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
8:18 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Canadian Lawmaker Uses 'Tight Underwear' Excuse To Explain Absence

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 5:57 pm

A member of Canada's House of Commons has earned laughs and toasts from his colleagues, after he blamed his absence during a vote on tight underwear that makes him uncomfortable.

MP Pat Martin of Winnipeg Centre gave the explanation to foil an attempt to have his vote thrown out because, contrary to parliamentary rules, he had left his seat during the voting process.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Greece Reaches Deal With EU To Extend Loan Terms

A man passes a graffiti in central Athens Friday, as Eurozone finance ministers consider Greece's request to extend the bailout loans that have kept its government afloat.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:14 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

After lengthy negotiations, Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to extend Greece's financial rescue package, removing the immediate risk of a default that could have forced Athens out of the grouping's common currency.

"It's done. For four months," one of the finance ministers was quoted by Reuters as saying following a meeting in Brussels.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Fri February 20, 2015

U.S.: Major Offensive Planned Against ISIS In Mosul This Spring

Iraq is preparing to take back Mosul, a senior U.S. military official says. Earlier this month, government-backed Sunni Arab tribesmen who've been training to fight ISIS marched northeast of Mosul, in northern Iraq.
Yaser Jawad Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 11:02 am

Looking to take back a city that has high strategic and symbolic value, the Iraqi military will launch an offensive against fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State in the coming months, a senior U.S. military official says.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports:

"A U.S. Central Command official told reporters at the Pentagon that the military operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, will be in the April-May timeframe, and this operation will involve an estimated 20,000-25,000 Iraqi soldiers.

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The Two-Way
4:38 am
Fri February 20, 2015

At Baseball's Spring Training, Giants' Manager Bochy Has Heart Surgery

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (right) had two heart stents inserted Thursday. He's seen here during the Giants' World Series victory parade last year.
Jason O. Watson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:34 am

Pitchers and catchers have reported for Major League Baseball's spring training in Florida and Arizona. But for defending champions the San Francisco Giants, the excitement is being tempered by concern for manager Bruce Bochy, who underwent heart surgery Thursday.

The procedure, in which doctors inserted heart stents, came one day after Bochy underwent a physical exam. The Giants say that the team's medical staff was monitoring Bochy, 59, after he experienced some discomfort.

From Arizona, Mark Moran of member station KJZZ reports:

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Obama Calls Idea That The West Is At War With Islam 'An Ugly Lie'

President Obama speaks to an audience of international leaders and religious figures Thursday at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, at the State Department.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:17 pm

"The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie and all of us — regardless of our faith — have a responsibility to reject it," President Obama said Thursday, at a summit on defusing violent extremism.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Hot KISS Buns Are Headed For Store Shelves In Japan

Like dragon eggs stuffed with fiery peppers: KISS steamed buns will hit convenience store shelve in Japan next week. The buns are seen here in a news release from the Circle K Sunkus chain.
Circle K Sunkus

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 9:18 am

Move over, hot cross buns — here come the hot KISS buns. They're spicy and black, and starting next week, a limited number will be sold in stores in Japan, marking the rock group's 40th anniversary world tour. The bun's official name: Spicy Chili Tomatoman.

The steamed bun's black exterior derives from bamboo charcoal. It has a bright red filling, consisting of tomato paste, onions — and very hot peppers. Its surface is branded with one of four icons associated with KISS members, such as a star symbol for Paul Stanley.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Ousted Thai Leader Charged With Negligence, Could Face Jail

Thailand's Attorney Director General, Department of Special Litigation Chutichai Sakhakorn, right, holds filed charging papers as Director General, Department of Investigation, Surasak Threerattrakul looks on at the Supreme Court in Bangkok Thursday.
Chaiwat Subprasom Reuters /Landov

Thailand's attorney general filed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Thursday. The former leader, who was forced out of office last May, could be jailed for 10 years if she's found guilty.

From Chiang Rai, Thailand, Michael Sullivan reports for our Newscast unit:

"Yingluck was charged with negligence for her role in a badly bungled rice subsidy scheme that ended up costing the country billions. She denies any wrongdoing and insists the charges against her are politically motivated.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Ukraine Update: Fighting Shifts To Mariupol; A Call For U.N. Peacekeepers

Ukrainian soldiers repair their truck's bullet-shattered windshield Thursday, hit during their withdrawal from Debaltseve Wednesday.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:30 pm

Trying to salvage a cease-fire that has not stopped the fighting in eastern Ukraine, the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia held a conference call Thursday in which they called for full implementation of the truce's terms.

Ukraine says that in the past 24 hours alone, 14 of its soldiers have died and 172 were injured.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Greece Seeks To Extend Eurozone Loans, As Deadline Looms

Greece's hopes for reaching a new compromise with Eurozone members on the terms of its loans are seen as hinging on promises to reform its economy — and submit to outside inspections.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:05 am

With the bailout package that has kept Greece's economy afloat set to expire in just over a week, the country has formally asked Eurozone members for a six-month extension. Finance ministers will hold an emergency meeting Friday to consider the proposal.

The new request will face opposition, with Deutsche Welle reporting, "A spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble rejected the proposal saying it lacked substance."

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Spending Habits Of The Netanyahus Get Scrutiny In Growing Scandal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen here speaking Monday, is under fire over a report of lavish spending.
Debbie Hill UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 11:39 am

The household spending of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become a political issue in Israel, where the attorney general is now considering whether to open an official inquiry over allegations of excessive spending and related crimes.

From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris reports:

"Israel's comptroller general issued a report on the Netanyahus' household spending following complaints from members of parliament.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Obama Names Joseph Clancy As Secret Service Director

Joseph Clancy has been named the permanent director of the U.S. Secret Service. Clancy, who has been the agency's acting director since last October, is seen here testifying on Capitol Hill last November.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:37 pm

Four months after he was brought back to an agency that was struggling to cope with a series of embarrassing missteps, Joseph Clancy was named the permanent director of the Secret Service on Wednesday.

Clancy has been the agency's acting head since the service's director, Julia Pierson, resigned in October. He is the former leader of the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Blind Boy's Quest Prompts Australia To Plan Tactile Cash

The next generation of Australian dollar notes will include tactile features to help people with visual impairments differentiate between them, says the Reserve Bank of Australia. Last year, the agency met with a boy who started a petition asking for the change.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 12:13 pm

It started with frustration at Christmas, says Connor McLeod, 13. Blind since birth, he couldn't tell how much money he'd been given. So he started a petition — and now the Reserve Bank of Australia says it will create bank notes with tactile features to help visually impaired people tell the difference between denominations.

McLeod explains to Australia's ABC network what prompted him to act:

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The Two-Way
8:28 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 1:17 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
6:47 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 7:52 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
5:31 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 6:47 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
1:03 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 1:32 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
9:53 am
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 10:26 am

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
8:42 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 12:57 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
7:12 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 4:43 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
5:59 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 3:19 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
10:53 am
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
9:32 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 10:25 am

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
6:24 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 8:44 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
5:27 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 2:43 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
8:35 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 8:37 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
6:37 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 7:55 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
5:54 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 9:37 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
5:04 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 7:23 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
10:40 am
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 8:40 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
9:41 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

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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