Seasonal variation in respiratory and photosynthetic parameters in three mosses from the maritime Antarctic

first_imgCarbon fixation under controlled conditions was measured in three mosses from the maritime Antarctic using an infra-red gas analysis system. Gas exchange parameters were determined during each season in 1993 and 1994 using the Arrhenius equation and a hyperbolic tangent function applied to respiration and photosynthesis, respectively. Environmental data was collected in 1994 for comparison. All seasonal variations were greater inBrachythecium than in the species from less hydric habitats. Respiration rates were highest in summer and lowest in winter at all temperatures inBrachythecium, but there was little change inChorisodontium orAndreaea . There was some seasonal variation in the initial slope (Kp) of the photosynthesis-irradiance curve in all species, although the environmental data suggested that this was of little ecological importance. In all species seasonal changes in the maximum rates of photosynthesis (GPmax, NPmax) were observed, generally with a pattern of summer maxima, although there were some interannual differences. These changes are considered to be the most important in affecting the overall annual productivity of the mosses. There were no seasonal variations in the optimum temperatures for either gross or net photosynthesis, or for the irradiance at the onset of light saturation (Ik). The results have important implications for the use of models to estimate the productivity of the Antarctic flora based upon present or predicted climate data.last_img read more

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Reporting in

first_img== Gordon Polson ==Director, The Federation of BakersWhen did you last think about training? At the Federation of Bakers (FoB) we believe that training is vital to ensure a healthy long-term future for the plant bakery industry.As part of our commitment to consistently high-quality standards across the industry, we have developed four courses, each offering information that will help delegates excel in their role and gain a detailed understanding of best practice.The newest of these courses is the Dough Making course, which is due to run for the first time in autumn 2008 at Leeds Thomas Danby College. It will examine the factors affecting cost, the best use of materials and the criteria involved in producing and manufacturing dough. The information learnt through attending the course will help participants to increase efficiency in their bakeries.This, of course, is vital, but we are also proud of our two-day Introduction to Plant Baking, which looks into the baking process and the different methods of production; Principles of Plant Baking, a group of four independent modules that give an in-depth grounding in the basic principles of the industrial baking process and managing that process in the workplace; and the one-day Bread Weights and Measures, to help students understand, comply and build confidence in dealing with different aspects of bread weight control legislation.A combination of interactive learning and theoretical work guarantees bakers the opportunity to learn the skills that are so essential to their job.last_img read more

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Allied Bakeries extends 400g bread line

first_imgAllied Bakeries has extended its range of 400g loaves to include Kingsmill Tasty Wholemeal, Kingsmill 50/50 and Kingsmill Soft White and Burgen Soya and Linseed.The firm said the move has been designed suit the varying lifestyles of its consumers. “Burgen, in particular, is a fond choice among over-65 consumers, due to its positive health benefits. With the children gone, these households have fewer mouths to feed, so often find that larger loaves can go wasted,” said Allied. It added that larger families can also enjoy the benefits of smaller loaves as everyone’s tastes can be catered for.Guy Shepherd, category director, Allied Bakeries said: “Bread remains a UK staple with 98% household penetration (Kantar GB Household penetration 52 w/e 25 December 2011) – but people’s consumption habits are changing. “The expanded 400g loaf range will ensure that even more customers are catered for, from big families to smaller households.”last_img read more

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Nordic Bakery up to three

first_imgNordic Bakery has opened its third site in London, near to Baker Street.The new café in Dorset Street, joins the group’s others sites in Golden Square, Soho, and at New Cavendish Street, Marylebone.The company, which was founded in 2007 by Jali Wahlsten, plans to open further sites in the capital over the next 12 months.Wahlsten told British Baker’s sister title M&C Report: “We’d been looking for a new location for our third café for a while and, when this unit became available, we knew that this was the perfect site. With other new interesting tenants and nearby developments, we believe that this area will go from strength to strength. This new location continues our desire to open more of our unique destinations in London.”last_img read more

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Nelsonville Music Festival Announces Lineup With Ween, Emmylou Harris & More

first_imgThe annual Nelsonville Music Festival has announced its triumphant return to Ohio, coming in hot from June 1st through the 4th. Today, the organizers have revealed the festival’s initial lineup, which features headlining sets from Ween, Emmylou Harris, and Rodriguez. The full lineup continues with Son Volt, Parquet Courts, Twin Peaks, Sara Watkins, Big Thief, Honeyhoney, and many more. The festival also promises many more announcements to come soon, so don’t miss any of the action.You can see the announcement below, and head to the fest’s website for details.last_img read more

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Jailing practices appear to fuel coronavirus spread, study says

first_img How COVID turned a spotlight on weak worker rights Tracking mobility of individuals offers hints of whether a problem is rising or falling Americans are weary of lockdowns, but if COVID surges, what then? This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.American jails and prisons, in which large numbers of inmates live together in close quarters, have become COVID-19 hotspots. In fact, one published analysis found that the top 10 biggest clusters of the virus in the U.S. are now in correctional facilities.A new study, however, takes a look at the possible ripple effect these clusters may have in surrounding communities. The findings suggest that short-term cycling of prisoners through local jails for arrest and pretrial procedures may be putting entire cities and states at risk, especially communities of color, according to a new peer-reviewed study in the journal Health Affairs. The research also fuels the ongoing concerns over mass incarceration policies in the nation.The paper, co-authored by Eric Reinhart ’10, a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Anthropology, and Daniel Chen ’99, J.D. ’09, a professor at the Toulouse School of Economics and a principal investigator for the World Bank’s Data and Evidence for Justice Reform program, examined the relationship between jail cycling and community infections across different neighborhoods in the state of Illinois using publicly available data on booking, release, and COVID-19 status from Cook County Jail in Chicago and known coronavirus cases from the Illinois Department of Public Health.The quantitative study tracked inmate release data and found corresponding rises in COVID-19 cases in home communities. The analysis suggests that as of April 19, almost 16 percent of all coronavirus cases in the state were associated with the presence of people who in March had cycled through the Cook County Jail, one of the nation’s largest jails. That one-in-six figure held true for the city of Chicago itself. “If we had the ability to test at intake beginning in January it would have shown the virus was coming in from the street, not the other way around.” — Cook County Sheriff’s Department Block and Sachs point to flaws in the social safety net, an indifferent OSHA, and a system that favors employers over employees Relatedcenter_img “You can think of cycling people through jail as having a multiplier effect,” said Reinhart, who is also a student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. On average, “For every one person you cycle through the jail [whether that person becomes infected or not], in the ZIP code from which they have come and which they will return to, within a three to four week lag you’re going to see 2.149 more cases. That doesn’t sound like so much, but when you consider that 100,000 people are cycled through this jail every year, and then across the country approximately 5 million people are cycled through jails every year, then that multiplier effect acquires a huge scale.”The Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Chicago Department of Public Health, which sent a letter to Health Affairs asking that the paper be removed, strongly disputed the study’s results.“If we had the ability to test at intake beginning in January it would have shown the virus was coming in from the street, not the other way around,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Further supporting this is the fact the majority of the positive cases are coming from the communities hit the hardest by COVID-19.”The statement also notes the facility began testing all arriving inmates after capacity became available and that “virtually all of the new cases in recent weeks have come from newly arrested individuals.”A spokesperson for the journal said that the print publication was going ahead as planned.The researchers stress that their findings represent only a correlation between infection rates and jail cycling. They did not trace infected individuals and could not establish a clear causal relationship through a randomized controlled trial, because adequate data to perform that type of analysis does not exist. They note that it’s possible that factors for which they did not control could help explain the association.Reinhart and Chen also point out that they could not link community spread to jail employees because they did not have access to data on the ZIP codes of where staff live, limiting their analysis. During the period they studied, jail staff in Cook County made up more than 100 of its 600-plus coronavirus infections.The researchers argue in their paper, however, that “these provisional findings are consistent with the hypothesis that arrest and jailing practices are augmenting infection rates in highly policed neighborhoods.”The researchers reached their results after running two types of statistical analyses on data from the jail, the state’s Department of Public Health, and the U.S. Census Bureau. They looked at the ZIP code-level relationship between the presence of released Cook County Jail detainees and the rate of coronavirus infection.In their more rigorous multivariate analysis, in which they controlled for factors such as race, poverty, public transit use, and population density, Reinhart and Chen found that the cycling of 2,129 individuals through Cook County Jail in March was independently associated with 4,575 additional known community infections in Illinois as of mid-April. That’s 15.7 percent of all cases across the state at the time. In Chicago, the figure was 15.9 percent.Both numbers suggest that jail cycling is the most significant predictor of COVID-19 spread in Chicago and Illinois, even more than the factors for which they controlled. When those variables were considered together and controlled for overlapping associations, they accounted for about 60 percent of all cases in Chicago and about 37 percent of cases across all ZIP codes in Illinois, according to the study.In the bivariate analysis, which did not control for any other confounding factors and is considered the less rigorous of the two methods, they found that 55 percent of COVID-19 cases in Chicago were linked to the jail.The authors also say that the risks tend to fall disproportionately on minority communities. In Chicago, for example, Black residents represent only 30 percent of the population, but make up about 75 percent of detainees at the Cook County Jail. It’s not surprising then, that about 60 percent of the cases associated with cycling through Cook County Jail were in majority-Black ZIP codes, according to the study.“[We forget] these institutions are not simply contained spaces, but a part of our communities,” Reinhart said. “They’re very porous. People go in and they go out.”The authors conclude that American policing practices — long criticized for overreliance on arrests and incarceration — pose an enormous public health risk during the pandemic, especially for minorities, who are jailed at higher rates.About 28,000 people are arrested every day in the U.S.; in a year, that comes to more than 10 million arrests, according to the FBI. Another estimate says that at least 4.9 million people cycle through often-overcrowded county jails each year. Finding COVID clues in movement Experts are thinking through the options as a jump is possible in fall There are “potentially millions of preventable cases,” Reinhart said. “The vast majority of these individuals are cycled through jails for reasons associated with socio-economic status [like being unable to post bail] and petty alleged offenses. [According to studies], 95 percent of the people booked into jails nationally are booked for nonviolent offenses … [and] approximately 42 percent of those booked into jails will be proven innocent.”Reinhart and Chen have been working together since they met at Harvard in 2007. They are now working on a national expansion of the study.The paper, which was published in early June, comes at a critical moment as the coronavirus continues disproportionately affecting black and minority communities and thousands of Americans across the country have taken to the streets for anti-racism protests, leading to arrests and, as a result, increased jail cycling.“Last I checked, it was more than 15,000 people who had been arrested over about two weeks with the protests,” Reinhart said. “This, I expect, will provoke a lot of infections, not just to the people who protested and were arrested, but to their communities, and their family members.”last_img read more

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Making an Impact on the Silicon Slopes

first_imgLocal Industry Associations – We work closely with the Utah Technology Council, our local high-tech industry association. Together we have created programs like Curiosity Unleashed, a STEM initiative to encourage students, parents, and educators to develop skills that are in high demand in the tech industry. Last Friday, I had the privilege of hosting U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch at the EMC Utah Center of Excellence (CoE). Senator Hatch spoke on the state of Utah as a technology leader and noted EMC’s advancements in the enterprise technology industry:“EMC is providing the type of jobs and critical technology needed to help keep our country ahead of the technology curve. The company invests in its people and the communities in which it operates, while also providing leading solutions for Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Cybersecurity. Today’s visit to EMC’s Utah office showcased the great work that is being done to help keep our state’s technology industry at the forefront of the global economy.”ShareMore than 1,000 EMC employees are based at the Utah Center of Excellence (CoE), working on a variety of IT-as-a-Service projects such as setting up Hadoop-as-a-Service so that customers can do faster Big Data analytics.The CoE is right in the middle of a new tech corridor becoming known as the Silicon Slopes. Much like what exists in the Bay Area of California, but unique to our mountainous geography. Many of us believe we enjoy a higher quality of life than in California and combined with a vibrant, well-educated workforce and infrastructure investments like Google Fiber, we’re driving substantial growth in Utah’s tech sector.EMC isn’t the only company out here either. There is also Adobe, whose Digital Marketing business is based in Utah, and IM Flash, an Intel-Micron JV that produces a vast amount of the NAND flash memory used in consumer electronics like the Apple iPhone, just to name a couple.You can’t just show up on the Slopes and reap the benefits though. There are three areas that have been key to our success so far:Government Relations – Relationships with state and local governments have been critically important. Together we have created programs like the Engineering and Computer Science Initiative that provides substantial funds to increase the number of engineering graduates from Utah universities. And when those relationships are backed by strong partnerships at the national level with people like Senator Hatch the benefits are extended to the entire tech industry. Higher Education Partnerships – We also have strong relationships with the three largest universities in the state: University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. They provide continuing education to our employees and we hire many of their graduates.On top of this, employees are driving several other partnerships that benefit both our company and the local community, such as the working with the Utah Food Bank and the Salt Lake Valley Science & Engineering Fair.When all of these factors come together, you get results – like the ability to expand business presence – not to mention continued attention from public figures like Senator Hatch who influence key issues like patent reform, corporate tax reform, immigration reform, and cybersecurity.Thanks again to the Senator and all of the other partners who have been part of our journey at EMC in Utah!I hope to see you here soon on the Silicon Slopes.last_img read more

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Meadowlake Drive bridge in Mendon to be closed September 8

first_imgThe bridge on Meadowlake Drive located just off Route 4 will be closed for two days from 6:00 a.m. Thursday, September 8 until 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 9 to allow giant earthmoving equipment to work.  Traffic will be diverted to the East Pittsford and Chittenden Roads during this time. Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Mendon town Office at 775-1662.last_img

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U.S., Honduras to Test Disaster Response Software in Simulated Hurricane

first_img The GeoSHAPE solution comprises a web-based platform for creating, updating and sharing geospatially tagged events, as well as a mobile application for capturing data and photos in the field. Through these tools, organizations collaboratively create a picture of both the resources at hand and the extent of the damage. The availability of hospitals, helicopter landing zones, food, water and medical supplies, the condition of roads and bridges, and the deployment of rescue personnel to affected areas, among other key elements are plotted in a map that authorized users can see from anywhere in the world. The level of fidelity that this tool will offer will prevent redundancy of relief efforts, facilitate informed decision making among aid and resource planners, and alleviate congestion at logistical hubs. The development of GeoSHAPE is part of a technology project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Emerging Capabilities and Prototyping and managed by the USSOUTHCOM Science, Technology and Experimentation Division. Other organizations involved in the program are the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), the U.S. Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit, the Pacific Disaster Center, and LMN Solutions, an information technology company. Throughout the years, the relationship between USSOUTHCOM’s Science, Technology and Experimentation Division, JTF-B and Honduras’s COPECO has proven successful in the development and implementation of technologies such as the Pre-positioned Expeditionary Assistance Kits (PEAK), a modular system that provides potable water, renewable energy, situational awareness, as well as local and global communications to first responders during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. After the final demonstration and evaluation in Honduras, if GeoSHAPE proves to add value to the response to disasters and humanitarian crises, it will be integrated with the Pacific Disaster Center’s DisasterAWARE platform, which provides continuously updated hazard information worldwide and functions as a hub for accessing, updating and sharing relevant data before, during and after a disaster. Since the software is open-source, through the Open-Geo Consortium, it will be available for integration by governmental and non-governmental organizations from all over the world. According to Hurtado, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance are only two of the many potential applications for the GeoSHAPE developed capability, which can also be used in any situation where individuals or organizations need to create and share geospatial information, such as peacekeeping missions and border security, as well as many others. Known as GeoSHAPE, the open-source, open-standard software, integrates data from multiple sources and displays it in a dynamic Internet-based map to provide situational awareness and facilitate the decision making process. “GeoSHAPE bridges the geospatial information sharing gaps we witnessed during the international response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, providing a tool for military and civil organizations, local and international, to efficiently coordinate their activities and, in turn, save more lives,” says Juan Hurtado, science advisor to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). This two-year technology development effort will be put through the test during a simulated hurricane event impacting Central America and requiring a large multi-organizational response. Role players in this hypothetical scenario will include Honduras’ Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO), the local Red Cross, Plan Internacional (local non-governmental organization) and U.S. Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B), among other organizations that usually respond to these events. By Dialogo June 09, 2014center_img The United States and Honduras are joining efforts in Tegucigalpa and Soto Cano Air Base, June 9-12 to demonstrate and assess a mapping tool designed to revolutionize the way governmental and non-governmental organizations from all over the world collaborate in response to disasters and humanitarian crises. last_img read more

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Math Problems: Common Core Opt-Out Revolution Continues With Latest Exams

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Diane Ravitch, renowned education historian, policy analyst, research professor, author and blogger, is fond of asking: “What if they threw a test and nobody took it?” New York is about to find out. Record-breaking numbers of students throughout Long Island and New York State refused to take the Common Core ELA (English Language Arts) exam two weeks ago, and unprecedented scores opted out of the math portion of the standardized tests last week. An integral part of the Common Core education reform initiated by the Obama administration and championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the mass rejection of the controversial exams provoked responses from state and federal school officials about potential ramifications that’ve only further incited opponents’ fury.At press time, unofficial tallies of opt-out numbers from last week’s math exams for approximately one-quarter of LI’s 124 school districts compiled by Jeanette Deutermann—founder of anti-Common Core Facebook group “Long Island Opt Out” and a founding member of New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of 50 parent and teacher organizations who oppose the standardized tests—counts more than 36,000 students who’ve refused. More than 82,000 students rejected the latest round of ELA exams, according to her figures, and last year, approximately 22,000 refused the math tests. Because honor-level eighth graders will be taking the New York State (NYS) Regents exam as well as the Common Core Regents exam this year, they are exempt from this round of testing, skewing the refusal numbers, explains Deutermann, though these preliminary math figures still show even higher percentages of refusals than those rejecting the ELA exams.“You’ll see the total numbers go down, but the overall percentages go up,” Deutermann tells the Press. For example, Comsewogue School District went up to 84 percent [from 82 percent for the ELA test last week], according to her tally, which she collects from school officials. Connectquot went up to 74 percent from 69 percent. Hewlett-Woodmere had 608 refusals and 46 percent for ELA; they went down to 579, but their percentage went up to 50 percent, says Deutermann.An East Islip school official tells the Press their district’s math refusals went up from 61 to 65 percent. Though hopeful the staggering numbers of refusals on both recent exams—administered to students in grades three to eight throughout three days—will help instigate a complete dropping of the testing here in New York, Common Core opponents say it’s at least shifted the national dialogue in their favor. “Parents’ conversations at the ball fields have changed from ‘Why opt-out?’ to ‘Why high-stakes testing?’” says Anthony Griffin, a Central Islip High School teacher and the co-founder of student advocacy group Lace to the Top. “I hope this will change soon to excitement about new assessments that are fair, transparent, and useful to students, families and teachers.”Fueling the mass rejections are a litany of complaints among parents and teachers, two being that their objections are falling on deaf ears and that Common Core supporters continue to mischaracterize them as frightened of academic challenges and what state Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch dubs as students being caught in the crosshairs of a “labor dispute” between teachers unions and the governor.“This is a governor who is just fixated on firing teachers and breaking the union,” slams Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School and 2013 New York Principal of the Year, in a phone interview from the Network for Public Education conference in Chicago April 25. “There’s no other lens to see it because it’s not in the best interest of the children.”Other gripes harbored by parents opposing the Common Core tests include their belief that the exams lack diagnostic value, as test scores are returned during the summer and cannot be used to further instruction. Zephyr Teachout, Fordham professor and former Democratic gubernatorial primary challenger to Cuomo, tells the Press: “The tests have no pedagogical value, so parents are opting out because they aren’t helping the kids.” Opponents are concerned that with such a heavy focus on high-stakes testing, teaching in the classroom would resort to an increasing amount of test preparation at the expense of various other learning opportunities and a more diverse curriculum. They contend the assessments are age- and grade-level inappropriate, charging as proof that several reading samples for the recent ELA tests were coded two to three grade levels above appropriate reading levels. The large number of students rejecting the exams has sparked speculation among critics that the federal government will get involved—and possibly punish those that do not embrace the standards. Nonprofit educational change news organization ny.chalkbeat.org reported that when asked whether districts with substantial boycotting would face consequences, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan replied he expected states to make sure districts get enough students to take the tests.“We think most states will do that,” said Duncan, speaking at the Education Writers Association conference in Chicago last week. “If states don’t do that, then we have an obligation to step in.”Anti-Common Core stalwarts such as Deutermann take his and similar, more blatantly explicit statements by education officials as threats to withhold federal funding from states with low participation rates or levy sanctions. “They throw around these attacks and threats like it’s just nothing,” Deutermann slams in a recent phone interview. “Like, ‘If the state doesn’t come after them, we will.’ “What point have we gotten to when the Secretary of Education starts saying that if a state doesn’t punish parents for looking out for the best interest of their kids, we will step in and punish them?” she continues. “This is what they don’t get: You can’t punish a teacher, a district, a school—without punishing a child. You can’t do one without the other. It doesn’t work that way. You want to strip Title 1 money away from kids who are economically disadvantaged? Guess who gets hurt? Not the school. Not the administrators. The kids who are economically disadvantaged.”Burris, the South Side High School principal who announced her resignation after the New York State legislature approved Cuomo’s budget allotting 50 percent of teacher evaluations to be based upon these tests, agrees that financial penalties will do little to stem the tide of this growing resistance. “If they think people will all of a sudden feel intimidated and say this is okay, it won’t happen,” she blasts. “The number of] principals who think this is a bad course to follow is only going to grow, not shrink.”Yet Tisch, the state Regents chancellor, says she doesn’t want the children to suffer, either.“Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from administrators, teachers and school boards across the state,” she said in an April 22 announcement that teacher evaluation deadlines may be extended to September 2016. “They’re concerned about the very tight timeframe, and they’re right. And I’m worried about the fiscal implications for districts that can’t meet that deadline. Students should not be denied resources because of adult disagreements.”Deutermann doesn’t buy the chancellor’s newfound sense of compassion, and along with the rest of NYSAPE, she’s calling for Tisch’s resignation and a slew of other demands. Among these: a dramatic reduction of testing in grades three to eight; an independent review of the NYS career- and college-ready standards; the establishment of a taskforce including parents, educators and stakeholders to study Common Core Learning Standards and make recommendations to adjust and adopt NYS standards; adherence to a public and transparent process for selecting a new state commissioner of education; legislation that decouples student test scores and restores local board of education control over teacher evaluations; and legislation requiring parental consent to share any identifiable student data beyond school district administrators. Deutermann says the historic and ever-growing number of op-out refusals is just the beginning of what she and so many other parents and teachers hope is a total, statewide retraction of Common Core, something she’s predicted and will continue fighting toward. “When I told people back a couple of months ago when they asked, ‘What’s going to happen if we get a tremendous amount of people refusing the test?’ I told them, ‘You’re going to see a systematic breakdown. This thing’s going to crumble. You’ll see the bricks falling off the walls. One after another.’ “And this is it.”last_img read more

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