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
11:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

LeBron James And Lance Stephenson Share Odd And Quiet Moment In NBA Game

Lance Stephenson blows into Lebron James' ear during their playoff game Wednesday night.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:05 pm

There are many ways to psych out an opponent. The Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson went the unconventional route last night, softly blowing into LeBron James' ear during a pause late in their playoff game.

"He didn't just do that," James' face seems to say.

"Yes I did," Stephenson's expression answers.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Former Army Chief Cruises To Win In Egypt's Presidential Election

A picture taken in Cairo shows ballots sitting on a table as polling station officials count votes in the country's presidential election. Former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi is projected to be the overwhelming winner.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:47 pm

Egypt's former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi will be its next president, according to preliminary results from the country's three-day election that was held this week. The overwhelming victory for Sisi over left-wing candidate Hamdeen Sabahi had been widely expected.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Downed Ukraine Helicopter Had General On Board; 14 Die In Attack

Black smoke rises from the spot where a Ukrainian army helicopter was shot down outside Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Thursday. Rebels shot the craft down amid heavy fighting around the eastern city.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:16 pm

Militants in Ukraine shot down a military helicopter near the eastern city of Slovyansk Wednesday, killing 14 soldiers that included an Army general. The incident comes days after Ukraine stepped up its operations against pro-Russian rebels this week.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

U.S. GDP Fell 1 Percent; First Drop In 3 Years

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:39 pm

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu May 29, 2014

'Oh My Jesus!': Shots Fired During NPR Interview In Chicago

Police cordon off the area around a shooting in Chicago Wednesday. The violence broke out down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview about urban renewal efforts.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 1:41 pm

An NPR interview in Chicago included an all-too-real example of the city's violence when a burst of gunfire erupted down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview Wednesday. He had been speaking to a neighborhood activist when a gunman opened fire nearby.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Judge Halts Ohio Executions, Citing Drug Controversy

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:33 pm

A federal judge has put Ohio's next two scheduled executions on hold, saying he needs more information about the state's proposed changes to its lethal injection process.

A scarcity of the drugs that were once commonly used to carry out U.S. executions has complicated the lethal injection process — and has prompted several death row inmates to challenge whether Ohio and other states are violating the Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

From Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Search For Flight MH370 Black Boxes Ends; 'Pings' In Dispute

The Australian ship Ocean Shield, seen here earlier this month, has been ordered back to its dock, after a search for the black boxes of a missing Malaysian airliner ended without finding anything.
Paul Kane Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:02 pm

The underwater search for black boxes from a missing Malaysian Airlines jet has ended, as the robotic sub that searched nearly 330 square miles of the ocean hasn't found anything to back the idea that "pings" detected in that area came from emergency equipment.

Search and salvage teams will now assess where they should look next for the jet's remains, after Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said that "no signs of aircraft debris have been found" by the American Bluefin-21 robotic sub.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Son Of Late Snake-Handling Pastor Is Bitten By Rattlesnake

Boxes housing snakes sit on the floor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Ky.
NGT

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:45 am

Snake-handling is a tradition for the Coots family of Kentucky. But months after taking over for his father to lead a Pentecostal church, Cody Coots says he was bitten this week. His father, Jamie, died of a poisonous snakebite in February.

The family has been featured on a reality TV show, as the Two-Way reported:

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed May 28, 2014

In NBC Interview, Snowden Says He Was 'Trained As A Spy'

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spoke to NBC's Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in Moscow last week.
NBC Nightly News

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:26 pm

Seeking to correct what he calls "misleading" statements about his work for U.S. government agencies, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden tells NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams he "was trained as a spy" and worked for several.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Google's New Car Lacks A Steering Wheel (And Brakes)

An image released by Google Tuesday shows an early version of its driverless vehicle. The company has built several prototypes of the self-driving car.
Google

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:43 am

Google gave us an update on its driverless car project Tuesday, posting video and images of people trying out its self-driving car. The tech company built three prototypes from scratch, creating compact cars that look like they're on an extreme no-options diet. For now, their top speed is 25 mph.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Ukraine Promises To Crush Insurgency; Chechnya Denies Sending Troops

Coal miners rally in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday. The miners have gone on strike to demand Ukrainian troops and other forces leave the region, where fighting has left dozens dead this week.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Chechnya's leader says the country hasn't sent fighters to join rebels in eastern Ukraine, denying a charge that gained substance after Chechens were reportedly found in the aftermath of recent fighting in Donetsk. Ukraine is continuing its offensive against the rebels.

Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko says he will crush the pro-Russian insurgency, promising to step up operations against armed men who have occupied buildings and set up barricades.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Florida's IQ Limit For Death Penalty Isn't Constitutional, Supreme Court Says

Florida death row inmate Freddie Lee Hall challenged the state's use of an IQ cutoff to determine mental disability. The Supreme Court sided with him on Tuesday, saying Florida's law doesn't take standard errors of measurement into account.
Florida Department of Corrections/AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:53 pm

A Florida law that sets an IQ test score of 70 as a minimum in determining who's eligible for the death penalty is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court says. In a reversal of a state court's decision, the justices say Florida's rule ignores norms in the psychiatric profession. The opinion also cites the Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment.

"Florida set a hard-line rule that the death penalty could not be imposed on convicted felons whose IQ is 70 or below," NPR's Washington desk says in its summary of the case.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Soldiers Arrest Thai Politician As He Speaks Out Against Coup

Former Thai Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang (center) was detained by soldiers after speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 6:12 pm

A former minister of Thailand's ousted Cabinet was detained Tuesday at a news conference at which he criticized the coup that took control of the country last week. The arrest comes as another detained official — ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra — was released.

From Bangkok, Michael Sullivan reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Nigerian Officials Say They've Located Missing Girls

Nigeria's chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh speaks during a demonstration in Abuja calling for the rescue of girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok. Badeh says the government knows where the girls are — but that a rescue attempt would endanger their lives.
Gbenga Olamikan AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:14 pm

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

The Man Who Brought G.I. Joe To Children Dies At 86

At left is a reproduction of the original G.I. Joe action figure made in 1964. The doll on the right is a newer G.I. Joe model. Hasbro executive Donald Levine, who oversaw the action figure's creation, died last week of cancer.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:34 pm

A half-century after the first G.I. Joe action figures hit U.S. shelves, the man who oversaw the toy's creation has died of cancer in Rhode Island. Former Hasbro executive Donald Levine was 86. He was also a veteran of the Korean War who said that G.I. Joe was an attempt to honor those in the U.S. armed forces.

"Someday I'm going to do something to honor this military, these military people, who fight in the wars," Levine said in archive footage cited by NPR's Elizabeth Blair for All Things Considered.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Parents Of Elliot Rodger Heard Of Attack As They Tried To Stop Him

A makeshift memorial sits in front of IV Deli Mart, where part of Friday night's mass shooting took place in the Isla Vista, Calif., community. The parents of Elliot Rodger, accused of killing six people, were reportedly rushing to try to stop their son when they heard about the violence.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 1:56 pm

Elliot Rodger's parents were rushing to stop him from hurting anyone Friday night when they heard news of a shooting and feared their son was involved. They had driven to Santa Barbara after seeing an alarming video in which he promised a deadly "revenge against humanity."

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Mon May 26, 2014

White House Mistakenly Blows Cover Of CIA Officer In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:18 pm

A list that was meant to help journalists report on President Obama's trip to Afghanistan on Sunday has instead created an awkward and potentially damaging situation. That's because it mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, the agency's top official there.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Dad Catches Son's Home Run Ball At Minor League Game

Marty Gregor drove five hours to see his son play baseball this weekend. In return, his son drove a baseball over the right-field fence to where his dad was standing.
MILB

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Conrad Gregor sent a special thank you to his parents for making a five-hour drive to see him play baseball this weekend: He launched a home run that led his team to a comeback win — and his father caught the baseball after it soared over the right-field wall.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Ukraine's Poroshenko Says He'll Restore Peace In East

Presumed Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, left, said Monday that an "anti-terrorist operation" against separatists will take hours, not months.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 11:54 am

Ukraine's projected new president Petro Poroshenko welcomed his victory Monday by pledging to speed up operations to quell pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. New violence erupted in the region today, as an air strike was carried out on militants near the Donetsk airport.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Seeking A Boost: Italy To Include Cocaine Sales In GDP Numbers

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:20 pm

Faced with a weak economy and a need to improve Italy's debt ratio, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government will include illegal drug sales and prostitution when it figures the country's gross domestic product.

That's according to a report from Bloomberg News, which says:

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Reports: Clippers Owner Sterling Agrees To Sell Team

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has reportedly agreed to sell the team, allowing his wife, Shelly, to broker a deal. They're seen here at a 2012 game.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:19 pm

Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner who has been banned for life by the NBA for making racist remarks, has agreed to sell the team, according to reports. Both ESPN and TMZ say that Sterling will allow his wife, Shelly, to negotiate the deal.

Sterling "has signed the Los Angeles Clippers over to his wife," ABC News says, citing a source "close to the team."

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Tonight's New 'Giraffes' Meteor Shower Could Be A Great One

A map from NASA predicts the peak viewing areas and times for the Camelopardalids meteor shower Friday night and early Saturday.
Danielle Moser NASA

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:22 pm

An all-new meteor shower makes its debut tonight, and astronomers say it could put on a show starting as early as 10:30 p.m. ET Friday and peaking early Saturday. Called the Camelopardalids, the shower is named after the giraffe constellation. It's expected to be visible in nearly all of the U.S., if skies are clear.

"No one has seen it before," NASA says, "but the shower could put on a show that would rival the prolific Perseid meteor shower in August."

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Fri May 23, 2014

VIDEO: Baby Falls From Ledge, Is Caught By Man In Street

Men watch as a baby teeters on a ledge in China earlier this week. The infant fell — and was safely caught, making his rescuers into heroes in Chinese social media.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 11:24 am

All he had were his bare hands and one chance. But a man successfully caught an infant who fell from a second-floor apartment's window in southern China this week, making him a hero in Chinese social media after the feat was caught on a surveillance camera video.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Canada Loses Fight Against EU Ban On Seal Products

The World Trade Organization has maintained the EU's ban on products from Canada's seal hunt. Earlier this year, activists from PETA simulated slaughtering a seal in a protest at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 10:41 am

The World Trade Organization has rejected Canada's appeal of a ban that keeps pelts and other products from the country's seal hunt from being imported into the European Union. The ban was instituted on moral grounds, the EU says.

From Toronto, Dan Karpenchuk reports for our Newscast unit:

"The WTO decision upheld a previous ruling that the European Union ban is necessary to protect public morals regarding animal welfare, meaning that concerns about animal welfare can override commercial interests.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Mortar Attack Hits Election Rally In Syria, Killing 21

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:16 pm

A campaign rally for Syria's President Bashar Assad was hit by mortar fire Thursday evening, as rebels struck the event in the southern city of Daraa. At least 21 people died in the attack, which comes weeks before Syria's presidential election.

From Beirut, Alison Meuse reports for our Newscast unit:

"Mortar fire slammed into a pro-Assad electoral tent. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 21 people were killed in the attack. The dead included a child and six loyalist militiamen.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Thai Military Detains Ousted Prime Minister, Bans Negative Press

Thai soldiers patrol on a scooter Friday near the Democracy Monument in Bangkok. Thailand's ruling military summoned leaders of the ousted government to meetings today. Restrictions on TV broadcasts have led Thai citizens to ask for more variety.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 11:21 am

One day after staging a coup, Thailand's military summoned leaders of the ousted government and other political figures to a meeting Friday. More than 150 people were ordered to convene at the Royal Thai Army auditorium — or risk arrest and possible charges.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: Ousted PM Yingluck Detained

Thailand's army has detained deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after holding meetings with her and other politicians. She has reportedly been taken to an army base, along with members of her family who were also in the government.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Too Beaucoup: France's New Trains Are Wider Than Its Platforms

A SNCF Regional Express Train is seen at Hazebrouck's train station in northern France on Thursday. France's train operators admit they made a mistake in ordering new trains that will require millions of dollars to modify station platforms.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 3:24 pm

Some 2,000 new trains that were meant to help France expand its regional rail network are instead causing headaches and embarrassment, as officials have been forced to explain why the trains aren't compatible with hundreds of station platforms. The new trains are just a few centimeters too wide to fit.

The country's rail operators say they're spending millions of dollars to modify platforms to accommodate the new trains, which cost billions of dollars. A French newspaper reported on the mix-up Tuesday, saying the platforms were too narrow for the trains to pass through.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Russia, China Block U.N. Move To Investigate War Crimes In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:41 pm

A U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Syria has failed, after Russia and China voted against the measure Thursday.

The resolution seeking accountability for wartime atrocities was introduced by France and had the backing of the U.S.

For our Newscast unit, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports:

"Although more than 60 countries supported the resolution, Russia dismissed the vote as a publicity stunt , once again shielding Syrian leader Bashar al Assad's regime.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Norman Rockwell Painting 'The Rookie' Sells For $22.5 Million

Norman Rockwell's The Rookie, seen here on display in 2005, sold at auction for $22.5 million Thursday.
Chitose Suzuki AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:27 pm

Norman Rockwell's The Rookie has sold for $22.5 million at auction Thursday. The 1957 painting of baseball players in a locker room was sold by Christie's auction house — heady heights for a work that first appeared on a magazine that sold for 15 cents.

Update at 12:50 p.m. The Final Price

While the "hammer price" of the Rockwell painting was $20 million, Christie's says the painting's final price is $22,565,000, reflecting a buyer's premium. We've updated this post to reflect the auction house's final calculation.

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