Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading 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 trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

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

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

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
6:48 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

House Approves Border Security Spending Bill, 223-189

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 9:24 pm

This post was updated at 11 p.m. ET.

In an attempt to weigh in on an immigration issue before Congress leaves Washington for a five-week break, the House has voted 223-189 to approve a $694 million emergency funding bill. The Republican-backed legislation is a response to the rising number of minors who have crossed the U.S. border unaccompanied and without going through the necessary legal steps.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

GM Stays At The Top As U.S. Car Sales Surge In July

Sales of GM's cars slid by 3.8 percent from July 1013, but its light trucks and SUVs, like this Buick Enclave, more than made up for it, spiking 17.5 percent.
AP

Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.

Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.

GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

NYC Man's Chokehold Death Was A Homicide, Medical Examiner Says

The death of Eric Garner in police custody has sparked controversy in New York City — and it's now been ruled a homicide. On Thursday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (center) sat with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (left) and the Rev. Al Sharpton during a discussion on police-community relations.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Eric Garner, the unarmed man who died two weeks ago after police placed him in a chokehold, was a victim of homicide, says New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Garner's death was captured in a video that showed his confrontation with police on a Staten Island sidewalk.

The update on Garner's controversial death was announced Friday afternoon. Member station WNYC cites spokeswoman Julie Bolcer:

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

President Obama Slams Congress As He Welcomes Economy's Gains

President Barack Obama upbraided Congress Friday, saying that lawmakers haven't done enough to help America's economic recovery.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Touting rosy U.S. economic news that has come out this week, President Obama said America's recovery from a debilitating recession is well underway. But he also said the economy "could be doing even better" if Congress were working harder.

Citing the 200,000 jobs created in July – continuing a six-month streak of at least that level – Obama noted that it was "the first time that has happened since 1997."

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Ebola Patient Will Be Treated In Atlanta Hospital

Red Cross volunteers prepare to bury the body of an Ebola victim in Pendembu, Sierra Leone, early this month.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 4:59 am

An isolation unit at Emory University's hospital in Atlanta will be used in the coming days to house and treat a patient infected with Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 700 people in a recent outbreak in West Africa.

Announcing the pending transfer of the patient Thursday, Emory, which like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based in Atlanta, issued a statement saying it will use "a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases."

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Most Of California Reported To Be In 'Extreme Drought'

A dried-out lawn is seen in the city of Glendora, east of Los Angeles, this week. About 58 percent of California is now under the most extreme drought conditions, a new report says.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The latest Drought Monitor report from U.S. agriculture and weather experts finds 58 percent of California in the worst of its four drought levels, in conditions normally seen only once every 50-100 years.

For our Newscast unit, Nathan Rott reports:

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Israel And Hamas Agree To 3-Day Cease-Fire, U.N. Says

Flares light up the night sky over Gaza City early Friday, Aug. 1. Leaders of Hamas and Israel have agreed to begin a cease-fire Friday at 8 a.m. local time, the U.N. says.
Dusan Vranic AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 12:05 am

A temporary peace will begin Friday morning in Gaza, as Israel and Hamas agree to an "unconditional humanitarian ceasefire," according to a statement by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The truce is set to begin at 8 a.m. local time Friday and last for 72 hours. U.N. Special Coordinator Robert Serry says he's been assured by officials from both Israel and Hamas that they will abide by the truce. The envoys will also travel to Cairo to negotiate a possible longer peace deal, in talks hosted by Egypt.

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The Two-Way
7:22 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Video: Haboob, A Huge Dust Storm, Hits Phoenix Area

A dust storm reported to be more than 3,000 feet high hit Phoenix Friday, limiting visibility and threatening to reshape landscapes and leave a coating of grit in its wake. Striking photos show a wall of dust pushing its way across neighborhoods and streets in the Phoenix metro region in the Valley.

The storm is commonly referred to as a haboob, from the Arabic word for an intense summer dust storm. Today's storm hit in time to complicate the Friday afternoon commute.

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

12-Hour Cease-Fire Begins In Gaza

Palestinian residents look at the wreckage of a vehicle, destroyed by an Israeli strike, after Palestinian fire fighters put out the fire, in Gaza City, early Saturday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:07 am

Updated 3:03 a.m.

A humanitarian cease-fire went into effect on Saturday, a plan agreed to hours earlier by Hamas and Israeli leaders. The truce would allow Palestinian civilians to get food and aid where it's needed, and would last for 12 hours, officials say.

The Associated Press reported that the Israeli military warned that it "shall respond if terrorists choose to exploit" the lull to attack Israeli troops or civilians.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

'I Love Your Country,' New House Member Tells U.S. Officials

Speaking about India, Rep. Curt Clawson told U.S. officials from the State and Commerce departments, "I am familiar with your country. I love your country."
Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:37 pm

Rep. Curt Clawson hasn't been in Congress long — he was sworn into office exactly one month ago. We mention that as a caveat, because in a congressional hearing Thursday, Clawson seems to have mistaken Americans who work in the U.S. departments of State and Commerce for representatives of India's government.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Bill Allowing Americans To Unlock Cellphones Passes House, Heads To Obama

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 3:49 pm

Approving a bill that has already passed the Senate, the House of Representatives has given its consent to legislation that lets U.S. consumers "unlock" their cellphones, rather than having them remain linked to specific service providers.

President Obama says he will sign the bill into law, applauding Congress today for taking "another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget."

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The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Arizona Execution Of Inmate Takes Nearly 2 Hours

An undated file photo from the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was executed Wednesday. After the lethal injection process began, Wood reportedly remained alive for nearly two hours.
AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:15 am

Another U.S. execution has gone awry, as Arizona officials who were attempting to put inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood to death today instead watched him gasp and snort for more than an hour after the mix of lethal injection drugs was administered, Wood's attorney says.

Nearly two hours after the execution began at 1:52 p.m. local time Wednesday, Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Campaign Finance Transparency Bill Gets Chilly Reception In Senate

A bill that would require transparency by nonprofit groups related to federal elections met with united opposition from Republicans Wednesday, at the first Senate hearing on what its supporters call the Disclose Act.

The legislation would require any politically active group that spends more than $10,000 to list its donors. It was introduced last month, with 52 senators listed as its sponsors or co-sponsors (including the chamber's two independents).

NPR's Peter Overby reports:

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Obama Declares Emergency As Huge Fires Burn In Washington State

A burned-out car sits in front of a ruined house in this photo taken Sunday near Pateros, Wash. Large fires have destroyed hundreds of homes in the state this month.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:57 pm

Fires are still raging in Washington state, where officials hope rain might help them contain the large fires — but there's also a chance that heavy rainfall could trigger flooding and mudslides.

Fire crews have been battling several major fires in central and eastern Washington for the past two weeks. The blazes have destroyed hundreds of homes and caused wide power outages.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

GM Recalls Nearly 718,000 Vehicles For 'Varying Safety Issues'

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 2:01 pm

Announcing six different safety recalls Wednesday, GM said it needs to fix problems that range from a turn-signal bug to an unpredictable loss of power steering. The flaws were found in vehicles from model years 2011 to 2015.

GM says no deaths and only two crashes have been linked to the recalls, which come in a year that has already seen the Detroit carmaker recall nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide. The company has "passed the 22 million vehicles recalled by all automakers last year," the AP says.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Plane Crash In Taiwan Kills Dozens, Leaving Some Survivors

Rescue crews work on the wreckage of TransAsia Airways Flight GE222, which crashed while attempting to land in stormy weather on the Taiwanese island of Penghu, late Wednesday.
Wong Yao-wen AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 1:53 pm

A domestic flight in Taiwan that was attempting to land in bad weather brought on by a strong typhoon Wednesday night crashed near the runway, killing as many as 47 of the 58 people aboard, according to multiple media outlets.

About a dozen survivors have reportedly been taken to local hospitals; the plane reportedly had 54 passengers and a crew of four.

From Kuala Lumpur, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports:

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fruit Recall Hits Trader Joe's, Costco, Wal-Mart Stores

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:40 am

Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Co. has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe's to pull its products.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Flight MH17: U.S. Builds Its Case; Plane Wreckage Reportedly Cut Apart

Pro-Russian rebels move journalists away from Malaysian investigators and monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Tuesday. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down by a missile Thursday; today, U.S. intelligence says it has verified that two rebel leaders spoke by phone about shooting the plane down.
Rob Stothard Getty Images

American analysts say they've verified several pieces of evidence that show pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, according to U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters Tuesday.

Here's a quick rundown of the officials' updates on what U.S. investigators have found, from notes taken by NPR's Pentagon reporter Tom Bowman:

  • A U.S. spy satellite detected the launch of a surface-to-air missile in the area just before the plane went down.
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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Montana Judge Is Publicly Censured Over 30-Day Sentence For Rape

Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh was publicly censured by the state Supreme Court on Tuesday. The judge apologized for remarks he made about a rape victim last year.
Matt Brown AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Less than a year after his lenient jail sentence for an admitted rapist stirred outrage, a Montana judge was publicly reprimanded today. In giving a former high school teacher only a 30-day jail sentence, District Judge G. Todd Baugh said the man's victim, a student, seemed older than her age, 14.

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

North Korea Is Not Pleased: Dance Video Features Kim Jong Un

An online video that edits North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's face into dance and fight scenes has sparked a request to take it down.
YouTube

He grins, he fumes, he fights — and through it all, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dances his way in and out of preposterous situations. That's the premise of a video that has become popular in China and reportedly sparked a protest from North Korea.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Hospital Settles Lawsuit By Thousands Of Women Over Exam Photos

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 11:06 am

The Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to former patients of a gynecologist who used a small camera to secretly film examinations, in one of the largest sexual misconduct settlements involving a physician.

The Baltimore-based hospital is settling a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women and at least 62 minors; more women will likely register with the suit.

From member station WYPR, Christopher Connelly reports:

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Flight MH17: Black Boxes And Bodies Handed Over; U.N. Calls For Inquiry

A pro-Russian rebel talks on a phone as a refrigerated train loaded with the bodies of victims from Flight MH17 leaves the station in Torez, eastern Ukraine, about 9 miles from the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:50 pm

This post was last updated at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Pro-Russian separatists have given what they say are Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17's data recorders to Malaysian officials in Donetsk, the city in eastern Ukraine that has been the militants' stronghold.

Along with the release of victims' bodies hours earlier, the transfer of the black boxes fulfills part of a deal Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he had reached with the rebels Monday.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:30 pm

Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who police say impeded their investigation of the 2013 attack, has been convicted on some of the charges against him and found not guilty of others.

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The Two-Way
4:07 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama: Evidence MH17 Hit By Missile From Rebel-Held Area Of Ukraine

A firefighter douses the smoldering wreckage of Flight MH17 on Thursday.
Alexander Khudoteply AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 12:24 am

This post was updated at 5:00 p.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch Has Died

Elaine Stritch in her final engagement at the Cafe Carlyle in New York in 2013. Stritch bade farewell to New York with a series of concerts last spring; she died Thursday in Michigan.
Walter McBride/The O M Co. AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 1:45 pm

Elaine Stritch, an actress whose talent led to a substantial and long career on Broadway and in cabarets, died Thursday at age 89. She had been living in her native Birmingham, Mich., where she moved last year after spending decades in New York. Stritch's publicist says she died of natural causes; her health had been failing in recent months.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu July 17, 2014

U.S. Officials: Malaysian Airliner Likely Shot Down

A woman at Kuala Lumpur International Airport reacts to news of crash. The flight was on its way to the Malaysian capital.
Samsul Said Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 10:31 am

This post was last updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 passengers and crew aboard has crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area of the country that has been wracked by a separatist insurgency.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Thu July 17, 2014

California Bank Robbery Ends In Violent And Deadly Car Chase

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:07 am

A bank robbery in California ended in a running gunbattle between police and three armed men in an hourlong car chase. The suspects had taken three hostages with them after fleeing the bank in the city of Stockton. Two of the suspects died, along with one hostage.

The chase didn't end until police succeeded in shooting out the tires on the vehicle the men were in. TV footage from the scene shows a bullet-riddled SUV with at least one rifle next to it, a weapon resembling an AK-47.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:23 am

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.

The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dies At 70

Legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, seen here performing in Valencia in 2008, has died at age 70.
Diego Tuson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:08 am

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel Ends, And Fighting Begins

A Palestinian municipality worker sweeps the street as a United Nations vehicle drives past a damaged money exchange post. Israel and Hamas took a break from fighting Thursday for humanitarian reasons.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:12 pm

This post was updated at 4:10 p.m. ET: Ground Offenses Begin

Israel has sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday, which we are covering in this post.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Hostilities Resume

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