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
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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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Man Changes Name To 'Adam West' To Avoid Paying $336 Airline Fee

Adam Armstrong was using the name Adam West on Facebook — and now, it's his legal name. The 19-year-old chose to get a new passport rather than pay more than $330 in fees.
Facebook

It started with a joke: On Facebook, Adam Armstrong listed his name as Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the 1960s. But then his girlfriend's stepfather bought him a plane ticket with the West name on it — and the airline wanted $336 to change it.

Adam, who lives in Manchester, England, is 19 — and he really wanted to go on this trip to the resort island of Ibiza. So he simply became Adam West. It was cheaper to change his name and get a new passport than to pay airline Ryanair's fees.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Indicted Former FIFA Official Warner Says He Won't Protect Secrets

Former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner discussed records he has amassed about financial dealings in the embattled organization Wednesday.
Andrea De Silva Reuters/Landov

In a televised address titled "The Gloves Are Off," former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner says he told his lawyers to contact law enforcement, and that he has proof FIFA and its leader, Sepp Blatter, influenced Trinidad and Tobago's election in 2010.

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Pluto's Moons Are 'Tumbling In Absolute Chaos,' NASA Says

Computer modeling illustrations of Pluto's moon Nix demonstrate that its orientation changes unpredictably as it orbits the "double planet" of Pluto and Charon.
M. Showalter (SETI)/G. Bacon (STScI) NASA/ESA

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:19 am

In the NFL, something that behaves like Pluto's football-shaped moons might be called a wobbly duck. NASA simply calls them astonishing.

Instead of steadily rotating through their orbits, two of Pluto's moons "wobble unpredictably," the space agency says, citing new analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Chinese Cruise Ship Death Toll Rises To 75

A relative of passengers on board the Eastern Star cruise ship is comforted by a man along the Yangtze River's banks in Jianli, China. Relatives of people missing after the cruise ship capsized have gathered at the disaster site.
AFP/Getty Images

There are still only 14 survivors of Monday's cruise ship disaster in China's Yangtze River. Rescue teams have now cut holes through parts of the overturned ship's hull, but they've found no more survivors from the ship that carried more than 450 people.

Cutting into the Eastern Star's hull is part of a desperate effort to find people who might have lived through the capsizing — which officials believe may have trapped air pockets in the ship's interior. But the move also brings risk, as it could release air that's been providing the ship with buoyancy.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Police Officer Should Have Refused $2.7M Bequest, Review Panel Says

Sgt. Aaron Goodwin, of the Portsmouth, N.H. Police Dept., seen here being questioned in May, should have refused a gift from an elderly woman he met while on the job, a review panel says.
Rich Beauchesne AP

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 11:57 am

A New Hampshire police sergeant broke departmental rules by not refusing an elderly woman's offer to leave him her riverfront house, a review panel says. Sgt. Aaron Goodwin received $2.7 million in property and stocks in an estate case that's still being disputed.

The case has set off debates in Portsmouth, N.H., over police policies covering gifts — and over the motivations of Goodwin, who reportedly first met Geraldine Webber in 2010, when he was investigating a potential crime in the area. He became a regular visitor, both on- and off-duty.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Wed June 3, 2015

FIFA Updates: Interpol Targets Officials, And South Africa Denies Bribing

Interpol issued alerts for six people who have been indicted by the U.S. in an inquiry into corruption in FIFA's dealings.
Interpol

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 8:00 am

One day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation, Interpol has issued "red notices" for two former senior FIFA officials and several executives who were indicted on U.S. criminal charges. And South Africa has denied that it issued millions in bribes related to the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter will remain FIFA's leader for months; the organization says a new election could be held "anytime from December of this year to March of next year."

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Death Toll Up To 65 In China Boat Disaster; Government Orders Censorship

Relatives await word of survivors from a cruise ship that capsized in the Yangtze River. The Eastern Star was carrying more than 450 people; only 14 have been rescued.
China Stringer Network Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 11:24 pm

Update, 12:50 p.m. ET:

As expected, the death toll from the capsizing of a cruise ship on China's Yangtze River began rising dramatically late Wednesday, as Reuters reported that the number of bodies recovered had jumped to 65.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Senate Approves USA Freedom Act, Obama Signs It, After Amendments Fail

Kentucky Sen. and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has said the USA Freedom Act doesn't go far enough in reforming U.S. surveillance programs.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 7:48 pm

The Senate has approved the USA Freedom Act, which will alter the way U.S. agencies conduct surveillance and gather data. A final vote on the bill came late Tuesday afternoon, after amendments to the bill failed.

Update at 9:30 p.m. ET: Obama's Signature

Following an expedited enrollment process, President Obama signed the bill into law late Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Video: Edward Snowden Takes Questions From London Audience

Former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden appears via live video link.
Amnesty International YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 2:09 pm

Nearly two years after his information about America's spying programs caused an international uproar, former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden spoke to an audience in London on Tuesday via live video feed.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue June 2, 2015

Harlem Hellfighter And Jewish Soldier Get Long-Overdue Medals Of Honor

(Left) Sgt. William Shemin distinguished himself with bravery under fire during World War I. (Right) Sgt. Henry Johnson of the 369th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for bravery while outnumbered during a battle with German soldiers, Feb. 12, 1919.
Shemin Family Photo U.S. Army

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 2:59 pm

Nearly 100 years after their heroic deeds, two World War I U.S. Army soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor, America's highest military honor, on Tuesday. Historians say Sgts. William Shemin and Henry Johnson hadn't been properly recognized for their bravery under fire.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

Cattle Drive Saves Hundreds Of Cows Stranded By Texas Flooding

A herd of Texas cattle is safe Monday, thanks to the work of cowboys and volunteers who worked to move some 500 cows and calves from an "island" of land that was being shrunk by the rising Trinity River.

The rescue meant that what could have been a scene "from an 1800s-era Texas cattle drive actually took place," says the Sheriff's Office in Liberty County, northeast of Houston. The cattle had been stranded on about 40 acres of land that was losing ground to floodwaters.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Mon June 1, 2015

Supreme Court Tosses Out Man's Conviction For Making Threats On Facebook

The case of Anthony Elonis, who was convicted in 2010 of making violent threats on Facebook, was argued at the Supreme Court in December. Here, an advocate for victims' rights speaks with reporters about the case.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 1:25 pm

The Supreme Court has reversed the conviction of a Pennsylvania man who said violent messages he posted on Facebook were therapeutic, not true threats. Anthony Elonis was arrested by the FBI, which had been monitoring his posts.

At issue is the standard by which a lower court viewed rap lyrics and messages from Elonis, who often posted graphically violent language along with disclaimers that he was merely asserting his First Amendment rights.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Mon June 1, 2015

Woman Turns 100 Without Any Family, But With Thousands Of Good Wishes

Before her surprise birthday party, Winnie Blagden said, "I'm not expecting anything marvelous, no."
BBC Radio Sheffield

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 10:54 am

Sunday was Winnie Blagden's birthday — and it was, despite her expectations, a big deal. When word got out that the English woman was about to turn 100 and had no living relatives, thousands of people sent cards and gifts.

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