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
6:30 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Serbia Arrests 8 Accused Of Direct Roles In 1995 Srebrenica Massacre

This photo taken March 7 shows a now-abandoned warehouse where more than 1,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in July 1995 on the outskirts of Srebrenica.
Sulejman Omerbasic AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 9:05 am

Police have arrested eight men suspected of carrying out the 1995 mass killing of more than 1,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica. War crimes prosecutors ordered what are said to be the first arrests in Serbia of direct participants in Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

The eight men are accused of killing "over 1,000 civilians of Muslim nationality, whose remains were identified in mass graves at several locations," reports Serbian news agency B92.

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Letter To White House Tested Positive For Cyanide, Secret Service Says

The Secret Service has confirmed that an envelope sent to the White House tested positive for cyanide. Further testing was underway.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:54 pm

A test on an envelope that arrived at the White House Mail Screening Facility on Monday indicates that it contains cyanide, according to the Secret Service. The agency did not announce to whom the letter was addressed. Further tests are being conducted to confirm the results.

Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback says:

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Thailand Cautions Women Against 'Underboob Selfies'

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:33 pm

Citing both potential harm to society and the Computer Crimes Act, Thailand's Culture Ministry is urging women to resist what it says is a new trend of taking photos that focus on the midriff and the lower portion of their breasts.

The warning was issued Monday — and a ministry official acknowledged that in speaking out against an online trend, the agency ran the risk of drawing more attention to it.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Secret Service Director Tells Panel: 'This Is My First Test'

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy testifies before a Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Secret Service budget Tuesday, when he responded to sharp questions about misconduct by his agents.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 4:40 pm

Answering pointed questions about new claims of misconduct by his agents, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy says he had a "good stern talk" with his staff about why he wasn't told sooner about an incident in which two senior agents who were apparently drunk drove a government vehicle through an area at the White House complex where their colleagues were investigating a suspicious package.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Bhutan, World's Lowest-Ranked Soccer Team, Advances In World Cup Qualifying

Bhutanese football player Chencho Gyeltshen controls the ball in a March 5 match against Sri Lanka. The striker hit two goals Tuesday to lead Bhutan past Sri Lanka and into the next phase of World Cup Qualifying.
Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:20 am

They started the game ranked 209th out of 209 national teams — but Bhutan will progress to the second round of World Cup Qualifying after beating Sri Lanka in consecutive matches. The 2-1 victory comes less than a week after its historic first win in a World Cup qualifier.

The win puts Bhutan into the Asian group stage, where they'll gain more international experience as they play for a chance to move another step closer to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Tue March 17, 2015

49ers Linebacker Quits After 1 Season, Citing Safety Concerns

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland (50) is seen here in a game last year against the New York Giants. Borland, who had two interceptions in that game, has announced that he is retiring from the NFL after his rookie season.
Chris Szagola CSM/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 10:56 am

Concerns about possibly incurring brain injuries have prompted Chris Borland to end his NFL career after just one season, during which he emerged as a star on the San Francisco 49ers' vaunted defense. Borland, 24, said, "I just honestly want to do what's best for my health."

Saying that he had consulted with other players, medical experts and his family, Borland stated, "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Israel's Election: Exit Polls Show Netanyahu's Likud, Opposition In Tight Race

An Israeli woman votes with her daughter at a polling station in the coastal city of Haifa on Tuesday. Israel faces an unpredictable election to determine whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will remain in power.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 4:53 pm

Updated at 6:52 p.m.

Exit polls released after the close of voting in Israel's national election show that the race is too close to call.

Israel's Channel 1 and Channel 10 both said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and Isaac Herzog's Zionist Union secured 27 seats each in the 120-seat Knesset. Channel 2, meanwhile, have Likud 28 seats and the Zionist Union 27. The numbers were published by Haaretz.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Gunfire, Bombs And An Arrest: Boston Police Detail Tsarnaev's Capture For Court

A still image from surveillance video that was entered as evidence shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2013, in a handout photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston. Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade bombs at the race's crowded finish, as well as fatally shooting a police officer three days later.
Handout Photo Reuters /Landov

Police officers testifying at the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev described a gunbattle and powerful explosions Monday, recalling the death of Tsarnaev's older brother and the process that ended an intense manhunt for the pair.

Tsarnaev's attorneys have admitted that he was involved in the deadly bombing and the events that followed. But they also insist he was led into the operation by his older brother, and they say he doesn't deserve the death penalty.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Ebola Patient Being Treated In Maryland Is In Critical Condition

The status of a patient with Ebola who was recently admitted to a specialized federal facility in Bethesda, Md., has changed from serious to critical condition. The American health care worker, whose identity hasn't been publicly released, was taken to the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health last week.

The patient being cared for in Bethesda contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone, where the aid worker had been with the group Partners in Health. The person was flown back to the U.S. Thursday, aboard a private jet.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Elton John Leads Boycott Against Dolce & Gabbana Over 'Synthetic Children' Remarks

Stefano Gabbana (left) and Domenico Dolce, seen here during the recent Milan Fashion Week, are being criticized for remarks about same-sex families, sparking a boycott led by musician Elton John.
Daniel Dal Zennaro EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:43 pm

Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are locked in a very public argument with musician Elton John over their recent remarks condemning in vitro fertilization and saying same-sex couples should not raise children.

After John called for a boycott of the designers' clothes, Gabbana defended his right to air an opinion and urged people to shun the singer, responding to John's Instagram post by commenting, "Fascist!!"

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon March 16, 2015

After 'Monster' Storm Hits Vanuatu, Leader Pleads For Aid

Resident Uwen Garae stands in his home damaged by Cyclone Pam in Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Monday. The storm destroyed homes, smashed boats and washed away roads and bridges as it struck late on Friday and into Saturday.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 5:31 pm

Officials in Vanuatu are still assessing damage from what President Baldwin Lonsdale says was "a monster" — Cyclone Pam, a strong storm that hit the small nation in the South Pacific with winds that damaged or destroyed 90 percent of the buildings in the capital, Lonsdale says.

"This is a very devastating cyclone in Vanuatu. I term it as a monster, a monster," he said. "It's a setback for the government and for the people of Vanuatu. After all the development that has taken place, all this development has been wiped out."

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Russia's Putin: 'Life Would Be Too Dull Without Rumors'

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Almazbek Atambayev, arrive for a meeting Monday at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 10:52 am

Making his first verified public appearance in more than a week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the conspiracy rumors that were whipped up in his absence were silly. Putin appeared Monday with Kyrgyzstan's president in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Ferguson Mayor Knowles Slams 'Hostile Language' From Eric Holder

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announces the resignation of police Chief Thomas Jackson during a news conference on Wednesday in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Saying that he's trying to save the community of Ferguson, Mo., Mayor James Knowles says that he is frustrated and concerned by the tone of Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks about his city and its police department — both of which were harshly criticized in a recent Justice Department report.

Knowles also says that he sees no reason to step down, as some of his critics have demanded, stating that he still has residents' support.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Athletes Help Cheerleader With Down Syndrome Defy Bullies

Alyssa Smith readjusts Desiree Andrews' hair as they cheer for the seventh grade basketball team at Lincoln Middle School on Monday in Kenosha, Wis. The gym has been dubbed "D's House" in Desiree's honor.
Kevin Poirier/Kenosha News AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:39 pm

In Wisconsin, what began as a heartwarming show of courtesy and affection is now making Desiree Andrews, 14, into an international celebrity.

Desiree is a cheerleader at Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, Wis. She has Down syndrome — and as some hecklers learned last year, she has the full support of her school's basketball team and her community.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Pope Francis Says His Tenure At The Vatican Will Be Short

Pope Francis speaks at St. Peter's Basilica on Friday. On the second anniversary of his election, Francis said his pontificate will be short, perhaps less than five years.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:19 pm

In an expansive interview coinciding with the second anniversary of his unexpected election, Pope Francis said his time as the head of the Roman Catholic Church will be brief.

Francis said he misses the relative anonymity he had as a bishop. As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "He also said he doesn't mind being pope, but would like to go out in Rome unrecognized, for a pizza."

The pope's comments came in an interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa.

From Rome, Sylvia reports:

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Fri March 13, 2015

France Wins Battle Against Belgium's Plan For A Waterloo Coin

Belgium's plan to honor the Battle of Waterloo displeased France. In this photo, an enthusiast dressed as a member of the French army stands next to a cannon before the re-enactment of the famous battle.
Thierry Roge Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 4:54 pm

Many are calling it the second battle over Waterloo — and this time, France won. A two-euro coin commemorating the bicentennial of Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat will not be widely released, after France objected to what it called a "negative symbol."

From Brussels, Teri Schultz reports for NPR:

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Patient With Ebola Is Admitted To NIH Hospital In Maryland

An American who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone was admitted to the hospital at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda early Friday.
NIH

An American health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone is now receiving care at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland. The patient's condition is still being evaluated, the NIH says.

The patient is the second to be treated for Ebola at the Bethesda facility, which previously cared for — and eventually released — Nina Pham, a nurse who contracted Ebola in Dallas. The hospital has also monitored two patients who were seen as being at high risk of having the deadly disease. They were later released.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Assange And Sweden Agree: He'll Be Questioned In London

Julian Assange (left) is happy with a new offer from Sweden, his lawyers say. He's seen here with American linguist and writer Noam Chomsky on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge to avoid extradition.
Yui Mok PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:01 am

Julian Assange's lawyers say the WikiLeaks founder is happy with a plan to have Swedish prosecutors question him in London, after Sweden softened its insistence that he be extradited to answer sexual assault allegations.

Assange has been living in Ecuador's London embassy for nearly three years.

"He is willing to co-operate fully now in conducting this interrogation," Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, tells the BBC World Service. "This is a great victory for him."

From London, NPR's Ari Shapiro reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

After Rescue, Massive Sea Turtle Released Into Atlantic

The staff of the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium named a stranded leatherback turtle Yawkey, after the area it was found stranded Saturday.
South Carolina Aquarium

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 6:01 pm

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

A 475-pound leatherback sea turtle that was rescued from a remote beach in South Carolina was returned to the ocean Thursday, after being found stranded ashore and nursed back to health. It took five people to carry the creature, officials say.

The turtle "immediately responded to treatments" of fluids, vitamins and antibiotics after it was rescued Saturday, says spokeswoman Kate Dittloff of the South Carolina Aquarium.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu March 12, 2015

No Hope Of Survivors In Black Hawk Crash, Military Says

After finding only debris and human remains in the area where a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Florida Tuesday night with 11 people aboard, officials at Eglin Air Force Base say the mission has transitioned from a search and rescue into a recovery effort.

"At this point, we are not hopeful for survivors," said Col. Monte Cannon, vice-commander of the 96th Test Wing. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family members and the units where our soldiers and Marines call home."

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: Two Soldiers Confirmed Dead

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Thu March 12, 2015

FCC Publishes Full Text Of Net Neutrality Rules

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 12:24 pm

Two weeks after it voted to approve rules on net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission has released the full text of the Open Internet Order. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calls it "a shining example of American democracy at work."

Wheeler also listed what he calls "bright-line rules" in the order. From his summary:

  • Ban Paid Prioritization: "Fast lanes" will not divide the Internet into "haves" and "have nots."
  • Ban Blocking: Consumers must get what they pay for — unfettered access to any lawful content on the Internet.
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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Space Station Astronauts Make Safe Landing In Kazakhstan

The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it descends toward Earth, carrying NASA's Barry Wilmore and Russian flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova.
Bill Ingalls NASA

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 4:57 pm

After spending nearly six months on the International Space Station, an astronaut and two cosmonauts have landed safely back on Earth. While in orbit, they traveled almost 71 million miles, NASA says.

Cmdr. Barry Wilmore of NASA and flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) touched down in Kazakhstan on Thursday morning, local time.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Iraqi Force Makes More Gains Toward Taking Tikrit From ISIS

Shiite militiamen pose with their banner (right) next to a captured — and upside-down — ISIS flag (left) in Tikrit, Iraq. Militias are bolstering Iraqi forces in a major operation to retake the city from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Mohammed al-Mozani AP

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 9:15 am

Pro-government forces in Iraq are making progress in the push to take back the city of Tikrit from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. Iraqi officials say the focus is now on the city's center, and that advances were still being slowed by bombs and booby traps.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Wed March 11, 2015

U.S. College Finds Priceless Coin Collection — In Its Own Library

Coins from the Thomas Lockwood Collection were recently found to be rare and priceless. From a description by the University at Buffalo, from top to bottom: A gold aureus of the Roman emperor Otho; a tetradrachm of Athens; a tetradrachm of Alexander the Great; a silver tetradrachm of Syracuse (Sicily); a gold aureus of the emperor Nero; and a gold octodrachm of Arsinoe II."
Douglas Levere University at Buffalo

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:54 pm

Dozens of Greek and Roman coins are part of a collection of ancient coins that was donated to the University at Buffalo in 1935. But it was only recently that the school realized how special they are.

For years, the coins sat on a shelf in the school's library, mostly ignored — until a classics professor asked specialists to come to the archive and examine them.

"I must have been the first person to touch them in almost 40 years," says Philip Kiernan, an assistant professor who became curious about the collection after he heard a rumor about it in 2010.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Iraqi Forces Reportedly Enter Tikrit In Push Against ISIS

Iraq's push into Tikrit follows its retaking of the nearby town of al-Alam on Tuesday. There, a woman welcomed a relative who is fighting with a militia that's backing Iraqi troops.
Thaier al-Sudani Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:07 pm

Iraqi troops and militia fighters are reportedly inside the city of Tikrit, the city that has been held by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, since last June. Officials and witnesses say the Iraqis now control part of northern Tikrit.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Wed March 11, 2015

French Highway Heist: Armed Thieves Take Millions In Jewels

A French gendarme stands guard Wednesday in Avallon after thieves attacked two armored vans carrying jewels overnight.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:48 pm

French police say two armored trucks carrying jewels and other items worth some $9.5 million were seized by more than a dozen armed attackers Wednesday, in a midnight heist that took place on the A6 highway that runs between Paris and Lyon.

Authorities were hunting for the thieves Wednesday, focusing on an area around the crime that took place about 140 miles southeast of Paris.

The heist was timed to coincide with the trucks' stop at a toll booth, where gunmen overcame the shipment's drivers, who were reportedly unarmed. The drivers were left uninjured.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Wed March 11, 2015

2 Oklahoma Students Seen In Racist Fraternity Video Apologize

University of Oklahoma students march to the now-closed Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally against racism Tuesday. Two former members of the fraternity have apologized for their roles in a video that showed them singing a racist chant.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 12:04 pm

Two men who were in a video of Sigma Alpha Epsilon members singing a racist chant have apologized for their actions, with one of the now-former fraternity brothers saying he had learned "a devastating lesson."

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Search Continues For Military Black Hawk That Crashed With 11 On Board

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 11:12 am

Update at 6:13 p.m. ET

The search continues for an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed late Tuesday night off the Florida coast. Seven Marines and four members of the Louisiana National Guard were on a routine nighttime training mission at Eglin Air Force Base.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Tue March 10, 2015

University Of Oklahoma Expels 2 Students Seen As Leading Racist Chant

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:30 pm

Updated at 8:28 p.m. ET

One of the students seen in a video in which fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma chant a racist song has apologized for his actions, as have the parents of another student seen in the video.

Parker Rice, one of the students, apologized in a statement published by the Dallas Morning News. He called his actions "wrong and reckless."

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Neighbors Surprise Man By Using Sign Language; Hearts Melt

After a month of preparation, people surprised Muharrem Yazgan, who has impaired hearing, by using sign language to communicate with him. The results were filmed for an ad for Samsung.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 1:04 pm

The story of how Istanbul residents learned sign language to create a special day for a neighbor has turned a Samsung ad into an international viral hit. The ad was filmed by hidden cameras on the route traveled by Muharrem Yazgan, who is hearing-impaired, and his sister, Özlem, who was in on the project.

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