Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing 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.

He traveled more than 900 miles across the Antarctic, attempting a solo trek that would also boost a British charity that aids wounded veterans. But explorer Henry Worsley was halted by exhaustion and dehydration that turned out to be fatal.

Worsley, 55, had been attempting to complete the first-ever solo and unassisted crossing of the Antarctic landmass, timing the venture to coincide with the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1915 attempt.

A first-of-its-kind Kansas law that bans a common method of performing second-trimester abortions has been blocked, as judges on the state's Court of Appeals conclude that the procedure is protected by rights of due process and equal protection.

The law was blocked after the court's full roster of judges split evenly, 7-7 — an outcome that by law affirms a lower court's injunction. The case is expected to be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

From the way we speak to the things we do, few things spark cliches like the threat of a winter storm. For days now, we've been talking about Jack Frost's plans. And as people hunker down, staples like bread, milk and toilet paper have been flying off store shelves.

Many of us are already sick of hearing about the white stuff — and we haven't even felt the wrath of Ol' Man Winter yet. (Side note: What did we ever do to this man to make him so vengeful?)

More than 16 years after Roger Federer played in his first Grand Slam event, he's won his 300th match, becoming the first man to reach that mark. He now trails only Martina Navratilova, who won 306 matches at the highest level of tennis. Federer, 34, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.

In Mogadishu, Somali security forces have ended a siege at a restaurant where gunmen had taken refuge after firing on diners and passers-by late Thursday. The attack left at least 17 people dead, the government says. The militant Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility.

NPR's Gregory Warner reports:

"Police say the attack began at dusk with a car bomb at a popular restaurant on Lido beach in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Cementing a deal that has been hinted at for months, China is moving forward to build what's believed to be its first overseas military facility, in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. The outpost is meant to bolster the Chinese navy's efforts to prevent piracy.

At least three other countries — the U.S., France and Japan — have military bases in Djibouti, drawn to the country's strategic location and stability. The presence of military ships from those countries and China has been credited with reducing piracy in the region.

Nearly 10 years after Kremlin critic and former spy Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with a rare radioactive element and died in London, a retired British judge has issued a report concluding that Russian President Vladimir Putin "probably" approved a plan by Russia's security service to kill the former FSB agent.

Criminal background checks and assurances that a person "is competent to be a journalist" are among the requirements put forth by State Rep. Mike Pitts in a new bill in South Carolina's Legislature. The bill would also create a responsible journalism registry.

Titled the South Carolina Responsible Journalism Registry Law, the bill quickly drew condemnation from rights groups after it was introduced Tuesday (when it was also referred to a committee).

It's not rare for a year to break record temperatures. But it's now happened two years in a row — and 2015 was "very, very clearly the warmest year by a long chalk," says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Five days after two Marine Super Stallion helicopters crashed off of Oahu's North Shore, Coast Guard officials in Hawaii have called off an unsuccessful search for survivors. Search teams found only wreckage; they've now begun a salvage and recovery mission.

Capt. Jim Jenkins, chief of staff and acting commander of the Coast Guard 14th District, said the decision was made after a thorough review of the search effort.

A fire that engulfed a 63-story hotel in Dubai on New Year's Eve was started by an electrical short-circuit, police forensic experts say. The blaze turned The Address Downtown Dubai hotel, in the United Arab Emirates, into a spectacle that rivaled the city's fireworks display.

Security forces are now in control of a university in Pakistan, hours after militants stormed the campus firing on students and teachers. Officials are still tallying the casualties; so far, at least 20 people are reported dead.

The four attackers died in the gun battle that followed the attack, according to local reports. No clear claim of responsibility has been made; an initial claim that attributed the violence to Pakistan's Taliban has been cast into doubt.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports:

"This is all still surreal," says Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine who's one of four Americans released by Iran this past weekend. Freed after more than four years of imprisonment, Hekmati says he feels like he's been born again.

"I am an academy member and it doesn't reflect me," actor David Oyelowo said last night, rebuking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for again failing to nominate black performers.

Speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award Gala in Los Angeles, Oyelowo asked those present to pray for the academy's president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, saying she needs their support.

For more than two hours Tuesday, Twitter was largely unavailable, with users around the world unable to log in to the service. Some of those problems have now been resolved. The company hasn't provided details about what went wrong; some features were still presenting problems Tuesday morning.

Service seemed to resume in fits and starts, with users who were able to log in finding that search, direct messaging and other functions didn't work.

Not since China faced international sanctions over the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre has its economy grown at such a slow pace: just below 7 percent last year. Investors had expected the results, and now they're looking to Chinese policymakers to enact a stimulus plan.

China's growth dipped to 6.8 percent in the last quarter of 2015, dragging down annual growth to 6.9 percent.

The prospect of new support from the central bank led shares in both the Shanghai and Shenzhen composite indexes to rise by more than 3 percent Tuesday.

In Hawaii, the Coast Guard is leading a large search for 12 service members who were believed to be aboard two Marine heavy-lift helicopters that collided overnight. The incident occurred off the coast of Oahu.

So far, there's no word of any potential surivors. We'll update this post with news as it emerges.

From Hawaii News Now:

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

Police carried out raids and made several arrests in Indonesia on Friday, as the country tried to find anyone who helped five terrorists carry out Thursday's deadly attack in downtown Jakarta. State police say they suspect an Indonesian man allied with ISIS planned the attack from Syria.

"Police raided several locations in the early hours of Friday morning" and made arrests in the Jakarta suburb of Depok, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports. "Police found an Islamic State flag at the site of the arrests, but it's not clear exactly how they were linked to ISIS or yesterday's attacks."

One day after the West Africa region that suffered a two-year Ebola epidemic was declared free of the deadly disease, Sierra Leone has confirmed another death from Ebola. The World Health Organization says there's still a risk of more flare-ups.

Officials are now trying to trace any contacts the person who died may have had, in a desperate attempt to cut short a potential new chain of transmission.

The competitors in the 2016 Oscars race were announced Thursday, in an event that was live-streamed from California. The winners will be announced on Feb. 28.

British actor Alan Rickman, a veteran of dozens of films, has died at age 69. Recently, Rickman was most well-known for portraying the complicated villain Severus Snape in the films based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"Rickman had been suffering from cancer," The Guardian reports.

Attackers set off explosions inside or near a Starbucks in a busy shopping area in Indonesia's capital city Thursday, killing at least seven people — including five attackers — and injuring more than a dozen others, according to police and officials. In the hours since the assault, people in Jakarta have taken to Twitter to declare, "We Are Not Afraid."

News that the NFL's owners approved a plan to move the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles next season is causing excitement in California — and bitter dismay in St. Louis, where fans and officials alike say they feel betrayed.

Jérôme Valcke, a longtime ally to suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter, has been dismissed from his post as the secretary general of soccer's world governing body.

Valcke was initially suspended from his post by FIFA's ethics committee last fall, following allegations that he was involved in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

Acting Secretary General Dr. Markus Kattner will continue in the role, FIFA says.

Less than 24 hours after reports of their detention emerged, 10 U.S. Navy personnel have been freed by Iran. The sailors left an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday morning, along with the boats they were operating when they were taken into custody.

"There are no indications that the sailors were harmed during their brief detention," the Department of Defense says, confirming the release of nine men and one woman.

The California Air Resources Board has rejected Volkswagen's plan to recall cars with 2-liter diesel engines that trick emissions tests, saying the company's plan is incomplete. The Environmental Protection Agency says it concurs.

From 2009 to 2014, more than 73,000 guns that were seized in Mexico were traced to the U.S., according to a new update on the effort to fight weapons trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The figure, based on data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, represents about 70 percent of the 104,850 firearms seized by Mexican authorities that were also submitted to U.S. authorities for tracing.

They only met last summer — but now media mogul Rupert Murdoch, 84, and former supermodel Jerry Hall, 59, say they're planning a wedding. The pair announced their upcoming nuptials in Britain's The Times, which Murdoch owns.

At least 10 people are dead and more than a dozen wounded after an explosion struck a historic district in Istanbul on Tuesday morning. Civilians and tourists are among the victims from what officials say was a suicide blast in Sultanahmet Square, site of the famed Blue Mosque.

After the blast, speculation immediately began to fly over who might be responsible. Many fingers pointed at ISIS because of the apparent target — a historic cultural area that's popular with tourists.

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