Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing 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

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, and editing and producing stories for'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.

Updated 7:30 p.m. ET

A vigil was held in Roseburg, Ore., last night, hours after a man killed nine people at the local community college. Investigators say the man behind Thursday's shooting is also dead — and the county sheriff says he'll never say that man's name in public. Nine people were also wounded in the attack and treated in the hospital, according to authorities, who initially reported seven injured.

Chris Mintz was shot multiple times by a gunman at an Oregon community college Thursday, and now he's being called a hero, after it emerged that Mintz ran at the attacker and tried to block the door to a classroom and protect his classmates. Mintz is now recovering from surgery.

Responding to a flood of interest in the surprise revelation that Pope Francis met with controversial county clerk Kim Davis, the Vatican says the event shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of all of Davis' views. Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Rowan County, Ky.

Davis was one of "several dozen" people the pope met at the end of his visit to Washington, D.C., the Vatican says.

At the stroke of midnight, it became legal for Oregon dispensaries to sell marijuana to anyone over 21 years old. The state has also been allowing residents to wipe old pot charges from their criminal records.

Oregon becomes the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana sales, joining Colorado and Washington.

From the Northwest News Network, Chris Lehman reports for our Newscast unit:

Russia says it has carried out at least 20 airstrikes in Syria. But many of those attacks hit areas miles from the ISIS strongholds that were initially named as targets. Syria's opposition says Russian forces are hitting any opponents of President Bashar Assad — and that civilians are paying a price.

"We want clear condemnation for the Russian brutality, and we want protection for the civilians," Khaled Khoja, leader of the anti-Assad Syrian National Council, said at a news conference in New York.

Three days after Taliban fighters swept into Kunduz, Afghanistan's government says its troops have retaken the strategically important northern city, but reports suggest the fighting is not yet over in the city.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Americans' Role In Combat

New details have emerged about the combat Americans were involved in this week, as they sought to protect the Kunduz airport from the Taliban.

From Col. Brian Tribus, public affairs director for the Army's mission in Afghanistan:

Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who has led the company since June on an interim basis, will officially become the company's new CEO, according to reports. Dorsey is also the CEO of mobile payment company Square; it's uncertain whether he will try to hold both jobs.

Dorsey "is expected be named the company's new permanent CEO as early as tomorrow," according to the Recode website, which cites unidentified sources.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

In a new development that could change the dynamic of Syria's civil war, Russian military began carrying out airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday. Russia says it will target ISIS fighters as part of a plan to fight terrorism.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby says a Russian official informed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad about the missions and also requested that American military aircraft avoid Syrian airspace during Russian operations.

At least seven people are dead in Liucheng county in southern China after a series of powerful explosions that are being blamed on parcel bombs. As many as 17 explosions caused the damage in and around the city of Liuzhou, according to local media.

The blasts were strong enough to rip away portions of buildings and overturn cars. More than 50 people were reportedly injured.

Addressing reports that Pope Francis met privately with controversial Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during his U.S. visit, the Vatican acknowledges that the meeting took place. Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, says she met the pope at the Vatican Embassy in Washington.

"I cannot deny the meeting took place but I have no comments to add," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in Italian Wednesday.

You don't have to go on safari to watch the great wildebeest migration, one of the most striking natural events in the world. Thousands of the animals are streaming across Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve this week — and video of them is streaming online.

A dispute over a call in a soccer match boiled over to the point that a referee brought out a pistol on the field this weekend near the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. The referee, who is also a policeman, reportedly felt threatened and wanted to take control of the situation.

The referee is meeting with league officials today and could face disciplinary action.

He was once a vice president of soccer's world governing body, but now Jack Warner, who's under an indictment for corruption charges, has been banned from the sport for life. FIFA announced the move Tuesday, citing repeated misconduct by Warner.

Under fire for misleading governments and customers about its diesel cars' emissions, Volkswagen has a plan to recall millions of vehicles so it can fix the problem. The company has said it sold 11 million cars worldwide that use software to limit emissions only during official testing.

The news comes from a large internal meeting at the company led by Matthias Mueller, who took over as VW's leader last week after Martin Winterkorn's resignation.

A day after the Taliban seized control of the city of Kunduz, a military operation is underway to try to retake the provincial capital in northern Afghanistan. The U.S. carried out an airstrike to aid coalition and Afghan forces, according to NATO.

The fall of Kunduz is seen as "the Afghan Taliban's biggest victory since they were ousted from power 14 years ago," NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Philip filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Days after he was named the subject of a criminal investigation, FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he won't step down from soccer's governing body. In a statement released by his lawyer, Blatter says he has "done nothing illegal or improper."

Many earthlings were treated to a rare sight last night, as a "supermoon" coincided with a lunar eclipse. It was a bad night to have clouds obscuring the view, as the last total eclipse that had these qualities occurred in 1982, and the next won't happen until 2033.

This lunar eclipse ticked many boxes for sky watchers: It was a supermoon, when the moon is both full and in perigee, or close to Earth, making it loom large in our sky. It was also a blood moon (the fourth and final lunar eclipse). And because it occurred days after the fall equinox, this was also the harvest moon.

Ousted from the London 2012 Games by the International Olympic Committee, baseball and softball might get a reprieve, thanks to a proposal from Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers. They'd also like to see skateboarding and surfing — but not bowling.

Baseball and softball were on a list of five sports released by the Tokyo Organizing Committee on Monday, under a new Olympics process that allows hosting countries to propose sports that reflect their own culture.

Citing a lack of enough oil to make the project worthwhile, Royal Dutch Shell Oil is halting its effort to drill for oil off Alaska's shore "for the foreseeable future." The company has spent some $7 billion on the exploration project.

He praised one as a man of prayer, the other for her "passion for justice." But many Americans might need a reminder about two of the people Pope Francis discussed in Congress on Thursday: philosopher Thomas Merton and activist Dorothy Day.

The two Catholics were mentioned alongside two other, more famous names: Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

Calling them "four representatives of the American people," Pope Francis lauded Day, King, Lincoln and Merton for using their dreams of justice, equal rights, liberty and peace to make America a better place.

One day after Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced his resignation over the German automaker's use of software to dupe emissions control tests, European countries are conducting new tests — and the Auto Bild site says a BMW diesel model also failed to meet European standards.

The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, was struck by tragedy Thursday, as a stampede near the holy city killed at least 717 people and left more than 860 injured, according to Saudi officials.

The death toll and the number of injured have risen as authorities get reports from the site; initial reports stated that more than 300 people had died. We're updating this post as new information arrives.

One day after acknowledging that 11 million Volkswagen-made cars have software that dupes official emissions tests, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn says he is resigning from his post.

"I am shocked by the events of the past few days," Winterkorn said in a statement released Wednesday. "Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group."

In a much-anticipated visit, Pope Francis arrived at the White House Wednesday morning, where he met with President Obama. Francis addressed a crowd of more than 11,000 people.

Updated at 9:22 a.m. ET

Undoing a three-year prison sentence that had drawn protests from media groups and other organizations, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has pardoned 100 people, including two journalists for Al Jazeera English.

The journalists are Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed.

A statement from the president's office read:

President Xi Jinping delivered several surprising remarks in a speech at a banquet in Seattle on Tuesday night, dropping pop culture references to the show House of Cards and recounting how he drank rum at a bar in Cuba out of his affection for Ernest Hemingway.

For large portions of his speech at a Westin hotel, Xi stuck to the expected topics of intellectual property and cybercrime. But the Communist leader illustrated his points with an array of American cultural references.

From Seattle, NPR's Aarti Shahani reports for our Newscast unit:

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

A 9-year-old police dog named Rex is ready to retire from the force. That presents a quandary for the Albuquerque, N.M., police department: what to do with a devoted and capable dog whose law enforcement training makes it a challenge to find him a new home?

In announcing Rex's retirement Monday, the department also outlined a sad story. The dog's handler recently retired from the force — and though the two have emotionally bonded, the officer couldn't take his work partner home because he has a small child.

The newspaper whose motto is "All the news that's fit to print" didn't meet a printer's requirements in Thailand on Tuesday. The printer opted to skip a day of The New York Times after deciding that a story about Thailand's future — and its king's health — was inappropriate.

The software that allegedly causes Volkswagen cars to cheat official emissions tests exists in only one type of diesel engine, according to the carmaker — and it has sold 11 million of them around the world. The company says it's setting aside 6.5 billion euros (around $7.25 billion) to fix the cars.

Providing an update to a scandal that began Friday, when the EPA said it found wide variations in emissions from VW cars that use a "defeat device" to fool emissions tests, the German company said that it's "working at full speed" to investigate the problematic software.

Recreational marijuana use is legal in Washington state — but only for adults. And after the state's law was tweaked this summer, minors who break that rule risk felony charges. That's the case for three minors in Asotin County, who could now face up to five years in prison.