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
2:54 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Obama Signs Texas Disaster Declaration As Death Toll In Flooding Rises

Tex Toler watches the Llano River rise Friday in Llano, Texas, after another round of heavy rains that have brought flooding and deaths to the state.
Jay Janner TNS /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 11:20 pm

The number of people who died because of storms that have inundated parts of Texas and Oklahoma this week has hit 25 people, after search crews found a drowned truck driver whose vehicle had overturned in a culvert near Dallas.

That's the word from member station KERA, where Lauren Silverman reports that a new batch of storms that hit Dallas-Fort Worth "dumped three to seven inches of rain on an already over-saturated area" Thursday night.

All that water created treacherous conditions for Friday morning's commute; widespread and serious delays were reported.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Idaho's Abortion Ban Is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Says

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 11:44 am

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says Idaho's law prohibiting abortions after 20 or more weeks of pregnancy is "unconstitutional because it categorically bans some abortions before viability."

The court ruled in favor of Jennie McCormack and Dr. Richard Hearn (on behalf of himself and his patients), who had challenged Idaho's Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that restricts abortion in the state.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri May 29, 2015

At FIFA Meeting, Israeli And Palestinian Delegates Shake Hands

Palestinian Jibril Rajoub (left) and Israeli Ofer Eini shook hands Friday after FIFA's member groups adopted a plan to work out problems between their soccer associations.
FIFA TV/YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 9:54 am

Confusion and emotion broke out at Friday's FIFA Congress — and it wasn't over embattled leader Sepp Blatter. The leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian soccer organizations shook hands.

The much-discussed "handshake for peace" happened after the Palestinian Football Association withdrew its proposal that FIFA suspend Israel from international competition.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Thu May 28, 2015

FIFA President Blatter: Bribery Scandal Puts 'Long Shadow' Over Soccer

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the audience at the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on Thursday. The leader of soccer's governing body has rejected calls to resign.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 2:18 pm

Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter is speaking at the beginning of the 65th Congress of soccer's worldwide governing body. Blatter faces a re-election vote Friday, in the face of new corruption and bribery charges against senior members of FIFA.

"These are unprecedented and difficult times for FIFA," Blatter said. "The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this league's congress."

It was a somber opening to FIFA's meeting of international sporting bodies, an assembly that was celebrated with flag-bearers and other pageantry.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu May 28, 2015

NOAA Warns Of Powerful Storms, Despite Seeing 'Below-Normal' Hurricane Season

A graphic shows NOAA's prediction of between six and 11 named storms in the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.
NOAA

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 11:44 am

Even though its predictions call for a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season with six to 11 named storms this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says strong and devastating storms remain a possibility.

From NOAA:

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Thu May 28, 2015

FIFA Update: Europe's UEFA Backs Blatter's Opponent; Raids In Brazil

UEFA President Michel Platini says his organization is backing FIFA President Sepp Blatter's opponent in Friday's presidential election. When asked if UEFA might consider leaving FIFA, Platini said, "Of course."
FABRICE COFFRINI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 11:27 am

One day after a string of bribery arrests and indictments was revealed to center on FIFA, the soccer organization's president, Sepp Blatter, says he will not resign. Accusations of rampant corruption at FIFA came just days before Blatter stands for reelection in Switzerland Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Thu May 28, 2015

George Pataki Announces 2016 Presidential Bid

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, seen here speaking in Iowa recently, is announcing his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 3:20 pm

Updated at 12:33 p.m. ET

Former New York Gov. George Pataki is adding his name to the list of Republicans running for their party's 2016 presidential nomination.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Live Anthrax Was Mistakenly Sent To 9 States And A U.S. Military Base

Dugway Proving Ground military base, seen here in 2010, was the source of several anthrax shipments that are suspected of containing live samples of the disease.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 10:36 am

The Department of Defense says an attempt to ship inactive anthrax samples resulted in live samples being sent to labs in nine U.S. states and to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea.

Fears of exposure to the potentially deadly disease prompted officials to advise four civilian workers to get preventive care; more than 20 military personnel are also being monitored. The samples were sent via commercial shipping companies, but the Pentagon says there is "no known risk to the general public."

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Arkansas Ban On Abortion After 12 Weeks

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:43 pm

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has blocked an Arkansas law that bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The case was filed by two doctors on their own and their patients' behalf.

The court's ruling notes:

"By banning abortions after 12 weeks' gestation, the Act prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate a pregnancy at a point before viability. Because the State made no attempt to refute the plaintiffs' assertions of fact, the district court's summary judgment order must be affirmed."

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Penn State Bounces Fraternity For 3 Years Over Nude Photo Scandal

After news broke in March of a private Facebook page that collected nude photos of women, protesters gathered outside Kappa Delta Rho fraternity at Penn State. The school has banned the chapter for three years.
Abby Drey TNS/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:13 pm

Tripling a penalty that was announced this spring, Penn State has shut down the school's Kappa Delta Rho fraternity chapter for three years, after an inquiry over a Facebook group page that collected pictures of nude women also uncovered other transgressions.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Prolific Fantasy And Science-Fiction Writer Tanith Lee Has Died

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:35 pm

British science-fiction and fantasy writer Tanith Lee has died, according to her publisher. Lee, 67, was a prolific author who also worked in radio and television; her dozens of books include Don't Bite The Sun and Death's Master -- the latter of which was part of her popular Flat Earth series.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Federal Appeals Court Leaves Hold On Obama's Immigration Orders

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 4:26 pm

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will not lift a hold that has stalled President Obama's plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The president sought to give temporary protection to people who were brought to the U.S. as children, and to the parents of people who live in the U.S. legally.

The decision blocks an executive action the White House issued late last year and leaves in place a hold that was issued in February by District Judge Andrew Hanen in South Texas.

Update at 4:35 p.m. ET: White House Evaluating Options

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

British Pub Ye Olde Fighting Cocks Is Asked To Change Its Name

England's historic Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub has been asked to change its name to celebrate "intelligent, sensitive chickens."
Google Maps

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:55 pm

It's believed to be the oldest pub in England — but now Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is facing a call to change its name. Citing modern society's compassion for the birds, the UK's People for Ethical Treatment of Animals suggests an alternate name: Ye Olde Clever Cocks.

From PETA:

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Iranian Court Begins Espionage Trial Of 'Washington Post' Reporter

A 2013 photo shows Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National. Both of them were in an Iranian court Tuesday.
Vahid Salemi AP

More than 10 months after Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was detained on vaguely defined espionage charges, his trial began Tuesday in a closed court in Tehran. Rezaian is a citizen of both Iran and the U.S.

Noting the trial's start, Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency notes that Rezaian, 39, "is accused of espionage for the US government and activity against the Islamic Republic of Iran."

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Maryland Joins States That Won't Test New Drivers For Parallel Parking

A dying art? Maryland has stopped testing new drivers for parallel parking. Here, a car is seen in Baltimore.
Google Maps

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 10:47 am

Saying that it tests parallel parking skills in other ways, Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration is phasing out the portion of its test that has intimidated new drivers for generations.

Maryland is joining the list of states that have stopped making new drivers prove that they can maneuver a car into a parallel parking spot. Virginia, California and Florida are among those that have made the move.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Against The NFL's Ray Rice

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:33 pm

Citing the completion of a pretrial intervention program, a New Jersey judge has dismissed a felony assault charge that was filed against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over a now-infamous incident in which Rice struck his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

Rice hit Palmer during an argument while they were visiting Atlantic City, N.J., in February of 2014. A month later, he was indicted on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. He then entered into a one-year pretrial program that would allow him to avoid a trial.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Letterman Fills Final Show With Memories And Gratitude

David Letterman appears during the Wednesday taping of his final Late Show With David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.
Jeffrey R. Staab AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:04 am

Update, 1:10 a.m. ET:

David Letterman approached his final, hour-plus of late-night TV on Wednesday with the same self-deprecation he displayed in the previous 6,027 episodes, but leavened the snark with heaps of nostalgia and praise.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Big Banks Pay $5.6 Billion, Plead Guilty To Felonies Over Currency And Rate-Fixing

Clockwise from top left: Barclays, Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland will pay billions in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. The bank UBS AG (not pictured) has also agreed to plead guilty.
Lefteris Pitarakis/Nick Ut/Kathy Willens/Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 11:43 am

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the market price of U.S. dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Rare Black Rhino Killed By U.S. Hunter Who Won Controversial Auction

An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.
Barbara Scheer DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:03 pm

A Texas hunter who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt a rare black rhino in Namibia has killed the animal. The hunt has drawn controversy and spurred debate over the best way to manage endangered wildlife.

Corey Knowlton won an auction last January for a hunting permit that would allow him to kill a black rhino weighing around 3,000 pounds.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Wanna Go To Fit City? List Ranks America's 50 Fittest Metro Areas

People exercise along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the metro area was ranked as America's fittest city for the second year in a row.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:44 am

The new American Fitness Index is out, with some good news and bad news. Five metro areas fell five or more slots; nine others rose by five or more places. The rankings tally several criteria, from rates of smoking, diabetes and obesity to access to parks.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

60 Percent: Record Number Of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage In Poll

The Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage next month; here, Reverend Scott Hopkins, right, of United Methodist Church in Vienna, Va., voices his support of gay marriage as Tracy Grisham, of Amarillo, Texas, voices her disapproval.
John Boal EPA /LANDOV

Hitting a new all-time high, 60 percent of Americans say they believe marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized by law, with the same rights and privileges as traditional marriages, according to the latest Gallup poll.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Biker Shootout Update: 7 Remain In Hospital; Uninvited Gang Had Come To Meeting

Motorcyles sit in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant, the scene of a deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:03 pm

We're learning more about the circumstances around Sunday's gunfight between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead and sent 18 to the hospital. At least 170 people were arrested after the fracas broke out at a Twin Peaks restaurant.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue May 19, 2015

British Police Arrest 9 Over Audacious Easter Jewelry Heist

Surveillance camera images issued by the Metropolitan Police show thieves entering and leaving the scene of the burglary of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Police arrested seven suspects Tuesday.
Metropolitan Police PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:40 pm

The crime drew international headlines for its ingenious design and massive take. But now Scotland Yard says its "Flying Squad" has arrested seven men, ages 48 to 76, over the Hatton Garden theft that was reportedly one of the richest heists in Britain's history.

The arrests took place Tuesday, when more than 200 officers raided 12 addresses in north London and Kent, police say. They recovered some of the heist's haul, which has been difficult to estimate (but has been placed at up to $300 million).

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Longtime 'Charlie Hebdo' Cartoonist Announces He's Quitting

French cartoonist Luz, seen here in January, says he will leave the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this fall.
Ian Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 8:49 am

The cartoonist who drew the image of the Prophet Muhammad that appeared on the comeback issue of Charlie Hebdo is leaving the satirical magazine, citing stress and a lack of inspiration. The cartoonist, Luz, was one of the few artists who survived January's attack on the magazine's office in Paris.

"I will no longer be Charlie Hebdo, but I will always be Charlie," said Luz.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Google Wins Copyright And Speech Case Over 'Innocence Of Muslims' Video

A federal court has dissolved an order that forced Google-owned YouTube to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video. The ruling rejects copyright claims from Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the video.
Bret Hartman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 1:58 pm

In a complicated legal battle that touches on questions of free speech, copyright law and personal safety, a federal appeals court has overturned an order that had forced the Google-owned YouTube to remove an anti-Muslim video from its website last year.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Supreme Court Calls Maryland Income Tax Law 'A Tariff'

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 1:40 pm

In a ruling that will trigger the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue and is likely to affect many other states, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down Maryland's practice of double-taxing residents' income earned in other states.

The case challenged Maryland's refusal to grant residents who paid income tax on money earned in other states a credit against that amount when they tally up the taxes they owe to their home counties (and some cities). The state allows the credit to be applied only against the state taxes; county income taxes can be as high as 3.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Mon May 18, 2015

2 BASE Jumpers Die On Wingsuit Flight In Yosemite

Dean Potter, seen here in 2012, died this weekend along with Graham Hunt while they were attempting a wingsuit flight in Yosemite National Park in California.
Hao Tongqian Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:41 am

The world of climbing lost a daring innovator Saturday when Dean Potter, 46, died during a wingsuit flight from Yosemite National Park's Taft Point. Potter was killed along with Graham Hunt, 29, as they attempted to soar above Yosemite Valley and El Capitan.

The pair attempted their wingsuit flight on Saturday around dusk — a time that National Geographic says many athletes choose for BASE jumping, which is illegal in all of America's national parks. They were found Sunday by a search and rescue helicopter.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

First In Fish: 'Fully Warmblooded' Moonfish Prowls The Deep Seas

NOAA Fisheries biologist Nick Wegner holds an opah caught during a research survey off the California coast. Researchers say the opah is the first fish known to be fully warmblooded, circulating heated blood throughout its body.
NOAA Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:12 pm

Over decades of studying the oceans' fishes, some species have been found to have partial warmbloodedness. But scientists say the opah, or moonfish, circulates heated blood — and puts it to a competitive advantage.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

New England Patriots Clarify: 'Deflator' Refers To Weight Loss

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 5:22 am

Days after a stinging report and punishment was announced by the NFL over "deflategate," the New England Patriots have elaborated on their response, publishing its own scientific findings and version of events online.

On Monday, the NFL suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games, fined the Patriots $1 million and stripped the team of a first-round draft pick over the findings in the report by attorney Ted Wells' investigative team.

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