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
12:03 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Seven Red Cross Relief Workers Seized In Syria

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:32 pm

The International Committee of the Red Cross says seven of its workers have been abducted in northwest Syria. The team, which includes one Syrian Red Crescent volunteer, was taken by gunmen as they drove to Damascus on Sunday morning.

The workers were seized in Idlib province, where rebels have clashed with government forces this month.

"We call for their immediate release," the relief agency said.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Barriers Breached At World War II Memorial On Mall

A crowd gathers at the World War II Memorial to call for reopening national memorials closed by the government shutdown. The rally drew support from military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:52 pm

A crowd of demonstrators converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday morning, protesting the government shutdown that has included blocking full access to monuments in Washington.

The "Million Vet March," protest was organized by groups including the Brats for Veterans Advocacy, which called on military veterans and others to march against the barricading of the memorial, which its website calls "a despicable act of cowardice."

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Cyclone Phailin Leaves Debris And Relatively Few Casualties

An Indian woman returns to the cyclone-hit Arjipalli village on the Bay of Bengal coast in Ganjam district, Orissa state, India, Sunday. Officials say 17 deaths resulted from the powerful storm that left a trail of destroyed houses.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 2:40 pm

Indian officials are reporting far fewer casualties than had been feared when the large and powerful cyclone Phailin struck the country's east coast Saturday. But the storm, which forced the evacuation of nearly 1 million people, has left flooding and destruction in its path.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Sun October 13, 2013

U.S. Olympic Committee Adds Sexual Orientation To Anti-Discrimination Rules

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 2:29 pm

Months ahead of the Winter Olympics in Russia, where controversy surrounds a law that targets homosexuality, the U.S. Olympic Committee adds protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation to its policies.

"The fact that we do not think it is our role to advocate for a change in the Russian law does not mean that we support the law, and we do not," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Sun October 13, 2013

U.S. Reaches Partial Deal To Keep Troops In Afghanistan

Secretary of State John Kerry describes a new partial bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan, in a news conference held Saturday after hours of discussions with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Two days of talks between U.S. and Afghan officials have yielded a partial security agreement between the two countries. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Hamid Karzai held discussions Friday and Saturday on a deal to keep the U.S. military in the country beyond the 2014 pullout date for most U.S. and NATO troops.

The next step for the tentative bilateral security agreement is for it to be reviewed by Afghanistan's parliament and the Loya Jirga, an assembly of public and tribal leaders.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Stampede On Indian Temple Bridge Kills Dozens

Indian villagers on tractors move past victims of a stampede on a bridge across the Sindh River in Madhya Pradesh state, India, on Sunday. Dozens of people died after a panic broke out.
AP

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 2:27 pm

At least 89 people reportedly died in a stampede Sunday at a temple in central India, where 25,000 people had crowded onto a bridge. Police believe a rumor that the bridge was collapsing sparked panic and confusion, according to local media.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: More Deaths Reported

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Malala On Nobel Prize: 'I Think I Have Won' With Nomination

During her trip to Washington this week, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia Obama in the Oval Office.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:00 pm

  • Malala Yousafzai, 16, and her father, Ziauddin

It seems odd to say that someone "lost" the Nobel Peace Prize. But that's what some folks were saying this week about Malala Yousafzai, who was favored to win the award because of the resilience she showed after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

North Dakota's Delay In Reporting Oil Spill Raises Questions

Cleanup went on Friday at the site of an oil pipeline leak and spill north of Tioga, N.D. Officials took nearly two weeks to tell the public about the break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.

Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:

"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Crime Ring That Used Kids In Robberies Gets Jail Time In France

Adults who ordered children to commit dozens of robberies have been sentenced to jail terms in France, after a court found members of three Croatian Roma families guilty of using the kids to carry out the crimes.

The court convicted 26 members of three families for the crimes, handing down sentences of between two and eight years in prison.

From the Agence France-Presse:

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Visit Obama; Boehner Says Talks Are Over

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:02 pm

President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Grand Canyon And Other National Parks Reopen, On States' Dime

Tourists stop on the roadside near Mount Rushmore, after their visit was canceled due to the government shutdown. South Dakota and other states have reached an agreement to fund operations to reopen the parks.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Thanks to agreements between the Department of the Interior and several states, a dozen popular national parks are open again, at least temporarily. The parks range from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon; the states are paying to keep them open for up to 10 days.

State officials say it's particularly important to have the parks open during the Columbus Day holiday weekend. National Park Service employees began opening some facilities Friday; others will reopen today or Monday.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

Ahead of an expected — and repeatedly delayed — news conference, an Afghan worker leaves the area where Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were expected to speak Saturday in Kabul.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:12 am

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Cyclone Phailin Hits India With 120 MPH Winds; Thousands Flee

A man covers himself with a plastic sheet as a shield as he walks to a safer place near Gopalpur in eastern India Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people living along India's eastern coastline took shelter from the massive powerful cyclone Phailin.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 1:35 pm

Cyclone Phailin has struck India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal, where more than 500,000 people have evacuated from vulnerable areas along the coast. Phailin reportedly packed sustained winds of more than 120 mph when the eye of the storm hit; strong winds will likely persist for hours to come.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Oregon's Mile Of Glacier Caves: A Hidden, And Disappearing, World

A scene from another world: entering a glacier cave on Mount Hood. Two explorers say they have mapped more than a mile of caves in Sandy Glacier.
Brent McGregor

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:19 pm

In the past two years, explorers Eddy Cartaya and Brent McGregor have used ropes, ice screws, wet suits and flashlights to map out more than a mile of passages underneath a glacier on Oregon's Mount Hood, in what are thought to be America's largest known glacier caves outside Alaska.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Botanic Garden Shuts Down, But Who'll Water The Plants?

The U.S. Botanic Garden, which is closed because of the government shutdown, says a small staff is looking after its plants. The garden's website still highlights part of its collection that's in bloom.
U.S. Botanic Garden

Among the casualties of the federal government shutdown is the U.S. Botanic Garden, which has been closed since Oct. 1.

As the government shutdown began, the final official act of many furloughed office workers was to grab their plants so they could care for them at home. That raised a question in Washington: Who would look after the Botanic Garden's plants?

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama Calls Boehner To Say He'll Negotiate — Later

On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner urged Democrats to negotiate on budget and debt issues. In a phone call, President Obama told Boehner he is open to talks, but not until the current crises are over.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:54 am

President Obama phoned House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday morning to tell him that he's open to discussing Republicans' fiscal ideas, but not until the government shutdown is over and the federal debt ceiling has been raised.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

North Korea Has Restarted Nuclear Reactor, South Korea Says

An Aug. 31 image from DigitalGlobe shows the 5-megawatt reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility. South Korean officials say they have confirmed that the nuclear reactor has been restarted.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:44 am

South Korean officials say they have confirmed that North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that had been shut down in 2007. The news bolsters reports last month that the reactor was operating once again.

In April, North Korea said it would restart the reactor to aid its nuclear weapons program, as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports for our Newscast unit:

"South Korea's National Intelligence Service delivered a report to a parliamentary intelligence committee saying that North Korea's 5-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Weapons Expert Sees 'Constructive Beginning' In Syria

A convoy of chemical weapons disarmament experts depart the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday. A second team of experts will soon join mission to destroy Syria's chemical program.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:17 am

A second team of international inspectors is being deployed to Syria, where the process of destroying chemical weapons-producing facilities began Sunday. Syria faces a November deadline for demolishing its production equipment; the first weapons team arrived in the country on Oct. 1.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Family Of Man Who Set Himself On Fire Says Act Wasn't Political

The man who set himself on fire Friday at the National Mall was John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., police say. Constantino's family links the act to "a long battle with mental illness."
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:55 am

Officials have identified the man who died after setting fire to himself last week on the National Mall as John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J.

Constantino poured gasoline on his body and ignited it Friday afternoon while sitting on the mall. Passersby used their clothing to try to put out the flames. He was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where he died later that night.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Former French Leader Sarkozy Is Cleared In Corruption Case

The decision to dismiss charges against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen here in Paris Monday, could clear the way for him to return to politics.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:36 pm

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.

"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Argentina's Kirchner To Have Surgery For Brain Hematoma

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will undergo surgery to relieve a hematoma on her brain Tuesday. She is seen here last month, at the U.N. General Assembly.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Days after doctors said Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner must take a month off from work to recover from a brain hematoma, reports now indicate that she'll undergo surgery to relieve the condition Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Fan's Video Captures Scary Scene Of Franchitti's IndyCar Crash

A safety team works to remove Dario Franchitti from his car after a high-speed crash at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston Sunday. The driver was hospitalized with a fractured spine and other injuries.
Juan DeLeon AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 12:27 pm

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, A 'Kingmaker' In Israeli Politics, Dies

Followers of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef mourn outside his home in Jerusalem on Monday. The rabbi, who transformed his downtrodden community into a powerful force in Israeli politics, died at age 93.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 7:49 am

Israel is mourning a legendary political and spiritual figure, after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died in Jerusalem on Monday. He was 93.

The longtime spiritual leader of Sephardic Jews, Yosef also was a founder of Shas, the ultra-Orthodox political party that has played crucial roles in governing coalitions. The daily Haaretz called him a "kingmaker of Israeli politics and Jewish law."

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Monster Truck Crash Kills Eight At Outdoor Event In Mexico

People in a crowd flee as an out-of-control monster truck plows through spectators at a Mexican air show in the city of Chihuahua Saturday. Officials say they are investigating the incident, in which eight people died.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:00 am

Three days of mourning have been declared in Chihuahua, Mexico, where at least eight people were killed by an out-of-control monster truck this weekend. A crowd had gathered to watch the truck at an outdoor arena that lacked any visible barriers.

From Mexico, James Blears reports for our Newscast unit that the truck went from crushing cars to plunging into a crowd of spectators, leaving eight dead and dozens more injured:

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Boehner And Cruz, And Lew Too: Voices On The Shutdown

On the sixth day of a federal government shutdown that has barricaded national parks and attractions, tourists take photos at the World World II Memorial in Washington Sunday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

With a government shutdown nearing its second week, there were no signs of a new deal in Washington Sunday. But several leaders are speaking out about the impasse, even as they look ahead to the next battle: an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

When House Speaker John Boehner was asked on ABC's This Week about the possibility that he might present a "clean" funding bill that doesn't attack the new health care system in the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio Republican said there was no point.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sun October 6, 2013

School Pulls All-Beef Burgers From Menu, Citing Complaints

Advocates for healthy food in Virginia schools have met a reversal, after cafeterias changed back to hamburgers with additives due to students' complaints. The schools had been serving all-beef burgers such as these, being grilled at a farmer's market.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:21 pm

Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun October 6, 2013

The Votes Are In: Sandy Hook Elementary Will Be Torn Down

Voters in Newtown, Conn., have approved a plan to use nearly $50 million in state funds to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school in its place. This photo provided by Craig Hoekenga shows his son Trey, a kindergarten student at Sandy Hook, on the school bus this year. The window has a quote from the late principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in last December's mass shooting.
Craig Hoekenga AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:23 pm

In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.

Saturday's vote asked citizens to decide whether to take nearly $50 million in state money to fund the demolition of Sandy Hook and the planning and construction of a new school on essentially the same site.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Iran Says It Has Arrested 4 In Nuclear Sabotage Plot

Iran's Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the country's Atomic Energy Organization, says four saboteurs have been arrested and are being interrogated.
Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

Iran has arrested four people who it says were intent on sabotaging facilities in its nuclear program. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the four are now being questioned.

"Some time ago, a number of people were arrested in one of the (nuclear) facilities when they were involved in planning activities," Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Suicide Bombers In Iraq Kill Students At Elementary School

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:29 pm

Suicide car bombers carried out a deadly strike on a school and a police station near Tel Afar, a small town in northeastern Iraq, Sunday. At least 12 students and their principal died in the attack on an elementary school, according to reports.

Part of the school building is believed to have collapsed as a result of the blast. The suicide bombing at the town's police station reportedly did not cause further casualties.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Destruction Of Syria's Chemical Weapons System Begins

United Nations vehicles leave a Damascus hotel last week. The team of international disarmament experts began to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons production facilities on Sunday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:09 am

In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.

"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."

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