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Women Believed to be members of Irish Travelers (Woman Taped Beating Child an "Irish Gypsy")
WNDU-TV, South Bend, Indiana ^ | September 20, 2002

Posted on 09/20/2002 9:37:35 PM PDT by Shermy

Some local authorities will not refer to Madelyn Gorman/Toogood and Margaret Daley as 'Travelers' but a local expert on Travelers says from the video he's seen, he believes the women are Irish Travelers. There are an estimated 12,000 to 20,000 Irish Travelers in the United States, mostly in South Carolina and Texas. This is where it is believed Gorman and her family is from.

Travelers live a nomadic lifestyle, moving from town to town in large groups to do seasonal work but they've also been labeled, by some, as scam artists. Most Irish Travelers in this country are descendents of 19th century Irish immigrants. They are also known as Irish gypsies or "tinkers".

Traveler expert

Elkhart resident Don Wright has been investigating the Travelers for 24 years. He's published books including one called 'Scam!'. Wright says many of these scams take place in our own backyard. Between April and October, there are between 15 to 20 families in the Michiana area running these scams. When Wright saw the Kohl's parking lot assault video, he knew this was more than just a case of child abuse.

After seeing the video, Traveler expert Don Wright says he called police and other Travelers and came to this conclusion. "I started making calls right away and found out, yes indeed, they were Irish Travelers."

Reasons behind the beating

Wright believes the beating happened for one of two reasons. "The little girl gave away the scam to an employee or the mom was so ticked off at not getting refunds she took it out on the little girl. As far as beating a kid like this, I've never heard of it."

Wright has heard of Travelers working in the Michiana area. He says certain things in the video lend him to believe these women are Travelers. "The fact that the license plate was from Texas - I knew who they were."

Why do they travel here?

Wright wrote about Travelers who travel from Fort Worth, Texas to Indiana in his 1996 book called 'Scam!' "A majority of the Travelers come to Elkhart a few times a year to pick up travel trailers they use for different scams." Wright says the trailer is a scam in and of itself. They live in it until they can sell it for an exorbitant price. Meanwhile, men of the Travelers do house scams and the women do shoplifting scams. Wright says it is common to take along their children. "This is on the job training for kids. They learn to shoplift at their mothers elbows."

Prosecutor Chris Toth said today that the reason Kohl's began to follow these two women and their daughters was because they had scammed the store before. Police in Fort Worth say in March they arrested Madelyn Gorman for an alleged theft at Kohls.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; US: Indiana
KEYWORDS: gorman; gypsies; irishtraveler; irishtravelers; irishtravellers; madelyne; madelynegorman; madelynetoogood; toogood
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New information on Gorman; sister bails out of jail

Breakthrough in child beating case


Police believe that Gorman's sister,
Margaret Daley, is lying about
Gorman's whereabouts



Police are still searching
for Martha Toogood

1 posted on 09/20/2002 9:37:35 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: dighton
Ping.
2 posted on 09/20/2002 9:45:58 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
The gang leader:


3 posted on 09/20/2002 9:46:55 PM PDT by jlogajan
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To: Shermy
Here in East Tennessee we have regular visitations from the Travelers out of South Carolina. A very criminal fraud oriented bunch! I hope this little girl is still alive.
4 posted on 09/20/2002 9:50:00 PM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: Shermy
That's a strange story! I live in Texas and they say there is a camp of gypsies just outside of my town (I've never been out there to see the camp). The word is that they live in dumpy trailers but drive luxury cars. I wonder if they are part of this group?
5 posted on 09/20/2002 9:50:49 PM PDT by Reagan is King
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To: Howlin
BINGO! We were right!

To all, Howlin and I guessed as much last night.

BTW, my former son-in-law used to have a coin and jewelry store and when those people hit the door it was chaos! They'd come in - at least 6-8 at a time, move in several different directions, pick up and move stuff, steal and move on. Reminded me of a herd of locusts when I saw them while visiting him one day. (And store owners can spot them a mile away!)
6 posted on 09/20/2002 9:51:38 PM PDT by Humidston
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To: Shermy
But the video did not convince me that the child was hurt. Tell me more about these "Travelers", or Gypsies? I was in SC for 7 years and never ran into one.
7 posted on 09/20/2002 9:54:26 PM PDT by widowithfoursons
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To: sinkspur
FYI
8 posted on 09/20/2002 9:54:38 PM PDT by nutmeg
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To: jlogajan
We're gratified to learn you are apparently able to derive some jaded humor from this story of child abuse. Little Martha's horrific torment was not in vain afterall. You said you are a self-avowed libertarian?
9 posted on 09/20/2002 9:55:52 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: widowithfoursons
But the video did not convince me that the child was hurt.

Kid popped back up into the seat like it was regular business.

10 posted on 09/20/2002 9:56:38 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
So what do you make of it?
11 posted on 09/20/2002 9:59:00 PM PDT by widowithfoursons
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To: jlogajan

12 posted on 09/20/2002 10:01:27 PM PDT by Kryptonite
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To: Shermy
Yet more evidence that crime is largely a cultural/ subcultural phenomenon rather than a reaction to poverty or "oppression".
13 posted on 09/20/2002 10:05:44 PM PDT by republicman
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To: Cultural Jihad

14 posted on 09/20/2002 10:09:04 PM PDT by jlogajan
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To: widowithfoursons
"So what do you make of it?"

Didn't look like the girl did anything to incite it, unless she said something. Just getting in the car. and the beating went on long time. And with the arm swinging motions of the mom, it sure looked brutal to me, no matter what the kid did. But then it was odd the way the girl seemed to agilely get up from the floor to the seat.

Hard for me to imagine that if blows were landed, especially the big ones, that kid would be so agile. Unless the blows, or the big ones were just threats, perhaps a cultural conditioning? Or the girl is pretty damn used to it - trained to take it in that culture or family.

15 posted on 09/20/2002 10:10:15 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: widowithfoursons
Heck I grew up in Georgia and we knew about the Gypsies over in South Carolina.

There is a big community of them near Aiken. Frankly they have to travel to the midwest to pull off their scams because everyone around here knows about them (and their alleged inbredness, they tend to only marry other Travelers).

I remember a co-worker from Iowa talking about his grandmother back home being cheated by some roofing scam. When I asked the guy if the roofers were from South Carolina. He's like, wow how did you know that!
:o)

16 posted on 09/20/2002 10:14:16 PM PDT by Maximum Leader
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To: widowithfoursons
From an Athens, Georgia paper in 2000:

Irish Travellers' history as storied as group

Hompage of an Irish Traveller, with interesting stuff including MIDI music links.

www.travellersrest.org

17 posted on 09/20/2002 10:14:31 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Cultural Jihad
My heart goes out to the precious, innocent, beautiful child. But I've been scarred by Notre Dame fans over the years, and well, with this poorly-written article and the Lucky Charms guy, the rest is history!
18 posted on 09/20/2002 10:14:40 PM PDT by Kryptonite
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To: Shermy
Irish Travelers

Four main Irish Traveler communities are identifiable in the United States: those who reside in the area of North Augusta, South Carolina, those from Memphis, Tennessee., the Texas Travelers and the Northern Travelers in the area of New York, New Jersey and Delaware. Scottish Travelers live and work especially in the Appalachian States. The men are still itinerant in the sense that their work takes them away from home for many months at a time, but they have a home base where the women and children stay during the school year. For example, the community of Irish Travelers in North Augusta, South Carolina live in an area called Murphy's Village surrounding St. Edward's Catholic Church. The village is named after the local parish priest who took an interest in them and convinced them to buy property in the area where they have built their homes or established their trailers.

http://www.nccbuscc.org/mrs/pcmr/gypsy.htm#irish

19 posted on 09/20/2002 10:20:39 PM PDT by gg188
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To: Shermy
South Carolina's Top Ten Most Outrageous Cases of Insurance Fraud in 2000

Irish Traveler's - 3 Irish Travelers pled guilty to making false statements on an elderly woman who had a tracheotomy due to throat cancer. They stated in life insurance applications that she was in good health and that they were related! They admitted that they were not related to her and that her health condition was not good.

http://www.scinsnews.com/fraudtop102000.html

20 posted on 09/20/2002 10:23:02 PM PDT by gg188
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To: Shermy
I hear they are joining forces with the "Blues Travelers" and may be in league with Bill Klintoon and his gang of "Fellow Travelers".
21 posted on 09/20/2002 10:23:53 PM PDT by Rome2000
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To: Shermy
In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's office characterized the Travelers as ``a law enforcement nightmare in Nebraska and across the country for years.''

http://fraudtech.bizland.com/news_link3.htm

22 posted on 09/20/2002 10:25:56 PM PDT by gg188
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To: Shermy
That was an interesting read. I guess living in the IOP (before Hugo) insulated me from this. But this is so wild! I should have known about it.
23 posted on 09/20/2002 10:26:32 PM PDT by widowithfoursons
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To: gg188
There's an interesting movie called 'Travelers' that provides some insight into this group. It's a few years old, and stars Bill Paxton, Mark Wahlberg, and the dark haired nurse from E.R. (I forgot her name).

It wasn't wide released, and I just stumbled upon it in the video store...

It's a whole 'nuther world.
24 posted on 09/20/2002 10:34:57 PM PDT by LurkerNoMore!
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To: Shermy
I heard a news announcement (about an hour ago) on the local AM 50,000 watt radio station (WLS-AM) that the woman is apparently in Chicago and expected to turn herself in to authorities tomorrow.
25 posted on 09/20/2002 10:35:01 PM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Maximum Leader
I remember a co-worker from Iowa talking about his grandmother back home being cheated by some roofing scam. When I asked the guy if the roofers were from South Carolina. He's like, wow how did you know that! :o)

We had an "attempted cheating" in that the scam artists tried to make us pay for cleaning our gutters (they claim they did the work which my husband ordered, which was not true). What they did get away with was stealing our 2-story ladder.

26 posted on 09/20/2002 10:37:47 PM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Maximum Leader
I should have mentioned that this happened when we lived in a northern burb of Chicago, not all that far off of a main north-south st. that had ready access to the nearby interstate highway - obviously, these people are truly "steal-and-run" con artists.
27 posted on 09/20/2002 10:39:10 PM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Shermy
I would so love to adopt this little girl, she's so precious.
28 posted on 09/20/2002 10:49:43 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: widowithfoursons; Shermy
State legal marriage age raised

Web posted Jun. 13, 97 at 01:05 AM

By Kathy Steele
South Carolina Bureau

AIKEN - South Carolina has raised the bar on the legal age for marriages to 14 years for girls and 16 for boys.

Gov. David Beasley signed the new state law Thursday.

The bill is in response to reports that girls as young as 12 were being forced into arranged marriages with older men in the Irish Traveler community in Murphy Village. An episode of Dateline NBC prompted public outcry, followed by a decision from Attorney General Charlie Condon to form the South Carolina Traveler Crime Task Force.

A common law statute that had been on the books since South Carolina's inception allowed children as young as 12 years old to marry with parental consent.

Mr. Condon held a press conference in Aiken County on March 16 to announce plans to amend the law. He said then that common law in South Carolina ``may well provide a loophole to allow such arrangements.''

The press conference was held one day after the state task force swept through Murphy Village and arrested 14 Irish Travelers on charges of food stamp fraud, tax evasion and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The delinquency charges related only to the truancy of Traveler children from school.

Aiken County Sheriff Howard Sellers said at the time that the task force, which had conducted a six-month investigation, had been prepared to issue warrants for violation of the existing marriage laws.

However, he said the attorney general's office advised against the warrants.

The Irish Travelers are a reclusive community of itinerant workers, about 2,000, living in lavish houses and mobile homes on either side of U.S. Highway 25, between Aiken and Edgefield counties. They're descended from 19th century Irish peddlers, and some have reputations as scam artists.

29 posted on 09/20/2002 10:54:27 PM PDT by PJeffQ
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To: widowithfoursons; Shermy
Travelers get indictment for fraud charges

By Kathy Steele

South Carolina Bureau The Augusta Chronicle

NORTH AUGUSTA -- Three Irish Travelers from Murphy's Village in North Augusta have been indicted on federal charges of filing false loan applications to buy pickup trucks in Wayne, Nebraska.

The indictments were announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska.

Thomas ``Champ'' O'Hara, 47, and his sons, Michael, 26, and Bryan, 24, were charged in separate indictments with one count each of fraudulent use of a Social Security card. They are being held in Omaha at the Douglas County Detention Center after being arrested in June on a federal warrant in Eldorado, Kansas.

The arrests were made with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No bond has been set. An arraignment is expected next week.

According to federal prosecutors, the men went to Arnie's Ford-Mercury Truck Dealership in Wayne, Neb., on May 28 to buy pickup trucks. In an attempt to finance the vehicles, the men filled out loan applications using false Social Security numbers, prosecutors said.

Under federal law, that's a felony.

In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's office characterized the Travelers as ``a law enforcement nightmare in Nebraska and across the country for years.'' Not all Travelers engage in criminal activity, but U.S. Attorney Thomas Monaghan has said he will aggressively prosecute anyone suspected of involvement in this sort of activity.

There also have been some reports of scams in Nebraska involving phony roofing, paving, painting and home repair jobs by people believed to be Travelers from Murphy Village.

The loan scam works something like this, prosecutors said. When buying a vehicle, often a small cash down payment is made but monthly payments arranged in the loan deal are later stopped. It's then left to credit companies to try and repossess them.

The maximum penalty for fraudulent use of a Social Security card is five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, followed by up to three years of probation.

The Irish Travelers are a reclusive community of about 2,000 who live in lavish homes and mobile homes, straddling Aiken and Edgefield counties along U.S. Highway 25. They are descended from itinerant peddlers, and some have reputations for being con artists.

30 posted on 09/20/2002 10:57:14 PM PDT by PJeffQ
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To: Shermy
From the linked story - (http://www.wndu.com/news/092002/news_16252.php)

Det. Chief Mike Samp of the Mishawaka Police Department said, "The sister felt that we misinterpreted the video and that it wasn't as bad as it appeared on the video. She was not really striking the child. She was brushing something off the headrest."

Yea, that's how I generally clean the upholstery too - although sometimes I use a baseball bat......
31 posted on 09/20/2002 11:03:05 PM PDT by rockrr
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To: PJeffQ
Thanks for the info. But but but, why is this a SC thing? And if there are only a couple of thousand in the country, how hard is it to make them? I guess the next question would be, "why aren't terrorists as easy to spot?"
32 posted on 09/20/2002 11:04:26 PM PDT by widowithfoursons
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To: Shermy; All
Very interesting article. Explains a lot.

If that woman is really an Irish Traveller (Romany chal), IMO, it'll be a cold day in hell b/f they can hold her long enough to charge/convict her for anything!!
33 posted on 09/20/2002 11:04:49 PM PDT by Devil_Anse
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To: rockrr
Yea, that's how I generally clean the upholstery too - although sometimes I use a baseball bat......

You too? I find that if I swing it really fast and hard, the dirt generally just flies right out the door.

"...brushing something off the headrest." Yeah - like the four year old's head.

34 posted on 09/20/2002 11:07:57 PM PDT by Tennessee_Bob
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To: Shermy
Hanity played a statement by the perp mothers attorney in which the guy stated that his client was very ashamed at being caught in the act. I havn't heard anyone mention that being beaten is probably a constant in this little girls life and that this is not the first time her mom has pounded her. The tape showed that after being pounded and violently shaken in the floorboard by the mom, the child obediently jumps up to the car seat as if this is routine treatment. Then the tape shows the mom pounding her again.
35 posted on 09/20/2002 11:15:45 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Yeah, that sounds like something they'd do. My friend's grandmother paid them to repair her roof. Apparently all they had done was tear some tiles off and spray the roof with water.
36 posted on 09/20/2002 11:21:52 PM PDT by Maximum Leader
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To: Shermy
A child who is a victim of child abuse over a prolonged period of time will behave this way. They know they better shut up and do what they are told or it will be worse for them. These kids hide in their fantasy world so the abuse is not so real.
37 posted on 09/20/2002 11:25:11 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: widowithfoursons
Well, from all accounts (and I've met a few myself). They seem like nice, honest people. If you didn't know about the Travelers and their scams, you'd certainly trust them to do handyman work.

I've actually seen their little compound in North Augusta. All the houses look the same (I imagine they have one set of plans, and they all use it to build their house).
38 posted on 09/20/2002 11:26:34 PM PDT by Maximum Leader
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To: Tennessee_Bob
She also shook the dust very hard
39 posted on 09/20/2002 11:28:50 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: dalebert
Watch - it's going to be played out as "you just don't understand our culture, this is how we do things..."
40 posted on 09/20/2002 11:36:33 PM PDT by Tennessee_Bob
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To: Shermy
interesting, Ithought gypsies were only Roma people.
41 posted on 09/20/2002 11:38:24 PM PDT by Cacique
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To: MissAmericanPie
She's likely to steal your heart...then your money.
42 posted on 09/20/2002 11:42:52 PM PDT by lewislynn
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To: Shermy
A Gypsy Flag

43 posted on 09/20/2002 11:45:53 PM PDT by Consort
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To: lewislynn
Look at that little face, she has already stolen my heart, she wouldn't have to steal my money, I would spoil her so rotten that salt wouldn't save her.=o)
44 posted on 09/20/2002 11:46:14 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Shermy
As brutal as it looks (and as absolutely adorable as the little girl is) I would more or less understand if the mother did this as discipline, because the kid didn't seem to be at all affected by it, she popped back up again as normal as can be. HOWEVER, it apparently WASN'T for disciplinary reasons, it was because the little girl told the truth about [her mother being a fraud], so I believe it was wrong. But then again, I could be wrong...
45 posted on 09/20/2002 11:46:25 PM PDT by GodsLittleOne
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To: GodsLittleOne
I would more or less understand if the mother did this as discipline,

Sorry. I'm the father of a nine-year old girl who was once four-years old, and I can't understand that kind of treatment (you've seen the video, right?) as discipline of any sort. I would discipline a dog the way that mother acted towards her child.

46 posted on 09/20/2002 11:54:11 PM PDT by Tennessee_Bob
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To: Shermy
Travelers live a nomadic lifestyle, moving from town to town in large groups...

There are so many sub-cultures in the USA that I know so little about.

Wait till the Boomers start retiring in 10-12 years and hit the road in their trailers and motorhomes. Geretol Gypsies.

47 posted on 09/20/2002 11:55:49 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: Tennessee_Bob
You're right, she shouldn't have been hit to that degree. There were some pretty HUGE blows. Yeah, I saw the video. It's sad, she looks so innocent (the girl, not the mom)!
48 posted on 09/20/2002 11:57:24 PM PDT by GodsLittleOne
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To: PJeffQ
The bill is in response to reports that girls as young as 12 were being forced into arranged marriages with older men in the Irish Traveler community

omygosh-- what a tragedy for the wee little things, and the state will only give them two more years of childhood? Scandalous!

49 posted on 09/21/2002 12:28:22 AM PDT by let freedom sing
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To: Shermy
This is really interesting. I thought that the day of the Irish Tinker was long over. Instead of a gypsy caravan now it's Econoline vans.

Regards,

50 posted on 09/21/2002 3:35:50 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine
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