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
11:57 am
Sun May 5, 2013

British Member Of Parliament Says Rape Claim Is False

One day after being arrested over allegations that he raped one man and sexually assaulted another, a senior British legislator says the accusations are without merit. Britain's House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans says the claims were made by people "who until yesterday I regarded as friends."

The complaints made against Evans accuse him of abuse in a period from July 2009 to March of this year. The men who filed the complaints are believed to have been in their 20s in that time span. Evans says that the two men who made the accusations know one another.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Soccer Referee Dies, One Week After Being Felled By Punch

Soccer referee Ricardo Portillo died Saturday, after being struck by a player. Here, Portfillo, is seen holding a soccer ball, in a photo held by his brother-in-law, Jose Lopez, Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:11 am

A soccer referee who was punched by a player after calling a foul on him during a recreational soccer game in Utah died Saturday night, a week after he was hit once in the face. The suspect, who received a yellow card penalty from referee Ricardo Portillo, was arrested Monday and remains incarcerated, officials say.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Star Wars Fans 'Use The Fourth' To Celebrate

Fans are celebrating Star Wars Day today, May 4. Here, actor David Prowse (center), who played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy, poses with costumed fans in France last week.
Thierry Zoccolan AFP/Getty Images

Today is May 4, unofficially known as Star Wars Day — seemingly for the lone reason that it presents an opportunity for people to tell one another, "May the Fourth be with you." But fans of the George Lucas films are also using the day as an excuse to break out costumes and photos, and generally let their Jedi flag fly.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Kentucky Derby: Rain-Soaked Track Awaits A New Champion

Joel Rosario rides Orb during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The odds-on favorite won the race.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 7:01 pm

Update at 6:45 p.m. Orb Takes Derby Title:

Favored heavily 5-1 prior to the race, Orb has taken the title of the 139th Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The win gives Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first victory in the race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.

"It's like living a dream," Orb's jockey, Joel Rosario, told NBC after the race, calling it "a perfect trip."

The other top finishers were Golden Soul in second, Revolutionary in third and Normandy Invasion in fourth place.

Orb ran the 1 1/4 mile race in 2:02.89.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Seven U.S. Troops Die In Attacks In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 9:30 am

A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan killed five members of the U.S. Army Saturday, according to military officials. The International Security Assistance Force says an improvised explosive device was used in the attack.

Update at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Another Deadly Attack:

An Afghan National Army soldier "turned his weapon on coalition troops in the west, killing two in the most recent of so-called insider attacks, the AP reports. NPR has confirmed that both victims of that attack are American.

Our original post continues:

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Sat May 4, 2013

World War II Code Is Broken, Decades After POW Used It

As a prisoner of war, Sub Lieut. John Pryor encrypted information and requests for supplies in letters sent from a German camp to his family in Cornwall.
Plymouth University

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:04 am

It's been 70 years since the letters of John Pryor were understood in their full meaning. That's because as a British prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, Pryor's letters home to his family also included intricate codes that were recently deciphered for the first time since the 1940s.

Pryor's letters served their purpose in World War II, as Britain's MI9 agents decoded the messages hidden within them — requests for supplies, notes about German activities — before sending them along to Pryor's family in Cornwall.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Shifts In Weather And Strategy Help Slow Springs Wildfire

Standing on a rooftop, a man looks at the Springs fire's approaching flames in California Friday. The wildfire, reportedly, 20 percent contained, might be weakened by high humidity and cooler temperatures Saturday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 12:11 pm

Firefighters in Southern California are welcoming the latest weather forecast, as lower temperatures and higher humidity could help them control the Camarillo Springs Fire. But the wildfire along the coast remains formidable: It has reportedly burned at least 43 square miles of land and property, nearly doubling in size Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Video May Show 747 Jet's Last Seconds Before Bagram Crash

A dashcam video purports to show the crash of a civilian cargo 747 in Afghanistan Monday.
LiveLeak

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:06 pm

Update at 1 p.m. ET, May 1: Victims Identified:

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Teen's Punch Reportedly Lands Soccer Referee In Critical Condition

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:11 pm

A soccer referee who was reportedly punched in the face by a teenager during a game is in critical condition in a Utah hospital, four days after the incident.

After sustaining what seemed to be minor injuries, the 46-year-old official later lost consciousness — leading doctors to find "far more serious head injuries than thought," The Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Ontario's First Nation Struggles With Spike In Suicides

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:50 pm

The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Europe Bans Pesticides In Move To Protect Honey Bees

Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Three popular pesticides will soon be illegal in the European Union, where officials hope the change helps restore populations of honey bees, vital to crop production, to healthy levels. The new ban will be enacted in December.

"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion ($28.8 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected," said EU Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

High On Mount Everest, Climbers Clash With Sherpas

On Mount Everest, a fistfight allegedly broke out near Camp Three, between climbers and Sherpas. This file photo shows the view from Camp Three at 24,000 feet on the mountain's Lhotse Face.
Courtesy of Alan Arnette AP

Three climbers have halted their expedition on Mount Everest, after an argument with the Sherpas who were guiding them devolved into an alleged fistfight on the mountain.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Ricin Suspect Dutschke Makes A Quick Visit To Federal Court

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:05 pm

The man accused of sending letters containing the poison ricin to President Obama and other officials made a brief appearance in an Oxford, Miss., federal court Monday morning. J. Everett Dutschke, 41, was arrested Saturday, several days after another Mississippi man, former suspect Paul Kevin Curtis, was released.

Dutschke is charged with possessing a biological weapon, identified as ricin, and attempting to use it as a weapon. If convicted, he could face a sentence of life in prison.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Netherlands Prepares To Welcome First King Since 1890

Tourists in Amsterdam wear orange Monday, one day before the investiture of the new Dutch king. Queen Beatrix, who ruled the Netherlands for 33 years, announced her abdication from the throne earlier this year.
Marcel Antonisse AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:19 am

Excitement is building in the Netherlands a day before Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will be named king. Queen Beatrix will abdicate the throne Tuesday, and when the prince is sworn in, he'll become the first Dutch king in 122 years.

The transition will take place April 30, a national holiday known as Queen's Day — a busy holiday in any year in the Netherlands and especially popular in 2013. It will be renamed King's Day during the reign of Willem-Alexander, and moved to April 27, the new king's birthday.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Janos Starker, A Master Of The Cello, Dies At 88

Hungarian-born American cellist Janos Starker died Sunday at 88. Starker's career included more than 165 recordings, as well as decades of teaching.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 10:24 am

Cellist Janos Starker has died at 88, ending a life and career that saw him renowned for his skills as a soloist, his prodigious work with orchestras, and his commitment to teaching. Starker was born in Budapest in 1924; his path to becoming an international star included surviving life in a Nazi labor camp.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Iraq Pulls 10 Broadcasters' Licenses Over Sectarian Violence

Iraqi officials have suspended the right of 10 satellite TV channels to operate in the country, as media regulators say the stations' coverage of sectarian conflicts incites more violence.

"Most of the channels, including local stations such as 'Baghdad' and 'al-Sharqiya,' are pro-Sunni and often critical of the Shi'ite-led government," Reuters reports. "Al Jazeera is based in Qatar, a Sunni-ruled kingdom."

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Obama And O'Brien Take Jabs At Politics And Media (Highlights)

President Obama joked at the White House Correspondents' Dinner that he had experimented with bangs to liven up his second term, stealing a fashion tip from the first lady, Michelle Obama.
CSPAN

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 2:38 pm

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Tamerlan Tsarnaev Spoke Of Jihad With Mother, Reports Say

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, center, mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, reportedly spoke of radical ideas with her eldest son in 2011. Anzor Tsarnaeva, the boys' father, is on the left. At right is the boys' aunt, Patimat Suleymanova.
Getty Images Getty Images

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev "vaguely discussed" jihad during a 2011 phone conversation with his mother, according to a U.S. official who described the recording to the Associated Press. The call, taped by a Russian government agency, reportedly did not include any mention of a plot inside the U.S.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

FAA Ends Furlough Program, Returns To Normal Staffing Sunday

Less than a week after mandatory furloughs began that idled as much as 10 percent of U.S. air traffic controllers, the Federal Aviation Administration has ended its furlough program. The move comes after Congress voted to let the FAA move money around in its budget — a quick response that came after several days of travel delays that were either caused by or worsened by the furloughs.

In a statement released Saturday, the FAA said that it is suspending furloughs for all its employees.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Boylston Street Businesses Get Patrons, Loan Offer In Boston

People walk and eat along Boylston Street, near the site of the Boston Marathon bombings, on Wednesday. Businesses in the area have reported strong customer support; they also have an option for federal loans to help them cope with losses.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 5:55 pm

Faced with sharp financial losses stemming from the Boston Marathon bombing attack and the days of forced closure that followed, businesses in the affected Copley Square area can apply for federal help, the Small Business Administration announced Friday.

The news comes as people continue to flock to Boylston Street, to pay their respects to victims of the April 15 attacks and to support stores and restaurants that were open for the first Saturday since the bombings and the ensuing manhunt.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Iraq's Sunnis Form Tribal Army, As Sectarian Violence Builds

Iraqi anti-government gunmen from Sunni tribes in western Anbar province march during a protest in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, Friday.
Azhar Shallal AFP/Getty Images

Sectarian tensions are fueling violence and protests in Iraq, where more than 170 people have been killed since Tuesday, when government forces clashed with Sunni Muslim protesters at a demonstration camp in Hawija, near Kirkuk.

That incident left at least 23 dead, outraged Iraq's Sunni minority, and stoked fears among some Iraqis that their country is heading for a new civil war. Several deadly attacks have been staged on Iraqi soldiers and police this week.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Sat April 27, 2013

New Arrest Reported In Connection To Ricin Letters Case

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:13 am

Federal agents who are investigating poison-laced letters that were sent to President Obama and others have arrested Everett Dutschke, of Tupelo, Miss. The Daily Journal of Tupelo reports that the arrest occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday.

In addition to the president, letters containing the poison ricin were sent to Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi state judge.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. Charges Filed, Court Date Set

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Sat April 27, 2013

$600K For A Cup Of Coffee: Apple's Cook Is A Hit At Auction

A Lot Of Beans: A charity auction of a cup of coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook has garnered bids topping $600,000. In this file photo, a pot of beans sits in a Starbucks store.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:21 pm

The bidding hasn't closed yet, but a charity auction of a cup of coffee shared with Apple CEO Tim Cook has already attracted offers of more than $600,000 — more than 10 times its estimated value of $50,000. Cook is one of several celebrities taking part in the auction, which benefits the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

The coffee klatch, currently valued at $605,000, will take place at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. And the price may rise even higher — the auction closes on Tues., May 14.

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The Two-Way
7:03 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Death Toll In West, Texas, Fertilizer Explosion Rises To 15

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:31 pm

The number of people who died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week now stands at 15, officials said Tuesday. Some earlier reports had indicated that 14 people had lost their lives. At least 200 more were injured.

In Waco, TV station KXXV says that officials believe they have found all the victims, quoting Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek saying "No more victims. Everything is searched," in a news conference today.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Bill Gates' Handshake With South Korea's Park Sparks Debate

This handshake between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Microsoft founder Bill Gates sparked debate over whether the American — who kept his left hand in his pocket — had been rude. Other photos clearly show Gates' hand in his pocket.0
Lee Jin-man AP

Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday, part of a visit to build business ties and boost nuclear energy plans. But it was the handshake they shared that created the biggest stir in Korean society, after Gates greeted Park with a smile — and his left hand jammed into his pants pocket.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Court Approves Anheuser-Busch InBev Deal To Buy Grupo Modelo

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 2:10 pm

A federal court has approved a settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Anheuser-Busch InBev that will allow the mammoth beer company to complete its purchase of Grupo Modelo, a Mexico-based brewer that produces Corona, Pacifico and other beers.

The deal, which requires AB InBev to sell all of Modelo's U.S. business, clears the way for the $20.1 billion acquisition of the remaining portion of Modelo that AB InBev did not yet own. Terms of the deal were announced Friday.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Hackers Tweak FIFA On Corruption, As Reform Advocate Quits

Even before FIFA President Joseph Blatter announced the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host countries in December, 2010, accusations of corruption were rampant. A panel meant to restore FIFA's image lost a member Monday, as Alexandra Wrage said it was accomplishing nothing.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:22 pm

FIFA's efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished public image were dealt twin setbacks Monday when the international soccer federation's Twitter account was hacked and used to send messages joking about corruption. And a member of its reform committee quit, saying they were making no progress.

Update at 3:20 p.m. ET. FIFA Executive Resigns:

Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz resigned from FIFA's executive committee Tuesday, the same week an extensive report on bribery from the group's ethics investigator is to be released.

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The Two-Way
7:27 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Father Saves Boy From Alligator Attack, With A Stranger's Help

A Fish and Wildlife Service team caught and killed an alligator after the animal attacked a 6-year-old boy Friday. The boy survived with only incidental wounds.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:05 pm

A 6-year-old boy's day off from school Friday left him with a vivid story to tell his classmates, after he was seized — and eventually released — by an alligator in South Florida. The attack occurred at a wildlife refuge near Boynton Beach, Fla., where Joseph Welch had taken his son, Joey, for a canoe ride.

As Welch, a native of Rhode Island who now lives in Pompano Beach, says in a Morning Edition interview airing Tuesday, his idea had been to do "something new and different."

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Canada Charges Two In Plot To Attack Train Line With Al-Qaida's Help

Canadian authorities have disrupted an alleged plot that targeted a passenger train line running between New York and Toronto, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced Monday. The plan involved derailing a train, but police officials would give few details about the plot at a news conference this afternoon.

But they did say they believe the suspects received support or help from al-Qaida.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Worst-Case Avoided: Few Airports Link Delays To FAA Furloughs

An American Airlines passenger is helped at the ticket counter at Miami International Airport last week. Many airline industry observers expect delays to strike Monday, the first full day of FAA furloughs.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 10:26 am

Many airline passengers saw only moderate flight delays stemming from the first full day of furloughs for nearly 15,000 flight controllers and other Federal Aviation Administration workers, as industry analysts' worst fears did not materialize. But the reduced staffing was blamed for some slowdowns, and observers say it also increased the length of unrelated delays.

We'll be keeping an eye on possible delays today, and updating this post with new information.

Update at 6:45 p.m. ET. Delays Build, Tied To Weather And Furloughs:

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