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Clinton's India Connection (a who's who)
Times of India ^ | Aug. 24, 2003 | Ashish Kumar Sen

Posted on 08/24/2003 10:01:34 AM PDT by mountaineer

They form a part of his charmed circle. They are all high-fliers in their respective fields. And they all happen to be of Indian origin. Ashish Kumar Sen traces former US President Bill Clinton's India connection.

Rajat Gupta
Part of the core group that started the American India Foundation (AIF) with Bill Clinton, Rajat Gupta was the first foreign-born managing director of McKinsey & Company worldwide. He retired from this post last month. Gupta provided a fillip to the AIF by putting together a team of McKinsey analysts to offer pro bono services to the new foundation.

Both Gupta and his wife Anita, are AIF trustees. Gupta's friendship with Clinton predates the establishment of the AIF. In addition to working closely with Clinton on issues concerning India, Rajat Gupta also accompanied the former President on both his visits to the country.

Born in Maniktala in Kolkata, Gupta was five years old when his family moved to Delhi. He holds a BTech degree in mechanical engineering from IIT, Delhi, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Deepak Chopra
Bill Clinton features prominently on a long list of celebrity admirers of this California-based new age guru. CEO and founder of The Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California, Dr Deepak Chopra has been dubbed "the poet-prophet of alternative medicine" by Time magazine.

Addressing a state dinner in India, President Clinton had remarked, "My country has been enriched by the contributions of more than a million Indian Americans, which includes Dr Deepak Chopra, the pioneer of alternative medicine."

Discussing Clinton's attachment with India, Dr Chopra says: "I think Bill Clinton enjoys all things sensual… his relationship with India is a very sensuous one." He is effusive in his admiration for the former President. "Bill Clinton is very street smart… very savvy, with an ability to connect and bond with a whole group, as with an individual, with the same intensity. It is his ability to connect with so many people that is the reason for his great emotional strength," he says.

Dr Chopra considers Clinton a "great President" and predicts he will continue to play a major role in the evolution of global communities. "He is not ethnocentric… I think, intellectually he is one of the most respected individuals in this world, and he has a true view about the needs of global communities."

Victor J Menezes
The senior vice-chairman of Citigroup, recalls receiving a phone call from Bill Clinton soon after the Gujarat earthquake. Clinton asked him to help galvanise the Indian American community to aid victims of the disaster.

Menezes promptly made a couple of calls to his friends and the first meeting of the American India Foundation was held at the Citigroup Centre in New York. "Clinton is incredibly focused on building a bridge between the US and India, and the non-resident Indian community in the US," he says.

A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, Victor J Menezes is no stranger to the job of bringing people together. As a member of Citigroup's management committee, he is responsible for managing relationships with customers and government regulators, and leading the company's recruiting efforts internationally.

A trustee of AIF, he says, "The foundation has progressed very well in trying to attain the vision set out by Bill Clinton."

Lata Krishnan
The President of the AIF, Krishnan first met Bill Clinton in March 2001 at a fundraiser organised in California for the AIF. The foundation was formed after the Gujarat earthquake. Krishnan credits the former President with the vision that "sparked the Indian diaspora in the US to think about coming together for India".

Krishnan was the co-founder of SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., recognised as one of Fortune magazine's 100 fastest growing public companies, which was acquired by Solectron Corp in 1999. As a businesswoman, Krishnan is interested in seeing how far a dollar will go in India. "I don't think there is a more compelling way to do that than giving back to society," she says.

Clinton has served as chairman of the AIF ever since its inception. Says Krishnan, "He is very committed to giving his time and energy towards a cause that will help India progress." She accompanied Clinton on his April 2001 trip to India and says, "over and over, he displayed his affection for the people of India… and the cuisine!"

Born in Kerala, Lata Krishnan spent many years in Kenya, Africa and the UK before settling down in California. She currently resides in Fremont, California, with her husband Ajay Shah and their two children.

Sant Singh Chatwal
This high-flying Sikh entrepreneur takes credit for Bill Clinton's fabled love affair with Indian cuisine. Clinton first savoured Indian food at a fundraiser at Chatwal's chic Manhattan restaurant, Bombay Palace. "And he's been hooked ever since," he says.

Butter chicken, lentils, seekh kebab, Malabar fish curry and naan are among the former President's favourites. "He also loves rasmalai and kulfi," confides Chatwal, adding with a chuckle: "He's very fond of spicy food, but it's nowhere near as spicy as we Indians like our food!"

Chatwal and his wife Daman were regular visitors to the White House during the Clinton presidency. A fortnight after the Clintons left for their new home in Chappaqua, New York, Sant Singh Chatwal and his elder son Vikram dropped in to meet them.

"When we were leaving, Bill joked that the next time we shouldn't come without Indian food," Chatwal laughs at the recollection. Since then, he's instructed the staff at Bombay Palace to periodically send the Clintons' favourite dishes up to Chappaqua.

Born in Faridkot, Punjab, Sant Singh Chatwal is currently president and CEO of Hampshire Hotels and Resorts.

Chatwal's friendship with Hillary Clinton was forged during her Senate campaign. He was a part of her finance and strategy planning committee. "She is very hardworking, warm and affectionate," remarks Chatwal. While the media speculates about her White House ambitions, all Chatwal is willing to say is: "She doesn't talk about running for the Presidency, but as a close friend, one can see they are preparing for it."

Pradeep 'Kash' Kashyap
A regular visitor to Clinton's Harlem office, Pradeep Kashyap recalls noticing a silver statue of Lord Ganesh, prominently placed on the former President's desk. "He calls it the Lord of Business," Kashyap laughs.

A former senior Citibank official, Kashyap's friendship with Clinton goes back to May 2001, when Kashyap joined the foundation as its full-time executive director. Whether writing an encouraging letter to a new foundation trustee, or helping with contacts, Bill Clinton's presence has helped AIF grow in many ways.

Born in Allahabad, Kashyap is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. He and his wife Reena live in Rye, New York, and have two sons, Vir and Rana.

Vinod 'Vin' Gupta
The multi-millionaire CEO of infoUSA, a provider of consumer databases and marketing solutions, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Vin Gupta counts Bill Clinton among his close friends and golfing buddies. "We both love to play golf, smoke cigars and tell jokes," says Gupta, who's the only Indian American to have spent the night in the White House.

It was Hillary Clinton who suggested that he stay over after a late night at the White House. "Who wouldn't want to stay at the White House," Gupta asks with a laugh. But one night in the Lincoln Bedroom was enough to disillusion him. "I wouldn't want to stay there ever again…Everybody is watching you," he adds.

Strangely, this disillusionment wasn't evident when he called his mother in India and opened his conversation with, "You'll never guess where I'm calling from!" Gupta also spent time at Camp David with Bill Clinton, which he says he enjoyed very much.

An alumnus of IIT, Kharagpur, Gupta says, "Clinton has tremendous knowledge of every subject."

A couple of years ago Gupta was reimbursed for a leather jacket he had gifted Clinton. "I don't know what the big deal was," Gupta said of the controversy over gifts to the President. Gupta's friendship with Clinton goes back to a 1993 fundraiser in Washington. "I think he is a tremendous guy," he says. "I enjoy being with him, he's great company."

Vikram Chatwal
Sant Singh Chatwal's elder son Vikram, first met Bill Clinton in 1992. The Clintons struck Chatwal Jr as the quintessential all-American couple, who were, in his words, "visionaries and knew exactly what political reform and initiatives were needed to make America a better place".

Vikram was also quite active in Hillary Clinton's senate campaign. "We are on a first name basis," he says, with a touch of pride. Often dubbed one of New York City's most eligible bachelors, 31-year-old Vikram Chatwal sees his role as "a translator" between Hillary Clinton and young Indian Americans.

A graduate of Wharton School of Business, he is also a model, who has appeared in Vogue. His friends include a slew of supermodels, like Gisele Bündchen, whom he has dated. He recently attended Puff Daddy's birthday party in Morocco, flying with the rapper on a 767, lent by the King of Morocco. However, behind this jet-setting lifestyle is a hardworking man, whose ambition in life is to become the first Sikh billionaire.

Vikram Chatwal owns the trendy Time Hotel and the hip Majestic Hotel in Manhattan. His is also working with wellness guru Deepak Chopra to open another hotel, the Lambs Club, also in Manhattan. His home is a lavish apartment in Trump Towers, overlooking Central Park. Currently in Paris, Vikram is acting in OneDollar Curry, where he plays a Sikh immigrant, who struggles to make a success of himself despite racial prejudice. "I can relate to the role," he remarks.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clinton; india; turass
The Clintons' relationship with India always has struck me as a little strange. Being the Clintons, I imagine it's a matter of "follow the money."
1 posted on 08/24/2003 10:01:36 AM PDT by mountaineer
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Rajat Gupta was the first foreign-born managing director of McKinsey & Company

Isn't that the company that hired the inexperienced Chelsea Clinton as a consultant for about $125,000 per year?

2 posted on 08/24/2003 10:03:41 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
Isn't that the company that hired the inexperienced Chelsea Clinton as a consultant for about $125,000 per year?

Yes it is!

3 posted on 08/24/2003 10:09:10 AM PDT by CharlesI (They're not liberals; they're leftists!)
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Rajat Gupta's political contributions, per the FEC:

PRESSLER, LARRY VIA PRESSLER FOR CONGRESS 03/20/2002 1000.00

CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC 05/11/2000 1000.00

GORE, AL VIA GORE/LIEBERMAN GENERAL ELECTION LEGAL AND ACCOUNTING COMPLIANCE FUND 11/09/2000 1000.00

BRADLEY, BILL VIA BILL BRADLEY FOR PRESIDENT INC 03/19/1999 1000.00

BARVE, KUMAR P VIA BARVE FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE 12/18/2001 1000.00

Deepak Chopra's contributions:

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 06/30/2000 5000.00

MURRAY, PATTY VIA PEOPLE FOR PATTY MURRAY U S SENATE CAMPAIGN 05/10/2003 1000.00

KUYKENDALL, STEVEN T VIA KUYKENDALL CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE 11/10/1999 500.00

REYES, SILVESTRE VIA THE REYES COMMITTEE INC. 03/07/2003 500.00

LEADERSHIP '02 (FKA FRIENDS OF ALBERT GORE JR INC) 09/18/2002 1000.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 05/29/2003 500.00
05/29/2003 500.00

Victor Menezes' contributions:

MALONEY, CAROLYN B VIA MALONEY FOR CONGRESS 05/29/2002 1000.00

CITIGROUP INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE-FEDERAL (CITIGROUP PAC-FEDERAL) 01/19/2001 5000.00

MALONEY, CAROLYN B VIA MALONEY FOR CONGRESS 03/23/2000 1000.00

SCHUMER, CHARLES E VIA SCHUMER '98 02/27/2001 1000.00

CARNAHAN, JEAN A VIA JEAN CARNAHAN FOR MISSOURI COMMITTEE 06/07/2002 1000.00

CITICORP VOLUNTARY POLITICAL FUND FEDERAL 04/30/1998 3500.00

SHELBY, RICHARD C VIA SHELBY FOR U S SENATE 04/29/2003 2000.00

KERRY, JOHN F VIA JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT INC. 06/16/2003 1000.00

CITIGROUP INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE-FEDERAL (CITIGROUP PAC-FEDERAL) 08/30/1999 5000.00
03/24/2000 5000.00

SCHUMER, CHARLES E VIA FRIENDS OF SCHUMER 06/27/2000 1000.00
06/27/2000 1000.00

LAZIO, RICK A VIA LAZIO 2000 INC 06/28/1999 1000.00

BUSH, GEORGE W VIA BUSH-CHENEY 04 INC. 06/24/2003 2000.00

4 posted on 08/24/2003 10:13:19 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
Dr Chopra considers Clinton a "great President" and predicts he will continue to play a major role in the evolution of global communities. "He is not ethnocentric… I think, intellectually he is one of the most respected individuals in this world, and he has a true view about the needs of global communities."

As a fellow hawker and snake oil salesman, Deepak must surely be in awe of Willy's ability to brazenly lie to an entire nation and still be admired by so many.

5 posted on 08/24/2003 10:18:15 AM PDT by O.C. - Old Cracker (When the cracker gets old, you wind up with Old Cracker. - O.C.)
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The Chatwal family's contributions:

CHATWAL, PADAMAN

WEINER, ANTHONY D VIA FRIENDS OF WEINER 11/11/1998 500.00

FORBES, MICHAEL P VIA FRIENDS OF MIKE FORBES 05/01/2000 1000.00

CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC 12/10/1999 2000.00
02/03/2000 -1000.00
02/03/2000 1000.00

TORRICELLI, ROBERT G VIA TORRICELLI FOR U S SENATE INC 06/19/2002 1000.00

GEPHARDT, RICHARD A VIA GEPHARDT FOR PRESIDENT INC. 06/30/2003 2000.00

WEINER, ANTHONY D VIA FRIENDS OF WEINER 05/01/2002 1000.00
05/08/2002 1000.00

SCHUMER, CHARLES E VIA FRIENDS OF SCHUMER 09/28/1999 1000.00
09/28/1999 1000.00

ENGEL, ELIOT L VIA ENGEL FOR CONGRESS 08/28/2000 1000.00

GEPHARDT, RICHARD A VIA GEPHARDT IN CONGRESS COMMITTEE 02/13/1998 1000.00

MALONEY, CAROLYN B VIA MALONEY FOR CONGRESS 05/29/2002 1000.00
05/29/2002 1000.00

Vikam Chatwal:

GEPHARDT, RICHARD A VIA GEPHARDT IN CONGRESS COMMITTEE 06/12/1998 1000.00
06/12/1998 1000.00

CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC 10/18/1999 1000.00
10/18/2000 1000.00

GEPHARDT, RICHARD A VIA GEPHARDT FOR PRESIDENT INC. 06/30/2003 2000.00

GEPHARDT, RICHARD A VIA GEPHARDT FOR PRESIDENT INC. 03/26/2003 1000.00

MALONEY, CAROLYN B VIA MALONEY FOR CONGRESS 05/29/2002 1000.00

GEPHARDT, RICHARD A VIA GEPHARDT IN CONGRESS COMMITTEE 05/26/1998 1000.00
05/26/1998 1000.00

9 NORRIS, JOHN ROBERT VIA NORRIS FOR CONGRESS 06/30/2002 -1000.00

NORRIS, JOHN ROBERT VIA NORRIS FOR CONGRESS 06/27/2002 2000.00

D'AMATO, ALFONSE M VIA FRIENDS OF SENATOR D'AMATO (1998 COMMITTEE) 04/08/1998 1000.00
04/08/1998 1000.00

More from Pardaman Chatwal: NEW YORK SENATE 2000 06/06/2000 1000.00

DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE 06/06/2000 1000.00

6 posted on 08/24/2003 10:19:00 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
"The foundation has progressed very well in trying to attain the vision set out by Bill Clinton."

"She doesn't talk about running for the Presidency, but as a close friend, one can see they are preparing for it."


Just reading these two quotes from the article gives me the shudders! I think we're in deep trouble, folks.
7 posted on 08/24/2003 10:21:49 AM PDT by Maria S ("..I think the Americans are serious. Bush is not like Clinton. I think this is the end" Uday H.)
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Vinod "Daddy Warbucks" Gupta:

DNC-NON-FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL 01/22/1999 5000.00
01/22/1999 20000.00
04/08/1999 25000.00
06/09/1999 25000.00

DNC-NON-FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL 07/31/2000 100000.00
09/29/2000 10000.00

DNC NON-FEDERAL UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION ACCOUNT 07/20/1998 10000.00
08/17/1998 40000.00

DSCC-NON-FEDERAL MIXED 11/16/1998 10000.00

DSCC NON-FEDERAL INDIVIDUALS 04/30/1998 15000.00

DNC-NON-FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL 11/05/2002 50000.00

DSCC/NON-FED UNINCORP ASSOC 10/25/2000 25000.00

DNC-NON-FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL 09/27/1999 25000.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 09/24/1996 -1000.00

GORE, AL VIA GORE 2000 INC 12/06/1999 1000.00

SCHUMER, CHARLES E VIA SCHUMER '98 11/08/1997 1000.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 11/02/1998 -6000.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 10/01/1998 6000.00

GORE, AL VIA GORE/LIEBERMAN GENERAL ELECTION LEGAL AND ACCOUNTING COMPLIANCE FUND 03/31/1999 1000.00

GORE, AL VIA GORE 2000 INC 03/31/1999 1000.00

CIRESI, MICHAEL V VIA CIRESI FOR SENATE 09/15/2000 -1000.00

CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC 09/02/1999 -1000.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 05/04/1998 -19000.00

OSBORNE, THOMAS WILLIAM VIA TOM OSBORNE FOR US CONGRESS 09/05/2000 300.00

BEREUTER, DOUGLAS K. VIA BEREUTER FOR CONGRESS 10/24/2000 1000.00

DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE 07/07/1997 5000.00
09/08/1997 5000.00
01/27/1998 5000.00
07/10/1998 5000.00
03/07/2000 5000.00

SCHUMER, CHARLES E VIA SCHUMER '98 11/08/1997 1000.00

CIRESI, MICHAEL V VIA CIRESI FOR SENATE 03/15/2000 1000.00
03/15/2000 1000.00

CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC 07/12/1999 1000.00
08/11/1999 1000.00

HILLPAC 11/12/2001 2500.00

KIEL, SHELLEY VIA SHELLEY KIEL FOR CONGRESS 12/19/1999 1000.00

NEW DEMOCRAT NETWORK 07/28/1999 1000.00
09/29/1999 1000.00

OSBORNE, THOMAS WILLIAM VIA TOM OSBORNE FOR US CONGRESS 06/26/2002 300.00

DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE 07/12/2001 12500.00

HAGEL, CHARLES T VIA HAGEL FOR NEBRASKA 02/01/1999 1000.00

NELSON, E BENJAMIN VIA NELSON 2000 04/06/2000 1000.00
04/06/2000 1000.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 07/03/2002 200.00
08/07/2002 200.00

PRESSLER, LARRY VIA PRESSLER FOR CONGRESS 03/20/2002 1000.00

NEBRASKA DEMOCRATIC STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE 04/04/2002 5000.00

NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE CONTRIBUTIONS 09/02/1997 1000.00

BOND, CHRISTOPHER S VIA MISSOURIANS FOR KIT BOND 10/26/1998 250.00

DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE 06/30/2003 25000.00

8 posted on 08/24/2003 10:26:43 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: Maria S
We know neither Clinton would be involved in anything that didn't benefit them personally, thus the question is: what are they getting out of their relationship with the American India Foundation, besides chicken tandoori?
9 posted on 08/24/2003 10:29:27 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
Hum. Everyone my employer (a major corp) hires these days is...Indian.
10 posted on 08/24/2003 10:36:35 AM PDT by gg188
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To: mountaineer
"...thus the question is: what are they getting out of their relationship with the American India Foundation..."

Hmmmm...now let's see...how would you say 'money' in East Indian (whatever language that is)?
11 posted on 08/24/2003 11:09:29 AM PDT by Maria S ("..I think the Americans are serious. Bush is not like Clinton. I think this is the end" Uday H.)
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To: mountaineer
The Clintons' relationship with India always has struck me as a little strange. Being the Clintons, I imagine it's a matter of "follow the money."

You are correct...laundering money comes to mind, and I'm not joking.

12 posted on 08/24/2003 11:25:58 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
Ditto.

I remember news stories of one of Cinton's India trips where he pushed mightily for a power plant project. That's got to be the failed Dabhol project. There's got to be a AFI-Clinton-Enron-Dabhol-OPIC connection. It's Clinton ain't it? Corruption is his shadow.

"OPIC?" you ask. Someone has to cover the disappeared billions. American corporations have government programs for that pesky task.

BTW, for those in the central California valley area, coast, and mountains AM860 this afternoon 1600-1900 has Allan Favish on the Jerry Pearce, Radio Detective Show. It's live and will be talking about Hillary's Black Panther days -- or was it, daze?

Clinton and Dabhol? Oh.. here it is. Thanks, google.

Clinton Repaid Enron With $1 Billion in Subsidized Loans... Ron Brown, Clinton's commerce secretary, bragged about the approval of the Dabhol loans during a trade mission to India in 1995, while Lay stood by his side. . . .

www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/2/21/153014.shtml

13 posted on 08/24/2003 3:20:25 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael
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To: O.C. - Old Cracker
Bill Clinton features prominently on a long list of celebrity admirers of this California-based new age guru.

That just says all you need to know about Blubba Clinton, doesn't it?

14 posted on 08/24/2003 3:55:28 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: WilliamofCarmichael
I thought of that, too. The Clinton/Lay/Enron/India connection was pretty darn tight!
15 posted on 08/24/2003 3:56:39 PM PDT by mountaineer
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