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.

Despite Saudi Arabia's announcement earlier this week that a coalition would wind down the nearly month-old military campaign it has been waging in Yemen, warplanes have been hitting areas under Houthi control Thursday. It's now very unclear when peace talks that were mentioned earlier this week might occur.

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

"The Saudis had said that although strikes were ending, they would use force against Houthi movements inside the poor Gulf country.

The parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed man whom a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed last August, have filed a civil lawsuit against the city, along with former police chief Thomas Jackson and Darren Wilson, the now-former officer who shot Brown, 18.

The lawsuit was filed by Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden at the St. Louis County Courthouse Thursday morning. It says Wilson "unjustifiably shot and killed" Brown, using "an unnecessary and unreasonable" amount of force.

Even to experienced rescue crews that have been saving migrants at sea for months, the sight of survivors bobbing among corpses in the Mediterranean Sea was a shock. The boat they were on had been stuffed with would-be migrants when it capsized Saturday.

Actress Sandra Bullock tops People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list for 2015, becoming the oldest person to do so in the list's 25-year history. Three-time winner Julia Roberts was 42 when she last took the top spot.

It's the first time Bullock has won the honor — but if you've been experiencing cultural déjà vu lately, you're not alone.

Chicago art collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson have given a "landmark gift" of pop art to the Art Institute of Chicago, handing over 42 works that were created by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and others.

After the donation was officially accepted Tuesday night, the museum's president and director, Douglas Druick, told The Chicago Tribune, "This is one of the landmark gifts in our 136-year history."

After announcing a more limited military campaign against rebels in Yemen, Saudi Arabia continues to conduct airstrikes that began weeks ago. President Obama says the U.S. has warned Iran, which has condemned the Saudi strikes, not to deliver weapons to rebels in Yemen.

It's unclear what the Saudi-led coalition is planning for the next phase of its military operation in Yemen. The group has said it will protect civilians, ensure the flow of humanitarian aid and secure safe passage for foreigners who want to flee the violence.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

As soon as the news broke, Traffic Scotland took pains to say it was a serious event, not a joke. But that didn't stop people from putting their own spin on the story of the border collie who took control of a small tractor — which then drove onto a highway Wednesday.

"Enough is enough!" hundreds of people chanted over and over in Baltimore Tuesday night, at a rally for Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody earlier this month. A federal civil rights inquiry was launched Tuesday.

"We've had some other problems with African-Americans dying in police custody and at the hands of police officers here in Baltimore city," says Leonard Hamm, a former commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department who served from 2004-2007.

More than 80 profanities in under six minutes. That's the statistic baseball writers are talking about today, after Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price aired his frustrations with both the media and his team's struggles Monday.

Price took vehement exception to journalists' attempts to report on the Reds' personnel moves and the status of All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco, who had at that point missed six consecutive games.

Before Monday's game, Price said Mesoraco wouldn't be available. Then he was asked, again, about the slugger's status.

Italian authorities have arrested the captain and a crew member of the boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The pair are among the boat's 28 survivors; the United Nations says more than 800 would-be migrants died after cramming themselves onto the 66-foot boat.

Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has widely expanded a voluntary recall over Listeria concerns, seeking the return of all of its products currently on the market. Blue Bell products are sold in 23 states.

Less than two years after he was removed from power by the military, an Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his tenure.

The charges stem from the months of protests between late 2012 and July 2013, when Morsi was kicked out of office.

Twelve other defendants were also found guilty and received the same sentence as Morsi; they include former Muslim Brotherhood legislator Mohamed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Aryan, the group's former spokesman.

The water is exceptionally clear in Lake Michigan right now, and a Coast Guard helicopter crew used a recent routine patrol to capture striking images of some of the area's many notable sunken ships. Some of them date from the 1800s.

Photos from the flight out of the Coast Guard's Traverse City, Mich., air station show a variety of ships resting on the lake bottom, including the James McBride, a 121-foot brig that sank in 1857.

Continuing a string of surprises in this NFL offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles will reportedly sign quarterback Tim Tebow to a one-year contract to play quarterback. Tebow, 27, hasn't played in the NFL since 2012.

It would be the former Heisman winner's fourth stint with an NFL team. The New York Jets released Tebow in the spring of 2013; later that same year, he was cut by the New England Patriots. Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos back in 2010, after winning two BCS championships at Florida.

The European Union is holding an emergency meeting Monday about the deadly capsizing of a boat crowded with would-be migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. With 28 survivors reported and 24 bodies recovered, only a fraction of the hundreds of people who were reportedly on board are accounted for.

The FBI made a string of arrests Sunday, taking a total of six people into custody in Minneapolis and San Diego in a terrorism joint task force operation. The arrests follow an inquiry into young people from the Twin Cities area who have joined terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Shabab.

The men are charged with providing support to ISIS, the group that calls itself the Islamic State. They had planned to travel to Syria to fight for the group, law enforcement officials said Monday.

In the music world, today is all about bricks and mortar. It's the annual Record Store Day, when music fans are urged to get out to support their local shop.

From new releases to vintage finds, people have been posting photos of beloved albums and record stores Saturday.

Music companies are putting out dozens of limited-edition releases for the occasion. One example: Johnny Marr doing a live version of his old band The Smiths' song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want."

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."

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