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
2:11 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Asked To Stop Praying, Alaska School Won't Host State Tournament

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 3:28 pm

Alaska's wrestling tournament for small schools will be held next month — but it won't be at the private Anchorage Christian Schools, the host for the past seven years. A complaint about the tournament's introductory prayer led to a request to stop the practice, and the school refused.

The anonymous complaint came after last year's event. It prompted the national group Americans United for Separation of Church and State to complain to the Alaska School Activities Association that it was giving the state's sanction to the prayer.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

For Dyslexics, A Font And A Dictionary That Are Meant To Help

Graphic designer Christian Boer's Dyslexie font is being featured at the Istanbul Design Biennial.
Dyslexie

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 2:30 pm

A designer who has dyslexia has created a font to help dyslexic readers navigate text, designing letters in a way that avoids confusion and adds clarity. And in England, two researchers are compiling a dictionary that favors meaning over alphabetical order.

Roughly 10 percent of the world's population is dyslexic. And as NPR's Nancy Shute reported in 2012, "People with dyslexia are often bright and verbal, but have trouble with the written word."

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Putin Puts Shawl On China's First Lady, And Censors Leap

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (right) helps put a shawl or coat on Peng Liyuan, wife of China's President Xi Jinping, as Xi talks to President Obama during a fireworks show celebrating the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation session in Beijing.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 12:12 pm

What seemed to be an innocent moment during the APEC summit in Beijing has grown into a topic of debate, after China's censors moved to erase Russian President Vladimir Putin's act of placing a shawl over the shoulders of Peng Liyuan, the wife of China's President Xi Jinping.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Sterilization Operations In India Reportedly Kill 9 Women

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:41 am

At least nine women have reportedly died, and dozens more are in the hospital, after undergoing laparoscopic tubectomy procedures at a government-run health camp in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India. The surgeries were performed Saturday; the first death was reported Monday morning.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue November 11, 2014

U.S. And China Move Toward Ending Tariffs On High-Tech Gear

An international tariff on high-tech goods could be rewritten, thanks to negotiations in China. Here, men use smartphones in Beijing last month, days after Apple released its iPhone 6 in the Chinese market.
GREG BAKER AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 1:29 pm

A tariff system that adds as much as 25 percent to the cost of American high-tech products could be on the way out, thanks to negotiations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in China. President Obama announced the new progress Tuesday.

The development could speed the adoption of a new agreement by the World Trade Organization. The current tariff system has been in place for nearly 18 years and now applies to more than $4 trillion in annual global trade, U.S. officials say.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

South Korean Ferry Captain Sentenced To 36 Years

Sewol ferry crew members, whose identities are obscured in this photo at the request of the court, attend verdict proceedings in Gwangju, South Korea, Tuesday. Ferry captain Lee Joon-Seok was sentenced to 36 years in jail.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 8:22 am

The captain of the Sewol, the South Korean ferry that capsized and killed 304 people, many of them students, has been sentenced to 36 years in prison. The punishment for the April calamity drew shouts and sharp criticism from victims' family members in the courtroom; many had urged a death sentence.

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Jet Stream
1:35 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Arctic Front: Blast Of Cold Air Hits Middle Of U.S., Heads East

A map by the National Weather Service predicts winter weather spreading through the north-central U.S. Monday, and spreading east.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 2:30 pm

Some forecasters call it an arctic front. Others say it's the good old polar vortex, or simply an "intrusion." By any other name, it'll be just as cold: Weather that hit Alaska last week is rushing down into the U.S., rapidly bringing a drop in temperature that won't end for days.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Solar Bike Path Opens This Week In The Netherlands

A section of a bike path that uses solar cells to produce electricity is opening for full-time use Wednesday.
SolaRoad

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 12:39 pm

A Dutch project that integrates solar panels into a bike commuter path will officially open this week, on a special roadway outside Amsterdam. Power generated by the SolaRoad's panels will be funneled into the national energy grid.

The project in the town of Krommenie is being called the world's first public road that includes embedded solar cells. The crystalline silicon solar cells are encased in two layers of tempered safety glass, mounted in a concrete housing.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Two Striking Photos From Today's APEC Meetings

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, prior to their first-ever talks.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 10:52 am

This week's meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum started Monday, but the sessions have already brought us two interesting photos. In one, the leaders of China and Japan reflect their countries' unease; in another, world leaders dress alike.

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China
8:11 am
Mon November 10, 2014

In China, Obama Touts Visa Deal, Progress On Free-Trade Pact

President Obama arrives at the Beijing airport Monday. Speaking at the APEC summit, the president unveiled a new deal to ease visa restrictions between the U.S. and China.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 10:25 am

The U.S. and China are easing visa rules for each other's citizens, in a reciprocal agreement that President Obama says will "benefit everyone from students, to tourists, to businesses large and small." Starting his eight-day visit to East Asia, the president also said "good progress" has recently been made for a free-trade agreement among Pacific Rim countries.

Obama and other leaders are visiting China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, where the president announced the U.S. and China have agreed to expand their visas beyond the current one-year term.

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Nigeria
7:49 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Bombing At Nigerian High School Kills Dozens

People inspect the site of a suicide bomb explosion at the Government Science Technical College in Potiskum, Nigeria, Monday. Survivors say a bomber disguised in a school uniform detonated explosives during an assembly at the school.
Adamu Adamu AP

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 8:16 am

A suicide bomber who was reportedly dressed in a student uniform detonated explosives at a large boys' high school in northeastern Nigeria, killing as many as 48 students. The attack during a morning assembly is being blamed on the insurgent group Boko Haram.

From Lagos, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports:

"Disguised as a uniformed high school student, a bomber disrupted weekly assembly by detonating explosives.

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The Two-Way
6:36 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Dallas Ebola Monitoring Period Ends With An All-Clear

The monitoring for potential cases of the deadly Ebola virus ends Friday in Dallas. Former President George W. Bush poses with staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, celebrating the milestone.
AP

As of Friday afternoon, all of the people in Dallas who officials say could have had contact with a patient with the deadly Ebola virus are being declared free of risk. More than 100 people had been monitored for the 21-day period that marks Ebola's incubation period.

From member station KERA:

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The Two-Way
6:31 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Loretta Lynch To Be Nominated As Next U.S. Attorney General

Loretta Lynch, a lead federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, will be announced as President Obama's choice for attorney general Saturday.
Seth Wenig AP

President Obama will announce his choice of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. Attorney General this weekend, the White House says. The president will formally announce his intention to nominate Lynch Saturday.

Lynch, whom the White House describes as "a strong, independent prosecutor who has twice led one of the most important U.S. Attorney's Offices in the country," will be introduced at the White House Saturday, alongside current Attorney General Eric Holder.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

U.S. Will Send Up To 1,500 More Military Personnel To Iraq

President Obama speaks to the media before meeting with his Cabinet in the White House Friday. The president is ordering up to 1,500 additional military personnel to Iraq, to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces fight the extremist group ISIS.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 4:37 pm

President Obama will bolster the U.S. military force in Iraq with up to 1,500 more personnel, White House press secretary Josh Earnest says, to serve "in a non-combat role to train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces, including Kurdish forces."

The move is the latest U.S. attempt to counteract the extremist group ISIS, which has made significant gains in Iraq and neighboring Syria in recent months.

The new U.S. deployment follows requests from the Iraqi government and the advice of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Earnest says.

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Gay-Marriage Bans Are Upheld In 4 States By Circuit Court

Gay-marriage supporters follow an opponent of same-sex marriage in August, when four courts argued to preserve their bans on the unions in a federal court in Cincinnati. The court confirmed the states' bans.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 7:14 pm

Bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee were confirmed by a federal court Thursday, in a ruling that provides yet another shift in the legal fight over the issue.

The 2-1 decision handed down by the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit comes after the four states had argued this summer that their voters had the authority to decide whether to ban marriage between a same-sex couple.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

New Star Wars Movie Is Called 'The Force Awakens,' Disney Says

The new Star Wars film that's being made by director J.J. Abrams has a name: The Force Awakens. Disney released that detail today, along with news that it has completed principal photography for the film that is slated for release at the end of 2015.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Obama Cites 'A Moment For Reflection' In Election Results

President Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, one day after Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and captured their biggest majority in the House in more than 60 years.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 6:33 pm

Speaking one day after his party lost control of the Senate to the Republican Party, President Obama says, "I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell."

We'll update this post with news from the president's remarks, made in an hourlong news conference in the East Room of the White House on the afternoon after Election Day.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

McConnell Says 'Senate Needs To Be Fixed,' Discussing GOP Gains

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he sees issues where a Republican-led Congress can work with President Obama. McConnell won re-election Tuesday, as his party took control of the Senate.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 2:52 pm

One day after GOP candidates gave their party control of both chambers of Congress, presumptive Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate "needs to be fixed" — and that he and his Republican colleagues are willing to work with President Obama on some issues.

We'll update this post with news from McConnell's appearance in Louisville, Ky.

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET: On Obama And The Veto Threat

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed November 5, 2014

GMO Labeling: Colorado Voters Reject Food Measure; Maui Voters Approve

In the latest bids to compel companies to label foods made with genetically modified ingredients, voters in Colorado and Oregon weighed in on the issue Tuesday.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:49 pm

In the latest bids for states to compel companies to label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, Colorado voters decided the issue in their state today.

Proposition 105, was defeated by a roughly 2-1 margin Tuesday.

Oregon voters also considered a measure, but it is still too close to call — the no vote leading the yes vote by two percentage points with more than 80 percent of the vote counted.

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Congress
1:40 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Fight For The Senate: Republicans Take Control, Adding 7 Seats

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell arrives at his midterm election night rally with his wife, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, in Louisville. McConnell, who won re-election, stands to become the next Senate majority leader.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:44 am

With a loss by Sen. Mark Pryor, the first Democratic incumbent fell in the 2014 midterms, setting off a chain of events that brought the Republicans a new Senate majority. The man who would lead them in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, coasted to a win in Kentucky.

McConnell was projected to defeat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 15-point margin, 56 percent to 41 percent, with almost a third of the vote tallied.

In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor lost to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, a first-term member of Congress. Pryor has served in the Senate since 2003.

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The Two-Way
12:58 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Newly Released 'Fast And Furious' Documents Include A Slam On Issa

Attorney General Eric Holder listens to Rep. Darryl Issa, R-Calif., on video screen, while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious.
Susan Walsh AP

The Department of Justice released more than 64,000 pages of documents related to its Operation Fast and Furious Monday night, in a move Republicans are calling both a data dump and a victory. The Obama administration had withheld the records, citing executive privilege.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Federal Judge Overturns Kansas Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

Kansas can't deny same-sex couples' requests for a marriage license, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Kerry Wilks (right), one of four women represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit against the ban, spoke with reporters after a hearing Friday.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:18 pm

Saying that the state's ban on marriage between people of the same sex violates the 14th Amendment, a federal judge in Kansas City is ordering Kansas to stop enforcing its ban. Tuesday's injunction takes effect in one week, depending on whether the state appeals.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

Daylight Saving Time No More: Clocks Fall Back

The U.S. moved back to Standard Time on Sunday. In this file photo, a man checks clocks at the Electric Time Company factory in Medfield, Mass.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 2, 2014 9:56 am

Get ready for some early sunsets. At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, U.S. clocks moved one hour backward, officially ending Daylight Saving Time. Folks in Hawaii and much of Arizona can ignore the fuss — they never moved their clocks forward, back in the spring.

The time-switch can also serve as a reminder to check batteries in smoke detectors and fire alarms, as many fire departments advise. And if you ride a bike or walk on streets after dusk, it's a good time to be sure you're visible to drivers.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

Dallas Nurse Who Survived Ebola Gets Her Dog Back

Ebola survivor Nina Pham is reunited with her dog, Bentley, at the Dallas Animal Services Center Saturday. Pham, a Dallas nurse who survived Ebola, had an emotional reunion Saturday with her "best friend," a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 3:49 pm

Nina Pham, the nurse who became the first person to contract the deadly Ebola virus on American soil, was reunited with her dog in Dallas Saturday, after the Cavalier King Charles spaniel was declared not to have the disease and released from his three-week quarantine.

The reunion with the dog, who's just shy of 2 years old, came eight days after Pham was found to be free of Ebola and released from a special facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

40 Is The New Cute: Hello Kitty Celebrates Birthday

An image from the Sanrio website shows a thank-you note to all of Hello Kitty's fans.
Sanrio

A cute-a-bration has broken out among Hello Kitty fans, as the beloved Japanese character marks its 40th year. Since introducing Hello Kitty in 1974, the Sanrio company has turned simple design and a knack for accessorizing into $8 billion worth of annual sales.

The milestone inspired a Hello Kitty Con in Los Angeles and a large run in Singapore. But the largest fete was in Tokyo, where Sanrio put on a parade and other events.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Sat November 1, 2014

National Blackout: Bangladesh Hit By Massive Power Outage

A customer walks past a sales counter in a shopping mall during a blackout in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday. Bangladesh was hit by a nationwide blackout on Saturday after a transmission line bringing electricity from neighboring India failed.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Sun November 2, 2014 4:41 am

An electrical link that supplies Bangladesh's power grid with electricity from India failed Saturday, plunging most of the country into a blackout. Attempts to restore power met only with limited success before officials finally made a breakthrough late Saturday.

Most of the country's population of more than 160 million people went without electricity for more than 8 hours.

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET: Power Returns To Many

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Three Years In Prison For Egyptian Men In Purported Gay Marriage Video

A video of a celebration centering on two men drew discussions on social media — and the attention of Egyptian prosecutors.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 12:57 pm

A court in Cairo sentenced eight men to three years in prison today, over charges of "debauchery" stemming from an online video that showed the men celebrating what appeared to be a same-sex wedding in August.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Boko Haram Says Kidnapped Girls Are Now 'Married'

People call for the Nigerian government to rescue girls taken from a secondary school in Chibok region, during a protest earlier this month. Boko Haram, the group that took the girls, says they have been "married off."
Olamikan Gbemiga AP

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 12:54 pm

Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram says the more than 200 girls it kidnapped from a school in April are now married. The group made the claim as its leader denied stories that it has reached a cease fire deal.

"We have married them off. They are in their marital homes," Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said of the girls, in a video that was obtained by Agence France-Presse.

From Lagos, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports:

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The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Firm Buys Big Bike-Share Service; Expansion And Higher Rates Seen

A Citi Bike user pedals off from a bicycle station. The company that owns the service in New York and other cities has been sold, after suffering problems tied to its supply chain and the weather.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 2:29 pm

Alta Bicycle Share, the company that manages bike-sharing programs in New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and other cities, has been sold to an investment group that includes executives in fitness club operator Equinox and real estate firm Related Companies. The new owners say they'll expand the service in New York, where customers now take more than 1 million trips a month on Citi Bike.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Thieves Tunnel Into Indian Bank Vault — From Across The Street

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:06 pm

When a branch of Punjab National Bank in northern India opened for business Monday, the staff was surprised to find it had been robbed, the strongroom breached from underground by thieves who had dug a tunnel from an empty building some 125 feet away. They had plundered about a quarter of the room's 360 secure lockers before making their getaway.

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