Category Archives: U.S.A.

White House: Bush to lift offshore drilling ban!

WASHINGTON – In another push to deal with soaring gas prices, President Bush on Monday will lift an executive ban on offshore drilling that his stood since his father was president. But the move, by itself, will do nothing unless Congress acts as well.

The president plans to officially lift the ban and explain his actions in a Rose Garden statement, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by former President Bush in 1990. The current president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself.

But Perino said Bush no longer wants to wait. She pinned blame on the leaders of the Democratic Congress for inaction.

“They haven’t even held a single hearing,” Perino said. “So we are going to move forward, and hopefully that will spur action by the Congress.”

Asked if Bush’s action alone will lead to more oil drilling, Perino said, “In terms of allowing more exploration to go forward? No, it does not.”

The president, in his final months of office, has responded to record gas-prices with a series of proposals, including more oil exploration. None would have immediate impact on prices at the pump, according to White House officials, who say there is no quick fix. But starting action now would help, they say.

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Gasoline could hit $7 a gallon in four years

Crude supplies are actually lower than some official estimates indicate, while demand is unlikely to fall anytime soon, according to a statement by analysts led by Jeff Rubin at CIBC, an investment bank. They forecast that these tighter supplies and continued strong demand will drive oil and gasoline prices to roughly double their current levels by 2012.

“It is increasingly clear that the outlook for oil supply signals a period of unprecedented scarcity,” said Rubin. “Despite the recent record jump in oil prices, oil prices will continue to rise steadily over the next five years.”

The front-month crude contract slid Thursday to $116 a barrel, after hitting a historic high of $119.90 a barrel Tuesday. Retail gas prices averaged $3.56 a gallon Thursday, according to AAA, a new record high. See Futures Movers.

Some analysts, however, said crude prices could turn lower. Standard & Poor’s predicted Thursday that crude prices could tumble to about $90 a barrel by the end of this year with the U.S. economy struggling in recession, though the range of that forecast is plus or minus $50. See full story.

Overstated estimates

CIBC based its prediction on an analysis of crude-production estimates by the International Energy Agency, which the investment bank says has overstated supplies because the agency counts natural-gas liquids as part of the output. Stripping out natural-gas liquids, the global oil market is much tighter, and oil production will hardly grow, they added.

“While natural-gas liquids only account for 10% of total supply, they account for virtually all of the increase in petroleum-liquids production since 2005,” said Rubin in a news release.

“Stripping out natural-gas liquids, oil production has not grown for over two years, which certainly goes a long way to explaining why oil prices have doubled over that period,” he added.

The portion of natural-gas liquids in total oil production is increasing, from about 4% in the 1970s to an estimated 10% by 2012, CIBC said. Natural-gas liquids are not a viable substitute for oil and cannot be economically used as a basis for gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.

Latest data from the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of U.S. Energy Department, indicated domestic drilling of natural gas liquids was increasing, while domestic oil production was falling.

Natural gas liquids production averaged 2.4 million barrels a day so far this year, gaining 4% from the same period of the last year, while crude output fell 1.9% from a year ago to 5.1 million barrels.

More natural gas comes with oil

Beyond methane which is what the home consumers burn, natural gas at the well contains a range of readily liquefiable gases, which agencies like the IEA have traditionally included in total oil supply.

IEA, a Paris-based energy adviser to 27 developed countries, said in its April monthly report that global oil production stood at 87.3 million barrels a day in March.

While natural gas can occur on its own, much of the world’s natural gas is found together with oil.

James Williams, an economist at WTRG Economics, an energy research firm, agreed that natural gas liquids found together with crude oil have been increasing, while “there isn’t much growth in oil,” he said. “The lack of oil growth has been due to the lack of investment.”

Accelerating depletion of existing oil fields and a lack of investment in new fields have resulted in a rising ratio of natural gas to oil in drilling in mature oil fields.

Some oil producers have been promising to invest more to increase production capacity. Abdalla Salem el-Badri, secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said early this week the cartel is planning to spend $160 billion over the next four years to boost oil production capacity by 5 million barrels a day. See full story.

Demand in non-OECD countries to exceed OECD

While supplies are seen tight, there is little evidence to suggest that there will be any reduction in oil demand, CIBC predicted, as demand growth outside the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development offsets slowing demand in OECD countries.

Countries such as Brazil, China and Russia have seen surging sales of automobiles, while car sales in the United States and Europe have been declining or flat. Gasoline, diesel and other transportation fuels account for about half of the world’s oil consumption.

CIBC predicted that by 2012, oil consumption in the rest of the world will exceed OECD. OECD countries currently consume about 50 million barrels a day of crude, 13 million barrels a day more than non-OECD countries.

Demand from major oil producers and exporters is also seen rising. Over the last three years, oil consumption in OPEC members has grown an average of over 5% a year. Combined demand from OPEC members, together with Russia and Mexico, already stood at about 13 million barrels a day, the world’s second largest after the U.S.

“With production faltering, soaring rates of domestic fuel consumption will soon cannibalize export capacity,” adding more pressure to the world energy market, said Rubin in the report.

Fuel consumption in some oil producing countries was partly boosted by extremely low prices. Retail gasoline was only about 25 cents a gallon in Venezuela and 60 cents a gallon in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran. End of Story

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VeriChip Corporation to Launch Direct-to-Consumer Campaign

THIS IS THE CHIP THAT THE BOOK OF REVELATION WARNS US ABOUT!

DELRAY BEACH, FL – April 22, 2008 – VeriChip Corporation (the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CHIP), a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems for healthcare and patient-related needs, will launch its first-ever direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing campaign in South Florida on April 28. As part of this campaign, the Company has renamed its patient identification system Health Link and created a new website at www.healthlinkinfo.com that will go live at the campaign launch. The site will provide complete information about the product and how to enroll as a Health Link member. VeriChip has also entered into a relationship with HearUSA, Inc. (AMEX: EAR), a leading provider of hearing care, which has eight HEARx locations throughout the Palm Beach market where patients can enroll in Health Link.
Health Link is the connection between you and your personal health record. It provides emergency room doctors and nurses with immediate access to your vital medical and emergency contact information, which will help them to treat you rapidly, accurately and safely during an emergency. Health Link utilizes a tiny microchip (similar in size to a grain of rice) and a secure, private, online database that links you to your personal health record. Your Health Link is always with you and cannot be lost or stolen.
The Health Link microchip stores only a unique 16-digit identification number and is injected just under the skin in the rear upper portion of the right arm. When a Health Link member presents in an emergency department unconscious, unresponsive or confused, emergency medical personnel use the Health Link scanner to retrieve the member’s identification number to access his or her personal health record.
Scott R. Silverman, Chairman and CEO of VeriChip, said, “Given our successful infrastructure build-out in South Florida, we are now ready to escalate our marketing efforts to increase consumer awareness and adoption through the first DTC launch of our product. We chose to partner with HearUSA because of their impeccable reputation as a quality provider of hearing health care. This partnership also allows us to offer consumers a convenient location in a professional setting where they can be educated on Health Link and enroll as a member.”
To lead its DTC launch, VeriChip has hired Samuel Ambrose as vice president of business development. Ambrose brings more than 16 years of sales and marketing experience to VeriChip, including senior sales and marketing positions with Office Depot, Boston Market and the Florida Panthers. He has a proven track record of bringing products to market successfully and his experience includes development of local, regional and national level marketing and advertising plans designed to build incremental sales.
Silverman said, “We are fortunate to have a well-respected and highly capable marketing executive like Samuel Ambrose to lead this important effort of growing our Health Link business and producing consistent revenue from subscribers.”
About HearUSA
HearUSA, Inc. provides hearing care to patients primarily through more than 190 company-owned hearing care centers, which offer a complete range of quality hearing aids with an emphasis on the latest digital technology. HearUSA Centers are located in California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and the province of Ontario, Canada. The company also derives revenues from its HearUSA Hearing Care Network, comprised of 1,900 affiliated audiologists in 49 states, as well as its website that enables online purchases of hearing related products, such as batteries, hearing aid accessories and assistive listening devices.
About VeriChip
VeriChip Corporation, headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, develops, markets and sells RFID systems used to identify, locate and protect people and assets. VeriChip’s goal is to become the leading provider of RFID systems for people in the healthcare industry. The Company recently began marketing Health Link, a passive RFID system for rapidly and accurately identifying people who arrive in an emergency room and are unable to communicate. This system uses the first human-implantable passive RFID microchip cleared for medical use in October 2004 by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Statements about the Company’s future expectations, including growth of the business, future revenues and earnings, and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, and the Company’s actual results could differ materially from expected results. Information about factors that could affect the Company’s business is set forth in the Company’s various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those set forth in the Company’s 10-K filed on March 28, 2008, under the caption “Risk Factors.” The Company undertakes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this statement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

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WARNING!!!

 Viewer Discretion is advised!

Fitna – The Horror of Islam   

 

A 17 minute film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. Fitna juxtaposes verses from the Koran with images from the world of jihad. Heads cut off, bodies blown apart, gays executed, toddlers taught to denounce Jews as “apes and pigs,” protesters holding up signs reading “God Bless Hitler” and “Freedom go to Hell” — these are among the powerful images from Fitna, Arabic for “strife” or “ordeal.” Warning for graphic images

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Big Brother To Control Thermostats In Homes?

(WND) Add thermostats to the list of private property the government would like to regulate as the state of California looks to require that residents install remotely monitored temperature controls in their homes next year.

The government is seeking to limit rolling blackouts and free up electric and natural gas resources by mandating that every new heating and cooling system include a “non-removable” FM receiver. The thermostat is also capable of controlling other appliances in the house, such as electric water heaters, refrigerators, pool pumps, computers and lights in response to signals from utility companies. If contractors and residents refuse to comply with the mandate, their building permits will be denied.

The proposal, set to be considered by the commission Jan. 30, requires each thermostat to be equipped with a radio communication device to send “price signals” and automatically adjust temperature up or down 4 degrees for cooling and heating, as California’s public and private utility organizations deem necessary.

Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director for the California Energy Commission, told WND the new systems would be highly beneficial to residents.

“From the Energy Commission’s perspective, all we’re doing is ensuring that this new technology is included in new homes instead of the older programmable technology,” she said.

The Programmable Communication Thermostat, or PCT, will allow power authorities to control home temperatures without granting consumers ability to override settings during “emergency events.” Nowhere in the proposal does it clarify what type of situation would qualify as an “emergency,” but Chandler offered her own explanation: “An emergency is when the utilities need to implement rolling blackouts and drop load in order to be able to meet their supplies because the integrity of the grid is being jeopardized.”

She claims residents will be able to manually override controls in all cases, but the 2008 Building Efficiency Standards (Page 64), known as Title 24, specifically states: “The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events.”

Michael Shames, executive director of California’s Utility Consumers’ Action Network, told WND he believes the idea of a chip consumers are unable to override is not feasible. While he considers the technology to be a positive development, he said denying consumers control over their own appliances is a highly problematic concept.

“The implications of this language are far-reaching and Orwellian,” he said. “For the government and utility company to say, ‘We’re going to control the devices in your house, and you have no choice in that matter,’ that’s where the line is drawn. That sentence must be removed.”

Additionally, no provisional exceptions for people with health conditions worsened by excessive temperatures are mentioned in the current proposal; however, the Energy Commission spokeswoman said existing supply problems are more worrisome to Californians with health issues than the projected solution.

“I actually was more concerned in the 2001 electricity crisis that folks on critical medical devices like respirators, kidney dialysis machines and things like that were going through rolling blackouts,” Chandler said. “That’s a very challenging thing to face. Moving somebody’s temperature up by a few degrees really seems mild by comparison.”

Jim Gunshinan, managing editor of Home Energy, based in Berkley, Calif., told WND the changes would also provide consumers with an option to control thermostats via the Internet.

“That means someone can turn on the air conditioning before they leave work for home and have the house comfortable when they walk in the door. Or if they forgot before leaving home for a ski trip, they can remotely lower the thermostat at home and save money.”

Gunshinan claims the new system is needed because it will be more beneficial to the environment than building new energy facilities for the state.

“Since utilities have old, inefficient and dirty power plants on reserve to use during peak demand hours, dropping demand will mean less use of these dirty power plants and less pollution.”

Some critics say California authorities will be incapable of enforcing compliance if homeowners and renters bootleg heating and cooling systems from other states, block radio reception with inexpensive FM transmitters or simply install window air conditioning units and space heaters, a bypass method that could use more energy than traditional units.

Concerned California residents expressed outrage with the proposal in several online postings:

“I hate this state. Why don’t we just fly a communist flag while we are at it? We are planning a move out of state. I’m done.”

“This is insane. Please, everyone reading this, take action. Write your representatives, call the RINO governor, call your local radio programs and, lastly, write letters to the editors of your local papers. Dear God, just when I thought California couldn’t get much worse!”

Other opponents of the state proposal expressed concern that its mandatory nature is a sign of increasing “Big Brother” government control.

 

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WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA

(wnd)

When the day’s news is about “witches,” many Americans reflexively conjure up images of ugly, wicked hags from stories like “Snow White” and “The Wizard of Oz” – or more recently, the smiling “good witches” of Harry Potter books and films. But none of these fictional fantasies has anything to do with the real thing.

The real thing – that is, the stunning phenomenon of more and more American housewives, students, professors, and even soldiers self-identifying as “witches” – is the topic of the January edition of WND’s elite monthly Whistleblower magazine.

Whistleblower explores Wicca in particular, and the New Age movement in general, in this dramatic, entertaining, but powerfully eye-opening and mind-boggling investigation.

What is witchcraft? Is it the same as Wicca? Is it a form of Satan worship, as critics allege? Or can witches be good? Can they really cast spells that somehow call forth the spirits beyond the world of nature to help them accomplish their will – whether good or evil? Is magic real? Why do witches often perform their ceremonies naked? And most of all, why do so many people today aspire to be witches?

Wicca is an official, legal religion in the U.S., and a fast-growing one at that. Judges have ruled that witches must be allowed to lead prayers at local government meetings, and that Wiccan convicts must be provided with requested “sacred objects” so they can perform spells in their cells. Witches in the armed services have even formed covens and routinely “worship” on U.S. military bases.

How did this happen – and why?

“Witchcraft, sorcery, magic and idol worship have been around since the earliest days of man,” said WND Editor Joseph Farah. “They do, indeed, pre-date Christianity as we know it today – just as their practitioners like to point out with pride. But they do not pre-date the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the one who created the universe. They are, in fact, part of a rebellion against Him and His laws.”

Added Farah: “Ever since the 1960s, this rebellion has been growing. It’s kind of the spiritual side of the political and social rebellion that took place in the latter part of that decade. Yet, this spiritual rebellion has continued unabated since then, and has grown exponentially faster and darker with each succeeding decade.”

Issue highlights include:

  • “The great deception has begun” by Joseph Farah
  • “Why so many Americans are embracing witchcraft” by David Kupelian, on the growing fascination with all things pagan, occult and magic
  • “Top exorcist condemns ‘Harry Potter'” – on the Vatican’s top experts who says there’s “no doubt the signature of the Prince of Darkness is in these books”
  • “Evangelical Wiccans?” by Janice Shaw Crouse, on reports from youth ministers in the Southern Baptist Church of increasing number of evangelicals dabbling in Wicca!
  • “Spellbinding a culture” by Tal Brooke, an eye-opening overview of the emergence of witchcraft in the modern world
  • “Witch gets ‘burned’ by Supreme Court” by Joe Kovacs, on a Wiccan priestess angry that Christians are favored for prayers at county meetings
  • “Wiccan boy booted for wearing lipstick,” about a public school student claiming discrimination and violation of his right of free expression
  • “Witchcraft in the military” by Brooks Alexander, an in-depth and shocking look at how and why pagan religion has taken root in the U.S. armed forces
  • “Wiccans meet on Air Force base” by Ron Strom, on how witches’ gatherings get the military’s blessing as long as they’re not contrary to “good order”
  • “Witches persuade government to fund pentacles on headstones”
  • … and much more.

Wicca is intentionally shrouded in mystery, said David Kupelian, managing editor of WorldNetDaily and Whistleblower. “But in the news business we prefer sunshine to moonlight, believing it makes a much better disinfectant. This issue of Whistleblower shines a very bright light on New Age, neo-pagan and occult beliefs and practices, and in a way that I believe will generate a lot of ‘aha!’ experiences in our readers.”

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Revealed: ‘Gay’ plans to target 2-year-olds

(World Net Daily) –
Children as young as two years of age are in the bull’s-eye of coming changes in California’s school curriculum, which “gay rights” advocates now admit will alter the very foundation of information presented to public school classrooms.


Gov. Schwarzenegger

A list of school resources, sponsored by a homosexual-advocacy group called Safe Schools Coalition, suggests that for those who are only two years old, there’s “Felicia’s Favorite Story,” which tells how she was “adopted by her two mothers.”

The list also promotes a book called “Are You a Girl or a Boy?” by Karleen Jiminez, a resource for children ages 4-8 when advocating homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other alternative lifestyle choices.

It’s described as “A sweet book about a gender-different kid.”

Other resources being promoted in light of California’s adoption of SB 777 as state law include books authored by officials for Planned Parenthood and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

One book, called “Tackling Gay Issues in School,” is for kindergarten through grade 12, and offers a “rationale (for the inclusion of les/bi/gay/trans issues in school).” It features recommended “extracurricular” activities for classes.

The promotion of such materials has coincided with the recent admission by Equality California, a homosexual advocacy group that worked to have SB 777 passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, that the bill really does edit all school curricula in California.

For months while California lawmakers discussed Senate Bill 777, opponents worried about its usefulness in censoring public school curricula to include a pro-homosexual bias. Supporters, however, steadfastly maintained that it only clarified anti-discrimination laws already on the books. They still hold that stance, with statements this week from both Schwarzenegger’s office and Equality California.

Sabrina Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the governor, insisted it is a “technical bill” intended to clarify anti-discriminations laws.

“It simply takes anti-discrimination language used in other areas of [state law] such as employment and puts that in the education code,” she said.

And Ali Bay of Equality California told WND the new law “doesn’t require that any specific curriculum be included in California’s classrooms.”

Technically it is correct that the law doesn’t “require inclusion.” But opponents say it does now ban anything that can be “perceived” as being discriminatory, up to and including references to “mom” and “dad” or “husband” and “wife.”

“The terms ‘mom and dad’ or ‘husband and wife’ could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured,” said Meredith Turney, the legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute.

“Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic – not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB 777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation,” she said.

The new law demands, “No teacher shall give instruction nor shall any school district sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias because of a characteristic [including perceived gender.]”

And Karen England, a spokeswoman for Capital Resource who is a primary organizer behind the Save Our Kids plan to put the issue before voters and ask them to reject it, noted that even Equality California’s own materials are assuring constituents the law will ban curriculum that fails to meet the pro-homosexual standard cited.

“All along, Capitol Resource Family Impact has maintained that the true agenda behind SB 777 is to infuse school curriculum with pro-homosexual, and other controversial lifestyles, propaganda. The proponents of the bill countered that this was not true and the law would merely ‘streamline’ anti-discrimination laws for schools. Based on our 20-year experience with the homosexual lobby, we know that a common tactic is to maintain innocence and then utilize vague language to push a radical agenda. We expected the same of SB 777 and we are already witnessing the same pattern,” England said.

“Last week the sponsor of SB 777, homosexual rights group Equality California, released their 2007 legislative scorecard. The scorecard featured a description of the each of the bills the group sponsored or considered homosexual-friendly,” she said.

“For the first time, the group admitted that SB 777 ‘prohibits curriculum that is discriminatorily biased against LGBT people.’ Understand that the entire time the group was pushing this bill through the legislature, they vehemently denied that it would affect curriculum. After the bill had passed, they now reveal their true agenda,” England said.

The report card specifically said SB 777 “prohibits curriculum that is discriminatorily biased against LGBT people and other protected groups.”

“In fact, SB 777 will affect curriculum and public education programs. The proponents lied to lawmakers and to the public,” England said.

“One website features curriculum programs for teachers to use in introducing ‘homosexual history’ to their students as young as 5,” she said.

Among titles now being recommended for use in public schools is “A Family Counting Book,” intended specifically for those students in pre-kindergarten who are yet learning to count, she noted.

The recommended resources address “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender issues that schools are encouraged to have in their collection. All of these are suitable for classroom and library use to address the prescribed learning outcomes � or any effort to make your school a (sic) affirming space for all students, staff, and families,” according to the website.

Another “resource” is about “A 10-year-old [who] asks her lesbian grandmother a heartwarming question,” “What’s a lesbian?”

Others feature stories about a boy who makes a card for his mother “and her partner” for Mother’s Day, and another for “pre-kindergarten” is a coloring book called “Beach Party with Alexis” which is described as “a super story with people of color and gay/lesbian parents.”

For older children, such as those in fifth grade, there’s a book called “Coping With � Your Sexual Orientation” and it is “especially designed for the public school system.”

For those as young as age 3, there’s “The Different Dragon,” which “shows how the wonderful curiosity and care of a little boy, along with some help from one of his moms, leads to magical and unexpected places �”

There also are offered several elementary school “lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender” lesson plans, produced by the Buena Vista Lesbian and Gay Parents Group, among others.

Rounding out the multimedia offerings are videos such as “Different and the Same,” a series of nine videos which is described as good, but not great because none of the videos specifically condemns “homophobia.”

GLSEN also has produced another resource, “Tackling Gay Issues in Schools,” substantiating the “rationale” for including such teachings in California classrooms.

WND already has reported how the Gay Straight Alliance has forwarded instructions to its California chapters with information on how to make sure homosexuality is taught in public schools, and its warning having students and parents simply “tolerate” homosexuality is not enough.

“Tolerance education is an important first step, but we need to push further,” the instructions said. “Infuse LGBTQ curriculum into history, social science, and literature classes,” is the organization’s plan.

WND also has reported how thousands of requests for information about homeschooling and Christian school are bombarding organizations that support those efforts.

A spokeswoman for a ministry called Considering Homeschooling said she already has seen an overwhelming increase in requests for information about homeschooling.

As a result, spokeswoman Denise Kanter told WND that her group is sending out 5,000 DVD packages to churches around the state that include basic “how-to” information to provide parents a direction to turn when they choose to protect their children from the new school agenda.

Another group’s website, Discover Christian Schools, has been getting almost 4,000 visits per day as parents seek alternatives, co-founder Harold Naylor Jr. said.

Besides the referendum being pursued by England’s organization, WND also has reported on work by the non-profit Advocates for Faith and Freedom to file a lawsuit challenging a SB 777.

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