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
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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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Clinton Says She Didn't Save Personal Emails From Her State Department Tenure

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters Tuesday at United Nations headquarters, where she said she chose to use a personal email account for government business out of convenience.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:35 pm

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been under fire for her use of a personal email address while in office, said Tuesday she "chose not to keep personal emails" from her tenure at the State Department, but that she turned over 55,000 printed pages of her official correspondence to the department.

At a news conference at the U.N., Clinton said the personal correspondence included emails about planning her daughter Chelsea's wedding, preparations for her mother's funeral and her yoga schedule.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Iran Calls GOP Letter 'Propaganda Ploy,' Offers To 'Enlighten' Authors

A letter from U.S. senators suggests the lawmakers "not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution," says Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 12:38 pm

Republican senators' letter to Iran about ongoing nuclear talks has prompted a lengthy response from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who delivered an overview of international law as he critiqued the letter.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Tue March 10, 2015

U.S. Ambassador Leaves Hospital After Attack In South Korea

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert waves as he leaves a hospital in Seoul, where he recovered from being attacked by a knife-wielding South Korean nationalist.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:48 am

Five days after his face and arm were slashed in an attack in Seoul, U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert has been released from the hospital. Doctors say the stitches from the cut to Lippert's face have been removed, but he has a deep cut on a finger that will still require attention.

From Seoul, NPR's Elise Hu reports:

"In a press conference before leaving the hospital, Lippert said that while there's more rehab left for his arm, he's eager to return to work.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Tue March 10, 2015

3 French Star Athletes Die In Helicopter Crash In Argentina

A helicopter crash in Argentina has killed 10 people, including 3 French athletes: sailor Florence Arthaud, swimmer Camille Muffat, and boxer Alexis Vastine.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Two helicopters collided during the filming of a French reality TV show Monday, killing 10 people, including two Olympic medalists and an accomplished sailor. News of the crash in Argentina has left France in mourning, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says.

In addition to the athletes and five other French citizens, two Argentine pilots died in the accident.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Solar-Powered Airplane Embarks On Attempt To Fly Around The World

A handout image from Solar Impulse 2 shows the solar-powered airplane flying at the start of an attempt to make a historic round-the-world journey.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 1:20 pm

It weighs as much as an SUV, but its wingspan is wider than a 747's. And Monday, a solar-powered airplane flew over the Gulf of Oman, starting what its pilots hope will be a record-setting trip around the world.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Obama Imposes Sanctions On Venezuela, Invoking Emergency Powers

President Obama says new sanctions will target Venezuelan figures who have helped repress human rights. Here, opposition leader Maria Corina Machado (center) marched with opponents of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas to mark International Women's Day.
Federico Parra AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 3:06 pm

Citing an "erosion of human rights guarantees" and corruption in Venezuela, President Obama issued an executive order Monday imposing sanctions on members of the country's military and intelligence services.

The White House says the executive order builds on the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, part of a response to a violent crackdown on government protests.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Oklahoma Fraternity Is Closed Over Video Of Racist Chant

The exterior of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma. The chapter was closed by the organization's national office.
Brian Hardzinski KGOU

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 12:23 pm

Responding to a video that allegedly shows members of its University of Oklahoma chapter chanting racist slurs about African-Americans and lynching, the national office of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has closed the chapter and suspended its members.

The video reportedly captured a scene of members of the fraternity, dressed in formalwear, chanting slurs as they rode on a chartered bus. It surfaced Sunday, immediately drawing wide condemnation for the chant's mention of lynching and the promise that the fraternity will never have a black member.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Supreme Court Revives Notre Dame's Appeal In Contraception Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated an appeals court ruling that went against the University of Notre Dame, in a case that revolves around the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers should pay for contraception as part of women's health insurance.

Last February, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago backed a lower court's ruling that dismissed Notre Dame's request for an injunction against the rule.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Anti-Smog Film Is Pulled In China; Protesters Reportedly Detained

A woman wears a face mask on a hazy January day in downtown Shanghai. China has ordered a popular anti-pollution film removed from major online outlets. In Xi'an, two people who had protested against smog were reportedly detained.
ALY SONG Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:22 am

A human rights group says that police in China detained two people Monday for protesting the government's approach to air pollution. One of the protesters was detained for slander, according to China Human Rights Defenders.

The group says the pair were released after being held overnight, with an update published Monday citing "the pressure of public opinion at home and abroad."

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Enters 2nd Week

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Brassard (left) and bombing witness Carlos Arredondo (right) leave a federal courthouse last week during the trial of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 11:37 am

More survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing are expected to tell their stories Monday morning in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Those testifying already have included a father whose 8-year-old son died in the attack.

Tsarnaev's defense team insists he was pressured by his older brother, Tamerlan, into wreaking violence that killed three people and injured more than 260. He was 19 at the time of the 2013 attacks.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu March 5, 2015

It's World Book Day: Time For Reading Lists And Dress-Up

Fans are celebrating World Book Day on Thursday. Here, a man browses through books at the Albertine, a French bookstore and library at the French Embassy in New York.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:17 pm

Put down that screen: Today's the day to celebrate holding a bound book in your hands. World Book Day celebrations include storytelling and dressing up as favorite characters. We bring you a roundup of stories and reading lists.

Many young (and less-young) readers are using the occasion to dress up as beloved characters — from pirates and the doughnut-dispensing Mr. Panda to Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Michael Brown's Family Will File Civil Suit Over His Death

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 11:01 am

The family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black man who was slain by Ferguson, Mo., police last August, say they will file a civil lawsuit over his death. Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson, who is no longer with the city's police force.

The family's legal team "said the City of Ferguson and former Officer Darren Wilson will be named in the suit," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Singapore Court Sentences 2 Germans To Caning And Jail Over Graffiti

Andreas Von Knorre (right), one of two German nationals arrested for vandalism in Singapore, arrives in a police car at the state court on Nov. 22, 2014. Both men were sentenced Thursday to a prison term and caning.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Two young German men who broke into a train depot in Singapore to spray-paint graffiti on a commuter train car have been sentenced to nine months in prison and three strokes from a cane. They were tracked down and arrested in Malaysia last November.

Andreas Von Knorre, 22, and Elton Hinz, 21, had been working in Australia when they traveled to Singapore and broke into the depot. They soon became the subject of an international pursuit.

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The Two-Way
5:09 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Hillary Clinton Asks State Dept. To Release Her Emails To The Public

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seen here at a U.N. event last March, has been criticized for using a private email account to conduct official business during her four years in the Obama administration.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 7:30 am

Responding to concerns over her use of a personal email account to conduct official business while in office, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she wants the public to have access to her emails. The State Department says it will review messages for possible release.

The issue rose to importance earlier this week, after it was revealed that during her entire tenure at the State Department, Clinton used a personal email account — a move that had kept the emails out of the government's control and circumvented archival practices.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Spain's Wine Exports Soar 22 Percent — But Profits Fall

Spain is exporting record amounts of wine. Earlier this year, Spain's King Felipe VI (center) and Queen Letizia toasted with Freixenet president Josep Lluis Bonet during a visit to the winemaker's headquarters in Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, Spain.
Susanna Saez EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 6:34 pm

Spain's wine industry had a record year in 2014, posting numbers that could propel it past Italy as the world's biggest wine exporter. Annual results have not yet been reported in Italy, which was the top exporter last year.

The growth is due to a bumper crop at Spain's vineyards in 2013 that allowed it to surpass France in the export rankings. But a Spanish industry group says that despite 22 percent annual growth in exports compared with 2013, Spain's overall wine profits fell 2 percent in the same span.

From Madrid, Lauren Frayer reports:

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Born In 1898: World's Oldest Living Person Celebrates Birthday

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest living person, poses for a photo with her son Hiroshi Okawa, 92, (left) and other family members and friends on her 117th birthday celebration at Kurenai Nursing Home in Osaka, Japan.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 2:58 pm

It's now past midnight in Japan, meaning that Misao Okawa, the world's oldest human being, has officially turned 117. She was born on March 5, 1898, and lives in a retirement home in Osaka.

Okawa has reigned as the world's oldest living person since 2013, when Guinness World Records certified that she was 115.

Okawa celebrated her birthday by eating cake and taking photos with her family, which includes several great-grandchildren.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Man's Identity Questioned In LAPD Skid Row Shooting

Protesters gather in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters Tuesday, to express anger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed homeless man Sunday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:48 am

New details have emerged in the case of a homeless man who was killed by Los Angeles police Sunday, as officials say he was the subject of a federal warrant related to violating probation. There's also word that he lived under a stolen identity; for now, his true name is a mystery.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Wed March 4, 2015

For U.S. Children, Minorities Will Be The Majority By 2020, Census Says

The Census Bureau predicts shifts in the U.S. over the coming years, with a more diverse — and older — population.
U.S. Census Bureau

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:18 pm

America is heading toward the day when whites will no longer make up the majority of the population. And U.S. children will get there soon, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report. The agency also says the overall U.S. population will grow older — and grow more slowly — in coming years.

By around 2020, "more than half of the nation's children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group," the Census Bureau says, putting Americans under the age of 18 at the front of a trend that will see the overall population follow suit some 20 years later.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins For Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (third from right) is depicted with his lawyers and U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors. The trial begins Wednesday.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:38 pm

The trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev begins in earnest Wednesday, with opening statements in a capital trial that's expected to last several months. It took nearly two months to seat a jury.

The 18 jurors (including six alternates) will hear and see what prosecutors say is irrefutable evidence of Tsarnaev's role in the notorious twin bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260, as well as in the events that followed, in which a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was also killed.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Tue March 3, 2015

David Petraeus Enters Into Plea Deal With Justice Department

Former CIA Director and retired four-star Gen. David Petraeus speaks at the University of Southern California on March 26, 2013, his first public speech after resigning as CIA director.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 11:17 am

Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus, whose military career has been overshadowed by charges that he provided classified data to his mistress, has made a deal with the Justice Department in which he will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

The deal will allow Petraeus, who rose to the rank of a four-star general before becoming director of the CIA, to avoid a trial and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. He'll also avoid a prison sentence, if a federal court agrees with the plea deal's terms.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Use Of Personal Email At State Department Raises Questions

Hillary Clinton, seen here in 2011 during her tenure as secretary of state, used a personal email account instead of an official government account.
POOL Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 11:33 am

During her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton did not use a State Department email account, opting instead to conduct official business through a personal email account that wasn't then and is not now under the government's control.

The arrangement circumvented a federal process that could have automatically preserved Clinton's email communications in government archives.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue March 3, 2015

With Iran's Help, Iraqi Force Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Tikrit

Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters fire artillery during clashes with ISIS militants in Salahuddin province. The push to retake Tikrit is being aided by Iran, which is providing rockets and other support to Iraq.
THAIER AL-SUDANI Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:31 pm

The new Iraqi effort to retake Tikrit from the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, brought fierce fighting to areas around the city Tuesday. A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help seize Tikrit.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Tue March 3, 2015

LAPD Shooting Update: Two Body Cameras And A Gun Malfunction

People view a memorial to a man killed by police on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The police say two officers who were at the scene were wearing body cameras.
LUCY NICHOLSON Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:00 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday. Police say the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun before he was shot to death.

Beck called the incident a tragedy that followed a "brutal, brutal fight."

The police confrontation with a man known as Afrika was filmed by at least two eyewitnesses. A dramatic video sparked criticism of the police, as it showed several officers attempting to hold him down before shots rang out.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

A photo from the Taronga Zoo shows a 6-month-old quokka, a marsupial that's a hit on social media.
Taronga Zoo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:33 pm

We'll get back to the day's serious news soon — but for now, we wanted to be sure you're aware of the insanely cute quokka, a small furry animal that in recent months has become a favorite photo partner in Australia.

The quokka had a flurry of fame in 2013, when it was called "the happiest animal in the world" due to the natural (and photogenic) curl of its mouth and what seems to be a friendly nature. Now people are taking photos with the marsupial that lives in southwestern Australia.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Nasdaq Index Hits 5,000 For First Time Since 2000

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 5:23 pm

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

The Nasdaq composite index returned to territory it hasn't seen since the heyday of the dot-com boom, closing above the 5,000 mark Monday. The index hit the mark nearly 15 years to the day since it surpassed the 5,000 mark on March 9, 2000.

We'll note that the index didn't have far to rise from Friday's close of 4,963.53.

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