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
8:46 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 10:12 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
7:50 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 2:35 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
5:56 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 8:19 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
3:14 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

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:48 pm

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
11:45 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 12:54 pm

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
10:16 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 12:44 pm

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
9:46 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 12:17 pm

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
8:50 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 11:55 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
5:08 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 7:36 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
4:07 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

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
11:39 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 1:27 pm

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The Two-Way
8:52 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 8:49 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
3:52 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 8:00 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
2:47 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
11:11 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 1:21 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
9:36 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 1:23 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
8:51 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
8:22 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Suicide Bombers In Iraq Kill Students At Elementary School

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 1:29 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
7:33 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 9:09 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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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Karen Stalls In Gulf; Maximum Winds Fall To 30 MPH

A GOES satellite handout photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical Storm Karen churning in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday afternoon. Karen, the second named storm to hit the U.S. this hurricane season, has weakened into a tropical depression.
NOAA Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:50 am

Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Navy SEAL Team Reportedly Attacks Militants On Somali Coast

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 7:50 pm

(Updated 8:50 p.m. ET)

A force that struck foreign fighters in Somalia early Saturday included members of a U.S. Navy SEAL team, according to reports. The team targeted a senior leader of the militant group al-Shabab, but there were conflicting reports about that man's fate.

The New York Times reported Saturday night:

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Pentagon Recalls 'Most' Furloughed Civilian Workers

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a statement announcing the recall of "most DoD civilians" who were put on furlough by the government shutdown.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees back to work, in a move announced just after midday Saturday. The plan will put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job next week.

"Today, I am announcing that most DoD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Pirate Joe's Celebrates Dismissal Of Trader Joe's Lawsuit

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. Trader Joe's federal lawsuit against his business was dismissed this week.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 2:32 pm

Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.

After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Man Who Set Fire To Himself On On National Mall Reportedly Dies

Police investigate the scene after a man set himself ablaze on the National Mall's lawn Friday afternoon in Washington, DC. The man did not survive his injuries, according to reports.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 2:15 pm

The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Friday has died of his injuries, according to a police spokesman cited by the AP. The man reportedly used gasoline to commit the act, which drew attempts from passers-by to extinguish the flames.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Obama: Shutdown Could Be Over By Now (Interview Highlights)

President Obama told The Associated Press Friday that the House has enough votes to end the federal government shutdown.
Getty Images

The federal shutdown that has idled some 800,000 government workers could be over by now — if members of Congress were able to vote on a bill that doesn't include an attack on the new U.S. health care system, President Obama says. "There are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today," he told The Associated Press Friday.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Sat October 5, 2013

House Passes Bill Allowing Back Pay For Furloughed Workers

Furloughed federal workers demonstrate in Washington earlier this week. Hundreds of thousands of government employees can't work as long as the House of Representatives and Senate remain gridlocked.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 2:58 pm

Federal workers who were furloughed by a government shutdown will receive back pay once they return to work, if a bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday meets Senate approval. The White House has said it favors such a move.

The vote came after the U.S. government began the fifth day of a shutdown that has put 800,000 people out of work. The bill was approved without a vote against it. The Senate is expected to hold its own Saturday session that begins at midday.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Storm Brings Blizzard To Wyoming And South Dakota

As snow fell in Rapid City, S.D., Friday Brenda Nolting took groceries to her car. An early snow storm swept through Wyoming and western South Dakota, dropping more than two fee of snow in some areas.
Steve McEnroe AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 3:15 pm

More than two feet of snow has crippled roadways in western South Dakota, the worst-hit target of a storm that brought snow to Wyoming and tornadoes to Nebraska Friday. Heavy snowfall and low visibility have combined to cause crashes and shut down roads.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Family Questions Shooting Death Of Woman At U.S. Capitol

Officers on Capitol Hill look at a car following Thursday's shooting, which left Miriam Carey, 34, dead. "We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey's sister says.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 8:51 am

The death of Miriam Carey, killed by police gunfire Thursday after leading a car chase from the White House to the Capitol, is prompting questions from her family about whether she deserved to die. The incident, of which details remain unexplained, is leading experts to analyze the actions of the officers present.

"We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey's sister Amy Carey-Jones told the AP late Friday. "I really feel like it's not justified, not justified."

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The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Jury: Concert Promoter Was Not Liable In Michael Jackson Death

Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family, delivers his closing argument to jurors in the Michael Jackson lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live last week in Los Angeles.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 6:55 pm

A Los Angeles jury has found concert promoter AEG Live was not negligent in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson, who died of a sedative overdose four years ago.

Jackson's mother had sought $1.5 billion in damages — a figure AEG's attorney called "ridiculous" last week.

Reuters reports the jury ruled unanimously. The 12-person panel in the wrongful death lawsuit was made up of six men and six women, but only nine jurors were needed to decide the case.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Don't Buy Rouhani's Charm Offensive, Israel's Netanyahu Tells U.N.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told officials at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday that it's too early to ease sanctions on Iran, urging them not to be fooled by what he called a charm offensive by President Hasan Rouhani.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:04 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took aim at Iran and its new president, Hasan Rouhani, in a speech at the United Nations Tuesday, saying that Iran is trying to fool the international community into easing sanctions on it, even as the country expands its nuclear program.

"Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it too," Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly, referring to yellowcake uranium, a concentrated form of the radioactive element.

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