before choosing the lender. The way it is essential for a borrower to choose the right lender, it is equally important for the lender to choose who to lend to meticulously. This is where the credit score of the borrower comes into the picture.

Credit Score

A credit score is a number calculated by financial institutions to assess the credit servicing ability of a borrower. Essentially this means that if a person pays all his loan dues and bills on time, he would have a high credit score. Similarly, someone who forgets to or intentionally does not pay his loans and dues on time will have a low credit score.

A person’s credit score falls somewhere between 300 to 850, 300 being the worst, and 850 being the best. Usually, a credit score of less than 600 is considered to be a bad credit score. Thus, a person with a credit score of less than 600 has reduced chances of getting a loan from any financial institution at favorable rates of interest or terms and conditions. Such people should work towards improving their credit score by looking at other credit avenues and making regular, timely payments.

Current Market Trends

Lending out personal loans is a very profitable venture for small companies and banks because of the high-interest rates chargeable, and also because of the high upfront fee charged at the time of disbursal of the loan. As a result, many new small companies have ventured into this market, and are trying to create their own space in the personal loan sector.

Though there are no signs of any warning signals as such for personal loans, it is important for all lending institutions not to lend blindly. A lender needs to keep his financial health in check in order to stay afloat in the industry, and thus he needs to carry out all documentation and checks diligently before deciding on who to lend to.

Checks and Precautions for lenders

Personal loans for bad credit may look lucrative in the short term, but a high rate of default can seriously affect the liquidity of a company and can lead to bankruptcy. Thus, lenders of personal loans for bad credit should ensure that they have sufficient surplus funds available with them, and the amount of money lent out should never be more than what they already have.

Moreover, while giving out a loan, the lenders must collect all relevant and accurate documents from the borrowers. In addition to checking the credit score, it is also essential to look at the checking account details, income levels, employment track record, and family history of the borrower.

Conclusion

It is quite evident that the personal loan industry has been booming, but for it to remain so, both the borrowers and lenders need to be cautious and make decisions wisely. The way lenders should not give out money blindly, in the same way, even the borrowers should exercise their intelligence before selecting who to borrow from and how much to borrow.

Over leveraging is not a healthy financial practice, and loans should never be considered as a means of living. They should be treated as a resolution for exigencies. In place of taking loans, the borrowers should rather look at planning their finances in such a way that they can accumulate a surplus fund to help them meet any unforeseen expenditure. Also, deferring a luxury purchase or following the strategy of saving before spending can go a long way in reducing the need to take a personal loan.

Arslan Ash Siddique Fighting Game Player

 

Total Prize Money Earned:  $72,556.20 From 16 Tournaments
Alternate IDs:Arslan Ash, Vslash|Arslan Ash
Arslan Ash was originally known for his play in The King of Fighters series, being recognized as the best KOF XIII & KOF XIV player from Pakistan. He got Number 1 Position in Tekken Tag 2 and KOF XIII both games in overall LDA Sponsored Events in Pakistan, At OUGaming 2018, Arslan Ash single-handedly beat the regional competition to qualify for the King of Fighters XIV Global Finals.He already won the KOFGCC Tournament in Oman, Kuwait for both KOF XIV, Tekken 7.In Tekken 7, Arslan Ash bursted into the scene after defeating Tekken legend Knee without losing a single game. He then followed this with a very unexpected win at EVO Japan 2019, defeating established players like Knee once again, Chanel, Book, LowHigh (Evo 2018 Champ), Jimmyjtran and finally AK with a bracket reset to win the entire tournament. Arslan successfully retained his title at EVO Las Vegas 2019, sweeping through the winners bracket using Geese, and finally beating Knee once again with Kazumi in the Grand Finals, further cementing his position at the top of the Tekken scene. Arslan was also the first player in EVO history to win both EVOs in one year.

Information[edit]

In Pakistan, Arslan Ash was originally known for his play in The King of Fighters series, being recognized as the best KOF XIII & KOF XIV player from Pakistan.

Although Arslan Ash has been playing Tekken competitively since Tekken 6, he only burst onto the international Tekken scene after defeating Tekken legend Knee at the OUG Tournament 2018, without losing a single game. Also at OUGaming 2018Arslan Ash was ranked number 1 in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and The King of Fighters XIII, single-handedly beating the regional competition to qualify for the King of Fighters XIV Global Finals. In addition, Arslan Ash won the KOFGCC Tournament in Oman, Kuwait, for both KOF XIV and Tekken 7.

Arslan Ash then followed this with a very unexpected win at EVO Japan 2019, defeating established players like Knee once again, ChanelBookLowHigh (Evo 2018 Champ), Jimmyjtran and finally AK with a bracket reset to win the entire tournament. Arslan successfully retained his title at EVO 2019, sweeping through the winners bracket using Geese, and finally beating Knee once again with Kazumi in the Grand Finals, further cementing his position at the top of the Tekken scene.

9 Popular Mobile Game Ad Formats

dvertising is part of nearly every mobile experience, and whether or not you personally approve of it, it’s becoming standard for most mobile games. After all, it’s a billion dollar industry. And if you’re going to do it, you should do it well. Ads should be well-placed, high quality, and in just the right amounts in order to make sure your users and your finances are both pleased.

Let’s start by going through some general categories of games along with the types of ads commonly used in mobile games, and then we’ll cover the guidelines or thought process that should govern all of your ad deployments and executions.

(Psst… we’ve actually written a blog on 6 ad creative strategies to nail your user acquisition. You can read it here.)

1. Ads In A Freemium Model Versus F2P

But first, let’s clarify the difference between how ads are perceived in a freemium model versus free to play games. Of course, nearly all games involve some kind of advertising, whether you are using a freemium model (in which case most or even all of the advertising might be pointing to some kind of upgrade for the game that they are playing in the first place) or a free to play (F2P) game that involves all kinds of carefully designed and planned targeted ads (among many other elements).

That said, users accept the appearance of ads differently in a freemium versus a F2P model. For instance, in the free version of a Freemium game, users disliking the intrusion of ads may lead them to upgrade sooner so they can experience gameplay minus the ads.

On the other hand, F2P games with excessive ads or ads that result in a negative experience are likely to be dropped and uninstalled, even the player likes the concept or style. After all, there’s always another F2P game around the corner.

2. Dynamic Versus Static

There are two main categories of in-game ads, static versus dynamic. Static ads are similar to product placement and are implemented during the development and can’t be updated in real-time, while dynamic ads are the billboards and banners placed throughout the game.

Dynamic ads echo the benefits of the online display advertising we all see nearly everywhere on the web, like CPM-based pricing models, geo-targeting, demographic targeting, and more. So it’s not surprising that they are regularly used through the mobile gaming world. Not only are they flexible, easy to update, and popular with brands and advertisers, your users are more likely to see them.

The Dynamic ad category includes banners of all shapes and size, interstitials, expandable ads, and more, and it’s probably what you are most likely to use in your own game and see in the games you play yourself.

Static ads are slightly less common since they are essentially built into the game. “Billboards” in sports are a common example, like this Adidas billboard in a FIFA game.

Or billboards in games in general, like this M&Ms billboard in a popular racing game.

These static ads mimic the look and feel of real-life advertising in the context of the game, and can be very effective since they are contextually placed in a way that is similar to how we experience ads in real life in the form of billboards and similar signage.

3. Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads perform best on games that are broken in different levels, according to many experts, since there is a natural break as players work their way through the game’s levels. This is because interstitials between levels take advantage of natural pauses in gameplay and don’t interrupt the overall user experience.

For advertisers, interstitials offer a larger, full-screen experience that can be made more visually compelling with animated and interactive rich media content, and generally yield high impressions, high conversions, and offer a good memorization rate.

However, a quality interstitial does require more design work and some of its high click-through-rate could be the result of users not being able to close the ad and tapping or swiping in an attempt to shut it off, which won’t necessarily make advertisers happy since that isn’t the kind of positive engagement that leads to results or sales lift.

So interstitials are best when deployed wisely during natural breaks or pauses in gameplay, and ideally have a designer who understands mobile gaming in general – on better yet, your game in particular – working on the creative. Absent that, customize your ad selections and only place interstitials between levels or similar pauses in the action.

4. Native Banners

These are one of the most common formats of in-game ads, in part because they are the most unobtrusive options (in most instances). They are similar to the banner ads we all know and love, but placed in a way that they appear to be part of the overall flow of the game, so they don’t interrupt the experience.

However, it’s also possible that they do interrupt the action by overlaying a crucial spot, which is why they should be placed discreetly in the corners of the screen where the action isn’t is important. The transparent overlay as shown in the example is crucial as well, as it keeps the ad apparent but unobtrusive.

5. Contextual Ads

These are some of the most common types of ads in mobile apps in general, but it can be difficult to work them into a game in a natural way. One of the best examples of contextual advertising is how Starbucks got worked in Pokemon Go.

The local Starbucks are associated with refueling stations, so users pick up loot alongside an image of a Frappuccino – it’s unobtrusive but easily recognizable, and also points out the physical locations of Starbucks nearby, which can be helpful as a Pokemon ‘Go-er’ navigates through the real world while playing the game.

Similar contextual ads can work even if your game isn’t grounded in the real world; perhaps different kinds of loot or player outfits can be sponsored by different brands, for just one example.

6. Ads As A Reward

One way to make ads less obtrusive or perhaps even desirable is to allow users to choose a reward for viewing them – more loot, coins, points, or whatever other in-game currency is applicable. This tends to have a high view rate but can be costlier from a developer’s perspective since you’re giving away freebies in order to get views.

In general, offering players any form of bonus or help in exchange for interacting with an ad tends to result in a decent level of engagement and clicks; however, there’s always the question of whether or not the player is retaining anything from that interaction other than their new loot.

That said, ads served as a reward do get eyeballs in front of them, so that might be more than enough depending on the KPIs you’ve established with your advertising clients or network.

7. Expandable Ads

These don’t tend to be anyone’s favorite in terms of the player experience, but really does anyone genuinely enjoy the ads (who doesn’t work in the advertising industry)? That’s because they can and do interrupt the gameplay by taking over the screen when the user taps on them – which is often easy to do accidentally depending on how the expandable ads are placed in your game.

However, they do offer an immersive experience that can be quite successful if the ads are selected and deployed wisely. For instance, in the example below the ad is clearly expandable, and that makes it clear to the user if they choose to watch the trailer the ad will take over their screen.

Generally, users will be okay with ads that are clearly marked as such and warn them before interrupting their gameplay; the issue is when an ad “tricks” them into expanding or even kicks them out of the game when it expands (don’t send users out of your game without supplying a warning first, of course).

Most of the time, expandable ads work when a player swipes over or taps a banner ad, which then takes over the screen. They tend to be popular with brands and advertisers because of the creative potential that’s inherent in getting that much screen real estate, but obviously less popular with users because who likes getting interrupted because of an unwanted ad?

Here are 9 popular #mobilegame ad formats (and how to use them) #gamedev #indiedev #gameadvertisingCLICK TO TWEET

After all, for every user who actually wants to expand the ad, there are others who simply “fat finger” or accidentally swipe on an ad and have it take over their screen unexpectedly. Players will likely forgive you once in a while – especially if they really enjoy the rest of the experience – but they’re not going to deal with regular unwanted expandable ads, so place these judiciously.

8. In-Game Video

Developers and advertisers have been experimenting more and more with this format. Advertisers love the fifteen-to-thirty second video ads, but their placement must be just as carefully considered as the interstitials, if not more so, since they interrupt game play more significantly.

For smaller video ads, the most important part of getting the users to play the video in the first place a quality thumbnail that’s compelling enough for them to take a break from actually playing the game to watch the video.

After all, if it’s not a reward ad and they aren’t getting any loot, most users aren’t going to stop playing your game to watch a video. Even a video or GIF banner might be asking too much, since having movement on the screen unrelated to the game play can be distracting and have a negative effect on the overall user experience.

9. Advergaming

These are fully branded games custom-built to promote a product, brand, or company, and the advertising is actually the game itself. While there are generally no dynamic ads in these types of games, the entire game is promoting a single brand and ads are intrinsic and embedded throughout.

For instance, Lexus has created a racing game and Jack Daniels has created a billiards game; both offer rich gaming experiences that are aligned with the brands but are also fun and interactive in and of themselves.

As video games in general and mobile games in particular become more intertwined in our everyday, the concept of advergaming will likely become more mainstream. In addition, if the game itself is authentic and compelling enough, it can allow for the building of a community that an advertiser can consistently remarket to and connect with – which can be well worth the cost of game development itself for a company or brand.

The 5 Essentials Of Running Ads In Mobile Games

Of course, there are some guidelines to following when deploying of your ads regardless of the format, and these guidelines can be distilled down into these essentials.

  1. Don’t interrupt the player experience.
  2. Follow natural pausing patterns
  3. Don’t kick them out of the game if they click on the ad (when accidentally or on purpose).
  4. Take banner blindness and fat finger errors into account
  5. Consider Ad Blocking

1. Ads That Flow With The Player Experience

Making the ads flow as smoothly as possible and integrating them into the complete player experience is the most essential aspect of deploying advertising in your game. For instance, interstitials appearing at natural breaks in the game, expandable ads not kicking the users out of the game, and using video and static ads wisely are all important in regard to making sure your users have the best possible experience while you can still deliver the ads that make everything happen.

2. Understanding Natural User Pausing Patterns

Breaks between levels, breaks after a “big boss” or other opponents are defeated, races are won or lost, and similar situations are the perfect time to serve an ad. Users will naturally be ready for a pause in the action, and probably okay with the break time it takes to serve an ad.

This is also a good time to serve an ad that offers as a reward, because not only is there a natural pause, your players might have a reason to want to stock up or upgrade before taking on the next level or challenge.

3. Keep Them In The Game

It should almost go without saying that your ads should never kick a player out of your game unless they actively decide to leave. In fact, there should be an active warning before they exit the game in case they do engage with an ad. Getting ad engagement and interactions is one thing, but having users leave your game unnecessarily and when they didn’t want to is never a positive thing.

Consider having a clear warning that a user is leaving a game, like this one below from Facebook:

Simple, to the point, and alerts the user to the fact that they are exiting the game.

Facebook is not a game of course (unless you count the many games that are part and parcel of the Facebook experience), but why not take advantage of all the knowledge and testing that Facebook uses and mimic the experience they use to both warn users they are about to leave and retain their activity on the site?

4. Banner Blindness And Fat Fingers Are Real

Anyone who’s been even peripherally involved in the advertising industry is familiar with the concept of banner blindness, and it’s especially important for mobile game developers to understand. And it’s a complex equation: when users either consciously or subconsciously ignore information or ads contained in banners, that might affect the engagement rate and effectiveness of the ads, but at the same time you don’t want to take players out of the gameplay experience.

Same thing goes for fat finger errors. We all make clicking mistakes whether we’re on mobile or desktop, but those mistakes might be especially annoying for a player when they are deeply involved in a game.

5. Consider How Ad Blocking Affects Your Game

Ad blockers are becoming more popular every day, and they may or may not affect your game depending on how it’s set up. While these might block banners and similar deployments, they won’t hide contextual ads or ads served as rewards.

After all, one of the main reasons for adblock usage and user motivations is minimizing interruptions in a game or any other important user experience, so keeping the ads in places where the interruption is part of the natural flow of the game or otherwise minimal is key.

How To Know What Mobile Game Ad Format Is Right For Your Game

There’s no one right answer in regard to which type of ads are right for which type of game; rather, it requires some careful thinking, knowledge of best practices and user behavior, and what’s perhaps the most critical – an understanding of game flow and how to best incorporate ads into it.

What works amazingly well for one game might bomb for another, and vice versa. Which is why testing various formats, being flexible with how you incorporate your ads (and monitoring your associated analytics for dropoffs), and otherwise fitting them into the flow of gameplay as naturally as possible is the key to success with your mobile ads, regardless of the format.

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Corona report

Chinese lunar year, the most awaited festival for China, had to happen on January 25 with numerous get-togethers, family dinners, fireworks and what not. People from all across China took hours long flights to their hometowns in order to celebrate the Lunar year under one roof with their families and friends whereas most of foreigners flew back too.

Who knew that the celebrations would turn into despise when there would be an outbreak of deadly Coronavirus that would leave everyone thunderbolt.The coronavirus originated mainly from the city of Wuhan (capital of Hubei province) where the local sea food market has reported to conduct the illegal transactions of wild animals such as snakes, bats, dogs etc. The consumption of animals by native Chinese resulted into a huge outbreak of virus which spread as faster as it could.

The coronavirus found in animals like bat and snakes found host in human blood too. It transmits by touching the infected person, coughing, sneezing, making the contact with a surface or object that has virus and later touching same hand to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. According to a research it takes eight hours to clean air of the virus where an infected person has coughed or sneezed.

The symptom of virus includes cold, flu, a running nose, fatigue, sore throat and high fever in rare cases. However cold or flu like symptoms usually set in from two or four days after the coronavirus infection.

As per the reports, more than 14,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, while more than 300 have died from the virus. Although doctors and nurses have spent sleepless nights serving the patients tirelessly, medical researchers did not hesitate to play their role either, after days of struggle and deep study they have come up with antivirus vile and successfully discharged four infected patients after complete examination, although the government still is concerned.

The government has asked civilians to stay strong in this crucial time. Everybody is to stay indoors. Basic necessities such as food, water have been stocked up in every house while masks are a must-wear item. Furthermore, most of the public places have been shut down while teams of doctors have set up camps place to place for public assistance.

Wuhan hosts a lot of foreign students who are trapped and are unable to go back to their homes

The trade market of China which was supposed to re-open on February 7 will open on February 21 while schools and colleges will also remain closed for longer than the due date.

President of China Xi Jinping has assured that medical and food assistance would be provided to the affected people, however, the people of China have started to collect donations by themselves and showing their concern by donating as much as they can.

Wuhan hosts a lot of foreign students who are trapped and are unable to go back to their homes. Students from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq seek help from their governments. Four Pakistani students have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

I am among those students who are trapped in Wuhan. We all request Prime Minister Imran Khan to help us. Pakistani students are going through fair and uncertainty. Please, help us. This is the time when leadership stands for their people. If not now, when?

The year 2020 started with bad news such as the Australian fires, Iran-US conflict and now the outbreak of the coronavirus. However we, being a responsible and educated nation of Pakistan stand with our Chinese brothers and sisters in this hour of trouble. We wish great China is back to normalcy as soon as possible.

Coronavirus

For the ongoing outbreak, see 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. For the specific virus causing this outbreak, see Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the viruses cause respiratory infections – including the common
cold – which are typically mild. Rarer forms such as SARS, MERS and the novel coronavirus causing the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak can be lethal. In cows and pigs coronaviruses cause diarrhea. In chickens they cause an upper respiratory disease. There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are approved for prevention or treatment.

Coronaviruses are viruses in the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, in the order Nidovirales.[4][5] Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and with a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genomic size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 26 to 32 kilobases, the largest for an RNA virus.

The name “coronavirus” is derived from the Latin corona, meaning crown or halo, which refers to the characteristic appearance of the virus particles (virions): they have a fringe reminiscent of a royal crown or of the solar corona.

Discovery

Coronaviruses were discovered in the 1960s.[6] The earliest ones discovered were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43.[7] Other members of this family have since been identified, including SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and 2019-nCoV in 2019; most of these have been involved in serious respiratory tract infections.

Name and morphology

The name “coronavirus” is derived from the Latin corona and the Greek κορώνη (korṓnē, “garland, wreath”), meaning crown or halo. This refers to the characteristic appearance of virions (the infective form of the virus) by electron microscopy, which have a fringe of large, bulbous surface projections creating an image reminiscent of a royal crown or of the solar corona. This morphology is created by the viral spike (S) peplomers, which are proteins that populate the surface of the virus and determine host tropism.

Proteins that contribute to the overall structure of all coronaviruses are the spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N). In the specific case of the SARS coronavirus (see below), a defined receptor-binding domain on S mediates the attachment of the virus to its cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).[8] Some coronaviruses (specifically the members of Betacoronavirus subgroup A) also have a shorter spike-like protein called hemagglutinin esterase (HE).[4]

Replication

Following the entry of this virus into the cell, the virus particle is uncoated and the RNA genome is deposited into the cytoplasm.

The coronavirus RNA genome has a 5′ methylated cap and a 3′ polyadenylated tail. This allows the RNA to attach to ribosomes for translation.

Coronaviruses also have a protein known as a replicase encoded in its genome which allows the RNA viral genome to be transcribed into new RNA copies using the host cell’s machinery. The replicase is the first protein to be made; once the gene encoding the replicase is translated, the translation is stopped by a stop codon. This is known as a nested transcript. When the mRNA transcript only encodes one gene, it is monocistronic. A coronavirus non-structural protein provides extra fidelity to replication because it confers a proofreading function,[9] which is lacking in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase enzymes alone.

The RNA genome is replicated and a long polyprotein is formed, where all of the proteins are attached. Coronaviruses have a non-structural protein – a protease – which is able to separate the proteins in the chain. This is a form of genetic economy for the virus, allowing it to encode the greatest number of genes in a small number of nucleotides.[10]

Transmission

Human to human transmission of coronaviruses is primarily thought to occur among close contacts via respiratory droplets generated by sneezing and coughing

Taxonomy

Genus: Alphacoronavirus; type species: Alphacoronavirus 1[12][13]
Species: Alpaca coronavirus, Alphacoronavirus 1, Human coronavirus 229E, Human Coronavirus NL63, Miniopterus Bat coronavirus 1, Miniopterus Bat coronavirus HKU8, Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, Rhinolophus Bat coronavirus HKU2, Scotophilus Bat coronavirus 512
Genus Betacoronavirus; type species: Murine coronavirus
Species: Betacoronavirus 1, Human coronavirus HKU1, Murine coronavirus, Pipistrellus Bat coronavirus HKU5, Rousettus Bat coronavirus HKU9, SARS coronavirus, Tylonycteris Bat coronavirus HKU4, MERS-CoV, Human coronavirus OC43, Hedgehog coronavirus 1 (EriCoV), 2019-nCoV
Genus Deltacoronavirus; type species: Bulbul coronavirus HKU11
Species: Wigeon coronavirus HKU20, Bulbul coronavirus HKU11, Porcine coronavirus HKU15, Munia coronavirus HKU13, Thrush coronavirus HKU12
Genus Gammacoronavirus; type species: Infectious bronchitis virus
Species: Beluga whale coronavirus SW1, Infectious bronchitis virus

Evolution

The most recent common ancestor of the coronavirus has been placed at 8000 BCE.[14] They may be considerably older than this. Another estimate places the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all coronaviruses around 8100 BCE. The MRCA of Alphacoronavirus, Betacoronavirus, Gammacoronavirus, and Deltacoronavirus have been placed at about 2400 BCE, 3300 BCE, 2800 BCE and 3000 BCE, respectively. It appears that bats and birds, the warm-blooded flying vertebrates, are ideal hosts for the coronavirus gene source (with bats for Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus, and birds for Gammacoronavirus and Deltacoronavirus) to fuel coronavirus evolution and dissemination.[15]

Bovine coronavirus and canine respiratory coronavirus diverged from a common ancestor in 1951.[16] Bovine coronavirus and human coronavirus OC43 diverged in 1899. Bovine coronavirus diverged from the equine coronavirus species at the end of the 18th century. Another estimate suggests that human coronavirus OC43 diverged from bovine coronavirus in 1890.[17]

The MRCA of human coronavirus OC43 has been dated to the 1950s.[18]

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, although related to several bat species, appears to have diverged from these several centuries ago.[19] The human coronavirus NL63 and a bat coronavirus shared an MRCA 563–822 years ago.[20]

The most closely related bat coronavirus and the SARS coronavirus diverged in 1986.[21] A path of evolution of the SARS virus and keen relationship with bats have been proposed.[22][23] The authors suggest that the coronaviruses have been coevolved with bats for a long time and the ancestors of SARS virus first infected the species of the genus Hipposideridae, subsequently spread to species of the Rhinolophidae and then to civets, and finally to humans.[citation needed]

Alpaca coronavirus and human coronavirus 229E diverged before 1960.[24]

Human coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are believed to cause a significant percentage of all common colds in human adults and children. Coronaviruses cause colds with major symptoms, e.g. fever, throat swollen adenoids, in humans primarily in the winter and early spring seasons.[25] Coronaviruses can cause pneumonia, either direct viral pneumonia or a secondary bacterial pneumonia and they can also cause bronchitis, either direct viral bronchitis or a secondary bacterial bronchitis.[26] The much publicized human coronavirus discovered in 2003, SARS-CoV which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), has a unique pathogenesis because it causes both upper and lower respiratory tract infections.[26]

There are seven strains of human coronaviruses:

Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)
Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63, New Haven coronavirus)
Human coronavirus HKU1
Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as novel coronavirus 2012 and HCoV-EMC.
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV),[27][28] also known as Wuhan coronavirus.[29] (‘Novel’ in this case means newly discovered, or newly originated, and is a placeholder name.)[28]
The coronaviruses HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1 continually circulate in the human population and cause respiratory infections in adults and children world-wide.[30]

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Main article: Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

In December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China.[42] On 31 December 2019, the outbreak was traced to a novel strain of coronavirus,[43] which was labeled as 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO).[27][28][44]

As of 3 February 2020 (10:33 UTC), there have been 427 confirmed deaths and more than 20,600 confirmed cases in the coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.[45][46] The Wuhan strain has been identified as a new strain of Betacoronavirus from group 2B with an ~70% genetic similarity to the SARS-CoV.[47] The virus was suspected to have originated in snakes,[48] but many leading researchers disagree with this conclusion.[49] The virus has a 96% percent similarity to a bat coronavirus, so an origin in bats is widely suspected.[50][51]

Other animals

Coronaviruses have been recognized as causing pathological conditions in veterinary medicine since the early 1970s. Except for avian infectious bronchitis, the major related diseases have mainly an intestinal location.[52]

Diseases caused

Coronaviruses primarily infect the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds. They also cause a range of diseases in farm animals and domesticated pets, some of which can be serious and are a threat to the farming industry. In chickens, the infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a coronavirus, targets not only the respiratory tract but also the urogenital tract. The virus can spread to different organs throughout the chicken.[53] Economically significant coronaviruses of farm animals include porcine coronavirus (transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus, TGE) and bovine coronavirus, which both result in diarrhea in young animals. Feline coronavirus: two forms, feline enteric coronavirus is a pathogen of minor clinical significance, but spontaneous mutation of this virus can result in feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease associated with high mortality. Similarly, there are two types of coronavirus that infect ferrets: ferret enteric coronavirus causes a gastrointestinal syndrome known as epizootic catarrhal enteritis (ECE), and a more lethal systemic version of the virus (like FIP in cats) known in ferrets as ferret systemic coronavirus (FSC).[54] There are two types of canine coronavirus (CCoV), one that causes mild gastrointestinal disease and one that has been found to cause respiratory disease. Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) is a coronavirus that causes an epidemic murine illness with high mortality, especially among colonies of laboratory mice.[55] Sialodacryoadenitis virus (SDAV) is highly infectious coronavirus of laboratory rats, which can be transmitted between individuals by direct contact and indirectly by aerosol. Acute infections have high morbidity and tropism for the salivary, lachrymal and harderian glands.[56]

A HKU2-related bat coronavirus called swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) causes diarrhea in pigs.[57]

Prior to the discovery of SARS-CoV, MHV had been the best-studied coronavirus both in vivo and in vitro as well as at the molecular level. Some strains of MHV cause a progressive demyelinating encephalitis in mice which has been used as a murine model for multiple sclerosis. Significant research efforts have been focused on elucidating the viral pathogenesis of these animal coronaviruses, especially by virologists interested in veterinary and zoonotic diseases.[58]

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