Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

Pages

It's All Politics
8:29 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Personality Or Party? Mass. Senate Race Shows Value Of Both

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez speaks last month in South Boston, Mass. On Tuesday, Gomez won the GOP nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in a June 25 special election.
Elise Amendola AP

When Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, his state — and national — party bosses were wringing their hands.

Why? The prospect of Republican Scott Brown launching another campaign to return to the Senate, where he served after winning a special election in 2010 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last November in a race for a full Senate term.

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It's All Politics
11:59 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:16 pm

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The Meaning Of Boston: Depends On Your Angle, Literally

Signatures and messages adorn a Boston Marathon poster on Tuesday near the site of the April 15 bombings.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 2:31 pm

The opportunistic political sentiment of never letting a crisis go to waste (see: Rahm Emanuel, among others) has been reframed since the Boston bombings by those seizing on the attack as certain evidence of their positions.

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It's All Politics
9:08 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Bush Sees Approval Hike, But Trumanesque Recovery? Unlikely

Former President George W. Bush gives a tribute for Van Cliburn at his March 3 funeral in Fort Worth, Texas. This week, Bush's presidential library will open in Dallas.
Joyce Marshall AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:45 am

A poll released days before the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas is serving as fodder for some sequestered GOP nostalgia about his two terms in the White House.

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It's All Politics
6:18 am
Mon April 22, 2013

A Rand Paul White House Path Complicated By Dad's Legacy

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, on stage at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011. At the time, the elder Paul was seeking the Republican nomination for president. He's now retired from Congress, and the younger Paul says he's "considering" his own 2016 bid.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:11 pm

Freshman Sen. Rand Paul insists that he won't decide until next year whether a 2016 presidential run is in his future.

But comments the Kentucky Tea Party Republican made this week at a newsmaker breakfast about a run — "we're considering it" — as well as upcoming speaking engagements in early caucus and primary states Iowa and New Hampshire suggest serious consideration.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
7:02 am
Sun April 21, 2013

Tragedy In Real Time: Living A Terrible Week, Vicariously

In Texas, veteran Bill Warren lowers a flag to half-staff in memory of victims from the West Fertilizer Co. explosion last week. The nation has absorbed the past six days of nonstop tragedy and relief in a firsthand-once-removed way that now defines our communal experiences.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 3:54 am

We have imagined ourselves searching like Kelly Manning for loved ones after the explosions on Boylston Street.

We have pictured ourselves huddling in the basement like Beth and Paul Robinson and their four children as bullets and bombs fly on our own city street.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Boston Bombing Suspects Are Brothers Living In U.S. For Years

This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:23 am

Updated 1:50 p.m. ET: (Correcting that brothers shared an apartment in Cambridge, not Watertown.)

The suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions and the Thursday night murder of a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are two brothers from a former Soviet republic who were in the United States legally for years, and lived together in a Cambridge, Mass., apartment.

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It's All Politics
10:14 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Gang Begins To Sell Immigration Plan

The "Gang of Eight" senators hold a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss their immigration overhaul bill. The senators, from left, are Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., John McCain, R-Ariz., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:59 pm

Bipartisan bonhomie broke out Thursday afternoon when four Democratic and four Republican senators made a case for their comprehensive immigration overhaul proposal.

The scene at the Dirksen Senate Office Building stood in marked contrast to the ugly end Wednesday of a smaller cross-party effort to fashion gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and banned assault-style weapons.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Security Expert: Investigators Seek Bomber's 'Signature'

Boston firefighters talk with FBI agents and a crime scene photographer Tuesday at the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:03 am

As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.

Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.

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It's All Politics
11:26 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Howard Students Question Rand Paul's Vision Of GOP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown Tuesday on Capitol Hill, told students at historically black Howard University on Wednesday that the GOP has worked to protect civil rights.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP?

Priceless.

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to make a case for his Republican Party as a historic and continuing defender of the civil rights of African-Americans?

Not boring.

And, judging from the reaction the Kentucky senator received Wednesday at Washington's Howard University, less than persuasive.

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It's All Politics
9:56 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Immigration Overhaul 'Feels Unstoppable Now,' Backers Say

Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:22 am

Thousands of supporters will descend on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to call for legislation that creates a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Sound familiar?

But this time, unlike in 2007 and 2010 when immigration legislation died in Congress after similar demonstrations, proponents of an overhaul say politics has swung inexorably toward their side.

"I've been working on this issue for more than a decade, and it feels unstoppable now," says Ana Avendano, director of immigration and community action at the AFL-CIO.

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It's All Politics
7:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Gun Control Prospects Recede As Politics Swamp Momentum

Assault weapons and handguns for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 16. Congress has yet to vote on legislative efforts to enact new gun control laws, nearly four months after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 9:37 am

President Obama's campaign for new federal gun control laws takes him to Colorado on Wednesday, and next week back to Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre renewed the nation's fraught conversation about guns.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 10:32 am

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

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It's All Politics
11:23 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Skim Milk, States' Rights And Political Clout: The High Court And DOMA

This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife."

It was the court's second and final day of hearing appeals involving same-sex marriage laws. And it served up some memorable observations from the high court denizens.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg characterized same-sex unions under DOMA, which limits federal spousal benefits to heterosexual couples, as the equivalent of "skim milk" marriages.

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It's All Politics
9:19 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Arguments: Cellphones, The Internet And Fertility Over 55

This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, who was defending California's voter-passed ban on gay marriage, addressing the Supreme Court on Tuesday. From left, the justices are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, (Chief Justice) John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 11:25 am

The U.S. Supreme Court heard lively arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

And, as many learned painfully after last year's court decision to uphold Obamacare, it is risky business to predict how justices will rule later based on questions raised in arguments.

So we won't.

Instead, here are five areas of discussion we found interesting, even if they may not prove predictive of the outcome.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
9:36 am
Sat March 23, 2013

How Vermont's 'Civil' War Fueled The Gay Marriage Movement

Demonstrators protest outside the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., in April 2000, the month the nation's first law recognizing same-sex civil unions was signed by the governor.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:55 pm

It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.

Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.

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It's All Politics
7:41 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Rand Paul Reaffirms Support For Path To Citizenship

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks Tuesday to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 9:02 am

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky doubled down Tuesday on a previous call for a path to citizenship, telling a major Hispanic business group that his message to the nation's illegal immigrants is: "If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."

Conservatives, he told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, must "become part of the solution" to immigration, including dealing with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. In his Washington speech, Paul said:

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It's All Politics
11:59 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Analyst: Portman's Gay Marriage Shift May Be 'Tip Of The Spear' In GOP

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29, 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:42 pm

It is a theme that has become increasingly familiar during the rapid evolution of American political attitudes toward same-sex marriage: People who learn that a friend or loved one is gay are far more likely to support same-sex marriage, even if they were once adamantly opposed.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to openly endorse same-sex marriage, is simply the latest.

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The Papal Succession
2:53 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope 'A Fresh Start,' But Old Problems Are Waiting

Crowds at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican celebrate Wednesday after seeing white smoke billow from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of a new pope. The new pontiff, Francis, is the first from Latin America, a reflection that the Catholic Church is now strongest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Oded Balilty AP

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church made history twice Wednesday, electing the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Jesuit.

In choosing 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals signaled the growing importance of Latin America, Africa and Asia in the church's fortunes.

But they also affirmed their commitment to traditional church doctrine.

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It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:47 pm

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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It's All Politics
6:04 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Force Behind Race-Law Rollback Efforts Talks Voting Rights Case

Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, at his home in South Thomaston, Maine, on Nov. 9.
Joel Page Reuters /Landov

Edward Blum isn't a lawyer, and he doesn't play one on TV.

But he has been the driving force behind two race-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, including one that justices will hear Wednesday that seeks to roll back a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The other, Fisher v. University of Texas, which challenges the use of race and ethnicity in public college and university admissions policies, was heard by the court in October and awaits its decision.

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It's All Politics
11:02 am
Wed February 13, 2013

How Rubio Spins The Bottle Could Matter Most. Just Ask Bill Clinton

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:46 am

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News
1:28 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Pope's Resignation Redefines Papacy, Spurs Talk Of 'Global South' Successor

A child prays with his rosary at a Catholic church in Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday. In Africa, where the Catholic Church continues to grow, worshippers and clergy greeted Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he planned to resign with hopes that the continent would see one of its own rise to lead the faithful.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:58 pm

A worldwide Catholic conversation that many church-watchers say effectively stopped when Benedict XVI was elected pope eight years ago has been rekindled by his announced plan to resign at month's end.

Celibacy. Women's roles. Same-sex marriage. Clergy sexual abuse revelations.

And, perhaps most significantly, the spectacular growth of the church in the more religiously conservative "global south" — Latin America, Africa and Asia — while its fortunes continue to decline in the increasingly secular West.

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It's All Politics
12:46 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

LaPierre Fights To Stop The 'Nightmare' Of Background Checks

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, testifies while NRA President David Keene listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The halting testimony of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gravely injured in a mass shooting two years ago, may have provided the most gripping moments of the Senate's first gun control hearing this session.

But the star witness on Capitol Hill on Wednesday was Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist.

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It's All Politics
9:40 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Lifting Boy Scout Ban On Gays: One Legal Perspective

A statue of a Boy Scout stands in front of the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

The Boy Scouts of America as early as next week may drop its ban against openly gay members and leaders, just a dozen years after it successfully took its fight to maintain the policy all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It would mark a seismic shift for the organization, which counts more than 3.3 million youth members who participate in troops largely sponsored by civic and church groups.

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:27 pm

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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It's All Politics
8:55 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Stonewall? Explaining Obama's Historic Gay Rights Reference

The crowd faces off with police at the Stonewall Inn nightclub raid in the summer of 1969 in New York City.
New York Daily News Archive NY Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:13 am

President Obama made history in his inaugural address when he mentioned Stonewall in the same breath as Selma, the Alabama town considered the birthplace of the black-rights movement, and Seneca Falls, the upstate New York site of the first women's-rights convention.

But Obama's reference was very likely lost on many in the generations that have come of age long after gay men resisted police harassment at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City.

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Inauguration 2013
9:37 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Resolute Rhetoric: Obama's Confident Case For Government

President Obama delivers his second inaugural address Monday in Washington.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 4:01 pm

President Barack Hussein Obama, sobered but resolute after four years as the nation's first African-American head of state, began his second term Monday with an ardent defense of government as essential to the nation's economic and moral fiber, and a call to citizens to accept their obligation to shape the national debate.

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It's All Politics
10:52 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Even Post-Sandy Hook, Politics Suggest Prospects Dim For Obama's Gun Plan

President Obama and Vice President Biden announce the administration's new gun control proposals Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 11:31 am

President Obama's historic plunge Wednesday into the politics and realities of gun control in America has mobilized advocates on both sides of the issue.

But though his major proposals, from banning assault rifles to more stringent background checks and ammunition limits, are being rolled out in the shadow of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., their Capitol Hill prospects remain highly uncertain given long-standing resistance to such efforts.

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Around the Nation
7:36 am
Tue January 15, 2013

The Reselling Of Lance: A Job Too Big Even For Oprah

Lance Armstrong speaks with Oprah Winfrey during taping for the show Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive in Austin, Texas, on Monday. The interview airs Thursday and Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
George Burns AP

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:46 am

You may have heard that banned-for-life pro cyclist Lance Armstrong, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, has admitted to doping.

You may have heard that he apologized (tearfully, reportedly) to employees at Livestrong, the foundation he started in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer.

You may have heard that he reached out to make nice with people in the cycling world whom just months ago he was branding as liars and worse, and that he may pay back some bike team sponsor money.

Feel manipulated yet?

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