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
11:06 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Man Who Jumped White House Fence Sentenced to 17 Months In Prison

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 12:13 pm

A federal judge has sentenced Omar Gonzalez, the man who breached the Secret Service's protection by scaling a fence at the White House and then entering the building, to 17 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

In March, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to two federal offenses: unlawfully
entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon and one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Baseball Hacking: FBI Is Looking Into Possible St. Louis Attack On Houston Astros

Did the St. Louis Cardinals try to steal more than second base from the Houston Astros? The FBI is looking into a hacking attack on a key Astros database. Here, the Cardinals' Aledmys Diaz is tagged out at second by Carlos Correa of the Astros during a spring training game in March.
Stacy Revere Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 5:57 pm

Update, 5 p.m. ET:

In a news conference late Tuesday afternoon, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said the league has been cooperating fully with the FBI investigation, and that the league will wait until that inquiry is complete to take its own actions.

"In addition to what happened, there's the question of who did it, who knew about it — you know, is the organization responsible, is the individual responsible," Manfred said. "There's a whole set of issues that are gonna need to be sorted through."

Original Post:

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Donald Trump Is In, Promises To 'Make America Great Again'

Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 11:55 am

Saying that the United States can no longer beat its international competition, Donald Trump announced his candidacy to be the country's next president.

"Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now," Trump said. He said that rather than being a cheerleader for America, President Obama has been "a negative force."

We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again," Trump said. At one point, he also said the country needs a leader who has written The Art of the Deal — his 1987 book.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Balcony Collapse Kills 6 Irish Students In Berkeley, Calif.

A fourth-floor balcony rests on the balcony below after collapsing at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, Calif., early Tuesday.
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 12:17 pm

A fourth-floor balcony gave way during a party in northern California late last night, killing at least six exchange students in a building close to the University of California, Berkeley. Seven other people were injured, some of them seriously.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Tue June 16, 2015

'I Identify As Black,' Rachel Dolezal Says In TV Interview

Rachel Dolezal tells NBC's Today show that she knew "at some point, I would need to address the complexity of my identity."
Today Show/NBC

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 12:04 pm

Former NAACP official Rachel Dolezal shared her views on race — including her own — in a live interview Tuesday, the first time she's spoken with the media since reports emerged that questioned her racial identity.

When the Today show's Matt Lauer asked, "Are you an African-American woman?" Dolezal replied, "I identify as black."

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Egyptian Court Sentences Morsi To Life, And Then To Death

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi can appeal his death sentence. He's seen here in the defendants' cage earlier this week, in a criminal court on the outskirts of Cairo.
Amr Sayed APA /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 2:04 pm

Nearly two years after he was removed from power, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi received two severe punishments Tuesday: life in prison for espionage charges, and a death sentence over a prison break.

The rulings in Cairo confirm sentences against Morsi that were handed down this spring. NPR's Leila Fadel reports, "The cases have been criticized as show trials with fantastical accusations."

From the courthouse, Leila reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
4:48 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Al-Qaida Says Its No. 2 Leader Was Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 12:09 pm

Nasir al-Wahishi, the leader of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen and the group's second-in-command overall, died in a U.S. drone attack, according to a video statement that claims to be from Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The U.S. has not confirmed the account.

Al-Wahishi was part of al-Qaida's "old guard," NPR's Alice Fordham reports for Morning Edition. Al-Wahishi had fought in Afghanistan; he had also been Osama bin Laden's personal secretary.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

N.Y. Prison Break Search Is Costing $1 Million A Day

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 4:12 pm

Clinton County, N.Y., District Attorney Andrew Wylie says the search for two convicted killers who escaped from prison is costing $1 million a day. Wylie has also said the inmates may have used power tools left behind by maintenance contractors.

Officials say that it likely took weeks for the escape plan to come together, as the inmates worked their way through tunnels and utility corridors to cut through walls and a steam pipe.

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Supreme Court Denies N.C. Appeal On State's Ultrasound Abortion Law

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 2:20 pm

A North Carolina law that would require women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound scan prior to the procedure suffered a final defeat Monday, when the Supreme Court refused to review the case. A federal judge declared the law illegal in early 2014.

The controversial law had been placed under an injunction soon after it took effect back in 2011. It was struck down on the grounds that it reflected ideological, rather than medical, priorities and violated doctors' right of free speech.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Sudanese President Flies Home After South African Court Orders His Arrest

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (center), seen here next to Congo's president Denis Sasso-Nguesso (right) and Prime Minister of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Abdelkader Taleb Oumar, escaped an arrest order in South Africa.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 3:12 pm

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has eluded an arrest order for war crimes, successfully returning home from South Africa, where the nation's high court had issued an order to arrest him.

Al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 on charges that he committed war crimes and genocide in Darfur, where 300,000 people died. But that didn't stop him from flying to South Africa last week for an African Union leaders' summit.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports for Morning Edition from Johannesburg:

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Magna Carta, 'This Awful Thing' That Shaped Legal Rights, Turns 800

The London copy of the 1215 Magna Carta, on display by the British Library. The document was sealed on June 15, 1215.
2289 The British Library

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 10:18 am

The Great Charter is now an octocentenarian. The document that laid a legal cornerstone for thousands of judicial systems was sealed on June 15, 1215. It was nullified within weeks — but the horse of due process was already out of the barn of royal privilege.

The landmark birthday prompted an animated Google Doodle on the search engine's British site, featuring King John with a group of barons. It also depicts a man wearing a ball and chain, a reference to the rights that eventually reached beyond the nobility.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Federal Employee Breach Very Likely Included Security Clearance Info

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 10:58 am

Along with the massive security breach that exposed millions of federal workers' personnel records, a possible separate intrusion may have exposed information from background checks that were done on both federal employees and applicants.

That's part of an update from a senior Obama administration official who declined to be named on the record because of the ongoing investigation into the cyberattack against the Office of Personnel Management.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

N.Y. Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Arrested Over Killers' Escape

Joyce Mitchell is arraigned in City Court on Friday in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Mitchel is accused of helping two convicted killers escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, where she is an employee.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 2:21 am

New York State Police say they've arrested Clinton Correctional Facility worker Joyce Mitchell and charged her with "providing material assistance" to two convicted killers who escaped from the prison last weekend.

Update at 11:15 p.m. ET

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

#Distractinglysexy Tweets Are Female Scientists' Retort To 'Disappointing' Comments

Madison Herbert was among the female scientists who tweeted messages mocking the views of Nobel laureate Tim Hunt, who recently spoke out against women in labs.
Twitter

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 9:03 pm

A Nobel-winning biochemist's announcement that he has "trouble with girls" in labs because they either cause romantic sparks or start crying when criticized ignited wide condemnation. And as a barrage of tweets shows, the responses of many female scientists are neither silent nor unfunny.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Wrestler Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream, Has Died

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 3:37 pm

Dusty Rhodes, the passionately outspoken wrestler whose career spanned decades, has died at age 69, according to the WWE. Nicknamed The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes was the stage name of Virgil Runnels. He died in Marietta, Ga., an area northwest of Atlanta.

Playing a variety of roles and competing in hundreds of arenas during his wrestling career, Rhodes was often a stand-in for the common man, a fierce fighter who pitted his bulldog physique against more chiseled rivals such as Ric Flair. His victories often came after absorbing a staggering array of injuries.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Joyce Carol Oates On Dinosaur-Killer Tweet: 'My Tweets Are Meant To Be Funny'

Author Joyce Carol Oates, seen here at a a panel discussion last October, sparked jokes, and then a debate, by tweeting about the "barbaric" killing of a triceratops.
Thos Robinson Getty Images for The New Yorker

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 2:23 pm

After Joyce Carol Oates sent an outraged tweet about the "barbaric" killing of an animal this week, a debate emerged: Was the author, 77, slipping? The question was prompted by the image accompanying Oates' tweet, of a triceratops and a smiling Steven Spielberg.

"So barbaric that this should still be allowed," Oates wrote. "No conservation laws in effect wherever this is?"

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

'Some Indication' That N.Y. Escapees Might Have Headed To Vermont

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 3:10 pm

"There is some indication" that two convicted killers who escaped from a maximum security prison in New York "might have planned to head to Vermont" after escaping, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says.

He spoke at a news conference held near the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., where inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped this past weekend.

Shumlin said the authorities have information suggesting the two men might have considered New York "too hot" and that they might instead head to a camp in Vermont.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

'His Emotions Got The Best Of Him' At Pool, Officer's Attorney Says

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 5:44 pm

An attorney representing former McKinney, Texas, police Cpl. Eric Casebolt says the officer was not targeting minorities and was in an emotional state even before he responded to a call about a disturbance at a pool party.

"His first call was a suicide at an apartment complex," said attorney Jane Bishkin, who is representing Casebolt on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police. Casebolt resigned Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

Nobel Laureate In Hot Water For 'Trouble With Girls' In Labs

Biochemist Tim Hunt, a 2001 Nobel laureate, has apologized – to an extent – for saying that women are a disruptive presence in scientific labs. He's seen here in 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 2:29 pm

In 2001, Tim Hunt won a share of a Nobel Prize. In 2006, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. But in 2015, he's being widely criticized for his recent remarks about women in science, including: "when you criticize them, they cry."

Hunt, a biochemist, made that and other comments during a speech this week at the World Conference of Science Journalists that's being held in South Korea this week. He was quoted in a tweet that's since been shared hundreds of times, asking the audience to "let me tell you about my trouble with girls."

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Cleveland Officials: Police Are Being Retrained On Interacting With The Public

"This is a defining moment for Cleveland," Mayor Frank Jackson says of reform efforts. He's seen here at a news conference last month.
Tony Dejak AP

More than seven months after a Justice Department report on the Cleveland Police Department cited a "pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive force," city officials say officers are getting new training on both interacting with youths and the use of force.

The federal report was spurred by a string of claims that Cleveland's police used excessive force. It came out last December — one month after police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a public park. Rice had been playing with a pellet gun.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Vatican Establishes Tribunal To Investigate Bishops In Abuse Cases

Pope Francis approved a plan Wednesday to set up a tribunal to review charges of negligence against bishops who are accused of covering up cases of sexual abuse by priests.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 9:50 am

Taking a new step toward holding bishops accountable for not protecting children who were sexually abused by priests, Pope Francis has set up a tribunal that will hear cases against senior clergy. But a victims' group says the Vatican isn't going far enough.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Abortion Restriction Law Is Backed By Federal Court In Texas

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 1:50 pm

A federal appeals court has upheld sweeping abortion restrictions in Texas, in the latest swing in a back-and-forth battle in the state. The court has backed key parts of a controversial 2013 law that critics say would put some clinics at risk of closing.

The ruling by the 5th Circuit Appeals Court could prompt the plaintiffs — several women's health clinics, a doctor, and their patients — to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports:

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Chief Calls Actions Of Officer From McKinney, Texas, Pool Party Video 'Indefensible'

Hundreds of protesters rally in McKinney, Texas, on Monday. Officers' response to a pool party has sparked a debate over racism and the proper use of force.
Mike Stone Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 6:16 pm

Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET:

Cpl. Eric Casebolt has resigned from the McKinney, Texas, police department, following actions responding to a party on Friday that police Chief Greg Conley described as "out of control" and "indefensible," the Dallas Morning News reports.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Virginia Court Is Ordered To Reconsider Injunction In Sweet Briar College Case

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 11:41 am

Giving at least a temporary victory to opponents of the plan to close Sweet Briar College, the Virginia Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to review its rejection of a request for a temporary injunction that would freeze the process of closing the school.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Vincent Bugliosi, Manson Prosecutor And 'Helter Skelter' Author, Dies

Writer and former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, seen here in 2011, has died at age 80.
David Livingston Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 8:49 am

Former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, who pivoted from the courtroom to writing, has died at age 80. After the 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others thrust Bugliosi into the spotlight, he won convictions against Charles Manson and several of his followers.

Bugliosi's son tells The Associated Press that the former district attorney died Saturday in Los Angeles after a fight with cancer.

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Thousands Who Bet On American Pharoah Are Keeping The Tickets

Not all winning tickets are being cashed in, after American Pharoah took the Belmont Stakes to complete the first Triple Crown in 37 years.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 9:30 am

Instead of turning in a $2 ticket that would pay $3.80 for American Pharoah winning the Belmont Stakes, most people who bought the tickets are hanging on to them as keepsakes — or even investments.

American Pharoah became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the venerable Triple Crown. The 3-year-old colt entered Saturday's race as a heavy favorite — and it seems that thousands of people who bet on him to win were doing so in the hopes of getting a souvenir.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

NASA's 'Flying Saucer' Test For Advanced Parachute Appears To Fail

An image from NASA shows its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator after launch Monday.
NASA

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 5:35 am

It's a big day for NASA: The agency's new "flying saucer" is getting a crucial test, part of a plan to land on Mars someday. A giant balloon is carrying the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator to an altitude of 120,000 feet. Then it'll go even higher — and engineers hope its parachute guides it safely to Earth's surface.

You can watch NASA TV online to follow events live. "Drop time" — when the saucer's rocket will be ignited — is slated for 5:35 p.m. ET.

Update 6:02 p.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Texas Pool Party Update: Teens And Residents Speak Out

A video of a police officer forcing a teenager to the ground and also drawing his weapon has brought criticism about police response to a pool party in McKinney, Texas.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 1:44 pm

Days after a dramatic video surfaced of a Texas police officer pulling a gun and screaming at young people at a community pool, the teenage girl he forced to the ground has spoken out. So have local residents who back the police.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Spain's Air Traffic Controllers Go On Strike; Pay Isn't The Big Complaint

Two Spanish Iberia airplanes stand on the tarmac at the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport in Madrid on Monday. Spanish air traffic controllers started a four-day partial strike that could affect some 5,300 flights.
J.J. Guillen EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:26 pm

Despite being among the best-paid public workers in Spain, the country's air traffic controllers started a strike Monday. Their union is protesting the punishment of dozens of controllers who were involved in a 2010 strike that sparked a national state of alarm.

"Some 5,300 flights to and from Spain are expected to be affected," NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid. "This is the first of four days of work stoppage by Spain's air traffic controllers."

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Irish Soccer Details $7 Million FIFA Payment Over Handball

Robbie Keane scored in Ireland's controversial World Cup qualifying match with France on Nov. 18, 2009 — but the country was eliminated by the aggregate score of 2-1. Ireland's soccer association says FIFA paid 5 million euros — $7 million at 2010 exchange rates — over a blatant breaking of the rules by France.
Michael Steele Getty Images

A day after news emerged that soccer's world body paid Ireland not to protest a blatant handball by France's Thierry Henry in 2009, the Football Association of Ireland is releasing more details about the arrangement — including a copy of a signed deal.

FIFA paid the FAI more than 5 million euros — equal to around $7 million at the time of the transaction in January 2010 — so that the Irish would quit their plans for a legal appeal.

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