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Genghis Khan Biography

Posted On July 1st, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

In about less than a century, Genghis Khan and his followers built the largest kingdom in the world. This empire was later exceeded by the British in the late 19th century. Through brute force, spiritual mission and cunning diplomacy, Genghis Khan united the irreconcilable Mongols and then began his journey to the east and west of Asia, conquering major regions of Asia. By 1280 AD, the Mongol empire stretched from the Yellow Sea in China to the Mediterranean Sea, covering a total of 12 million miles.

Early Life

Genghis Khan was originally called ‘Temüjin’ and was born in 1162. Due to the lack of modern-day records, there is very little information on the early life of Genghis Khan. He was born in a Mongol Tribe near Kherlen and Onon River, besides the Burkhan Khaldun Mountain, located in the contemporary Mongolia. According to the history of Mongols, it is believed that young Temüjin had a blood clot grasped in his hand, which is considered as a traditional sign that he was born to become a leader. The name suggests that he may perhaps have descended from a blacksmith family. His father’s name was ‘Yesükhei’ and his mother’s name was ‘Hoelun’. His father was a chieftain of the ‘Borjigin’ clan and therefore Genghis belonged to a noble background. Since he belonged to a higher social status, it made it easier for him to solicit help from the other Mongol tribes and consolidate them.

There are no accurate portraits of this Mongol leader; however the legendary ancestors suggest that he was tall, red-haired, green-eyed and long-bearded. At the age of nine, Temüjin was taken to another tribe by his father, so as to find him a wife. While returning, Yesugei (Temüjin’s father) was killed by the Tatars. Young Temüjin and his family were abandoned by his father’s followers. They were forced to live in difficult conditions where they survived by fishing and hunting. For the next few years, the family lived in poverty. During one of the hunting excursions, at the age of 13, Temüjin eliminated his half-brother called Bekhter over a fight. After this incident, Temüjin was considered as the head of the family. His mother gave him several important lessons about the existing political conditions in Mongolia and the need for alliance.

Personal Life & Children

As arranged by his deceased father, at the age of 16, Temüjin married a young woman called ‘Borte’ of the ‘Olkut’ hun tribe. This led to an alliance between the two tribes and Borte had four sons out of this marriage. Ghenghis Khan is known to have many more children from his other wives, but none of them were included in his succession. There are no existing records of any daughters. His religion is widely considered to be Tengriism or Shamanism that is usually followed by the nomad tribes of Asia. He was known to be religiously tolerant and took moral or philosophical lessons from other religions as well. During his conquer; he often consulted Muslim merchants, Christian monasteries as well as a Taoist monk called Qui Chuji.

Rise to Power

Temüjin started attracting followers who appreciated him during battles. He became a follower of a Christian tribe chieftain called Toghril in Central Mongolia. Along with Toghril and a young chief called Jamuka, Temüjin was able to rescue his wife. Soon after his wedding, his wife Borte was kidnapped by the Merkits, a prominent tribe in Russia (this tribe is existent until today). Quite a few Mongol princes considered Temüjin as their ruler and then presented him with the title ‘Cheengiz Khan’ (Genghis Khan) which meant ‘the sole ruler of the ocean’. Toghril and Genghis Khan helped North China in their batter against Tatars and emerged successful.

Soon relations between Toghril and Genghis Khan became worse, which led to the open war between them. After being defeated in their first battle, Genghis Khan took abode in some remote areas of northeast Mongolia. 1n, 1203, he fought another battle with Toghril and defeated him. Thereafter, Toghril was killed by the Naimans and his tribe was united with the Mongols. Genghis Khan started his journey in West Mongolia, along with his associates, defeated his enemies including Jamuka, the Naimans and the Merkits in 1204. All the tribes were merged together and Genghis Khan was proclaimed as the supreme ruler.

Invasion of China & Afghanistan

Along with invading and conquering, Genghis Khan did more than that. He established some rules for his empire as well as introduced a written language for his people. He set up a basic postal service, so as to communicate with the different parts of his empire. Above all, he was a great military leader. In the year 1211, the Mongols assaulted China and invaded the north region of the ‘Great Wall’.

Thereafter, he started his hunt for Sultan Muhammad of Khiva. The Sultan possessed major parts of Central Asia, along with Afghanistan and major portions of Persia. It was a matter of time before the two empires clashed against each other. The Sultan fled across Persia and was killed near the Caspian Sea. By 1220, he expanded his empire across the west by defeating the Sultan of Afghanistan. After concluding his campaign in the west, he returned back to Mongolia. Around 1226, Genghis Khan resumed war against the Tibetan tribe called Tanguts. He died on 25th August 1227, in the Liupan Mountains of Kansu, while the war was still in progress.


Genghis Khan wanted to be buried without any markings, following the traditions of his tribe. After his death, his body was returned to his birthplace in Mongolia. Many suspect that he is buried close to the Onon River. The Genghis Khan Mausoleum was created years after his death and is not his burial site. If we were to believe the folklore, it is said that the river was diverted on his grave so that it becomes impossible to locate his burial site. Some stories also suggest that his grave was stamped by several horses and numerous trees were planted over it. According to the Mongol tradition, the youngest son would inherit the father’s property and hence his army was divided accordingly.

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Luciano Pavarotti Biography

Posted On June 20th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti was a famous Italian tenor, who also ventured into popular music, finally becoming one of the most successful operatic tenors of all times. He is regarded as the best male singing voice after Enrico Caruso. Pavarotti is distinguished for combining quality of sound production and accuracy of pitch along with unique musicality.

Early Years

Luciano was born on October 12, 1935 in the north-central city of Italy called Modena. He fondly remembers his childhood, but the family was short of money. His parents owned a small two-room apartment where Pavarotti lived with his sister. His father worked as a baker and his mother was employed in a cigar factory. Between 1939 and 1945, the family had to depart the city in 1943 due to the Second World War. For the next year, they had to accommodate themselves in a single room from a farmer in the adjacent countryside.

As a kid, Luciano’s first musical influences were the recordings of his father, which featured the well-known tenors of those times. At the age of 9, he started singing in a small church choir with his father. He attended a few voice lessons during those times; however he later concluded that they weren’t important. He lived a normal childhood and was largely interested in sports, soccer in particular. After graduating from Schola Magistrale, he faced the predicament of choosing a career for himself.

Initially, Pavarotti was fascinated to become a professional soccer player, however his mother convinced him to train to become a teacher. He took classes in an elementary school for about two years, but he always had an inclination towards music. Knowing the risk involved, his father was pretty reluctant while giving his consent. The family decided that Pavarotti would be given a free room as well as a board until he ages 30. After this age, if he doesn’t succeed as a singer, he would be required to earn his living through any means available.

The Start of His Career

Pavarotti started serious studying at the age of 19, in the year 1954, with a prominent teacher and an admired tenor called Arrigo Pola, who also resided in Modena. Pola was well aware of financial problems of the family and hence he offered to give free lessons to Pavarotti. During this time, Pavarotti met a young girl called Adua Veroni and they were married in 1961.

Two and a half years later, Pola moved to Japan and Pavarotti then became an apprentice of Ettore Campogalliani. Campogalliani was also giving lessons to Pavarotti’s childhood friend called Mirella Freni, now known as soprano (the highest singing female voice). In order to sustain himself, Pavarotti held a number of part-time jobs. He first served as an elementary teacher but then when he failed at this job, he became an insurance salesman.

The initial six years of study led to nothing important but a few recitals in small towns, all of it without getting paid. During a concert in Ferrara, Italy, a small lump (nodule) developed on his vocal chords and led to the disaster in the concert. At this point, he decided to give up on singing; however his voice suddenly improved after this incident. Due to some unknown reason, the nodule disappeared and he found the voice that he always wanted to achieve.

The Journey to Success

In 1961, Pavarotti won the first prize in the Achille Peri Competition. Despite a successful debut, he had to strategize certain things, so as to get a few more contracts. Alesandro Ziliani, a well-known agent who attended Pavarotti’s concerts, offered to represent him after hearing him as an audience. In 1963, he replaced Giuseppe di Stefano and performed in a concert at London. This concert at Covent Garden was a huge success and his voice matched well with the production. 19th century Italian opera forms a major part of Pavarotti’s collection, especially Donizetti, Puccini and Verdi. He was extremely comfortable while singing their music and Pavarotti is known to sing fewer recitals since he considered them to be more exhausting than opera.

Not many opera singers make good actors, however Pavarotti spent a lot of time around the mid 1980’s and polished his acting skills, along with consistent singing. He starred in a commercial film called “Yes, Giorgio” in the year 1972. Later on, his solo album based on the Neapolitan songs called “O Sole Mio” outsold all records by any other classical singer. All through the eighties, he soared in popularity and become a leading figure in the world of opera. He broadened his appeal with televised performances and famous concerts. Pavarotti reached out to millions of viewers with his solo concerts or opera performances. He started showing great potential as a recording artist and recorded a number of Italian folk songs and classical operas. By the time he staged his first ever ‘The Three Tenors’ concert in Rome, he was already popular.


Pavarotti experienced his share of rejection and criticism as well. He was banned from contracts with the ‘Lyric Opera’ in the year 1989 since he canceled a series of performances due to ill health. He was also sued by BBC (British Broadcasting Company) since he sold the lip-synced concert to the company. During a performance at La Scala, he was booed while performing ‘Don Carlo’.


During an international farewell tour in July 2006, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pavarotti fought against the implications of the condition and went through a major abdominal surgery, so as to gain fitness for his final musical commitments. However, he died in Modena at the age of 71 on September 6, 2007. Pavarotti is survived by his wife Adua (whom he was married to for 34 years) and his second wife Nicoletta Mantovani. He had four daughters and the fortune of 300 million euros was amicably split between them. Tributes were paid to the legend and there was a concert organized by performers trained by Pavarotti in the Avery Fisher Hall of New York City.

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Bob Marley Biography

Posted On May 23rd, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Bob Marley was a Jamaican musician and singer-songwriter. He was the lead guitarist, songwriter and singer for rocksteady, ska as well as reggae bands including “The Wailers” and “Bob Marley & the Wailers”. He remains to be one of the most popular and revered artist of reggae music. He is also responsible for spreading the Jamaican music as well as the Rastafri movement to a global audience. His last compilation album called “Legend” was released in 1984 and sold 20 millions copies across the globe.

Early Life

Bob Marley was born as “Robert Nesta Bob Marley” in a small village called “Nine Mile” in Saint Ann Parish on February 6, 1945. Norval Sinclair Marley, his father, was a Jamaican from the English descent, whose family belonged to Essex, England. He served as a captain in the Royal Marines and was a plantation overseer as well. He married an 18 years old Afro-American called Cedella Booker. His father often went out for long trips and hardly saw his family; however he continued to support them financially. His father died of a heart attack in the year 1955, when Bob Marley was only ten years old. Throughout his life, he was teased due to his mixed racial inheritance and he was often asked questions about his own identity. His mother was black and his father was white, however he claimed that he was only on the side of God who created him the way he is. Based on his contemporary beliefs, he self-identified himself as a black African. In some of his songs such as “Blackman redemption”, “Black survivor” as well as “Babylon system”, he speaks of struggles of Africans against the racial discrimination from the West.

Early Career

Bob Marley soon became friends with Neville Livingston (also known as Bunny Wailer) and started playing music with him. He left school by the age of 14 for the purpose of making some music with a local singer called Joe Higgs, who was also a devoted Rastafari. During one of the jam sessions with Livingston and Higgs, he met Peter McIntosh, who also shared the same musical ambitions. Marley came up with his first two singles in the year 1962 with Leslie Kong, namely “One Cup of Coffee” and “Judge Not”. These songs gained little attention when they were released; however they were included in the box set of Marley’s work.

Wife & Children

Bob Marley was married to Rita and had three children. His wife had two adopted children from her previous relationships. Marley also had children from other women. His official website acknowledges as many as eleven children.

The Wailers

Bob Marley, along with Junior Braithwaite, Bunny Wailer, Beverly Kelso, Peter Tosh and Cherry Smith found a rockstead group and named it “The Teenagers”. They later renamed themselves to “The Wailing Rudeboys” and then “The Wailing Wailers”. Coxsone Dodd, a record producer later discovered the troupe and they were finally named “The Wailers”. Kelso, Smith and Braithwaite left the group in 1966 and after that Marley had a conflict with the producer. This led to the formation of ‘The Upsetters’. Although the group did not survive for long, they recorded some of the finest works till date. There was a dispute about the recording rights, between Marley and Perry. They split later on, but remained friends for long. The Wailers broke off completely in 1974 and the remaining members went on to pursue solo careers. There were different rumours about the breakup within the group. Some believed that the members had issues with the copyrights, whereas some claimed that the members wanted to go solo. Marley still continued to record as “Bob Marley and The Wailers”, despite the break up. There were 11 albums recorded under this name, seven of them were studio albums and four of them were live albums.


Bob Marley was known to have acral lentiginious melanoma in 1977, which was a simple wound picked up during a football match. Despite the malignant melanoma, he completed a tour of Europe along with his band in 1980. Shortly after, his health started deteriorating and the cancer was spread all over the body. He sought treatment from the Bavarian clinic in Josef Issels and was given a special cancer therapy, which involved the avoidance of specific food items, drinks as well as other substances. He fought for eight more months, before boarding a plane for Jamaica.

Death and Posthumous Reputation

Marley almost accepted that he was going to die, while flying from Germany to Jamaica. His condition worsened thereafter and he was taken to the hospital for immediate assistance. He died in Miami on May 11, 1981 at the ‘Cedars of Lebanon’ hospital. The melanoma spread to his brains and lungs, which led to his death at the age of 36. He said his final words to his son, where he claimed that ‘money cannot buy life’. Bob Marley was given a state funeral in Jamaica that combined the elements of Rastafare tradition and Ethiopian Orthodoxy. He was buried close to his birthplace on May 21, 1981. He got the ‘Jamaican Order of Merit’, just a month before his death.

Bob Marley was inducted to the ‘Rock & Roll’ Hall of Fame in 1994, whereas Time Magazine chose ‘Exodus’ as the biggest album of the century. There was a feature-length documentary about him, made by Rebel Music, which won several Grammys. Also, he was given the posthumous ‘Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Grammys in the year 2001.


Bob Marley happened to be a member of the Rastafari tradition. The culture of this religion turned out to be instrumental in the development of reggae. He became the main proponent of the tradition, taking music from the socially deprived regions of Jamaica, on to the international scene. Marley was a vegetarian since Rastas practiced a diet that excluded meat.

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Anna Nicole Smith Biography

Posted On April 15th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith, born as Vickie Lynn Marshall, was a popular American model, actress, sex symbol and a prominent television personality. She initially gained success with “Playboy” and became the “Playmate of the Year” in 1993. During her career, she modelled for recognized clothing companies such as Lane Bryant and Guess jeans. She also appeared in her own reality show called “The Anna Nicole Show”.

Early Life

Vickie Lynn Marshall was born in Harris County, Texas on November 8th, 1967. She was the only child of Virgie Mae and Donald Eugene Hogan. She later changed her stage name to “Anna Nicole Smith”. Her parents were divorced in 1969, when her father left the family. She was raised by her mother Virgie, who was a law enforcement officer in Texas for 28 years. Her mother married several times after that.

Anna attended the “Durkee Elementary School” as well as the “Aldine Intermediate School” in Houston, Texas. She went to live with her mother’s sister in Mexia while she was in grade 9. She attended the Mexia High School and failed her freshman year. Anna Nicole quit school as soon as she entered her sophomore year. She then started working at Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken as a waitress in Mexia. During her tenure at the restaurant, she met Billy Wayne Smith, who happened to be the cook there. She was 17 and he was 16, when the couple got married on April 4th, 1985. She gave birth to their son, the very next year, and was named “Daniel Wayne Smith”.

Anna Nicole and Billy were separated in 1987 and she moved back to Houston with her year-old son Daniel. The couple got officially divorced in February, 1993. later on, Anna started working at Wal-Mart and then again as a waitress in Red Lobster. She then became an exotic dancer and started taking modelling as well as voice lessons in 1993. In October, 1993, she found an ad in the local newspaper about the auditions for the ‘Playboy’ magazine.

Marriage to J. Howard Marshall

While she was performing at the ‘Gigi’s’, a local strip club in Houston, she met an elderly oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. They started dating in October 1991 and maintained a two year relationship. During this time, he reportedly sent her lavish gifts and asked her to marry several times. After officially getting divorced from Billy, she got married to Marshall on June 24th, 1994. Anna Nicole was 26, whereas Marshall was 89 when they got married in Houston. This led to a great deal of gossip and there were speculations that she married him for his money. Although she never lived with him, she maintained that she was in love with her husband and age was of no importance to her. 13 months after the wedding, Marshall died on 4th August, 1995.

PlayBoy and Modelling Career

There came a major turning point in the life of Anna Nicole Smith in the year 1992. She was chosen by Hugh Hefner as the new cover girl for the March 1992 issue. She was featured as Vickie Smith and wore an attractive low-cut gown. She gave a statement where she said she wished to become ‘the next Marilyn Monroe’. She became one of the most popular models of the ‘Playboy’ magazine and was larger and heavier than a typical model. She was chosen as the ‘Playmate of the Year’ in 1993. Before the award pictorial, she started using her name as “Anna Nicole Smith”.

Later on, she signed a contract to replace the existing supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the advertisement campaign for Guess Jeans. She became popular with her series of sensuous black and white photographs. Her team at Guess strongly capitalized on her resemblance to Jayne Mansfield, another sex symbol. Just before Christmas that year, she modelled for the clothing company from Sweden called Hennes & Mauritz. Her underwear seductive poses became popular in Norway and Sweden.

On August 24, 1994, New York magazine used a photo of Anna in an issue which was titled as the “White Trash Nation”. She was squatting in a short skirt in the picture with cowboy boots while eating chips. In October that year, Anna’s lawyer issued a $5,000,000 lawsuit in opposition to the magazine for the unauthorized use of her picture and that the article had greatly damaged her reputation. Her lawyer also stated that Anna was told that the magazine was going to cover the “All American Woman Look” and the cover picture was originally taken for fun during the break time.

Death and Funeral

On September 10, 2006, Anna Nicole Smith lost her 20 year old son Daniel, while he was visiting his mother in the hospital to see his newly born sister. After the second autopsy, it was confirmed that he died due to a drug overdose, supposedly consuming a lethal combination of Methadone, Lexapro and Zoloft.

Despite the rise in her career, she experienced a lot of tragedy in her personal life. At the age of 39, she was found dead in her hotel room on February 8, 2007. The authorities at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hotel confirmed, after several weeks, that the death may perhaps be a result of accidental drug overdose. She had been taking different kinds of medications before she died.

After her death, there were numerous speculations regarding the paternity of her newly born daughter DannieLynn, including one of the claims made by Prince Frederick Von Anhalt. After the DNA results in April 2007, it was announced that Larry Birkhead was the biological father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter. Her lawyer Howard K. Stern was also known to be romantically linked with her; however the custody was later granted to Birkhead. Anna Nicole Smith made headlines all across the world and was paid a tribute by the Playboy Magazine. At the same time as being ridiculed for her spacey persona, she was also admired for her journey to success, amidst several difficulties. After she died, she was compared to Jean Marlow as well as Marilyn Monroe.

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Dalai Lama Biography

Posted On March 15th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day – Dalai Lama”

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

His holiness Dalai Lama, also known as Tenzin Gyatso, happens to be the 14th head of the state as well as the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born to a family of farmers on July 6th, 1935, in a small village situated in north-eastern part of Tibet: Taktset, Amdo. He was named Lhamo Dhondup and by the age of two, he was believed to be the reincarnation of Thubten Gyatso, Dalai Lama the 13th. The Dalai Lamas are the patron saints of Tibet, known to be the manifestations of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara.


His holiness Dalai Lama initiated his ascetic education when he was six years old. His course structure included five minor and five major subjects. The major subjects included Tibetan art & culture, logic, medicine, Sanskrit and Buddhist ideology. The Buddhist philosophy was later divided into five different categories such as Prajnaparimita, Madhyamika, Vinaya, Abidharma and Pramana. He chose the five minor categories as astrology, music and drama, poetry, synonyms and phrasing. He appeared for his concluding examination at the age of 23 during the annual prayer festival of 1959 in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. He passed the examination with honours and was also awarded the highest level degree (Geshe Lharampa). Such a degree is equivalent to the doctorate of Buddhist ideology.

Leadership Responsibilities

His holiness, Dalai Lama was invited to grant complete political power in the year 1950, after China invaded Tibet in 1949. He later went to Beijing in 1954 and conducted peace talks with Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong, Chou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. However, in the year 1959, with the brutal revolt against the Tibet national uprising by the Chinese troops in Lhasa, Dalai Lama was required to exile. He then escaped to Dharamsala in Northern India, which is also the place for Tibetan administration in exile. Ever since the invasion of China, Dalai Lama has requested to the UN (United Nations) committee about the condition of Tibet.

Democratization Process

In the year 1963, Dalai Lama was given a draft of the democratic constitution of Tibet, which led to a number of reforms so as to democratise the administrative set-up. He issued some important guidelines in 1992, for the future constitution of free Tibet. He proclaimed that when Tibet would become free, it would require an interim government who would then elect the constitutional assembly to strategise the democratic constitution of Tibet. His holiness would then transfer all of his chronological and political authorities to the provisional President and continue to live his life as an ordinary man. According to him, he wanted all the three provinces of Tibet (Amdo, U-Tsang and Kham) to be democratic. The reforms formed by Dalai Lama, saw its realisation in May 1990. Another major step in democratisation was taken in September 2001, when the Tibetan electorate directly appointed the most senior minister of the cabinet, Kalon Tripa. He was the first minister to elect his own cabinet that had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. This was the first time in the history of Tibet that the masses appointed the leaders.

Peace Initiatives

His Holiness planned the “Five Point Peace Prize” in September 1987, which was considered to be the first step towards improving the worsening conditions in Tibet. He often spoke of his vision of Tibet, which involved the country to become a sanctuary. Dalai Lama worked towards making the country, a region of peace where all beings can survive in harmony and preserve the environment. So far, China has failed to respond to several peace proposals brought into existence by His Holiness. The “Five Year Peace Plan” comprised of the basic components such as bringing about peace in the country, abandoning the population transfer policy of China, respecting the fundamental and democratic rights of the Tibetans, protecting the natural environment of the country and abandoning the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste from China.

The Strasbourg Proposal

During his address to the European Parliament members on June 15, 1988 in Strasbourg, he elaborated on the peace plan. He proposed peace talks between Tibet and China, leading to democratic government entity for all the provinces of Tibet. Such an entity would be in association with the Chinese Government and would continue to be responsible for the foreign policy and defense of China.

Global Recognition

Dalai Lama is known to be the man of peace. In the year 1989, he was given the Nobel Prize for Peace to recognise his non-violent effort for the liberty and freedom of Tibet. He consistently propagated policies of truth and non-violence, while facing extreme aggression. He was one of the first Nobel Laureates identified for this concern over environmental problems all across the globe.

Dalai Lama has traveled across 62 countries, stretched across 6 continents. He has had meetings with rulers, prime ministers and presidents of prominent nations. He has also held conferences with different spiritual leaders and renowned scientists. Ever since 1959, he was won more than 84 awards, prizes and honorary doctorates for his efforts on peace, inter-religious tolerances, compassion as well as universal responsibility. He has authored 72 books so far and yet he addresses himself as a mere Buddhist monk.

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