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© 2016 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC(NEW YORK) -- Zack Snyder is stepping down as director of Justice League in the wake of his daughter's recent suicide, ABC News has confirmed.  Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon will step in to finish the film.

Snyder's 20-year-old daughter, Autumn, took her life in March but it was only recently publicly revealed.  Snyder tells The Hollywood Reporter after he and his wife, Justice League co-producer Deborah Snyder, took two weeks off to deal with the family tragedy, they returned to the film. 

"In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it,” Snyder said.  "And in the last two months, I’ve come to the realization...I’ve decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me. They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time.”

Snyder said Whedon was brought into the project to write some additional scenes following early screenings of Justice League.  He'll now also guide the film through post-production, The Hollywood Reporter says. 

Snyder directed both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Justice League -- starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, is still scheduled for a November 17 release.

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Natiom(NEW YORK) -- Celebrities are reacting in horror at the news that 22 people are dead and nearly 60 others are injured after a reported explosion took place at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England on Monday.

Ariana's duet partner Nicki Minaj tweeted: "My heart hurts for my sister, Ariana & every family affected by this tragic event in the U.K. Innocent lives lost. I'm so sorry to hear this"

Harry Styles wrote: "I'm heartbroken over what happened in Manchester tonight. Sending love to everyone involved. H"

Taylor Swift tweeted: "My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I'm sending all my love."

Pink wrote: "My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester, any one affected, @ArianaGrande and the entire crew. Heartbreaking"

Katy Perry tweeted: "Praying for everyone at @ArianaGrande's show"


Demi Lovato wrote: "Tearing up imagining innocent concert goers losing their lives.. praying for everyone and all #arianators."  Adding, "My prayers are with you Manchester"

Niall Horan tweeted: "Absolutely Horrendous what happened in Manchester tonight. My thoughts are with the great people of Manchester and also Ari and her team xx"

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wrote: "Our prayers and strengh to the victims and their families involved in this tragedy in Manchester. Stay strong. @ArianaGrande"

Bruno Mars tweeted: "No words can describe how I feel about what happened in Manchester. I don't wanna believe that the world we live in could be so cruel."

Lorde wrote: "every musician feels sick & responsible tonight—shows should be safe for you. truly a worst nightmare. sending love to manchester & ari"

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Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.(NEW YORK) -- "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

That's the first public reaction from Ariana Grande to the explosion outside of her concert in Manchester, England Monday night.  The blast, believed to be the work of a suicide bomber, killed 19 people and injured 50.




from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017


Grande tweeted her message just before 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  Her manager, Scooter Braun, shared a longer message, tweeted about twenty minutes before Ariana's.

"Tonight, our hearts are broken.  Words cannot express out sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack," Braun's message reads.

— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) May 23, 2017


It goes on: "We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act.  We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester's first responders who rushed towards danger to help save lives.  We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."

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Image Group LA/ABC(MANCHESTER, England) -- At least 19 people are dead and about 50 others injured after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, according to Greater Manchester Police. The injured are being treated at six different hospitals across Manchester.

Police said the situation "is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise." If it remains classified as a terrorist attack, it'll be the deadliest in the U.K. since the July 7, 2005 train and bus bombings during morning rush hour, which killed 52 people and injured more than 700.

ABC News has learned that U.S. law enforcement officials have been told the current leading theory is that the Manchester Arena incident was the work of a suicide bomber. However, the investigation is in the very early stages and that theory is preliminary and may change.

A rep for Ariana tells ABC News that Ariana is OK and that they are investigating what happened.

In a statement, Manchester Arena confirmed that there had been an incident but said it occurred outside the venue. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims," it tweeted.

Concertgoer Josh Elliot tells the BBC, "Basically, she finished her last song. 'Dangerous Woman,' and the house lights came up and everyone started to walk out, and we heard like, a really like big bang - there was only one bang, people are saying there was two, we only heard one."  He added, "It was just, it was absolutely hectic, it was.. unreal - it was like, it was something out of a film, everyone was just charging towards... the doors."

Abby Barker, who was at the concert, tells ABC News, “Ariana had just gone off stage and finished the show, all the music had cut off and the lights had gone on. People started getting up and leaving the arena. Next minute there was this extremely loud bang and I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic. We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was”

Another concertgoer, Rebecca Beatty tells the BBC, "There was a lot of people pushing and really trying to get out quickly and obviously because of the congestion of people, I can understand there being injuries."

Some fans posted video of the incident on Twitter. Concert-goer Ellie Cheetham captured the sound of the explosion inside the arena, followed by the swift build of panic as those inside began to realize what might have just happened.


— Ellie Cheetham🌙 (@elliefreyax) May 23, 2017

Police also detonated what the initially called a "second suspect device" discovered at nearby Manchester Cathedral gardens.  The detonation occurred at around 8:32 p.m. local time.  Police then confirmed the suspect device was in fact abandoned clothing.

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— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017

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NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) -- While Alec Baldwin's imitation of President Donald J. Trump has helped Saturday Night Live see its best ratings in years, he may have some competition on his heels: his three-year-old daughter, Carmen.

In a video shot by his wife -- and Carmen's mom -- Hilaria Baldwin and posted to her Instagram before this past weekend's season finale, Alec teaches her how to imitate the Commander-in-Chief. 

"Carmen, on what day does Daddy play Donald Trump?" Hilaria asks off-camera. "Sat-ur-day," the cute tyke responds from a bed on which she and her dad are sitting. 

Then Baldwin dresses up her answer by telling her to put up her hands, and then, squinching up his eyes, he imitates Trump's voice, saying "Saturday," which she parrots, until the actor cracks up and tackles her in a hug.

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(LOS ANGELES) -- Rachel Lindsay makes her debut tonight on The Bachelorette.  There's been a lot of talk about how she's the first African-American star of the franchise, and she tells ABC Radio she's feeling the pressure, though she's trying to roll with it.

"All eyes are going to be on me. I'm setting a standard," Lindsay says. "They're going to be judging me. Some for the good, some for the bad, and that's a lot. Like, I am representing myself in so many way on such a huge platform and trying to find love."

She adds, "But for me, the pros outweigh the cons."

Lindsay, an attorney, has revealed that she's now engaged, but hasn't revealed who the lucky guy is -- or even if he was a Bachelorette contestant. "I wish I could tell you who it's with because I'm so happy about it," she tells us, "But, just to be able to, like, explain the smile and the glow that I have is so liberating."  

The Bachelorette premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- Tonight is night one of the two-night Dancing with the Stars finale!

NFL star Rashad Jennings and his partner Emma Slater tell ABC Radio that no matter what happens now, they're already won: "It's amazing that you get a chance to finish everything that you started.  It's like, there are no more weeks. There are no more weeks. You know, that's a really good feeling [that] we made it through."

MLB star David Ross, the first baseball player ever on the show, is also psyched. Though he's not the best dancer, he's won everyone's hearts. "It feels amazing," the affable athlete says. "I makes you feel so proud to make it this far in this, such a tough competition and a lot of hard work, and to be going to the finals ... is, you know, not even on a blip on my radar that I ever thought would happen to me."

Another athlete who made it through is pro bull rider Bonner Bolton, who is paired up -- some say even off-camera -- with pro hoofer Sharna Burgess. She says it's proving to be a shocker of a season, what with Fifth Harmony star Normani Kordei's unexpected elimination. "Sometimes it's not what you expect," Sharna warns.

Dancing with the Stars
airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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Warner Bros. - 2016(LOS ANGELES) -- Zoe Saldana has given up on dieting.

"I try not to deprive my body of anything because the moment I have just salads and protein for a few days, I crave carbs," the Guardians of the Galaxy actress said in the June issue of Shape. "But when I eat everything in balance, I think less about food and more about everything else. It’s about eating to live, not living to eat." 

Instead, Saldana says she focuses on eating clean.

"It’s not that I like to eat superlight, just superclean. I like food that is fresh," she said. "I don’t go for things that come in a can -- and I’m losing trust in things that come in plastic."

She and her husband, Italian artist Marco Perego, like to prepare their own meals, choosing to eat more vegetables and less meat.

"My husband and I have been learning to cook with Asian spices, like turmeric, and ginger, and we’re having a blast," she said.

Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2012, Saldana is motivated to eat clean in order to stay healthy.

"I know I’ve become a very boring person to take to dinner, but I’d rather be that way than deal with health issues," said the actress, who is gluten- and dairy-free, just like the rest of the family. "When you have an autoimmune condition, you have to stay away from foods that cause inflammation."

The busy mom of three boys -- twins Cy and Bowie, 2, and Zen, who she welcomed in February -- doesn't always have time to exercise either.

"I can’t work out regularly, so I compensate by eating a lot healthier than I might otherwise," she said.

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NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) -- It's been a great year for Saturday Night Live.

The late-night sketch comedy show ended its season last Saturday night with its highest-rated season finale in six years, NBC proclaimed.  The episode -- with host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and musical guest Katy Perry -- averaged 8.272 million viewers Saturday night.

Most importantly to the network, the episode was the top show through Saturday night, in any timeslot, among audiences that advertisers love most -- adults 18-49.

According to NBC, the just-ended SNL season is the most-watched season for the show in 23 years -- based on live viewers and viewers who watch the show on their DVRs within a week, with an average audience of more than 10.8 million viewers.

No doubt topical humor -- including Alec Baldwin's recurring portrayal of Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy's of White House press secretary Sean Spicer -- helped deliver renewed ratings life for the 42 year old franchise that debuted during the administration of Gerald Ford.

The show certainly will look a little different next year. Long time cast member Bobby Moynihan announced before the season finale that he'd be departing for a CBS primetime sitcom.  Vanessa Bayer, who had been with the show for seven seasons, announced just before Saturday's finale that she'd be leaving.  And, according to Entertainment Tonight, Sasheer Zamata, known for her impressions of Michelle Obama, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, among others, is leaving.

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© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Mark Rogers(LOS ANGELES) -- It was a real squeaker at the box office this weekend, as Alien: Covenant edged out Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, according to Box Office Mojo.

Ridley Scott's latest Alien exploit, which stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup, took in an estimated $36 million -- a substantial drop from the $51 million its predecessor, Prometheus, earned its opening weekend, but good enough to overtake Guardians for the top spot. It tacked on an additional $30.3 million overseas.

Guardians was close behind with just over $35 million in its third week of release, bringing its total here in the states to over $300 million, and $732.6 globally. Marvel, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

The second of this week's new releases, Everything, Everything, starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson, had an impressive debut, bowing in third place with a $12 million haul. Snatched took fourth place, earning upwards of $7 million.

Rounding out the top five was the weekend's third newcomer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The fourth movie in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, disappointed, managing just a little over $7 million.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

1. Alien: Covenant, $36 million
2. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, $35.1 million
3. Everything, Everything, $12 million.
4. Snatched, $7.6 million
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, $7.2 million
6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, $6.85 million
7. The Fate of the Furious, $3.2 million
8. The Boss Baby, $2.8 million
9. Beauty and the Beast, $2.4 million
10. How to Be a Latin Lover, $2.2 million


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Getty Images/Jason LaVeris(LOS ANGELES) -- Tom Hardy has gone from playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises to portraying another superhero baddie: Spider-Man's shape-shifting nemesis Venom. 

"Tom Hardy is Eddie Brock," reads the announcement made Friday by Sony Pictures, naming the character's human alter-ego. The post featured a menacing picture of the Mad Max actor wearing a Venom shirt.

The character of Brock is a disgraced journalist who comes into contact with a black, gooey alien organism that covers his body and gives him fearsome powers...which he uses to try to take down Spidey.

Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, will be seen next on July 7 in Spider-Man: Homecoming -- officially, at least, there's no mention yet if he'll appear in Venom.

Venom is slated for an October, 2018 release.

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ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) -- While it was all but certain fans would see him in the upcoming remake of Baywatch, Guardians of the Galaxy fans weren't expecting David Hasselhoff to appear -- in word, deed, and song -- in that blockbuster.

Turns out Guardians writer/director James Gunn was a huge Knight Rider fan, which is why, according to the movie, Chris Pratt's Peter Quill/Star-Lord would tell his teasing classmates that Hasselhoff was his missing father. The brave exploits of Michael Knight -- and Quill's childhood cover story -- were celebrated by Zoe Saldana's alien Gamora, who incorrectly identifies the actor as "Zardu Hasselfrau."

In real life, Pratt was also fanboy, "The Hoff" told ABC Radio.

"He was such a huge Knight Rider fan. I brought some t-shirts, and I thought, 'I dunno, maybe someone would want these -- I hope.' It says, 'Don't Hassle the Hoff.' And he goes, 'I'm putting mine on right now!'" Hasselhoff recalled. "And the next thing I know, the entire crew was lined up."

Hasselhoff, a successful recording artist in Germany, was also tapped to sing on "Guardians Inferno," a disco-themed version of the Guardians of the Galaxy theme in the vein of Meco Monardo's 1977 disco version of the Star Wars soundtrack. "I thought, oh, I've hit, I've hit big," Hasselhoff said, adding, "I get the demo, and it's rap. And I said, 'It's rap. Of course it's rap.' You know, 'How do I do this?!' So I figured it out, and it seems to work."

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

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Disney - 2017(LOS ANGELES) -- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, had its Hollywood premiere Thursday night, and two of its stars -- Geoffrey Rush and Kaya Scodelario -- confessed to a little plundering of their own while making the movie.

While walking the aqua carpet on Thursday, Oscar winner Rush, who has played Captain Hector Barbossa in all five Pirates of the Caribbean films, copped to stealing some gold coins from the set of the first movie, figuring, "Well, I won't be back, they'll never catch me." He got away with it, and swiped some fake gems this time around.

"I stole some of the kind of Perspexy, chunky diamonds that are on that black island that the ship gets wrecked on," he told ABC Radio.

Scodelario, who plays the the young ingenue Carina Smyth this time around, admitted that she's pirated stuff from ALL her movies.

"I always take little souvenirs," she says. "I take like bits of rope, I take sea shells, I get sea shells from everywhere in the world and I also of the costume rings that had a pirate skull on it."

Co-director Espen Sandberg was above swiping things from the set, although there was one item he did kind of have his eye on: "I think uh, the compass. I think it would be good to have something that could help you know what you really, really want."

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, also starring Johnny Depp, opens nationwide on May 26.

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Theo Wargo/WireImage(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Over a year after Prince died, a Minnesota judge has ruled that the late musician's six siblings are the legal heirs to his estate.

The ruling came Friday in Carver County, MI, where Prince lived and worked on his Paisley Park estate. Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide declared that Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, and Prince's five half-siblings are his heirs: Omarr Baker, Alfred Jackson, Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, and John R. Nelson.

Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, died without leaving a will -- or at least, none that's so far been found.  Beginning in the weeks after his death, an assortment of people have come forward, claiming to either be related to Prince or to have some other legal claim to the estate.  Although Judge Eide rejected those other claims, he acknowledged some are under appeal, and said he'd reconsider them pending any appellate court ruling. 

Eide also said none of Prince's assets can be distributed without a court order, nor in any way that might adversely affect any of the appeals.

Prince died April 21 of last year at age 57 of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.

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ABC/Richard Cartwright(LOS ANGELES) -- Scandal's season finale was a two-part, two hour send-off. Here are the recaps of both episodes, "Transfer of Power" and "Tick, Tock"

"Transfer of Power"

On Thursday's Scandal episode "Transfer of Power," Maya removes her tracker and escapes the authorities trailing her.

Back at the White House, Fitz tries to talk Mellie out of getting publicly inaugurated. Mellie, doubles up on security, but decides to goes through with it. Fitz, meanwhile, greenlights B-16.

At the inauguration, Maya takes out one of the snipers and sets up to take a shot, but before she can shoot, Eli finds her and takes her down. Liv, who was on the phone with her mother before she was taken out, learns that Maya wasn't looking to kill Mellie.

Liv questions Fitz' decision to have her mother shot. He defends his stance, but makes Liv suspicious when he goes into a private meeting with Rosen. After some digging, Liv finds out that Fitz plans to run a reinstated B-16.

Fitz tells Liv he cannot stay and is leaving D.C. They say their goodbyes, with Liv tearful. She runs out to meet him and they publicly kiss on the front lawn with the cameras following their every move.

Meanwhile, Liv heads to Quinn's office to try to figure out who Maya was trying to shoot. After recreating Frankie Vargas' assassination, they discover Luna Vargas was the one that Maya was trying to assassinate.

Liv finds Luna and confronts her, but Luna -- now officially vice president -- tells Liv there is nothing she can do about it.

Liv confides in Jake who tells her they will figure it out. Liv seems doubtful saying that there can be no mistakes with the first woman president. Liv later visits her mother in the hospital and tells her she knows it was Luna. Maya, who can see Liv is defeated, tells her to go get back her White House.

Meanwhile, Abby tells Quinn she wants to work with her and the gladiators again. Quinn, who's happy with Abby's decision, decides to tell Charlie she's pregnant.

After Mellie takes a moment to enjoy her the Oval Office, she visits Cyrus at home and asks him to be her date to the inaugural ball.

Later, Liv tells Jake she has a plan to get rid of Luna.

After being confronted by Olivia and Jake, Luna confesses she paid someone to kill her husband because she wanted to go down in history. She begs for Olivia to not kill her. Liv tells Luna to instead kill herself by taking some pills. If not, Jake would kill her, put her in a ditch and reveal she's a murder to the world. Luna agrees to take the pills while Jake waits until she dies.

Liv later gets Mellie to sign off on B-16 without knowing. Now in command, Liv tells her father she is now running B-16, wants Sunday dinners with him and to not get on her bad side or face the consequences.

After getting everything in order, Liv tells Cyrus everything. However she soon learns that Cyrus was the one planting the evil seed in Luna's head while personally eyeing the vice presidency.

Realizing his motives, Liv decides to give Cyrus what he wants -- the vice presidency -- while she remains the most powerful woman in the world -- the woman running the president.

"Tick, Tock"

On Thursday's Scandal episode "Tick, Tock," Olivia, Eli Pope and Fitz try to find Olivia's mother Maya who they realize is looking to assassinate the new president, Mellie.

After a failed effort, Olivia, tells Mellie she's in jeopardy and tells her a public inauguration may be out of the question. Meanwhile the new gladiator squad -- Quinn, Charlie and Huck -- also are on the lookout for Liv's mother. 

Jack, Eli and David find out that Liv's mother is looking to meet with a new contact from the CIA. Jack traces her to the contact's hotel and arrests her.

In an interrogation room, Maya tells Eli she came to D.C. to protect her daughter. She then goes on a rant about Eli and tries to belittle him as he watches her through the glass of the interrogation room.

Liv finds the gladiators back at her old offices -- which Quinn now runs -- and hires them to find out if someone is trying to kill her, like her mother claims.

Back at the interrogation room, Eli patiently watches Maya as she continues to rant. Eventually she breaks down. He then turns to Liv and tells her he's now ready to go in and talk to her.

Eli asks Maya what her plans are and if she was behind Peus and plans to kill Mellie.

Maya denies that she has done anything wrong. She accuses him of not protecting Olivia. They argue about not being good parents to their daughter. Eli tries to break Maya, but she stands firm and says it's not she who played him. He seems to believe her. He exits the room and gives Liv a stare as if they both know that she might be telling the truth.

At his dinosaur lab, Liv confronts her father about not wanting to interrogate her mother. Liv realizes that her dad might actually believe her mother and does not have the gumption to break her down. Eli tells Liv to have Mellie do the inauguration underground to avoid any danger.

Meanwhile, Fitz recounts the time he was shot and tells Mellie to deter her from doing a public inauguration. 

Abby, who was enlisted by Quinn to find Maya's connection, discovers that Maya wasn't the one who orchestrated everything - she was just a hired assassin. Liv tries to get her mother to confess, but her mother sees right through her. Liv chokes her, but is pulled back by Jake.

Back at the White House, Mellie talks to Liv. Liv apologizes for losing control over her mother and not finding out truth. Mellie still refuses to give up the inauguration. They later both agree that the inauguration should go on. 

Liv tells Fitz that they should let May go so they can find out who she is working for - but Fitz says no. Jake, however, decides to go with Liv's plan and they implant her with a tracking device.   

In a conversation with Abby, Quinn reveals she is pregnant, but is scared she is not fit to be a mother. 

Eli, later finds out Maya is free and asks Fitz to reinstate B16 as his last act of power. Liv, meanwhile, tells Mellie that she is now making major decisions for her presidency.

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