HANGING BAT HANGING BAT
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Book – The Self-Destruction of a Morbid Cyber-Stalker

Available soon:

The true story of a disgruntled intern who unleashed a three-year reign of terror on Bat World Sanctuary and its Founder and President, Amanda Lollar. A story of madness unraveling, and a story of good triumphing over evil. Click here to read the complete four-day trial transcript that resulted in a 6.1 Million Dollar win for Bat World Sanctuary and Amanda Lollar.

Sneak preview of chapters. Please check this page for updates.

CHAPTER ONE
~ Prelude to a Nightmare ~

They say when you tell a story you should always start at the beginning, but there were so many beginnings, and for the first year I did not see any of them coming. The most damaging of all, both personally and professionally, was the first time I saw…

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CHAPTER TWO
~ Interns, Tapeworms and COPD ~

Mary Katherine Cummins-Cobb, President of something she called Animal Advocates, was one of 2 interns selected that summer to receive an in-house internship. The remaining 12 internships were…

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CHAPTER THREE
~ Numerous Unvaccinated People Being
Bitten by Rabid Bats ~

Before Mary and Roseanne had left, I called Dottie to quickly tell her the unbelievable turn of events, Mary’s threat and the fact that I needed her until the new interns arrived. Tammy and Dottie both arrived to help care for the orphans…

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CHAPTER FOUR
~ There’s D
efinitely Something About Mary ~

In the weeks that followed more and more orphaned pups rolled in. Because we were highly organized it was easy to take care of up to 200 orphaned pups every summer, however, we were approaching 300 babies and baby season would not be over…

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CHAPTER FIVE
~ The Birth of an Internet Smear Campaign ~

When Randy filed the lawsuit, Mary’s very first response was to file a motion to dismiss the case based on ‘lack of jurisdiction.’ We were both surprised when she created the document herself rather than hiring an attorney for help…

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CHAPTER SIX
~ Digging up “dirt” ~

“She will work very hard to dig up all the dirt she can possibly find on you, and what she does not find, she will make up.” I don’t remember which of her past victims said that to me, however, before I can describe…

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CHAPTER SEVEN
~
*They lie so much that some of them are convinced
of their own lies, which is where evil is born. ~

Exhilarated—that’s the best way to describe the way I felt after hearing Judge Brigham’s ruling. I had a signed court order against Mary Cummins in hand, so my next step was…

Mary Cummins Loses Federal Suit Against Amanda Lollar

Click here to read the Judges Ruling.

As many of you are already aware, Bat World Sanctuary has been the target of a malicious defamation campaign launched by Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates. Mary Cummins was a former intern who became disgruntled. With the help of Bat World’s volunteer and animal rights attorney Randy Turner, we sued Mary Cummins and went to trial in June of this year. At the close of a four-day trial, Judge William Brigham compared Amanda Lollar’s reputation in caring for bats to that of Jane Goodall’s care for primates. The Judge stated that Cummins defamation of Lollar was “egregious, intentional and malicious” and awarded a judgment of $6.1 million in damages. We doubt that we will ever see any portion of the award, however, the amount of the judgment speaks volumes.  As an aside, Cummins later filed suit in CA federal court against Amanda Lollar as well as one of the trial expert witnesses’, Eric Shupps, alleging defamation amongst other things. In November of this year that case was ruled on in Bat World’s favor. Click here to read the Judge’s Ruling

While we prevailed in this fight, our cyber-tyrant continues to post defamatory and outlandish statements about Bat World Sanctuary, Amanda Lollar, Eric Shupps and Randy Turner.

2/11/13 update: Mary Cummins loses in her second attempt in federal court

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Peekaboo

How do you describe a creature who defies all logic? One that melts your heart while it pesters you relentlessly? One that outsmarts you at every turn, while you enjoy the manipulation? We’ve racked our brains for an answer, and always come back to the same description, it’s “Peekaboo.”

Peekaboo sleeps
Peekaboo sleeping. Click to enlarge.

Peek-a-Boo came to Bat World Sanctuary via her elderly mother, an Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) who was rescued from deplorable conditions in the fall of 2009. Her mother was housed in a tiny cage with two dozen of her own kind. All of the bats were rescued from a roadside zoo and brought to Bat World Sanctuary. Peekaboo’s mother was among those in the worst shape. The stress of the rescue caused the older mother to abandon one-month old Peek-a-Boo shortly after arriving. She was found hanging from a branch in our large flight cage one morning, alone, cold and crying for food. She was hand raised, along with Edward, a much smaller Carollia infant who had also lost his mother after being rescued.

Peekaboo comforts Edward
Peek-a-Boo comforts Edward on his first introduction to the flight cage. Edward has green markings for quick identification.Click to enlarge.

The two mismatched orphans seemed to find comfort in each others’ companionship. By day they slept cuddled together in a fake lambs wool blanket. In every sense of the word, Peekaboo and Edward appeared to be normal, well-adjusted orphans, much like the others that we’d hand raised over the years. At around four months of age Peek-a-Boo was re introduced into the flight cage, and a few days later Edward followed. This was when all sense of normalcy inside the flight cage entirely disappeared.

For the first few days Peekaboo would leave the other bats and fly to us when we entered the cage, usually landing on our shoulder or back, something which took us by total surprise, but something she apparently felt was the most normal thing in the world for a bat to do. There she would stay, completely content to ride along, while I put the dishes filled with various fruits out for the night’s feeding.The other bats watched, eyes bulging in amazement at the bold new youngster who dared to use the human as a moving perch. She rode the top of our heads, my back, our shoulders, even our faces. It wasn’t long before Edward participated in the game by circling our heads closely as Peek-a-Boo perched on top like a furry crown. There she rode, head held high like royalty as the commoners circling below were reduced to mere flight.

Peekaboo and Edward games
Volunteer Janette is taken advantage of by Peekaboo while Edward circles in glee. Click to enlarge.

After the dishes of fruit were put out, we had to extract Peekaboo from our bodies in order to leave the flight cage, something she squabbled loudly and incessantly over. The once five minute job of putting out nightly fruit turned into a ten minute ordeal of trying to contain two freshly-plucked tiny feet in the palm of one hand while extracting tiny thumb claws from my shirt with the other hand, only to have the feet pop from my grasp with lightning speed and reattach to a shirt at the precise moment the thumbs were un-plucked.

At first we feared that Peekaboo had imprinted, but as other volunteers entered the picture, it became crystal clear that imprinting had nothing at all to do with it. Peekaboo simply has more personality than one bat can contain. She apparently believes every human was created entirely for her personal enjoyment, to do with as she pleases. She is particularly fond of ponytails, buns, or anyone with longer hair. When she approaches her target, in her hummingbird pattern of flight, she aims for the part of the head that has the most hair mass.

Peekaboo smiles
Peekaboo sits on a volunteer’s shoulder and smiles for the camera.

If you are among those with little to no hair mass, then she will simply splat herself on top of your head. Once perched, she usually goes for an ear. All other noise is replaced with loud snuffles as she explores your ear canal with her nose, which happens to fit perfectly inside.

The conditions in which Peekaboo, her mother, and the other bats were rescued were some of the worst we have ever encountered. We are incredibly grateful that we were able to rescue her, along with her roostmates. With us, her personality will never be extinguished from lack of food, lack of cleanliness, over- crowded conditions, or the torment of public display. With us, her personality can flourish with plentiful food, toys, room to fly unencumbered, furry friends of all sizes, and of course, numerous heads on which to perch.

 

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Cornelius

Imagine being a young, female fruit bat; one amongst scores of others.  You are pregnant, and the zoo in which you live is closing.  Time is running out, and you need to be disposed of.  Humans arrive and start grabbing other bats –your friends, your family, and then they grab you and put you in a box. Humans have never been especially kind to you. You were always frightened when they brought in the pressure hoses to wash your cage, and you are even more frightened now.

Baby Cornelius, a Jamaican fruit bat orphan
Cornelius nursing formula from a foam tip.

You are in the box for a long time, you feel it vibrating and moving, and you hear the muffled voices of the humans from time to time. You have no idea what is happening, or if you will live or die, and you feel terrified. Suddenly, you find yourself being removed from the box and realize you are at a new location. There are vines, and flowers, and brightly colored toys, room to fly, and other bats as well. There are all sorts of places to hide, but you do not know if you can trust the humans so you try to hide. Everything bad that has ever happened to you has been because of humans. The food at your new home is fresh and tastes good, but the humans bring it, so you stop eating every time they come near. Then suddenly, your labor pains start. Your baby is coming. He is a very big baby, and you feel weak, confused and frightened. Your newborn baby falls away from you and onto the padded floor. You want to help him but you are too weak, and the humans may come back so you just continue to hide.

This is how Cornelius, a baby Jamaican fruit bat, entered the world. We understood the trauma his mother went through, she was not to blame for abandoning him. She had no way of knowing that her former life was far behind her, and that she was now safe and would be forever taken care of.

Cornelius' sweet face
Cornelius’ sweet face.

Thankfully, we are skilled at taking care of orphaned baby bats. Soon after Cornelius was found, he was quickly rushed to Bat World’s recovery area to be examined.  We wrapped him in a warm gauze blanket and gave him the formula he needed to survive. He ate greedily. Besides being a large baby, he was strong and healthy from the start.

As the weeks turned into months, our dedicated Facebook fans followed his progress from his newborn days in his incubator, through his early days, when he was weaned on banana, to moving into the flight enclosure with all the other bats, including his mother.

Today, Cornelius is a healthy, well-adjusted bat who appears to be aware of how special he is. Because he has never been subjected to bright lights, the noise of crowds of human visitors on a daily basis and the scary-sounding blasts of pressure hoses, he actually seeks out the kindness of humans to give him a special a treat of honeydew melon. He even flies over to his caretakers to retrieve it

We hope that Cornelius can somehow convey to his mother that not all humans are bad, some humans only want what is best for them. Cornelius is an extremely happy, trusting little fellow, so we can’t help feeling that before too long, his happiness and trust in his caretakers will rub off on his sweet but timid mom.

We are forever grateful to our Facebook fans for helping Cornelius and supporting his care, including the incubator in which he was raised.

Amanda Lollar & Bat World Win 6.1 Million in Lawsuit Against Mary Cummins

6.14 Judges Ruling

8.29 Signed Order

Fort Worth, TX, June 14, 2012 –

As you may be aware, the courts found that Bat World Sanctuary has been the target of a malicious and deliberate defamation campaign launched by Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates and Cummins Real Estate Services. This smear campaign lasted almost two years. We are happy to report that our battle is finally over, and we arose victorious.

Attorney Randy Turner and Peekaboo, an orphaned Egyptian fruit bat at Bat World Sanctuary.

Bat World Sanctuary and Amanda Lollar were represented pro-bono by Randy Turner, one of the best animal rights attorneys in the country. Turner was voted “Texas Super Lawyer” 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012, and has never once lost an animal rights case. Mr. Turner and his paralegal, Kelly Bozeman, worked tirelessly for Bat World Sanctuary throughout this ordeal.

Mary Cummins was accepted for an internship at Bat World in 2010, and left disgruntled only a few days after arriving. Shortly thereafter, she began posting horrific allegations of animal cruelty and neglect against our Founder and President, Amanda Lollar, and made repeated complaints to animal welfare groups and government agencies, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the USDA, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Attorney General, the Department of Justice, the IRS, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Texas Veterinary Board, and the Mineral Wells Chief of Police, City Manager, Fire Marshal, Code Enforcement, Health Inspector, and District Attorney. Lollar welcomed investigations, and every agency that investigated found Cummins complaints to be completely without merit.

As she has done in previous lawsuits, Cummins represented herself throughout most of the case and during trial. Cummins’ former attorney, Neal Callaway, withdrew from representing her after she accused him of sleeping during her court-ordered deposition. Cummins went on to accuse Randy Turner of touching her hand inappropriately during this same deposition, despite the fact that seven people and two video cameras were present in the room (and no such behavior was either witnessed or recorded). Ms. Cummins was also found in Contempt of Court.

Cummins has been involved in over 20 lawsuits and has been sued four times for defamation.

The trial, which lasted four days, also included the testimony of two veterinarians who have worked with Amanda Lollar, as well as former Bat World interns. Both veterinarians testified that they would rather take an injured bat to Amanda Lollar than attempt to rehabilitate it themselves. One vet even testified that she would drive a bat from South Dakota to Texas so it could receive Amanda Lollar’s care. Lollar testified to Cummins history of victimizing others using the internet. Bat World Sanctuary and Amanda Lollar sought 4-million dollars in damages due to Cummins’ outrageous acts.

Amanda Lollar and Barney, an elderly African zoo bat who was slated for euthanasia before being rescued by Bat World Sanctuary.

At the trial’s conclusion, Judge William Brigham compared Lollar’s reputation in caring for bats to that of Jane Goodall’s care for primates. The Judge stated that Cummins defamation of Lollar was egregious, intentional and malicious. He awarded a judgment of 6.1 million in damages. His verdict was read immediately after closing statements. Turner stated that it is rare for a Judge to deliver an immediate verdict at the end of trial.

While we prevailed in this fight, our cyber-harasser continues to post defamatory and false information on the Internet about Bat World Sanctuary, Amanda Lollar and Randy Turner. We doubt that we will ever see any portion of the 6.1 million dollar judgment awarded to us, however, our plans to raise the funds for a larger sanctuary, complete with indoor-outdoor flight cages and a teaching hospital, will continue. And, of course, we will share videos and photos of our progress.

Lollar, who has authored both scientific and popular literature, plans to write a book about her personal nightmare regarding this case. She hopes to bring about changes in the legal system regarding internet harassment and stalking as there are few legal remedies available to victims. This type of vicious behavior is on the rise and lifelong careers can be ruined with a few simple clicks of the mouse. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit Bat World Sanctuary.

Thank you, our treasured Bat World members, for supporting us throughout this ordeal.

6.14 Judges Ruling

Signed Order

Bat rescuer awarded $6.1 million in libel suit

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH — A former intern accused of cyberstalking a Mineral Wells bat sanctuary and its president was ordered to pay about $6.1 million in damages Thursday for what a judge called egregious, malicious and intentional defamatory statements she spread across the Internet, court documents say.

The lawsuit, filed in state District Court in Tarrant County, centered on accusations that Mary Cummins, who said she lives in the Los Angeles area, made libelous statements and videos about Amanda Lollar and the Bat World Sanctuary, which she founded and runs.

The videos and statements, the suit said, were pervasive on the Internet, using “robots” to game Google and other search engines so the defamatory material would appear high in search results. Cummins‘ claims eventually extended to accusations against Lollar’s attorney, as well as her own attorney, whom she accused of sleeping during a deposition.

Among other statements, Cummins was accused of saying Lollar had given rabies vaccinations to humans, an accusation that boiled down to Lollar practicing medicine without a license, the suit said.

The result of such statements exposed Lollar to “public hatred, contempt or ridicule or financial injury,” the suit said.

Bedford attorney Randy Turner of Bailey & Galyen said Lollar has been emotionally devastated by the Internet materials. She no longer goes to restaurants or movies, has her husband grocery shop, lost weight and experiences nausea and vomiting, he said.

“She’s sort of become a recluse,” he said.

Turner said he hopes the judgment will “make someone think twice before engaging in an Internet smear campaign.”

Bat World Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating bats. Judge William Brigham compared Lollar’s reputation for caring for bats to noted British anthropologist Jane Goodall, who studies primates, according to a court transcript provided by Turner.

Cummins accused Lollar of performing “illegal surgeries” on bats without anesthesia, possessing and distributing controlled substances without a federal license, throwing dead bats in the trash, allowing interns to be repeatedly bitten by rabid bats, breeding bats illegally and neglecting her pet dogs, Turner said.

Cummins — who said she has been sued for defamation at least three times — also filed complaints against Lollar and the sanctuary with federal, state and local agencies including the Agriculture Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Palo Pinto district attorney, the suit said. All complaints were dismissed, but Cummins continued to publish on the Web that her claims were “under investigation,” the suit said.

Cummins, who acted as her own attorney during much of the case, said the judgment is a “travesty of justice.”

Cummins said her “reports are 100 percent the truth. I believe [the suit] was malicious and frivolous.” She said her complaints to authorities against Lollar were not all cleared.

She said that Lollar “admitted she had no proof of financial damages” and that she did not know who posted the items on the Internet. “If there were any damages, they were all self-inflicted,” she said.

Cummins also said in an interview that a “toddler was bit by a rabid bat directly outside” Lollar’s facility.

That statement was part of the defamation suit, Turner said, but a police report shows that the child had blood on his face from stomping on the bat and that “the incident occurred two blocks away from” Lollar’s office.

Cummins was accepted for an internship at Bat World in 2010. She described herself in court documents as a licensed real estate appraiser who volunteers rescuing injured animals. She said she is licensed by the Agriculture Department to care for small native wildlife.

Turner said Cummins became dissatisfied with the program and left her internship early.

After returning to California she began posting “horrific allegations of animal cruelty” against Lollar on the Internet, Turner said.

To spread her accusations, Cummins used a technique called “Google bombing,” the suit said. That involves posting Internet content and generating multiple links to that content to game search engine results, said Eric A. Shupps, president of BinaryWave in Grapevine. Shupps testified as an expert on behalf of Lollar.

Shupps said the method is a feature of Google that uses the concept of links as an indicator of how popular a site is.

Cummins also made accusations against Turner, posting a video on YouTube that shows the attorney and says he is leering at her.

Turner confirmed that the video is of him and said Cummins “spread that defamation all over the Internet.” He said she had made other accusations, including that he had massaged her hand.

“All lies,” Turner said.

Cummins‘ former attorney, Neal Callaway, contradicted the accusation against Turner when he withdrew from representing her, saying in a court document that he was present during the alleged touching and did not see it. Callaway also said he did not sleep during a deposition.

The judgment orders Cummins to pay $3 million in compensatory damages, $3 million in punitive damages and $176,700 in attorney fees and other money.

Cummins said she will appeal the verdict and cannot pay the award because she has “no money whatsoever.”

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Binky

Binky is an African straw-colored fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) born with a birth defect to his lower jaw.

When he was born, his lower jaw extended to the side and did not allow his mouth to close properly. Consequently, he had a difficult time eating. Binky was also a runt and had a hard time holding his own in the bat colony where he lived before coming to Bat World Sanctuary. The facility where he was born could not care for him and was looking for a home that could provide him with the love and attention he needed. As soon as we learned about Binky we immediately offered to take him.

Binky eating melon
Binky eating a piece of cantaloupe.

To accommodate his birth defect, the fruit was cut smaller than for that of the average flying fox. Binky’s diet consists of grapes, pears, mangos, bananas, kiwis, figs, apples and other fruits.

When Binky arrived he was very, very shy. He peeked out from behind large ferns that hang from the cage ceiling, barely venturing out to explore the flight area. Despite his shyness, Binky almost immediately bonded with one of our larger, slightly overweight flying-foxes named Brutus. The pair became inseparable, even lazily sharing a hammock by day.

Binky eventually overcame his slyness and is happy, very social and energetic. His jaw straightened as he grew and his defect is now only occasionally noticeable. With his challenges now behind him, we hope to give Binky a very long and happy life.

Fighting for our Good Name

Distasteful as we find this, we felt it necessary to create this page to counteract the defamation and harm Mary Cummins, of Animal Advocates, is causing to our organization. Ms. Cummins has been using the internet to harass and defame Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary for the past year. She also made false complaints to numerous animal rescue and wildlife groups, her Facebook pages, Youtube, Myspace, Twitter, Flickr, etc., as well as Texas Parks and Wildlife, the USDA, the Texas Veterinary Medical Board, the Texas Department of Health, USFWS, the Mineral Wells Department of Health, the City Manager, the Fire Marshal, Code Enforcement, the Chief of Police and the IRS. Every official who has investigated her complaints have found them to be without merit:

From USDA: I have visited Bat World Sanctuary multiple times over the past three years. The facility has always been clean and well organized. I have never encountered a strong ammonia smell which is very common in many bat enclosures. The resident bats have always appeared healthy. The rehab bats and babies are housed in a separate quarantine area and this area has always been clean and the bats appeared to be receiving more than adequate care. I spoke with the local Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Agent in the area. He concurred with my assessment. The place is clean and well organized and the bats look happy and healthy. There is absolutely no evidence confirming any of the accusations made by the complainant. On the contrary, Ms. Lollar appears to be providing exceptional care as required under the Animal Welfare Act.
Click here to review complete results of the investigations
.

WE HAVE SUED MARY CUMMINS for the false and defamatory statements she has posted about Amanda Lollar, our Founder and President, on the Internet, and we won an injunction against her. We are extremely fortunate to be represented pro-bono by one of the best animal rights attorney in the country, Randy Turner.

Dear Friends and Supporters

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Internet harassment is on the rise and, unfortunately, Bat World Sanctuary and our Founder and President, Amanda Lollar, have been recent victims. We have been harassed and defamed by an individual who has attacked one of our strongest commitments – the one thing we fight the hardest for – the humane treatment of bats.

We have an upstanding reputation. To counter her deleterious allegations, we welcomed inspections by the City of Mineral Wells, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the USDA, and the Texas State Department of Health. Every official who investigated our facility found her allegations to be completely without merit:

 I have visited Bat World Sanctuary multiple times over the past three years. The facility has always been clean and well organized. I have never encountered a strong ammonia smell which is very common in many bat enclosures. The resident bats have always appeared healthy. The rehab bats and babies are housed in a separate quarantine area and this area has always been clean and the bats appeared to be receiving more than adequate care. I spoke with the local Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Agent in the area. He concurred with my assessment. The place is clean and well organized and the bats look happy and healthy. There is absolutely no evidence confirming any of the accusations made by the complainant. On the contrary, Ms. Lollar appears to be providing exceptional care as required under the Animal Welfare Act. Click here to review complete results of the investigations

The false claims made by this individual placed every bat in our care in jeopardy, including over 200 rescued orphans, bats who have lived peacefully with us for almost 20 years, and over 50,000 bats at our wild sanctuary. Had it not been for our well-established reputation with government officials, every bat in our care could have been destroyed by inhumane decapitation due to her outlandish claims.

Ironically, this individual alleges to be an advocate for animals.

Rather than battle our assailant quietly, we chose to meet this assault head-on. We’ve been able to do so because we have the support of one the best animal rights attorneys in the country, Randy Turner. Throughout this ordeal we have also maintained the support of numerous animal welfare groups around the world. As one spokesperson put it, “This could have been any of us.”

While this malicious attack has severely affected our donations, we have persevered, continuing to provide the highest level of care for the bats in our charge. We have not wavered in our mission – not at all, and we remain strong.

Our fortitude is strengthened when we look into the eyes of the bats whose lives we have saved. The grateful eyes of a starving orphaned bat pup who finally has a full stomach; the relieved eyes of a suffering bat who is no longer in pain; and the joyful eyes of an abused captive bat who has led a miserable life before coming to us – that is where our strength lies, and that is why we will prevail.

Harassment and bullying over the internet is a growing concern and we are not alone in being victimized in this manner. For those of you who may be experiencing something similar, please allow us to serve as an example that you CAN rise above it if you remain strong, and above all remember that truth is proof. For more information on our case please visit www.batworld.org/prevail

Thank you for your support.
Bat World Sanctuary

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