Source Code of Iranian Cyber-Espionage Tools Leaked on Telegram
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 10:04 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
In an incident reminiscent of the Shadow Brokers leak that exposed the NSA's hacking tools, someone has now published similar hacking tools belonging to one of Iran's elite cyber-espionage units, known as APT34, Oilrig, or HelixKitten. From a report: The hacking tools are nowhere near as sophisticated as the NSA tools leaked in 2017, but they are dangerous nevertheless. The tools have been leaked since mid-March on a Telegram channel by an individual using the Lab Dookhtegan pseudonym. Besides hacking tools, Dookhtegan also published what appears to be data from some of APT34's hacked victims, mostly comprising of username and password combos that appear to have been collected through phishing pages. ZDNet was previously aware of some of these tools and victim data after this reporter received a tip in mid-March. In a Twitter DM, a Twitter user shared some of the same files that were discovered today on Telegram, and we believe that this Twitter user is the Telegram Lab Dookhtegan persona.

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Global Attention Span Is Narrowing and Trends Don't Last As Long, Study Reveals
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 08:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's reduced-relevancy department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: It's just as you suspected; the information age has changed the general attention span. A recently published study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that is presented to the public. Released on Monday in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the study shows people now have more things to focus on -- but often focus on things for short periods of time.

The researchers studied several modes of media attention, gathered from several different sources, including (but not limited to): the past 40 years in movie ticket sales; Google books for 100 years; and more modernly, 2013 to 2016 Twitter data; 2010 to 2018 Google Trends; 2010 to 2015 Reddit trends; and 2012 to 2017 Wikipedia attention time. The researchers then created a mathematical model to predict three factors: the "hotness" of the topic, its progression throughout time in the public sphere and the desire for a new topic, said Dr Philipp Hovel, an applied mathematics professor of University College Cork in Ireland. The empirical data found periods where topics would sharply capture widespread attention and promptly lose it just as quickly, except in the cases of publications like Wikipedia and scientific journals. For example, a 2013 Twitter global trend would last for an average of 17.5 hours, contrasted with a 2016 Twitter trend, which would last for only 11.9 hours.

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Amazon Will No Longer Sell Chinese Goods In China
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 06:03 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's facing-fierce-competition department:
Amazon announced today that it will close its marketplace in China in the coming months, meaning Amazon customers in the country will no longer be able to buy goods from Chinese merchants. "Amazon did not explain why it was withdrawing its marketplace service, saying only it will instead focus on selling goods shipped from other countries into China," reports CNN. From the report: "We are notifying sellers we will no longer operate a marketplace on Amazon.cn, and we will no longer be providing seller services on Amazon.cn effective July 18," the company said in a statement. Amazon's platform competes for Chinese sellers with Tmall, owned by the country's e-commerce leader Alibaba.

Users logging onto Amazon's Chinese site after July 18 will see products sold from its global store, the company said. "Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we've seen very strong response from Chinese customers," Amazon said. It will retain its other operations in China, such as cloud computing services. It will also continue to sell its Kindle e-readers and content in the country. "Amazon's commitment to China remains strong. We have built a solid foundation here in a number of successful businesses and we will continue to invest and grow in China," the company added.

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Why Juul and Republican Lawmakers Want To Raise the Minimum Vaping Age To 21
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 04:44 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's playing-the-long-game department:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a new bill today that would block all tobacco and vape purchases for Americans under 21 years old, citing widespread public health risks. Surprisingly, vaping companies don't appear to be too concerned, as Juul's CEO Kevin Burns issued this statement supporting the measure: "JUUL Labs is committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world and to accomplish that goal, we must restrict youth usage of vapor products. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem -- sharing by legal-age peers -- and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth usage rates." The Verge says it all has to do with Big Vape's image: Over the past year, Juul has come under the FDA's fire for its massive popularity among young people. So supporting a higher minimum age could help its image and take some of the regulatory pressure off. From an industry perspective, the move is fairly low risk since the product is already embedded in the population, and people under age 21 may already be addicted, says Kathleen Hoke, a law professor at the University of Maryland. "We can change this age to 21 but we're going to have to work extraordinarily hard at the state and local level to actually get cigarettes or vape products or chew out of the hands of the 18 to 20 year olds," she says.

< article continued at Slashdot's playing-the-long-game department >

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The Source Code For All Infocom Text Adventure Classics Has Been Released
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 04:44 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's come-and-get-it department:
You can now download the source code of every Infocom text adventure game, thanks to archivist Jason Scott who uploaded the code to GitHub. "There are numerous repositories under the name historicalsource, each for a different game," reports Ars Technica. "Titles include, but are not limited to, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall, Shogun, and several Zork games -- plus some more unusual inclusions like an incomplete version of Hitchhiker's sequel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Infocom samplers, and an unreleased adaptation of James Cameron's The Abyss." From the report: The code was uploaded by Jason Scott, an archivist who is the proprietor of textfiles.com. His website describes itself as "a glimpse into the history of writers and artists bound by the 128 characters that the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) allowed them" -- in particular those of the 1980s. He announced the GitHub uploads on Twitter earlier this week. The games were written in the LISP-esque "Zork Implementation Language," or ZIL, which you could be forgiven for not being intimately familiar with already. Fortunately, Scott also tweeted a link to a helpful manual for the language on archive.org. Gamasutra, which first reported the news, notes that Activision still owns the rights to Infocom games and could request a takedown if it wanted.

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First Japan-Built Airliner In 50 Years Takes On Boeing and Airbus
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 03:23 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's better-late-than-never department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: More cities in Asia and Europe are seeking to link up with each other and the global air travel network. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first airliner built in Japan since the 1960s, began certification flights last month in Moses Lake, Washington, to satisfy that demand. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s new airliner is testing the skies just as rivals are moving to sell off their manufacturing operations for jets with up to 160 seats. Boeing is set to buy 80 percent of the Embraer SA's commercial operations in a joint venture, while Bombardier last year sold control of its C Series airliner project to Airbus SE and is exploring "strategic options" for its regional-jet operations. At stake, particularly in the market for jets with fewer seats, is $135 billion in sales in the two decades through 2037, according to industry group Japan Aircraft Development Corp.

With few seats and smaller fuselages, regional jets are a different class of aircraft from larger narrow-body planes such as Boeing's 737 or Airbus's A320. The MRJ has a range of about 2,000 miles, while a smaller variant can haul up to 76 people for about the same distance. A longtime supplier of aircraft components to Boeing, Mitsubishi Heavy is developing the MRJ to emerge from its customer's shadow. After spending at least $2 billion over more than a decade, the manufacturer is looking to get its jet certified and start deliveries to launch partner ANA Holdings. Mitsubishi expects to have the plane ready for customers next year, a timetable that will test the company, said Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hisakazu Mizutani.

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Netflix Will Invest Up To $100 Million In a NYC Production Hub
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 03:23 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's follow-the-talent department:
Netflix is establishing an NYC production hub that will include six sound stages in Brooklyn and an expanded office in Manhattan's Flatiron District. "It should create 'hundreds of jobs' (including 127 executive, marketing and production development roles) over the next five years, and should foster up to $100 million in investments, according to Governor Cuomo," reports Engadget. From the report: The sound stages will also have the capacity for "thousands" of jobs, Cuomo said, although that's likely to vary widely based on what's in production at any given time. Not surprisingly, there are financial incentives attached to the move. The state is offering up to $4 million in tax credits over 10 years, although those are contingent on Netflix's ability to both create the 127 promised office jobs and keep the 32 existing positions.

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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Chair For a Software Developer?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 02:03 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's posture-friendly department:
AmiMoJo writes: It's time to buy a new chair so I'm turning to Slashdot for recommendations. The Herman Miller Aeron seems to be the go-to, much like the Model M for keyboards, but I've heard that there are some other good options on the market. I need something that is comfortable and durable -- too many chairs get squeaky and loose because I can't sit still and keep shifting my weight around. Many are difficult to maintain as well, e.g. the screws attacking the back are often under plastic attached with very stiff clips so you can't easily give them a quick tighten. What does Slashdot recommend for my posterior? It's been more than a decade since readers sought recommendations for a quality chair for desktop coding, or back-friendly chairs. In fact, it's been almost two decades since a user inquired about the perfect computer chair. Hopefully office chairs have improved in quality/design since then...

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Ajit Pai Proposes Blocking China-Owned Telecom From US Phone Market
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 02:03 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's nice-try department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed denying China Mobile USA's application to offer telecom services in the U.S., saying the Chinese government-owned company poses a security risk. The FCC is scheduled to vote on an order to deny the application at its open meeting on May 9, and Pai yesterday announced his opposition to China Mobile entering the U.S. market. "After reviewing the evidence in this proceeding, including the input provided by other federal agencies, it is clear that China Mobile's application to provide telecommunications services in our country raises substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks," Pai said. "Therefore, I do not believe that approving it would be in the public interest. I hope that my colleagues will join me in voting to reject China Mobile's application."

China Mobile filed its application in 2011, and has repeatedly complained about the government's lengthy review process. According to Pai's announcement, China Mobile's application sought authority "to provide international facilities-based and resale telecommunications services between the U.S. and foreign destinations." In simpler terms, the company was seeking "a license to connect calls between the United States and other nations" and "was not seeking to provide domestic cell service and compete in the country with businesses like AT&T and Verizon," The New York Times wrote yesterday. An FCC official told reporters that such calls "could be intercepted for surveillance and make the domestic network vulnerable to hacking and other risks," the Times wrote.

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MP-43 Masterpiece Megatron Gallery Live!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 01:51 PM
By Tony_Bacala from TFW2005:
<img width="2048" height="2048" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/04/MP43-Megatron-099.jpg" alt="" />

Yesssssssssssssss. Masterpiece Beast Wars Megatron is in the building! MP-43 is a beast of a fig (some pun intended), giving the leader of the Predacons a worthy representation on any Beast Wars fan’s shelves. Standing taller than both MP-10 and MP-36, he’s a big bot. Transformation is similar to the original, with lots of added flips and tucks of course, resulting in very show accurate looks in both modes. HQ paint is present, giving the entire beast mode a 3D look to homage the show, while the robot mode gets metallic sheen everywhere. Accessories are solid with a show accurate » Continue Reading.

The post MP-43 Masterpiece Megatron Gallery Live! appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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MoviePass Has Lost Over 90% of Its Subscribers in Less Than a Year, Leaked Documents Reveal
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 12:44 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's no-thank-you department:
MoviePass users apparently hit the exits en masse after it scaled back the number of movies users could see each month. From a report: The flailing cinema-subscription provider has seen its subscriber rolls plunge from a peak of more than 3 million to just 225,000 in under a year, according to a new report. The numbers were reported by Business Insider, which cited "internal data" it had obtained. Asked for comment, a MoviePass spokeswoman declined to confirm the subscriber figure. In June 2018, MoviePass claimed it had signed up more than 3 million subscribers for its $9.95 monthly plan, which let customers see one movie every single day. But that proved unsustainable, and MoviePass was forced to change that to a three-movies-per-month plan. In August 2018, MoviePass began to convert subscribers on annual subscription plans to the three-movies-per-month subscription plan, by giving annual subscribers the option to either cancel or refund their annual subscription or continue on the new three-movies-per-month subscription plan.

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The Dirty Truth About Green Batteries
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 12:44 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's everything-has-a-cost department:
If we're going to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, we'll need an energy revolution. But there's a big problem. Making that future a reality will, among other things, require a lot of batteries: batteries to charge our electric cars; batteries to store solar power collected while the sun's up and wind power harnessed when it's gusty out. And as a new report by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney warns, that's likely to drive demand for the metals used to build green batteries -- as well as wind turbines and solar panels -- through the roof.

From a report: In other words the clean tech boom is, at least in the short term, likely to fuel a mining boom. And that won['t come without cost. "We already know about the environmental, social, and human rights impacts extraction is posing to front line communities right now," Payal Sampat, mining program director at Earthworks, which commissioned the new report, told Earther. "It's kind of unimaginable to think about... how it would be considered sustainable to scale up those impacts that many fold and still be reaping benefits."

Much like our smartphones and computers, the high-tech energy infrastructure of tomorrow requires a host of metals and minerals from across the periodic table and the planet. The lithium-ion batteries used in EVs and energy storage require not just lithium, but often cobalt, manganese, and nickel. Electric vehicle engines rely on rare earths, as do the permanent magnet-based generators inside some wind turbines. Solar panels gobbles up a significant share of the world's supply of tellurium, and gallium, along with a sizable fraction of mined silver and indium. Most renewable technologies demand heaps of copper and aluminum.

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Transformers: Cyberverse Power Of The Spark Warrior Class Gnaw New Stock Images
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 12:31 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="900" height="900" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/04/Cyberverse-Gnaw-01.jpg" alt="" />

Via In Demand Toys on Facebook we can share some new images of the upcoming Transformers: Cyberverse Power Of The Spark Warrior Class Gnaw. This figure is part of the new Power Of The Spark subline, and brings us a bigger (Warrior class size is similar to a Deluxe figure) Sharkticon alternative after the Titans Return Legends class Gnaw. This new mold shares a lot of the engineering and design from his Titans Return incarnation, but adding also a “Mace Mash” Action Attack gimmick. Click on the bar to see the new images and then sound off » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers: Cyberverse Power Of The Spark Warrior Class Gnaw New Stock Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Transformers x Ghostbusters Ectotron In-Hand Images
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 12:31 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="446" height="600" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/04/01-Ectotron.jpg" alt="" />

YellaWolf Studios Product Photography is bringing our first in-hand images of Ectotron, the new original character from the Transformers x Ghostbusters crossover. Ectotron is a transformable Ecto-1 as seen in the classic Ghostbusters film. The mold seems to share the engineering of the Combiner Wars Onslaught/Hot Spot mold, but he sure looks unique in design and style. The Ecto-1 mode looks very nice and includes the iconic Ghostbusters logo on the doors. Robot mode is nice and detailed with kind of a retro look on it. As a great extra bonus, it includes a fun Slimer » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers x Ghostbusters Ectotron In-Hand Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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IBM Halting Sales of Watson AI Tool For Drug Discovery Amid Sluggish Growth
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 11:23 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's demand-and-supply department:
Citing lackluster financial performance, IBM is halting development and sales of a product that uses its Watson AI software to help pharmaceutical companies discover new drugs, news outlet Stat reported on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the company's internal decision-making. From the report: The decision to shut down sales of Watson for Drug Discovery marks the highest-profile retreat in the company's effort to apply artificial intelligence to various areas of health care. Last year, the company scaled back on the hospital side of its business, and it's struggled to develop a reliable tool to assist doctors in treating cancer patients. In a statement, an IBM spokesperson said, "We are focusing our resources within Watson Health to double down on the adjacent field of clinical development where we see an even greater market need for our data and AI capabilities."

Further reading: IBM Pitched Its Watson Supercomputer as a Revolution in Cancer Care. It's Nowhere Close (September 2017); IBM Watson Reportedly Recommended Cancer Treatments That Were 'Unsafe and Incorrect' (July 2018).

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Facebook Quietly Updates Last Month's Security Disclosure To Add That 'Millions' of Instagram Users Are Also Impacted
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 11:23 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's no-big-deal department:
Last month, Facebook disclosed that hundreds of millions of users on its platform had their account passwords stored in plain text -- in some cases going back to 2012 -- and searchable by thousands of Facebook employees. Today, the company quietly updated that blog post to reveal that Instagram users are also impacted. It said, in the update: Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed.

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Transformers Trading Card Game Introduces War for Cybertron: Siege I Private Trailbreaker
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 11:10 AM
By AzT from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="414" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/04/TCG-PT-001.jpg" alt="" />

Transformers Trading Card Game Design Lead Ken Nagle brings great wave 3 news to us today, with the reveal of Private Trailbreaker: Trailbreaker is a good-humored Autobot with the power to create forcefields. He is a light in the darkness. In the TransformersTCG, Trailbreaker is part of a 3-card cycle of characters that each find a “signature” battle card. You do this before the game begins so there’s not a halt during the game to find a particular card. It’s a bonus card in your opening hand so it helps you start the game ahead. Read the full details of » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers Trading Card Game Introduces War for Cybertron: Siege I Private Trailbreaker appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Some Internet Outages Predicted For the Coming Month as '768k Day' Approaches
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 10:03 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
An internet milestone known as "768k Day" is getting closer and some network administrators are shaking in their boots fearing downtime caused by outdated network equipment. From a report: The fear is justified, and many companies have taken precautions to update old routers, but some cascading failures are still predicted. The term 768k Day comes from the original mother of all internet outages known as 512k Day. [...] Many legacy routers received emergency firmware patches that allowed network admins to set a higher threshold for the size of the memory allocated to handle the global BGP routing table. Most network administrators followed documentation provided at the time and set the new upper limit at 768,000 -- aka 768k.

CIDR Report, a website that keeps track of the global BGP routing table, puts the size of this file at 773,480 entries; however, their version of the table isn't official and contains some duplicates. A Twitter bot named BGP4-Table, which has also been tracking the size of the global BGP routing table in anticipation of 768K Day, puts the actual size of the file at 767,392, just a hair away from overflowing. ZDNet spoke today with Aaron A. Glenn, a networking engineer with AAGICo Berlin, and Jim Troutman, Director at the Northern New England Neutral Internet Exchange (NNENIX). Both estimate 768K Day happening within the next month. But unlike many network admins, they don't expect the event to cause internet-wide outages like in 2014. However, both Glenn and Troutman expect some companies and smaller, local ISPs to be affected. "I would be mildly surprised if there was any interruption or outage at any real scale," Glenn told ZDNet.

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Google Chrome To Get a Reader Mode
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 08:43 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's for-what-it-is-worth department:
Google's Chrome browser will get a Reader Mode, similar to the one found in competing browsers like Firefox and the old Microsoft Edge. From a report: The feature is currently under development, but Chrome Canary users can test it starting today. Chrome's Reader Mode will work by stripping pages of most of their useless content, such as ads, comments sections, or animations, and leave a bare-bones version behind, showing only titles, article text, and article images. Work on the feature started in February this year when Google engineers began porting the "simplified view" offered by Chrome on Android to desktop editions. Today is the first day that a fully-functional Reader Mode is active in Chrome's desktop versions -- via Google Chrome Canary distributions. To test Chrome's upcoming Reader Mode, users must first visit the chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode section in their Chrome Canary version, and enable the Reader Mode option.

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Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Says Tech Companies Can Regulate Themselves
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '19 at 08:43 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a new interview rejected the notion that Capitol Hill has a role to play in regulating big tech companies, breaking with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent willingness to work with lawmakers. From a report: "The problem is if you write a rule, inevitably, you fix the solution on a specific solution, but the technology moves so quickly," Schmidt says. "It's generally better to let the tech companies do these things," he adds. Schmidt, who ran Google from 2001 to 2011, acknowledged that over his tenure the company did not understand the scale or severity of problems originating from its products. But since then, the company has addressed the issues, he said. "Our response has, in my view, been very strong," he said. "Today, we have all sorts of software that enforces policies of one kind or another. And people complain about the rules, but the fact of the matter is the rules are published."

[...] Schmidt suggested that even if Congress does pass new regulations on tech companies, issues will continue to originate on tech platforms because the sites display unpredictable human conduct. Content moderators and other employees need to ensure that users abide by the rules of a given platform, he said. "All of these platforms that are human centric will have to have a component of them, which is...watching what the users are doing and making sure they're consistent with their terms of service and the law," he says. "These issues are ongoing, because these are human-based systems," he says. "And so humans will continue to use them. They will continue to do unexpected things. There will continue to be surprises." Further reading: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Predicts the Internet Will Split in Two By 2028 -- and One Part Will Be Led By China.

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