Blob off Alaskan coast identified

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Blob off Alaskan coast identified

By | January 19, 2019

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A ‘giant black mystery blob‘ in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska has been identified as marine algae. Initially speculated to be an oil spill, the mass was discovered by a group of hunters earlier this month near Wainwright. The blob is reported to be stringy and hairy, and is tangled with jellyfish, among other debris.

The “thick, dark gunk” stretches for as much as 15 miles, and is moving at a slow drift. Upon being first sighted, the U.S. Coast Guard flew out to investigate the mass, and local officials collected samples for testing. Coast Guard Petty Officer Terry Hasenauer reported that “We responded as if it were an oil product. It was described to us as an oil-like substance, thick and lingering below the surface of the water. Those characteristics can indicate heavy, degraded oil, maybe crude oil, or possibly an intermediate fuel oil.”

Test results subsequently revealed that the blob is some sort of unusually extensive algae bloom. “It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it […] some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism”, Hasenauer said. The substance has remained entirely offshore.

However, there is still great uncertainty among local residents and officials alike: “We’ve observed large blooms in the past off Barrow although none of them at all like this”, said Barry Sherr, an oceanography professor. “The fact that the locals say they’ve never seen anything like it suggests that it might represent some exotic species which has drifted into the region, perhaps as a result of global change. For the moment that’s just a guess.”

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Mark Grenier, Welland

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Mark Grenier, Welland

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mark Grenier is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Welland riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Minor alterations not affecting the content have been made to this interview; the original text is available by clicking on the tab marked “Collaboration” for.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Are Unique Bathroom Vanities Unique Enough? Tips For Buying Bathroom Vanities

By | January 18, 2019

Submitted by: Sebastian Angeloh

Unique bathroom vanities are a great way to indulge your creative side. They are also an invaluable aid in highlighting your tastes in interior d cor. An off-the-beaten path bathroom vanity looks fresh a long time after purchase. However, many homeowners shopping for bathroom vanities complain that many available designs are not creative or unique enough. The following are some things a person should consider when shopping for bathroom vanities.

The most important, but also the most ignored thing to consider is the material of construction. Bathroom vanities come in a range of materials from wood to synthetic ceramics. All materials have their pros and cons. Wood looks warm but is difficult to maintain. Glass looks cool and stylish but is fragile. Designers use the strengths of each material to come up with unique bathroom vanities. While purchasing, keep in mind the overall d cor of your bathroom, as an out of place bathroom vanity is an eyesore.

What makes unique bathroom vanities unique is their design. This is the first thing that catches the eye of the customers. Therefore, many designers strive to come up with the most creative and complex designs for bathroom vanities. This ranges from heavy carving on wooden bathroom vanities to the use of the intrinsic marble patterns. You should buy the piece you are comfortable with. A design may look very appealing in the showroom but unbearable in your bathroom.

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The variety in bathroom vanities also extends to the size and shape of sinks and faucets. A mind boggling range is available to select from. Unique bathroom vanities are offered in all kinds of themes from sea creatures to Star War to Renaissance Italy. This may sound very customer friendly but it is not. Many customers get carried away and the result is a heavily carved wooden bathroom vanity in an otherwise modern bathroom.

It is very common for customers to make rash mistakes in the quest of unique bathroom vanities. The best way to avoid such a disaster is to tell the showroom people about your existing d cor. They often employ qualified interior decorators who are in the best position to advice you in purchasing the most appropriate bathroom vanity that goes splendidly with your bathroom.

Another important factor that many overlook is the size of the piece. Unique bathroom vanities are not unique as they come in a number of sizes. The correct size will actually enhance the look of your bathroom. An oversize piece will only hog the space and make the bathroom look cramped.

The decision to purchase a bathroom vanity is very important for a number of reasons. Aesthetics aside, unique bathroom vanities should also be functional. Many people make the mistake of purchasing a piece that looks good in the catalog but does not fulfill its primary purpose. All the shiny metal surfaces and creatively shaped sinks are useless if you cannot take full advantage of your new bathroom vanity.

Keep in mind everything you learned here about unique bathroom vanities. I can assure you that if you put everything into practice, you will have the best and most unique bathroom vanities someone could possible purchase!

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As the Eurovision entrants return home, the home crowds weigh in

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As the Eurovision entrants return home, the home crowds weigh in

By | January 17, 2019

Monday, May 18, 2009

Most of the Eurovision entrants have returned home from their sojourn in Moscow, Russia, and the newspapers across Europe have varied opinions. Most national newspapers congratulated their entrants on a job well done, while others trash-talked other entrants, and still others called for their countries to pull out of the Contest.

Here are some interviews, articles and opinions that made it to the front pages of newspapers and to their sanctioned blogs.

Norway’s mass media was filled with stories revolving around the winner, Alexander Rybak, but a secondary story that received press coverage was outcry against NRK‘s Eurovision commentator, Synnøve Svabø, who was criticized for talking incessantly during the event, making leering comments regarding the contents inside the male entrants’ tight pants, and making a joke about stuffing sweatsocks in her own bra. When asked for a statement by Aftenposten, Svabø said, “I guess people think I should have put the socks in my throat.” NRK did not comment on Svabø’s commentating or whether she will be returning next year.

Sweden’s newspaper Aftonbladet wrote that the “Swede of the evening” was not Sweden’s entrant Malena Ernman, but Malmö-raised Arash Labaf, one of the two singers placing third for Azerbaijan. Markus Larsson wrote, “21st place? Well, this is our second-worst result ever…Malena Ernman fell so far and deep that she almost ended up in Finland. That is to say, almost last.” When asked if she was disappointed, Ernman responded, “No, but I am sorry if the Swedes are disappointed.” She went on to quip, “Europe is simply not ready for my high notes.”

Finland, despite placing last, wrote upbeat stories; Helsingin Sanomat published an interview with Waldo and Karoliina from the Finnish act, Waldo’s People, who announced how happy they were to have participated and will be going right back to work with performances and recordings as soon as they return to Finland.

Most British newspapers in past years published lengthy screeds regarding their bad luck in the Contest and whether they should send an entrant at all. This year all that talk subsided, and newspapers published articles congratulating Jade Ewen on her fifth place ranking. Sir Terry Wogan, former Eurovision commentator for the BBC, said to the Daily Express about this year’s voting overhaul, “I think my protest about the voting was totally vindicated by the changes that were made to the scoring this year. It made a real difference. It was the change that Eurovision needed.” One of the headlines in Monday’s Daily Mail reads: “She did us proud.” Andrew Lloyd Webber, who worked with Ewen, said, “Jade performed brilliantly. After years of disappointing results, the UK can finally hold its head high.”

Spain’s newspaper El Mundo published an article entitled “Soraya’s fiasco,” outlining Soraya Arnelas‘s failure to receive points from 37 of the 41 other voting nations, with the writer remarking, “After a whole year trying to forget [Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, Spain’s “joke entrant” from 2008], Soraya jumped on-stage with strength…Spain’s experiment ended with longing [for] Rodolfo Chikilicuatre.” When asked about her performance and the result, Arnelas said, “I’ll hang on to the experiences I had, the great friends that I made and I’m happy because now I’m known in Europe.”

French newspapers and blogs were muted compared to other countries, but the overall feeling was still very supportive of Patricia Kaas, who placed eighth. In an interview with Le Figaro, Kaas said, “Eighth place, that’s not so bad. It was a great moment for France, we held our head high.” France Soir noted, “[Kaas’s] emotion does not seem to have found a place with competitors that have relied on heavy artillery choreography worthy of those like Shakira, and glamorous outfits, to ensure a place on the podium.”

German newspapers published lengthy stories analyzing why Germany was in the bottom quartile for the third straight year. Die Welt wrote, “The Germans have become accustomed to it: winning the Eurovision Song Contest just does not work [for us]. [Compared] to the total failure of last place with No Angels last year, [this] result is almost a sensational success.” Bild commented, “For years we have had little success. Germany’s placement, despite all efforts, will not be better. Why are we still participating in the Eurovision Song Contest?”

Ireland, who failed to make it to the final, led the cry to pull out of Eurovision. In the Irish Independent, Ian O’Doherty wrote, “Ireland managed something quite rare and rather gratifying last week — we actually managed to produce a Eurovision song that didn’t make you want to rip off your own eyelids so you could stuff them in your ears to stop the horrible sounds…[Sinéad] Mulvey’s elimination is proof of one thing: we need to pull out of this pile of rubbish as soon as possible.”

The Netherlands, another nation that did not make it past the semi-final round, has been very apathetic toward the Contest in recent years, and this year was no different. De Telegraaf conducted an opinion poll of Dutch television viewers, and 90% of them believed the Netherlands should not enter the Contest anymore. Despite the stated apathy, 2.5 million Dutch viewers watched De Toppers compete in the second semi-final, an improvement of 800,000 from last year’s semi-final, where Dutch entrant Hind also failed to advance. De Toppers singer Gordon, in an interview with De Telegraaf, said that the Netherlands should continue to compete: “One time, we will succeed.”

Magnitogorsk apartment building collapses after explosion, dozens dead

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Magnitogorsk apartment building collapses after explosion, dozens dead

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Friday, January 4, 2019

An apartment building collapsed on Monday in Magnitogorsk, a city in the Ural region of Russia. A suspected gas leak led to an explosion, followed by the ten-storey building coming down. A total of 39 are confirmed dead, officials told state media, adding that rescuers ended their work yesterday. Some reports suggest a deliberate criminal act.

The 1973 building was home to over 1,000 people; 48 apartments were damaged. Rescuers, working in temperatures well below freezing, according to the emergencies ministry recovered at least ten survivors from the debris on Monday. The building was evacuated. Over 1,000 rescuers responded.

The Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service (FSB) said they believe gas, which leaks relatively frequently in Russia, was the trigger for the disaster which occurred at 6am as many occupants slept. President Vladimir Putin was briefed, and flew to Magnitogorsk on Monday, observing the rescue mission and visiting the wounded in hospital. In a meeting that day he was told by Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev of “presumably between 36 and 40 people under the rubble”, while Chelyabinsk regional Deputy Governor Oleg Klimov indicated 68 people were missing.

Search and rescue was suspended on Tuesday, with Zinichev describing the “real threat of [another] part of the building collapsing” as making it “impossible to continue working in such conditions”, and work launched to stabilise the remaining structure. He estimated this would take 24 hours. Cranes were used to hoist workers into position to demolish sections deemed dangerous. Rescue work resumed on Wednesday, with additional bodies recovered increasing the confirmed death toll from fourteen to 31.

“The search and rescue operation is complete,” Deputy Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Chupriyan told TASS on Wednesday. Chelyabinsk’s governor has promised each victim will be subject to a payout of one million rubles.

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova indicated on Monday the chances of those trapped being found alive were already diminishing. On Tuesday an eleven-month-old boy, identified only as Ivan, was rescued alive and flown to Moscow for treatment of injuries including frostbite, leg fractures, and head trauma. He was found under rubble, still in his cot after having been trapped for over 30 hours. Ivan’s condition was on Wednesday reported to not be life-threatening.

The Emergencies Ministry said six deaths were of children.

On the night of Monday to Tuesday another explosion hit a gas-powered minibus in the city. Officials said three people died; their identities were not provided. Both explosions took place on Karl Marx Avenue, within two miles of each other.

It’s impossible to continue working in such conditions

The FSB denies the two explosions are related; reports describe speculation the disaster’s cause was not in fact a gas leak. One news site, Znak.com, claims FSB sources have ascribed the explosion to terrorism. The Investigative Committee says it has found no trace of explosives despite Znak.com claiming an anonymous source described a second-floor apartment being used as an explosives depot ahead of a planned shopping centre bombing. Znak.com further reported its source said that apartment’s tenant moved in the day before the blast.

Regional governor Boris Dubrovsky said FSB officers were present where the minibus exploded outside the local administrative building, but said this too was unrelated to the other explosion. Znak.com reported its source said “three terrorists” were killed in a firefight on Monday night, while footage from the scene showed the vehicle burn amid what sounds like gunfire.

The website further reported its anonymous source claimed a fourth offender escaped and remains wanted. Monday saw armed police with dogs searching a second apartment block in Magnitigorsk. Residents there told the press the officers claimed to be seeking a bomb.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Tad Brudzinski, Newmarket-Aurora

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Tad Brudzinski, Newmarket-Aurora

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tad Brudzinski is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Newmarket-Aurora riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

He did not answer the question “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Day of attacks continue in Israel and Lebanon

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Day of attacks continue in Israel and Lebanon

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Fighting continued in Israel and Lebanon as Israel attacked targets in Lebanon using aircrafts and ships. Rockets were fired from Lebanon and landed on the Israeli side of the border, Thursday. Israel called their military action “Operation Just Reward”.

The clashes follow a Hezbollah raid into Israel which they called “Truthful Promise” in which Hezbollah claimed to have captured two Israeli soldiers. Israel said the men were kidnapped.

Israeli aircraft launched missiles at Beirut international airport and damaged runways and fuel stores. Additional targets were attacked, including 18 bridges, and a Hezbollah run TV station, Al-Manar, which continued to broadcast after being targeted, but later went partially off air.

45 Lebanese civilians and two soldiers were reported killed as a result of Israeli overnight raids and 103 people were injured. In some areas Israeli planes had dropped leaflets to warn residents to stay away from Hezbollah buildings.

Over 100 rockets were fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel Thursday, which the Israeli Army says are the acts of Hezbollah. Two Israeli civilians were reported killed over 100 injured.

The Lebanese road communications network was targeted: 18 bridges were damaged and early on Friday the highway linking Beirut and Damascus was hit by five Israeli missiles. The highway is the only route out of the country after the airport was shut down. Witnesses said that the road was free from traffic when the missiles hit.

In a television interview, Wednesday July 12, Brigadier Gen. Dan Halutz had told Israel’s Channel 10 that if the Israeli soldiers were not returned Israel would “turn Lebanon’s clock back 20 years”. He also said of Lebanon “nothing is safe.”

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US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

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US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

By | January 16, 2019

Saturday, March 12, 2005In a vote of 74-25 last Thursday, the US Senate passed a measure that would change bankruptcy laws, making it harder for individuals seeking relief from their debt burden to avoid repayment. Almost twenty Democrats joined Republicans, who currently hold a majority of the seats in the US Senate, in passing the bill.

Lobbyists for credit card companies and financial services firms have worked for the bill during the last two administrations. A similar measure passed both the Senate and House during the previous administration, but then President Bill Clinton pocket-vetoed the measure in 2000.

Democrats sought to soften the bill by allowing bankruptcy filers to negotiate directly with lenders for relief, but the amendments were defeated by the Republican-controlled Senate. Proponents of the bill claim the rise of bankruptcy filings to nearly 1.5 million a year shows that abusers of credit use the filings to shield themselves from irresponsible practices.

“There has been an explosion of bankruptcy,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the bill’s sponsor. “We preserve the principle of a fresh start, but we also establish a principle that if you have the ability to repay some of your debt, you are not going to get off scot-free.” However, Massachusetts Democratic Sen, Edward M. Kennedy said, “This legislation makes the bankruptcy courts of the United States the collection agency for the credit-card industry.”

The bill impacts a broad spectrum of bankruptcy law, but the most significant impact is on personal bankruptcy filings. Individuals who get behind in repaying credit card debt face high interest charges and stiff late payment fees. By only meeting minimum payment requirements, borrowers remit to the lender over the life of the loan an amount in interest and other fees that can far exceed the value of the principal balance of the loan. This can put consumers who run up high balances on various cards at financial risk of default. Critics of the bill blame these aggressive lending practices as a contributing factor in the rising trend of bankruptcy filings from 1996.

The proposed bill doesn’t only affect debtors with credit card debt.

It also affects debtors who have run up large medical bills.

Patients with a past medical history that disqualifies them from full medical coverage, can easily find themselves facing insurmountable medical bills after just a short stay in the hospital. These individuals will no longer be able to get a fresh start after these personal disasters, and will be forced to live in poverty until they can pay off their medical bills as part of their Chapter 13 filing. (Prior to this bill, they would have been able to file Chapter 7, completely discharging their debt.)

Chapter 7, which accounts for 70% of bankruptcy filings, allows individuals to eliminate most non-secured debts after liquidating assets, with the notable exemption of one’s principle residence in most states. The Senate passed bill would change Chapter 7 eligibility by applying a means-test, where those with a median income higher than the state average would be required to file under Chapter 13 provisions. Under Chapter 13 protection, an individual’s debt is not forgiven; rather it is restructured for payment under more lenient terms.

This was the first major overhaul of federal bankruptcy law in many years.

Under the old bankruptcy law, a personal bankruptcy attorney could not be held financially responsible for his clients mendacity. Under the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy attorney is responsible for his client’s lies to the Court about his assets and the bankruptcy attorney and his insurance carrier can be held responsible by the Bankruptcy Court.

The result is that personal bankruptcy attorneys (this does not apply to corporate bankruptcy attorneys) are likely to flee the personal bankruptcy field when the new law takes effect. Their insurance companies will not offer the sort of coverage that they would need to continue to practice.

So when consumers need to file personal bankruptcy under the new law, they will be unlikely to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent them. Consumers will have to file pro se: such consumers will be likely to fail due to the complexity of the law.

The bottom line is that the field of personal bankruptcy law as a practice area of law will cease to exist when the new bankruptcy law takes effect, and consumers will be unable to secure legal counsel and so consumers will lose what legal protections counsel now affords them.

Under the new bankruptcy law about one half million Americans will be forest to pay for at lest 5 years on longer they will be held in servitude as chattel they will be completely subservient to a dominating influence of the company that holds the loan. Their loan will be put on the market for sale for profit. The people will be forced to work harder. People who fail to go to court will have a arrest warrant made out in their name and people who refuseto pay. They will be subject to fines and or jail. About fifty thousand Americans will punished by a fine and or about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike they will be put in jail for life.

The bill has the support of President Bush, and its passage in the House sometime next month seems likely. If enacted into law, lending companies will recover more money on what otherwise would be written off as bad loans. Those persons of median and higher income seeking relief would be required to file under Chapter 13 status and pay up to $100 per month under court imposed conditions. It is expected the proposed changes would cause a sharp increase in filings before the new law could take effect.

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Philippine Foreign Secretary Del Rosario to visit China amid South China Sea territorial dispute

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Philippine Foreign Secretary Del Rosario to visit China amid South China Sea territorial dispute

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario is scheduled to visit China from July 7 to 9, raising hopes that a territorial dispute between the two countries may be resolved.

A six-nation dispute has escalated in the sea concerning territorial claims to several islands including the Spratly Islands. The area is thought to be rich in natural gas and oil. Both the Philippines and China wish to have a peaceful resolution to this conflict. “I’ve been invited to Beijing and we’re looking for peaceful means to settle the challenges facing us,” said Del Rosario.

The news comes after the United States and the Philippines began a series of naval exercises last week in the South China Sea, scheduled to last for 11 days. A Philippine military commander stated that the drills are part of an annual series of activities taking place under a defense agreement between the two countries and have nothing to do with the territorial dispute.

The Philippines maintains a close relation with the U.S. as a former territory of the nation.

The drills come at a time when several competing disputes in the South China Sea have begun to intensify. “Since February 25th, we actually have noted as many as nine intrusions of different varieties, but clearly becoming more aggressive and more frequent,” said Del Rosario. Several countries in Asia, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan, have territorial claims in the area spanning the Spratly and Paracel Islands. The region may be rich in oil and gas reserves. The US and Philippines have urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to address the conflict.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has argued that the United States would remain neutral regarding the disputes. She has also said that the United States has a “national interest” in freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and unimpeded, lawful commerce in the South China Sea.” Both countries are bound by a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

On June 27, the US Senate unanimously passed a motion condemning “the use of force by naval and maritime security vessels from China in the South China Sea.” China, on the other hand, has stated that it will not use force to resolve disputes in the South China Sea.

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Euro reaches one-year low against US dollar

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Euro reaches one-year low against US dollar

By | January 15, 2019

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The euro fell to a one-year low against the US dollar earlier yesterday, over fears that the bailout package proposed for the ailing Greek economy would not prevent financial troubles elsewhere in Europe.

The currency reached $1.3088 against the dollar — a level not seen since April of last year — although it recovered slightly to end the day at $1.3094. However, that was still lower than the $1.3212 it traded for on Monday. The euro also lost 1.6% against the yen, to a trading level of Y122.81, and 0.3% on the pound, going down to £0.8632.

The euro is losing strength as the Eurozone is struggling to prevent the Greek economy from defaulting on debts; a rescue loan package worth 110 billion euros (US$145.62 billion) is currently underway to help ease the crisis. Michael Hewson, who is a currency analyst for CMC Markets, commented that the euro probably will “continue to remain under pressure over the coming days.”

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