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
2:45 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini Dies; 'Sopranos' Actor Was 51

Actor James Gandolfini has died while on a trip to Italy. He's seen here with Sopranos co-stars Edie Falco, left, and Lorraine Bracco.
Paul Hawthorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 5:07 pm

Actor James Gandolfini, 51, has died, HBO and other sources confirm. The former star of the HBO series The Sopranos was reportedly on holiday in Italy when he died. The cause of death is not yet known with certainty, but HBO says the actor may have suffered a heart attack. Other reports have indicated Gandolfini had a stroke.

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET: Confirmation From HBO:

Initial reports of Gandolfini's death were confirmed to NPR by HBO, which has released a statement:

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Federal Agents Accuse Two Of Plotting Deadly X-Ray Weapon

Two men in upstate New York have been arrested for planning to build a "radiation particle weapon" that could be mounted on a vehicle and used to target people, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union Wednesday. The men allegedly planned to sell the device to either the Ku Klux Klan or Jewish groups.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Snowden Reportedly In 'Informal' Asylum Talks With Iceland

Edward Snowden, the man commonly called "the NSA leaker" for his role in publishing documents that exposed a secret U.S. surveillance program, would reportedly not receive special treatment from the United Nations if he applies for asylum. The AP says Snowden is in "informal talks" with Iceland about applying for asylum there.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Tropical Storm Barry Heads Toward Mexico, Forecasters Say

Tropical Storm Barry, the second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, is expected to hit Mexico's southeastern coast.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:58 pm

The National Hurricane Center has issued coastal warnings in the Gulf of Mexico regarding Tropical Storm Barry. The second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, Barry is currently in the southwest corner of the gulf; it is expected to make landfall in Mexico Thursday morning.

The center says an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft determined Wednesday that the storm, formerly called Tropical Depression Two, had strengthened. Barry is currently about 75 miles east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Fed Leaves Interest Rates And Bond Purchase Plan Untouched

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that a fall in the unemployment rate would not automatically trigger a rise in interest rates. He spoke to the media after the central bank issued a policy update.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:57 am

The Federal Reserve will continue its program of purchasing $85 billion in securities and will leave the target interest rate for federal funds untouched to support the U.S. economy, the U.S. central bank said in a policy update issued Wednesday afternoon.

Here's a summary of the state of the U.S. economy from the Fed, which concluded two days of meetings today:

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Amazon Cuts Ties In Minnesota Ahead Of New Sales Tax

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 4:55 am

Weeks before Minnesota's new sales tax law takes effect, online retailer Amazon is cutting its ties to members of its Associates program who live in the state. The new law requires businesses that have a presence in Minnesota to collect sales tax.

Amazon has taken similar steps in other states that have passed laws like Minnesota's, ending the contracts of Associates — people and businesses that are paid for sending customers to the retailer.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Google Files First-Amendment Request With FISA Court

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 5:17 am

Google has filed a legal motion asserting its "First Amendment right to publish aggregate information about FISA orders," asking the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to remove the gag order that keeps the company from issuing that information. Google and other big U.S. tech companies have been under fire after it was reported that they allowed the National Security Agency to mine customer data, in a government program called PRISM.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Perk Backlash: Do Surprise Upgrades Make Us Uneasy?

A new study finds that while "receiving unearned preferential treatment does generate positive reactions, it is not always an entirely pleasurable experience." Examples include getting a free upgrade on a hotel room.
iStockphoto.com

Whether it's a free upgrade on a hotel room or skipping ahead in the check-in line, many businesses give preferential treatment to some customers, hoping to make them more loyal. The practice often works — but a new study suggests that when we get perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result. And they can make a surprise deal a little less sweet.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Tue June 18, 2013

'Days Of Rambo Are Over': Pentagon Details Women's Move To Combat

Women in the U.S. military will be integrated into front-line combat units by 2016, the Pentagon says. Here, female Marine recruits stand in formation during pugil stick training in boot camp earlier this year at Parris Island, S.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Women in America's armed services will have new options for what units they can join in coming years, the Pentagon says. The military said in January that it will end its combat exclusion that set a minimum size for units in which women could be deployed; the limit kept many women away from front-line combat units. The shift means women could join elite forces such as the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Obama Would Veto House's Farm Bill, White House Says

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:12 am

President Obama will be advised to veto a multi-year farm bill slated to be discussed in the House this week, the White House says. The administration issued a statement on the legislation Monday afternoon, criticizing it for cutting food programs for the poor.

At more than 575 pages, the bipartisan bill was introduced by Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Woman Freed In Indiana Was A Convict On Death Row At 16

Paula Cooper was freed from prison Monday, nearly three decades after being sentenced to death for murder. She's seen here in a 1985 police photo.
Lake County PD AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:46 pm

Paula Cooper, 43, left prison Monday morning, decades after she became America's youngest resident of death row at age 16. She had confessed to the 1985 murder of Bible studies teacher Ruth Pelke, 78, in Gary, Ind. Cooper's death sentence was commuted in 1989, after widespread appeals for mercy.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Mon June 17, 2013

FTC Can Sue Firms In 'Pay For Delay' Drug Deals, Court Rules

The Supreme Court has ruled that the FTC can challenge arrangements between makers of generic drugs and makers of brand-name products such as AndroGel, seen here on a computer monitor screen.
Reed Saxon AP

When the maker of a brand-name drug pays a maker of generic drugs to not produce a lower-priced version of their product, the Federal Trade Commission can challenge the arrangement on antitrust grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling may end the era of what regulators call "pay-for-delay" deals.

The justices voted 5-3 to allow a case to go forward in which the FTC is challenging one of many such deals. Several companies are involved in the case, including Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of AndroGel, and generic-drug maker Actavis.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Australian General's Frank Talk On Sexual Abuse Wins Fans

Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Australia's army chief, has simple advice for those who don't want women in the service: "Get out."
YouTube

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:27 am

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Thu June 13, 2013

In Gay America, Optimism Abounds As Stigma Persists, Pew Says

A new survey of more than 1,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults finds that more than 90 percent feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago. Here, a woman displays her pro-gay T-shirt at the L.A. Pride Parade in West Hollywood last Sunday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 10:48 am

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans say they feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago, and they're overwhelmingly optimistic that the trend will continue. But a sweeping new Pew Research Center survey also finds persistent levels of stigmatization and secrecy in the community.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Egyptian Author Sentenced To Prison For Book 'Where Is God?'

Egyptian author and human rights activist Karam Saber has been sentenced to five years in prison, after a court found his writings to have insulted religion, reports the Egyptian news website Aswat Masriya.

The complaint against Saber and his book Ayn Allah (Where Is God?) was initially filed in 2011, months after the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak's regime. Saber's was reportedly the first blasphemy case of its kind after Egypt's revolution.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Huge System Of Storms Predicted To March East From Midwest

A map shows the chance of severe thunderstorms Wednesday evening, with the National Weather Service predicting strong winds and storms moving eastward to the mid-Atlantic Thursday.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 4:03 pm

The National Weather Service warns of a massive storm system that will make its way eastward from Iowa to Maryland in the next 24 hours, as strong winds, thunderstorms, and hail are predicted to hit areas from the upper Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic beginning Wednesday and continuing Thursday.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Egypt Said To Be In Talks With Ethiopia Over Nile Dam Plan

A May 28 photo shows the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, during a diversion ceremony for the country's dam project. Egypt says it is against the plan.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's leaders are negotiating with Ethiopia over a Nile River dam project the Ethiopians have begun building, according to reports. The news comes after a week of forceful talk about the dam project, including one session with Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi in which politicians discussed armed intervention, apparently not aware their words were being broadcast on live television.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Google Asks Permission To Publish Info About FISA Requests

Google was recently allowed to release general data about national security letters it receives, as seen in this chart. The company is now asking the U.S. government to allow it to publish similar data on national security requests, including those made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Google

As Google and other large tech companies cope with the aftermath of recent reports that the National Security Agency has had broad access to their users' data, the search giant is asking the U.S. government for permission to publish the number of national security requests it receives, including those made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

World War II-Era German Bomber Raised Near English Coast

A Dornier 17 bomber, which Germany used in the first years of World War II, is lowered onto a salvage barge in the English Channel, 70 years after the craft was shot down.
RAF Museum

A rare Dornier 17, an aluminum-skinned German bomber that flew in the Battle of Britain, has been salvaged from the murky waters of the English Channel. The plane was shot down more than 70 years ago near the coast of Kent.

"The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce the successful lift of the only known example of the Dornier Do17," said the RAF Museum's director general, Peter Dye, Monday. He called the feat an "incredibly complex and delicate operation."

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

'I'm Not Satisfied': Family's First Graduate Has Bigger Goals

Recent high school graduate Dajina Bell got her diploma after working hard to turn around her GPA. An anonymous donor who heard her story on Colorado Public Radio set up a scholarship for her.
Jenny Bundin CPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 12:45 pm

When Denver teenager Dajina Bell graduated from high school last week, she celebrated a remarkable academic and personal comeback. Bell's high school years, marked early on by her brother's death and a host of other troubles, ended with her becoming her family's first graduate.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Mon June 10, 2013

BP Ends Oil Spill Cleanup In Gulf, Except For Louisiana

BP is scaling back its cleanup efforts from the Deepwater Horizon oilspill in areas outside Louisiana. Here, a photo from last September shows alluvial clay and tar mats on the shore of Elmer's Island, in Jefferson Parish, La.
Gerald Herbert AP

BP is ending its cleanup of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in three Gulf Coast states this month, leaving Louisiana as the only state with ongoing cleanup linked to the company's Deepwater Horizon Response effort. Reports of oil sightings in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will soon be the U.S. Coast Guard's responsibility to investigate.

For NPR's Newscast unit, Debbie Elliott reports:

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ariel Castro On 329 Counts

Ariel Castro, whose Cleveland, Ohio, home allegedly became a prison for three kidnapped young women, has been indicted on 329 counts by a grand jury. Other charges include 177 counts of kidnapping and 139 counts of rape, as well as aggravated murder, a charge stemming from "the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy."

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Fri June 7, 2013

U.S. Drone Strike Reportedly Kills Seven In Pakistan

A U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles at a compound in a remote area of northwest Pakistan, killing seven people Friday night, according to reports. Pakistani officials who spoke about the strike to the AP say it killed seven militants.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Wal-Mart Meeting Spurs Protests Over Low Pay, Safety Issues

Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon speaks to shareholders at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., during this week's shareholders' meeting. The company is coping with a bribery scandal, as well as demands from workers.
Gareth Patterson AP

Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores' annual shareholders' meeting this week showed signs of the company's recent turbulence, as protesters assembled at corporate headquarters to shout slogans and demands.

Despite a court-issued restraining order, the protesters, including workers who are on strike, decried low wages and called for better safety procedures for supply-chain workers. And some of their views were heard inside the meeting, as well.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Makes Landfall In Florida

The National Hurricane Center's tracking system placed Tropical Storm Andrea on Florida's Gulf coast, level with Gainesville, Thursday afternoon. The storm is expected to spread rain and strong winds along the Southeastern coast tonight and Friday.
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:02 pm

Tropical Storm Andrea has made landfall on Florida's Big Bend area, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reports. As of 5:45 p.m. ET, the center's tracking system placed the storm on the state's Gulf coast, level with Gainesville. Andrea is expected to spread rain and strong winds along the Southeastern coast tonight and Friday.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Gatlin Beats Bolt In 100 Meters For The First Time

American sprinter Justin Gatlin celebrates winning the 100m men's race at the IAAF Golden Gala at Stadio Olimpico in Rome Thursday. He defeated world record-holder Usain Bolt in the event.
Paolo Bruno Getty Images

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Baby Moose Benefits From Anglers' Unlikely Catch And Release

Dr. Karen Sciascia of Red Hill, Pa., holds a baby moose she and Four Rivers Fishing Co. guide Seth McLean rescued from a river in southwestern Montana, in a photo taken just before they released the animal on the bank where its mother waited.
Four Rivers Fishing Co. AP

Dr. Karen Sciascia of Red Hill, Pa., has delivered thousands of babies in her career. But on a vacation to Montana this week, she helped deliver another life from danger, as she and her fishing guide saved a baby moose that was separated from its mother as they crossed a river.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Andrea, First Named Storm Of 2013 Season, Forms In Gulf

The National Hurricane Center is tracking Tropical Storm Andrea, currently in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, on its website.
NWS

Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the new hurricane season, has formed in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters expect the storm to bring heavy rains to Florida before moving up the East Coast.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

DEA Arrests Scarsdale Mom In Massive Pot-Growing Scheme

A photograph taken on May 20, 2013, by the DEA Strike Force shows some of the marijuana plants the agency says were grown by a woman from a wealthy New York suburb, in a warehouse in the Queens borough of New York.
DEA AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:59 pm

Andrea Sanderlin, a mother who drives a Mercedes SUV and lives in a large Scarsdale, N.Y., home, is facing serious drug charges after federal investigators accused her of being the mastermind behind an operation growing nearly 3,000 marijuana plants in a warehouse in Queens.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Wed June 5, 2013

TSA Says It Won't Relax Carry-On Ban Of Knives, Other Items

A graphic released by the TSA earlier this year announced coming changes to the agency's Prohibited Items List, which it said would allow small knives. The TSA now says those items will remain banned from carry-on bags.
TSA

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:59 pm

Small knives, golf clubs, and other items that had been poised to be allowed in air passengers' carry-on luggage will instead remain prohibited, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday. The reversal follows a review process in which the agency heard from passenger advocates, law enforcement, and others.

"After extensive engagement with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, law enforcement officials, passenger advocates, and other important stakeholders, TSA will continue to enforce the current prohibited items list," the agency said in a statement.

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