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
12:44 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

NFL's Goodell Confirms Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 1:19 pm

Saying that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs" below required levels, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the punishment.

In doing so, Goodell also faulted Brady for not cooperating with the investigation, citing his "destruction of potentially relevant evidence" — a reference to Brady's cellphone and SIM card, which he gave to an assistant to be destroyed, according to Goodell's findings.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Arizona Cardinals Hire Female Coach For Training Camp And Preseason

Jennifer Welter, who played in a Texas Revolution game as a running back in 2014, will help coach the linebacker corps for the Arizona Cardinals this summer.
MICHAEL PRENGLER CSM /LANDOV

Jen Welter, an athlete and sports psychologist, will become an NFL coach in what is believed to be a first. The Arizona Cardinals have hired Welter to coach the team's inside linebackers during this summer's training camp and preseason.

"I am honored to be a part of this amazing team," Welter said in a tweet Monday night. She thanked the Cardinals and head coach Bruce Arians.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Former N.Y. Prison Employee Enters Guilty Plea Related To Inmates' Escape

Joyce Mitchell, who has reached a plea deal over charges that she aided a prison escape, is seen here during a June court date, along with her lawyer, Steven Johnston.
POOL Landov

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 11:41 am

Joyce Mitchell, the Clinton Correctional Facility worker who was charged last month with aiding two convicted killers' escape, has pleaded guilty after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Mitchell, 51, was an instructor in the tailor shop at the prison in northern New York — a position that officials say allowed her to pass tools such as hacksaw blades and a screwdriver to prisoner Richard Matt.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Fri July 24, 2015

Two Teachers Hailed As Heroes In Louisiana Shooting

A screenshot of a fundraising page for teachers Jena Meaux and Ali Martin, who are being hailed as heroes for their actions in Thursday's theater attack.
NPR

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 12:25 pm

The actions of two teachers who were in a Louisiana movie theater when a gunman opened fire Thursday night are being praised, as officials say the women's bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of unsuspecting patrons.

Two people were killed in the attack in Lafayette, La.; nine more were injured. After being cornered by police, the gunman, identified as John Russel Houser, 59, reportedly killed himself.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Fri July 24, 2015

Too Good To Be True: TV Reporter Was In On Magicians' Photobomb

Two magicians prepare to perform a trick behind a Sky News reporter; the network says the seemingly live report was never broadcast.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 9:15 am

It had all the elements of an Internet hit: Two magicians hijack a TV news update, performing in the background behind an oblivious reporter. The video quickly went viral in Britain — but then it emerged that the Sky News team was in on the joke.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Autopsy Of Sandra Bland Doesn't Suggest Homicide, Texas County Officials Say

A guard motions to a medic (left) who arrived with a stretcher to Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on July 13, the day Sandra Bland died at the jail. Officials said Thursday that an autopsy did not find signs that Bland's death was a homicide.
Waller County Sheriff's Office Landov

Releasing details — and photographs — from the autopsy of Sandra Bland, officials in Waller County, Texas, say that the cause of death for Bland, a black woman who died in the county's jail, was suicide by hanging. Officials also say she had marijuana in her system.

The case has drawn national scrutiny as Bland, who had driven to Texas from Illinois, died in police custody three days after she was pulled over by a state trooper for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. She was 28.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Jury Confirms Aurora Theater Shooter Is Eligible For Death Penalty

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:14 pm

A Colorado jury cleared the way for the second phase of the sentencing process for James Holmes, who was found guilty of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in a shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. One week after convicting Holmes, the jury confirmed in a unanimous finding Thursday that he's eligible for the death penalty.

The jury said that when Holmes opened fire in a crowded theater in 2012, he acted in "extreme indifference to the value of human life generally."

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Japan's Nikkei Will Purchase Financial Times Group For $1.3 Billion

Copies of the Financial Times newspaper are displayed for a photograph in London. British publisher Pearson is selling the paper to Japanese media company Nikkei.
Niklas Halle'n AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 12:07 pm

In a development that comes after a German firm was reportedly close to reaching a deal to buy the Financial Times Group from the Pearson publishing company, the Financial Times will instead be bought by Japanese media company Nikkei, for 844 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in cash.

Earlier Thursday, the Financial Times itself had reported that the newspaper's publisher was on the verge of being sold to German media group Alex Springer. Other reports had suggested that Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters were potential buyers.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Charleston Shooting Suspect Roof Could Face Death Penalty Over Federal Charges

Dylann Roof, seen here at a recent court hearing in Charleston, S.C., will face federal hate crime charges over a mass shooting that police say he carried out at a black church.
Grace Beahm AP

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 1:46 pm

Dylann Roof, who police say carried out a ruthless attack that killed nine black worshippers in a Charleston, S.C., church, is now facing federal hate crime charges along with more than a dozen other serious charges he's already accused of.

"Hate crimes are the original domestic terrorism," Attorney General Loretta Lynch says.

The 33 counts center on both the victims' race and their identity as church-goers who were attempting to follow their religious beliefs when Roof attacked.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Marijuana Growers Hit A Snag: Toxic Pesticides

Its legal status and wide range of uses make marijuana a tough plant to regulate — or even to advise farmers about. Here, young marijuana plants are seen at a growing facility.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 8:27 am

Farmers who grow marijuana for Colorado's legal market are running into problems as they try to control mildew and pests. Because of the plant's illegal status at the federal level, a main source of agricultural guidance isn't available to pot farmers.

Attempts to regulate marijuana production often hit another problem, as the plant's wide range of uses sets it apart from many traditional food crops.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Actor Theodore Bikel Dies At Age 91

Theodore Bikel, seen here in 2013, died Monday after a long illness.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 1:06 pm

Actor and musician Theodore Bikel, whose talents landed him memorable roles on the stage and screen, has died at age 91. His manager Robert Malcolm confirmed the news to NPR's Neda Ulaby, who says Bikel "died last night at a hospital in Los Angeles after a long illness."

Some of Bikel's most notable work took place on stage — starting with an early breakthrough in the London staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which he starred opposite Vivien Leigh.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue July 21, 2015

Winner Of French Scrabble Title Does Not Speak French

Nigel Richards, seen here at a Scrabble tournament last winter, won the French-language Scrabble championships Monday. He began studying the French Scrabble dictionary in May.
Yui Mok PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 6:52 am

The Scrabble career of Nigel Richards went from great to astounding this week, after he won the French-language Scrabble World Championships. A New Zealand native, Richards has won several English-language titles; his new victory follows weeks of studying a French dictionary.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

American Zach Johnson Wins British Open In 3-Way Playoff

Zach Johnson won the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Monday. He's seen here teeing off on the 18th hole in the playoff round.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 3:36 pm

American Zach Johnson has added a second major title to his career, winning the British Open on Monday in a dramatic four-hole playoff. Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth narrowly missed a chance to join the playoff, quashing dreams of a Grand Slam in 2015.

"It's surreal," an emotional Johnson said after the win, adding: "I'm thankful. I can't play any better than I did. My wife is my rock."

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Military Finds U.S. Paid $14.7 Million For Overdue Warehouses In Afghanistan

The interior of one of several large warehouses at Kandahar Airfield. Because the U.S. military can't use them, they'll likely pass to the Afghan government.
SIGAR

Early last year, the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency accepted a $14.7 million warehouse facility. Newly built in Afghanistan, it had 173,428 square feet of climate-controlled space — but it was finished so late that it never fulfilled its intended use. Now it's likely to be transferred to the Afghan government.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Mon July 20, 2015

Affair-Enabling Website Ashley Madison Is Compromised By Hackers

The website of the "married dating" service Ashley Madison was the target of hackers who are now demanding that the service be discontinued.
AshleyMadison.com

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 9:43 am

Ashley Madison, a website that helps millions of married people cheat on their spouses, has lost a trove of personal and confidential information to hackers who are threatening to release the data of more than 37 million users.

News of the data hack comes at a time when Ashley Madison's parent company has raised its profile by backing a related TV show; its leaders have also discussed a potential $200 million stock offering.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

Marine Corps Identifies 4 Service Members Who Died In Chattanooga Attack

Caroline Dove holds a photo of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, her boyfriend, at her home in Savannah, Ga., on Friday. Wells was among four Marines killed Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Russ Bynum AP

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 8:40 pm

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

Their experience levels ranged from multiple deployments in war zones to one year in the service with no deployments. Their homes ranged from Georgia to Wisconsin, but their lives converged in Thursday's deadly attack in Tennessee.

The Marine Corps has formally identified the victims as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Mocked And Maligned, Japan Spikes Plan For $2 Billion Olympic Stadium

Tokyo's proposed National Stadium, a key part of its 2020 Olympics plan, is being reopened to design proposals after Japanese officials said new cost estimates had risen sharply.
Japan Sports Council

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 3:24 pm

Its cost had swollen to more than $2 billion; its design sparked an unflattering meme. And now Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to start over with their plan to build a centerpiece stadium.

"I have decided to bring the current (building) plan for the new National Stadium back to the drawing board and review the plan from scratch," Abe said, according to Kyodo News.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Motorcycles Can Now Run Problematic Red Lights In Kentucky

As of Wednesday, Kentucky has made it legal for people on motorcycles to run red lights after waiting for them to change. A motorcyclist rides in Kentucky in this file photo.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 1:17 pm

A new law that was prompted by motorcycles' inability to trigger sensors at traffic signals takes effect in Kentucky today, allowing motorcyclists to run a red light after they've come to a complete stop and waited for it to change.

Under the new law, people on motorcycles can move through a light only after they've stopped and waited for either two minutes or, as the bill says, if "the traffic control signal at the intersection has completed two (2) lighting cycles."

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Malware And Hacking Forum Darkode Is Shut Down; Dozens Arrested

The Darkode malware forum was replaced by an image announcing its seizure by authorities Wednesday.
Justice Department

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 9:36 am

Announcing an international takedown of a malware marketplace, federal officials say that the forum called Darkode has been dismantled and dozens of its members have been arrested. Darkode has been a marketplace to purchase and trade hacking tools since at least 2008.

Investigators say that while the forum's existence was widely known, they hadn't been able to penetrate it until recently. Darkode operated under password protections and required referrals to join. On Wednesday, the site consisted of an image saying that it had been seized by authorities.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Solar Airplane's Round-The-World Trip Is Halted Until 2016

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii in early July. The team behind the sun-powered airplane says it will be grounded until next spring.
Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 9:51 am

Battery problems on the Solar Impulse, the airplane that has been flying around the world using only the sun's power, have grounded the plane until next spring. The lithium-ion batteries overheated on a recent five-day trip from Japan to Hawaii.

"Irreversible damage to certain parts of the batteries will require repairs which will take several months," organizers said early Wednesday, ending hopes of finishing what would be a record-setting trip by late summer.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Tue July 14, 2015

Eric Garner's Family Urges Justice Department To Prosecute Officer

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, speaks at a news conference at the National Action Network in New York a day after settling a $5.9 million wrongful death case with the city. At far right is Garner's widow, Esaw Garner.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 11:49 am

Having reached a $5.9 million settlement with New York City over Eric Garner's death last summer, Garner's family says they want a federal indictment of a police officer who helped restrain him. A county grand jury previously opted not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo, who had his arm wrapped around Garner's neck in a chokehold as Garner struggled to breathe.

"They deserve to be prosecuted. They treated my husband like an animal," Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said of the police officers who were involved.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Tue July 14, 2015

NASA Zooms In On Pluto, For Closest Views Yet

An image of Pluto that was taken by New Horizons shortly before its flyby Tuesday shows a heart-shaped pattern on the planet's surface. NASA says Pluto "sent a love note back to Earth."
NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 7:50 pm

New images of Pluto have arrived from a NASA space probe, and they're already allowing scientists to update what we know about the dwarf planet — such as its size. NASA's New Horizons probe has traveled more than 3 billion miles to send photos and data about Pluto back to Earth.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Land Rover Recalls 65,000 Vehicles Over Unlatching Doors

The 2013 Land Rover Range Rover is among the SUV models included in a new recall over the vehicles' keyless entry software. The automaker says an update will fix a problem in which doors can unexpectedly open.
PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 1:15 pm

Concerns over the safety of drivers and passengers has prompted Land Rover to issue a recall of more than 65,000 recently made SUVs. The problem stems from keyless entry software that can allow seemingly latched doors to open.

"Some customers have reported that one door has opened while the vehicle was in motion," the company said in an initial report on the flaw in June.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon July 13, 2015

'Bloom County 2015': Berkeley Breathed Revives Comic Strip

Idle for more than 25 years, the comic strip Bloom County returned to life Monday.
Berkeley Breathed/Facebook

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 12:57 pm

Fans of the well-loved comic strip Bloom County are celebrating this morning, after cartoonist Berkeley Breathed issued the first panels of his satirical strip in decades.

Breathed won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on Bloom County back in 1987; two years later, he quit producing it. On Sunday, he posted a photo of himself to Facebook in which he sat in front of a computer screen with an empty cartoon template titled Bloom County 2015.

"A return after 25 years. Feels like going home," he wrote.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell's Conviction Affirmed By Appeals Court

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 6:22 pm

A federal appeals court has upheld the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. After the ruling, McDonnell said he never violated his oath of office; his lawyers say they'll continue to fight the conviction.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Fri July 10, 2015

OPM Director Archuleta Resigns In Wake Of Data Breaches

Katherine Archuleta announced Friday that she is stepping down as the director of the Office of Personnel Management, following a breach of databases that hold federal workers' personal information.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 11:59 am

Katherine Archuleta, the head of Office of Personnel Management who has been under fire since revelations that millions of people's personal data was compromised by hackers, is resigning.

Around midday Friday, Archuleta released a statement saying, "This morning, I offered, and the President accepted, my resignation."

Her last day on the job will be today. The role of acting director will be filled by Beth Cobert, a former director at consulting firm McKinsey & Company who has led the Obama administration's efforts to improve the OPM's efficiency.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Women's Soccer Team Earns Ticker-Tape Parade In NYC — And A Return To No. 1

Well ahead of the ticker-tape parade's 11 a.m. start time, young fans were already in place along the route to celebrate the U.S. women's World Cup victory.
Adam Hunger AP

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 10:10 am

Marking the first time any women's team has been celebrated in New York's famed Canyon of Heroes, thousands of fans turned out Friday for a parade honoring the U.S. women's soccer team's record third World Cup title.

The ticker-tape parade comes on the heels of another U.S. achievement: a return to the No. 1 spot in FIFA's rankings that were released this morning.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Signs Confederate Flag Bill Into Law

With her predecessors in the governor's office and others looking on, Gov. Nikki Haley signs into law a bill that removes the Confederate flag from the State House in Columbia.
Richard Ellis EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 3:27 pm

In a public signing ceremony staged in the lobby of the Statehouse where slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney once worked in the state Senate, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from a flagpole on the Capitol grounds.

Thursday afternoon's event drew an extensive list of South Carolina's political establishment, including former Govs. Jim Hodges, David Beasley and Dick Riley — as well as the families of Pinckney and the eight other shooting victims who were attacked in a black church in Charleston last month.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Cyclists Can Ignore Some Traffic Lights, Paris Announces

A diagram released by the city of Paris shows how cyclists will be able to pass through intersections during red lights. In some cases, they can turn right; in others, they can go straight through.
City of Paris

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 2:46 pm

Announcing a new policy for cyclists who ride in Paris, the city says it will allow people on bikes to ride through red lights or turn right at intersections that are marked by a special traffic sign.

Cyclists will have the most leeway at T-shaped intersections, where they can continue on without crossing other lanes of traffic. But in all cases, they'll have to yield to pedestrians and other vehicles who have the right of way.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu July 9, 2015

Watch: Confederate Descendant's Scathing Address In S.C. Flag Debate

Rep. Jenny Horne, a Republican who is part of Charleston's delegation to the Statehouse, gave a powerful speech about the Confederate flag Wednesday, calling it "a symbol of hate."
ETV/CSPAN

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 10:04 am

The debate over South Carolina's flying of the Confederate flag touched many emotions and motivations in more than 12 hours of debate, with several Democrats urging its removal and several Republicans urging its persistence.

The bill to remove the flag from its prominent place flying outside the Capitol was finally passed without any changes, in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

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