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
10:16 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Cooter Effect: Did Ben Jones Help Unseat Eric Cantor?

Former Rep. Ben Jones, a Democrat, wrote an open letter calling on voters to oust Eric Cantor in the Republicans' open primary — an event that transpired Tuesday. A former actor, Jones played the role of Cooter on TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. He's seen here meeting a fan last year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 2:18 pm

To the pile of explanations for the shocking primary loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to challenger Dave Brat, add one more: the idea that Democrats and independents tilted the Republicans' open primary at the prompting of former Rep. Ben Jones, a Democrat.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Militants Reportedly Overrun Tikrit, As 500,000 Flee Mosul

A cellphone photo shows an armored vehicle belonging to Iraqi security forces in flames Tuesday, after hundreds of militants launched a major assault in Mosul. Some 500,000 Iraqis have fled their homes in the large city since militants took control.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 10:32 pm

This post was updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

As refugees stream out of Mosul after the Iraqi city was captured by forces of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, NPR's Deborah Amos passes along reports that Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, has also been overrun.

The Associated Press says "soldiers and security forces [in Tikrit have] abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces."

According to AP:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

'Stunning': Reactions To Eric Cantor's Election Loss In Virginia

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, and Dave Brat react after the polls closed Tuesday. Brat defeated Cantor in the Republican primary, a result that shocked many political analysts.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 10:00 am

"Dollars don't vote — you do." And with that statement to his supporters, college professor Dave Brat ousted seven-term Rep. Eric Cantor in their primary battle Tuesday night. The loss by the No. 2 House Republican shocked many political analysts and the congressman himself.

"It's disappointing, sure," Cantor told supporters after the results came in. "But I believe in this country. I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us."

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Immigrant Who Sought Sanctuary In Arizona Church Can Stay In U.S.

Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, moved into a Tucson church with his family last month, claiming sanctuary as he sought a reversal in his deportation order.
Fernanda Echavarri Arizona Public Media

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 2:22 pm

After a month of seeking sanctuary in a Tucson church, a Mexican immigrant has been granted a one-year stay of his deportation order. Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, had been ordered to leave the U.S. after a traffic stop revealed he wasn't here legally.

Ruiz has lived in Tucson for 14 years; he has a job and no criminal record, reports Arizona Public Media's Fernanda Echavarri.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Drones Approved: FAA Gives OK To First Commercial Use Over Land

A 2011 photo shows an AeroVironment Puma drone being prepared for launch by University of Alaska researchers. The FAA says it approved BP's use of the drone to survey oil fields in Alaska.
Keith Cunningham AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 1:24 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has issued the first permit in its history for an unmanned aircraft to fly over U.S. soil. Oil company BP will use a drone from the company AeroVironment to conduct surveys in Alaska.

The first drone flights under the recently issued waiver have already taken place, the FAA says.

From the agency's news release:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Gunmen Stage Second Assault Near Karachi Airport

Pakistan Airport Security Force personnel were on alert Tuesday after shots were fired near a checkpoint in Karachi.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 11:09 am

A short-lived attack near Karachi's airport today interrupted prayers for security officers who died in Sunday's violence at the facility. The attackers fled after firing shots near the Airport Security Force training facility, causing flights to be halted temporarily.

"3 to 4 terrorists fired near ASF Camp, ran away," reads a tweet from Army spokesman Major Gen. Asim Bajwa. "No breach of fence, no entry. Chase is on, situation under control."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Possible Friendly-Fire Incident Kills 5 Americans In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 2:57 pm

Five U.S. service members died in southern Afghanistan in a possible case of friendly fire. Afghan media are citing a local official who says the troops' air support mistakenly bombed their position. The attack is still under investigation.

Update at 2:45 p.m. ET: More From Pentagon

"We have reason to suspect that friendly fire was the cause here, specifically from the air," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said without elaborating.

"This is a tragic incident all around and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families," Kirby said.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Ladies And Gentlemen, Silence Please, For Sir Mix-A-Lot

Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Seattle Symphony performed his hit "Baby Got Back" amid energetic audience participation Saturday night.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 9:29 am

Violinists were nodding their heads to a different beat this weekend, as Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Seattle Symphony presented what the rapper called "Orchestral Movements from the Hood Night." Their version of the hit "Baby Got Back" drew a large crowd of dancers to the stage.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Mon June 9, 2014

2014 Tony Awards: Audra McDonald Nets A Record Sixth Win

Audra McDonald won her record sixth Tony for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.
Heather Wines CBS /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 11:20 am

When a new batch of Tonys was awarded Sunday night, Audra McDonald walked off the stage as the most decorated actress in the event's history. McDonald won for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar And Grill.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Karachi's Airport Reopens, One Day After Terrorist Attack

Smoke rises above Jinnah International Airport Monday morning, following a five-hour firefight between security forces and militants. The facility was open for business Monday afternoon.
Shakil Adil AP

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 11:43 am

One day after it was the scene of a terrorist assault that left at least 23 people dead, the largest airport in Pakistan reopened for business Monday afternoon.

Gunmen who were reportedly disguised as security guards attacked Karachi's international airport in the middle of the night Sunday, and several explosions were heard in the fighting that followed.

The 10 attackers are among the dead at Jinnah International Airport, officials say. Several airport workers and at least 10 members of the security force also were killed, according to Pakistani media.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Uber Car Service Company Is Now Valued At $17 Billion

Its service is still growing, and it faces legal challenges from taxi companies. But Uber, the company whose app pairs drivers with passengers, was a hit it big in a financing round, bringing in investments of $1.2 billion and sending its valuation skyward.

Four years after it began operations, San Francisco-based Uber is now valued at $17 billion, based on figures the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, released today.

Uber is creating 20,000 jobs a month, Kalanick said, and it's operating in 128 cities in 37 countries.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Sword Fights Break Out In A Clash At India's Golden Temple

Members of a hardline Sikh group clash with guards of the Sikhs' holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, India, Friday. At least 10 people were reportedly wounded in the clash.
Prabhjot Gill AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 12:18 pm

A commemoration of a military raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, went awry Friday, as rival groups of Sikhs clashed at the shrine. Ceremonial swords and staffs were swung in anger, resulting in injuries and panic.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The U.S. Finally Gets Past Pre-Recession Jobs Total

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 12:45 pm

The U.S. hit a milestone Friday, as the government's monthly jobs report showed that in May, the country finally surpassed the number of jobs it had before the recession started. The gain of 217,000 jobs put the total U.S. payroll number at nearly 138.5 million jobs.

But analysts note that the recovery has taken more than six years and has excluded many workers.

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET: Jobs Gain Of 217,000 Reported

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Fri June 6, 2014

In San Antonio, Spurs Beat The Heat Twice In One Game

LeBron James and the Miami Heat couldn't handle the heat in San Antonio, as Tim Duncan and the Spurs took the first game of the 2014 NBA Finals. The air conditioning in the Spurs arena didn't work during the game.
Chris Covatta Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:58 am

The first game of the NBA finals was a scorcher. Yes, it was played indoors – but the air conditioning in San Antonio's arena broke down, leaving the host Spurs and the Miami Heat sweating in 90-degree temperatures. The Spurs overcame the heat, and the Heat, 110-95.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Sprint Is Reportedly Close To Deal To Buy T-Mobile For $32 Billion

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 4:36 pm

In a deal that's sure to face scrutiny from U.S. regulators, Sprint is reportedly close to sealing a deal with T-Mobile to buy the company for around $40 a share.

If the sale goes through, T-Mobile would join Sprint as the second U.S. wireless company acquired by Japan's Softbank. It would unite the third- and fourth-ranked carriers in their fight against the industry's two dominant leaders, Verizon and AT&T.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Thu June 5, 2014

GM Review Found 'History Of Failures' In Ignition Switch Debacle, CEO Says

General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra (center), Executive Vice President Mark Reuss (right) and President Dan Ammann discuss a review of the company's handling of a recall for a deadly ignition switch problem.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 12:05 pm

An internal inquiry into the long-delayed ignition switch recall by General Motors found an 11-year "history of failures," CEO Mary Barra says. She announced the findings of an investigation into how the company handled a deadly defect with ignition switches at a Thursday morning news conference. (updated at 12:04 p.m.: added link to full report).

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Baseball Man Don Zimmer Dies, Ending An Epic Sports Career

Don Zimmer, manager of the Chicago Cubs, watches batting practice before the 1990 All-Star game with fellow managers Jim Leyland of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tony LaRussa of the Oakland Athletics and Roger Craig of the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field.
Getty Images Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 11:34 am

His big-league career began in the 1950s and included the most recent Yankees dynasty. Along the way, the word "beloved" was often attached to his name. Baseball — the players, the fans, seemingly the sport itself — is mourning Don Zimmer today, after he died at age 83 Wednesday.

The tributes to the feisty guy with a good sense of humor and a bottomless love for the game are pouring out from all over, proof that he didn't waste any time during his 66 years in baseball. In recent years, Zimmer had been suffering from kidney and heart problems.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration Of His Return

Hailey, Idaho: A sign announcing the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl outside Zaney's coffee shop, where Bergdahl worked as a teenager. A rally celebrating his return home has been canceled, after organizers received threats of protests and hate mail.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 8:48 am

The news of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from five years of captivity had been welcomed as a reason to celebrate in Hailey, Idaho. But organizers of a rally held in Bergdahl's honor while he was a prisoner say they're canceling this year's event, citing backlash over the U.S. deal with the Taliban that freed him.

In recent years, the Bring Back Bowe Rally has been an annual June event in the small town of Hailey, where bikers and POW-MIA support groups gathered to call for his return. Last year's event reportedly drew a crowd of more than 3,000.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

1 Baby, 3 Parents: Scientists Say Due Date Is In Two Years

A British scientific panel has been reviewing treatments for mitochondrial disease that involve using material from two women and one man with the goal of producing a healthy baby.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:17 pm

A new medical technique that could prevent mitochondrial disease would also create babies with three parents, a British health agency says. Officials say the time is coming for a technique that would use material from two women and one man to produce a healthy embryo.

"I think that [two years] is not a bad estimation," Robin Lovell-Badge of the Medical Research Council tells the BBC. "The other sorts of experiments that we thought were necessary, again it will take about two years to complete all of those."

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Germany Opens Formal Inquiry Into Tapping Of Merkel's Phone

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a session of the Bundestag Lower House of Parliament in Berlin Wednesday. Germany's top federal prosecutor told legislators today that he is opening a formal inquiry into allegations that the NSA tapped her phone.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:12 pm

Germany's top federal prosecutor is investigating allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. The inquiry won't focus on wide spying activities attributed to the agency, which allegedly included snooping on data connections and companies in Germany.

As newspaper Deutsche Welle reports, the public announcement is a reversal from last week, when it seemed the prosecutor wouldn't pursue the case.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed June 4, 2014

25 Years After Tiananmen Protests, Chinese Media Keep It Quiet

Chinese paramilitary police stand guard in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, the 25th anniversary of a violent crackdown on protesters by Chinese troops.
Kevin Frayer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 2:23 pm

On the 25th anniversary of the massacre that broke up pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, China's government is quashing many attempts to mention the fateful date, with heavy security and online monitoring.

"Silence surrounds this anniversary. So, too, does repression," NPR's Louisa Lim reports. "For the first time, activists trying to hold private commemorations have been detained."

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Taliban Release Video Of Handoff That Freed Bergdahl

An image taken from a video obtained from the Voice of Jihad website shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (right) with a Taliban fighter just before he was released to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 12:20 pm

A Black Hawk helicopter swoops in to pick up Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a valley in Afghanistan, in a video of the handover of the American prisoner of war that was posted online early Wednesday. The Pentagon says it's reviewing the video; a spokesman says there's no reason to question its authenticity.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Mailman Accused Of Stealing 20,000 Pieces Of Mail

A postman has been accused of stealing credit cards, Netflix movies and other items. The U.S. Postal Service says a search of Jeffrey L. Shipley's home found his apartment had bags of mail in it.
Ivana Starcevic iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:56 pm

For some folks in Catonsville, Md., it must have seemed like their mail was disappearing into a black hole. Passports, money orders and Mother's Day cards are among the items a U.S. Postal Service worker is accused of stealing in the town near Baltimore.

Officials say mail carrier Jeffrey L. Shipley stole 20,000 items during a postal career that began in 1993.

From The Baltimore Sun:

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Chemical Weapons Law Doesn't Apply To Jilted Lover, Supreme Court Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an international treaty wasn't meant to be invoked in an assault case in Pennsylvania.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Federal laws that were meant to prevent the international use of chemical weapons can't be applied to a woman who tried to poison her husband's mistress, the Supreme Court has ruled. Carol Anne Bond had smeared toxic chemicals in the hopes that the other woman would develop a rash.

The Supreme Court ruled that the federal law shouldn't have been used to prosecute Bond, as her actions were forbidden under state or local laws. The opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Russia's Smokers Must Take It Outside, As Ban Begins

Women smoke in a Moscow bar in May. Tough new anti-smoking rules took effect Sunday in Russia, banning smoking in bars, restaurants and other public spaces.
Alexander Utkin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:17 pm

It's now illegal to light up in Russia's bars, restaurants and other public spaces, as a national smoking ban went into effect this month. Russian officials say the ban could save 200,000 lives a year in a country known for having many heavy smokers.

In 2009, the Russian Federation consumed 2,786 cigarettes per capita, according to the Tobacco Atlas, put out by the World Lung Foundation.

From Moscow, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports for our Newscast unit:

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