Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Wed February 18, 2015

UN Envoy: Syria Agrees To Proposed Break In Airstrikes On Aleppo

Syrian rebels fire locally made shells against government forces in Aleppo. The U.N. is seeking to freeze hostilities in the city.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 9:52 am

Seeking to spare civilians from deadly fighting, Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special envoy for the Syria crisis, says that he's gotten President Bashar al-Assad's government to promise that it won't carry out airstrikes or shelling on Aleppo — if the rebel opposition also halts its attacks in the city.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Prosecutors Raid HSBC's Geneva Office Over Suspected Money Laundering

Geneva Attorney General Olivier Jornot, center, leaves HSBC offices during a search of the private bank Wednesday. Swiss prosecutors have started searching offices of the Geneva subsidiary of HSBC bank in an inquiry relating to alleged money-laundering.
Harold Cunningham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 3:17 am

Prosecutors in Geneva conducted a search of HSBC bank's Swiss headquarters Wednesday, looking for signs of what they termed "aggravated money laundering." The bank, recently accused of helping wealthy clients hide money from tax collectors, says it is cooperating.

Part of a criminal probe, the raid comes a week after leaked documents showed that HSBC's Swiss unit had helped international clients launder profits and shelter their holdings from their home countries.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Ukraine Withdraws Forces After Fight Over Strategic City

Ukrainian servicemen ride on a military vehicle as they leave the area of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine Wednesday. The troops, some in columns, some in cars, began leaving the besieged town today.
Gleb Garanich Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 8:47 am

Following heavy shelling in what had been a Ukraine-controlled city, the central government's force is retreating from Debaltseve, a key railroad and transportation hub. Ukraine says it has now withdrawn 80 percent of its armed forces from the city.

"I can say now that the Ukrainian armed forces and the National Guard completed an operation on the planned and organized withdrawal of some units from Debaltseve this morning," Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said, according to the Interfax news agency in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Reduced To Her Knees, Marathoner Finishes Race In A Crawl

Kenyan runner Hyvon Ngetich didn't win the Austin Marathon — but she's being celebrated for the way she finished it.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 3:32 pm

After showing herself to be in the elite class of female runners at the Austin Marathon, Kenyan Hyvon Ngetich hit the wall — hard. She didn't win, despite leading for most of the day. But the way Ngetich finished the race is being celebrated, because she did it by crawling, refusing to quit.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Ashton Carter Is Sworn In As Obama's 4th Defense Secretary

Vice President Biden swears in Ashton Carter, as the new Secretary of Defense's wife, Stephanie, holds the Bible for a ceremony in the White House Tuesday.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:26 pm

The cold and snow that walloped Washington overnight didn't stop Ashton Carter from reporting for work Tuesday. Carter was sworn in as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense after starting his day with meetings at the Pentagon.

Sworn in by Vice President Biden at the White House Tuesday, Carter formally replaces Chuck Hagel, becoming President Obama's fourth defense chief in the past six years.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue February 17, 2015

French Prosecutor Asks To Acquit Strauss-Kahn On Pimping Charges

A prosecutor has asked that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn be acquitted in his trial for "aggravated pimping." Strauss-Kahn is seen here earlier Tuesday, leaving his hotel to attend a session on the third week of the so-called "Lille Carlton Hotel Case" trial.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:57 am

In what could be the end of a headline-grabbing trial, a prosecutor in France has asked that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, be acquitted of charges that he procured prostitutes for orgies.

The move comes after several prostitutes dropped their allegations against Strauss-Kahn, who had been charged with "aggravated pimping."

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Carnival Parade Float Hits Power Line In Haiti; At Least 16 Dead

Injured revelers wait outside the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, early Tuesday. At least 18 people on a music group's packed Carnival float in the Haitian capital were reportedly killed when they were electrocuted by a power line, officials said.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 6:43 pm

In Haiti, a celebration for Carnival became a source of sorrow and concern, after a crowded float came into contact with a power line during a parade early Tuesday. Conflicting reports on the number of people killed range from 16 to 20, with dozens more wounded.

Details about the accident are still coming in; we'll update this post as news emerges.

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET: Death Toll Lowered; Carnival Canceled

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Federal Judge Blocks Obama's Executive Actions On Immigration

A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction to President Obama's executive orders on immigration. Earlier this month, Obama met with young immigrants, known as DREAMers, in the Oval Office.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:19 pm

This Post Was Last Updated At 5:15 p.m. ET.

Two days before the first of President Obama's executive actions on immigration were to take effect, the new rules have been put on hold by a federal judge's ruling in South Texas. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the president overstepped his authority.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Governor Puts Moratorium On Pennsylvania's Death Penalty

Gov. Tom Wolf has declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania, taking a stance that he had embraced during his successful campaign to unseat incumbent Tom Corbett. Wolf, a Democrat, was sworn in last month.

From Philadelphia, NPR's Jeff Brady reports:

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Alabama Police Officer Arrested Over Severe Injuries To Indian Man

Chirag Patel stands in his neighborhood in Madison, Ala., where his father, Sureshbhai Patel, was severely injured by police. Visiting from India, the elder Patel was staying with his son, his wife and child in their Madison home.
Sarah Cole AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 12:25 pm

The police chief in Madison, Ala., says that an officer who threw a man to the ground faces assault charges and dismissal. Sureshbhai Patel, 57, was stopped last week as he walked in his son's new neighborhood. Patel remains hospitalized after surgery to fuse bones in his neck; his son says he now has limited mobility.

"I found that Officer Eric Parker's actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department," Chief of Police Larry Muncey said after an investigation. He added that he is recommending Parker be fired.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri February 13, 2015

As Cease-Fire Nears, Europe Warily Watches Fighting In Ukraine

A Ukrainian government soldier waves to an armored vehicle on a road near the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine, Friday. Fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces has continued despite the agreement reached by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the Belarusian capital of Minsk Thursday.
Petr David Josek AP

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 10:44 am

Two days before a cease-fire is set to take effect in eastern Ukraine, forces on both sides are fighting over strategic territory they hope to control after the peace begins. A truce between the government and Russian-backed separatists is set to begin Sunday.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Obama: Cyberspace Is The New 'Wild West'

Hoping to prevent or limit data breaches like the one that recently hit health insurer Anthem, President Obama is urging companies to work together to protect their data.
Gus Ruelas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 4:43 pm

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Obama called cyberspace the "wild West" and that everyone is looking to the government to be the sheriff. But he said in his address to leaders in the tech industry, that private industry, policy makers and security experts had to do more to stop cyber attacks, the Associated Press reported.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu February 12, 2015

'We're All One,' Chapel Hill Shooting Victim Said In StoryCorps Talk

Yusor Abu-Salha (right) recorded a StoryCorps interview last summer with her former teacher, Sister Jabeen. Abu-Salha died earlier this week, along with her sister and husband.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 10:37 am

"Growing up in America has been such a blessing," Yusor Abu-Salha said in a conversation with a former teacher that was recorded by the StoryCorps project last summer. She later added, "we're all one, one culture."

The recording gives us a new insight into Abu-Salha, 21, who was killed Tuesday along with her husband, Deah Barakat, 23, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

NPR will broadcast part of Yusor Abu-Salha's conversation with her former teacher on Friday's Morning Edition, as part of its StoryCorps series.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu February 12, 2015

'Nut Rage' Punishment: 1 Year In Jail For Former Korean Air Executive

Cho Hyun-ah, former vice president of Korean Air, was sentenced to one year in prison for her behavior aboard an international flight. She's seen here in December.
Yonhap EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 9:55 am

Citing violations of aviation safety rules, a court in South Korea has sentenced Cho Hyun-ah, former vice president of Korean Air, to one year in prison. Cho sparked an uproar after she demanded that the jet she was on return to an airport gate to leave behind a flight attendant.

The incident on the plane at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport immediately drew criticism from Koreans who saw the outburst by Cho, whose family controls Korean Air, as another sign of the entitlement enjoyed by the country's wealthy families.

It also inspired a nickname that stuck: "Nut Rage."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Bob Simon, Veteran Of CBS News And '60 Minutes,' Dies In Car Crash

CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, seen here in New York City in 2007, won four Peabody Awards and 27 Emmys in a long and distinguished career.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 11:37 am

Decorated journalist Bob Simon, a correspondent for 60 Minutes known for his insightful reporting from far-flung spots around the world, has died in a car crash in New York City. He was 73.

Simon was a passenger in a town car on Manhattan's West Side on Wednesday evening when the car hit another vehicle and then crashed into a pedestrian median, according to local media citing police.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Ukraine Cease-Fire Is Reached, Along With $40 Billion Aid Deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin waves as he leaves a Ukrainian crisis peace summit in Minsk, Belarus. After hours of talks, Russia and Ukraine reached a deal for a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.
Tatyana Zenkovich EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 9:23 am

A new cease-fire is set to begin Sunday in eastern Ukraine, in a deal after 16 hours of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. The leaders of France and Germany helped broker the deal, which calls for a buffer zone free of heavy weapons. News of the temporary peace emerged along with a new international aid plan for Ukraine.

As has been the case in Ukraine's nearly yearlong conflict with separatists, the new arrangement established by Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko leaves some important issues unresolved.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

'The Shark' Has Died: Coach Jerry Tarkanian Was 84

Head coach Jerry Tarkanian watches his UNLV Runnin' Rebels during the 1989-1990 season, when they would win the school's only NCAA men's basketball championship. Tarkanian died Wednesday at age 84.
Ken Levine Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 10:40 pm

Famous for his ever-present white towel and what seemed to be a perpetually worried expression, former college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has died. He had been hospitalized in Las Vegas after fighting a string of ailments in the past year.

The coach's son, Danny Tarkanian, announced on Twitter Wednesday that his father had died.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed February 11, 2015

From The Cold Depths Of Space, A Smile Emerges

An image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of the galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 shows that it seems to be smiling. The space agency says it's the result of a symmetrical alignment of the galaxy cluster and the telescope — along with a powerful gravity field that can bend light.
NASA & ESA

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 11:41 am

Space, you may have heard, can be a cold and lonely place. But the NASA/ESA Hubble telescope has identified a particularly well-adjusted corner of space — or at least that's what a recent image suggests, with the help of an effect called an Einstein Ring.

In the Hubble image of galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849, two bright galaxies resemble eyes, NASA says, "and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing."

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Hate Crime Or Parking Dispute? Killing Of 3 Muslims In N.C. Sparks A Debate

Deah Barakat; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, were killed Tuesday. The photo comes from a Facebook page created by friends of the trio.
Courtesy of Our Three Winners

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 8:47 pm

(This post was last updated at 8:15 p.m. ET.)

Hundreds of people gathered on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to mourn the killing of three young Muslims.

Police have arrested Craig Stephen Hicks and charged him with first-degree murder in a crime that has sparked a heated debate over whether Hicks was fueled by hate against Muslims.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Wed February 11, 2015

White House Asks Congress For War Powers To Fight ISIS

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 9:26 am

In a move that is sure to set off a new round of debate over how the U.S. should fight ISIS, the Obama administration has sent Congress a request for formal authorization to use military force against the extremist group.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Watch Jon Stewart Break The News Of His Departure To An Audience

Jon Stewart taped an episode of The Daily Show on Tuesday, hours before the news broke that he plans to leave the show.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 9:18 am

Taping last night's show shortly before the news of his departure became public, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart faced an awkward task: telling a studio audience that he's leaving the show.

In the process, Stewart couldn't resist making fun of himself.

"Seventeen years is the longest I have ever in my life held a job," he said, "by 16 years and 5 months."

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

'Drone Shoot-Down Bill' Advances In Oklahoma

Drones fly at the International CES held last month in Las Vegas. In Oklahoma, a state senator has introduced a bill that would allow land-owners to shoot a drone down if it's above their property.
John Locher AP

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 4:23 pm

A bill that would let property owners shoot down a drone that's over their land has made its way out of a Senate committee in Oklahoma, setting up a potential vote on the matter.

It's unclear whether the legislation has a chance of passage; we're reporting on it here as another facet of the debate over how drones are integrated (and regulated) in modern society.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Upcycling, Underground: Huge Bike Park Opens In Former Limestone Mine

A rider gets some air at the newly opened Mega Underground Bike Park in Louisville, Ky.
Jacob Ryan WFPL

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 12:43 pm

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Senate Panel Approves Carter's Nomination As Defense Chief

Ashton Carter, President Obama's nominee to be the next secretary of defense, talks with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, during a break in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. The panel approved Carter's nomination Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 11:59 am

In a vote that sends his nomination to the full Senate, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved Ashton Carter's bid to be the next secretary of defense Tuesday. Carter had strong support in the vote, with 25 members voting in favor.

"Hopefully, we can get a vote perhaps even as early as tomorrow" on the floor of the Senate for Carter's confirmation, said Sen. John McCain, who chairs the panel.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Syria Has Learned About Airstrikes On ISIS Via 'Iraq And Other Countries'

Syria's President Bashar Assad is seen Monday during the filming of an interview with the BBC in Damascus. Assad said third parties including Iraq were conveying information about a U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State group in Syria.
SANA Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 2:07 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad says his government is being informed about the U.S.-led coalition's attacks on the extremist group ISIS — but that there's no dialogue between Syria and the Americans. Assad said word comes through Iraq and other nations.

"There is no direct cooperation or link," he said, adding that information comes "through third parties ... Iraq and other countries. Sometimes they convey [a] message."

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Snowfall Obliterates Records In Boston: 'Another Winter Storm?!'

Greg Burkett clears snow from a winter storm in Cambridge, Mass., on Monday. Boston has had more than 6 feet of snow in the past 30 days.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 9:38 am

Boston has had more than 72 inches of snow in the past 30 days, breaking a record set in 1978, the National Weather Service says. The city has repeatedly been among the hardest-hit by several winter storms — and it could get another 4 to 6 inches later this week.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Tue February 10, 2015

ISIS Seen Profiting From Informal Money System In Spain

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 9:46 am

The extremist group ISIS is exploiting an informal finance network in Spain to pay its fighters in Syria, according to intelligence officials in Spain. The system has no oversight; it's often used by immigrants to send money to their families back home.

From Madrid, Lauren Frayer reports:

"Spanish officials are investigating a network of 250 local businesses — butchers, small grocery stores, mobile phone shops — allegedly funneling money to jihadi fighters in Syria. They're accused of doing so through Spain's hawala network.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Madoff's Victims Are Repaid Another $355 Million, Trustee Says

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 3:39 pm

More than half of the accounts with allowable claims against disgraced financier Bernard Madoff have now been fully repaid, according to the trustee handling recovery efforts. Trustee Irving Picard says more than $355.8 million was recently doled out, in the fifth round of repayments.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Mon February 9, 2015

From Soy Sauce To Bullet Trains: Famed Japanese Designer Dies At 85

After designing a soy sauce bottle for Kikkoman in 1961, Kenji Ekuan went on to design everything from motorcycles to a bullet train.
Mj-bird Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 11:24 am

As with many elite industrial designers, you know his work even if you don't know his name. Decades after Kenji Ekuan created Kikkoman's iconic soy sauce bottles with their red caps, he designed Japan's Komachi bullet train, in a career driven by a desire to make good design accessible to everyone.

Ekuan died Sunday in Tokyo at age 85; Japanese news outlets say he had suffered from a heart disorder.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Alabama Courts Issue First Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples

Shante Wolfe (left) and Tori Sisson camped outside the Montgomery County Courthouse on Sunday.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 3:15 pm

Alabama has become the 37th state to recognize same-sex marriage, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request that would have extended the state's ban Monday. But the state's chief justice says probate courts don't have to follow federal rulings on the issue.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET: Supreme Court Rejects State's Request

Expressing regret at the Supreme Court's decision, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says it will probably bring more confusion and will keep him "from enforcing Alabama's laws against same-sex marriage."

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