Bill Chappell | KERA News

Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer on the Newsdesk, in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London 2012 to Pyeongchang 2018. 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 the past, Chappell 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.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, NPR.org 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, Chappell was part of 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 on major events.

Chappell's work for CNN included editing digital video and producing web stories for SI.com. He also edited and produced 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, Chappell attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Sergio Marchionne, who led Fiat Chrysler to prosperity in the face of a stubborn recession and a host of other challenges, has died. He was 66. Just days ago, he stepped down from his role leading one of the world's largest car companies because of health problems.

Fiat Chrysler rushed to name a new CEO last weekend after it became clear that Marchionne would not be able to return to work. The widely admired executive had suffered complications from shoulder surgery, and his health rapidly deteriorated. He died at University Hospital in Zurich.

Ivanka Trump is closing her fashion company, saying her commitments in helping her father in Washington — and the limits imposed on her business as a result — have left her with no other option.

"After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business," Ivanka Trump said in a statement, "but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners."

Updated at 10 a.m. ET July 26

Several people reportedly were killed and hundreds of people were missing after the failure of a dam in the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydroelectric project in southern Laos. The collapse of the dam, which is part of a larger dam network, has flooded villages and forced thousands of people to flee, state media report.

The full scale of the disaster isn't yet known.

President Xi Jinping has ordered an investigation — and promised serious punishment — after a drug company was found to have faked production records for a rabies vaccine and sold more than 250,000 doses of a vaccine for infants that didn't meet medical standards.

Regulators said the large drugmaker, Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Limited, had arbitrarily changed the way it makes freeze-dried human rabies vaccines, as well as falsifying records and inspection reports. The government says it has ordered the company to halt production of the vaccine.

President Trump threatened Iran in a late-night tweet on Sunday, responding angrily after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Trump and warned the American president not to "play with the lion's tail" and that "war with Iran is the mother of all wars."

Trump's tweet, posted in all-capital letters: "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE."

Updated at 2:25 p.m ET

A federal judge has overturned a man's conviction on terrorism charges, saying Seifullah Chapman should be released because of a shift in how the law defines violent crime. In 2004, Chapman was sentenced as part of the Virginia "Paintball Jihad" network, which used games to train for armed combat.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is clarifying remarks he made about whether his platform should remove content posted by Holocaust deniers, saying he wasn't defending them when he commented that it was hard to know their intentions. His initial comments set off intense criticism earlier this week.

It's built for oversize cargo, but it also sports a smile: The Airbus BelugaXL took off on its first flight on Thursday, creating a unique sight as the jet with the bulbous upper half rolled down the runway.

The BelugaXL's paint job "features beluga whale-inspired eyes and an enthusiastic grin," the aircraft company says. That whale flew over southern France, soaring over the coast and mountainside.

The 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach subsisted on water that flooded the cave where they were trapped for two weeks — and they now regard the divers who saved them as family, they said at a news conference on Wednesday after finally leaving a hospital and preparing to return to their homes in northern Thailand.

A federal jury has found Marq Vincent Perez, 26, guilty of a hate crime in the arson attack on a mosque in Victoria, Texas, in January 2017. Perez, who is set to be sentenced in October, faces up to 40 years in prison.

When fire devastated the Victoria Islamic Center last year, an outpouring of support followed, with neighboring Jewish and Christian congregations offering to host Muslim services in their buildings.

Usain Bolt, the track star who retired last year as the world's fastest man, is poised to hold a six-week trial with a pro soccer team in Australia and could earn a contract if all goes well, the team says. A deal could fulfill Bolt's long-held dream of playing pro soccer – but it's also being met with skepticism.

Four years after Eric Garner was put in a chokehold by a police officer on Staten Island and died, the New York Police Department says it will pursue disciplinary actions against officers involved in the case. Police had postponed the move out of deference to a Justice Department inquiry.

Sinclair Broadcast Group's push to buy Tribune Media hit a new snag on Monday, as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he has "serious concerns" about the $3.9 billion deal. Pai said a plan to divest some stations might not satisfy federal laws because it wouldn't go far enough.

"The evidence we've received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law," Pai said in a statement.

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

While he was secretary of health and human services, Tom Price repeatedly broke federal rules on using chartered and military planes for government travel, resulting in the waste of at least $341,000 in taxpayer dollars, the HHS inspector general said in a report Friday.

Price resigned from his post last September, amid intense criticism over his use of private and military aircraft.

A baby blimp mocking President Trump floated over London on Friday, an emblem of protests that are expected to draw thousands of people who are angry with the American president's policies and his views of the U.K.

The protests had been expected and promised — and after Trump arrived in England on Thursday, the flames were fanned anew, thanks to an interview with a tabloid in which he gave scathing critiques of Prime Minister Theresa May, his host for the visit between allies.

Sarah Hirshland is the new CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, taking control of the organization as it tries to repair the damage from a horrible sexual abuse scandal, in which hundreds of girls and young women were mistreated.

Before being named to the post, Hirshland served as the chief commercial officer for the U.S. Golf Association.

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong — in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product. Trump called those commitments a major victory; they were first made in 2014.

After raising the threat of the U.S. leaving NATO, Trump said Thursday that there are no problems, adding that America's allies had pledged to increase defense spending commitments "very substantially."

Writing that "a reasonable jury could conclude" that the herbicide in Monsanto's Roundup can cause a form of cancer, a federal judge says liability lawsuits against the company should proceed, siding with plaintiffs against an effort to quash the litigation. But the judge also said some of the expert opinions presented so far in the case are "shaky."

The lawsuits allege that glyphosate, the herbicide in the widely used Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma — and that Monsanto didn't warn consumers or regulators about that alleged risk.

Just over two weeks after she was crowned the World's Ugliest Dog, Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog with a penchant for pink and a perpetually lolling tongue, has died. She was 9.

"I'm sad to share that Zsa Zsa passed away in her sleep last night," reads a message from her owner, Megan Brainard, a pet groomer in Minnesota.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

President Trump signed full pardons on Tuesday for Oregon cattle ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and son Steven Hammond, whose long-running dispute with the federal government ended with prison sentences for arson — and later inspired the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Theresa May continues her efforts to reunite her government on Monday, and less than 24 hours after the resignation of two high-profile "Brexiteers," she has appointed replacements.

Emergency crews in Thailand brought a second group of four boys to safety on Monday, more than two weeks after 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a flooded cave network. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages.

The man charged with murdering five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md., on Thursday had previously been investigated over threatening comments toward staff members, Anne Arundel County Police Department Chief Tim Altomare said Friday.

An E. coli outbreak that sickened people in 36 states and triggered warnings not to eat romaine lettuce this spring has been traced to water in a canal in the Yuma, Ariz., region – and the outbreak is now officially over, federal officials say.

"Suspect product is no longer being harvested or distributed from this area and is no longer available in stores or restaurants, due to its 21-day shelf life," the Food and Drug Administration says.

Updated 5:24 p.m. ET

"Today we are speechless," reads the opinion page in Friday's edition of The Capital, where the staff is still reeling after five of their colleagues were shot and killed. Despite Thursday's attack, the staff put out a newspaper, with powerful reporting on its own tragedy.

That opinion page — A9 — sits almost entirely empty, with a huge blank space where columns and editorials would normally be.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Raphael A. Sanchez, who was chief counsel at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Seattle when he opened credit cards and took out loans using the personal information of vulnerable immigrants, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

In a shocking upset, South Korea has beaten Germany in the World Cup, denying the defending champions a chance to advance beyond the first round.

It's the first time in at least 80 years that Germany has failed to advance out of the World Cup's group stage. It was a stunning result, both for the team that had come to Russia as the world's No. 1 and for South Korea, which wasn't listed in the top 50 when this tournament began.

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft has made a successful rendezvous with the asteroid Ryugu, 177 million miles from Earth. Japan's JAXA space agency confirmed on Wednesday that the craft has taken up a position 12 miles off Ryugu. Up next for Hayabusa2: exploring the surface — and bringing a sample back to Earth.

Hayabusa2 reached its destination 3 1/2 years after launching from Earth in late 2014. JAXA says the meetup went according to plan, as the craft used its thrusters to establish a constant distance from Ryugu, which can currently be seen zipping across the Gemini constellation.

The city of Orlando, Fla., says it has ended a pilot program in which its police force used Amazon's real-time facial recognition — a system called "Rekognition" that had triggered complaints from rights and privacy groups when its use was revealed earlier this year.

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