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
5:59 am
Thu August 21, 2014

U.S. Won't Rule Out Attack In Syria To Hit Islamic State

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:53 am

American aircraft have carried out more strikes against the Islamic State, after the extremist group beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley. The attacks come despite threats to kill other hostages; a White House official says the U.S. could also target areas in Syria, if warranted.

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The Two-Way
3:15 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Hamas Says Israeli Airstrike Killed 3 Senior Commanders

Palestinian emergency personnel dig through the rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli military strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday. Hamas announced that three of its senior military commanders were killed in a predawn Israeli airstrike.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:56 am

An Israeli attack on a house has killed three military commanders in Gaza, Hamas says, including one of the group's most senior leaders. Thursday's strike follows what Hamas says was a failed attack on its top military leader earlier this week.

From Gaza, NPR's Philip Reeves reports:

"The attack happened overnight and targeted a residential house in Rafah close to Gaza's border with Egypt.

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The Two-Way
2:05 am
Thu August 21, 2014

'I Am Thrilled To Be Alive': American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital

Ebola virus survivor Dr. Kent Brantly (center) and his wife, Amber (left), walk at a news conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Thursday. Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol were discharged from the hospital less than a month after they contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia.
Erik S. Lesser EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:07 am

The two U.S. patients who were treated for Ebola have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they had been in an isolation ward since returning from Liberia early this month. They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol have been released after "a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing," Emory's Dr. Bruce Ribner said. He added that he's confident that their release from care "poses no public health threat."

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How — Or Whether — To Portray It

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:19 am

A video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Wed August 20, 2014

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are 'Cowardly'

President Obama said Wednesday that the extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century."
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:51 am

The extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century," President Obama said Wednesday, referring to the videotaped execution carried out by militants with the Islamic State.

Obama also said the group attacks women and minorities, "for no other reason than they practice a different religion."

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Israel's Netanyahu Vows 'A Continuous Campaign' Against Hamas

Black smoke billows in the distance following an Israeli airstrike from the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:20 am

Update at 2:41 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today his country's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is "a continuous campaign," a day after a cease-fire between the two sides collapsed, leading to the resumption of both rocket fire against Israel and Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.

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The Two-Way
4:12 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A 'Different Dynamic' In Ferguson, But With 47 Arrests

Protesters walk in front of a line of police early Wednesday as authorities try to disperse a demonstration in Ferguson, Mo. The St. Louis suburb saw less violence than on other recent nights of protests.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:56 am

Tear gas and Molotov cocktails were absent from the streets of Ferguson, Mo., last night, as protesters and police avoided the clashes that have marred demonstrations over the death of an an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer last weekend in the St. Louis suburb.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, announced that 47 arrests had been made and that three loaded handguns were confiscated.

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Authenticates Video Of Militants Beheading American Journalist

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in September 2012.
Manu Brabo/freejamesfoley.org AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:40 am

This post was updated at 2:25 p.m. ET.

A video that was released online Tuesday in which the extremist group the Islamic State claimed to behead American journalist James Foley is authentic, according to U.S. intelligence analysts. Foley was abducted in Syria in 2012.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday afternoon and later removed; since then, it has resurfaced elsewhere online. The images show Foley kneeling next to a masked militant and reciting comments against the U.S. before being killed.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Brita Recalls Kids' Water Bottles Over Risk Of Cutting

Brita has announced a recall of 15-ounce bottles that feature children's cartoon characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. "No injuries have been reported."

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Castro's Niece Casts Rare 'No' Vote In Parliament, Citing Gay Rights

In what could be a first, Mariela Castro (center), daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, voted against legislation in the country's parliament. In May, she marched in a parade for the International Day Against Homophobia in Havana.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 10:18 am

Cuba's parliament isn't big on dissent. Most legislation that makes it to a vote is endorsed unanimously, as a matter of course. But Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro — and the niece of Fidel Castro — is making waves by voting "no" on a workers' rights bill, saying it didn't protect people with unconventional gender identities.

It seems that before the December 2013 vote was publicized recently in a Cuban blog, no one could recall anyone voting against a measure in Cuba's legislature. Some say a dissenting vote has simply never happened in Havana.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Paris Heist: Gunmen Take $335,000 From Saudi Motorcade

The Four Seasons George V hotel is seen in Paris. Armed robbers held up a convoy of Saudi diplomatic vehicles that was bound for a Paris airport from the hotel, with about $335,000 in cash.
Iam Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

The motorcade of a Saudi prince was hit by thieves Sunday night, as armed men burst from two BMWs and carjacked a vehicle that contained 250,000 euros (about $335,000). The motorcade had been headed from a luxury hotel in Paris to an airport; police suspect the gunmen had inside knowledge.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Forensic Experts Discuss 6 Bullets That Hit Michael Brown

Dr. Michael Baden points to an autopsy diagram showing where bullets hit Michael Brown, as the family's attorneys Benjamin Crump (left) and Daryl Parks look on during a news conference Monday at the Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson, Mo.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:52 am

At least six bullets hit Michael Brown, 18, when he was shot to death by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, according to a preliminary private autopsy report. Only one of those wounds — to the top of the teenager's head — was deemed not survivable by former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden.

Baden and another pathologist hired by Brown's family say they believe that the two bullets that struck Brown in the head "were most likely the last two" to hit him during a confrontation on a street last Saturday.

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Ferguson Update: National Guard Deployed, School Postponed

A man tries to recover from tear gas as people leave a McDonald's restaurant Sunday during a protest for Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. After police fired tear gas, people used bottles of water and milk to try to clear their eyes.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 11:25 am

Members of the National Guard have arrived in the St. Louis area, one day after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he would deploy troops to prevent violence in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb that's been wracked by outrage and looting over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager last weekend.

"Members of the National Guard are arriving in South St. Louis," local TV news KMOV reports, in a tweet this morning. "They will be heading to #Ferguson today."

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The Two-Way
3:12 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Ukraine: Reports Of Attack On Civilian Convoy Near Luhansk

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:59 am

Ukraine's government and pro-Russian separatists are blaming one another for an attack that reportedly hit at least one bus carrying people who were fleeing the fighting near the eastern city of Luhansk. Ukraine made gains in that area over the weekend; it's not known how many people might have died in Monday's attack.

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The Two-Way
2:10 am
Mon August 18, 2014

WikiLeaks' Assange Says He'll Leave Embassy In London

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (right) said he'll leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, at a news conference with Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. Assange has been holed up at the embassy for two years.
John Stillwell AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 9:04 am

Citing health concerns, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he'll leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived in diplomatic asylum for more than two years. Assange didn't name a date for his exit, which will seemingly come without a deal over potential criminal charges against him.

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Ferguson Police Release Name Of Officer Who Shot Michael Brown

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announces the name of Officer Darren Wilson as the man who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, last Saturday.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 3:53 pm

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last Saturday is Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who has no disciplinary actions on his record with the department.

The release of Wilson's name comes after Jackson said he wouldn't identify the man out of concerns for his safety, citing death threats made to Ferguson police and on social media. Jackson said that Wilson was treated for injuries he sustained Saturday.

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The Two-Way
3:16 am
Fri August 15, 2014

'They're Talking To People': Tensions Ease In Ferguson As Police Change Tactics

Protests against the police shooting and killing of teenager Michael Brown had a different feel Thursday in Ferguson, Mo. Police scaled back their military-style operations and instead walked with protesters.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:40 am

Ferguson, Mo., saw more protests last night — but instead of meeting demonstrators with tear gas and armored vehicles, police walked with them, and posed for photos. The shift came after days of clashes sparked by the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Rachel Lippmann reports:

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Thu August 14, 2014

New Scrabble Champ: Oregon Man, 24, Wins Title

Conrad Bassett–Bouchard, 24, of Portland, Ore., won the National Scrabble Championship held in Buffalo, N.Y. His winning words included "florigen."
Marc Murphy National Scrabble Championship

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 9:23 am

Conrad Bassett–Bouchard of Portland, Ore., is the 2014 National Scrabble Champion, taking the title after a tournament that unseated Nigel Richards, who had won the previous four years in a row. Words used in the final round included "barf" and "florigen."

The championship went to Bassett-Bouchard, 24, after he drew both a blank wild-card tile and an S on his first rack of tiles. His first word was "zilch." His biggest score, of 82 points, came courtesy of "docents."

From a news release by the tournament:

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Thu August 14, 2014

How People In Ferguson See The Police In Ferguson

"I'm out here to stand for my children and their future," said Terrell Williams El, who hugged his daughter while standing with his wife and two daughters near the QuickTrip in Ferguson, Mo., Wednesday. Several other residents say they've often felt harassed by police.
David Carson MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 12:06 pm

A police officer's killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Mo., has ignited racial tensions in a town whose population is two-thirds black — and whose police force reportedly has three black members. Some black residents say that long before Brown's death, they saw the police as a potential threat.

"It's the constant pressure of every time a police officer gets behind us, we're gripping the steering wheel," Anthony Ross, 26, of neighboring Berkeley tells NPR's David Schaper. He added, "Everything on the car is right."

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The Two-Way
3:23 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Mo. Highway Patrol Takes Over Security In Ferguson, Governor Says

A man picks up a flaming bottle and prepares to throw it as a line of police advance in the distance.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 12:19 pm

This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will now supervise security in Ferguson, Gov. Jay Nixon announced at a news conference Thursday. Protesters have clashed with police since the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown on Saturday.

"For the past several days, we've all been deeply troubled by this crisis," Nixon said, "as the pain of last weekend's tragedy has been compounded by days of grief, and nights of conflict and fear."

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Gay Marriages May Begin In Virginia Next Week, After Court Denies A Stay

Plantiffs in the federal suit over Virginia's ban on gay marriage, Emily Schall-Townley (from left), Carol Schall and Mary Townley, after a hearing on Virginia's same-sex-marriage ban in Richmond, Va., in May. Wednesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused a motion to stay its decision that the ban isn't constitutional.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 9:02 pm

A federal court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage to be recognized in Virginia, denying a motion to stay its own ruling against a ban on the unions. That means same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in Virginia next week, state officials say.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Campos Dies In Plane Crash

Rescuers work on the site of a plane crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday. Presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in the crash.
Ricardo Nogueira AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 2:02 pm

Eduardo Campos, an economist who was running for Brazil's presidency as the leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, has died in a plane crash near the coast southeast of Sao Paulo.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed August 13, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different: Spider Invades BBC Telecast

A spider made a surprise appearance during a live update from BBC Scotland's Graham Stewart Wednesday.
BBC/YouTube

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 7:50 am

A BBC TV report on a Scottish cultural festival was upstaged Wednesday by a spider that had spun its web across the camera's lens. When a bug began struggling in the web, the spider came out to do what spiders do.

The arachnid made quick work of the bug and retreated back off-camera — but not before it surprised viewers and entertained many on Twitter and elsewhere.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Wed August 13, 2014

In A Shift, China Allows Pope Francis To Use Its Airspace For Asia Trip

In South Korea, final preparations are being made for Pope Francis' upcoming visit. To reach Seoul, the pontiff will fly through Chinese airspace and send a message to China's leaders.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 6:02 am

Pope Francis is flying to South Korea today — and that means he'll be able to address China's leaders, as well. In what's seen as a sign of thawing relations, China is allowing the pontiff to use its airspace. The Vatican hasn't had formal relations with China since 1949, when the communists took charge.

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The Two-Way
3:34 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Race Relations 'Top Priority' In Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Says

Creola McCalister, 88, protests the killing of teenager Michael Brown on Tuesday at a rally outside Greater St. Mark Family Church. Brown's death Saturday has sparked both peaceful rallies and violence this week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 2:38 pm

The police chief of Ferguson, Mo., says his department has made race relations a "top priority," after a shooting of an unarmed black teen sparked days of protests.

Another man (this time armed) was reportedly shot by a St. Louis County police officer early Wednesday after police responded to reports of shots being fired.

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The Two-Way
2:41 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Iraq Update: France Will Arm Kurds; More Refugees Leave Mountain

Iraqi children from the Yazidi community wave to Kurdish peshmerga forces near Dohuk, the Kurdish region of autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq. The children fled with their families from their hometown, which was attacked by Sunni militants from the Islamic State.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 2:50 pm

Citing the persecution of religious minorities in Iraq, France says it will deliver weapons to Kurds fighting the extremists of the Islamic State. The news comes as thousands of Yazidi refugees have escaped their plight on Mount Sinjar, crossing into a Kurdish-controlled portion of Syria.

Here are the developments we're seeing today out of Iraq:

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Tue August 12, 2014

In Missouri City, Calls For Justice, And Calm, After Teen's Death

Demonstrators protest the killing of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot and killed by police Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 11:52 am

Citing safety concerns, police in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where an officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager Saturday, say they won't release the name of the officer who fired the shots. The department reportedly received threats against the officer.

"If we come out and say, 'it was this officer,' then he immediately becomes a target," Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said, according to the AP. "We're taking the threats seriously."

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Iraqi Military Helicopter Crashes Carrying Refugees Off Mountain

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 2:31 pm

Several people were injured when an Iraqi aid helicopter crashed while trying to take people off of a mountain where they had been trapped by fighters loyal to extremist group the Islamic State. Children are believed to be among the helicopter's passengers, according to Iraqi state TV.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Musical Interlude: Pianist Wows Passengers At Prague Airport

Maan Hamadeh, a musician from Lebanon, put on an impromptu concert in a Prague airport after spotting a piano.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 9:17 am

The piano wasn't fancy, and the acoustics were bad. But a performance of Beethoven's "Für Elise" at a Prague airport is drawing rave reviews. The impromptu concert was put on by a traveler who brightened the mood in a departure lounge and earned applause by taking on the classic in a variety of styles.

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The Two-Way
4:38 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Russia Sends Large Aid Convoy Toward A Wary Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier cleans his armored personnel carrier near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday. Russia says a large convoy that's heading to the area from Moscow is carrying humanitarian aid.
Anatolii Stepanov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 9:53 am

A convoy of 280 white-painted trucks headed from Russia toward Ukraine is being met with suspicion. Russia says the trucks are bringing 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid to an area that's been torn by fighting. But Ukrainian leaders worry that the convoy might conceal a military operation.

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