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
4:47 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Clapper Apologizes For Answer On NSA's Data Collection

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has apologized for a "clearly erroneous" response to a question about surveillance on Americans. The question was asked before the Senate Intelligence Committee in March.
Susan Walsh AP

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

NASA Has Shut Down Space Telescope Orbiting Earth

"The Galaxy Next Door" — This composite image of the Andromeda galaxy was produced by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, showing Andromeda's ultraviolet side. NASA sent a decommission command to the space telescope Friday.
NASA

NASA is sending a reliable servant into a retirement that will end with a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in about 65 years. That's the fate that awaits the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, the "galaxy hunter" space telescope whose original 29-month mission was extended to more than 10 years.

Along the way, the orbiting system, known as GALEX, helped scientists study how galaxies and stars are born, and how they change over time.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Felony Arrest Of Student Who Bought Water Riles Many In Virginia

A college student spent the night in jail and was charged with felony counts after agents approached her car, suspecting she bought beer at this Harris Teeter grocery store in Charlottesville, Va.
Google

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 9:27 pm

"We're the police."

"This is bottled water."

If an encounter between several young women and Virginia's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents had gone that smoothly, the participants might be looking back on a chance encounter as merely odd, perhaps even funny. Instead, they're coping with the aftermath of a brief flight from authorities that resulted in spending a night in jail and felony charges, now dropped, of hitting agents with a car. The state agency says it's reviewing the case.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Jailed Tunisian Rapper Is Freed; Song Called Police 'Dogs'

Tunisian rapper Ala Yaacoubi, also known by his rap name Weld El 15, left, speaks alongside his lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, before his trial last month.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 1:29 pm

A Tunisian appeals court has freed rapper Ala Yaacoubi, who last month was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting police officers with his song "The Police Are Dogs."

Critics had said the arrest of Yaacoubi, 25, who performs under the name Weld El 15, was a sign of repression in Tunisia, where mass rallies overthrew former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the start of the Arab Spring in 2011. As NPR reported that summer, several rap songs became anthems for that shift.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Nelson Mandela Is In Critical But Stable Condition, In Latest Update

A family brings a message of good wishes for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside his house in Johannesburg Monday. Mandela, 94, is in critical but stable condition.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:07 am

The condition of former South African leader Nelson Mandela is "still critical but stable," according to the office of President Jacob Zuma. Mandela, 94, has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 with a lung infection.

In the first official update on Mandela's health since Thursday, the presidency also urged people to prepare for the beloved rights activist's birthday later this month.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Heat Wave Will Bake Southwest For Most Of This Week

The National Weather Service predicts triple-digit temperatures in the Southwest until at least Wednesday. The temperature in Death Valley hit 128 degrees Sunday, a record high for June in the United States.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 12:53 pm

The record-breaking heat that has broiled the Southwest since Friday shows no signs of letting up. According to the National Weather Service, "triple-digit temperatures will be common across the Southwest" through at least Wednesday.

The temperature in Death Valley — where the temperature reached 134 degrees in 1913, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth — hit 128 degrees Sunday. That mark set a record high for the month of June in the U.S. The weather service says to expect similar heat today.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Mon July 1, 2013

EU Officials Question Kerry On 'Unacceptable' Spying Claims

European Union officials spoke to Secretary of State John Kerry about claims that the U.S. spied on EU offices in America. Kerry is in Brunei for a security conference.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:18 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is hearing from European allies who are upset with recent reports that the U.S. has spied on its friends. The European Union's top diplomat asked Kerry about the reports at a security conference Monday. Other officials say the case could derail talks on free trade.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Ecuador Backs Off NSA Leaker Snowden, Citing Asylum Rules

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:25 pm

(This post was updated at 6:17 p.m.)

Fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said in a letter released Monday that he was "unbowed" and thanked his "new friends" for his continued liberty.

The letter is the first time Snowden has broken his silence since he fled to Moscow eight days ago, and it comes on the same day Russian immigration officials say he applied for political asylum in the country.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Arizona Wildfire Kills 19 Firefighters, Deadliest In Decades

The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the city of Prescott, Ariz. The elite team of 19 firemen were killed on Sunday in one of the deadliest U.S. firefighting disasters in decades.
City of Prescott Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 1:17 pm

In what is being called the deadliest U.S. wildfire in at least 30 years, an out-of-control blaze trapped and killed 19 firefighters Sunday in central Arizona. They had been forced to use temporary shelters in an attempt to survive.

All of those killed were part of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group based in Prescott, Ariz., that uses rigorous training to prepare for fighting wildfires. They are frequently deployed to the front lines of firefighting efforts against such blazes.

Update at 6:04 p.m. ET: Firefighters Identified

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Retired General Defends Himself Amid Leak Reports

Attorneys for former Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Marine Gen. James Cartwright say it is "preposterous" to say he betrayed the United States. Here, Cartwright is seen during an announcement by President Obama, along with, from left, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Susan Walsh AP

Retired Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff who has reportedly been named as a target of a federal leak investigation, has issued a statement defending himself, saying that he did not betray the United States.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Deadly Violence Hits Egypt In Clashes Over Morsi's Leadership

Opponents of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi burn the contents of an office of the Freedom and Justice Party, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Alexandria Friday. Two people were reportedly killed in clashes in the city.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:02 pm

Two people have died in Alexandria, Egypt, where protests against President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been building all week. Egyptian security officials say one of the dead is an American citizen. Dozens of people were wounded in the violence.

Update at 8 p.m. ET: Death Of U.S. Citizen Confirmed

"We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in Alexandria, Egypt," State Department Press Office Director Patrick Ventrell said in a news release Friday evening.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Highs Of 117 Expected In Las Vegas, In Dangerous Heat Wave

Excessive heat warnings will continue for much of the Desert Southwest through Monday. Here, Maria Wieser of Italy drinks water while sightseeing in Death Valley National Park on Friday.
Chris Carlson AP

A heat wave is broiling America's Southwest, where temperatures are expected to soar past 110 degrees in coming days. Before noon on Friday, temperatures in many parts of southeastern California, Nevada and Arizona had already topped 100 degrees.

An "excessive heat warning" was issued Friday by the National Weather Service, which blames the dangerously high temperatures on "a massive area of high pressure across the Western United States through Monday."

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Regulators File Charges Against Corzine Over MF Global Debacle

Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Senate Approves Sweeping Immigration Overhaul, In Final Vote

The Senate has passed a sweeping immigration bill, widely seen as the product of the "Gang of 8," a group that includes Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. (left), and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The two shook hands before Thursday's final vote.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:19 pm

The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.

The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

NFL's Aaron Hernandez Loses Appeal For Bail In Murder Case

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will be held without bail on murder charges, a judge has confirmed. Here, Hernandez, left, stands with one his defense attorneys, Michael Fee, during his arraignment in Attleboro District Court Wednesday.
Mike George AP

NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was charged with first-degree murder and weapons crimes Wednesday, will not be released on bail, the Fall River Superior Court has ruled. Hernandez, 23, was released by the New England Patriots within hours of his arrest yesterday.

While Hernandez's defense attorney, Jamie Sultan, said that releasing a murder suspect on bail was a possibility, the judge in the bail hearing replied that it was "very rare."

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The Two-Way
10:03 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

As People Head Into Space, PayPal Says It Will Follow Them

No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space: PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
John Spencer Space Tourism Society

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:48 am

Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Black Bear Roams In D.C., Days After Red Panda's Jaunt

A black bear was captured in northwest Washington, D.C., Wednesday, two days after Rusty the red panda escaped from the National Zoo into a nearby area.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Rafael Nadal Loses In First-Round Upset At Wimbledon

Steve Darcis of Belgium, left, shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain Monday, after winning their first-round match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Update: 'Rusty The Panda' Has Been Found, National Zoo Says

"Rusty the Panda" spent part of Monday on the loose in D.C. He was spotted by residents in a neighborhood next to the National Zoo's grounds.
National Zoo

Update At 2:27 p.m. ET. Panda Is Safe And Sound

"Rusty the red panda has been recovered, crated & is headed safely back to the National Zoo!"

That's the breathless update from the National Zoo, announcing Rusty's return to safe hands Monday afternoon. The zoo followed that tweet with a note of appreciation: "Thank you so much to everyone who helped us look for and find him!"

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Online Sales Cost Cities And Counties Billions In Taxes, Mayors Say

A chart shows estimated tax revenue losses due to online sales in 11 U.S. cities. Figures for 2013 are projections.
IHS Global Insight

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 3:53 pm

Online retail sales are cutting into tax revenue in counties and cities, according to a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. They estimate the lost revenue for America's largest cities and counties came to about $2.8 billion for 2011 and 2012, combined.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Six-Woman Jury Selected For Trial Of George Zimmerman

Six women have been selected for the trial of George Zimmerman, right, on second-degree murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was in court Thursday with his defense attorney, Mark O'Mara.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:02 pm

A jury has been settled upon in the trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The six-member panel is made up entirely of female jurors; five of them are white women, according to reports.

Attorneys in the trial finished questioning potential jurors around mid-day Thursday; they are also selecting four alternate jurors for the trial.

Update at 7 p.m. ET: Jury Sworn In:

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The Two-Way
4:14 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
2:51 pm
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
1:18 pm
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 6:58 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
12:49 pm
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 1:57 pm

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
5:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Google Files First-Amendment Request With FISA Court

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:17 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
3:34 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
2:22 pm
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
4:15 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 4:46 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
1:59 pm
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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