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
7:28 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Brutal Attack On Nigerian Village Kills More Than 125

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 10:26 am

At least 125 people were killed in an attack on a market in a Nigerian village near the Cameroon border. The violence is suspected to be the work of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has also claimed responsibility for abducting more than 250 girls from a school last month.

CNN says that the attack targeted "an area that troops had been using as a base in the search" for the kidnapped girls.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Ukraine's Separatists To Proceed With Vote, Despite Putin

Pro-Russian separatists say they'll hold a referendum Sunday on seceding from Ukraine, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments that they should wait to hold the vote. Thursday, a gunman installs a banner reading "Do not forget, do not forgive!" in eastern Ukraine.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:55 pm

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told separatists in Ukraine they should postpone a referendum on secession, leaders of the group say they'll hold the vote this Sunday as planned.

The decision was announced by a committee heading the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. The group held a news conference Thursday to say they would go ahead with plans to hold the vote.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Putin Tells Separatists In Ukraine To Postpone May 11 Referendum

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, addressed the media Wednesday along with the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter.
ALEXEY DRUZHININ AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 5:42 pm

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine should wait to hold a referendum on secession, Russia's President Vladimir Putin says.

The vote is currently planned for this Sunday. Putin's comments coincide with discussions he had today with the leader of the European group that has stationed military observers in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

DEA Raids Target Synthetic Drugs' Makers And Sellers

Makers and sellers of synthetic drugs were targeted in at least 25 states Wednesday, as federal agents made arrests and conducted searches. Authorities say profits from the synthetics could be aiding terrorist and criminal groups in the Middle East.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Stanford University Says No To Coal Investments

Stanford University's trustees says the school will rid itself of any investments it has made in coal-producing companies. A 2013 file photo shows coal being loaded onto a truck at a mine near Decker, Montana.
Matthew Brown AP

Stanford's trustees say the school will no longer invest in companies that mine coal, joining about a dozen other colleges that have taken the step. The decision cited alternate energy sources that emit less greenhouse gases.

Stanford will liquidate any current holdings in coal-producing companies, the school says. Of the schools that have divested, it's by far the largest.

"Stanford wouldn't say how much it currently invests in coal companies," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports. "Its total endowment was just shy of $19 billion last year."

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Reported $147 Million Home Price Would Set New U.S. Record

A satellite image depicts a beachfront estate that reportedly sold for $147 million in East Hampton, N.Y.
Google Maps

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 4:12 pm

The stock market has been on a winning streak — and that means these are busy times in exclusive U.S. housing markets. How else to explain three homes that each reportedly sold for more than $100 million in the past three months?

News that hedge fund founder Barry Rosenstein is buying an East Hampton, N.Y., property for $147 million prompted Bloomberg News to declare, "The U.S. trophy-home market is shattering price records this year."

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Report Details Hundreds Of Complaints Against U.S. Border Agents

A new report lists more than 800 complaints made against U.S. Border Patrol agents; most include physical abuse. Here, an agent patrols the U.S.-Mexico border fence at in San Diego, Calif., last year.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:36 am

Physical abuse and excessive force top the list of hundreds of complaints filed against U.S. Border Patrol agents, according to a new report. The accusations include charges that agents kicked a pregnant woman, stomped on a man and physically forced a minor to sign a document.

Those accusations are in a report on government data about the complaints that was obtained by the advocacy group the American Immigration Council via a Freedom of Information Act request.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Thai Court Removes Prime Minister Yingluck From Office

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra received roses from supporters in a Bangkok suburb on Wednesday.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:29 am

Saying Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had violated Thailand's constitution, the country's Constitutional Court ordered the caretaker leader to step down from office, along with nine ministers. She had held the post since the summer of 2011.

The court's ruling Wednesday stems from accusations that Yingluck abused her powers in 2011 by transferring the national security chief, who had been appointed by the opposition. The court's nine judges went on national television to broadcast their decision.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Portland, Ore., Police Criticized Over 2013 Arrest Of Girl, 9

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:45 pm

The 9-year-old girl was wearing a bathing suit, a towel and handcuffs when she was taken away by police, with her mother looking on in shock. Now the arrest last year, over a fight at a Portland, Ore., youth club, is sparking criticism of the police after the girl's mother decided to go public.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Bayer Will Buy Merck Consumer Unit For $14.2 Billion

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 5:44 pm

German drug company Bayer has agreed to acquire the consumer care business of U.S.-based Merck & Co., in a deal that would bolster Bayer in the over-the-counter drug sector. The $14.2 billion purchase includes brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's.

From Reuters:

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Kidnappers In Nigeria Wore Uniforms, Escaped Girl Says

Muslim women march as part of a call for Nigeria's government to increase efforts to rescue more than 200 girls who were kidnapped from their school last month.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

The gunmen who abducted 276 girls from a school in Nigeria last month wore uniforms and said they were soldiers who had come to help, according to a girl who escaped her captors. The girls were led outside — and it wasn't until the gunmen stole food and set fire to the school that the girls became certain they were in trouble.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Tue May 6, 2014

U-2 Spy Plane Disrupted Hundreds Of Flights, FAA Acknowledges

The Air Force's U-2 spy plane first took flight in August 1955. One of the planes confused air traffic control computers in California last week, creating havoc.
USAF Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:25 pm

A snarl of air traffic over California last week is being blamed on a Cold War-era spy plane whose flight plan did not compute for air traffic control computers. After the altitude of the U-2 plane was misinterpreted, efforts to route airliners around it created havoc.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Ukraine Reports Dozens Killed In Slovyansk Fighting

Pro-Russian gunmen carry their weapons in the center of Slovyansk, Ukraine, Tuesday. Gun battles were fought around the city Monday in what has proven the most ambitious government effort to regain control of areas taken by separatists.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:46 pm

Ukraine says its military has killed 30 pro-Russian separatists as government forces try to retake Slovyansk and other cities near the border with Russia. At least four Ukrainian soldiers have died, and separatists shot down a helicopter in eastern Ukraine.

The helicopter's "crew escaped because they apparently crashed into a riverbed once it was shot down," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced the death toll in Slovyansk on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Circus Performers Injured During Hair-Hanging Stunt

Rhode Island state troopers and Providence police stand in the lobby of the Dunkin' Donuts Center after an accident during the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance Sunday.
Stew Milne AP

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 8:04 am

Updated at 1:55 a.m. EDT Monday:

Inspectors have yet to determine what caused Sunday's horrifying accident during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance in Providence, R.I.

Rhode Island Hospital in Providence admitted 11 patients with varying injuries, spokeswoman Jill Reuter told The Associated Press. One was said to be in critical condition. Nine performers were injured when a support apparatus failed during an aerial stunt, while an unknown number of others suffered less serious injuries.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Announces Divorce

Bishop Gene Robinson, seen here in 2010, has announced that he and his long-time partner will be getting a divorce.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 4:52 pm

Bishop Gene Robinson says he and his husband, Mark Andrew, are getting a divorce. The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Robinson retired last year, a decade after his election alienated many conservative Anglicans.

The pair had been together for 25 years. Robinson disclosed the divorce this weekend, in an email to the Diocese of New Hampshire and in a column for The Daily Beast in which he wrote:

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Sinn Fein's Adams Is Released; Was Questioned About Murder

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly speaks to the media outside Antrim's police station in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday. Police released Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams after five days of questioning him about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.
Peter Morrison AP

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 4:39 pm

Gerry Adams, the leader of the mostly Catholic party Sinn Fein, was released Sunday after five days of police questioning about a 1972 murder. Adams' arrest had rattled the delicate power-sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland. His release was confirmed by a police statement today.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Slipping Through The City: Bristol Turns Street Into A Water Slide

A woman slides on the nearly 300-feet Bristol Park and Slide project, an interactive temporary installation by artist Luke Jerram in the center of Bristol in southwest England Sunday.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 4:30 pm

Summer hasn't officially begun, but that isn't stopping the city of Bristol, England, from closing off traffic so people can ride a nearly 300-foot-long water slide down the street.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Ukraine: Pro-Russia Crowd Surrounds Police Station In Odessa

Participants at a rally attack a police station in Odessa as they demand the release of people arrested after recent street battles between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian supporters in the Black Sea port city.
Gleb Garanich Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 4:50 pm

Urging the release of separatists detained during Friday's unrest that left dozens dead, more than 100 pro-Russia activists surrounded a police station in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa Sunday.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: More Activists Released

Police in Odessa say 67 pro-Russia activists were freed Sunday.

CNN quotes the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's website:

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Sun May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You: It's Star Wars Day

Fans dressed as storm troopers and Darth Vader march in front of the Colosseum in central Rome on May 4, Star Wars Day.
TIZIANA FABI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:41 am

Darth Vader walks the Earth today. By that, we mean he's walking all over the place. Fans of the sci-fi franchise are celebrating Star Wars Day — or May 4 for the less geek-inclined.

The day brings an excuse for people to dress as storm troopers and rebels and celebrate the films that first hit theaters in 1977. Star Wars Day is also being commemorated by businesses offering deals — discounts on videos, comics and other merchandise, from backpacks to Vans sneakers. You can find a list of the deals here.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Sun May 4, 2014

For The Clippers, Something To Cheer: A Win In Game 7

L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin shoots in the lane during his team's win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 Saturday night. The Clippers won 126-121.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 8:21 pm

The postseason continues for the Los Angeles Clippers, who won a pivotal Game 7 Saturday night, days after the team's owner was banned for life by the NBA. The Clippers ended the Golden State Warriors' season in a back-and-forth game that came down to the final minute.

In a high-octane game that was marked by the Warriors' 3-point shooting and the Clippers' late dunks, Los Angeles held on to win, 126-121.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

GM Fuel Gauge Recall Affects Thousands Of SUVs

A new GM recall over defective fuel gauges affects the 2014 Buick Enclave (seen here), along with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia.
AP

Weeks after issuing recalls for safety problems in some of its most popular cars, GM says it needs to fix defective fuel gauges that can give SUV drivers little or no warning their vehicle might run out of fuel. GM's latest recall potentially affects 51,640 SUVs that were built in 2013.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Deadly Virus Sparks French Ban On Live Pigs From U.S.

France has banned imports of live pigs and other products from the U.S. to keep out a virus that has killed more than 4 million pigs in the U.S. Here, young pigs look out of a pen at a North Dakota hog farm in a 2005 file photo.
Will Kincaid AP

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 2:37 pm

France has banned imports of live pigs and related products from the U.S. and other countries in an attempt to keep a deadly virus that has killed millions of piglets in North America and Asia from spreading. The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has spread rapidly since the first U.S. case was reported last year.

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Dies; Played Sleuths On TV Hits

Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr., seen here at his California home in 1982, died Friday, his family announced.
Wally Fong AP

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 3:00 pm

Efrem Zimbalist Jr., an actor whose streak of leading-man success on TV stretched over three decades, has died. Zimbalist, who starred on ABC's 77 Sunset Strip and The F.B.I., was 95; his family announced his death, saying he died at home on Friday.

"We are heartbroken to announce the passing into peace of our beloved father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., today at his Solvang ranch," the family said in a statement. "He actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends."

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Afghan Landslide: Search For Survivors Ends; Thousands Feared Dead

Afghan villagers pray at the site of a landslide in Abi-Barik Saturday. Rescuers searched in vain for survivors of the disaster, which is feared to have killed more than 2,000 people.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 2:28 pm

More than 2,000 people are believed to be dead after a hillside collapsed on part of a remote village in Afghanistan, where rescue attempts have largely been abandoned. Heavy rain prompted the landslide, which enclosed hundreds of houses in more than 30 feet of mud.

The U.N. and relief agencies are working to help more than 4,000 displaced people in Abi-Barik, the village in northeastern Afghanistan's Badakhshan province where the landslide occurred.

The event took place in two stages, the BBC reports:

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Sat May 3, 2014

European Observers Held By Pro-Russian Force Are Freed In Ukraine

Military observers including German Col. Axel Schneider, second left, hug each other after being released in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday. They were released to Russian envoy Vladimir Lukin, left.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 1:47 pm

Seven European military observers are free Saturday, more than a week after they were seized by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The move comes as Kiev applies military pressure to separatists who have claimed territory and buildings in the region.

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