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Archive for the ‘Show notes’ Category

RFT Ep 257 – Sex Sells Redux Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 24, 2014

Download the episode here! 

<NOTE: Due to technical issues, CiTR's pod-casting server is down. The show can still be enjoyed via the link above...sorry for the inconvenience>

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This Week Whine – The Iraq Dilemma and Globalized Ethics

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This past couple of weeks has brought to light the very precarious nature of the idea of an Iraqi nation…and it does not look good. We provide a quick historical context for the civil war in all but name that has resurfaced in Iraq. We also look at the UN’s Responsibility to Protect…a high point for humanity where we no longer limit people to be citizens of a nation but citizens of the world with rights the global community is charged to protect. Alas, we discuss how Iraq shows the utter failure of the UN, NATO, The US and the global community in general to actualize these rights…to ACTUALLY protect people from military violence.

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The New Prostitution Bill…oy vey

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In the wake of the Supreme Court striking down Canada’s prostitution law, the Harper government has presented to parliament a replaced based on the so called “Nordic Model”.

We review the reason the previous law was struck down and how this new law makes matters worse for sex workers. We deconstruct Justice Minister Peter McKay’s regressive, paternalistic sexist misogynistic law and the real reasons Harper is introducing a law he knows will be struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Further Reading:

The Case to Legalize Brothels

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In the previous section, I asserted that prostitution and more specifically brothels were not innately harmful…well, to be a good skeptic…we take a moment to review the evidence out there and see if the proposition – legalizing brothels makes sex work and sex workers safer is justified or just dogmatic.

Further Reading:

How Class Works

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Based on a presentation given by Richard Wolff, an economist who has studied class issues for more than 40 years.

Wolff explains what class is all about and applies that understanding to the foreclosure crisis of 2007–2011. He argues that class concerns the “way our society splits up the output [and] leaves those who get the profits in the position of deciding and figuring out what to do with them… We all live with the results of what a really tiny minority in our society decides to do with the profits everybody produces.” As you watch and listen, consider what we know from research about disease and illness patterns among groups with lower income, more stress, and less control of their lives. Consider how investment decisions in neighborhoods, over transportation, school facilities, parks, location of grocery stores, quality of affordable housing, etc. influenced by powerful interests, affect the quality of life for large segments of the population.

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This was produced by the National Association of County and City Public Health Officials (NACCHO) as a part of their Roots of Health Inequality Project. The project is a web-based course for the public health workforce and “How Class Works” is one section of the course.

Further Reading:

 

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RFT Ep 255 – Dirty Dozen Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 13, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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The dirty dozen and misreporting toxic food

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A loyal listener told me that they regretfully were switching to organic apples. “Why?” I asked. They said they read on the CBC website about the Dirty Dozen…the 12 most toxic laden fruits and veggies in our supermarkets.

I discovered the Dirty Dozen is published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)…I investigated their claims, evaluated their data (not really theirs but the USDA) and after a little more research proclaimed the story rubbish.

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It got worse though, first because it was such a poor example of “journalism” by the CBC…it took be a few minutes to raise some red-flags about the story and an hour or 3 to complete debunk it…and yet the CBC not only reported uncritically but expanded by include and even worse study.

Secondly, i seem to have my loyal listeners that they did not seem to know how to evaluate this story. So listen to see both why the dirty in the Dirty Dozen applies to the EWG more than the flora and how you too can debunk a story like this.

Further Reading:

Blinded by Science

Our semi-regular segment about cool science stories…this week:

Blinded by Science – Mice gotta run

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Ever wonder why a mouse will run in those little wheels? Do they like it, are they bored or is it a sign of psychosis? Well, someone did some finally set out to answer that question…list to find out why and how snails came in second place in the wheelly marathon.

Further Reading:

Blinded by Science –  The Beast asteroid

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This past weekend a continent-killing asteroid whizzed by the earth, what makes this one so scaring is we did not know it was coming until April this year. We talk about the asteroid and the need to increase spending in locating near-earth object…especially those that might want to hit the planet .

Further Reading:

Blinded by Science – DNA expands

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DNA is the foundation of all life on earth…as far as we know the universe. Well, scientist have improved on the (at least) billions year old formula. No longer are we limited to the traditional two base pairs…they have added another. Why? How? Listen and find out.

Further Reading:

Prairie Correspondent – Reflections on the phrase “thank god”

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This week, our correspondent reflect on “thank god” how we use it, abuse it and well, just sometimes get it wrong.
Web Wisdom – How to choose your news

NewsAlert
There is a lot of  “news” on the internet…most of crap. Listen in on a Ted-Ed talk that help show you how to separate the chaff from the wheat.

D-Day…meaning to Canada and the context of controversy

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D-Day is 70 years old. One of the most pivotal moments in western history. It is also a story of coming of age for Canada as one of the three nations (along side the US and UK) to be given the task of taking a beach (Juno)…we, not only succeeded but was perhaps the most successful under some of the hardest resistance of any of the landing forces.
Canada-landings June6th
I also talk about how heartless and stinging the Harper Government has been in only providing about 40% of the funds need for our dwindling number of vets (most 90 and up) participate in this 70th anniversary. Or it started out that way, but i go where the evidence leads me, and as it turns out (from my research, please correct me if i have it wrong)…Canada seems to be the only nation subsidizing our vets at all.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
I started out being negative because of the large amount of bad press this issue has received, which now seems unwarranted. This lead to more important question…why the anger?
As it turns out, context is everything. Listen and find out why people are so angry over what seems to be a generous government.
Further Reading:

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RFT Ep 253 – Dark Origins Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 12, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Evidence Based Medicine

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In a double dose of this weeks whine, we start off talking about how alt-med…the practitioners of ‘woo’ medicine have coopted the term evidence based medicine. Find out how they have done, why its important and what we can do about it.

Further Reading:

A child’s capacity to consent

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In a recent decision by the Child Protection Agency in Ontario, a 10 year old girl have been given the right to refuse life saving treatment.

We discuss what is wrong (as it if was not obvious) why this responsibility should not be given to a child…hell, she can’t even buy smokes or a beer but make critical medical decisions…that’s okay.

We also provide the context as to why such a terrible decision seems to be the right thing to do, no make who wrong it truly is.

Further Reading:

Prairie Correspondent Talks Language, Bias and Politics

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When we elect an official…be they an MP or school trusty, what responsibility to they have to be “respectable”…how much should they suppress personal opinions…what right does the public/electorate have to dictate their lives and behaviors.

Listen and find out how a small local issue in Brandon can shed light on our society at large.

Bright Side

This semi-regular segment was inspired by a conversation i had with a friend of mine lately.

We talked for a couple of hours about a number of things.I could not help but notice that every time I had a new conversation bit, it was always a downer…some new scandal here…global catastrophe there…people being bad to other people…another study that is just propaganda…nothing up.

Anyway, it has set me on a quest to find some positive happy stories. So, this week:

Bright Side – New Prize to Save the World

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300 hundred years ago the UK government offered a huge prize, the Longitude Prize,  to anyone who could solve the driving problem of the age…how to determine a ships longitude (hey, who are we to judge).

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In the spirit of the first prize , the UK government is setting up the the Longitude Prize 2, which will offer 10 million pound to whom ever can solve today’s most pressing problem…what is it? Well, this is the cool part, they are leaving it up to vote of UK residence.

save the environment

Which problem is more pressing? Food shortage, clean water, mobility and paralysis, independence and dementia, superbugs and the end of antibiotics or a green plane (yes, a green plane, have no idea why its on the list but it is).

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Old School Tricorder

Also related, we discuss the X-Prize to develop the first Tricorder…yes, like in Star Trek…how cool is that? There is also a 20 million dollar prize to land a rover on the moon…

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Tricorder the Next Generation

Further Reading:

Web Wisdom

A semi-regular segment where i share with you my loyal listeners shyte I found on the internet just too interesting to keep to myself.

Web Wisdom – Dark Origins of Fairy-tales and Nursery Rhymes

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We all know about Sleeping Beauty…Cinderella…how often as kids did we sing Three Blind Mice or Humpty Dumpty?  Did you know the real story behind these kid classics? Well, be forewarned, once you discover their dark origins you may never be the same again.

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RFT Ep 254 – No Bananas Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 27, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Too big to jail

GM Fine

In the wake of revelations the GM executive knowing allowed a car to go into production with a defect that would kill people…and no one charged? Well, there seems to be two legal system, one for you and me and one for corporations (and the rich). We get put into jail, they get a fine and have go back to doing what they do.

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<note: at the end of this segment I confused two issues, one the call to arms is a thing in the USA…check it out here.

And my Canadian call to arms was actually meant for the “media consolodation” segments, you can be active here.>

Further Reading:

Neighborhoods

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Thoughts about being neighborly in a global community from a Prairie Correspondent.

 

UnFair Election Law

Fair Elections Dragon

Just days away for become the law of the land, we look and what was change and what we lost.

Further Reading:

Media consolidation

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Canada has the highest levels of media concentration in the world, we also have the most vertically integrated media in the world. We look at how this harms society and what we can do the fix it!

Note that Corus is controlled by Shaw, so Shaw really has a 32.3% share.  Giving the Big 3, a 75% share. Source CRTC

Note that Corus is controlled by Shaw, so Shaw really has a 32.3% share.
Giving the Big 3, a 89% share.
Source CRTC

Further Reading:

And what one media source was reporting on this? You guessed it the CBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g80A2_WSraY

Justin and the Pope

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Justin Trudeau exercises dictatorial powers to deny an anti-abortion candidate from running as a liberal, he then get threatened with excommunication for his “pro-choice” views…so, we are left wondering is religious people should be banned from public office?
Friday, May 23, 2014
Further Reading:

“Yes, We have no more bananas”

It is likely that with a decade our beloved proof of god, the Cavendish banana will be on the verge of extinction…how did it happen and what can be done about it? Plus, why doesn’t banana pudding taste like bananas?
Further Reading:

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RFT Ep 252 – The GMO and You Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 10, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Prairie report – The price of dignity?

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A special report from the Prairies on poverty – How kicking out a homeless man from a grocery store reflects on the deficiencies of our society.

Further Reading:

Non-English signs

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Recent debate about a Chinese only sign in Richmond leads to thought about what multiculturalism ultimately means.

Further Reading:

Temporary foreign workers

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A 40yr old program gone off the rails under Harper’s watch…how did it happen?

Further Reading:

Chernobyl at 28

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28yrs later, life has not only survived at Chernobyl but is flourishing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK99dvJO5PY

Further Reading:

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After tens of thousands of years of modifying organisms, what does GMO mean now? And the most counter-intuitive argument for GMO labeling.

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RFT Ep 251 – The Sector Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 1, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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NGOs, Non-Profits, Charities…what are they and what are they good for?

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What is the difference between a NGO…a Non-Profit and how do they relate to charities. We discuss how these terms are defined and what regulation governs their operation.

 

The Sector

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Our irregular regular Ethan Clow joins us as he discusses his new project – The Sector. The Sector is a radio show and podcast dedicated to discussion of non-profits, social justice, activism and everything in between.

Further Reading:

 

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RFT Ep 250 – Landmark 250th Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 24, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Whine of the Week  : Senate push back

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The senate has reviewed the Fair Election Acts and has recommended some changes. When I first read the headlines about this, I thought finally some sanity. They were “Senate pushes back on Fair Elections Act”, “Senators seek major changes to election bill”, etc. However, when I read into it, it was pretty much weak tea. That said, there were some improvements. So, we go over the changes and how they fail to deal with the fundamental problems of the act.

There was another stink that arose from the Senate Committee and that was Senator Linda Frum…who actually said that greater voter turn-out was a conflict of interest for Elections Canada…What the feck!? We discuss and debunk what she said.

 

Take Action – Stand up for Canadian democracy

Further Reading:

Landmark 250th

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In commemoration of our landmark episode we have visits from from past hosts Chloe, Daniel and Rob as well as a letter from Jenna.

Radio Free Thinker would like to thank you our values listeners and dare i say fans for all your support over the years.

And allow me to thank Elan, Ethan, Rob, Daniel, Jenna, Chloe and everyone else who has help me make this show the success it has become. Thanks you!

Back to the Beginning

As a special treat, we rebroadcast our very first episode of Radio Free Thinker first aired March 24th, 2009. How time has flown.

 

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RFT Ep 249 – Killing the CBC Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 18, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Whine of the Week  : Killing the CBC

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As ye sow, so shall ye reap…can also be stated, as ye fast, so shall ye whither, and whither the CBC has. Facing an $100 million budget short fall…thanks to Harper, losing hockey and other factors…the CBC is cutting staff by over 650.

Polling shows the CBC is the most trusted media source in the country, more three-quarters think the government should fund the CBC at a sufficient level…most of those think funding needs to increased.

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The Harper government has regularly and consistently slashed the CBC grant budget after budget while spending  the entire CBC budget on a single F-35 jet…or overpriced frigates. What money they are giving, they think would be better spent by just giving it to private media companies…here’s how that would turn out…

Friday, April 11, 2014

Why are we not moving to a BBC style of funding…create a strong, stable and independent broadcaster, whose sole interest to provide the best of Canada.

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Seriously the Unfair Elections Act is Important

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How did Poilievre become Minister for Democratic Reform, how was the act craft and again…how it can destroy democracy in Canada – The Harper fix is in!

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Find out more:

 

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report

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Climate Change…even more certainty and dire warnings, again – The IPCC released it latest report on the state of the worlds climate and we’re serious screwed!

Conclusions of the WG1 report (The Physical Science Basis) are summarized below:

  • “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia”.
  • “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years”.
  • Human influence on the climate system is clear. It is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming between 1951-2010.
  • “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further [global] warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions”.
  • “Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped”

Conclusions of the WG3 report (Mitigation of Climate Change) are summarized below:

  • The global surface temperature increase by the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5 °C relative to the 1850 to 1900 period for most scenarios, and is likely to exceed 2.0 °C for many scenarios. With the possibility of an increase as much as 4.5°C
  • The global water cycle will change, with increases in disparity between wet and dry regions, as well as wet and dry seasons, with some regional exceptions.
  • The oceans will continue to warm, with heat extending to the deep ocean, affecting circulation patterns.
  • Decreases are very likely in Arctic sea ice cover, Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover, and global glacier volume
  • Global mean sea level will continue to rise at a rate very likely to exceed the rate of the past four decades
  • Changes in climate will cause an increase in the rate of CO2 production.
  • Increased uptake by the oceans will increase the acidification of the oceans.
  • Future surface temperatures will be largely determined by cumulative CO2, which means climate change will continue even if CO2 emissions are stopped.

Find out more:

Society Is Doomed

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NASA funded study shows the not only do civilizations collapse, it happens regularly and is inevitable…but there is an upside.

Find out more:

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RFT Special – The Shock Doctrine

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 9, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Wisdom from the Web  :

Free Speech

As part of our Wisdom from the Web series, this week we present an interview Naomi Klein gave at the launch of her book Shock Doctrine. In this interview she discusses the books theme that the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman have risen to prominence in some countries because of a deliberate strategy of certain leaders to exploit crises by pushing through controversial, exploitative policies while citizens were too busy emotionally and physically reeling from disasters or upheavals to create an effective resistance. It is implied that some man-made crises, such as the Iraq war, may have been created with the intention of pushing through these unpopular reforms in their wake.

The Documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWI4p8KuJfs

 

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RFT Ep 248 – Canada Post Bank Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 1, 2014

Download the episode here! 

 

Fair Elections Dragon

Whine of the Week  :

 

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The Harper government has yet again put forward a omnibus budget bill…topping out at over 300 pages affecting over 20 other pieces of legislation. Why so much in one bill? So as to push it past not only the oppositions throats but also the Conservative party backbenches.

The talk is not about any specifics of the bill but how it is used a political weapon..

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Canada Post Bank

 

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With much discussion about the woes of Canada Post’s immanent demise and the need to cut service, we take a look at the validity of this prophecy of doom and how resurrecting the Canada Post Bank would shore up the crown corp and provide a valued social service.

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Find out more:

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International Condemnation of the Fair Elections act

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It seems it’s just not me that is unset and honestly afraid of what is in store for the state of Canadian democracy if the Fair Elections act is passed. 180 Canadian academics have sent the government an open letter decrying the pure partisanship of the law. Now that cry has been joined but another open letter but this time by the worlds leading experts on democracy…that this will not only harm Canada’s democracy the the plight of democracy in the world.

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It turns out that Elections Canada is something we should all be very proud of. It is “the pre-eminent example of an elections administration body.” that is use to help emerging democracies set up their electoral institutions. To quote one of the signatories:

“”When a democratic, established democracy in the west like Canada seems to be curtailing its own ability to do that, it sends a very poor message to new countries in the Arab world, in Africa, in Asia, who are attempting to move from authoritarianism to democracy,”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EaYPXUxDsE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaKq-9kpQqY

Take Action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqpW2Wnjcpg

Find out more:

UPDATE:

Pierre Poilievre open to changing controversial election measure

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