Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on 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 has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

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 during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

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.

It's taken the street-racing movie Furious 7 only 17 days to reach $1 billion in worldwide box office grosses, according to Universal Pictures. On its opening weekend, the movie reportedly made $143.6 million in the U.S. It's the last in the Fast and Furious franchise to feature the late actor Paul Walker.

Universal says the movie is the studio's first to cross the billion-dollar mark during its first run in theaters, putting Furious 7 above films such as Jurassic Park, Despicable Me and the Jason Bourne movies.

It fought in World War II and was used in two atomic bomb tests. Now, 64 years after it was scuttled, the USS Independence has been located by an undersea survey team led by NOAA and the U.S. Navy.

A new image of the ship suggests it's in good shape for a craft that was damaged by shock waves, heat and radiation in the Pacific Ocean.

Small theaters' claims that large cinema chains keep them from screening first-run movies have reportedly prompted a Department of Justice investigation. News of a federal inquiry comes as arguments over preferential treatment and exclusivity have been heating up in recent years.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports:

In a series of early-morning raids, Australian counterterrorism police arrested five men in the Melbourne area Saturday, over their possible involvement in a plot to attack police officers at an upcoming World War I remembrance ceremony.

Three of the men were later released; police say that Sevdet Ramdan Besim, 18, "has been charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts."

From Sydney, Stuart Cohen reports:

In what could be the first attack in Afghanistan by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the extremist group has reportedly said it is behind Saturday's deadly attack in Jalalabad. Media outlets and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have noted the claim, which has not been independently verified.

After 53 years, Don Francisco will finally put down the mic. Univision says it will stop making the legendarily unpredictable variety show Sábado Gigante in September, ending a run that began in 1962 when Chile's Mario Kreutzberger started entertaining viewers as Don Francisco.

A string of insults aimed at a woman who works at a towing company were recorded by a surveillance camera. Now they've come back to sting sports reporter Britt McHenry. After the video emerged of McHenry, 28, dishing out profane verbal abuse, ESPN announced she'll be punished.

"Britt McHenry has been suspended for one week effectively immediately," the media company said.

The coffee on the International Space Station is about to get much better. The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule linked up with the station on Friday, bringing groceries, supplies — and a long-awaited espresso machine called the ISSpresso.

In a rendezvous that was streamed live online, astronauts inside the ISS extended a robotic arm and captured the SpaceX Dragon early Friday. NASA says the pair made contact 257 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

Rodrigo Rato, who led the International Monetary Fund from 2004-2007, was arrested in Spain last night over allegations of tax evasion and money laundering.

An influential figure in Spanish banking and politics, Rato was the predecessor of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Khan, who left office under a cloud of legal troubles and allegations of sexual assault.

From Madrid, NPR's Lauren Frayer reports:

"Tax and customs officials raided Rodrigo Rato's Madrid home last night and took him away in a police car.

A long time ago, in a place far away, a manuscript was created with an enigmatic figure who looks a great deal like a certain little — and yet powerful — green guy from the Star Wars films. It's an unlikely connection between a religious tome and science fiction.

Faced with a state rule that links funding to the admission of people who are actively using drugs or alcohol, a group that runs a homeless shelter in Manchester, Conn., is choosing to close the 40-bed facility. More than half of the shelter's budget reportedly comes from the state.

If you're new to this area of winter sports, we'll reassure you: The Quad Cork 1800 is not a drink. Instead, it's a big deal in the sport of snowboarding, where Billy Morgan is being hailed as a hero for pulling off a trick that some had thought impossible.

The British snowboarder accomplished the feat on a slope at the Mottolino Resort in Livigno, Italy, where a special wedge of snow was built to provide enough speed and lift for Morgan to perform four off-axis flips and five full rotations while in the air.

Speaking on the first anniversary of a catastrophe that killed 304 people, President Park Geun-hye pledged Thursday to salvage the Sewol ferry, which capsized and sank during a trip to a resort island. Nine bodies are believed to remain inside the ship.

"Most of the victims were actually students from a single high school," NPR's Elise Hu reports, "so this obviously sent the country into deep grief — but also outrage, since the rescue effort was widely viewed as bungled."

It has been more than a year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 was lost with 239 people on board. Officials now say they'll double the already huge search area in the southern Indian Ocean to 46,000 square miles if the plane isn't found by next month.

The U.S. will reach a new balance in energy trade "sometime between 2020 and 2030," says the Energy Information Administration, which predicts the U.S. could become a net energy exporter in the near future.

The federal agency's prediction cites a rise in domestic natural gas production and changes in energy demands. If it happens, the shift would end a streak of more than 50 years in which the U.S. has been a net importer of energy.

Aaron Hernandez, whose rise to elite status in the NFL was ended by charges that he shot and killed a man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. In 2013, Hernandez was accused of killing the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.

The verdict comes on the seventh day of a jury's deliberations on counts that ranged from murder to gun and ammunition charges. As the findings were read in a Fall River, Mass., courtroom, Hernandez sat between his lawyers and occasionally shook his head.

Saying that Google has abused its dominant position in the search market "by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product," the European Commission has sent a list of antitrust charges to the search giant. The European Union has also opened a new inquiry into the Android mobile system.

"I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service" and broken European law, says the EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.

A moment of silence, a call for kindness and the pealing of the city's church bells will be the hallmarks of Boston's events noting the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on Wednesday.

The moment of silence will be observed at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time when the first of two devastating bombs went off in the crowds gathered to watch the marathon in 2013.

V. Stiviano, the former companion of onetime Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, must return millions of dollars in gifts, a judge has ruled in a lawsuit that was filed by Sterling's wife, Shelly.

A Ferrari, a Bentley and a million-dollar home are among the things that must be turned over to the Sterling family trust, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge said. The tentative ruling could become final within 15 days barring objections.

Update, 10:30 p.m. ET: President Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, exchanged greetings and a friendly handshake Friday night at the Summit of the Americas, the Associated Press reports — the first such moment in decades.

A blind man who was sold actual grass instead of the grass he was looking for has told a French court that it was he, and not his guide dog, who bit a deceitful dealer who had tried to make hay off a marijuana deal.

The two ended up in a brawl, leaving the blind man in need of stitches on his ear and the accused drug dealer with a bite wound.

Changing a process that was blamed for fueling anger and frustration with the legal system in Ferguson, Mo., 80 municipal courts in St. Louis County have agreed to set uniform fees and fines to be more fair to people charged with offenses such as speeding.

Critics call the move one step on what they see as a long path of reform. They note that the agreement is voluntary and lacks a formal system of tracking or enforcement.

A tornado that hit Illinois on Thursday was so massive and the damage so extensive that in some areas, plows had to push debris off the streets so emergency crews could reach survivors.

At least one person died as a result of twisters that raked the state and other areas Thursday. Numerous injuries were also reported.

Politicians have basic rules about photo ops: Smile when you pose with kids, point at random things, and don't stand next to people taller than you. This week, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa learned one more: Don't get on the wrong side of an "I'm With Stupid" T-shirt.

A nationwide recall has been announced for some 30,000 cases of hummus made by the Sabra company, due to possible contamination. The FDA says the recall is voluntary and no illnesses have been reported.

The recall covers several products with a "best by" date of May 11 or May 15 (see details below). The products are predominantly the "Classic" variety of the hummus, in a range of sizes.

The FDA says anyone who has bought the packages should either dispose of them or take them back to retailers for a refund.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will only sign an agreement restricting his country's nuclear program if economic sanctions are lifted. The remarks on state TV came as Iran's supreme leader said he's neither for nor against the deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said that any arrangements must respect Iran's interests and dignity. He questioned the need for talks if they don't trigger the removal of sanctions, and he reiterated his distrust of the United States.

From Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports:

The large and influential French TV network TV5Monde was taken off the air and its online presence was hijacked by a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate. Hours after the attack began, the network was still unable to produce live programming.

The attack by what are being called cyber jihadists began at 10 p.m. in Paris on Wednesday, when screens that would normally show TV5Monde went blank, with normal programming replaced by a message: "Je suIS IS."

A senior manager is on leave from the Secret Service, after an employee he supervised reportedly told investigators that he assaulted her by making forceful and unwelcome sexual advances.

Discussing the case of a North Charleston, S.C., police officer shooting an unarmed man in the back, police chief Eddie Driggers said Wednesday, "I have been praying for peace."

Confirming a long-anticipated move, the NFL has hired its first female official on a full-time basis. Sarah Thomas, 41, has spent nearly a decade working her way through the ranks in the NCAA.

The league announced the move Wednesday, days after the news of Thomas' impending hire came out. For several years now, her name has been mentioned as a candidate for a spot at football's elite level.

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